Been & Going

[California Seething] NFL Season Halftime Show

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LA ChargersRecently the San Diego Chargers (San Di-e-go…SUPER CHARGERS! Sorry. It’s very catchy) officially announced their intention to move to Los Angeles – just like the Rams and the Raiders. Oh goody- just what we needed! Three more middle aged losers running off to LA to get away from a loveless marriage with a city that won’t put out money for a new stadium anymore. Seriously- who do they think we are? The big breasted dental hygienist of major American cities? And, of course, they’re just setting themselves up for disappointment – expecting to move to a super-hip Downtown loft and winding up next to a Home Depot in Carson.

I mean, sure, it’s great to know that even in this era of skyrocketing rents and plummeting reservoirs, Los Angeles is still a place that the mediocre and talentless flock to so they can  pursue their asinine dreams- but that doesn’t mean I want to watch them play football- hell- it’s bad enough I have to watch them do theatre!! When I watch football- I want to see Broadway, Ahmanson or at the very least Geffen level competition. I don’t want to watch the Raiders and Chargers (San Di-e-go SUPER CHARGERS! Crap! Sorry) flounder around like an Uber driver and a barista doing True West at the Complex in front of the eight friends who couldn’t think of a plausible lie when they were invited to the Facebook event. 99 seat theatre may have a place in my heart- but it has no place on my TV on Sundays, and if all these teams move to LA- that’s all I’m going to get to see.

Of course, we already do have to watch these teams way more then we should, since they’ve all been based in LA before. So really, they’re not running away to follow their dreams, they’re coming home like college graduates who can’t make it in the real world and so they have to move back in with their parents. And the worst part is, they’re going to have to move into the basement in Carson because their old stadium was turned into a guest room for USC.

I mean, I guess it might not be so bad- maybe one of these new LA teams will turn out to be really good and they’ll serve as a rallying point for the whole LA region- bringing our sprawling and fractured metropolitan area together as a community and giving us inspiration to face the challenging years ahead. Or-  even better- these teams will suck, their games will be blacked out locally and we’ll never have to watch any of those fucking losers again…until they leave town again and we’re stuck with them again on TV. But hopefully they’ll move to London, and their games will be on at 6:30 AM, so we can just sleep through them.

But of course, that assumes that Roger Goodell wants to bring the NFL to London- and, I’m not really sure that he does- cause he’s sending mixed signals. I just wish that if he didn’t want to bring the NFL to London, he would come out and say so instead of being all passive aggressive about it. I mean, on the one hand, every year he schedules more games over there- but, then just look at the teams he sends over. Chiefs and the Lions???? Don’t the people of AndyEngland deserve better than seeing Detroit’s worst export since the LeBaron taking on The Mustached Tomato Andy Reid and his Kansas City Crappers?? That’s not a commercial for American football- it’s a cautionary tale. It’s like sending Trump to debate Carson in Iraq in order to promote democracy. Which, of course, would never happen cause it’s way hotter than 67 degrees over there- and those ISIS guys are almost as tough as Megyn Kelly. Speaking of mixed signals- gotta love NBC- first they make a big deal about cutting ties with Donald Trump and then they have him on the Tonight Show with America’s Favorite Klutzy Bootlicker, Jimmy Fallon – who’s literally falling all over himself to wedge his nose into whatever repugnant butt Lorne Micheaels sticks in front of him (no wonder he drinks) and guest hosting Saturday Night Live- oh but, hey look, protestors – he’s onstage with a black guy, so it must be OK! Disgusting! I’m officially boycotting Saturday Night Live, starting retroactively in 1991.

The only thing I can figure is that Goodell is taking the same approach to scheduling games in London that most dudes take to folding the laundry – you know- the old “if I do a really crappy job, maybe she’ll stop asking”. Which is brilliant- because that way if he’s ever called out on it, he can just be like  “What? You asked to give you games in London- I gave you games in London. I guess if you don’t want them any more, I can just stop…but only if that’s what you really want, England. I just want you to be happy.” And so, sure, that means Roger Goodell is just as shitty a husband as he is a commissioner- but, hey, I don’t see him doing dishes!

Sadly, my beloved Jets were one of the teams sent to England this year to reinvigorate interest in cricket. And while leveon-bell-week8kneeit does make me want to tweet a LeVon Bell sad-bumblebee-emjoi when I think of the Jets in the same category as the Lions and Cheifs, it’s still been a pretty good season for Jets fans. It’s not just cause Geno “Facepunch” Smith got hurt and we learned just how much better life can be without him- like when the office manager goes out on maternity leave and suddenly there’s Starbucks in the break room and the copier’s fixed. No – the real reason why this has been such a great season for Jets fans doesn’t really have anything to do with the Jets at all- it’s all thanks to the Colts.

You see, Last season in the AFC Championship, the Patriots beat the Colts by deflating the ball. This season, the Patriots beat the Colts by deflating Chuck Pagano’s brain- and I, for one, couldn’t be happier!

Don’t get me wrong- I’m not thrilled the Patriots are now Seven-and-Ugh and I don’t bear any ill will towards Chuck Pagano- though, like most Americans, I cared about him more when he was sick (he’s the Lamar to our Khloe). But I indianapolis-colts-fake-punwas absolutely tickled pink (in honor of breast cancer awareness month) when Pagano ran his terrible fake punt because from now on, whenever commentators talk about the worst play ever in NFL history- they won’t be talking about the Butt Fumble! Woo-Hoo! We’re not the worst anymore!! Not The Worst! Not The Worst! This is the greatest feeling ever!!! If I was a German sausage- I would be notwurst!!!! This must be what Lincoln Chafee felt like when Jim Webb dropped out; what the Ewoks felt like after Jar Jar Binks; Robert McNamara after the Iraq War; W after hearing JEB! Speak; Warrant after Nickleback; John Madden when he watches John Gruden; and what Chicago Cubs fans certainly must have felt like on Oct 21, 2015, just as Marty McFly was coming back from the future.

