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.

Friday, August 28

August O.C.D. #1: Dumpster Diving for Vegetables

At this point, I am only dumpster diving to style my chickens out with massive amounts of fresh-to-them vegetables, and it's interesting to see what a chicken prefers when it has a daily five-gallon buffet to choose from. Chickens are often hyped up as loving the lettuces, but I have found they get around to that only when there ain‘t better things on the ground. What they really love is melons. Cantaloupes are a huge hit with them, and a bunch of times I've found watermelons with like one rotten spot that I chop in half and lay in their pen like a bowl, and a day later that shit is picked clean, hollowed out, and the rind remains until it dries up enough in the sun they can kick it under their door. Cauliflower, the first time I gave it to them, they liked at first, but then dissed it. They also love the little plastic containers of squash and sweet peppers, because when packaged like that, the moisture sucks out of it and makes it soggy, which means it has a shorter shelf life than regular vegetables, which in turn causes it to end up in the dumpster, and feeds my chickens. The past week or so, I have not had the same luck looking in my steady routine of dumpster checking, and I've noticed a ridiculous increase in how much feed they go through. I guess regular folks have to buy bags of feed every week, whereas I am living off the fat trash of the land, bro. America.
From my steady routine, I have a few favorites. There is a grocery store near Short Pump in Richmond, which is where I do banking bullshit, so I always check this store on the way home. It has two dumpsters, the one behind the store is all their trash can shit and dairy trash and meat trash, and the dumpster on the side of the building is straight up nothing but produce, with both sliding doors on the dumpster unlocked. Usually the one about a foot off the wall is most full since it's right by the access door from the building, so I can squeeze in, open up the door, and bamm! vegetable smorgasbord. That spot is usually good for mad lettuces and spinach, like whole cases at a time, and has been the spot with watermelons at times. My main one near my home I check five or six times a week, usually around a certain time of the day where one of the produce dudes told me it was the best time to check. He had a Travis Bickles mohawk, so I figured he was a good enough dude to answer my questions about taking thrown out produce without sweating me about legalities or any of that corporate grocery store bullshit. That one can be hit-or-miss. Some days, I come away with a good 20-gallons of stuff, and other days it's nothing. The far side of the one dumpster's door is wired shut, and I contemplated cutting it one time since there was piles of cantaloupes on that side, but decided it best to not rock the boat. There's a shitty little Barney Fife town cop who sometimes is lurking in the parking lot, and he seems to be there more often than not lately during my timely check-ins, so I wonder if maybe he's not hip to my game and trying to catch me. I'm not legally doing anything wrong though, it's just trash, and I figure if anyone ever stops me, I'll throw out the hard times got three kids type mantra that'll make them feel all fucked up that I'm eating trash, even though I'm not. Well, I eat some shit if it's packaged and I can tell it just got thrown out. I ain't too proud to admit that. It's not like I'm eating rotten shit, so don't go looking at me like I'm that lady on Good Times that the Evans kids thought was serving them a catfood meatloaf. Although if you were at that party at my house last June, that big bowl of baby carrots came out the trash. Haha bitches. You ate trash. The biggest problem with this store's dumpster is the meat department dumps in the same dumpster, so you might reach down to grab a few heads of lettuce, and there'll be about a five-pound pile of beef fat right in the middle of it.
The latest addition to my dumpster routine I first visited the other week when I picked up some guineas to add to our compound, loud ass little fuckers. This store's dumpsters are behind the building and the path closes off as opposed to looping all the way around the building like most strip malls, so it's a little weird driving back there. But if you hit it early in the morning before the restaurant next door opens and has their back door open all the time with dishwashers and cooks always milling around smoking cigarettes and speaking Mexican or Honduran or something to each other, there's two dumpsters. One is a sliding door style and the other is regular flip top that you could easily actually climb into. Honestly, I prefer reaching in sliding door or over edges, and have not actually climbed into any dumpster yet, because I've worked enough shit jobs to know that you never know when you climb into shit like that. It is a gamble. This store has had crazy amounts of fruits the chickens love, including whole pineapples almost every time I've gone there. Today, at the back of the flip top dumpster was a ton of pre-packaged chopped fruit trays, with pineapples, honeydews, and cantaloupes, at the back of it, plus more pineapples. I almost broke my climbing in cherry and busted up in that bitch for the fruit haul, but decided against it, mostly because right within reach was about five pounds of tomatoes and five pounds of strawberries, and I'd already snagged almost a case of bok choy, spinach, and cilantro earlier.
I am amped to see how much trash I can haul this winter, because grocery stores don't stop having produce just because the growing season is gone. It'll be interesting to see the difference compared to summer time. I also have noticed trends amongst different grocery store chains regarding how they get rid of their trash. Harris Teeter is like the hoity toity local store, and they're some bitches about their trash, it all going into an enclosed compacting type dumpster with no outside access. I can't even figure out how they empty the motherfucker when it's full. Kroger can be hit-or-miss, but most of their stores are right in town with heavy traffic nearby, so not worth the hassle just in case somebody decides what I'm doing doesn't look right. Food Lions are everywhere, and tend to be the chain grocery store in most small towns where I live, as well as throughout Virginia and North Carolina. I have only found their dumpsters locked in urban environments, and that shit's really been the mainstay of my dumpster circuit. Independent grocery stores around where I live tend to just have one dumpster where all the store's trash is dumped, so it's so much work to find anything good or an amount worth the trouble when the bigger chain stores usually have a couple dumpsters where part of the store's trash is not included, and you can hit the produce dumpster and not have to sort through every fucking thing that came out of the store to get to the good stuff.
Really, this whole dumpster diving thing for my chickens is proof positive of my obsessive compulsive disorderliness, because I have mental checkpoints about time of day and part of town and know that wherever I am, oh yeah, I need to hit this one up or that one up on the way home, or I can swing through this way and check this one out. Sometimes, when I take a step back and see how my brain so methodically yet retardedly works, it can be a little scary. Had I been trained to use my mind for good as opposed to odd, the world would probably be a better place in some very focused aspect.

Friday Love/Hate

I love the slow directions things are turning. Life is as fucking meandering and heavily directional with the weight of your past, that moving shit around is like turning an oil tanker. But, knock on cyber wood, shit seems to be turning in a better direction lately, even if I’m broker than ever and have little tangible proof that that’s gonna change any time soon. It’s all good though, which is a phrase people use to pretend shitty things aren’t so shitty. But things are going well. Like I went for a walk up what used to be a logging trail dudes four-wheeled on, but the asshole who owned it put up a gate. So I walked up there this morning, just to check it out, and it was calm. Walked right up on two white tails, ten feet away before they even noticed me. And on the way back, I found a yellow flashing light like you’d see on top of a wrecker in the woods, which I of course took home, to put on top of my long-disabled Datsun. I think I might see if I can somehow wire it up to the Christmas lights also on the Datsun. It’d be tight to have a flashing light on that bitch, with the light working and car not.

I hate cutting my huge ass yard with a push mower, with wife family coming in next week, and I can’t afford to get my riding mower out the shop yet. I had money the two months them motherfuckers didn’t fix it, at least some of those weeks, and now they finally fix it and I ain’t got no fucking money. It’s some bullshit man. Not really though. I’m just a broke ass. “Hit the Lotto, next week you still poor...” I love that line from “Small Town” by Nappy Roots. Ha, things must be going well... I closed out my hate with some love. Positivity over negativity hitting 50 levels deep... coming from coming from the woofers in my Jeep.

Friday, August 21

August O.C.D. #2: Cumbia Rebajada Music

A random link inside the internets turned me onto cumbia rebajadas a while back, and honestly, I had never really listened to even cumbia music, which is a percussion-heavy latin music popular amongst mainland latinos more than island latinos. Rebajadas came from a DJ in the '60s who's radio ran out of batteries, causing the record to drag, pumping up the bass sounds and warping the vocals but the high end percussion still popped like crazy. Of course, this is the basic DJ Screw music story, except it predates it by about 30 years. Oddly enough, the guy who originally did this to cumbia music is now in his fifties, lives in Houston, and is an air conditioner repairman. He had a flea market stand in Mexico proper where he sold his mixes of slowed down cumbia music, and as far as I know, he still has a stand down there. I'm not sure why, but slowed down music heavy with percussion really speaks to me and I could listen to it forever. In fact, upon finding about cumbia rebajada, I downloaded whatever I could find online (there's two good mixes to be found online: Sonido Martines' Las Rebajadas Van a Brooklin and Dr. Auratheft's El Maldito Accordeon) and drove my wife and kids crazy with it. The fact there's so little of it to be found sucks, because I've played out what I have, but in that time, did break up those two mixes into individual tracks in Audacity to shave off the chaff and keep the wheat. My search for such stuff also led me to an album called The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru, which is pretty goddamned amazing too. Chicha is a hallucinogenic drink popular with with the more indigenously inclined, and this is music made for and by such folks. I don’t think I have to tell you that music with lots of clangy drums and a repetitive-yet-catchy-as-fuck rhythm made by people under the influence of mind-altering substances is usually a good thing, so long as the people aren’t white as fuck. Even then, it often works still.

Friday Love/Hate

I love the future, and my family. Some things I’ve worked towards in my free-time for years are conceivably attainable in the next couple years, and for the first time in my adult life, my fleeting and fluctuating hopes and dreams seem founded in reality. Back that up with a solid ass family of a wife who rolls like the yang to my yin, or yin to my yang, but we jive each other up and keep each other adrenalinized and eroticized and it works well. Plus three kids who all are pretty dynamic little kooks in their own right (yeah, I know, every fucker on earth thinks their kids are special even though 85% of the time it’s just another fucking kid with crazy eyes waiting for you to not be paying attention), and I’m stoked in my upward mobility, at least creatively speaking. Money will be cool too, but that’ll follow just fine if I deliver on the front end.

I hate hot. Nothing like sanding 1927 dirt off an old shit ass house, and you being all sweaty and leaking internal liquids, and the dirt coats you and then forms blackened clumps along sweat lines, clumping inside your elbows, under your arms, along your belt line under what’s left of your once-proud beer belly, and you take a break to drink a cup of Gatorade-spiked water from your water cooler, and it’s cold as fuck because you stuffed ten pounds of ice inside the cooler that morning, but you drink it down, feel guilty for taking too long a break even though it’s only been about two minutes, so you go back up the ladder, and almost immediately the sweat starts kicking double time as you barely stay ahead of the southern humidity’s dehydration curve.

