The Case against the Case against DeSean Jackson

By now I’m sure you’ve read or at least heard about this article on NJ.com. It’s been sent around all afternoon and used as Exhibit A in the case for why the Eagles shockingly cut DeSean Jackson today.
This article is bullshit.

Desean

The premise is that DeSean Jackson has strong connections to the Crips gang, and that the influence of those gang connections has been of increasing concern to the Eagles organization. It takes only a few paragraphs for the writers to drop Aaron Hernandez’s name, the implication being that the Eagles cut ties with Jackson before he turned into the next Hernandez.
This is also bullshit.

Early on in the article, the writer devote 483 words under the subheadline “The First Signs,” to Jackson’s connection to a 2010 gang-related murder in South Los Angeles. This murder connection serves as the article’s primary source material for its overall thesis, and this is a problem.

“‘DeSean Jackson was not part of the case,’ Jane Robison, a spokesman for the LA District Attorney’s Office, told NJ.com. ‘He was not a charged defendant. He was not a witness.’”

Jackson was in no way involved with the crime. He was not even particularly involved in the investigation of the crime. He was friends with one of the two suspects, Theron “Trezzy” Shakir, and Jackson received a single phone call over the course of the investigation to see if he might know anything about the whereabouts of one of the suspects on the night of the murder. By the detective’s account, Jackson was “cooperative.”

The writers go to great pains to draw the connections between Jackson and Shakir, and they are pretty effective at it. They detail Shakir’s ties to Jackson’s rap label and point out that while Shakir sat in jail awaiting trial for murder, Jackson posted captions on Instagram like “Free Trezzy.” They even reached out to the Eagles front office: “On Thursday, a source in the organization said current front-office members had been unaware of Jackson’s links to an alleged killer.”

But 355 words into the 483 devoted to Jackson’s connection to the homicide, it all unravels in one sentence: “Shakir, who was, in fact, acquitted of Watson’s murder and a related gun charge in January 2013, spent more than a year in jail awaiting trial.”

Here we are, having just read 355 words about why Jackson’s connection to this alleged murderer was so troubling, and then the Shyamalan twist comes that the alleged murderer was innocent all along. In reality, Jackson is friends the one guy whom the courts have proven was definitely not responsible for the gang-related murder. With that knowledge, the “Free Trezzy” caption seems less like Jackson defending a cold-blooded killer and more like a guy who wants justice for his friend, who is falsely accused of murder and has been sitting in jail for more than a year despite his innocence.

The next section, “Another Bad Connection,” is aptly named. The ties between Jackson and a second gang-related homicide are even more tenuous in this case than the first. It goes like this: There was a gang-related shooting outside a business owned or leased by one of Jackson’s family members. That’s all the detail we get about the crime, which seems suspiciously open-ended, especially considering the writers’ prior attempt to lead readers to an incorrect conclusion.  They do tell us that there were some documents belonging to Jackson inside the business (car title, gun permit and receipts), which would be relevant evidence if you were trying to prove that Jackson had at one point in his life been inside that business, and not trying to prove that he was present for or had knowledge of a murder that had taken place outside of it. We also learn that detectives attempted to contact Jackson but never got in touch with him. It should strike no one as odd that Jackson did not return the calls of the same police department that wrongly arrested and jailed his friend the last time he talked to them. Nevertheless, there’s ostensibly enough circumstantial evidence there for the writers (or the Eagles organization) to implicitly connect Jackson to yet another gang-related murder by using non sequiters to make massive leaps in logic, like they’re playing the Kevin Bacon game with DeSean Jackson and random facts.

Finally, we get a bunch of evidence of Jackson throwing gang signs. Gang signs that are only ever thrown by people in gangs and committing crimes and never thrown by people who aren’t in gangs.

The most troubling connection in this story is not between Jackson and the Crips, but between the article’s writers and the Philadelphia Eagles. The article bases many of its claims on “Eagles sources,” the story itself was published just minutes before the team announced Jackson was cut. Almost immediately, the question shifted from “Why the hell did the Eagles cut DeSean?!” to “Did you read that NJ.com article yet?”

Look, DeSean Jackson is an asshole. He doesn’t get along with teammates. People in the front office hate him. He has ambiguous ties to ambiguously bad individuals from his hometown of south L.A. He constantly wants a bigger contract.

But none of these are new issues, neither for Jackson in particular or the NFL in general. You could write a story at least as “damning” as the one on NJ.com about 100 different players in the NFL or any other sport. It’s easy to paint a guy in a bad light if the rules allow circumstantial evidence, hearsay, unnamed sources and carefully worded non-libelous implications. But the rules don’t allow that. It’s irresponsible as a journalist and immoral as a human being to accuse a guy of horrible behavior without any real evidence to do so.

I have no real problem with the Eagles decision to cut Jackson.  My problem is with the way it was done. As long as wild, baseless accusations are fair game, here’s what I think happened: I think Chip Kelly believes every player is expendable in his system (and he may not be wrong). I think Jackson’s latest demand for a new contract demand finally pushed the Eagles’ brass over the edge, the situation became toxic, and suddenly Jackson found himself out of get-out-of-being-an-asshole free cards, and so the Eagles decided to cut ties with him. To this point, it’s all fair play.

