November 5, 2009

Sucking Balls by the Cuyahoga

By Robb Witmer Full 

Beginning of Wikipedia entry on the Browns, as of Nov 4, 6:30 PM MST: "The Cleveland Browns suck balls, but still are an American football team based in Cleveland, Ohio."

After only four weeks of the NFL season, Matt Taibbi called the Browns "perhaps the most fucked franchise in all of sports right now." That's only scratching the surface.

Owning this iteration of the Browns has been a colossal mind-fuck for Randy Lerner, pushing him into obvious paranoid schizophrenia. He recently coordinated an investigation of his own team's GM, including into his "professional and personal conduct."

It's not like the guy drafted Tim Couch or anything. Lerner, in looking for a replacement, says he wants a "strong, credible, serious leader within the building to guide decisions in a far more conspicuous, open, transparent way... I think my highest priority is to have a stable figure that represents the voice that explains the decisions."

Notice, he's not looking for someone to make decisions, only to explain them. In other words, he needs someone to be a mouth-piece for a rich lunatic. To me, this sounds like the perfect job for the ghost of Bernie Kosar, who's been hanging around of late and could really use the extra loot.

The Browns' ineptitude has long been evident on the field, but now the rot has spread all the way up to the owner's box. This team is so bad they've driven a billionaire to madness, so maybe there's hope for America after all.

Robb Witmer Full has never been to Cleveland.

October 31, 2009

Transcript: Cochran's Intimate Sit-Down Celebrity Interviews

By Robb Witmer Full 

To combat the creeping cabin fever and winter-madness of a Daylight Saving Time snowstorm, the author has decided to revisit his video collection of rare, unaired, and ultimately-failed television pilots starring Cochran, a one-named non-celebrity.

The following is a partial transcript of the pilot episode of
Cochran's Intimate Sit-Down Celebrity Interviews. The show was targeted for an afternoon time-slot on the ESPN family of networks, likely as a companion to Jim Rome is Burning, though the connection to sports was dubious.

The program was not picked up.


[Cochran, in a cheap suit, enters from stage left to mild applause; camera pans over a two-thirds full studio audience]

COCHRAN: Thanks. Thank you so much. Wow, this is going to be fun.

[Cochran ducks a tomato thrown at him]

COCHRAN: Tough crowd. Okay, let's scrap the opening monologue and get straight to our fabulous celebrity guests! [applause] First up, we have everybody's favorite sperm factory, Levi Johnston!

[Levi Johnston enters from stage left, completely nude; Cochran and Johnston sit down facing each other from two love seats]

COCHRAN: Great to meet you, Levi.

JOHNSTON: Good to be here.

COCHRAN: [leans in, rests chin on hand] You're naked.

JOHNSTON: Yeah. You guys paid me to be naked.

COCHRAN: [puts hand on Johnston's thigh] We did. But I want to move on to something else. Your mom is famous?

JOHNSTON: Um, no. My baby-mama's mom ran for Vice President.

COCHRAN: Fascinating.

JOHNSTON: Of the United States. Then she quit her job as governor of Alaska so she could pretend to write a book and then get a cushy Fox News talk show in 2010... Your hand is still...

[Cochran laughs nervously, takes hand away]

COCHRAN: Didn't you float around in a balloon or something?

JOHNSTON: No, and I'm getting cold.

[a few nervous coughs from the audience]

COCHRAN: Look, kid, I'm going to be honest, I thought you were someone else. What do you say we cut our losses and you go put some clothes back on?

JOHNSTON: [shakes head, leaves stage left] What the hell?

COCHRAN: I think this show is going really well. How about our studio audience?

[camera pans to audience; most seats now empty, a few people are reading newspapers]

COCHRAN: Thanks to everybody who's still here. Our next guest is going to be so much fun. You know him as a World Series champion, I know him as my stock broker for the last four years, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my friend and yours, Lenny "Nails" Dykstra!

[Dykstra, wearing his old Phillies home uniform, enters from stage left to a slow-clap from one person]

DYKSTRA: What the fuck is this? I thought ESPN had some cheddar. [sits] This place looks like my bitch mom's basement.

COCHRAN: Lenny, how did you get so rich?

DYKSTRA: Bro, I don't know if you heard, but I'm not living the dream no more.

COCHRAN: Hmm. I see.

DYKSTRA: I've got nothing left. But it's not my fault. It was all the scumbags that I did business with for all those years, they stole all my money. My planes, my houses, my unicorns... Everything is gone.

COCHRAN: So the money I gave you to invest...

