Saturday, October 04, 2008

Unprecedented 4-Way Overlap

It's a pity when the Steelers mess up and the only thing within arm's reach to throw at the Tommy Maddox bobblehead (which the Mrs. bought for $1.00 on-line) is the soft, 5-inch-tall Phillie Phanatic plush toy.

Yet, such an exercise provides us with another opportunity to re-acquaint ourselves with another Law Of The Jungle once our favorite teams criss-cross, overlap and/or intersect.

George Constanza would have us believe that these are test cases of "when worlds collide" -- i.e. "if Relationship George walks through that door right now, he will KILL Independent George!"

In the arena of fandom, though, it just doesn't feel like a "collision" -- mostly because, deep inside, the Inner Phillie finds a way to co-exist peacefully with the Inner Steeler ... as they've done for 35 yrs. or so.

Not that there's never any conflict, but Inner Phillie realizes that Inner Steeler has his own problems -- and vice versa..

And everybody understands that the gravitational pull which governs the constant shuttling between the Phillie Universe the Steeler Solar System is part of the natural process -- just as it is expected that the Phillie Planet and Steeler Planet will frequently exceed their traditional orbits and innocently trespass into the Red Wing Galaxy.

But, there's no "collisions" ... no meteors colliding with comets or anything like that.

Y'see. a "collision" is what happens when you're in your 20s and something Elizabethan stops by on a Tues. nite and then gets herself appropriately and sufficiently nailed 'til somewhere near midnight and then she sez she has to scoot 'cuz she's gotta work in the morning, which is cool 'cuz you don't have to work 'til noon and you didn't want sleep-over entanglements anyway ... which makes for a tidy arrangement with a satisfaction quotient which increases exponentially shortly after sunrise the very next morning when The Girlfriend -- who you didn't care if she remained The Girlfriend 12 hrs. earlier -- stops by on her way to work and talks her way into a robust a.m. romp.

Now, THOSE were "collisions" -- with bodies assuming the bang, errrr ... crash position ... the type of not-so-wholesome contact which makes ya chuckle and shake yer head ... unlike the collision with actual human collateral damage from Super Bowl XIX Eve when you went to that party w/ The Girlfriend (who you don't care if she remains The Girlfriend or not) ... only Neecey had her own agenda and masterminded a rendezvous whereupon she unleashed so much of her carpet-doesn't-match-curtains fury in what was probably inner-thigh payback for what transpired 15 mos. earlier when she couldn't outperform, in an actual girlfriend genre, the Leonia Lolita (Elizabeth II in this Elizabethan paradigm).

It was messy -- and not altogether as calculated as when the two gals were seated across from George at the coffee shop and he sprang up from his seat and exclaimed, "Caught in my own web of lies!"

What a glorious bygone era of miscommunication and conflict ... mornings filled with remorse and guilt when you could wake up after a non-prophylactic tryst, wolf down a few smokes and squash the butts in the ash tray on HER nightstand ... then roll on out 'round 9, grab some Hostess Donuts, a Pepsi and the Sporting Green and then mentally prepare for the Steeler game set to kick off at 10.

To be viewed alone.

A solitary venture ... so that Hardcore Donnie Shell Fan doesn't "intersect" (or get caught in the crossfire) with the Inner-Thigh Pleaser.

It would be years before we'd see George demonstrate that, in bed, a pastrami sandwich, spicy mustard and a Watchman TV is not the path to success.

Her: "George, what are you doing?"
George: "Pleasuring you?"

Shoulda gone with corned beef, Sport ...

Funny how 3 mos. before the CL/DC dust-up, it was the Steelers who provided the only blemish on the Niners' 18-1 season -- and some of us missed most of that 20-17 ballgame because Horny Chick walked through that door right then and KILLED Steeler Fan Guy (although during the let's-get-dressed/jeez-your-hair's-quite-tossled aftermath, we did see LB Bryan Hinkle's late INT of Montana which set up the game-deciding FG, so maybe it wasn't a total loss ... ).

It seemed so wrong that while Bryan Hinkle was playin' his tail off, some of us could only concern ourselves with gettin' some tail.

It was a real disservice for a guy who spent those 14 years (1980-1993) spillin' black-n'-gold blood as one of the most-forgotten LBs in Steeler history.

For many of us, though, Bryan Hinkle will always remain our No. 1 fave #53 LB (ahead of Dirt Winston and Clark Hagans), even though we didn't necessarily offer our undivided attention on that particular October Sunday.

Only a year earlier, zero gravity and the G-force were extended to the limit when what occurred during the SJSU-Oregon postgame show inside the Impala had a backlash effect on World Series Games 3 and 5 which were never watched live because, ummm ... because Inner Spartan actually DID kill Inner Phillie.

Kawl WILL buyya a beeya ...

