By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 0 Comments
We’re big believers that your best columnists have to step it up for the playoffs. We just gotta hope Scott can get it going.
Q: Talk about the column so far.
A: Getting that first sentence was huge. I mean, obviously, it’s the playoffs, and the first sentence of the column really sets the tone. But there’s a lot of writing still to go, and I can’t let up. I need to take it one word at a time and build on what I’ve started. This thing’s not over by a long shot. (Wipes away sweat with a towel.)
Q: Talk about the intensity out there.
A: Well, obviously, like I said, it’s the playoffs, and everyone’s trying to raise their compete level. You see guys out there throwing around more adjectives than they would at any other time of year. It gets pretty literary. But for me, I just need to keep things simple and stick to what got me here. I mean, it’s all about the basics for me: I’ve just got to keep putting words on the screen and hopefully something will click. At the end of the day, it is what it are.
Q: Talk about the grammatical error in that last sentence.
A: Obviously, I’d like to have that one back. I mean, I really dropped the ball there, but, like I said, it’s the playoffs: Fingers move fast, and you’re going to make mistakes. At the end of the day, it’s about typing within myself and making the most of every vowel and consonant. I just really need to stick to my game plan and be confident that the rest of the words will come.
By Scott Feschuk - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
Have you heard about Google Glass? ARE YOU EXCITED?? Soon we will have the ability to purchase this revolutionary product that will give us the same features we already have on our phones but without all the hassle of needing to glance slightly downward.
Glass has been described by some as a “hands-free, voice-activated, augmented-reality headset”—and by me as a “dork monocle.” What’s important is this: Google wants you to want one. The company has been hyping Glass for months. And it’s sold a limited number of prototypes to people it refers to as “Glass Explorers” because that doesn’t sound nerdy at all.
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 4:40 PM - 0 Comments
Because the Conservatives are super-classy, they released a statement congratulating Justin Trudeau on winning the Liberal leadership. Here it is (for real) in its entirety:
“We congratulate Justin Trudeau on becoming Liberal leader.
“Stephen Harper has an Economic Action Plan that has created 900,000 new jobs since the recession, the best job creation record in the G7. He’s lowered taxes, such as the GST, and increased support for families with measures like the Universal Child Care Benefit.
“Justin Trudeau may have a famous last name, but in a time of global economic uncertainty, he doesn’t have the judgment or experience to be Prime Minister.”
By Scott Feschuk - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM - 0 Comments
“Our top story: we are awaiting the arrival of a couple first-class passengers!” the morning anchor on CBC News Network was saying. “We’ll take you to Pearson airport in Toronto when the pandas land!” In the meantime, please enjoy this bonanza of panda footage, edited for maximum adorability: Chewing! Frolicking! Sleepy-eyed falling over!
Upon sighting the FedEx plane carrying Er Shun and Da Mao—the two giant pandas we’re renting from China for the next 10 years—the anchor switched to her two-exclamation-mark voice: “We’ll be counting down to touchdown at Pearson, down to the minute!!”
On the screen, live from the airport: CBC’s on-location reporter. She was wearing panda puppets on her hands—just like they teach in journalism school. It’s a technique that dates back to Edward R. Murrow explaining developments in the Second World War using balloon animals.
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM - 0 Comments
Because of all the complex terminology, reading about this week’s federal budget sure can be taxing. (Ladies and gentlemen: wordplay!) Lucky for you, I’ve spent the past several years compiling and refining a helpful guide that translates all that wonky budget lingo.
Austerity During tough economic times, the federal government reduces the amount it spends, except in areas that reflect vital public trusts like health care and snowmobiles.
Balance of Payments The formal term for rushing out to buy a new pair of shoes after discovering your husband dropped $700 on a flat-screen TV.
Benchmark Bond The little-known brother of the famous spy, he was killed in a tragic securitization mishap.
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, February 1, 2013 at 4:54 AM - 0 Comments
Baltimore (plus 3.5) vs. San Francisco
Scott Feschuk: After all the hype, after all the insipid player interviews and celebrity-chef snack advice, after all the talk about Kate Upton’s Super Bowl commercial (spoiler alert: boobs) and the boyhood adventures of the Harbaugh brothers, after every washed-up former athlete got his 15 minutes on sports radio to shill some product or other (“Before we wrap things up, Donovan McNabb, tell us about what you’ve got going on with the good people at Slim Jim”), after every news agency that published this photograph…
… felt the need to point out to readers that Beyonce was dressed as a “sexy referee” (the “sexy” part was self-evident, dummies, just as it is every Sunday when Ed Hochuli suits up), after all my preparations for watching a game for which Phil Simms is providing the analysis (Mute button? Check!), after this Mardi Gras float that Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, January 18, 2013 at 12:44 PM - 0 Comments
San Francisco (minus 4) at Atlanta, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
Scott Reid: As Earthlings everywhere cheered the Niners’ triumph over Green Bay last week, the rise of K-fever reached near epidemic levels. Squillions hopped aboard the Kaepernick bandwagon (wave to me – I’m in the Montana jersey near the window). What a day! In addition to breaking the single-game record for rushing by a quarterback, outdueling Aaron “The Consensus Greatest QB In The Game” Rodgers and winning the Golden Globe in the category of Best Snapback Not Worn By L’il Wayne….
