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Memorial Tournament Preview Blog
Since Riggs, Trent, and Frankie have turned their golf positions at Barstool into less blogging and more playing with themselves and selling $50 cases of soda, I decided to take a dull, butter knife stab at a preview blog for this weekend’s Memorial Tournament. Last Week Real quick let’s talk about how much we should all hate the PGA after Sunday’s off-air debacle, and then about some questionable feature groups this week. For weather reasons on Sunday, the Workday final round tee times were moved up so players could finish before incoming storms. Great, that all makes sense. But somehow the PGA was not able to broadcast the round on TV, and when they did have to kill the live broadcast, they didn’t even mention where to go watch the rest of the tournament. THERE ARE NO OTHER FUCKING SPORTS ON, WHAT COULD CBS HAVE MADE PRIORITY OVER THIS FINAL ROUND? No seriously, someone please tell me because I would love to know what aired on CBS from 11 am to 3 pm instead of live sports. Can we also talk about how terrible the Thursday/Friday coverage is every weekend on all networks? You usually get 2-4 featured groups you can stream online from 9-3 (even these groups you often need NBC Sports Gold to watch), and then get maybe 3 hours of full coverage in a TV broadcast. There is legitimately a channel called the Golf Channel, who are airing a shitty preview/talk show while you are missing coverage. Here’s a fucking mad idea - put live golf on the golf channel before the major networks get prime coverage. Then we got a look yesterday at the featured groups for the Memorial. How do you fuck this up? If you are younger than 70 and even sporadically watch golf, you could do this job better than whoever does it for the PGA. Here’s the formula: Brooks Koepka makes a joke about Bryson Dechambeau using steroids one week ago = you put them in the same group. Golf has so little drama because all these guys are friends and making millions of dollars even when they aren’t winning. Fans need these storylines/rivalries to be buffed up, not ignored because they might hurt Bryson's feelings. This Week As far as a course preview, we get a strange twist this week with the players coming back to Muirfield, who just hosted the Workday Charity Tournament. I’ve been watching golf for a long ass time and cannot remember the last time this happened, but it’s not a major headline at all so maybe this does happen on occasion. Either way the setup this weekend will look different than last weekend, with much faster greens, thicker rough, and some changes in tee box locations. I think we see some youngeinexperienced players struggle with the change in green speeds, especially since they just played these same greens and they were rolling like carpet (stimpmeter will go from 11 to 13.5). My gut tells me the winner is either a veteran or someone who didn’t play here last week. This would rule out guys like Hovland, Burns, Merritt, Niemann, etc. Finally, we have to mention that Eldrick Tiger Woods returns to the field this week. I’m looking at his +2000 odds and hate the value because we have no idea where his game is at right now. That being said, Tiger has won the Memorial five times and placed T9 last year, and T23 the year before. I will root for Tiger to win every tournament he enters, but I won’t look at a future for him at these low odds, and for his first post-break golf since The Match. Now let’s go over wagers this weekend and what you should look for. I am usually not a fan of betting on outright winners, before any golf has been played. The odds always look so good but you will rarely have a profitable year trying to bet winners every week. That being said, here are some of the best value picks IMO.
This man is -69 (nice) in his 4 tournaments since the resumption of the season, with final results of 3rd, 8th, 6th, and 1st. Not only is he launching drives 10% further than the field consistently, but his confidence is sky high and that mental edge goes a long way. Bryson also won here 2 years and 40 pounds ago, so he does like this course. But let’s not forget what a whiny bitch he is. Give me odds on if he will punch a cameraman this week and I would hammer yes.
Rory McIlroy/Justin Thomas +950
Rory holds the current #1 world golf ranking, and JT holds the current #1 FedEx cup ranking. Neither golfer has won since returning from quarantine, however they each grabbed a trophy or two early in the season (pre-pandemic). Both have seen some inconsistencies in the past month, with over par rounds or missed cuts, but undeniably still playing great golf. You might want to think about JT’s state of mind after blowing a lead and then a playoff last weekend, but I still like him to show up and be in the mix.
DJ recently daddy-dicked Brendan Todd in the final round of the Travelers, starting his final round 2 shots behind and leaving with a 1 shot victory (6 shots ahead of Todd). He might win, he might not, either way he’s going home to Paulina Gretzky and a Johnny Depp style lunch spread.
