Month: June 2014

Doug McDermott (aka Dougie McBuckets) is the Newest Chicago Bull. Let’s Party.

Excuse me for a second while I get excited about Chicago sports. I can’t blame you for closing this tab immediately if you could not care less.

This might sound crazy, but I want Lebron to go back to the Miami Heat. Or, at the very least, stay in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Why, you ask? Because I think this is the year my Chicago Bulls overthrow King James. And we won’t need to poison him King Joffrey-style either. We’ll do it the old-fashioned way. Battle.

One of the biggest reasons I feel this way? We just picked Creighton’s Doug McDermott – aka Dougie McBuckets, aka 2014’s Naismith Award winner, aka Little Larry Bird, aka the Un-Adam Morrison, aka the Iowa Sniper, aka White Man Can Kinda Jump, aka My Best Friend Doug.

Welcome to Chicago, Doug.

Welcome to Chicago, Doug.

Alright, I know McDermott might not be enough for the Bulls to reach the top of the NBA mountain, but I think this guy’s some game. Chicago’s basketball team sorely needs points and Dougie was NCAA’s leading scorer last year.

If Coach Thibodeau can teach Dougie how to play NBA-quality defense, we might have a complete player on our hands. If McDermott starts out hot in his first few games, Chi Town will fall in love with the kid from Ames, Iowa. Also, I’ve got this weird feeling that Joakim Noah is going to start calling Dougie “White Chocolate” because of his amazing HORSE skills.

Seriously, check out this video:

Or maybe Jo will just call Dougie “Peanuts.”

Perhaps the best, and most overlooked, aspect of this move by the Bulls is that we get to hear Stacey King (the beloved Bulls’ TV analyst) scream at the top of his lungs when McDermott sinks threes.

I can already hear Stacey now. “Dougie for the three from Ames, Iowa…. Oooooohhh, McBuckets, baby!”

Swish. That’s the sound I’m most excited to hear from a shooter off the bench. I’m pumped about this Bulls team returning to action more focused, healthier, and capable of sinking more baskets.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Carmelo Anthony. I’d like to think he’s not an asshole like Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Lebron, but I don’t know that. I don’t know whether Derrick Rose will return to all-star form, but I’m not as negative as other Bulls fans. I don’t know what is going to happen with Nikola Mirotić, either.

But I know that I’m excited right now. And in the midst of a very long, frustrating baseball season for Chicagoans on both the North and South sides, sports excitement is a good thing.

Right Dougie?!

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Damn. Doug was so excited he made a million baskets at once.

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Lost in the 90s

The 90s is the best decade in history. It brought us the Rugrats, Boy Meets World, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Will Smith, “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” Will Smith, “save the planet” Will Smith, boy bands, ska music, East Coast vs West Coast Rap battles, Biggie, Tupac, blow jobs in the Oval Office, Stone Cold Steve Austin, the NWO, and of course Michael Jordan and the one and only Chicago Bulls.

It was a fascinating decade where youthful revolt turned to apathy. Where we focused on enjoying life rather than trying to fix all its problems. Many great aspects of the 90s live on and the ripples can still be felt, but there are also many people, places, and events that never made it out of the 90s or at least never achieved the same success outside of that great decade. I want to take a look at those things that have been lost in the annals of history in our newest segment, “Lost in the 90s.”

Man am I super jealous of that kid for being in the presence of greatness.

Man am I super jealous of that kid for being in the presence of greatness.

First up, Tom Emanski. The brilliant baseball mind whose teachings helped produce baseball’s back-to-back-to-back AAU National Champions. Anyone from the 90s that watched ESPN remembers Emanki’s commercials for his VHS instructional videos on how to play the game of baseball the “right way.” Funny that right and white rhyme in this instance. Don’t you think? 

The greatest gift for an overbearing, delusional father whom wants to push his son as hard as humanly possible in order to live vicariously through him on his way to the Big Leagues in order to ignore the fact that he got cut from his JV High School team. These videos were a gold mine for Emanksi whom made millions off the sales. Kids of the 90s had to  suffer through these dry, boring videos to “learn the game” when all they wanted to do was go out and play something that was actually fun with their friends.

