You know when you go to a concert and they play their full set? And then they leave the stage and crowd starts clapping and chanting and yelling for more? Well, this is the opposite of that. Here’s your Gazette 2016 wrap-up that nobody really asked for but you’re getting it anyway.
Hey, you know what was lousy? Driving from Long Island to Jersey through a steady stream of driving snow at 5:45 in the morning. The best of times. All right, my moaning and groaning is over.
It’s all over in the Twin Cities. Another wildly successful, highly rated and buzzed about season. In the end, it came down to Chris Mitchell’s The Toxic Avenger taking on Greg Jorge’s FC Aquaman for all the marbles. Jorge was 12-1 and cruised into the Championship. He had been at the top all year. A big favorite. But THAT, as they say, is why they play the games. And what happened, you ask?
In a massive upset, The Toxic Avenger prevails with a 119.68 to 114.46 victory over FC Aquaman. A high scoring and exciting finish that lived up to its Championship pedigree. It all came down to Monday night, and Chris had to be disgusted that he was forced to root for Ezekiel Elliott to win the title for him. But win it he did. We can all look forward to our 2017 league theme of favorite parts in a 1959 Triumph Bonneville or something. What a victory though. Congratulations to our 2016 Champion!
THE POOBAH SPEAKS
Being the social media gadfly that the Poobah now is, I could not help but notice how many people were labeling 2016 as the worst year in history. Oh, I’m not really sure I can get on board with that. Did the Japanese bomb a military base and kill thousands? Do we have bread lines? Are our pets HEADS FALLING OFF? No. The Facebook crowd is just angry that their presidential candidate didn’t win and some celebrities died. Oh my God, how can we go on now that David Bowie is gone? Quick, name a song Bowie has recorded in the last 20 years……um, um. um. Everyone is so quick to post some poignant picture of George Fucking Michael and declare that 2016 “can go get fucked”. Followed up immediately by a picture of themselves out for fucking Thai food with their ugly friends. “Worst Year Ever” could probably be said by someone who lives in Aleppo. Maybe Carrie Fisher’s sister, who lost her sister and mother in successive days. But for someone who is comfortable and sheltered in their little tri-state bubble? Get fucking lost. Is that harsh? Probably. I’m just kind of sick of people who everything so many great things in life complaining about shit. But Poobah, you say, isn’t that your whole fucking shtick? Moving on…
THE HOLIDAYS RULED
You always go into the holidays hoping they’ll be a good time with no drama. And then you have the two week break that the Poobah family (well two for the parents, one for the kids) just had. What a great time. From gift exchanges featuring screaming preteen girls and a drumming Littlest Poobah at the house, to Christmas Eve and having Nanny Poobah over for dinner, to seeing family over Christmas Eve and Day, to the delighted looks on the faces of the little Poobahs and Mrs. Poobah upon opening some gifts, to having the Poobah niece and nephews over for a few days, to seeing an old high school friend, to hitting the movies a few times (spoiler for the movie “Sing”…..the animated animals wind up singing), to seeing the kids explore their new stuff, to bringing Harry on walks and excursions to the park, to karaoke on New Year’s Eve. And all of this while eating and drinking at an atrocious rate. I’m only a brick or two shy of 500 pounds right now. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. A great time was had by all. Truly the most wonderful time of the year. Only 353 days until Christmas.
