Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Thaw Comes to Ice Planet Hoth

Well, reader, the temperatures have soared near forty here today, melting a good deal of the dingy ice that covers Ice Planet Hoth. However, the Treacherous Puppy Run of Death has clung tenaciously to the earth, like a starving hagfish on a dying grouper. It shan't last long, this thaw, as temps are forecast to plunge back into the twenties tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. Such is February, I suppose.

Speaking of February, my favorite minor holiday passed on Friday with nary a whimper. We hardly even marked the day here. I don't even know if the damned whistle pig saw its shadow. We haven't seen our whistle pig for months, so, who knows when this winter will end. At this rate, I am guessing somewhere between before the next presidential election and never (probably closer to never).

On the sporting front, a word about this past Super Bowl. As a favorite son of the Queen City of the Patapsco River Drainage Basin over the age of thirty, I am required by law to loathe the team from Indianapolis that is falsely named the "Colts." This is a little known codicil in the Baltimore City charter that is punishable by being either excommunicated from the church or disowned by one's family. Since I am not a member of any church that has an actaul excommunication procedure, I can only be punished by being disowned by my family.

You see, due to the dastardly deeds of the Baltimore Colts' late owner Robert Irsay, who stole the team away from its working-class city in the dead of a snowy winter night because the town wouldn't spring for a new stadium, my hometown became a football wasteland, depressed, unsure of itself, angry, drug-infested, and populated with a glassy-eyed citizenry that would while away Autumn Sundays at Enrico's Bar or the Dew Drop Inn, staring at dreaded Redskins games and seething at the injustice of it all. Until that happy day when the dastardly deeds of former Cleveland Browns' owner Art Modell, who stole his team away from its working-class city in full view of everybody because the town wouldn't spring for a new stadium, leaving Cleveland a football wasteland, depressed, unsure of itself, angry, drug-infested, and populated with a glassy-eyed citizenry that would while away Autumn Sundays at local watering holes, staring at dreaded Bengals games and seething at the injustice of it all, gave Baltimore a new football team.

All in The Town That Lincoln Snuck Through were certain that we could relive the glory days of Lenny Moore and Johnny Unitas (and Art Schlister and Mike Pagels). Yet, try as Mob City's fathers and mothers might, the NFL would not let Baltimore have the "Colts" name back. They did let Cleveland keep the "Browns" name, which is fine for them. Except that many in Charm City cried foul. They wanted it to be like it used to be, when families came together to drink large amounts of whiskey and peppermint schnapps and get into fistfights with the dickheads from Pittsburgh and throw up at Sunday dinner. But, things change. We in The City That Reads, came to grips with this. However, we found out that, truly, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm sure they discovered the same in Cleveland. So, now, both cities are depressed, unsure of themselves, angry, drug-infested, and populated with a glassy-eyed citizenry that while away Autumn Sundays at local watering holes watching their hometown teams, and seething at the injustice of the high ticket prices that pay for the shiny new stadiums the teams play in that preclude anyone making less than 300 thousand dollars a year from actually attending a game.

But I digress.

So, I am not supposed to root for the team that Payton Manning plays for, but, I did. And I am happy that they won. I am happy for Payton, a man who respects the history of the game (and is a fine quarterback, six-five, with a rocket, laser arm...usually). I am happy for Tony Dungy, a true class act in every way. Unlike that Belichick doofus in New England...what a tool. So, there. It's out. I just hope my family will still talk to me.

Mom, Dad, Brother-man: If it's any consolation, I still hope Bob Irsay is skewered on a stick somewhere in the bowels of hell. Love ya!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a colorful backdrop you painted about football history and how it has shaped (misshaped?) places like your beloved hometown from which you presumably have been civilly excommunicated due to your rooting for that Indianapolis team which otherwise shall not be named.

I had less complex issues at hand. I was rooting for the Colts because, well, I don't know exactly why. So they'd earn their first championship. Because I dislike the Bears QB Grossman who memory serves was the QB at Florida. However, that was nearly overridden by my appreciation for the amazing Robbie Gould, former Penn Stater and awesome kicker back in the day. Maybe I also rooted for the Colts because they were down when I started watching the game midway through the first quarter.

Basically, the nature of my rooting for the Colts was a connect-the-dots to your rich, complex Picasso.

May puppy run with less treachery and you and your whistle pig find comfort in the wisdom of P. Phil. As you surely know verbatim by now, his oracle forecasts:

El Nino has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the west.
Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.

Global warming has caused a great debate.
This mild winter makes it seem just great.

On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing.
Will we have winter or will we have spring?

On Gobbler's Knob I see no shadow today.
I predict that early spring is on the way.

Kualbex to you,