Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is famously the one night of the year where everyone pretends that they are happy with life in their mid-20’s.
“Oh yea life is great! I’ve literally ALWAYS wanted to do accounting. It’s great!”
For those of you who read this blog, I imagine you exist in a certain state of self-awareness and commonality that allows you to realize how petty and ridiculous it all is. That’s not to say you should stay in, because it is probably going to be a great time, but just that you don’t exactly look forward to seeing the high school defensive tackle who just opened his own fitness center and want’s to proclaim that he is an entrepreneur.
So, this has been written by people before but here it is. Your guide to dealing with people on this, the most famous night for ‘peaked in high school’ folk everywhere.
Rule One: Don’t Pregame
This is a weird one. Usually in order to cope in lame circumstances I would recommend drinking an exorbitant amount prior to any interaction with losers.
But in this case the opposite applies. You don’t want to be the drunkest dude at this party, and starting early will see you end up there. Drink a bit if you want, but don’t attend any crazy pregame parties. That’s how you end up “one of the pack” which is a bad thing, and also “throwing up” which doesn’t need to be in quotations.
Rule Two: Ask As Many Questions as Possible
You want to do this mainly to avoid talking about yourself, and the drunker you get and the more idiots you talk to you’ll want to prove to the old crew that you’re doing well. Don’t. It’s stupid and weird and corny. Let other people talk as much as possible. The less words you end up telling people about yourself on this night the better off you are. Answer with what you do, literally just the title, and ask an immediate question. Talking about yourself tonight is fucking whack. Smarten up.
Rule Three: Be Honest
Nothing will ruin your night faster than lying about something and getting called out for it. Remember that in this day and age, people already know the answers to the questions they are asking you because they hate their job and scroll facebook/twitter/IG all day. Don’t even bother lying to seem cool. You aren’t and that is perfectly okay.
Everyone gets so caught up trying to look cool. By not lying about yourself at all that actually makes you the only cool person there.
Rule Four: She Doesn’t Still Love You
Seriously dude, you don’t even like her anymore. You were SUCH a dickhead in high school, stop pretending you are soulmates who might figure it out tonight.
She is not into you anymore, and if you stopped drinking for one second you would realize she’s giving you the stink eye look, not that look.
Rule Five: Tip Well
It’s subtle, but tipping well creates the appearance of wealth even though you are broke AF. Also, if people ever wonder out loud how you’re doing at that establishment again you have someone on your side.
Rule Six: Don’t Be An Asshole
That’s all guys. Good luck tonight.FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD
By now you probably are wondering where Jake is.
Waking up this morning as I so often do, I went to intotheopenfield.com for my morning fixin. Quick search in the search bar for ‘stupid smirk from my Patriots-loss induced nightmares‘ and was shocked when not a single picture with this face came up:
You probably were as well. What better way to start your day than to look Jake right in the face and picture him saying “oh yeah mikey? if Tom Brady is so good why did they lose? oh yea?” I was quite looking forward to it, I am sure you were too. There is no better anti-Pats voice out there and I mean it sincerely. He knows his football. Frank Wycheck is his favorite player and Frank Wycheck is his favorite Titan. He also likes Frank Wycheck a lot.
So, long story short, we did get this article from Jake last night, but no long and haunting HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH post that I sort of assumed would be there.
As a result, to get my blatantly biased football reason I went to barstool. Not exactly the ideal forum for rational Patriots talk, but entertaining nonetheless. Click here, click there, video here, Hank can’t read there, and BOOM.
What do I see?
Jake’s stupid mug, at least I think, staring me in the face on barstool.
This sneaky bastard dyed his hair and put on a pair of fake glasses and acts like I’m not supposed to recognize him? Give me more credit than that sir-jakes-a-lot, I am on to you. Seriously, he is writing for barstool and the open field, two of the biggest sites in the history of the internet, and has been leading a double-life this whole time.
CHAPS IS JAKE.
JAKE IS CHAPS.
Officially, I just found out today my friend Jake writes for barstool. I would write much more about how his psychopathic behavior could potentially induce a sort of ‘purple heart’ backstory that he simply lied about once and now is too far down the rabbit hole to crawl out of, but I just poured a cup of half-coffee half-redbull and need to focus attention elsewhere.