…Kaepernick managed to dazzle America with his mythmaking instincts. The SF QB took the unusual step of releasing a letter he had written to himself in Grade Four. In it, the pre-tatted Kaepernick…. mused that he would one day ‘…go to the pro’s and play on the Niners.’ And lo and behold… here he is. Journalists and fans alike heralded the precognitive prowess of Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, January 11, 2013 at 11:52 AM - 0 Comments
Baltimore (plus 9.5) at Denver, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
Scott Reid: Did you hear the big news? Ben Affleck was snubbed by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (also known as Club Weinstein) yet again. His true-to-life political thriller Argo was nominated for Best Picture, yet his skills as a director were abjectly ignored by Seth MacFarlane (who, I like to believe, is personally picking all the winners this year – go American Dad!). How this could have happened is currently being debated hotly by fans around the world who don’t still resent Affleck’s performance in Daredevil (a list that does not include yours truly – seriously, Maggie Smith would have made a more convincing Matt Murdock). My view is that it’s payback from Hollywood’s Canadian mafia. While a fun watch, Argo effectively reduces the heroic Canadian role played during the Iranian hostage crisis to an inglorious sideshow. Do you really think Canadian-born Academy heavyweights like Norman Jewison, David Foster and Tricia Helfer (hot Cylons can be very patriotic) would just let this slide?
Don’t be naïve, people. The maple leaf is an inviting example of vascular plant life but, when angered, it can be fierce and unforgiving. Too bad the same can’t be said for Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, January 4, 2013 at 6:56 AM - 0 Comments
Cincinnati (plus 4.5) at Houston, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
Scott Reid: It’s fashionable these days to be a Texans skeptic. And, as Feschuk knows well, I’m nothing if not fashionable.
Sure, Houston has won 12 times but who have they really topped? Take away early-season victories against Denver and Baltimore and their record relies on beating up on the likes of Jacksonville (twice), Miami, the Jets, Angela Lansbury, the 1962 New York Mets and Willow Smith (although she took them to overtime). By contrast, their losses were all to playoff teams: Green Bay, New England, Minnesota and Indy. Making matters worse, Houston is skidding badly into the playoffs. Since getting squared by Ndamukong Suh on Thanksgiving Day, Schaub has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns, led the team to three losses in five games and only pees while seated (fun fact: JJ Watt is also a squatter). Handicappers everywhere are consequently predicting a swift exit from the playoffs. But in my red-thonged opinion, the boys in Vegas are a week too early. Houston is no powerhouse but, at home, they’ll easily dispatch the Bengals. But in the next round? They’re going to get Willow’d. Pick: Houston.
Scott Feschuk: It’s true: everyone is picking a Bengals upset. It’s as though we’ve all forgotten that in the most pivotal of football moments, Cincinnati coach Marv Lewis is best known for staring ahead with an expression on his face that says, “Hmm, where did I leave my car keys? Also, what are car keys? And hey, who’s this voice in my head wondering about car keys?? OUT WITH YOU, SATAN! [Punches self in brain.]”
What I’m saying is that with Norv Turner and Andy Reid having been fired, Marv Lewis is the NFL’s longest-tenured and most-distinguished Terrible Coach in Crucial Games. And that’s good news for football fans. Every big drama needs some comedy relief – and Marv will be here on Saturday to burn three timeouts before the eight-minute mark of the first quarter, or let time expire in the first half while mulling over a field-goal attempt, or throw his red flag to challenge whether Joanie ever truly loved Chachi. Pick: Houston.
Minnesota (plus 8) at Green Bay, Saturday 8 p.m.
Reid: Looks like the Vikes’ huge win last week did little to sway the odds makers. If this line were any bigger, Adrian Peterson could run through it (see how much better the jokes are going to be in 2013). But it’s for a good reason: Green Bay will win this game just as surely as the next Nora Ephron picture will include a gay best friend and something soulful from Snow Patrol. (Note from Feschuk: Reid is either unaware that Ephron is dead or is convinced that this small hurdle will not diminish her output of cinematic treacle.) The real thing we’ve got to sort out is why Kathy Griffin thinks it makes sense or any kind of decency to go down on a gay dude with a national audience watching – including two of my sons who now think the funniest word in the English language is ‘pricknic’ (they’re probably right).
Pick: Green Bay.
Feschuk: According to league sources, Vikings QB Christian Ponder has been “very limited” in practice this week, and also in every game in his NFL career.
This guy gets the Trent Dilfer Memorial Award for Playoff Team That is Unaware It Even Has a Starting Quarterback. Can’t they just jerry-rig a pitching machine or a Lego robot to repeatedly hand the ball to Adrian Peterson? Or how about a series of stunt-casted guest stars to boost ratings?
Ponder: My elbow still hurts from when it hit a helmet last week, coach.
Coach: No problem, kid. We’re going to go with Tom Selleck, Florence Henderson and TV’s Radar O’Reilly.
The key to this game will be the Packers learning from last week and this time around stacking the box with 11 players and a hastily dug moat. Pick: Green Bay.
