Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fall: Quite Possibly My Favorite Season, for Ridiculous Reasons

Football season is coming, which means Autumn is also on its way. This is one of my favorite times of the year, and I'm sure many people share that same sentiment. Many enjoy this season because of the transitional period that has been made famous because leaves change colors and fall on the ground, forcing children doing community service to gather them up for the elderly. (My parents attempted to raise me Catholic, and I had to be confirmed whether I wanted to or not, and the congregation felt that me raking up leaves for five of my twenty required community service hours would do me a solid as far as getting in God's good graces. At the time I wasn't as brash as I've become, so I went about my business without questioning the authorities that were forcing it on me and raked up some leaves for elderly people, which is insane, because the only elderly people who give a baker's fuck about their lawns hire someone to care for it, which would make it a lot less than a neccessity for us to rake their leaves. So, we were raking leaves for people that didn't give a shit. If I'd had the same attitude then as I did now, I'd probably ask my Sunday school teacher why we had to rake the fucking leaves during the Steelers game while the priests were feasting on spinach dip and alter boys while listening to Myron Cope. Sorry that was such a long parenthetical rant. I dont' think I can do footnotes on here.) Then, sometimes little kids jump in the pile of leaves, scattering them about again and forcing the person who raked them to do it all over again.

Obviously, this isn't why I like fall. I could care less how pretty the colorful leaves are. My mother once suggested that we take a tourist's train ride through Pennsylvania to check out all of the colorfull scenery, and that was--allegedly--the first and last time I showed a woman my left hook.

Truth be told, I don't think football makes it my favorite season either, because I'm a much bigger fan of basketball and spend most of the football season brooding over my home team (the Steelers) decision to continue to pamper and play an overrated fuck with a butt-chin who happens to have a pretty hott sister (Ben Roethlisberger). I used to play football, but was never that great--I was a 2nd string quarterback at one point, so I can compare myself to Matt Sarrassin and Jonathan Moxie--and I still love to watch it, but I don't think it's what makes me love fall. The only sport that can make me fall in love with a season is women's beach volleyball in the summer, which is automatically discounted because I refuse to let a woman's sport be the reason that I love anything except hidden locker room cameras.

So then, logically, I move to my birthday--November 6th in my case, which takes place during the heart of Fall. Some people get really psyched about their birthdays, and I guess this year I kind of am...I'll be turning 21, which is the most epic date of birth anyone can experience--at least in my opinion, but I'm drunk right now, so what does that tell you?--but normally, I don't get too excited. Sometimes, I'm completely irrational, but I think my viewpoints on birthdays are completely understandable: why would you celebrate the day that you were born? You didn't do a fucking thing, really. It's like celebrating winning an Olympic bronze medal because the Polish guy who initially finished third called the judges fat fucks and threw his medal on the ground whilst on the podium, leaving them no choice but to award it to you, the fourth place finisher.

Call me crazy, but shouldn't your mother be the one that celebrates this day? I mean, she did do all of the pushing and went through all of the pain for you to be born on this day, which I hear is pretty painful. Even your dad has more justification to celebrate than you, because he was in on the process and probably cut your umbilical (yeah, I actually spelled that right, I just checked) cord, so he can play a little cameo in the day's celebration. Then they had to put up with your shit for as many years as you've been alive. You shouldn't be getting presents on this day, you should be pouring out some drinks for your parents. So, birthdays are out.

I'll finally get to the point now, which is why I like Autumn: Halloween.

It took me a long time and an in-depth conversation with my friend Bryan to deduce that this is, in fact, the reason I love the season so much. As a younger child, I loved it because you had reason to dress up as someone that you weren't for one day out of the entire year. You could be an FBI agent clad in a Canadian tuxedo that carried a cap gun in a makeshift shoulder holster; you could be a Nascar driver; you could be the serial killer from Scream; you could be a fucking Power Ranger. (I was each one of these in my younger days.) You could even be a character from Sandlot with all of your friends, while one of them dressed as a gigantic dog and chased you around an urban area. (That's what I hope to do this Halloween.)

Oh, and you got free candy for being someone that you weren't. It's the most absurdly rewarding experience a child or adolescent could ever hope for. It was the pinnacle of the year, outdone only by Christmas, when you were celebrating someone else's birthday. That would be Jesus', which I guess is kind of acceptable because his birthday is different. His mother still went through labor and everything, I guess, but he was a miracle. That's way off point.

