Mike Ditka: King of the Gridiron…and Comedy

January 6, 2012

Unless you woke up early New Year’s Day morning with such a bad headache and cotton mouth that you couldn’t even go back to sleep (of course I’m speaking hypothetically here, in no way do I know what that’s like), you probably missed Mike Ditka’s interesting analysis of the Indianapolis Colts’ decision of whether or not to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick in April’s NFL draft.

Ditka argued that the Colts shouldn’t take Luck, in part because of the positive attributes of backup Dan Orlovsky, which included being “a good Polack.”

Now, before everyone starts running out to boycott products, it should be noted that Ditka is one of three children from a Ukrainian family. In fact, Ditka’s family changed its name from “Dyczko” because it was too hard to pronounce in his hometown in Western Pennsylvania.

Changed his name? What is he, an entertainer? Maybe that’s it, maybe Ditka fashions himself as a stand-up comedian instead of an analyst.

The way I see it, Ditka is just following the longstanding stand-up comedy tradition of “I Am One So I Can Make Fun of Them.” It is this unwritten but well-understood societal rule that has blessed us with the careers of many of today’s popular comedians, including Margaret Cho, George Lopez, and D.L. Hugley.

Hmm…maybe it’s time we re-thought this rule.

In any event, there really isn’t any sort of advantage to being Polish in the game of football, unless you count fans being able to make out your name on the back of your jersey more easily from the cheap seats.

If given the chance to take Luck, it’s not like the St. Louis Rams should get rid of Sam Bradford because he’s too much of a stuffy, uptight WASP (See, now I’m taking advantage of the rule, to similarly hilarious results).

But the whole ordeal does remind me of the old SNL Superfans skit, specifically the question of how many Ditkas does it take to beat the New York Giants?

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Michael Grubb is a (semi) regular contributor to Team JSF. When he’s not watching “An Evening With Margaret Cho” on DVD, he can be reached at:

@GrubbHub
GrubbHub.net
grubbhub@gmail.com

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Denver Bronco Fans Starved for Halftime Entertainment

December 30, 2011

Admittedly, it can get kind of boring if you’re a Denver Broncos fan waiting around three-and-a-half quarters for Tebow Time to come (for a definition of Tebow Time, see this article).

Maybe that’s why the events coordinator at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (that name just rolls off the tongue) has been trying to spruce up the halftime show, to help fill the void between the opening kickoff and the last five minutes of the game.

When you’ve scored just 22 points in the first half of your last four home games, any kind of action is a welcome occurrence:

Monkey Rides Horse at Denver Broncos Game

No, it’s not a live-action representation of Tebow’s understanding of Darwinism. Nor is it one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in an all-animal halftime production of The Book of Revelation. It’s just a good, old-fashioned monkey riding a horse.

I guess if Tim Tebow can pass for a legitimate NFL quarterback in Denver, this can pass for halftime entertainment. But hey, at least Bronco fans weren’t treated to this:

Apparently, the joke here is that NFL Network commentator Michael Irvin loves Tim Tebow. Judging by the awkward gyrations he’s making, I’d say he loves that horse more. Maybe that’s why he’s riding it more like a cocaine-fueled hooker from his Dallas Cowboy playing days than a children’s toy.

Let’s just hope that if the Broncos happen to play on NFL Network next year, Irvin leaves his horse in the stable. Either that or he learns to ride the thing without sodomizing it.

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Michael Grubb is a (semi) regular contributor to Team JSF. When he’s not training monkeys to re-enact the movie “The Ten Commandments”, he can be reached at:

@GrubbHub
GrubbHub.net
grubbhub@gmail.com


The Word of Tebow

December 16, 2011

You can question his arm, and you can question his footwork, but you simply cannot question the fact that Tim Tebow has taken the NFL and the entire country by storm following a streak of seven wins in eight starts, each triumph seemingly more unbelievable than the last.

Just examine if you will one tiny slice of the Tebow phenomenon, that being the impact it’s having on the American lexicon.

According to a report on the USA Today’s website, the word Tebowing has now officially been recognized by the Global Language Monitor.

But it doesn’t stop there. After doing a little research, I’ve discovered that the root word Tebow is now only exceeded in number and variation of applications by the word smurf, which of course can basically be smurfed for anything.

So let’s take a look at the word Tebow and a small sample of its many uses. The definitions below are presented as they will no doubt soon appear in Webster’s Dictionary after Tim Tebow takes over the planet and enslaves us all, complete with example sentences so that you may learn how to use them in your everyday conversations.

