Archive for January, 2020

NFL 2019-2020 Wildcard Recap

Sunday, January 5th, 2020

NFL 2019-2020 Wildcard Recap

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans was the Saturday afternoon game. Both teams rested their starters in the regular season finale and came in with matching 10-6 records. The Texans have lost several playoff games at home. An emotional home crowd saw the return of JJ Watt from injured reserve. Yet the first half of this game belonged to the Buffalo defense. After a touchback on 2nd and 8 from their own 38, Josh Allen had a wide open hole and ran for a 42 yard gain. On 2nd and 6 from the Houston 16, Sean McDermott went to the bag of tricks. A lateral to Brown was followed by him finding a wide open receiver…Allen. Although he got hit at the one, Allen stretched over the pylon for the touchdown. On the 75 yard drive, Allen had 69 of those yards, with 42 rushing, 16 receiving, and 11 passing to give the Bills the 7-0 lead. The second quarter saw Buffalo drive twice near the red zone but settle for a pair of 40 yard Steve Hauschka field goals as the Bills took a 13-0 lead to the locker rooms. The game got bizarre with the second half kickoff. The return man in the back of the end zone caught the ball and flipped it to the referee without taking a knee. The ref jumped out of the way and the Bills fell on the live ball in the end zone. Initially it was ruled a Houston touchdown, but after a lengthy discussion it was reversed to a touchback. A few plays later Deandre Hopkins had the ball punched out anyway, and the Bills recovered at the Houston 38. The key play of the game came with the Bills facing 3rd and 8 at the Houston 12 and on the verge of delivering the knockout blow. Allen went back to pass and got belted by JJ Watt. Steve Hauschka hit a 38 yard field goal to make it 16-0 Bills, but the sack fired up the crowd and momentum changed.

After a touchback, Johnson ran for 10. Deshaun Watson hit Carter for 5 and Hopkins for 14. Carlos Hyde ran for 8, 6 and one. On 3rd and 8 from the Buffalo 30, Watson under heavy pressure just before getting knocked to the ground found Hopkins near the sideline for 10. Watson then took it himself and literally carried everything on his back. At the 5 yard line, he banged it into 2 defenders and dragged both of them just over the plane of the goal. The 20 yard touchdown run was followed by a 2 point conversion try. Watson ruled out and stormed around the end. He stretched the ball and again got just past the pylon as the Texans were within 16-8. Buffalo moved after a touchback to a 3rd and 8 at their own 47 to start the fourth quarter. This time Allen was sacked and fumbled. Martin recovered for the Texans at midfield. Watson hit Kenny stills for 20 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Buffalo 21, Watson was sacked. Kaimi Fairbairn hit a 41 yard field goal to get the texans within 16-11 with 11 minutes left in regulation. Houston got it back and soon faced 2nd and 5 at their own 31. Watson went deep to Hopkins for a 41 yard gain. On 3rd and 3 from the Buffalo 15, Watson went to Fells for 14 yards down to the one. On the next play a pitchout was fumbled and the Texans were lucky to escape with a  4 yard loss. On the next play Watson rolled out and found a wide open Hyde in the flat for the 5 yard touchdown. With 4 1/2 minutes left the Texans had their first lead of the game. On the 2 point conversion, Sean McDermott sent an all out blitz and Watson fired a laser over the middle to Hopkins to put the Texans up 19-16. 

Momentum shifted again after a touchback. Allen combined with Singletary on a short pass, and Singletary got to the sideline for a 38 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Houston 28. Allen found a crease and gained 3 yards. On 2nd and 10 from the Houston 25, Frank Gore got bottled up for a 3 yard loss as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. At this point, the tying field goal try would be 49 yards. Hauschka never got the chance. Romeo Crennel’s defense unleashed everybody. Under heavy pressure, Allen threw the ball and hit an offensive lineman. Intentional grounding meant 4th and 27. Sean McDermott opted against a 60 yard field goal try. Now it was up to either a Hail Mary or the hook and laterals. Again Crennel brought the house. This time Allen got buried for a 19 yard loss. The Bills had all 3 timeouts. With 1:21 left, it all came down to the Texans facing 4th and 1 from the Buffalo 30. A first down would end the game. Bill O’Brien decided to go for it rather than try a 48 yard field goal. Watson took the quarterback sneak and ran into a Buffalo brick wall. The Bills were still alive. 