I’m going to choose to ignore Brooks’ round one 74 at the Workday this weekend, followed up by a missed cut. His previous two tournaments he posted 8 consecutive rounds under par, and a Sunday 65 to place 7th at the RBC Heritage. That being said, in my brief research it looks like his best finish at the Memorial was T31 in 2017, so maybe he hates this course. But Petty King’s hate for everyone besides himself is a great motivator. Can’t wait until we get a “suck on that Faldo” on a hot mic.
My guy Collin is less than a year removed from his amateur status, and has now made 24/25 cuts to start his career. Three weeks ago he lipped out a 3 footer to lose in a playoff, had a rough 2 weeks at the RBC and Travelers, but then he came right back and won in a playoff this past weekend. This dude is a sniper from the fairway, but can he stay straight off the tee and hole some putts? 2 playoffs in his last 4 tournaments would indicate yes.
Cantlay/Matsuyama/Rose/Kuchar +1250 to +6500
All four of these guys have won the Memorial in the past, with Cantlay at the best odds trying to repeat his title from 2019. I sneaky love Justin Rose here who has been playing great golf, and reminds me of a slightly less hate-able version of Adam Scott. Always fun to root for Kuch daddy as well, but his association with Sketchers is unforgivable.
Hovland/Simpson/Schauffele/Berger +2000 to +3000
Three young studs who have won or come close to winning this season, and a veteran who has been playing lights out golf (Webby). I would not be surprised to see a slow start for Hovland after two disappointing Sundays in a row, but he is too good not to make a push if he makes the cut. Schauffele actually scares me, he is definitely the odds on favorite to be a serial killer after his PGA career (eh maybe Mickelson). But that focus and weird fatheson relationship has been working for him, and he’s sitting just a few spots outside the FedEx cup top 10 and playing great golf. Meanwhile Webby is sitting at #2 in the FedEx cup rankings with a win at the RBC Heritage and a top 10 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Side note, why is there a “t” in mortgage? Fuck that word.
My pick: once again reiterating I will likely not bet on a Sunday winner before Thursday starts, but if I was I would put my money on Justin Rose +4500 or Xander Schauffele +2500. Thursday Matchups Easily the best way to bet on golf, and in my experience the most profitable. Here are a few picks I’ll be making before Thursday. Currently I am 4-2 betting matchups (last 4 PGA events) and I’ll track my picks moving forward. If I get to Jack Mac or Reags level of bad betting, I promise I’ll retire and not pretend I know what I’m talking about. I’m only going to pick matchups in the featured groups for Thursday. Nothing worse than betting on someone like Marc Leishman, and having to refresh the golf cast simulator thing instead of watching live play. Dechambeau (-115) over Thomas (-105): everything is so planned out and calculated with Bryson, and his sit-out at the Workday feels like a part of his plan. Fucking hate rooting for this kid, but I see him coming in fresh against JT who blew an enormous lead last weekend. D. Johnson (even) over Morikawa (-120): my favorite first round matchup bet. It seems counter-intuitive going against the guy who won at this course a few days ago, but don’t forget the major change this week will be how the greens roll. And Morikawa is 150th on tour in strokes gained with the putter. Lock it in. Take a flier - round 1 leader I don’t think I’ve ever bet this prop but I’ve also never written a golf blog before so let’s take a shot here. I’ll put a half unit on it as well: Rickie Fowler +4000 Rick's finishes at the Memorial the past 3 years: T14, T8, solo 2nd. In 2017 when he placed 2nd, he shot an opening round 66. I also feel like I see him in the mix a lot in early rounds, but can’t quite put together those low weekend rounds. That’s all I’ve got. Sorry it’s not funny but it’s better content than we’ve gotten out of Foreplay. Let’s make some money and blow off work Thursday and Friday.
