Friday, August 14, 2009

Dogging Vick

Babies, diapers, and Bebe Pods are taking a back seat today to football. And yes, college football is only a couple weeks away, so ladies, you'll have to bear with me until January because in the words of one of the players I coach, "I loves me some college football!"

Yesterday, Michael Vick signed a 1 year/$1.6 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, with an option for a second year. He's going to be the back-up quarterback for the Eagles behind Donovan McNabb.

For the uneducated on this story, here's a quick refresher: Vick was indicted in July of 2007, then pled guilty in August of that same year, on charges stemming from a dog-fighting operation that was being run in part from a house Vick owned in Virginia. In January of 2008, he went to prison, got released in May of that year, but was put on house arrest. In May of this year, he was released from custody. Last month, the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, conditionally re-instated Vick, clearing the way for some team to sign him. And of course, yesterday the Eagles did just that.

Now, the Philadelphia Daily News had as it's headline this morning, "What Are They Thinking?". Multiple sports commentators and columnists have opined that any team in the NFL would be subjecting themselves to a massive public relations onslaught if they signed him. In fact, whole 30-minute shows on news channels have been devoted to the question of whether Michael Vick was worth having in the league.

Go back to the previous summary paragraph and notice two words. Here, I'll highlight them in italics and bold: "on charges stemming from a dog-fighting operation". You can go back and read the indictments, the transcripts of interviews, everything, but not once does anyone in law enforcement make the case that Michael Vick was actively participating in the dog fighting. It says that his money was used to fund it, he owned some of the dogs, and one of his houses was used. But nowhere does it say he did the dog fighting.

Athletes and celebrities these days have what are called in some circles "posses", in other circles "hangers-on", and in pop culture thanks to HBO, "entourages." These are friends of the athlete or celebrity that basically live off their friend's wealth and fame. They are paid by the friend as an "advisor," or some other such word, but basically they just leech off their friend. The rich friend gives them money, and provides them with a place to live as a show of friendship... to show that they remember their roots. But what happens after that money changes hands, well, let's just look at that.

Suppose your best friend comes up to and says "Hey, can I borrow a couple hundred dollars?" Now, in today's economy that's a sizable loan, but he's your best buddy. You've know each other since childhood. So of course, if you can afford it, you loan him the money, right? Say that same friend then uses that money to buy a gun, then shoots his girlfriend. Are you guilty of murder too? No, of course not. But what if you knew he was going to buy a gun, and knew he was going to shoot his girlfriend, would you be guilty of a crime then? Yes, if you didn't report it to the police. You'd be an accessory to the crime. But what if you just knew he was going to buy a gun with it, and not that he was going to kill his girlfriend?

What if you were rich and famous and your friend wasn't? Ah, now we've got a little bit of a different situation, don't we? Because no newspaper in the world (save your hometown paper) is going to care if your Joe Schmoe friend offs his girl. But if you, Mr. Rich and Famous Celeb were involved, then it's a story!!! Especially if it can be proven that you helped your friend by giving him the money to do it! Now, the media really has a whopper of a story!

Of course, in our example, a person was killed. A human being. Michael Vick, to my knowledge, has never killed a person. He's never done anything to a human being. There are players in the NFL today who have been convicted of manslaughter. For those of you who don't know, a person has to have died for manslaughter to have occurred. Donte Stallworth plays for my team, the Cleveland Browns. He pled guilty this year to manslaughter because he was driving drunk and killed a man with his car. He was suspended from the league for a year. Next year, when his suspension is lifted (which it will be) some team will sign him as a 5th wide receiver and barely a fuss will be kicked up.

Stallworth isn't the first. Ray Lewis was indicted with murder and assault charges. He's still playing with the Baltimore Ravens, is widely considered one of the best linebackers in the league, and no one has said a word about whether the Ravens should have let him back on their team. Hell, every team in the NFL would kill... okay, not the best word... would really love to have him on their roster.

Lewis isn't a pariah; he's loved. Again, I'll put this in bold and italics: He is responsible for killing a person.

Michael Vick is dangerous to the league's reputation. His "friends" used their leeched money to run a dog fighting operation at one of his houses.