Indianapolis (plus 6) at Baltimore, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Feschuk: What a Sunday of football – unless you’re Joe Flacco. To put it in the parlance of Sesame Street: Joe Flacco is the one of these things that’s not like the other. All week long the hype has been about the three amazing rookie quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, RG III and Russell Wilson) who took their teams to unexpected heights during the 2012 season and will be taking the field on Wild Card Sunday. And then there’s Joe, who’s so average at his job that young, doe-eyed children come up to him and lament, “Say it ain’t so-so, Joe.” I’m not saying the guy doesn’t engender much confidence but right now John Harbaugh’s game plan calls for Ray Rice to carry the ball 3,400 times. The Ravens have a reputation for being defensively stout, but in fact their D ranks in the bottom half of the league this year. And the team lost four of its last five games. They’re ripe for the picking! To again put it in the parlance of Sesame Street, “Six! Six beautiful points against the spread! AH! AH! AH!” Or as Mr. Hooper used to say to Big Bird, “Get out of my store, you filthy animal.” That quote doesn’t have any practical application in terms of this game but it’s always worthwhile to remember that Mr. Hooper was a horrible, hate-filled man. Pick: Indianapolis.
Reid: There are two kinds of people on this Earth: Those who retire gracefully from life as a professional athlete. And those who decay into a spiral of despondency, drugs and murder. (The second kind are also known as Nickleback fans). To help Ray Lewis determine which of these two categories into which he might fall, we have prepared this helpful three question personality test.
1. Does watching Super Bowl XXIV make you want to:
a) Cheer for the Cinderella season-ending win by Kurt Warner and the Rams?
b) Cry for Dyson’s oh-so-close final-play stretch?
c) Stab two people?
2. When gazing at the following image, do you see a pretty bunch of flowers or somebody who had it coming?
Seattle (minus 2.5) at Washington, Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Feschuk: Maybe I’ve been listening to too much sports radio but based on what I’ve heard this week it is my understanding that Robert Griffin III is an amazing quarterback, a peerless athlete, a terrific teammate, a great humanitarian, a super genius, a hilarious prankster, a compelling singer-songwriter, a founding member of the Dogme 95 film movement, a good source of 11 essential vitamins and nutrients and a Rockette. He makes the Most Interesting Man in the World look mildly intriguing at best. But let’s face it: it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in this game. The Redskins came off of their bye week and won their last seven games in a row. Meanwhile, Seattle has won five straight and seven of eight. As an added bonus, Pete Carroll is planning to coach despite the fact it conflicts with his rehearsal schedule as a backup singer in the coming sensation, Manilow on Broadway!
But enough stalling – tough games like this are why you turn to our NFL Picks, right? You come here for the astute analysis of gridiron trends and also the gratuitous photographs of Mrs. Tannehill in limited amounts of clothing.
So here it is: I’m going with Seattle because based on extensive research, they are the only NFL franchise that tells its fans how they can “get the look” of the team’s cheerleaders.
You may not think this is an important strategic edge, but you’re not the one who has to pick up the phone on Sundays and hear Scott Reid lament, “Why won’t those cheerleaders share the secrets of their fitness and beauty regimens?” I think back on how many accidents with a curling iron and home waxing kit could have been avoided in the Reid household! But those thigh burns are in the past, buddy. Want hair like a Seahawks cheerleader? Just make an appointment at the Gene Juarez Advanced Training Salon. Want to look slightly too orange? Seattle Sun Tan. It’s all there at your disposal, Scott Reid. YOU SHALL BE RADIANT. Pick: Seattle.
Reid: Yes, body wax can be dangerous. Remember that day you did my back?
Because I am a Niners fan, I now fear the Seahawks the way dogs fear electric fences. For that reason alone, I must believe Washington will win at home against Seattle. But I’m also convinced that the Skins rushing game will wear down Pete Carroll’s defence – which doesn’t travel super well and is soft up-the-gut. Hands up if you also think that RGIII has had enough of this ‘Russell Wilson is the real rookie of the year’ talk. Wouldn’t it be awesome if, instead of a football game, Griffin and Wilson could just settle things with some kind of head-to-head competition of skill and strength.
By Scott Feschuk - Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:10 PM - 0 Comments
Philadelphia (plus 7) at New York Giants
Scott Reid: If the Giants skid their way out of the playoffs by losing this home game to the four-win Eagles, does that make Rex Ryan the king of New York? Those who know him best believe that coach Tom Coughlin will react to a loss in one of three possible ways (ranked in reverse order of likelihood):
3. He yells so loudly that his liver spots fall off.
2. He rallies his players for next year by singing a note-perfect rendition of Cop Rock’s “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down.”
1. He changes his name to Tracey and lives the remainder of his life as the third-least peculiar Wachowski sibling.
Meanwhile, I don’t want to suggest that Andy Reid is already thinking about next season but he has spent the past four days in his office Googling the best San Diego hotspots for sweetbreads (Fodor’s Tip: The Smoking Goat won’t disappoint). Pick: New York.
Scott Feschuk: That’s all very interesting but I’ve got BREAKING NEWS. The other day I was listening to that Wayne Lapierre guy from the NRA blame shooting rampages on video games, inferior mental health services, social dysfunction, under-armed kindergarten teachers, changes in barometric pressure, bad vibes, the chorus of Call Me Maybe, the rise of boxer-briefs and the fluoride in our water supply – anyway, that’s when it occurred to me: Do you think it’s a coincidence that the National Rifle Association, a fraternity of men so insecure in their manhood that they Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, December 21, 2012 at 5:49 AM - 0 Comments
San Diego (plus 1.5) at New York Jets
Scott Feschuk: Okay, sure, Rex Ryan probably did the right thing on Tuesday when he benched Mark Sanchez. And he certainly did the right thing on Wednesday when he petitioned the court for a restraining order that forces Tim Tebow to keep 50 yards away from oblong objects. Still, I can’t help but wonder: Sanchez had been getting worse every week, culminating with a performance on Monday Night Football that left people across North America thinking to themselves, “If this man gets the ball for just one more series, he’s going to find a way to swallow it.” How bad was Sanchez’s performance? Let’s use the power of comparison. Let’s say Sanchez was a Subway employee (I know it’s asking you to gaze at least seven months into the future, but stick with me): if he were a Subway employee, and he performed as poorly as he did on Monday night, the result would be a loaf of Italian herbs and cheese filled with sawdust, mucus and three slices of human sadness. Would you like that toasted, sir? Anyway, my point is this: aren’t you a little bit curious about what would have happened this week? How would Mark Sanchez have one-upped (or, rather, one-downed) his five-turnover performance against one of the league’s worst teams? Would he have thrown the ball underhanded? Would he have found a way to fumble into his own butt? Would he have finally managed to pass the football so poorly that gravity itself refused to have anything to do with it and the ball floated off into space? Now we’ll never know. Pick: San Diego.