DYKSTRA: Oh, that's fine, bro. Are you fucking serious? [spits on floor] You've actually doubled your investment.

COCHRAN: What a relief.

DYKSTRA: Yeah, dude, you're all good. [snorts cocaine off of thumbnail] I just need like two grand to get it for you. It's complicated.

COCHRAN: Whoa, two grand? Do you take bad checks?

DYKSTRA: My empire was built on bad checks, bro.

[Cochran brings out checkbook, writes check, hands it to Dykstra]

DYKSTRA: Cool, dude. I'm gonna jet. [leaves stage left]

COCHRAN: Thanks, Len. Well, it looks like we have time for one more guest. [to audience] What do you say?

[a cricket seems to be loose in the studio]

COCHRAN: This is a big one, so without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Regis Philbin!

[Cochran waits several seconds with a giant smile on his face; no Regis]

COCHRAN: Phil, do we have Regis? ... No? [sighs] That's it then? Ladies and gentlemen, sorry to tease you like that, but that is going to do it for the show this week...

[a glass bottle is thrown at Cochran and breaks behind him]

COCHRAN: What the...?

[the last two audience members begin throwing their chairs in the direction of the stage and chanting "Regis! Regis!"]

[the stage-hands and Cochran fight back]

[final four minutes of footage consists of unbridled rioting; gunshots heard right before tape cuts out]


Internal ESPN documents indicate that Cochran's Intimate Sit-Down Celebrity Interviews was produced as an April Fool's joke for an ESPN executive vice president, and resulted in seven arrests.

Robb Witmer Full could not be reached for comment.

October 20, 2009

Jeff Fisher: Secret Genius or Maniac?

He could be bringing it all down from the inside.

By Robb Witmer Full 

"Individuals have prominence over their psyches and can liberate themselves from horrible states of being as the world goes to shit around them." -James Ellroy
"Bud Adams 'can't understand' Titans' play." -Headline in The Tennessean, October 19, 2009

One can only wonder of the dark depths to which Jeff Fisher has sunk after leading his team to perhaps the most calamitous loss in professional sports history. His soul is probably playing three-card poker with Rich Kotite somewhere, each on their sixth Crown and Coke.

"Fisher's always been a good coach," I said at a bar before the season started. "Underrated."

"For a while now," said the football fan I was talking to. At the time we had no idea that we were jabbering like madmen.

Going into last season, the Titans looked like a kinda-crappy team. They had bat-shit Vince Young at quarterback, backed up by wash-up Kerry Collins. These career underachievers were throwing to basically nobody, so the offense looked to be a joke.

After sending Young out to chop wood, Collins came in and turned out to be rejuvenated (read: mediocre). The running game and defense were enough to get them to 13 wins. These are sure signs that Fisher knows what he's doing, right?

Except that this year he's taken a kinda-crappy team and put them -- after only six weeks -- in the running for the worst team of all time. They're already playing catch-up to the '08 Lions.

The Titans at this point might as well bring in Steve Kragthorpe to be Fisher's co-head coach, that way the rest of the season could be one big Not-Giving-A-Shit Festival.

Now Fisher is distancing himself from his own team. In an act of incredible nutcasery he appeared in public wearing the jersey of Peyton Manning. "I just wanted to feel like a winner," he said.

That's something only losers say. Fisher is either going off the deep end, or somehow attempting to rise above his own team. It's sheer lunacy either way.

There are rumors going around that his plan is to bring the NFL down from the inside, to dismantle the framework of parity that rules all in the league. The NFL is not a world where 59-0 is supposed to be possible, where millionaire athletes up and quit because they're in last place, or out of the playoff picture, or it's cold.

At least it didn't used to be. Jeff Fisher is changing the dynamics of professional football forever, possibly setting the league back decades, or, more likely, pushing it towards its most glorious days yet.

One thing is certain; Fisher has not taken his eye off the ball.

"I am a coach and do the best I can with this football team," he said. "There's all kinds of distractions in the National Football League. It is how you deal with them."

Right on, brother.

Robb Witmer Full is out there somewhere.

October 10, 2009

A "Dr. Lou" Lost Episode

Behind the curtain at ESPN's smash hit.

By Robb Witmer Full

For the price of a run-of-the-mill hand-job, the author was able to obtain from a high-level intern (only roughly 5% of ESPN employees actually receive paychecks) the transcript of the latest discarded episode of "Dr. Lou."

According to internal ESPN documents — obtained from the same intern for the price of a very good hand-job — three episodes of "Dr. Lou" are actually filmed for every one that is aired.

