Necessary Roughness



Necessary Roughness with Gwar's Dave Brockie

You might have recalled some mealy-mouth ramblings about whether I was even into the NFL this year after enduring years of losing seasons and the continual public humiliation that always follows my team getting wrecked. The fact that the owner is a complete douche doesn’t help. For some reason my hometown is as full of Cowboys fans as Redskins fans (they even have their own locally-based show), so whenever I go out draped in Redskins paraphernalia I am sure to get comments. Funny thing is these comments are never negative, and common strangers become momentarily bonded. I just wish there weren’t SO many Cowboys fans! How come my Redskins lanyard, in a city only 100 miles from D.C., gets more comments from these guys in gigantic Cowboys-blue trucks — decked out with every conceivable Cowboys accouterment, from spinners to gigantic replica Tom Landry’s Hat cab covers — than I get actual encouragement for the Skins to win? I’ll tell ya why! They still suck!

Before you read further, know one thing: this is a football column written by a heavy metal musician about FOOTBALL and how I feel about it. It’s not a complete break-down of the preceding day’s action (though it is to some extent), it’s not a stock-ticker of the scores (I believe there are about 8 million other places you can go for that), and it’s certainly not about the Monday night game (I have to have this in by noon Monday for some reason unknown to me). In fact, the Thursday night game is not likely to get covered at all since that’s, like, last year or something. It’s often written on tour which gives me the great chance to visit with different fan bases and sometimes different stadiums. So it’s not your typical sports column. It’s about the sport I have loved since I was 3 years old, and what I think about it. And today I wake up realizing I love the sport just as much as ever.

One of those reasons is the weather. It’s getting cold! And that means we are definitely having a football season. And I’m into it. The referees are back, and they are still gonna make stinko calls, but that’s OK because we can’t do shit about it! OK, now onto the meat:

Saturday night was a big welcoming/ meet the family party for our new guitar player, and as lead singer and company President you do NOT dip out early. Brent (Pustulus) lives way out in the country and I stayed late… so Sunday I slept in… only to awaken to the frantic banging on my front door at noon. The game was in an hour. I never get ready for ANYTHING else that fast, period, and within just half an hour I was ensconced in my favorite chair (the roommate is gonna take it when he leaves, dammit), and was ready for some football.

You have to remember last year. The Redskins were 4-0 at this point, and Rex Grossman could do no wrong. That’s the problem with deals with Satan. They don’t last! After last season’s dismal turn of events (I think the Skins won just one more game after their 4-0 start), after dog-killing, after Junior Seau, after Bountygate, after official strikes, after moron announcers (who seem to do little but laugh hysterically and toss their balls around), after owners who seem to think it’s OK to barge down onto the sidelines and look pissed, after arrogant players head-butting their child-brides, after countless reality shows, it was all getting to be too much of a headache. When Cory Smoot, our beloved guitar player, passed away halfway through last season, it became too much. I gave up on football. Wasn’t their enough fucked-up shit in the world that demanded my attention that I possibly could make a difference in? I caved in for the year, and did what I could to make it through. But when the chance came around to have a crack at this column again this season I really had to think about whether I wanted to do it or not. And I’m glad I did!

Sure, the world is a fucked-up place, but guess what? You CAN’T do anything about it, except try to enjoy what little slice you have. And one of my little slices is football. You treat people decently and hopefully you get what ya give. So much for the mid-life crisis. I had mine, and life goes on. So I gave this job, and therefore my interest in the NFL, another chance.

Of course, the Skins getting RG III helped a little. But there was another reason, and it was the biggest reason of all. I watch the news a lot, and see this world’s horror and hatred from every conceivable angle. It is, after all, the artist’s job to hold a mirror up to society and produce art that is meant to evolve that culture (I know, it’s a football column, but bear with me…). When was the last time that something you saw on the evening news made you leap out of your chair and run around the room, awkwardly high-fiving everybody else and hooting and hollering, even after you realized you were the only person there? My point is, the news NEVER does that, and Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan scooping up Matt Ryan’s deflected pass and rumbling for a touchdown DID. I was in near-nirvana for most of the game as it looked like the Redskins might have a shot at knocking off the 4-0 Atlanta Falcons. And as RG III was led off the field, not to return due to a pelvis-to-the-head, I felt real concern. And the Falcons held on to beat the Skins 24-17 in another close one. It  looks like RG III isn’t seriously hurt, but with a back like Albert Morris, why are you running QB draws in the Red Zone anyway? Anyway, congrats to the Falcons for their first 5-0 start in franchise history.