Scott Reid: They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a video is worth just two: “F**k” and “You.”
Pick: San Diego.
Washington (minus 4.5) at Philadelphia
Reid: Reports out of Philadelphia suggest that Eagles team owner Jeff Lurie has already decided to fire Andy Reid at season’s end. There are no reports yet that he plans to padlock the rest of the team in an old barn in much the same way Hershel locked away all those zombies in season two. But I’ve decided to seed the idea. And for the record, I sincerely think it will happen. All of this raises the question: What comes next for Andy Reid? Many NFL observers expect the veteran coach and Quarterback Whisperer to be picked up quickly – possibly by Dallas, San Diego or a lonely-for-love manatee.
But what if Andy feels he needs a bit of a break from coaching? Ever wonder what else might be out there for him? Well, worry not. The intrepid job-search staff here at Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM - 0 Comments
To aid in your enjoyment of the holidays, please consult this second volume of answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the songs of the season—all from someone who, until he was 17, thought Silent Night described Mary as a “round young virgin.”
Q: I need closure. Does that pushy fellow wind up scoring with the woman in Baby, It’s Cold Outside?
A: Ask anyone who’s listened closely to the lyrics of this song: nothing captures the spirit of the holiday season like a man pressuring a pretty lady to get drunk enough to make out with him. As any lawyer will tell you, it’s not sexual harassment if it rhymes. To get a sense of how the song’s conflict is resolved, one must refer to its long-lost concluding verses:
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:45 AM - 0 Comments
Washington (minus 1) at Cleveland
Scott Feschuk: Something just entered my mind, and for once it wasn’t Scarlett Johansson dressed as a librarian: Come Dec. 22, when all the Mayan hysteria fades, we’re going to need a date for the next end of the world. We can’t not have a date for the end of the world! I propose we designate March 6, 2013 as End of Days XXXLXII: This Time We Mean It. Why March 6? That’s the day on which the Norwegian Pearl is scheduled to depart the Port of Miami carrying participants in Kid Rock’s 4th Annual Chillin’ the Most Cruise.
As Mr. Rock himself advises on the cruise’s web site: “It’s time to start that base tan, do some curls to prepare for drink lifting, and tighten up that beach bod, because we’re going to the new and improved Redneck Paradise.” Note that term: Redneck Paradise. From there it’s as simple as crafting a biblical-sounding prophesy, pretending to find it in some ancient Incan text and writing a best-selling e-book warning of the inevitable apocalypse that awaits us: For it is foretold in scripture that, lo, upon the arrival of the white of trash and red of neck unto its native paradise, all the mountains of the earth shall crumble, and all the seas shall boil, and all the Jim Beam shall be consumed with a hearty “Hells ya!” Pick: Washington.
Scott Reid: Honest question: Is there any evidence that the King James Bible reflects accurately the way people actually talked back then? I mean, it’s not like there are audio recordings of people from 1611 hanging around Ye Olde Seconde Cup. Is it not possible that the Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, December 7, 2012 at 7:03 AM - 0 Comments
New York Jets (minus 2.5) at Jacksonville
Scott Feschuk: Over the years, we’ve all enjoyed listening to Rex Ryan – but now it’s time to give back. We owe the man for all the pithy quotes, hilarious obesity and delightful foot-fetish tweets he’s brought into our lives. So when I heard him say the words “I’m comfortable and confident with all three quarterbacks” – well, listen Rex: pull up a chair. Join our circle. This intervention is for you because we love you. [Deep breath.] Rex, there’s no easy way to say this: your starting quarterback is nicknamed Buttfumble and you benched him against one of the league’s worst teams because several of his passes actually made the “sad trombone” sound as they sputtered through the air and fell to the ground, untouched and unloved.
In other news, your third-stringer is a rookie who from all appearances is poised to graduate middle school later this year with extra credit for really nailing that triangle solo in the holiday concert:
And your backup is Tim Tebow, who is on a first name basis with the deity that judges our immortal souls but is “in” the NFL in the same way that the tambourine player is “in” the band. It’s time to face up to facts, Rex. Your quarterbacks are terrible. Your team is terrible. Accept it, move on and let’s all go eat a goddamn snack. Pick: Jacksonville.
Scott Reid: And with that in mind, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the New York Jets’ backup quarterback, emissary of the one true Lord and the undying love of both John Phillips and Denny Doherty: Tim Tebow.
By the way – and yes, I know this qualifies me for behind-the-counter medication – but I think Mark Sanchez is going to have a killer day through the air. Pick: New York.