But the Eagles weren’t going to get fair value in return for Jackson, and so they knew that whether they traded him or cut him, they’d have a furious fanbase demanding to know why they would cut a Pro Bowl receiver. They risked undoing all the good will Chip Kelly built up in his first 12 months on the job. And so, they fed NJ.com a story that allowed them to not only justify Jackson’s release, but come out of everything looking like a responsible franchise taking a preemptive stand against the next Aaron Hernandez, AND make Jackson sound so toxic that few if any contenders would even contemplate signing him. In one move, they fired Jackson, damaged his professional future and made him sound like the next NFL-star-turned-murderer when really he’s just another asshole who plays football and wants a new contract. It requires some Frank-Underwood-level scheming by the Eagles and some dogshit judgment by the editors at NJ.com, but it’s a lot easier to make the case against the Eagles than it is to make NJ.com’s case against DeSean.

Breaking News: America Is Going To Win The World Cup

As you can see in the headline, America is going to win the World Cup. But before I get to that, here’s a quick look at my internal monologue after the US was drawn into the group with Germany and Ghana. As I said yesterday, things could get bad:

-”NO NO NO NO NO. I’m going to throw up. I’m throwing up. I have thrown up. I shouldn’t have gone to work today. Stop crying, Pete.”
-” FUUUUUUUUUCK YOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU”
-”We’re screwed. That’s it. We only know two teams in our group and our World Cup is already over.”
-”Okay. Stop cursing. You gotta calm down. It’s gonna be okay. We still have one more pot to go. Just gotta hope for Greece or Russia. We can totally advance if we end up with Greece or Russia.”
-”Portugal? FUUUUUUUUUUUCKK YOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU”

But I have since composed myself, thought it through, and realized, “Wait a second- we’re going to win the World Cup!” I’m serious, you guys. WE ARE CANCELLING THE APOCALYPSE.  This may seem like an awful draw, but guess what- the countries in our group are either A) deplorable B) overrated or C) Portuguese. So, yes, we are in the “Group of Death.” Big deal. Bring that shit, Group G. Uncle Sam’s comin for that ass. Examine:

GERMANY
-The Germans have a rich tradition of going into hiding in South America. Expect more of the same.

-The United States has gotten good results in its two recent friendlies against Germany, including a win earlier this year in Washington, D.C.

-The United States has gotten even better results in two not-so-recent, not-so-friendlies against them, going dos-a-cero against the Germans in world wars.

-Espionage. They thought it was a big deal that we bugged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone? HA. That was only the tip of the iceberg. We have infiltrated the German futbol ranks at every level — the US has a bunch of German American players – the children of military servicemen (AKA SPIES) who were stationed in Germany. And of course we have Jurgen Klinsmann, the coach of the German national team at the 2006 World Cup, who it turns out was really just a plant, an inside man spying for the US. Now, all those years of living, playing and coaching behind enemy lines have finally paid off. We know the Germans’ plans before they’ve even thought of them.
ADVANTAGE: U.S.A.

GHANA
- By knocking the United States out of the past two World Cups, Ghana has accomplished the remarkable achievement of getting Americans to care about Africa without using a Facebook campaign, so they deserve some credit for that. But as any German will tell you, it’s best to not bring up the past. And the US has a completely different team, coach and style of play since they last met the Black Stars.

-Ghana needed a home and home playoff victory against Egypt just to make the World Cup, and Egypt, as you may have heard, has other priorities right now. Congrats, Ghana, you qualified by beating the 11 guys in Egypt not healthy enough to protest.

-Their chief export is terrible puns using the word ‘Ghana’.

-They lost to Burkina Faso earlier this year. That’s a real place and a real thing that happened.

-If you can separate the history from the current team, Ghana is straight up not very good. Their best player, Michael Essien, is 31, few of their players see much playing time in Europe and their defense is terrible. If you factor out the past, the US would be a fairly heavy favorite to beat them.
ADVANTAGE: U.S.A.

PORTUGAL
-Portugal is just dollar store Brazil.

-The US plays Portugal in the dreaded venue of Manaus, which is located deep in the Amazon, a whole time zone away from any of the other venues. Absolutely nobody wants to play there, but if there’s one thing the US does well, it’s bad conditions. In an average stretch of qualifying games, the US might play in scorching heat, or in a snowstorm, or at the lung-strangling altitude of Estadio Azteca, or on the horrific playing surfaces of NFL stadiums, or surrounded by legitimately crazy fans in Central America and Mexico. So, play in a rainforest? Ain’t no thing. But Portgual? The Cristiano Ronaldo, pomade-styled, dive-happy Portugal? Playing in a jungle? Please. PORTUGAL AIN’T ‘BOUT THAT LIFE.

-They have Pepe, and he is the worst.

-The Iberian peninsula is the Florida panhandle of Europe, and Portugal is its Tallahassee.

