In Memoriam: Charles Rocket, a funny guy who didn’t deserve to be tarred with the brush of that disastrous SNL cast. Unfortunately, he’s now proof that the funniest of people are the saddest inside.
Well, let’s be totally honest right now…I don’t know what I’m feeling. I mean, I’m so conflicted that I can’t even comment about Michelle Wie getting narced out by some doof at Sports Illustrated.
I mean, I grew up on the South Side. My parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents all grew up in Bridgeport, within walking distance of Comiskey. Out of all my living relatives, only my mother, aunt, and uncles have witnessed a World Series. My cousin has it worse than I do. She was not only born the year after the Sox last made it, but she ended up marrying a Texan and is living in the Metroplex, where the Rangers have never made it to the Big One. I fear that her daughters will end up like us, waiting like some drawling Miss Havishams for the baseball suitor that never came.
The connection by blood is there. But the feeling…it hasn’t happened in my lifetime, and you’re supposed to learn by experience. Genetics and basic environment can only do so much. Yes, conditions can be nearly replicated. After all, Da Mayor is from Bridgeport and is named Daley, but he didn’t set off the air-raid sirens. Shouldn’t they have gone off? Can’t that be considered tradition? Look, there have been the same number of formal investitures of the Prince Of Wales as the Sox have won World Series, yet that ceremony is still considered tradition. No one is really sure what to do right now.
I think I know what I’m supposed to be feeling. Pride, yes. That I have a lot of right now. Relief? Honestly, yes. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime. Of course, I also thought that I’d never make it to 40, yet here I am. Boundless optimism? No. Yeah, I can fake it as easily as a woman fakes an orgasm, but I can’t be optimistic. This isn’t the same as 1985 with the Bears, where everyone just KNEW that it was going to happen. Same with the Bulls’ first championship. It HAD to happen.
But this one doesn’t. It just doesn’t feel that way. There isn’t that history of close calls like the morons in Bahstun had, that sense of inevitability that it had to occur.
And it makes it worse if the Astros are the opponent. In 1959, it was Koufax and Drysdale on the other side. In 2005, Clemens and Pettite. This is not good. The omens are there.
(That being said, thank you, Albert Pujols. That was one helluva homer.)
I have to be cautious right now. I know that. But every fiber of my being says not to be, to just go with whatever my emotions are. But the letdown would be too much if the worst should happen.
I just don’t know right now. But, I was planning on going to Chicago this weekend anyway for some personal stuff. Now, I know that I have to be there. I don’t care about not having a ticket, I just need to be home to see this Series open. It’s a stronger impulse than salmon swimming upstream to spawn.
It’s the least I can do.
MORE BASEBALL? HOW ABOUT A SPECIAL MEDIA YOU’RE A MORON TO GO ALONG WITH IT?
Oh, how I love picking apart the so-called “experts”. They have a job I’m not envious about; they have to choose their words carefully and make prognostications while putting their “expert” status on the line. That being said, sometimes they’re just flat-out wrong, wrong, wrong. Given the situation, I’ve decided to choose my Biggest Retard Expert In Re Post-Season Baseball now, prior to the World Series. It was awfully difficult, given that most people were on the “White Sox In Six” bandwagon for the ALCS (of course, my main qualification was picking against the Sox), and there was pretty good logic behind that. However, there are some that just stand out and must be recognized.
Stand up, Albert Chen of si.com, and come up to receive your award. Provided you don’t slip in your own drool.
Let’s go back, back, back to the beginning of the post-season to demonstrate that Chen does not have one functioning brain cell. He picked the Dead Sux to sweep the Sox in the ALDS. Yes, sweep. Most of his imbecile colleagues also had the Dead Sux winning (a point that I used in the Super-Secret Writers’ Forum to demonstrate the existence of East Coast Bias), but none other than Chen had them sweeping. Here’s what he said about that series:
The White Sox might have the best starting pitching in the AL field, but Boston will ride Manny and Big Papi to the Big Dance
Not if no one else is hitting. We saw that in Game 3. Three solo homers by the two fat Hispanics, and no offense from anyone else. Result: one loss and an off-season of recriminations, which may end up with Manny coming to…Chicago. And riding all the way to the Big Dance? Hehehehehe.
and Bobby Jenks is too big of a question mark.