The ability to recollect with such whimsy is a plus -- but, then again, "overlap" is behavior we've known since we went from the era of 6th-period Algebra II to after-school, 3-on-3 on the 8-foot baskets to the grown-up overlap of leavin' the cubicle a little untidy at 5:02 because first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 at Centennial.

Even better when you put on your softball shorts at lunchtime and nobody realizes that they're on under your khakis ...

Although overlap participation oftentimes diminishes thru the years, that doesn't make the involvement any less-complex.

There's no time for distraction now -- especially THIS WEEK when the stakes are mighty high for the Fightin' (sometimes Frickin') Phils, the New Steel Curtain, the Sooner Schooner and Hockeytown, which have, somehow, managed to provide unparalleled sensory overload by simultaneously bringing their issues to this 4-way stop.

Actually, it's probably more like one of those freeway cloverleafs because: tomorrow, it all begins with the Phils in a Sunday matinee, needing a victory in Milwaukee to win the NLDS and advance to the NLCS vs. the Dodjerks (thus avoiding a Game 5, which would be at The Cit).

After that, the Sun. prime-timer features the Steel City fellers lookin' to win in Fla. vs. the Jags and "his-name's-Del-Rio-and-he-dances-on-the-sand ..." -- a "W" gets Blitzburgh to the bye week with a difficult-to-understand (given the injuries) 4-1 record.

Following a breather, it'll be Philly-L.A. renewing their 1970s NLCS rivalry in Game 1 Thurs. at The Cit ... one hour after the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings raise the banner to the rafters in Hockeytown.

It's in the day planner in our brain:
We're at The Joe at 7, The Cit at 8 ...

Of course, all of this serves as a prelude to that massive (almost Biblical) Saturday slugfest betwixt the Sooners n' the Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl (featuring those gunslingin' QBs, Bradford & McCoy) in the game once called the Red River Shootout (which has been modified in PC fashion to be known as the Red River Expression of Sportsmanship & Fair Play).

It's a 7-day headrush -- and it'll be a chore switching from the RUIZ 51 shirt to the FARRIOR 51 jersey to the FILPPULA 51 sweater, back to the RUIZ 51 shirt (remember ... baseball players wear a "uniform," not a jersey) and then into the LEPAK 51 jersey.

Wait a second ... who the frick is Brian Lepak?

Sure ... he wears #51 for OU, but who is he really?

Do we know?

Does he?

Some of us don't need to shell out upwards of $1,000 total to validate our allegiances with four current #51 shirts/jerseys/sweaters -- besides, it's a little creepy (or cheesy) to wear the name and numerals of a current player.

In fact, there's a good argument to be made for the fact that it's dangerous having those garments around the house.

The last thing any guy needs is his spouse/steady/tonight's date layin' on the comforter wearin' nuthin' but a thong (or bikini briefs, depending on her state of shyness/sluttiness) and the game-day jersey knotted in the front.

Knotted because it's too long and it's obstructing the frontal view of the thong ...

The thong, of course, obstructing the view of the nummies ...

Erotica and jerseys aside, there's simply too many names, numbers to choose from -- and ya absolutely cannot go modern unless ya wanna look really queer.

The loudest statement is made by those who are ballsy enough to go vintage old-school w/ a SLOCUMB 51 or a HINKLE 53 or a CHEVELDAE 32 or an UNSER 25 or a FUAMATU-MA'AFALA 45.

'Round here, the only big plans involve replacing the white SOONERS 20 Nike XXL jersey (which has no name on the back -- 'cuz whose 20 would it be, anyway? Billy Sims or Rocky Calmus?) with a crimson SOONERS 4 Nike size 56 jersey.

This acquisition will be completed in order to re-connect with the OU stars which we grew up with -- Elvis Peacock in the '70s and Jamelle Holieway in the '80s, both of whom donned #4, of course.

Also ... the white Wisconsin #7 Adidas jersey (triple-X) has struggled to make friends in the closet with the old Red Wings (no number) sweater by Starter and the releatively-new Sabres (no number) sweater ('70s retro version by CCM).

Pops went to Wisconsin ...
Pops was a Badger ...
(And, it's nice havin' no name on the back 'cuz someone might think #7 is for QB Jon Stocco, rather than #7 SS Ryan Aiello ... )

The jersey situation illustrates why nobody is allowed 'round this place to assist with the support-group duties for the Steelers/Phils/Sooners/Red Wings.

It's probably because each occasion is a test ... much more lifelike and non-lame than the Baltimore Colts exam which Eddie prepared for his fiancee in "Diner."