Another week, another slimy move by politicians. This week saw House Republicans, in their first act of the new 115th Congress, hold a surprise vote to dismantle the Office of Congressional Ethics. So basically, let’s make America great again by getting rid of the only independent third party that holds Congress accountable for their usual disgraceful behavior. And don’t get me wrong, it seems like there are issues with the OCE. But it was such a fucking tone deaf to do as their first act, as they voted in secret, without any Democrats. It was akin to Bill Murray stating at the end of “Kingpin” after he won a million dollars that “Big Ern is above the law. I can do anything I want”. Unbelievable. Meanwhile, Andrew Cuomo continues to just be a general douche. It seems as if Cuomo is now trying to strongarm his way as being in charge of the Port Authority, just like his Cowboys loving buddy in New Jersey did a few years back. He’s announcing shit left and right. “Hey let’s spend billions on LaGuardia Airport! And a rail line that will never fucking work!” “Hey let’s spend billions on JFK!” All the while he tries to take money away form redoing the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which makes the cantina from “Star Wars” look like the goddamn Yale Club. Then he swoops in to take credit for the Second Avenue Subway last week like he’s fucking Robin Hood giving transit projects to us. And don’t forget….all this bullshit House Republicans just did this week? Cuomo did the same fucking thing in New York a few years back. What a dirtbag. Meanwhile, Silver and Skelos are keeping the third seat in their cell warm for Andy.
I heard on the radio the other day that Macy’s had lousy sales and was closing over 100 stores, including the one in Douglaston. Two thoughts I had immediately….I still was under the impression that the Douglaston store was still a Stern’s (I am old) and second, who the hell goes to Macy’s? It’s like the sixth circle of hell there. I can list thousands of things (including things like getting a dental cleaning, taking down Christmas lights and doing laundry) I’d rather do than go to a department store. That is an all around terrible experience. So take it easy, Macy’s. At least you still have your parade on Thanksgiving. Oh, and Sears is closing stores too, and they sold their Craftsman brand to Black & Decker. With Amazon and online shopping, it’s not a shock that these places are drifting away. Who wants to brave the chaos and nonsense of a department store when you can click a button on Amazon and have your item delivered to your door for free tomorrow?
So much chatter about the Giants players who were hanging out on a boat on Monday. Is it weird to see a bunch of shirtless guys wearing jeans and Timberlands on a boat with Justin Bieber? Well of course that’s weird to me. I’m a white, happily married, 44 year old father of two. Partying on a boat is not a priority to me. These guys were on their day off. Radio and newspaper guys asked questions like “hmmph….would the players of yesterday have done this?” And the answer is YES! Players having fun has been going on forever. LT used to get high and hammered the night before games, let alone on his day off. Max McGee was famously hungover for Super Bowl 1 and he won the game for the Packers. Mickey Mantle was drunk for 40 years. Babe Ruth was famous for his lifestyle. Who gives a shit what these guys did? Were they at practice Tuesday morning ready to go? Yes? Great, then.
Funny how everyone has their biases. Julian Assange from Wikileaks was a hero to the left and a villain to the right in this country when he was helping to release information about our government a few years back. What a brave man! What an asshole! Now that he released information damaging to Clinton that helped get Trump elected, he’s a hero the right and a villain to the left. Again, funny how that works. Where your facts and feelings about someone are shaped solely by your politics.
What is wrong with people? You have a group of four black guys kidnapping and torturing a white guy with mental disabilities. You have the white kid who shot up a black church meeting saying he has absolutely no remorse. Man, is there some fucked up racial stuff going on in this country. Sounds like we need to get these folks on a party boat with some Giants receivers to loosen them up.
