<p>In the final Playbook to appear on Playboy.com, we look back and some of things we probably shouldn't have gotten away with. </p>
“If you’re going to act crazy, you have to get paid for it or else they’re going to lock you up” – HST
Maybe so. Perhaps the Good Doctor was right. Over the last year and half we’ve shared in some serious flights of fancy; endured the early onset of many melodramatic mood swings and written what at times amounted to the by-product of a series of psychosomatic dreams. We’ve spoken about sports in the strangest of terms, using all sorts of allegories and unintelligible tongues and spiraling tangents, exhausting, at times egregiously, all forms of euphemism and exaggeration. But we’ve asked no quarter of anyone and none was ever given. We learned absolutely no lessons and admitted to no mistakes (we admitted to one mistake). We gambled away a small fortune on professional football and took great pleasure in rolling over the double line between fact and fiction, between fandom, sterile sportswriter and feral dog. We never saw the need for a distinction between the three and were never really sure where that line even was. We were never quite ready to admit that there was ever such a thing as having too much Fun. The fat, for us, was always in the fire…
In short: We rode it hard and put it away wet. We acted crazy and got paid for it. And “if we shadows have offend, think but this and all is mended…gentles, do not reprehend, if you pardon, we will mend.”
The following people and organizations probably deserve an apology; we've pulled no punches:
Over the course of 78 weeks, I...
- Explicitly declared Sportswriters, to be a “crude people by nature…a rude and brainless subculture of fascist drunks.”
Called Philip Rivers, among other things, "a goat", and suggested the San Diego Chargers must be "routinely surprised" to discover that they are in fact a professional football team.
Called Tim Tebow a “greased-up, God-fearing little weasel.”
Suggested Ndamukong Suh was a “violent creature by nature”, incapable of displaying “normative social behavior for two straight weeks.”
Accused David Stern of uttering the least intelligible excuse in sports history.
Suggested that perhaps the Walrus was right.
Called Mark Sanchez a “dirty little worm,” whose career has thus far been a “sad, strange experiment” resulting from the actions of a “cruel and humorless God.”
Compared watching the American electoral system to a football game "where the rules always change and the game never ends. The fans always watch and they can never go home. Like a Super Bowl stuck in a scoreless tie, heading into 22 consecutive overtimes and on all the time."
Offended the delicate sensibilities of our Canadian brethren by deeming curling to be barely a sport and a "ritualistic bore."
Suggested the Carmelo Anthony wouldn't be comfortable "selling plastic patio furniture in rural backwater locales like Colfax, Indiana."
Used an inordinate amount of analogies at cross purposes to emphasize the disjuncture and mock transparency employed by baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s office in regards to the steroid issue.
Suggested that Newt Gingrich was an “ugly person who speaks in tongues.”
Accused the NCAA of shameless profiteering at the expense of “doe-eyed student athletes.”
Accused Tim Tebow of being a “God-fearing, greased up little weasel”…again.
Outlined, in detail, why a mandate like “Kill the Head and the body will die” was a heavy trip to lay on “super mutant…defensive ends…with an already healthy predisposition to maim.”
Referred to Starting Pitchers as “geeks, stats junkies and bores, aberrations from the Primordial ooze.”
Really went off the rails with a story about "swimming naked at night with two beautiful albino tigers."
Accused LeBron James of being a "serial choke artist" and was immediately forced to issue a "stat-laden, gun-point apology."
Suggested that Roger Clemens “lied to Congress but at the time was sufficiently surrounded by more prolific, albeit less talented liars that his lies would never be proven in a court of law.”
Accused to IOC of among other things, sanctioning "sweat soaked, shit slinging orgies."
Suggested that a “balaclava-clad” Santanio Holmes staged a coup in the New York Jets locker room which in retrospect, is probably giving him more credit than he deserves.
Shamelessly misquoted, in fact wholly fabricated, an entire press conference given by Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan.