Two innings of shut-down question marks, if memory serves.
He also demonstrated his East Coast Bias by having the Yankers win their series against the Angels. But that’s not the only strikes against him in the DSes. He also believed that the Padres would take the Cardinals to five games. And Time-Warner is paying this guy?
Now on to the ALCS, and this gem:
In the ALCS, look for plenty of runs
Not from the Angels. Eleven runs in five games, yeesh.
The White Sox bullpen is loaded with options, and Orlando Hernandez will continue to be a huge factor.
Chen will NEVER live down this prediction. Nearly five complete games by the Sox starters…the bullpen’s loaded with options, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t use them.
The White Sox have the edge, but if Vlad gets hot, all bets are off.
Vlad “getting hot” wouldn’t have mattered, not with Figgins, Anderson, and Molina, Bengie Variant, all hitting below the Mendoza Line. Guerrero was just the worst of a bad group.
Again, I must emphasize that Time-Warner is paying this f*cking goof. Here’s a suggestion: how about firing his ass and hiring one of our guys from IP Sports? How about Dr. Jay? He got the ALCS exactly right, and he can write about anabolics without sounding like a complete goof. He’s also the only person at IP who’s more of an expert on drugs than I am. Of course, he works in the field. I just consume them.
WHY THE HELL NOT? I DON’T HAVE ANY MATERIAL ANYWAY…
Gorillaboy7 asks this:
What do you think about this commotion over avian flu? I must say, I’m a bit overwhelmed and frightened by the frequent use of “pandemic” to describe what will happen, but you’re pretty knowledgable and have a clearer head than I, so maybe you can make sense of this. Are we doomed?
Well, it sure looks like it’s just about ready to mutate, and it’s already spread throughout the world. Given rapidity of transport these days, it definitely looks like a pandemic possibility. Before you say anything about the damp squib that was SARS, let me reiterate: this is an influenza virus. They’re some of the nastiest forms of pseudo-life on Earth (right up there with Wife-Beater fanboys), and some of the most adaptable. It’s not going to be 1918, but it will still be nasty.
What will be nastier still is if Dubbaya decides to go through with his proposals for quarantine, etc. If they try it, I riot.
THE PIMP SECTION
Lucard goes to Chicago and proceeds to dine out on…fish? What is your problem, Alexander?
Wallace discusses some drinks that not even Flea has heard of. He’s also doing a little wrestling writing now when he’s sober enough.
Hatton at least gets to suffer with friends. But not this week.
Neeley needs a little injection of cynicism. And if he actually thought Raw was good, perhaps a taste transplant.
Hevia’s in need of that transplant too.
Zarur needs to learn how to spell Matt Leinart’s name.
Basilo throws out one of those Delphic-style riddles for everyone to solve.
Paul ends up discussing two movies that I’ll never see.
Morrison tries to give a little background to Infinite Crisis. Meanwhile, The Comics Roundtable kibitzes said mega-storyline.
Pomazak knows what I’m going through.
Stevens does DC. Hatton does Marvel. Don’t mix them up.
OH, GOD, NO NEWS AGAIN…
Well, there’s a little here and there. Jim Ross is slated to have his colon surgery today, and, obviously, we all wish him well. But can you imagine what would happen in Stamford if something goes wrong and he dies on the operating table? They’d be thrown into total confusion. Eight days after Linda kicked him in the nuts and told him he was fired, he suddenly dies…how much back-pedaling would they have to end up doing? They’d have to acknowledge it on the corporate website, but what do they put on wwe.com? Will we get a Raw Is JR next Monday night? Would this torpedo the Evil McMahons angle?…
…you know things are bad when I suddenly start wishing for people to die during an operation so that it could inject some excitement into Raw.