The only logical conclusion you can make is that the National Football League and the media feel like a dog's life is more important than a person. Vick gave his friends money and some dogs were killed. Ray Lewis went out with some friends and Jacinth Baker and Richard Loller were murdered. Jacinth and Richard aren't dogs, so that must mean that their lives don't count as much.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Things Every Guy Should Know

For some reason, probably what my wife calls "Internet ADD" I was searching for things that "every guy should know." You know, I want to be a responsible father to my son, and teach him all the things that he should know. Some of those are pretty easy, like how to tie a tie, cook breakfast, check the oil, and watch 3 football games at the same time on three different channels without the use of picture-in-picture and still not miss more than three plays in any game.

So found an article on Esquire magazine, that bastion of dudeness, that tells 25 skills that all men should be able to do. I'll list theirs, then give some of mine that they missed. If you have some that aren't on either list, by all means add them in the comments section.

Esquire's 25 Essential Skills For Men

1) How to Skin a Moose: A deer, sure, I get that one. But a moose? Good skill to have, but wrong animal, unless you're hanging with Sarah Palin. Which wouldn't be a bad thing. Cause she's hot.

2) Get a Busy Bartender's Attention: This one makes perfect sense. Remember, no gesturing. If you do this well, women will notice.

3) Bet the Horses: Eh. Sometimes being terrible at this isn't such a bad thing.

4) Give a Good Massage: DE-FI-NITE-LY!!

5) Cut Down a Tree: Because the History Channel might just need a new show for their new sea... damn it!

6) Buy a Woman Clothing: I'm not so sure about this one, because while it was cool the first 85 times I saw some rich dude in a movie correctly guess a woman's clothing size, understand this: buying her a gift card might be the easiest thing to do, but it's also the wussy way out; give up a Sat, er Sunday afternoon (college football is Saturday, my bad) and go with her. Then you pay for it.

7) Fillet a Fish: Because you never know when Captain D's might be hiring.

8) Know how to make Eggs 4 different ways: Scrambled, baked, poached, and sunny-side up. No one I know, and I mean N-O one, eats baked eggs. So just go with scrambled, sunny-side up, and over easy and you'll be fine.

9) Google Efficiently: If you can't do this in 2009, then you shouldn't be allowed on the Internet.

10) Sew a button: Ok, I'll go with that.

11) Console a crying woman: Just make sure you aren't the reason for the crying before you go grabbing your handkerchief.

12) Look good in a picture: Just so you know, the example picture in the article has an ugly dork trying to be Bogart. And it's not a good picture. It's Esquire, what are you gonna do?

13) Calm a crying baby: This one is my speciality now, but every baby is different. What works for one, doesn't for another... same with women.

14) Parallel Park (Like a man): Meaning don't go in from the front. Not that I would do that... um...

15) Wire a Ceiling Fixture: All together now, "Turn off the main first."

16) Make pancakes from scratch: Take this, the egg thing, some bacon and Clemenza's recipe for cooking for "20 guys" and that will be the only thing you'll need to be the most popular cook ever at hunting camp.

17) Stop a running toilet: Just a tip, praying won't do it. But it helps.

18) Rock the man in the boat (aka how to give a woman the 'O' face): I'm iffy on whether a dad should be giving this advice to his son. Well, I guess better from your dad than Peter Pimple Face down the street... or your mom.

19) Carve a turkey: I'd go for how to cook it too, but just in case someone does a National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, it's a good skill to be handy with a knife.

20) Make a drink, just for her: I like this one. I can make a mean Manhattan for my mother-in-law and father-in-law. Now, I'm working on martinis.

21) Pick out ripe fruit: No, this doesn't mean success on

22) Jump-start a car: This is a useful skill to have, but it requires the one thing that no one has in their car... jumper cables.

23) Get a table in a restaurant: Here's a simple solution... call for reservations. See? Problem solved.

24) Kill an injured animal: First examples are a toad, a gopher and a deer. Most needed examples are boss that just fired you and IRS worker.

25) Shine a shoe: You can read the instructions online, or for better results, enlist in the military. Also, the latter option will help in your life as well.

Todd's List:

1) Quote at least five different movies regularly: Personal favorites include "Tombstone", "Ghostbusters", "The Godfather", and "Groundhog Day."

