Killer Football Is Trashing Its Real Capital

So we are on to week two of Trash Talk for the nascent NFL season, and week three for the NCAA. There is a ton that could be unpacked as to the particular players, plays and whatnot but, as was the case with the first week, I have little inclination to do so anymore, at least not at great length. Maybe just a little later on, but there are more pressing matters at hand.

Football is hard to turn away from, it is great pageantry and spectacle. It is incredibly compelling sport. But the game is at a crossroad as to its deadly nature and its decimation of its real capital: the players. A stunning article came out yesterday from PBS Frontline:

A total of 87 out of 91 former NFL players have tested positive for the brain disease at the center of the debate over concussions in football, according to new figures from the nation’s largest brain bank focused on the study of traumatic head injury.

Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University have now identified the degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 96 percent of NFL players that they’ve examined and in 79 percent of all football players. The disease is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head, and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.

In total, the lab has found CTE in the brain tissue in 131 out of 165 individuals who, before their deaths, played football either professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school.

Wow. We have known for quite a while about CTE and its debilitating, and sometimes deadly, effects on football players. But the starkly presented facts portrayed in the PBS piece are really eye opening. And people are talking about it. It is in the regular news rotation at CNN this morning, and you know how muchit had to pain the programmers and producers at CNN a LOT to eat into their All Trump, All The Time philosophy.

But the NFL is being a good corporate citizen and proactively protecting their players, right? No, maybe not so much. While Roger Goodell and the NFL paint a happy face on their “improvements”, the real fact of the matter is that their “progress” is mostly just another Roger Goodell and NFL PR shitshow. Do take a look at the above trailer for the movie “Concussion” set to be released in December. It looks fantastic.

Again, from the PBS Frontline article we started out with:

The film, Concussion, starring Will Smith, traces the story of Bennet Omalu, who in 2005 shocked the football establishment with an article in the journal Neurosurgery detailing his discovery of CTE in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. At the VA lab and elsewhere, CTE has since been found in players such as Hall of Famer Junior Seau, former NFL Man of the Year Dave Duerson, and Colts tight end John Mackey, a past head of the player’s union.

While the story is not a new one, for the NFL, it represents a high-profile and potentially embarrassing cinematic interpretation of a period in which the league sought to refute research suggesting football may contribute to brain disease.

From 2003 to 2009, for example, the NFL’s now disbanded Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee concluded in a series of scientific papers that “no NFL player” had experienced chronic brain damage from repeat concussions, and that “Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis.”

In the case of Omalu, league doctors publicly assailed his research, and in a rare move, demanded a retraction of his study. When Omalu spoke to FRONTLINE about the incident for the 2013 documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, he said, “You can’t go against the NFL. They’ll squash you.”

“THEY WILL SQUASH YOU”. Yes, that is exactly the consistent message from the oh so “fan friendly” good ‘ole NFL of Roger Goodell, and the billionaire owner baby tyrants he works for. Little different than coal mine owners, the NFL cares primarily about their bottom line. First they look at the purse. This is why the Brady/NFLPA case is so important. And why Bountygate, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson’s cases before it, were all so important. And, yes, even the disciplinary travails of James Harrison. They all reflect the ad hoc, arbitrary and capricious, and self serving nature of the treatment of labor by owners and management in the NFL.

You may see them only as millionaire malefactor petulant football players out doing bad things and think they deserve what they get. And maybe that is true in most cases. Ray Rice absolutely assaulted his fiancé and now wife Janay. Adrian Peterson, engaged in punishment of a child that was pretty common when I was a kid, but is entirely medieval by today’s standards.

Say what you will, where there is wildly disproportionate power between ownership/management and labor, and where there has been a collectively bargained agreement to protect labor, that must be jealously protected. That is exactly why Tom Brady is so critical. Brady is no gangster nor domestic abuser. He is the furthest thing from it; indeed, Brady is Mr. Clean Cut GQ All American. If Roger Goodell and the NFL he represents can arbitrarily, capriciously and imperiously take out Tom Brady – on trumped up junk with no credible evidentiary basis whatsoever – and can do so in a biased and unfair process, then all of labor loses. Not just high flying football players, but teachers, autoworkers, miners, and rank and file employees of all stripes and colors.

