Breaking 2008 Death League News

November 28, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Poor Man's NFL Picks Week 13

November 26, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Jesus was only 11-5 last week. Divine inspiration indeed. Since its Thanksgiving week, no celebrities wanted to participate, but fear not, the picks go on and Chef Gordon Ramsey is lined up for week 14 with a string of f-bombs that would make a sailor blush. So then, the half-assed week 13 picks and a collection of random pictures:

Tennessee at Detroit
The 2008 Lions win the coveted cock-gobbler award given annually to the team that should be disbanded.

Pick: Titans 31 Lions 0

Seattle at Dallas
Remember classic Thanksgiving showdowns involving Dallas like the Leon Lett game? I don't either. The Dallas game hasn't been worth a damn since 'Nam.

Pick: Cowboys 37 Seahawks 20

Arizona at Philadelphia
If a west coast team wins a game in the Eastern time zone at all this year, this is going to be it.

Pick: Cardinals 34 Eagles 28

Baltimore at Cincinnati
I haven't been paying much attention to the Bengals. Is Carson Palmer dead?

Pick: Ravens 29 Bengals 14

NY Giants at Washington
Ganesh must be pissed. The Giants shouldn't be this good.

Pick: Giants 36 Redskins 28

Indianapolis at Cleveland
Peyton Manning is a douche.

Pick: Colts 27 Browns 10

New Orleans at Tampa Bay
I may have to put out a hit on Drew Brees. I'm not going to sit idly by and watch Kurt Warner break Marino's 5084 yard record only to have this birthmarked upstart overtake him.

Pick: Saints 35 Bucs 17

Carolina at Green Bay
Welcome back to reality Panthers fans. This is what a team led by Jake Delhomme should look like.

Pick: Packers 23 Panthers 17

San Francisco at Buffalo
The Mike Singletary sideshow is officially boring. This week he'll bite a head off a bat. The 49ers will still lose.

Pick: Bills 25 49ers 20

Miami at St. Louis
The Rams have given up about 400 first half points in the last few weeks. You can expect the trend to continue.

Pick: Dolphins 42 Rams 24

Atlanta at San Diego
My AFC Superbowl pick San Diego is coming apart at the seams and I fear my BFF Norv Turner's job may be in jeopardy. I blame Ed Hochuli.

Pick: Falcons 28 Chargers 20

Kansas City at Oakland
Oakland scored an offensive touchdown last week and Kansas City gave up 54 at home. This is like seeing two unicorns just hanging out by the highway telling war stories.

Pick: Chiefs 17 Raiders 12

Denver at NY Jets
Its entirely possible that Denver will win the AFC West with a 7-9 or 8-8 record. Do you see what happens Larry?

Pick: Jets 35 Broncos 17

Pittsburgh at New England
I think I saw Bill Belichick panhandling for change near a 605 offramp.

Pick: Patriots 28 Steelers 17

Chicago at Minnesota
This is a battle for first? NFC North FAIL.

Pick: Bears 5 Vikings 3

Jacksonville at Houston
December kicks off with a stinker that reminds ABC why Monday Night Football isn't such a loss.

Pick: Texans 18 Jags 10

Please don't spend too much time trying to make sense of these photos.

Albums of the Week

November 25, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Albums of the Week is a recurring feature at Pomp Culture where we will select three albums for our readers to check out. To listen to any of the Albums of the Week just click on the links provided in the sidebar. Live streams of each album can be played in iTunes, Winamp, or Windows Media Player. There is also a link to purchase music by the artists on Amazon, which I strongly encourage if you find something you like.

We're starting something new this week. From now on instead of just myself picking the albums, we will have various members of the Pomp Culture Collective make selections from their own music catalog.

Something Old - "Waylon Live" by Waylon Jennings
Released: 1976
Label: RCA
Genre: Outlaw Country

Submitted by: Chip Wesley

Look, I love Johnny Cash as much as the next person, but when it comes to Outlaw Country, Waylon Jennings was, is, and always will be king. Saying 'F.U.' to Nashville, Waylon took over his own recording rights and moved to Texas in the early 70's. The result was a bevy of kick-ass songs and the rapid expansion of the Outlaw Country movement.

This live album was originally recorded in 1974 and features Waylon in his prime. While you'll find a few of his classic tunes on here, the real treat is hearing him do some covers, such as "Never Been to Spain" and a haunting rendition of "House of the Rising Sun".

Tracks to stay tuned in for: T for Texas, Never Been to Spain, House of the Rising Sun

Something New - "Sycamore Meadows" by Butch Walker
Released: 2008
Label: R.E.D. Distribution
Genre: Indie Rock

Submitted by: Chaim Witz

Mr. Walker is quite the polarizing figure amongst the Pomp Culture Collective. Nay, I may be the only one who actually likes him. But like the kid who gets called a 'fag' for liking KISS in high school, I take my lumps and continue to hoist my lighter into the air. A poor man's Dave Grohl (minus the testosterone) Butch not only writes every one of his songs but plays damn near every instrument to boot. Each of his albums has a different feel and this one is no exception. Mixing influences like Petty and Springsteen with his own brand of pop rock to great affect, Butch has crafted his most personal album yet, recorded shortly after the California wildfires claimed his home and everything that he had. Like most of his albums, there are songs that should be huge hits but won't be. "Here Comes The..." is that song on this album.

Tracks to stay tuned in for: Ponce De Leon Ave., The 3 Kids in Brooklyn, Summer Scarves

Something Different - "Original Soundtracks 1" by Passengers
Released: 1995
Label: Island
Genre: Experimental

Submitted by: Governor X

U2's underrated mid-90s exploration into different genres hit a bizarre peak with a collection of songs from mostly imaginary movies so strange they released it under a pseudonym. The Passengers (U2, Brian Eno, Luciano Pavarotti, and others) offers the listener everything from electronic instrumentals from a faux-film that per the liner notes, "exists in that underexplored territory between horror and comedy" to deep south porch music lamenting Elvis Presley's battle with his weight.

Tracks to stay tuned in for: Miss Sarajevo, Corpse, Theme from Let's Go Native

Like what you hear? Have a suggestion or recommendation? Please feel free to leave a comment.

Rolle Model

November 25, 2008 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

I guess you should never judge a book by its cover. I'm not going to lie to you, when I think of Florida State, particularly Florida State football, I think of controversy. I think of academic scandals where the players were caught cheating on tests, I think of Laveranues Coles and his shopping mishaps, I think of all the "free shoes" the football team got in 1993, and I think of Bobby Bowden and his smug, hillbilly way of sidestepping all of the allegations.

