I love football. I hope it goes away for a year or two.
Articles on CBA negotiations, decertification and revenue sharing have just begun to dominate the sites bookmarked on my web browser and many experts predict a long road to hoe for football fans. Maybe it’s a pessimistic approach, but I’ve already reached the end of my road.
I realize I’m jumping the gun a bit here and that there’s still plenty of time for the owners and the players union to shake hands and share a pie, but I’m angry already.
Just because we all knew a dispute was coming doesn’t mean there has to be a dispute.
We’ve been through the lock-out /strike shuffle before many times as sports fans. If there is a work stoppage in the NFL, everyone knows that football will be back. It’s just a matter of whether or not the latest battle will drag out long enough to postpone our Sundays. If there is no NFL football for a while, I can take it.
There isn’t a single person involved in these labor negotiations who gives a damn about the fans. In my opinion, there isn’t one owner, one commissioner, one player, one lawyer who actually is worried about anything other than making money. Otherwise, there would always be football.
If negotiations go well and there is an agreement reached soon, I will be a happy football fan. I am really hoping to enjoy April’s draft without the looming thought of the third overall pick possibly having to wait a year to play for my favorite team. The owners and players both stand to lose a lot of money if the season is delayed or missed. Perhaps that threat may expedite signatures and ratification.
If not, good. I’ll be fine. I have a life. I have other sports. I’ll get over a lack of NFL football by the middle of September. As frustrated millionaire players use the media to point fingers at billionaire owners, citing a need to take care of their families, I’ll be busy spending time with mine. My heart will glow with the realization that some of that money being lost will never be recovered. I hope the process hits them all where it hurts.
I’ve given a lot of my money and emotion to sports. I’ll never forget sneaking my Walkman into the Hills Department store bathroom I was cleaning in 1994, tuning in to WGR 550 to get updates on the NHL lockout and praying that there would be hockey. It was a pathetic scene. I won’t be that person again. I can’t care that much anymore.
I do realize that a lockout would not only hurt the wealthy. There are plenty of people employed by these organizations who cannot afford to go a month without a check. For these people, there is no war chest. I hope for a resolution for them alone, and I think it’s sad that the people who least can afford to be hurt by this greed will be the first ones sent home to sweat it out.
This isn’t one of those idle threats about never watching the NFL again. I’m not going to stop wearing officially licensed gear while taking in a Sunday ticket or two. I just refuse to be a hostage. I’m going on the offensive. I want there to be a lockout. If I have to clog up my sportscasts with labor news and read stories about the two sides breaking negotiations for a 2-hour lunch, I want both sides to pay. I want players and owners to be unhappy.
I want Paul Allen’s stadium to sit empty on the first Sunday after Labor Day, echoing with the silence from thousands of 12-dollars beers going unsold. I want Ray Lewis to fret over the thought of missing the end of his career because of a few percentage points. I can’t say I don’t care, because I do care. I care for everyone involved to be punished. This dispute doesn’t have to come to a lockout. Fans pay a lot of money to watch and enjoy a game. It’s disrespectful for the league and its players to be so greedy to not have taken care of this matter sooner. It is, after all, the fans’ money that they are dividing.
So, go ahead and fight over our money, guys. We’re not going anywhere. I sincerely wish you all to refuse us your football league. Do me a favor, though and shut up. I don’t care to hear how it’s going. Just tell me when it’s over.
Critics are calling last night’s episode of the Bachelor “pointless”. That’s if you consider me a critic.
I hate a lot about the Bachelor but there is nothing worse than the 3rd last episode of the season. There isn’t nearly enough content to fill 2 hours of television and, because there are only 3 girls left, there is no group date drama or embarrassing family moments to fill the gaps.
There is so much room for pointless filler that ABC gives us a nice 10 minute segment of Brad packing a suitcase in a New York City hotel while he prattles on about how much he is connecting with three women. Luckily, Bachelor producers roll out the same footage viewers have seen a dozen times so we have visual stimulus to pair with Brad’s inane rambling. Brad is quite the narrator. He’s like Morgan Freeman, if you locked Morgan Freeman in a room with a barrel of crack and then snipped out the part of his brain that controls cognitive function.
“I can be myself around Chantal” Brad says as he rides a zip-line through a Rain Forest. Brad also mentions that he is so excited.
