Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

On November 30th, 2014 a coach named Bo Pelini disappeared for the second time that year.  The first time was on November 22nd in Madison, Wisconsin — and well get to more on that later — but this was his second time going missing.  And this time it was for good.

Skerial, a new Podcast from NCB, investigates the mysterious circumstances and the conspiracy theories that abound surrounding the former Nebraska Football lightning rod.  Episode two investigates the ever-deepening mystery and sees our first phone contact with the enigmatic Bo Pelini.

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In a video that began circulating the internet on April 22, 2015 I truly believe that YouTube jumped the shark.  I know this is a bold statement to make, but it’s one that I feel I can back up with hard video evidence.  Here, submitted for your viewing pleasure, is a girl peeing herself while being interviewed about a guy being shot.  Take your time and enjoy.  Analysis will follow.

I’m usually pretty skeptical about this kind of thing.  Many times I’m the first cynic to shout out: “That shit is staged!” But, I have to admit, this video clip certainly seems pretty legit.  So let’s break down the different phases of this interview.

Phase 1) Before you even starte the video, note the girls’ stance.  It’s classic about-to-open-the-urine-floodgates posture.  I thought people doing the news were supposed to be astute observers of the human condition.

Phase 2) The girl first mentions she needs to pee.  She’s not subtle.  She just tags that part on in mid-interview.

Phase 3) The reporter assumes the dude that got shot had to go pee.  “Oh, that’s what he said?” She says, not understanding that her cross-legged homegirl here appears to have been crushing 64-ounce slushies over at the gas station all day.  Classic mistake.  The reporter has clearly seen Forrest Gump too many times.

Phase 4) “I got to pee. I’m peeing myself.” At this point, the reporter doesn’t back down or even attempt to shut things down.  She’s really going for that local Emmy, damnit, and some girl who is now visibly grabbing herself in an effort to HOLD IN HER BODILY FUNCTIONS isn’t going to stop her.

Phase 5)  She now whispers the words “I got to pee” to someone off camera.  This stage is when you know shit just got real.  Think about it.  Whenever someone whispers something in a movie, that means it’s more important.

If you whisper something to me when I’m reporting it, it’s getting my attention.  Because it’s either a confession, a declaration of some heinous crime you’re planning to commit, or it’s because you’re about to urinate down your leg in HD.  The reporter is unphased by this silently mouthed revelation.

Phase 6) “I just peed myself.”

Phase 7) The reporter attempts to show a little human compassion and touch our pants-wetting friend on the shoulder with faux-concern.  The girl wobbles as she loses control.  Yup.  She’s just peed herself on live TV.

Phase 8) The girl’s pants begin to show the end result of her lack of bladder control.  And, of course, she’s wearing khakis.  Because, if you were going to manage to pee yourself in front of a large TV audience the last pair of pants you’d want to wear would be tight, pee-showing khakis.

Phase 9)  Give the girl credit, here.  She’s still trying to finish the damn interview.  That’s heart.  That’s character.  She wants to help out the people of Greenville, Mississippi so they know what’s going on.  The fact that she’s now being forced to hide her pee-stains isn’t going to deter her from doing her civic duty.

Phase 10) This face:

Capture

Phase 11) Only now, after the reporter realizes she’s crossed the threshold of human decency and created an R. Kelly snuff film, does she attempt to end the interview.  My favorite part: the guys who uploaded this video to YouTube absolutely lose it here.

Phase 12) Someone get this girl an Emmy.  And some clean pants.

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As I was doing my super-stereotypical Twitter scrolling this morning, I came across a Tweet that piqued my interest.  In fact, it grabbed my interest and pulled it into a nostalgic black hole so gravitationally intense that I was pretty sure I might need the homey Bill Nye to emerge and explain this wormhole rip in my psychic space-time continuum so I could get back to work.

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That’s right.  Not only do we live in the gilded age of 21-35 year old nostalgic cash-grabs (*Author’s note: see: live action, “grittier” reboots of all our childhood movies and ’90s music making a suddenly ’80s like resurgence.) but we live in a time when Surge is willing to pull back the curtain and show us all where the magic happens.

This is an amazing moment.  Let’s drink it in.  Along with 42 grams of sugar and yellow 5, yellow 6, and whatever the hell carob bean gum is.

But this immediately got me to wondering: what exactly would it look like if you were to get one of these ethereal green tickets?  Where do they even make Surge at these days?

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Google Maps was confused by my query.  I’m guessing that this random technology company in Australia is not what I was looking for.  And, in fact, I found myself comforted by the fact that I didn’t know where Surge was made.  (*Author’s note: yeah, smartasses, I know it’s made by Coca Cola.  Suck it, the internet.)

Appetite for dumb questions satiated, I proceeded to continue further down my rabbit hole of self-proclaimed deep thought.  What would a tour of the Surge factory be like?  Let’s work this out. . .

Instead of Willy Wonka, The Factory Is Probably Run By a Coke-bendering Charlie Sheen

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Because Surge isn’t about rainbows and lollipops.  It’s hardcore, son.  It’s insane.  It’s a neon green sulfuric acid-wash for your mouth that gets little kids more jacked up than a Mountain Dew and Red Bull beer bong moments before they head to Chuck E. Cheese for a 10th birthday party.  So who do we know that can harness that kind of power?  Turn something that could destroy so many people, wield it, and emerge unscathed?  Chuck Sheen, that’s who.  You think those white eyebrows on his slave-labor Oompa Loompa’s is paint or genetic mutation?  Nope.  That’s straight up rails of blow that got caught in their eyebrows while they’re were banging down rails with Sheen.


At Least One Section of the Factory Will Devoted to Serge Ibaka’s Free Throw Form Being Snottily Critiqued by Serge from Beverly Hills Cop

Serge

Because: puns.  Also, who wouldn’t want to see more of Serge– the snooty art critic from one of the best ’80s movie franchises — haughtily sniffing each time Serge Ibaka — one of the most fascinating players in one of the weirder 2010s franchises — chucked up a free throw that wasn’t auteur enough for his liking?  This part of the tour would be phenomenal.  And you know Ibaka’s people have been contemplating the promotional tie-in appeal, spelling be damned.


A Behind the Scenes Look at the Secret Ingredients That Make Surge So Damn Delicious

Vats

We know what the FDA says is in Surge.  But that’s all bull.  There’s no way that something as highly addictive and mind-bendingly toxic as Surge really just had a few simple chemicals mixed together.  This tour would hopefully shed some light into what really goes into surge.  My best guesses?  Lean, Blue from Breaking Bad, and Crunk Juice poured directly from the cup of Surge brewmaster, Lil Jon.  Drink up, kids.  You need something to keep you up all night.  That Nintendo 64 isn’t going to play itself until 4 AM at your friends slumber party.