Emanski was a baseball lifer, despite growing up in the furthest thing from a baseball hot bed, New Jersey. This man had an undying love for fundamentals that carried over to all aspects of life. His wife never has to worry about having a good time on her birthday and anniversary. Emanski starting working as a MLB scout in the 70s before taking his incredible skills of observation to the instructional field in the 80s. However, it was a lesson in Orlando with a young 18 year old, aspiring ballplayer named Fred McGriff that took his career to new heights. fred_mcgriff

Larel and Hardy, Batman and Robin, Lewis and Martin, Regis and Kathy Lee, Jordan and Pippen, Sheen and “any pornstar willing to fuck for cocaine,” and Emanski and McGriff. These are the names in the Pantheon of great duos to ever grace God’s green earth. In 1991, when Emanski was preparing to launch his instructional video series, now known simply as “The Nine Commandments,” he knew he needed something or someone to make a splash. Enter Fred “the Crime Dog” McGriff, at the time the starting first baseman for the Chicago Cubs. Emanski called in a favor to the man he helped turn into an eventual Hall of Famer and of course McGriff said yes. He picked up the Crime Dog straight from Wrigley, after one of the team’s surprisingly low 83 losses, and they drove to a local high school field to make history. Naming the greatest commercial of all-time is a subjective manner, but anyone that has ever seen Emanski’s commercials would have a hard time saying any other is better.

After the success of the videos, Emanski was living the high life. The private jets, the limo rides, the parties, the women, it all came fast and easy for this 90s superstar. It unfortunately did not leave any time for Emanski to manage a baseball team himself, which would no doubt lead to him becoming the most successful of all-time. Then the 90s came to an end and his star inexplicably lost some shine. Everyone once in awhile someone references his name in passing, but never with the reverence it deserves. But really, I’m not sure if that is even possible. He may no longer get the recognition that he deserves, but for any child or father of the 90s, Tom Emanski will forever be the greatest baseball mind the world has ever known.

Seven Reasons High School and College Students Need a Summer Job

As I continue to take steps on my increasingly depressing journey to 26 years of age, I’m consistently reminded of the importance of all the part-time jobs I worked in past. Particularly, I’m talking about the ones I worked during the summer months as a high school teenager and early-20s collegiate moron.

While summer is the absolute best time for lounging by the pool, enjoying public parks, hitting local bars, and playing a round of golf, it’s also the most opportune time for kids to work as lifeguards, city handymen, bartenders, and golf course refreshment cart drivers.

I worked as a lifeguard. It was a great, and often crazy, experience.

I worked as a lifeguard. It was a great, and often crazy, experience.

Below, find seven reasons why every kid should work a summer job.

Learn the value of a hard-earned dollar. I learned why my parents weren’t willing to give me globs of cash. Hint: It wasn’t because they didn’t want to. It’s because they worked hard each and every day, and wanted me to learn what it feels like to have to work for what you get. While I will always hope to win the lottery, I will never have any misconceptions about how hard most people work to make a decent living.

Balance social life and real life. Though we’re obsessed with TV characters that are prone to excess, balance is a good thing to have in real life. Working a job in the summer when the weather is absolutely perfect and you want to be somewhere else teaches you that you can’t always be in that perfect somewhere else. Sometimes you’ve got to earn it. Besides, working a crappy summer job makes your time with friends that much more valuable. And guess what? After college, that fun time with all your friends is fewer and further in between. Get used to it.

You need to learn how to network at a young age. That’s not to say that your fellow pool lifeguard will help you land your dream job at 16, but you never know will people will end up. Make sure to get phone numbers and email addresses.

Summer love. It’s a thing, people. Working a shitty summer job is a great way to bond with a love interest. You can talk about how crappy your pay is, how much your boss sucks, and lambast the way-too-old-to-be-working-at-a-beach dude that gets under your skin. A summer romance is also a great way to learn one of the toughest things in life, too. Sometimes, great things have to end. That includes love.

A little summer love in the film Adventureland.

A little summer love in the film Adventureland.

Dealing with assholes. I have worked a job where I took 70+ calls a day at an auto warranty financing company, as a lifeguard who dealt with dickhead parents, and as a city worker with grumpy old coworkers. Learning how to deal with assholes is valuable. You will have to do it the rest of your life. It’s good to learn that simple fact at a fairly early age. It’s important to learn how to keep your cool in professional situations. And don’t forget, you’re only ever a few hours away from beers on the beach with friends.

Perspective and respect. Let’s be honest, a crappy summer job will most likely not be something you want to do with the rest of your life. However, what may seem like a meaningless, fleeting gig to you might be someone’s livelihood. It’s important not to look down on someone for making a living. Remember, you’re only as good as you treat people. Respect people who get up and go to work everyday, even if you hate their job.

Some people make a living do this kind of thing. There's nothing wrong with it.

Some people make a living do this kind of thing. There’s nothing wrong with it.

