Tag Archives: football

How to Enjoy Yourself in a Weirdly Empty Football Stadium (via The Loop / Golf Digest)


The Loop / Golf Digest — Generally speaking, you can expect stadiums to be jam-packed full of teeming and gross humanity: Cheering, screaming, singing throngs of people who have gathered together to pay $75 for parking and sit in four hours of endless postgame gridlock to enjoy the communal experience of things like rooting for the Cleveland Browns, I guess.

But what happens when the stadiums don’t cooperate? What happens when you find yourself in a stadium that’s mostly empty, because the team is hot garbage, because they got bounced out of the playoff race, because they play football in Los Angeles, because you elected to buy Indiana football season tickets for some reason? It’s an eerie feeling, sitting in a place designed for tens of thousands and being surrounded by a couple hundreds, with every whistle, boo and call echoing off the empty seats. It sucks, but it doesn’t have to be hopeless. We here at The Loop have some ways you can pass the time at an empty stadium before your surprisingly convenient drive home:





This Thanksgiving, Be a Touch Football RG3 with the Wilson K2 (GQ Fitness)

ks-football-gq-fitnessGQ — Footballs are good at many things—flying through the air, causing family arguments, being thrown to opposing teams by Eli Manning—but regulation-size balls are not particularly forgiving to the average dude. Sure, you think you look cool in your backyard, dropping back and calling plays like a version of Colin Kaepernick without the tattoos that look like a shirt. But in reality your spiral is probably more like a circling-of-a-drain, and your throwing motion looks like someone just plugged a microwave into your nervous system.

Read more here.






GateHouse — For real, and I can say this because I have no particularly well-carved feelings on the Green Bay Packers, I felt terrible for the terrible replacement refs. Awful for their awfulness. Miserable for their miserable-ity. Sad for the sadness they brought upon us all, but also the melancholy must have felt slumping back to the locker room, hearts pounding, heads down, knowing that they had to hustle out of the stadium as speedily as they could, probably to get to their shift at Dunkin Donuts.

Seriously, how can you not have felt bad for these poor schlumps? Imagine their situation, that you were walking down the street, whistling a merry tune, a donut in your hand (sorry, totally stuck on the donut daydream now), and someone walks up to you with an oboe. They jam the oboe in your face and tell you in no uncertain terms that you’re playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra that night at 8 p.m. And you’d better be at the top of your oboe-game, and the world’s most elite oboe players (oboists? Obots? Barack Oboemas?) would all be in attendance, affected by your every low note, and also 90 billion people would be watching, waiting for nothing else other than to see you jack something up so they could whine about it on AM oboe radio.

(And then maybe one time you get to the end of a symphony and you still haven’t figured out the first thing about your oboe and you end up screwing the pooch on the grand finale so badly that it ends up sounding like Hungarian death metal and everybody hates you, at least as much as everyone can hate an oboe player. Also note: The hypothetical orchestral terror is effective on the likely chance that you, the reader, are not an oboe player. If you, the reader, are an oboe player, please put this column down and turn to Marmaduke at once, which, I am told, is usually pretty low on oboe jokes.)


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N00JbKpZKKw]

See, this is what I’m talking about right here.


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Saints be praised: On the Super Bowl, Townshend’s white belly, and the dominance of Indiana University football

Photo courtesy Ben "Le Petit Catfish" Niolet, actual New Orleans dude (and taken by his brother, Paul Niolet)

GateHouse — Thoughts, scribbles and stolen text-message jokes regarding Super Bowl XXVLXVIXCSI, which ended in a satisfying win for an iconic American city that has endured unfathomable hardships, and will, if there is any justice, spend the next five days drinking itself into a state of eyes-crossed, pants-whizzing oblivion. (Sorry, it’s all I can work up at this late hour, as its important to hear the winning franchise’s 275-year-old owner share his thoughts on the victory, because people really heart owners, and also FYI however long you think it takes to scrub a couple of bowls of queso out of the couch, it’s like six times that).