On the next play, Allen ran for a 20 yard gain but then lost his mind. Without a timeout, he tried to lateral the ball backward to nobody in particular. This was unnecessary since an entire minute remained. Allen was lucky that his own offensive lineman batted the ball out of bounds at the last moment. With 34 seconds left on 3rd and 10 from the Houston 39, Allen hit Cole beasley, who dove midair and landed just past the first down marker. Had he been short, it would have been 4th and inches. Because it was 1st and 10, the Bills could spike the ball to stop the clock. They did with 20 seconds left. Allen took two more deep shots that were both incomplete by a mile. With 5 seconds left, Hauschka came in for the 47 yard field goal try to tie the game. It was the exact length as Scott Norwood’s miss heard round the world 29 years ago. Hauschka was good. This thrilling football game was tied 19-19 and going to overtime.

The Texans got the ball first in overtime. On 3rd and 3 from their own 32, Watson under heavy pressure fired to Fells, who just dropped it. The Bills took over and soon faced 3rd and 12 at their own 28. Allen ran around like he was in the circus and found Knox for 14 yards. On 3rd and 9 from his own 43, Allen ran all the way to the sideline and fired over the middle to Singletary for an acrobatic 14 yard gain. On 2rd and 9 from the Houston 42, Allen got around the end and went airborne, gaining 5 yards. A field goal try would have been 55 yards or more. Hauschka again never got the chance. An illegal blindside block on the offense meant a 15 yard penalty against Buffalo. It was also unnecessary since Allen had already escaped. It pushed the Bills out of field goal range. On 3rd and 24, a short pass to a wide open receiver just to gain a few yards was dropped. Houston got it back at their own 17. A sack of Watson had the Texans facing 3rd and 18 at their own 19. With Buffalo playing way back, an underneath throw from Watson to Johnson saw johnson lunge for Just enough for a first down. Watson then ran for 5 and hit Stills for 10. Then came the play of the year for Houston. From the Buffalo 44, Sean Mcdermott again brought pressure. Watson got belted by 2 rushers, one on each side. What should have been a sack for a huge loss somehow Watson shake off the direct hits and stay upright. He then rolled out and found Taiwan Jones for a 34 yard gain. Bill O’Brien immediately brought in Fairbairn on first down to try the 28 yard field goal. The kick was good and the Texans had the brutally hard-fought win. 

I have said many times that every life lesson can be learned from football. The Buffalo Bills lost, but they are not losers. They lost in heartbreaking fashion in a game where the other team made one spectacular play when it mattered most. The Houston Texans showed heart, guts, and an absolute refusal to die.Deshaun Watson got belted by a couple defenders and somehow stayed upright to complete what was effectively the game winning pass. JJ Watt played the entire game with one arm. He made the key sack that turned the game around when it looked like Buffalo was going to win easily. We already know that Watt is a superior human being off the field. Today we were reminded that he is a superior athlete on the field.v20 years after the Music City Miracle, Buffalo lost another gut-wrenching playoff game they thought they had won. For Houston, it was an epic comeback.This is why we watch football. This is the best of football and the best of the human condition. What a fine start to the playoffs on the 100th year of the NFL. 22-19 Texans

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots was the Saturday night game. A snowstorm was expected, but the first half was just played in a thick fog, although nowhere near like the 1988 Fog Bowl. After a touchback to start the game, the Patriots moved to a 3rd and 3 at the Tennessee 18. Tom Brady threw incomplete. Nick Folk hit the 36 yard field goal and the Patriots led 3-0. After another touchback, Ryan Tannehill hit Smith for 9 yards. Derrick Henry gained 8 and 4. Tannehill went to Sharpe for 6 and Henry ran for 10, 9 and 6. On 3rd and 10 from the New England 12, Tannehill went to Firkser for the touchdown as the Titans led 7-3. The Patriots got it back and faced 2nd and 11 at their own 24. Brady hit Mohammed San for 11. Sony Michel gained 25. Brady went to Watson for 11 and Burkhead for 9. On 3rd and 2 from the Tennessee 21, James White gained 14. On the first play of of the second quarter, Julian Edelman took a handoff around the end for a 5 yard touchdown and a 10-7 Patriots lead. 

