Monday, December 31, 2012

The Madness of a Mother-Daughter Duo

As my Christmas present, my mom and dad bought two tickets to see the Ravens take on the Giants at M&T Bank Stadium. Steve was not invited. It was a "girls day" that Mom and I cherished.

We started the day by pregaming at Mother's Purple Patio in Federal Hill, an historic neighborhood a couple of blocks away from the stadium. The place was jam-packed with drunks and Ravens fans of all ages (21+ anyway), and the DJ was playing Baltimore remixes of classic tunes like "Baba O'Reilly" and Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" (the definitive Christmas song, in my opinion). We were able to meet up with Steve, who'd spent the night at a mutual friend's house, and Bill, a guy from our Ravens group who coincidentally was on the same flight back to Baltimore as I was. Fun times.

(L to R) Steve, me, Bill

My adorable mother, cheesin' in front of Ray-Ray's lucky number

I'm told that there's something of a family resemblance between us. Can you see it? ;)

Mom and I went to our AWESOME seats and immediately started hootin' and hollerin'. This was something of a challenge for me, as there was a little kid (8ish) in front of me, but I think I only cursed twice, and only one of those was an F-bomb. REALLY great for a person with a dirty mouth.

In the throes of Purple Passion

The game ended with a spectacular Ravens victory, a Steelers loss, and a Cowboys victory, thus allowing the home team to secure its second AFC North championship title in a row. As you can imagine, there was a great deal of pandemonium.

Not drunk, just elated and VERY, VERY COLD

I had an awesome time with my mom and enjoyed the tingling anticipation of being able to make fun of Shawn when we had both returned from our respective holiday breaks. Ray is already talking smack on Shawn's door, ready for his and Troy's response on Wednesday.

Happy SAFE New Year everyone!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vacation

The blog has been quiet this last week only because I've been back in Baltimore for Christmas and haven't had time to update. My mom and I went to the AWESOME Ravens-Giants game and lost our minds with glee. When I'm back in Denver, I'll update with pictures of our joy and at least one picture of Shawn looking sad. After all, the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs last week (thanks to the Cowboys, of all teams), so Ben gets to spend the post-season cuddling his wife and son. Happy New Year, Ben. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

GO RAVENS! PURPLE POWER!

These are the seats where my mom & I are sitting for the game. It's cold. It's loud. AND IT'S AWESOME!

The Christmas Spirit

Poor Ray. It's bad enough that he can't play because of his triceps injury. Now Troy is making fun of him! Hopefully the Ravens win today and put Troy in his place! ;)

Worst Way to Get into the Playoffs EVER

While the Ravens need to win the game against the Giants today in order to clinch the division, they're already in the playoffs thanks to Tony Romo miraculously coming through in a clutch situation and beating Pittsburgh in overtime. I was lucky enough not to watch any more than the first half of the abominable game against the Broncos, but it was obviously fury-making for the fans

Friday, December 14, 2012

Baltimore: Not Just for Murderers and Crackheads Anymore!


Transcript:

Troy: "Mr. Lewis. I'm writing a children's book about a bobble-head doll that goes to Baltimore. Can you suggest how the story may end?"

Ray: "THANKS FOR INVITING ME TO PARTICIPATE IN YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS, TROY! I'M VERY FLATTERED! AS FOR YOUR ENDING, IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE DOLL LIKES TO DO! He could see a Broadway show at the historic Hippodrome Theatre, be brought on stage, and become a famous actor. He could dine at one of our hundreds of seafood restaurants and become a crabber. The doll could visit Little Italy and join a bocce league. He could immerse himself in the city's DIY art scene and have his face melted off. There's so much more to Baltimore than murder and crack!"

Troy: "I'm talking about your game against Mr. Manning."

Ray: "...OH. THEN THE BOBBLEHEAD BREAKS!"

I get to go home to Baltimore next Friday (yes, the day the world will supposedly end), and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and going back to my old haunts. Denver's food "scene" pales in comparison to that in Baltimore, and while I'm super-bummed I won't be able to see my crazy friends put on a rock opera while I'm in town, it's nice to know that I'm from a city where such an opportunity for awesomeness even exists.

People at work have told me that I'm their "frenemy" this weekend, and Shawn has already sighed and said that he's rooting for the Broncos by default. Once again, I'll only get to watch part of the game and then listen to the second half while getting ready for my (final) performance. I hope that RvT is a positive one for the Ravens when I come into work on Monday.

CONGRATULATIONS, SHAWN!

We all know that Shawn's full of it, but now he has two fancy letters after his name that confirm it: Shawn ____, BS. Shawn has finished his last class and now has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology. Two of his coworkers, Linda and Gabe, decorated his office area this morning in celebration.

The hallway leading to Shawn's office (Note RvT on the door)

Our special snowflake in his decorated office

Shawn told me that the balloons are attached to his desk chair, so every time he glides across his office to work on a different computer, the balloons hit him in the back of the head. How fitting. ;)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sizzle in Trouble

As if coming back from an Achilles tear and a bicep tear weren't drama enough, Terrell Suggs recently had to fork over NINE person guns to police after his (ex?) fiancee filed a peace order against him.


Best comment by a fan:

jamaltimore says: Dec 7, 2012 6:27 PM
He doesn’t need guns he normally just pours bleach on her.

That made both Shawn and me spit water all over ourselves laughing.



Ding Dong Cam Cameron's Gone


John Harbaugh fired Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron today, and lo, there was much rejoicing. Sunday's play calling against the Redskins was infuriating for fans, and apparently, for players and coaches on the sidelines. It's like something doesn't fire in Cam's brain on third downs, so we end up making stupid plays. We don't run Ray Rice when it's obvious the opponent's D can't control him, & his INSISTENCE on having Michael Oher play LT instead of the blind side - LIKE HE DID IN THE DAMN BOOK AND MOVIE ABOUT HIS LIFE - has been frustrating.