I shouldn’t pick on the Colts, though- they’ve had a rough season. They had to start the re-animated corpse of Matt Hasselbeck when Andrew Luck suddenly contracted Cancer of the Neck Cal Seething- 110915- luckBeard- which marks the first time in NFL history that a quarterback who looks like a Civil War soldier was replaced by a player who actually lived through it. And they aren’t the only team that’s had to start a backup QB- the poor Steelers lost their starter and their back up and had to resort to starting a QB who isn’t a felon. Denver has had to start the Over the Hill Erratic Peyton Manning Who Has Cable over the Real Peyton Manning who has DirecTV. And, of course, in Dallas, Tony Romo is looking like the MVP in absentia thanks to the comedy stylings of Weeden and Cassel. How bad is Brandon Weeden you ask? He actually got benched IN FAVOR of Matt Cassel. For those of you that don’t follow football, that’s like picking Ben Carson because Trump is too crazy…..or picking Donald Trump because Carson’s too crazy. Works either way! Of course, now Dr. BenCal Seething- 110915- ben is practically conscious with rage over the fact that “secular progressives” keep using “facts” and “evidence” to disprove all of the crazy shit he says. The problem here is that, being a brain surgeon, Carson just isn’t used to having any one contradicting him. I don’t know about you but if I’m in the hospital talking to some dude who’s about to cut open my head and mess with my brain, I’m pretty much gonna agree with EVERYTHING he says. Ancient Israelites built pyramids for grain storage? Sure! You turned down a scholarship at West Point? Wise choice!! You stabbed a whole bunch of other kids when you were younger? Alrighty then! I mean, it’s a little bit weird that you feel the urge to share that little anecdote with me right before cutting my head open but, okey dokey! Whatever you say Mr. Brain Surgery Man.

I mean, when did we reach the point in this country where a candidate lies about attempted murder in order to be MORE electable? It must have been right around the same time that we started interpreting a red cup at Starbucks as a secular attack on religion. I know I’m offended by them! Why every time I go to Starbucks I insist on giving my Cal Seething- 110915- redname as Happy Hanukkah. Ha! Take THAT Mr. Progressive Secular Barista Man! Why don’t you let Judah Maccabee motivate you when you’re doing True West tonight??

No wonder Ben Carson is so religious, BTW, he understands what a miracle it is that a doctor can learn so much about the human brain while not actually having one himself.

Now, I don’t know how religious Brandon Weeden is- but I do know that if I were an NFL QB and my coach sat me down after a game and said “Son, I really appreciate all the effort you put in our there- but I’m gonna go with Matt Cassel”- I would take that shit as a SIGN. Move to a condo, sell the Bentley, update my LinkedIn profile and finish that degree at ITT Tech- because the End is motherfucking near- and I’d damn well be ready. Unless, of course, I was Matt Hasselbeck- in which case I would just graciously retreat to my coffin in the basement of the ESPN building (Bristolvania) and wait for the next sucker to pick my dead ass up.

Alright, well, those are some of the big stories in the NFL this season as we pass the midway point. Though, wait, there’s one I’m forgetting- oh what is it? Is it how all of us who watch football are giving tacit endorsement to a sport which nurtures rage and brutality in young men, is rife with domestic violence and leaves former players physically broken, unable to function and suicidally depressed? No, no that can’t be it. I mean, why on earth would we want to talk about THAT? Oh- wait- I’ve got it- Women. The NFL loves em!! Sure there used to be all those domestic violence issues I just mentioned, but the NFL ran a PSA with Eli Manning and now there’s no violence against women at all. Problem solved (Greg who?)! Is there nothing that Eli Manning can’t do- except get a tan in his brother’s shadow? Anyhow, it’s clear that the NFL values women- just look at all the pink uniforms they made the players wear during Brand Awareness Breast Cancer Awareness month. Why for every pink uniform they sell, the NFL donates 10 seconds of lip service to giving a crap about breast cancer. Wow! Who needs Planned Parenthood’s boring old cancer screenings- I feel closer to a cure already! And, the NFL Cal Seething- 110915- goldiemay not have any female coaches or executives but Roger Goodell did just give Wildcats a 5 star rating on Netflix- so that’s progress, right! I mean, every time Goldie runs around the track, that glass ceiling cracks a little.

Alright- that’s it for the first half of the season- but we’ve still got eight more weeks of watching Fan Duel and Draft Kings commercials briefly interrupted by penalties to go! Not to mention the Playoffs- and that’s when the commercials get really interesting. And, of course, it all culminates with Superbowl 50- or Uberbowl 5.0 as it’s known this year since it’s taking place in epicenter of tech douchebaggery. And of course – we’ve got great Monday night match-ups like the Bears vs the Chargers (San Di-e-go SUPER Chargers! Crap! Sorry. This is worse than having an Alanis Morisette song stuck in your head- and that, BTW, is NOT ironic #90’shackcomic.) Huh. That’s a terrible matchup. Jeez, Goodell- if you don’t want to have Monday night games any more- just say so!