Thursday, August 20

August O.C.D. #3: Sumo Wrestling

Professional sumo in Japan is probably most closely akin to baseball in America in that nationalistic nerds take immense pride in the history of the sport and dedicate far more mental matter to over-analyzing it than is probably necessary. They only hold six tournaments a year, basically every other month, and I've always kind of been fascinated by it, as a kid when it still came on NBC sports on weekends from time to time. I guess it got retriggered a few years back when the Necro Butcher was on his first extended working trip of Japan and he sent me an email talking about how he was playing fantasy sumo online a lot. I looked for sumo shit then, but not much was going on.
For some reason though, I started looking it up a month or so ago, and found assorted online forums and places to keep up with the shit and learn about it. I remember a few years back when Akebono was the big shit in Japanese sumo that it was a big controversy, the Polynesian sumos as opposed to traditional Japanese sumos. Well, that argument's gone now, as the top couple stars (Asashoryu and Hakuho) are from Mongolia, and catch the same flack to an extent for not being Japs. But what caught my interest more than anything was this dude Kotooshu, who is a white dude, from Bulgaria, who I guess you could rank as probably the #3 dude in sumo right now.
First off, online sumo forums are like any online thing with message boards and internet fans - sad, depressing places with ridiculous nerd projects involving formulas and ratios to mathematically calculate who is more awesome than who else. I'm not sure what it is about the internet that attracts these types to physical things they could never hope to imitate in real life, but it does.
But as for Kotooshu, he's like the pre-eminent player in an influx of eastern Europeans starting to infiltrate the sumo sport's upper echelon. Kotooshu - white dude name Kaloyan Mahlyanov - was an old school style wrestler who was a national amateur wrestling star, and had hoped to compete for Bulgaria in the 2000 Olympics, but he got bigger than the highest weight limit for the sport, so he turned to sumo. Shady sumo Japs (the sport is mad hooked up with the yellow mafia) funneled money to Bulgaria to get the kid into a certain stable of sumos, where Kotooshu ("koto" is his stable name, and "osho" means Europe) flew through the lower five classes of sumo, getting to the top rank in 11 tournaments, or just under two years - the fastest ascent ever. Only eight tournaments later, he was promoted to ozeki class, which is the second highest rank of sumo possible. The highest - yokozuna - is rarely handed out and only given to dudes who are expected to contend for the championship every tournament. In the sense of sumo, contending means if you finish below say the top three or four guys, you bring shame to your yokozuna status. Anyways, Kotooshu was the first Euro to ever attain ozeki class, and he actually won a grand sumo tourney in the summer of 2008. Just last month, while I was actually looking up results every day of the Nagoya tournament, he came in second behind Hakuho, but he had a questionable loss during the tournament that put him one loss behind Hakuho.
Since that tournament ended, he flew back to Bulgaria to get some high ass national awards, and be considered a hero and source of pride for Bulgarians everywhere. Plus, with his hair done up in standard sumo style and his hairy ass chest, he reminds me of John Belushi's samurai cook character. But also, knowing sumo's yakuza connections, and also knowing how wide open and mafioso eastern Europe has been since the fall of the Soviet Union, the emergence of eastern Euro sumo wrestlers is really intriguing to me. I'm sure there's insane stories galore behind it all, when you mash two insane sub-cultures together like sumo and mafia, and then spike it with the environmental psychology of some eastern Europeans. August is a down month, but September will bring back the last Tokyo tournament of the year, and I'm sure I'll again be following closely Kotooshu's white dude dominance of a sport where giant dudes use sheer girth and strength to move each other around. It's such a simple assed sport, yet ridiculously overloaded with mysterious traditions that go back to things half the people who see it have little idea what it means, that it's hard not to love. It's like alpha-male religious extremism that allows and even encourages drunkenness and womanizing.

100 VINYLZ: #66 - After the Gold Rush LP by Neil Young

(1970, Reprise Records)
I will admit that I waver on Neil Young. Sometimes, I have been on his jock, and other times I have thought him overrated (not in the sense he sucks, but in the sense he’s not as all-fired great as people make him out to be). But if I am feeling depressed as fuck and want to wallow in that misery, pound a few alcohols, and sit in my camper with nothing on but the red light, soaking in my own self-created personal doubts and letting them spiral up into an emotional crescendo for the evening, there is no better album to play than After the Gold Rush. So much so that it’s almost cathartic, and once Apple creates a handgun that can play MP3s and the technology becomes outdated a few years later and I inherit my brother-in-law’s old iGun, I will make damn sure that I steal this album off the internet, or rip my copy through Audacity, so that whenever I feel like putting a digital-friendly hollow-point through my stream of thought, I can play this and be like, “man shit sucks, but I’m cool with it.”

Wednesday, August 19

100 VINYLZ: #67 - Shadowboxin' 12-inch by GZA/The Genius

(1996, Geffen Records)
I have been brain-working (meaning plotting out in my mind) a screwed and chopped paranoid as fuck Wu-Tang mix lately, so this showing up on my old list seems appropriate. In making the mix, I’m not sure if to leave it strictly Wu, since I am going for the ultra-paranoid anti-Illuminati style raps that were once so popular around the mid-’90s, or to include other groups to weave in Behold a Pale Horse tracks by groups like Goodie Mobb, Jedi Mind Tricks, Binary Star, and Scienz of Life as well. But the Wu, especially B-level groups like Sunz of Man and Killarmy and especially Killah Priest were really great at that 5%-infused polysyllabic fuck the one world attitude. As for major league Wu releases, none really capture that style as well as the “4th Chamber” song, which is considered the B-side of this single, although the video made for it at the time morphed both songs into one video, so as to feature all Wu guests (Ghostface, Killah Priest, and RZA on “4th Chamber” and Method Man on “Shadowboxin’”). For me though, and as good as “Shadowboxin’” is (Liquid Swords is a white dude rap nerd with internet access staple, so I won’t expound upon that), “4th Chamber” is the shit. In fact, I would call it my shit. GZA, for me, was great, but like a role player, albeit a more solid role player than any other role player around. But he never took the highlight reel lines after I played a song, a steady Scottie Pippen on the mic. He does that here too, even from the clean-up spot on the track. RZA’s verse, third in order, is my favorite RZA verse ever, and really what I built up in my head as to what he was all about - crazy paranoid militant fuck you rich fuckers type shit. I was incredibly disillusioned after Bobby Digital times two and that Wu-Tang Manual book to realize RZA was nothing more than another salesman who conned me with a great marketing angle. I felt betrayed and hate him to this day, which is stupid, I know, but that’s how I roll through life when it comes to the pop cultures that sneak through my anti-everything contrarian nature, ahead of the curve usually in my mind, but probably not in reality. Prolo, way back, even had a really slow meandering guitar-driven song called “Shining Eyes” with the “you can see the weakness of a man right through his iris” line chopped and slow-mowed in the chorus. Killah Priest was second, and Killah Priest is always good for something really predictable and lame, as well as something amazingly ridiculous and unbelieveable that a dude even thought of, usually within four lines of each other. Me and Boogie Brown, after Guru’s single of the same name, for better or worse incorporated “loungin’” into our vocabulary much like the Smurfs used “smurf”. (I have LOUNGIN’ tattooed across my fucking beer belly.) Killah Priest drops “loungin’... between two pillars of ivory,” in this song, which of course became an immediate hit soundbite inside my brain’s electronically cluttered membranes.
And then there’s the first verse by Ghostface Killah. I had liked Ghost, especially when he had yet to stop wearing the pantyhose over his head all the time, but he never stood out beyond being another solid ass Wu-Tang guy that helped make them the Bestest Rap Group Evar at that point in my life. But in this song, it was the first time I really caught notice of his insane style, weaving high fashion, cryptic religion, and his strange self-confidence that went far beyond street style to more like a self-ordained King of some twisted sorts. I would say, even though I would’ve bought it anyways, this verse got me geeked in anticipation for Ghostface’s solo LP, Ironman, which to this day, I’d honestly consider the best solo Wu-Tang album that ever came out. I mean, Brooklyn Zoo was great too at the time, but there’s a lot of filler in there fifteen years later. And Liquid Swords, well, like I said about internet whiteboys, but I saw GZA perform live, which sucked because the most notable part of it was a fifteen minute diatribe against all sorts of shit he deemed not real hip hop, which included freestyling and other things that just drained me of any respect for him whatsoever. He went from idol to shithead in the matter of 45 minutes. But Ironman is fucking rock solid, and Ghost finding his style in full that he’s run with and expanded upon in different directions ever since.
Many of the hip hop singles I have, including the ones on this list, sometimes make it to ebay when I want to downsize or get rid of some of the clutter in my life, or just bust a quick lick online for some cell phone bill money. This single will never fucking go there, no matter how much more wack GZA and RZA end up being in their older age. This was a single snapshot from the Wu in their prime, before they lost their hunger and started infighting half the time, and splintered into a hundred different motivations. This was a bunch of awesome fucking fuckers with hollow point mindframes pointed in the same direction with a brutal yet hopeful crush. This type of shit was the soundtrack of anthems to an armageddon that never came about. I still like to pump it up though, and pretend that one day the wretched of the earth shall inherit it all, and those who have always had will finally be “out of luck, like two dogs stuck” and I can drink rum out of the Stanley Cup, like I’ve always known I deserved to.

NFL Preseason Preview: Lower Middle Class

This is the second batch of NFL previews, the top half of the bottom half of the league, meaning these are teams that are below the mid-level line going into the year (according to Vegas oddsmakers, which is the source of my initial rankings), and could fluctuate up, maybe make a surprise run to the playoffs, or crumble completely. I do not pretend to fucking know (except I kinda do)...