I digressed a little from today’s CTE issue, but the labor issue is intertwined. The players need more honesty, more protection, and more complete future medical coverage from the NFL because of the disease that is CTE. That, my friends, is a labor issue, and a huge one. And Roger Goodell and the NFL are already acting in bad faith in their “settlement” efforts as to long past players. It is simply pitiful.

So, what about this week? I dunno. The Broncos looked like toast through 7 of their first 8 quarters of the season. But, the Donks are 2-0. If Manning and Kubiak can find a mutual equilibrium, watch out, because Von Miller, Aqib Talib and the defense are some flat out ball hawks. Yak all you want about Peyton’s decline and fall, and maybe it is true. But do NOT sleep on these guys.

Cowboys, Gents or Iggles? Yeah, I have no clue there either.’Boys looked best week one, not sure I buy it. Why is RGIII still on the active roster of the Washington Professional Football Franchise? Seriously, the Washingtonians are like the Duggars of football; it is on public view, but it is all horrible. The Eagles? Hmmm, Chip Kelly’s troops better show up this week or else the great hype is dead.

Aaron Rodgers is a renaissance man (this is a fantastic article). Oh, and Go Pack! against those pesky Seasquawks. This time it is at Lambeau in title town. There are other games of note too, including, of course Bill Bel and the Brays at the Wagon Circling Bills. That is shaping up to be some big fun.

So, go whoop it up and have some fun. The game goes on, even if a reckoning is necessary. The music number today is First I Look At The Purse by the J. Geils Band, and is in honor of the craven Roger Goodell and the NFL I described above.

125 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    In response to everyone saying the Chiefs were going to beat the Donkos, I said I thought Donkos’ D would win it.


    That, and Peyton anytime 2-minute O allowed him to call his own plays.

      • emptywheel says:

        Dunno. It’s an almost impossible situation. Elway should have just started the transition to Manning as OC in any case.

        • bmaz says:

          They have a problem brewing. By my understanding, they really do kind of like Brock Osweiller, a very bright kid with a good frame and strong arm, from ASU. But this is his last year under his four year rookie contract, and they either have to resign, keep and play him, or let him go. Not quite the Rodgers/Favre level of deal mind you, but there may be some significant part of that in play. They don’t have any other obvious QB in the pipeline, so I think it is a real question. If they were smart, they would start getting Osweiller on the field some. Gets him some live reps and would cut down on the wear and tear on Manning. Not sure Manning is copacetic with that though.

          • emptywheel says:

            Right, the problem is when. Broncos won that game entirely through D and Manning’s 2 minute play in both halfs, didn’t they. He could have sat the rest of the game and the outcome would be the same.

            But when people have talked about playing Osweiller, it was “end of games.” Nuh uh. Then again, they’re not going ot play him in the beginning bc everyone would second guess if he didn’t win.

            • bmaz says:

              Yeah. Dunno. Ima maybe suggest some of that dead time in the middle when Kubiak is trying to get Peyton to play under center and sprint out and stuff.
              I’m sure they will all work through it, but it sure looks awkward right now.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    The “87 out of 91” figure, without more, is misleading. They tested only players who donated their brains for testing, who suspected that they had the disease while still alive, thus giving the researchers a skewed population to work with. The numbers are still quite high even taking that into account, and it is as you say typical NFL Shit, but let’s be careful with that one particular statistic.

    • Peterr says:

      Absolutely correct on the limits of the conclusions you can draw when using a self-selected population for your dataset. Still, the data here points to the conclusion that “If you think you might have CTE, you probably (87/91) do,” which is not exactly a comforting idea for either players/families or the league as a whole.

    • emptywheel says:

      True. But that is a remarkably high rate of correct self-diagnosis. I’d bet for most diseases the rate is much closer to 50%, if that.