Jake, you sneaky SOB, much respect.
FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD
The idea of 2016 being a horrific year for the United States of America is an exaggeration we will soon come to realize tomorrow morning.
Today is November 8th, 2016.
Voting for the President of Our Nation is going on right now.
I promise you, it is. I drove past flocks of people just ten minutes ago. People that looked just like me. Some that looked just like my little brother. One poor fellow who looked like Jake. A woman who made me think of my mother. A girl with the hair of my sister.
It’s interesting to think about the election and the impact it has had on the way we look at our country. Before, where we may have viewed those with a different set of ideals as culturally unique or simply from a different upbringing, we now associate a candidate selection with a certain set of character traits. Whichever candidate you select to carry out what you feel is the ideal direction of the country, the ‘other side’ will lump you into a generalized contingency of people who may or may not represent what you believe in.
‘The Other Side’
What a phrase that is.
A tiny fall in music breaks
Against the mountain’s base,
While roars an avalanche and shakes
The whole world in its race.
There are more talented writers than I who have gone to battle, pen in hand, against the obscenity that is this election cycle. That, I can absolutely guarantee you. Some enter the fray with an objective to open the eyes of their loyal followers, to not-so-subtly coax them into adding vote+vote to equal two votes and so on. In other cases, the goal is to simply make the consumer aware of one or two facts otherwise not thoroughly understood. Either way, they know much more than I do in a general sense.
At my occupation, my means of acquiring wealth, I deal with the ‘fake world’ a lot. I am at the most trivial place in America at the moment, a secondhand, sports-oriented conglomerate who assess me on the amount unique visitors I drive to a site where Clay Travis talks about band geeks and Colin Cowherd jabs at gullible Cowboy fans. It means nothing. Literally nothing.
Yet still, day after day for the last three months, I have come across some of the most unprovoked filth on the outer fringes of the internet you can even begin to fathom.
In running the social media accounts and the website for my company, there have been stories that teeter on the edge of politic and sport. Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady, Richard Sherman. Hulk Hogan, Bob Knight, Mike Ditka. When a story like this hits the internet, I am quickly reminded of the literal obsession, the inability to think comprehensibly about anything else, that people have with this election and it’s candidates.
The hatred I see on a daily basis, over something as simple as sport is by all accounts an indication of the overall unhappiness our country is currently bed-riddenly sick with. We are plagued by the notion that we are vastly different from one another. That one wing is stupid and one correct. That that side over there has no idea what they are talking about, and we are right.
Look at the way major publications and important members of the media have labeled those supporting Donald Trump, not even the candidate himself. Words like deplorable, arrogant, pompous, even stupid. These are labels being placed directly on the forehead of American citizens. We are branding intricate, complicated individuals over the candidate they are selecting for the United States Presidency. Eight years ago, not one of us viewed the selection of a candidate as an indictment on character. Simply a choice made by someone who is free to do as they please. Now, we face a time in our country where we view those with different ideals as either lesser or greater than something else.
Labelling someone a ‘Trump Supporter’ or a ‘Hillary Supporter’ is to take every single part of their physical and spiritual being and condense it into two words that will mean nothing tomorrow. We mean no more, we mean no less. For the past few months we have been split into two teams for an inter-squad scrimmage, and grown so petty that we don’t realize we are still on the same roster. Tomorrow, when practice does indeed end and the reversible jerseys are all put back to the same color, will we be able to view one another as teammates again?
A million creatures find a home
Within a droplet’s sphere,
And giants through the woodlands roam
While quakes the land in fear.
Our country is, and will be, just fine.
Tonight sees the end of America’s favorite talking point, the very subject that has allowed man, woman, and child to indulge in the same conversation about life and what our responsibilities as Americans are. We will wake up tomorrow, the sun will be out, and we will go to work. On the way to work, we will drive in the same traffic, and get cut off by the same people.
We won’t drive past groups of people standing outside to vote. That will be done and over with. But that boy who just crossed the street during the red light will still look like my brother. That woman who held the elevator open for me still sort of resembles my mother. That guy at the bus stop still sorta looks like Jake.