Honestly, that’s pretty much it. Yeah, there were some stupid interviews with Jericho and Missus Hevia out there, but, really, who other than sad-ass completists and people working for wrestling newssites reads them? So screw that.
And screw Raw. We already had advance warning about the United McMahon Front, which, even before broadcast, plunges this show into the Pit of I Need Acid Blockers. Let’s see what else they did wrong…
THE SHORT FORM
The Big Show over Edge, Taboo Tuesday Triple Threat Qualifying Match (Pinfall, chokeslam): So let me get this straight: this match was won because a wrestler got distracted when he was about to use a foreign object directly in the sight of the ref? The f*ck? We won’t even mention anything about the complete mismatch here that led to absolute boredom. The ending alone is enough to throw it down the toilet and flush.
Shawn Michaels over Carly Colon, Taboo Tuesday Triple Threat Qualifying Match (Pinfall, Sweet Chimp Music): During the mid-90s, Shawn Michaels had a very nasty habit. He would get visibly bored during matches against opponents not at his level. You could see it in his body language and his movement. He came close many times to half-assing it in the ring. He’s matured a great deal since then. If he gets bored during a match, he hides it very well. In this match, he let his guard drop. He had a “what the f*ck am I doing here” look on his face, and had no patience in there to f*ck around with Carly. Unfortunately, it made the match a grueling experience to watch. I don’t fully blame Michaels for that, though. Confronted with Carly’s ineptitude in the ring and Coachman’s announcing, I was bored too, and unlike Michaels, I don’t have to try to hide it. Personally, I’m glad he didn’t bother this time.
Victoria, Candace Michelle, and The Ten-Buck Tramp over Trish Stratus, Mickie James, and Ashley Massaro, Twelve-Pack Special (Pinfall, Victoria pins James, rollup): So, in order to try to get Alexis Laree over as a stalking creep, they set up a six-person tag? What the hell is up with the goddamn booking committee tonight? And who the hell booked this match? I mean, yes, I approve of keeping the three non-wrestlers out of the ring, but they didn’t have to make it this obvious. Total waste of time. And Laree does a sucky Stratusfaction to boot.
Kane over (in order of elimination) Carly Colon, Viscera, Edge, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Tyson Tomko, Gene Snitsky, Rosey, Nick Dinsmore, Rob Conway, GarriLance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Chavito, Shelton Benjamin, Val Venis, Antonio, Romeo, and Chris Masters, Taboo Tuesday Triple Threat Qualifying Match Battle Royal: Gee, a ten-minute Battle Royal where the winner was obvious from before the match started when Kane got the solo introduction. And they had the balls to have the Heart Throbs in there as part of the Final Four. And they had the balls to tease a Kane/Chris Masters feud, something none of us, especially Mistah Jacobs, wants to see. And they had the balls to give Carly and Edge a double-elimination clause. You may wonder why I’m stressing the “balls” stuff. After Wife-Beater’s and the Bitch of the Baskerville’s promo, I feel I need to reclaim that word for our general use.
KC Evers (no relation) makes this observation regarding the Taboo Tuesday match:
So…a face Champion has 3 face challengers as his possible opponents for Taboo Tuesday. Okay.
Hey, KC, this isn’t bad. No matter who’s chosen, this damn well guarantees that Angle will come out of that match the winner. By the way, you know damn well that it’ll end up being Michaels as the third participant. If Angle has to be in there carrying both Cena and Kane/TBS, that match is guaranteed to suck. Kurt’s good, but he’s not that good.
Going It Alone: It’s almost certainly not clear to WWE how to approach the booth situation. The first attempt at getting a semblance of sanity in there is a try-out of Coachman/Lawler. No, this isn’t going to work. Why? Because Coachman’s character is so unctuous that he becomes oppressive without anyone else to break his spiel up, and Lawler, who can be extremely unctuous himself, isn’t the guy to do it. Besides, this doesn’t solve the problem of Coachman absolutely sucking at PBP. He needs to stay on color, and two color men in the both isn’t a concept that’ll work. The whole Joey Styles option is sounding better and better now.