      • bloopie2 says:

        Okay, devil’s advocate time.
        Is CTE always debilitating or disabling? The article doesn’t say; lots of diseases aren’t. If I choose a career that involves beating on people and them beating on me, my body will in all likelihood suffer, no? Granted, the NFL has been horrid as to this, but what’s the answer? Touch football? If they give more money and more doctors to the players, does that stop the CTE from happening the first place? Can you change the rules so that no player ever has head contact? Will the best helmets possible prevent CTE? If the NFL were 100% in the players’ camp on this one, would significantly fewer players suffer? The law allows an injured party to recover damages more easily for an injury arising from an inherently dangerous activity than in a negligence case, but the law does not ban such activities and thus doesn’t prevent the danger. The NFL absolutely should put up more, and absolutely should admit that it lied, and absolutely should try to minimize in-game trauma — but I don’t think that will change the overall nature of the “game”. Past players, who may have been deceived by the league, should be greatly compensated, but present and (primarily) future players are not being deceived, and should only be compensated to the extent of more paid health care. Make an informed decision and live with it.
        Also, I don’t understand the significance of a “high rate of correct self-diagnosis”. If a former pro basketball player ends up with gimpy knees later in life, he will likely diagnose “chronic knee trauma” and be correct. So?

        • emptywheel says:

          Chronic knee trauma wouldn’t be the diagnosis. It might be compromised cartilage. It might be arthritis.

          Are we saying CTE is arthritis of the brain?

          Also, FWIW, while NFL gets the focus, do we actually think hockey isn’t as bad? I had a long convo w/my massage therapist about CTE and he said he thought he probably had it — he’s a competitive cyclist and so has had a ton of spills.

          Ultimately I suspect the problem is about youth sports as much as anything else though. I played through the worst concussion I got on the rugby pitch. I was 18 and therefore old enough to take care of myself. But still really really dumb.

          • bloopie2 says:

            Here’s a question. In college we played touch football, intramural (small school). One day I was defending and was just tagging a receiver then was hit from behind (I think). Next thing I remember, I was in the locker room after the game (10-30 minutes later?) Was that a concussion? More importantly, is that why everyone calls me a stupid idiot all these years later? In any event, here’s hoping the union has enough clout to force real change. Or maybe they need to get a Congressional hearing on it?

  3. bloopie2 says:

    “Seriously, the Washingtonians are like the Duggars of football; it is on public view, but it is all horrible”. So what? It’s entertainment; that’s all; football, per se, does not contribute to the good of the world. Anyone who complains about governments or NGO’s not having enough money to do more good in the world, should tote up all they spend on sports and associated food/drink and see if maybe, just maybe, the world would be better off if that money were donated to charity, or if the weekends were spent helping other people instead of sitting in front of the tube.
    I’m still looking for a live stream of my Browns for tomorrow, of course.

  4. Ed Walker says:

    That jerk Goodell is covering up the horrors of CTE. Dave Duerson was a good guy, and his life was ruined by the sport, where by sport I mean events like dog-fighting and bear-baiting. The NFLPA needs to put this issue on the table, but apparently the players themselves like most young people, think they are bullet-proof and that it won’t happen to them. As long as we watch, nothing will change. I’m helping: no football in the Czech Republic, at least no US football.

  5. dakine01 says:

    Currently watching my Hilltoppers with a lead at da Hoosiers in the 2nd quarter. Even though it is da Hoosiers, a win against a B1G school on the road for the Hilltoppers is a good thing.

  6. APB says:

    Yeah, yeah, football but who do you like in Singapore? VET blew the field away in quali but RIC has the pace and the moxie to beat him in the race. F1 is so boring these days.

    • bmaz says:

      Ooof, man, qualifying was nuts! RIC was fast, but I just can’t see the Red Bull engines keeping that up the entire race. That track is tough and hot. My bet is either on VET of HAM. Could be a fair fight for once though!

      • quebecois says:

        It is nice to see the grid being screwed up this way. Ferrari will probably win this one, good. But Hamilton will most probably be on the podium. Sainz was suffering from wicked oversteer, pirelli is just not doing the job. And racing under the lights is so visually appealing for this photographer.