-We beat Portugal in the 2002 World Cup and we weren’t even good in 2002!

-Portugal is known for its rich history of maritime explorers like Magellan- COOL CLAIM TO FAME PORTUGAL, YOU PEAKED 500 YEARS AGO. They were better off staying home and killing Christians or talking about the plague or whatever it was Portuguese people did for fun in the 15th century, cause they done messed up: Vasco da Gama opened the seas for exploration, and then Columbus discovered America, and then Portugal was fucked.
ADVANTAGE: U.S.A.

So, in summation, the United States is going to win the World Cup.

/cue Hulk Hogan theme.Captain_America_cartoon_1680x1050 18895625.jpg-r_640_600-b_1_D6D6D6-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxx BALD_EAGLE_PIN_PATCH 2 Washington_Crossing_the_Delaware_by_Emanuel_Leutze,_MMA-NYC,_1851 dooley

bill pullman

Hulk-Hogan-Real-American

A Handy Guide to Friday’s World Cup Draw…of DEATH!

For the first time in four years, I updated this blog millions of viewers across the globe will tune in to watch Friday’s group-placement draw for next summer’s World Cup. While this may be the best US Men’s National Team ever assembled, the fighting Klinsmanns will be placed into what is arguably the toughest World Cup field in history. More than any tournament in recent memory, the USMNT’s fate precariously hangs in the balance — failure or fortune may simply come down to the laws of physics and chance as they apply to the ping pong ball with the “United States of America” written on it.
A fortuitous draw — though there will be fewer than ever this go-round — and the US will enter the World Cup for the first time ever as the odds-on favorite to win its group.
A draw into the Group(s) of Death and the US will be the odds-on favorite to finish 32nd in the 32-team tournament. Should the United States be drawn into a group with Brazil, the Netherlands and Italy for example, then the successes under Jurgen Klinsmann will simply have earned them the right to be publicly executed in front of a global audience next July. Fun!
But in order to gauge the prospective fortunes of the US, let’s take a look at exactly what Friday’s draw entails and how we got here with a little Q&A.
So, wait, what’s happening on Friday?
Picture it as the Selection Sunday of the World Cup if the NCAA tournament committee was comprised of lunatics, children, bookies and circus animals and if the morale of entire nations rested upon their selections.
How does it work?
The 32 teams have been divided into four pots, and each of the eight World Cup groups will have one team from each pot (except for one, we’ll get to that shortly).
Is it fair?
Of course it’s not fair. Are you kidding? This is FIFA we’re talking about, the same organization that decided Qatar should host the 2024 World Cup (tentative slogan- “Qatar: If you think our heat is oppressive, wait til you see our government!”).
Like the NBA draft lottery, each team has a ping pong ball that is chosen at random to determine its placement. Also like the NBA draft, there is a fairly good chance that it is somehow rigged. But that’s not even the unfair part.
Pray tell.
Instead of ranking all 32 teams and seeding them accordingly like the NCAA selection committee does, FIFA seeds only the top eight teams and puts them in one pot so they won’t end up being placed in the same group. The other 24 teams are then divided based on geography.
Geography?
Yes, that’s why the United States is in the same pot as neighboring countries like Japan, Australia and Iran.
I’m confused.
Basically, one pot is Europe, one pot is Africa, and one pot is the United States and everybody else. When I said geography, I meant, first-grade geography. This ultimately hurts the US because they’re lumped into the same pot as many of the worst teams in the tournament, which means they won’t get to play them. Which also means we won’t get the highly anticipated Winner Gets Nuclear Capability match with Iran in the group stage.
Okay, so who else is the United States’ group?
Japan, Australia, Iran, Costa Rica, South Korea, Honduras and Mexico.
Wait. Mexico? Didn’t they only win like half of their games in the Hexagonal qualifier? And didn’t they fire their coach?
No, they won one-fifth of their games, and they fired THREE coaches. The United States saved them by beating Panama on the last day of qualifying, which earned Mexico a home-and-home playoff against New Zealand, who they beat because New Zealand’s team is comprised of hobbits and wombats. Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and and Sweden will not be playing in the World Cup. Again, this is FIFA. Nothing is fair.
