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Patriots Pre-Season Post

8 Aug

First of all, I apologize to Captain Farrell for abandoning my responsibility for over a year – it was shameful on my part.  Now, on to the purpose of this post.  As any of you who may fall remotely near our target audience already know, it is nearly football season, which means that in addition to renewing my vows of loyalty to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (I’m not really kidding) and preparing new Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation-like vitrioloc rants about Rex Ryan, the Jets organization in general, the Giants, the Giants D-Line, Darrelle Revis, Antonio Crowmartie, the Cowboys (spoiler alert: In my Cowboys rants, Leon Lett, and Michael Irvin still make an appearance.  So do the coke and strippers), Tony Romo, Rob Ryan and whatever he is hiding in his stomach, Cris Collinsworth, the oh-so obviously Canadian Tracy Wolfson, and of course, Mark Sanchez (and probably the Yankees as well – just for good measure).

You see, for the Capt. and I, football season is equal parts joy and spite.  We want the Patriots to win more than anything, but our combined dislike for the Jets, the Giants, most of the Cowboys, for me New Orleans (why has no one asked Drew Brees about the bounty scandal – and how did he not take any flak for it as a leader with the players union?) and also the entire Baltimore Ravens organization, makes it pretty much equal parts rooting for, and rooting against.  Now, before you judge and say that our rooting against is wrong or immature, think of it this way – I can watch almost any game of the season now, and have a vested interest in one team – even if it means that I am rooting for the Cleveland Browns twice yearly to beat the Ravens.  (as an aside, one of my classmates uncle’s just bought the Browns for a cool billion that he made from the family business – I had no idea he was in that stratosphere of wealth, which is a compliment to him)

Ok, now that we have established a list of teams I love, (The Patriots) and those I love to seee lose (Jets, Giants, Ravens, Cowboys, NBC Sports, and the Saints) we can move on to my grossly over-optimistic season preview of New England’s season.  You see, the reason I am confident in my gross over-confidence is simple: we have Tom Brady, and he could make me an all-pro reciever.  Also, Belichick actually drafted for some defensive players this year.   My keys to victory this season: #1) Hold opponants under 35 points.  #2) Give Tom Brady the football and a decent pocket. (a second aside – one of my grad-school classmates, incidenntally the largest man I have ever been friends with, just signed as an OT with the Pats – he’s a beast, and I hope he makes it through camp!)  Prediction: I won’t jinx it with a prediction – who do you think I am, Rex Ryan?

Other self-evident observations around the league:  1) Aaron Rodgers will sign a contract this year that makes Brady look poor (even with Gisele’s money)  2) The Superbowl halftime show will be someone who is 20 years too old to perform and who has three songs I like, of which they will sing a severely truncated medley, followed by an awful rap performance by a b list rapper at best, who will inevitably do something offensive while on stage.  I think I speak for everyone (yes, everyone) when I say, please, for the love, just bring back U2 and let them do whatever they want.  In fact, sell a franchise to Bono – he’s got money to burn, and he makes everything more cool.  The Edge could be his GM.  Think about it: they survived living in Northern Ireland in the 70s, who could out-negotiate them?  Drew Rosenhaus would be putty in their hands, especially if Bono wore his sunglasses to the negotiation.  3) The Bears will underperform, yet EVERY commentator will say that Lovie Smith is one of the best coaches in the league (hint: unless Jesus is coaching, no one is going to win with Jay Cutler slinging it every week)  4) Tony Romo will choke – did I even need to write that? 5)  Alex Smith will be a mediocre qb with a super-human defense that makes it to the NFC championship again, but still can’t score touchdowns 6) Jim Schwartz will have an aneurism (or die in a locker-room gunfight – I am giving either even odds right now) 7) Ben Roethlisberger will get hurt, and play through it, get hurt again, and still won’t learn to fall down when he is supposed to.  8) At some point Redskins fans are going to compare RGIII to Cam Newton and ruin it for everyone.  9) Cam Newton will remain a pompous ass.  10) Eli will surpass Peyton in the all-important starring-in-commercials-revenue statistic  11) Jealous of all the attention other players are getting, Mark Sanchez willl do something, anything really, to get into the NY tabloids – my preseason favorite scenario includes A-Rod, two or three former “a list” actresses, and some kind of traffic and/or club accident in, let’s say, October.  12) In that vein, Sanchez will be acting out because Tebow will be the starter by week 6 at the latest.  13) In a desperate attempt to engender divine favor, Woody Johnson will rename the new Meadowlands stadium Bethlehem on Jets homegames (for Giants weeks it will alternately be known by Woody as Soddom and Gomorrah.)  14) Tim Tebow will sell more jerseys than Adrian “I swear I didn’t punch a cop aat 2:30 a.m. in the club” Petersen (even if you didn’t, why were you there?  Rehab starts early in the morning!)  15) The Oakland Raiders will remain irrelevant, and without Al Davis to talk about, they will now get even less airtime than they used to.  16) Someone – probably the Cowboys – will panic, fire their coach, and offerr Bill Cowher $10 million per year to come out of retirement.  17) Tony Dungy will contradict Rodney Harrison, and Rodney will instantly change his opinion at least once a week this season.  18) Dan Patrick will finally just give in and fall asleep on set this year after looking like he has wanted to for two years.  19)  Toyota will produce another really crappy sponsorship video segment for NBC.  20) The Dolphins will still be terrible – Jake Long will wonder if $50 million was worth it.  21) Andrew Luck will lose ROTY to RGIII by a slim margin because the Colts are going 2-14, at best.  22) Jimmy Haslam is going to wake up sometime in September and say, “I just spent a billion dollars on the Browns? The Browns!?! I knew I shouldn’t have gone drinking with Lerner again.”  23) Roger Goodell, will exercise unprecedented authority and players will tweet about it because they don’t like to keep their paychecks.  24) At some point Andrew Luck is going to get hit so hard, he poops on the field.  Finally, 25)  Rex Ryan will regain his 100 pounds by December thanks to stress eating and multiple day fuzzy naval and foot-video binges while hiding in his office from Bart Scott who has threatened to “go all Ray-Lewis on him.”