        I suffered a bad concussion last october, got two months of complete memory loss. I was still shooting a lot, doing good work even in that blasted fog that your life becomes. It took until march before I could be there, if you understand what I mean. The doctors sent me to a traumatic brain injury clinic in one of Montréal’s best U. After four visits and a lot of testing, they handed me a contract to harvest my brain(when I’m deceased). It’s my third big concussion. I sported a lot then. Was shooting a friend’s kid football game five years ago, he had to be taken out of that game. That concussion left him in the fog for six months. That pretty much ended any interest I had left for football. If you have kids, keep them away from that game.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    Any lawyers on board? Joseph Meek Jr. is accused of lying to the police about the June 17 Charleston shooting and withholding details about the attack from investigators. The 21-year-old Meek had let the suspect crash on his couch in the days leading up to the shooting. When, if ever, is someone like him required (required by law) to talk to the police? Is this a case where if he had kept his mouth shut he’d be better off? Should I tell my kids never to talk to the cops?

    • bmaz says:

      Depends on NC law. It is absolutely a crime to lie to federal investigators and agencies. See 18 USC §1001. It may or may not be under NC law, I don’t know. A decent general rule is DON’T TALK TO THE COPS. Ever. But if you do talk to cops, don’t lie to them.

    • emptywheel says:

      How dare you litter trash w/real events.

      Yes, he should have kept his mouth shut and even more shouldn’t have cooperated w/a WaPo article.

      But remember the treatment of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s friends after the Marathon bombing. Pretty similar, especially for more distant friends.

  8. JohnT says:

    Boy! I don’t have a dog in that hunt, but that guy Fournette is tearing it up for LSU. I could care less who wins because I think these are two of the most sociopathic programs in college football, but I thought it would be closer according to the pollsters and Vegas line setters
    About CTE, and I’m no medical professional at all, and I don’t know a thing about rugby, but I think it’s the pads and helmets that are the root cause of the problem. Pads and helmets are supposed to be safer, but I think they encourage bigger hits because the player doesn’t feel as exposed. Maybe you’re bloodied in rugby, or get some kind of contusion, but I don’t think the injuries are as severe as football

  9. APB says:

    Very technical course, though, and RB chassis coming into its own. Raw power not the primary factor. I will be surprised if HAM does not finish higher than he starts, though. Most interesting weekend of the year no matter how it finishes.

    • bmaz says:

      Right. And may there be more skewed weekends in the future.
      As to RB, note they have already stated they are done with Renault. Mercedes refuses to supply them. So, it is, apparently, Ferrari engines next year for Red Bull or nothing and they quit.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, I have seen that too. Maybe! Which would make the short term Ferrari engine supply make even more sense. But has VW seen the struggles Honda has faced walking into the new engine specs? Cause that has been truly ugly. Does RB want that kind of spool up process? Hard to see.

          • quebecois says:

            I was thinking that Honda would come in at Ferrari’s level, boy was I ever wrong on that one. Alonso and Button have been extremely patient with Honda. Button’s sense of humour makes it more liveable a process, I guess. I hope the big changes due for 2017 help drag formula one fronàm the present quagmire.

            • bmaz says:

              Mee too. How did Honda bugger the deal so very badly? Though, have to say, the idiotic micromanaging rules F1 has did not help.

              • quebecois says:

                Yeah, the testing rules are insane. Hamilton out, hé! And someone is having a quiet stroll on the track. Another two hour gp, with too many pace cars. Time for some oatmeal.

                • bmaz says:

                  What in the world possessed that dope to go walkabout on the track?? And how do you even get out there on a closed in circuit like Marina Bay?

  10. Jim White says:

    I should probably make arrangements to donate what’s left of my brain once I’m gone, too. Had three concussions before I was five, so I’ve been doomed from the start. I remember another one in the first or second grade from roller skating. I played football only through my sophomore year in high school and pretty much avoided strong contact. Don’t remember any headaches from that but did have a knee drained once. Played lots of sandlot tackle football, too (hey, it was Oklahoma, nothing else to do there), but don’t remember anything concussion-like from that, either.
    Dang. The game just went final at LSU. Was hoping they’d hang 50 on Muskrat’s D, but 45 isn’t bad. As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, Muschamp has been destroying programs for a while now. Although he did okay at Auburn in his first stint there, his time at Texas was mixed at best, and the defense was getting burned regularly by the time he came to Gainesville.
    And of course, once he got here, he added a tanker truck of fuel to the dumpster fire of a program that Meyer left behind.
    Tonight will tell us a lot about this year’s Gators and how long it’s going to take McElwain to turn them around. I kind of have a feeling they’ll be pretty good and win tonight. But should they fall for the first time in 28 years or so to dakine01’s Cats, I can take heart in the fact that the order form for my Gator Baseball season tickets just arrived.

