Category Archives: A tomboy moment

Your memory banks have forgotten this funk.

Dave the Cobra

If this isn’t the best MLB/Parliament/Jimmy Buffett collab post you’ve seen today, please keep it to yourself and let me keep up the charade. Don’t hurt my feelings.

Citizens of the universe, recording angels, I have returned to claim the pyramids and also to remind you that Dave “The Cobra” Parker fucking ruled and I absolutely HAD to do a tribute post. (T-shirt courtesy of Homage – thanks, guys!; glide in my stride and dip in my hip courtesy of genetics – thanks, Mom and Dad!)

I have zero allegiance to the Pittsburgh baseball Pirates, but I know the importance of names like Stargell, Clemente, and McCutchen, and I damn sure know the importance of Dave and his shirt of interplanetary galactic radness made possible by the combined efforts of the cotton industry, the really pure coke of ’70s northeast America, and George Stanley Clinton, jr. I just watched the 30 for 30 about the ’89 World Series, during which I realized that Rickey Henderson isn’t the only Athletic I adore – Dave was also on that squad that swept SF, prompting me to remember the existence of this picture and then do a tribute to him.

[I didn’t have a Pirates uni to put behind me like Dave in his picture, but the A1A album by Jimmy Buffett will do, as it contains “A Pirate Looks at Forty” (the song that made me realize Buffett can write a great song and is more than just “the ‘Margaritaville’ guy who sometimes gets thrown out of Heat games”)].

 

Following the Joy of Witnessing USC Snatch Stanford’s Soul Out its Chest on a Forced Fumble, Los Angeles Woman Attempts to Organize Konfusion, Contemplates Suicide

IMG_5760HAVING A GREAT TIME, GUYS.

Murs and 9th Wonder, The Final Adventure (Jamla, 2012)

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My adorable niece and I hold dual citizenship in California and the Raider Nation.

 

 

Bye bye, hoops

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Good fucking riddance: Joey Crawford, Pitbull, the word “framily,” Toyota commercials that have managed to make me hate the Muppets (!), Mark Jackson and JVG’s cornball love affair, Dwight Howard’s big dumb face, Klay Thompson’s big dumb face, having to type “Klay” spelled that way, amateur psychoanalysis of Roy Hibbert, people defending poor Don Sterling (LOLOLLLLLL), Deron Williams’ disturbing hair, the nickname “the Servant,” and LeBron Raymone James. NOW LET’S GO TO WORK, KHALIL MACK.

 

Guys let’s all live together until the 12th of never because it’s FANTASY FOOTBALL TIME!

Earth, Wind & Fire, All 'n All. Columbia, 1977.

Earth, Wind & Fire, All ‘n All. Columbia, 1977.

At the 1979 Grammys, in a glorious and fair moment in musical history, Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” was crowned Best R&B Song. It’s easy to support this decision based on appreciation of rhythmic structure and our communal love of Giorgio Moroder, but it must’ve been a difficult decision to make when you consider the category also included Earth Wind & Fire’s “Fantasy.” You had Maurice and Verdine White v. Jabara and Moroder; can you imagine trying to pick one over the other? EWF’s tempo changes and my god those HORNS vs. Donna’s tempo changes and, my lord, those STRINGS? In an embarrassment of dance-funk, the O’Jays, Chic, and a Taste of Honey were the other terrific-song losers that year, and I don’t envy the NARAS voters for having to choose among them. When they’re all great, there’s no wrong decision – just pick the one you’re feeling the most in that particular moment and fill in the little black circle on the ballot (or open Yahoo! Fantasy Football app on your phone and start tapping, as the case may be).

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This year’s theme song for America’s Most Punted had to be powerful and pretty (just like its owner, hey-oooo). It also needed to have motivational lyrical content and Illuminati-ish album cover graphics to appeal to all the young guys on the team who listen to ASAP in the weight room. And it needed to be sung by a musical group consisting of 57 members – enough to comprise 3 or 4 football teams. “Fantasy” delivered on all accounts.

As manager and owner, I needed players who were tough and consistent and highly valued for their playmaking abilities. The problem with Pretend Football isn’t that there aren’t enough good players; it’s How do I decide who to pick because there are so many good players. Yahoo! makes drafting easy/hard by offering all the elite players up and torturing us with the freedom to choose. I get dizzy every year. So like always, I just picked the ones I was feeling in a particular moment – and all n’ all (HEH), I did a fine job. I look forward to embarrassing all other teams in my league and coasting on a victory high that will last a good half hour.

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Not pictured: Tyroil Smoochie-Wallace on waivers.

 

QB:

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Aaron “Nile” Rodgers, GB. Behold my puppydog wet-behind-the-ears rookie pulled up from the farm team to finally be given a shot this year. There are questions about this guy’s accuracy and toughness, so we’ll see if he can keep his spot as starter, but I have a soft spot for him because he looks like Max Kellerman. I love Max Kellerman.

Backup:

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Michael “Chill, Dogs” Vick, PHI. According to the stupid Facebook button that Yahoo! Fantasy includes next to every player’s name, Vick (zero Super Bowl appearances, antichrist) is 2 thousand Likes ahead of Rodgers (Super Bowl champ, pretty likeable on those State Farm commercials). Vick’s bound to feel that fan support when he takes to the field and I don’t see how this could be anything but beneficial for his ability to make plays. Plus if Chip Kelly keeps that same flexible coaching style that he had at Oregon and tailors his offense to suit the starting QB, Vick’s quads and fingers and brain might just be the skilled combination package that takes Rodgers out of the starting spot on my team. Bow wow wow yippee yo yippee yay!

WR:

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The return of Dez “Dickerson” Bryant (DAL)! Despite the insistence of our childhood ears whenever Purple Rain came on TV, we all know by now that it’s not “mountaineer,” it’s “modernaire.” Still, the fact remains I want Dez to strap on some appropriate equipment and hike his way up Touchdown Mountain so that I can win this year. I mean, he can do his mountaineering in a modern way, but the focus should be on getting my points up.