Learn what you want to do. Sometimes, learning what you do not want to do is the best way to get you focused on what you want out of this short life. Once you experience what it’s like to work a 10-hour day at a shitty job, you’ll understand why some people risk it all to make careers out of their passions.

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I’ve worked at summer jobs I’ve hated where I’ve met people I loved. I’ve fallen in love at a summer job. I fell out of love at a summer job. I learned how to work copy machines, conference lines, CPR, swimming, filling potholes, and so much more at summer jobs.

My summer jobs taught me humility, patience, and that what I really want to do is write for a living.

So print out your resume, put your sunblock on, and go pitch yourself and services to whoever is in charge of your local pool!

Throwback Summer: Revenge on Prom ’07

Last week on TBS I shared my Prom memories and what a terrible night it ended up being. This week the “Empire Strikes Back.” Some readers took my stance against Prom as me being anti-party, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It wasn’t the act of partying that upset me, but rather the expectation to do so.

A good party should be organic, come out of nowhere, and be set on your terms, not societies. This week I throwback to one of the greatest parties I’ve ever been a part of, Revenge on Prom ’07. As I mentioned last week, our great after Prom party plans completely fell apart. It left a sour taste in our mouths during the summer leading into college and we collectively wanted to make amends for our failing. Thus set into motion the greatest revenge party this world has ever seen. We returned to the scene of our failure, my parents’ lake house, to throw a true “we’re going to live forever” party to satisfy our rebellious teenage appetites.

A house, a pool, a prom size group of a couple dozen people, and two kegs equaled the weekend of our young lives.

Keg Stands.

Keg Stands.

More Keg Stands

More Keg Stands

What else do you do when you have a keg besides copious amounts of keg stands. The great ritual in any young person’s partying years. It combines gymnastics, lots of drinking, and the thrill of competing for whom can go the longest. Two TBS debuts in these pictures, on the top right is the aforementioned, but not yet seen Quinn Ford, lifting yours truly with great ferocity along side Brian. Despite the severe change in angle from my right side to my left, due to Brian’s height limits, boom two short burns in two weeks, I still managed over 40 seconds. What is it they say about hindsight again? And on the bottom left is Brandon Groth, aka Captain Groth due to his status as captain of the football team Senior year. Groth is the coolest guy I have the pleasure of calling a friend and I don’t think any of my other friends will take offense because they would say the same thing. Any time he would go out with us, which was more rare then anyone wanted, it was guaranteed to be a good time. The dude was the David Ortiz of going out, he just always came through in the big moments. The energy always picked up when he was around because we all knew it was going to be a legendary night.

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Any time a game of drunk pool basketball is involved you know it is a legendary night. Pool basketball may be my favorite game of all time. It is part basketball, part water polo, part swimming, part absolute cluster fuck. And all the best aspects of it get ratcheted up tenfold when alcohol is involved.

Beer pong.

Beer pong.

A good partier knows how to improvise and make a beer pong table out of anything. In this case, a covered pool table. Man, did that leather cover need a good hosing after this night. I swear the stench of beer has still not gone away even seven years later.

Laura and Amy

Laura and Amy

Here are two more newcomers to the TBS series, Amy Bilek on the left and Laura Schramm on the right. I spent a lot of time party with these two lovely ladies Senior year of high school, which was a good thing since we ended up going to college together. Our bonding in high school made the transition to college easier as it helped to have two people I knew so well with me. They’re currently living together in the great city of Chicago, which warms my heart to see two friends remain close through the trials and tribulations of high school and college. This was far from the last epic party we would attend together, so this will not be the last you see of them.

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Another sign of an epic night is when people randomly stop by because they heard about it, in this case it was Erin Sullivan. Pictured modeling off our cheap basement putting green. The Demetrio men can never be too far from a golf course. I don’t want to make it sound like Erin was not welcomed cause she was one of my favorite people that I only ever hung out with in school. I would’ve loved to hang out with her more, it just never happened. Luckily she got the chance to join in the festivities before we all went off to college. I have not seen or heard from her since that night, so I hope all is well. Also, found another Pro for my Pros/Cons list on Facebook, if it were not for the Facebook photo evidence I would never have remembered that she was there that night.

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Billy’s drunk dance shows are always a special treat at any party. This one combined a little classic “Moves Like Jagger” with risky business sock sliding. I personally cannot think of a better combo. Well done, sir.

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And then things started to get weird.

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Really weird…

The downside to a memorable night of partying is the hangover that follows. In this case even our cars suffered major hangovers as they were unable to start.