PERTINENT DATA: 8-8 last year, 30 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: You know, I'm a lifelong Redskins fan, and I'd love to pretend that in my mind John Riggins' jersey-tugging touchdown run in the Super Bowl, or Darryl Grant's high-stepping, bumbling interception return for TD against the Cowboys to go to the Super Bowl would be the most identifiable moment. But life under Dan Snyder has sucked, and caused me tons of emotional distress. I should start a class action lawsuit against that motherfucker. I would have to say the true thing I mostly identify this team with now is the day Deion Sanders was standing at the podium in front of those three Lombardi Trophies that get paraded around like fucking crazy but don't really seem to ever need to be scooted over to make room for another one, in his gaudy ass burgundy suit with the yellow handkerchief sticking out the pocket, fucking Deion Sanders, as a Redskins. Fucking treachery from within. That's the Redskins to me at this point.
FRESH INJECTION: Lord Albert Haynesworth is a 350 pound dude who runs like a regular dude. He will, hopefully, super destroy the world in Washington, and maybe our defense can outscore the other team's offense.
DRUNKEN SOUL: Has to be Chris Cooley, by far the most popular player on this team, probably because his bruising retarded white boy style harkens back to the days of Riggo. I have to say though, Cooley's internet act is kinda wearing thin, and he also seems to think he's way funnier than he really is a lot of times. I would assume this is all part of the transition to married life, where his awesome "one of the boys" shit of fucking a couple cheerleaders is replaced by dorky once a week poker nights where everyone smokes cigars, which is straight up some corny assed shit. If you play poker, like that stupid fucking TV poker with flop and riverbanks and all that dumb shit, and you only smoke cigars while playing poker, you are a fucking dumbass. Straight up. You might as well just suck each other's dick once a week because you are basically elaborately playing out that fantasy but in a subconscious completely repressed way.
TEAM ASS: Dan Snyder will always be retarded, but he is also the owner. If somehow there was someone around other than dipshit Vinny Cerrato, maybe he could accidentally have someone feeding him advise that might lead to an accidental Super Bowl run. But as long as Vinny Cerrato is lurking around, and has number 11 volume in Snyder's little billionaire ear, the Redskins will struggle to not struggle.
TRENDSETTER: DeAngelo Hall looked really good at the end of last year, showing real ballhawk ability, which the Redskins have lacked. If Hall can somehow score about half as many times as Clinton Portis (and this is assuming Portis scores a slew of TDs), the Redskins might have a better-than-mediocre team.
TEAM ELDER: Tackle Chris Samuels was a first round draft pick in 2000, and has been largely overrated ever since. 2nd and 3rd pick of an NFL draft, and the Redskins got Samuels and Lavar Arrington out of it. I sometimes think the "Samuels is the best player on this team... period" meme is pushed to justify that maybe the Redskins haven't fucked up every high draft pick ever, since forever.
THE RUDY: The other tackle Stephon Heyer came a few miles away from Maryland and now somehow is our future at either tackle spot.
FORMER TROJAN: Tight end Fred Davis, who claims he will be jacking a spot from Cooley this year, but also fumbled twice in his first preseason game.
VIRGINIA BOY: WR Marques Hagans was a former UVA QB, and stands a good shot at making the team, simply because he can return punts and for some reason the Redskins have tired of Antwaan Randle El's 30 yards sideways/5 yards forward return style that he's been solidly endorsed to go with the past two years.
WILD SAMOAN: With no bonafide Samoans on the Redskins roster right now, even during it's swollen preseason status, I will go with rookie DE Brian Orakpo, because of the questionable linguistics of his last name, although I know he's a black dude from Texas. Samoan Pride Scorecard: Hawaii - 3, Auburn - 1, Brigham Young - 1, Nebraska - 1, Penn State - 1, Stanford - 1, Texas - 1.
THE ICKY: Rock Cartwright is one of the best names in pro football, especially considering he's a tiny little spark plug of a black dude.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Cornelius Griffin sounds as if he has used government defense contracts to build an empire that expanded into the privatization of the prison industry, and now to private security forces being used along the border with Mexico.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: The Redskins have the star power and defense to make a push for .500, and even if they get there, will probably finish 4th in the NFC East.

PERTINENT DATA: 5-11 last year, 30 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: I don't know, the Jaguars as an expansion franchise that remains, in my mind, an expansion franchise, with ugly tealish uniforms, lacks a real identity. When Jack Del Rio stormed in, I jumped on their bandwagon, with the chopping block in the locker room and all, but then the punter accidentally axed himself. So I guess for me that's the personification of the Jags - just as they start to get some swagger, they fuck themselves up, which they have by being the Bengals South the past few years, and with nothing to show for it.
FRESH INJECTION: Rookie tackle Eugene Monroe is a fucking monster, a new breed of offensive lineman who is 300-plus pounds but built like a running back, with quick feet and gangsta strength. Of course, this doesn't always translate to the NFL so easily (see Robert Gallery), but from having seen Eugene Monroe in college, I can assure you he should be a fucking monster in the NFL. Too bad he went to Jacksonville.
DRUNKEN SOUL: Cornerback Rashean Mathis is the gangstafied soul of this team. Of course, they've been second only to the Bengals in recent years in terms of players getting busted for stupid shit or shot up outside of clubs or shit like that. So a soul of a team signified by Rashean Mathis may not be what the team goes for in a year or two.
TEAM ASS: Jack Del Rio's old school schtick is great so long as they were semi-successful. Now, with the Texans on the rise and the Titans and Colts firmly planted above the Jags, they are arguably the worst team in their division for years to come. Thus, Del Rio's old school gooftronics are fucking wack, especially when Mike Singletary does it so much better.
TRENDSETTER: Has David Garrard run his course yet as the better alternative to Byron Leftwich? The Leftwich sour taste should be gone from the mouth of Jaguars fans by now, so David Garrard will have to sink or swim on his own ability, which really hasn't shown so much.
TEAM ELDER: The center of both lines are equally anquored, with both starting center Brad Meester and starting defensive tackle Rob Meier coming to the Jaguars in the 2000 NFL draft, second and seventh rounders, respectively.
THE RUDY: Back-up fullback Montell Owens rode down to Jacksonville training camp in 2006 from the University of Maine, busted up heads as a fullback, and more importantly as a special teams blockhead, and has earned a fat paycheck ever since, way fatter than UPS.
FORMER TROJAN: Back-up middle linebacker Thomas Williams, in his second year out of USC, meaning he was playing with all those super Samoans in college.
VIRGINIA BOY: Starting middle linebacker Justin Durant is in his third year, coming out of small HBCU Hampton University in a part of Virginia that I don't really feel much allegiance to, but it has lots of black folks so it's way better than stupid fucking northern Virginia. (HBCU was a precursor to the swine flu.)
WILD SAMOAN: Guard Vincent Manuwai, straight out of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. Updated Samoan Pride Scorebard: Hawaii - 4, Auburn - 1, Brigham Young - 1, Nebraska - 1, Penn State - 1, Stanford - 1, Texas - 1.
THE ICKY: Rookie tackle Eben Britton, which is a nice name for a giant black dude. Also, what the fuck with the Jaguars drafting two tackles with their first two draft picks? I would assume someone knows what the fuck is up, and next year they'll be going for a high profile QB out of college after finishing towards the bottom of the NFL.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Montavious Stanley's family made their fortune coming down from the north during the Civil War when Jacksonville was an important trading port for the south. The north blockaded the town, and the Stanley family strong-armed its way into taking over the local livestock markets in straight carpetbagging fashion. Thinking of livestock made me think of Junior Johnson, who went from being an infamously uncatchable bootlegger to an early superstar of Nascar, and now he has a wide array of pork products under his name. There is some movie I can't remember the name of right now, but it stars one of those very competent but indistinguishably awesome '70s actors - maybe it was Jeff Bridges, and has Jim Croce doing the soundtrack, and was an ABC made-for-TV movie based on Junior Johnson's story, and it comes on the cable TVs at times and is a very enjoyable ass movie. In case you were wondering about a movie you don't know the name of you should watch.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: Jack Del Rio's ship was sinking last year, but he earned some extra time from his previous successes with this team (remember when they were gonna challenge the Colts for AFC South supremacy?), so he bought himself an extra year on that credit. This year, the ship will finish sinking, and they'll be even worse than last year, finishing 4th place in the AFC South for the second year in a row.

PERTINENT DATA: 8-8 last year, 40 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: The press conference unveiling of their ugly ass red, white, and blue uniforms will always associate the Texans with uncreative shittiness in my mind. First of all, the nickname "Texans" is a chump ass nickname. But okay, you go with that chumpy choice, hope to use a retardedly obvious marketing gimmick to capture the pride of football-crazy Texas people. The least you could do is pimp that played out angle with some fresh ass uniforms. But instead, the Houston franchise, in post-9/11 changed everything mode, went with the very predictable red, white, and blue. Played the fuck out. This team will always not be that much better than mediocre until they have suffered long enough under this style to have a refresh of their image with new uniforms. Most likely that will mean they will ride their current upward swing to maybe a wild card playoff loss one year, then back down to supreme shittiness with top five draft picks a couple years in a row, and then they hit the restart button and go with something fresher to try and brand themselves as a real Texas man's alternative to the Dallas Cowboys.
FRESH INJECTION: Defensive end Antonio Smith comes over from the Cardinals, whose defense came together as a surprisingly punishing unit for about the last six weeks of the season last year. Will that translate to a free agent success story with Antonio Smith? Lining up with Mario Williams on the other side of the line can't hurt the chances.
DRUNKEN SOUL: WR Andre Johnson is the NFL's lost-in-obscurity superstar playmaker in waiting, like Larry Fitzgerald was last year. Should NFL parity play in the Texans favor and they make a miracle run to like the AFC championship this year, it will be Andre Johnson on the cover of those 7000 fantasy football guides next summer instead of Larry Fitzgerald like this year. Man, how fucking uncreative are those things? I'm no fantasy football nerd by any means, but if I were, and I was standing at the book store magazine shelf and there were all those magazines with the same fucking guy on the cover, I'd automatically not want to buy any of them because they'd be drinking from the same pitcher of Kool-Aid. Same thing when it was L.T. on the cover of them all, and shit, it was only last year people were like, "who else would you pick first than Ladainian Tomlinson?" Look at that now.
TEAM ASS: Honestly, I am filled with such indifference to the Texans, it was difficult to come up with someone to actually invest any emotion in enough to say I dislike them. But I went with punter Matt Turk, who ended up being a tool when he played for the Redskins. Yet, at the same time, for a punter, he's about as great as they come, picking fights with regular players, getting injured playing basketball in the offseason, and just generally being a regular-style retard instead of a kicking specialist primadonna.
TRENDSETTER: Mario Williams is starting to live up to his 1st overall pick draft status, and being they've got a pretty solid defense including a tough line, he should continue to thrive, disrupt, get paid, and clock a grip.
TEAM ELDER: Starting guard Chester Pitts was the franchise's second ever draft pick, behind David Carr. He has started every game in the team's history.
THE RUDY: The other starting guard Mike Brisiel came into camp undrafted in 2006 out of Colorado State, and is entering his second year as a starter.
FORMER TROJAN: Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing is part of the supposed best collegiate linebacking corps ever last year at USC, and should be starting at outside LB by midseason at the latest.
VIRGINIA BOY: Ahh, the premier Virginia boy actually, QB Matt Schaub, Mr. UVA good-looking whiteboy with a strong financial future who made noise as Mike Vick's back-up before Vick went to prison from Atlanta. Last year, Schaub caught QB controversy with Sage Rosenfels coming in and doing pretty good outside of helicopter fumbling away that one game against Indianapolis they should've won as a statement game, but Rosenfels is gone, so Schaub is the man, unless there are Texans fans (hahaha... I know) who think Dan Orlovsky is the Man. Isn't Orlovsky the dude who ran out the end zone for a safety for the Lions last year and didn't even know that was not acceptable? That's not a good thing to have on everyone's mental resume for you.
WILD SAMOAN: No bonafide Samoans, so let's go with DT Amobi Okoye, who is a super-intelligent high wonderlic ass dude for a defensive lineman. He played college ball at Louisville, making the updated (and mutated) Samoan Pride Scorebard: Hawaii - 4, Auburn - 1, Brigham Young - 1, Louisville - 1, Nebraska - 1, Penn State - 1, Stanford - 1, and Texas - 1.
THE ICKY: Xavier Adibi actually played in-state here at Virginia Tech, and has a great name that sounds like something Mushmouth from Fat Albert would call a ghost were he guest appearing on an episode of Scooby-Doo.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Boomer Grigsby amassed millions as an early boom oil tycoon, and has since parlayed that wealth to make sure all his grandchildren - well, the ones with penises at least - are guaranteed membership into the Skull & Bones Society, where they join an elite group of young men who use Crazy Horse's skull as a bong, secretly.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: The Texans could easily finish at .500 again this year, but probably won't do better than another 3rd place finish in the AFC South, being the Colts and Titans are still there.