Brad gets to sleep with Chantal, Emily and Ashley in South Africa. ABC drops our young lovers in a beautiful Safari resort, complete with man-eating animals.
Chantal gets the first date. She and Brad have a guided tour of the Safari. Brad is himself. They see lions, giraffes, monkeys, elephants and deer. One of the deer looked like Jafar from Aladdin. I doubt that anyone else noticed that and, if you’ve read this far down, I don’t think that little nugget is going to send you away.
Chantal is super fun. Also, she’s chesty. She and Brad are led down to a river by a man with a rifle. They crack some beers and eat dinner about 30 feet from a Hippo. Chantal talks about how safe she feels with Brad. I’m guessing the guy with the rifle helps 'up' the security meter. I watch a lot of nature shows and I seem to remember that Hippos are about the nastiest animals on the planet. I’ll admit to wishing one charged to see just how secure Chantal really feels with Brad.
Insects thrive in South Africa. I notice some pretty big flies bang into Chantal’s face while she reminds Brad of how loaded her family is.
Brad gives Chantal an envelope from Chris Harrison. It’s an invitation for the two to spend the night together so they can have sex. She says “yes” and Brad takes her to a tree house in the middle of a field. They sleep under the stars and contract Malaria from mosquitoes the size of pears. Seriously, I noticed at least three ants crawling around on the futon while they were making out. I can’t imagine the bees in South Africa. I would never be able to go inside of a South African tool shed.
To people who fear bees, tool sheds are like basements filled with all of the Saw movies and that thing from Pans Labyrinth. (Editor's note: just skip to the next paragraph) My wife wants to go to South Africa because giraffes are cute on TV, but she just has no idea how big their bees are.
Brad is in a super good mood for his date with Emily on account of having sex the night before. He picks up Emily on a giant elephant for their date. Emily says, “This is my dream.” I guess it takes all kinds. I’ve always wanted to be able to fly like Michael Jordan. Emily wanted to ride an elephant with one of the dumbest men to ever have his own television show. These girls keep giving Brad credit for how hard he tries to show them a good time. I can’t wait until the first Friday night they spend in the real world when the hardest Brad tries is to stop at a Red Box outside of the beer store to rent Weekend at Bernie’s 2.
Emily and Brad have dinner near a pond full of baby elephants. I hope the food was good because I can’t imagine the smell. Brad gives her the fantasy suite invitation. ABC gave us a glimpse of this moment during last week’s episode and it was made clear that Emily will say “no. That way, she doesn’t have to go back to Carolina and explain to her daughter how she shacks up with Reality TV stars. In a classic case of Bachelor misdirection, Emily says “yes” to the suite. Brad makes a little noise.
Emily steps up and lies about falling in love with Brad. Brad joins me in not seeing that coming. He gets an expression on his face that reminds me of a kid finding out that school has been cancelled. Womack is unable to contain his excitement and tells Emily that he’s falling in love with her too.
I’ve watched, at least, 10 seasons of the Bachelor and I’ve never seen someone tell a contestant that they’ve loved them before the final episode. IT’S THE MOST DRAMATIC BACHELOR MOMENT EVER!
The next hour and 20 minutes, as well as the season finale, have been rendered pretty useless. It’s clear that Brad is completely infatuated with Emily and, since she’s willing to pretend like she’s in love too, she’s the winner; unless, of course, she’s terrible in bed.
After the commercial break, Brad’s final date is with Ashley. There is still way too much time left on the show.
Ashley shot a syringe of Amp into her eyeball before her date with Brad. She was extra perky. On a scale of 1-to-10, her annoyingness was a ‘10’. (Now, how hard is that?)
ABC sends in the old helicopter and Ashley freaks out. Apparently, she's deathly afraid of getting into a helicopter. Brad says, "Don't be afraid" and she's magically cured. It's a Bachelor miracle.
“I just want to sit next to her and talk”, Brad says of his perky dentist friend. He then spends the day starting fights and making Ashley feel like she’s being difficult so, when he sends her home this week, he won’t feel as bad. It’s an uncomfortable segment. Brad is just setting her up for failure with each question. You can tell Ashley senses what is going on and goes into ‘whatever’ mode.