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Demaryius “Timmy” Thomas, DEN: “Oh fuck,” I said 3 search-results in for this dude when I saw the words “accused,” “drugging,” “raping,” and “woman” next to his name. Can’t I fake-draft an amazing athlete for my fake team, I said to the walls of apt. 680, without having some hideous real-world BS getting involved? It’s called FANTASY for a reason, universe! No raping or dog fighting allowed here, yay! There are no suicides! No spousal assaults! During lunch, the team sits and eats all together in the break room! Is this too much to ask for? Everybody wants to live together so goddammit WHY can’t we live together? Thank god, after further reading, it turns out Demaryius didn’t take part in an assault, and the charges got dropped. However, the charge of “hanging out with raping assholes” will remain on his record for the next 5-7 years. It’s not like he was ever in danger of losing his job – LOL, the NFL doesn’t care if you beat up ladies, dummy – but as an owner I can still hope that his brush with the law scared him into being a boring Boy Scout off the field and focusing on making big catches on the field. PS, Demaryius is supposed to be Manning’s primary target so I don’t need any bigshots rolling into town to try to get all the touches. Wes Welker, stay in your lane.

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Mike “Christopher” Wallace, MIA: Biggie never mentioned wanting to be a football star because he had other skills to put him in a higher tax bracket. Plus he probably got easily winded. I can’t imagine he’d be any good at sports. His fantasy – his dream, even – was to become a famous musician everyone loved. And since Mike was 8 when “Juicy” came out and must’ve grown up hearing it in the car during Old School Lunch Hour, Biggie’s message of making it to the top and staying there has no doubt invaded his soul. Music really is powerful, you see, but distribution deals and MTV Spring Break appearances don’t win games. Get out of the back of that limo and strap on your equipment, Mike. Let EWF’s message of peace of mind and voices ringing together (as onnnnnnnnne) motivate you to propel yourself downfield in a quick manner – perhaps toward an end zone of some sort, who knows. “Every thought is a dream,” sings Phil, “rushing by in a stream, past the 80 yard line, the 70, the 60, the 50, the 40, he. could. go. all. the. way., like Mike Wallace’s legs after he catches a sweet, sweet pass.”

Backup:

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Malcolm “King” Floyd, SD: Groove me, baby! When my mom was working at a restaurant to put herself through college, she had the great misfortune of serving Alex Spanos coffee (he was a total dick to her; I’ll tell you the story sometime). I also grew up as a Raider fan, and I don’t agree with the concept of forcing sea animals to jump over obstacles for human amusement. All of this means that I hate San Diego no matter what. Still, I’d let Bob Filner stick his tongue in my ear if Floyd helps me win my league this year, because I want to win no matter what.

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Kenbrell “and the Dells” Thompkins, NE. No, Mr. Thompkins does not have some sort of skin disorder that turns him gray and makes all his face parts disappear. What you see is the actual official photo for him provided by the league to a multibillion-dollar Fantasy Football website. (The NFL is too busy fighting lawsuits and explaining the rules of football to special-needs kindergarteners women to bother taking a simple fucking picture of one of their esteemed employees). I don’t require a face as long as you can play, but the thing is that nobody’s really sure at this point if Thompkins can play. When I consider that this guy was 1) undrafted and is 2) a rookie, he might be a bust, yes – but when I consider that he is 3) fast and physical and therefore a 4) likely frequent target for Brady, he could just as easily be my sleeper pick of the year. Should that happen, I will announce SURPRISE, MOTHERFUCKERS and my victories will be sugary sweet. If he does well, that’s great, I win, drinks on me. If he doesn’t, well damn, I’m happy for him anyway since at least he’ll never feel the shame of being on the same team with the big goofball Caucasoid Jesus freak everybody swears is better than he seems and would we all give him a chance, please. Tebow is the NFL’s Mac Miller.

 

RB:

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Lamar “Percy” Miller, MIA. People named Lamar tend to be overrated and have weird voices that I cannot stand. This particular person named Lamar will be splitting points with teammate Mike Wallace, so I’ll probably be mad at myself in a few weeks when that exact thing starts happening – but for now let’s just focus on the feel-good aspect of this pick: he’s young, hungry, and loyal (grew up in Miami, went to the U, and now plays for the Dolphins. I love that). And on his Twitter bio, Miller chose to include Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” which I’m pretty sure is a reference to Mike Sherman’s fantastic pre-game speeches that give Lamar a big confidence boost.

 

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Reggie “Flat Zombie” Bush, DET. AHAHAHA, Lions PR team listing Reg at 6’0″! Good one, guys! Reggie Bush is a solid 5’9½” and everyone in Los Angeles knows it deep down to our core, just like we know Vanessa Bryant is an asshole but then you would be too if you were married to a giant robot, “I Love LA” is absolutely not ironic even though Randy Newman insists otherwise, and when you go to the Grove you can use the Ross parking lot across the street for free as long as you don’t make a big deal about it and announce it to everybody. Anyway, Reggie will freeze in Michigan but he is a truly unlikeable little man so that’s OK – I live in a city of penis riders where Reggie once helped our local university win a lot of games, and still. Not even LA likes him. Thank God I don’t have to like somebody to enjoy his product (the Kanye Factor), so I’m keeping him based on my childish hope that he’ll do an on-field impression of himself as a junior at USC. (Stafford’s known for being a frequent thrower but maybe this is the year that Calvin Johnson returns to mortal status and makes the Lions to switch to more of a run offense.)

Backup:

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Ryan Mathews, SD. This is the Year of the Running Back, according to every Fantasy site, but only if you get one of the 5 or 6 elite ones in the league at the moment – all other RBs are garbage (no offense, Ryan!). He gets the pity vote for having been born in Riverside and raised in Tehachapi. Show me whatcha got, Ry.

 

TE:

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Kyle “Abstract” Rudolph, MIN. If I were to ask you or my mom or the mailman what a Vikings tight end looks like, you’d describe Kyle Rudolph down to the haircut and almost-invisible blond eyebrows. He’s got a raised Dodge pickup and he loves Macklemore, minus the gay stuff. He’s from Ohio and went to Notre Dame, which he loved minus the Catholic stuff. He’s every 23-year-old I see at CVS, just a big ol goofball who loves 2 Chainz and Breaking Bad and tries not to look at my breasts when I’m in front of him in line. I read that description back to myself and it sounds like I’m criticizing. I’m not criticizing! He looks like Landry from Friday Night Lights, and big goofy white guys tend to make great tight ends, so he should feel free to just go head with his 6-pack of Natty Ice and brand new copy of GTA V, as long as he gets me some points.