PERTINENT DATA: 9-7 last year, 40 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: Deeply-ingrained loser mentality of Jets fans who would boo Jesus if they picked him in the draft personifies the Jets to me. I think there's a deeper Jersey vibe to the Jets than what you have with the Giants, and Jersey people - of which there are a fuck-ton of - have a second class citizen chip on their shoulder due to New York City across the river. So New Jersey is mostly a passing through type of state, but a very populous one, so there's a natural inclination to be overly proud of your Jersey roots (most places where people are fiercely proud of being from are usually shitholes, like Jersey, or the south, or Puerto Rico, etc), and overly expectant of the Jets team I think, in turn.
FRESH INJECTION: LB Bart Scott not only superangrifies the entire defense, he helps bring locker room muscle to help instill new coach Rex Ryan's philosophy throughout the team.
DRUNKEN SOUL: Safety Kerry Rhodes is the spark plug heart of this team's defense, which is their strength, and he should be even more of a roaming berserker this year with Ryan's defensive stylos.
TEAM ASS: Actually, I couldn't find too many Jets worth hating either... I think their green and white uniforms speak to me, much more than their straight up green ones from the '80s did. But forcing myself to pick somebody, I will pick new CB Lito Sheppard, who for years wore shithead green in Philadelphia, and fuck him.
TRENDSETTER: Shit, Rex Ryan comes in as a highly-touted former coordinator with high hopes attached to that. Of course, right before him at this spot on the NFL coaching carousel was Eric Mangini, who had been affectionately called Man-genius early in his short stint as Jets head coach. Most places, it's sink or swim, but with the Jets, Rex Ryan will have to not only swim, but flourish. Whether he can do that or not will decide whether this team goes in the same direction for more than three years in a row for the first time in my adult life.
TEAM ELDER: DE Shaun Ellis was a first round draft pick in 2000. He also will be sitting out the first game of the season because Roger Goodell doesn't think hemp can save the planet yet.
THE RUDY: Guard Brandon Moore came into Jets training camp in 2002 as an undrafted defensive lineman, earned a spot on the roster, converted to the o-line, and now is their starting guard and one of their most consistent o-lineman at that.
FORMER TROJAN: Glamour boy QB Mark Sanchez is the latest USC quarterback prince to hit the NFL. Unlike Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, who were lucky enough to settle into less high profile places like Cincinnati and Phoenix, Sanchez is tossed headfirst into fucking New York City, with it's everpresent eyeball-on-the-pyramid-tip media lights, famous people galore, and ridiculous club scenes of all types and flavors. Mark Sanchez will see quickly enough, firsthand, that Babylon the Great has not yet fallen.
VIRGINIA BOY: D'Brickashaw Ferguson was a tackle at UVA, who has really turned a lot of high-level linemen on both sides of the ball for such a mediocre college football program.
WILD SAMOAN: Back-up nose tackle Sione Pouha played at Utah, a state famous for Mormons, black Republicans, and Samoans playing college football. Samoan Pride Scorebard: Hawaii - 4, Auburn - 1, Brigham Young - 1, Louisville - 1, Nebraska - 1, Penn State - 1, Stanford - 1, Utah - 1, and Texas - 1.
THE ICKY: Jerricho Cotchery is an all-pro name for years, and he's moved from deep on the depth charts to a starter to now their #1 receiver during that time. And though his name is great, it does not ring as a fearsome offensive threat, which probably says a lot towards Sanchez's early development as a QB.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Kellen Clemens, Wall Street trustafarian kid taking his optioned-out 2009 4Runner to all sorts of Phish and Widespread Panic shows, plus maybe .moe if he can convince a couple frat brothers about it.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: Rex Ryan will do well I think, and the Jets will push towards .500, but probably fall short, and finish 3rd in the AFC East.

PERTINENT DATA: 9-7 last year, 40 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl this season.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: Those old school orange uniforms are what I associate the Bucs with. It’s too bad they were so terrible in them, because contrary to alleged popular opinion, I think those were one of the most pimping ass uniforms that ever existed. I’m glad they’re pulling them back out this year, although it seems like an excuse to superstitiously explain an impending lackluster season.
FRESH INJECTION: You know, Kellen Winslow the second will get a lot of attention coming into Tampa Bay, but really, until he shows up for a full season in the NFL, he’s more promise than delivered goods. Free agent addition at RB Derrick Ward, however, is a fucking bruiser of a back who, when combined in tandem with Earnest Graham, should help cover up the fact the Bucs don’t have an actual quality proven starting quarterback on the roster.
DRUNKEN SOUL: With Derrick Brooks gone, formerly a back-up LB Jermaine Phillips now takes the lead on their defense, and is one of the longest-tenured players on the team. He’s the man now, dog. (I’m pretty sure I’ve used that in these preseason write-ups already, and I’ll probably use it again. The old left side of the brain ain’t what it used to be.)
TEAM ASS: Even though he’s gone, Jon Gruden has to be remembered as a first class, self-important piece of shit. I imagine he’ll be highly entertaining as a color commentator on the cable TVs, but that’s all part of rehabbing his image before some other owner gets chumped into believing the hype, it’s a sequel.
TRENDSETTER: The only real solid offensive threat they have is Antonio Bryant, yet he likes to balance his awesome potential with a lot of bitching and griping. Whether he can score touchdowns more than he can get all pouty pouty four feet behind the offensive coordinator will probably determine whether the Bucs can squeeze a few wins out of this hodgepodge offense.
TEAM ELDER: Ronde Barber was a 1997 draft pick, and is still kicking strong. His twin brother is married to Russell Simmons’ ex-wife and appears on national TV around the clock, but young Ronde is still playing the pigskins, at least for one more year. Another Roanoke boy made good. (I don’t say “boy” in reference to his skin color; I say in reference to how when you are from the south originally, people still think of you as a kid from the south regardless of how long you live, hence the term “good ole boy”.)
THE RUDY: Former Florida Gator comes to Tampa’s training camp in 2003, fights for a roster spot, and after repeated Cadillac Williams injury-laden seasons, becomes the bonafide hard-working man last year in Tampa, and is technically listed as the starter going into this year, though Derrick Ward and Williams will eat up hand-offs as well, at least until Cadillac’s ligaments inevitably rip from his body yet again.
FORMER TROJAN: Rookie defensive end Kyle Moore was the 39th Trojan defender drafted this year, in the fourth round.
VIRGINIA BOY: Of course, Ronde is an Old Dominion favorite to this day, being I already listed him elsewhere for this team, let’s recognize LB Angelo Crowell, also from UVA, and in his seventh season of NFL success.
WILD SAMOAN: Sure, starting center Jeff Faine’s name looks potentially Samoan. he played at Notre Dame, not known for it’s Samoan recruiting, but also not known for being that good in recent times. Samoan Pride Scorebard: Hawaii - 4, Auburn - 1, Brigham Young - 1, Louisville - 1, Nebraska - 1, Notre Dame - 1, Penn State - 1, Stanford - 1, Utah - 1, and Texas - 1.
THE ICKY: B.J. Askew is the most ridiculous football name going, although if I ever happenstance across an issue of Maxim (or similar nimrod magazines with half-hearted attempts at pornographic images) that mentions this in a football sidebar, I will stop going with him on these lists.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Sabby Piscitelli’s family helped exploit the tremendous phosphate reserves in the Bone Valley outside of Tampa back in the 1800s, and used that wealth to build power in the port of Tampa, which has fed their economic clout ever since.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: The Buccaneers are pretty much doomed. Even if someone else in their division is worse than expected, it’s hard to believe the Bucs are headed for anything except last place in the NFC South.

PERTINENT DATA: 8-8 last year, 40 to 1 to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: John Elway’s stupid fucking horseface winning a couple of Super Bowl rings will forever be etched in my brain as an NFL-watching lowpoint.
FRESH INJECTION: Now that he’s no longer a Philadelphia Eagle, I do not mind admitting at all that Brian Dawkins is a fucking bad ass dude. I like smaller defensive guys who launch themselves head first like a missile and then quote the Bible when asked about it later on.
DRUNKEN SOUL: Champ Bailey is the flat-faced soul of this team, and really the only pre-eminate player they have.
TEAM ASS: Poor Chris Simms, with his ruptured spleen and high pedigree, never quite amounting to much more than like the 33rd or 34th best QB in the league (aka the best clipboarder around). He was forever doomed by his shitty father. I feel for young Chris, because his father is such a loathsome figure, he never stood a chance. And really, what better way to completely crash his soul than to become the starter in Denver, like he might, and piss all over both his father’s and John Elway’s legacies?
TRENDSETTER: Hahaha, whether Kyle Orton can prove the Cutler-haters wrong or not is the key to the Broncos immediate future. And with three interceptions right off the bat in his first preseason game, he looks to be proving the future is bleak. Oh well, high draft picks await at the end of the year. Lolol at you Champ Bailey.
TEAM ELDER: Offensive lineman Ben Hamilton was a fourth round draft pick in 2001, although he missed a year because of concussions. Fuck it man, go out like a champ. Crash your head into super-early onset of Alzheimers and get your crazy on in your 40s before you NFL money runs out.
THE RUDY: Back-up tackle (on both sides) Tyler Polumbus is a textbook NFL Rudy, coming from a local college - Colorado in his case - and walking onto the team as an undrafted homeslice last year, and carving himself a solid reserve spot on a mediocre assed pro football team. Their mediocrity is his wealth.
FORMER TROJAN: No former Trojans, so I revert to the USC of the South, the fighting Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina, which is where from Andre Goodman, starting cornerback, got girls pregnant at in his collegiate days.
VIRGINIA BOY: Wide receiver/kick returner constant end zone threat Eddie Royal came from Virginia Tech. He made far more noise last year in Denver than he did ever at Tech, which is probably because Frank Beamer doesn’t open it up on offense, ever. I met Beamer one time at the Starbucks in Waynesboro, gave him some daps and chatted for a minute. He had a big fat ring from some sort of ACC/Big East/bowl championship. I would assume it was from ‘99 when they lost in the national title game against Florida State, but I didn’t get a chance to scope it out and see for sure. He’s a really small, old dude in real life.
WILD SAMOAN: They don't have Samoans nor do they have third world sounding motherfuckers, so I'll pick Knowshon Moreno because that's some space immigrant naming he got given there. He's from Georgia by the way, and used to get high with the guy Killer Mike wrote "Samson" about. Samoan Pride Scorebard: Hawaii - 4, Auburn - 1, Brigham Young - 1, Georgia - 1, Louisville - 1, Nebraska - 1, Notre Dame - 1, Penn State - 1, Stanford - 1, Utah - 1, and Texas - 1.
THE ICKY: Elvis Dumervil, without a doubt. Black dudes named Elvis are automatically pimp ass, but you throw in some old world-sounding name like Dumervil that makes you sound like co-starred with Basil Rathbone in Sherlock Holmes movies before they had color inside of video machines, and that makes you number one.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: DE Everette Pedescleaux’s family came to the midwest to exploit the cultural ignorance of gold rushing immigrants, make triple the money off their hard work, and build a family empire.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: The Broncos are completely fucked, and the Jay Cutler debacle was just the start of the post-Shanahan unraveling process. They will be bad enough that Josh McDaniels might not make it to year two, and even in the worst division in pro football recent history - this year’s AFC West - the Broncos will finish in last place.

