1. UP LIKE A PRIVATE PLANE WEARING ONLY THE FINEST AMERICAN BLUE JEANS: Brett Favre Owes It To Other People To Collect Millions of Dollars In Salary And Endorsements. He owes it to you, since you want to see a cocky gunslinger gunslingly gunsling a ball directly into the hands of another player. He won't specify what type of player, but he will guarantee that the player will be an NFL caliber player, and may be wearing the jersey of the Minnesota Vikings.
He owes it to Timmy, the little ball boy who looks up to him so much. Sam? It's Sam, you say. Well, sorry kid, the marker's already on the ball. Maybe you have a friend named Tim. Here! Go long!
/throws ball looking at Sam.
/Tracy Porter intercepts it, returns for TD
He owes it to Joe Buck, who without a little Favre sunshine in his life would turn cold and sad, though you'd never know it since Joe kind of sounds like he's calling the play-by-play of a toddler's funeral anyway. Why, if he retired Buck would probably have to do drastic things. Quit his job. Get a divorce. Go to Italy and eat gelato, take some yoga in India and fall in love with the smell of garbage. Find the man of his dreams and have it all, then discover it was all a dream within a dream within a dream, and then have to fight Julia Roberts to the death in a W Hotel without gravity. Man, Brett Favre has got to stop watching movies back-to-back with Deana, because it's hard to keep things straight when you watch four and a half hours of film all in a row.
He owes it to ESPN, who without them would have to report sports. (We kid! They'd still invent controversies out of whole cloth, dumb them down to the most inflammatory nuggets, and then pour them in the trough and demand harumphing and outrage.) Favre? Harumph! Harumph!
He owes it to Tarvaris Jackson, because mumble grrph mumble tumble humblr mprhug hgrph mprugh [trails off...]
Most of all, he owes it to Wrangler Jeans. Wrangler Jeans! The stiff, never gay jean ideal for backyard mud-tusslin', brush-clearin', and casual gunslingin' in the back yard of your estate's backyard's backyard's backyard. It's the blue jean of the people, which is why Brett Favre wears shorts and Crocs on his private plane. Where's the Wranglers, you ask? Simple answer: the plane's wearin' em, because it's a private plane of the people.
(If you think there's any way to comment seriously on Brett Favre at all, there's not, since four years of straight drama have become farce, then superfarce, and then some kind of absurd ultrahardcore postmodernist megafarce not previously encountered in human experience. Jon Bois came closest to summing it up here, and it required diagrams. Otherwise, you may as well )
2. UP LIKE THE QUIET PADDLE OF A PGA OFFICIAL: Dustin Johnson Throws A Ball With His Bare Hand Out Of A Cave He Hit The Ball Into On A PGA Course. If it truly is the gentleman's game, then why can't one throw a ball out of a bunker like Dustin Johnson did?* Or better still, allowing Johnson to kick the ball out of the bunker, and thus pioneer a new, more affordable version of the world's most unnecessarily expensive game? (The Scots invented golf, so you know they're rolling in their affordable, modest graves at the thought of people spending the heinous amounts of money it takes to play a single round of golf properly.)
I've read the ruling on "grounding" your club about five times now, and would have important things to say about this travesty of overly picayune legislation if I gave three jars of rancid dog farts about the sport, and didn't find the idea of golfers doing everything but playing the game legally more interesting than them actually playing the game.
I always thought the best hack to save the octagenarian's sport was Rally Golf. Start with two golf carts at the tee. Make sure you've taken the restrictor plates off them, because golf carts without them have all the horsepower of a retiree's spongy prostate. Tee off simultaneously, and then you're off! Players do not have to leave the cart to hit the ball, and can in fact go polo-style and swing while driving. Players may not run over other players, but rubbing is racing, so contact between golf carts is allowed and in fact encouraged.
Scores are total minutes to complete the course divided by strokes. We just saved golf, created demand for the most badass line of fuel-injected golf carts ever created, and combined two of the three great sporting passions of the Southeastern United States into one beautiful mutant child.
And now to celebrate, something more interesting than anything that happened at Whistling Pines: men trying to hit a gong at 200 yards with a golf ball.
3. UP LIKE F------ G--D--- F----- M------F-------: Rex Ryan F&@#$% Thinks You F@#$%@' Judge Him Unfairly, M%#$@!@#^#!. In the perpetual American struggle between the Puritanical and the Awesome, the roles could not be defined more perfectly or more blatantly exploited by a press corps desperate for Mother Football to deliver something headline-worthy. On one side we have Tony Dungy, a pious, thin, and genteel man who would not look out of place nodding approvingly at a witch-burning. On the other stands Rex Ryan, Falstaffian football coach whose favorite word starts with an F and rhymes with "truck, buck, and fuck."