Despite the discomfort, Brad gives her the Fantasy Sweet invitation because, when you’re in South Africa with a dentist, you should always have sex with her; even if you’re on the verge of sending her home. I noticed that the key to the fantasy suite is a skeleton key. Those are pretty secure. You can’t pick a skeleton key lock. It’s a good thing they’re not in a violent country.
Hey, how do you fill 2 hours with no content? You unveil the contestants for the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. Surgery with no anesthesia would be painful. I kept that in mind when I decided not to hit fast-forward on the DVR to watch a minute of the tire fire.
Tom Bergeron brought out Hines Ward, Ralph Macchio and others. Tom announced that he was going to allow the media to ask them questions. One of the guys from ‘All My Chidren’ asked Kirstie Alley something about being nice and a bunch of stomach acid bubbled up and burned my esophagus. I skipped the rest of the promotional filler and said a short prayer to Jesus to thank him for guiding my wife away from Dancing with the Stars.
A 7 minute commercial for a separate television show was not enough filler, so Chris Harrison flew out to South Africa have a nice chat with Brad. It’s nice that Brad has Chris to talk to because his father was never around.
Before the Rose Ceremony, Brad pulls Ashley aside so he could dump her while she was sitting down. Ashley is surprised by the news because she has not yet seen the footage of Brad with Emily. ABC begs Brad to continue with the Rose ceremony anyway because they still have 4 minutes to fill.
So your champion match-up is Chantal V. Emily. It’s not close on paper. Emily is an 18.5 point favorite. She could crawl onto Chris Harrison’s lap and start licking his face during the final Rose ceremony and still not lose this thing.
The three are staying in South Africa and ABC will fly Brad’s family in to meet his girlfriends. Brad’s father will not make it. He’s never around.
Next week is ‘The Women Tell All’ week. All of the jilted hoochies from the season come back for one last chance to be on TV. I’m hoping that guy with the rifle is invited because those girls can get a little nasty.
Last night’s episode of the Bachelor was very much like the Final Four in College basketball. It wasn’t at all like the Final Four in College Basketball, but this blog is not about Terry Pegula so people are turning away in droves and I’m just doing my best to keep a couple of extra readers.
Brad Womack has narrowed his search for a temporary wife down to 3 women and Emily from Charlotte. Making it to the final four contestants in the Bachelor is very important because it gives the women a chance to drag their families into their undying lust for the spotlight.
Brad will visit the hometowns of Emily, Shawntel, Chantal and Ashley in an attempt to further find out nothing about them because people can’t be themselves when 8 different cameras capture their every movement to be broadcast to millions of homes in America. (Editor’s note- other countries watch the Bachelor too.)
Because ABC is incapable of filling a two hour show, for the first ten minutes, Brad gets dressed and then stands on a balcony of a New York hotel to think about his four girlfriends. Then they fill 10 minutes with footage of the season that we have already seen a dozen times.
Brad’s first trip is to Seattle to visit Chantal. Chantal is very good at crying and then wiping away her tears without smearing her mascara. She is also ridiculously wealthy. Chantal lives alone in a house that made my wife make a noise. There, Brad meets her two cats and robot dog. Chantal has a tiny dog that Chantal still managed to cram into a shirt that was much too small for it.
When they’re done drinking beer and petting Chantal’s robot dog, they head over to her parents mansion. It’s a disgustingly beautiful house. My wife makes a louder noise.
Chantal’s dad is the exact same person as Brad and they get along. They share a nice talk in front of a 50 foot bronze statue located in an atrium. I can’t see their feet, but I can only assume that there are one thousand dollar bills lying all over the floor.
Chantal’s mom is hot. She looks young enough to be Chantal’s sister. I think the bad part about being ridiculously wealthy is that people automatically assume, if you’re attractive, you’ve had a bucket load of plastic surgery. Well, Chantal’s mom has had expensive plastic surgery… and she seems “into” Brad. Just saying. Chantal’s dad tells Brad that he can may his daughter.
If I were Brad, I would choo-choo-choose Chantal, marry her, and then count the dies until her parents die and I can inherit that house.
After hugging Chantal’s mom, Brad flies to Maine to visit Ashley. They’re in the northernmost part of the United States. They eat French Fries and gravy with their fingers at a restaurant. This show is 2-hours long. On the way home, they buy the two lobsters that ate Cleveland. I guess Maine has big lobsters.