SONGS FROM THE POOBAH’S SPOTIFY
Marry Me – Drive-By Truckers
Stare It Cold – Black Crowes
As – Stevie Wonder
Midnight Rider – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
The Garden (Part III) – Tea Leaf Green
Joyful Sounds – The Word
First – Cold War Kids
In My Life – The Beatles
Homegrown – Zac Brown Band
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC
WILD CARD WEEKEND PREVIEW
Raiders at Texans (Saturday at 4:35) – Holy cow, what a bag of shit this game is. The Texans seem to win the AFC South all the time and always have a crappy Saturday afternoon game. Look at this murder’s row of Texans postseason QB’s….Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Brian Hoyer and in 2016, Brock Osweiler. Fun fact: in 2020, these four guys will all be parking cars at the Great Neck branch of Morton’s steakhouse. But they do have a strong defense, even without Great White Hope JJ Watt. And the Raiders are now on their third quarterback, Connor Cook, who let’s face it, is an unknown (and probably shitty) commodity. Man, the Raiders were looking good until that Carr catastrophe. They looked just terrible against the Broncos defense last week, and I would expect the same as they go to Houston tomorrow. Lamar Miller can do enough on the ground for the Texans and the Houston D can make plays. All in all though, an ugly game. Texans 16, Raiders 6
Lions at Seahawks (Saturday at 8:15) – Another team that had it all going in the right direction was the Lions. They were 9-4 heading into the Meadowlands. And then it all fell apart. They lost three in a row and were passed by the Packers. Their reward is to head to play outdoors in Seattle on a Saturday night, where the Hawks are really, really tough to knock off. But Seattle isn’t great this year. Could they make a run? Sure. But something is off with them this year. No matter though. Stafford’s finger is still not fully healed, and they cannot win without him operating with all his digits well. He’s not going to drop back 50 times and get away with it. I also think Wilson will run a lot and frustrate the Lions defense. Detroit will keep it close because they always do, but not enough to win. Seahawks 27, Lions 17
Dolphins at Steelers (Sunday at 1:05) – Does anyone really think Matt Moore and the Dolphins are going to go to ten degree Pittsburgh and have a real chance? Yeah, me neither. The Steelers offense is overwhelming and Miami will have issues trying to limit all the weapons Pittsburgh has. Jay Ajayi might have 45 carries in this game for Miami. But as the Steelers keep scoring, that’ll become an issue for Miami. I don’t see how they stop them. Steelers 37, Dolphins 20
Giants at Packers (Sunday at 4:40) – And we arrive to the main event of the weekend. The Packers are “on fire” and “unstoppable” and the NFC betting favorite. They’ve won six in a row, over the Eagles, Texans, Seahawks, Bears, Vikings and Lions. Not exactly murderer’s row, but Rodgers is at the height of his powers right now. They seem to score 30 points every week. But as we know, the Giants defense can be hellacious at times, and this secondary is no joke. No Eddie Lacy also hurts the Pack here. For the Giants, it’s a question of how many points can they score? The offense has been so bad this year that it’s a pleasure to even be able to write about them being in the playoffs. But they can run a bit lately. Last game against the Pack, the Giants rolled out Darkwa and Rainey. Paul Perkins has been productive and hopefully McAdoo sticks with him as the lead back. Green Bay’s secondary is also very banged up, so who exactly will cover Beckham? Hopefully Eli can get his ass in gear. The Giants have won in Lambeau in January during their last two Super Bowl runs. I’d love to say they will do it again, but I don’t see how they outscore Green Bay. Dammit. Packers 27, Giants…..
You could say the Giants have something extra this week. Something the Packers don’t have. Someone looking down and looking out for them. A guardian angel even.
Goddamn right, Uncle Pete. Look at that guy. Is that the look of a guy who is passively working his way around heaven right now? He’s wearing that Super Bowl 46 hat as we speak, driving in the breakdown lane and telling everyone up there that Aaron Rodgers is a banana and doesn’t have a shot. And do you think his beloved Giants are going to not perform on Sunday? Goddamn right they’ll perform. Giants 23, Packers 20
Quick story….I brought Mrs. Poobah to a Giants game about 15 years ago or so. We met up with Uncle Pete in the parking lot of the Byrne Arena, Izod Center, whatever it’s called. Wearing the typical Uncle Pete Giants garb. After meeting Mrs. Poobah, and after she went to talk to someone else in the group, Uncle Pete approached The Poobah. He punched me in the arm, hard. And he said “And she likes football too? Jesus. God bless you.” And then I said “And I’m not even paying her!” And Uncle Pete laughed his big Uncle Pete laugh. I felt like a big shot because I made him crack up. Although let’s face it, that was never a hard thing to do. For as long as there is love and laughter and good times, Uncle Pete’s spirit is there. A great man from a great family. Our condolences to all the Damianis and to everybody, as the world is a lesser place without him. He’s probably saying “wrap it up, you pineapple” right now, and so we do.
Love to all, VAMOS! And VIVA UNCLE PETE!
And the Gazette is out.