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In the end though, the cars were not the only ones that suffered. I might’ve been able to secure the location for this Revenge Party, but I lacked the skills to keep it hidden from my parents. As it turned out the lady that cleans my parent’s house showed up the next morning to quite the surprise, considering no one was supposed to be there. In her confusion, she called my Mom to apologize for not realizing people were there. This led to further confusion and eventually anger from my mother. Even if that didn’t happen it wouldn’t have taken long for them to discover what I had done. There were holes in the wall, door handles broken, and the whole place smelled like a frat house. I received quite the verbal lashing upon my return home, followed by a few weeks long Irish Catholic guilt trip, and a grounding for the rest of the summer. Luckily it was already the second week of August and the rest of the Summer only meant two weeks before I left for the sweet freedom of college. 

I have no regrets though. The second best summer of my life, we call that a tease, went out with a bang. It was the end of my high school life and I got to celebrate it with the people that mattered the most to me during that time, in true John Hughes fashion. Time and circumstance change all friendships, but while I may not be as physically close to most of these people I’m proud to still call them my friends and that will never change. Unfortunately the TBS Series has taught me that most people have deleted old Facebook albums from High School, so I haven’t been able to share as much of the great times as we had, but now the series shifts to a time that no one wants to delete, call me Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, cause next week I’m going to college!

God I miss being that skinny!

God I miss being that skinny!

 

 

A Few Things About Chicago (and Why It’s the Best)

My buddy Paul has officially moved from Boston to Chicago, leaving Beantown residents weeping hopelessly in the streets. They entire town is upset. I’m talking 2003 Red Sox losing in the playoffs sad.

It’s the end of an era. A damn good era. It was a period of time that included drunkenly riding laundry carts down winding roads and narrowly avoiding death by bus, parties on buses, parties on Thorndike and Glenville, amazingly misunderstood parody music videos, and TITS! No – not those kind of tits. I’m talking about Tavern in the Square for those of you who aren’t familiar with the legendary Brighton Avenue haunt.

Moving on is tough. A clean break from anything is a myth. No matter how things end, it’s never easy. Especially when you’ve got a group of amazing friends in Boston.

That being said, Chicago is awesome. And since Paul is a lifelong Northeasterner, I figured I’d give him a few things to keep in mind/look forward to in this new exciting era of his life. I might live in L.A., but part of my heart is, was, and always will be in the Windy City.

First things first. We don’t have “soda” in Chicago. It’s “pop.” No one will look down at you if say soda. Just giving you a heads up.

The “W” flag you see around Wrigleyville is what they hang up when the Cubs win. You probably won’t see it too much this year. God damn it. I’ll still play “Go Cubs Go” when I come back and visit.

A pretty - but also pretty rare - sight. Sad face.

A pretty – but also pretty rare – sight. Sad face.

The water is actually a really big lake, not an ocean. And it’s way easier to get to a nice beach spot than it is in Boston. Plenty of good-looking 20-somethings hit the shore each weekend. It’s time to perfect your football overthrow nice-to-meet you routine.

Deep dish. Whether you’ve lived in Chicago your whole life, or have relocated, deep-dish pizza is just the fucking best. We know we talk about it too much, and we know it annoys the shit out of people, but you might start to relate as you eat more and more of it. I suggest Pizzeria Due once a week.

So good. I miss it. So much.

So good. I miss it. So much.

People are really nice. This of course is a generalization, but you’ll find that Chicagoans don’t have the hardness that East Coast locals can sometimes have. I wouldn’t expect free drinks every time you go out, but I can promise some good conversation.

Outdoor summer house parties are the shit. Boston doesn’t have as many apartments with expansive front or backyards as Chicago. Please take advantage of this by hosting your own parties. Buy a cheap grill. Soak in the Chicago summer because Chiberia will be back come late November.

312 instead of Sam Summer. I know this is going to be a rough transition. Samuel Adams beer is damn good. But in Chicago, it’s all about Goose Island. You can still have Sam whenever you want, but if you’re looking to buy a pretty lady a nice beer, err on the side of 312.

Obama knows whats up.

Obama knows whats up.

Public transportation letter change. You’re moving from the “T” to the “L.” This will come in handy, as calling the “L” the “T” would confuse people. As crappy as the L can sometimes be, it’ll get you where you need to go. And no one really calls you out if you have a 312 on your ride. That’s a bonus.