Meanwhile, ABC producers give Ashley and her family a case of Red Bull and LSD. They are the most cheerful and annoying family in Bachelor history. (Except for the ones that had that funeral for the dead pigeon) I can’t understand much of the dialogue over the next twenty minutes because everyone squeals and talks at once. Luckily, my wife fell asleep and I fast forward to the next date.
Shawntel gets totally screwed over by ABC. They make her take Brad to her Funeral home. She shows Brad cremation chambers and embalming tools. It’s both creepy and boring. Brad is obviously uncomfortable. Then, she takes him home so he can watch Shawntel break her father’s heart by announcing that she’s not going to continue the family business so she can move away to marry a guy she met on TV three weeks ago. It’s both creep and boring.
Before Brad flies out to Charlotte to see Emily, ABC shows teaser footage of Emily’s daughter, Ricky, ignoring Brad and acting stand-offish. Then, they show the actual date where Ricky plays with Brad and gives him gifts. This is classic Bachelor misdirection. It’s like they show you footage going into the commercial of a family being eaten by a bear, then you watch the segment and it turns out the bear is just liking raspberry jam off of the families’ faces.
This entire date is just Brad and Emily playing with her daughter. For the first time, to me, Emily comes across as human and interesting. There’s a nice tender moment at the end of the night where they put Ricky down to bed. Brad says goodnight and then Emily gives her a kiss and says, “Goodnight”. They show Ricky hug her stuffed animal and then roll over to fall asleep. It’s a nice tender moment until you realize a mother just turned out the lights and closed to the door to leave her daughter alone in her room with a camera guy and a boom mic guy so they can capture a sleeping 4-year old on film in the dark.
How long did they stay in there? Are there 8-hours of ‘sleeping Ricky’ footage somewhere on the cutting room floor? Did Ricky wake up in the middle of the night to get a cup of water and then scream because there were teamsters squatted in her closet with cameras? Will Ricky need therapy?
There’s still twenty minutes left and Chris Harrison interviews Brad so they can roll out the footage of everything I just watched.
Then, Brad sends home Shawntel. She actually thanks Brad and tells him he’s a great guy. Now, thanks to being on TV, this amazingly hot, single woman gets to go back to the small town of Chico where every psychopath stalker in the country now knows exactly where she works. I’m sure the rest of her life should be fun.
This episode was okay but I can’t tell how Brad feels about the girls because he didn’t base-jump off of the Space needle with any of them.
If Costa Rica had the answers, the Caribbean island of Anguilla revealed those answers. Brad Womack continues to travel around the world with his girlfriends in an attempt find love. The only luggage he brought was his heart... and some clothes. There are six remaining contestants. This was a good episode because there was a ton of crying.
The next stop for the Bachelor mobile is Anguilla. Anguilla is nice but it does not have a Bass Pro. The girls check into their villa, which I believe is Spanish for 'Farm house'. There is no livestock, but the view is amazing. Ashley the dentist describes it perfectly by saying, "It's truly unbelievable."
Chris Harrison shows up to give them the low down. Brad gets three 1-on-1 dates (a Bachelor Record) and then a group date. Two of the girls will be sent home to capitalize on their new fame with a career in local television commercials. The four remaining girls will each take Brad home to introduce him to their disapproving family. Harrison calls it, "a huge step in a relationship." It's so huge, in fact, that it's normally done sooner than 2 weeks before you get engaged.
Emily the gorgeous widow gets the first date. I make some coffee so I can stay awake through her dialogue. Brad and Emily ARE PICKED UP IN A HELICOPTER! Emily tells Brad that he does too much for their dates, as if he's responsible for taking 6 women to Anguilla and renting helicopters. They fly to a tiny island big enough for two people.
Emily does a great job of telling us how beautiful the view is and how much fun she is having. She's like a Teddy Ruxbin doll with three recorded messages. She says nothing, ever. I hope, when the cameras are off, she's the most interesting person in the world. I don't need her to philosophize about the origins of man or explain the left-wing lock, but I would like her to say something that does not pertain to her dead fiance or her immediate surroundings.