Since Cam joined the Ravens, we always gone almost all the way to "The Big Game"....almost. But now that Baltimore is without its favorite whipping boy, what will our excuse be if Jim Caldwell can't step us and make the offense much, much better? Firing the OC this late in the season is a risky move, but something had to be done. If only it had happened much sooner.

Best comment by a fan on an online forum:

“I’ll drive him to the airport.”
“Pull over 20 yards short of the drop off point and call a running play.”

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bizarro Nikki

Lou is my dykey mannequin that keeps my play wig looking fresh. She's showing her purple pride today while I prepare for pre-show.


Rookie of the Year

So.....we're gonna lose today. We have NO defense. RG3 is a beast. It's FREEZING in the bar. (Thank God for pandahat!) My only hope is that the Steelers choke so I'm not the ONLY miserable one tomorrow.

 

UPDATE 12/10/12: I hate being right. :(

Friday, December 7, 2012

Faster Than A Locomotive!

Everybody loves Robert Griffin, III. He's cute, he likes Subway sandwiches, he's got great hair, and he's a threat (for a rookie, mind you) both throwing and running. He's the kind of quarterback Redskins fans have been waiting DECADES for.

There's supposedly a rivalry between Baltimore and Washington because of our proximity to one another. Anytime our baseball or football teams play each other, all you hear about is the great "Battle of the Beltway." Really though, I don't think most Ravens fans consider the Skins true competition. Hell, the Orioles and Nationals were only rivals to see who in the area could have the worse record until last year when both teams became inexplicably good. But everyone loves a rivalry, one-sided or not, so we'll let Skins fans have this one.

Ravens fans are naturally freaked out this game. We want to lock up the AFC North, and we DEFINITELY don't want to lose to a rookie. Despite his optimism in our last entry, Ray isn't going to be back on the field for this game, and Sizzle is out as well, possibly for the rest of the season, depending upon whether or not he needs surgery. Our defense is down to a few banged-up vets and third-stringers getting their big breaks.

We'll have to see how THE BATTLE OF THE BELTWAY plays out on Sunday

HE'S BACK, BABY!!


Oh, James. I like sandwiches too. <3

Baltimore sports blogs, news, and radio shows are blowing up with giddiness that our Fearless Leader and Official Mascot Ray Lewis has returned to the field for practice. Not gonna lie, I'm excited as well. Of course, I'm terrified that he's risking hurting himself more, because (and don't tell him I said this) at his age, it takes longer to heal. There's also considerable (and legitimate) concern that Sizzle is coming back too soon from his injury as well. These guys...I know we need to lock up the division, but dudes...we're playing the Broncos Peyton Manning and the Giants in a couple of weeks! Yes, everyone loves RG3; he's the break-out Rookie of the Year. But...I still can't get excited about the Redskins...which inevitably means this will be a terrible, awful game against them. I'm only doing pre-show and a scene in Act II on Sunday's matinee, so I'll be in the green room listening to the game from my Ravens app. Hopefully I remember not to scream so loudly the audience can hear me. :p

BONUS VIDEOS!!!

I hadn't seen this video yet, but while reading an article on the Ravens' official website, I saw it, and immediately fell in love.

"I'M YO FAM'LY!!"
"You're my family."

The latest Madden 2013 Rivalry between dreamboat actor Paul Rudd and not-very-good-at-playing-Madden Ray Lewis continues into the Christmas season. The men have taken their rivalry VERY SERIOUSLY, and don't even know where they are or what time it is. 

"You just fa la la la la la la la LOST!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nikki Post: Whatever Happened to...

It started when my Ravens friend Caroline sent me this gif of Mark Sanchez running into his own player's ass, fumbling the ball, and not even trying to stop the Patriots player who ran off with it:


I shared it with other Ravens friends, and we all had a good laugh at "Hotdog" Sanchez's inability to do ANYTHING right. My friend replied with standard "Man, he sucks" comments, and one of those comments got me thinking...

"How long will it be until Hotdog Sanchez is finally booted from the NFL into obscurity?"

We find ourselves five years into the future in a sleepy southwest border town in the United States. Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is now teaching PE at the only all-girl Catholic school in the area. He's changed his look a little - shorter hair, a scruffy beard, let himself get a little bit of a potbelly - and pretends that he doesn't speak English very well, so he blends in and has an excuse for not talking to outsiders very often. Mark has a little adobe house in a lower middle-class neighborhood where he lives alone except for his pitbull mix "Rex," an unspayed female who spawns litter after litter of adorable puppies that Animal Control volunteers spay/neuter and return to him so he can give them to various people throughout the small town. Almost everyone in that little village has a pitbull puppy that came from Rex.

One day, a football scout's car died in this town. The scout had just been passing through but decided to walk around town while the mechanic waited for the car part. He stopped by the girls school, thinking he'd see if there were any good soccer players he could tell his wife (a college scout for Holyoke) about, when he saw Sanchez's 4th-period gym class practicing field hockey outside. The scout - a man named Gary who loves his job - swore to himself that there was something familiar about this mild-mannered, average-looking teacher, so he sat on the bleachers to give his brain time to figure it out. Most days there's usually a group of men, mainly drunks and unemployed field hands, lazing away their afternoons staring at under-aged girls while passing around a bottle of tequila someone made in his garage. On this day, Gary asked around casually about the teacher, and the men revealed that Sanchez - SeƱor Marco, as everyone calls him - came from New York ("la gran ciudad" they called it) several years ago with just his dog and a green duffel bag. He seemed haunted by something, failure most likely, but then again, who in this town WASN'T haunted by a failure of some kind? He was nice, although clumsy, and his students loved him. Gary thanked them for their conversation and made his way back to the garage once the girls' game was finished.

It wasn't until he was zipping down the highway at 85mph, blasting Journey that Gary realized who the youngish man coaching that field hockey team was. The realization that someone so famous could fall so far so quickly almost made him swerve off the road with shock. He meant to call someone, a colleague perhaps, and tell them the news. He meant to turn around and go back to that nameless, sleepy town, track down Mark Sanchez, and ask him how he had gotten to this place after his spectacular fall from grace in the NFL. Gary meant to do a lot of things...but then his boss called and said there was a 20-year-old kid in Taos, New Mexico who could run faster than Larry Fitzgerald and catch better than Jerry Rice, so Gary pushed Sanchez's new life off to the side of his mind, intending to return to it later. He never does, of course. Ever since he left the NFL, Mark Sanchez has been easily put out of mind, and frankly, he prefers it that way.