Chicago Bears fandom is a religion. Most services are on Sundays, sometimes Monday or Thursday nights, and the city shuts down during them. Our relationship with Jay Cutler is a complicated one, as he’s the best quarterback we’ve ever had this side of Jim McMahon. He’s no Tom Brady, but he’s our guy. He’s like that guy who is kind of a dick in your group of friends, but you still love him for whatever reason. And now he’s got guys like Marshall, Jeffery, and the Black Unicorn to throw to. We’re hoping for big things this year.

Smokin' Jay is our guy. It's a rocky relationship, but it's full of love.

Smokin’ Jay is our guy. It’s a rocky relationship, but it’s full of love.

While we’re on sports, we’re hoping to lure Melo in the next few days. Bulls and Blackhawks fandom is pretty similar to that of da Bears. We will never understand why free agents continue to spurn Chicago. You want to win a ‘ship? Go play for Thibs with Jo, Gibson, and a (hopefully, please sports gods) healthy Rose.

Grant Park is a lot of fun. It hosts Lollapalooza, free concerts, softball games, etc. Make your way there once in a while.

16-inch softball is the only kind of softball. No gloves. Use your hands and a wood bat. It’s just the best.

We've got big balls in Chicago.

We’ve got big balls in Chicago.

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There’s a lot more I could say about Chicago, but you’ll find out more in time. Don’t forget: You can steal a laundry cart and ride it down the streets of Chi Town, too.

Friday I’m in Love: #USMNT

Too often on this blog, I write about something that’s gotten under my skin. I’m starting to fear that I sound more like cynic than I do an optimist.

Enough is enough. On Fridays, I’m going to write about something that is fucking awesome and makes me happy in the hopes it makes you happy, too.

For those of you who didn’t get the “Friday I’m in Love” reference, here’s The Cure song that inspired this cheerful post. Take a listen and dance like it’s 1992:

Not that you’ve got endorphins running through your body as freely as booze and crack flows through Mayor Rob Ford’s, let’s talk about something cool.

This Friday, I’m in love with the U.S. Men’s National (Soccer) Team, or for all you cool kids, the #USMNT.

I hope you watched the game on Monday. It was pretty fun. I’m not going to pretend that I had a come-to-Pelé moment that converted me from football to fútbol, but Clint Dempsey’s quick goal activated my Mel Gibson Patriot gene.

Fierce.

Fierce.

I quickly had visions of our Americans making a serious run in Brazil. Stars. Stripes. Bud heavy. Flag waving. National Anthem singing. Bruce Springsteen flying down to South America to sing “Born in the U.S.A.” before the championship game. Sounds great, right?

Then Ghana scored toward the end of the match. Shit. A tie. They’re really going to do the whole tie thing? Lame. I see why everyone in America hates socc….

GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLL! John Anthony Brooks, new American hero, with a header off a beautiful corner kick from another American hero Graham Zusi! Everything is right in the world again! Right Mel?

You wave that flag, Mel.

You wave that flag, Mel.

I’ll take that as a yes, Mel!

The Klins-MAN led us to victory. One of his German-American recruits (Brooks) proved to be the difference. Maybe I shouldn’t have given Jürgen a premature Hump Day Fuck You. Maybe my star-spangled visions will come to fruition. Maybe soccer will become a beloved American sport.

If the world was made of “maybes”… or wait, that’s ifs and buts, but no matter. I’m on the #USMNT bandwagon now and there’s no turning back. I’m bringing out my USA flag swim trunks on Sunday. I’ll probably cave and overpay for a vintage Landon Donovan jersey in the next few days. I’ll also be waving the American flag proudly.

I’d like to throw a quick shout out to all of my Chicago brethren, who packed Grant Park on Monday and cheered their asses off in only a way Second City sports fans can. Hell, maybe I’ll get a Chicago flag for Sunday, too.

I miss you, Chi Town. Keep drinking 312 and cheering your asses off.

I miss you, Chi Town. Keep drinking 312 and cheering your asses off.

This Friday, I’m in love with bald eagles, the bald Michael Bradley, and American Hero John Brooks. I’ve even got some love for Coach Klins.

There’s room for more on this bandwagon. Get your ass on here and let’s break some global hearts, America! We’re the underdog again and it feels so good. Right, Mel?

Is that a smile, Mel?

Is that a smile, Mel?

I’ll take that as a yes, too, you sly, beautiful bastard. U-S-A! U-S-A!

The Washington Redskins Should Remain The Redskins

Dan Snyder

Yesterday, Billy came up with a lot of great alternative names for Dan Snyder to rename the football team in Washington. My personal favorites were the Senators and the Monuments, the former has an awesome retro ring to it and the latter is just badass. He wanted to hear our thoughts on alternative names and here’s mine, the Redskins.

