Sunday, January 12, 2003

Are you ready for some football? I watched parts of or all of four NFL games this weekend, making this my biggest veg-out sports weekend of the year. It is the last weekend to indulge in such sloth, so I do. The most exciting game was Saturday afternoon as the Tennessee Titans beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-31 in overtime. Scowl-faced Steelers coach Bill Cowher really gave it to the refs, who called a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a missed field goal attempt in overtime, giving the Titans another chance. I agree with Cowher. It was a lousy call. And you hate to see referee decisions decide the outcome of a game, much like the 39-38 49ers victory over the New York Giants a week ago when the referees admittedly botched a call at the end of the game, which, if they got it right, would have given the Giants another chance to kick a game-winning field goal. IMAGINE!! The entire season hinging on one call! Now that's tense. That's what I love about playoff football. All the dramatics of the wild card week were for naught as each of the teams that got byes last week won this week. Rest has its benefits.

My original prediction was NY Jets vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, with Tampa Bay winning, but since the Jets got whomped by the Oakland Raiders (my QB phenom Chad Pennington had a bad day with two picks and two fumbles), I predict Tampa Bay over Oakland in the Super Bowl, 21-17. Big drama in the NFC and AFC championship games. Will Rich Gannon, Jerry Rice, Bill Romanowski and all the other old farts in Oakland have what it takes to outslug Tennessee's Air McNair? The Eagles eliminated the Bucs from postseason play the past two seasons. Can they make it a third or will the Bucs' Sapp and the Johnsons rise to the fore? High drama on the gridiron. May the zebra men not spoil the show.

Steve Hardt came over today and he reminded me of a practical joke we pulled off when we were teenagers. One bored evening we picked a random number out of the phone book and dialed it. A lady answered the phone and I, using my best police officer voice, told the lady that we had her son in custody and to come and pick him up. I had no idea if this woman had a son or not, or what his name might be, but we hit the jackpot. "Oh, my lord, is Joe in trouble again? He just got out a couple weeks ago. I'll be right down..." I told him I dialed 900 numbers from the front office at Harlem Junior High School.

I still feel guilty about the time I dialed sex numbers from the house of a lady whose kid I was babysitting for. It was a lady my sister knew from work. I spent an entire morning listening to recorded messages of lesbian women getting it on, science fiction radio serials, wrestling information and music hotlines. Charges up the wazoo. Stupid hormonally awakened 14-year-old me didn't realize 900 numbers cost anything. It's not like they came out front and said how much the charges were when you called them. They just went right into their recorded spiel. To this day my sister probably thinks I'm some weirded out pervert. I was just a normal teenage boy with a flaming roman candle between his legs and no knowledge of what to do with these new desires. My parents never talked to me about sex. I take that back. My Dad tried to give me "the talk" -- when I was 18. By that time I'd read the fricking Masters and Johnson report. I was still a virgin, but man, did I know the clinical and pornographic sides of sex.

My experiences with porn are few. It doesn't turn me on because I can see how fake it is. All make-up, contorted positions, shaved crotches and overly-dramatic moaning noises. Nah, porn don't give me a woody. It's more humorous. But I won't condemn them. Violent movies offend me more than skin flicks. People that get hurt in porn movies want to.

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