    • dakine01 says:

      I think the Gators are favored and it is always a bit of a crap shoot when too many people are picking the Cats to win. Joker Philips got the TN monkey off the back a few years ago and they got the road SEC win finally last week. It would be nice to pick off the Gators finally once again. They probably should have won last year but oh well.

  11. scribe says:

    One of the commenters upthread mentioned hockey. I am of the opinion that wearing helmets has actually increased the likelihood of head injuries. Back a few years ago, when the NHL lost a season to an owners’ lockout of the players, the then-local-to-me cable station that carried the local NHL franchise’s games was forced to run tapes of old games from years gone by. It was fun to watch the guys I grew up watching, playing. Those games were from the days of helmets not being required and a lot of the players played without them. It was quite striking to watch the way they played. They were a lot more vertical than in today’s game. No diving for the puck, no headfirst charges into a scrum, and a lot more caution in the corners. In other words, players who’d grown up playing without helmets, played in a way that protected their heads. Yeah, they took pucks in the face, but they weren’t crashing their heads into things (or players) over and over in the course of a game.
    As to football and King Roger the Clown, more later. I’m watching Burgess Meredith as Penguin in episodes of the old Batman TV series. Gotta have one’s priorities straight, and I do.

  12. scribe says:

    re the film Concussion, do keep in mind that the No Fun League leaned on the producers and got the trailer changed to make the League look better. Whether they got a re-edit of the film, don’t know yet.
    Nice folks, no?
    Now for Caesar Romero in his pink tails as the Joker.

    • bmaz says:

      That was the initial spin, but the better take I have seen is that the producers of the movie were just being careful to be accurate and not engage in defamation, and that the movie still kicks the shit out of the NFL. We shall see!

  13. Peterr says:

    Oh Marcy . . .

    Japan pulled off the biggest shock in Rugby World Cup history with a stunning 34-32 win over South Africa at the Amex Stadium in Brighton.
    Karne Hesketh’s 84th-minute try capped a mesmerising performance from a side usually playing the role of group stage cannon fodder as they somehow beat the two-time champions.
    The underdogs, who have three players in their squad who were not even born when Japan last won a World Cup match in 1991, instead created a shock which will rank among the most remarkable in rugby – and indeed sporting – history. . . .


  14. wallace says:

    meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is poised to crucify on a cross, a young man for the crime of dissidence while Murika celebrates football statistics . All 42 comments worth.

    Exceptionalism defined.

    • bmaz says:

      Nobody forced you to read and/or comment on this thread. If you want to control what people like, think or talk about, get your own blog; this one is not yours. I know it’s hard for you, but don’t be an ass.

      • JohnT says:

        Yea, blogs are free. It takes maybe 20 mins or a half hour to set up. Depending on how detailed you want to get, it can take hours or less than a minute to write a post
        Or, write diary at Daily kos
        Why people fail to understand this, I don’t know
        PS Wallace, if you can’t comprehend the concept of blowing off steam (which what Trash Talk is), I don’t know what to say for you

      • wallace says:

        quote”I know it’s hard for you, but don’t be an ass.”quote

        Says one who roots for adolescents masquerading as adults who use a leather ball to compete for temporary control of a 300 ft length of territory secured by a successful touchdown of said ball over a chalk defined line, after multiple attempts by the opposing enemy to stop them. Speaking of ass’s ISIS must be laughing theirs off. I know it’s hard for you, but get a grip.

        • scribe says:

          Wallace, STFU.
          As to readers blocking comments and commenters, some blog platforms have that structure, so readers can ignore the true assholes (like you). Some don’t. It avoids the potential for liability (remote though it might be) and the headache and time-wasting, involved in editing and blocking.
          But you can still be blocked. And I ask BMAz and EW to pull the trigger on you.

