1) The Villa Restaurant
If you’ve watched a Boston sports event on one of the local channels in the last year or two, chances are you’ve seen a commercial for the Villa Restaurant, an Italian slophouse in Wayland, MA. The commercial has never changed. We see old people entering the restaurant, we get close-ups of the dopey-looking cooks and waitstaff (including a woman who couldn’t look more Boston), we see the slop on the stove, and we get a wide view of the restaurant that makes it look more than ready for Restaurant: Impossible. But don’t take it from me. Take it from always-helpful and always-dissatisfied Yelpers:
ML B.: “Again, just because you have steamer tables, and can boil water, and throw some canned sauce together, but have fresh eggplant, doesn’t a restaurant make.”
Pizzaioli G.: “The restaurant is mediocre and the food uninspired. The Villa is busy, but that’s because most people wouldn’t know good food if it hit them in the face.”
Eric N.: “We should have turned around when upon entering the restaurant. There was an odor, smells like dirty locker room… I ended up eating PB&J when I got home.”
I’m sure the people who own and operate the Villa Restaurant are nice and are trying their best. I’m sure the people who work there are the same. But when I have to watch a commercial twelve times a game for a restaurant I’m never going to go to in a town I’ve never been to, it starts to get annoying. Cut back on the commercials. It’s not like anyone is going to drive out of their way to go to your shithole for a half-assed chicken parm when they can get one anywhere else. (Jeez Level: 7)
2) Roger Goodell
The NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, are constantly in the sports news for suspending players, levying fines, and mandating this thing or that thing. Goodell has been ridiculously protective of the NFL brand and anything that might threaten it, which means that we get willy-nilly rule changes that emphasize safety and fine players for large chunks of money with little forewarning or explanation.
Goodell’s in-season rule changes and decisions on hits (the league consistently suspends and fines players based on hits that were not penalized during the game and expects that its players will be able to fundamentally change the way they play football week to week) are annoying enough. The fact that all appeals on his decisions go back to him – and you can guess how that goes – is also frustrating. But now he may have hit a new low.
2010 was an uncapped year in football. That means that, technically, football teams were able to spend whatever they wanted (I realize there may be particular details of this that I’m not privy to, but that’s the gist of it). So, essentially, the Cowboys and the Redskins did just that. And Goodell fined team owners Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder, respectively, with breaking the rules of the salary cap. Huh?
It was announced on Wednesday that the NFLPA is filing a collusion lawsuit against the NFL, alleging that a secret $123 million salary cap was in place for the supposedly uncapped 2010 season. Good. Enough is fucking enough. I’m sick of Goodell’s ham-fisted rulings being a perennial story every NFL season and I hope the NFL gets what it deserves here. Also, fuck you for making me have to side with Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder on something. (Jeez Level: 9)
3) NBA referees
I know that complaining about NBA officials has become akin to talking about airplane food or reciting the “More Cowbell” sketch. NBA officials suck. We all know this.
However, the foul calls in Tuesday’s Heat/Pacers Game 5, particularly the flagrant foul calls, made absolutely no sense. Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough went up for a block on the Heat’s Dwyane Wade and scratched him above his right eye. It was a hard foul, but the refs immediately called it a flagrant-one foul, which is more serious and gave Wade two free throws and the Heat possession of the ball. It wasn’t a flagrant foul.
Minutes later, Heat player Udonis Haslem absolutely slammed both arms into Tyler Hansbrough’s face. It was obviously retaliatory and obviously intentional. It was also ruled a flagrant-one foul, though it was a far more dangerous play. The NBA then suspended Haslem for game six, but because the disciplinarians in the league are pussies, they also upgraded Hansbrough’s foul to a flagrant-two, even though the upgrade will not carry a suspension, it wasn’t even a flagrant-one foul, and none of this makes any sense.
I know I was just complaining about Goodell’s heavy-handedness with the NFL and here I’m asking for the NBA to come down harder on Haslem (which they eventually did). But in reality, I’m asking them to get it right. It’s not that hard to look at both plays and see the difference. Click the link above and do so yourself. (Jeez level: 7)
4) Apologizers in sports
Everyone apologizes too much these days. We’re all so worried to offend someone or hurt someone’s feelings, and for some reason we demand that anyone who slips up offer countless apologies to atone for their non-transgression. Or maybe we don’t demand it. Maybe the media does.
Let’s go back to Pacers/Heat. Game three, LeBron James on the free throw line, end of the game. He misses. Pacers players are happy. Bench player Lance Stephenson makes a choking motion with his hands to his own throat. He’s signifying that LeBron is a choke artist, you see (and he’d be right).
The Heat are upset. The NBA’s answer to Piltdown Man, Juwan Howard, calls Stephenson out and tries to start an on-court dust-up with him during warm-ups before game four. Various Heat players and media morons throw around words like “dignity”, “class”, “doing things the right way”, and all that other bullshit that really has no place here because who the fuck cares. And what does Stephenson do? He apologizes! Get the fuck out!
Did humanity demand this apology? Did sports fans? Do we really give a shit that a Pacers bench player taunted LeBron? Did anyone get angry? Or did ESPN and the sports media keep talking about it for twenty-four hours and succeed in creating a completely manufactured controversy about next to nothing? Honestly, fuck Lance Stephenson, simply because he apologized. If I was a pro athlete and the media called me out for something so trivial, I’d tell them to get fucked. (Jeez level: 9)
- This week’s Jeez Rankings were written by JL.