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Going Nowhere

It’s not really the destination that’s important. It’s the journey. So going nowhere is not always a bad thing. Because no matter WHERE you arrive, well…there you are. And along the way, what you have uncovered, discovered, lived and relived determines where you arrive and when, but more importantly, who you are when you arrive there.

So many people get this all backwards and confused. This is not some hippy love-generation psuedo-zen nonsense. ((Although it used to be)) It’s honest philosophy that has been lost in the time-management business motivation and other euphemistic instant gratification psycho-babble. The journey is forgotten, an after-thought, and a mere means to a mostly mean end. As long as the journey is over with quickly along the unrelenting fascism of the Interstate, that seems to be all that matters.Fire up that GPS and get there NOW.

And there you are. But who are you when you get there?  And where are you really when all is said and done?

It’s all fine to have a destination in mind. That’s well and good. But HOW you get there…that’s the key that’s missing most often. The irony of all this is that most people, without realizing it, wind up going nowhere FAST, or somewhere FAST. But all was a blur, and where they arrive is more blurry than they realize. The only people who should be going nowhere FAST are Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Danica Patrick and the rest. Motorports is the ultimate metaphor of going nowhere fast. Although they all have the same destination in mind, Victory Lane, getting to Victory Lane is all about the journey.

A journey does NOT have to have a destination. The journey can be and of itself its own destination. So with that thought in mind, let’s go nowhere and see where we end up.

Brett Favre Retires Etc. Inc. LLC.

ESPN scrambled EVERYONE into the fray. Alarms and claxon horns were going off constantly EVERYWHERE at the mothership in Bristol Connecticut and all over the ESPN airwaves. They even dragged Captain America, Professor Xavier, Green Lantern and The Goddamn Batman into the fray. The Submariner was on stand by with Swamp Thing waiting in the wings, holding down the fort in Kiln Mississippi just in case someone from the Favre camp emerged into the hot narcotic Mississippi night with a torch and a spirited revelation. Favre freaking retired!! Ah yes. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ll believe it when Roger Goodell steps up to the podium holding the signed retirement paperwork aloft and says, “Our long national nightmare is finally over, Brett Favre has officially retired from the National Football League.”

And then, Deadspin hit us with the more believable revelation that Favre has been texting pictures of his Johnny ((or Little Lorenzo if ye prefer)) to hawt chicks. Despite A.J. Delaurio at Deadspin jumping the gun a little on his source (to put it mildly) , I totally absolutely believe this. I’m surprised the lads at The Packer Ranter haven’t had much to say about this yet…perhaps it’s left them speechless or unwilling the belabor the obvious. In any case, the rumpus has seemed to die down for the moment. But who knows what’s bubbling under the surface of this. All it takes is a few more Deanna Favre look-a-likes to step forward with their johnny shots. Or not. A curious diversion and no more.

In any case, the Minnesota Vike-Queens will be focked for a long time to come whether Favre comes back and plays this season or not. They sold what little soul that had to the devil get him to take his talents to the Twin Cities ((sorry to drag you into this, St. Paul….guilt by association)). And ultimately, The Vike-Queens being focked forever is all that matters here.

“I’m Cuckoo for Coco-Puffs, I’m Cuckoo for Coco-Puffs!”   WTF? Roflmao Inc. LLC.

Mark Webber is not really cuckoo for Coco-Puffs. It doesn’t mention it on his website. ((But it WOULD be funny if it did.))  But his trademark victory celebration makes Carl Edwards look like a girl (0r a Romanian gymnast). Well fock The Carl….he hasn’t won in a million years or a million miles. It’s The Mark who’s the real deal these days. He could probably leap over most of the drivers in F1 and NASCAR. And in fact he has, in F1….his victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix leaves him in 1st place in the Championship points. Despite playing second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel on his Red Bull team, he’s the one leading the charge.

Fernando Alonso joined Webber and Vettel on the podium, legitimately this time. But the fate of Ferrari is till in the hands of the World Motor Sports Council. All well and good I suppose, but I would have preferred to have seen Lewis Hamilton on the podium. But Lewis had transmission problems up the ass on lap 23 and finished 20th….which allowed Webber to leap over him both figuratively and literally.