The Tour Would Culminate in a Sensory Overload Chamber

90s

You may be thinking to yourself: Surge is the ultimate in ’90s.  It’s the peak of 1990’s stuff.  And that may be so, but why not let the dude in JNCO’s and Airwalk shoes show you around the ’90s lounge where you can watch Power Rangers: The Movie, play NFL Blitz, call yourself from a real-live landline, and send/receive pages about your buddies getting a new AOL Free Trial floppy disk in the mail!

If this isn’t what a tour of the Surge factory looks like, then I’m not sure I even wanna go.

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(*Author’s note: it’s that time of year again.  One of my favorite sporting events is here once more: the Nebraska High School State Basketball tournament.  In what is becoming an annual tradition, I will be reposting my epic-length ode to the Lincoln High School 2003 State Basketball champions.  I have left the manuscript relatively untouched from it’s initial publishing from 2013.  However, I have attempted to add in some pictures and have combined those 3-posts into one, massive, piece.  Let’s all hop into the DeLorean, crank that bad boy up to 88 MPH and get our nostalgia on.)

PART I

The Lincoln High Links won a State Basketball title 10 years ago. The echoes of that victory still reverberate somewhere deep in my fandom. That title, even though it occurred during my sophomore year, attached itself to the narrative of my formative years at Lincoln High, a time period in my life that has truly become more gilded in my recollections the older that I get. It was a three game stretch in the early beginnings of spring, when the prairie pilot light for summer has only just been lit, and the icy fist of winter was loosening into a palm.

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Was I on the team? Not a chance. I retired willingly after the boys of the Freshman “B” team took home the city title in 2002 and that was truly the ceiling for my basketball skills. Does it seem slightly ridiculous to still hold such a fond spot in my now semi-adult heart for a high school game from back when “Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly was noted as “my jam!”? Say what you will, but these were important times in a burgeoning sports-centric mind.

I knew from an early age that I wanted to go to Lincoln High. My parents had decided that they loved the multicultural aspect of both of their sons attending a high school that had a veritable United Nations of different cultures, races, and ideology. My brother was two years older than I was and he proudly sported the red and black. I would soon follow suit.

From the moment I watched my first Lincoln High basketball game, I was hooked. I had loved basketball from the moment I first started following the NBA in 1996 and, seeing how good the teams were from Lincoln High – their speed, toughness, and a healthy mix of hero worship for the guys who I knew were so cool at the place I wanted to become cool– I quickly became one of their biggest supporters.

I watched in agony as they were bounced from 2002’s state playoffs by their arch-rival Lincoln Southeast. It was a painful display of the rivalry between both schools that I would come to embrace and to love throughout my years of high school.

This out-and-out fanaticism for the basketball team certainly didn’t lessen when I found myself a sophomore at “The High.” If anything, it gained in momentum. I attended home games, cheering wildly until my vocal chords had been Fran Dreschered. I attended road games, jubilantly howling like an injured baboon until my voice sounded like Bobcat Goldthwaite. Any games I could attend that year, I did.

The team had amassed a gigantic following of fellow die-hards like myself. Chanting, swaying, we would jump up and down until the bleachers appeared ready to collapse like a decrepit building on the San Andreas fault. And those were just for regular, middle-of-the-week games. When it became clear that The High was headed to State once more, the stage was set for a massive, recklessly crunk, exodus of near-hooliganism to find its way to the Devaney Center.

You see, at Lincoln High, basketball was a great uniter. It took sectionalized groups and gave them a common interest. It took the marginalized, the outliers, and put them in a crowd of students who, for four quarters, all knew exactly what it was that they similarly desired: a victory. Stereotypes were shed, biases sidelined, and “in crowd” was lost to the gymnasium-filtered air. A mass of black and red, shoulder to shoulder, lungful to lungful of screaming pride.

Lincoln High Basketball, circa 1920 (Photo courtesy of family old photos.com)

 

Lincoln High was never a bad school, but it suffered from a reputation around town as being a school full of thugs. This feeling of persecution, of misconceived judgment but those with their noses too high in the air to get a good view of the actual place, only served to ratchet up the intensity when the Links found themselves headed to the Bob Devaney Sports Center for State Tournament games. Make no mistake, it was Us V.S. Them (*Author’s note: capital letters intentional.)

There was a great rising motion occurring, the week of the tournament. A soft-malleted crescendo beginning in the hallways and parking lots. Subtle, at first, but gradually building from echo to white noise to simmering hiss. Like prairie thunder in the distance or the electric charge in the air after scuffing your socked feet across a carpet in dry, dry winter months. It was the school. It was preparing to shift. The school that week felt like a carefully laid beartrap being pulled back to lethality. It was cranking, cranking, and delicately positioning. We were anxious to hear the jaws snap viciously forward but first we had to sit through another Spanish class.

I realize, at this point, that this may seem entirely too dramatic; too prosaic. I get that. But you have to understand that, during this time, this was about to be the biggest sports events of my life. I had too much pride, too much passion invested in Lincoln High sports to take this moment lightly. Lincoln High sports represented not only me. It represented us. At least to a certain extent and I wanted desperately for that “us,” that “we” to emerge at the top of the heap. I wanted the band to look good, I wanted our student section to “win” by outcheering and out-taunting the opposition. I wanted the kids who carpooled into school together in rusted out death-on-wheels vehicles to show that this book wouldn’t be judged by its cover, but by its heart and passion, and fight.

All of these complicated, intrinsically Lincoln High feelings were tied to the impending showdown at State. Yes, I knew it was only a game. Yes, I knew that if we lost I would be completely fine. No, I didn’t care about rationalization or logic. It was high school sports at their core and, I would argue, at their best.

First up for the team was playing Central again. The same Central that the Links had beaten in the playoffs the year before, a game in which the Central coach lost all semblance of cool and ended up getting at least one technical foul. The Eagles ended up scoring another “T” at some point in the game and I remember being completely blown away at how cool and collected the Lincoln High bench was.

Emotions may have been running high, but head coach Russ Uhing was unflappable. He was serene. He was Lake Placid on a windless day. Central’s coach was Lake Placid re-runs on the SyFy channel. Uhing was a single candle-flame on the edge of a Spa’s bath, windlessly unflickering. Central’s coach was a dude smoking bath salts. It was a grudge match from the start. It was another proud school, with a storied past and a currently checkered reputation, and the game came right down to the wire.

The Links had to hit free throws in order to send the game into Overtime, where they eventually emerged victorious, winning 68-61. In a change of pace from the previous year, no technicals were handed out. Uhing was as calm in his team’s victory on this day as he always was. Phil Jackson, on his most mellow pipe-ful of Ganj while watching the sun set over his Montana ranch, couldn’t have been more Zen than Russ Uhing.

(Headline image courtesy of Omaha.com) (*Author’s note: I was too cheap to pay $2.95 for the full article.

The team had survived and advanced. They were moving on. We were moving on. I was about to get my parents’ permission to skip class. All was right with the world.

