Thursday, August 30, 2007

War of the Worlds

I'm going to do a Quintin Terrintino maneuver here. I'm going to tell you the end first. And that is "When it comes right down to it, I'm neither pretty enough, nor weird enough to be here." An interesting point there. Why would I say such a thing that would sound so suppressive to my fragile male ego? Let's run it back.

A few days ago I was suffering from a bit of a lagging sensation as I left to go to work. So, like many people tend to do in times like these, I made a stop at a Starbucks on my way to work. Oddly enough, and a somewhat unrelated point, but I remember a time when stopping at a Starbucks on one's way to work took some additional planning. Not anymore. If you can't stop conveniently at a Starbucks for a $6 cup of coffee, you need a new job apparently.

But as I walk in there, I'm confronted by several things. It was a myriad of sites, sounds, and smells the likes of which you don't tend to run across on a regular basis. As I enter, I'm about 3 deep in a line, and I'm looking at the people working the counter, all of whom look like extras that walked right off the set of a Fallout Boy or Avril Lavigne video. To sum up, somewhat androgynous in gender by both appearance such as eyeliner and shaggy hair spiked and manipulated in complex ways. As well as in name, such as Morgan, Tyler, or Kris. Clearly not the time to say "How you guys doing this morning?" But make no mistake, all of them were nice and polite as the day is long.

What next caught my attention is the generic form of a person that tends to bare the brunt of a good deal of least my jokes. I hear the door open and close behind me, and without turning around, it's clear that a woman (or women) have just come in. How? Because through the thick and robust aroma of worldly coffee, I can smell them. And in this case, smell them means I can smell the make-up they are wearing due to the amount they have on. Their perfume is noticeable as well, but when the smell of foundation is prevalent over your perfume, somethings not all together right about that. And the real kicker is, these woman are by no means right behind me. Oh no, they are a good 4 people back, putting them roughly 10-12 feet away.

But that's not all...

What really cracks me up, is the rest of the clothing. The fact of the matter is it's the same on each of them. Invariably it consists of these things; running pants, break aways, or sweats- anything you would lounge around and be comfortable in that these people would ordinarily not be caught dead in even within the confines of their own home. On occasion, pajama pants borrowed from their 13 year-old daughter. Some manner of top of the line t-shirt that looks like you would workout in it, if you would ever condescend to sweat. Of course you don't sweat in this shirt, it's made by DKNY and sweat would cause it to spontaneously combust. Flip flops. Always flip flops. The previously mentioned 30 plus minutes of make-up which, if you're keeping track, is only there to compliment a pressed and hung version of what she wore to bed the previous night. And the hair all did up. Sometimes you get really luck and see them with the hair all did up and still under a hat. That's the best combination.

So as I move through the line, inching ever closer to the register, and what I've come to understand is that if the people in line before me haven't decided what they want in the half hour it took to get to the register, I should be allowed to kill them. Be that as it may, I order my coffee from Fallout Boy while fighting the overwhelming combination of smells emanating from the Desperate Housewives behind me.

Here's the interesting part; there is no where else in the WORLD that these two groups of people could come together to coordinate on a task. To pass each other in the world, someone would sneer "What in the world are they wearing" while the others would complain about their "despicable attempts at social conformity. To see these two groups interact earnestly anywhere else would most certainly cause the space-time continuum to collapse upon itself, the world would stop spinning and fall from it's axis, cats and dogs would marry and live together, and who knows what else?

Standing in line marveling at my revelation, dressed in my polo shirt and khaki pants, all I could possibly conclude is that I am neither pretty enough, nor weird enough to be here. Guess I'm sticking to UDF coffee from now on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Top 5 Reasons Vick Will Never Play Again

With the host of information that has swallowed Michael Vick in the past 3 months, you would have to be blind and deaf while living under a rock in a dark cave somewhere not to know what's going on. But in case someone out there doesn't know what's going on, here's the scenario; the man's in a whole host of trouble for his involvement of illegal dog fighting. That's the Reader's Digest version, and the rest of the charges surrounding him only make his situation worse.

You can ask people all through the sports reporting world what is going to happen to Vick in the future. After all, he is looking at a 12-18 prison sentence for starters. The presiding judge, however, has the right to give him up to 5 years for his transgressions. Now keep in mind, this man risked up to 5 years in prison to gamble on illegal activities. Vick is the first man in the history of the NFL to sign a 9 figure contract making him the "Hundred Million Dollar Man". And while what has happened off the field has made me nearly ill both as a dog lover and a human being, he is an absolutely electrifying athlete. The man is lightning fast with a cannon for an arm. And if you've never seen a Falcons game, that's really too bad because chances are, you're never going to see him play again...ever. Here's the top 5 reasons why.

5. Time now: Vick has not been in training camp with the Falcons for some time now at the request of the NFL. His plea will not be entered officially until the 27th. So chances are he won't start serving time until when? Probably after the first of the year. And if the NFL wouldn't let him in training camp with the allegations, they certainly won't let him play after entering a guilty plea.

4. Time removed: To take the snaps for a team requires a certain feel and understanding. There is a reason that quarterbacks take 5,000 practice snaps in camp. After a while of not doing so, the muscle memory breaks down. So this season is spent, he'll likely be serving his sentence through a good part of next season, and lest we forget Commissioner Goddel is going to have his say about all this once the government has their time served. If Pacman Jones got a season suspension for all his exploits, you can probably expect that Vick will get at least another season taken away from him by the commission, if not more, for a federal conviction. He'll have a tall order before him to get back to playing technique.

3. Incoming class: As time goes on, up an comers have shown that they are vastly superior physically to where incoming players were say, 10 years ago. With the passing of time, players are becoming more impressive as physical specimens in a shorter amount of time. Therefore, by the time he gets back on the field, there are likely to be a great number of players who can replace him. (That idea of replacement will revisit us with the number 1 reason)

2. Leadership: It has been speculated that if Vick was clearly in on the dog fighting, what other activities is he involved in that come along with such a criminal element? The fact of the matter is that a quarterback needs to be the leader. He is the face of the team in good times and in bad, in successes and in failures, on and off the field. I can't imagine a team in the league that's going to welcome him into their organization to lead anyone anywhere.

1. He's not that good anyway: Someone somewhere is conducting hate mail to me right now. But think about it; Vick is a stunning, groundbreaking, and electrifying athlete. That doesn't mean he's a great quarterback. Consider what a quarterback does; read the defense, organize your team to manipulate or exploit that defense, deliver the ball, among other things. Does Vick do that? Maybe a little. He can exploit the defense when the pocket collapses with his legs, but not usually prior to the snap like Manning. He can throw the ball a mile, but it's not what you might call accurate, like Palmer. He's not a cool under pressure as Brady. Strictly from an athletic standpoint, none of these 3 quarterbacks are nearly the athlete that Vick is. But Vick will never be the quarterback that these guys are. As new crops of players evolve and enter the league, you can bet that it's the Palmers, Mannings, and Brady's that they will be taught to emulate.

Atlanta thought Vick was the future. A new breed of quarterback. But consider the last time Atlanta was in a Superbowl. Does anyone else remember Chris Chandler and and Jamaal Anserson? No one has thought of them since they day that Superbowl was played. Vick didn't deliver them a championship in spite of his athleticism. It's kind of an "If it ain't broke don't fix it" scenario. But the days of entertainment, flashy and stunning sprints from the pocket, and super tight spirals from the left hand of Atlanta's #7 are probably done for.