CMV: Males are genetically predisposed to gambling
Gambling or betting on things seems to be an extremely male-dominated behaviour, especially here in Australia (and we spend the most on gambling per capita worldwide). On a subjective level, almost every one of my male friends and colleagues gambles daily, and social conversations amongst friends often tend to steer towards what's going on in the horses/greyhounds/NRL betting/AFL betting/under-12 disabled Ukrainian volleyball if that's all that's left. Blokes will make bets with each other over things like the coin flip before a game, the exact time of kick off and if a racecaller will say a catchphrase during a race. I believe that part of the reason is that betting advertising has become part of our daily life here. TV ads, radio, print media, social media; literally everywhere you look. They've even managed to seamlessly entwine betting watching sport - every ad break or pre-game show there is a representative from one of the bookmakers showing live odds, tips and gambling strategy. They have TV pop-up ads showing live odds. They even have banner advertising that is cookie-generated so you literally can't escape being marketed to if you're online at all and have looked up a sports result that day. In recent years, gambling ads are now primarily for racing and sports betting rather than, as in the past, for lotteries. On the flip side, none of my female friends or colleagues have any interest in gambling. Quite a few follow sport here but never put any bets on or talk about gambling. Is this because sportsbetting marketing is extremely targeted towards the male demographic? Here in Australia we also spend the most on gambling advertising over all other countries in the world. Our major bookies (Sportsbet, Ladbrokes, Neds, BetEasy) have incredibly male-oriented advertising with TV ads that specifically target men from 18 to 40 - this is obviously their bread and butter market but why? Sports betting advertising often features men standing together, drinking and watching a sporting match. Have a look at some examples of this targeted advertising all showing the single male demographic. Is this due to the fact that sports in general are more popular with men, and this is the reason for the propensity to sports bet? I think men are genetically predisposed to gambling or betting. From an evolutionary point of view, men have been more likely to be competitive with each other in providing for their family/tribe and having the ability to fight for alpha male status. END NOTE: I am not referring to casino gambling. For some reason Casino gambling is a lot more gender equal.
16/07/20 - Premier League - Leicester City vs Sheffield United - Pre-Match Thread
Round: 36 of 38 Referee: Michael Oliver
Average Reds: TBD
Average Yellows: TBD
Location: Filbert Way/King Power Time: 1800BST/UTC+1, 16/07/20 Channels (UK): Sky Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League (no crowd noises), Pick TV (Freeview)
(Out / Unlikely / Suspended ) Leicester:
Accurate as of 0906BST 16/07/20 (Decimal, lower is more likely): Leicester Win: 1.90 Draw: 3.40 Sheffield Win: 4.33
In the league, we've had a good home record as we've only been beaten thrice (P17 W10 D4 L3) by the likes of Liverpool, Man City, and Southampton
Since 2009, we have meet the Blades seven times and not been defeated. (P7 W5 D2)
Since the restart, both teams have lost twice having showed mixed form since the restart.
Sheffield have not performed well on the road only winning four of their 17 away games with the majorities ending in draws (P17 W4 D9 L4). They are yet to win on the road since the restart with only point being taken from relegation facing Villa and Burnley. They last won on the road against Brighton in December 2019.
SPY below 205 by 4/17 and VIX to (atleast) 95 by the End of April
Good evening, TL;DR: Spy is going to dip below 205 by EOD 4/17. VIX will touch 95 by the end of April.First off i appreciate all the support I've been getting from some of you. BAN BET: If VIX doesn't touch 95 by the end of April i will take a one day ban from posting for every person who comments saying "BAN”. However fair is fair, if VIX does touch 95 you get banned for an entire month. (Over one million of you and only one of me so i gotta even out the odds.) First off thank you to all the kind souls leaving me nice messages. Now for all the haters. Oh i love it. Money is nice. But i enjoy the speculation game cause i get to pin my wit against the sheep. So i read your messages over a hot cup of tea, did a significant amount of research, and felt all riled up. So here i am acting cute and feeling frisky so I'm coming out with another ballsy bet. Spy is going to dip below 205 by EOD 4/17. VIX will touch 95 by the end of April. Here is the DD. https://imgur.com/G2eoTSs Here is a post made that shows the striking resemblance between the recent stock movements and the 1929 crash. Interestingly, a 27% drop from here would put us right at my support level (i will get to that in a second). Here we go. My DD. https://squeezemetrics.com/monitodix I have been for the most part ignoring DPI on this drop. Historically it has been very accurate but on