Tennessee’s defense was resilient. When the Patriots faced 3rd and 1 at their own 47, Roberts got the carry and got stopped. on 4th and 1 Bill Belichick opted to punt. A 23 yard punt return had the Patriots getting it back at the Houston 47. On 3rd and 6 from the Tennessee 32, Brady hit Harry for 7. Michel ran for 12 and Brady hit Burkhead for 12 more to set up 1st and goal at the one. Michel lost a yard and Burkhead got it back to set up 3rd and goal at the one. Michel got the carry and got blasted for a 2 yard loss. Nick Folk hit the 21 yard field goal to make it 13-7 Patriots with 2:16 left in the half. 

After a touchback, Henry bulldozed ahead for gains of 29, 11, 9 and 3. Then Henry caught a pass from Tannehill for a 22 yard gain down to the one. With 35 seconds left in the half, the entire football world knew Henry was getting the ball. It didn’t matter. He got in for the score as the Titans led 14-13.  The Patriots moved after a touchback to a 4th and 2 at their own 48 with 6 seconds left. On the Hail Mary, the Titans rushed nobody…zero defenders. 5 offensive lineman stood there as not one defender rushed. Brady had plenty of time to throw and the ball reached the end zone but was well-defended and incomplete. 

The second half was a slog. After a scoreless third quarter, the Titans in the fourth quarter mounted a 10 play drive that took 8 minutes off the clock. From their own 20, the Titans moved to a 3rd and 3 at the New England 36. Henry had been running over the Patriots. Everyone knew he was getting the ball again, even on a passing down. He never got the chance. Tannehill fumbled the snap out of the shotgun but was lucky enough to fall on it for a loss. Mike Vrabel was not going to try a 54 yard field goal in brutally cold weather. Vrabel played some gamesmanship and deliberately took a delay of game and a false start to take another minute off the clock. The Patriots got it back at their own 11, but on 2nd and 4 from their own 37, Brady threw incomplete twice. Bill Belichick decided to punt and trust his defense. With 3 minutes left the Titans took over at their own 13. 

On 3rd and 8 from their own 15 with 2:54 left, the entire world knows you run the ball and force the Patriots to take their final timeout. Mike Vrabel tabbed his balls of steel and went with a pass. Tannehill hit Firkser for 11 yards. Henry then ran for another 11 yards. On 3rd and 9 from their own 38 with 1:11 left and the Patriots out of timeouts, this time Vrabel went conventional. Henry slammed into the line for 3 yards and the Titans took the clock down to 25 seconds. A perfect punt pinned the Patriots at their own one yard line with 15 seconds left. Rather than throw a bomb or do hook and laterals, Brady tried a short swing pass just to give his offense some room. The pass was deflected in the air and intercepted by Ryan, who coasted 9 yards into the end zone. With 9 seconds left, the only score of the second half had the Titans up by 7. Vrabel went for a 2 point conversion to put the game out of reach. That failed, but Julian Edelman needed to return the ensuing kickoff 87 yards. He only gained 11 yards before a series of laterals and fumbled were recovered by the Titans at the New England 4 yard line. Tannehill finished with only 72 yards passing on 8 completions in 15 attempts. That was because the Titans ran the ball 40 times for 201 yards. Henry gashed the New England defense for 182 yards on 34 categories. In a shocking upset, it is the Titans who are on to Baltimore. The Patriots are done for the year as questions swirl around whether Brady has played his final game. He is almost definitely returning, but then again the Patriots were definitely winning this game before they weren’t. This was a beautiful kind of ugly smash mouth. The Titans just hit the Patriots in the mouth. 20-13 Titans