[California Seething] No Fun League vs Snow Fun League

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Hey- you know what’s better than watching football on TV? Yup, that’s right- watching football on TV in Los Angeles! There’s nothing better than kicking back in shorts and flip flops on a Sunday morning, turning on the TV and watching the players and fans freeze their balls off. Mmmm mmm. You want a game time snack? I’ve got nachos and schaedenfreude coming right up! And you can wash it down with a glass Cal Seething-120114-fans2of Why the Fuck do you Live There. Oh oh oh- that doesn’t seem very nice to you? Well,  just think about the last time you were watching House Hunters and there was some pair of cornfed rubes out there in Buttfuckia shopping for a 10 bed 27 bath castle with a large kitchen, man cave and a moat for $150k or less. And just think back to all the nitpicky things they said while they were picking out their Forever Dream Castle- stuff like “I was really hoping for an open plan kitchen” or “I’m just not sure the man cave is big enough for a ping pong table and a home theatre system” or “we’re going to have to put in a much taller fence around the moat so that little Dakota doesn’t fall in and get eaten by sea monsters- and that’s going to add to the renovation costs.” And now think about the fact that while you were watching this episode you second guessed every single life choice you ever made that led you to Los Angeles with its unbreathable air, undrivable traffic, unaffordable housing and unbearable douchebags- and now tell me, TELL ME that it it’s not just awesome to see those apple cheeked All American assholes freezing their padded asses off in 10 degree weather with the snow falling down while they’re wearing styrofoam cheese on their heads – or whatever they wear on their heads in Buffalo- (what’s the appropriate headgear to signify decades of futility and defeat? Foam chicken wings? Oversize novelty Jim Kelly head- with hair? Patriots hat?) while you’re lounging about barely dressed with the windows wide open laughing your ass off in a rat infested studio you can barely afford. And- here’s the best part- it’s not like we have to worry about Bad Weather Karma coming to get us if we mock the rest of the country. I mean- they get the Polar Vortex and the Snowpocalypse- what’s the worst we’re gonna get? Marine Layer Vortex? Drizzlepocalypse? Ocean Breezemageddon? Out of control raging wildfires that engulf huge chunks of land in flame and threaten to destroy us all? Wait. Crap. That’s a thing. Sorry Weather Karma Gods. I’ll be good. I’ll be good.

So, yes, I was really psyched to watch the Bills / Jets game a couple of weeks ago because of the huge storm that filled the stadium in Buffalo with snow earlier that week. I mean, don’t get me wrong- it was very important game- Buffalo has an excellent chance of just barely missing the playoffs this year and the Jets were rocketing upwards from disgrace to embarrassment- but I was most excited to watch those miserable fucks wallow around in the snow. But then, Roger WUSSell and the National WUSSball League decided there was just too much snow to be able to play the game safely in Buffalo, especially cause many of the wittle baby pwayers were twapped in their homes and couldn’t even get to the stadium cause of all the snow, so he moved the game to the balmier climes of Detroit’s indoor stadium. What is this crap? Is this FOOTBALL or futbol? When did we get so soft?? I warned them about this- Ipackers reax 7 of hoffman.jpg warned them this would happen if they wore pink uniforms- but NOBODY LISTENED Hell, football was made to be played in cold weather. Vince Lombardi wouldn’t have let a storm keep his team from playing. Hell no! If the players were snowed in, Vince Lombardi would have harnessed his offensive lineman to a sleigh and had them carry the team to the game- and one of the lineman dropped dead because his weak little heart didn’t believe in America enough to go any further- Lombardi would have tossed his worthless carcass aside, strapped himself to the sleigh and pulled his team to the stadium all while giving a stern lecture to the players about the perils of Communism, masturbation and sideburns and the importance of WINNING AT ALL COSTS. Now that’s some goddamn MAN FOOTBALL.

But that’s not how things are in Roger Goodell’s No Fun League. Somehow, he’s managed to take America’s greatest Red State passtime and turn it into an overregulated nanny league that would make Teddy Kennedy plotz. So now the players can’t even lay a finger on each other without being called for some kind of bullshit girly-girl ticky-tack violation like Pussy Interference or Roughing the Passer’s Feelings.  Used to be, if the bone wasn’t poking out through the skin, the refs would just tell ’em to suck it up and keep playing- but now it’s all “show me on the doll where the defender touched you.” What a bunch of shit. Listen, I may be a a Bernie Sanders “Tax and Spend” Liberal when it comes to politics, I’m a Rand Paul “Let ’em Play” Libertarian when it comes to sports. Hell, if we could just get the Kochs to sell everything and buy an NFL team, we could save football AND America at the same time.

But I doubt even the great and powerful Kochs could have any impact on Kim Jung Goodell- the Pol Pot of Pigskin, the President Cal Seething-120114-pressnowSnow of Sporting Leagues (eh? Eh? President Snow? Who’s got 2 thumbs and just made a desperate and pathetic grab for relevance with a Hunger Games reference? THIS GUY! And who just undermined his grab for relevance by using the hackneyed and overplayed. “2 thumbs” bit? Well…uhm…that would also be THIS GUY!) I mean, we’re talking about a man who single-handedly doles out punishment to players based on totally arbitrary criteria. And, if they don’t like it, they can certainly appeal the ruling, and the person who hears those appeals…is Roger Goodell. WHAT THE FUCK? If this was a country, we’d send in Amnesty International. It’s the Glorious Democratic People’s Republic of Football. Are you ready for some football? I SAID ARE YOU??? No??? UP AGAINST THE WALL!

