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>NY Giants

I’m a sports fan, though not fanatically so. I was writing to a friend of mine about the hideous loss by the NY Giants yesterday, a game which they led by a score of 21-3 at halftime. I thought some of you might enjoy it. You will find it funnier if you have a good understanding of football, but others might enjoy it, too. Let’s begin.

I watched the Giants/Eagles game yesterday and was severely injured. The onslaught of utter idiocy by several members of the NY Giants football club in the second half was more than I could bear. I closed my eyes, covered my head, crawled underneath a heavy piece of furniture, held my nose. But still, the tempest was too great and my entire body was crushed by the debris that was their 2nd half performance. Even with my nose pinched closed, it filled my lungs. Now I have Stupid Lung Disease.

When I watch pro football, I often find myself exclaiming, “How can you be so stupid as to jump offsides on 4th and four? Shouldn’t you KNOW by now that that’s what the other team is counting on? They are NOT going to hike the ball. They’re going to wait until time runs out, take the penalty and punt. Just relax, wait for 15 seconds, doze off if you like, the whistles will wake you. Or, if these concepts are too abstract for you, look at that ball that is right in front of you. Don’t move unless it does.”

Or sometimes I say, “How did you get this far in the NFL and not know that the people wearing costumes different than yours are going to try to take that ball out of your hand? They aren’t chasing you because they like your cologne, it’s the ball you’re holding loosely, away from your body. If you want to save your body a lot of wear and tear, just hand it to them. But if you, like them, want to keep the ball, you should consider holding it snugly, perhaps with both hands.”

And I frequently say something like, “The whole reason those big numbers are on the front and back of everyone’s blouse is so participants can be identified. See that number? That belongs to their best receiver. You, or someone dressed like you, will want to stay close to that person in case the ball comes near them. It’s the ball you’re after, remember?”

And when the Giants play the Philadelphia Eagles I often find myself exclaiming to the people in blue on my screen, “See that guy who gets the ball first thing on every play? He can run real fast. May I suggest you put someone who can run real fast up close so they can stop him? Those huge, fat guys don’t seem to be able to touch him unless he stands stock still. I doubt they could catch me either, and I’m 5′, 7″ and 52 years old.”

So during yesterday’s ass-raping defeat, I wondered why the coaches have so much trouble drilling these simple principles into their players’ heads, concepts that are the sort of thing that anyone should be able to manage, athletic ability notwithstanding: Hold it tight, don’t move until the ball does, don’t let that one guy run around by himself. It seems so simple, but then I remember that it is professional football players they are talking to. Some of them are smart enough to understand deeper concepts than “hit anyone wearing different clothing than yours real hard,” but there are always plenty on any team who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for the coaches. Like trying to teach a dog not to bark when someone knocks on the door, or teaching a cat to purchase her own cat food online. Some of these guys are only using a small, primitive part of their brain that the rest of us have abandoned for all uses except illicit sex in an airplane toilet.

I can’t help but feel sorry for the smart people on a team, but then I remember that that is why I dropped out of football in Junior High, even though I was still pretty good at it. Success depends on a team effort and there were just too many drooling idiots on the team. So I suppose smart NFL players got what they asked for by sticking with it.

I won’t get started on how much money some of these neanderthal primates make. Anyone who thinks life on earth is a meritocracy is a big enough boob to play pro football.

Thanks, I feel better.

“This is why I don’t carry a gun to games.” –– Tom Coughlin, NY Giants head coach

>Foot Baseball Guano

Bizarro is brought to you today by Lifesaving Fashion.

The gig at Caroline’s last night went well, thanks to those of you who came out on a chilly Wednesday night. A few of us headed over to a bar off Times Square afterward for a few drinks; a good time was had by all. Here’s a pic from the gig. Not very interesting, I know, but stand-up comedy isn’t a particularly visual art form. Maybe this one of me and my mom is better.

Today I get to stay home, which I’m thrilled about. I had to run errands yesterday then get to that show, so I didn’t get as much done as I should have. Tomorrow night I’m performing at Bowery Poetry Club (I’ll be reading Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in their entirety, which will take in excess of 27 hours not counting bathroom breaks, if my calculations are correct.) Then I have to go out of town this weekend and next weekend, too, so my deadlines are threatening and I’m worried I am in for some late nights.

So let’s make it a short post: Shoot yourself in the foot/aim higher. I like the gag, the art is kind of dull, but whatever.
The baseball joke is timely, the pros are in the playoffs right now. I often wonder what those guys are talking about on the mound… “You’re sucking, man, if you don’t stop throwing puffballs, I’m going to take you out of the game.” “Oh, my mistake. You want me to throw it so they don’t hit it so much? But that makes the game boring for the fans and it’s already a pretty boring sport.”

Lastly, here’s a cartoon that ran on this day in 1996. I’m not great at math, but that’s over ten years ago!

>Penguin Camouflage

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Casual Chic.

A lot of people liked this pirate cartoon and I do too. Penguins are inherently funny and sitting on the shoulder of a bad ass makes them even funnier. Just my opinion, no angry comments, please.