Other people agree with me regarding Coachman’s total unsuitability for PBP:
The Ravin’ Cajun: Coach is NOT a play-by-play announcer. Dude needs to get out of that
Semi-Regular Christopher Arrington: It now seems I have to take out Coachman for the sake of mankind and my ears.
Steve Murray: The combo of Coach & King as our Raw commentary was, by far, the worst of the 6 possibilities you listed. I’m convinced they picked that one because they hate you. Thanks for cursing us.
Look, Steve, that possibility had to be mentioned if only due to inertia. The easiest action, after all, is to take no action at all. Now that they’re finding out that this shit doesn’t work (or will be soon; by the way, I don’t agree with your assessment that the show was good), something will change.
Put In Reality, Set On Puree: Let’s just say this beforehand: Foley was off his game tonight. He’s always been one of the best at performing promos in normal conversational tone. Hearing him do a Hoganesque growl throughout the entire exchange with Carly was disconcerting. However, the most disconcerting thing about that promo had to be the Linda interruption. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone go from work to shoot back to work in the same sentence before. It was absolutely confusing as to what was supposed to be shoot and what was supposed to be work (and that’s not helped by Linda’s monotone delivery). I’m sure that Ross would approve of his surgery being incorporated into this angle; he’s an old pro and would allow something like that, so I wasn’t squicked by it. However, I’m certain that other people may have been made a little uncomfortable by it…
…yes, I know, since when I do give a shit what other people are concerned about? Well, I don’t. I’m just making a statement. However, this thing’s now going to be extended. It also gives them an out to bring Ross back in case they can’t find anything that works, namely Linda’s lawsuit threat and a “forced settlement” that gives Ross his job back. I love how they build escape clauses into everything, don’t you?
Damn You: Just as I was completely somnambulant, driven to extreme levels of boredom, out comes Ric Flair and proceeds to juice during a goddamn promo. And he backed it up with his usual strong job on the mic as well. You shouldn’t have woken me up, Ric, or got my hopes up that anything left in this abortion of a broadcast could be worth my time.
The Idiot Children Are Back In Control: Memo To Wife-Beater and The Bitch Of The Baskervilles: will you please, please at least make an effort to keep a straight f*cking face when cutting those promos? You’re supposed to be enemies. Laughing at each others’ jokes is no way to maintain that illusion. And people f*cking wonder why I don’t want either of these low-lifes back on my screen.
And, oh, by the way, in case you didn’t get the hint, let me repeat it for you: Steph didn’t say that if Wife-Beater wins, Ross gets his job on Raw back, just his job. That means he can still be shunted to the web broadcasts as planned. Sorry to blow your illusion, idiots.
Steve Murray goes a bit into what I was talking about:
So, was the segment between Steph and Stone Cold completely and utterly unscripted, or was Austin severely drunk by the time he hit the ring? You *never* hear two people talk over each other like that in a major promo in WWE. Or, was it just that Steph didn’t know how to play off of Austin? I mean – she’s been in the business for a while – she should get it by now, no matter what she has to deal with.
It wasn’t unscripted (although I wouldn’t put it past the Head of “Creative” to insist on it not being). Cross-talk is something that, as a former actor, I don’t mind. It’s more realistic. However, what was happening here was obvious: Wife-Beater was ad-libbing (most obviously on the “your breath smells” line). This threw Steph off, and she couldn’t get her timing back (no surprise, really; we all know that she’s a horrible actress). Then he made her start cracking up, and the whole promo went to complete and utter hell, if it wasn’t already there.
By the way, in response to your query, I do separate the wrestling character from the person playing him. However, as long-time readers can tell you, I soured on Wife-Beater a long time ago, so I hate the character and hate the person playing him. Thus, no confusion.
And sorry to tell you this, but I’m not going to be here for the Short Form or next Tuesday. I’ll be in transit back from Chicago at the time, and I don’t feel like trying to rush home to do Raw and this column after being out of town. I will, however, do the Bound For Glory Round Table, so you won’t be too withdrawn by the time I get back to this place. Until then, have a good one.