PART II

I’ve already discussed what led us to this point. I’ve covered my borderline absurd love for the Lincoln High Links’ basketball program, from my time spent proudly attempting to be the glue-guy for the Freshman “B” squad to my boyhood hero-worship of the near-missing teams of the early 2000’s. I’ve explained my penchant for hyperbole and the rose-tinted glasses that I have strapped to my face like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 1980’s rec-specs. However, before we go any further I have a confession to make. Right here and right now. I need to get this off my chest before I pick up by describing Lincoln High’s second round tourney game against Omaha Westside.

In the darkened, bleak years of 15-year-old stupidity(*Author’s note: otherwise known as 2003) I wrote a rap song about the Lincoln High basketball team.

There, I said it.

I’m not proud of this fact. Honestly, it’s taken me 10 years to admit as much publicly, and I feel like if I’m going to continually burn on things I need to be as honest as possible. The 2003 version of me had very-loosely held ambitions to break into the rap game. So I sat down one fateful day, put pen to paper, and cranked out what might be the worst rap song since Marky Mark dropped his pants in “Good Vibrations.” I’ll spare most of you the gory details of this Shel Silverstein, paint-by-numbers rap song. Titled, “Game Time at the High” it involved name-dropping our starting five, bragging about the 22” rims on the cars in the school’s parking lot and any number of other atrocities. It was, essentially, a war crime. I was foolishly convinced by some of my classmates that the song wasn’t that bad (*Author’s note: it was.) and submitted it to the school’s poetry magazine at their behest. I don’t openly support book-burning, but I desperately wish that someone would hunt down the copies of this dark, dark chapter in my life and Farenheit 451 the hell out of them. Moving on.

After we had beaten Omaha Central the mood could only be described as crunk. As a mofo. We sprinted through the parking lot, war-whooping like the racist extras in an Indians V.S. John Wayne movie, baying at the night air. We were feverish. Fervent. We were 16-year-olds with wings on our heels and adrenaline pumping through our veins like we’d just gotten Pulp Fiction needled right to the heart. We were beside ourselves. Not knowing what to do to celebrate this enormous victory, we leapt into our one-friend-who-got-a-car-for-his-16th-birthday’s car and peeled out. Directly into traffic.

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(Headline image courtesy of Omaha.com) (*Author’s note: I was too cheap to pay $2.95 for the full article.)

 

 

Unfazed by the instantaneous gridlock that is Devaney Center parking, we bumped DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” as loud as our speakers and ears could take it. (*Author’s note: I’m not entirely sure how a song from 1996 came to be my own personal anthem for Lincoln High’s miraculous run, but it absolutely was. I mean, it’s no “Game Time at The High”, but it was okay.)

In typical high school fashion, once we got out of the parking lot of the Devaney Center, we were desperately in need of some fast food and a place to hang out. We rolled into Runza, piling gleefully out of the clown-car-packed vehicle and an impromptu dance party took place in the parking lot. At some point we decided that the best way to consecrate such an amazing sporting event was to have one of our group attempt to bong an entire mini-cone full of Mountain Dew from the restaurant. They had given out the cones to help our students cheer, apparently, but I feel relatively certain that we weren’t the only ones misusing them. The Dew-bonger choked and sputtered and generally soaked his Lincoln High shirt in a sticky amalgamation of 47 grams of sugar per serving mixed with all the unholy chemicals that make Mountain Dew so damn Mountain Delicious.

Eventually we had to head home. Hoarse. Exhausted. Way too excited to sleep without first burning off some energy by playing Nintendo 64 for a while to calm my nerves. Finally beginning to unwind to the sweet, sweet goodness of Goldeneye I was able to take a deep, rattling, breath. The next day would be a day game. It would be a parentally sanctioned truancy bonanza. It would be a showdown between the Westside Warriors and the Lincoln High Links.

Having school the day of a state basketball tournament game is pointless. It’s like trying to study in a library while Kiss is having a debauched, insane concert two Dewey Decimal places over from you. My concentration was shot. Our concentration was shot. Even the teachers seemed ready to “come down with something” and split as quickly as they could. The dull, throbbing white noise, like the soft humming of industrial air-conditioning that had been building; that had been continuing to increase incrementally from way off in the distance at stage left? It was getting louder. It was nearly drowning out math and science and English and the droning of teachers clicking through their 4th power point of the day. The school was poised at the precipice. We were looking over the edge, with our parachutes strapped on at 10,000 feet up. We were. Ready. To. Jump.

For the Westside game I had to play with the drumline at halftime. It through my whole pre-game routine out of whack and, initially, left me in a foul mood since I wasn’t able to stand in the student section like I normally would have. However once it was game time, the jackhammering heartbeat, the swaying crowd full of friends and colleagues and casual-acquaintances-turned-high-fiving-best-friends was too much for me. I was swept away. After proudly strutting onto the court to perform with our school’s dance team, replete with Nelly-style Band-Aids under our eyes (*Author’s note: big ups, 2013, on leaving that weird trend behind.) and red and black camouflage bandanas, I was able to set my drum aside and focus purely on the action on the court.

And “action” is perhaps underselling how exciting the game actually was.

It was a back and forth battle. Both teams were scrappy, over-achieving units that had good coaching. They had a rabid student section that truly gave as good as they got. Almost. We shouted. We chanted. We attempted to will our boys to a victory against the invading hordes from Omaha. As the game came down to the wire neither team was able to pull significantly ahead. The Links gamely clung to their opponents, refusing to allow the opposition to pull away. Uhing was Freon. He was pre-Al Gore Ice Caps. The team never flinched. Hovering somewhere above the din, above the tumultuous Molotov Cocktail of our unbridled emotions, was a sense of calm.

The team. The coaches. They were oblivious to the bedlam occurring in the Black and Red mosh pit behind their basket. They were focused and hungry and full of flinty-eyed determination borne of hours spent shooting in stiflingly hot gyms, borne of suicides run from missed free throws (*Author’s note: I’ve seen both of these with my own eyes. I’ve been in the gyms at Lincoln High in the summer time and they’re Devil’s Oven hot and I’ve seen the looks of teammates when you’re responsible for making them run. Frankly? I prefer the heat.) and borne of a stiff, rigid pride that won’t let you turn your head away even if you fear the worst.

With time running down, the Links were down by 1 point. I honestly don’t remember who drove the ball, but I do remember that he missed. I remember that the ball seemed to hang for a crystalline moment, suspended in animation, softly perched upon the wishes and hopes of a bug-eyed student body in mid-air.

10 years ago, Nick Madsen went up and tipped in a shot. At the buzzer. For the win.

10 years ago the students of Lincoln High school volcanically erupted. Exploded into a massive, TNT-roar that ripped through our chests and nearly ruptured our vocal chords. Time had expired and Lincoln High had, again, managed to desperately cling to another victory. They had survived. We had survived.