The biggest imbroglio of the Hungarian Grand Prix involved Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello and was a more dangerous reprise of the passing/blocking maneuver that got Helio into a rumpus at Edmonton. Helio’s move was a mere violation, but Michael Schumacher’s pass of Barrichello, edging Barrichello into the pit wall, was not only a violation of rules, it was dangerous. At the time, the stewards gave Schumacher, who quite frankly is going nowhere anyway, a 10 place grid penalty for the next race at Spa, when the F1 lads return from summer break in 19 days and change. But a steward at the Hungaroring, former F1 driver Derek Warwick, wanted to black flag Schumacher to send a message to younger drivers. Not that the message would have necessarily gotten across….NASCAR has penalized it’s drivers for rough driving, but that hasn’t stopped The Carl. The sad thing I guess is that Schumacher, like Brett Favre, just doesn’t know when it’s time to hang it up and bask in the legacies of their respective greatness. It’s hard for athletes in any sport to do that of course. But there comes a point where they are ultimately going nowhere…and that’s the only place they’re going to go.

Albion Rovers 2     Berwick Rangers 2

In a recent article in which he fulminates at his leisure about Fantasy Football, Sports Guy Bill Simmons also contemplates what might happen in 2011 if and when there’s no NFL. If there’s a lockout as is expected, there will be NO Fantasy Football. Now as much as I like Bill Simmons, I must say I have to disagree. There will ALWAYS be Fantasy Football….it might have to be English Premier League Fantasy Football….but there will always be Fantasy Football.

No need to stare at a glum Rich Eisen or a weeping John Clayton or  a hyper-ventilating Chris Mortenson during the NFL Lockout of 2011. It would be far simpler for the NFL Network and ESPN to go all in of the English Premier League in 2011. Broadcast ALL the games, show the best match of the day in Prime Time with all the commentary trappings. It would be funny and ha ha to see Mark Schlereth AND Alexi Lalas debating the finer points of how Everton’s stifling defense thwarted Sunderland’s relentless attacks up the middle, holding Darren Bent to one garbage goal in extra time. Greenie and Golic could yuck it up on Mike & Mike over who’s the better striker, Wayne Rooney or Didier Drogba.

The glum Rich Eisen can console his anguish with a collaboration with The Deuce to broadcast the MLS games. Real Salt Lake vs Chivas USA simply HAS to beat a 7-3 Buffalo Bills/Kansas City Chiefs tilt at ANY time of the year, yes? Especially on a THURSDAY night.

And as for Jim Rome….well he’ll have to suck it up and have the likes of, say, Roy Hodgson as a guest on Jim Rome Is Burning. And on the radio, Mr. Automatic will book Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies as a guest in the top of the second hour, and Rome will spend most of the end of the first hour by proclaiming: “Bolton Fans…SHOW me your lightening bolt!!”  Ha ha ha etc. inc. LLC.

Well, as you might guess, I’m already a few steps ahead of all this and quite well prepared for no NFL Football in 2011. I’ve got my EPL Fantasy Football teams already in place. This season will be a good run-up to 2011. I’m broadening my knowledge as much as possible…and will following certain teams from the lower divisions of English Football as well. The recently promoted Norwich City Canaries will be my favourite in the Championship this season. They wear the Green and Gold. And when the Packers aren’t playing in 2011, I will still have The Green & Gold to root for!! Unfortunately Watford stung them 2-3 in their opener. But I know the lads in Green & Gold will rise above and put on a good showing this season.In League 1, I’m of course rooting for the Milton Keynes Dons ((their mascots are COWS!!)). I will also be rooting for Dagenham & Redbridge when they are not playing the Dons. I haven’t found a fave in League 2 yet…but…there is time. It’s the journey, not the destination. Remember that.

And as might or might not be evidenced from the score posted above, I am rooting for the Berwick Rangers….from Berwick-Upon-Tweed. They are the only English football team to play in a league in Scotland rather than England. Makes a lot of sense since Berwick is on the border of England and Scotland. It is a beautiful town that is near and dear to my heart since I spent quite a bit of time there when I was in England during my college days and I remember watching a few of their  matches from the cheapest seats in town.