It shouldn’t keep the name cause I want them to be offensive to Native Americans, as this video clearly demonstrates why this is such a horrible name.

And I don’t think it should keep its name for the bullshit, ignorant, and hypocritical defense Snyder made.

“It’s more than a name we have called our football team for over eight decades. It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect – the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans.” 
 

And this is also not some stance against political correctness. No, the Washington football team should keep its name because it serves as a reminder of our dark history of prejudice, exile, and slaughter against the Native American people. The Redskins nickname has caused a lot of controversy over the last few years as groups have rallied in an attempt to get Snyder to change it. That’s great and all, but where were these people over 80 years ago when the nickname was bestowed upon the Washington football team, when it was just as offensive as it is today?

Uh-oh, Harry Reid has on his angry face. Everybody watch out as nothing gets done.

Uh-oh, Harry Reid has on his angry face. Everybody watch out as nothing gets done.

People like Harry Reid, who recently made this bold statement:

“”I will not stand idly by while a professional sports team promotes a racial slur as a team name and disparages the American people. Nor will I consider your invitation to attend a home game until your organization chooses to do the right thing and change its offensive name.”

Not stand idly by? Really, Harry? You’ve been a US Senator since 1987. Did you just now realize what your local football team was called? It is certainly a possibility given the average IQ level of Senators sits just above 70, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you’re not that stupid. This is a classic politician move, wait for popular opinion to sway one way and then jump on board. Sorry if I’m not very impressed by the moral high ground you’ve taken, Harry.

Nothing has been done about the Redskins name cause Americans don’t want to think about the atrocities we’ve committed against the Native American people. The land that we stole, the hundred of thousands of Native people we killed. It ruins our image of “The Heroes of the World” we’ve painted for ourselves. It is easier for us to stick the few Native ancestors left on reservations, to let them mingle amongst their own kind, and pretend they do not exist. Hey, sorry about taking all this land and slaughtering your ancestors, but here, have some casinos. We square? 

Americans should be more offended by this image than the Redskins logo.

Americans should be more offended by this image than the Redskins logo.

It always amuses me when I hear anti-immigration politicians talking about how we must preserve this land and the American way of life by keeping unwanted, illegal immigrants outside our border. While we ignore the fact that we tricked, stole, and killed the people with natural, ancestral rights to it and then claimed it as our own. I’m sorry some Mexicans risked their lives crossing the Rio for a chance at a better life. Would you prefer they attack a town in droves, pillaging and killing its citizens, while making the survivors march thousands of miles on foot to find a new home, till they get bored and take that too? After all, it is the American way.

Perhaps the actions taken by the US Patent and Trademark office will stick and Snyder will lose his appeal against it, during which time all patents and trademarks remain in tact. And then Sheriff Roger Goodell will be forced to step in and finally force Snyder to change the name. Allowing Americans to feel better that such an offensive name is no longer a part of our favorite sport and all involved with ending it, the opportunity to play hero.

As for me, I hope the name sticks. The real atrocity is not the name Snyder insists his team be called, but rather what our forefathers and ancestors did to the people of which the name offends. The Redskins name can serve as a reminder of one of the darkest marks on our record. A reminder of our failings and weaknesses. It is only through admitting our mistakes that we can truly grow stronger as a Nation.

The Fault in Our Stars or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sobbing Fangirl

I saw The Fault in Our Stars last night. Call me a Romantic, call me a 14-year old girl, whatever. It was good. It was also the hardest I’ve laughed in a movie in a long time.

No, it’s not a comedy. It’s about two teenagers with terminal cancer–played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort–who fall in love. Real Notebook stuff.

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So why the laughter? Let me explain.

I was coming straight from work so I grabbed Panda Express for dinner, fully expecting to cry into my orange chicken while I watched the movie. I ended up dominating that orange chicken (sans bacon) during the previews so I didn’t have to worry about choking it down while fighting back tears. Also, I was hungry.

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With no Chinese cuisine to distract me from the inevitable emotions that these cancerous teens would inspire, I was ready to feel it. Little did I know that any emotions I experienced would pale in comparison to the wailing sobs of the teenage girls in the theater.

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The sniffles started almost immediately. Before anything sad even happened. I get that they read the book (so did I) and they know what happens, but…calm down. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with the crying.

