RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Wednesday, August 6

NFL: Preview of Impending Previews

One of my most amazing accomplishments of the past couple of years is making it through the entire 2007 NFL season doing my weekly updates ranking a quarter of the teams each time. I even made it through the playoffs! Well, of course, this has given me confidence that I can do it again, and I have listened to enough of the NFL channel on Sirius satellite to pretend I know what the fuck I'm talking about, so I will be doing it again. I had briefly started a football blog where, ideally, it was gonna be 32 dudes, one for each NFL team, all of whom were rabid fans of their one team, and all anybody did was post about their favorite team. But like only one other guy regularly posted, and instead of just posting about his team, he posted about all sorts of NFL shit, so I lost interest. It's out there somewhere though. Google "armchair linebacker", which I thought was a killer ass name for a blog.
Anyways, through the preseason, I will be dropping previews of teams in batches of eight (meaning one a week), to sort of get into the habit of doing this again, and to get us all hyped the fuck up for the footballs to start bouncing awry. What I am gonna do right now is lay out what I'll be laying out in those previews, and then I'll tell you how I do my rankings, which are like half Rainman genius and half hobo retarded. In fact, in explaining the previews, I will embolden the text just like I will next week when we get to know the lowest quarter of the NFL.
PERTINENT DATA: This will be the team's record last year, as well as the preseason odds they will win this upcoming Super Bowl. My initial 1 through 32 rankings have nothing to do with any prognostication on my part; I simply go by the Vegas odds, since they have old Jews whose nephews actually book the NFL, and they really know what's going on, more so than some half-literate hillbilly from southside Virginia ever could. But I will use their data as a springboard for observations.
ALL-TIME GREAT: That title is slightly misleading, because it's not so much the All-Time Great of the franchise in a traditional sense, so much as what one former player personifies the positive football aspects of that team to me personally. I am heavily into the balance of yin and yang, permeating all existence. But I am also into crazy North Dallas Forty hunting party style fuckers having and instilling character. All too often when people get into eastern religions, they get all organic vegetable and sterile about it all, as it's not so much they believe in the different philosophy as they are weak and just hope everybody can get along so they don't get their asses kicked. I believe in eastern philosophies, but I also believe ass kickings need to be doled out at times. To myself as well. There are times when I feel out of balance and overpowered by my ego and those are good times to go out, get drunk, and pick fights with big dudes, who will kick my ass, and thus put me back in check. Balance. So basically, the All-Time Great will personify the positive side, according to my mutant belief system, of the team he represents.
TEAM HOSS: Man, I don't think I ever use that word "hoss" at all. But I couldn't really think of a different word, so I guess I'm going with a football talking head cliche on that one. But basically it's the current player on the team roster who most personifies that same positive bullshit I was just talking about on the All-Time level.
ALL-TIME SUCK ASS: I was gonna say "LOL-TIME" or something along those lines, but that seemed so internetty of me. I was just making fun of the dude who works for me because he's always texting people when I have to go in the store, and we were talking about how people my age don't text, we just look like hipster fuckwads. We made fun of people typing "LOL" together, but then I said, "Don't front, you know you type that shit." And he laughed and said, "Yeah, actually I just did." So let's just call it All-Time Suck Ass, since "lol" ain't from my generation. (Maybe I should make it something about PBRs, to further tie it to my generation or fuckfaces.) The Suck Ass is the negative opposite (or balancing power) to the All-Time Great's positive influence on the franchise. All of these things are subjective, so if you expect science, you should probably google "expanding earth" instead.
TEAM ASS: Oh yeah, that's why I did "hoss", because hoss and ass sound alike, and are two words old farmer wannabes who sit inside the country store at the end of the next road over would call animals as they sat in the air conditioner beside the lottery stand all fucking afternoon long. Shouldn't they be fixing tractors or pulling calves out of heifer ass or something? Obviously, the Team Ass is the opposite of the Team Hoss, and is the team's current most piece of shit dude.
TEAM TRENDSETTER: Originally, I was gonna do Jock Geniuses, for super coaches, except it's hard to give a fuck about that many coaches. So what I'll be covering with Team Trendsetter is the one player or coach or managerial type or whoever that mostly holds the future of the team in his (or her... hahaha, yeah right) hands.
SENIOR PLAYER: Very simply, this will be the guy on the team with the longest continuous tenure there. Not the oldest guy, but the one dude who's been on that team without leaving for the longest amount of time.
THE RUDY: This will be a guy who wasn't drafted out of college. I'm aiming to find guys on each team who weren't drafted out of college and came to this team originally as a free agent trying to make the squad, but some teams don't have that, so I'll wing it in those instances. Mostly, these are long snappers and special teams linebackers and fullbacks - very blue collar positions. Guys who come from nowhere and make hundreds of thousands of dollars to destroy their knees for a couple of years. Also, I would like to note that I have never actually watched the movie Rudy. It always seemed gay to me, because I don't like Notre Dame football, nor do I like little homo-looking dudes named Rudy whose one ambition in life is to play Notre Dame football. I accidentally watched like ten minutes one time when I had cable and lived in Richmond, but once I realized what it was, I changed the channel.