Backup:

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Rob “Girl I’ll” Housler “You,” ARI. Um, who? Yahoo says he’s from El Paso – a city with which I associate salsa and Marty Robbins, two things that are pretty neat. Welcome to the team, Rob!

 

K:

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Matt Prater, DEN. Prater? I hardly know her ahahahahah now that that’s out of the way: “Manning to Thomas equals 6 points then we’re bringing in Prater for the point after” is like 75% of my offensive scheme for the 2013 season. My playbook is one sentence long.

 

Defense:

Arizona. One of the Fantasy analysts I read called Arizona’s D “sneaky good.” And they have Darnell Dockett, which is really fun to say.

Bakckup:

San Diego! Choosing to ignore the disgusting fact they have a player named Drake, I picked them because they have two hungry young DEs in Liuget and Reyes plus a linebacker named Terrell Manning. Terrell + Manning! How could he not be great at football?

 

 

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Football Team)!

What’s that, Steve Winwood?

You want me to talk about how your Caucasian-psych-swirly-bass band reminded me to do Fantasy Football again this year? WELL OK THEN.

Jimmy Miller, production god who never really got his propers, made some real walking-down-the-street bangers. “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin” immediately comes to mind, a shining example of pure hot-weather-in-a-sundress magic. That song’s 41 years old and still sexual as all hell (especially those first 45 seconds, mmm).  “Gimme Shelter,” with the way it builds and builds? I’M SWEATIN. Be a lamb and put an ice cube down my back, would you.

When fall comes along, his stuff is employed for colder-weather activities – “Tumblin’ Dice” for walking down the street in jeans (“cold-weather activity” in my city means doing the same thing as during summer, except in jeans because it’s 5 degrees cooler.) Mick’s platform in the song is that women are terrible and sexy and not to be trusted, and playing into that is rather fun, so what better way to be a jezebel than to paint on some stretchy denim that shows off your lady-shape. “Gimme Some Lovin,” a personal favorite because of the holy trifecta of kick drum, tambourine, and copious church-y HEY!s like a pre-pre-pre-cursor to “Power,” is perfect to have on when it’s a frigid 65 degrees out and I’m making some baked chicken. You should see my kitchen moves, guys. I shake it like a combination of the girls in that 2 Chainz video and 2 Chainz.

Mr. Fantasy isn’t in the same category. It’s dreamy and filled with sitars and tambura, too dreamy and slow for a walk. It’s got that classic Miller style, though – driving bass, vocal build-ups and cascades, loud, clear drum punches. “Being a drummer,” he said, “I was very rhythm minded.” Being a Fantasy Football manager for the 2012-13 season, I too am rhythm minded. Everything must flow. The guys on the squad don’t have to be best friends, but they have to respect each other as men and support each other to get the job done. (I know how to wrangle some big personalities, just like Miller had to. He worked with The Rolling Stones, you see). My guys execute driving routes, clear punches; tight and right, balanced, nothing sloppy. The pieces of my offense all fit and complement each other, a powerful machine that runs on VitaCoco and maybe a little HGH. I was rifling through my records and came across Mr. Fantasy; a couple hours later, I had my team for this season, drafted and ready. I’m giving Jimmy Miller co-manager credit this year.

The rules were the same this year as every other: 1. do minimal research on who’s really hot – meaning projected to possibly be hot, provided everyone’s knees and psyches hold up – for the 2012 season. Check Rotoworld and CBS Fantasy ONLY, in other words – not Rotoworld, CBS Fantasy, SBNation, FantasySharks, “Fantasy” by Guy, The xx, and Earth Wind & Fire, or Final Fantasy 4, big big shout to Danny Brown and DeShay that I should just get out of the way right at the beginning of the post. 2. GET RODGERS; failing that, GET STAFFORD. 3. Draft no Raiders, as I cannot have my real life allegiances and my Fantasy allegiances getting crisscrossed and tied into knots. Drafting dudes from the RVIDXR KLVN, however, is acceptable.

Fall is the finest of all the seasons. My apologies for being truly unpleasant to be around between now and December, but LEH’, as my 17-year-old cousin Kevin and all his lame friends said circa summer/fall 2011, GO:

Starting QB:

Nickname(s): None to my knowledge, but I like thinking about dudes walking around Michigan with STAF written above the dark blue oval of the Ford logo on their shirts. IT’S DETROIT; they definitely do this.

Pros: 63% completion last year. Poised and in control at all times, much like myself. Thinking of him gets me all revved up to yell “KITTY PRIDE” at the TV 2-3 times this season after a really big Lions play.

Cons: The Goonies was on the other night. Stafford looks like Chunk from The Goonies, mixed with a little Temple Grandin.

Do-Gooder Twitter Score (1 – 10 scale): 6. Lots of support for the Wounded Warriors Project, but this is offset by boring self-promo (“Check out my exclusive video with SWAG, a new digital magazine”). The rest of his feed is all Republican-sounding notes on golfing with dad, NASCAR, and the on-the-couch-with-a-bag-of-Doritos-NFL-fan-favorite “leading a healthy lifestyle.” Then he demands to see Obama’s birth certificate and lays out his plan to keep troops in Afghanistan for the next 200 years.

Backup QB:

Nickname: “Pretty Flacco.” Drafted because it was the 12th round and neither Ryan Leaf nor Tim Tebow were looking appealing. Plus I’m always on the prowl for a big goofy white guy to recruit for QB, as they all seem to be great at throwing a football with speed and accuracy. (Ryan Lochte!, I’ve got my eye on you, buddy.)

Flacco’s ability to throw the ball with accuracy lessens every year; honestly, his appeal as a player is purely emotional for me, because of his rad name, his do-gooder qualities (see below), and the fact that his team’s been in the news alongside the name of THE GOD Chris Kluwe, soldier for equality. Flacco will do for now. I’m just biding my time until Andrew Luck has one awful week and someone in my league drops him because nobody has loyalty.

Do-Gooder Twitter Score: 9. Being a dad, Joe says, is amazing. He also pushes the Special Olympics and something called Boys Hope Girls Hope Baltimore. Get ‘em, Joe.

Starting WRs:

Nicknames: Dez “Dickerson” Bryant; “Trouble Man*,” “The Modernaire.”

*Invoking the Toddler Clause in his contract, Jerry Jones has decided that, just like my 2-year-old niece, Bryant cannot stay out too late or drink anything bad for him. Dez Bryant is 24 years old. 