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints was the Sunday morning game. A decade go in the NFC Title Game, Drew Brees and the Saints won a controversial NFC Title Game over Brett Favre and the Vikings. Two years ago the Vikings shocked the Saints as Case Keenum hit Stephan Diggs for the Minneapolis Miracle. The 13-3 Saints became the first ever division winner not to have a bye week. The Vikings were locked into the wildcard so they treated last week like a bye week and rested everyone. The Saints have been in Super Bowl or bust mode after being denied in shocking fashion the last two years. Yet Mike Zimmer’s defense gave the Saints a street fight. On the third play from scrimmage on 2nd and 1 from their own 39, Kirk Cousins hit Adam Thielen for 3 yards. Janoris Jenkins put a helmet on the ball and Thielen fumbled. The Saints took over at the Minnesota 37. Yet on 3rd and goal at the 4, Brees was sacked. Wil Lutz hit the 29 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Saints. After a touchback, Dalvin Cook ran for 7, 3 and one. On 3rd and 1 from his own 44, Cook gained 7. Mattison added 16. Yet on 1st and 10 from the Saints 28, a trick play saw a lateral to Stefan Diggs followed by an attempt to throw it. Diggs was blown up in the backfield for a 6 yard loss. Dan Bailey hit a 43 yard field goal to make it 3-3.

The second quarter saw Taysom Hill enter the game, which means the Saints were up to something big. Alvin Kamala ran for 5. Then Hill took a wildcat snap and ran for 11. Then Hill took the snap at quarterback and threw a 50 yard bomb to Harris. On the next play Hill was a blocker as Kamara ran for the 4 yard touchdown. The Saints led 10-3. The Vikings after a touchback embarked on a 13 play, 72 yard 6 1/2 minute drive. On 2nd and goal at the one, Kirk Cousins threw incomplete. On 3rd and goal, Cook got blasted for a 2 yard loss. Dan Bailey hit the 21 yard field goal to get the Vikings within 10-6 with 3 minutes left in the half. Three plays later the Saints faced 3rd and 6 at their own 28 with 2:18 left in the half. Brees went deep into double coverage and was intercepted by Harris. Harris got off the ground without being touched and then returned the interception 30 yards to the Saints 45 at the 2 minute warning. Cousins then went to Thielen for 19. On 3rd and 4 from the Saints 18, Cousins hit Thielen for 13. With 23 seconds left in the half, Cook ran for the 5 yard touchdown as the Vikings took the 13-10 lead. The Saints got a break when Cook returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards to the Saints 45. Brees then went to Thomas for 20 yards. With 5 seconds left, Lutz came in for a 43 yard field goal to tie the game. It was no good. 

Midway through the third quarter the Vikings took over at their own 36. Defensive pass interference added 10 more yards. On 3rd and 9 from their own 47, Cousins went deep to Thielen for a 34 yard gain. On 3rd and 1 from the Saints 10, Cousins went to Diggs for 9 yards. On 2nd and goal at the one, Cook got leveled at the goal line. It appeared that he was short of the goal line but officials ruled he did break the plane. After three quarters, it was the Vikings with the 20-10 lead in front of a very nervous home crowd. Very late in the third quarter, Sean Payton called a fake punt on 4th and 3 from his own 35. Taysom Hill got the first down but a false start negated the play as the Saints punted. The Saints got the ball back to start the fourth quarter at their own 15. Brees hit Cook for 14, Kamara for 5, Cook for 14 again to midfield, and Kamara for 18. Latavius Murray ran for 4 and 8. Brees then went to Hill for a 20 yard touchdown. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Saints were within 20-17.

The Saints got it back at their own 29 midway through the fourth quarter. On 3rd and 1 from their own 38, a Wildcat snap to Hill went for 9 yards. Another Wildcat snap to Hill saw him bowl over defenders for a 28 yard gain to the Minnesota 20 with 4 1/2 minutes left. The Saints were easily in tying field goal position but were looking for the lead. Brees had not fumbled all year. The Saints had not had two turnovers in a game all year. At the worst possible time, Brees got hit and fumbled, his second turnover on the day. The Vikings took over at their own 37. On 3rd and 9 from their 38, Cousins hit Thielen, who got the first down by the nose of the football. With 3 1/2 minutes left, a pitchout to Cook saw him get blasted in the backfield by Klein, resulting in a fumble that popped up into the arms of Bell, who raced 38 yards for a defensive touchdown. The “Are you kidding me” moment was all for naught as replay clearly showed that cook’s knee was down before he lost the ball. Nevertheless, the 9 yard loss followed by a sack on 3rd and 19 had the Saints getting the ball back at their own 30 with 1:55 to play. The Saints had one timeout left. Now it was up to the Pinball Wizard. 