Atlanta (minus 3.5) at Carolina
Reid: The Falcons are tied for first in overall number of wins, rank fourth in yards gained through the air and stand alone when it comes to being nutbustingly boring. Matt Ryan is so ragingly uninteresting to watch I had to check to see if he was a Shonda Rhimes-created spin off. (Results: Inconclusive. After careful investigation I discovered that both he and Private Practice are in their sixth season and neither has ever been photographed in the company of the other. Could be coincidence. But they laughed when I raised the same questions about Bruce Wayne).
The Falcons have gotten away from the run in recent weeks and that’s hard to understand. Michael Turner is a game-breaker. He grinds the clock, churns yards and keeps opponents honest on D. I don’t care what Atlanta’s record is, I say they fail on the road against Cam Newton – who is waaaay overdue for a standout performance. And like the above-mentioned nighttime soap, I expect Atlanta to be cancelled quickly when the season’s over. Pick: Carolina.
Feschuk: You know, I was kind of hard on Mark Sanchez back there, so I just want to take a moment to congratulate him on a genuine achievement, something he did last week that truly warrants praise – as backup quarterback for the New York Jets, he actually carried a clipboard.
The clipboard had gone out of style for second- and third-stringers. We used to see them all the time, but of late it’s become more fashionable for backups to send in plays, consult with the offensive coordinator or quietly fantasize about being trapped on a desert island with three Victoria’s Secret models and playing just an awesome game of Scrabble with them (Tim Tebow only). Of course, knowing Sanchez, he was probably holding it upside down or using it to draw naked lady parts. Pick: Atlanta.
Baltimore (plus 2.5) at Washington
Feschuk: I’m starting to worry about the Harbaugh brothers. Out in San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh benched a QB with a 70 per cent completion rating in favour of a backup who was instrumental in scoring 22 points last week – 13 of which were for his team. Nothing says unstoppable Super Bowl momentum like failing to beat the St. Louis Rams in two tries. Meanwhile, John Harbaugh masterminded the strategy of ensuring his best player, Ray Rice, didn’t get a single carry in the fourth quarter of last week’s game. The Ravens ended up losing in the final seconds to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nothing says unstoppable Super Bowl momentum like coming up short against a team a team whose defence is banged up and who basically started the black Abe Vigoda at quarterback. Pick: Washington.
Reid: And nothing says unstoppable like Scott Feschuk. I think the more relevant issue is how bad Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh’s two young boys are at shaking hands. Where did these guys grow up – a Sam Peckinpah film? First we had last year’s nuts and bolts between Jim and Detroit coach Jim “Let’s Take This Outside-er” Schwartz. As you may recall, Harbaugh-the-Younger decided to substitute the traditional post-game greeting with a hard slap and a ‘Screw-doo-doodle to You’ yelled loudly into Schwartz’s lower esophagus. Then last week, older brother John hungrily muckled onto Mike Tomlin at mid-field like he had a dose of leprosy he wanted to spread. Tomlin recoiled in horror and made some excuse about having to be home to see the Gilmore Girls reunion TV movie (which, btw, doesn’t exist – but should). Clearly these two siblings have hand/touching/interactingwithfellowhumans issues. My suggestion: They should join the Masonic Lodge. Masons, when they’re not busy controlling the Royal Houses of Europe, holding wild sex parties that Frenchies like DSK would die for and wearing (ceremonial) aprons, have their own handshake. What might appeal to the Harbaughs is that the Masonic handshake – known as the ‘Boaz’ – is engineered to minimize actual human contact requiring only a small tap of the thumb atop the fellow Mason’s first digit knuckle.
Also, they are required to say this – which should be easy to blurt out when you’re running onto a football field cheering and with a clipboard down your pants: “I now present my right hand in token of friendship and brotherly love, and will invest you with the grip and word. As you are uninstructed, he who has hitherto answered for you, will do so at this time.” That should cut down on the hostilities. Pick: Baltimore.
Dallas (plus 3) at Cincinnati
Reid: Exactly two weeks from today, the Mayans tell us the world will come to an end (some buzzkill scientists dispute that this is what the Mayan calendar predicts but screw ’em – they’re the same bunch of know-it-alls who reassured the people of Krypton). While most people disbelieve or dread the possibility of our highly scheduled annihilation, I can’t help but assume that Tony Romo would welcome the cataclysmic arrival of mega-planet Nibiru. After all, football has been one long doomsday event for him since the minute he fumbled that snap in the 2006 NFC Wild Card.
One thing’s for sure: If the Earth does tear itself asunder from the north to south pole and we all die in a flash of hyper-magnetic agony, Cowboys fans can take heart in knowing that at least Jerry Jones’ face will survive. With a chemical composition that defies any and all extremes of nature, his sickly stretched skin will surely emerge as the central religious artifact of whatever society eventually rises from the ashes of our own. Pick: Cincinnati .
Feschuk: It’s only Week 14 but already Houston has clinched a playoff berth, New England has clinched its division and Jerry Jones has released the hounds. There’s so little left to look forward to. Frankly, the lack of playoff uncertainty is depressing – and it makes it even more difficult to forecast the outcome of the games. Will the playoff-assured teams be trying hard or hardly trying? The one upside is that this gives Tony Romo an even larger stage in these final weeks of the season to make Dallas fans dismayed, then give them hope, then ultimately break their hearts with a moment of pure and savage dumbness. And that’s something we can all enjoy. Pick: Dallas.