Does this happen all over? Yeah, most definitely. Is Florida State the only one? No. It's just curious how The Seminoles always get caught. I guess when you're one of the most winning schools in D-1 football in recent memory, you're under a microscope. All of that being said, there aren't too many people that put much creedence in the "student" portion of Student-Athlete. Oh, about that aforementioned book's cover...

Not quite sure how this story isn't getting more attention, but on Saturday, Florida State safety Myron Rolle was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship. For those of you have no idea what that is, it's basically one of the most prestigious international scholarships around, one which has some fierce competition where the winners get to attend Oxford University. Rolle is the first major level player to be awarded the scholarship in over a decade. Myron is definitely in some rarified air, just look at the list of notable winners. There are four standards by which the applicants are judged on. Let's see how Myron stands up:

  • Literary and scholastic attainments: Myron was a 4.0 student in high school and he brought that attitude to college. In just 2-1/2 years, Myron completed his bachelor degree in Exercise Science (pre-Med emphasis) while starring on the football team and holding down a 3.75 GPA. Currently, he's pursuing a master's degree in public administration, ultimately aspiring to become a neurosurgeon and open up a free clinic in the Bahamas, his parents native country.
  • Energy to use one's talents to the full, as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports: Coming out of high school, Rolle was one of the top ranked prospects in the country. His play on the field definitely warrants mentioning, he is currently 2nd on the team in tackles, and most mock drafts show him as a first or second round pick and one of the top ranked safeties.
  • Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship: Balancing an athletic career and scholastic career is tough. On the night that he was awarded the scholarship, he took a private jet and had a police escort to get him to his team's game. He arrived just before half, entering the game with about a minute left. Rolle also realizes that his award gives his school a much needed boost in the PR department: "In the midst of the troubles that have gone on here at Florida State academically, there are still student-athletes doing the right thing. Possibly we can move that perception from being a school that's just focused on partying and athletics."
  • Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings: in his spare time (how does he have spare time?), Myron has visited with Native Americans of the Seminole tribe, speaking to children about how physical fitness and a healthy diet can help combat the tribe's problems of obesity and diabetes. With his aspirations of a career in medicine, the last offseason he was in the medical labs helping with research on cancer and stem cells, for which he received a $4,000 research grant.
Certainly a breath of fresh air for college athletics. So much for the Dumb Jock stereotype. I couldn't muster a GPA even close to that, and I had no extracurricular activities outside of drinking and a job, and I sure as hell wasn't taking medical classes. (Of course, I did attend a Big 10 University, where we all know the academic standard is much, much higher than an ACC school)

Hats off to you, Myron. I have a feeling that your best is yet to come.

The Repressed Homosexuality of Gino Felino in Out For Justice

November 24, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

If one were to make a list of the greatest action stars of the 1980's, names like Stallone, Van Damme, Norris and Schwarzenegger would top the list. Among them would most likely be that of Steven Seagal who, along with Jean Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris, formed a part of the Holy Trinity of 1980's Martial Arts. Most of these stars are usually labeled as poor actors that are famous more for their martial arts prowess and abilities to break bones and do the splits than their acting chops. But what many people don't realize is that in Out For Justice, Steven Seagal went outside of his normal safe zone by playing the most emotionally complicated character of his career in Gino Felino, for the simple fact that Gino Fellino is a closeted homosexual.

I understand that in just about any action movie, there are certain homosexual undertones. This is pretty much par for the course in movies largely assembled around overmuscled action stars getting oiled up and grappling with each other in every other scene. But Gino's homosexuality isn't only seen in his actions during fights. It can also be seen in the way that he acts around the other characters in Out For Justice.

The scene below is the perfect example of my hypothesis:

0:04 - Gino Felino enters the bar. Notice that the entire bar is filled with men. Felino has made it a point to unbutton his shirt lower than most males would, sending out a subliminal message to all the bar's patrons that he may be in a flirtatious mood and welcome any sexual attention that comes his way.

0:14 - When faced with a few of the bar's patrons, Felino immediately picks up the cue ball off of the nearest pool table. He does it so smoothly that you don't notice when he actually does it. It's as if he has years of experience smoothly grabbing balls during casual conversation.

0:24 - Felino (who has a name that sounds suspiciously like 'fellatio') begins to assert his dominance as Alpha Male of the group. This is known within the homosexual community as a "pitcher' or "bear" or "topper".

0:31 - Barely 30 seconds into the scene and Felino already makes reference to "sucking dick".

0:45 - Felino again asserts his Alpha Male status by randomly shoving a patron in the bar. It is well documented that closeted homosexuals may act out against openly gay people for making them face what it is that they hate most; their own sexuality.

0:56 - Notice that Felino is able to take the cue ball out of his pocket and bounce it off a concrete floor, an act that seems impossible given the laws of physics. Only someone that can manipulate the space/time continuum would be able to pull off such a feat. In ancient times, natives of the Greek island Karaakas used to believe that homosexuals had similar powers. Incorporating this into the scene shows that Steven Seagal did his homework for the role.

1:10 - Just over 1 minute into the scene, Felino mentions how a local mobster likes to "pervert kids and stuff'". Clearly, Felino has an interest in these types of activities. Felino is concerned that drugs were being sold out of this particular establishment, a common practice for gay bars.

1:26 - When Felino asks "Anyone seen Richie?" he gets a response of "Fuck you" that seemingly comes from nowhere and everywhere at once. This is because the director of this movie uses a Greek chorus to answer this question, another callback to ancient Greek theatre, where many quasi-homosexual acts were depicted onstage, all performed by men who are reputed to be heterosexual. Felino follows up this question by asking of anyone knows why Richie "did" Bobby Lupo. This may be in reference to Richie killing Bobby, but "did" could also be in reference to sexual intercourse between the two men.

1:35 - Felino shoves one of the bar's patrons into a phone booth and shuts the door, a metaphor for Felino's opinion that all homosexuals should stay "in the phone booth (closet)" like he does.

1:48 - Felino asks Sammy what he's doing in the bar, citing that he's "Vito's friend". Sammy replies that he's got a lot of friends. Felino says "You jump around a lot, is that it?" which is a possible hint that Sammy is a homosexual with many different partners. Felino dismisses Sammy's lady friend, implying that he's not buying that they are together. A heterosexual that hangs out with a homosexual to give off the impression that they are a straight couple is what is commonly known as a "beard". Clearly, Felino thinks Sammy's female companion is a beard.

2:02 - Felino calls Tattoo a "finocch" which is Italian slang for "fruitcake". Another example of Felino deflecting attention away from his own blatant homosexuality.

2:20 - More asserting male dominance.

