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The dumbest night

There are 12 hours left in 2017, at least in the Central time zone of the United States of America. Some places have already flipped the calendar. Others have a few more hours left of this year.

Tonight, millions of people will dress up in tuxedos and evening gowns, drink champagne and celebrate…THE FLIPPING OF A CALENDAR.

YIPPEEE!!!!

If I have said it before in this blog, then too bad. I’m going to say it now.

NEW YEAR’S EVE IS BY FAR THE DUMBEST HOLIDAY THERE IS. 

To say New Year’s Eve is a stupid reason to celebrate is saying the Titanic’s collision with the iceberg in the North Atlantic was just a bump in the night.

Those who go out on New Year’s Eve are screaming to the universe that I SUCK. MY LIFE SUCKS. I NEED THIS LAME EXCUSE TO PARTY.

Dick Clark was one of the best hosts in the history of entertainment, no matter the medium. However, when he came up with the idea of New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 1972, he screwed the pooch big time.

Dick, you would have done much better going to bed at 9:30 on New Year’s Eve than sitting out in Times Square watching a ball drop.

Wow, stop the presses. That’s something I have always wanted to see up close.

Okay then. If you cannot spot the sarcasm, shame on you.

I don’t watch it on TV, and you couldn’t pay me all the money in the world to go to New York to see it live. In fact, I have no earthly desire to go to New York for any reason, period. Watching the ball drop would be the last reason on earth I would ever want to set foot in that city.

Yes, when you wake up tomorrow, it will be 2018. Will your debts be magically forgiven because it is a new year? HELL NO. If you are single, will you magically have a significant other because it is a new year? HELL NO. If your marriage is in trouble, will all be hunky dory because it is a new year? HELL NO. All that’s different is you’ll be putting a different digit at the end when you write a check. That’s about it.

As for resolutions, that’s another big HELL NO. What’s the big deal about starting something on January 1? If it’s something to better your life, will it not better your life if you start it on May 18, August 3 or October 23? Of course it will.

To the idiots going to the Kansas City Power & Light District to ring in the new year: see a medical professional. SOON. First, it’s beyond idiotic to go out drinking any night, especially on New Year’s Eve, and second, it’s going to be very, very cold. I don’t want anyone to die, but if someone did succumb to hypothermia tonight, it would be amusing, simply because it’s so stupid to be out tonight.

The only time I have been out past 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve was after the 1995 Sugar Bowl between Virginia Tech and Texas (the Hokies won 28-10 if you’re wondering, and you’re probably not). I recall being scared to death of the drunks that would be out, although my route home did not come anywhere near the French Quarter. Fortunately I made it home without incident.

Goodbye 2017. Hello 2018. Life goes on.

Thursday thoughts

I am back in Russell. I am done driving in 2015.The only question left is whether I will stay awake to greet 2016 in my basement in Russell, or will I fall asleep and skip it. Either way I am not watching Ryan Seacrest. I never watched the show when Dick Clark hosted it, so why should I bother now?

Prior to December 31, 1972, the only New Year’s Eve show was Guy Lombardo and his big band orchestra on CBS. Clark started his in 1972, and Lombardo died in November 1977, so there really hasn’t been crap except what has been on ABC. Johnny Carson, and Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon after him, showed reruns on New Year’s Eve, and same thing with David Letterman on CBS. Between Lombardo and Letterman (1977-1992), CBS had reruns or else let the local affiliates program the time around midnight.

Of course, nothing on TV tonight could ever be worse than the 2011 film New Year’s Eve. I saw trailer after trailer for the movie when I watched The Help, Horrible Bosses and Crazy. Stupid. Love. in theaters that summer. It  appeared to be nothing more than a bunch of big names thrown together at various places across New York City.

The cast included Jessica Biel, Sofia Vergara, Lea Michelle, Jon Bon Jovi, Hilary Swank and Seth Meyers, just to name a few. It also had appearances from–surprise, surprise–Ryan Seacrest and then-New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

I stayed away from watching it in a theater, and I have had no inclination to watch it on HBO, Showtime, or on Blu-Ray. And from what most critics have wrote, it was beyond bad. One critic from Great Britain called it the worst movie ever.

