Talking Points: An old fashioned rant

How the fuck are you this morning?

Welcome to an old fashioned, ladies and gents. Sit down, because this will take a while. Get that scrolling index finger ready. It’s time to kick it old school and just unleash a rant. I spend so much time writing “columns” aka organized assholes. No guarded and proper stories that are spaced out perfectly around ads or rejected because they are too bruising to egos or reputations. When I started the Dose five years ago, I wanted the trigger code to read, “Write Whatever The Fuck I Please”. There will lots of fucks in this blog by the way so brace yourself. You know, that word we use a ton but don’t want to write digitally or in print because our professional tag may get stained. Fuck it, let’s say whatever we want. There will be long winded uncut paragraphs that would make an English professor spit out his whiskey soaked cup of hot tea. I don’t care. I flunked out of college. This blog won’t be proofread either, so spare me the corrections or keyboard gangster feel good segments. Forward your punctuation police tickets to my four year son, who will promptly tell you, “Put on Netflix and leave my dad alone.” Let’s talk.

Thank you UFC. MMA. Whatever. Give it a name and I’ll buy a tri-blend t-shirt with it on the chest. Dana White’s entourage of brutal asskickers is growing for one simple reason. He makes fight cards that contain unknowns. Thrillers. His fights have upset written all over them. Unlike boxing promoters, who design fights like their dick is holding a pair of tweezers over a microscope and burning candle, White shows zero fear in matching different styles in a ring. He put Ronda Rousey, the cover of GIRL POWER Nation, in a ring with a kickboxer for christs sakes! He put Conor McGregor in the ring with a ground and pound specialist. He embraces the “You Never Know” every single card. That is why local bars and pubs are showing UFC fights and NOT boxing fights. The hype is matched by the fights and humans love carnage. While you may resemble a whistle blowing bitch on the NFL and other violence, nothing gets more retweets on twitter than a single punch knockout or violent vine. Since our birth, violence is like CRACK. If we can’t be the ones fighting in that ring, we MUST SEE it. Over and over. Who watches the replay of a knockout or submission one time? Nobody. Mother Teresa would have said damn when Holly Holm aka the Preacher’s Daughter went to sleep with a minute left in the fight. Thank you Dana White for having BALLS.

Respect to Conor McGregor for having class after a huge loss. Instead of leaving the ring like a petulant bitch(Hey Ronda), Conor stayed and took the heat. He did the postfight Q&A and the presser. The guy moved up two weight classes(25 pounds people) to accept the replacement challenge of Nate Diaz. He threw everything but the chairs at ringside at Diaz in their nearly two round fight. He tried. The Irish Tazmanian Devil has lightning quick hands and opened holes all over Diaz’s face but the challenger just kept coming. When it was all over, and the lights were going out, The Notorious One made a last second lunge for Diaz and fell into a trap. He tapped. He is no longer invincible in the UFC, and added his 3rd loss to his overall MMA record. He’ll be back. He is still the 145 pound champ and main shit disturber. He can pick his next opponent. Fighters still fear him and should. He’s got some blood dripping from his shoulder now. He’s wounded. Pissed off. I like Conor because he backs up his big talk with big time efforts and he is fucking fearless. You tell him the brick wall in front of him won’t break and he’ll spend a few hours punching and kicking it trying to defy logic. He takes challenges and fights his ass off. It’s not all smoke and mirrors. I’ll be watching.

Spring Training sucks. Really. Look, there’s nothing wrong with sitting down and watching these fake games. Everybody does. Just don’t slam people for not caring or having the strong opinion that getting worked up over Jupiter battles is futile. March exists for one reason. Repetition and recovery. Pitchers and hitters getting back what was rusty. It’s not about their batting average or strikeout total. The only thrill of watching spring training is seeing young players like Harrison Bader get a little tunnel of opportunity. Other than that, stay healthy, stay off motorcycles, and come to the regular season ready. There’s 162 games in a season folks. These games don’t count and matter little. Watch them but don’t lose sleep or breath. It’s not worth it. Look at Matt Holliday. When he saw his name on the lineup card playing first base, his back tightened up.

Will the Blues choke? I’ve already been asked this question and not for bad reasons. In a little over a month, the Blues will most likely start their first round playoff series. It’s getting close. That time of the year where a Blues fan gets really hopeful before their heart is ripped out of their chest and basketball is played with it. Will this team choke? I’ve written so many pieces on them for St. Louis Game Time this season, and a lot of it has been complaining. The Rogues in Blue have a way of frustrating their fanbase while compiling a great regular season record.

The Blues are like Peyton Manning before 2006. A great regular season contender who becomes less in the playoffs. Now, Peyton just retired and I will get to him later but the comparison is fitting. The Blues have made the playoffs over 35 times since their inception. A lot. They haven’t won much this past decade. A few series and a lot of blue balls and unsatisfied desires. Is 2015-16 different? I’d like to say yes but I just don’t think so. They have 85 points but still don’t score enough. Their team hasn’t been completely healthy that much this season, but few teams are. It’s all about executing when the spotlight gets wide and hot. Not about excuses or how much effort was shown. I see guys who weren’t here last year like Colton Parayko and Robby Fabbri. They are the real deal and may give the team something extra. Then I see the team going seven games and scoring 2 goals or less in five of those contests and get worried. This team is too hard to read. Will they choke? Don’t ask me that question yet. Where’s that red haired lady from Game of Thrones? Ask her.