PERTINENT DATA: 11-5 last year, winning the AFC East, then lost their home playoff game to the Baltimore Ravens, 45 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl this year.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: I’m not a huge Dolphins fan, but I can tolerate them more than most teams, and always identify them with the Dan Marino to Mark Duper or Mark Clayton heyday when they had the highest-powered offense ever that could bust open an 80 yard touchdown play any second. Of course, with Chad Pennington’s gimp ass arm, they are far from that now, but the memory remains.
FRESH INJECTION: Pat White, coming straight out of West Virginia, gives the Dolphins an actual former college QB to take over the wildcat looks that Ronnie Brown spearheaded last year. Brown did amazingly well, and padded his statistics with a slew of touchdowns from the trendy formation, but White should do even better with it. Hahaha, I hadn’t even noticed that color theme - Brown and White.
DRUNKEN SOUL: Ricky Williams is the most obvious and closest to literal drunken soul in the NFL. I love Ricky Williams, and have always meant to do the internet research legwork to see the list of players he has been traded for in his career, since Mike Ditka traded an entire draft for him one year, and then the Saints fleeced the Dolphins out of half a class of draft picks later on.
TEAM ASS: You know, even before he came to the Redskins last year, I knew Jason Taylor was a piece of shit. Not only did he do nothing to prove me wrong, he actually strengthened my low opinion of him. It’s almost embarrassing that the Dolphins were using Redskins draft picks they got for Taylor this spring, and Taylor was already resigned with Miami.
TRENDSETTER: Even though they have Ricky Williams and Pat White too, Ronnie Brown is still considered the man for the Dolphins backfield this year. His performance was misled by how many gimmick TDs he got with the wildcat, because as the year wore on, he wasn’t doing that well. Whether he can be Ronnie Brown - 1st round draft pick potential superstar, or Ronnie Brown - better than Curtis Enis but not by much, will determine how well the Dolphins can do this year.
TEAM ELDER: Safety Yeremiah Bell was a late round draft pick in 2003, bounced around as an NFL extra that first year, but came back to the Dolphins starting off the 2004 offseason, and has been there ever since. Homeboy even made the Pro Bowl last year.
THE RUDY: As is normal for Parcells imprinted teams, they had good contributions from undrafted dudes last season. Most notably was Davone Bess, who made some noise as the third receiver, as well as a punt return threat.
FORMER TROJAN: Rookie WR Patrick Turner hopes to be Parcells newest Keyshawn replicon. How many times have I used a rookie Trojan for these spots, and I’m not even halfway through the league previews yet? How the fuck did they not win the national championship last year?
VIRGINIA BOY: Defensive end Kendall Langford, straight out of Hampton, and starting with authority.
WILD SAMOAN: Ahh, a 350-pound-plus Samoan dude from Utah... a perfect NFL stereotype. That is second-year monstrosity Paul Soliai. Updated Samoan Pride Scorebard: Hawaii - 4, Utah - 2, Auburn, Brigham Young, Georgia, Louisville, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford, and Texas - 1.
THE ICKY: Fullback Lousaka Polite. “Fullback” is his position, not his first name, though it would make a great first name.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Channing Crowder’s great-grandfather set up internationally-minded financial institutions, to capitalize on Miami’s perfect location between America and the Latin world, and also grew financially from the cocaine money flowing through the area in the ‘80s. Dirty money is still money, and white folks know how to sterilize things better than anybody.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: All the football talking heads seem to think there’s going to be a drop-off with the Dolphins this year, but Parcells has always done way better his second year than the first. Not that they will, especially since he’s not technically the coach or anything. But they’ll finish second in the AFC East, and contend but fall short for a wild card berth in the playoffs.

PERTINENT DATA: 7-9 last year, 45 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: Bills will always be connected in my mind to Bruce Smith and Darryl Talley, who looked complete secret degenerates, Smith the kind of guy who would make homemade piss on white chick flicks like Chuck Berry, and Talley just some sort of El Debarge on PCP looking motherfucker. I have always hated the Bills, for no other reason than I wouldn't want these two guys within 200 miles of my family.
FRESH INJECTION: Who else could it be? T.O. brings the drama, popcorn, strong denial of the inevitable, and a death kiss for Trent Edwards.
DRUNKEN SOUL: When Marcus Stroud came up from Jacksonville last year, he gave their defense an identity, and a big, fat, good-natured, black guy they could all rally behind.
TEAM ASS: Man, Marshawn Lynch gets busted for the most NBA-ish things, like smoking weed outside an industrial park. What the fuck? I understand basketball players being retarded like that, because they roll in small units and have had people do things for them since middle school. A top-level football player should get busted for domestic violence or club incidents, not simple shit like Marshawn Lynch gets busted for.
TRENDSETTER: Before he died, Bill Walsh said that Trent Edwards would be so great he would make Joe Montana look like a fucking faggot. But Trent Edwards also played at Stanford and Bill Walsh and the Dean of Stanford had a secret thing going on, so who knows how prejudiced Walsh was in his deathbed declarations. Still, whether or not Trent Edwards is the second coming of Joe Montana or the latest incarnation of Not Jim Kelly will tell a lot about whether the Bills have a promising future. Throwing Terrell Owens into the mix (meaning Trent Edwards' head) should help confuse the answer to this question as well.
TEAM ELDER: DE Aaron Schobel was a 2nd round draft pick in 2001, and punter Brian Moorman came on as a free agent that same offseason.
THE RUDY: Two years ago, some schlubby white boy LB named Jon Corto from nearby obscure school Sacred Heart came out for the team, and somehow grinded his way onto the roster. Last year, he started making special teams plays on the regular to continue his impossible dream, that makes fat, racist white football fans in Buffalo proud every Sunday.
FORMER TROJAN: Cornerback Cary Harris is yet another rookie defensive player from last year's USC Trojans team.
VIRGINIA BOY: Starting tackle Brad Butler played at UVA, apparently only a few years ago, and I don't remember him at all. Sounds white though. He should've been named D'Brickashaw instead.
WILD SAMOAN: No Samoans, and in lieu of obvious third worlders, I opt for former Penn State LB Paul Posluszny, because I dig Euro trash style of four consonants in a row, even if one of them is a Y perpetrating some vowelship. Samoan Pride Scorebard: Hawaii - 4, Penn State, Utah - 2, Auburn, Brigham Young, Georgia, Louisville, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Texas - 1.
THE ICKY: Cornerback Ashton Youboty, without a second thought.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Dominic Rhodes' families owned the grain mills that were the largest in America back when Buffalo was a major metropolis and Buffalo was a shipping star, being the western terminus of the Erie Canal. This is why, to this day, Dominic Rhodes tucks a single piece of wheat into his left cleat every game day. Also why he got along so well with those hicks in Indiana when he was a Colt.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: Questionable team adds T.O. to the mix is like ammonia and bleach. The Bills will implode at some point, because they weren't far from it last year, and even though Marshawn Lynch and Terrell Owens will have $500 fake wrestling title belts they defend during loud locker room games of dominoes, this team will turn to shit. It's going to be hilarious to watch. They will finish dead last in the AFC East, yet again.

Family Links

Feral Children are greater than sterilized parents. My favorite feral children are always ones raised by animals, because some 13-year-old kid in southern California with the mentality of a 2-year-old because of her fucked-up parents isn't quite as great as an Axel Rivas or Traian Calderer. The eugenics link says that Carrie Buck was from Charlottesville, VA, right up the road. It sometimes trips me out how much history I live around, and not just normal old people in RVs type history shit like Thomas Jefferson or James Madison's home, but crazy background of America shit like desegregation in Prince Edward County or eugenics labs or the underground shadow government entrance at the abandoned "rest stop" area near Shannon Hill off of I-64.

Friday, August 14

Friday Love/Hate

I love football season starting up again, so that I can torment myself with yet another shitty Redskins season, because I am completely unable to emotionally detach myself from something I have zero control over, simply because I've invested so much time over the course of my life into it emotionally, that I hold out hope it will eventually pay me back with a momentary euphoria that will, in reality, maybe last a week or so if they win the Super Bowl, and then I'll be kinda high about it until the next season starts, and then it fades. It's like really slow-moving crack, except Dan Snyder won't let me get high, even though every year he's like, "I got the good shit right here," switching the color of the caps like Stringer Bell and shit.

I hate the continued presence of liquid polymer application processes in my daily life. Hate it. I think it is giving me the dizzy spells lately, like my brain is kicking into some bizarre human safety mode. Maybe a terrible accident is about to befall me while applying liquid polymers and I have a guardian angel like that little green dude Fred Flintstone saw after taking too much jimson weed and the guardian angel is trying to make my brain hurt to keep me from experiencing the terrible destiny I would otherwise fall victim to. Or maybe they've just cranked up the HAARP project to a higher electromagnetic frequency. Who the fuck really knows? Speaking of silent weapons for quiet wars, I just stole "Wake Up" by Killarmy from inside the internets last night, the 12-inch single including the instrumental. I think I will delete everything off my gaypod except for the "Wake Up" instrumental and just ride around aimlessly all weekend.

Wednesday, August 12

NFL Preseason Preview: Bottom Quadrant

Preseason football starts up in full (partially) tonight, and much like preaseason teams working out the kinks, I'm getting my fake deadline thing in order, missing last night's 10 pm thing, but postdating it blogospheric style since nobody noticed anyways. This first batch of eight is the dregs of the NFL, at least the four longest shots to win the Super Bowl this year according to Vegas oddsmakers.