2:28 - Felino pulls out a hot dog from seemingly nowhere (more homosexual magic?) and asks who the hot dog belongs to in a mocking tone, possibly to imply that while he seems like he's joking, he's actually sending out signals that he would be willing to engage in a round of "hide the wiener", a common homosexual game.

2:51 - After an exchange that seems very much like suggestive dirty talk, Felino knocks out the bartender not with his hand, but with his forearm. This is most likely so he could keep from injuring his hand, which would render him useless in the bathhouses later that evening.

3:00 - Felino blames his aggressive behavior on his "mood swings" and "hormones". He then orders all of the "finocch's" in the bar to "get up on the table". I can only imagine that Felino was planning on engaging in activities that I cannot get into without providing too many details.

3:26 - Sammy states that "The only balls he (Felino) has is that badge and that gun". Hearing this, Felino immediately whips out said "balls" and points it in Sammy's face. He then unloads said "balls" right in front of Sammy's face. He then offers up the other part of his "balls" (his badge) as a trophy for any man that will take it from him.

4:11 - Felino hits a patron in the mouth with the ball he was carrying in his pocket, again with the skill that could only come with years of experience with taking balls out of his pocket and hitting men in the mouth with them.

4:32 - The bar patron "Sticks" engages Felino in combat. Sticks brings 2 phallic objects into the battle, whipping them around Felino's facial area with the skill of a man who has been doing that kind of thing for a living. Felino, as Alpha Male, grabs a single longer phallic object to repel Sticks. In the homosexual community, this is known as "crossing swords".

5:05 - Another male challenges Felino's position in the Gay Bar's power hierarchy as Alpha. He jumps onto a higher surface, a common practice for males asserting their dominance. Felino's immediate reaction to this is to strike the man in the genitals with his bare hand, then hit him with another phallic object from behind. Again, this makes Felino a "pitcher".

5:14 - Felino is coming off the most blatantly homosexual actions since he stepped into the bar. To compensate for this, he again shoves a patron back "into the closet (phone booth)".

5:21 - Sammy tells Felino "You can't touch me." Felino, wanting to prove that he can touch any other male he wants, strikes him in the face.

6:08 - Felino says that he's going to keep frequenting this homosexual establishment until he finds Richie, who he knows is a man that "did" another man in the recent past.

NOTE: In a complete coincidence, it was just confirmed today that Steven Seagal will now be getting his own reality show.

Death League 2009

November 24, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

For those easily offended, it's best to probably stop reading this right about now. I'll wait for you to leave before continuing....

OK, for those of you that opted to stick around, prepare yourselves as Pomp Culture gives the finger to decency and good taste with....

Death League 2009!

For those of you that followed our stuff over at Thunder Matt's Saloon, you already know about the Death League. The official 2008 season ends on Thursday and unless someone drops dead before then, Governor Gray Davis looks to be the inaugural league champion.

But now it's time to defend that title. Coming back are all 8 members of last season (the Gov, Brant Brown, Dave Thomas, Chaim Witz, The Hundley, Daft Funk, Tommy Buzanis and myself) as well as three new people to the league (Lingering Bursitis, Jordi and Arcturus). Here are the basic rules and scoring system for Death League:

- Each member has a roster of 64 people which consists of 60 famous people aged 60 or older that were randomly assigned to them, as well as 4 wild cards that were picked in a special four round draft. The wild cards could be any famous person under the age of 60 as of 11/27/08.

- Each member scores points if one of his people go belly up. Points are awarded based on age and go as such.

Age 95-99 = 1 point
Age 90-94 = 2 points
Age 85-89 = 3 points
Age 80-84 = 4 points
Age 75-79 = 5 points
Age 70-74 = 6 points
Age 65-69 = 7 points
Age 60-64 = 8 points
Wild Card = 20 points

- The death 'season' begins the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) and will conclude at the end of Thanksgiving day 2009.

- The 2009 rosters are shown below. Click to enlarge. Wild Card picks are highlighted in green.
Good luck to all participants. I'll post the final results of Death League '08 next week.

Friends: Why The Hell Did I Like That Show?

November 24, 2008 | Comments (0) | by ,

I'll admit it...I watched Friends during the height of its popularity. In fact, I remember posting an away message on AIM when I was in college saying something like "Don't bug me! I'm watching Friends!" every Thursday during the season when there was that weird situation going on between Joey, Rachel, and Ross (didn't Joey and Rachel like each other, but Rachel had the baby with Ross...Or something like that? I can't quite remember...I was drunk a lot in college).

Anyway, the other day, I was channel surfing, and I came across the Friends reruns...So I decided to watch for a while. And after about 5 minutes, I found myself asking "Why the hell did I like this show? It's freaking terrible!" It was like watching Dane Cook do stand-up - nothing was funny, and everything seemed rehearsed. First of all, almost every single joke seemed completely forced and predictable. For example, if somebody asked "Is there any sausage left for breakfast?" you just knew Chandler was going to say something like "I have some sausage you could have for breakfast! Heyyy-ooo!" Secondly, everyone in the show seems to overact to the point where it's rather grating. Take Ross...I know he's supposed to be the uptight anal guy, but it's taken way too far. He'll be running late for work, and for 5 minutes, he'll run around that coffee shop they're always sitting in yelling "Oh no! I'm late for work! I'm going to miss my meeting! Oh no! I'm totally freaking out about being late for work! Oh noooooooooo!" Good grief! We know you're late for work! Just shut the fuck up and go to work! And don't get me started on Phoebe and her damn songs about smelly cats and bluebirds...About half way through the episode, I had to change the channel to prevent myself from shoving a pencil in my eye.

So after I changed the channel, I began to wonder...Why did I like this show a few years ago, yet now, I completely hate it? Here's what I came up with: I don't think it holds up well because I don't know if there's a lot of "clever" comedy in the show...Like I said earlier, each episode was half an hour of exaggerated reactions and forced one-liners. It's not like Frasier - a show I still find to be very funny - which had a more sarcastic and witty tone to it, and didn't always rely on physical jokes or cheap laughs. Did the characters in Frasier ever exaggerate a situation to get a few laughs? Sure...But a lot of the jokes were more subtle and cerebral. So that leads to the question...Why did I watch Friends if I didn't find it funny? I think some of the show's popularity came from the fact that it was "cool" to like Friends. It was a show about 6 hip people who lived in hip loft apartments and wore hip clothes...Obviously, you were hip if you watched it, right? Also, the show was shoved in your face wherever you went...Friends board games, Friends coffee mugs, Friends t-shirts...There was even a damn Friends cook book. It wasn't just a show...It was a trend...And it became such a big part of our culture, that you felt "out of the loop" if you weren't watching. It sucked a lot of people in - including myself.