Our student section was a joyous prison riot. I grabbed the closest student to me and shook him like I was a dirty cop, trying to force a confession. Screaming, leaping, jumping. The band wasn’t playing. The students weren’t worried about who they were suddenly grabbing. Parking lot beefs were suddenly turned to full-on bearhugs and some people merely stood in a stunned silence. Simply put, the moment escapes even my most desperate, breathless, re-tellings.

(*Author’s note: after I posted this, my brother was able to track down a YouTube video from Jarod Gilmore of the fourth quarter. Say what you want about the quality of video, in 2003 this was as close as you got to HD, but if you just listen to the noise you’ll understand how exciting this game was.)

We rocket-boosted out into the parking lot. Pouring out. Holding banners and flags and wearing red, black, and cowsuits (*Author’s note: yes. A group of students all got together and coordinated the wearing of cowsuits to the game. They held a banner that read, “Udderly Unbeatable” which I still find to be a stroke of genius even at age 26. You can never have too many fans in cowsuits, in my opinion, and they set the standard for bovine-crowd interactions. Eat your heart out, Chik-Fil-A.) we flooded out onto the concrete landings of the stadium sprinting at Usain Boltian speeds.

(Headline image courtesy of Omaha.com) (*Author’s note: I was too cheap to pay $2.95 for the full article.)

 

I still had track practice that day, and ran with red-dye in my hair and flecks of paint dripping down my face. If we would’ve had a meet that day, based solely on the adrenaline tsunami, I feel certain we could’ve shattered some school records.

We were in the championship game. After two spinal-spasming-ly close contests we had somehow come out with only one game standing in our way. We were to play Lincoln Southeast for the state championship. We would be coming face to face, head to head, crowd to crowd with our biggest rivals. It would be Montagues and Capulets with jerseys and a ball. It was to be Sharks and Jets without all that sissy dancing. We had one team to beat. We had the team to beat. We went home that night, joyful rabble-rousers, and prepared ourselves for the biggest game of 2003.

PART III

(*Author’s note: And here, after way too many words, is the final chapter. If you’ve read this far, you’re truly an endurance athlete.)

The weekend games are always the most fun in the state basketball tournament. Sure, it’s awesome skipping 2/3 of your classes for the day to paint up like a strange combo of Darth Maul and the least sneaky special ops soldier ever, but having nearly a full day to work yourself into a Seismically active, frothing at the mouth maniac? That’s what makes Saturday at the State Basketball Tournament better.

You have to understand the rivalry between Lincoln High and Lincoln Southeast at this point in time in order to better understand the intensity between the two teams and fanbases. In the early-mid 2000’s Southeast was a sports powerhouse. They were cranking out division I talent in football, basketball, and baseball. They were routinely among the top teams in the state in basketball, having lost in the previous year’s finals after offing the Links in a brutally tough game in the semi-finals.

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When Southeast and Lincoln High’s basketball teams met on the court, the intensity level would catapult off the radar. Students would camp out for games the moment school got out. Fights would break out, Principals would wade shoulder deep into student sections in an effort to keep the peace, and fire marshal’s would stop people from getting in at the door due to gyms being over capacity.

It was an old-school, bitter, rivalry that broke bonds and divided friendships. I knew several kids who were at Southeast. I thought they were great. Until it was game time. Then I would launch into a rapid fire shit-talking attempt to verbally incinerate them and they would immediately fire back. We would inevitably find ourselves on opposite sides of the court and I believed I was honor-bound to out-shout, out-taunt, and out-cheer whomever stood in opposition to the Red and Black freight train.

The games were always contentious. They were emotional slugfests that left your scalp tingling, your throat desperately calling for hot liquid, and your adrenal glands ready to go on strike. By halftime.

I honestly can’t remember if we beat Southeast that year. I vaguely recall losing to them, but I truly can’t be sure. (*Author’s note: I know, I know. I just spent 200 words talking up the games as completely unforgettable. What can I say? I’m old. I’m broken down. Maybe someone can refresh my memory, when this post comes out. In the meantime I’ll be crushing up Ginseng and snorting lines of it off my mirror in an effort to stave off my on-rushing senility.)

The bottom line is, when your whole rivalry is predicated on white-hot, liquid-magma, hatred for the opponent revenge isn’t really necessary for motivation. Ever game against Southeast, whether we won or lost, felt like it was a Quentin Tarantino revenge film reaching its gory climax. Dlinks Unchained, if you will. (*Author’s note: I apologize. That’s a little corny, even by my standards.)

As we mad-dashed our way into the student section for the game our rising action was becoming fully complete. Our deus ex machina was firmly in place. The slow simmer from part one that I had mentioned, that flickering spark? It was a boiling, raging, forest fire.

The distant timpani-roll that had been building sonorously since Thursday of that week was now a full on spastic, flaming drum solo so loud it resounded in your lungs. The tension wasn’t so thick you could cut it with a knife, it was so thick that you would need a logging crew to chainsaw their way through after using TNT to explode open fissure-like crack.

I was 16 and on fire with school pride; radiating with hope that my school, our school, could somehow continue their Nantucket Sleighride towards victory. I was fully prepared to howl with all my wolfen fury until my lungs exploded like a too-full party balloon that has landed underneath a stiletto heel. I looked left. I looked right. We were a pack. A rabid, heaving, viscerally charged mass of desperate, pitched longing. When the band struck up their notes we yowled with unrepentant fervor.

When the team was introduced I screamed like a Bieber-groupie getting backstage passes, hitting pitches and octaves that, even at 16, would have astounded auditory scientists. Fortunately, I was one voice among many, many, cheers and my own voice was swallowed up by the ever-increasing decibel detonation coming from the student section. It was death metal concert loud. It was shuttle launch loud. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the Devaney center as fiery before a game has even tipped before or since.

Once the game began our manic chants and hoarsely defiant screams filled the air. We wanted to pay back Southeast for the previous year. We wanted to assert ourselves as the basketball power in the city; in the state. We wanted vengeance.

LSE

Immediately things started going wrong for the Links. Shots weren’t falling. The offense wasn’t flowing. The team battled, to be sure, determined to outwork their slow start. Southeast started scoring. They were hitting buckets. They were rebounding. They had all the answers on defense. An icy finger of doubt slid down my spine; a creeping, uncomfortable caress.

Southeast seemingly had the answer for everything. There was a subtle riptide pulling at our ankles, tugging us out and away from our steel-mill-hot passion. We fought it. We kicked and screamed and tried to head against the current. Southeast just kept pulling ahead. As the first quarter was drawing to a close the Links still hadn’t hit a basket. Or a free throw.

I had completely depleted my repertoire of swear words at this point.

Desperately I searched for anyone who might be bi-lingual to bail me out with new cuss words but, upon Southeast scoring yet again I broke the search off and went to my tried and true, old school American curses. I was driven to inventing brand new f-bomb combos, stringing together obscenities like a foreign cabbie in rush hour who didn’t quite have a handle on the English language yet. The quarter ended with Southeast up 13-0. The Links had inexplicably been shut out.

