Wednesday, September 28, 2016

chiefs! jets! (tailgate!) curb stomp away! ...

“I’m gonna need you?
To raise your glass!
I don’t care what
You put in it.

Here’s to nights
That you can’t take back!
We live hard --
But we love to laugh!

We all thought that
We’d get rich fast;
Hop the plane out
For greener grass.

Found out the green?
Is cash –
And don’t compare?
To friends that last!

See, we won’t forget
Where we came from!
The city won’t change us!
We beat to the same drum!

No we won’t forget
Where we came from!
We beat to the same drum!
The same drum!

La da da da da da da!
La da da da da da doe!
It don’t matter where we from?
We always find our way back home!

La da da da da da da!
La da da da da da doe!
It don’t matter where we from?
We always find our way back home!

We always?
Find our way back home! …”


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Curb stomp.

According to that beacon of accuracy Wikipedia, a curb stomp is defined as “a form of assault in which a victim’s mouth is forcibly placed on a curb and then stomped from behind, cause severe injuries and sometimes death”.

Sadly, the sports world suffered two tragic deaths on Sunday.  Marlins ace Josh Fernandez died in a late night boating accident.  And The King, Arnold Palmer, passed away at the too young age of 87. 

But Sunday, at Terrorhead?

That was a curb stomping.  That was the most damned forceful performance I think I’ve ever seen a Chiefs defense put on, and folks, I’ve been going to games in that stadium since before I had a conscious memory.  Which come to think of it, might explain a few things about who and what I am.

The Jets had eleven possessions on Sunday.  They kicked three times to end them – one field goal, and two punts.

And normally, that’s a very good thing.  You want to kick as little as possible, if we’re being honest.  If you told me, for example, the Chiefs would have eleven possessions in a game, and only three would end with a kick, I’d think the Chiefs chances to win would be at least decent.  Because you’d expect at least a few of those other eight possessions to end with the Chiefs crossing the goalline, right?

Well, unfortunately for the Jets, those other eight possessions resulted in three fumbles (two recovered by the Chiefs), and six – SIX! – interceptions.  Also unfortunately for the Jets, two of those turnovers were taken to the house by the Chiefs.

The Chiefs accomplished this?  With their best defensive player out via injury, and with the front seven collecting exactly zero sacks.  No NFL game since 1986 had seen that many interceptions without a sack being recorded.  Sh*t folks, had the Chiefs forced one more turnover?  They would have tied the NFL record for most turnovers in a game.  (Anthony looked it up after turnover number seven.)

I noted in the predictions piece for this week that the Chiefs are going to get curb stomped in The Ketchup Bottle come Sunday night.  I might want to rethink that sentiment, given the outcomes of Sunday.

Because that, on Sunday, at Terrorhead?

The Chiefs delivered a curb stomping so violent and thorough, I honestly think the Jets will not recover from it.

That game Sunday, to quote one of my dad’s favorite, uuh, quotes?

“That was an ass kicking of Biblical proportions!”

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The Bus departed a little late, since we figured there was no way in hell there’d be enough people in line at 9am on a rainy, dreary, somewhat humid Sunday morning, to force the early-in gates to open even earlier than planned. 

And as usual, we were wr … wr … wr … possibly incorrect.

There were seven of us who rode out: myself, Russ and Mona, Anthony and Jaimmie, and Miranda, and Fran.  We got to Gate Seven a little before 9am … and the line was already backed up to Gate Six, to get in the early-in gate.  Donna, the nice lady who tries to keep everything organized in line (by confirming you do have an early-in parking pass) came by, knowing we do have said pass, exchanged pleasantries, and then said “there’s no way (the gate) won’t open by 9:30.  Line’s too long.”  This was at 9:08am.

So me, being the nice, decent dude I am approximately 2.46% of the time, did what any insane, irrational dude would do.  I grabbed my mimosa and began the walk to secure our spot … and to survey what the latest dumb f*ck parking setup the Chiefs have come up with looks like.