Tennessee (plus 5.5) at Indianapolis
Feschuk: Listen, I’m not saying a howler monkey could do a better job of NFL colour commentary than Phil Simms. I’m not saying it – however, I am typing it on the Internet, placing it on a banner pulled by an airplane and sending it out to ships at sea via semaphore, the language of flags. There was a classic Simms moment in last weekend’s Ravens-Steelers game: A close game! A controversial penalty call! Multiple replays indicating the call was botched! And an anxious world awaited as Simms cleared his throat, breathed deeply and weighed in with these exact words: “I’m not going to say the call is right or the call is wrong.” WHY NOT, NUMBNUTS? They’ve given you a microphone and a wardrobe courtesy of Botany 500. Maybe use it for something other than saying exactly what Jim Nantz just said, which itself was merely a superfluous description of athletic events that we ourselves were witnessing at the very same time. Pick: Indianapolis.
Reid: Tennessee, you say? Hmmm. Nope. Sorry, but I’m afraid it doesn’t ring a bell. I dimly recall that Tennessee had a team a few years ago. Pretty sure Warren Moon was their quarterback. But if I’m not mistaken they’ve not played in the NFL for a decade or more. Locker? No. See, now I know you’re bullshitting me. Because I follow football pretty closely and I’ve never – ever – heard of a guy with a name like that who was a starting quarterback in the most popular sport to exist on Earth. Next, you’re going to tell me their mascot is some weird brown pervo who eats cheerleaders in a single bite.
Next time pick on someone who isn’t an expert. Pick: Indianapolis.
Miami (plus 10) at San Francisco
Reid: Everyone’s all hot and Lohan-ed about last week’s performance by Colin Kaepernick. And I guess that goes for me, too. But ultimately I think the kid will bounce back. I expect a huge week out of him against a Miami secondary that is uglier than Rob Ford’s legal prospects. But can we forget the QB drama for a moment? Am I the only Niners fan in the world to be more alarmed about the left foot of David Akers? Two OT games have been lost to missed kicks in the past four weeks. And from 40 yards or more, buddy is only 7/16 for the season. For this kind of team to win late in January, they can’t afford to Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, December 7, 2012 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
The Liberal leadership race is really heating up. First, David Bertschi tweeted, “I had a nice day in North Bay.” Then Martha Hall Findlay tweeted, “Just had a terrific meeting in Edmonton.” Truly, this contest is turning into a blood sport.
For those who’ve lost track, there are now 3,200 people running to be leader of the Liberal party: Justin Trudeau, Deborah Coyne, the three people sitting with you right now in the dentist’s waiting room, the Professor, Mary Ann—the list keeps growing. The field is so crowded that the party has pretty much no choice but to hold its policy debates on one of those conveyor belts they have in some sushi restaurants. Ms. Findlay, you have 20 seconds to answer this question before you disappear into the kitchen for half an hour.
The significant interest in the job of leader sounds a positive note for the future of the party. In news that doesn’t do that, interim leader Bob Rae sent out an email this week basically begging Liberal supporters to donate $5. That’s right—five whole dollars. Not interested? Bob is willing to sweeten the deal. Hand over the five-spot and in return you’ll get . . . a copy of his holiday card! Just contact the Liberal party and ask to contribute to Canada’s Saddest Fundraising Campaign. Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 6:00 AM - 0 Comments
Reading about the people who shaped 2012 is interesting and all. But let’s face it: it’s cooler to be ahead of current events. With that in mind, I give you the Newsmakers of the Year—for 2022.
Stephen Harper. As 2022 comes to a close, Harper is celebrating his 17th year at 24 Sussex Drive—which is quite an achievement considering he ceased to be prime minister five years ago. To this day, political scholars continue to study Harper’s memorable 2017 concession speech, in which he announced: “I’ve placed a call to prime minister-elect Trudeau, congratulated him and told him that I’ll be damned if I’m giving up this job or this house without a fight. They’re mine. TRY AND TAKE THEM FROM ME, PRETTY BOY.” Sources say a bearded Harper spent much of the past year roaming the walled grounds of 24 Sussex in a thick flannel shirt hollering, “Canada! War of 1812! Troops!” at pigeons. He has three times gone to court in an effort to prorogue reality.
Xi Jinping. After a successful 10-year term in office, the leader of the world’s largest country was this year given an important new assignment: to take over as CEO of Alberta, which China purchased in its entirety from Canada in 2018. Xi said he looks forward to visiting Banff’s famed “Gigantic Hole in the Ground Where Banff Used to Be.” Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, November 30, 2012 at 8:41 AM - 0 Comments
Carolina (minus 3) at K.C.
Scott Reid: An enormous controversy this week as the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles – fresh from getting licked by Peyton Manning – waited after the game at the stadium doors to ask the very same Peyton Manning for his autograph.
Two sides to this debate. Charles and his supporters argue that he’s simply paying respects to a ‘fellow warrior.’ Plus, he was getting it for his Mom (cuz, warriors have Moms too you ankle-biting batch of assholes!). Those less enamoured of the move argue that it’s sissy. Now I’m saying this only because I’m separated from Charles by the entire circumference of the Internet but…I come down on the side of sissy. Look, if you want to reach out to the dude as a peer – maybe via email or stripper-o-gram – that’s cool. But to linger at the gates of your own stadium after he mulched your team in the fourth quarter? Show some pride, man. That said, since you’re going to be there anyway could you score me a signed Cam Newton bobblehead. Just tell him it’s for your sister, Scott. Pick: Carolina.
