For the past few months, the scorching rays of the summer sun have hit me as I stumble across the annual wasteland of quality sports to watch. Since witnessing the Warriors’ ironically named chance in their seventh championship – still far eclipsed by my 17 Lakers – I’ve been adrift in a sea of baseball, golf, drag racing and other sports that many enjoy, but make me want to extinguish my peepers with Clorox Eye Bleach™.
At one point, I thought the blessed oasis of NFL football had come early, but it was just a sly mirage – a Canadian Football League game. More on that later.
Today’s column is all about football:
Facebook football smack talk rules of engagement
So every year around this time I post my Facebook Football Smack Talk rules of engagement on Mark Zuckerberg’s site with a photo of me at Candlestick Park in San Francisco when the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers played in the regular season A few years ago. I went with Ken, John and Peter – three of my friends – who are all Niners fans.
In the photo, they were trying to turn me into a Niners fan with wine (sparkling cider from Martinelli) and cheese (pasteurized processed cheese). Of course, it didn’t take because their efforts were blocked by my awesome Lincoln Kennedy jersey, my good taste, my pride and my common sense.
At the game, the Raiders were beaten, Niners fans around me chanting “Raiders Suck!” and I was razzed by my friends. But you know what? I had a good time. Why? Because I was with my friends.
I am and always will be a Raiders fan. I’m talking a lot smack on Facebook, because good-natured sports rivalries are fun. I’m always amazed when someone thinks I literally hate other teams’ fans. Others can, but I can’t. I mean, I may not like their sports allegiances, but truth be told, some of my best punchlines are Chiefs/Broncos/Niners fans.
Oh wait, did I say punchlines? I meant friends. I would have included Chargers fans in this list, but they are on the endangered species list so I am not legally able to do so.
Look, football is entertainment and I don’t take it seriously.
I still try to remember the day football kicked off in 2001 when it was so important and then two days later on 9/11 it was shown how non-essential it really was.
So here are my self-imposed Smack Talk rules of engagement on Facebook:
• I only post to my timeline, not anyone else’s, and I don’t tag anyone. I do not use profanity or post rude images. Also, I never post anything blatantly or even marginally sexist and/or homophobic. People who post on my timeline or tag me will have their posts deleted. If they post profanity on my timeline – see you soon – friendless.
• If a fan of one of the 31 other inferior teams in the NFL posts a good, funny and original smack about the Raiders – on their own fucking timeline – I can and I respect that and often want to say it. But I absolutely loathe weak, web-recycled, amateur clappers that lack originality of any kind.
I’m a Football Smackologist™ and amateur smack annoys me – not for its content, but for its inherent lameness. So bring it on, but be correct.
Talking about football
My love of football is matched only by the fact that I hate people who talk about football on television or worse, on the radio. I’m not talking play-by-play within a game, I’m talking about shows where people talk and talk and talk about players, contracts, stats, etc. The blah blah blah blathering is overwhelming and really the only person I could stand talking about football for a while was John Madden because he was an original. But now that it’s moved to the Grand Stadium in the Sky, I don’t want to hear anyone else’s opinions, predictions, or analysis. I’m thinking of making a pilgrimage to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, just to listen to Madden’s bronze bust talk about football.
great white north
My younger brother Scott, who has dual American and Canadian citizenship, has mentioned from time to time that in addition to being a Raiders fan, he is a Riders fan – that is, the Roughriders of Saskatchewan of the Canadian Football League. Listen, no offense, but the CFL is to the NFL what those records that once sat on the back of cereal boxes are to platinum albums. In fact, I’ve never seen a CFL game, so my disdain is based on stereotypes. I’m not interested in watching a football game where the referees are dressed as Mounties in “Dudley Do-Right”, the players are incredibly polite, and the major sponsors are Moosehead Beer and Pierre’s Gourmet Poutine.
While it’s exciting to finally see my team playing again, I don’t place much importance on pre-season. I’ve seen too many preseason superheroes get zapped by regular season kryptonite and never be heard from again.
Things that are far more important than who wins a pre-season game include whether Ferris Bueller beats his parents at home after his day off, whether Mr. Vernon discovers John Bender’s grass is literally in the sub- Brian Johnson’s clothes or whether shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith’s other hand is actually between two pillows.
Yes, I had a thing with John Hughes while waiting for football to return.
Freelance Fairfield humor columnist and local accidental historian Tony Wade writes two weekly columns: “The Last Laugh” on Mondays and “Back in the Day” on Fridays. Wade is also the author of The History Press books “Growing Up In Fairfield, California” and “Lost Restaurants of Fairfield, California”.