Then, as you got older, it was the one night when pointless and narcissistic vandalism was socially acceptable. You could throw eggs at the houses of the people who gave out carrot sticks and popcorn balls as treats, and on this night they were the evil miscreants who were to blame, not the kids plastering their siding with yolk.

Then, as you got to late high school and a college stage, and even into adulthood, there became another reason to love the holiday, which is why I love it so dearly now: Seemingly normal and non-promiscuous women were able to dress as complete and fantastic sluts, and it was socially acceptable.

Now, you might think that this is a terribly perverted and uncalled for reason to love any of the four seasons, but I don't think I'm alone on this. In college, dudes look forward to Halloween and put a lot of thought into what they'll dress as. So do women. They decide to dress as prostitutes thinly veiled as nurses, Catholic schoolgirls, secretaries (or sexcretaries, I coined that), ets. You get to party like a fucking mad person on Halloween, regardless of the day it takes place on in the week.

I was very skeptical about acknowledging my love for the holiday and Fall based on this simple matter, but during my freshman year it was proven to me clandestinely, and I didn't even notice it until years later. Initially, in college, I played basketball. We started practice on October 12th, and the worst experience of my life went on through the night of Halloween. The day following, we had a 6 am walkthrough, which consisted of my sadistic coach making us run around like fucking idiots before our 8 am class. And some people say that Halloween is the devil's day and is sacriigeous. I'm forever indebted to the Halloween of 2006 for convincing me that I loved viewing seemingly normal women dressed as pornstars and also convincing me to question certain religions that seemed hell-bent on extracting fun from the lives of teenagers. Shortly after missing any Halloween hedonism because I was asleep at 11 p.m. and dreading my early wake-up call from an inexplicable douchebag of a man, I quit the sport I'd loved for most of my life. I'd matured into a man that hated extremely unneccessary physical exertion and loved seeing women in short plaid skirts and tube socks. I've yet to look back.

Halloween gives young men hope. They see the girls that they have crushes on strutting about inches away from indescent exposure, and they feel that they may have a chance. They catch a glimpse of the inner sex kitten that encapsulates the minds of young women coming into their own. Regardless of how they act on the other 364 days of the year, guys can see that girls really want to let loose, and probably would if it wasn't for the whole slut/manwhore double standard, which will hopefully someday be miscredited by a fucking holiday that is really otherwise meaningless (except for the candy, toilet papering and mailbox bashing, of course). They get the feeling that they can somehow find that pseudo-slut that is hiding somewhere in most normal girls, and it is an undeniably beautiful thing. They know that these women are just like them in the way that they wouldn't dress up like Marilyn Monroe if some part of them didn't actually want to act like a chick that would bone a married United States President. Just like I wouldn't spend sixty dollars on a pair of PF Flyers and dress like Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez if some part of me didn't want to steal an autographed baseball from a blind man or steal homebase in adult hood after I grew a masterful mustache.

It goes both ways, too. For every normal and prudinistic (I'm fairly sure I just made that word up) woman, there is a contradiction. There are girls who embrace promiscuity year round, and are not afraid to show it. They show plenty of leg at any party they go to, and won't hesitate to wear a skirt with leggings--a weakness of mine--to a first-year seminar class. If you're out on Halloween and you're not feeling philosophical or daydreaming about what these one-day-a-year-skin-showers might be like if you got them into your dormitory shower, take this advice: the women that aren't scantily clad on Halloween are more often than not the ones that are extremely scantily clad the rest of the year. They're the ones that dress like they're looking to get paid to perform fellatio after Easter mass. These are the women who are not inclined to tease you, because they can do that with the rest of their year's wardrobe.

So, Halloween is a time when you can (usually) very easily tell the kind of person that someone is, and it's the one day in the year that effectively removes the gray area of wonderment that boys torment themselves over every other day. This is why I like Halloween.

And, this is why I love Fall.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brett is Back

About two weeks ago, I was in a very dark place. A place I was certain I couldn't come back from. One of my heroes and a former man crush of the month had betrayed my trust and left me on the brink of insanity. I'm willing to bet that you were thinking the same things I was at that time, except my emotions were amplified by at least 10% and came with the sensation that one of my nuts was constantly lodged in the area between my groin and small intestines.

We were all thinking: What the fuck is Brett Favre doing?

The answer: Nobody, and I don't think even he, knows.

When he first began to express interest in coming back to the NFL, I was ecstatic. Then I heard people didn't want him. I could immediately see why. They were pissed because he'd expressed his desire to retire from the game, and they were all ready to move on. It's kind of like when you get the sweetest blowjob of your life in the 10th grade, break up with the girl, and then decide later on that you'd like to have her back, only to find that she's moved on and is now dating a total tool.