Coach Uhing was liquid nitrogen. He was a human Polar Bear Plunge. The team fed off this calm.

(Image courtesy of Journalstar.com)

 

We did not.

Eyes bulging. Sweating like I had just gotten done playing in the game myself. Mind reeling. I was a meth-lab of emotions. I hadn’t given up. Oh, no. But I was drastically, stringently worried. I wasn’t sure what to do. I had never seen our team get blanked in the first quarter of a game. With Southeast up by 13 the lead certainly wasn’t insurmountable but it was sizeable.

The Southeast fans were on a rampage. There was blood in the water and they were hungry. They were Shark Week in HD, swarming viciously with their teeth out and their hands high in the air, high-fiving hard enough to amputate. I don’t blame them. They were thunderously pleased with their team’s performance, holding their distraction-balloons high into the air in the shape of zeros. They were the bellows pumping onto the hot, bitter coals of our would-be vengeance. They scored again at the start of the second half.

We found ourselves firmly strapped in on the front car of a cocaine roller coaster.

They had 15. We had nothing.

They had 15. We had each other.

We had our team. We had the immutable, foolhardy hope of die-hard believers, even though the light was flickering and the clock was ticking.

Our intensity rose. Combustion engine firing on anger and pride and that all-too-familiar feeling of our shoulder blades meeting the wall with nowhere further to retreat to.

Suddenly we scored our first basket. Then we scored another. We redoubled our fanaticism. Cajoling. Pleading. Fighter-plane loud as our boys engaged in evasive maneuvers in the on court dogfight. Basket by basket. Inch by inch. The Lincoln High Links were pulling themselves out of the freshly dug grave of a scoreless first quarter, zombies coming back once more. No longer was this a bloody stomping. This was Rocky in the 12th round, toe to toe.

To be honest, the rest of the game blurs a little to me from here. It’s like an epic watercolor that sort of ran together into a beautiful palette of colors and images. A big shot here. A big stop there. The team’s bench imploring the fans to keep the intensity level high. Uhing clapping calmly, as if he was at a mediocre theater production.

By the time we took the lead, we were in a state of delirium. The cadaver of the first quarter had somehow been Frankenstein-ed back to life. Stitched together, an amalgam of pieces playing their part, and lightning bolted to accelerating life. I’ve never heard the Devaney Center louder before or since. Lincoln High Alum, some of the proudest I’ve known, responded to our energy. Parents and students and players alike leaping to their feet.

We ended up winning the game, that day 10 years ago, by 5 points. Scoring 43 points in the final three quarters we were able to outlast the Southeast Knights. Though I never would have admitted it at the time, they fought valiantly. (*Author’s note: I can only clearly assess our rival school now, 10 years in the future, if that’s any indication of how heated our rivalry was.)

As the final horn sounded, anointing a new king in the State of Nebraska, we detonated. Mt. Vesuvius met Pompeii and our student section spontaneously combusted into madness. People were falling, crying, jumping wildly into the air. Insecure young men were hugging passionately and everyone, everyone, felt like we had just conquered the world.

It was 10 years ago. I was 16. And it still gives me goosebumps to recount the scene.

Our team, ever conscious of their rowdy and reckless fans, their hooligans, stood in front of the student section and let us buffet them with a joyful typhoon. Holding their jerseys up for all in the stadium to see. Lincoln High, they said. “Lincoln High” we screamed. Our pride was radiant.

Coach Uhing smiled.

The team climbed ladders and cut down nets. They were given medals and a trophy and an assembly where the entire school attended, cheering like lunatics for the guys that had finally brought home a state basketball title. They had blazed through collective, beating-as-one hearts, and etched their names in neon across the remainder of the school year.

They had done it. They had successfully climbed the mountaintop. They were Sir Edmund Hilary. And we fancied ourselves their Tenzing Norgays.

They had won for themselves. They had one for each other. They had won for black and for red and for the coaches who believed in them all along.

They had won for Lincoln High.

Whether or not they knew it that day, they had won for us.

(*Author’s note: the best part of writing this absurdly long, self-indulgent memoir has been all the people who have shared what their experiences at these games were like. Whether it was former players, former students, or anyone lucky enough to have been cheering for the Links that year, everyone was — and still is– moved by the victories.

If you made it through this rambling piece, feel free to offer your own testimony in the comments section. I was blown away by how many of us still care so deeply about this team and that time in our lives. I would love to know where you were when the horn sounded or what you were thinking when the clock hit zero. Thanks for reading. Go Links.)

Headlines

(Headline image courtesy of Omaha.com) (*Author’s note: I was too cheap to pay $2.95 for the full article.)

Headlines2

(Headline image courtesy of Omaha.com) (*Author’s note: I was too cheap to pay $2.95 for the full article.)

Russ Uhing

(Headline image courtesy of Omaha.com) (*Author’s note: I was too cheap to pay $2.95 for the full article.)

 

FIN

Last night, Joseph Kahn dropped a ’90s themed atom bomb on my consciousness.  He released what he called a “De-Boot” of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  If you haven’t seen it: here’s the video.

It’s got James Van Der Beek playing Rocky DeSantos, or as I called him while stuffing my mouth full of knock-off, store-brand Lucky Charms on Saturday morning: The Red Ranger.  Katee Sackhoff stars as Kimberly the Pink Ranger, or as I called her while I was still cramming that cereal into my mouth: “The One I was Madly in love with”

Kahn is mainly known for his work on music videos but also has directed one of my all-time favorite movies, the thoroughly weird, completely insane, and pop-culture packed Detention.  

Image courtesy of: IMDB.com

If you haven’t had a chance to watch Detention yet (*Author’s note: and literally no one I know has) you need to make sure that you check it out.  It defies description in such a perfectly absurd way that I won’t even waste any further text on it, nor distract from the task at hand: namely, praising this intensely badass 15-minute movie.

Kahn’s take on The Power Rangers is bleak, kind of terrifying, and packs in so much fascinating backstory that I found myself re-watching it almost immediately.

Highlights include:

— A trailerparked up Bulk and Skully selling out Kimberly, and her freshly-married Green Ranger lover, Tommy, and the two once-comic foils watching as both rangers get mowed down in a hail of gun fire a la Kill Bill Volume II.  (*Author’s note: Bulk and Skully later OD in their trailer park.  I’m a sick man, for enjoying this so much, aren’t I?)

— The always-racist Black Ranger doing blow and killing a room full of North Koreans

— Incredible special effects that look like they were hijacked off the CGI-studio for (______Insert Michael Bay Movie Here).

— The reappearance of Rita the Space-Witch, replete with her insane head gear and the laugh that used to haunt my Saturday morning day-mares.

Unfortunately, Kahn issues a disclaimer in the print underneath this short-film masterpiece essentially making it well known to all of us that this isn’t an attempt to make this into a feature length film.  He doesn’t want our money (*Author’s note: which is weird and cool) and he isn’t looking to stretch this out.  He’s, apparently, just like the rest of us and has always wanted to see The Might Morphin Power Rangers kick more ass and take more names as grown ups.

