... and maybe 11?
Hello, my friends.
I know that’s been my opening for emails for about 15 years now. But I have noticed more than a few of my friends through the years have signed up for this. Folks who have no interest in footy. So you’re getting an extra heaping of my life in this edition. If you hate my life, I’ll try to guide you with the headings. For example:
This (part) is not about sports
Monday, I went to get some bloodwork done. The phlebotomist asked me how I was feeling that day and if there was anything going on that might affect my numbers.
“Well, we just had a kid a few weeks ago. So sleep … exercise … cogent thoughts are all hard to come by.”
“It’s hard,” Rashaun said. “Before my first kid, I’d record a new song every week. And then when he got here … I went months without playing a thing. But you know what, man? You gotta do your thing, man. You gotta be you, Coy.”
“Umm, thanks man. I appreciate it. But. It’s Colby.”
But it was Coy. It still is, according to the lab. I’d been so zonked when I signed up for my appointment online I misspelled my own damned name.
When last we spoke, hot on the heels of my father-in-law finishing his weeklong visit, my mother-in-law was inbound for her weeklong visit. I believe I characterized my father-in-law’s visit at grueling; at least I did in my head.1
When last we spoke, I thought we were in the eye of the storm. My wife and her mother have a relationship somewhere between strained and estranged. The dread was so thick you could drizzle it over your pancakes.
But you know what? My mother-in-law really, bigly came through. Held the kid. Fed the kid. Changed the kid. And, perhaps best of all, told us we have a really challenging baby. It really meant the world to me and my wife. We’re not just bad parents. We also have a bad kid.
Thankfully, I won’t have to deal with any more grand parents until *checks calendar* Sunday, when my parents get here for the week.
Who the fuck schedules this shit? *checks notes* I did.
My mother has spent A LOT of effort branding herself as - and I quote - “Granita.” Which sounds a lot like a liquor that would be featured in a cocktail featured in a commercial for Applebee’s. Six months later, Applebee’s would be featuring their new “Granita marinated rubles™.”
But whatever, mom. You do what you want.
This part is not about truth
It’s about perceptions.
I had a brilliant idea to write down the 20 Premier League clubs in alphabetical order and then try to rank them according to the current standings. This wasn't only about trying to prove how dumb I am, but also just about perceptions and accuracy.
I invite you all to try it. Throw your results in the comments. I’m super curious. Maybe my wife will even throw her entry in. I’ll save you some trouble and list all 20 teams alphabetically here.2 I won’t give to much away from my run. I got 6 of 20 exactly right. I got 7 more within one place. (I had 5 of the top 6 and the bottom 4 right or within one spot.) But that’s probably no accomplishment and served most importantly to clear those teams out. I felt like the real learning was in the middle.
I had one team 8 spots too low. It’s a real nice eyeopener. They’re having a much better season than you’d think. And I’ll adjust my watching and thinking accordingly.
As a bit of a spoiler, I had Spurs 3 spots too low. I know their trend line. I know they started with three straight 1-0 wins. And then they fell off the cliff.
This part is not about how to run a football club
Since we last talked, Tottenham have decided Nuno should not be their coach any more. They’ve fired Nuno. They’ve negotiated a deal with Antonio Conte. They’ve hired Conte. They’ve implemented some of his formations and principles at practice. Then they’ve backed up and made sure to get the proper immigration paperwork and visa so he can actually be employed as their coach *wink wink*.
Some quick, non linear thoughts on this (because I’ve got a bumper crop of those):
Tottenham feel a lot like the Texas Longhorn football team. Lots of consistent cash. Lots of constant expectations. Lots of mediocrity. They had a mess of a time getting Nuno hired in *checks calendar* June of this year. And now they’ve signed Conte to an 18 month deal (with another year of re-up possible)
I really like this deal. It’s either going to go fucking great, or it’s going to be a fucking disaster. The spread is great and there’s absolutely no way Spurs finish in their usual 8th place.
Conte is a winner. So that makes me think it’s going to go great, a la Chelsea sacking Lampard last year, hiring Tuchel and then setting the world on fire. That went so well, I still contend if they had made the move 3 weeks earlier, they would’ve won the League and Europe instead of just Europe.
But, and I HATE to quote and 100 percent agree with Jose Mourinho here, Spurs had a great coach in Nuno and now they still have a great coach in Conte. At some point, the coaches aren’t the problem. And I think we’re at that some point.
In fact, and I HATE to quote and 100 percent agree with my friend JJ Devaney of ESPN’s Caught Offside podcast (no one tell him I am doing this) but I think Spurs problem is, when they should have been backfilling players back in 2019ish, they were pumping money into their stadium project. Expecting it to lead them to higher revenues and then applying that money to the team.
Real bad time for a global pandemic there, Daniel.
This part is not about my kid
Let’s talk about our weekend schedules, shall we?
Friday, November 5
Southampton - Aston Villa (The Cock) Yes. I am aware this has taken me so long go get written that this match has already started.
Saturday, November 6
Man U - Man City (NBCSn - Telemundo and Universo) I have no idea why this match needs two Spanish language broadcasts. But cool. Knock it out.
Also, what a dumb season Man U are having. It’s like getting in a car with a 12 year old driving and then he chunks the steering wheel out the window. Go with God, Ole. Go with God.
Brentford - Norwich (The Cock)
Chelsea - Burnley (The Cock) I fully expect my newborn to come home in 3 or 4 years and tell me about her new best friend, Chelsea-Burnley. With hyphen.
Crystal Palace - Wolves (NBCSn - Universo) I don’t even bother tallying up games without a Adama Traore goal any more.
Brighton - Newcastle (NBC - Universo) This week, my second favorite team is Brighton. OK, boys. Let’s win one for Jamaal.
Sunday, November 8
Arsenal - Watford (The Cock) To paraphrase Mike Leach, sometimes a cannon beats a moose.
Everton - Spurs (NBCSn - Telemundo) I’ll watch because sometimes I watch NASCAR for the potential wrecks.
Leeds - Leicester (The Cock) I guess this match has to happen.
Leave for Laguardia to pick up my parents. (HMU if you want a FaceTime link for this.) Who the fuck schedules this shit?
West Ham - Liverpool (NBCSn - Telemundo) No spoilers, please.
This part is not about what I did this week
A quick note that is actually footy related. October 21, Liverpool played Man City. The day before I was texting a Liverpool supporting friend of mine here in Brooklyn about potentially watching the match together at the pub.
“I don’t know if I’m going to make it,” she said. “Lots to do and not really feeling it.”
She ended up making it out for the match the next day. I only shagged ass home at the final whistle and she stayed behind.
The next day she texts me. “So four of us kept drinking in the backyard and ended up buying airfare, accommodations and match tickets for the Brighton and Atletico matches at Anfield in a couple of weeks.
I’d say I’m not sure how one goes from “not going to walk three blocks to watch a game on TV” to “flying across an ocean for two matches in a couple of weeks,” but I am exactly sure how the happens because I’ve done exactly that sort of thing a few times in my life.
I got to live vicariously through them (and it helps that I get up at 4 am with the kid every morning. We were more on the same timezone than when the group is here in Brooklyn.) but I highly recommend we all take a similar plunge. It was a hoot.
This part is not about going on
Take care of yourself, and each other.
Look, if I’m being honest, the hardest part was seeing the toll the years and the pandemic and the isolation and the cable news has taken on my father-in-law. We saw him for a couple of days last Thanksgiving in Indiana and he seemed fine, But New York has a way of spotlighting weakness.