OH HELLO THERE
It has been a while! What’s new in your life? Did you find that thing that you were looking for? I’m sorry to hear that! How are the wife and kids? THEY’RE DEAD? I’m sorry to hear that! Inshallah 2018 will bring you light and love and maybe your loved ones back from the dead like that one episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer except NOT SPOOKY THANKS DAWN
SPEAKING OF BEING PRESUMED TO BE A GHOST this was supposed to be an ORANGE BOWL PREVIEW! I was so ready to make terrible jokes about the Wisconsin Badgers! I was ready to call Paul Ryan America’s worst freshman year roommate who masturbated into a sock when they thought you were sleeping! Most Miami fans had a Tim Tebow jersey ten years ago but totally had a Sebastian Starter jacket in the early 90s & were talking about THE TURNOVER CHAIN five weeks ago but now are talking about THE BLOCKCHAIN because they are amateur club promoters/Daytraders. DJ LITECOIN
But nooooo look at us! We’re #4! Ain’t that some shit! That seems like a LIFETIME AGO! I BOUGHT A HOUSE. DOUG JONES GOT ELECTED SENATOR. I SURVIVED SANTA CON. I GOT LOWE’S GIFT CARDS FOR CHRISTMAS! We had an entire December! I have eaten an entire cake!!
CHEAT DAY SNACK OF THE WEEK
Oooof, I am pretty sure I have eaten sugar every single day since, like, November 20th. This is NOT how I normally roll, but here we are & life is stressful every day now but also there are lots of reasons to CELEBRATE EVERYTHING or CELEBRATE LIFE as DJ Khaled would say & I trust that man with my life (which I am celebrating!). In honor of eating everything on the entire planet over the past month, the best things I have eaten this year ARE:
Poofy bread at Zaytinya in Washington D.C
YOOOO isn’t bread DOPE? It makes everything better! I have to throw away pretty much every single piece of bread or biscuit or whatever because of my diet but on the days where I am eating bread I am eating BREAD. It really transends the shit out of everything! Who knew that FLOUR was so good! Anyway, if you go to Washington D.C (it’s our Nation’s Capital! I have a shirt that says this!) go to every single Jose Andres restaurant (he’s my uncle! Not really! But if I say it enough times you might believe me!) because the dude is super nice & makes some bomb as food. I also went to JALEO and ate sea urchin which was REALLY GOOD
Cheesesteak at Woodrow’s in Philadelphia, PA
I have been thinking about this sandwich at least once a day since July. Cheesesteaks are a perfect food, but I have eaten some BAD cheesesteaks which have no flavor to the meat, or the roll is all messed up, or the cheese, like, sticks to the bread & doesn’t do anything for the sandwich, but this is the #1 cheesesteak. It is a fancy sandwich shop! I’m sure the other sandwiches are good! You might say to yourself “oh bleh you should go to Pat’s or Geno’s or one of the other famous shitty cheesesteak shack stands to be authentic,” but look, dude, I just want the best & this is THEEEE BEST. They put a little bit of truffle oil into the cheesewiz & again you are probably scoffing because you are an obnoxious FOOD PURIST LA DE DA THE ONLY TRUE FOOD IS AT GAS STATIONS but go eat this cheesesteak & be forever changed, motherfucker.
Smoked Long Rib at Butcher & The Boar in Minneapolis, MN
LOOK HOW FANCY I AM LISTING THREE METROPOLITAN AREAS. I also went to Aliceville! Anyway, I do not consider myself particularly heteronormative but Butcher & The Boar is the place that I always imagined my bachelor party being if I lived inside of a movie & was filthy rich (my real bachelor party involved some pretty good steak & drinking at Egan’s which was pretty damn perfect). It is all smoked meats & handmade sausages & bourbon & I honestly can’t get over how beautiful that piece of meat is.