Brees went to Kamara for 6, Cook for 8, Kamara for 9, Thomas for 7, and Cook for 14. With 21 seconds left from the Minnesota 26, Brees spiked the ball to stop the clock. The Saints were not set, resulting in a false start. To avoid taking their last timeout, the Saints opted to receive the 10 second runoff penalty. After another incompletion left 7 seconds, Sean Payton decided not to run another play even though he had a timeout. Lutz came in for the 49 yarder to tie it. The kick was a low line drive but it was good. For the third time in a decade, the Saints and Vikings were playing a thriller that would come down to the last play as this one was headed to overtime. The Vikings got the ball first and faced 3rd and 1 at their own 34. Cousins went to Diggs for 10 yards. Cook gained 11 more. Cousins then went deep to Thielen with a perfect bomb for 43 yards down to the Saints 2 yard line. On 2nd and goal from the one, Cook got nailed for a 3 yard loss. Everything came down to 3rd and goal at the 4. A field goal would still give the Saints another shot. A touchdown would end it. Cousins threw a fade route to Kyle Rudolph in the corner of the end zone. Both players hand-checked each other, but Rudolph caught the ball inbounds for the touchdown. The desperate Saints fans prayed for offensive pass interference, but the touchdown stood. For the third straight year, the Saints lost a playoff game in heart-wrenching fashion. It was vindication for Kirk Cousins, who finally won a big game. In a reverse of a decade ago, this time it was the Saints with Brees and Payton who never saw the ball in overtime. Minnesota is on to San Francisco. 26-20 Vikings, OT

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles is the Sunday afternoon game. In November Seattle went into Philadelphia and won a brutal defensive struggle 17-9. This game was just as brutal. In the first quarter, Jason Myers had a 35 yard field goal try for the Seahawks blocked. The Eagles on a routine 3rd and 10 from their own 33 saw Carson Wentz run for 3 yards and then land hard on the ground. He was out for the game with a concussion and backup Josh McCown played the final 3 1/2 quarters. Seattle got it back and moved from their 24 to a 3rd and 2 at the Philly 30. Russell Wilson threw incomplete. This time from 49 yards out, Myers was good and the Seahawks led 3-0. In the second quarter the Eagles took over at their own 8 yard line. On 3rd and 3 from their own 30, Myles Sanders ran for 13. On 3rd and 7 from their own 46, McCown hit Dallas Goedert for 17 yards. The drive died at that point. With 3 minutes left in the half, Jake Elliott hit a 46 yard field goal for a 3-3 tie. 

At the 2 minute warning, Seattle faced 3rd and 4 at their own 24. A short pass from Wilson to DK Metcalf went for 26 yards to midfield. On 3rd and 10 from the Philly 43, another short pass from Wilson to Moore went for 38 yards. On 2nd and goal at the 10, Wilson threw incomplete but roughing the passer meant 1st and goal at the 5. On the next play Marshawn Lynch ran it in as the Seahawks led 10-3. Doug Pederson is a West Coast Offense dink and dunker, but he was not going to force McCown to be a game manager. After a touchback to start the third quarter, McCown on the first play went deep to Zac Ertz for a 32 yard gain. Defensive pass interference on another deep ball meant 20 more yards. Boston Scott ran for 15 to make it 1st and goal at the 5. A false start hurt matters, and on 3rd and goal at the 6, McCown was sacked. Elliott hit the 26 yard field goal to get the Eagles within 10-6. The Seahawks responded quickly. On 3rd and 1 from their own 28, Wilson went to Lynch for 20 yards. Wilson then went deep to Metcalf, who beat the double coverage, made a diving catch around the five yard line, got up without being touched, and stretched over a defender to extend the ball past the plane of the goal. The 53 yard touchdown bomb had the Seahawks up 17-6 midway through the third quarter. After a touchback, the Eagles again moved the ball. An 11 play, 55 yard drive took 6 minutes. Yet again in the red zone the Eagles bogged down. On 3rd and 3 from the Seattle 17, Scott lost 3 yards. Elliott his hit third field goal from 38 to get the Eagles within 8 and the exact score of the initial meeting. 

