Saturday, January 5, 2008

Vox in the Box (18)

Friends, Bloggers, Fellow Browns Fans:

I come neither to bury Brady or to praise him.

Instead, I celebrate this photo; the joy of teenage immaturity and the homo-erotic overtones cultivated by this city's newest sports sensation in a state branded for its homosexual bigotry. I celebrate polo shirts and dockers and grabbing your buddy where it counts when the bulbs flash and the press preens. At this very (fleeting) moment, I celebrate all that is brown and orange in my life tonight; they once took the Browns out of Cleveland, but they can't ever take Cleveland out of the Browns. They are losers, just like us. Dumbest, poorest, fattest, jobless, most foreclosed. And we can't beat the fucking 5-9 Bengals when it's all right there in front of us.

But a column indicting DA and Romeo just contributes to wasted blog space. Today, I bury that deep inside me. It wants out...but will live to rant another day. Today, I embrace our young QB from Dublin and South Bend. Not for his ability, but for his cult-like status and what he represents: The hope that he is generation Y's Bernie Kosar; that his already wide shoulders have room for 2 million Clevelanders; that he can beat a shitty team when the playoffs are on the line with his much-anticipated poise and moxy.

Today, I am still hurting from missing the dance. Seventeen years, and only three NFL postseason games. This season, I felt like an NFL virgin; hot and horny for the playoffs. Fucking tease, those ten wins. They mean nothing to me now. Our mild '07 success will probably end up biting us in the ass, since it's going to result in a Crennel contract extension. Wait, I promised I wouldn't complain about Romeo. Fine, but Berea...hear this: don't try to sell me on the progress of beating teams like the Jets, Dolphins, Rams, and Niners. Because next year, it's the Cowboys, Jaguars, Colts, and Giants. We're going 6-10 with that '08 schedule. Our loss to the Bengals two weeks ago is the reason this blog exists; the kind of thing I don't tolerate, can't stomach, and won't recover from until I wake up some January morning and the Brownies are on the ticket. Until then, thanks for nothing, don't gimme no lines and keep your plans to yourself.

South Euclid's Premier Handicapper Releases Wild Card Games FREE!:

Chargers (-9) over Titans
There are no locks in the NFL playoffs, but this is as good a mismatch as you'll come across in a wildcard contest. Tennessee should've been flushed three weeks ago, but the incompetent Coach Herm Edwards and his Chiefs were unable to figure out a way to just get one first down and cement their fourth quarter lead. (This is no surprise to those of us that watched Chiefs training camp on HBO; the unintentional comedy factor, as SportsGuy noted, was incredibly high anytime Herman walked into the room. Kind of like Charlie Manuel strolling to the mound to make a pitching change in his short sleeve Tribe pullover, head rolling and twitching; you knew he was completely bewitched but he always tried to exhibit some semblance of confidence and control when on camera. This was Herm in August, and, according to my friend at work who is a die-hard Mizzou Tigers/Royals/Chiefs fan, things didn't change much throughout the season.) Then, the Titans eeked another win out vs. the Jets when a throw by Pennington poorly masked as the winning touchdown became an endzone INT. And the Colts game? Well, I think the Titans were beaten until they got incredibly lucky when Vince Young got injured. Apparently Kerry Collins not only dresses poorly and makes racial slurs, but he also wins football games. Anyway, with the Chargers hitting stride...not even Norv Turner can blow this one. Chargers 31 Titans 6.

Buccaneers (-3) over NY Giants
For whatever reason, the national media is desperate to make Eli Manning and the Giants a winner. Well actually, there are a million reasons why, but Vox won't laundry list you. Instead, I want to talk about my favorite player in the NFL and my favorite mexican-american, Jeffrey Jason Garcia (recently married and expecting his first child in April). After the Bucs win, Garcia will have won a playoff game with three different teams, a feat rarely accomplished by a starting QB. Actually, Garcia won't win it. He'll manufacture it (like many illegal immigrants in US American sweat shops). Some sport fans want to see Tiger dominate the back nine; some prefer Michael Schumacher driving recklessly on a wet Formula One track; Some enjoy those National league double-switch pitching duels. I like watching Jeff Garcia play quarterback. (I also like Jason Street competing in wheelchair football, but that's another column about a show that jumped the shark when Landry killed a guy outside 7-11.) So, everybody likes the Giants in this game. This has push written all over it, but how can you predict a fucking push? Tampa Bay 17 Giants 13.