  • As happens nearly every year, a 30-second TV commercial featuring a guy barely old enough to drink but who can throw a football straight caused me to adjust my entire stance on a major moral issue. Last year, of course, it was Eli Manning warning me about the dangers of sexting.
  • How about that interception from INDIANA UNIVERSITY GRADUATE Tracy Porter, much-needed proof that they have those in the NFL. (Call me for directions to the practice field, Scouts of America!)
  • According to TV, I, as a dude, do not spend nearly enough time thinking about the care and quality of my skin, which is entirely true, as I have never in my life exfoliated or moisturized anything important. So no, Commercial Than Ran Six Times At A Cost Of Six Million Dollars To Jergens Or Whatever, I am not yet comfortable in my own skin. And I’m not alone: “I’m about two beers away from being comfortable in my own skin,” cracked my friend Jason, while he was being much funnier than me.




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Piling On, or, In Defense Of “The Super Bowl Shuffle”

GateHouse — It was probably a good two, maybe three years after January of 1986 that I realized “The Super Bowl Shuffle” was not, nor had it even been, cool.

Being an apple-cheeked lad at the time, this was a brutal, innocence-throttling revelation, on the order of learning about Santa Claus, the Billy Goat Curse or that presidents will let Americans live on the roofs of their homes without food for days. I don’t remember exactly how I learned that the “Shuffle” was regarded as cockamamie weirdness in most parts of the country, but I imagine it involved my mentioning it offhandedly in a positive manner, and garnering a dismissive grunt from someone who was older and wiser and into much more hipster-approved music of the time, such as “Funky Cold Medina” or possibly something by Taylor Dayne.

Part of me died that day.

The rest of me died when I watched the “Shuffle” this past week, as part of one of the great things you can do with the Internet: Check out things you thought were cool when you were 10. In this case, I discovered that the “Shuffle” was, in fact, only cool when you were 10.

But in my defense, I should point out that when I was 10, it was really, really cool. Something like “The Super Bowl Shuffle” represents peak physical coolness at that blind, wide-open age, a grand unification of sports and music and low-budget, extremely fake saxophone playing.

When you are 10, you actually watch the video. You don’t realize that Steve Fuller is so horrified by the entire endeavor that he can’t bring himself to look at the camera. When you are 10, you don’t stare in wide-eyed horror at lines like, “Now I’m as smooth as a chocolate swirl,” delivered by Willie Gault with a finger-twirling motion, so as to really drive home the swirl point. When you are 10, you don’t notice that the Fridge looks a whole really lot like Biz Markie, and that he doesn’t really dance so much as shift his weight back and forth, creating what I can imagine was a very pleasing sloshing sound in his belly. When you are 10, you don’t realize that a video starring your favorite team has been made for $39.50, and that if that team hadn’t made it to the Super Bowl, said video would stand defiantly atop a list of Chicago’s most dazzling sports-related embarrassments, and I think we can all agree that’s a piping hot humdinger of a list.

No, you think, “This is the greatest thing I have ever seen,” because you are 10, and you have not seen very much. And so you memorize it, emulate it and play it over and over again, until the rest of your family actually starts to wish for the Bears to lose a little.

If nothing else, and now that I think about it there is nothing else, “The Super Bowl Shuffle” stands as a weird, freakish time capsule, because God knows nothing like it will ever be attempted henceforth in the history of world culture, unless there are some Japanese baseballers with music aspirations I’m not aware of.

But when you are 10, you are not thinking in these kinds of terms, you are not thinking that your Super Bowl experience would, bruisingly, be a one-time only deal, you are not thinking of salary caps and naming rights and reasons why, hypothetically, someone would need to keep 500 rounds of ammunition safely tucked away in his mansion. You’re thinking, “Hey, ‘The Super Bowl Shuffle’ is pretty great.” And it was, for a minute. Now let us never speak of it again.

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