Now, Goodell’s been cracking down on all sorts of player behavior- but he is most interested in cracking down on perpetrators of domestic violence. Kidding! Kidding! He only punishes them when he’s publicly shamed – though, to be fair, he did recently launch a public service campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence entitled “No More” and a domestic violence prevention training program for players entitled “Those Cameras are EVERYWHERE, Son!”  That ought to fix it! Nothing solves a complex, deep seeded, multifaceted social problem like a Public Service Announcement- just look how well it worked with drugs! The whole nation was headed for addiction and ruin, but then we found out that drugs fry our brains like an egg and no one ever got high Cal-Seething--120114-eliagain! If only Ray Rice would have known how disappointed Eli Manning would be in him, he never would have punched Janay. It’s brilliant! Maybe we can get the Women’s Soccer Team to tell cops to stop shooting black kids.

Congratulations to Ray Rice, BTW, on his reinstatement! Of course- now he’s gotta find a team that’ll pick him up. And honestly, what team is gonna be dumb to take on that kind of PR nightmare for a marginal player on the downward slope of his career. Oh, who are we kidding? Welcome to the Jets, Ray Rice! Dog Killer & Wife Beater – now THAT’S a backfield! I’m joking, of course, why would the Jets possibly pick up Ray Rice when Adrian Peterson’s available. Better get him now, though- he’s gonna get loads of offers in the offseason. Hell, he’ll be fighting them off with a switch stick.Cal Seething-120114-janay

Of course, the secret to Ray’s return to the game is Janay’s willingness to do the Talk Show Redemption Circuit with him. What a role model she is- with her grace, forgiveness and talent for putting her own safety and well-being aside to make sure that her man gets paid. Well done, Janay! Once Ray signs with a team, he’ll be able to keep you in designer sunglasses for years to come. Just be careful in that big mansion of his- plenty of “doors” to run into. Oopsie daisy!

Meaningless token gestures of opposition to domestic violence aside, Goodell’s real passion is for cracking down on Excessive Celebration. I know it’s tough for Goodell to understand human emotions because he’s a cyborg sent back by Skynet to crush our souls (isn’t the whole Skynet thing happening, like, next Tuesday?) but we puny humans have this thing we call joy- and we feel it when we do something awesome like scoring a touchdown. And when we do feel a large amount of joy- well, by golly we want to Cal Seething- 120114- dunkcelebrate- and you know what- there’s not a GODDAMN THING WRONG WITH THAT. I want my players to be happy. I want to see them celebrating. I want dunking over the goal post, rocking the ball to sleep like a baby, the Lambeau Leap, the Icky Shuffle, the Mile High Salute, the Dirty Bird, Deion Sanders high stepping, Terrell Owens signing the football, Terrell Owens playing with pom-poms, Terrell Owens spiking on the Dallas star, pretty much the whole rest of Terrell Owens career, Gangham Style, Moonwalking, Tebowing, Tebowing in mockery of Tim Tebow (that’s the best)- whatever- you just made a huge play motherfucker- let your freak flag fly! (Just make sure you’re over the goal line first.) What are we so afraid of? That the other team won’t like it? That it’ll make them feel bad about themselves? GOOD. They should feel bad about themselves. They’re losers. And if they want to feel better about themselves, they don’t need daily affirmations or participation trophies- they need to score their own damn touchdown and rub it in the other team’s faces just like we did with the Ruskies. But what about the children you ask? Well what about the little fuckers?? I hope they’re watching! I hope they’re watching and thinking- “Hey- someday if I’m really good at something and I work my ass off, then maybe I’ll have a chance to act like a moron in public!”- and you know what? THAT’S AWESOME. That’s what they should think. And sure, we all know it’s complete horseshit- that inequality, discrimination, hatred and cruelty keep most kids from ever having all that much of a chance- but isn’t Cal-Seething--120114-simmonthat exactly what we should be working towards? To create a world where every child has a chance to someday celebrate excessively. I think so. But then again I like being a public spectacle.

You can’t blame Goodell, though- he’s in a tough position. After all, his job is to protect the NFL brand, and those pesky players keep trying to mess it up. That’s the trouble with marketing institutionalized brutality as wholesome, family entertainment- it’s like trying to sell Vegas as a family vacation destination- no matter how many acrobats, dancing fountains, fitted pink jerseys or schmaltzy commercials you make- Vegas is still all just gambling and whores and the NFL is big dudes fucking each other up. See, we want to watch football, we just don’t like the consequences of playing football. So what do we do? Well- we’re Americans- what do you think we do? This is the land of hybrid SUV’s, gluten-free beer and drone warfare- nobody’s better at taking the “guilt” out of “guilty pleasure” than we are! Have our cake and eat it to? No problem! Just so long as the cake is gluten-free, sweetened with organic agave nectar, made with free-range eggs and includes an tiny donation to fight the cancer du jour. So, yeah- we get to enjoy football as long as we punish the players for being too human, act shocked when violent men behave violently, make a bunch of pointless rules,  and worry about concussions in lieu of actually doing anything to prevent them. Why not? That’s our strategy for climate change and it’s working just fine. I know I feel like I’m making a difference when I Like an article about melting ice caps. Plus, it’s ok, those who can afford to shop at Whole Foods and keep fracking out of their communities can just keep their kids from playing football if they want to keep them safe. As for everyone else, well, they’re poor so they’re fucked anyway. Honestly, brain damage is the least of their problems- I mean, it’s not like they were gonna learn anything in school anyway. Might as well let them bash their brains in for our amusement- just as long as they don’t start acting all urban and “thug”-like and scary. After all, we have to think of the little white children.

