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The Return of the Aravan Awards, 2014 Edition

A few years ago, I gave out awards in random categories for the following reason:

…Coming up with a top ten list has to be the easiest writing job in the world. Jot down ten things, come up with superficial reasons for their inclusion, and then explain how blatantly wrong you are as just “a way to get people talking about it.” It’s the ultimate mail-it-in, who-gives-a-shit approach to writing.

So I am TOTALLY in!

I followed it up with the Second Annual Aravan Awards for 2011, then didn’t do one for 2012 or 2013 because my life fell completely to shit and it took me a while to climb back out of it. But now I have, so it’s time to dust off the formulaic and simplistic content generating machine…

THE THIRD SOMETIMES-ANNUAL ARAVAN AWARDS!!!!

The most-coveted shitty plastic trophy presented by someone named Alan Edwards in the entire galaxy.

The most-coveted shitty plastic trophy presented by someone named Alan Edwards in the entire galaxy.

What are the Aravan Awards, you probably didn’t ask? I’ll tell you anyway! The Aravan Awards are completely arbitrary awards in arbitrary categories that I give out for arbitrary reasons. For example, the 2010 Aravan Award for Best Movie I Watched in 2010 went to Pulp Fiction, which did not come out in 2010 and I’d seen years previously but happened to rewatch it in 2010 and it was better than anything I saw that year. So you know what you’re in for. Plus, the awards are arbitrary because I don’t always remember what year something happened, so it’s kind’ve a grab bag of Shit That Happened At Some Point. Bear with me. The Aravan part of the awards name comes from the pseudonym I originally used here until I published my first book and changed the blog over to my real name (OR IS IT?!?!) and I’ve stuck with it because Tradition. And now you can’t un-know any of that useless information.

Anyway, on to the cheap shitty statuettes!

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The Word “Redskin” and What It Means to This Washington Fan

red_potatoes_1337349585

A redskin potato, or a red skin potato. The jury is out.

I’m a fan of the NFL Washington Redskins, in case you haven’t noticed. My first memory of being a live, thinking, and functioning human is of watching a Redskins game in the basement of our house with my father and brother (as they lost to the fucking Cowboys, because of course they fucking did). I inherited my love of the team from my dad and sibling and it’s been part of my life ever since. I’m such a huge fan of this team, in fact, that I can’t watch them play and haven’t watched a Redskins game in its entirety without previously knowing the outcome in years. I know that doesn’t sound like being much of a fan, but I care so fucking much about what is happening that I lose my ever-fucking mind. A first quarter third-down stop by the defense leads me to an expletive-laced tirade about how lame the opposing team is and how I wish them all to die in a cancer fire, and that’s for a PRESEASON game. When they win (rare!) it brightens my entire outlook and psyche. When they lose (often!) it sends me into a bitter spiral of anger and despair. I actually frighten people who have the misfortune to be around me when for some reason I can see the game.

Yes, I have a problem. No, that’s not actually the point of this blog.

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What Chris Cooley Meant to Me as a Redskins Fan

This post is going to be all about football, so most of you won’t care. It’s also going to be about the Redskins, meaning still less of you will give a shit. In fact, it’s going to be about one particular Redskin, so that’ll reduce the potential audience for this post to about one. I don’t give a shit. Some things need to be said.

I’ve been conscious of being a Redskins fan for 35 years. In that time I’ve had heroes, from good days and bad: Joe Theismann,  John Riggins, Darrell Green, Dave Butz, Dexter Manley, Art Monk, Downtown Charlie Brown, Joe Jacoby – hell, I could go on forever. But it’s been a long time since the Glory Days of the Hogs and Gibbs and the Pearl Harbor Crew and the Posse and Fun Bunch and all the rest. In fact, for 20 years now, being a Redskins fan hasn’t been all that fun. There was fleeting success during the Norv era, but that didn’t last, and then came the Bataan March of coaching. Schottenheimer, Spurrier, Gibbs 2.0 (and the last glimpse of success), Zorn (Jesus Christ, I still can’t believe there was a Zorn Era), and now Shanahan. I have hopes for the current coaching staff, I really do. Hope is pretty much the only thing Redskins fans have had to hang their hat on for 20 years. Hope that this year the line can stay healthy. Hope that a quarterback could emerge from the pile and become an NFL-caliber star. Hope that the defense would finally stop giving up 65% of 3rd down conversions. Hope that the young guys could do something.

For 8 years, though, there was one position that I, as a fan, didn’t have to feel hope about. It simply wasn’t necessary, because for this one area, there was certainty. At tight end, for the Washington Redskins, Chris Cooley was going to give everything he had on every play. He was a bright spot, an anchor, one guy we could count on every play even when we were certain nothing else would go right. On the field he was a beast, even if he never got the pimpage from ESPN that others like Witten or Clark or Gonzalez got. Didn’t matter. We, the Redskins fans, knew how awesome he was and how special it was to have him in the burgundy and gold. He was Our Guy.

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Roger Goodell, Pink Slime, and How They are Related

First off, apologies for no reviews for the last 2 Walking Dead episodes. I am still in full Mass Effect, so I have watched exactly 1 television show since last Tuesday (Archer, of course. How you say, push the rope?) so I am behind. Avoiding spoilers for Walking Dead and Mass Effect 3 hasn’t been easy, and even averting my eyes hasn’t stopped me from seeing little bits and pieces I wish I hadn’t. So anyway, hopefully I’ll get those episodes down and digested and reviewed soon. I do know this: based off the little I’ve heard, those two reviews may be the most bile-filled spewing of hate of them all.