So who are the seeded teams?
Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Uruguay. As you can see, FIFA’s formula for ranking teams is Wins x Domestic Chocolate Production.
Switzerland is one of the eight-best teams in the world? I thought the Swiss were snow people who despised international competition.
According to the FIFA rankings, they are the eighth best team, but like all things FIFA, these rankings are flawed. In reality, the Swiss are not nearly that good, that’s why the teams who get drawn into their group will be in great shape to advance. The Swiss are the gatekeepers to the Group of Life.
What are the other pots then?
So, Pot 1 is the seeded teams.
Pot 2 is Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile and Ecuador.
Pot 3 is the USMNT’s group.
Pot 4 is Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Russia.
Is it wrong that I giggle a little every time you say “pot”?
No. Homophones can be hilarious sometimes.
Hold up. There 7 teams in Pot 2 and 9 teams in Pot 4.
One team from the European pot will be drawn into Pot 2. It was expected that the lowest-ranked Euro team (France) would be added to Pot 2 ahead of time, but FIFA decided to instead choose from all of the Pot 4 teams at random.
This means that the Group of Death has the potential to be much more, uh, deathier. No more than two teams from Europe can be placed into the same group, so (stay with me here) the European team that gets put into Pot 2 will have to be drawn with one of the seeded teams from South America (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia) plus another Euro team from Pot 4, and that produces some absurd permutations.
Prior to that wrinkle, the most difficult potential group for the US (who are in Pot 3) was Brazil (Pot 1), the Netherlands (Pot 4) and either France or Ghana (Pot 2). Now, it’s Brazil, the Netherlands and Italy, aka the prohibitive favorite to win the World Cup, the 2010 World Cup runner up, and the 2006 World Cup champs, respectively.
So what are the chances that the US ends up in the Group(s) of Death?
Very high. It’s bad — hey I’m just trying to manage expectations. See, because the US is the best team in the worst pot, their group will automatically be one of the toughest, since there will likely be no weak team in it. Add to it the stupid regional set up, the bizarre top-8 seedings, and the lack of Cinderella (i.e. bad) teams that qualified, and you’re looking at some worrisome possibilities. There will likely be multiple groups of death this World Cup, so prepare yourselves for some disappointment on Friday.
Oh thanks now I hate the World Cup and it hasn’t even started yet. What’s the best case scenario?
A group with Switzerland, Algeria and Greece. By all rights the United States should own* those three teams (*Note: Greece is a registered asset of the European Union and cannot be bought, sold or owned by any other entity, they’ve tried.).
For a closer look at the three pots: Switzerland is far and away the preferred team from Pot 1, followed by Belgium and Colombia, though they aren’t pushovers by any means.
Algeria, Nigeria and Cameroon, in that order, are probably the teams you want from Pot 2, and Ghana, Ivory Coast, Chile and the Euro-team are the ones to avoid.
Pot 4 contains the beatable teams of Greece, Croatia and Russia, plus the perennial favorites to self-destruct, England and France, so either of them would probably be okay too. Holland and Italy would be bad news.
Well if the draw is probably going to suck, is there any other reason to tune in?
That depends. Do you enjoy bizarre celebrity cameos, globally themed musical performances and interminably delayed announcements?
I guess?
Then the World Cup draw is for you. It’s Selection Sunday if the unveiling of the brackets was preceded by 90 minutes of speeches and samba. Also, at the 2010 draw, Sepp Blatter enlisted a confused Charlize Theron to speak and do things for no reason.
Wait, who’s Sepp Blatter again?
The overtly corrupt head of FIFA. Imagine the creepy old guy at your public library if he had the resources and intentions of Lex Luthor.
I’d rather not. So how do I watch?
ESPN2, 11:30am on Friday.
Thanks, this was sort of helpful. Hey why don’t you ever blog anymore?
I have a extremely demanding job that requires-
Blah blah blah. Joe Biden has a blog. Is your job more demanding than his?
Point taken.