FORMER HURRICANE: I've done lists like this, or in similar manners, for a couple of years now, either inside the internets or for zines I did or didn't do. And the Miami Hurricanes have been the pre-eminent power when it comes to making burly NFL players for a long time. But honestly, when I was going through my Lindy's NFL handbook this year, I realized USC is probably about to pass them. Which is sad, because USC players lack the thuggish pride of Miami players. There's no Luther Campbell-type throwing stripper parties for USC players. And Pete Carroll is pretty discreet about paying and privileging his players, unlike Miami's heydays. So this might be my last run with the Hurricanes, and next year I might have to refocus on stupid boring ass USC Trojans.
VIRGINIA BOY: I'm from Virginia, where ain't shit to do but lounge, and give that weed smoke a puff and them cold beers a pound. I was born in V.A., raised in V.A., and when I die, I'll probably die in V.A. Virginia is a funny state because it's easily the least southern of any former southern state, and it would be a complete embarrassment to hail from if we weren't lucky enough to have Maryland right to the north of us, which is like the most personality-less state in the union (which I think means America). But I was raised, for better or worse, by my drunken father to have Virginia pride ("go an hour one way, you're in the mountains; go an hour the other way, you're at the ocean," he'd say), so I do, sort of. The Virginia Boy will be the most noteworthy (in my mind) player on a team with Virginia collegiate ties.
WILD SAMOAN: I read some crazy article about how kids in Samoa don't have regular high school rules, so they play football year-round on ragged fields with volcano rocks and shit, and that's how they get ultra-tough and crazy and awesome. This is also why there's so many damn Samoans in the NFL now. The Wild Samoan is called that because professional wrestling taught me that just twenty years ago, all Samoan people were primitive, violent, and wild-haired. But in the past two decades, rap music has taught them to braid their hair and be gangsta as fuck. This ethnic combination of gangsta/primitive is very beneficial for the hard-hitting sport of the football. So most teams have a Samoan nowadays. If one doesn't, most likely I will list somebody with a wacky traditional African name instead for this spot.
THE ICKY: This is the guy with the funniest name on the team. Funny names are great because they help us laugh at other people in a hurtful way over things they have little control over. Named for Icky Woods, except his name might be Ickey, but I don't feel like looking it up. I know how to do his dance, kind of, so that's enough for me. He wouldn't give a fuck if I knew how to spell his retarded ass name, and he probably couldn't spell mine either.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: This is a sub-set of The Icky, listing someone on the roster with a name that sounds like he might've been a rich businessman during America's Industrial Age. Maybe there will be accompanying fantasy scenarios where I school you on a franchise city's local industry, but more likely I will just say something stupid and leave it at that.
FANTASY JERSEY: I love football jerseys, mostly because I never had any as a kid since we was broke. My wife and moms have bought me like three Redskins jerseys (no active players though - a #28 Darrell Green, a #56 Lavar Arrington, and a custom #72 Conmack), and then I found this store that sells like misprinted or fucked up pimp ass clothes, perfect for balling on a budget. So I usually get two or three jerseys each year, missing a number on one side or with a slight kink in the edge stitch or something. Last year, the NFL jerseys were undesireable, so I ended up getting a powder blue UCLA Bruins one and a shamrock green Notre Dame one. I hate Notre Dame though, but I sure do love bright green. It's funny when I wear that shit and people think I care. Anyways, this will be the jersey, were I indiscriminantly rich and wasted money on overpriced NFL merchandise, I would get related to each team.
So that's how all this shit will break down. And I was gonna explain my mathematical method for devising the rankings, but it's too much trouble. Basically, the higher ranked a team is you beat, the better it is for you. And road wins are like double compared to home wins. Plus some other shit, but nothing complicated. Fuck, if it was complicated, I wouldn't be able to keep up with it. It never involves a calculator, nor conjecture, so it is what it is. So if you read these and you're team ends up ranked low and shit, don't complain to me. It's out of my hands.


Andrew TSKS said...

Raven, it's too bad that we both like the Redskins, because I think that Armchair Linebacker blog sounds like a great idea and I'd totally write for it and only write about the Redskins... but I'm guessing you're already doing that.

Anyway, my friend Chris Terry told me this blog was here, so I'm reading it on my RSS feed thingy now. Good to see you're still kickin it up there in the hills of Fluvanna or whatever county you're in these days. I'm still in Richmond and still run into St. John at shows every now and then. Take care man.

Raven Mack said...

Hey awesome man, good to hear from you. There is a message board around with some of the old fuckers - http://ravenmack.proboards80.com/index.cgi. You should drop in.