Jaguars (-2) over Pittspuke
I am so, so disturbed by the rebirth of fantasy Fred Taylor. He's too good for me to leave unprotected next season, but not good enough to do the Vox of Las Vegas anything better than 5-8. So Fred...we've been together since 2002...if you do one thing during our miserable association together, please just beat the Stillers tomorrow and then retire. Jags 30 Pitt 26.

Redskins (+4) over Seahawks
The Bill Simmons playoff manifesto says never bet a crappy QB on the road. Fair enough, but how do you classify Todd Collins? I'm guessing he plays big, and Mike Holmgren agonizes and then goofs on an important clock-management decision that keeps Washington in the game. I just can't pick Seattle to cover after seeing them lose to the Browns. And the 'Hawks used up all of their luck when Romo bobbled the hold last year. Toughest game to call; try this: Seattle 21 Washington 20.

Let's just play football on monday. We're tired of the angles, the contrived drama, and the never-ending stream of stories about which team is feeling disrespected, etc. Maybe it's not sports I hate. In fact, I think I like the games just fine. It's all of the bullshit surrounding the event. Tell me how the Buckeyes "backed into" the national championship game if they have one loss and their opponent has two? And even if they did, I like the backdoor. In fact I prefer it, because it feels that much better after the victory. My favorite way to win at the blackjack table is when I double down on eleven and get a "2." My 13 against the dealer's face card. But then the dealer busts, and it didn't matter what the fuck I had. I posted a number, and the dealer couldn't beat it. If that's backing into something, sign me up.

Instead of the controversial and always diluted Random Top 10, we're going to change it up a bit in Vox 18. I present to you my first poem ever to be published on the web: New Orleans, The Complete Diaries. I penned the first piece during my visit there about 6 years ago. After Katrina hit in 2005, I did a follow-up. (Many of you have already read the first two chapters.) I recently wrote the final installment, figuring that OSU playing the BCS in Big Easy was a fitting time to finish it off.


Part 1, April 2002

gutter plants turned to barbed wire,
street magicians turned magistrates,
tarot readers turned palm-cheaters,
glad handers turned pan handlers,
the freaks turn up with the sun...
so turn down their attention---
this evening, they'll be back with friends;
oh, and did I mention?
role problems here are an easy fix...
men turn into women,
and the tourists turn the tricks.....

The New Orleans Diaries

enough to make the heavens cry,
the graves were built to touch the sky.
Sundays, locals call it home;
spirits meet at SuperDome.
the undead, just a block away,
alive in a Tennessee Williams play,
this town with a heart of glass
and not much more than tits and ass.

In Norleans there's a place called France,
a hole where naked creatures prance,
and the drunk go hunting for romance,
while the bass violinist is in a trance.
i am exercising my youthful right
to lose tomorrow in the night.
the countess emerges from the fog
"Don't you eat them Lucky Dogs!"

Bourbon street was but a dream;
Places are never what they seem.
Faces hide under the hood of a card;
memories of Las Vegas Boulevard.
takes more than tricks to impress me,
takes more than sex to undress me,
takes more than binions, banjos, boobs
but, holy shit, that statue moves!

Lou--Z-ana, say it like that!
so hard to remember where I'm at...
went looking for Louie
and got lost with Lestaat.
haunted streets but I didn't fret;
never did see that city sweat...
so that's my relief
and my trip's regret.

Part 2
October 2005

40 some months later, more than sweat;
my old perceptions soaking wet.
Mother Nature in all her rapture,
a tragedy she manufactured;
A city more than sad and fractured...

So here's 2 mil for your broken will--
some folks will surely help rebuild,
let's get every city pothole filled,
restore the dreams the weather killed;
up north, we just can't stand the guilt.

But I didn't give a fucking penny--
these days i think my thoughts are plenty.
And stick these prayers up your ass,
our God's asleep at midnight mass;
this fucking moment will not pass.

The war outside ain't New Orleans--
we stay the course by any means,
the dead soldiers just in their teens,
the privates cleaning the latrines...
my wife fights to fit in Lucky jeans.

And the media can't ever lose...
they have machines to make the news--
just flip the switch you'd like to use;
our channel likes to shape your views
then check our website for the clues.

