Friday, April 25, 2008

Freewheelin' Friday

Better To Start With A Pekingese & Other Useful Carnal Advice

But first let's travel back to Old Rome...

...As in the first season of the terrific HBO Series Rome. Couldn't be enjoying it more through the first 9 episodes of Season 1. It's basically Deadwood in tunics, and that's in no way a bad thing. It's got Deadwood's same uneven mix of the sacred and the profane, the lofty and the lowdown. It's humanity, warts and all. We recognize ourselves in these characters surging through ancient Rome, otherwise what's the point. A thousand years is mankind blinking an eye once or twice.

For all the well-known characters and major historical figures portrayed in the series, the real action often hinges on the lives of two professional legionnaires in the Roman Army, Titus Pullo and Lucien Vorenus. In one scene, Pullo takes a young nobleman to an upscale brothel for his first taste and informs the madam of the house, "But the girl better fuck him like Helen of Troy with her ass on fire, or I'll know the reason why." Priceless. And it rings true, like almost every note of this series.

Another great scene takes place on a doomed ship bound for Greece. Just before the ship goes down, Vorenus tells Pullo, "A very good offering was made to Triton, we're perfectly safe."
"If Triton can't keep me drier than this, he can suck my dick," comes the response, followed by more waves and finally the shipwreck.

In another episode, a character says, "It's as hot as Vulcan's cock," and given that Vulcan is the Roman god of fire, you gotta figure that's pretty fucking hot. You see, you learn a little as you go along here.

The DVD set of the first season has a cool viewing option where a box will appear telling you little historical nuggets about Rome. For instance, I didn't realize that Cleopatra and some of the other Egyptian rulers for a few hundred years had Greek blood thanks to Alexander the Great infusing the bloodlines. Also, opium was used from 1500 BC in Egypt, and Cleo herself partook generously.

Speaking of learning something new, the Yankees were 10-10 after the first 20 games, but did you know did you know did you know they were 10-0 with a lead after 6 innings, and 0-10 when trailing after 6 innings. That's either consistency or mediocrity.

Also alarming is that the lead-footed Bombers stole their first base in Game 14 of the season! That's a mark of futility that matches the 1948 team, which as I recall at least had an excuse: no brothers and such allowed. I think you get my drift. Boy, did I really go there? What happened to me...

Okay, okay, so Mike Mussina pitched a good game the other night, holding the White Sox to just 4 hits and 2 runs, both coming on home runs, which is predictable. Luckily they were solo shots, because he gives up 2 bombs a game minimum these days. Believe me, I hope he pitches well all the time as long as he's on the Yankees, but color me skeptical at least for now. His fastball tops out at 90-91 now if I'm not mistaken, and there's only so many times you're gonna fool these guys with guile unless you're a lefty or your name's Greg Maddux in his Prime.

Just in time for 3-game series with Braves, Shea favorite Chipper "Larry" Jones is destroying NL pitching, to the tune of a .442 average. Had himself a birthday bash yesterday, celebrating his 36th with 3 hits and his 7th HR already, to go along with 20 RBIs.

There was a time not too long ago where if I was going to start a team and could pick one position player, it would be Chipper. That was about 6 or 7 years ago, though. Now to me the best pure hitter in either league is Miguel Cabrera, when you factor in power and youth. But he's a subpar fielder and hasn't really found a position in the field suited to him, and that's never a good thing.

Worst team in baseball could be the Texas Rangers, fresh off 7 straight defeats, with their putrid pitching staff. Detroit just got well on them, outscoring them by a decisive 37-10 over their recent series. That's ugly. One of their relief pitchers (Fukunari) has a 20.25 ERA; another starter is 0-4 with a 7.46 ERA. Team president Nolan Ryan could not only start for them right now, he would be their ace. Only problem is he's about 60.

Yanks in midst of an 18 of 20 stretch on the road, thanks to Pope Prada's stopover in Sodom by the Sea. Daily News wrote a typically demented editorial on how this Pope is so magnificent because he doesn't criticize or question the wisdom of the Great Ship America. But not this pontiff. Where's Father Guido Sarducci when you need him?