Desmond had his barrow in the marketplace, and by “barrow” I mean “bands” and by “marketplace” I mean “Magic City.” I fail to see what any of this has to do with him catching a ball and running while avoiding defenders, but the impact Dez’s off-season behavior has on his teammates is just the latest in a whole mess of things that Jerry Jones and I don’t see eye to eye about.

“Pacman Jones might be a rich man today,” a Deadspin commenter noted re: athletes needing to be treated like children, “if there was someone hanging around him all the time trying to keep him out of trouble.” Ridiculous. Incorrect. In the immortal words of Nathan Arizona, “And if a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass a-hoppin’.” Listen, the physical feats of human males are completely separable from their psychological workings and their feelings about their mothers and whether they like their strippers with tattoos or without. Dez Bryant is a grown-up, as was Pacman Jones when he was a part of the esteemed Cowboys organization. The plot of Get Him to the Greek as a real-life scenario with a professional athlete in the Russell Brand role is just not meant to be, guys.

Pros: Pimp C being a Cowboys fan decreases some of the symptoms of acid reflux in my trachea due to my searing IRL hatred of the Cowboys. It’s kind of cool that Dez is now an NFL Cowboy after being a Cowboy at Oklahoma State, which reminds me: that Mike Gundy video never gets old!

Cons: Psychological trauma from an elderly man making him kiss the ring will mess with his head on game days. Tendinitis. (Really though, who in the NFL doesn’t have tendinitis.)
Twitter do-gooder score: 4. Mostly he just talks about beating his bros in Madden and tweets Bible verses. Love the bio/location up top, though: the lovely and understated “Cowboys Stadium.”

Decker? I hardly know her! Now that that’s out of the way:

Drafted on the strength of his head-to-neck-thickness ratio and the fact that he will be catching balls thrown by Peyton W. Manning (goofy white guy!). Decker went to Minnesota, just like Manning’s beloved Tony Dungy. The fuzzy feelings this stirs up in Manning due to this association will no doubt make Decker a favorite target. I mean, I already have fuzzy feelings about all things Minnesotan due to Prince connotations.  

Nickname(s): None so far, but if he starts to do real well I’m prepared to introduce the name “Eric Wrecker” to the world.

Pros: Tall, lanky Good route runner Manning.

Cons: CORNBALL. He and Demaryius Thomas “have been trying to get the nickname ‘Salt & Pepper’ to stick since 2010 when they were rookie roommates.”  Is a Bronco. This is inherently offensive to me, because RAIDERS ALL DAY AND SOME OF THE NIGHT AS WELL; the Chiefs, Chargers, and especially those fucking Broncos can all go to HELL (a Drake concert in Mitt Romney’s backyard) but that doesn’t mean I can’t use them to get points in Fantasy. I want their players to fail; I want their players to kill it. On Sundays, therefore, catch me at the bar/on my couch in apt. 680/on Mom’s couch, practicing some meannnnn cognitive dissonance.

Do-gooder Twitter score: 6. His shoutout to a kid with cancer is offset by relentless pushing of the VitaCoco brand, thanking a dude who said, “Just took you in my Fantasy draft,” and saying, “LEZZZZZGO” in response to somebody yelling for the Golden Gophers to start the season off right. 

Nickname(s): Moore Rhymin’? I don’t know. I tossed around “Faith No Moore” for a hot sec but then I realized it’s a negative phrase. I don’t need any of that on the field.
Pros: Plays for the RAIDAHS, the greatest team in professional sports according to my dad, Bishop’s chest, every Los Angeles MC in 1985, and the ghost of Al Davis. Elicits mega underdog soft girly feelings in my hearthe’s from Tatum, Texas, where the backyards are filled with flowers, the median household income is less than $30,000/year, and people are fond of voting against their own self-interests based on the fact that this guy is their representative in Congress. I will obviously be pulling for Denarius Moore with some fiery enthusiasm this season.
Cons: Plays for the RAIDAHS, a terrible omen. I broke my rule about drafting no members of the team I like in my actual life, but because it’s the Raiders, he’ll probably rupture or tear something in his soft parts and then spend the rest of the season tweeting about it (“Coming back strong! Trainer says I’m recovering so fast it’s a miracle!”). Every time I picture him while rearranging my roster in my head, he’s got a raincloud over his head like Schleprock and his leg in a jacuzzi full of ice. Al’s gone, though, so maybe the dark days are over? Maybe the coaches will be allowed to coach? Greg Knapp, let’s get it.
Twitter Do-Gooder Score: 3. He’s got the occasional shout to a kid with cancer, but his feed is identical to your cousin’s at Arizona State whose current favorite song is that Tyga joint. “What’s up kinfolk,” “Whad up,” “dm me your gamer tag,” “preciate it brah,” and the especially powerful “2 chainz!”

Backup WRs:

Nickname: Titus Andronicus. “Young Titus” is pretty good, though.
Drafted because I saw that aw, he just had a baby! and we ladies have all kinds of chemicals running through us that make us draft guys to our Fantasy team if we can picture them holding a newborn. He’s also Poised for a Breakout Season, says the completely impartial DetroitLions.com, and it’s rad that he went to Uni High, yet another thing he has in common with Darby Crash and Kim Gordon. 
Pro:  Not Greg Little, whom I almost took. Unless of course Greg Little develops some kind of magical symmetry with QB Brandon Weeden (big goofy white guy!), which will turn “not selecting Greg Little” into a Con.
Cons: Not Calvin Johnson. Not Nate Burleson. Comes in at 5’11″, according to the Lions’ PR team. So, he’s 5’9¾”. I will probably drop him for Nate Washington, at which point Titus will have a string of 2-touchdown, 100-yard games because the gods don’t want me to be happy.
Twitter Do-Gooder Score: N/A. He appears to have an account, but it’s unverified.
Nickname: Killer Mike? Pirate Mike? Pirate Mike!
Not USC’s Mike Williams, who, fun fact, is the proud possessor of the terribly appropriate middle name “Troy.” This Mike Williams will probably not be the flashiest guy on my roster, as he is competing with IRL teammate Vincent Jackson for receptions.
Pros: Will give me ample opportunity to share my “How much does a pirate pay for corn? A BUCK AN EAR” joke after too much Ciroc Vincent Jacskon can’t catch every single pass, right?
Cons: Double-talker, according to a quick scan of his Twitter feed: 

“I’m never cutting the beard!” – 07/15/12.  
“OK everybody I’m CUTTING THE BEARD!!!!” – 08/28/12.