Anyway, I’m done writing.  I’ve got to go re-watch the Black Ranger shoot some guys in the head after having a three-way with two chicks.

FIN

Valentine’s Day is almost here.  So what better way to celebrate than by printing off and handing out some of the official Burnpoetry Sports-Themed Valentine’s day cards!


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FIN

Now that we’ve covered the basis of the league and the way in which it will be set up we need to take the next logical step.  As I mentioned in the previous post, this newly formed league will have 8 teams and owners representing their proud cities.  Every good new league needs to have a highly-touted, perennially overhyped draft.  We’ve already determined the draft will be held in New York City and televised by the venerable SyFy Channel.

The draft itself will be conducted in a snake-style draft, meaning that the team with the last pick in the first round will have the first pick in the second and so on, and will be broken down by SyFy’s team of analysts featuring The Ghost of Vincent Price, The Gothic Kid in High School Who Has a Morbid Curiosity With the Dead and Always Somehow Knows Shitloads About the Killer, and a team of sideline reporters.

Through a random drawing we have established a draft order:

1.  The Portland Prank Calls From the Killer
2.  The Minneapolis Maybe He’s Actually Dead This Times
3.  The San Francisco Shower Scenes
4.  The Pittsburgh Pre-Martial Sexers
5.  The Dallas Dream Within a Dream Sequences
6.  The Utah Underage Drinkers
7.  The Niagara Trips and Falls Over Nothings
8.  The Philadelphia Flickering Lights

Let’s go, now, live to Radio City Music Hall in the heart of New York City where the draft order has been established, the owners are standing by with their draft teams, and the slashers, ghouls, monsters, and psychopaths are anxiously waiting in the green room for the moment when they hear their names get called and their dreams are realized.

(As the broadcast begins we see commissioner John Carpenter sitting alone at his synthesizer.  A thin layer of fog pools up by his feet.  He immediately kicks into skin-crawling, undoubtedly 6/8 time, synth-doom and the crowd roars to life.)

The Ghost of Vincent Price
Eat your heart out David Stern.  Or, if you’re not interested, Zombie Al Davis will certainly eat it for you.
Hello and welcome to the first annual National Horror Association Draft.  I’m The Ghost of Vincent Price
and with me is my broadcasting partner, The Gothic Kid in High School Who Has a Morbid Curiosity With the Dead
and Always Somehow Knows Shitloads About the Killer.

Gothic Kid
(Sighs) Huhhh. . .what’s up?  We’re all going to die. . .I hope you know that.

The Ghost of Vincent Price
Terrific stuff as always.  Let’s go now to our sideline reporter, the overly-ambitious, manipulative and
sensationalism-driven reporter, Gail Willalwaysbeundonebyherambitionanddisregardforhumanlife.  Gail?

(Gail Willalwaysbeundonebyherambitionanddisregardforhumanlife is standing next to a hockey mask wearing Jason Vorhees and his insanely creepy mother.)

Gail
Thanks, Vincent.  If I may say, your ghostly mustache is looking pencil thin tonight.  Well played.
I’m standing by here with potential first round draft pick Jason Vorhees.  Jason, there’s been some
talk that you could go in the first round, but many analysts have predicted that you’ll slide further down
in the draft due to what some are calling “mommy issues.”  Any response?

(Jason stands mutely by)

Mrs. Pamela Vorhees
My son doesn’t have mommy issues.  He was a good boy.  Do you hear me?!?!  A good boy.
It was those counselors. . .they weren’t paying attention to him.  They snuck off to
make love and they let him die!

Gail
There you have it.  Straight from the horse’s mouth.  Normally I would say that these two appear highly
unstable and should be avoided at all costs, but I’m looking for a network news gig so I’m just going
to keep right on pressing forward.

The Gothic Kid
Gail, that might not be the best idea.  Jason Vorhees is a slashing, murdering, killing machine.

(Jason and his mother turn and begin to walk away)

Gail
(excitedly)
Oooooh. . .look.  They’re heading into a dark, abandoned part of the draft room.  I’m going to go
investigate this.  Alone.  Back to you, Ghost of Vincent Price.

GOVP
Well I think we all know how that’s going to end.  Let’s go now to the dais where
Commissioner Carpenter is standing by.

(Carpenter has ceased his ominous synth-death-ballad and has taken the microphone)

Carpenter
Hello everyone.  I’m pleased to announce that this is the first annual National Horror Association draft.
It’s amazing to see we have such a great turnout.  I’d like to extend a special welcome to the spring breakers
drinking heavily, teenagers gossiping on their phones while wearing only their underwear, the campers making
poor life decisions, and even the kids who have cars that won’t start, are out of gas, and will inevitably break
down at the wrong time.  It’s good to be here isn’t it?

(The crowd cheers wildly)

GOVP
The draft order has been decided.  And the first pick is in.  Let’s go now to Commissioner
Carpenter for the first pick.

Carpenter
Ladies and gentleman, if I may have your attention please.  With the first pick in the NHA
draft, the Portland Prank Calls from the Killers have selected. . . Michael Myers, from
Haddonfield, Illinois.

(The commish nods happily and the crowd erupts into cheers.  Carpenter sits down at his synthesizer and plays Myers’ theme song)

GOVP
And there you have it, my young, black-nail-polish-wearing friend.  The first pick is a
real doozy.  Your take?

Gothic Kid
Well, first off let me start off by saying, death comes for us all.  Let me make that very clear.  This
pick will certainly doom us to an excruciating, terrible demise.  However Mike Myers is a homerun
first pick.  Every few years a Peyton Manning-level talent comes along and you just have to make
sure to grab him, GVP.

GOVP
Truly.  People were saying that Myers was this year’s can’t miss prospect and he’d even drawn some
comparisons to a young Tony Romo.

Gothic Kid
Finally, someone in the big leagues who can out-choke Romo.

GOVP
Indeed.  Myers has finally stalker-walked his way to the stage.  Let’s see if his reunion with
commissioner Carpenter is a happy one.

(Carpenter give Myers a hug.  Myers turns his head quizzically sideways.  Carpenter presents him with a fitted, custom-made white mask that has Portland’s logo on the side and a mechanic’s jumpsuit with a sewn on number one.)

Myers

Gothic Kid
Myers has given that look to many of the nearly 88 people he has brutally murdered.

GOVP
Hmmm. . .this might not be good.  Look you can just make out the gold-plated knife that his
agent, Drew Rosenhaus, gave him as a signing bonus.

(Carpenter suddenly realizes he’s in danger and jumps back right as Myers slowly raises the knife dramatically.  An ancient man in a trench coat, wearing black gloves suddenly pushes his way to the front of the dais)

GK
And right on time, there’s Doctor Loomis, Myers’ ancient, undying adversary.