Seriously?


The last Ravens - Steelers game of the regular season was a cluster-eff on both sides of the ball and the sidelines. Whether I was drinking heavily because of John Harbaugh's utter inability to manage the clock properly in the second half, because of Joe Flacco's inability to THROW THE BALL AWAY TO THE SIDELINE INSTEAD OF TO A STEELERS RECEIVER when pressure is on, or because Paul Kruger got a damn roughing-the-passer penalty just in time to let the Steelers win by a field goal in regulation, I was drinking heavily. Also, Audra was in town. Also, my body reminded me yesterday that I am 29 now and therefore can no longer drink like I'm 21.

This is all not to say that the Steelers looked like an elite team. For example, this happened:

Via the HuffPo

And this happened:


But at the end of the day, third-string QB Charlie Batch got to cry with joy (and shock, probably) into Big Ben's pillowy bosom because HE had won the game against the Ravens IN THEIR HOUSE against all the odds put up against him.


Needless to say, I don't remember much about Sunday evening. :p

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Best Frenemies

My best friend/Maid of Honor is a Steelers fan. (Don't blame her. She grew up in New Jersey.) She's watching the game with us at Choppers today and was spectacularly booed. I mean, a boo that echoes in the soul.
This picture represents the love we have for her anyway. <3

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ray Vs. Troy FOR REAL

Ray Lewis and Troy Polamalu are as well-know for their commercials off the field as they are for their feats of strength and prowess on the field. But WHO reigns SUPREME?! WHO is the King of the Commercials? His Highness of Hawking Stuff? I'll let you all decide...

We'll begin with Ray Lewis' most recent (and, in my opinion, most HILARIOUS) commercial about player safety. In it a mother thanks Tom Brady and a doctor for creating technology to protect football players like her son. While the internet seethed with rage about the "fakeness" of the commercial (scroll to the middle of the page for the section in question), others can at least enjoy the humor of the "twist ending."


Next let's counter with one of the original Troy commercials for Head & Shoulders. The company actually insured Troy's long, luscious, full-bodied locks for $1 million through Lloyd's of London, which also holds policies for Jennifer Lopez's butt. Is Troy's hair worthy enough to invest such a large sum of money?

I'd love to know if that's all his real hair, and they just teased it out for the commercial.
Also, I'm jealous. SO. JEALOUS.

This next Ray Lewis video is but one in a series of hilarious ads for Madden 13 by EA Sports. In it, Ray Lewis casually plays the game with real-life Steelers fan Paul Rudd (a total dreamboat). While there were many to choose from, this was Shawn's favorite.

Shawn's wife, after seeing this commercial and a few videos of Ray Ray on the field: "How is Paul Rudd still alive?!"

I'll end Troy's run with this delightful, recent advertisement featuring Troy's new school The Troy Polamalu School of Deeper Learning. (Perhaps a response to Sizzle's Ball So Hard University?) There are SO MANY great commercials in this series, but I chose this one because it's one that you've more than likely seen on your TV. I highly recommend watching "Advanced Music Appreciation." Troy and guest Brett Keisel use Spanish accents. It's...brilliantly moving.


The best was, of course, saved for last. Perhaps the best-known of Ray Lewis' commercials, this is the one that proverbially "started it all." It's his EPIC ad for Old Spice Swagger body wash. In it, Ray wears nothing but a mass of bubbles, rides a giant raven, and uses the raven's laser eyes to destroy Saturn. How can you beat that?!

P-P-P-P-PUR-PLE POW-WER!

Shawn's Despair

As you ALL know, the second Ravens-Steelers game is this Sunday. I'll be at my usual sports bar, screaming like a mad woman and wearing my uniform. Shawn prefers to stay at home watching NFL Network in his home office because "Steelers fans are fucking awful people."

He and I just finished a conversation about how he can't get excited for the game because Big Ben won't be playing, and that means they're stuck with Charlie Batch. (The decision apparently has nothing to do with the possibility of Ben being stabbed to death by his own dislocated rib, but rather because his arm strength isn't yet up to par.) Because of the travesty that was their performance in the game against the Browns, dreamy enemy head coach Mike Tomlin has benched Rashard Mendenhall and Mike Wallace. This is especially bad news bears for Wallace, as he's been angling for "Larry Fitzgerald money" all season. I somehow doubt he'll get his desired raise.

I suggested to Shawn the one way to enjoy the game was to switch allegiances and cheer for the Ravens. "How can I enjoy a game like that?" he asked. "What joy could I take in defeating an old, broken group of players?" "Just do what the rest of Ravens fans do," I sang as I skipped away from his office. "Take whatever you can get and focus on that W on your record!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shut Up.


Much can be said about the Cleveland Browns, most of which I've already ranted about in this blog. However, they were lucky enough to play against the Steelers' third-string quarterback Charlie "Cluster-F" Batch last Sunday, so they were able to eke out a win. (20-14) I couldn't talk *too* much shit, as I hadn't watched their game OR ours, due to my being in an awesome play. Luckily, our colleague Jan, the lonely Browns fan in our midst, was able to step up and cheer (for once).

School name and Shawn's last name blacked-out to protect the innocent. ;p

Shawn and I discussed the Steelers' chances of making the playoffs. Here's Shawn's take:

"Our season isn't over just yet. At 6-6 we actually are in control of one of the wild card spots. Winning out against Bmore, Cincy, Cleveland, and Dallas has us in the playoffs. If we can do so AND get some of our guys back healthy, we will be as dangerous as anyone in the playoffs."(edited for capitalization)

And here's my take:

"I always forget how the stupid wildcard spots work. Usually around this point in the season, everyone's all 'If the Steelers beat this team and that team loses to this other team and the moon is in alignment with Aquarius after Lindsay Lohan has her third DUI in three weeks, then the Steelers will get to be the wild card in the AFC and play at this stadium. HOWEVER, if the Steelers beat this team, and that team WINS against this other team and I forget to tie my shoes on Monday morning because my dog had to go to the bathroom, then the Steelers will fall into a dark abyss in the middle of their last game, much like they did in that Batman movie.' The statistics and math in sports is some of the most ridiculous, confusing stuff I have to deal with as a fan."