Ha, I kid. This is just a pretend Con. I still need this confirmed, but I heard once that sometimes people say things that shouldn’t be taken literally (?). The beard saga was probably for preseason press, just to get his name out there and distract us from his fragile, glasslike body. Actual Con, however: his public back-and-forth with a grown lady who has chosen to call herself “Mulatto Mami.” 

Starting RBs:
Nickname(s): Stevie J, of course! Yall are ridin his bus!!
Pros: Quick legs and a bountiful head of hair. The longer the locks, the wiser the Rasta. Playing for new coach Jeff “Fischer,” who’s introduced the disgusting/sexy sounding “ground and pound” offense, according to Bleacher Report. I guess I’ll believe this, even though the site doesn’t know the correct spelling of Jeff Fisher. Alum of Oregon State, just like my beautiful mother who is contractually obligated to bring up “the radness of Houshmandzadeh during the ’08-’09 season” every September, getting all wistful when we’re in line at Target. 
Cons: Maybe assaulted his girlfriend a few years ago, allegedly? Various articles note that she was his pregnant girlfriend, which on the Lady Crime Ranking Scale is up there with “not being there when you said you would” and “hanging out with Benzino all the time.” His blog and Twitter feed are dull collections of inspirational cliches. “Desire, dedication & being 6’2″  & having genes that have made it easy for me to build muscle determination is what’s required to live a dream.”
Twitter Do-Gooder Score: 1. There’s of course a pic of him at a military base, but this was with several of his teammates and a camera crew, so I’m assuming terrible things about his motivation for showing up. I see zero pleas for helping fellow humans, unless of course you’ve entered the Rawlings Football Sweepstakes, an event in which Steven wishes you much good fortune. Mostly Steven wants you to know that Steven is ready for a great season and Steven Steven Steven. “Everyone please join me in telling my beautiful mother happy birthday!,” “It’s official my fighting weight .. Haha 234.8 LBS and 5.1% body fat.” I gave him 2 additional points for a kid-with-cancer tweet, then realized #cancers was referring to his son’s astrological sign and had to take ‘em back.
Nickname: None necessary; baddest name in the NFL. I just hope he’ll come out from behind his big desk in his office in downtown Gotham in time to take the field on Sundays this season. Should I decide one day that he needs a nickname, it will certainly not be the tired old “Frank the Tank” that everyone else is going with; I shall call him The Captain, for he inhabits that role on the 49ers. (He’s one of four total captains, but that doesn’t make him LESS of a captain, youfeelme, also yadadamean since we’re talking about the Bay here.)
Drafted because of his numbers, simple as that. He’s little, but he’s got the numbers. Physical stats in the NFL are just like those in modeling. The numbers get padded, because nobody cares enough to take the time to check. The NFL says Frank is 5’9″, which means Frank is 5’7½” like most jockeys and rappers. 
Pro: Same height as me!; i.e., destined for greatness. 
Con: Mentioned in a Wayne song, which means that multiple times this season I will throw a Dorito at Stuart Scott’s face on my TV when he’s doing postgame 49er highlights.
Twitter Do-Gooder Score: N/A. No Twitter.
Backup RB:
His nickname’s “The Engine,” he’s so young that he was born around the time Ice-T donned that floppy beanie to film scenes for New Jack City, and he’s yet another longhair on my squad. He’s also yet another guy with a hurt knee on my squad, causing much chair-gripping and teeth-gritting by this little lady while watching him run a sweep and get shoved out of bounds and fall and roll. I have a trick knee, too. 

Pros: 21 years old. His team’s awful but there’s nowhere to go but up. Trent has no Twitter account. He also plays in the city of Cleveland, where there’s nothing to do – which proves he has an active inner world and a healthy imagination and probably just goes to the gym and the bookstore during training camp, leading to increased strength and focus when he suits up. These are what we refer to as “intangibles” in the sports world.

Con: He might not be starting against Philly in the opener. I’m not a Fantasy expert but this seems like an inefficient way to get me points during Week 1.
Starting TE:
The Falcons aren’t playing any away games against New York teams this season, so my dream of chanting “T-O-N-Y invade NY, beef somethingsomething BEEF” will have to die. Anyway, I love to hate Tony. He’s durable and probably underrated so he might not get covered like, say, Gronkowski definitely will. But having this guy on my team is unpleasant because I have numerous memories of his receptions when he was on the Chiefs, playing against my beloved Raiders and then “dunking” the ball over the goalpost crossbar in a giant display of HEY I USED TO PLAY BASKETBALL, I’M 6’5″! What a goddamn showoff jerk. Fuck him. I mean, outside of him getting me Fantasy points.
Backup:
Nicknames: “Greg Nice”; And because he’s HUGE and spends a lot of time in Miami, “Blond 2 Chainz.”
Pros: Olsen is the very definition of my beautiful mother’s favorite thing in football, a “Big white tight end who doesn’t try to be too flashy.” That’s not racist because a white woman making a joke about white men of a certain physical type is not racist. I now have “Radiation Vibe” in my head (Greg’s from Wayne, NJ).

“So now it’s time to sayyyyy/WhatIforGOT to say, ba-byyyy, ba-by ba-byyyyy.” 
Hi there, 1996! Missed you!

Con: He’s not the Gronk. I really wanted the Gronk. 
Twitter Do-Gooder Score: 10. See but he sneaks up on you though. His feed itself is littered with birthday wishes and pics of his baby and gratitude toward fans; then you look up and under his avatar it says Founder of Receptions For Research Foundation (“established in 2009 to provide hospitals, doctors, and researchers the necessary resources to save those affected with various types of cancers”). Greg’s mom is a cancer survivor and he started the foundation in her honor and do you think Greg likes record dorks who make really good baked chicken? I know a gal who might be available. She needs a baller for the purposes of these but other than that her love don’t cost a thing.