Scott Feschuk: I’m not comfortable agreeing with you because you have terrible judgment in everything except business partners and ascots (wisely, you eschew paisley). But dangnabbit – you’re right! I want to root for a team where the players feel each and every defeat. I want losing to bother them. I want them to wander back to the hotel in a blur of tears, crank up The Cure, stretch out on their beds and pour it all out to their Hello Kitty diaries. I want them to take it out on their wives, children and pets – even if the pet is a fish and therefore tricky to berate. I even want the post-game on-field prayer session to be competitive – WE ARE TOTALLY SCHOOLING YOU LOSERS ON HOW TO PRAISE ALMIGHTY GOD. Pick: Carolina.
Arizona (plus 4.5) at New York Jets
Feschuk: Rex Ryan has a new goal – and this one doesn’t involve a fireplace, a bottle of wine and a barefoot Susan Sarandon. Rex’s goal is for his team to go unbeaten in its final five games of the season. And that’s totally plausible assuming that overnight we’ve all Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 8:27 AM - 0 Comments
Warning: this post contains foul language (not mine).
One of my boys, James, played in a minor bantam hockey tournament over the weekend here in Ottawa. The semi-final game was wildly entertaining – and in the end James’s team, the Ottawa West Golden Knights, won 3-1 over the Whitby Wildcats.
As many parents and grandparents can attest, watching minor hockey is generally a blast – but there are frustrating aspects as well. The dirty hits. The post-whistle nonsense in front of the net. Hearing I’ve Got a Feeling on the tinny arena loudspeaker for the 3,205,276th time.
But in my eight years of sitting in the stands, the guy who’s always bothered me most is Apoplectic Coach – the coach who’s always complaining, always hollering at the ref, slamming the door, waving his arms, and who isn’t afraid to Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, November 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM - 0 Comments
Oakland (plus 7.5) at Cincinnati
Scott Feschuk: The Oakland Raiders are dead last in the NFL in points allowed – more than 32 a game. They’ve struggled against the pass, they’ve struggled against the run, they’ve struggled to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks – heck, this team is so clueless they could even struggle to remember the chorus to We Will Rock You, and that thing’s a piece of cake. It’s not hard to imagine them on the sideline trying to puzzle it out. Is it, “We will… we will… kiss you? Eat you? Validate your parking? LET’S BUCKLE DOWN AND FIGURE THIS THING OUT, GUYS.” Meanwhile, this game marks Carson Palmer’s return to Cincinnati, where he played for the bulk of his career –
so manythree great memories! Pick: Cincinnati.
Scott Reid: It’s important when picking a rock anthem to select something you’re going to easily recall. For example, Meatloaf’s Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad seems like a good idea until the moron beside you starts screaming “I want youuuu. I need youuuu. But there flaaint staayy bbonnd I’m ever going to bbbblllll trueeeu. Now don’t schleeep flaabbd. Cuz two out of three ain’t…baddd” (hint: after drifting through the middle, he’ll likely lean in to that last line with extra expectorating gusto). But don’t be too harsh on Oakland. It’s become a bit hopeless there. Today’s Raiders can’t play defence. Protect the quarterback. Or stay in 4/4 time. The Raiders should instead pick a song that more neatly fits their skills. Like I Drink Alone. Pick: Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh (even) at Cleveland
Reid: A pick ’em game for the Steelers? At Cleveland? The two-win Cleveland Browns? The Cleveland Browns who couldn’t beat Dallas last week even after the Cowboys made every imaginable mistake short of going for a drive with Hector Camacho (too soon?). Obviously, Pittsburgh is fielding a Frankenstein-like team sewn together from left-over body parts such as Charlie Batch and the just-signed Plaxico Burress. But I still think they’ve got enough fire power and D to take this game handily. And hey, how hard can it be for Burress to Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM - 0 Comments
New York Jets (plus 3) at St. Louis
Scott Feschuk: The New York Jets have done the impossible: they’ve made me feel sorry for Tim Tebow. Here we have a team that’s 3-6 – a team that over the past two weeks has been blown out by Seattle and Miami… a team that stops the run about as well as Kevin James stops at eating just a couple of your fries… a team that insists on starting a quarterback who plays like a kid dressed up for Halloween as an NFL quarterback – and all week this team devoted its energy to debating whether its backup QB, who hardly ever plays, is or is not “terrible?” Here’s the hard truth: the Jets have tuned out Rex Ryan. They need to make a change. You know who should coach this team? That Jill Kelley lady from the David Petraeus sex scandal.
She seems to be able to make grown men do anything. Within minutes of meeting her, FBI agents are ripping off their shirts and army generals are sending off lewd email messages about their four-star boners. Surely, if anyone could get Mark Sanchez to throw the ball in the general direction of someone – anyone – in green, it’d be her. Pick: St. Louis.