The constant watery-eyed sniffles were coupled with the “He’s so cute” comment that some girl behind me said literally every time Ansel Elgort was onscreen. It got to the point where I could anticipate when she was going to say it. Anytime he raised his eyebrows, smirked, had a quippy one-liner–anything remotely charming, and…”He’s so cute.”

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I shit you not, she must have said it 20 times.

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This “cuteness” laid the foundation for the theater-shaking sobs that would erupt later in the movie.

Spoiler alert: Augustus Waters (aka Ansel) dies. Whoops.

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Don’t get me wrong. It was sad. I got choked up and teary-eyed, especially during the scene when Hazel (Shailene) delivers Augustus’ eulogy to him at a little pre-funeral he arranged. Beautiful scene and really impressive acting from both of them.

This is where shit went down though. The main culprits were two girls–one seated near the front of the theater and another over to the left. The sniffles became tears became weeping became melodramatic sobs that filled the theater. It was a little…

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It quickly became a crying competition between the teary tweens. Who could cry the hardest (and loudest) for the charming, ever-so-cute, recently passed Augustus Waters?

We more-restrained folks went along with it for a while. And then it got to a point where the melodrama was just too much. All we could do was laugh at our bawling neighbors. And laugh we did.

The audience split into three contingents: The criers. The laughers. And the inbetweeners whose gasps for air were an ambiguous combination of sobbing and guffawing. It was like laughing in church. Or at a funeral (which was appropriate considering the scene). But it was that kind of side-splitting, irrepressible laughter that is intensified by the situation.

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I tried all manner of tongue-biting, collar-chewing methods to suppress the laughter. I slumped in my seat. But the outbursts continued for a good five minutes. And I wasn’t alone in my laughing.

My gut reaction was to criticize the bawling fangirls. I’m sorry. Did you know the guy personally? Furthermore, you read the book. Did you not see this coming? 

Thinking about it afterward though, I realized I’m not mad. I’m grateful. That was the hardest I’ve laughed and the most fun I’ve had in a movie theater in a while. It’s not up to me to say whatever emotions they were experiencing were wrong. Who am I to judge? I’m just a crotchety 20-something who smuggled orange chicken into the theater.

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We need more of that kind of emotion. I was a theater major. We thrive on audience interaction and so much of that is being lost now that Netflix and streaming make it possible for everyone to watch movies huddled alone over their computers. The communal aspect of going to the theater is gradually disappearing, and that’s something we need as a society.

So laugh. Cry. Laugh at the people who are crying. Cry at the people who are laughing? Whatever. Just don’t be afraid to feel the emotions and dive into the story. Let’s go on this roller coaster ride together. It’s more fun that way.

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New Nickname Brainstorm Bonanza for the Washington Redskins

It was only a matter of time. Today, multiple sources reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest dominoes to fall in what will most likely result in Washington’s NFL team having to change its name.

While some people will decry the move and call it bending over backwards in the name of political correctness, other people are not ignorant idiots. I do think, at times, our tendency as a society is to be too politically correct, but this is not one of those times. Please read how the term “redskin” negatively affects Native Americans here, as written by a Boston Celtics beat reporter with Native American heritage. I knew the term was pretty offensive, but I had no idea about its exact origins. It’s pretty gross.

Before I get into the fun stuff, since I’m not doing a whole post on the topic, I’d like to throw a special Hump Day Fuck You out to Washington owner Dan Snyder. Not only do you break my beautiful friend Brian Donovan’s heart every year with your fourth-grader-playing-franchise-mode-on-Madden-like decisions, you are a moron for saying shit like this about the Redskins name:

“[It] is more than a name we have called our football team for over eight decades. It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect — the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans.”

What a dick.

What a dick.

You are a special kind of dickwad, Dan. Respect? You had the balls to use that word?

Moving on. Now that Washington’s team no longer has a nickname, it’s time to brainstorm some new options.

The Washington Washingtons. Fuck yeah, right? It’s got a ring to it. Imagine different Washingtons running around FedEx Field like the presidents do at Nationals Park. You could have a young George Washington, Washington Crossing the Delaware, and current Tennessee Titans receiver Nate Washington as the “Three Washingtons.” I see a movie franchise, too.

Teddy Roosevelt for the win! Imagine "The Three Washingtons" doing this.

Teddy Roosevelt for the win! Imagine “The Three Washingtons” doing this.

The Underwoods. In honor of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright’s characters from House of Cards. That show takes place in Washington. And it’s good, though the second season was a little far-fetched. But it’s Tommy’s job to review TV, not mine.