So unlike a lot of you, I won’t be at a loss when 2011 becomes the Year of No NFL Football. In fact I probably won’t miss a thing.

Tasmanian Devil Wins Zippo 2oo

It was a great win….his third Nationwide win at Watkins Glen. A lame duck driver who got it done with style, and this time without having to shut off his engine to save fuel. He won going away, and taught young Joey Logano a few things. Hats off to Marcus Ambrose. I really like the guy. A good man and a good driver….he and Mark Webber are cut from a similar cloth.

The irony is that Ambrose is leaving his team,  JTG/Daugherty, both in Nationwide and Sprint Cup at the end of the season. So this victory is perhaps a bit bittersweet. The rumour mills pretty much have him at Richard Petty Enterprises next season. That would be just fine, to be honest. He’d make a great teammate for anyone, especially for A.J. Allmendinger.

Now…I’m not sure….no, scratch that….I’m QUITE sure that Marcus would not quite like to portrayed as a female Kay The Tasmanian Devil. But the Looney Tunes one is so cliched and and overdone that I thought a change of pace was necessary. Anyway, if he objects, as he will, I will buy him a beer or three, and all will be well. Funny and ha ha. But not tonight as type this on my Adler J-5, since Marcus has a shot tomorrow to do what no man or woman has ever done….sweep the weekend at The Glen. He tees it off in 11th tomorrow, and has sterner competition. But I’ll be pulling for him, and in fact, I’ll probably bring a box or two of Little Debbie snack cakes down to The Firehouse tomorrow for the lads to enjoy. ((Probably not.))

It’s the journey, not the destination. The journey is more important. And tonight, 7 magnificent journeys were celebrated and enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame. Emmitt Smith, the most prolific running back the NFL has ever known, focused more on the destination in his acceptance speech, but truth to tell, as much as I cleave more to journey than destination, most everything Emmitt said was correct and true.. Know where you’re going. Write down where you want to go and how you want to get there. There is virtue in that….your destination and your journey can become one and the same. And that can be a beautiful and magical thing.

Denver Bronco’s running back, Floyd Little delivered the most powerful and uplifting speech. He’s been waiting 35 years for this day, and finally, finally….Well…if you’re true to to your soul and don’t let ANYONE define and determine who you are, YOU can accomplish greatness. Floyd Little’s speech was the best of them all….very close to my heart…and  a bit more intuitive in approach than Emmitt’s…but as I’ve always said, virtue and beauty and magic can be found anywhere if you have the heart and soul to look for it, and see it, and embrace it.

Jerry Rice got his due, although I sorta thought he was already inducted into the Hall of Fame the day he retired. It was great to see the old guys get in. John Randle of the hated Vike-Queens. Rickey Jackson from the Saints. Russ Grimm from the Redskins…one of the Hogs. And speaking of old guys….Dick LeBeau, who was a monster CB for the Detroit Lions, and currently the defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers….well…you would have never guessed by looking at him that he was 72!! He looked younger than Mark Martin, and Mark Martin ((who looks at least 10 years older than me)) is younger than me!!

So there y’all are. Whether it’s the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Or The Firehouse Bar & Grill in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. Or Victory Lane at Watkins Glen, New York. Or this electronic hyper-text transfer protocol enabled typewriter I’m pounding on. Or whatever machine or robot YOU are using to see and perceive this…well, wherever we are, here we are. The journey is what got us here. And if we’ve all gone nowhere, well….I hope it was a good journey. That’s all I can hope for.

Good journeys can get ya places you never thought possible…and possibly, quite likely, places you never even thought of. So take the time to be true to the journey. And in doing so, you will be more true to yourself. The destination will always be there. Be adventurous. Take the back roads. Slow down and listen to the wind shaking the aspens and the birches. Stop and be silent and don’t write it down and don’t dream about it. Just DO it. Watch a goldfinch plucking sweet food from thistles by the side of the railroad tracks. Let the clouds and the sun guide you and ignore the words of the motivational speakers and dream stealers. Take ANY route and you will discover wonders. And if you end up going nowhere….well, that’s okay too. It took a journey to get there, so start another journey.

Here we go.


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