Scott Reid: Pro-tip for you buddy – it’s not all that difficult to get army generals talking about their boners. In fact, military men can be included in a rather exclusive list of male-dominated professions that can be easily coaxed into talking online about their wood. This group includes, but is not necessarily limited to: doctors, lawyers, door-to-door salesmen, pastry chefs, magazine editors, cabinet ministers, air conditioner repairmen, director Kevin Smith, certified management accountants, video game designers (especially video game designers!), piano instructors, hot air balloonists, dairy farmers, astronauts, union leaders, clergymen, tutorial assistants, pipe fitters (no surprise there), air traffic controllers, official team Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM - 0 Comments
It’s that difficult time of year again, but come on people, we can get through this together. To better navigate our ordeal, it’s important that we take the time to review the challenge ahead. Here are the seven stages of Canadian winter:
1. Anticipation. As the long, hot summer surrenders to the first hint of an autumn breeze, many of us experience a small thrill: winter is on its way, bringing relief from the heat and promising the many splendours that accompany the most Canadian of seasons. We envision snow-flecked landscapes, ice-covered ponds and joyful Christmas choirs. Digging deep into the closet, we gaze fondly upon our parkas and mitts. We dream of frosty adventures ahead.
2. Despair. The first cruel winds of November cut through us and we pretty much want to fall down and die right there. Three days of hostile muttering ensue.
3. Sarcasm. A huge December snowfall—awesome! And maybe a little freezing rain in there because THAT WOULD BE PLEASANT. Wake up and there’s a metre of snow in the driveway—and hey, great, it’s the wet, slushy kind that weighs about a squillion pounds per shovelful and lays those of weak heart in their graves. Yay winter! Just when we finally get it cleared—literally, just as we finish clearing it away—the plow pushes a huge drift back in front of the driveway. Thanks for that, buddy! And for the record, that could have been anyone’s snow shovel that flew through the air and struck the window of the plow’s cab. We only ran away because we were in the mood for some exercise. Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, November 9, 2012 at 7:46 AM - 0 Comments
Buffalo (plus 11) at New England
Scott Feschuk: As a Bills fan, I’ve so far refrained from criticizing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, largely because he represents a genuine upgrade over guys like Trent Edwards and J.P. Losman. Remember Losman? You couldn’t find a more incompetent quarterback if you took Ryan Leaf’s brain, stuffed it inside Matt Leinart’s skull and handed the skull to JaMarcus Russell to throw 12 feet over the head of a wide-open receiver. But enough is enough. Fitzpatrick just isn’t getting it done and the fact that he graduated from Harvard and probably knows how to use a protractor does not make up for the fact HE NO CAN THROWY MR. OBLONG. Right now, the only thing that will save 2012 for Buffalo fans is if it turns out that the Bills’ season syncs up perfectly with Dark Side of the Moon. Fingers crossed. Pick: Buffalo.
Scott Reid: Breaking News – the Buffalo Bills, whose defence has allowed an NFL all-time high forty squinjillion points, has fired its entire defensive team and replaced them with the Muppets and Wall-E.
Head coach Chan Gailey explained that, while unconventional, the technically lifeless Muppets would still represent a substantial upgrade to most positions. “Gonzo played a little Division II ball before he got into show biz and Kermit has great Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 6:00 AM - 0 Comments
Election night, U.S.A., 2012: Democracy? Check. Hyperbole? CHECK! But where, oh where, were the dazzling technological innovations in broadcast coverage?
Four years ago, the guy from the Black Eyed Peas appeared via hologram for an interview on CNN. Surely this election season would produce nothing less than a trio of Anderson Cooper clones being attended to by a robot butler. Surely by now the technology would exist to beam up an actual live person from a spaceship or, at minimum, make James Carville not look like he just wandered in from the set of The Walking Dead.
Or maybe CNN spent all its money this time around on a robust supply of exclamation marks for Wolf Blitzer: “We are about to make a really major projection! . . . These are ACTUAL numbers coming in! . . . WOW, THE NUMBERS JUST CHANGED AS WE! WERE! LOOKING! AT! THEM!!!!” Believe me, if Election Night 2012 proved nothing else, it proved that Wolf Blitzer is amazed by numbers suddenly becoming other numbers. “Wow,” he said, more than once. “WOW!” Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, October 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM - 0 Comments
New York Giants (plus 2) at Dallas
Scott Reid: I have no way of knowing but I like to imagine that deep down, Tony Romo and Eli Manning loathe one another.
Romo’s hatred would be all bound up in his feelings of insecurity and gross inadequacy (not unlike your own feelings toward me, Mr. Feschuk). Manning probably just hates the dimples. My fondest hope is that deep in the fourth quarter of this week’s matchup – after the Giants gain a 10-point lead – Romo breaks down on television and begins to sob uncontrollably, confronted with the awful truth that he’ll never best his rival. Manning, meanwhile, will make Jessica Simpson jokes and snicker about the hands-off approach of John Mara. Eventually Romo cracks completely and beats Manning savagely with a Gatorade bottle – leaving Eli dead and himself condemned to a life behind bars. In no way would this scenario make Mike Vick the best starting quarterback in the NFC East. Pick: New York.
Scott Feschuk: That’s all very interesting but I have a more important question: What man would ever agree to date Taylor Swift? You’d have to know right from the get-go that everything that happens is basically Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM - 0 Comments
It’s hard to believe the U.S. election campaign is almost over—it feels like it began only two or three eons ago. In the time since Mitt Romney launched his 2012 candidacy, the seasons have changed, toddlers have reached puberty, gases and dark matter have come together to form the seeds of untold future galaxies and Lady Gaga has had, like, three different hairstyles. Most people now can’t wait for Nov. 6, which will mark the final day of this campaign and the only day Wolf Blitzer won’t talk about the next one.
By this point in the process, Mitt and Barack are like in-laws who’ve come to town, done the tourist thing, doted on the grandkids and now you desire nothing more than for them to get the hell out of your house. We just want our bathroom back, guys.
But before that glorious day could come, we needed to get through the Continue…