My dark horse predictions: 1) At some point Howie Long is going to regret never killing Terry Bradshaw when he had the chance on the field, and will try end him during a live studio broadcast. 2) Shannon Sharpe will say fewer than 5 intelligible phrases this season.  Only two of them will concern football.  3) Wes Welker will actually get paid.  4) Mark Sanchez will endorse Nathan’s Hotdogs as his “favorite gametime snack!”  5) Mike Ditka will run for mayor of Chicago, the Chicago River will be clean once again, Jay Cutler will be traded to the Lions, and Northwestern will be relevant in the Big 10 again.

There will be more to come, but for now, I think that’s enough. I’m out like Mark Sanchez come week 6,

T.

The Home Turf

24 May

While it is true that the name of our blog is a fairly self-explanatory sports reference, it (unlike many other things you will find on here) has some deeper meaning.

First, it was thought up when Capt. Farrell was retelling the story of his first post to me – explaining that a celibate lifestyle was his home turf, and with how funny that story was to me, it was clear we need to start writing our adventures down, and that “The Home Turf” was the clear choice for a name – that was one week ago.

*Some people chose celibacy. I had it thrust upon me.  This is captain farrell, and yes, I just shamelessly stole a joke from the Simpsons. Don’t be alarmed, I’ll be popping in here and there on this entry. 

Second, as you may know or at least have guessed by now, we are both from New England, and we miss it terribly.  The northeast (this excludes any and all of southern New York – we still like northern New York)  is our home turf – it is cold but virtuous, has ridiculous accents but wonderful expressions (example: Wicked Pissah), and it has the greatest sports franchises in the world.  Not surprisingly, we will both believe until the day we die, that there is nothing more beautiful than New England in the fall.

What Capt. Farrell and I were like as children (had one of us been of a different ethnicity)

Third, the home turf for Capt. Farrell and I, is just what we are doing here.  We have been known to communicate in many ways: simultaneous conversations while watching t.v./playing video games; cost-to-coast phone calls; text message, email, and once or twice even through the mail; we have also been accused of telepathy.  The common thread through all of these interactions is that they are all for the purpose of telling stories.  We have always had stories to tell one another, no matter the stage of life.

*My dad and Thor’s older brother still talk about this all the time. Personally, I think that it’s a byproduct of spending 300+ days per year together, every year, between the ages of 3 and 17 or so. The resulting rapport borders on low-grade telepathy.

A few examples:

To start the day in elementary school

We were in the same elementary class for every year but one, and we always sat next to one another, and began the day with stories from our wicked exciting lives outside of school.

*One of my favorites is  was in fourth grade or so, when I was giving you a hard time for not coming over to my house the previous day when you said that you would. You explained that it was because the pedal came off of your bike, leaving sharp, exposed metal that continued in its circular path as it slashed through your thigh, causing you to bleed all over the place and need stitches. I think you even showed me the blood trail on the sidewalk.  Or when you excitedly came in one day and told me that you’d given yourself a concussion and knocked all of your front teeth loose while ice skating.

When we were in elementary school, Capt. Farrell had a cat. I don’t remember its name right now, but sadly the cat passed, and his father, (we’ll call him Maverick because I like him as an X-Men character) buried the unfortunate feline beneath a lilac tree.  This was in the spring/summer, and we went on with our summer plans, sad, but having learned a lesson about the circle of life.  One day that fall however, Capt. Farrell came to school and he was visibly upset.  As we were in New England, as fall rolled around the frost descended upon the shallow grave of Capt. Farrell’s cat.