Defense:
Chicago!
eXquire’s from New York but he swears there’s good somethingsomething in Chicago and I’m pretty sure it’s DEFENSE. The Bears need to defend better against the pass rush and have old dog Brian Urlacher only for the next 5 minutes before his knee gives out and his body crumples like a Jenga tower. But they’re still ranked high because of Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman, both of whom have the names of drill sergeants, and Julius Peppers, a towering hulk of a man whose name makes me hungry. Plus Devin Hester will be returning punts again this year, I think? Everybody pray he has a great season for me, please, as this will help me forget the pain of not getting Chicago’s Matt “Rappin” Forte on my offensive squad.
Pro: JULIUS PEPPERS – man of strength, gentleman, lover, friend, pass rusher, scholarship fairy godfather.
Cons: The Bears’ corners and safeties are TINY – 5’8″, 5’9″, 5’10″. Good look covering guys like the SIX FOOT FOUR A.J. Green, dummies. The mother of one of Lance Briggs’ children is named “Brittini.” This isn’t his fault but it’s still so terrible that it belongs on the Cons list. Lance Briggs no longer owns a sweeeeet Continental, affectionate hello to Danny Brown for the second time in the post; coincidentally, I no longer have any interest in DMing Lance Briggs naked pics of myself.

I apologize in advance once again for being truly insufferable for the next few months. Steve Winwood!: take me out.

Let the inappropriate emotional attachment to my fantasy football team begin!


Why yes, Hank Williams, jr. – I am ready for some football. SQUAD UP:

QB: Mark Sanchez, NY Jets
Pros: USC! Not Matt Leinart! Had pretty good numbers last season, and will maybe keep improving? Maybe? I’m also told that “with a few lucky bounces he could have a good (year),” which applies to me as well as every other human being in the universe. 
Con: He’s from Mission Viejo, and people from Orange County cannot be trusted. People from East Orange, however, can always be trusted (to provide the world with at least 1 life-is-wonderful heartrate-increasing soundtrack banger). 
Team’s best rap nods:  Aw, pumpkin! I’m so glad you asked!   
“JETLIFEJETLIFEJETLIFEJETLIFE, jet set/nothing less, jets fool, EAH, where haven’t we been, lames catch feelings/we catch flights, jet life/it sucks to be you…” (fade out). “New York City respects my game like Mark Sanchez Joe Namath” – Monch. A quick Internet search also tells me that Bad Meets Evil has an actual Mark Sanchez line; however, I find all those songs so boring and therefore offensive to my ear canal that I cannot verify this information.

Backup QB, although who knows, I might start him: Eli Manning, NY Giants
Pros: 4,000 passing yards last year! Also, with Steve Smith gone, Eli will have the firm-yet-flexible hands of Hakeem Nicks, even more ready and willing to catch for him. teehee.
Cons: 4,000 25 interceptions last year! Just super goofy looking. At least he commits to it, though – Eli’s not changing his style for anybody, which makes him the Danny “50 didn’t like my pants” Brown of my fantasy team Personality boring like peanut butter & jelly on Wonder bread, Kanye’s women issues, an Ikea couch, grown men Twit-scrapping, Jay Elec’s voice. (I let these gentlemen into my heart and psyche every fall; a little charisma would be nice.)
Team’s best rap nod: “I slam tracks like quarterback sacks from LT” – Deck. (Reference circa 1981-9, but it still counts) 

WR: Brandon Lloyd, Denver Broncos 

Pros: Pro Bowl-er; NFL’s reception yards leader last year (1448). He and Kyle Orton are in sync like Curren$y and…Alc? (Spitta calls him “Al.” AWW.)

Con: Glamour shots.

Team’s best rap nod(s): In a few sex raps over the years, there have been mentions of individuals “throwing” the “P” or the “D” “like Elway” (you’ll have to figure it out, as I am a lady and I CAN’T TYPE THOSE WORDS, teehee! Hi Mom!) “Ice cubes in my pocket; too many drive Elway style. I got this.” – Curren$y. “I keep it real dirty, dirty, you know how I do/Purple and gold with the Lakers, the Broncos – the orange and blue” – “Air Force Ones” (click, grin, chair dance. 2002 pop radio magic.) I have it on good authority that Denver is just like Compton. 

WR: Dwayne Bowe, KC Chiefs

Pros: Pro Bowl-er Spells his first name correctly. Every time he’s in Miami and sees D.Wade, Bowe’s like What’s up DwYYYYane, hahahaha. I like that. (Seems like Wade needs to be taken down a notch ego-wise, I’m just saying.)
Con: I’m an IRL Raider fan, and I fear that my IRL hatred of the Chiefs will result in me self-sabotaging when it comes to fantasy, purposely putting Bowe in some no-win situations. Why do I do the things that I do? What’s going on in this head of mine? More complex than an almanac, that’s me.
Team’s best rap nod: “Watching the Chiefs blow ‘em out/In between Arrowhead and Suave House, no doubt” – Andre Rison (ha) on an Eightball song. I should call this “team’s only rap nod, outside of ‘Queen’s Gambit’ (too easy), something by Tech N9ne (nope), or a fucking Mac Miller song (which I refuse to post on here, for ethical reasons).” And because the mourning of Jerry Lieber continues in apt. 680, “Kansas City” is appropriate for the listening in this case too. It’s not-rap but it’s got bass and movement, and that makes it perfect for the chopping and looping. I have daydreams of its future appearance as a rap break; won’t somebody please use it?   
Quotable: This one girl was talking to me like she’d known me for years. ‘Hey, D-Bowe, how’s Grandma?’ I’m like, ‘How do you know my grandma?’on ladies who are big, big NFL fans.


WR: Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles


Pro: NO CANCER! Fuck outta here, death!
Cons: Mysterious vomiting and night sweats not due to cancer or any other ailment; this man appears to be a bit of a delicate flower. Maclin’s teammates must call him “J Mac,” yes? Sigh. Of course they do. And I’m sure he’s fine with it. Points deducted for lack of creativity and overall predictability.
Team’s rap nod(s): Well, Wayne’s from Eagle Street of course. “My city is New Orleans/Baby, my street is Eagle.” Tons of McNabb and Vick mentions – “Stay running the rock just like I play quarterback for the Eagles – Randall, Donovan, to Michael” – Gibbs.




Backup WR: Plaxico Burress, Jets


Pros: • Built like PlasticMan (6’5″, 232!!) like all receivers should be. Possibly has a Dwayne-Carter-esque just-out-the-pen hunger which would result in some prolific output. 
Cons: Will maybe have a Prodigy-esque just-out-the-pen hunger to overcompensate out of desperation which would result in some underwhelming performances (aw Prod. Sorry, buddy).