Carlos Martinez is a better pitcher than Michael Wacha. It’s not even close. If you need reasons, check out my piece later this week at Redbird Rants(shameless plug!).

Peyton Manning will officially retire today and it’s a perfect ending to a great career. The man had a helluva run. Instead of bucking and going to the Los Angeles Go Fuck Yourself Rams, he will hang up his cleats. He screamed “OMAHA” for the last time in the Super Bowl he won with the help of a great defense. Manning has two rings, every single worthy QB regular season record and he has tons of class. Read a few stories on what his guy has done throughout his career for people in his community. Calling victims of violence or their loved ones in a time of need. He called the parents of Jessica Redfield, the woman killed in the Aurora movie theater shootings, days after her death. Forget the hack claims that he sexually assaulted a woman in college. Those claims ran into a brick wall. I love hearing about something that happened 18 years ago being used as a weapon today. Fuck those butthurt fools!

Manning goes out on top. Riding off into the sunset while flipping Kroenke the bird. He did what he needed to do. Won the elusive 2nd Super Bowl ring and can now enter the top 5 quarterbacks of all time. Unlike Tom Brady, controversy or a stupid Pete Carroll play call never brought down Manning’s achievements. He did it all clean and the hard way. The man was left for dead in 2011 after a neck surgery severed his ties with the Indianapolis Colts. He had four neck surgeries and still came all the way back to lead his team to two Super Bowls. How many players took two different teams from mediocrity or shit to the promise land a pair of times? He took the Colts and Broncos to the big game twice,and gave each town a title. How many quarterbacks did that? How many did it at such a late age? Peyton’s boss, John Elway, did and that’s kind of cool.  Manning could have went to LA, Houston, or some other shithole and took more abuse and probably finished with a 9-7 or 8-8 record. Fuck that. Leave with your mind and body intact. So many players leave on a stretcher. They leave on a mental slab of metal, unable to convince their mind that the body has taken enough damage. It’s not just the sacks or quarterback rushes. It’s the late hits these days. That shit hurts. Remember Troy Aikman and Kurt Warner getting slammed and smashed during their final days. Do they regret it? Their mouth will say no but their cartilage and muscles will say yes. Manning avoids all of that. Good for him. Get on that horse and go host Saturday Night Live some more(because it SUCKS) and do some commercials.

With Peyton’s exit and the Rams move, I am without a team and favorite player. I won’t be acquiring a new team or favorite player. Not now. I won’t be watching much NFL action next year. The league took a BIG dump on my hometown and frankly, I’ve been slowly losing interest in its play. A bunch of dumb bastards hitting other dumb bastards. Lots of inactivity. Lots of commercials. A Super Bowl driven by commercials. A league driven purely by greed with little care for its fans. Since my team and my player are gone, so am I. I am not saying I won’t watch. That would be a flat out lie. I just won’t care as much as I did before, and that’s a stance I won’t waver on. The NFL isn’t family or a friend. They are a stranger on the street who used to be good looking and worthy of my attention.

Canelo Alvarez is going to smoke Amir Khan in May. It may be an interesting fight for a few rounds, but once Saul sizes up his foe, the fists will unleash a tormenting pain that the glass jar of Khan won’t be able to withstand. Later this year, Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin will come together for the biggest fight in boxing since….Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. last year. This fight will be worth every single penny because these guys will fill out their medical forms completely, not let off site politics get in the way and they will stand and trade shots until one of them drops. That may be the last worthy PPV contest for a few years. Or ten.

Fuck Manny Pacquiao. In case you thought my dose last week was quiet fumes, my stance holds up. When he compared homosexuals to animals, he lost my support. If your religion doesn’t allow you to support something, that’s fine. Choice is what REALLY drives this world and life anyway. Believe in what you want. Comparing a gay man or lesbian woman to an animal is disrespectful, stupid, and simply uncalled for. I hope Timothy Bradley takes the real Mickey(Teddy Atlas) and kicks Manny’s ass six ways from Saturday. True thought: Manny stopped being an electric fighter when Juan Manual Marquez stopped his clock back in 2013.

What do I miss most about St. Louis? Family, the streets, Busch Stadium and other regulatory shit but I miss the FOOD the most. Good food. Easy to find good food. Mom’s Deli. Dewey’s Pizza. Zia’s on the Hill. La Cosecha Coffee and Shaw’s Coffee. Tucker’s Steak House. Johnnies in Soulard. Uncle Bills. I even miss Quik Trip. I envy the folks who get Tim Horton’s 24/7 coffee service off Olive downtown. Arkansas food sucks monkey balls.