I mean, you can make the case that this president of (y)ours had a hand in the cessation of hundreds of thousands of formerly existing persons in the form of dead Iraqis. You'd think such a world leader would be ripe for a modicum of reproach from the so-called messenger of God on this here Earth. But not according to
Mortimer Zuckerman.

Speaking of rotting tabloid owners, it looks like greedy cadaverous scumbag Rupert Murdoch will be adding Newsday to his media empire. I mean, I hardly if ever buy Newsday. I used to buy it regularly back in the pre-Internet days when Jimmy Breslin was still knocking out his columns. Newday's only distinction is that it's not the Times, it's not the Post and it's not the News. In fact, the Daily News' latest goofy slogan is plastered above the fold: "THE BIGGEST TABLOID IN NEW YORK" How weak is that, and WTF does if even mean! Biggest in circulation or in actual size of the paper? Get back to us on that...

This is a tabloid war where no one deserves to win, and the people who lose are the New York City readers who want a decent, unbiased, lively newspaper, but one that doesn't talk down to them or pander (at least too much) to their base instincts. If we want craven decadence, after all, there's HBO.

Well, got an early Birthday present Sunday night when the 76ers knocked off the Pistons in Detroit in Game 1 of their playoff series. They were trailing late and then got off a good run, playing as they did when they were running off something like 25 of 32 when they made their late season playoff push. But reality hit hard on Wednesday in Game 2, when the Pistons opened up an early lead and never let up on the way to a 105-88 spanking. I don't think the game was on TV anywhere in the free world, and I didn't bother following it on the Net b/c I knew an major ass-whoopin' was in the works. But things could turn again on Friday night in Philly just as quickly. That's gonna be a rocking crowd for sure, and I hope the Sixers give 'em reason to get into the game for 4 quarters.

Still going with Spurs-Pistons in the Finals as my loyal reader(s) will already know. Wager accordingly. However, if the Sixers make it out of this round, of course they're going all the way a la the New York Football Giants. Make book on it. Or should I say Maximus Bookius, friends and citizens...

Speaking of football, of course this is the weekend of the NFL draft. We've seen a few good trades already. Vikings made a good one, although it didn't come cheap: getting Jared Allen from the Chiefs is a good move, giving them an incredible defensive front four with Allen at DE and the two Williams Boys at DT. Jets got rid of former #1 Dewayne Robertson, who has to be considered a bust given where he was drafted. And speaking of disappointments, it appears the Cowboys sent their 4th-round pick to the Tennessee Titans in this year's draft for Adam "Pacman" Jones. As a Cowboy fan, I will go on record as saying, football wise, it's a steal, but coming off a 13-win season and with two #1 picks, there's no reason for such a desperate move.

So far this offseason we signed LB Zack Thomas, as solid a citizen as there is in the NFL, and now Jones to balance out that good deed, the yin and the yang of the modern citizen-athlete. That's what sports is these days, a compromise for the fan between wanting to win at all costs and facing the consequences of that sentiment up close and personal. You can't pick your family but you can pick your sports teams, so I guess when it no longer gets to be fun, I'll stop following.

Seahawks released RB Shaun Alexander outright, and can't say I blame them. They had already picked up T.J. Duckett, a serviceable power back, and my former Boy Julius Jones, who I still think has a bright future in this league. I'd be shocked, as Chris Russo would say, if he doesn't have a career year in '08. As long Zack and the Boys kick his butt when we see them on this year's schedule.

Finally, news from the Just When You Think You've Got It Bad Department: Did you see the story about some poor schmuck named Robert Melia? Talk about your 15 minutes of infamy: Turns out the ex-cop was arrested and charged with -- there's no easy way to say this -- having oral relations with a cow. I mean, what's the proper etiquette after you've had sex with a willing bovine? Do you call her a cab and say you'll call her tomorrow? It was the first case of bestiality in the area since someone tried to have carnal cornucopia with a Rottweiler. Now, that's sick. You sure do NOT want to find yourself in coitus interruptis with a big horny Rottweiler. That could get tricky. Better to start with a Pekingese or a laid-back Greyhound. Trust me. I learned that the hard way. But hey, that's what she said.

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