The "pop-quiz" method 'round here is so less-arbitrary ... y'know, like when you're sittin' there in your red Phillies cap which matches your Red Wings jersey and you're watchin' Lendy Holmes play safety for the Sooners and you say to your wishes-he-was-an-OU-fan guest, "Kinda reminds ya of when Jack Mildren was back there roamin' the secondary for the Sonners, doesn't it?" -- and, by the time he's nodding in agreement w/ some sorta half-assed, right-on-my-white-brother and askin' for another Tuborg Gold, you're already punching him in the face with SuperDawg's NylaBone (because the 1-Dollar Tommy Maddox bobblehead is on the other side of the room) as you scream each time fist collides with flesh and bone -- "Show! Some! Fucking! Respect! Jack Mildren was the QB who ran the wishbone offense for Chuck Fairbanks, dickwad! Mildren didn't play safety 'til he got to the NFL! And then he went and died from stomach cancer last May. HE! WAS! ONLY! FIFTY! EIGHT! That's TOO! FUCKING! YOUNG!"

By the time that you notice the blood splatters all over the living-room carpet, you give your victim one last chance to save his own life by answering who wore #11 when he was startin' at safety for the '00 national champion Sooners.

J.T. Thatcher is a lousy guess, even if the vic (you're the perp) impresses you by using his final breath, before slipping into unconsciousness, to remark that J.T. Thatcher won the Mosi Tatupu Award in '00 as the nation's top special-teams player.

It's a pity when that slain body is rotting at the nearest landfill and you realize how unfortunate it was that somebody had to die because he didn't know that Ontei Jones was the player who wore #11 for the '00 Sooners.

Even if he'd had three guesses, you realize that he was gonna say Rickey Dixon or Brodney Pool before he'd come up with the name Ontei Jones.

And, if he'd tried to get cute by BlackBerry-ing a Wikipedia-based reply, he'd've come up empty there, too, because, sometimes, the know-it-alls don't know that they've listed Ontei Jones as #42 (freshman QB Hunter Wall is #11, apparently) and there are no links to forsee that '00 frosh LB Teddy Lehman #54 will be wearing #11 in '01, '02 and as a Butkus Award and Bednarik Award winner in '03.

Chris Weinke ... now THAT guy remembers Ontei Jones.

So, the games get enjoyed here at the La-Z-Boy Lounge rather than at a Dave N' Buster's because, well, sometimes ya just wanna soak it all in from a recliner rather than feeling inclined to beat somebody to death with either a ketchup bottle or a salt shaker during the Steelers game simply because when CBS showed RB Gary Russell #33 on the screen your "new Steeler pal" couldn't name either Frenchy Fuqua, Merril Hoge or Bam Morris as RBs who wore #33.

And, from the solitude of this recliner, it's a guilt-free crossfire when it's time to re-sort and re-alphabetize approx. 2,700 Philadelphia Phillies trading cards during the Pittsburgh Steelers' AFC playoff game against the heavily-favored Colts.

Then again, the crossfire gets a little gnarly when you're kinda/sorta paying attention and ya hear that Larry Foote made the tackle as you're holding a card of Barry Foote.

Larry Foote and Barry Foote ... you'll know the difference once you hear Larry Foote tellin' America that he's one of the "Detroit Pershing Doughboys."

Larry Foote's a better "hitter" than Barry Foote, anyway.

So, yeah ... the crossfire never leaves us -- and we fight the urge to phone the ex-fiancee and inform her that, during our 7-plus years together, the Big 4 didn't do squat in terms of championships (0-28, plus 0-5 in the Chandler NCAA b-ball brackets).

Yet, in 16 yrs. w/ the Mrs., grand prizes have been plentiful (Sooners '00, Steelers '05, Red Wing Cups in '97, '98, '02 and now '08 ... an enjoyable Phillies World Series season in '93 -- and maybe a new chapter now -- and NCAA bracketeering championships in '97 and '06).

There's no escaping the overlap, be it the Steelers pissin' us off by switching to black shoes during that one season in '97 or '98 or whichever it was and then the Sooners doin' the same thing, first in the early '90s under Gary Gibbs and then w/ Stoops in a few years back (when Jason White was throwin' all those black-shoed passes to black-shoed receivers).

Thank goodness Big Ben and Big Bad Bradford are in white cleats and pitchin' passes to receivers in white cleats.

So, if it's true that living well is the best revenge, then it's probably not worth re-visiting '86 when the Phils were repeatedly pimp-slappin' the Mutts despite the great distance in the standings combined with the fact that Sorority Girlfriend was 500 miles away, messin' 'round with that jerk-off 'cuz, what the hell, 16-year-old Patty from Hacienda Heights and those toned sticks that she did her outside-hitting/middle-blocking with, yowzuh ...

The Overlap is a sanctuary now ... a no-fly zone w/o the crossfire of wunderin' who's pitchin' for the Phils tonight while you're inside her blouse and makin' the quick, one-handed unclasp.

For the record: That Tommy Maddox bobblehead ... part of the Forever Collectibles' Legends of "The Field" series ... this one is No. 4,858 or 5,000.

Until it gets shattered into a hundred pieces during the next Steelers disappointment ...


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