Tebowing [tee-boh-ing]
noun

1. The act of taking a knee in prayer during an athletic contest, most often seen in North American football after scoring the team’s lone offensive touchdown of the game.

Example Sentence:

Mark and his teammates began Tebowing with each other in the back of the end zone after Mark crossed the goal line to win his fraternity’s intermural flag football game 7-0 in overtime.

Tebow Time [tee-boh-tahym]
noun

1. In North American football terms, the time of the game, typically encompassing the final minutes of the fourth quarter as well as overtime, when a defense abandons the strategies that have thus far limited the opposing offense to little or no points in favor of a generic, relaxed defense designed to surrender yards in huge chunks.

2. In general terms, any time spent thinking about, reflecting upon, or consuming media coverage of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

Example Sentence:

After a long, stressful day at work, George flipped the TV to “SportsCenter” and plopped down on the couch for some much-deserved Tebow Time.

Tebowmania [tee-boh-mey-nee-yuh]
noun

1. A mental condition that causes those afflicted to lose all perspective and sense of NFL history. It is often accompanied by giving credit to Tim Tebow for all things, even those that he had nothing to do with, such as a defensive touchdown or a very long field goal.

In more advanced stages it can also lead to disorientation. In rare cases, voluntary alopecia areata can occur.

Example Sentences:

Suffering from an acute onset of Tebowmania, Marion Barber inexplicably ran out of bounds instead of simply running out the clock and ending the game.

Amanda’s Tebowmania has her convinced that Tim Tebow will become the first option quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl, despite 45 years of evidence suggesting otherwise.

Tebowchery [tee-baw-chuh-ree]

noun, plural -er·ies.

1. Excessive indulgence in Tim Tebow-related pleasures or sensations, such as beating a reeling Chicago Bears team 13-10 in overtime without its star running back Matt Forte and quarterback Jay Cutler.

2. An act or outward demonstration of piousness, caring, humility, or selflessness.

Example Sentence:

Kim thoroughly enjoyed a nice Saturday evening of Tebowchery when she helped perform a puppet show to entertain the residents of a local nursing home. Earlier in the night, she also made a large donation of clothes and toys to Goodwill.

Tebowtion [tee-boh-shuhn]
noun

1. Profound dedication to and unwavering belief in the abilities of Tim Tebow, often accompanied by extreme loyalty no matter the situation.

Example Sentence:

Despite throwing for 45 yards on 2-of-19 passing through three-and-a-half quarters, Harold’s Tebowtion never waned, and he began quietly Tebowing in the middle of his living room that those passes might soon find the hands of a receiver.

Tebortion [tee-barw-shuhn]
noun

1. The act of throwing a football away during a broken play that is no longer deemed desirable to the offense.

Tebort [tee-barwt]
verb -ed

1. To throw an intentional incomplete forward pass.

Example Sentence:

With all his receivers covered, the quarterback simply Teborted the ball into an empty section of the stands where no one would ever find it.

Tebowner [tee-boh-ner]
noun

1. An individual that owns three or more Tim Tebow jerseys, or a family that collectively owns five or more Tim Tebow jerseys.

2. A distinct and measurable physiological response to any Tim Tebow-related stimuli.

Example Sentences:

Jim owns four Tebow jerseys: a regular home and road jersey, a bright orange home alternate, and a throwback. His wife has a women’s Tebow jersey, and he even bought his 10 year-old son a shiny new Tebow jersey for Christmas. Yes, everyone in Jim’s entire family is a proud Tebowner.

Pretty much everyone in the room noticed Randy’s Tebowner amid all the excitement of yesterday’s overtime win against the Vikings, but no one really seemed to mind.

Tebrew [tee-broo]
noun

1. A kind of beer made by Bonfire Brewing in Eagle, CO in honor of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

2. An Orthodox Jewish fan of Tim Tebow.

Example Sentence:

While I may not agree with his religious beliefs, I am without question a devout Tebrew.

Tebrow [tee-broh]
noun

1. A close friend that loves Tim Tebow at least as much if not more than you do.

Example Sentence:

Jerry and I are Tebrows. We can talk or not talk about how great Tim Tebow is for hours on end. Our relationship is special that way.