Accused UNC of “either complying with or orchestrating a systematic series of graded shell games” and the NCAA of turning the other cheek for fear of losing advertising revenue.
Made light of Bartolo Colon’s girlish figure.
Accused the entire town of Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania, of being hopelessly addicted to “bloody backwater land-beaver wrestling” and then likened the seedy nature of the ‘sport’ to the Cowboys/Giants Opening night game.
Suggested that watching the above game was like more painful than having “woodchucks slowly gnaw at your arm for eight or nine hours at a time.”
Made countless derogatory references to Brandon Weeden’s (in)ability to play professional football.
Accused Andrew Luck of being a “stupid if not totally dumb little boy who simply cannot manage to stay on his feet for more than four or five seconds at a time” and/or of being a “convalescent with a crippling neurological disorder that makes him flop around like a rag doll for no good reason at all,” neither of which I posited were appropriate thing for the number one overall draft pick to be.
Accused Jared Allen of being “brutal and completely unkind,” and a likely candidate to” foam at the mouth on [his] best days.”
Suggested that NFL management and owners were so cheap that they probably called the referees collect after the now infamous Golden Tate incident in Seattle
Accused David Stern of emitting “toxic spew.”
Likened George Steinbrenner to any one of the following: Satan, Nero, and/or Robespierre but posited that Yankees were better with a tyrant than his toddlers.
Suggested that Tom Brady, as the result of an unknown affliction, possibly contracted by the St. Louis Rams, “sometimes, just stands motionless on the field, in a stoned silence, looking around all wide-eyed and confused by the succeeding noise and calamity, and then, after a few seconds, when he realizes that he’s holding some kind of large leather egg in his hands, calmly places it at his feet and sits cross-legged in the grass, waiting on this strange new world to come forth and explain itself.”
Said a lot of really terrible and untrue things about Mitt Romney.
Accused the NHL and NHLPA of succumbing to existential crisis.
Explicitly Called Jeff Loria a “Bastard” (in the pejorative sense of the word, not the literal, though, upon inspection, which I didn’t care to undertake, the latter may also be true) and suggested that he pisses on the metaphorical island of ashes he’s secluded himself on after burning all his bridges.
Suggested the TSA is prone to unprovoked acts of serious violence on unsuspecting clientele.
Likened David Stern to a “swamp creature” who “emerges from the muck to terrorize…small Midwestern basketball towns.” In the same paragraph I called him a “lame duck,” a “rabid animal” and a “damned diseased dog.” Further down, I called him a “silly old man” and accused him of uttering the “least intelligible excuse in sports history.” Also accused him public castration (again) and of rigging the NBA Lottery. Also of “burying bodies” (which is actually a verbatim quote from him, not me, though given what I’ve already said about him I can see why there might be confusion.)
More on Stern (from the same column): I called him a “hypocrite,” and “Bass-Aakwards Hillbilly” and suggested that he was born in a “wasteland” and that his offspring, including Gary Bettman, would likely be considered “hellspawn.”
I guess I implicitly referred to Gary Bettman as being “hellspawn” (though I hyperlinked the word out to a picture of him, so, on second thought, that reference was probably explicit.)
Accused my editor of keeping a “massive bullwhip under her desk” and of having a predisposition towards violence when deadlines are not met.
Pretty much wrote the book on the mating habits of an otherwise non-existent animal.
Predicted a series of unlikely and unflattering scenarios for all the coaches fired on Black Monday.
Descended into a depressive state, a crippling football funk, in which I managed to go 1-7 betting against the spread in the playoffs before rising, like a Phoenix from the ashes to clean up at the Super Bowl.
And finally as if it were meant to be, came full circle and accused sports writers of gross negligence, of blurring fact and fiction semi-intentionally in their reportage of the Manti T'eo myth.
And that's that. Thanks for playing along, for buying the ticket and taking the ride. It's been fun.