(Yo, Chiefs?  As I once again submitted in your STM Survey (maureen mcgovern voice) “the morning after”?  You want to seriously address and fix the parking issues you have?  Get a panel of 15-20 of us Season Ticket Members together in February – ideally one from each lot, with a few who park wherever – and let us fix it for you.  When in doubt?  Address the victim.  Because they’re f*cking tired of being victims.)

I headed down the hill through Gate Seven … and saw a parking attendant on a golf cart at the bottom of the hill, a couple law enforcement officials there as well, and as I approached our spot, I saw a new dude sitting on the rocks in the island, waiting to “help direct the flow of traffic”.

This, I thought?  Could not possibly be good. 

I, in hindsight?  Could not possibly have been more wrong.

--------------------

When the early-in gate opened a little after 9:45am (earlier than the 10am early in posted time!), I approached the dude sitting on the rock in the island across from us.  The conversation as best I recall:

(me) hey.
(parking dude) hey.
(me) see that Bus coming down the hill? 
(me) (points at The Bus)
(parking dude) Yeah. 
(me) he’s hopefully going to be coming right here.  Then I’m going to pick up that cone, to let him pull into Lot G to turn around, so we’re headed out.  We’ll be on the grass over there (pointing to our spot).
(parking dude) Cool.
(me) Not going to be a problem?
(parking dude) Why would it be?
(me) because you see those (pointing to the port-a-potties)?
(parking dude) Yeah?
(me) because we’re about to move them.
(parking dude) OK.

And that is exactly what happened – The Bus went right past the golf cart parking folks, drove onto the grass, and I grabbed a cone to let Russ the Bus Man through into Lot G.  Anthony and I then moved the two port-a-potties down towards the dumpster (where they should be anyway), before moving a second cone to let The Bus pull into our usual spot.

And you know what happened after that?

Five f*cking hours of fun, that’s what.  Because nobody bothered us – or Roger’s crew next to us.  Nobody bothered the black bus to our left.  Nobody harassed the people entering.  Nobody stopped us from saving spots for Ron and Michelle, for some friends of Russ and Mona’s that came out, or for Brad – making his first appearance in nearly three years.

The parking attendants left us alone.

That, Kansas City Chiefs?  Is all we have EVER asked for!  Just leave us the f*ck aloneYou can steal our literal image and use it to sell your parking setup, without giving us a damned thing, and we’re cool with it.  Just leave us alone in return.

(Ours is the red bus on the right, with the green roof.)

If the parking setup Sunday is what we can expect going forward?

I’m perfectly fine with it.

--------------------

We no sooner started unloading stuff, than … well …

(fran) what is that smell?
(me) (beyond excited)
(anthony) (beyond exited)
(me) I think we should go check it out, buddy!

Yup, the new neighbors in the black bus next door?  Like a medicially legal herbal product as much as I do.  And God bless, did it smell good.  And I mean good. 

If there’s one good thing about pushing 40, it’s that you just don’t give a sh*t about certain things now, one of those being propriety and decorum:

(me) can I hit it?
(dude next door named vince) depends. 
(me) on what?
(dude next door named vince) you got a Miller Lite?  My idiot brother forgot to buy some.
(me) I’ll be back momentarily.

And when I got back to The Bus:

(me) I need a couple Miller Lite’s please!
(jaimmie) already?
(me) yes, already!
(jaimmie) (realizes what I’m asking)
(jaimmie) but you don’t drink Miller Lite!
(me) just give me the damned bottles!

And with that, a truly “green” friendship was born, with the neighbors next door.  (sammy sosa voice) God bless America!  It’s a beautiful country!

--------------------

We came so close.  So freaking close.

The Hy-Vee folks stopped by our tailgate a little before noon.  As I’ve mentioned before, our crew has won the Tailgaters of the Game twice before – Thanksgiving Night 2006 against satan’s squad, and a 2008 throwaway game against the Titans … when we probably won because we were like the only folks who showed up.  The group that tailgates next to us – Roger and his crew – won the honor in 2010 against (I think) the 49ers, and in 2014 against either the raiders or Chargers.  I just know it was f*cking cold when they won in 2014, so it had to be December.