I'm not saying that Friends is a total piece of junk. At the end of the day, it's harmless fluff that you can watch when you don't feel like thinking. But I am saying that perhaps it wasn't as great as a lot of people perceived it to be...We simply bought into the hype...

Link Bulimia

November 21, 2008 | Comments (0) | by White Chili

There are a lot of dating websites out there. I see commercials for them all the time. eHarmony, Perfect Match,, etc...People have even found dates on Craigslist, although I simply cannot imagine looking for my soul mate on the same website I used to sell a TV for $100 and a bottle of Sailor Jerry. I would never subject myself to this, but it appears as though quite a few people have had some measure of success. That being said, I couldn't believe it when I was reading the mailbag on KSK and saw a link to Women Doing Time. You're probably saying to yourself, "No no, this can't possibly be what I think it is." Oh how very wrong you are. It's an entire pay site devoted to getting you in touch with incarcerated women all over the country. Here's a sample profile:

Natalie is a mobile dog groomer by trade, and her motto is "Groomers Do It Doggy Style."
Her release date is 3/2009. Mark it.

Anyway, as always if you find anything particularly depraved please pass it right along to Enjoy and make sure to wash your hands afterward.

A whale shark takes a dump and scientists go berserk. (BBC News)

Here are a few challenged ballots from the elections in MN. The Lizard People made it a good race. (MPR)

No one likes President Bush. (YouTube)

This is an outstanding collection of pictures from LIFE Magazine posted on Google. Worth a look. (Google)

Mark my words: I'm buying a breathalyzer before the year is up. There's no way that this doesn't end up with me in the hospital. (

This is the greatest wedding ever. Talk about falling on a grenade. Notice the Twinkie cake. (SherDog)

Twenty road signs. (Uncoached)

$250 down? Not a CHANCE! (YouTube)

I've stared at this for literally hours. Once you get the hang of it, it's not too difficult. The easiest way to do it is stare at the thigh of her leg that she's balancing on. It's not a fake, go ahead and download the GIF. (Perth Now)

Those clowns on Wall Street. What a bunch of clowns. (The Daily Show)

It wouldn't be Pomp Culture without a link to the New Yorker. Even if it is Jack Handey. "Maybe it's got something to do with that 42 in the corner." (The New Yorker)

Variety Writers Sling the Slanguage. (Funny or Die)

Hubert Humphrey & the Zillionaire Internet Army. I'm pretty sure that's all I have to say. (YouTube)

NFL Picks: Letters from Jesus Edition

November 20, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Discounting the tie, which we'll just pretend doesn't exist in the rule book to make Donovan McNabb feel better about himself, Captain Kirk was an impressive 11-3 last week. Today we have none other than the big JC himself. He's been busy writing letters. Take it away Jesus:

Brothers and Sisters...I don't have much to do anymore, so I write letters like an old man. Here are a few of the choice ones (the letters) along with my heavenly NFL picks for week 12.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Dear NFL - Damn you! I had money riding on the Steelers last week and your refs blew the call. Now I owe my bookie $5k. My stocks are down and I don't have it right now. If my legs are broken, I'm holding you responsible.

Pick: Steelers 20 Bengals 9

Houston at Cleveland
To whom it may concern - I may be able to turn water into wine, but I can't turn this into a game worth watching. If its on in your area, turn your paycheck into wine and get wasted.

Pick: Browns 29 Texans 14

Buffalo at Kansas City
Dear Coach Jauron - It is with deep regret that I cannot answer your prayers regarding Mr. Edwards. My advice to you would be to put in Mr. Losman post haste. Yes yes, I know he's a little emo, but he won't throw three picks against teams like the Browns.

Pick: Chiefs 17 Bills 8

New England at Miami
Dear World - I just want to confirm that I am not Tom Brady. We aren't even close since that business on Buzanis' boat. I'm known to turn the other cheek, but that was just too much. Last time I party with a bunch of crazy old white people on a boat.

Pick: Patriots 31 Dolphins 21

NY Jets at Tennessee
Dear Buddha - I didn't think they would buy into this 10-0 crap, but they did. Guess I owe you a beer you zen master bastard.

Pick: Jets 35 Titans 24

Philadelphia at Baltimore
Donovan - Really? I live all the way in BF-Kolob and know games can end in ties. We don't even get NFL network out here. Pay attention man.

Pick: Ravens 27 Eagles 21

San Francisco at Dallas
Dear "Doctor" Dobson - Please quit trying to blame me for everything that goes wrong out in San Francisco. Me being vengeful towards the gays isn't the reason for earthquakes or the 49ers sucking. I've enclosed my half of our BFF necklace. I won't be needing it anymore.

Pick: Cowboys 28 49ers 12

Tampa Bay at Detroit
Lions fans - I talked to Satan (he's in my five) and he swears he has nothing to do with this. Xenu hasn't called me back yet.

Pick: Bucs 27 Lions 17

Minnesota at Jacksonville
Thor - I wanted to congratulate you on the Vikings progress this season. I know they lost last week, but they're still very much alive in the division. See you at the barbecue in May. Latez.

Pick: Jags 18 Vikings 13

Chicago at St. Louis
Dear Penthouse - I was a young man living in the Jerusalem 'burbs when I met her at a public execution. She was the handsomest woman I ever did see, about 3 and a half cubits tall with dark brown hair and these breasts....whoops, wrong letter.

Pick: Bears 37 Rams 9

Oakland at Denver
Hey Al - Ready to apologize now?

Pick: Broncos 44 Raiders 15

Carolina at Atlanta
Diiiiiirty South - Am I not merciful? I told you to get rid of the dog rapist. You did and now look how good you are.

Pick: Falcons 28 Panthers 20

NY Giants at Arizona
KW - JC here. Don't worry. I've got your back. PS...tell Brenda thanks for the brownies.

Pick: Cardinals 41 Giants 38

Washington at Seattle
In response to your repeated inquiries about the Seahawks, Mariners, and the departure of the Sonics, remember that business with Job? Yeah...

Pick: Redskins 18 Seahawks 7

Indianapolis at San Diego
Dear Peyton - You're a douche.

Pick: Colts 31 Chargers 14

Green Bay at New Orleans
People of New Orleans - Sorry about that hurricane thing. My dad owed Falwell a solid. Poker debt. To make up for it, I got Reggie Bush out of your hair so you can have a normal offense.

Pick: Saints 34 Packers 31

"Yeah, thats right. Got a problem with it? There aren't a lot of blond blue-eyed hippies in Jerusalem you know..."