*That cat had many names. We got him on Christmas, so his initial name was Noel. We all agreed that that was a pretty stupid name, though, so dad and I lobbied for Shithead. My mom deemed that “too offensive”, so we went with Dickhead instead. Finally, it fell to me to rename him. Big mistake: I chose Zeke.

Now, I am no geologist, but my understanding is that the frost tends to move the soil around a little bit, or more specifically, when it freezes things within the soil, they might expand or contract.  Unfortunately, Maverick had not buried the cat too deep, and before long that fall, there was a solitary paw sticking out of the ground.  Capt. Farrell arrived to school white as a ghost and proceeded to relate the story to me, despite our teachers objections, of how his cat had been buried alive several months ago and had perished while trying to escape.  Needless to say we were freaked – it was all too Stephen King-ish, (a-la Pet Cemetery) especially because he too, is from New England, and had been recently sighted in our hometown.  It was soon explained that we were incorrect, but just to be on the safe side, we didn’t go near the lilac tree very often.

*My all-time favorite memory to recount from our childhood is that we had a running contest on who had the most cumulative stitches. I was pretty much in the driver’s seat from day one, on account of a german shepherd nearly mauling me to death when I was four years old. That ~40 stitch lead was just insurmountable. You made a valiant effort, between the ages of 5 and 12, to catch up, but you were only doing it 3-7 stitches at a time, so you never quite pulled it off. I kept adding to the count in my own right, but you still almost caught up.

In college, to keep up with one another

Capt. Farrell and I went to very different schools, one in Massachusetts and the other, Illinois.  As a result of our dramatically different college experiences, we always had fantastic stories to share with one another, like the time CF introduced me to the concept of Jungle Juice, and explained just how it had affected his previous evening.  (It involved a three man slingshot, full cans of beverage, and the other end of his hallway) or when I taught him what a lobby-couple was, and explained our sophisticated method of driving them away. (water balloons, five gallon buckets, and of course, a three-man slingshot, culminating in a car chase, my roommate hiding in a drainage culvert for two hours, and lots of awkward tension with classmates)  other examples include the infamous mushroom story, the locked in a medieval church, my roommates chasing a raccoon across our roof, the Munich adventure, four dates w/ four girls in six days, and the ever popular CF “what do you mean this test is open book/open note?!?” story.

*The Munich Adventure was amazing, and actually inspired me to adopt the practice of ‘teleporting‘. In short, whenever I was at a bar and I was just too drunk to deal with the hassle of the walk/cab ride home, I would simply keep drinking until I woke up, the next day, in bed. After all, if you could find your way back to your hotel in Munich in that state, then I could surely navigate my own neighborhood. 

*My personal favorites from my own experiences were 1) waking up in the woods with no pants on and 40’s taped to both hands, and 2) standing in the snow, soaking wet, in nothing but shorts- when my girlfriend declared that I wasn’t allowed to pass out, I loudly declared “goddammit woman, I’ll do what I want!” and passed out purely out of spite. Both are probably worth their own posts. 

After college, to stay up to date

After college, CF and I stayed in touch more regularly, for several reasons.  1) I was getting married.  2) We lived much farther away from one another 3) We still had awesome stories to tell, but they were now mixed in with semi-adult topics, like marriage and relationships, money, and of course, stupid people around us.  For CF, it was often stories about people he met in California, like the time he texted me at 5 a.m. LA time to tell me, “Dude, I just did shots of Patron with Dennis Rodman!”  Other times, he regaled me with tales of allowing rich-from-their-divorce cougars buy him drink after drink, until he decided it was time to go home, by himself.

*To be totally honest, that cougar thing only happened once or twice. The quickest way into my heart is still to buy me a beer, though. Women don’t typically buy drinks for guys, so it’s a total power move. On a side note, one of my sincerest regrets is that we didn’t have any chances to hit the bars especially hard in our younger, singler, recklesser days. Not even because I think we would wingman excellently for each other, but, setting that completely aside, mostly because we have too much shame nowadays to do stuff that used to be commonplace. 

*One of Thor’s more interesting quirks:

Part of my job description is listening to entrepreneurs, at the very earliest stages (oftentimes pre-seed funding), describing their latest and greatest business ideas. Understand, one of my mantras is that the idea doesn’t matter a tenth as much as would-be entrepreneurs think it does. Things like work ethic, connectnedness, access to capital, and good old-fashioned luck matter at least as much, and in many cases far more.  