Slacker (from 101 The Fox) recorded a commercial with us.  I know Ron got a video of it (I couldn’t; we use my iPhone for the music.)  According to Mr. Griffin, it aired on The Fox during the pregame.  (We’ve requested the .mp3 from them; it’s supposed to be emailed this week.  I’ll upload when / if it’s received.)  We also got a gift card from Hy-Vee that is either worth $10 … or $101 dollars.

We’ll find out Sunday what the value is, when buying the necessities for the Watch Party on The Deck, against my third most hated franchise in professional sports … and truth be told, I might hate the steelers, more than I hate the raiders.

(The winner on Sunday was a group farther down in Lot G … and we passed by them walking in.  They earned it.  No complaints; they had a rocking tailgate even I was jealous of.)

What I loved the most?  What made the Hy-Vee and 101 The Fox folks stop by and check us out?

Cinco Noose Donkey.

Or in the words of the Hy-Vee chick: “that … is awesome!”

--------------------

My buddy Tim stopped by with his son, attending his first football game.  Jesus, it truly frightens me that someone my age has kids coherent and cognizant enough to understand football.  I’m only 39!  I’m too young for this!

For the record, his son and Anthony beat me and Miranda 21-16 at the bean bag game. 

And for the record, I scored 13 of our 16.

God bless, do I need Tyler to get healthy in a hurry.

--------------------

Classic Speakers went over well … and man, did the new adapter work.  I guess going truly digital paid off, because we weren’t limited to the 88 and 107 channels.  Oh hell no!  We can now hijack any frequency not playing up and down the FM dial!

I admit, I had my doubts.  And one person (*cough Russ cough *) wasn’t exactly thrilled that bringing back Classic Speakers meaning bringing back the generator.  (In his defense, that is one heavy – and hot – bastardo.  My leg is still hurting from hitting it a few times.)

But sometimes?  You have to learn a valuable life lesson, one I wish a certain someone had realized four years ago – and honestly, this one should get Stevo Rule of Life designation status, it’s so obvious:

Don’t f*ck with what ain’t broken.

But if you are gonna f*ck with what ain’t broken?  Then make damn sure to at least Gorilla Glue the bastard back together, when you’re done f*cking with it!

I also gotta give a huge thumbs up to the new IOS 10.  Mixology now shows what is in the queue to play next!  There’s no more guessing, there’s no more “yeah, I swear, it’s like three songs away” lies that have to be told, to tailgaters wanting certain songs.  It shows what’s in the queue!  I think that’s cool.

The one funny moment from Mixology was when Jaimmie or Miranda (I forget which one) b*tched me out for not having “All I Do Is Win” in the rotation.  Which led to Anthony correctly reminding them that “he sent us the f*cking text asking what we wanted to hear on Tuesday!  You said nothing!  You can’t blame him for (your song not being there)!”

I hope the couch was comfortable dude.  I’m guessing you slept on it, after that response.

Now if we could just find a charcoal grill whose lid actually locks closed …

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The menu adapted a bit because of some unforeseen stuff from Saturday.  I made the jalapeno poppers (and go figure – maybe two of those 150 plus survived the carnage), and there were brats, burgers and dogs.  But we also went with deli sandwiches you made yourself.  I went with my favorite, and I call it “The Stevo”.

“The Stevo” consists of the following (and I should note, I call it “The Stevo” not out of pure arrogance and a self-inflated sense of worth (although both apply to me) … but because the sandwich lady in the cafeteria at work (an awesome chick named Vickie, who doubles as the best damned barista I’ve had since college – seriously, I’m drinking caffeine again every Friday solely and only due to her coffee making skills), named it “The Stevo”, since I order it at least once a week … and damned if at least one other person in line behind me, doesn’t request the same thing, every single time.

Sh*t folks, even “Chairman Dao” gave it a try … and liked it!  And that man despises me like … well, like I despise him.  Anyways, here you go.