Both teams then held the ball for 6 minutes and came up empty. On 3rd and 8 from the Philly 41, Wilson was sacked. Then on 4th and 4 from the Seattle 24, Doug Pederson decided to go for it. McCown threw to a wide open Sanders in the flat and Sanders dropped it with 6 1/2 minutes left. Seattle went 3 and out and the Eagles got it back at their own 31 with 5 minutes left. McCown went to Goedert for 17 yards. Then defensive pass interference on a deep ball meant a 39 yard gain.On 1st and 10 from the Seattle 13, McCown was sacked. On 3rd and 13, a West Coast Offense Dink and Dunk pass wasted precious time. The clock hit the 2 minute warning as the Eagles were down to their last gasp. On 4th and 7 from the Seattle 10, McCown was sacked again. With 1:56 left, the Seahawks tried to close out the game. The Eagles had 3 timeouts left and took them on defense. On 3rd and 10 from their own 11 with the Eagles down to their last timeout and 1:37 remaining, the entire world knows you run the ball and force the defense to take their last time out. You absolutely do not throw the ball and risk an incompletion that stops the clock. That is why Pete Carroll is a Super Bowl winning head coach and I’m not. He went high risk, high reward and had Russell Wilson go for a bomb. Metcalf caught it for a 36 yard gain and Seattle then ran out the clock. Seattle’s defense had an outstanding day, and the Seahawks are headed to Green Bay for the Divisional round. Matt Hasselbeck will not be throwing to Al Harris, but it should still be a great game. As for the Eagles, the fans will soon enough wonder if Carson Wentz will ever finish a season healthy. 17-9 Seahawks

The NFL Divisional Playoffs are set.

Saturday, January 11 

4:30 pm: NFC: Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers

8:00 pm: AFC: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

Sunday January 12

3:00 pm: AFC: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs

6:30 pm: NFC: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers


NFL 2019-2020 Wildcard Prequel

Sunday, January 5th, 2020

2020: We…can…do…this

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

2020: We…can…do…this

What the heck is that beeping sound?

(Knocks the phone off the hook, keeps banging the snooze alarm)

A voice tells me it’s my pager. My pager is black, so finding it in the dark is the needle in the haystack equivalent. A lucky smack knocks it against the wall, where it may or may not have shattered. The beeping continues. Why does anyone need a pager anymore anyway?

Who the heck is texting me at this ungodly hour of…(either 7 a.m., 1 p.m., or 1 a.m. …it looks blurry)?

Oh, no. It is 5 a.m., and my first radio interview of the New Year is with the morning man of an East Coast station. Time to pretend to sound coherent and go back to sleep. Oh no, wait, that radio interview was several years ago.

Great, happy wishes for the new year and the new decade. Thanks. Whoever you are, it is too early to talk to you.

One year the person on the telephone insisted it was 1 p.m. After explaining to them that they were on the East Coast, and that 1 p.m. EST is 10 a.m. in Los Angeles, they grew impatient. They knew how to tell time, and that it was 4 p.m. EST, hence 1 p.m. my time.

Sure, getting up and writing my column is an option. It’s a new year, and starting the year off with a flurry of brilliance might be helpful. Forget it. This column is recycled from years ago. It’s also hours late. That is what happens when people get no sleep because of stressful December 30 football games followed by New Year’s Eve revelry.

Election 2020? The first person to talk politics gets blistered in my column … tomorrow.

Bowl games? There is DVR. Besides, does anybody care who wins the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl, the Lack of Bowl, the Fishbowl, the RU486 Morning After Bowl, The California Metrosexual Pride Bowl, or any other game that may or may not be made up?

Speaking of the morning after, does anybody remember the David Byrne Talking Heads song from the movie “Less than Zero? (which the temperature feels like right now in some parts of the country. No wonder I live in this insane city of LA)” The song is called “Once In A Lifetime.”

“This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. What have I done? How did I get here?”