Dungy said the cursing was unnecessary, because having won a single Super Bowl he understands that cursing and winning a Super Bowl are exclusive bubbles that do not overlap. Ryan replied that he was disappointed that Dungy judged him. Then Ryan went to the practice field, found Bart Scott, and said amusing things for half an hour straight, since according to Hard Knocks this is what happens at Jets practices.
And this is what gets written about in the NFL preseason along with contract holdouts, injuries, and Albert Haynesworth's ever-mockable fatness because America craves football like no other sports narcotic. You'll read about people talking about the way they talk when talking about football, and then talk about that talking. The NFL is so successful its parasite economy has economies that have parasite economies, and those fleas and ticks are so interesting HBO will broadcast a show about training camp and you will watch it drooling with anticipation.
4. UP LIKE A FRESHLY PUNTED KITTEN INTO THE MAW OF A PET ALLIGATOR NAMED CAVALIER: LeBron Continues Public Relations Arson Spree. Hey, he hated Cleveland growing up! And would go back if there was a chance! And sometimes likes making contradictory statements in interviews! He then ended the interview by punting a kitten out of the window of his evil Miami castle, setting a stack of 100 dollar bills on fire, and lit a cigar off the flames while smiling the evil smile of a man who has tied helpless damsels to railroad tracks and stolen candy from children. In response, the city of Miami said "OMG DUDE HE'S FAMOUS CAN YOU GET ME IN THE VIP I DON'T CARE IF YOU'VE EVEN KILLED SOMEONE." This is not an exaggeration: if your are famous in Miami, no one cares if you've probably killed someone as long as you are famous. Think Los Angeles, but without all that taste and shame, meaning LeBron should be very comfortable there.
5. UP LIKE ANY PATIENCE YOU MIGHT HAVE HAD WITH A SPORT THAT PLAYS 162 GAMES: Something Something Baseball. Only 12,000 games left in the season. This has been your mandatory baseball note for the week.
6. UP LIKE A NEW FLOATING RIB GENTLY POKING THE LUNG: OMG Tebow Scores TD, hurts ribs. Tim Tebow debuted for Broncos, almost threw an interception, and then ran for a meaningless TD at the end of the game. He was blessed for his effort with the gift of a special rib injury, which will teach him humility and not to run into two defenders at the goal line in a meaningless preseason game HAHAHAHAHA WE KID. He's going to play like this for his entire career and be out of the league in four years, which we remind you would put him at the average for quarterbacks in terms of lifespan in the NFL. Playing quarterback in the NFL: it's both a job and a terminal disease.
7. UP LIKE DIVINELY INSCRIPTED GOLD TABLETS RETURNING TO HEAVEN: BYU Goes Independent, Mountain West Takes Mustache, Wolves, Becomes Official Conference Of The Internet Meme-O-Sphere. BYU follows Mormon tradition by heading off into the wilderness on its own, leaving the Mountain West to go independent in a move that is either insanity of the first degree or some very canny business sense. At this point in the conference expansion drama in college football, it's hard to differentiate between the two, but the move away from the Mountain West forced something very clear: the gutting of the WAC, who in a matter of 18 hours yesterday lost both Nevada and Fresno State to the Mountain West, creating the internet's ultimate meme-friendly conference.
a.) They have Nevada, i.e. the Wolfpack, i.e. the official shirt of the internet.
b.) They have Pat Hill, the king of college football mustaches, i.e. the official facial hairstyle of the internet.
c.) They have the TCU Horned Frogs, and if a tiny, foul lizard that squirts blood from its eyes doesn't sum up the internet, nothing does.
8. UP LIKE THE BAC OF EVERY ADULT MALE IN THE BRITISH ISLES: The Premier League Returns. No huge surprises, though Arsenal and Liverpool did draw, and tiny Blackpool did explode for a 4-0 victory over Wigan. We have now accomplished our goal of writing more words about the Premier League than we did about baseball, and will be moving on now.
9. UP LIKE YOU BOLTING AWAKE FROM A NIGHTMARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT: Cowboys Fan Matthias Lunging Towards Your Face. Was he that important to this week's sporting universe? No, certainly not. Does he owe us for the fear-sweat that ruined our sheets this week when we saw his face lunging toward us in a nightmare? Oh, does he ever.
10. UP LIKE ANGRY STEAK INTO THE STANDS: Bullfighting becomes fair. When is bullfighting a sport of competitive equality? At moments like this, actually:
No one was killed in the extremely fair accident, though 30 were injured in the fracas. The PGA would have disqualified the bull for leaving the ring, but bulls do not recognize the rules of golf or administrative authority as a whole. Rick Reilly says "That's some beef the cow has with the crowd there. Thank goodness we don't have a "steak" in this match, right!"**
*He threw the ball, right? That's how I cheat at golf and I didn't actually watch this or catch a replay, because I was too busy photoshopping Joe Buck into Eat Pray Love poses, which was still more interesting than golf will ever be.
**This authentic Rick Reilly witticism will be $8,500 at his going rate. Please make check payable to ESPN.