Back to the news.

You probably don’t care about what I’m about to talk about. It involves professional football bargaining agreements, salary cap discussions, the Washington Redskins, and the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s big ole swingin’ dick. There are other fun subjects after that, including fanboy gushing over Robert Griffin the Third as well as some scrumptious and delectable ponderings over ammonia-washed “beef” “trimmings” that get turned into goo and added to ground beef to make meat cheaper. It’s a fun-filled potpourri of goodness!

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NFL Week 7: Rookie QBs and the Redskins

Via Mr. Irrelevant

In Week 7, The Redskins got to face the Carolina Panthers and their rookie quarterback Cam Newton. The Panthers came in with a woeful defense, injuries on their offensive line, and a 1-5 record. The Redskins came in with a banged-up o-line of their own, a quarterback who’s 30 years old and has fewer career starts than the rookie on the other team, and a good defense. Logic dictated that the Redskins could run the ball, their defense could stymie the Panthers, and if they could just get decent production and a lack of turnovers from their quarterback, they could win the game.

One problem.
 
 

NFL Week 6: Sometimes It Sucks To Be Right

This blow-up doll couldn't be more right.

First things first: the I’m Goin’ Deep Fan Club picture is gone for as long as Rex Grossman is no longer the starter for the Washington Redskins. Which means that it’ll probably not show up on here ever again.

Secondly, I realize that Week 6 isn’t over yet. There is still a Monday Night game to go. I don’t know who’s playing and don’t really give a shit since those games happen after I go to bed, and the entire NFC East played anyway. Plus, I need to get Week 6 out of my system quick, like a wasted college freshman after downing 6 bottles of Boone’s Farm. Best to purge and move on.

Anyway, this is what I said last week about the Redskins-Eagles game:

So this week coming up, the 3-1 Redskins face the reeling 1-4 Eagles in Washington. The Redskins have had 2 weeks to prepare for this game, get healthy and rested, study film, and prepare for this important NFC East game. Should be a win, right?

Ummmm, no.

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NFL Week 5: NFC East Schadenfreude

The Redskins had their bye last week, which meant they couldn’t lose and I didn’t have to be angsty all day wondering whether they would or not. They even had a chance to grasp sole possession of first place in the East without having to do a damn thing. The prospect was pretty unlikely, however, since the Giants were playing host to the inept Seattle Seahawks and seemed a pretty sure lock to go to 4-1.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA – ahem, sorry.

Instead, under the Bad-Ass Quarterbacking Duo of 2011 – Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst – the Seahawks became suddenly ept and upset the Giants, thanks to a bunch of turnovers. At the end, though, it looked like the Giants were going to pull it out. They got down to the Seahawk’s 10-yard-line down 5 and were moving the ball with ease. Eli Manning tossed the ball to Hero of the Day, Victor Cruz, who’d snagged a one-handed bobbled pass and turned it into a TD earlier in the game. Cruz bobbled it, started the one-hand grab thing, and then everything fell apart as a Seahawks’ defender grabbed the ball and raced back the other way for the game-sealing touchdown.

Funny thing was, it was the second time I saw that play that day.

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NFL Week 4: BAHAHAHAHA ROMO

In week 4 of the NFL season, the Redskins managed to regain the NFC East lead. Yes, they did it in part by beating the totally terrible Rams in traditionally close fashion. A game they should have won 38-0 was, of course, a nail-biter when Sexy Rexy Unleashed the Dragon but forgot about the middle linebacker yet again. But the defense led by The Human Wrecking Ball Brian Orakpo and They Call Me High-Motor Because I’m White Ryan Kerrigan shut down the Rams offensive display of offensive ineptitude to hold on for the win. So they did their part to regain the division lead.

But it couldn’t have happened without Tony Romo.

AH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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NFL Week 3: Goddamn I Hate the F*****g Cowboys

I am fully aware that sports fandom is a wholly irrational pastime. There is nothing inherently logical about identifying oneself with a group of strangers who wear a particular uniform. “Cheering for laundry” and all that. I get it. But just because my logical brain recognizes and acknowledges this doesn’t mean that the lizard brain way in the back doesn’t get its way. I go nearly insane about my chosen type of laundry. There is something else, though, beyond my deep-seated rooting for the Washington Redskins. That is my hatred for the Dallas Cowboys.

I fucking hate the Dallas Fucking Cowboys.

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4th & 3: Week 2 NFL Stuff

Last week, I said the winner of the Redskins – Cardinals game could be decided by a coin flip. That’s essentially what happened. The entire game I had no idea who was going to win. The Redskins won and are 2-0 for the first time in a while. They also have sole possession of first place in the NFC East since relatively forever. Will that last? It’s not likely, but fuck it, I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can. Having the Redskins 2-0 along with the Bills and Lions makes me think that it’s 1991 all over again or something. That’s the last time I can remember that those 3 teams were worth a shit at the same time. Not to say that they’re worth a shit now, but, well, they’re 2-0.

Herewith are my NFL thoughts regarding Week 2 of the 2011 season, a week where Michael Vick was puking and spitting up blood on the sidelines. I can use more of that in my life.

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