Still, there is a certain threshold for quality of idea that any startup with big aspirations must hit. The idea has to immediately be both intimidating and deceptively simple. If your reaction is “wow, this could actually shake things up a bit, and the path to that outcome is plausible too. It’s really surprising that only 1 or 2 other people have thought of this” then you’re onto something. So it’s frustrating, to say the least, when most of the entrepreneurs that I speak with abjectly fail at this. The ideas that I hear are usually just no good (pro tip: if your business idea is to “be the Facebook of (blank)”, then just stop. (blank) already has a Facebook. It’s Facebook. Same goes for Google.).

The best part, though? Thor routinely calls me up with ideas that absolutely pass that test. Seriously, the man is a machine. He’s better at coming up with viable startup ideas than I am, and I work with startups. Some incubator should just put him on retainer and throw small amounts of capital and qualified manpower at his ideas. Not even joking, they would make an absolute killing. 

This quirk has developed over the years, due to my incessant scheming of how we will become wildly rich, very quickly, and CF’s patience in explaining to me what constitutes a good business plan.  So far, no dice, but I still have a few ideas…

Captain Farrell and The Golden Cadillac

20 May

As you have by now realized, Captain Farrell is unafraid.  He is unafraid to speak his mind (which got us both in more than one fight as children); he is unafraid of hard work (he, unlike me in school, chose to actually do some readings and try to understand things like AP Statistics [We had partner tests – I had an A in the class but had to leave the essay question blank on the AP exam – clearly I was not pulling my own weight]); and he is unafraid to drive ridiculously fast over very short stretches of road.

Now, I am known to have a bit of a lead foot myself, and I do hold several unofficial records for commuting time, including from Chicago to Philadelphia in 1o hours.  (Google maps says nearly 14)  I also may have the world record for 15 passenger van speed, at somewhere around 110, but that was in South Dakota and the road was flat and straight for about 100 miles.  My crazy speeding has limits however, and I usually wuss out before it gets really hairy.  Not Captain Farrell.

The Caddy in Question (or one very much like it)

Farrell’s grandfather, the very same sweet and sage man who drank Carlo Rossi like he had stock options in it, also had a behemoth of a Cadillac; specifically a gold Cadillac Deville.  It had a V-8 that would have moved a herd of elephants, let alone two moronic teenagers tearing down winding stretches of New England road.  As we grew into responsible young adults, and as Farrell’s grandfather aged, Farrell got to drive the Caddy more and more.  Each time Farrell pulled out of the drive he always had a goal in mind: Bury the needle.  Now, I know that’s not all that uncommon for a young man to want to test himself by burying the needle on his first real car – its kind of a right of passage.  The problem was that Capt. Farrell didn’t just want to bury the needle once – he wanted to do it every time he left the driveway, and here I am not exaggerating.

I distinctly remember watching cows fly by my passenger window as we passed 95 on our way to well over 100 on a road that may have been designed for 35, at best.  While I will certainly not advocate this to anyone – let alone any other teenagers (in hindsight, we’re lucky not to be dead after all the stupid stuff we did) – the sheer thrill of moving that fast was awesome.  Though we never got a ticket, and more importantly, we never wrapped it around a tree, I have rarely been so genuinely terrified yet irrationally excited as when Captain Farrell got to drive the Caddy.

Second Things Second: Why Should You Care?

17 May

       Now that Capt. Farrell has established what we are doing here, I would like to take my turn, and explain just why you should care.  It really boils down to this: You may love us or you may not, but you will be entertained, amused, shocked, aghast, defiant, and strangely intrigued – not always all at once, but you never know.  Also, Capt. Farrell, having never seen How I Met Your Mother, is the real-life Barney Stinson – it is scary, uncanny, far less p.c., and far more entertaining.

     While not giving too much away, we are from a small town in New England, and while I reside on the east coast, Capt. Farrell has gone all west coast on me, though thankfully he is still sans botox.  I work in education, and you will from time to time find gems of wisdom from my students on the blog, and Capt. Farrell is involved in e-commerce.  I am married, and Capt. Farrell’s situation is nothing if not self-explanatory after his first post.  Aside from that, we share a love of all teams from Boston, and a hatred of the Yankees.  If we were to have a common manifesto, or a credo of beleif, it would read something as follows:

We affirm that Tom Brady (despite the flowing locks and tears on ESPN) is the epitome of man;

It is ok to swear in public as long as it is followed by a member of the Yankees name – for example: %(*)& A-Rod

No word should ever end in “-ing” – that’s too much flippin’ work.  (This works especially well if in reference to the above) as in:  %$&#in’ A-Rod.

Bill Belichick should run for President in 2016, when Brady retires (though we don’t agree on much politically, we’d both vote for him)

Brady should replace Belichick when he retires in 2016

You get the idea…

We will talk about other things, like relationships, economics, idiots, politicians, books, movies, and of course, why the name Thorgeous is beyond fantastic.  More to come soon….