By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Start you off with some bullets about a busy week in sports (and, yes, I used the word “bullets” a week after a mass shooting because even such a horrid act of senseless violence should not change our language, especially when it comes to otherwise innocuous words that happen to have more than one meaning and are not being used in any negative way, and you’re a soft-minded person if any of that offends you, and you are letting the violence win, and you’re a hypocrite if you try to feed me the BS that sports heal, but let’s not talk about sports):
- Hey, congrats! You’re alive, and a defunct society’s sun-readings didn’t kill you. And stupid non-Mayans have to go find something else to occupy their stupidity and make into stupid jokes.
- A sincere thanks to hoops coaches Pat Kelsey of Winthrop, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Mitch Buonaguro of Sienna, Will Brown of UAlbany and former coach Jim Calhoun for having the balls to publicly criticize this country’s gun situation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy-that-isn’t-about-guns-if-you’re-a-moron.
- A.J. Pierzynski is a Texas Ranger, and now White Sox fans can appropriately hate him.
- Jabari Parker—piece of child meat served raw by TV network pimps and those in his own personal circle for the jackals who concern themselves with where a kid will play one year of college basketball and then yell at and curse this stranger child when he doesn’t pick their favorite group of young men at a college not for an education—chose Duke on Thursday.
- Tim Tebow is going to ask to be traded or released from the Jets. Michael Vick May be a Jet next year. The Jets think someone will trade for Mark Sanchez. Such a situation a) makes me appreciate Jay Cutler and b) means that there are some idiots in the Chicago woodwork that think Phil Emery should inquire about Sanchez.
On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.
When will the next end of the world be? (I’m guessing moments before Cubs v Houston WS Game 7 next year.)—@Winky_Dinky_Dog
Soon. People have to be afraid of a Boogie Man at all times. Mayan calendars, Y2K, Africanized (which sounds scarier than “killer” because it conjures up the image of brown people) bees, [insert animal name] flu, Chinese toothpaste, who will be Kelly Ripa’s cohost, product recalls, tainted spinach, and all the absurd reasons that lead to homeschooling.
“Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” wrote H.L. Mencken, and the media sure as hell understands that. The fact that the Mayan calendar garbage was covered as actual news was a new low in American journatainment. At least it means an end to all of the really bad, uncreative Mayan jokes.
St. Malachi supposedly said that there would be just 112 Popes after the year 1143, even going so far as to name the 112th because YOLO. Pope Benedict is #111 since then. Thing is, though, Malachi was Irish, and as an Irish American I’m comforted by knowing that he is likely wrong because no Irishman has ever come close to being that right. For a much more logical and concrete prediction, turn to the archangel Gabriel. He told the Sword of God Brotherhood (who I believe opened for Deep Purple in 1974) that the world will end in 2017. On the outside chance we get through that one, here are some more dates to mark on your non-Mayan calendars.
Angels hired a babysitter for Hamilton… Where does that rank on best gigs in America?—@CobbMcWalter79
In a morbid way, pretty high actually (no pun intended). I say morbid because it’s pretty sad when you consider that someone actually gets paid to keep an eye on another adult like that, and if it was me in that position I’d have to constantly step back and think “This is my job?” But the world is a twisted place. If you can divorce yourself from the fact that no grown man, especially one idolized by so many, should need someone else looking over his shoulder at all times, that’s probably a fantastic job. Wait, you’re going to pay me probably six figures to travel with an MLB All-Star and make sure he’s not drinking or doing drugs? And you’re going to refer to me as a “Major League staff assistant?” Um, yes, please.
Levity aside, I found it odd that when Hamilton signed with the Angels that people were all like, “Oh, L.A., yeah, that’s the place you want to go if you’re a recovering addict. No temptations there.” What MLB city doesn’t have the lure of booze, drugs, and sluts? Hell, what non-sports town doesn’t? Hamilton himself said, “It don’t matter where you’re at. If you’re in Alaska, Hawaii, wherever you’re at, if you make the choice to do something bad or wrong, you can do it. Period.”
The man has demons I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And he’s self-aware enough to understand that he can’t take care of himself, and there is no shame in that. For all the knocks the guy gets for his past and the occasional slip-up since, I always shake my head at how at least he, unlike most of us, acknowledges his limitations and short comings—in public no less.
The 12 12 12 concert brought about several odd pairings, such as Paul McCartney and Nirvana. What would be the oddest musical pairing you could ever think of?—Boyd
I didn’t find that pairing as odd as many did. At least Sir Paul and the remaining Nirvanians both were bred in the same overall genre of music, though the latter represent very much the antithesis of the former. What bothered me most was people referring to it as “Paul McCartney playing with Nirvana.” No, he was playing with members of Nirvana minus their dead frontman who essentially was Nirvana and who hadn’t functioned as an actual band since 1994.
I recall watching the Elton John/Eminem duet live and thinking, “This is weird as hell… but it’s also actually pretty cool.” Then there was the uncomfortable hug at the end, and people forgot about it a few days later.
Any pairing or duet or whatever you want to call it is odd when it just so happens to be unexpected and unconventional. A country star and a hip hop star getting together, for example, would turn heads just because they’re very different genres and modern country music is absolutely terrible. Such a thing also runs the risk of creating Kid Rock, and that’s unforgivable.
The weirdest possibilities would probably be ones involving a respected act with one that is considered a joke at best. Think Radiohead plus Kedollarsymbola or Wilco plus Chief Keef or Jay-Z plus Lady Gaga. I’m all for the unusual, and if not for experimentation we don’t have the beautiful evolution of rhythm and blues to rock and soul to punk and hip hop and everything in between (country has evolved the least, hence its inferiority). In trying to imagine really odd pairings that haven’t happened, though, it causes me to just think up acts that would suck, and there’s enough terrible, awful, laughable, despicable music out there right now that I’d rather not make the imaginary be bad, too.
Ozzy and Miss Piggy is imaginary, right?
What do you think about Lou Holtz as a pro coach?—@jedgarnaut
I really try not to because then this happens.
Happy Holidays to you and yours. I ask that you take a few minutes to take in David Sedaris’ essay “Six to Eight Black Men” for the true meaning of Christmas.
Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.
Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to email@example.com or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.