AFLACCOLYPSE NOW part 1: Patriots Schadenfreude

In case you haven’t heard, the Ravens are going to the HarBowl…er, HarBaughl…Super Bro-wl…They’re brothers! Anyway, I’ll have a few posts between now and Super Bowl Sunday about the scene here in Birdland (preview: inebriated and combative), but before we look at the cast of characters who will be competing in a couple weeks, let’s look back on who won’t be; more specifically, let’s laugh at the Patriots.
I had no intention of devoting an entire post to the Patriots until I saw this article, entitled, Never Forget: They Hate Us Because They Want To Be Us.” I don’t know who “el presidente” is, but I’m assuming he’s the illiterate ghost of Dan Shaughnessy. Obviously, most Pats fans would read this and cringe, much in the same way that I would cringe if a video of Philly fans beating the shit out a Laberdoodle puppy in a Cowboys jersey emerged (probably already exists). It’s stereotypical. It’s unrepresentative. It’s low-hanging fruit….but I haven’t done this in a while, and low-hanging fruit can be delicious, so let’s take this line-by-line, shall we?
First things first. Shannon Sharpe is probably top 5 most pretentious assholes on the planet.
Couldn’t proofread the very first sentence, huh? That’s not the eloquent Barstool prose I know.
Bill Belichick is Bill Belichick. He doesn’t like giving interviews when the Pats win. He doesn’t like giving interviews when the Pats lose. Same guy.
“See?? It’s asshole double jeopardy! He’s always a curmudgeonly taintmuffin. All is forgiven!”
I have no problem with the media hating on him, but this isn’t a Lebron situation where he seeks out cameras and adulation when he wins and hides when he loses. You want to call Belichick a sore loser that’s fine. But just make sure you call him a sore winner too because his attitude doesn’t change.
Uh, we do call him a sore winner. Like, every time he wins. See Exhibit A: The 9,700 SportsCenter segments about the Patriots running up the score during their undefeated regular (LOL) season.
Anyway as much as I wanted to avoid talking about the Patriots today it’s impossible. Not when the entire world is open firing on us like they are right now. See that’s the thing about being a Pats fan. Everybody wants to see you fail.
Other things about being a Pats fan: Having persecutory delusions, masturbating to Mark Wahlberg, most likely being racist.
We’ve been king of the mountain for so long that it’s only natural for the rest of the league to hate us.
This statement sounds absurd until you consider the minor topographical distinction that on top of Patriots’ mountain is another mountain that’s for teams that won a Super Bowl in the last 9 years.
For the rest of the country the only thing better than their own team winning is us not winning.
1. Who’s “us”?
2. That statement is blatantly untrue.
3. Fuck you.
I don’t blame them. If I didn’t live here I’d hate us too. Like nobody cares that the Falcons lost. Nobody cared when the Packers got bounced. The only team people care about is the Patriots.
I’ll ignore the wild narcissism of this statement and give him the fact that nobody cares that the Falcons lost.
They hate us with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.
This means nothing. “Hate” and “heat” may sound similar with a Boston accent but that does not make them synonyms. The intensity of hatred isn’t measured in temperature. It’s measured in cubic joules or light years (if you use the metric system). Everyone knows that.
It makes days like today that much harder to endure when everybody and their grandmother is piling on.
Grandma Pino: “…and that’s what it was like seeing untold horrors as a nurse during World War Two while your grandfather was gone for two years fighting for his life and his country in the South Pacific. Anyway, did you happen to see that Patriots game?”
Horrible Pats Fan from out of nowhere: “FACK YOU GRANMDA YOU-AH HAVE NO I-DEE-AH WHAT I HAVE TO ENDURE ROOTING FOR BRADY AND WELK-AH”
When you have the Shannon Sharpes and Terrell Suggs of the world mouthing off.
That is not a sentence.
The bottomline is this.
“What is, ‘not a compound word,’ Alex.”
Idiot.
In an era where parity is king
Parity is king of the era, just like sticktoitiveness is the prince of the times and waffles are the jesters of the fortnight.
and the NFL strives for equality the Pats have been to 5 superbowls in 12 years, 7 AFC title games and 10 division titles.
Incoherent boasts about AFC East titles are the natural defense mechanism of bitter Pats fans.
If you throw out the year Brady got hurt that means Brady and the Pats have been to the Superbowl in half the seasons he’s been in the league. Before every season begins we know we have a 50% chance of being in the final game.
5 out of 11 is 50%. NO ONE DENIES THIS.
If we don’t win it all than the entire season is viewed as a gigantic waste of time. We are left stunned and depressed and questioning the existence of god.
Note: “god” is the code name for Belichick’s spy cameras.
Meanwhile other cities treat just making the playoffs like they won a world championship.
Right. That definitely happens.
Why am I saying all this?
Because you’re a disillusioned, page-view baiting, feeble-minded narcissist?
Because on days like today it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to be Pats fans. There has never been anything like this run in the NFL and there never will be again.
NEV-AH….except for that time the Niners won 5 Super Bowls in 13 years, the Steelers won 4 in 6 years, and the Redskins won 3 in 10 years and the Cowboys won 3 in 4 years and the….
You wonder why everybody hates the Pats?
Not after reading this article.
It’s because for the past decade we’ve ruled the NFL with an iron fist the likes of which this league has never seen before.
Zero Super Bowls in nine years. What a magnanimous and charitable iron fist.
Does it suck we lost? Of course it does. Would I trade places with any other fan base? Not in a billion years.
NAWT YOU, NAWT YOU AND NAWT YOU.
Because when the season starts anew we know we already can pencil ourselves in for the AFC title game.
(Pencils in “lose to Joe Flacco or Eli Manning” on calendar)
Quite simply they hate us because they want to be us and who wouldn’t?
Well…the facts are Brady hasn’t won a big game since 2005. He hasn’t won a big game since the media has deemed him the golden boy. And once again yesterday he made some uncharacteristic mistakes in big moments highlighted by his clock mismanagement at the end of the first half. Things that if other QB’s did they’d get vilified for. Football is definitely a team game. And since the Patriots have become a Brady first team we haven’t won shit.
Those aren’t my words, they’re from THIS WRITER’S own sulking post from the same day this was posted. So who wouldn’t wanna be you? For starters- you.

The Top 20 Holiday Songs Of All Time

(The following is an unedited and extended version of an article that ran in the papers I work for. If you’d like to read that abridged version, go here. Otherwise, enjoy the following kilo of uncut Colombian holiday cheer.

Need a holiday party playlist in a pinch? Good news: After literally thousands of hours of research, yours truly determined the top 20 holiday songs of all time then ranked them using a groundbreaking harmonic algorithm…Okay, these are based solely on my opinion, but I think you’ll like them.

20. “The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong – Just kidding. This is tied with “Mad World” by Gary Jules as the most depressing song of all time and it belongs nowhere near a party unless you are subtlety trying to get people to leave, or cry. What the hell were the sociopaths of NewSong thinking when they put together the lyrics to this song?