(Loomis pulls out a 6-shot revolver and shoots Myers seven times in the chest.  On the 7th shot, Myers stumbles backwards and falls off the back of the stage.  Loomis turns and limps off mysteriously)

GVP
There you have it, folks.  An explosive first overall pick.

GK
(stunned)
And he even used the patented 7th bullet out of his six-shooter.

GVP
Let’s see what happened to Myers.  Surely he’s dead for good this time.  This has got to be almost as
big of a draft-day fiasco for Portland as spending their first pick on Greg Oden.

(The cameras rush over to where Myers fell off the staircase and the body is gone)

GVP
(chuckling in a stereotypical announcer laugh)
And it appears as though his body is gone.

GK
Well, it’s a little known fact that Radio City Music Hall was built on an old Indian burial ground,
which sat on top of a giant underwater cave system.

GVP
And let me guess?  There’s a river underneath?

GK
That runs to all 50 of the states in the contiguous U.S.

GVP
And there’s still hope for a title in Portland!  Well, we’re moving right along here, my torn-at-the-knee,
skinny-jean-wearing compatriot.  Looks like commissioner Carpenter has recovered from his
near-death experience and has Minneapolis’ pick ready to go.

GK
I have a bad feeling about this.

(Carpenter steps up to the microphone)

Carpenter
With the second pick in the National Horror Association Draft, the Minneapolis Maybe He’s
Actually Dead This Times select. . .Frederic Krueger, Springwood, Ohio.

GVP
Wow. . .and we have our first shocking selection in the draft.  Most draft experts and analysts
had predicted a sure-fire Myers-Vorhees 1-2 selection.  Gothic kid?

GK
Frankly, GVP, I’m a little shocked myself.  Jason Vorhees seemed like an obvious choice for the number
two pick here.  A couple issues that the scouts saw with this selection: there are concerns about
Krueger’s work ethic, his reliance on sleeping medication to trap victims and the simple fact that his fashion
sense might be the worst of all the draft picks tonight.

GVP
All valid points, Gothic Kid.  Let’s check in live with Gail and see if she’s gotten any word on
this shocker from down on the draft-room floor.  Gail?

(The cameras give us a closeup of Gail in an interview chair passed out cold.  Sleeping with her head resting against a wall.  The cameras jump back to the announcer’s booth.)

GVP
Gail?  Gail are you– (GVP nods intently while holding a finger to his ear).  I’ve just been informed
that Gail has been drinking charcoal-filtered vodka straight from the bottle and chewing Oxycodone
like they’re Tic-Tacs.  She might be taking a little nap.

GK
Shouldn’t we try to wake her up?  Freddy massacres people by the dozens if they fall asleep.

GVP
As someone who once abused pain pills with JFK, believe you me, it’s a completely dreamless sleep.

(Gothic kid pulls his hoodie up over his head and pouts)

GVP
Oh, alright.
(Shouting)
GAIL!  GAIIILLLL!

(The cameras jump back to Gail and she’s dead; tongue lolling in an insane manner out of her mouth)

GK
We’re too late.  Oh, man. . .oh, man.

GVP
Whoops.  Looks like Gail finally got her big scoop.  Ummm. . .and the commissioner is back
with the third pick in the draft.  Let’s go back to Mr. Carpenter.

(Carpenter mounts the stage and moves up to the microphone)

Carpenter
And with the third pick in the NHA draft, the San Francisco Shower Scenes select. . .
Chi-Chi-Chi-Ahh-Ahh-Ahh.  Jason Vorhees, from Camp Crystal Lake, New Jersey!

GVP
And there you have it.  Vorhees is off the board.

GK
I’ve been doing some research in a conveniently dark and musty library by myself at
inordinately late hours and have a few facts about Jason Vorhees for the listeners.
1.  He doesn’t like it when people have sex at his lake–

GVP
If the tent is a rockin’ the slashers come-a-stalkin’. . .

GK
2.  Weapon of choice is a machete, but he’s an equal opportunity slaughterer–

GVP
A switch hitter, capable of going deep from either side of the plate. . .

(The repartee between the two announcers is interrupted as the cameras cut back to the stage where Vorhees has slowly climbed the steps.  His mother is at his side and she steps up to the microphone first)

Pamela Vorhees
Did you know a young boy drowned the year before those two others were killed?
Jason should’ve been watched.  Every minute.  He was… He wasn’t a very good swimmer.

GVP
Alright. . .

(Jason Steps up next to his mother and puts on his new San Francisco, custom-made hockey mask with his team logo and she gives him a huge hug)

vorhees

GVP
(With his hand to his ear again)
Okay. . .Okay.  I’ve just been told that, since we knew Gail’s doom was imminent, we hired a backup
reporter.  A young, shockingly-attractive and unshockingly-troubled-in-the-man-department, reporter.
She has an expert on this up-and-coming star, Jason Vorhees.  We go live, now, to
Jessica Hasadarksecretshehopesneverresurfaces.  Jessica?

(Jessica is standing alongside an old, grizzled weirdo, who appears to be seated on an ancient, beaten down bicycle)

Jessica
Hello, Ghost of Vincent Price and Gothic Kid.  Glad to be here.  Rest in peace, Gail.  I’m here
with Crazy Ralph, longtime resident of Crystal Lake, Jason Vorhees’ hometown.  You must be very proud
of Crystal Lake’s hometown boy?

Crazy Ralph
I’m a messenger of God.  You’re doomed if you stay here.

Jessica
Oh, no. . .that reminds me of the time. . .

GK
And she’s clearly having a very dramatic, internal flashback here, GVP.

(the cameras zoom in tight on Jessica’s face and she’s tearfully oblivious; pensively looking deep into her past. . .into her very soul.  Crazy Ralph shakes her from her revery)

Crazy Ralph
You’re all doomed!

Interview2

GK
(sighing mournfully)
He’s right, you know.

GVP
Ground-breaking stuff, there, Jessica.  It looks like the fourth pick is in.  Let’s take a listen.

(Carpenter strides purposefully out to the podium)

Carpenter
With the fourth overall pick in the NHA Draft the Pittsburgh Pre-Marital Sexers select: Ghostface,
from Woodsboro, California.

GVP
And the hits just keep on coming, don’t they, my guy-liner-wearing friend?

GK
Absolutely, GVP.  Absolutely.  There were some legitimate concerns with Ghostface that had many experts
shying away from him this early.  He’s known as one of the clumsier, less invincible slashers out there.
However, he does move faster than a lot of the other slashers in the draft.  His 4.9 40-yard dash time was a
staggering 10 seconds faster than Jason Vorhees and 22 seconds faster than the
slower-than-an-elderly-woman-with-a-walker Mike Myers.

GVP
Speed can erase a lot of those flaws.  We go now to Jessica once more, standing by.