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Ravens are Going to Give All of Their Fans Heart Attacks


According to my many sources (drunk friends & Twitter), yesterday's game against the Chargers was one of the more stressful games of the season, which is saying something considering how many stressful games we've had so far. We went into overtime and only won thanks to the amazingness of Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, and crazy man kicker Justin "JTuck" Tucker. I was lucky enough to miss the stress and only catch the last few minutes of overtime on my Droid Ravens app (which I recommend!), as I was busy acting in a matinee performance of "It's A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play." I'm one of the leads, and I'm getting paid. It's pretty awesome.

We play the Steelers next week, which means that I'm going to get excessively drunk and possibly depressed again. Rumor is that Big Ben will be back, leaving Leftwich to nurse his broken ribs and Batch to disappear once again into third-stringer obscurity. Shawn and I (he more so than I obviously) are worried that Pittsburgh is rushing Ben back into the game too soon after his recent injury. We understand WHY the Steelers are making this move, but even with the Ravens' defense missing its hard-hitting players and having others in less-than-stellar form, we're still going to be playing with a very physical need to sweep the Steelers for the second year in a row. While I dislike Ben as a person and as a division rival, I don't want him to be crippled for the rest of his life. It'd be nice if Benjamin Roethlisberger, Jr. (actual name) could play with his dad without getting wounded by whatever prosthetic the old man will have.

Congrats to Ben and his family however. Here's hoping that fatherhood mellows him out and causes him to make better choices as a human being.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ravens > Theatre

I've been acting since I was in 3rd grade. I have a bachelor's degree in theatre. If you Google me, you'll see numerous reviews and publicity photos. I'm currently being paid (for the first time in my acting career) to play various parts in "It's A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play" at the Sherman Street Events Center in downtown Denver. (If you're in the area, http://www.goodnessgracious.org for info.)

However, the Ravens are playing the Chargers today during the time of my matinee. My call is at 1:00pm Mountain Time; the game is at 2:00pm MT. I WAS just going to throw on a tee shirt & jeans, but as I told my fiance, "It's game day, bro." Some things are more important than looking "normal" in front of colleagues/the general public. Obviously, I'll be in costume for the show, but until that time comes, I'm rocking my Ravens uniform, showing solidarity with my purple brethren.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We Give Thanks


Putting aside the politics of Thanksgiving - the Pilgrims' treatment of the Native Americans, the failures of the first settlements, and the crass consumerism and violence of Black Friday - it's a pretty nice holiday. Everyone watches football, eats too much food, and gets into awkward family conversations that inevitably to drinking too much alcohol and occasionally, weeping. (At least, that's what I'm led to believe happens thanks to television and film.) Today the boys (with special guest Big Ben) tell each other what they're most thankful for.

For those who live under a rock/don't follow the Ravens and may not have heard, Ravens safety Ed Reed was initially suspended by the league for an illegal hit during the Ravens-Steelers game on 11/18. (I watched the game, and honestly, while it was a HARD hit, I don't know that it was necessarily a dirty one.) After an appeal, Ed had the suspension reversed and now only needs to pay a $50,000 fine. Being Ed Reed though, he's complaining about having to pay a fine at all. (Seriously, bro, keep your mouth shut. We need you to play the Chargers!) My opinions on the league's new no-tolerance rules against defensive players for certain kids of hits may be expanded upon at a later date and time, so I'll say no more than I think Ed's lucky that the fine is all he got.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Enjoy watching the Lions, Cowboys, and Jets fail miserably on Thanksgiving as they (the first two teams anyway) do every year.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Because A Player's Health Isn't as Important as A Rivalry

Ben Rosen (@Rosen) tweeted at 9:21 AM on Sun, Nov 18, 2012:

Ryan Clark has had 2 concussions in 3 games. He's playing tonight with a "special helmet"...which I assume he'll be wearing a lot in his 50s

Friday, November 16, 2012

The First Most Important Purple Friday of the Regular Season


Transcript:

Troy: "Good luck this weekend Mr. Lewis. Big Ben or not, your team is going to have their hands full with the #1 pass defense in the league."

Ray: "TROY, THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT! BUT WE'VE GOT A SECRET WEAPON: WE'RE GONNA LET ACTUAL DOGS OUT TO CHEW UP YOUR DEFENDERS!"

James: "James eat rice!"

Obviously, James's comment is in reference to star running back Ray Rice, who I"m hoping is able to slide past the Steelers defenders and get us some major points on the board.

Ray's reference is to his pre-game chant, which hypes up both the players and fans alike.


I plan on being annihilated on Sunday night and possibly hung over on Monday morning. I don't do well with Ravens-Steelers games, as the pressure is always on, and the game always a close one. We're lucky that Ben is out, along with other key Steelers players, but we're also lacking a lot of things, and this season has been weird and rough. Honestly? As usual, it's a toss-up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

...Alternative title, based on James's contribution to the conversation: "Forever Alone."


Big Ben joins a new gentlemen's association that I like to call The Sideliners Club. After squeaking out a win in overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs, it was revealed that Big Ben's shoulder injury is more serious than everyone previously thought. While I dislike when any player gets injured, I'm pretty stoked about this one, I have to say. After all, the Ravens do SIGNIFICANTLY better against the Steelers when they're playing a back-up quarterback, and considering the stressful year we're having, I could use a relatively easy Ravens-Steelers match-up next week.