      • wallace says:

        btw..Nobody forced you to read MY comments on this thread. If you want to control what people reply to on this blog..change the 1st Amendment. I know it’s hard for you, but you are a lawyer. Try it. Otherwise..ban me. Just like a third world regime would.

        • Peterr says:

          Try reading the First Amendment, wallace. It says the GOVERNMENT shall not abridge the freedom of speech. When last I checked, bmaz is not the government — though he has a few rather definite ideas about how the government ought to function.
          Now then, back to the games . . . .

        • bmaz says:

          The next time you post something assholey on here, I will personally bounce you for good. Your draw big boy.
          Oh, and your understanding of the First Amendment is evidently pitiful

  15. wallace says:

    quote” Asked repeatedly which team had his support Saturday, Bush said he was “neutral,” but quickly added he predicts Georgia will win the conference.

    One attendee at the tailgate brought Bush a baseball cap emblazoned with an American flag, which the candidate promptly put on saying, “make America great,” in a nod to Trumps campaign slogan.

    One group of students told Bush they’re fans of Trump but wanted a photo with the governor anyway. The crowd broke into chants of “Jeb” several times thought the afternoon.

    Bush attended the game following the tailgate, tweeting several photos from inside the stadium. “unquote

    geezus. .. Darwin must be rolling on the floor in gut splitting laughter at his own stupidity.

  16. Peterr says:

    It feels very odd to me to be rooting for The Tree, but these things happen.
    I’m also amused that The Tree has a running back named McCaffrey.

  17. bloopie2 says:

    The Browns’ Josh McCown is out for a second week now with a concussion that took him out in the first quarter of game 1. That doesn’t sound good. How long are NFL players (quarterbacks?) typically out from these things? I’m guessing it’s no more than the one game, usually.

  18. orionATL says:

    jeez. a bad day at black rock for wofford, furman, citadel, and south carolina (20-52, georgia). spurrier must be pissed; oh for those days of glory now lost in time. at least clemson squeaked through.

  19. orionATL says:

    florida beat kentucky 14-9. wow. a real powerhouse.

    but wait til they meet vanderbuilt; that could spell trouble.

  20. bmaz says:

    By the way, Marcy and I have talked to Phred. She sends her best, but is indisposed on important work.
    Also, GO PACK GO!

  21. scribe says:

    Oh, those benighted Bills fans. Led down the trash-talking path by Fat Rex in the role of pied piper.
    Well, their management decided that putting up with his shit was “worth the trouble”.
    Biebs to Edelman, and the Patsies’ red-zone/first-and-goal conversion rate for this season remains 100 percent. 5 possessions, 5 TD.
    I’m in a really pissy mood. Beyond my Stillers not being on my teevee, I threw my back out this morning and I’m moving like I’m well into my 80s. And, of course, this means to dog wants to run and play and make trouble.

    • bmaz says:

      TMI – don’t want to hear about yer dog on dog adventures! Stillers doing okay by my updates; even went for and got a two point conversion. In other news, and man I feel jinxed in saying this, but the Cardinals offense looks pretty fucking good. Stay healthy Carson!
      In other news, as Scribe noted, the Patsies have tied up the initial enthusiasm at the home of the Wagon Circlers. Also, and this may be the real shocker, Johnny Football has the Brownies up 14-0.

    • JohnT says:

      28-3 Stillers
      Teh awesome because there’s a Niners at work who wouldn’t shut up about the Niners beating the Vikings last week. He was talking like they were even better than the teams of the 80’s. I was like – it was one game – but that didn’t matter to him. He was even defending the Niners fan who stabbed a Vikings fan after the Monday night game. Srsly
      PS he’s also said he’d vote for the guy running for president with a raccoon on his head (not saying his name), and he thought Jade Helm was real

  22. jo6pac says:

    “Well 9ers win by 14 and the game not close”

    I was right about the game won’t be close, back to the x&o board.

  23. orionATL says:

    falcons make football history – score touchdown from inside the 20.

    p.s. if anybody’s listening, matt ryan is a very good quarterback.