So….yeah….right…what the hell was I talking about again? Oh, right, the Jets Bills game. Yeah. It sucked. The Bills won 38-3. Not much cause for celebration there, excessive or otherwise. The only one celebrating was my Patriot loving sister in Massachusetts. Whatever,  I just had Thanksgiving dinner outside – suck it Massholes! And, yeah, I realize the Jets play in New Jersey and the weather is terrible there, too…but…SUCK IT MASSHOLES. You just got your ass kicked by the cheeseheads – what do you know? Now, if you’ll excuse me,  I have to go take some selfies with palm trees and text them to herCal-Seething--100714--punky. Who wouldn’t want to live here? When it comes to man made, debilitating weather conditions with catastrophic consequences- I’ll take MegaDrought over Polar Vortex any day (remember when we could tell the difference between weather conditions and SyFy movie titles?) Or maybe I’ll take Punky for a walk. Hi Punky! Does Punky Wunky want to go for Walkie-Dalkies? Punky Wunky walkies? Punky Wunky Wunky walkies??? Who’s my wittle Punky Wunky? Who’s my wittle Punky Wunky? PUNKY!

Crap. Sorry about that. It just keeps getting worse over here. I’d better go so that Punky can get on with the business of licking me compulsively which is equal parts adorable and disturbing like Teddy Ruxpin, John Wayne Gacy and Micky Rourke’s love for chihuahuas. All I was trying to say is that playing football is dumb, watching football is awesome and watching cold weather football from LA is the best! Oh, and there’s no such thing as excessive celebration. And also Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game OneRoger Goodell is a poop head who should be fired at the soonest opportunity. Hey- I hear David Stern is available!

Right. OK, Punky- proceed with the licking. Ahhhh, that’s the stuff. Time to kick back and watch the Jets lose to…who are they playing again? Oh right, Miami. That’s no fun- can’t even feel smug about the weather. And…wait- is that rain out there??? It’s not supposed to rain in LA! Sorry Weather Karma Gods- I knew I shouldn’t have pushed my luck. Oh well. It’s all gonna turn around for us when we get Rice and Peterson- and if we can get Hernandez out of jail- then we may finally something worth celebrating excessively over – whether Chairman Roger likes it or not.


[California Seething] My World Cup Runneth Over

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How big a deal is the World Cup? Well, when Costa Rica won their first game or “match” as the pinko commie Hilary Rodham Stalin types would want you to call it, the British announcer- possibly Ian Darke or Steve McManamanananananananman declared that it was the greatest moment in Costa Rica’s history. Not their soccer (or “football” as it’s known in poor deprived nations where they don’t have real Football) history or even sports history- but the history of the whole damn country. Now, admittedly, this is Costa Rica’s history we’re talking about, and moments 2 – 10 are all House Hunters International episodes. In fact, the win vs Cal Seething- 071414- houseUruguay displaced the episode with the retired fireman and his family who lost their home in Southern California and had to move to Costa Rica so they could live on his pension. You know the one- it’s the episode where they wanted a  place that had historic charm and character but was also fully renovated with brand new appliances and that was right on the beach but also had a pool and an amazing view. Remember- there was that CRAZY twist where- get this- SHE had super high standards and wanted to make sure she got everything she wanted regardless of cost but HE – and this is the crazy part- HE was all obsessed with the budget and making the numbers work. Wild right? I bet you never saw THAT coming.

Later on, Costa Rica played Greece in the “knockout round”, after beating soccer powerhouse Italy (Mamma Mia! That’s a spicy upset!) and playing England to a 0-0 tie. Yeah, that’s right- a 0-0 tie- (or “nil-nil” as they say in poor deprived nations where they Cal Seething- 071414- costagreecedon’t have the word “zero”) . That’s like, a thing, in soccer. No wonder Ann Coulter says this sport is un-American – I mean- two teams beating up on each other under the sweltering sun for an interminable length of time with nothing to show for it??? We expect that kind of futility from our wars but NOT from our sporting events. Anyhow, the fact that Costa Rica and Greece had to play each other is one of the things I love about the World Cup. Isn’t it amazing that the World Cup can take two countries, thousands of miles apart, who’ve had almost no historical contact with each other (Google Greece- Costa Rica relations and you’ll go straight to Tindr) unite them on a global stage through the majesty of sport and teach them to loathe and despise each other? Yes! It is amazing! Thank you for asking! It’s like some crazy zoo, where the giraffes and penguins have to wrestle for food while thousands of fans cheer them on. (I oppose cruelty to animals in all its forms. Except, I mean, for eating them cause let’s not go nuts here.)

Just think about how much these two countries learned about each other. Why, I bet you that two weeks ago, the Costa Ricans hadCal-Seething--071414--greek no idea that the Greeks were a bunch of lazy, obnoxious, chain smoking mamma’s boys (according to Google, anyhow) and the Greeks couldn’t begin to guess that the Costa Ricans were a bunch of…highly literate, extremely polite, lovely individuals (don’t look at me- ask Google). I know this may not seem weird to you – I mean, learning to hate far away countries for no reason is nothing new to us Americans- hell, it’s the corner stone of our foreign policy. At least in sports, we don’t have to spend a fortune rebuilding the countries we beat, cause if we did, we’d buy Team Iraq the best cleats in the world and they’d use them to run off the field as soon as ISIS got the ball.