2) Shoot a gun: God gave us the Second Amendment, not the government.

3) Throw a baseball and a football: It's essential to growing up in America.

4 Know the basic rules of the three major American sports: If you are ever in a room with a girl who is not a) related to a football coach, b) married to a football coach, or c) is a football coach and this girl knows more about the game than you do, it's time to call up the castration guy.

5) Be able to talk intelligently about politics: Not saying which way you should swing politically right or left, but when someone asks you why you're voting for a particular candidate and the only thing you can say is, "for hope... and... uh... change!" then you don't need to vote (longer article on the need for an IQ test required before voting coming later).

6) Enjoy the thrill of peeing outside: Sure, I know it's not really a skill, but it's one of those things that all men should enjoy at least once or twice a year, if for no other reason than to remind us of why we are men, and why that is so freaking cool.

Stupidest Jobs in the World

Sunday night, K, AJ and I went to a dinner party hosted by some friends of ours. During the conversation that night, our hosts let it slip that they had taken their cocker spaniels to a doggie dermatologist. Yep, a doctor who specializes in the skin of dogs. My first reaction was that this was the stupidest job in the world. But I wanted to reserve judgment on that one. Especially when the couple dropped some more stuff that was way easier to make fun of. Like the fact that their dog has been prescribed kangaroo meat to help with his skin condition. Yes, you can read that again, but it won't change what it says. Kangaroo meat. Next time you go to the supermarket, take a gander through the meat section and see if they have some kangaroo meat under celophane.

So that got me thinking, what's the stupidest jobs in the world that people actually get paid to do? I mean, besides being a doggie dermatologist. Here's the list I came up with:

Odor Judge: These people work for deodorant companies and actually get paid to smell people's armpits after different kinds of spray and roll-on deodorants are applied. Would this even be something you'd admit to your friends that you did? Hey, speaking of smells...

Flatulence Analyst: This person does just exactly what it says. A professor hired college students to actually smell the farts of study participants (who'd probably eaten more beans than anyone should in a lifetime) to see if gas can accurately tell a person's intestinal health. This is further proof that college kids will do anything for beer money.

Mosquito Researcher: Wanted, someone with a lot of time on their hands at night, and a fetish for itching, to be bitten repeatedly by mosquitoes in order that scientists can catch several of the little buggers to study... something about them. Interested?

Dog Food Tester: You know how you've always thought that the gravy-covered, meaty square-shaped dog food you've poured into Pooch's bowl has always looked like it might taste good? Well, someone somewhere gets paid to actually find out.

Video Game Tester: 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, you play video games. These are not the people to challenge to a Madden or Halo game with money on the line.

Paper Towel Sniffer: These people smell paper towels to see if they smell after mopping up stuff. So, the next time you use a sheet of Hefty to sweep up your dog's pee, take a quick whiff. If it doesn't smell, then this guy has done his job. If it does, well, then your dog wins that round.

Potato Chip Inspector: They look at and taste potato chips for imperfections. I saw Mike Rowe, of "Dirty Jobs," do this one on an episode. It was at the Dirty Chip Company. He didn't look like he was too upset at this one. No word on if these people get a complimentary membership to Weight Watchers is part of the company benefits.

Beer Tester: The only bad part about this job is that you can't actually swallow the beer you put in your mouth. There's a handy spit cup right next to you. Reminds me of the worst job for an animal, that of the horse fluffer (a male horse whose job is to get the in heat female horse sufficiently in heat so that he can be led away from the girl so that a better, more worthy male can come in and do the job... yeah, his life sucks).

Furniture Tester: Hmm, this recliner doesn't feel right for football games on Saturday afternoons. But if you like a nice Cognac, and some Masterpiece theater, this baby's perfect for you!

Chicken Sexer & Hair Boiler: I saved these for last because they sound like the worst ones to admit to another person that you do for a living. A chicken sexer looks at baby chickens to see if they are male or female so they can be separated, and a hair boiler actually boils the hair of different kinds of animals so they curl up for later use. Neither of these seem to be very high on most people's "Must Do This Job" list, but hey, the economy's bad.

So what are you waiting for? Start on careerbuilder and craigslist today! You're future as the world's best fart smeller is only a couple cans of beans away.