My point is this. Tomorrow, we will see the highest overall increase in happiness in our country possibly since July 4th, 1776. People will smile brighter. Gary from accounting will say “Did you catch the season finale of America last night?” and you will fake laugh because he is already smiling ear to ear so it would be embarrassing to tell you saw that meme 47 times before lunch, plus he still isn’t wearing a wedding ring on his finger so you’ve always been sort of nice to him for some reason. Gary is American like you are. He has stories about his past, probably a girl he will never stop loving, and even a son. He goes to the gym on Tuesday and Thursday, and there’s this Thai place he is looking to try out this weekend. If you asked him to grab a cup of coffee with you, it would make his day.
Where today Gary might be a “Trump Supporter” or a “Hillary Supporter” tomorrow he is much more.
Tomorrow he becomes again who he was before this all began.
Nowhere in Nature can we find
Things equal, save in death,
One must rule with thoughtful mind,
One serve with panting breath.
Look at tonight as an exciting testament to our nation’s overall level of giving a shit. Nothing more, nothing less.
Outrage and joy can all be combined into one glass jar, shaken up until it all blends together in one purple mix, and labeled ‘Intense Patriotism.’ We can then take that jar, push it to the back of the highest shelf in our home, and call upon it if we need it someday later. After that, walk over to couch, and put something on the television designed to humor us intentionally, and get back to life as we knew it.
Then, when the sun comes up tomorrow, find someone who reminds you of something you love.
All excerpts were taken from Equality, a Poem by Arthur Weiss
FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD
The NBA season is officially two weeks old, which is just enough of a sample size for people to make sweeping generalizations about teams impending doom or championship caliber. You hear things like “if the season ended today, THEN” and “are the (insert two game losing streak team) in TROUBLE” after a measly 5 game sample size. None of it holds any merit, and all of it is pretty much to drive clicks.
There are some trends that begin to develop after a few games, however, and those need to be addressed. Not “The Lakers are Title Contenders” or things of that nature, but more subtle things picked up from actually watching the early season slate of games.
We compiled a list of the top 6 biggest surprises through the first two weeks, 3 positive and 3 negative, and give them to you right here. Take a look and remember, please stay calm. There is a lot of basketball left to be played.
James Harden is Playing at an All-Time Pace
James Harden is currently setting the NBA on fire, and is the very early leader in some major statistical categories. We knew coming into the season that Harden would be ‘fed’ quite a bit more under Mike D’Antoni and the new system that seems to be based around the idea of simply outscoring opponents and ignoring the defensive end of the floor.
What we did not know was the extent of Harden’s uptick in some major areas of his game. He currently has a usage rate of 33.5, which is the highest of his career and good for 35th all time , and his bulk usage has so far paid off in large dividends for the Rockets. The team is only 3-3, but Harden is leading the league in assists with 12.3 per night, he is one of only five players in the league averaging over 30 points per night at 31.5 ppg, and has an effective field goal percentage of 60%. Why is that last bit important? The NBA all-time record for effective field goal percentage in a season is Deandre Jordan at 67%, and Harden’s mark has him in second place in the entire history of the league. The only guard to crack the top 10? Stephen Curry last year at 57%.
Harden is having an MVP caliber season, and don’t expect his numbers to slow down any time soon. He will score 40 or more points tonight against the Wizards and continue to put up gaudy numbers.
Joel Embiid Was Worth the Wait
Joel Embiid has been a revelation in Philadelphia, and thank goodness he has been. The only positive to take from the 76ers opening two weeks of games that sees them winless in the Eastern Conference cellar yet again has been the incredible play of the Kansas big man drafted number one overall a few seasons ago.
In only 22 minutes per game (a restriction that will be lifted at some point) Embiid is averaging 18.5 points per game, to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 3 blocks. Not only that, he currently leads the league in three point shooting percentage with 67%, including a 4-4 night from downtown against the defending champion Cavaliers.
His fluidity has been the biggest surprise, and just watching him play evokes memories of big men past with the mobility and feel he has for the game. Not making sweeping generalizations as promised, but Embiid has proven very early on in his (technically) rookie season that he has what it takes to succeed and excel in this league.