She is stunning and, I guess, that's all Brad needs. He is actually nervous around her and Emily has turned the tables. As the date goes on, it's clear that Emily is deciding whether or not to keep Brad. She's just in a different league than the other women.
They have dinner on the beach with gallon-sized glasses of wine. Brad wants to know if he gets to meet her daughter if he visits her hometown and Emily doesn't answer. Although there is no rose on this date, Brad breaks the rules and tells Emily that she is getting a rose at the end of this episode. He stops short of proposing. I kind of hope Emily wins the gameshow because, if she doesn't, she's going to be the next Bachelorette and it will be the most boring season to date.
Dinner provides us with a classic Bachelor quote from Brad: "I have 5 other women back at the villa who I have pretty strong feelings for." It's the only part of their conversation that doesn't make me want to fight wolves.
The next day, Brad has a 1-on-1 date with the Funeral Director Shawntel. She's my favorite. They head into downtown Anguilla to play Dominoes with the locals and have a chat with a random, ancient woman named Aunte Bee. Aunte Bee gives them marriage advice. Aunte Bee is not clear whether this advice is strictly for Brad and Shawntel or if Brad can use it with one of his 5 other girlfriends.
Brad and Shawntel eat their dinner surrounded by baby goats. I'm assuming said goats smelled. Shawntel disappoints me by telling Brad she's falling in love with him. I thought she was better than that. She says it eight times to make sure the cameras are rolling.
After dinner, they get a private concert from the most famous musician in Anguilla, Banky Banks. ABC finally gets it right by inviting about 30 random strangers to attend the concert so it's not an awkward affair involving two people making out in front of a band. Brad and Swantel sneak away from the concert to make out in the ocean under the moonlight. I'm pretty sure that's the best time to get stung by a jelly fish, so you can imagine my disappointment when Shawntel doesn't get stung, forcing Brad to pee on her leg.
The next 1-on-1 date is for Brittknee who is far behind the other girls. Britt has not yet had a 1-on-1 date and hasn't advanced her fake romance with Brad as far as everyone else. Brad picks up Britt in a yacht. The boat is anchored about 4,000 feet from the shore and they have to swim out to it. Apparently, ABC can get all of the helicopters they want, but they can't afford the 60 bucks to rent a couple of wave runners so their Reality show contestants don't cramp up and die on the mile-long swim to a yacht.
Brad and Britt survive the swim and eventually park the yacht to jump off of a rock cliff. Again, the Bachelor has made it clear. If you want to fall in love with someone, you need to almost die in front of them. It reminds me of the exact moment I fell in love with my wife. We were chewing bullets in the middle of a Cobra pit.
Britt has hesitation about jumping off of the cliff. Brad encourages her from the water below. Britt decides, if I want to show Brad that I like him, I need to jump off of a cliff. Someone needs to get a hold of her to tell her that that's not how it works. Britt does eventually jump and manages to not die.
Britt is cute. She reminds me of a Disney Princess.
When they're done with extreme sports, Brad and Britt have an uncomfortable conversation. It's clear that Britt is trying to get noticed and that Brad is just sitting there and thinking about Emily. They have dinner on the yacht and this happens.
Brad: "Are you finished with dinner?"
Brad: "I don't see this going anywhere."
Yes, Brad dumps her four seconds after dinner is over, even though he is not instructed by ABC to dump anyone on this date. It leads to a hilarious scene of Brad lowering Britt down into a life boat so he doesn't have to spend the rest of the night in her company. I don't know where the life boat came from or where the guys driving the life boat came from. I imagine that Brad dumped her and then radioed into shore for an escort.
Britt takes the dumping well. She cries a little, but I think that's because she was dumped on TV, not because she had feelings for Brad.
Brad takes Chantal, Ashley and the Actress, Melissa out for a surprise date at three o'clock in the morning. There's plenty of scripted talk from Michelle because she was hired by ABC to be a contestant. The three girls are taking part in a photoshoot for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It's a brilliant collaboration by S.I. and the Bachelor as the issue hits newsstands February 15th, the day after this episode airs. For those of you who don't know, the swimsuit Issue was quite relevant before the days of the internet. Now, if you want to see a girl in a swimsuit, you can see a girl in a swimsuit and my program director edited the crap out of this sentence.
The S.I. photographer is the creepiest person I have ever seen.