PERTINENT DATA: 7-9 last season, 50 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: Oh man, I used to hate the 49ers so much. When they were playing the Redskins one time when I was a kid, I made a voodoo doll with the #16 on it to try and break Joe Montana's career away. Like four plays later, an o-lineman with number 61 went down with some sort of knee injury. That shit taught me how powerful I truly am if I can only unlock my inner strength that cannot even be explained by science and mathematics. This is why I hate the 49ers to this day, even though they've been irrelevant for years, because of Bill Walsh's pseudo-scientific West Coast offense bullshit which has pilfered the NFL of its true soul for far too long.
FRESH INJECTION: Well, rookie WR Michael Crabtree is supposed to be the first bonafide superstar offensive weapon they've had (apologies to Frank Gore - the most anonymous Miami Hurricane ever) in a decade. Of course, at this point his cousin is talking shit about him maybe not even playing and waiting to get re-drafted next year. Yeah, I'm sure that'll work out well. Remember that Mike Williams guy from USC who was a top 5 receiver, took a year off, and got drafted but has never been more than that? Yeah. Exactly.
DRUNKEN SOUL: RB Frank Gore is one of those dudes who is really fucking awesome, but plays in obscurity, and by the time the rest of the league realizes how awesome he is, he'll be old by RB standards, so he'll have a couple lackluster but impressive seasons for like the Jets or Eagles or something, and play a couple playoff games, and then be gone.
TEAM ASS: Honestly, reading the Washington Post regularly, I'd like to like TE Vernon Davis, knowing him from his time at Maryland in college and all, but he just comes across as one of those overly dramatic types that ruins everybody's good time with too much seriousness and too much information all the damned time. I imagine he will marry a white woman but also eventually have a secret love affair with a black man. Because who else could truly understand his inner torment besides another black man?
TRENDSETTER: This team will succeed or implode according to whether crazy black dude coach Mike Singletary's militaristic oddballishness tricks them into not sucking.
TEAM ELDER: Both LB Jeff Ulbrich and TE/LS (that means long snapper bro, you will see it a lot with these longest serving members of a team) Brian Jennings were drafted in 2000, and both are role players on special teams at this point. Lunchpail type motherfuckers, except they make hundreds of thousands of dollars and the team provides lunch.
THE RUDY: WR Dominique Ziegler was an undrafted rookie in 2007, stuck with the team, and got off the practice squad at the end of last year, getting 5 receptions at the end of the season.
FORMER TROJAN: Starting guard Chilo Rachal is in his second year of fucking people up with his 315 pounds of Samoan mayhem.
VIRGINIA BOY: You know, they've got a couple former Va. Tech Hokies on their team (including CB Jimmy Williams as a back-up... what happened to that guy?), but the dude that stands out to me is back-up LB Ahmad Brooks, who came to UVA as a top national prep player and the son of a former Washington Redskin. But at UVA, he never fully lived up to that potential, though he carried himself like he went beyond it, eventually dropped out of school, got drafted into the NFL through the supplemental draft, and has bounced around. At 18, he was a can't miss next-Lavar Arrington. Eight years later, he's an also-ran on the 49ers second team.
WILD SAMOAN: 330-pound DT Isaac Sopoaga, a Hawaii Rainbow Warrior. I think I'll keep tabs on what school the Samoans went to in these write-ups, as it tends to be Hawaii, USC, and Mormon schools in Utah. I don't know what it is about Samoans and Mormonism, but they be on that shit. Personally, I'd love to see a couple of 300-plus pound Samoan dudes in the short-sleeved white dress-up shirt and dress slacks walking around trying to talk to me about Jesus. It'd be a refreshing change from the weasel-faced little pimple-freckled whiteboys we usually get. Oh yeah, so Hawaii - 1, everyone else - 0 on the Samoan pride scorecard.
THE ICKY: LB Takeo Spikes is one the NFL's best names of recent years, but I'm gonna have to pick over him this year for the first time in his career because the 49ers have a rookie TE named Bear Pascoe. Shout out to Richard Dawson.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Perhaps C Matt Spanos' forefathers helped exploit the labor of dream-seeking gold diggers during the gold rush to help build into the West Coast's financial heart, led by the now-gone and mostly-forgotten Pacific Coast Stock Exchange.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: Mike Singletary will scare motherfuckers that suck into mediocrity, which is what they'll be, and that'll be good enough for 2nd in the NFC West. I hope Singletary's wacky, intimidating ways are the wave of the future and not just something everybody will be like, "LOL, why did they think that type of coach would work?" in five years time.

PERTINENT DATA: 4-12 last season, 50 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: Really, for me, the Seahawks have always been, at best, overrated pussies, and more often, a shitty team. So Shaun Alexander being hyped as the greatest RB in forever, having his gap-toothed smile of questionable sexuality, and getting knocked out of games fairly regularly because trigga gots no heart, that sums up the Seahawks for me.
FRESH INJECTION: T.J. Houshmanzadeh has been one of my favorite WRs in the league, because he plays with retarded passion, plus he's some sort of Hindu with longhair which makes me think he drives a car and owns a white tiger like Scarface. I mean, he has to. What millionaire Hindu dude with a ponytail doesn't own a white tiger and fuck Kim Basinger?
DRUNKEN SOUL: No doubt, LB Lofa Tatupu is a mid-sized monster, such a fucking bad ass presence that he's like the only Seahawk player in the history of the team that I don't think is a complete punkass.
TEAM ASS: I am so indifferent to the Seahawks, it's really hard for someone to even stand out as unlikeable. But for the sake of blogging out opinions for you, I will go with RB Julius Jones, because he grew up a simple small town boy in southwest Virginia, with a mom who worked in a prison and a dad who did something else all fucked up and tragically small town blue collar. He left the state schools behind to go play at Notre Dame, which is the least respectable, most traitorous thing a young man from these parts could do, especially considering the window of Notre Dame being an awesome showcase for yourself was nailed shut over a decade ago. Then, he played for the Dallas Cowboys once he went pro, which is something I hold against dudes completely, even if there's drafts and you don't really choose who you play for at first. Fuck Julius Jones. Why couldn't he be more like his brother Thomas?
TRENDSETTER: The foreseeable future of the Seattle Seahawks is in the hands of an old bald guy named Matt Hasselbeck. If he stays healthy, they will continue to be a large fish in the polluted cloudy pond that is the NFC West. If he is banged up and comes and goes and tries to squeeze another year out of his old ass self, they will suck, even in the NFC West. Best thing might be for him to just get concussed out of the league and let Seneca Wallace have a chance to shine briefly in David Garrard fashion.
TEAM ELDER: Starting tackle Walter Jones was a first round draft pick for the Seahawks back in 1997, when we didn't have terrorism yet and Octomom's mom wasn't made a Supreme Court Justice yet.
THE RUDY: LB Lance Laury came in undrafted in 2006, happily clunked heads on special teams, and has carved out a low roster spot ever since.
FORMER TROJAN: DE Lawrence Jackson was one of like 30 dudes drafted out of USC last year.
VIRGINIA BOY: Whiteboy wunderspirit DE Patrick Kerney is a former UVA Cavaliers standout, but's been injured at the end of the last three seasons, so is probably close to on his last legs, one would assume.
WILD SAMOAN: WR Ben Obomanu sounds like he might be Samoan, and that's good enough for me, since I used Lofa Tatupu in a different spot on this write-up. Obomanu played for Auburn though, which makes me wonder if he isn't Kenyan or something instead. I could look it up, but I have dial-up internet welfare and it's really not worth the trouble. You look it up if it concerns you. Samoan Pride Scorecard: Hawaii - 1, Auburn - 1.
THE ICKY: DE Baraka Atkins, who sounds like he might be some sort of real estate magnate in the manner of Furious Styles from Boyz-N-Tha-Hood. Remember when he took Trey and Ricky to that abandoned lot and schooled them on the scientifics of ghettotizing the black community, and then Grady from Sanford & Son wobbled up? Man, that was great. They should've had him say, "Good googley goop," though.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: It sounds possible that C Mansfield Wrotto is descended from... well, Seattle doesn't really have old school industrial overlord type history. They've had Boeing, and the computer shit, but all that's been far more recent than dudes with wax-tipped mustaches and monocles standing around watching a clown they hired drive one of those bicycles with the big front wheel drive at a black guy in a fishing boat who turns toward the camera and has big bright white bug eyes before he dives into the water. You know them old time black folks can't swim.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: Holmgren got out just in time. I think the wheels are gonna come off this bus and Hasselbeck will be gone next year. Last place in the NFC West, but I could just be prejudiced because I hate them. Don't even really know why, but I do.

PERTINENT DATA: 2-14 last season, 60 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: I have always associated the Chiefs in my brain with when big goofy Neil Smith was clogging up the defensive line and Derrick Thomas was stalking around, fucking up backfields with a vengeance. That, combined with that one period where their big rusher was Christian Okoye just kinda going helmet first through as many motherfuckers as he could, it makes me think of them as a hard ass team. This is also why Joe Montana didn't make sense there for me, and why Herm Edwards made perfect sense. Herm is old school. That's one former NFL head coach that I bet knows how to make some damned potato salad from scratch.
FRESH INJECTION: I'm not entirely sure the Chiefs getting what they got from the Patriots wasn't some sort of croneyism/collusion by the two sides, but - and forgive me for sounding like a normal football dork meme here - Mike Vrabel, regardless of how much he plays, will instill some fighting spirit into the 29 draft picks from the past two years on the team. It kinda sucks they also got Zach Thomas, because he's like the polar opposite NFL whiteboy LB. Vrabel is half-anonymous and a headcracker, and Thomas is well-known and not nearly as good as his hype for the past half a decade.
DRUNKEN SOUL: They ran Herm off, and Matt Cassell came in, but you know, Tyler Thigpen came from nowhere last year (well, actually Coastal Carolina University) to keep his head up at least under center, and give them some hope, and even caught a TD pass on some wackadaisical flea flickerings. Obviously, he's not the answer to anything, but if you have a clipboard holder who will do whatever the fuck you ask of him, that helps the Kool-Aid get drunk.
TEAM ASS: RB Larry Johnson is kind of a shithead. You know, often times, thuggish ruggish skill position superstars get by because they say wacky things or dress outlandish or something or other. But then every once in a while you get a guy like Johnson or Lawrence Phillips - straight up shithead dudes who beat on women and have names like any ol' white guy insurance salesman ever.
TRENDSETTER: Scott Pioli, you're the man now, dog. While I'm sick to fucking death of the whole BILL BELICHICK FOOTBALL INTELLIGENCE TREE thing, I would expect Pioli to not do too bad. They already had a ton of young talent, and he's done well. I'm actually surprised nobody yet has said, "How will Belichick do without his GM accomplice in success?" I was bummed Herm got let go, because that's a fun dude, but new coach Todd Haley has a healthy spark of retard passion as well.
TEAM ELDER: Hahaha, their longest serving player, starting guard Brian Waters, who they signed as a free agent in 2000, doesn't even want to be on their team anymore. That's probably not the best situation for locker room leadership.
THE RUDY: Their team Rudy is an actual Rudy - starting center Rudy Niswanger, who came into camp in 2006 as an undrafted rookie from LSU.
FORMER TROJAN: Well, even though he never actually started a game for them, QB Matt Cassell held a clipboard for USC. I bet he was actually doing one of those samurai sudokus though.
VIRGINIA BOY: Last year, the Chiefs spent their first two draft picks on dudes with the same name from Virginia - T Branden Albert from UVA in the first round, and CB Brandon Flowers from Virginia Tech in the second round. Both had impact, but I'd give the edge to Albert since he plays left tackle - THE MOST UNDERRATED AND IMPORTANT POSITION KNOWN TO FOOTBALL MAN! Seriously though, you can find competent cornerbacks at any warm weather school every other draft, but solid left tackles don't come so easy.
WILD SAMOAN: DE (of course) Tamba Hali, who will probably move to off-the-bench with the switch to a 3-4 defense and them drafting another defensive end with their first round pick the past two years. He played at Penn State, which means Samoan Pride Scorecard: Auburn - 1, Hawaii - 1, Penn State - 1.
THE ICKY: RB Dantrell Savage sounds like a wrestler's name from 1983 who would be managed by Sir Oliver Humperdink and be tag team partners with an evil Jap guy who carried around ninja weaponry.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: DE Wallace Gilberry's family helped buy up smaller farms to turn red winter wheat into a prominent ingredient in mass-produced breads, and fix the market price using the Kansas City Board of Trade. The Gilberrys and Hallmark family, also of Kansas City, often make $1 bets about switching up-and-coming stockbrokers with common ghetto black guys, to prove to each other it is environment, not genetics, that breeds success.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: This is a young ass team stocked with a lot of potential. Regime change combined with them being in the AFC West - one of the shittiest NFL divisions in years this year - should fire them up to finish 2nd in their division, which will still be a couple games below .500.