The election is going to be a fucking gong show folks. Who are you voting for? The answer is you are fucking crazy. All these candidates suck. Republican, Democrat, Independent, Dependent on Stupid, Co-Dependent on French Fries, or whatever. If Donald Trump is elected, we are doomed. If Ted Cruz is elected, he won’t produce any real change. What happened to all the truly good Presidents? When did it become a need to vote for the candidate least likely to do serious damage to our country? This is terrible. Like cold coffee cold Chinese food cold gravy dry turkey bad terrible. I’m not voting for anybody. I’m writing in Henry Rollins. He won’t win but I’ll sleep at night knowing I scribbled down a name that would reestablish the order. An agent of chaos maybe! Washington stinks. Like Twain said, change the diaper.

How the hell do guys grow a beard past 10 weeks? I hit the NINE week mark on Sunday. Nine. I have hair covering my lips. There’s a bush on my face and it creates odd weird stenches that I don’t want to describe. I love my beard. I am not comfortable without hair on my face. Not on my head. On my face. I started growing a beard about a year ago and will have one until I leave this rock. There’s something sophisticated about having a bald head and beard. People look at me like I shouldn’t be taken for granted and also wonder if they could grow something like that. I just wonder how guys grow a beard past 10 weeks without any trimming. I’m getting a trim on Wednesday. I’ve met my match. 9 and a half weeks. Here’s to you Mickey.

Watch Paul Sparks on Boardwalk Empire and then watch him in House of Cards. Now that is an actor. Two completely different characters yet a little similarity. Riveting. Yes, you have no idea who Paul Sparks is so let me help.

Suicide Squad will be better than Batman vs Superman. Why? Better director, story, and a more assured idea of what it wants to be. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne will be the highlight of BvS. If you don’t care, save me the “I don’t watch Comic Book films.” Or be more original.

Can I talk to you about Frank Grillo? You know him well here. He leads “non Cardinal” story searches on the Dose. If you don’t know who he is, that’s a shame. He’s my favorite actor. An authentic 52 year old badass who is riding the height of a cannon blast that started eight years ago with a film called Pride and Glory. You never heard of it. Gavin O’ Connor directed this underrated gem about corrupt cops tied together through the hard string of family and gang violence. Edward Norton, Colin Farrell and Jon Voight all killed in it. One guy, Grillo, popped up in a scene that I won’t soon forget. A dirty cop terrorizing a clerk at a drug store for money and free shit, Grillo’s evil grin painted a couch in your memory. One scene is all he needed.

After that, there’s another O’Connor gem, Warrior. Grillo’s Frank Campana is a character he took off the page as a paper thin cardboard character and made him three dimensional. The Grey, End of Watch, and Captain America: Winter Soldier. All films that he was listed a few spots down on the depth chart but when you left the theater, all you wanted to know was “Who was that guy?” Grillo built his career like a hustler taking the extra base on a ball hit into the gap. He takes a role that looks familiar or invisible and turns it into something rich and memorable. Now, people are taking notice. He headlined The Purge: Anarchy(Purge 2) and will headline a third Purge film this summer. He stars in the critically acclaimed and audience underappreciated Direct TV series Kingdom, about a family of MMA fighters. A series that focuses more on what these guys and gals can’t hit outside the ring than the people they face in the octagon. A show that deserves your attention. Grillo will appear as a master shit disturber in Captain America: Civil War this spring. Truth be told, he is all over the place and the world of entertainment couldn’t be better for it. A lot of people in this business are handed shit. They are given a date to Prom. Grillo had to hustle against some big castmates. He wrestled away scenes from stars. Grillo isn’t the movie star. He’s the one the director brings in to kick the movie star’s ass.

I’ve gotten to know Frank over a few interview sessions and Twitter conversations and he’s true class. The man owes a guy like me nothing and he gives more of himself than a fan/writer could dream of. I’ll never stop being an advocate for whatever Grillo is doing. He earned it the hard way, is very good at what he does, and gives back.

What else? 10 bit Rapid fire round commencing….

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to be fierce in the playoffs again. The bastards added depth at the deadline, muscled up and won’t go away.

The Chicago Cubs won’t win a damn thing in 2016. Overrated team.

The Cards pitching staff is better than the Cubs. That will matter late in the season after Jake Arrieta blows his elbow off.

Do I write specifically for page clicks? No. I write stories that I find interesting, want answers to or my readers demand. Do I like page reads and clicks? YES. Any serious writer who says otherwise is a liar. LIAR!

Anybody that tweets a link more than once telling you to read “this latest piece on how flour helps make break” or whatever WANTS clicks.

I HATE writing solely to write. Write this so we hit this mark. The material should have some punch.

Nothing is more draining or useless than writing a game/TV show recap. Telling people what happened. They have TV replays for that. Make it fun or inventive. There’s too much content on the net to be ordinary.

Thanks for not giving me a real winter, Little Rock. Reason Arkansas sucks #4,420.

College sports are a bore so count me out for March Madness. Bring a pair of gloves over and head gear and we can spar. Now that will be madness.

Sam Bradford is NOT worth 18 million per season. Brock Osweiler is not worth 12 million per season. These NFL contracts are utterly hilarious.

Thanks for reading if you made it to the end. Your prize is a free subscription.

Sorry, not sorry, for saying FUCK so much. My blog. My rules. Deal with it.

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