-”Hey I think I just wrote this really beautiful Christmas song!”
-”Awesome, what’s it about?”
-”This little kid whose mom’s about to die on Christmas Eve.”
-”Wait, what?”
-”Yeah yeah, and he’s at a store buying her shoes.”
-
“Why wouldn’t he be at home? If anything, she needs shoes less than just about anyone on the planet.”
-”No, they’re for Jesus.”
-
“Oh”
-”But he can’t afford them.”
-
“Jesus?”
-”Her son.”
-
“That’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard.”
-”Yeah but then I come in and buy them for him, and then I realize that he had REALLY been sent by God the whole time.”
-
“Jesus?
-”No, the son.”
-So the Mom was never actually sick?”
-”What? No she’s dead.”
-”
Wow. Well at least she got new shoes.”
-”It was never about the shoes.
-”Oh. What’s the name of the song?
-”Christmas Shoes”

20. “We Need a Little Christmas” by The Muppets- From the underrated classic, A Muppet Family Christmas. Listen to this song and try not to smile. Seriously, try it. You can’t.

19. “Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives- Did you know Burl Ives is white? I have no idea why I thought he was black all these years but I seem to preemptively assume people’s race all the time. I thought Robert Griffin was white until like eight weeks into his last season at Baylor when I finally saw him and realized that he was, in fact, decidely nonwhite. In my defense, Rob Parker still hasn’t made that revelation just yet. This has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, does it?

18. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Mannheim Steamroller- Listening to this song, you may think to yourself, “What is a mannheim steamroller and what does construction equipment have to do with Christmas?”, “What instruments am I listening to?”, “Are you sure this isn’t Trans-Siberian Orchestra?” All valid questions, still a great song.

17. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms- Nothing about bells screams “rock,” and yet Bobby Helms convinced America that jingle bell rock was something that could exist in nature, so credit Helms with paving the way for future generations to make literally anything rock- jail houses, planets, even crocodiles. Bobby Helms was a pioneer and Jingle Bells was his Plymouth Rock.

16. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen- Even Springsteen recognizes that come Christmas Time, Santa Claus is The Boss. Bruce provides an excellent rock n’ roll tune-up on the tale of Santa and his E-Street Reindeer.

15. “Oh Holy Night” by Luciano Pavarotti- It’s basically everything that “Christmas Shoes” was going for, only successful.

14. “Sleigh Ride” by Johnny Mathis- Like Burl Ives, Mathis has a voice that instantly evokes the Christmas spirit. Whether you’re hanging ornaments on the tree or storming Toys R’ Us at 5 a.m. to viciously battle for the last Furby, this cheerful tune brightens any holiday tradition.

13. “Up on the House Top” by Jackson 5- Written in 1864, by Benjamin Hanby, it is believed that this song was the first to put forth the idea that Santa and his reindeer landed on the roof of homes. It thankfully supplanted the 1863 holiday hits, “In through the Crawlspace” and “Santa’s on the Dumbwaiter Again.”

12. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by The Ronettes- The lyrics tell the rather dark tale of a child seeing Mom ostensibly cheating on Dad with a magical, obese man who snuck into the house. This song is proof that Motown can make absolutely anything sound good.

11. “Let It Snow!” by Dean Martin- Only the Rat Pack could turn an ominous weather forecast into a legendary love song. The solution to global warming is employing more meteorologists who can croon.

10. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee- What exactly is the “new old-fashioned way” to dance, besides a paradox? Is it a new interpretation of an old dance, like adding a hip new flair to the Charleston? Or is it whatever dance has most recently stopped being popular? If people start doing the Dougie around your Christmas tree, you’ll know it’s the latter.

9. “White Christmas” by The Drifters- The original Bing Crosby version may be a classic, but The Drifters’ cover featured prominently in the Home Alone scene when Kevin McCallister lip-syncs  in the mirror before dousing his face with aftershave. Advantage: Drifters.

8. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” by Nat King Cole- Perhaps the most iconic holiday song ever written, it was ironically penned by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells in the middle of a mid-summer heat wave in 1944 as a way to try and stay cool. Huh.

7.  “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft- Name another Christmas song that can get away with containing lyrics like, “Your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable.” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” was the original diss track; “Hit Em Up” has nothing on that fire.

6. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey- Far and away the most recent addition to the catalog of holiday mainstays, “All I Want for Christmas  Is You” was an instant classic and has provided the soundtrack to every drunken ugly sweater party ever since.

5. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Frank Sinatra- Like watching “Miracle on 34th Street” or hearing the phrase, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,” this song captures the holiday zeitgeist of the mid-20th century, the golden age of Christmas in pop culture. It’s funny, ’cause there’s a 90 percent chance that Sinatra was doing blow off a cocktail waitress’s tits while recording this song.

4. “Little Drummer Boy” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie- This song and video are amazing and if you disagree I hope your house burns down on Christmas Eve.

3. Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer- The chemistry throughout the duet is so pitch-perfect that it completely overshadows the fact that this is a song about a man’s relentless attempt to date rape court a partner.