Brant's Rant

November 19, 2008 | Comments (0) | by T.R.

The Nebraska Safe Haven Law: Legislators in Nebraska are poised to alter the definition of "children" in their safe haven law to those under 30 days of age. The only vocal opposition to the revised bill is Nebraska resident and musician Conor Oberst, who views abandoned teenagers as potential members of his fanbase. Get over yourself Conor Oberst.

The arbitrary use of technology in film:
The last two movies I've seen in the theater have been Quantum of Solace and The Dark Knight. Each is obviously the second act in a "re-branded" franchise, both being a degree darker in material than its predecessor. Naturally they're action movies, so viewers are subjected to the same tightly filmed fight and chase sequences that directors have seemed to salivate over in recent years. I'll spare you my frustrations on those. What I really have qualms with are the computer-generated technology scenes where a crapload of nonsensical CGI shit flies around the room.

My two examples here are the scene in which Daniel Craig and other MI6 members walk into a white room and one agent starts moving his hands around a table, as pictures and information concerning different criminals jerk and sweep to and fro. Basically, it's like the guy with the hand-operated map on CNN's election coverage combined with the shitty CNN holograms. Except faster, and with British accents. In The Dark Knight, the same thing occurred when Morgan Freeman was monitoring cell phone conversations, just a lot of random shit happening and you couldn't make heads or tails of what they were showing, much less its significance.

The problem is that while this shit is distracting your eyes, the characters are usually saying something fairly important, and you can't make heads or tails of what is going on. In my opinion, the fancy flying graphics really take away from the dialogue. They really add nothing to the proceedings, and are clearly incorporated "just because". I long for the days of simpler technology, like in Jurassic Park. Overwhelm me with something large and meaningful, not random and insignificant distractions.

Movie Theaters in General: There are so many things that make a visit to the multiplex so fucking unenjoyable: sold out shows days in advance, assholes saving seats, people that neglect the pleas to turn off your fucking cell phone, jerkoffs that talk back to the screen and pound their fists on the armrests. I thought I had witnessed it all, until I happened to get stuck sitting behind a guy that was eating a fucking hot dog! A fucking hot dog in a movie theater! It smelled like shit and wafted right into my face! What the hell kind of society do we live in where popcorn and candy fail to satiate these fat assholes! You really need a hot dog in closed quarters you inconsiderate shit? I'm swearing off movie theaters. The large screen and enhanced audio don't make up for all the other bullshit.

Kenny Mayne: This guy still has a job? Alright, I appreciate the wit and sarcasm more than anyone. But if you're no longer an anchor, and you don't commentate games or provide studio analysis, why are you still with ESPN? You come out of hiding once a year and cover the Kentucky Derby. Maybe that's your niche, that's fine, but these little videos you have now? Not funny in the least. Hey, I appreciate your ability to milk the ESPN juggernaut for all the cash they're worth. Dancing with the Stars though? Really? If you have no shame, that's cool. Want to write more books? That's fine. Kenny, I'm just saying that you should branch off and aspire to something greater than web videos for ESPN. Didn't they learn their lesson with the Bill Simmons video cartoons? Good Lord, Kenny Mayne, Bill Simmons, and Colin Cowherd? How far has ESPN fallen?

Childhood Favorites: The Awkward Years Edition

November 19, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Continuing a series we did over at TMS, today I'm going back to the middle school years, a virtual treasure trove of awkward absurdity. The amount of "What the hell was I thinking?" items from this period of my life is too large to count, but here are some of the real doozies.

Tight-rolled pants - Who ever came up with this fad really needs to be tried for war crimes. If you grew up during this time period and claim to have never tried tight-rolling your jeans or pants, then you my friend are a goddamn liar, because everyone did it at one point or another, even if it was just briefly in front of your bedroom mirror before you said, "This is fucking stupid."

However I never got the memo that it was stupid. Neither did the hundreds of other kids in my junior high. Of course at that age we're so impressionable and naive, constantly wanting to fit in and be like the most popular kids in school. I firmly believe the popular clique could have showed up one day wearing assless chaps and ballgags and we would've followed suit without question.

Thankfully this fad died out before I reached high school. Now there have apparently been recent sightings of Katie Holmes with her jeans tight rolled. SON OF A BITCH! Scientology is behind this. I should've known.

Slap Bracelets - Remember these abominations? It was a cheap metal band that was usually covered in some printed fabric. Then you slapped the band on your wrist and it would wrap around? I never quite got the point of them. Would I normally wear a bracelet? Hell no. Would I wear one that slaps around my wrist? Shit yes. These things quickly fell out of favor when consumer groups began to complain that the bracelets sharp edges were dangerous and some dumb bastard kids were cutting their wrists. Wrist cutting huh? Slap bracelets may be responsible for starting the Emo Kid trend.

Umbro Shorts - Hey, you wanna wear soccer shorts? What? No, we're not actually playing soccer, we're just gonna wear the shorts because it's cool. Another strange trend that everyone seemed to embrace, no questions asked. They weren't even that comfortable to wear. Whenever you sat down for long periods of time the nylon would stick to your sweaty legs and leave you with swamp ass.

Seriously, if you're wearing soccer shorts, and you're not playing soccer, you look like a moron. At least the kids on the short bus weren't popular, or we all would've all been wearing hockey equipment.

Lifeforms T-shirts - I will say this. I never owned a No Fear shirt, because those were "lame". However a shirt with a bungee jumping crocodile or skydiving frog on the back? Hell yes, sign me up! I had like 4 or 5 of these puppies, all of which involved some sort of reptile or amphibian doing something extreme, like they were auditioning for a Doritos commercial.

Looking back there really are no words for how incredibly stupid these shirts were. A kid wearing a Lifeforms shirt had a 45% chance of getting his ass kicked by a kid wearing a Big Johnson shirt*.

*Turned inside out of course. That and the Coed Naked shirts were the bane of every assistant principal's existence.

Another Bad Creation - Ha, you laugh, but I bet you still know the words to Iesha and Playground! I won't even bring up that other child rap group that made you wear your clothes backwards.

I swing my beats .. at the playground..ya know!

Albums of the Week

November 18, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Albums of the Week is a recurring feature at Pomp Culture where we will select three albums for our readers to check out. To listen to any of the Albums of the Week just click on the links provided in the sidebar. Live streams of each album can be played in iTunes, Winamp, or Windows Media Player. There is also a link to purchase music by the artists on Amazon, which I strongly encourage if you find something you like.