this drop it has been acting extremely wonky. Big buys and big sells where they shouldn't be and not predicting the market correctly. For this reason i haven't been offering it more than a passing glance. GEX however is crucial. The lower GEX dips the more room we have to drop (and the faster). I expect some real violence in the market so I am keeping a very close eye on VIX. /ES weekly: https://www.tradingview.com/x/t0ipbVoY/ You can clearly see how crucial of a zone this area is based on how price continuously hangs around this S/R level. We have been rejecting it consistently and i believe we are on the verge of breaking to a lower level. If we follow the great depression chart a 27% drop would put us at my 1850 (right around my next crucial S/R level). I see support kicking in somewhere around 1900. /ES Daily: /ES Daily You can see the volume compressing as we prepare for the next big spike. Chaikin is up to that critical zone of 0 and is breaking back negative now. Price has been in a bear flag and consistently rejecting that 2630 level. BB and kijun are adding pressure and pushing price down. /ES 4HR /ES 4hr Here you can see the price break out of the 4HR and BB have been squeezing for the big move down. Volume breaking out chaikin breaking down, RSI breaking down, MACD breaking down. Essentially all systems go. CL is losing its battle with $20 support. I have been saying it will go to 10 for awhile now and that is becoming more of a reality by the day. /ES will follow..... 10 year treasury is on its last leg as well.... VIX is looking pretty and holding support in the area. This will look like a shit show but /VX 08' is the top left, /VX bottom left is now, VIX top right is 08', VIX bottom right is now. You can see the striking similarities and what will lead to the massive put buying that will launch VIX to 95. VIX and /VX comparison now vs 08' Now i would like to make this call more interesting. I wanna make a ban bet on this VIX portion of my play. If VIX doesn't touch 95 by the end of April i will take a one day ban from posting for every person who comments “BAN”. However fair is fair, if VIX does touch 95 you get banned for an entire month. Over one million of you and only one of me so i gotta even out the odds.) This is a win-win scenario for me. I don't have to deal with everyone here who acts like an idiot if i lose and if i win i get a much quieter, much less stupider, subreddit for a week (and hopefully a humbler one). BONUS: Mods have to deal with the shit show that would be required to pull this off and everyone knows. Mods are gay. Have fun, good luck, AND CHANGE THE DAMN LOGO. This is simply my opinion. I am not your financial advisor and this is not meant for you to take as advice in order to position yourself in the market. Also here is some education. Sorry for the books being temporarily down. Had an issue. Also its under a fake name i used for that email (my spam email). https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Xksox8mqbi3jAnzMez8_K-a1udOT1-dF If the above link doesn't work try this. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9fjw7k5gel26g59/AABR_NDL6MjZZ1os8ZNTTYkca?dl=0 EDIT: I’m working on another way to post the material. I’ll put it up by EOD. Thanks for the patience. DONE! Saturday update: I’m holding everything still. No change in thoughts. Sunday: Final VX support( I can already see the misunderstandings coming so yes I wrote that correctly. It’s the vix futures ticker) is around 35. Looking for futures long there. Expect a final market push to 2655. To everyone declaring victory, it would be wise to wait till the final whistle before thinking the game is over. Monday update 1pm: in the process of loading up my last load of deeeeeeep OTM TQQQ positions. Every persons positions/situation is different but one common denominator is true... scared money don’t make none. So short the pop....faggot ;) Monday EOD update: fam we about to eat good. Monday update P.S: I am getting a lot of panicky comments and messages. This should help clear the air. Today was March 4 2020 on /es. To explain my logic I am referencing squeezemetrics and how we tested the kijun-sen. Tuesday update 10:45am : more panicky messages, more haters. I’ll summarize. I AINT FUCKING SELLING. Fake pump=big dump. Wednesday 10:15am: looking for a red day today to confirm the shooting star yesterday. The war is almost won... Wednesday 4:50pm: this is such a weird position to be in. Remember being early is the same as being wrong. Based on tomorrow’s price action I may be rolling, selling everything and looking for re-entry points, or holding/hedging. Sometimes no position is the best position. Bears lost the crucial 2655 and now we are pushing higher, 2785 is key on weekly and monthly. We could see as high as 3125-2990. The important thing to note is no one is really sure what is happening so you need to be either out of the market or hedging so you don’t get killed. This was a pivotal day. Tomorrow will tell us more since a weekly candle is also closing. You have heard it a lot here but the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. I’ll probably be posting less and less this month (if it is to be the last) since this is getting more cumbersome as ppl get more annoying. BIG UPDATE: Wednesday late af at night: All you night owls wake the fuck up. Disregard my last update. I made a typical TA mistake by focusing on the smaller TF. Now that I acknowledged my mistake let me introduce you to my friend 2785. He is a nice guy. Top of his class (punny). Monthly:https://www.tradingview.com/x/nXiC6aAE/ Notice where the Tenken/Kijun converge? 