2. Christmas Eve in Sarajevo” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra- This list could have easily been comprised of nothing but Trans-Siberian Orchestra songs. Their hits, especially “C.E.i.S.” sound as if John Williams, Axl Rose and Dracula were locked in a recording studio together with an oil drum full of Four Loko and a told to compose the perfect Christmas song. There’s few places I’d rather been on Christmas Eve less than Sarajevo, so I don’t understand the title for this song, but I can only imagine this is the kind of music the Bosnians blast as they prepare for civil war, so really this song should be called “Every Day in Sarajevo.”

1. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams- No Christmas song encapsulates the joy and enthusiasm of the holiday season like Williams’ version of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Andy Williams sounds likes the lounge singer at the world’s happiest casino. If Santa has an iPod, which is probable seeing as he has a sweatshop full of elf slaves and apparently limitless resources, this is the only thing on it. Well, that and the video Slutty Claus made for him.

Honorable Mention: “Little Saint Nick” by the Beach Boys, “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt, “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses and “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney.

Merry Christmas everyone.

6. Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

Detroit Lions- The Lions had an encouraging 2011 season and made their first playoff appearance since 1999. Their first round playoff game, however, got ugly quick, as Drew Brees threw for 466 yards and the Saints hung 45 points on the Lions’ brutal secondary. It was a disappointing and dark time for Detroit, or as they call it in Detroit, “time”.

 Added- Sean Jones, Jacob Lacey, Reilly Reiff, Jonathan Scott, who are all, I guess, professional athletes?
Lost- Aaron Berry, Eric Wright.

  

-You merely adjusted to the dark, Jim Schwartz was born in it. I’m 60% percent sure the man is legitimately psychotic. The GIF above is following a WIN. Look at this press conference- you can actually see the aggression boiling below the surface like a volcano. I guarantee that Jim Schwartz gets into a road rage altercation every single time he gets behind the wheel of a car. He’s the kind of guy who honks his driver’s horn when he’s sitting shotgun, screams at baristas for using Splenda instead of Sweet N’ Low and confiscates kids’ soccer balls when they go into his yard. Jim Schwartz has ZERO fucks to give this world.
-A comical amount of Lions got arrested this season, which is perfect. This team has completely taken over the role of villain in the NFL, which is astounding considering they play in the same division as Jay Cutler. With their savagery both on and off the field, Roger Goodell might end up suspending this entire franchise by year’s end.
-Ndomakong Suh’s favorite sideline beverage is a mixture of bacon grease, marshmallow fluff and the blood of opposing quarterbacks.
-Henry Rollins’ psychotic white supremacist character in Sons of Anarchy was base entirely on Kyle VanDen Bosch.
-Matt Stafford refuses to have sex unless there is another bro in the room with whom he can exchange mid-coital high fives and “hang ten” hand gestures.
-Jahvid Best believes he is living in a post-apocalyptic society, in part because of his 4 concussions, but more so because he lives in downtown Detroit and he always sleeps on the team bus when they go to other cities.
-Tony Scheffler was once kicked out of Disney World for cut blocking Pluto.
-Ugo Chinasa is both the fourth string defensive end, and the words that the prisoners chant when people try to escape Bane’s prison.

FANTASY ZONE

John Gruden says draft THIS GUY- Megatron, Stafford, Pettigrew, Titus Young aka this year’s popular “sleeper” pick, which means he’ll get taken six rounds too early.
Hate Draft- Every running back. They are all varying degrees of injured and terrible and eager to thieve each others’ fantasy points.
Don’t Draft-Backup QB Kellen Moore. Some interesting notes on Moore- the former Boise State star just found out about Youtube three months ago, refuses to use magic markers because of “his religious beliefs” and died his pubes blue to match the turf before every home game at Boise. Those are what scouts refer to as red flags.

 Fun With Names!

Hey aren’t you…-RB Kevin Smith. His nickname should be 2 Phat 2 Fly. At the very least, that would have been perfect in the 90s at least, although I guess it’s kinda outdated and shitty today though, which makes it the perfect nickname for Kevin Smith.
How aren’t you a porn star-TIE: WR Lance Long and LB Carmen Messina. They took home “Best Inverted Pyramid 69 by a Duo or Group” at this year’s American Porn Awards. Huge upset.
How aren’t you playing professional lacrosse – OT Gosder Cherilus. That name is white exceptionalism at its finest. Guarantee he and Vanden Bosch are best friends.
NameVP- Gotta go with 19th century French sailor-turned-running back Mikel Leshoure, although he’s suspended the first two games of the season for “misuse of treasure” and “scurvy profiteering.”

Over/Under- 9.5 wins.
Pino 911 Official Pick- Way over…or way under…I can’t decide. Like Jim Schwartz’ range of natural human reactions, this team only knows extremes. All I know is that this team is either going to be unbelievable and win 11 or 12 games in a brutal division, or they’re going to completely melt down and win 6 games.  It doesn’t really make a difference, because it’s gonna be amazing when the Lions either get eliminated from playoff contention in November and Schwartz punches the opposing coach, or when they win the Super and Schwartz celebrates by punching the opposing coach. Jim Schwartz is a paradox.