“The Stevo”:

* generous helping of roast beef.
* generous helping of turkey.
* generous helping of sharp cheddar cheese.
* NOT toasted.  (That’s the key, I think.)
* banana peppers – I prefer just a few, but you can never have too many, I think.
* tomato slices.  Total depends on how big a bun / hoagie you’re working with.
* spinach.  Because lettuce sucks.
* chipotle ranch dressing.  Although as I discovered Sunday, dijon mustard does the trick as well … just not as well, as chipotle ranch dressing.
* ideally fresh cracked pepper … but pepper in a shaker works too.
* and some green onions splashed on there to boot.

Piled on white bread.  Although I’ve settled for having one on a tomato, as well as a spinach, tortilla wrap … and I had no complaints on either one.  If anything, the wraps made “The Stevo” slightly better.  But I still prefer two gigantic Texas toast sized white bread slices.

Oh – and two pickle spears on the side, with those sea salt and vinegar chips that are so damned addicting, I think they’re a bigger health crisis than crack, meth, and heroin combined.

Tell me that isn’t one amazing sandwich.

Because I had to make it, for four – four! – different people on Sunday, they were so impressed, watching me make mine.

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We broke down late from tailgating, because honestly, nobody wanted to leave, and people kept showing up.

I mentioned earlier that our buddy Brad (from Roger’s tailgate next door) made his first appearance in almost three years.  He looked … different.  Not in a bad way.  Just … settled.  I guess that’s a good word, settled.  And good for him. 

His dad Bruce, on the other hand, was far from settled.  He was embarrassed.  So embarrassed, he sent Roger over a little after 11am, to have this conversation:

(roger) So I need to ask a small favor.
(me) ok.
(roger) Did you bring any vodka?
(me) (literally crying from laughing so hard)
(me) yeah, we have some.
(roger) Bruce left his in the fridge in the garage.
(me) you need one bottle, or two?
(roger) You people bring that much?!?!?!

For the record, Bruce makes THE best Bloody Mary’s you will ever have.  It’s tradition – we head over with the stiffest mimosa’s you’ll ever have, and they offer us Bruce’s Bloody Mary’s in return, usually about 8:30 for a noon kickoff (in this case, 11am for a 3:30 kickoff). 

For some reason, I’m glad the Tito’s Vodka, finally made it into one of his Bloody Mary’s.

(Tito’s Vodka: the official vodka of Stevo’s Site Numero Dos!  (Pause).  What?  You’d expect ANYTHING else?!?!?! #teamtito)

Amongst the others to flow in on Sunday were Phil and the Bulance crew, our friends from St. Louis we met last week, and of course, “New Jersey Bob”, who literally flew in from, uuh, New Jersey, for this game, with his brother and his son, who I literally … I just have to admit it, I guess.

(me) holy f*cking sh*t!
(chase) what?
(me) Jesus f*cking Christ!
(chase) what?  What did I do?  I just f*cking got here!  I just wanted to have a fun da --
(me) no!  It’s nothing you did dude!  It’s just … are you Chadwick Pennington?
(chase) (laughing)
(chase) I get that a lot, actually.
(me) I so should have worn your jersey today.
(chase) Chase.  (extends hand for handshake).
(me) Stevo.  And hey – you aren’t fooling me, Chadwick!  (extends hand for handshake).

Folks, the kid looks EXACTLY like Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official Favorite Quarterback of All Time, Sir Chadwick Pennington, who piloted the Jets from 2002-2007.  I asked Mona to send me the picture(s) she took of me and “Sir Chadwick”, as I took to calling Chase, so that I could post a picture.  The kid looks EXACTLY like my irrational man crush (NFL Edition) from the early 2000s. 

And yes – I do have a Chadwick Pennington jersey.  It is amongst my most priziest of prizy possessions, in my life.

If “priziest” and “prizy” are words. 

Which I guess they now are.

Also, we’re now “officially” on the hook, to go to the Chiefs / Jets game at the Fake Meadowlands next fall, to “return the honor of tailgating with you”. 

Jesus – next year the Chiefs have roadies at the Cowboys, Jets, “satan’s squad”, potentially Houston (we visit the AFC South team that lands in the same slot in the standings as the Chiefs), and possibly Las Vegas, when / if the “evil empire” moves.  (As well as the Giants, the Patriots, and wherever the hell the Chargers wind up calling home.)