Force feeding ain't a passion play.
It's way of life in S of A...
no, our government wasn't late
Louisiana is their favorite state
and black folks sure aren't second rate
and Bush is never on vacation
and kids need to learn about creation...
How could man evolve from ape?
That's just liberal sour grapes!
Didn't you hear the Ken Star tapes?
Clinton led us straight to hell
because he kissed and wouldn't tell.
King George came in and made things right,
Told us it was day at night,
Guaranteed we'd win the fight
Against our hidden enemies...
So find those WMDs!
And Photo-Op evacuees!-
muttering those c'est la vies.
And those Supreme Court nominees
handpicked to steal our liberties.

But week to week, my life's the same.
The daily grind, the nightly game.
I'll still watch my football sundays,
curse my 9 to 5 on mondays
Tuesdays, I watch CNN...
must they show it again and again?
Wednesday, it won't ever end....
Hey isn't that Sean fucking Penn?
Where are all his superfriends?
Thursday, the whole country's gawking--
that bitch Katrina won't stop talking...
So Friday night I fucked her sister;
first name Rita, last name Twister.
What's the point, I can't resist her?
She'll drop in and I'll 2-fist her.
It's Saturday already, mister....

That's how paranoia gets created...
small time stories so inflated
you can't escape the overstated;
it's relevant until it's dated .
I get so goddamn irritated...
but I remember 2002...
New Orleans and the color blue;
my memory is me and you
alive and well in our hotel room.
French Quarter and all, in bloom
Before the city met it's doom.

Part 3
December 2007

Hey now Louise, it's 2008
The Year of the Tiger v The Buckeye State
I'd rather hate what I love than love what I hate
I'd rather sneak in the stadium than cry at the gate
But Ana said "Sam, there's too much on your plate"
The world got some new wheels, but you better wait
And football games always come down to fate
So I blew my money on a stripper named Kate
I liked the way her body leans
Reminds me of New Orleans

Billy Joel, sorry, I've done it again
Stole a lyric from you about innocent men
Well I've hated the message since I was just ten
You sound like a softie with your piano and pen
But you're more to the point and I'm everything zen
And I need a nice melody now and then
For roasting a town that never knew when
To remove its big head from the lion's den
Jazz and madmen, clowns, marines
Reminds me of New Orleans

So what did we do when the lion bit?
And nobody wanted to own up to the hit?
Sent down a republican first aid kit
But she walks like a widow 'coz the storm pierced her clit
And I love to label, who cares if they fit?
My imagination is a piece of shit
Now you might call me a hypocrite
'Coz I'm more used to Bush than I'd like to admit
We're hitting a wall while he's hitting the greens
Reminds me of New Orleans

So who the fuck should I vote for?
Well raise your hand now if you'll end this war
Forget about Dean, Kucinich and Gore
And Hillary C, she flopped once more
I need a savior who don't act like a whore
I need a favor, fuck the sick and the poor
Midlife's a crisis, being 30's a bore
So please shake me down to my fucking core
Like Fergie in those movie scenes
Reminds me of New Orleans

In my car, every road leads to addiction
Fantasy life in a world of non-fiction
Louise, she suffers from every affliction
Ana, she buffers the bullshit depiction
The Big Easy, now just a giant eviction
You leave when it's over and don't feel the friction
It's really the ultimate contradiction
Before you take off, we need a prediction
The Bucks in the twenties, the Tigs in the teens
Reminds me of New Orleans


I know I can come off a little too absurd and abrasive, but I want to thank ClevelandSportsTorture for its continued support of Vox. Happy New Year to everyone! We all have our private wishes for 2008 and I sincerely hope that they come true for you and yours, but here are a few things for the next twelve months that I think everybody can agree on: In 72 hours, our 2nd national championship in six years. Another Final Four followed by a deep SVAC payoff run. The Tribe in the World Series. A fifth straight win over The School Up North. An AFC North title for the Browns, and two wins against Pittspuke. An NCAA birth for CSU. Gladiators sign Belisari or Germaine. A president-elect named Obama or Clinton. The end of the war. A trip to the Downer. A new U2 album with original riffs and 90s-Bono lyrics. U2-3D, a successful motion picture. A Sopranos movie. Bon Jovi headlining the 2009 Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, in C-town for the first time. Tim Riggins and Scarlet Johansen, topless. More Ralph Macchio on HBO. A hot pretzel machine at UDF. World domination for Stuey. Finally, more, shorter Vox in the Boxes. And more Box in the Vox (As my friend Snatch so eloquently reasoned, this occurs if we go to lunch with a hot chick and I drive).

"Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect."

I am Wayne Woodrow Hayes in the box

Sloopy let your hair down, girl...Parting is inevitable