And of course, for the Greeks, being hated is no big deal. Everybody seems to hate them. Don’t believe me? Well- here are the some of the search results for “reasons to hate the Greeks”:
Why do Turkish People hate the Greeks?
Do Germans really hate the Greeks?
Why do Albanians hate the Greeks?
Jews hate Greeks
The Dutch hate Greeks even more than Germans
Why do so many people hate the Greeks?
Why do I hate the Greeks?
I hate GreeksCal Seething- 071414- hanks

And can you blame them? Greece is Europe’s drunken uncle. You know – the one who pretty much invented Western Civilization back in high school, like 4,000 years ago, but now he’s just a ruin of his former self, showing up late at night reeking of smoke, in that old Varsity toga that doesn’t fit over his gut anymore, to borrow money that you just know he’s never gonna pay back. And sure, you think he’s fun at first because he’s always sunny and stays up all night, but then you catch him in the kitchen drinking vanilla extract (or, worse yet, ouzo) and you realize what a mess he’s become.

But Costa Rica? Nobody hates Costa Rica. They’re like the Jimmy Fallon of Latin America. If ever there was a country that could “Mom Dance” with Michelle Obama one day and “Dad Dance” with Chris Christie the next- it would be Costa Rica. Seriously, Cal Seething- 071414- jimmyJimmy – you can’t love EVERYBODY “This next guy, I just love him so much. He’s a good friend of the show, from the Khmer Rouge-we’ve got the architect of the Cultural Revolution himself- – POL POT (Roots play funky version of Holiday in Cambodia. Jimmy and Pol play “Counterrevolutionary Beer Pong” and the winner guns down everyone in the audience who wears glasses).

Still- despite their disgusting likability- the Greeks still managed to work up a frothing, violent, seething hatred for Costa Rica. And why? Seriously-have you not been paying attention? CAUSE IT’S THE MOTHERFUCKING WORLD CUP, PENDEJO! It’s the SUPERBOWL of sporting events….that aren’t, you know, already the Superbowl! It’s like the Winter Olympics if they just did biathalon and the whole world was Norway and wouldn’t that make an awesome Will Farrell movie?? (no) It’s games without frontiers, war without tears- and if looks could kill- THEY PROBABLY WILL!! It’s like a gigantic QUIDDICH tournament if I actually knew what the fuck that meant and wasn’t just saying it to suck up to the millenials  I lost with a RANDOM AND SLIGHTLY OBSCURE PETER GABRIEL REFERENCE!!! It’s the love child of World War Three and March Madness with Brazil as Kentucky, Germany as Duke and the US AS FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY! IT’S THE PINCHE WORLD CUP, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!

Now, for those of you that still have no idea what I’m talking about- and if you think the word above is pronounced “ghoul” – than you’re who I’m talking about- here’s a breakdown of why this is the world’s greatest sporting event. Or, at least, the best one in June & July.

It’s the most dramatic

A couple of weeks ago, I watched the U.S. – Belgium game with a bunch of co-workers as part of a Work Approved Morale Building Activity. It was awesome. We prayed and screamed and gasped and sighed. For 90 terrifying minutes we held our breath as our Cal Seething- 071414- bloodsportboys withstood wave after wave of attacks from the ferocious Belgians (wow- nobody has said that sentence since the reign of King Leopold II- or at least since Bloodsport) and we screamed in frustration as the US came within INCHES (or “millimeters” as they say in poor deprived nations where they have to use the metric system. Shudder. Twitch. Shudder.) Throughout the game, our viewing party grew and grew as co-workers would stop in to see what all the hubbub was about and find themselves transfixed by the action, unable to move, frozen in place like ancient Greeks in the glare of Medusa or the Greek goalie trying to stop a Costa Rican penalty kick DAMN! OH NO I DIDN’T! The company ground to a halt- for 90 minutes phones went to voicemail, emails went unanswered, meetings were missed (on the other hand – morale surged by 8.6% – up to its highest level since Proposition 8 was overturned. We are a theatre company after all.) And as the clock wound down- or, up whatever on the game, and it became clear we had survived the worst the Belgians had to throw at us (at least, the worst since Universal Soldier: Regeneration) we sat back, untwisted our guts and prepared for Extra Time. Oh- and what was the score at the end of Regular Time? 0 – 0. That’s right. Nil-Nil, Zilch-Zilch, Bupkiss-Bupkiss, The Number of Valid Scientific Reasons for Not Vaccinating Your Children vs the Number of Seconds I Would Respectfully Wait before Laughing my ASS Off if You Told me Jenny McCarthy had Polio. Like the audience of a Beckett play, we had just sat mesmerized for 90 minutes Desert- 052814- godotwatching some weird foreign drama we didn’t understand in which nothing actually happened. Unlike, Beckett, though, in the knockout round of the World Cup, they do keep playing until the game is decided- and wouldn’t Waiting for Godot be like a million times more satisfying if it was resolved with penalty kicks?
Is Godot a metaphor for God? GOAL!
Is he ever going to come? NO GOAL!
Is the world simply a meaningless void of despair where hope is an illusion, human endeavor is doomed, and life is a pointless, undignified, agonizing interlude between cradle and grave? GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!! Also you should hang yourself now with your belt.