The Tysons Corners. I’ve got relatives that live outside of D.C. and they go there to shop all the time. I think this could be kind of a cool name. Actually, this is by far the worst idea I have.

The Hanburgers. Chris Hanburger played linebacker for Washington from 1965-78 and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Imagine a hamburger mascot with a football helmet on pumping up the Washington faithful. Awesome, right? He’d put the Hamburglar to shame.

The Congress. The offense and defense can fight on the sidelines and never actually go out on the field or get anything done. The special teams unit can be the Tea Party and capitalize on the bickering by hopping onto the field.

The Monuments. How perfect does “The Washington Monuments” sound? Pretty badass. I’m sure Snyder would be happy with the phallic symbolism going on here, since he’s basically waving his phallus in the disapproving public’s face.

The Senators. Bring the name back and use it in a different sport. Recycling ideas is the thing to do in Hollywood, so why not in the NFL?

With the right mind, these could converted into sweet football unis.

These could converted into sweet football unis.

The, Mr. Smith Goes To. James Stewart as the mascot. Boom goes the dynamite.

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Those are just a few ideas. What are your ideas? Leave them in the comment section or tweet at us. Let’s give Snyder a good list of names to choose from. We can probably get him to overpay us for it.

Love at Second Sight – It’s a Thing, Millennials.

The millennial generation is obsessed with instant feedback, breaking news, and kneejerk reactions. We want information two minutes ago, and we want to have formed an opinion on that info and sent it out into the social media stratosphere one minute ago. We troll people in the YouTube comment section, take pride in knowing Kanye and Kim’s wedding plans before our friends, and compete for the most likes on Instagram.

Great graphic courtesy of mobilemarketingwatch.com.

Great graphic courtesy of mobilemarketingwatch.com.

These habits are burned into our subconscious. After all, we’re the generation that first fucked around with Napster, rushed home to use AIM to talk to people we just saw five minutes ago, and showed our parents how to use and iPod.

Every generation has its problems. A lot of the time, we deal with the same issues our parents and grandparents did, except our version of the issues wears skinny jeans. Our issues are different in appearance only.

One of my main problems with our generation is that we are too obsessed with love at first sight. We want to realize things too fast. We want everything now. There’s never any time to gain context or perspective.

I do believe that some people fall in love when they first meet. I’m a romantic and that will never change. My issue isn’t with the idea with love at first sight. I’m just upset more people don’t build in time for self-realization, personal growth, and added experience. People don’t look for love at second sight.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating living in the past. I am advocating looking to the past for answers about the future. Self-evaluation. Honest reflection. Why’d you act a certain way toward that guy or girl? Was there a reason you went on that a manwhore binge? Trying not to deal with something? Is there a reason you drunk text the same person all the time? Can’t get someone out of your mind?

For every cutesie story about love working out in romantic comedy-like fashion, there are five stories about love growing a different way. I used to be naïve enough to think falling in love could only happen in movie fashion. Meet girl. Fall for girl. Girl falls for you. Ninety hilarious minutes ensue and you live happily ever after.

Then I learned the hard way that sometimes you realize how you truly feel about someone long after the most opportune moment has passed. I don’t want to get into details about my own story. I would rather pass on the advice that I learned in a series of (hopefully) helpful bullet points.

Here’s Why Love at Second Sight Is a Thing:

We keep growing. Or at least we should. The version of you 3-4 years ago is most likely different than you now. I’m not saying you need to be different people all the time, but it’s important to find out more about yourself as this life thing goes along. Therefore, the person you have become might look back on an old friend and say, “Holy shit. That’s the Sally to my Harry. I’m an idiot.”

Missed connections. In baseball, if you get a hit one out of every three times you go up to bat, you go to the Hall of Fame. In life and love, it’s okay to swing and miss a lot. Sometimes you and someone else don’t connect the first time around. If you think about them a lot, and they haven’t made it clear they aren’t into you, it’s not ridiculous to take another swing. Just make sure it’s the right pitch. Don’t go up to the plate with no plan and swing at a ball over your head.

The Step By Step theme song. This song really sucks. It’s also disturbingly beautiful. It actually has a lot of life lessons. “We’ll be better the second time around.”

America. God damn it. In this country, we love redemption stories. Anyone’s got a chance if they work hard to get what they want. Another naïve view? Yeah, probably. But I think there’s something to messing up and learning what you did wrong.

Those are just a few reasons why we should slow things down and take a second look once in a while. Gain perspective. Get a larger sample size. Live and learn before you love wildly. You might just be able to love wilder.