But the effects of the Redskins loss won’t just effect RG’s noggin. I moped around for the rest of day, although the feeling was not as bad as last year. I honestly feel better now than I did with Rex leading the team at 4-0. You KNEW that wouldn’t last. I am happy to see RG have his ups and downs, and don’t expect too much this first year. For the first time in a while I feel like my team has a future. And I will be right there with them.

Which leads us to the rest of the NFL! It was a day of blow-outs as some teams slipped deeper into an oblivion from which there is no escape, others continued to establish themselves as legitimate contenders, and the rest were left to fight for the scraps.

Let me first say that the display by the asshole KC Chief “fans” who cheered their own QB, Matt Kassel, getting knocked out… well, I hope it happens to you one day. Maybe after your dome has been rocked by the beefy doorman from the strip club where you just tried to ditch your tab, you will realize what a low-class maneuver that was, but you probably won’t, as you would be lucky to remember your name at that point. I hope Kassel is OK. And yes, I realize it wasn’t all 70,000 fans, but it was fucked up.

The Saints finally won and I know my buddies in the best town in the U.S.A. (so good it’s hard to believe it’s PART of the USA) had the best victory party in the country. Hell, it might have been as big as the Super Bowl party so great must have been the sense of relief. The Saints still have a LONG way to go, but it was great to see Drew Brees beat Johnny Unitas’ all-time TD record, and even nicer for Commish to let suspended coach Sean Payton eat a plate of celebratory chicken wings in the Dome before being whisked back to whatever level of hell they keep him on. Let’s hope the Saints stay on their winning track, at least until they meet the Redskins again!

The Colts had a HUGE win over the Pack, 30-27, honoring their ailing coach, Chuck Pagano, who was just diagnosed with leukemia. The Steelers had a last-second field goal lift them over the Eagles, whose QB, Michael Vick, dog-killer, continued with his erratic but at times brilliant play… when he can hold onto the ball. The Ravens triumphed without scoring a TD, 9-6 over the Kansas City Chiefs’. And a huge question goes unanswered – can the Houston Texans go 5-0 to remain one of but a pair of undefeated teams in the league — the other being the Atlanta Falcons — when they go up against the hapless New York Jets on Monday night? You don’t think Houston going 5-0 gets up Jerry Jones’ butt? It does! Sideways, I hope! And how can this be the same Jets team we have heard so much braggadocio about? Maybe if Tebow spent less time pushing tires around for Vogue and more time playing football something good might happen. But that’s right; the Jets don’t ever play him. He might as well be a male model!

The Vikings crushed the Titans, and that made me happy. Go Vikes! Niners slapped around the Bills 45-3 (ouch), and the Bears enjoyed a similar mauling of the Jaguars, 41-3. It was nice to see Peyton Manning throw three TD’s, even in a losing effort to the Patriots, 31-21. Peyton looked sharp but the Pats kept on rolling. The Giants continue to look good early, wiping the Browns (get it?) 41-27, hopefully setting the stage for a late-season collapse of Big Blue. Dolphins beat the Bengals 17-13 in the battle of the weird creatures, the Rams surprised the Cards 17-3 (that Rams team is tough, don’t count them out). The Panthers continued to struggle, snuggling-up like any nice kitty would to the Seahawks, 16-12.

Finally, I think that new guy on the Fox Pre-Game Show is WAY funnier than Frank Caliendo. Ship him off to Vegas!

OK, your turn! What did you think of week five, and whats up for week six? I can tell you what’s up for me…TOUR!

– Dave Brockie / GWAR

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