Friday, July 29, 2011

2011 All ACLB Team Final Words

So we've finally wrapped this thing up that has taken us months of meandering back-and-forths to do. And what I can honestly tell you is this - Armchair Linebacker is an amazing fucking place. Fuck football talk anywhere else. We do not try to be the bullshit breaking news "just copied it from Chris Mortensen or Jay Glazer on twitter" sites, and we do not make us stupid lists just for the sake of making stupid lists to drum up search engine optimization. We are real dudes who really fucking suffer watching the NFL football. I am thankful for Neil for jumping into this so wholeheartedly, and I wish there was a dude like him for every other team. I am thankful for guys like LPOY and Mike Dikk and Harpo Garza who pop in with some amusing ass shit whenever they feel the motivation, and I wish there three guys like them for ever team in the NFL. And I am thankful for myself, for having a reason to suffer under Dan Snyder's oppressive regime, so that I can complain about him comedically and share his office number and hope that I am inspiration for someone out there to make a difference in the Redskins future. Haha, i don't mean hurt Dan Snyder; I was thinking more along the lines of not supporting the team in the hopes he moves them to Los Angeles to be next to his celebrity asshole friends and then we get a new team that gets to keep the Redskins name like the Browns, but probably at an immense cost because if he is nothing else, Dan Snyder is a shady sketchy ass money-hungry double-horned devil.
But most of all, I hope you enjoy Armchair Linebacker, and I hope you share our bullshit with our friends. I hope you contribute, either by commenting or by getting involved and bitching about your own piece of shit ass team you've loved since you were 7, wearing a jersey your dad got for you that you saw one just like at the thrift store last summer and it looked so old and weird but you almost bought it anyways. That's being a fucking football fan. And though the internet tends to be about pretending to break things before anybody else does or fighting to be quick with responses to happenings as close to real time as possible, or just showing off your knowledgeable ass with punter formulas and baseball nerd sabermetrics for the gridiron, I say fuck that. The internet should be a place for real dudes to provide real fucking opinions on the really miserable suffering they go through watching a goddamned football game they have no control over, yet are so emotionally involved in it they will fight with their life partner if things go bad. That's the NFL. It might try to paint itself as some goddamned country club physical chess match for the idiot savants of our modern times, but really it's just about dudes smashing into each other to move an oblong ball in a direction against the other team's collective will. That's all. That can be a beautiful thing to watch when it is pushing your way, and a terribly soul-crushing painful thing to see when it doesn't go your way, and you start to feel it will never go your way again. That is Armchair Linebacker.

It’s the tail end of July, the lockout is over and I am finally sitting down to put an exclamation point on whatever the fuck this thing is. Some of it has been inspired madness, some of it has been ordinary madness and some of it has been embarrassing madness. But that’s exactly how it should be because that is life, you know? Sometimes you soar with the eagles and sometimes you shit your pants with the goats and then they eat your pants because they’re goats and that’s just what goats do. In the end, though, every word we have written here has been alive. Every word has breathed and seen the blue skies of this world. There is nothing antiseptic or pandering about anything that we do here, and that’s what sets us apart. That’s what this team is a celebration of, that freedom to be who and what you are without apology or reservation.
I’m sure we lost some people along this brutal road. That’s fine. We’re strange dudes and we say and write strange things that make people uncomfortable sometimes. We know this. But, frankly, we don’t give a shit. Actually, we’re proud of this because this world is full of dead souls and bleating sheep and we are lions with hearts of fire, and even though we might fare better in the flock if we cover ourselves with lamb’s wool and bleat the same worthless bullshit that everyone else is bleating, there is no point to any of that, no reward other than being shorn along with the rest of the flock and then sold as mutton. We roar because that’s our natural voice. It is an extension of our proud warrior hearts, our stardust souls and our more human than human minds. Maybe this means we’re just destined to chase away the sheep (And man, I hate using the term “sheep” here because it’s so clichéd, but fuck it, for this metaphor, it’s what works, you know? Just please recognize that I’m not doing some dumb “Fuck the sheeple” thing here. Well, maybe I am, but it’s not the same because most of the time the people who go on about that sort of shit are just sheep of a different color. You know what I mean? No? Eh, me neither.) but it also means that the people who do stick with us – like you intrepid souls – are of our kind, and finding you and each other is a far more rewarding experience than being accepted and loved for what we aren’t. This is the only way we know how to talk about football. This is the only way we can talk about football. We can’t even bring ourselves to do all that other simpering bullshit.
I know this comes across like an epic circle jerk, but there comes a time when you have to thump your chest and scream “This is me, motherfucker. This is me.” And I suppose now is one of those times. We are profane and crass and we don’t mince words. Most of the time when people do that it comes across like some sort of lame shtick, a Howard Sternesque attempt to shock and offend as a means of getting attention, and that is desperate and lame and sad. But we are not like the others. Not me, not Raven and none of you reading this. We simply speak the truths told to us by our own hearts and make no apologies for it. That is the Armchair Linebacker way.
Like Raven said, we’re always on the lookout for voices of our own tribe. If you want to join in and write with us, then by all means, let us know. We may shout a lot and we may offend the local gentry and drink from the hollowed out skulls of our enemies and pick our teeth with their wicked bones, but we like nothing more than commiserating with our own kind and laughing and high-fiving and kicking ass with our friends while everybody else stares with slack jawed horror. We’re surprisingly accessible. We may be brutes, but we have the hearts of warrior poets.
Look, I’m not even sure what I’m gibbering about here. This is supposed to be the final word on a project that took months to complete, saw a lot of weird gibberish written, spanned several bouts of “Fuck this, and fuck football” feelings, raged stupidly but honestly against the idiot mewling of the Great NFL Football Machine which has dragged our patience through the mud over the last several months, and finally found itself being posted, piece at a time as the lockout finally dragged to a sorry end. This whole project, though, should be taken as a whole. Ideally, it should be read in one furious bender, spanning many hours, blood, sweat and, if we’re being honest, even a little semen. If you want to add some tears, that’s fine too.
In the end, Raven and I wrote this because there comes a point where you just have to put it all down and say “Here, this is where I’m coming from. If you like it, cool. If not, I’m sure Rick Reilly has a new column out.” Hopefully, we’ve spoken some serious truths hidden in all the insanity. That’s the brutal yet glorious secret of this blog – for all the weird shit that we write, for all the blur of insanity which we seem to be, at the core of it there is a beautiful heart pumping with raw, naked truth that is painfully earnest and wants nothing more than to hope and to fall in love with the teams we have so tragically attached ourselves to throughout the years. We are the children who grew up wide eyed and innocent (Well, as innocent as we could ever be.), watching and loving our teams because, really, we had no choice. You don’t choose love, no matter what the cynics say. It chooses you and these damned teams chose us long, long ago. And now we wait, and we wait, and we wait, and we try to capture that moment when they will finally love us back. That’s what Armchair Linebacker is all about.