"Dr. Lou" is usually coherent, even with his prescribed heavy-dependence on OxyContin and synthetic mescaline. However, there are times that his recreational addiction to intravenous adrenaline shots sometimes causes the program to not get by ESPN's standards and practices board.


DR. LOU: First, I'd like to start out by apologizing to my beautiful wife of a hundred and thirty-five years for waking her up early this morning with another one of my screaming fits. What can I say, sometimes I get these awfully vivid nightmares of self-cannibalization and it helps to scream bloody-murder until my balls hurt. Let's take our first call.

UNIDENTIFIED OLD MAN: Huh, who is this? What's on the phone here?

DR. LOU: You're on the air!

UNIDENTIFIED OLD MAN: What's going on? I'm taking a nap now.

DR. LOU: Ahh! It's my old friend, Bill Stewart, head coach of West Virginia. How're things?

BILL STEWART: What just happened?

DR. LOU: Don't worry 'bout it, Bill. Go back to bed. This reminds me of the time me, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden all took a boat trip down to Cuba to see the hemisphere's best Jimmy Buffet cover band. To make a long story short, we end up in a small jail cell in Miami, and they didn't allow naps. Tell that to us! Who's our next caller?

STEVE KRAGTHORPE: Hey, Doc, It's Steve Kragthorpe of Louisville. I've tried everything, but I still haven't been fired. I thought jerseys that say "The Ville" across the front would be the last straw, but even that didn't do it. What gives?

DR. LOU: Sometimes the self-loathing of your employer won't let them fire you, even when you're doing a terrible job. Trust me, I worked for Catholics! Thanks to you, Steve, Louisville is the new Syracuse, only with much worse uniforms. Have you tried letting a mule kick the field goals? It might not get you fired, but it sure would be a hoot. One more call.

RICH RODRIGUEZ: Hey, Dr. Lou, it's Rich-Rod. I'm glad you brought up self-loathing because I totally hate myself sometimes. Now our team is back to mediocrity and my quarterback is getting all the credit instead of my brilliant offensive schemes. Plus, he's a douche.

DR. LOU: Takes one to know one, Rich. The spotlight will be turned back to you soon enough. Things will go bad and the Michiganites will thirst for your blood. My old trick was always to dress up real pretty, like a lady. Sneak out the back and if anybody asks who you are, tell 'em you're married to the mayor. Oh, what the heck, one more call.

REGIS: Hey, Dr. Lou, it's Regis.

DR. LOU: Hot damn, Regis Philbin!

REGIS: Lou, you gotta ditch this show. Me. You. A sack of yeyo. Let's go, now. I'm outside.

DR. LOU: Well, my dear audience, you heard what Regis said. I've got a coke party to attend. Until next week!

[Dr. Lou leaves in a rush, knocking over two people and three pieces of furniture on his way out to Regis' Porsche.]


Robb Witmer Full is editor-at-large and co-founder of America-Thrust.

September 19, 2009

Swayze Was All We Had

By Robb Witmer Full

America, like the Double Deuce, has turned savage. There was only one man that could save us, and now that man is gone.

He went by the name of Swayze to most, Dalton to those who knew him best. Was he a mercenary? Sure, at first. A man's got to make a living, and we all know that philosophy degree — even one from NYU — is worth basically nothing.

Before Dalton came around, the Double Deuce was the kind of place where they'd sweep the eyeballs up at the end of the night. It didn't take him long to change that.

Who was the real Dalton? A regionally-renowned bouncer? Zen Master? Protégé of the late, great Wade Garrett? Ruthless killer? Perhaps, the last American Hero?

Yes to all.

He battled wickedness in all its forms, and it took on many within the blood-soaked walls of the Double Deuce. He busted drug-dealers, thieves, and pimps. No matter what weapon was wielded, be it knife, pool cue, razor-boot, fist, or gun, not a chance was stood against him.

Should his enemies strike a blow, he barely flinched. "Pain don't hurt," he always used to say.

When the Double Deuce was finally cleaned up, Dalton was forced to face the true evil in town, local extortionist Brad Wesley. It would have been easy for Dalton to walk away, to find the next bar.

He didn't do that, instead embracing his role as the fist of societal justice, to strike back against what is wrong. And when the time came, he stepped aside and allowed Wesley's true victims to settle the score on their terms.

Would Dalton have fought for us, to help make the American Dream a reality? I'd like to believe he would have. At least providing we could come up with $5000 up front, and $500 per night.

Robb Witmer Full follows the Way of Swayze as much as he can.