You might say that the two things aren't even remotely related, but if you observe poignantly, they surely are. The 'you' in the story is Favre, the 'girl' is the Green Bay Packers, and the 'total tool' is Aaron Rodgers (the man slated to take our future Commander In Chief's place). Yep. I hope you brought your umbrella, because I'm raining knowledge.

The realization of this, coupled with the conjecture that Favre would not end up in a Packers' uniform this coming season but in a suit for another team--quite possibly the Vikings, who wear purple. Fucking Purple--was simply too much, and I decided to just let it all go. I stopped watching ESPN for a while, waiting for it all to go away. I actually watched the real news, and knew what was going on in the world politically. That's how bad it got.

In other words, I moved on. I picked a new favorite player, Trent Dilfer, because I knew he was retired and would stay that way, if only because nobody else would take him. He wouldn't hurt me like Favre and Jake Plummer had. I knew what to expect from him. He'd be on ESPN on Sundays, doing some color commentating, and he might even make me laugh every now and then. Trent Dilfer made me believe in a world of laughter that I'd thought was gone the day #4 hung up his cleats.

I decided I could start watching ESPN again, because I'd heard through the grapevine that the Pirates had traded their best two players to the Yankees and Red Sox, and that they were scorching the American league. I wanted another reason to get mad at the sporting world, and another reason to move away from home. In the sports world, we call that a win-win situation.

I figured the whole ordeal with Favre was at some kind of standstill, because I refused to talk to anyone about him, because they would almost always bring up the articles I wrote for the school paper or the blog entries I'd written about the man, ceaslessly praising him, and what a douchebag he was acting like.

So, in preparation for the event, I had my mom stop in a convenience store in China Town (I'm in DC right now) and buy me a bottle of Blue Rasberry Mad Dog 20/20--sadly, that was not a joke. I came back to my hotel and cracked it open, and decided to check ESPN's website before turning the television on. That way if I saw a photo of Roger Goodell skull-fucking my man crush, I could quickly shut the computer monitor off and keep myself from the bad news.

As I got the page up, I was terrified to find that Brett's picture was on the homepage. I tried to stick with my initial plan, and I did. But I kept finding my way back to the page, telling myself I was trying to figure out if Brian Deegan had scored a gold medal yet at the X-Games, and if manny Ramirez had choked on a burrito and died.

But really, I was looking at Favre. And, eventually I read the article. It told me that as of Monday (tomorrow), Favre would be reinstated and listed as an active member of the Packers' roster. Their coach was rumored to be planning a quarterback competition between him and Rodgers to decide who would start.

The first thing I did was get an erection. Then, I decided my silence had to end. I was tempted to write something about Favre before, when all of this started, but I just couldn't. The knife had gone too deep. I experienced my first real bout with writers block. Everytime I sat down at my computer, I would break into tears and be forced to listen to the Kangaroo Jack soundtrack for the rest of the night in order to cheer myself back up.

I didn't know what to write about though, because I could address the way he's acting, but I was totally flabbergasted by it. Instead, I decided to focuse on the argument that the Packers shouldn't take him back, because it's Aaron Rodgers time to start as quarterback there.

That is a terrible argument. Why does Rodgers deserve to play? He hasn't earned it at all, and it's not like his uncle is the offensive coordinater. Whoever's most qualified for the job should get the job. I don't think anyone would say Rodgers has a better chance of leading the Pack to the Superbowl than Favre. No more than I have a better chance at writing a kickass novel about a boy-wizard than J.K. Rowling does.

Favre holds many records in the NFL. Rodgers can't even hold Favre's jockstrap, though I'm sure they made him do it during his rookie season. They may have made him wring it out on his face too. Mushroom stamps may also have been involved.

I, personally, welcome Brett Favre back to the NFL, and feel that the prospect of Rodgers starting over him is the same as me getting married and being happy about it. (Except that Chris Berman would not cover my wedding. If he did, he'd probably say something like "He...could...go...all...the...way...less than 50% of the time.")

Brett Favre is back, and I am fucking happy about it. I hope he starts on opening day, and pulls off his comeback in a greater fashion than Michael Jordan or David Hasselhoff did, or I'm going to sound like a total idiot.

Now, though, if Favre's playing football, he will almost certainly not be the next President of our great Nation. That's a big problem, but lets face it, that's not as important as football...