There's high drama during the photo shoot as Chantal and Ashley both take their tops off. Michelle tops them by straddling Brad for a make-out session.
Michelle is pleased with her S.I. photoshoot. She says, "On a scale of 1-to-10 on how hot my photoshoot with Brad was, I would say, it was a '15'." I don't know if Michelle is mentally challenged, but she just set forth a numerated scale of judgment, and then overshot her scale by 150 percent. The number '15' is not between 1-and-10. It's an impossible judgment. If she wanted to call her photoshoot a '15' she should have set the scale from 1-to-15. I hate when people do this. You can't just set scales and then overshoot them. What's wrong with 10-out-of-10? It's the best possible answer. Why is this not good enough for people? On a scale of 1-to-10 on how mad this makes me, I would give it a '10'.
Ashley and Chantal spend the rest of the day crying and, you can tell, it's hard for Brad to keep from telling them to ignore Michelle because she was just planted by producers to get them to cry. Brad gives Ashley a rose because she cried the best. Chantal takes it well by threatening to leave the show.
There's still a half an hour left on the show, and Brad wants to cancel the cocktail party before the rose ceremony because he's sick of seeing women cry. He has a chat with everyone's favorite host, Chris Harrison. It's great time filler. Chris doesn't say, "Are you sure you want to cancel the cocktail party? He have some time to kill?"
ABC tells Brad that it's time to send Michelle home because they didn't want to pay a fake family of actors to be her family for a home date.
So, next week, Brad goes to the hometown of Shawntel, Chantal, Ashley and Emily. The week after that, he has sex with three of them and then dumps one girl. I'm hoping, no matter where they are, they're sent home in a lifeboat immediately after sex.
I've been told that I hate everybody. I don't hate everybody, only Sally Field and people who turn to the camera from their seat at a sporting event and wave like an 8-year old.
Unless they're an 8-years old. That is fine.
This is nothing new. You're watching a hockey game and a fan in the crowd will be aware of where the cameras are pointed on the ice and take the opportunity to turn and wave to get on television. In most cases, that person has a cell phone in hand so their loved ones at home can be notified of their big moment. If my loved one called me from their phone and told me to turn on MSG because they're about to wave to me from their seat at the hockey game, I'd hang up on them and find new loved ones.
This is not a crime. I'm pretty sure though that, if my Dad dropped a couple hundred dollars for tickets to a hockey game and his son spent time waving to the camera and not paying attention to the game, it would have been the last hockey game he paid for me to attend.
You're probably saying, "Greg, why don't you just ignore these people and watch the game. Aren't you being a hypocrite? You're ignoring the game to take time to hate strangers." It's a valid point but, once I start hating something, I can't ignore it. The hate festers into my brain like a ferret. I spend the whole game anticipating that, when the camera hits that corner of the arena again, that idiot is going to turn around with their 'Hi Drew' sign and wave again.
I'm not a good person and I'm not emotionally stable when it comes to hating petty things that most people are capable of ignoring.
And I know what you're thinking, "Greg, aren't their worst things to hate like personalized license plates and the Carolina Hurricanes?" That's a good point. I'll get to hating everything else later. Right now, I hate people who turn to the camera from their seat at a hockey game and wave.
And, you're probably thinking, "So, Big Shot AM radio producer, what the hell are you going to do about it?" Well, there's not really anything I can do. I'm not even asking people to stop waving to the camera. I'll just sit and home and get an ulcer from hating them. It's my lot in life.
And now, you're all like, "Greg, you're kind of a jerk. I might wave to cameras but who are you to judge me? Do you think you're perfect? Haven't you ever done something wrong before?"
I have. Do you know how TV channels put their logo in the corner of the screen so you know what channel you're watching? When I used to work overnights at the WB, I used to call my wife at 3 o'clock in the morning and tell her to turn on the WB so I could turn that logo on and off as a way to say 'Hi'.
It's basically the same thing as turning to the camera to wave at a hockey game, except I was ignoring re-runs of Moesha, not live NHL hockey. I also fell asleep once and the tape airing the episode of Moesha got to the end. So, anyone watching the WB that night saw the end of Moesha, then 30 seconds of color bars, then the tape rewind on the air, then the same episode of Moesha played 3 straight times.
They agreed not to fire me if I didn't fall asleep again.