Rap nod(s): Oh Jesus Christ, too many. So many. (Game n’ Weezers) 



Backup backup WR: Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers


Pros: “EHH” during the regular season, but “OOH” in the playoffs. Showed some fancy footwork in the Super Bowl too.
Con: I find it difficult to respect a grown man named “Jordy.” I might be able to reconcile this as the season progresses if he performs well…however:

in a shocking turn of events, it’s possible that ownership could go with Chicago’s Johnny Knox as a Possible Backup WR instead! He might get lost in the shuffle on a team that has Roy Williams and Devin Hester, but at least his name’s not Jordy. It’s an odd and powerful feeling, being a woman in LA with no team-ownership experience who suddenly finds herself able to put these guys in or take them out in a giant game of Fate, Destiny, and Met/Unmet Expectations. This must be what it’s like to be Jerry Jones! Or RZA and GZA on the giant Clock of Life, taking breaks to play chess. 

Team’s best rap nods (NO, not that Wayne song about being a cheesehead): “With a knapsack of green Supreme hats/Like I was sponsored up by the fucking PackersTy. “My belt got G’s on it like a Packers helmet” – not-Nicki and not-Wayne so who cares, “Pass the Dutch.”


 

RB: YAYYY I GOT ARIAN FOSTER ON MY SQUAD, TOP OF THE WORLD, MA!, Houston Texans

Pros: • Best running back ever to exist in the universe (1600 yards last season!). Here to save the world, or at least help a certain bathing-suited ladyblogger get the (fake) win every Sunday.
Con: Say his first name out loud.
Quotable: Understand the universe, you’ll understand me.” Oh good lord. 
Team’s best rap nod(s): None for the team specifically; I’m pretty sure the Texans have only existed in the league for like 6 months. For the city of Houston’s rap nods, though, I suggest you visit the rap- and bathing-suit-appreciation blog HeightFiveSeven. Understand bass, you’ll understand me. Understand hips, you’ll understand me. 

 

RB: Shonnnnnnnn Greene, NY Jets

Pros: He’s from a place called Sicklerville, so how could he not be a sick fucking overachiever on the field? (Logic’s not my strong suit. Hips are.) Plus Tomlinson’s getting old, so Greene will be able to shine like sunlight, like gold, like my wit and charm.
Connnnns: Obvious mom and dad issues, since they decided to spell his name that way. I see this manifesting itself as some distractedness on the field.



Backup RB: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, New England Patriots

Pros: 13 touchdown carries last season! Nickname: “The Law Firm.” LOVE IT.
Cons: The epic name “BenJarvus” carries no weight, no special meaning. It’s not a family name or anything! – his mom just liked it. I can respect that, Mrs. Green, but it’s still disappointing.
Team’s best rap nod(s): Does this count? (It’s my blog, so it counts):






TE: Owen Daniels, Texans

Pros: When healthy, he’s good. When healthy (this hasn’t happened since ’08, though that season he did have over 800 yards). This stupid league makes me play a tight end every week instead of a fourth receiver (which would make me much happier), but Daniels is one of the best available.
Cons: See below.

Quotable: “That shuttle launch was pretty sweet.” He also enjoys reruns of Rob and Big, going to the gym, and staying positive – all important parts of his training regimen for the 2011 Boring-Personality-Off between himself and Eli Manning.





Backup TE: Aaron Hernandez, Patriots
Pros: Decent numbers last year, and he’s so young that I believe he’ll only improve from this point. Handles it like a grown man (“I’ll get better”) when random dudes criticize him electronically. This type of maturity and non-bitchery is so unusual in the world as I know it; feels like dreamland.
Con: Fantasy football sites have informed me that, due to the Patriots having another good tight end in Rob Gronkowski, Aaron’s stats will suffer “because the ball is spread around so much.” TEE HEE. 
Team’s best rap nod, since, OK fine, “Patriotism” was kind of cheating: “I got the bomb; call me Tom Brady” – Ghosty, in that horrendous Rae song that makes me yell HOWWW does Khalil keep getting production jobs? Is it blackmail? He must have overtly homosexual photos of Dre or something. (And for the record, Ghost: I’m not going to call you anything but “sir,” “god,” “darling,” “dear,” “darling dear,” “Ironman,” “king,” or “Tony.” xoxo.)


 

K: Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers

Pros: Can consistently and adeptly use his foot to make a football sail through the air and land square between two goal posts. (I get this guy almost every year in fantasy. He’s solid if unspectacular, much like his rap equivalent…umm, Elzhi? Skyzoo? Royce? I don’t know. Somebody help me here.)
Cons: Has the unfortunate appearance of a weakling. Is Nate anemic? He just looks super feeble; I kind of feel like I could black his eye out even though I have arms like Mr. Burns’.

Team’s best rap nod: “I might charge through San Diego with the bolts on my shoulder/Rock the Trailblazer warm-up, ’cause Portland gets colder” – Fabolous. Nice to hear a song from Loso about menswear rather than yet another one about ladies’ shoes and purses.





DEF: NY Giants

Pros: Lawrence “I breaks it down to the bone gristle” Taylor has a fondness for powdery stimulants and sex professionals, but nobody can dispute his skill as a player. His competitive spirit still permeates the Giants’ defensive line to this day (in my head), though he hasn’t played since the ’90s. As far as the current roster goes, all I feel the need to say is PRINCE AMUKAMARA. Nigerians are good at everything.


Backup DEF: Detroit Lions

Pros: Other than Ndamukong Suh, I’m not sure. But Baltimore, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Philly, and Chicago are all taken – what am I supposed to do, other than back this defense with love, affection, and a few prayers to the NFL gods on Saturday night before I lay my head down and go to sleep?
Team’s best rap nods: “Looking like Barry Sanders/So Icey flex game” – Waka “A city full of Tommy Hearns thumpers/Grant Hill hoopers, Barry Sanders runners, stunners” – Royce. At first I was mad at various other Michigan rappers (ahem, GUILTY S.) for not mentioning their home team in verse, but then I realized that the Lions were terrrrrrrible during most of those guys’ young-man-hood. You’re forgiven, gentlemen. “Like chocolate candy you will break/Running back, Detroit Lions, with an ill fake” – Keith, in Ultramag’s “Super Spellbound.”




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Terrelle Pryor will make it all OK, says bathing-suited Los Angeles woman with blog.

The Raiders are heartbreak city. It’s true and it’s been true since I was a little girl.