Kemba Walker is Growing Up and Figuring It Out
The biggest knock on Kemba Walker over the course of his NBA career has been his inefficiency and lack of consistent play. Well, only a mere five games into this NBA season Kemba is putting all of those nay-sayers in a corner and repeatedly showing them glimpses of an All-NBA point guard in Charlotte.
His play is a massive reason why the Hornets have started the season 4-1, and currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference.
His usage rate climbed from a 26.5 last season to 30.4 this year, and his effective shooting percentage is at a career best 55%. Those two statistics together tell the story of a smarter shooting, but ultimately more utilized Walker. He is shooting career highs in 3 point, 2 point, and overall field goal percentage, which sees his ‘win shares per 48 minutes’ at a career high .211.
If he can continue to slow the game down, and make the right decisions shooting the ball, he could elevate his game to the level that makes Charlotte a legitimate threat in the East. Well, at least to potentially make the ECF.
Klay Thompson Missing Shots
This is less about the missing of completely wide open 3 point attempts, and more about the mental psyche of a player seldom referenced in Golden State any more. Klay will not shoot 19% from deep this season as his numbers show so far through 6 games. That’s just insanity if that drop-off occurred and it simply won’t. What is more concerning are his career lows in free throw attempts, his abysmal usage rate, and his sky-high turnover rate per 100 possessions.
The numbers all suggest the same thing, Klay is a player who is playing uncomfortable. You saw the same thing with Kevin Love in Cleveland, struggling to find a unique role in the offense and bringing down the team’s statistics as a result. When a player like Klay, a pure shooter reliant on the mentality of a killer, starts to feel a small twinge of self-doubt, the shots start to come a little more consciously. He has been thinking about the shot, where it’s coming from, who didn’t touch the ball, or whatever.
He will figure it out, but what the emphasis should be on in Golden State is clearing the mind of Klay and allowing him to pull the trigger freely again. This is concerning through the first 6 games and an obvious storyline to watch every single night on national television.
John Wall Turnover Problems
The Wizards might need to start worrying about the slow start to their season. Currently at 1-4, they have not been able to find any consistency in their rotations under new coach Scott Brooks and are struggling to even hold on to the rock.
John Wall currently leads the NBA with 5.3 turnovers per game, which is currently on pace to break James Harden’s single season record. It has gotten so bad, that his coaches are charging him $100 for every game he has at least two turnovers.
This needs to end quickly if the Wizards have any chance of getting back into relevancy in the East. As a team reliant on their guard play, one of the two simply cannot be turning the ball over this much if they have any hopes of taking the next step as a team. Turnovers lead to transition buckets, and 5 turnovers per game for a point guard is unthinkable… on a good team.
The Wizards right now, are not. That is one reason why.
The Rest of the New Orleans Pelicans
All the talk so far this season has been about Anthony Davis and his spectacular numbers so far, but this is dedicated to the front office currently in the middle of the most disgraceful wasted season in recent memory.
One look at the Pelicans roster triggers an onslaught of “WHO!?” reactions at the anonymity of their roster. Any given night they could trot out a lineup and even the most dedicated of NBA fans would have trouble recognizing 2 of them.
Current leaders scorers are Davis with 30 points per game, followed by Tim Frazier (13), E’Twuan Moore (11.7), and Lance Stephenson (9.7 and just got cut from the team an hour ago). This is disgusting. The scene in New Orleans is disgusting. Buddy Hield has so far been disgusting.
The Pelicans are a fake franchise, luckily bailed out by a player who might end up being one of the greatest in his generation. Other than him, they are nothing more than a D-League franchise at the moment. This takes the cake as the worst surprise of the season thus far.
Full Two Week NBA recap podcast coming Wednesday morning. For more of this you can follow @mikeyfowler18FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD
The North London Derby is one of the more relatively unknown to the American soccer audience. The battles over Manchester, Madrid, and even El Clasico are more revered and ‘commonplace’ among casual observers. It rarely, if ever, features the two top teams in the Premier League and is closer to a Mets/Yankees type of rivalry than what Red Sox/Yankees became through the sheer concept of the ‘two top dog’ battle.