  24. bloopie2 says:

    Johnny! You tell me what is wrong with Johnny Football and the Cleveland Browns. No fumbles, no interceptions, good play, at least as good as a standard NFL quarterback. Trounced Mariota. The future is here!

  25. orionATL says:


    at least it wasn’t a picture of guys sitting around in a sports bar dressed in coveralls and drinking a clear liquid not called tequila from pint canning jars.

      • scribe says:

        Slivovitz is, well, sui generis.
        Once upon a time, not that long ago, a relative had a still and used to make slivovitz starting from the too-ripe plums, sugar and yeast. It came out clear white at about 140 proof and had a bit of an oily appearance.
        Put a little wineglass of that stuff on the table and sip it. By the end, you’ll be ready to go outside and work all day in midwinter wearing a flannel shirt, no coat. You will feel neither cold, pain nor fatigue.

        • orionATL says:

          in case you’re interested in giving it a try:

          my father’s family has made “wine” for forever. when my grandmother could manage a house of her own she had a small cubby built beside the chimney where the stove would go. this cubby always held a glazed crock into which would go whatever fruit she chose. cherry was her favorite (but definitely no pits). plus sugar. plus water. plus a cloth to cover. plus the continuous warmth.

          this was not yeast-made wine; this was not napa valley wine. strained thru cheesecloth, this stuff tasted sort-of like its fruit (that had sat in a crock for weeks), and it was strong.

          after retiring, one of my uncles took up wine-making with a vengence, he used yeast and his wine was made in his basement in old chemical carboys on racks with corks and plastic tubing. whenever i would visit he would give me a gallon (or two) to take home. he had asked friends and family to give him their empty wine jugs and liquor bottles. he would reach to a shelf for one of those bottles, with its label and lees, take a garden hose he kept in the basement, lightly rinse it once, and then fill it for me.

          he was a dairy farmer; don’t ask how your milk is produced.

          my uncle has been dead for 13 years. two years ago one of my sons and i had some of his wine (out of an old old forrester bottle) at thanksgiving. it tasted fine, but like very strong sherry – or maybe brandy.

          • bmaz says:

            Orion, this is a great story. Really. I am a native Arizonan, but major lineage from Kentucky. And I might have some family with a similar history in their long past background. Would love to have tasted the product.

            • orionATL says:

              then you understand.


              kentucky. well you bet you have some of that history, whether you are sure of it or not.

              any woman who loved cooking (and wasn’t a teetotler) made her own wine – and all of my grandmother’s sons save one were good to great cooks :) . plus, where my family lived, alchohol of any kind was illegal to sell or serve into the 1980’s.

              • bmaz says:

                My grandparents, on one side, were from the area of Murray Kentucky and around the Hermitage in Tennessee. Forever. I spent my later high school and college summers in Santa Monica CA, but I spent all my summers before that mostly in Murray and, less so, in Farmington Hill MI.
                Had a wide range of relatives in the south – i.e. KY. It really is a beautiful, if sometimes backward, part of the country. I really need to go back there more than I do.

                  • bmaz says:

                    I have not been back since my Grandmother’s funeral in maybe 1982 or so.
                    I really would like to go there again. Problem is, it is not on the way anywhere I have to go. It is very much out of the way. I think would be quite worth the effort, but it is hard to find the time. Thanks, and I mean that, for making me remember that I should do that. And I should.

                    • orionATL says:

                      as the saying goes these days, “just go”.

                      you will be remembered with affection; everyone will call you by your childhood nickname – even if you are 90 and in a wheelchair.

  26. scribe says:

    I am very pleased with the result of the 49ers @ Stillers though I did not get to see it.
    Thank you, television scheduling minions of King Roger the Clown for fucking me over once again.
    In other news, Fat Rex’s boys would have won over Cheatin’ Bill and his Cheating Cheaters but for being a Fat Rex (R) team. Undisciplined. Immature. Loudmouthed. Early in the game, they got a taunting penalty when the Patsies had just scored. Where does anyone get off taunting the team that just scored? What kind of genius was attached to that mouth? They couldn’t help but commit unforced error after unforced error. They had unsportsmanlike penalties in bunches. Indeed, on that late-game onside kick, they were offside, didn’t kick the ball 10 yards, kicked it out of bounds, and something else. And when it came to basics, like extra points, they missed.
    Well, Buffalo management wanted him. They got him. I wonder whether he and the Mrs. have been making movies lately and, if so, how the good, conservative folks of western New York will deal with it.
    And Chip Kelly’s offense is making 3 and out into an art form. It’s a good thing for the Iggles there’s no snow in Philly, b/c Kelly would be buried under a mountain of it by now instead of just the boos pouring down.