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Michael Grubb is a (semi) regular contributor to Team JSF. When he’s not out re-inventing the English language, he can be reached at:

@GrubbHub
GrubbHub.net
grubbhub@gmail.com


Top 7: NFL Defenders-Turned-Movie-Star-Performances

August 12, 2011

A tragic blow befell both the sports and entertainment worlds last week, when Bubba Smith died at the not-so-old age of 66. Smith starred at Michigan State and later in the NFL, where he played nine seasons, was named to two Pro Bowls, and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Colts.

Despite all his accolades on the gridiron, Smith was perhaps best-known as Cadet (and later Sergeant) Moses Hightower, a role he played in the original 1984 hit movie Police Academy, all the way through Police Academy 6: City Under Seige. He had the good sense to steer clear of part seven, 1994’s straight-to-video Police Academy: Mission to Moscow. Truly, if there is any silver lining with his passing, it could be that it’s by far the best assurance we have that there will never be a Police Academy 8.

As the world’s foremost expert on the Police Academy movie franchise, I can confidently say that Smith as the gentle giant florist-turned-hard-nosed-cop has to be one of the greatest acting performance ever turned in by an NFL defensive player. But where exactly does the Hightower character rank among all big screen performances by NFL defenders? For that, we resurrect an old friend, the Joe Sports Fan Top 7.

7. Howie Long – Kelly – Broken Arrow
When the character you’re playing doesn’t have a last name, that’s not a good sign. The only thing more square than Long’s haircut is his acting. Although deserving of every barb ever directed at him by Terry Bradshaw on Fox’s NFL Sunday, the death of his character in Broken Arrow did give birth to the Howie Scream, making it more memorable than Firestorm (1998), and thus making our list.

6. Bill Romanowski, Lawrence Taylor, and About 90 Other NFL Players – Prison Convicts – Any Given Sunday (1999)
Bill Romanowski and Lawrence Taylor playing football players that had significant run-ins with the law – that’s like Britney Spears playing a young woman driving cross country from the Deep South to Los Angeles to become a singer. And yet somehow, Romanowski is the only one of the three that’s avoided going to jail in real life. Go figure.

5. Brian Bosworth – Joe Huff / John Stone – Stone Cold (1991)
The best way to describe the movie Stone Cold would be as a poor man’s Road House. Now that you’ve been properly enticed, give it a look. Nobody else did. The contract “The Boz” signed as a rookie with the Seattle Seahawks brought in more money than this stinker. However, this movie did feature 92 minutes of Bosworth’s signature frosted mullet and enough male shirtlessness to make Chuck Norris blush. On this basis alone, this film clearly earns its merits.

4. Alex Karras – Mongo – Blazing Saddles (1974)
Sure, you know him as George Papadopoulos, the loving father of a tiny yet fully-grown man afflicted with a terrible genetic disorder, but Karras makes this list because of those three little words that everyone longs to hear: “Telegram for Mongo.”

3. Terry Crews – President Camacho – Idiocracy (2006)
Crews plays Dwayne Elizondo Camacho, 5-time Ultimate Smackdown champion, porn superstar, and president of the United States. He presided over the House of Representin’. He learned that water didn’t always come from the toilet. Crews actually turns in a really funny performance, and the movie is hilarious.

 

2. Dick Butkus – Hamburger: The Motion Picture (1986)
Glory Busterburgerlujah! Ah, one of the many advantages of growing up with HBO and absent parents has to be seeing this movie about 127 times as a child.  Somehow, former University of Illinois and Chicago Bears all-time great Dick Butkus, the man to whom all other linebackers will forever be compared, manages to raise his legacy to new heights with his stirring, heartfelt portrayal of Drill Sergeant Ben Drootin, who’s constantly cracking down the misfit students at Buster Burger University trying to earn their bachelor’s degrees in burgerology, or something like that. As an important side note: This movie contains more clever puns on gherkins and eating out than any other in history.

 

1. Bubba Smith – Sergeant Moses Hightower – Police Academy (Parts 1 Through 6)
It should come as no surprise that the dynamic role of Moses Hightower, played by the late Bubba Smith, tops our list. We watched as he blossomed from a mild-mannered florist into a one-man crime fighting force. We rooted for him as he overcame his own personal demons, like never having learned to drive a car.  We saw him stand up and fight for the rights of minorities, like he did for the patrons of the Blue Oyster Bar on numerous occasions. We watched as he grew into a more prominent leadership role, starting in Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach following the departure of Carey Mahoney. But most of all, we learned that there was no shortage of objects he could throw a really, really long way – be it a football, a set of matched luggage, what have you.