The University of Houston has just won its first major bowl game since 1979. The Cougars defeated Florida State 38-24 in the Peach Bowl, allowing Houston to finish 13-1, the best record in school history.

The Cougars have become the standard bearer for the so-called Group of Five under coach Tom Herman, who had no head coaching experience exactly one year ago. After the Cougars fired Tony Levine, they hired Herman from Ohio State, where he was offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer’s national championship team.

Houston has been beyond irrelevant for the last 30 years. Obviously, the Cougars are greatly overshadowed by the Astros, Rockets and the NFL (the Oilers, then the Texans), and in the college pecking order, UH is far, far, far behind Texas and Texas A&M, and with the recent success of Baylor and TCU, the Cougars are behind them, and probably LSU, too.

The Cougars’ most recent major bowl game until today was the Cotton Bowl following the 1984 season, when Bill Yeoman’s club lost 45-28 to Boston College, led by 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie. Houston won two Cotton Bowls previously, ousting Maryland 30-21 in 1976 and Nebraska 17-14 in 1979.

Houston’s program has committed major NCAA rules violations on several occasions throughout its history, first under Yeoman, then under his successor, former Redskins linebacker and head coach Jack Pardee. It was this sordid history that led both the Big 12 and the Western Athletic Conference to say no thanks to Houston when the Southwest Conference dissolved. Even SMU, less than a decade removed from the death penalty due to egregious football recruiting violations, was taken into the WAC, along with TCU and Rice, UH’s city neighbor.

Instead, Houston was exiled to Conference USA, a new league which was built more on basketball success (Cincinnati, Memphis, Louisville) than football. In fact, several schools–Saint Louis, DePaul, Charlotte–did not play football.

Houston got into the American Athletic Conference in 2013, but it is itching for a spot in the Big 12. The Cougars are going to have trouble convincing Texas and Texas Tech they are worthy, and TCU and Baylor might not be any more receptive. And Houston can forget about ever sniffing the SEC. Not good enough, and no way Texas A&M and LSU will share the fertile recruiting ground that is southeast Texas with another league school.

Today, Houston came up against a Florida State team that probably could have cared less. The Seminoles were not going to be jacked to face a team from a lesser conference, not after wining the national championship in 2013 and playing in last year’s playoff. Sure, this year’s Houston team may have been able to be competitive with Auburn in 2013 and Oregon in 2014, but Houston is a major step down from the Tigers of the Plains and the Ducks.

Oklahoma and Clemson are about to kick off. I’ll check in later.

 

 

 

The most overrated day of the year

I’m trying to tidy up and get organized before I leave Kansas City later this morning. I’m driving back to Russell today, meaning I will be welcoming 2016 at home for the first time in quite some time.

I was in Kansas City to ring in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. I spent New Year’s Eve at Buffalo Wild Wings in each of the previous two years. This time, I swore I would be out of KC early enough so I could be home, away from all the bullshit parties and drunken jerks who make New Year’s Eve my LEAST favorite day of the year.

What is the big freaking deal about a calendar changing? Tomorrow is another Friday. Nobody’s debts, yours nor mine, will magically be forgiven. Nobody will wake up 50 pounds thinner. The vast majority of people will have the same job, will be driving the same car, and living in the same place. The only thing I see different is the last two digits on the date change from “15” to “16. Wow. That’s something to get really excited about.

To me, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is about one thing and one thing only, college football. I could care less about the stupid ball dropping in Times Square. Besides, what good is it for those who are not in the Eastern Time Zone? When the ball drops, it will be 11 p.m. in Russell and everywhere else in the Central Time Zone. And even dumber, the ball drop is REPEATED for those in the other three time zones. I really want to watch a REPLAY of a ball drop, and I REALLY want to watch a REPLAY of a ball drop being counted down by Ryan Seacrest. F**K ME HARD.