The Sunday cartoon below if from July 4th weekend. It isn’t really meant to be particularly patriotic or anything, I just happened to think of it when I needed a cartoon to run on July 4th. Here in NYC, we have camouflaged soldiers walking through subway stations and airports keeping an eye out for terrorists or whatever. It often occurs to me that in urban settings such as this, traditional camouflage performs the opposite function from what it was intended. They might as well be wearing garish clown suits or foam rubber mascot costumes.

Of course, they’re not really trying to disappear in those situations so the whole argument makes no sense. I just wanted an excuse to mention foam rubber mascot costumes. Gosh, those things are great.

>King Kong Tennis

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Larry King.

I like this Larry King Kong joke. The bottom title caption thingy is funny by itself and the humor is further advance by the reference to Skull Island, which is where Kong was captured. Not to be missed is the coffee cup which reads, “Marry Me,” since Larry marries a lot of people. So there you have it – three jokes in one. Because I care about you.

Random thoughts of the week:
The USA won a World Cup game in the last minute of the match the other day and unlike my previous experiences with soccer, I found it exciting. In spite of my disparaging comments about soccer (football everywhere except the U.S.) a few days ago, I’m starting to get into the tournament. I still say the melodramatic diving is absurd (every time someone falls in apparent agony because he was tapped on the back I want to introduce him to the hockey player who, during the recent Stanley Cup Playoffs, had seven teeth knocked out by a puck, finished the game, had surgery the next day and played the next night), the officiating is laughable, and it’s a bit slow for my taste, but I’m having fun with it. I like to listen to sports while I draw cartoons and look up when the commentator gets excited.

You may have heard that a truly historic tennis match happened at Wimbledon this week. Without going into how tennis is scored, the average match takes around 3 hours and around 50 games are played, often less. This one, between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, lasted 11 hours and five minutes, took three days to complete because it was called for darkness twice, incorporated 183 games and 980 points. That’s more games in a single match than some players have to play to get all the way through a tournament and several different opponents to win the trophy for the entire thing. To put it into perspective, it would be like a baseball game that lasted fifty or sixty innings, like a football game that lasted 12 hours, like a soccer match that lasted 9 hours, like an election that lasted 6 weeks (oh, we had one of those), like a dumped lover eating three gallons of Haagen Dazs at one sitting.

Here is what the average score of a tennis set looks like:
Player A: 6 4 4 6 6
Player B: 3 6 6 3 4
Each number represents the number of games it took to win each of five sets. Player A wins the best of five.

Here’s what this match looked like:
Isner: 6 3 6 7 70
Mahut: 4 6 7 6 68

How these guys remained standing and playing well is beyond anyone’s guess. After the match, Mahut went home and cried a lot, Isner went on to lose his next match (a day later) quickly and mercifully, going home and downing three gallons of Haagen dazs.

Last random thought: We had a dandy time watching our buddy, Rhett Miller, play at the Bowery Hotel bar last night. Here’s a pic of me, Rhett, CHNW, and Rich, Rhett’s dentist, whom we’ve become friends with because he shows up at all of Rhett’s gigs in NYC. And no, it was not Loud Shirt Night at Bowery Hotel last night, it was just a coincidence.

P.S. Rhett isn’t naturally shiny, he had just finished playing and was sweaty. (Mmmmm…rock star sweat…)

>World Cup Confession

>Bizarro is brought to you today by the Excitement of the World Cup!!!

I’ve been watching a bit of the World Cup lately and I’ll be honest, I’m having trouble getting into it. I used to play a bit of soccer and enjoyed that, but watching it is dull to me. It’s the same game as hockey, which I love, except that in hockey the field is small, the players move quickly, there is lots of action and violence and skill and excitement of all kinds every few seconds. In contrast, soccer seems mostly to be a wide-angle view of a huge park with a lot of similarly dressed people jogging in it.

I know this will irritate soccer fans, sorry about that, and it is the most popular sport in the world so clearly I’m missing something that millions of others see. But I cannot lie to myself any longer. It bores me.

One other thing that I find untenable about soccer is the habit of every player on every team to fall to the ground and fake an injury with all the dramatic skill of a professional wrestler every time they are brushed against. This flies in the face of everything my father taught me about sportsmanship. I find it simultaneously insulting and laughable.

That being said, I hope everyone who enjoys soccer has a jazztown hootenanny good time watching the World Cup this year! Seriously. It’s always nice when countries can get together and only pretend to hurt each other.

>Tattoos and the Hockey Pope

>Bizarro is brought to you today by The Pope of Canada.

Unless you’ve been living in a gated community, you’ve probably seen the Ed Hardy paraphernalia currently overrunning the planet. Shirts, hats, purses, shoes, snow blowers, just about any product with space for a design is being sold with these designs.

These designs are based on old-style tattoos, or as we in the tattoo-know typically call them “Sailor Jerry style“. A dude named Sailor Jerry Collins popularized this style in the middle 20th century and Ed Hardy was one of his apprentices. Ed has been a well-known tattoo artist in his own right for a long time and is now making over a billion dollars per second by licensing his name to other products. It was a brilliant marketing scheme, whoever came up with it.