Injured Ravens Players

1. Lardarius Webb, arguably one of the best guys we have on defense off the line
2. Ray Lewis, the "heart and soul" of the team, although he'd been slowing up as his age caught up to him
3. Bobby Rainey showed some real talent as Ray Rice's back-up/mini-me

Injured Steelers Players

1. Antonio Brown
2. Rashard Mendenhall
3. Troy Polamalu
4. Let's be real...ever since coming back, James Harrison hasn't been performing the same as before his injury (although I'd never tell HIM that!)

It'll be interesting to see how next Sunday night's match-up between these two bitter rivals will go. All I can say definitively is that I will be severely hung over come Monday morning.

PS: I'm just gonna leave this hilarious comic strip of love right here: http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/2011/02/photo-story-the-ballad-of-bathroom-ben-roethlisberger/

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Veterans Day, Shawn!

And a happy Veterans Day to all the other men, women, and DOGS! (because they're vets too) who have fought abroad for freedoms that we all take for granted. Special love to my two vets Mike and Pat; I'm VERY glad that you're both home safely. And much respect to Kevin, our school's HR Director, who is also a vet and has a pic in his office of him and his brothers-in-arms hanging out with Robin Williams. No big deal.


The boys give Shawn a special shout-out today for his service doing IT work in the Air Force in Iraq. To be honest, we could end a LOT of wars by sending James Harrison into enemy camps by himself. Just toss an unwitting terrorist a football and say, "Sic him, James!" and the rest will take care of itself.

Transcribed note from Shawn in upper right corner:

"Thanks guys! And thank you to everyone that paid taxes while I was in!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

James's Opus





Transcript:

James: "Gentlemen, It is my sincere hope that on this, the day of election in our great nation, we can set aside our differences and find common ground. We can cast aside the miniscule abnormalities that have come to set us against each other in a battle of spirit, determination, and wits. We can forgo the unnecessary shackles of Red, Blue, Purple, and Gold to join as one voice. One voice that clearly declares Rex Ryan as the most overrated coach in the league! Thank you, my dear sirs. Thank you."

Shawn is out of control.

I am tickled pink that James finally had his moment to shine. As I wait to cast my first ballot as a Coloradan, a tear comes to my eye thinking about how James is trying to unite ALL parties - Republican, Democrat, Ravens fans, and Steelers fans.

I think we can also ALL agree - even Jets fans - that Rex Ryan needs to STFU and get his QBs to actually learn how to win games.

Also, this is what James's speech reminds me of:


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Speaking of Bumblebees...

Fan of the blog Kelsey sent in this picture of Big Ben REALLY rockin' the "Sexy Bumblebee" look:


She found the image on Reddit (of course), so I can't credit the Photoshop wizard who made this delightful, sexy picture, but if s/he finds this post, please know that you have made me very happy. Thank you.

UPDATE: The source of the photo is a Ravens sub-Reddit poster named LadyRavenEye. Muchas gracias!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Know Why They Call Them "Throwbacks"...

...because you wanna THROW THEM BACK where they came from! hahahahaha / lolololol / etc.


Transcript:

Ray: "HEY TROY! SORRY YOU MISSED THE CHANCE TO DRESS UP AS A SEXY BUMBLEBEE ON SUNDAY! DID YOU WEAR ANOTHER COSTUME? *snicker*"

Troy: "Mr. Lewis. I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but the bee is an important part of the ecosystem and is vital to our planet. And I dressed up as a sexy nurse."

James: "JAmeS giVE STinGeR!"

I've decided to write James as speaking in random letters to solidify the idea that he's hit his head so many times he no longer knows how to communicate like a regular person. (Also, he's got great taste in double entendres and puns.)

For those who missed it, the Steelers played the Redskins in Ketchup Field...er...Heinz Field while wearing yellow-and-black striped jerseys and socks and tan pants. For those of us who can see - in color, especially - it was a horrible thing to behold.


Back-up QB Charlie Batch asks, "What do you think?" The world replies, "No."

As one online blogger put it: "You know it's bad when even The Onion makes fun of your uniforms." (To be fair, I'd think it worse if The Onion DIDN'T make fun of your uniforms. That would mean they were so awful, the fake-newspaper would feel like it was kicking a cancerous puppy while it was slowly gasping its last breath. So don't worry, blogger! Your Steelers are doing just fine!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Personally, I Prefer Strawberry


Transcript:

Troy: "Mr. Lewis. Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla and who do you think is going to win the AFC?"

Ray: "TROY! I LIKE MY ICE CREAM LIKE I LIKE MY WOMEN: CHOCOLATE AND A LITTLE NUTTY! THAT'S WHY I LIKE ROCKY ROAD! IT'S LIKE MY LIFE, TROY: A DELICIOUS ROCKY ROAD TO SUCCESS!"

James: "JAMES WIN AFC!"

I like how Ray skirted the question about who would win the AFC this year by over describing his love of chocolate ice cream. Slick like a politician.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NFL Quarterback Rankings

I don't really have any commentary on this link, which I found the other day and KNEW I had to share with all of you. All I'll say is that the picture of Jay Cutler made me laugh for a solid minute and a half.

Your Team is Bad, and You Should Feel Bad

The Cleveland Browns are the biggest joke in the NFL. I'm pretty sure that even when the Lions had their "perfect season" where they didn't win a single game, they wrote it off as a fluke and told themselves, "Hey, man, at least we're not the Browns."

Browns fans are GREAT at holding a grudge for decades. Like Baltimore Colts fans, Cleveland fans are STILL angry that their team abandoned them, being sold to Baltimore under a new name and eventually winning a Super Bowl a few years later. When the Browns reformed, they just...they weren't the same anymore. (For a more detailed history of the Browns and why they're awful, go to Google.) Their fans - the "dawg pound" - started wearing bags over their heads at games. Games were blacked out IN THEIR OWN CITY. (When the Ravens-Texas game was taken off CBS's national coverage and switched to another game, I drunkenly moaned, "Now I know how Browns fans feel!")