Brisket at My Friend PJ’s House in Raleigh, NC
PJ smoked the damn thing for 300 hours & we all got drunk & it was one of those food items that you were like HOLY SHIT MY FRIEND MADE THIS & it was the best brisket I’ve ever had & it was one of those things where you’re like “Oh, maybe I can do this” but I would absolutely burn my entire house down. The maillard reaction is a goddamn miracle SHUT UP I DON’T NEED TO KNOW HOW THE SCIENCE WORKS
BONUS SENTIMENTAL PICK
Endive with Goat Cheese & Spiced Pecans at My Wedding in Tuscaloosa, AL
Even if I wasn’t drunk on love & Old Fashioneds I could’ve eaten a thousand of those things. My cool wife is very susceptible to the influential power of soft cheeses. I want to restore an old arcade cabinet & she absolutely will not allow it, but I have not tried to woo her with a baked brie with a nice assortment of crackers. WILL REPORT BACK
Food is fucking dope. MORE FOOD IN 2018
LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT
Look! I know that these are trying times! Your dissertation on whatever it is dissertations are made out of has deserted you for better desserts (you always want two desserts–you are the dessert in this metaphor, by the way–if I was a dessert I’d be THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY) and that might be getting you down. Football is your boyfriend and your boyfriend wants to make out with you all the time, but you’re all like ‘No football, not tonight, I want to go out with my friends,’ but football is a little handsy and eventually you’re like ‘Fine, football, I’ll stay in and read Advanced Statistics and Clemson message boards and feel like I want to die,’ and all of your friends are like ‘Where’s Genevieve? (your name is Genevieve in this situation, by the way, you were named after your grandmother who was named after the Patron Saint of Paris even though when you’re at Panera Bread she would always request chips instead of a baguette)’ and all of your other friends (you have a lot of friends! Take heart!) are like ‘She’s staying at home…searching twitter for every possible spelling of “Renfrow”.’ and they all kind of roll their eyes and say something along the lines of “Feeling massive anxiety and dread about the College Football Playoff…I should be doing that.’ And that’s what football is–it’ll break your heart into a million pieces, but you’ll still come crawling back to it like some sickened whale. I know, sweethearts, I know.
You are sad. If you have the FourSquare application activated on your Location Services ON cellular device, you are now the mayor of Sadtown. Of course, you will not mention this to anyone: you, instead, like a good English major who knows how to use the synonym option on your bootlegged copy of Microsoft Office 2007 (also your boyfriend) refer to it as ‘ennui’ as it sounds so much more fancy–chaise lounge fancy. Monogrammed bathrobe fancy. You will sigh. You will sigh again.
Perhaps this has to do with the end of the year and you are thinking of all of the sadness in the world. But chances are this has to do with the fact that we lost the Iron Bowl and even though we snuck into the playoffs there is a sneaking suspicion that Clemson’s Defense is too scary; that Jalen tucks and runs too much; that we have had too many fractures in our linebacking corps, that you wish you could give Shaun Dion Hamilton a hug and a new ligament, that we are marching toward a complete unknown: Dylan Moses’ broken foot an effigy of your delicate psyche, Hootie Jones’ MCL a representation of your relationships with others. Brian Daboll’s beard is looking extra gray these days and you, you are getting older too, like that song the Smashing Pumpkins wrote and Stevie Nicks covered.
You have been listening to Townes van Zandt alone in your house looking at Instagram photos of good looking people with good sounding jobs with fat babies for far too long. They have achieved their glory and you are feeling inadequate. This is what loss brings—a cascade of never feeling good enough; that we may never have truly been “good” and therefore we will never be good again; that we are incapable. We are synonymous with failure.
I am here to tell you to it is okay to be sad. But it is time to GET YOUR MOTHERFUCKING MIND RIGHT BECAUSE IT IS GOING TO BE 20-FUCKING-18 AND OL’ FUCKFACE CLOWN PRINCE DABO SWINNEY IS ON THE PRECIPICE OF WINNING BACK TO BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS AND WE ARE THE GODDAMN FOOTBALL TEAM THAT IS NOT GOING TO ALLOW THIS SHIT TO STAND
There’s been a general malaise (why does the word malaise always sound so delicious—it reminds me of a marmalade glaze which is probably very delicious! Get yourself an orange roll this holiday season! ™ Maybe from Edgar’s! Even though I’m 99% sure they’re a weird cult!) about this lead up because we’re in a very strange state; typically Alabama fans are very much in a WE ARE GOING TO KILL EVERYONE mood or a OH GOD WE ARE ABOUT TO GET TORE UP mood & we’re having this strange flashback to, like, 2008 where it’s like “it’s going to be rough, but I think we can win!” which is a very strange thing to hear coming out of our mouths—as if winning is not a preconceived notion. This, however, is causing a massive paradigm shift in our belief systems; I feel like a jingo-istic Trump supporter where DOUBTING THE TIDE is un-American but in actuality it makes me a REAL AMERICAN because I am able to acknowledge our faults with the desire that we will turn it around in the end! And if we’re being real I feel A LOT better about the state of our football team than of our country! WOOO! *weeps into his collector’s edition Jimmy Carter peanut shells*
When it happened I was like “oh whatever it’s fine, we’re just playing with found money I don’t even really care about football anymore surely Alabama Basketball will bring me lots of joy and fortuitousness in the days to come I once received a Mr. Chen’s fortune cookie that said very much the same thing and the good folks of that shopping complex would never lie to me special shoutout to Druid City Brewing!” but now I AM TURNED ALL THE WAY UP and I AM BUYING BROWNIES and I am LESS CRABBY ABOUT THE 8:45PM EAST COAST KICK-OFF TIME BECAUSE WE GET ONE MORE SHOT AT GREATNESS, BAYBAAYYYYYY
We are one win away from playing for the National Championship! Holy shit! And don’t you want to shake your head & ask yourself “How in the ever fuck did we pull that off?” as you hug a stranger on University Boulevard and do an unironic SEC chant? I know it sounds like hyperbole, but isn’t that far off! Also this team is MAD. Not like, “Saban Mad,” but like TONY BROWN MAD. And you never want to go full TONY BROWN MAD except when you have a goddamn football game to win.