Something Old - "Exile on Main Street" by The Rolling Stones
Released: 1972
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Rock

I could drone on about how awesome this album is, but pretty much every rock critic out there has already taken care of that. "Exile" is the Stones at their country and blues apex. This is one of those albums that can be listened the whole way through without wanting to skip a single track. If you've never familiarized yourself with this classic, then it's high time that you did.

Tracks to stay tuned in for: All of them.

Something New - "Write a Letter" by A Night in the Box
Released: 2008
Label: Afternoon
Genre: Indie Rock

Take some old-fashioned blues and folk music, mix in some banjo and fiddle, and throw on some sick slide guitar and you my friends get "A Night in the Box". This Minneapolis band is one of the coolest groups I've come across in a while. Their latest release, "Write a Letter" manages to mix classic old school blues and folk music into their own blend of indie rock. Seriously though, check out the track "Let Me Know" for some killer slide guitar.

Tracks to stay tuned in for: Let Me Know, Rich Man's Table, West Texas

Something Different - "Butter 08" by Butter 08
Released: 1996
Label: Grand Royal
Genre: Indie Rock

I dug deep in my collection to dust this one off. Butter 08 was a indie rock side project/supergroup involving the chicks from Cibo Matto, and Judah Bauer and Russell Simins from the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion along with a couple other guys. The result was this album, mixing in punk, funk, and even some quirky lounge music. A fun soundtrack for some hipster party you probably weren't cool enough to be invited to.

Tracks to stay tuned in for: 9MM, How Do I Relax?, Butterfucker

Like what you hear? Have a suggestion or recommendation? Please feel free to leave a comment.

My GnR Odyssey

November 18, 2008 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Guns 'N Roses. Talk about a great band name, one that originally spawned from a collaboration between Tracii Guns and Axl Rose. Tracii quit soon after and the remaining members needed to add a lead guitar player in his absence. They settled on a frizzy haired mulatto rocker that went by Slash, and the rest was history. Talk shit all you want about 80's rock. Guns 'N Roses was one of the greatest rock bands ever. Just look at how fast they went from rags to riches. Look at how many epic songs they cranked out. Look at the number of fans that showed up to watch them during their marathon tours. Yes indeed, GnR was one of the best rock bands. Yeah, I said was.

I'm a child of the 80's. Sure, I was born in the late 70's, but my first memories come from the 80's - "The Decade of Decadence". Huey Lewis and the boys were playing great party rock, doing tons of blow, and selling their Sports album like hotcakes. I rocked out with mom in the grocery getter, singing along to Genesis, Lionel Ritchie, and Hall and Oates.

That was all fine and great, and I loved every minute of it, but it wasn't until 6th or 7th grade that a buddy's older sister played "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Paradise City" for us. Man was I hooked. We wore that copy of a tape out, singing along to all the songs and jumping around like they did in the videos. It didn't matter that I loved singing along to "Mr Brownstone", not even realizing it was about doing heroin. It was raw and it was rock and roll.

Next came Junior High when both of the Use Your Illusion albums dropped? Shit, son. That was livin'. L-I-V-I-N. We were just as geeked as everyone else for the arrival. And damn if they didn't give us TWO albums worth of stuff to enjoy. Sure it was a bit of a change in direction, now there were pianos and synthesizers and orchestra arrangements, but this was W. Axl Rose flexing his artistic wings. Suddenly we were introduced to the "epic" GnR. "Civil War" and "November Rain". Izzy even sang a few! I would try my best to mimic his nasally tone in the school hallways by singing double talkin' jive get the money motherfucker 'cause I ain't got no more patience! They came out with a bunch of crazy videos where Izzy wasn't featured (he quit the band). Axl did a bunch of crazy shit like swim with dolphins, hide in a cave like Gollum from LOTR, or wear floral spandex shorts to a psychiatrist's office while his hands shook like something from The Exorcist. Slash took it upon himself to be all gacked out, bailed out of weddings early, and bailed from cars going off a cliff - so he could do a heavenly solo on the cliff's edge before throwing his guitar into the chasm. The videos were all "Huh?", but the music was good, and Stephanie Seymour was in them, so we overlooked the small details like that.

The tour that followed was a disaster. They had to fire their drummer because he couldn't handle his booze and drugs. (Seriously, how bad is it of you got kicked out of GnR for excessive drug use?) They frequently showed up late - like over two hours late. Axl sometimes would not go on and shows had to be canceled. Riots broke out at GnR shows in St. Louis and Montreal. Axl was turning into the biggest neurotic egomaniac ever, Slash was constantly blackout drunk, dropping f-bombs on live TV, trashing hotels, going in and out of rehabs for wrestling with the big H. Disarray.

At this point I was just thinking "What now?" The band was on indefinite hiatus. GnR had the world by the tail and now it was slipping away. In a lame attempt to throw us a bone, the record company had the boys release The Spaghetti Incident, a weak and watered down album of covers and overproduced punk rock, famous only for Axl including a song that was written by Charles Manson. Stories started to leak out about the band's dysfunction. The Use Your Illusion albums took forever to record because the band could not get along. Slash was now more interested in Slash's Snakepit. Duff McKagan almost died when his pancreas nearly exploded from years of excessive drinking. Axl was turning into a recluse and would only communicate with his band mates through a second party. In the meantime, the Seattle grunge sound came along and left GnR obsolete. For all intents and purposes, GnR died in the mid 90's, with Axl being the only remaining original member.

The remaining years have been filled with bullshit about Chinese Democracy, an album which has been in the works since 1995. Where was Slash? Where was Duff? Who is the assclown with the bucket on his head? (Oh, his name is Buckethead. Clever!) Bumblefoot? Who in the hell is he? Was he in the Blind Melon video? Holy shit, Axl got fat, got hair plugs, and started wearing his "hair" in cornrows. As patently absurd as the whole thing is, this band of Axl And His Misfits was/is still called Guns 'N Roses. Yep, Axl made sure that he had legal rights to the name. Gee, I can't figure why he's so hard to work with. GnR Lite managed to do a few live shows between sinking millions of dollars and teasing billions of cocks in making Chinese Democracy a reality. And wouldn't you know it, Axl had a problem with showing up again, and more riots ensued.

Even as a huge GnR fan, I'm not ashamed to say that I have no interest in this album. Zero. Zilch. It was only a few days ago that I even listened to any of the "music" that has leaked onto the internet in the last 15 years or so. As foolish and stubborn as this sounds, I'd probably buy it if it wasn't emblazoned with the name Guns 'N Roses. It's insulting. Axl's needs to just move on. He has damn near zero credibility right now, and if he's going to try and do this his way, he needs to move past GnR. Call the band something else. As lame as it sounds, I'd rather have as many original members back together, just being a glorified tribute band. I can't think that I'm alone in feeling this way. It's far better seeing the original thing sticking around, living off their past than seeing some guy with a cardboard receptacle on his head that was meant for holding chicken, trying to reproduce Slash's sound, or even worse, trying to infuse his virtuoso/shredder style of guitar in place of Slash's driving, melodic sound.