It's bad enough that the city of Cleveland doesn't really have anything going for it, as illustrated by this silly (and catchy) "travel ad":


And this follow-up to the above "Cleveland travel ad":


So yeah. As you can see, no one likes Cleveland. And the fans have really started to give up hope. A Buzzfeed contributor wrote this article, showing how pathetic the most recent Browns game was, using .gifs to illustrate his pain. (The whiffed extra point is my favorite.)

In conclusion, I'm sorry to any Browns fans out there that read this blog. I'm sorry to residents (and former residents) of Cleveland who may be offended. Y'all are an easy target, and here I am, mercilessly kicking you when you're down. But honestly, after the way the Ravens played against the Texans, I need a Charlie Brown to make me feel better about my miserable team.

The Five Stages of Grief: Denial


Anyone who saw Sunday's Ravens game against the Texans knows not to mention the game to Ravens fans. It was...I don't want to say "indescribably bad," because I CAN describe how bad it was, just not in words that can be used in polite company. I'll just say that I got MUCH drunker than I had intended to (ended up snoozing in my car in the bar's parking lot) and took my glasses off after the second quarter. (I need them to see the TV from my perch 10 feet away.)

Fuzzy-eyed, despondent, and furious after my phone died and I could no longer tweet my frustrations (plus, I'm a belligerent drunk), I felt only a sliver of the negative emotions the players must have felt when they realized that their game was absolutely FUBAR.

Torrey Smith understands my pain (Source)

Imagine being Ray Lewis! He just had surgery and couldn't fly with his team to cheer and coach from the sideline. He's getting on in years, and he knows he isn't playing his best anymore. This year could be his last shot at getting a second Super Bowl ring to adorn his manly hands. Despite the rough beginning to this season, his team is still 5-1, and Sizzle, the explosive soul of the team, is back! Ray knows the Ravens might not win, but he still expects a good, hard-fought, close game.

Then THAT happened.

Who can blame Ray for denying that their game against the Texans ever happened? Certainly not Troy; he's too polite to push the subject any further. Certainly not James; he's too brain dead from years of hard, mostly-illegal hits. I'm surprised he can still speak. The only comforts the Ravens can take to bed with them at night are that they're still #1 in the AFC North, and...at least they're not the Browns.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stone Cold Lock of the Century (of the Week)

Carl of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" picks the Houston Texans to beat the Ravens this week and drops a little poetry on us.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bizarro World


Now that Ray Lewis is out for the rest of the 2012 season (but not retiring...yet), he obviously has a lot of time to think and watch other teams play football. And he's noticed a disturbing trend. The AFC North is in shambles, with the Bengals and the Steelers tied for second, two games behind the Ravens. (The Browns, as always, are at the bottom of the deck with just one win (against Cincinnati) so far this season. At least SOMETHING is constant in our lives.) Perhaps most shocking of all, however, is that the NFC division - usually a group of one or two good teams per division (except the NFC West, which is just terrible) - has more teams with winning records so far this year than the AFC does. (Only the Ravens and the Texans have winning records...and they play each other this upcoming Sunday.)

As Chase Stuart notes in his blog entry for The New York Times, the NFL is supposed to be a "parity-filled league in which any team could win on a given Sunday." As long as I've paid attention to football, however, it hasn't been that way. Everyone knows the Browns and the Bears stink. The NFC West is a joke. (Heck, the Seahawks went to the play-offs in 2011 with a LOSING RECORD!) And most football fans can name multiple quarterbacks and players who find any way to defeat themselves and give the game to the other team. (*cough*TonyRomo*cough*)

No wonder Ray is so worried! Everything he knows about football is being turned on its head, including the size of his former defensive coordinator Coach Rex "Fatty" Ryan! (See below for shocking weight loss photos. Seriously, I had totally forgotten how morbidly obese he used to be. Oy.)

Source: KingLaLa.com

Hopefully everything will right itself soon. The Steelers will return to dominance and fight with the Ravens for the title of AFC North Champion, leaving the Bengals and the Browns deeply in the dust. The Ravens' defense will get back to its previous strength while the offense continues to improve and stay on top of its game. Other leaders in the AFC will remember that they're being paid millions of dollars to win instead of bringing shame upon their home cities. And hopefully the only thing that DOESN'T change is the Patriots losing. Because to hell with Tom Brady.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sidelined


Ray Lewis is out for the rest of the 2012 NFL season. He tore his right triceps muscle in the (embarrassing) game against the Cowboys on 10/14, and now he'll have to stand on the sideline, his arm in a sling, unable to scramble around the field, waiting for that one, beautiful moment when his body collides with someone else's, causing an deafening CRACK! to echo through the stadium.

Analysts and fans are debating whether or not the Ravens' struggling (to be polite) defense will actually miss Ray Lewis, as he isn't as on top of the game as he used to be. (Although his stats could suggest otherwise.) Honestly, I believe that we're missing the impact of Terrell Suggs (ACL) and Jarrett Johnson (stupidly traded to another team) more, but we'll see if Ray's absence from the field is noticeable. Ray Rice has done a commendable job doing the "Ray Lewis Dance" when coming out of the tunnel, and the elder Ray can still give his inspirational speeches to the other players and offer assistance from the sidelines.

But what everyone REALLY wants to know is...will Ray Lewis retire after this season? Has he finally accepted his mortality and that a player of his passion and caliber can't play for so long without being left behind? If the Ravens somehow win a ring this year, he'll get one, and perhaps retirement won't sting so much. But if they don't....he'll have to make do with one and wonder if he wasted all these years in Baltimore chasing something that just wasn't meant to be.

Looks Like I'll Need A New Tag for the Blog

Shawn came to visit me this morning, casually telling me to Google news for "Alameda Ta'amu," a rookie lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Intrigued, I did so while he waited to see what my reaction would be. It turns out that the 22-year-old decided to go on a balls-to-the-wall crime spree.

Here's the run-down for people who don't want to click on the link:

Ta'amu was drunk driving (blowing a 0.196) in a busy part of Pburgh at night. He was swerving over the double-yellow and hitting parked cars, including one that had a woman in it. (She had to go to the hospital with "severe swelling to the head.") Off-duty police officers ran after him, guns drawn, yelling for him to stop. He didn't. His car finally got totaled enough that he jumped out and ran off, removing his shirt in the process.