(The cameras go to Jessica)

Jessica
Thanks, guys.  A lot of people here are buzzing about that last pickup by the Pre-Marital Sexers because–

(her phone rings)

Jessica
Excuse me, I’m going to get this really quick, guys.
(into the phone)
Hello?  Yes, this is she.  My what?  Oh, well if I had to pick one I really like Psycho.
Yeah, the Alfred Hitchcock one.

GK
Jessica!?!  Don’t answer the phone.  Can you hear me?

Jessica
(to the broadcasters)
I’m on the phone, here, Gothic Kid.  Manners much?  Besides this kind of reminds me
of once, long ago. . .

Jessica & GK
(in unison)
When I was a little girl.

Jessica
(back into her cellphone)
You do?  Alright.  Where should I meet you?  Terrific.  (she hangs up and looks at the camera)  I’ve
gotten an anonymous tip that seems really trustworthy.  I’m going to meet them in an empty
warehouse by a large body of water where a human body could easily be disposed of.  I’m so close to
uncovering the truth.
(she pulls out a flashlight)
The batteries on this are a little low. . .it kind of just keeps flickering.  Anyway, I’ll be right back.

GVP
Seriously?  Do we have any more reporters on staff here, Goth Kid?  Ooops. . .there she goes.
And just in time, it looks like Commissioner Carpenter is ready again.

(Carpenter strides to the podium once more)

Carpenter
With the fifth pick in the NHA draft, the Dallas Dream Within a Dream Sequences have
selected. . .Leatherface!

GVP
And Dallas takes the Big Southerner.  Your take, Gothic Kid?

GK
Not a huge surprise here, GVP.  We know that the people in Texas think that everything in that
godforsaken state is the best, and they show it here by swooping in on the #1 rated in-state prospect
and pulling him off the board early.  There’s gonna be a few disappointed teams who were hoping he’d slip a
little further down since he hasn’t had a hit movie in years.

GVP
Very true.  And, wow this is a surprise, it looks like the next pick is already in.  That sure was fast.

(Carpenter’s back at the podium)

Carpenter
With the 6th pick in the NHA Draft, the Utah Underage Binge Drinkers have selected, Chucky!

GVP
Wow!  And there’s another big shocker.  The second one of the day.  There was obvious concerns
about Chucky’s size.  Lest we forget, you can really just punt him if he gets too close.  Goth kid?

GK
Oh, this is so bad.  Such bad news.  Well, my friend, we know that Chucky doesn’t exactly stuff the
physical stat sheet the way some of his fellow draftees have, but the simple fact is this: he’s a proven winner.
He’s got a sequel percentage that’s nearly unrivaled among the killers today and he’s even had his own awkward,
kind of creepy sex scene.  That’s moxy for you.  He’s got all the intangibles.

GVP
Wait, are you talking about Chucky. . .or Tim Tebow?  Let’s go down live to our hard-working sideline
reporter, Jessica.  Jessica, what have you got for us?

(The camera cuts to Jessica.  She’s impaled on a stool next to Gail)

GVP
Oh for the love of. . .
(shouting off camera)
Do we have anyone else down there?  Oh, it doesn’t matter right now.  I’m told the commissioner is keeping
things humming right along.  We’ve got the next pick in already.  Let’s see what owner M. Night Shyamalan
decides to do with his first round pick.

(Carpenter steps up)

Carpenter
The Candyman.  Er, I mean, with the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NHA draft, the  Niagara Trips and
Falls Over Nothings select The Candyman, from Cabrini Green, Chicago, Illinois.  Sorry, I got a little ahead
of myself there.

GVP
Oh!  And in typical, M. Night Shyamalan fashion, the plot twist for the Niagara Falls Over Nothings
is revealed way too early.  Outstanding stuff, here, Gothic Kid.

GVP
We’re witnessing history here, GVP.  The Candyman is the Jackie Robinson of horror.
Not only did he shatter the color barrier, but he killed buxom white women and crackheads in the hood
as well.  Truly historic.

GVP
I’m being told we have yet another sideline reporter in the wings, waiting to interview the potential 8th pick in the draft,
Ben Willis, the star of I Know What You Did Last Summer.  I’m told Jamie Dirtygirlwhoconstantlybangseverythingthatmovesuntilshegetsmurderedwhileintheactofsex is standing by now.  Jamie?

(Jamie is standing next to a dark, shadowy figure wearing a rain slicker.  She’s putting on lipstick and only wearing a towel)

Jamie
Wow, GVP, your voice sounds totally hot.  I can’t wait to meet you and Goth Kid in person.  Anyway
I’m here with some guy, who might be really cute underneath that rain poncho.  I just can’t quite see.  I’ll
probably have to bend way over to get a look.

(Suddenly a red Ferrari comes screeching into the frame and slams into Ben Willis, sending his body flying into darkness.  The boy driving comes stumbling out holding a pony keg and drinking straight from the tap)

Jamie
Hey!  Check it out, guys, it’s my boyfriend.

GK
Uhhh. . .Jamie?  The interview with Mr. Willis?

(Jamie is making out with her boyfriend.  She turns to the camera)

Jamie
I don’t think he’s alive anymore.

Jamie’s Drunk, Idiot Boyfriend
Yeah.  Clearly dead, bro.  Now F-off.

Jamie
(leading away her drunk, idiot boyfriend)
Now. . .I could have sworn I saw a shower around here. . .maybe you can wear that sexy rain poncho
I bought you for Christmas, too.

GK
She lasted a shorter amount of time than even the other ones.  Damn.

GVP
And it looks like the Commissioner is ready to deliver the final pick of the first day of our draft
coverage.

(Carpenter steps to the mic)

Carpenter
With the eighth pick in the NHA draft, the Philadelphia Flickering Lights select Angela Baker, from
Sleepaway Camp.

GVP
And talk about ending on a high note!  The diminutive killer from multiple, and might I add terrible,
horror movies is the final selection taken in the first round.

GK
Oh, man. . .oh, man.  I just don’t think we should be here right now.

GVP
Oh, man is right.  Angela, who turns out to be a dude later on in her horror movie
plotline, technically fulfills half of the NHA’s title IX requirements, however, so that was a wise
pickup by team owner Jack Nicholson.

(theme music begins playing once again)

GVP
And that, my black-mo-hawked little friend is our cue.  It’s been an absolutely astounding first day to the
NHA draft.  We’ve had some ups, downs, murders, and gratuitous nudity.  In short, it’s been a hell of a time.
We’ll be back with more draft coverage tomorrow night.  For Gail Willalwaysbeundonebyherambitionanddisregardforhumanlife,
Jessica Hasadarksecretshehopesneverresurfaces, and
Jamie Dirtygirlwhoconstantlybangseverythingthatmovesuntilshegetsmurderedwhileintheactofsex.
And for my colleague, The Gothic Kid in High School Who Has a Morbid Curiosity With the Dead and Always Somehow Knows
ShitloadsAbout the Killer, let me just say thanks for tuning in.  I’m the Ghost of Vincent Price.  Goodnight.

FIN