    • scribe says:

      Sadly, since the Iggles moved over to the Linc in what used to be the parking lot and turned The Vet into a parking lot, there is no more 700 level. ‘Murcan capitalism being what it is, the devoted drunks who controlled the 700 level can’t afford to get in any more, making the jail and courtroom in the stadium basement surplusage. Almost. Those fans would have taken none of Chip Kelly’s shit and would by now be demanding their Tebow.
      It’d sure be more entertaining than this crap.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Did you read Michael Rosenberg’s SI Article, “Innocent until proven Innocent?

      After having a few Sam Adams Summer Ales, I couldn’t understand what the fuck he was talking about.”

      Can anyone help me out?

      I understand I am a homer with the Patsies, but Deflagate was a complete lie. Spygate yes,
      we took our medicine, but Tommy, no way in hell.

  27. Peterr says:

    Romo out with a probable broken something – collar bone? Jerry’s Kids are up 13-zip over the Iggles as we approach the end of the 3rd qtr.

  28. Peterr says:

    This week’s AP poll is out, and it’s not good news for Teh Good Ol Boys of the SEC. The Sweatervests and Sparty’s of the B1G are 1 and 2, Ole Miss is 3, and the Big 12 has TCU and Baylor at 4 and 5.
    Bama? #12
    Auburn? MIA.
    And then there’s the battle at 16 and 17 between Arizona and the Fighting Journalists . . .

  29. scribe says:

    Buck and Aikman now speculating whether it will be the Iggles or the Owboys who will sign Tebow first.
    What a stinker.
    Hard-core Iggles fans will, however, count breaking Romo’s clavicle a success.

  30. bmaz says:

    SERIOUSLY! – Do none of you watch and/or comment on the videos anymore??
    Soooo disappointing. What, are you a bunch of Wallaces? The “Concussion” clip above is awesome. And, well, if you have not been here nearly a decade, J. Geils Band people!

  31. Lefty665 says:

    Deadskins looked like an actual team instead of a soap opera for about 3/4s today. It was long enough to send the scrams back to St. Louis. After watching the Owboys and Iggles, D.C. may have found a couple of places to unload RG3, but only if Snidley and Allen have had enough fun taunting his $16.5m guarantee for next year and giving up their delusions.

      • Lefty665 says:

        My bad, stretched it too far, it’s owner Dan Snyder. Maybe Snydley world have come closer. He’s really more a rich kid in a candy store playing with his toys than evil, be funny if there weren’t so many human consequences. In 15 years of owning the team he’s apparently learned no more about NFL football than RG3 has in 4.
        But, McCloughan’s demonstrating that he knows how to build a football team. If Danny boy and Brucie (Allen – his old man was a jerk too) stay out of his way for a couple of years and keep him off the sauce, who knows? Hell, at this point they’re in 2nd place in the NFC East. A half dozen more wins over the season and they’ll have tied their record for the last two years combined.

    • orionATL says:

      i still have love in my heart for the redskins, as with green bay, always will. but the redskins antics in the past few years have driven me to irritated indifference. i hope to hell they can end the soap opera that is rg3 and get on with playing good football. but then, they really need is to unload snyder before that is going to happen :)

      p.s. it is a repeated lesson in disfunction to observe the damaging-to-destructive behavior of the adults in charge of sports teams – owners, general managers, player personnel v-p’s, and coaches.

  32. Bay State Librul says:


    Not sharp @ 38-59, 466 yards

    When asked if Brady looked as sharp as ever, Belichick said, “No.”

    “I think there’s a lot of things we can do better. Everybody can do better,” Belichick said. “I didn’t think it was all that spectacular by anyone, but it was good enough.”

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