7. Boston’s Reckoning

This preview was way longer than I expected- I didn’t realize just how much I hated about Boston til I started writing- so let’s get right into it.

New England Patriots- The Pats comically lost again to America’s goofiest antihero, Eli Manning,  in the Super Bowl. If you told me 6 years ago that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick would have their legacy spoiled by Eli Manning, I honestly would have thought you meant that Eli Manning killed them in a drunk driving accident.
Added- Brandon Lloyd, Dunt’a Hightower, Jabar Gaffney, 17 utterly superfluous tight ends
Lost- BenJarvis Green-Ellis, Chad Johnson, Kevin Faulk, Andre Carter
-Boston fans are spoiled, tone-deaf versions of Philly fans, only replace Philly’s self-loathing with limitless arrogance and somehow more racism. Boston fans believe they’re intelligent just because they’ve got Bill Belichick and a half-dozen top-tier universities that none of them attended; they act like just because Harvard is nearby, all of Boston got smart simply via osmosis.
-Every guy in Boston over six-feet tall thinks he’s Ben Affleck  and everyone under 6 feet thinks he’s Matt Damon. In reality, they’re all Jeremy Renner in The Town.
-Even the food in Boston is overrated: Clam chowder is barely even a top-ten soup; lobsters are the stuffy, boring old brother of the crab; and when I was in Boston, all I heard was how good their bread  was. You know who else makes good bread? Everyone. Everyone, in every culture, for the last 6,000 years. Onlypeople as delusionally self-aggrandizing as Boston fans could possibly think they could take credit for bread.  And no one in Boston washes their hands before they eat. Ever.
-Bill Belichick stockpiles draft picks like he can turn them into opposing teams’ practice footage, yet he inevitably ends up playing 9 guys out of position on defense to make up for their lack of depth. Hey Bill, when Jason Campbell and Vince Young put up 300 yards against you and Elijah Wood is both your running back and nickel corner, you should probably start using those draft picks.
-Last year’s offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien, left the Patriots to take over the sinking ship at Penn State. Contrary to what you might think, O’Brien is not an alumnus of Penn State and had no prior ties to the university, or even the Big 10. Great career choice, man. That’s like our Secretary of State stepping down to become president of Libya- yeah, you might have a bigger office, but it’s in the middle of a desolate wasteland where everyone still thinks it’s 1985 and you’ll always be associated with the asshole who preceded you. If we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that Penn State fans are delusional conspiracy theorists who have an alarmingly pronounced victim complex and care more about sports than actual real life. In that sense, his time in Boston prepared him well; but anyone who would voluntarily leave one of America’s signature franchises to take over at Penn State has apparently not read a newspaper in twenty years, or just two. At least the postseason ban means he doesn’t have to worry about inevitably getting smoked by an SEC team in a bowl game for another five years.
-My real beef with O’Brien though, stems from the fact that his departure opened the door for the return of Josh McDaniels, who is second only to Brad Childress as the coach least deserving of being allowed in any NFL stadium. During McDaniels time as head coach of the Broncos he traded Jay Cutler, used first round picks on Tim Tebow, Knowshon Moreno and Robert Ayers, missed the playoffs in 2009 despite starting the season 6-0 (finished 8-8), fired nearly every Broncos assistant coach and hired his jagoff younger brother, spent $3.2 million on Jarvis Green who never played a snap, traded Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn, traded his 2010 first-round pick to take Alphonso Smith, who they traded a year later for Lions 4th string tight end Dan Gronkowski, traded Brandon Marshall for two second-round picks, which he in turn traded to get Tebow. Then he got fired. Oh and then he spent last year with the Rams, coordinating the 25th-best offense in the league. Josh McDaniels is the worst.
-Who’s a better than the fackin’ Pats this ye-ah’? NAWT YOU. 

FANTASY ZONE

John Gruden says draft THIS GUY- Brady, Gronk, Welkah, Lloyd, Hernandez.
Hate Draft- Steven Ridley, really? The Patriots are gonna start using running backs? Good luck with that.
Don’t Draft- Danny Woodhead- See Ridley, subtract 8 inches, 35 pounds, melanin.

Fun With Names

Hey aren’t you- WR Donte Stallworth. Wait that’s actually the Donte Stallworth? How on earth do you kill a man AND suck at receiving and still be in the leagues 7 years past your prime? Man Chad Johnson must have really been an asshole.
How aren’t you a porn star- OLB Tracy White
How aren’t you a professional lacrosse player- Tie- It’s a tie FB Spencer Larson/DE Chandler Jones, but seriously, how isn’t Gronk a lax bro?
NameVP- Punter Zoltan Mesko, the undefeated champion of names.

Over/Under- 12 wins.
Pino911 Official Pick- OVAH. FACKIN RIGHT.  They’ll cruise through the AFC East and come away with 13 or 14 wins in the regular season before inevitably losing to the Giants or Ravens or some other inferior team and find a way to blame it on Bobby Valentine.