Seacrest should not be hosting any New Year’s Eve celebration. What ABC did with Dick Clark should have ended when Clark suffered his stroke in 2004. I didn’t watch the bullshit before Clark had his stroke, and I didn’t watch it after, but from what I heard and read, it was very sad to watch Clark struggle so badly.

Enough wasting time about that crap.

To me, the lasting image of New Year’s Eve came in the final hours of 1994, when Amy Silberman was killed by a falling bullet in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Silberman came to the Crescent City with a group of friends from Massachusetts, and were walking along the riverfront near Jackson Square, home some of New Orleans’ most famous landmarks, including St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo museum, and Cafe du Monde, home of the world famous beginets

December is a great time to visit New Orleans, since you can actually walk around without being drenched in sweat after five minutes, as is the case from mid-March through mid-October.

Yet a bunch of thugs always see the need to fire guns into the air on New Year’s Eve. It isn’t limited to New Orleans, but it is one of the cities which have the biggest problems. Five days into 1995, Silberman was buried in her native Cleveland by her parents and brother. Sad. Very sad.

One year after Silberman was tragically gunned down, I feared for my own safety on New Year’s Eve. I would be returning home late following the Sugar Bowl between Virginia Tech and Texas. I held my breath at every red light, looked over my shoulder every time a car came close. My biggest priority was to get off the freaking streets. I did.

New Year’s Eve is for those with bad jobs who think they are somebody. Guess what? You will still have your bad job January 2. Yes, I really want to flush $$$$$$$$$ down the toilet to drink champagne and eat bad food at an overpriced party where I have to waste $500 on a wardrobe just to get in the door. Great use of money.

Save your money. Stay home and watch Oklahoma-Clemson and Michigan State-Alabama. Go to bed early. Start 2016 refreshed, not hung over.

 

Can we just skip today?

Today is one of the days I LEAST look forward to. If there were a way I could take a 24-hour sleeping pill and not wake up until the next day, I would do so without hesitation.

NEW YEAR’S (BLANKING) EVE.

I don’t see why people need to get drunk just to celebrate the changing of a calendar. Nothing about your life is going to be magically better because the last digit (or digits) on the end of the date are going to be higher. Credit card companies are not going to magically forgive your debts, you are not going to be able to magically trade in your old car for a shiny new model without having to pay anything, and relationships which are broken are not magically going to be fixed.

In 2007, ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd summed it up best for me. He said New Year’s Eve was amateur night, a night where people in crummy jobs get dressed up and think they’re big shots. Those who have good money, those who are famous, aren’t going to bother with the crap that goes on New Year’s Eve. They can have New Year’s Eve whenever and wherever they want.

I don’t go out late on New Year’s. I don’t go to parties. In fact, if I ever get asked to a New Year’s Eve party, I’m going to say no and not give it a second thought.

The only New Year’s Eve I have ever been out past 9 p.m. was on the last day of 1995, when I was returning to my home in New Orleans from the Superdome, having watched the Sugar Bowl between Virginia Tech and Texas. My objective that evening was to get out of the Dome as fast as possible and high tail it home before the drunks were out in force.

This will be the fifth consecutive year I have celebrated the new year in a hotel room. It’s one of the few times during the school year I can get away for an extended period.

I rang in 2011 in Omaha, and the temperature overnight plunged to 5 below zero. The next morning as I loaded my car for the trip home, there was a bunch of pop cans exploded and frozen. Learned my lesson there.

The last four years i have been in Kansas City for the new year. In 2012 and 2013, I celebrated in my room at the Kansas City Airport Marriott. Unfortunately, I was banned for an incident i did not commit, and was forced to find new lodging. Therefore, it’s now been the Courtyard on Tiffany Springs Parkway.

I’m glad it’s bitterly cold outside. Serves all the drunks going out tonight right. Only thing that would be better would be snow. Then again, I would rather not have to drive on the snow.