Honorable Mentions:

Lyle Alzado – Bronk Stinson – Ernest Goes to Camp (1987)
Any reason to bring up Ernest Goes to Camp is a good one. End of discussion.

Jim Brown – Fireball – The Running Man (1987), Slammer – I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
Okay, so Jim Brown was not a defender. Who cares? This is Joe Sports Fan, not U.S. News & World Report. I’m sure he made a tackle or two after an interception during his career. I refuse to leave the man that played Fireball off this list completely.


Snail Mail Makes Big Comeback with NFL Lotharios

July 8, 2011

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams made headlines this week when it was revealed that he mailed a $76,000 engagement ring, along with a pre-recorded marriage proposal, to a former Texas beauty pageant winner.

Although difficult to understand why that didn’t turn out so well, it hasn’t stopped the idea of using snail mail to make advances toward women from making a big comeback in the NFL.

Yes, it seems the ongoing lockout and looming work stoppage isn’t the only thing taking us back to 1987.  One of the primary advantages of snail mail (or “the mail” as it used to be called) is that it makes it much more difficult to have your indiscretions immediately plastered all over the internet.

That is unless JSF happens to get a hold of it. Enter Brett Favre, who learned his lesson after getting caught using a cell phone to leave voice mails and send lewd photos to sideline reporter Jenn Sterger.

That lesson? No more smartphones. All you need to creepily stalk women is paper, a pencil, and a Polariod:

Favre Letter to Mistress

What’s amazing is how Favre managed to top Williams on the immaturity scale, with his proposition straight out of fifth grade.  Regardless, the informational caption on the Polaroid was a nice touch.

But Williams and Favre aren’t alone. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan found some time to slip out and do some shopping when he was supposed to be hunkered down in a war room at this year’s NFL draft.

Rex Ryan's High Heel

Apparently he couldn’t wait to share his shopping conquest with his wife, so he had them shipped overnight. Which is just one more advantage of traditional mail, namely, you can’t fit size nine wides in an e-mail.


You Can Take the Mask Off Now, Tony

April 29, 2011

Tony La Russa isn’t really a big football fan type. The sport is far too barbaric for an enlightened fellow like the St. Louis Cardinals skipper. I’m guessing he’d be more at home attending an upscale wine tasting or the symphony. As far as bowls go, he’s obviously more Puppy than Super.

Which is why it’s kind of ironic that his daughter, Bianca, recently made the Oakland Raiders cheerleading squad.

Raiders fans are notorious for taking barbarism to a whole new level. Nothing exemplifies this more than the costume-clad weirdos that make up the Black Hole, a designated  area of the Coliseum occupied by the team’s rowdiest (read: dumbest) fans.

However, according to JSF sources, Tony has been getting into the Raiders spirit since Bianca became a Raiderette, even going as far as reserving a spot in the Black Hole so he can watch his daughter cheer in person. Of course, this requires he don a scary costume and mask. Thankfully, in light of recent events and diseases, this shouldn’t be a problem.

This is the father of an NFL cheerleader? Really? All things considered though, it’s a good thing La Russa is only a fan of the Raiderettes and not their manager. Otherwise, given his well-known preference for veterans over youth, you might get a cheerleading squad that looks something like this:

Although at four feet 10 inches tall, Estelle Getty is a prime candidate for a middle infield spot. Just ask Aaron Miles, Mike Gallego, César Izturis, and Nick Punto.


Tale of the Tape: NFL vs. Modern-Day Slavery

March 17, 2011

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson raised some eyebrows this week when he likened the current NFL labor situation to “modern-day slavery” in an interview with Yahoo Sports.

Peterson might be surprised to know that modern-day slavery actually still exists, most often in the form of bonded labor and human trafficking.  So perhaps we shouldn’t be so hasty as to dismiss his claims as yet another pampered, out-of-touch professional athlete spouting off about the hardships of being a twenty-something millionaire adored by fans for playing a game.

Instead, let’s go to the tale of the tape: Working for the NFL vs. Modern-Day Slavery…

It was a close call, but I think the NFL players may have a better set up.  Thankfully, I’m guessing most players–including Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant –would agree.

Besides, it might not even be the worst analogy we’ve heard lately, given that Dwayne Wade said people act like the World Trade Center collapsed every time the Miami Heat lose a few games, and Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy compared NBA commissioner David Stern to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi because of the lack of flagrant fouls drawn by center Dwight Howard.

At least their comments make it crystal clear that one thing you do not need to make your living in the professional sports world is perspective.