Axl needs to face the music and realize that the age-old adage is true - you can't polish a turd. Move on or swallow your pride and get the guys back, if they'd still come back. And please go away with this Chinese Democracy crap. This pretentious, preposterous crap thrown together only begs the question - "On what day did God create Chinese Democracy, and couldn't he have rested that day as well?"

I will never buy this album. If for some reason everyone claims to me how awesome it is, I might, might get it - by downloading it illegally of course. Fuck you, Axl. And fuck you, Guns 'N Roses Lite.

Twilight: Middle Age Women And Tween Girls Unite Over Quasi-Vampire Porn!

November 18, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

I don't want to stereotype anyone, so I will choose my words carefully. I won't say that all teenage girls are very impressionable and can easily get sucked into any trend that comes along, but I will say that most teenage girls are very impressionable and can easily get sucked into any trend that comes along.

When I was in junior high, witches were all the rage. Surely this had to do with the cultural phenomenon that was The Craft. A few years later, Hot Topic was all the rage and with that came the obsessions with The Nightmare Before Christmas. Soon after, wizards were teh sexy when this Harry Potter fella came along. Sadly, Ian McKellan wasn't able to parlay his status as Gandalf the Wizard into getting any hot pieces of ass. You know, aside from the 3 foot tall hairy-footed whiners he was always hanging out with. And guess what? Hobbits were the objects of desire soon after.

After hobbits it was pirates that were in fashion when Johnny Depp came around as the second coming of Keith Richards. Then ninjas were all the rage. Even zombies have had a bit of a resurgence over the last few years.

But put all the hype from those trends together, and it still doesn't come close to the living, breathing entity that is...(shhhhh)...Twilight.

I don't know much about Twilight. But that doesn't stop my local theater and every commercial break from telling me that I need it. Commercials on Monday Night Football tell me I want to see Twilight in theaters this Friday. The local Barnes and Noble tells me to screw Twilight and head on over there for four (4!) angsty emo-vampire filled tomes that I can enjoy over and over until the words on the pages fade into nothingness from my constant perusal. Even my oldest and wisest friend Best Buy lets me know that if I don't buy multiple copies of the Twilight soundtrack (one for me to listen to, one to keep in sealed mint condish, and one to give to my BFF), I am a complete and epic fail to all of my tween friends.

So what the hell is Twilight anyway? And why is it for me?

A quick look at the movie's homepage and a glance through Wikipedia lets me know what I need to know.

Funktastic Synopsis: Meet Bella Swan, the stereotypical outcast living in Phoenix, AZ

Notice the dark tone of the picture, along with the multiple rings, strange bracelet and heavy eye makeup. Especially notice the scowl. These are all non-verbal signs that this girl is indeed an outcast, but underneath is a gentile and caring girl, just waiting for the right vampire boy to bring out the best in her.

Bella agrees to move to Forks, WA to live with her father. Why? She wants to give her mother the freedom to travel around with her new boyfriend, a minor-league baseball player. Clearly, we've all known someone in this situation in our lives. And an outcast girl moving from the always sunny Phoenix to the Pacific Northwest, where the sun never shines? Yeah, vampires are coming.

Meet Edward Cullen
Sadly, Edward does not go by "Fast Eddie" or even "Bloodsucker Ed", both of which are reasons I will never be in charge of making a movie in my lifetime. Not to spoil anything, but if you can't tell from that douchetastic picture of Edward above, he's a vampire. But everything is ok because the Cullen family sucks the blood out of animals, not humans. So he and Bella fall in love.

Meet James

James is a total badass vampire and the only one in this sordid tale worth paying attention to. He's clearly trying to bring back the "jacket with no shirt on" look made famous by Gerardo, as seen in the comparison above. But while Mr. Rico Suave was rocking the shirtless look in more humid climates, James has the undead balls to rock the look where temperatures are regularly in the 40's! Legit!

Anywho, James wants to hunt Bella for sport because he's just that bad ass. Bella is sent back to Arizona for safe keeping, but James calls her and says he has Bella's mother hostage and will only give her up if Bella takes her place. Edward and his family show up to save Bella, but not before James bites her in the hand. Edward sucks the vampire venom out of her and to keep her from being a vampire too. Then Bella and Edward go to prom. She says she wants to be a vampire too. Edward says fuck no. That is how the book ends.

Having never read any of these books or seen any footage from the movie, I bet I can still come up with a pretty accurate review for this Friday's movie. When the official reviews come out, compare them to what you are about to read and we can see how close I was:

This movie is nothing than a 90 minute commercial for the 4 Twilight books, fulfilling the suppressed fantasies of countless 40-50 year old women as well as those girls in the coveted 12-16 year old demographic. Fans of the books will pitch a tent over it, some as screaming Beatlemania-esque mobs. Everyone else will go see Quantum of Solace.

Now I know what you''re asking: "Mr. Funk, you criticize this lovely romantic story of bloodsucking vampire emo families, but you don't say what you would do to make it better!" Well I'm glad you asked, faithful reader! I know the exact way to make this movie, and the entire Twilight series 1000 times more awesome.


Zombies, vampires, werewolves (yes, werewolves show up in book #2)...they all get love. Where's the love for goblins? Goblins are much cooler than all of those things. Just compare the definition of the two:

Vampires are mythological or folkloric revenants who subsist by feeding on the blood of the living.

A goblin is an evil, crabby, and mischievous creature described as a grotesquely disfigured or gnome-like phantom, that may range in height from that of a dwarf to that of a human.

Which would you rather watch a movie about? I'll take goblins every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Goblins would have befriended Bella just to get her into their cave-dwelling and eaten her. Or made her into their slave. Or just played a bunch of tricks on her. I see the goblin version of Twilight being some kind of cross between From Dusk Till Dawn and Jackass: The Movie.

So when you go out this Friday to your local multiplex, remember to cast your vote for goblins over vampires. Goblins can provide change you can believe in. Vampires will fade with the next trend. Goblins are timeless. Yes they can.

Fuckin' Goblins Rawk!

I want a Boston accent

November 17, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Being born and raised in California, I was cursed with a lack of an accent. There is a slight drawl to our speech, but its not particularly pronounced and can’t be called an accent.