I know how we played against Auburn has got you down but I’ll be DAMNED if GLITTER AUBURN gets the best of us. Clemson looks like the semi-final team in every sports movie who has the fancy uniforms. Clemson is goddamn TERHUNE in Hoosiers, which is an apt metaphor because AVERY JOHNSON’S TEAM IS ON THE FLOOR (& by floor we mean the kind of Barclay’s but not really).
I drove to South Carolina this past year! I was on my way to NORTH CAROLINA which will forever be known as “Good Carolina” this here’s the anthem get your damn hands up
I had a decent donut in Greenville! There were signs for Clemson being like “we won a championship” which is just like ew. I hope that they keep those signs up from now until the end of time so it’ll be like a sad opening to a television drama where you see the “STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS” sign as you get introduced to the small town with all of its people with a heart of gold documenting the struggle of white people where it’s always been okay to say MERRY CHRISTMAS and it says something like “Clemson, 2016 National Champions” except it’s GODDAMN 2057 and Blue Ivy is president.
Do you know any Clemson fans? I don’t! Except, like, on the internet. The guy who designed our SUPER COOL FOOTBALL TYPEFACE this year went to Clemson & he seems pretty nice but I am petty enough to wish that he would have to see HIS OWN FONT USED AGAINST HIM. PREDATOR SLAB.TTF! MY OWN CREATIONNNNNNNNN! BUT WHYYYYYYY
And there’s probably some shitty 11-year-old kid who decided he’s going to be a Clemson fan after they won the championship last year. 11-year-old kids are trash, man. That kid sucks.
Please let me state for the record that I am NEVER DABO but I am MAYBE VENABLES but then again he has some Oklahoma on him & that’s something you can’t just wash off, although isn’t it AMAZING that he got replaced by MIKE STOOPS because his brother wanted to get the ol’ band back together! I will say that if Dabo is hired & they make a waterslide from the top of the Mal Moore Athletic Center to Five Brunch, I am mostly here for CHURCH FIGHT because Dabo will bring his creepy ass NewSpring Church with him to Tuscaloosa where it will try to steal everyone’s favorite Mega Church CHURCH OF THE HIGHLANDS in a battle of who can make the most podcasts that essentially explain how rich white people shouldn’t feel guilty about their rich whiteness because they are one with the lord! THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! CHURCH OF THE HIGHLANDER!
Seriously though Dabo DEFINITELY believes that the earth is flat & there’s a weather machine & sandy hook “I don’t know, seems a little fishy to me”
There will come a day, perhaps when Saban retires, perhaps sooner than that as Murder Death Kirby becomes an inevitability over the next six years, where you look at Alabama & you look at our opponent & you say “Well, I’d rather have their team than our team.” It will be a tough day—this isn’t you saying “Oh I wish I was a Clemson fan,” or some nonsense like that, but you will be envious of the other team’s players, their coaching staff, and how they play. And certainly there is a lot to be admired with this year’s Clemson team—that D-Line is beastly, and we are all fully aware that most of our anxiety comes from the QB position where Bryant seems pretty straight-forward while sweet beautiful Jalen is like opening your parents’ refrigerator: there could be some dope leftovers in there, or it could just be a slice of turkey & some random condiments & you’re gonna have to cobble together something passable.
January 1, 2018 is not that day. There is a cake in that fridge. And that cake is pissed off. It’s time to Sugar Up, sweetface.
Alabama 24-Clemson 20