My theory is that since tattoos are so popular now but not everyone has the money or courage to actually get one, they can still celebrate the look by buying the clothing. The classy gentleman in the cartoon above has taken this craze one step further. His ingenuity makes me giggle.

On the subject of clothing, yesterday I posted a picture on this blog of a gentleman in a dashing red velvet suit as he was pontificating on NBC about the gold medal round of men’s hockey. I suggested that he may be the Pope of Canada. Many of you readers correctly identified him as Don Cherry, Canada’s premier hockey analyst and commentator. (And agreed that he is, in fact, Canada’s Pope.) One helpful reader sent a link to a blog that chronicles Don’s flamboyant wardrobe choices and I have enjoyed it immensely. I dig the way this dude dresses. Enjoy the blog here.

Here’s Don critiquing the way other hockey folks dress:

>Misunderstanding the Superdork

>Bizarro is brought to you today by Lingering Questions.

Some of the most surprising mail I get is from readers who take my cartoons to mean something drastically different from what I intended. This cartoon attracted a letter from a liver transplant recipient who thought I was insinuating that most liver transplants are required because the patient was an alcoholic.

This never occurred to me when I was drawing this cartoon, nor at any other time in my life, I was simply making the cliche comic connection between liver damage and excessive drinking.

Come to think of it, I’m not entirely sure what the hell this cartoon means. Now that he has a liver he can drink? Could he not drink before he had a liver? But why try to make too much sense of a cartoon about a talking lion and a tin robot anyway?

Even if you’re not a football fan, you may enjoy this Superbowl story: CHNW and I were watching the Superbowl last night at our place with a friend. We have one of those DVR cable box things, so I was recording the game while we watched it so we could pause it, rewind, etc., and not risk losing the feed by accidentally changing channels or something. And since we were pausing it now and then, we were about 45 minutes behind the live feed.

In the third quarter it suddenly occurred to me that if the game went into overtime, the recording might run out and we’d miss it, so I’d better also record the show AFTER the game, just to be sure. So I clicked the “guide” button and selected the show right after the game and intended to hit the button that would instruct the DVR to record it. Instead, in a moment of colossal hand-eye coordination error, I hit the button that switches from the recorded show we were watching (the game in the 3rd quarter) to what was playing “live” on the channel at that moment. Which happened to be the very moment that Drew Brees, quarterback for the Saints, was holding up the trophy, confetti streaming down all around him. Of course. Why couldn’t it have been another damned Geico commercial?

And thus ended our Superbowl party. I felt like a complete jerk, but was thankful that it wasn’t a large Superbowl party, with 30 or 40 attendees with bets riding on the game. I’d likely be typing from a hospital bed right now.

>Shell X Games


Bizarro is brought to you today by Bag of Death.

The idea of snails attempting to jump pretzels was suggested by my good friend, Dick Cabeza. I loved the idea and am really happy with the way the illustration turned out. I like to draw abstracted, cartoony images, but for some reason this sort of idea is more appealing to me as a realistic drawing. It adds to the surreal quality.

Brooklyn warmed up yesterday and I took “the Beast” out for a spin for the first time in months. So rejuvinating. At times like these I wish I lived in one of those year-round-nice-weather climates that you hear about. The problem is, those places are understandably very expensive and often full of rich people who tend to skew conservative. Does anyone know of a terrific warm weather community of liberals and artsy types? Could be a big city or a small town, would prefer the U.S but it’s not a deal breaker. Here in America, those kinds of communities tend to be in the north for some reason. Hawaii seems like a good option, but it’s so isolated from the rest of the world and live events come on TV so early there.

>Pumped up Pigeon

>Bizarro is brought to your attention here today by Major League Baseball.

I am not proud of this, but in my late teens and early adulthood, I found the idea of becoming a bodybuilder appealing. It was part and parcel of the inherent masculine insecurity of my youth and I suppose I figured if I was built like Arnold Schwarzenheimer, people would know I was tough.

Now when I look at those big bumpy people, I am both repulsed by the malformation of their bodies and impressed by how much time they’ve spent lifting heavy things instead of doing something intellectually or creatively stimulating. Some get so big I begin to wonder if they can still wipe their own butts or reach a computer keyboard with both hands.

Of course, there is a difference between people who build their bodies for competition and people who go crazy and turn into balloon animals. I think guys (and gals) like that have a similar body image distortion problem as anorexics and plastic surgery addicts.

I enjoy exercise and sports, always have, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time in gyms over the years, but the thought of doing so 6 or 8 hours a day for years sounds like a prison sentence. In fact, that’s pretty much a lot of prisoners actually do all day, but at least they’re getting free room and board.

I don’t mean to be overly judgmental, body building isn’t for me but that doesn’t make it wrong or worthless. I have a couple of friends who are vegan bodybuilders and they’re both great guys. They enjoy bodybuilding and they’re animal rights types, so they use their sport to show that one does not need animal protein or steroids to become strong and bumpy. Cheers to them.

They also still look human, which is a big plus in my book.

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