PERTINENT DATA: 4-12 last season, 70 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: John Elway putting daggers in their heart, and Ernest Byner helping with timely fumbles, has pretty much summed them up for me ever since they briefly absolved into Baltimore and sealed that memory. Ever since they came back, nothing's changed my memory bank yet.
FRESH INJECTION: He may only be a free agent trying to nail down a starting spot on the offensive line, but Pork Chop Womack would be a positive influence on any team, if for no other reason than he's 330 pounds and goes by the moniker "Pork Chop". Large black people from Mississippi named after pig products tend to be good folk.
DRUNKEN SOUL: Speaking of giant black dudes from the south, there are few dudes who look sharper in Cleveland Brown orange than 350 pound Shaun Rogers. That guy is awesome, and like any good defensive tackle, he'll clog some shit up and be a constant, heavy-breathing, overweight, annoying presence for opposing offenses.
TEAM ASS: With The Soldier gone, I guess WR Braylon Edwards will get a chance to drop twice as many passes.
TRENDSETTER: More than Brady Quinn, the future success of Cleveland will fall on Eric Mangini's head. Mangini didn't really do that bad with the Jets, but then again, you've gotta question a dude who got Brett Favre in and then named his own son after the guy. That's some pathetic ass bullshit right there. It also seems questionable the Browns would hire a Belichick coaching offspring in Mangini after things went so boringly unimpressive with previous Belichick coaching offspring Romeo Crennel.
TEAM ELDER: Phil Dawson has been the Browns only kicker since they reformed in 1999.
THE RUDY: Kick returner/WR/punt returner/RB/wildcat QB/nickel back/whatever else Joshua Cribbs is the perfect example of an NFL Rudy - came to camp in 2005, undrafted out of nearby Kent State, made the team, and after a few years, last year earned a reputation as a dangerous return man and do-whatever-you-ask straight-up bro. Homegrown heroes like that keep the drunks happy, especially in depressingly shitty places like Cleveland.
FORMER TROJAN: Rookie LB Kaluka Maiava is straight out the USC, and related to professional wrestlers, but honestly aren't all Samoans related to professional wrestlers?
VIRGINIA BOY: Virginia Tech pushes special teams as important in its "Beamerball" style, and it paid off for S Nick Sorensen, who hasn't exactly lit up the league with his defensive backery, but does well enough and complements that with tenacious special teams play to keep clocking his grip.
WILD SAMOAN: Well, they drafted David Veikune out of Hawaii to play LB, but I'm gonna go with Melila Purcell, a DE also from Hawaii, because he's been around the team a couple years (drafted in 2007) but hasn't really held on too well yet. Supposedly, with a new coach, this is gonna be his year. Samoan Pride Scorecard: Hawaii - 2, Auburn - 1, Penn State - 1.
THE ICKY: Even though it's the most popular name on earth, WR Mohammad Massaquoi is a great name, and it's not like I know a bunch of Mohammads. Nice repeating initial, and he sounds like he could be like a militant Muslim Iroquois, looking to secede from Quebec by accumulating a bunch of automatic weapons.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: LB Kamerion Wimbley’s family used the introduction of the railroad sytem to capitalize on Cleveland’s excellent location on the Great Lakes waterways to establish a large shipping and freight corporation fueled by the area’s immense manufacturing center. That is, of course, back when people made shit in America other than fat ass bellies.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: They’ll be about like last year, and probably last in the AFC North.

PERTINENT DATA: 5-11 last season, 100 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: Them somehow managing to make it to a Super Bowl during Al Davis’ descent into madness, and starting center Barrett Robbins disappearing into a Tijuana substance abuse haze before the big game, that pretty much sums up their highest point of this phase of Davis’ dementia.
FRESH INJECTION: Here he is again, Jeff Garcia, lurking in the background, trying to catch some spotlight behind an underperforming starting QB. What is it about Jeff Garcia that makes people not want to let him actually be their starting quarterback without having to eventually get around to it begrudgingly after injuries took away every other excuse?
DRUNKEN SOUL: CB Nnamdi Asomugha is probably overpaid (imagine that happening in Oakland) but he’s pretty fucking solid. Plus, even though his name doesn’t sound it, he’s a local boy, from Cal.
TEAM ASS: Guard Robert Gallery is probably a team goat for fans, but it’s hard to not figure WR Javon Walker as the biggest shithead on this team. He took a substantial drop in salary to try and stay on the roster, which most likely is his last chance at NFL wealth so he can spray people with champagne and then get robbed in Las Vegas alleyways. Or maybe he can have his good friend die in his arms outside a sketchy night club like in Denver?
TRENDSETTER: Usually, when trending a sports franchise, the old saying, “this team lives and dies with...” whatever or other you are trying to get over as the most important factor. But honestly, the Raiders will live or die with Al Davis living or dying. Brains don’t regenerate brain cells, so until the old dude kicks it, they’re kinda screwed. I always imagine Davis being the kind of owner you’d see feuding with Rodney Dangerfield in an ‘80s movie, who bosses the coach around and calls the sideline to demand a long pass play, and talks to players behind the coaches’ backs, and even like taste tests hot dogs before the game and sets the thermostats in luxury boxes with a piece of tape that says “Don’t set below 72, that’s more than cool enough!”
TEAM ELDER: Punter Shane Lechler and kicker Sebastian Janikowski were both draft picks in 2000. Really, we should’ve known Al Davis was retarded back then. No one drafts punters ever, but he did in the sixth round. And I don’t think anyone in history has ever drafted a kicker with a first round pick like he did with Janikowski. Amazing.
THE RUDY: DE Tommy Kelly came to the Raiders as an undrafted rookie in 2004, worked his way into the starting line-up, fleeced an old man with the early signs of Alzheimer’s out of a ridiculously lucrative football contract, and then tore his ACL and sat out most all of last year. The stupid movie Rudy could only wish his life went so well.
FORMER TROJAN: RB Justin Fargas, always headed head first towards a concussion.
VIRGINIA BOY: LB Isaiah Ekejiuba is a UVA product, and just got paid motherfucker, simply because of his special teams play.
WILD SAMOAN: Starting offensive lineman Samson Satele is a young brutarian. He’s also another Rainbow Warrior from Hawaii, making the Samoan Pride Scoreboard: Hawaii - 3, Auburn - 1, Penn State - 1.
THE ICKY: There’s nothing hilarious or wacky linguistically about the name Johnnie Lee Higgins, but it sounds great and conjures up images of juke joints and people getting stabbed with rebar behind cinderblock buildings because one dude danced too close to another dude’s big assed ol’ lady. Thinking about things like that makes me happy. Stupid fucking Wal-Mart, ruining everything good.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: CB Stanford Routt’s forefathers controlled the labor at the Oakland Long Wharf, eventually owning a sizeable chunk of the Transcontinental Railroad, ended up buying parts of town on the cheap during the late 20th century, which it has parlayed into a nice profit selling back to white folks “gentrifying” Oakland, which means you take a ghetto place, squeeze the ghetto out but act like it’s still all ghetto-ey and multicultural so you can live vicariously through yourself until after about 10 years, everyone realizes there’s nothing but wine shops and organic delis and shit like that.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: They will really really suck again this year, but should be able to squeeze 3rd place out of the really really sucky AFC West.

PERTINENT DATA: 4-11-1 last year, 100 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: The highlight of Bengals history in my dilapidated brain will probably always be the Icky Shuffle, which christened their new Bengal striped jerseys as something to enjoy, unlike those ugly ass plain pre-striped jerseys. Of course, Cincinnati's done everything they could to make the Bengal stripes a heritage of shit as well, but still, the Icky Shuffle man. Chad Ochocinco's got nothing on Mr. Woods.
FRESH INJECTION: Oh man, so Roy Williams' depleted soul apt to get burned so often the past two years got run out of Dallas finally and lands in Cincinnati as a "key free agent acquisition". No wonder this team is so shitty.
DRUNKEN SOUL: When you watch the Bengals, inevitably their defense is on the field. The one thing that stands out is the crazy 325 pound monster with the crazy long hair coming out his helmet all Troy Polamalu style, but twice as large. That is Domata Peko.
TEAM ASS: I know it's contrarian and funny to be all like, "Chad Ochocinco's the best," but really, I am not bringing the 8-5 dislike from a he-tarnishes-the-game's-noble-image angle. I just think he's a twinkly-eyed black dude who overcompensates for being secretly gay by trying to do goofy things in the football game to get attention from people. It helps him postpone his inevitable coming out of the closet. You see, much like T.O., 8-5 is probably not very much liked in most locker rooms, except for from people he buys replica wrestling championship belts for because they play dominoes together. So, also like T.O., he shows his ass to bring the further silent ire from his teammates. This meshes well with his deeply hidden homosexual desires, not really towards teammates because the gays aren't monsters or anything, but in regular life. But he has to suppress it in his current work environment. So if he can sabotage that, and cause silent scorn towards himself, it helps him justify that all those other dudes are ignorant assholes, which is also why he can't be allowed to be open gay. Hopefully, after another couple years of underperforming on his incredible self-hype, 8-5 can leave the NFL behind and find true happiness in a mutually satisfying homosexual relationship somewhere. I hope he has invested his money well. They could probably adopt a Russian kid together.
TRENDSETTER: This team pretty much sits in Carson Palmer's hands. If he can keep upright, they could be middling, nowhere near the firepower on offense they had when they made the playoffs a couple years back. If he is bludgeoned into early submission again this year, which is probably likely, they will continue to bludgeon up the game of football on Sunday afternoons.
TEAM ELDER: Long snapper, deep reserve tight end Brad St. Louis has been with the Bengals since getting drafted in the 7th round in 2000. They've only lost 85 games in that time.
THE RUDY: Back-up RB James Johnson signed on last year as an undrafted rookie, made the practice squad, and actually got upgraded and played in the final four games of the season.
FORMER TROJAN: Well, besides Carson Palmer, there is heralded rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga, who is supposed to be a super destroyer, but fell to the second round of the NFL draft for some reason.
VIRGINIA BOY: I root for my home state without prejudice in the college football, but my allegiance to either UVA or Virginia Tech wavers, depending on how fucking annoying Charlottesville people are to me. Today, I didn't leave the house because it was too fucking hot outside, so I shun former Virginia Tech kicker Shayne Graham in favor of perennial back-up linebacker/defensive end Darryl Blackstock, who has a thriving NFL career as someone who can fit well with the 3/4 defense that has become the new vogue-ish rogue-ish bone.
WILD SAMOAN: You would think after having used Pekato and Maualuga already, it'd be hard to find bonafide Samoan Warriors on this roster. Not true holmes, as Cincy's got the mad influx of former Boo-Yaa Tribe members. I will honor rookie fullback Fui Vakapuna, because that's a solid position that pays well if you're good at it, doesn't get a lot of attention, but if you can block through motherfuckers, power run in short yard situations, and maybe catch a dump-off pass or two, you can bank a fat stake out of the NFL. He played at Brigham Young too, making the Samoan Pride Scorecard now read: Hawaii - 3, Auburn - 1, Brigham Young - 1, Penn State - 1.
THE ICKY: Defensive end Frostee Rucker sounds like the type of guy that knows where to get a good barbecue sandwich, although I'm not sure on the local barbecue customs of south Ohio, which can sometimes lead to lengthy arguments between know-it-all white fuckers inside the internet about stupid shit they probably don't even really know about anyways. But I guess that's really the point of the internet anyways, isn't it?
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Back-up QB J.T. O'Sullivan's family may have helped shape this Queen of the West city along the Ohio River all the way back when it was still known as Losantiville.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: I foresee a year better than last year, but still not so great (sub-.500), and a solid 3rd place finish in the AFC North, behind