Yet, if you ask any fan about the relevancy of the Arsenal and Tottenham matchup this weekend, they will acknowledge it’s size and scope. The two teams currently sit in 3rd and 5th place respectively, with a match in hand apiece. North London is the home of both clubs. Either side could be mistaken for one of the most ‘promising’ in the entire league. It’s undoubtedly big.
Arsenal fan as I am, Tottenham deserve a lot of credit for their resurgence over the time frame which Mauricio Pochettino has been in charge. In their 139 games played under Pochettino, the Spurs have a winning percentage of 51.8%, which is nothing to laugh at.
Their style of play is (gulp) attractive at times. They have one of the more prolific strikers in the world statistically in Harry Kane, Eric Dyer and Victor Wanyama are tree trunks of men anchoring the pivot places, and they are captained by the seldom discussed Hugo Lloris. Solid spine. They thrive off of the sharp, concise, and fast counter attack and press higher up the pitch than most teams. Below is a clip from their Manchester City demolition where they were CLEARLY the better side.
They are scary. Teams do not want to play them, and especially not possession-heavy sides who are susceptible to the counter. That is EXACTLY the team that Arsenal are, and have been for the past decade. The matchup is not ideal for Arsenal.
However, Tottenham would be lying if they told you they came in ready to play.
Since that Manchester City 2-0 win, the Spurs have not WON a game in 6 attempts in all competitions. Most recently, a home defeat on Spursday night against Bayer Leverkusen which saw them booed off the pitch by the final whistle for their lack of creativity.
Arsenal come into the game winners of 7 of their last 10 premier league matches, good enough for top of the table in that time frame. A mid-week winner from Mesut Ozil sure to make your hair stand up is basically the last touch of the ball from the side, coming in inspired by a Manchester City draw today and the chance to move top of the table heading into the international break.
SO WHY AM I SO FUCKING NERVOUS
Alright, just hopped out of the shower after talking positively about Tottenham for that long. If you are unfamiliar with my dying love for Arsenal or my “drop and crack your iPhone” disdain for the Spurs, you might want to stop reading. Thanks for the click.
Arsenal will (assuming all media reports of injury news are true) probably lineup with Cech; Monreal, Mustafi, Kos, Bellerin; Cazorla, Coquelin, Ozil; Iwobi, Alexis, Walcott/Ox
While Tottenham might go with Lloris; Rose, Vertonghen, Dier (?), Trippier; Wanyama, Eriksen, Alli; N’Koudou, Janssen, Son
On paper, Arsenal need 3 points from this match. Recent form aside, this team is stronger on paper than the Spurs and should be able to rip apart a makeshift backline the way they demolished Chelsea a few weeks prior.
But the spirit behind a North London Derby trumps all past performance. Form goes out the window (cliche but true) and players are able to stare one set of 90 minutes in the face instead of looking back or forward. If you play well today, everything else is forgotten.
That is why Tottenham should be happy to have this game on the docket this Sunday. They have a chance to head into the international break off the back of a big win and settled into the Top 4 in a hotly contested Premier League.
On the contrary, if Arsenal defeat their cross-town rivals and take up the top spot in the league heading into the break, fans could die happy.
Expect madness, bet the “will someone get sent off” prop bet, and Come On You Fucking Gunners.
Tomorrow awaits.FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD
Wayne Williams got in his car on Wednesday, and drove 600 miles from North Carolina to Indiana. The reason? A decades-old promise he made to his father, who passed away in 1980.
If they ever won the World Series, he said, they would listen to the games together. Indeed, Wayne, they did.
“The gate was open,” he says as he drives in.
He’s not at the ballpark. He’s watching it with his dad.
“Got a W flag. Not supposed to fly until after the actual win,” Williams said, going over his supplies.
His dad, also named Wayne Williams, was waiting for him.
“I talked it out with my boys forever. I let them know that I told my dad – we had a pact. When the Cubs – not if, when – the Cubs got into the World Series, we would make sure we listen to the games together,” Williams said.
Look, dad, here’s your son, keeping his part of the bargain.
Williams set up camp in the military section of Greenwood Forest Lawn Cemetery after an all-day drive from North Carolina.
His dad died at age 53 in 1980. A Navy veteran.
“World War II, he was a signalman,” Williams said. “He was at Normandy, D-Day +8. He had not turned 18 yet.”