The cops finally cornered him in a parking lot. It took two sets of handcuffs and two punches to the head to subdue him enough to make the final arrest. He paid his $25,000 bail and has been released.

Winning comment from an ESPN article about the "incident":

PensFaninFL3: "Quickest way to end a possibly promising Steelers career. The Bengals might be interested in him now, though." - October 15 2012, 5:41 AM
 
And winner for Understatement of the Year goes to the Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, who had this to say about his player's actions: "We are disappointed to hear about the situation regarding Alameda Ta'amu."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bobble Bobble Bobble


It took a MONTH for these guys to arrive in Denver from Baltimore, perhaps due to my mailman's "laziness" (the word a Baltimore postal employee used), but they're worth the wait.

Behold, Terrell Suggs (sans teeth) and Torrey Smith (dreads included).

Keepin' up with the Kids


Transcript

Troy: "Mr. Lewis, I hear that your weight loss has made it difficult for you to hold up against the run. Is that true?"

Ray: "TROY, MAN, I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING TO KEEP UP WITH THESE KIDS, BUT THEY'RE TOO FAST! I'VE GAINED MUSCLE, LOST WEIGHT, PAID T.O. $100 TO LET ME CHASE HIM, RUN THROUGH QUICKSAND, AND EVEN ATE A CHEETAH - BONES, FUR, AND ALL - TO GET ITS SPEED! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!"

Troy: "Retire?"

Ray: "YOU'RE ONE TO TALK!!"

James Harrison: "JAMES MISS TROY!"

Troy: "I miss you too, Mr. Harrison."

Troy is simply pointing out what everyone in the NFL is whispering. "Ray's lost a step." "He shouldn't have lost all that weight." "The Ravens are the 29th-ranked defense in the league because Ray isn't the force he used to be."

Ray, however, doesn't listen to the criticism. He's a team player, first and foremost, and believes that while there's still room for improvement, his team has a winning record, and in terms of things like the race to the Super Bowl, that's what matters this early in the season.

PS: Shawn has decided that he likes the addition of little James Harrison has a non-sequitor-spewing, Hulk-talking guest star. So until we get bored of him, he'll be sticking around for a while.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Michael Vick Needs Better Insurance


Troy played for the first time this season against the Philadelphia Eagles. He had a calf injury which kept him sullenly on the sidelines. Shawn was very excited to have him back, as the Steelers, before this game, were an improbable 1-2. Also returning to the world of hard hits was James Harrison, a man that Shawn and I agree is a terrible human being with no soul, no conscience, and an uncanny ability to destroy other human beings with merciless accuracy. It's obvious that Michael Vick's offensive line apparently hates him. (I'm having difficulty finding statistics on the number of times he's been sacked/knocked down so far this year, so here's a .gif of Ziggy Hood doing a dance after destroying poor Michael during Sunday's game.) The fact that Michael Vick isn't dead, in traction, or seriously mentally damaged is a large miracle.

Unfortunately, Troy injured his calf again during the game; it's uncertain when he'll be able to return. :(

Ray and Science


Troy is very sweet to congratulate (although not TOO much; he IS a Steeler after all) Ray and the Ravens on their winning record 4 weeks into the season. Of course, a perfectionist like Ray Lewis could never be satisfied with only a 75% success rate! Luckily for him, science exists and with it, time travel. Granted, I don't think Ray fully understands the ethical issues with changing the past, but I also don't think he cares.

(Note: I tried several times over the last few days to post this from my Blogger app, but it didn't work, so now the Ravens' record in the photo is out of date. We're currently 4-1 after BARELY squeaking out a win against the Chiefs.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NO! SLEEP! TIL THE SUPER BOWL!


Transcript

Troy: "Mr. Lewis, I'm worried about you and the Ravens. You had a very stressful game Sunday night against the Patriots. You play again this Thursday, and don't have a bye til week 8. How will you stay energized? When will you rest?"

Ray: "TROY! SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK! I HAVEN'T SLEPT IN 7 YEARS! I FIGURED WITH HOW YOU PLAY YOU KNEW THIS."

Troy: "I'm sorry to be offended, Mr. Lewis, but what are you insinuating?"

Ray: "REAL MEN DON'T SLEEP"

Troy: "We'll have to agree to disagree."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday Night Football

As anyone who watched the entire Ravens vs. Patriots game knows, the ending was a nail-biter, made even more frustrating by stupid penalties, fake penalties, and an excellent icing-the-kicker call by Bill Bellicheck. The fans at my local bar were on the edges of their seats; some because of anxiety, and several because of complete drunkenness. (I was in both categories.)

As the minutes ticked by, and Joe Flacco and his offensive teammates stormed down the field towards the end zone, I couldn't contain my nervousness! Instead of biting my nails or drinking more (my usual reactions to anxiety), I did this:


That, friends, is your common drink stirrer, chewed to bits by my $10,000 teeth. (9 years of orthodontics.)

When JTuck (as I'm now referring to Justin Tucker, the Ravens' rookie kicker) kicked his second field goal attempt, half of the bar (myself included) screamed, "NOOOOO!!!" thinking he had missed it. The other half screamed, "YESSSSS!!!!" seeing the refs call it fair. I watched the replay several times, and I still don't think it went through, but then again, I'm not really qualified to make that decision. (Neither are the replacement refs! BOOM!) A win is a win, though, and I'm glad that the Ravens were able to squeak out a W for their teammate Torrey Smith, who lost his little brother early Sunday morning in a motorcycle accident. If you want a good cry, go to the Ravens website and watch the video of his "speech" to the team.

Hopefully, despite the awful officiating we saw on Monday Night Football, the Ravens - Browns game won't be as nail-bitingly close. I don't know that my poor heart can take it!

Grocery Shopping


Wow. Just noticed the egregious grammatical error Ray said. My most sincere apologies. At the time, I was VERY concerned about cookies. After Shawn saw the post, I told him that HE should consider buying me a cookie.