Of course, some of the drama and excitement of World Cup soccer, (or futbol as it’s called in Spanish speaking countries because evidently there’s no Spanish word for “foot” or “ball” so they have to come over here and take our words which is just so typical) is due to the announcers. Now I know everybody loves to talk about the histrionic GOOOOOOL screaming dramatic flair of the Telemundo commentators- but I’ve grown very fond of the British announcers with their bizarre Cockney rhyming slang bastadizations of 1940’s American tough guy lingo and the rat tat tat Tommy Gun “live from the front” delivery of a Wold War II radio broadcaster commenting on the Blitz. These guys could make anything sound amazing:

Cal Seething- 071414- ianIan Darke: And the blue paint on the living room wall is starting to be a little less shiny. This is a critical point here. If anything goes wrong here we could have a crack in the paint and have to start all over again and that would spell CURTAINS for our living room renovation. And- wait- I see a bubble. Is that a bubble?  That could be a bubble. A bubble could be trying to pull of a daring flood light robbery the new blue paint. This could be the end RIGHT HERE. THIS COULD BE IT. No. Just a bump in the wall. It looks like the blue is getting dry around the edges. This is a critical time. Just a few more minutes. Anything could happen here. A piece of dust. An unsupervised dog. A kid with peanut butter on his fingers walks by and IT’S LAST CALL AT THE LAST CHANCE SALOON FOR THE LIVING ROOM WALL. But no. it’s almost dry. We’re into stoppage time now. It’s drying. It’s drying. We have a resultIt’s… (change channel to Telemundo)


But you can’t blame the announcers for being dramatic- the game is relentless – they don’t even stop for commercials- and with the stakes as high as Cal Seething- 071414- catthey are in the World Cup at every second of play- it’s bound to make you a little crazy. It’s like a horror movie with only one killing but dozens of cats that wait until the perfect moment when everything is quiet and you let your guard down and then JUMP OUT OF THE BUSHES AND SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF YOU FOR NO GOOD REASON. Or creepy, laconic stringy haired janitors who sneak up behind you in absolute silence and then, when you least expect it TAP YOU ON THE SHOULDER AND ASK YOU IF EVERYTHING’S OK CAUSE THEY SAY THEY HEARD A NOISE.

So- go ahead. Grab a snack. Take a leak. Check your email. I dare you. I double dare you. Cause, you just know, you just know that the SECOND you look away KER-SLASHO the hockey mask wearing serial killer will come leaping out of nowhere and BRUTALLY CHOP UP THE OVERSEXED TEENAGER WHO SAID “I’LL BE RIGHT BACK” WITH A CHAINSAW INTO TINY LITTLE BLOODY BITS. Or- you know, somebody’ll score a goal. Either way- you missed it. And now- it’s nothing but cats for the rest of the game.- or “match”. Whatever, HILLARY.

Plus- like any good horror movie- it’s never over when you think it is. Just when you see the clock hit 90 and you think- ok, it’s fine, we made it, we’re through, we beat Portugal- BAM! The referee puts 3 extra minutes on the clock, Renaldo scores a last second goal to tie the game and the SERIAL KILLER JUMPS OUT OF NOWHERE COVERED IN BLOOD right behind the idiot policeman who never believed the kids who said they were being chased by a killer and thought they were all whacked out on Angel Dust and KER-SLASHO!!!! THE SERIAL KILLER HACKS THE POLICEMAN TO PIECES before somebody inexplicably blows him up with an oxygen tank and a lighter. Now THAT’S SOCCER! Or “football”. Whatever HILLARY.

Cal Seething- 071414- teddyIt’s a great time to be an American!

Look, it’s not easy being an American. Wait- sorry, let me rephrase that- it’s absurdly, disgustingly obscenely easy to be an American- it’s just hard not to feel like a dick about it – except during the World Cup. Aside from the aftermath of a terrorist attack- there’s simply no better time than the World Cup to feel great about America! Because, while the US is way ahead of the world in pretty much every area, we’re still not great at soccer. Sure- we’ve got super goalie Tim “The Congressional Republican” Howard (he never lets anything pass) but in the grand scheme of things- we’re pretty much on par with Ghana. How exciting is that? We’re neck and neck with a nation with the GDP of Tulsa. Awesome, right? What fun to slum as a scrappy underdog! We’re that bloated record executive in the mosh pit at Coachella with fake hair on his head and real hair on his ears whooping it up with all the kids, losing ourselves in the exuberance of the young nation we once were and not the purple faced sclerotic ruin we’ve become. Plus, come on- nobody chants like the American fans. We may be middle of the pack in soccer- but – when it comes to chest-thumping face-painting hat-wearing jingoism- WE BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! WE BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!

It’s actually been a lot more fun to be the US at the World Cup than to be Brazil. This time, we get to be the wacky upstart BRIC style nation celebrating after a 1-0 LOSS to Germany and they have to be the aging superpower in shocking decline. It’s a glimpse into the future of American mediocrity  and it’s glorious. Let somebody else solve all the world’s idiot problems for a change- time for us to be the Jamaican bobsled team- just happy to be here – enjoying the world’s ride downhill!!! Weeeeeeee!!!!

Of course, the other possibility, is that soccer is yet another thing the US is getting progressively better at and that pretty soon we’ll be the same domineering douchebags at the World Cup that we are at everything else. So- hey- Win-Win or us! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN-WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN-WIN!

And the US isn’t the only country whose fans paint their faces and wear stupid costumes. Why, every participating nation from Argentina to Uruguay had fiercely proud contingents of fans decked out in their nation’s colors looking like idiots. And this is another great thing about this tournament – no matter  how powerful a nation or dignified it’s history- the World Cup makes Oakland Raiders fans of us all. I’d say more about how awesome it is when teams lose and their costumed fans look sad, but Mandy Ratliff already rocked that subject here– so I’ll just include what is perhaps the greatest sad fan photo of all time.

Cal Seething- 071414- trophyhug

Hug that trophy, my friend. Maybe if you hugged your children that way, they’d still be talking to you and you wouldn’t have to face defeat so alone. Maybe not.