PERTINENT DATA: 2-14 last year, 150 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: I always thought the simple yellow and blue was a pretty pimp color combo, especially with the curly ram horn helmets. But right after they won the Super Bowl, they switched it up to those ugly ass gold and darker blue deals, all caught up in their own GREATEST SHOW ON TURF hype, which of course got derailed by Tom Brady's rising star and Kurt Warner's crucified son of god. That gold shit really is ugly as fuck, but unfortunately NFL uniforms are moving further and further towards soccerfag style trash with cybertronic doodads instead of nice simple primary colors.
FRESH INJECTION: Center Jason Brown is supposed to be a younger, awesome stalwart of the offensive line to help replace Orlando Pace's leadership in the trenches. But I have to say if you're biggest addition to a 2-14 team is a new center, well, there's not much to say.
DRUNKEN SOUL: It seems too easy to say Leonard Little as a joke. Steven Jackson is one of the best players mired in shit right now. Really, him and Calvin Johnson should start a support network with each other. The little bit of the Rams I saw last season before Jackson was banged up, it was almost sad to see him outperform and eventually get gang-raped by the entire defense, which kept him all sorts of fucked up. Perhaps Kurt Warner wasn't lying and there is some sort of God and he will smile benevolently upon Steven Jackson's health this year, and dude can see some jerseys at NFL Shop.
TEAM ASS: Again, it is too easy to pick Little, being he killed a lady while drunk driving. I got stuck behind a drunk driver in a truck last night with my three kids in my truck and it pissed me off, mostly because the dude pulled out a side road in front of me to where I had to slow down and shit. Then I noticed him swerving pretty badly, but the road he came out of was a road this dude who used to date my aunt and is the father of two of my cousins lives at the end of, so I was worried it might be his brother who lives a couple roads over. Well, the swerving truck didn't turn the way to that dude's house, in fact, leading me on my way home, so I figured now that we were on a back road, I'd get right on his ass real close to scare him and maybe he'll wreck, fucking drunk ass bitch. It was funny, every now and then he'd speed up ridiculously fast, getting a good quarter mile ahead of me, then he'd catch the paranoias or be cleaning up a beer he spilled or something, and I'd be right back on his ass. I have a lot of pent-up aggression lately, so I told myself if he turns onto my road, I'm gonna follow him home and fight him, just because that's how my mind works. Drunk driver, my kids in truck, unnecessary anger, let me fight. But he went straight when I turned left, and surprisingly he didn't wreck when he was flying like 65 mph through the curves heading down to the creek on Antioch Road. So yeah, I'm not gonna pick Leonard Little and instead will say rookie LB James Laurinaitis, because he is the son of a Road Warrior, but just looks like a douchey white dude.
TRENDSETTER: Steve Spagnuolo is a funny-looking alleged defensive mastermind, which means he's basically the 2009 version of Buddy Ryan. I don't see Spags doing anything awesome like punching other coaches on the sidelines or starting headhunting bonuses for rival team's star players, so I guess the Rams success will depend on how well Spagnuolo can instill a fortitude into a team that has looked like it just doesn't give a fuck half the time the past couple years.
TEAM ELDER: Leonard Little, defensive end, 3rd round draft pick in 1998.
THE RUDY: Back-up LB Quinton Culberson came in undrafted in 2007 out of Mississippi State, made the team through special teams play, and got a few shots to become a starter last year and make that last big Rudy-like jump, but there's a reason some of these guys are Rudys.
FORMER TROJAN: The Rams have no former Trojans on their roster, which is probably another reason they suck. Their back-up TE Daniel Fells played at Cal-Davis though, which has a prominent small college football history.
VIRGINIA BOY: Defensive end Chris Long was a monster in college and will eventually be the same in the NFL. He's the most dominating player I've ever seen play at UVA, actually winning games for the team as a DE. Every now and then I see his pops picking through the fruit at Harris Teeter on Emmett Street too.
WILD SAMOAN: Damn, they don't have no damned Samoans either. In lieu of actual Polynesian pride, let's go with safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, who sounds like he is probably from some other sort of country where we dump our lead-laden electronics trash at. No offense to foreign people with names that are outside my frame of reference, but that's the reality - America dumps shit in places where people have funny names to us. We suck. You should all join together and murder us, before we regroup from this most recent financial calamity and force our way upon you all again.
THE ICKY: Guard Richie Incognito has one of the greatest names in today's NFL. Sounds like he could be a shitty independent rapper or a character on The Sopranos, most likely as part of Ralphie's crew.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Back-up QB Brock Berlin's ancestors capitalized on a thriving river trade back when England took everything east of the Mississippi as laid out in the Treaty of Paris in 1769, so all the Frenchies jumped across the river, only to have the French sell the area to Thomas Jefferson in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: They will still not be very good, but I think an offense re-energized by a new coaching regime, and a defense that has shown flickers of fuck-you-uptitude, will allow them to at least move up to 3rd in the mucky NFC West.

PERTINENT DATA: Infamously 0-16 last year, 200 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl.
PERSONAL PERSONIFICATION: They will always be the franchise equivalent to former coach Wayne Fontes - loveable, a funny assed dude, but even at their stars-aligned very best, they're barely better than average. I will always love the Lions though, I guess because I root for underdogs and that's basically been them my entire life.
FRESH INJECTION: Pro Bowl LB Julian Peterson returns to Michigan (he played college ball at Michigan State) to give a shitty defense a shot in the ass. Actually, they have a halfway decent corps of veteran linebackers all of a sudden, until one of them goes missing on a fishing boat or overdoses or tears his arm off in training camp.
DRUNKEN SOUL: Poor Calvin Johnson, probably the best WR in the league, mired in nothingness. I don't do much with the fantasy football, because it's a time suck, but last year the Yahoo league I was in, they had their ratings all wonky. Like Calvin Johnson was like 130th or some shit like that. So basically I just moved a bunch of dudes like that up to the mid-30s in rank, so that my early picks would be the normal bullshit, but I ended up getting a good slew of dudes who were undervalued. Actually, mostly I had a shitty team, but Calvin Johnson was really good, and he always will be. I feel bad because I'm old school in that I'd like for a guy to stay with a team and they improve eventually. But will the Lions actually ever get better? I'd hate to see a dude like Calvin Johnson spend his whole career doing nothing of note outside of individual accolades. Although it would be pretty funny if he did, and then the Lions would have the history of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, two of the all-time greats at their respective positions, who couldn't overcome the shit ass stank of the Ford family that owns them. (Insert Calvin pissing on Ford logo sticker here. Or one of a dude in a Calvin Halloween costume pissing on Jeff Gordon's wife.)
TEAM ASS: Defensive back Anthony Henry was part of Dallas' offseason scapegoating process. And with Phillip Buchanon new to Detroit too, lining up on the other side of the field at CB, it ushers in the Lions' new defensive backfield mantra of We Were Great Five Years Ago.
TRENDSETTER: Matthew Stafford will not be this year's Matt Ryan, but it's also not really up to him. After a lengthy, unexplainable tenure turning this team to complete shit like Matt Millen had, the future of this franchise is most definitely in new GM Martin Mayhew's hands. Shit, they went 0-16. He can't even think playoffs; he's got to think 8-8 consistency in five years time, and then think of moving beyond that. It's like taking over an expansion team.
TEAM ELDER: Kicker Jason Hanson has been with the Lions since getting drafted in 1992. By this point, I'm sure he's numb to everything and takes it out on the football with his foot, which has enabled him to remain successful at his frou-frou position.
THE RUDY: An undrafted free agent from Carroll College in 2003, Casey Fitzsimmons cracked the roster and now is an NFL whiteboy who takes on that straight-up throwback blue collar role of tight end slash fullback.
FORMER TROJAN: Platoon wide receiver Keary Colbert played at USC a while back. Lolol at Mike Williams, one of 17 first round wide receivers Matt Millen attempted to save this team with.
VIRGINIA BOY: No actual collegiate players from Virginia, so I go even further back to high school, when WR Ronald Curry was the Virginia state high school player of the year (he was a quarterback back then) and shunned the state schools to go play for North Carolina, because they'd let him play football and basketball.
WILD SAMOAN: The Lions have a handful of proud Polynesian men on their offensive and defensive lines, but none are more noticeable than starting center Dominic Raiola. He played at Nebraska, who also seem to have a healthy Samoan contingent in their recent history. Samoan Pride Scorecard: Hawaii - 3, Auburn - 1, Brigham Young - 1, Nebraska - 1, Penn State - 1, Stanford - 1 (that's where the Atogwe kid played at).
THE ICKY: Well, he's only a back-up kicker invited to training camp to give Jason Hanson someone to play backgammon with, but Swayze Waters is a great fucking name. Plus, when he gets cut, he can pack his bags, head to the door, snap his fingers and say, "I'm Swayze" and walk out the building with pride knowing he wasn't even good enough to play with the remnants of the shittiest team in NFL history.
INDUSTRIAL OVERLORD: Daunte Culpepper sounds as if he may have broken up unions to keep labor costs down as his start-up car company in the '30s took valuable market share from the Ford family since Henry Ford refused to offer any sort of extras to the car-crazy public back then. You could get it in black, or black. Really, the more you read about Henry Ford, the more of a trifling, stubborn asshole he comes across as, which makes it far less shocking that the Ford family kept Matt Millen around for so long.
CRYSTAL METH BALL: They won't repeat with a goose egg in the win column, probably winning a few games this year, but they'll still be last place in the NFC North, and mostly irrelevant unless you're some sort of closeted nerd who does 39 mock drafts between Thanksgiving and next April.