Fort Bragg, North Carolina. August 18th, 1956.
GENERAL. I trust you are familiar with the dangers of this experiment, Corporal.
CORPORAL MARQUES COLSTON. I am, sir.
GENERAL. All we know for certain is that we will be able to send you to another point in time, and that you will be furnished with some manner of societal role. You might be mining plutonium in the 38th century, or working as a public defender three months from now, or serving on a Spanish galleon in 1571.
GENERAL. You will need to perform your role without a moment's hesitation. Do you understand? If you get sent to that plutonium mine, you swing that pickaxe. If you end up in that courtroom, you get your client off the hook. If you're on that galleon, you prepare the cannon and blow that Ottoman galleon into the damn sea.
Nobody must know that you have traveled through time. Nobody. It is absolutely imperative that you understand this.
COLSTON. I do, sir. Throw the switch. I'm ready.
GENERAL. Godspeed, Corporal. You're a hero. I wish you the best of luck, wherever your travels may take you.
The switch is thrown. COLSTON finds himself enveloped in a cloak of light. And then ...
COLSTON. I'm on a football field. Oh God, I'm a football player.
Oh God oh God oh God
football thing, football thing, do a football thing, what's a football thing,
SEAN PAYTON. Colston! What the Hell was that?
COLSTON. HELLO I AM MARQUES 1950S. I MEAN I AM MARQUES COLSTON. NOW THAT THE FOOTBALL GAME IS OVER, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE A CHOCOLATE MALT OR GO ROLLER SKATING
SEAN PAYTON. No.
COLSTON. WOULD YOU LIKE TO PURGE AN ORGANIZATION OF ITS COMMUNISTS AND/OR ENJOY THE MUSIC OF CHUCK BERRY
SEAN PAYTON. No.
Now that Alex Rodriguez's career may well be over, we've got a space to fill. He was the patron saint of "stellar athletes who are also giant dorks." It's really tough to a) be tremendously effective on the field of play, and b) eclipse the coolness of that by being so fundamentally uncool that people just laugh at you.
To wit, I can nominate two gentlemen who could ascend to the title of Talented Dorky Goofball Prime. One is Chris Bosh, who has been groomed for the position for years. The other, of course, is Philip Rivers.
He was so good this year. His career as a whole, in fact, has been stellar. While his stats could always dip in the coming years, it remains true that out of all quarterbacks to throw at least 4,000 passes, he has the third-highest passer rating, behind only Peyton Manning and Steve Young. He won't and shouldn't be regarded as the best quarterback of all time, but he wouldn't be totally out of place in that conversation, either.
In junior high school, there was a kid in your class with a bowl cut who wore a Mossimo shirt that was three sizes too large. When he accidentally got bumped in the hallway, he'd say, "God!" But it came out like, "GOOOIIIIHHD-UH!" When he got bored in class, he'd shift around restlessly and poke his shoulder out of the head-hole of his giant shirt for no particular reason. He grew up and became Philip Rivers.
The bonus here is Cam Newton's little freakout. He was not touched at all.
Finally, an instance of Vladimir Putin being uncool has surfaced. He's got this meticulously manicured image. He goes out and shoots rifles and navigates the wilderness without a shirt in service of this image: the total old-man badass.
Heartbreakingly, it works. Vladimir Putin is a terrible person whose decisions have left children without their parents and a man, sitting in bed, waiting for polonium-210 to ravage his body and kill him. If you ask Most Of The Internet, he's a total badass and the benefactor of a meme that's really just, "Vladimir Putin is super cool."
Yeah, well, at least we have this. Learn how to put on a helmet, you tyrannical dorkus-malorkus.
This GIF is nothing without the graphic. Within that little box, signs and wonders are everywhere: the game's almost over, the Canucks are losing by six goals, and penalties are leaving them to play with only three skaters. FOR SEVEN MINUTES.
Hockey is its own special terrifying animal for a hundred reasons, and one of them is that if you screw up, they'll just straight-up start taking your players away. Dear baseball: please just take away a team's left fielder for an inning or two. Just to see what happens. Seriously, you're going to play a couple thousand games this season. Commit one of them to science. Further the learning of our nation for once, and then you can go back to standing lock-kneed and occasionally jogging in front of 3,300 people.
I adore this, all of it. The keeper doesn't really commit to diving left or right; he just decided ahead of time that the ball would roll right to him and he'd just sit on it, thereby both stopping the goal and giving himself a place to rest afterward.
THIS WEEK IN GIFs cannot proceed further without a nod to Greg Oden, who finally, finally returned to basketball and threw down a dunk. It's been four years since his body let him step on the court. Seeing him out there again feels like a gift for those of us who get to watch him. It always would have been a gift anyway.