 But for every Wiz head, there’s a Biggie head and a Bishop chest. 
(Is this a bad omen? It seems like a bad omen.)

And for every Nnamdi trade and every broken keychain that symbolizes the broken hopes of apt. 680 residents on Sundays in the months of September through December, there’s a strapping young man with illegal tats to lead the squad’s newly-dynamic offense (once Pryor’s five-game suspension is done away with, because the NFL players’ union will make it so)! He wears cherry Vans! W/KHAKIS!

You wanna get right, stop buying those Nikes.


I love Terrelle just, um, based on this photo and why should that be a problem for anybody. Whyy. You wanna make something of it, or what. This picture alone makes him affection-worthy in apt. 680. Females blush; he brings the California gold rush!

Terrelle retweets the Serenity prayer and freaking LeBron (UGH, even though these are things a young man must do during the come-up; the electronic handshake is crucial when you’re trying to establish your brand as a pro athlete), but he likes mob movies, good dinners, and his brother. Ergo: we are in love. Ankle weights aren’t my favorite thing and neither is my man saying odd things while trying to appease his sponsors (“Here you go ankle weights. They are Real.”), but we are in luuuuuhhhve, especially when he completes around 60% of his passes and can be counted on to convert on third down most of the time. TP’s religious but I don’t go to church, and when he says platitudes on our dates or types them on his phone’s keyboard during our dates (“One important key to success is self-confidence. Believe in yourself even if odds are against you!”). I will have to open my eyes real wide and ask him Oh hey, can I be QB at Ohio State too? I’m not  6’6″ and I can’t run a 4.4 40, but I fucking believe in myself. I mean, I really have self-confidence like nobody’s business. Also I will make fun of the super feminine way he spells his first name, but all of this is just because I like him. The emotionally-stunted among us (hands up, please) will remember this courting technique from third grade.

Welcome to the Raiders, and to my warm loving heart, Terrelle Pryor. I love your shoes and the way you gave the NCAA a big F U. Throw it to Jacoby Ford a lot. XOXO.



Tower of Power – “Cleo’s Back.” EAST BAY, BAY BAY.

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Metta Muzik.


Mr. World Peace has gotten soft over the last couple years – and yet, in a move I could not possibly have seen coming, I love him more with each passing day. (This never happens, since I prefer ‘em during the dirty n’ inappropriate years. Upstanding adults who’ve outgrown teenage-boy behavior are boring. Sorry, MCA, Ice-T, and Mike Tyson).

Driving around during my government-job shift earlier this week, I heard a podcast on my local pretentious public radio station featuring Ronald talking about Lenny Williams, the O’Jays, and Mobb Deep like it ain’t no spectacular thing, NO BIG DEAL, DUN (I managed to retain control of the vehicle, though just barely). Listening to Ron Artest talk about records is intense daydreamy material – that accent! that voice! – and erases the pain I felt when I missed his autograph sesh at Living Spaces a couple months back. Thank you for the make-up gift, universe!


mp3.

Surprising Things Learned from the Podcast:

- Ron can’t listen to rap before a game (gets him too emotional. ME TOO, Ron! Me too).

- He likes to listen to Alberta Hunter before a game. But if I may be so bold: based on his performance in the Mavs series, I would suggest that this ritual be re-tooled a little bit. Maybe bring some UGK in?, I don’t know. Also, keep practicing less, because that seemed to agree with you.

- The host (Jason Bentley. Don’t get me started.) is shocked at Ron’s taste. “Ron shares his surprising pre-game soundtrack – soulful songs about love – and more in his Guest DJ set.” Because, you see, men who handle their disputes in an effective manner, which may or may not be with angry faces and fists thrown in rage, cannot possibly like songs about romantic triumphs and tribulations. Mr. Bentley believes that just because Ronald’s mentality is what, kid, that he doesn’t have a muscle the size of his fist thumping away in his chest. Ugh. The stereotypes.

Unsurprising Things:

- Ronald and his mom listened to good music before church. Just like every other professional athlete during the last hundred years.

- Ron has an auntie, and the children of that auntie are, guess what, his cousins (he explains this in a charming and innocent fashion during the “Killa B shot in the head” portion of the interview).

- Mary J. got Ron through some tough times. This is developmentally appropriate; Ron was a teenager in the ’90s and in college in the late ’90s, and those were some prime Mary years.

- Ron’s a Dude Who I Wish Would Read Me the Phone Book out loud, he’s also a dude who can tell me stories any goddamn time he wants about Killa B’s self-inflicted gunshot wound. (This actually happens in the interview. This is a thing that he actually talks about. Because that’s just Ron for you). And Ron likes good old soulful music, dudes pouring their hearts out (Lenny Williams, the O’Jays). ME TOO, RON! Me too.

The Lenny Williams song is a Laboe classic, as well as an Original Kings of Comedy defining moment.

(Don’t tell Ty, but I cannot possibly hate Steve Harvey when he pulls the ol“I’m not too cool to freak the fuck out when some quality soul music comes on.” Let’s just say I can relate. Kicking the stools over; the whole thing. Yep. I will always loathe Tyler Perry though, so I still keep some credibility, yes?

You take Steve’s reaction to the Lenny song, along with that of all those ladies in the first 10 rows, and you have successfully created a composite of me and my bodily responses in the Civic when “Cross My Heart” comes on. Throw in some Minaj,




and you got me in the Civic when anything Toomp- or Mannie- or Spector-produced comes on.)

And The Best Thing:

Well obviously it’s the Mobb Deep Mention, of course.


Once more, with feeling: nothin like home.

(Logan laughs).

(Lenny Williams again! FULL CIRCLE, BABY.)

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Derrick Rose loves his mom down to his very bones plus I believe our children would have amazing eyebrows.

According to the fairies that visit my dreams, the Lakers will still win the series.
Until then, here’s my “OH RON RON/That’s not the way we practiced it” face.

“My heart, the reason I play the way I play, just everything. Just knowing about the days when I didn’t feel like I wanted to practice, having all the hard times, waking me up, going to work and just making sure I’m all right and making sure the family’s all right. Those are hard days.” What a freaking champ. I love him. I do. Unfortunately, Kanye will be bandwagoning the fuck outta Derrick in approximately 19 minutes.

The Chi-Lites – “Are You My Woman.” Because they rep Chicago with love, pride, and horns.

mp3.

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