It then occurs to me that the beeping sounds are the voices in my head telling me I am too old, even at 47, to stay out this late. Even without alcohol, exhaustion has set in. 

Get out of bed? Work calls in (whenever) hours. Better rest up before my tyrant of a boss complains. Such is the life of the self-employed.

Get up now? Somehow stagger to the shower, get dressed, make it out of my condo to go … where?

The stores are closed. Maybe they are open. Too tired to find out.

My birthday is in just over a week. Time to pace myself.

Work on my website? All that takes is staggering to my couch. Oh, no. My IT guy has not finished it yet. Oh, wait, he did years ago. I clicked on the wrong site.

Go on Jdate and search for women? Not a bad idea, except it is too tiring to check their Adams Apples. This is not the year for a boyfriend, and am not sure that my eyes can tell the difference right now. Besides, Jdate is so 2014. Now it is Tinder, JSwipe and JCrush. No, wait. Those are so 2019.

Shop on Ebay? No. bad idea. Buying stuff when not at full capacity is problematic. Who needs another mountain goat? Dang creature gets his horns in my hide. Not a comfy way to wake up. Calm down boy, you’ll get some straw to graze on upon my waking up.

Work on my record album? Although again, world, just because my hair is long, that does not mean my band exists. The best instrument is the triangle, because that tells me lunch is ready. Oh wait, my hair is not even that long anymore. I could work on that, although I didn’t do much. I sat. It grew.

Ahh, yes, lunch. Get up and eat something. My microwave is slow, and a five minute microwave dinner takes almost 15 minutes. Read the paper? It is cold outside my building where the stand is, and it only takes coins. Reading the paper online is tiring, and my printer is not working. At least the lifestyle section makes a great placemat for eating. Oh, wait. That stand does not exist anymore. Reading the paper online it is. 

Staying in bed for only a couple more hours until (whatever the big and little hands say) would allow me to stay up all night and be totally exhausted for work tomorrow. Again, my boss is a tyrant.

Running errands … not gonna happen.

Every morning, a four word prayer starts my day. My elbows are used to try and leverage them against my bed to prop me up. Placing my alarm clock on the other side of the room failed, since ripping the cord out of the wall solved that problem.

As for the Jewish brunette who stole the covers, her voice was not a problem last night, although if she opens her trap today she will receive a more caustic reception than usual.

Oh wait, she already left. Here is a note. “Tried to wake you, but that was a losing battle. By the way, you have nothing but soda in your fridge. Talk to you soon.” oh, wait, I think that happened over a decade ago. This is 2020, not 2005.

She is a liar. There are potato chips in my fridge as well. Why they are there remains a mystery, but it saves having to remember which cabinet they are in. One-stop shopping  is the way to go.

Besides, combing my hair for her was enough. Not doing it this morning, proud “retrosexual” that is me.

At least having the decency to say some morning prayers would be appropriate.

“Hey God…those people I pray for every night…yeah those people, the same ones…look after them again.”

Back to sleep, despite every attempt to wake up. The home phone is turned off, the cell is off as well, and the pager is still shattered, in addition to being disconnected years ago.

There may have been a car crash outside my building followed by 911 calls and sirens, but telling everybody to “keep it down,” solved that problem. A brief nightmare of me being late for work was averted when I realized my location to me was known if necessary.

Four televisions in the living room, and none in the bedroom. Who thought that up? Oh yeah, a television in the bedroom would promote laziness. Besides, trying to figure out which remote to use would cause me to break them all as if they were my pager.

Ok, here it is. Come on, elbows, do your stuff. Rise, young lad, rise! Awaken thy exhausted tired eyes!

Why is God shouting? Oh wait, that is my over-dramatization of God.

Time to set the alarm now to avoid missing work tomorrow. Where was it thrown? Threw it? Oh, screw it.

Ok, time for my four word prayer. It has gotten me this incredibly terribly far. Time to contemplate getting out of bed.


Happy 2020 all. Except for the person who woke me up earlier. Whoever you are, I still can’t stand you, even though you are doing me a favor.

Ten hours and 16 bowl games later, there is only one thing left to do.

Time for a nap. Happy 2020. Happy new decade.