"If I do that," he replied. "I'd have to buy myself a cookie. Then I'd have to tell my wife I had a cookie, and she'd be mad."

"You don't have to tell your wife everything," I pointed out.

"We don't keep secrets from each other. If she asks, I'd tell her."

"What's the likelihood that your wife would ask if you had a cookie today?!"

"You never know with her..."

In the end, Shawn not only bought me one cookie, he bought me TWO cookies, AND he bought cookies for everyone in the dean's office who wanted one. One of our associate deans brought in cookies too, so I was pretty much in cookie-coma heaven for the rest of the afternoon.

PS for non-Marylanders: "Superfresh" is, as you can probably tell, a grocery store. Many of them were going out of business when I left Maryland last year, however, so I don't know if they still exist.

My Email to Roger Goodell

Dear Commissioner Goodell,

I know that you (and your administrative assistant, bless her/his soul) have been inundated with phone calls and emails today not just in reference to last night's Packers/Seahawks game, but also in regards to the replacement referee "scandal" in general. As countless others have told you, your greed and inability to reach a satisfactory conclusion with the referees' union has made you the most hated man in the NFL.

Fans are calling for your resignation, and players are taking to social media to risk their paychecks and their careers to call you out. There are talks of walk-outs on national television, more chants like Ravens fans did on Sunday night, and a boycott of purchasing concessions and NFL merchandise until the lock-out is resolved. From a business standpoint, you have shot yourself in the foot. The union now has the upper hand in negotiations. The professional referees know that you are in a serious bind; they have the leverage to demand perhaps even more than what they had originally asked.

I am not a businesswoman. I am not qualified in the slightest to tell you how to do your job. What I am, however, is a die-hard fan of the Baltimore Ravens specifically and of the NFL in general. I follow multiple players on Twitter and Facebook. I own two jerseys and countless tee-shirts, bobble-heads, and Ravens paraphernalia. I belong to a group of other die-hard Ravens fans who gather every week in our favorite bar in Denver to watch the game. Every single one of us shows up in jerseys, and every single one of us also owns a wealth of Ravens gear. Despite this great love, I am actually considering boycotting the game this Thursday. For anyone who knows me, this is inconceivable. I have planned my wedding around the Ravens' schedule. I have planned theatre rehearsals and work times around my team's schedule. While you may think that one person skipping a game won't change anything, I hope you know that I am not alone. There are hundreds, thousands more like me who are going to stop tuning into games, who are going to walk-out on national television, who will make their voices heard until you step up and act like the responsible businessman you claim to be.

You have angered one of the most loyal and vocal fan bases in professional sports. I hope you finally recognize this fact, end the lock-out, and return integrity to the National Football League.

Sincerely,

Nikki C.
Baltimore Ravens fan

Thursday, September 20, 2012

No Harm Shall Come to Tom Brady


Transcript:

Troy: "Mr. Lewis, Tom Brady and the Patriots are in town for you on Sunday night. I bet they are upset over their loss last week, and they don't lose back to back games. Any plans to change that?"


Ray: "STATISTICALLY SPEAKING, TROY, YOU'RE RIGHT! WE ALREADY HAVE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE, THOUGH, AND I'M GONNA KIDNAP ALL THE TIGHT ENDS TO GUARANTEE A RAVENS WIN!"

Troy: "Why not just kidnap Tom Brady?"

Ray: "WHOA, TROY! THAT'S A FEDERAL CRIME! I'D GET THE CHAIR FOR THAT!"

*Shawn wanted me to add a note stating that he doesn't think that Troy would suggest that Ray kidnap anyone, particularly a fellow football player. However, I was running out of room and needed Troy to bring up Brady so I could give Ray's punchline.

For those who may not know much about football, Tom Brady is regarded as something of a god in the NFL. He has his own rule to make sure he doesn't get hurt. (I don't know how often it gets called for other quarterbacks, however.) Of course, to fans, he's considered a pansy. I mean, the man MODELS UGGS, people. Seriously. (Warning: the pansy link takes you to a hilarious Yahoo! answers page. Naughty language and a complete slaughtering of the English language are present.)

This will be a great revenge match for the Ravens, as the Patriots were the reason we didn't get to go to the Super Bowl last year. Between Lee Evans's dropped pass and Billy Cundiff's missed field goal (I'm honestly surprised that he didn't receive death threats), the game was an absolute heart-breaker. The Ravens will also be "upset," as Troy so mildly put it.

Also!! My mom's going to be in town for the game! I'll probably post a picture of us in our "uniforms" on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Black Sheep of the AFC North


Transcript:

Troy: "Tough game yesterday [Sunday, September 16] Mr. Lewis. The division is at 1-1 except for the Browns. Think it's going to be a close season?"

Ray: "YOU KNOW, TROY, EVERY SEASON IS A CLOSE SEASON IN THE AFC NORTH! ALL THE TEAMS HAVE GREAT PLAYERS WHO GIVE IT THEIR ALL...EXCEPT THE BROWNS."

Poor Cleveland Browns. They just haven't been the same since Art Modell (R.I.P.) moved them from Ohio to Baltimore, thus creating one of the greatest (arguably) football teams ever.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Broncos Fans Celebrate Shawn's Misery


The day after the Steelers lost to the Broncos in prime time to a national office, my boss Lyndsey, who has season tickets to the Broncos games, donated this "terrible towel" to Shawn, presumably to wipe his tears away, although she donated it without comment.

Shawn was mysteriously absent from work on Monday, claiming later that he had a "doctor's appointment" that day. Instead of going the usual Steelers fan route and making excuses for why his team lost - suggested excuses were the absence of James Harrison and Ryan Clark, and "Mike Wallace is a punk" - Shawn admitted that the Broncos' defense had out-played the Steelers' offense. After some ribbing for his "reasonableness," however, Shawn pointed out that "it's easy to be reasonable when we had 7 starters out with injuries and still pushed the game to the end."

Also, just a note to make Shawn publicly accountable for holding up his end of the bet, he owes Marshall $5.