Accents build character and provide you with a ready made backstory. With no identifiable accent, you could easily be confused with the local jock that has never been out of the county. An accent makes you exotic. People hear it and wonder, “hmm, is that NoDak or Minnesota? I need to find out more.”

Many Americans want an English accent. I certainly understand this. Say for instance you just watched a press conference with George Bush and Tony Blair. What right thinking person wouldn’t prefer to sound like Tony Blair? It sure gets some ladies’ motor running too. I suspect most of these women watch Sex in the City though.

I’ve often wondered which accent would be right for me. While watching The Departed and Good Will Hunting the other night, it hit me: I want a Boston accent.

I know what you’re thinking. “Good lord why? You’ve gone mad.” Nope, I’m dead serious. A Boston accent meets all my requirements.

1. It provides the backstory I mentioned.

When people hear the Boston accent, the question isn’t so much where but why. It is pretty easily identified, so people can move on to the next topic. Why is this guy here? Did he kill a drifter in “Woostah”? Did he run afoul of the Irish mob? Perhaps he is a scout for the Red Sox. The opportunities for elaborate and entertaining lies are endless.

2. It provides instant street cred.

I’m a pretty scrawny guy. I need every advantage I can get in the unlikely event of a street brawl. A thick Boston accent would tell the world I’m possibly a street tough from Southie. We’ve all seen the movies. Those guys from Southie are nuts. Provoked or not, they’ll beat you to within an inch of your life without any fear of retribution. They’re poor downtrodden Irish Catholics and have nothing to lose. You don’t want to fuck with a guy that has nothing to lose.

3. It will arouse women.

The accent in and of itself isn’t particularly sexy of course, but when hearing it, women’s minds will immediately go to Mark Wahlberg. I’m not sure why he “does it” for so many women, but he seems to do OK. In case you didn’t know ladies, that thing in Boogie Nights was a fake. Whatever though. Go with it. When I start dropping my r’s, you’ll start dropping your pants.

4. I will be able to talk to animals.

Talking to animals is more important than you think. Like fending off the street toughs, dialogue with animals could prevent unnecessary attacks. Say you’re in the woods and you see a bear. A non-accented person would have to go the old play dead route and hope the bear moves on. With a Boston accent, you could talk the bear out of the attack by saying kind things about his mother.

5. I will gain political power.

The Kennedy's have made a career wooing the public with their magnificently heavy Boston accents. You may have thought it was JFK's looks or Teddy's tireless efforts on behalf of the working man. No, its the accent. Look at their kids. The ones without the accent don't have big political careers. Poor RFK Jr. can barely speak in a coherent sentence. I can only assume he is so embarrassed about not having inherited his father's gift for speech that he lacks self-confidence.* Californian Richard Nixon (no accent) lost to JFK (accent) in 1960. Case closed.

So yes, for all these reasons and more, I want a Boston accent. How do you like dem apples?

*I, in fact, have nothing but respect for RFK Jr. and hope the rumors of him being appointed head of the EPA are true. This does not change the fact that he is not an eloquent speaker by any stretch of the imagination.

This place is wicked hardcore.

The End of an Era?

November 17, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

Well, here we are in the second week of Pomp Culture. You know, we started this whole deal to get away from being just another Cubs blog. Leave it to Jim Hendry to throw a wrench into my planned post for the week by doing something so completely stupid, it can't be ignored. Thus I find myself writing about the Cubs on my very first Pomp Culture post.

That 'something stupid' would be the dismissal of one Kerry Wood, the longest tenured Cub. Last season, Kid K resurrected his career, rising from the ashes and casting off the barnacle of Mark Prior, by reinventing himself as a stud closer. Aside from a few blown saves and a blister that just wouldn't die, Wood was a complete badass. He even grew a top-notch Closer Beard and looked every bit the part of the 9th inning hammer the Cubs needed. Throw Carlos Marmol out there in the 8th and the Cubs had a duel pair of flamethrowers in the bottom innings that would have made Hank Scorpio proud.

So the transition from starter to stopper was made with very few hiccups. Kerry proved to Cubs fans that he wasn't a whiny little bitch like Mark Prior and that he still had the stuff to help this team put away ballgames. Like a lot of fans, I rallied to Wood and felt bad I had ever lumped him in with the USC prima donna to begin with. Kerry came up in 1998, the year I graduated from college, and it was he and Rod Beck, along with my all time favorite Cub, Mark Grace, that really made me a true Cub fan. My dad had always had his guys while I was growing up and with 1998, I finally had some guys of my own.

Last week Jim Hendry traded for Marlins' closer Kevin Gregg. I was really excited about that trade because I knew the Cubs needed some bullpen help to replace the departing Bob Howry and Gregg seemed like a great option to fill that role. But then Jim came out and said that the Cubs wouldn't be resigning Wood, that they had decided to go in a "different direction". To that, I have to say, "Are you high?" You don't let a guy like Kerry Wood walk away after ten years, not when he still has the stuff to shut down ballgames for you. Not when he's the fucking face of your franchise. Besides, how sick would a Gregg-Marmol-Wood 7-8-9 look? If I'm a Cubs starter, that looks pretty damn good to me.

Since then, it's come out that Wood would do pretty much anything to stay in Chicago, including taking a one year deal. How can the Cubs not resign this guy? I know the game is a business, but how is this good business, Mr. Hendry? This reeks of the same "don't let the door hit you in the ass" treatment that Mark Grace received after the 2000 season. And Woody is a hell of a lot more useful than Grace was at that time, so this makes no sense to me. You have a guy who's basically lights out who wants to be on this team more than anywhere else in the league, a man who could instantly make teams like say, St. Louis, better and you're willing to let him walk? I love Carlos Marmol as much as the next guy, but having Wood makes the pen that much stronger. And if his arm does explode, you have Marmol OR Gregg in the wings to take over if need be. Wood gives us a depth and more to the point, a presence in the 9th. People are scared to bat against this guy. Effectively wild works a lot better over one inning than 5-7 innings.

To sum up, Kerry Wood should be our Craig Biggio. He's proven he can be a force in the bullpen and I say the Cubs should keep him until his damn arm finally gives out for good. And Kerry's such a team player, you know he'd keep closing, pitch middle relief or batting practice, anything to stay in Cub blue. Mr. Hendry, I'm begging you, don't let this end with Kerry Wood in a Cardinal uniform. I don't want Kerry to avoid Wrigley as Grace did until the folks who let him walk were gone. After Game 7 of the 2003 NLCS, a distraught Kerry Wood told the world that he choked, when in fact he had left everything out there on the field that day. His heart is out there still. Please don't take that away, Jim.