And I’m still staring the trip to Sioux Falls for oakland in three weeks, the trip to Indy for the Colts in five, the trip to the eighth layer of hell itself in nine weeks for satan’s squad, and my cousin wants me to head south to Atlanta for that one in ten weeks, and I want to spend my 40th birthday on a beach in the southern-most part of California, for the Chargers to open 2017!

(Pause).

I’ll be living under a bridge in a worn out cardboard box, in barely twelve months, to make all that work financially …

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Since I prefer to let the professionals recap the game, while I give you the highlights you otherwise wouldn’t witness, I’m only going to mention two specific moments from the game itself.

1. My favorite, bar none moment, was Marcus Peters “pulling” DJ across the goalline on DJ’s pick six.  DJ has just outrun the entire Jets offense to rumble and stumble nearly sixty yards to the east end zone.  And as he gets to the 2, 1 ½ yard line, Marcus Peters grabs his jersey to help pull him in.  (jim mora jr voice) It was really neat!

2. About halfway through the first quarter, security makes their way to where I was sitting.  And once they reached where they were going, it made total sense.  The dude sitting across the aisle from me was passed out drunk, and I mean passed out.  As in “his neighbors were fearing he was dead” drunk.

The security dude shook him.  Tried tapping him.  Even semi-slapped him.  He wasn’t waking up … in any part of his body, except one.

Because no sooner did the attempt to wake him begin?  Then oh yeah, the steady stream of urination began.  Dude pissed himself wetter than a river.  There was a gigantic puddle underneath him, and his tan shorts were a lovely shade of watery.  (For those of you who wonder why I never wear anything but dark and/or heavily colored pants and shorts?  As always, I plan drunk!)

Needless to say, he didn’t witness any of the six interceptions the Chiefs participated in creating on Sunday.

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Not much to report from after the game.  We waited out the traffic, had another mini-tailgate, made it back to the Bus Barn about 7:30, just in time for kickoff in Dallas.  I was asleep by 9:30; I just don’t have the stamina I did ten, twelve years ago, to stay up for the prime time game after a day of tailgating and football viewing.  Does this mean I’m old?  I guess it does.

But hey.  At least no matter where I go?

I always find, my way back home.

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And so, begins what might be one of – if not the – most pivotal weeks of the season.

Two credible Super Bowl contenders, duking it out on Sunday Night Football, in the most underrated rivalry that exists in the National … Football League.

If the Chiefs and Steelers both play like they did on Sunday?  The Chiefs will win this game, and it won’t be even remotely competitive.  Because the Chiefs curb stomped the Jets … and the Steelers got curb stomped by the Eagles.

And that’s why my belief entering last weekend, that Pittsburgh was going to once again, in the words of Clark Judge ten years ago, “use the Chiefs as their own personal urinal”, is being re-thought.  Who tore the Steelers a new one on Sunday?  Former Chiefs offensive coordinator / play caller Doug Pederson.  Who basically stole “Fat” Andy’s playbook and took it to Philly with him.

I’m really intrigued by this matchup on Sunday night.  Really intrigued.

Next post will probably be the picks.  There probably won’t be much to it; I have month and quarter end duties beginning Thursday, and my co-worker is spending month and quarter end on a cruise in the Caribbean.  (Which is great; she’s earned it.  God knows she covered my ass two of the last three years, as I ditched year-end duties to travel to Chiefs playoff games.)

I can tell you the Watch Party Plans are to be on the deck at Russ and Mona’s.  We’ll have plenty of food and booze; we’re gonna put the fire pit to use as well.  Should be fun.  Or at least mildly entertaining.

Plus, this is the only game this year we’re guaranteed to use The Deck for – we’re headed to Sioux Falls for the raiders game, to watch it with our raider friends on their turf (as we always do, and they always come here for the game as well), and I’m going to the game in Indy with (at least) Anthony.  The next roadie after that is Carolina in mid-November; it might be too cold to set things up outside by then.  And I’m planning to go to denver with the Springfield wing of our tailgating crew. 

So until next time – hey?


(sgt. esterhaus voice) Let’s be careful out there

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