Have you seen Baseball?Cal Seething- 071414- kevin

Let’s keep it real for a second- the World Cup takes place in June & July. All of the real sports are over by June. After that, it’s pretty much just World Cup or Baseball- and have you seen baseball?? If World Cup soccer is a thrilling horror movie that you watch through your fingers at the edge of your seat then baseball is a Kevin Costner movie- corny, sentimental, earnest and agonizingly dull (and I’m not just saying that because Kevin Costner actually made a movie about baseball that was corny, sentimental, earnest and agonizingly dull but because everything Kevin Costner makes is corny, sentimental, earnest and agonizingly dull.) Hell, baseball’s not even a sport- it’s a “pastime”- it’s like stamp collecting for steroid enthusiasts. I mean, the average soccer player runs like 7.5 kilometers (or “a bunch of miles”) over the course of a game. Prince Fielder’s barely run 5 kilometers in Cal Seething- 071414- princehis entire career, and most of that was chasing the ice cream truck. I mean, sure, Yasiel Puig looks like he works out –but that’s just so he can fight off those Mexican smugglers he owes money to. I sure hope those guys don’t decapitate him- or, if they do, at least they can wait til after Bobblehead night.

And the baseball announcers don’t help matters any. If soccer announcers can make boring stuff interesting, baseball announcers can make even the most exciting events seem painfully dull:

Old White Man Baseball Announcer #1: And it’s a beautiful night here over Tokyo. The stars are out, the moon is bright, and Godzilla is stomping through the Shibuya neighborhood crushing cars and buildings and devouring train cars full of tourists. Heh heh. He sure is a big fella, isn’t he Ralph?

Old White Man Baseball Announcer Who’s Evidently Named Ralph: You got that right!Cal Seething- 071414- godzilla

Old White Man Baseball Announcer #1: And now – I think we’re starting to see just a little bit of fire come out of his mouth. Yup. That’s fire alright. And there goes the American embassy. Up in flames. How about that?

Old White Man Baseball Announcer Who’s Evidently Named Ralph:  That sure is something.

Old White Man Baseball Announcer #1:  And this is the most damage done to a City by an artificially enlarged mutant lizard since Jose Canseco left Oakland in 1992. Of course most of the damage he did was to the game of baseball.Cal Seething- 071414- jose

Old White Man Baseball Announcer Who’s Evidently Named Ralph:  Heh heh. You said it.

Old White Man Baseball Announcer #1: Oh- it looks like Godzilla is headed for the heavily populated Shinkuju neighborhood. And we’ll be right back to see what kind of destruction he perpetrates after this message from Pep Boys.

It’s like death- except death comes with suspense of wondering what’s going to happen after death and the only suspense in baseball is wondering WHEN IS IT GOING TO END ALREADY? And the other summer sports aren’t much better- here’s a post I wrote about just how much I hate all of them. Read it, if you want, or just take my word for it that the World Cup is soooo much better than all of them combined. Actually, forget that- definitely read it. I need the validation.

Well, the World Cup is over. Germany beat Argentina 1 – “nil” in the final game. It was a match up that would prove extremely difficult- both for the players and fugitive Nazi war criminals trying to figure out who to cheer for. Like the product in his hair, Lionel Messi worked hard right up until the end- but unlike his hair, Messi’s efforts fell flat. Still- Messi was awarded the “Golden Ball” for his efforts as the best player, the German goalie received the Golden “I’m Grabbing My Own Tit” Award,

Cal Seething- 071414- messi

and the German team was presented with the surprisingly teeny World Cup Trophy by the flight attendants of Emirates Air.

Cal Seething- 071414- stewardess

Oh, that’s not a joke BTW- those are actually the flight attendants from Emirates Air, one of the primary sponsors of the World Cup, presenting the trophy. I know. It’s disgusting. Roger Goodell is already on the phone with Southwest about Superbowl XLIX as we speak, though I don’t think it’ll be quite the same:

Cal Seething- 071414- farley

God help us all.

Anyhow, it’s over now. And I’m terrified. I’m not really sure how I’m gonna make it until August 3rd when Pre-Season Real Football begins. Still, it was great to see so many Americans getting wrapped up in the World Cup and learning what the rest of the world calls “football”. And I think that we all learned that we’re not so different after all. They had 11 men on the field and we have 11 men on the field. They have passionate fans who paint their faces to show pride in their nation’s colors and we wear Styrofoam cheese on our heads.  FIFA doesn’t give a crap about concussions and the NFL just pretends like it does. We’re all so similar!  We’re like one big happy brain damaged family!

But maybe the next few weeks won’t be so bad. Hey- I can use this time to catch up on important world affairs- like- oh I know- the war in Gaza, or- maybe the war in Iraq, or….hey- maybe the immigration and deportation crisis – that’s a good one- or the catastrophic drought right here in Southern California! That could be… Huh. Hey- wait- isn’t the Home Run Derby on Cal Seething- 071414- homerunderbytonight? Alright! Let’s hit some dingers! Or…you know, whatever they say in poor, deprived areas of the world where they only have baseball. Maybe this baseball thing isn’t so bad- better than dealing with reality, anyhow. Maybe they just need the right announcers:

Ian Darke: Yasiel Puig steps up to the plate. It’s a critical time here. This could be last call at the last chance saloon for the National League team. Here’s the pitch. Here’s the swing. It’s going, it’s going it’s


And so is the World Cup. See you in Russia for the first game in 2018. Or, “match” WHATEVER, HILLARY.