2785. Use Ichimoku on the monthly during both the 08 recession and the 00 recession and you will see how it is ALWAYS respected. Weekly:https://www.tradingview.com/x/NbijzYBF/ Hello old friend 2785. Same. SPOT. Look how important that level was historically. Look the garbage volume on this fake pump. Here is another fun fact. 2785 is the EXACT 50% retractment from the previous move. Now lets talk time table. Daily:https://imgur.com/jK6XxtV Ok first of all. Look at the compression on chaikin. Looks like it has about a week before she pops. Look at the obnoxious oval directing you to the chikou span. That has about a week before it touches the price, about the same time before price encounters the cloud (obnoxious rectangle). Bonus point: spot our friend 2785 in the cloud). Also notice the crap volume compression on this rise? It is already starting to rip as big players offloaded the day before yesterday. What does it all mean? I AINT FUCKING SELLING. I am gonna roll all my shit because it is hotter than a fucking fresh tamale. Watch price action around 2785-2825. By the end of next week this shit may start cracking. This obviously means that i am almost certainly wrong about the 205 by 4/17. But i always said the timing is the most difficult thing to set up and i was trying to do it 3 weeks out on the dot. My VIX bet tho is very much in play.... Do what you please and i appreciate all the nice messages i have been getting and ill try to keep ignoring the mean ones. Lets see how this turns out! Ironically if you actually saw my last posts you would have see that i already basically predicted this top when i was seeing the bounce coming.... Just shows you to stick to the big picture/game plan https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/fmzu51/incoming_bounce_vix_puts/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2xGL Update Thursday morning: I got out of everything that was short dated that i could on the minor pullback at open. Rolled over what I could. Bloodbath out there. I am looking to beef up my position in mid May-ish depending on price action and where it hits the targets. We are in this critical zone and markets are wild and extremely volatile right now. Push ups can be expected. Waiting patiently to add to my position when I see exhaustion. I am under the impression that it can push up until 4/17 and up to 2900. Perhaps some sideways action and then the drop... if you look at the daily chart again you can see why I think that. Going live to discuss today at 12 est https://www.twitch.tv/wallstreetbooyah 4/12/2020 12:45AM What can i say i like doing my research late at night.... As i explained numerous times before, now i am providing more detail regarding where the potential top can be but remember we are clear to drop at any moment... Here is where we are from weekly https://www.tradingview.com/x/w23Yph7g/ Notice how we closed below the tenken/kijun 2785 that i listed. Next week max top potential 2898. Daily for better TF; https://www.tradingview.com/x/GB31CHs4/ By Wednesday max top 3046 By Friday max top 2888 For those who catch on quick are seeing it's not a question of if we drop but from where. We are clear to drop at any moment. I believe it has to happen at the absolute very latest 4/20/2020. The only way my analysis is invalidated is with a daily close above the cloud/weekly close above 2898. Watch volume veryyyyy closely. If you see abnormal volume (extremely low/extremely high on /ES daily) then we are heading over the cliff. Bulls are living on borrowed time IMO... EDIT: updated some of the numbers for 4/12/20. Thanks to u/ModernAristois for pointing out that i was mistakenly using the wrong settings (was fiddeling with settings late night and forgot to reset when I was posting the pics/giving the targets). 4/15/2020 I bought a batch of TQQQ puts. Still have 2 loads of Ammo left. Will sell all at the latest end of next week if we break through the cloud and the trade goes against me. We will see what happens. No change in logic. Watch for spike in volume on a red day and rejection on cloud. 4/16/2020 New core position taken and maxed out per my strategy restrictions per trade. I will sell everything if I’m wrong at the latest sometime next week. If I’m right, it’s going to happen really soon or not at all. This is probably my last update/post before either gainz porn or a final sell-for-loss update/surrender. As always watch the daily cloud, watch CL, and watch volume. EDIT: the core position was in TQQQ puts 4/17/2020 Truly my final edit for this. Check squeezemetrics today. I have a shot at being right :) 4/27/20202 The day is finally here. Throwing in the towel. Sold everything and took the L. Reflecting back it’s easy to see where I went wrong. Instead of doing what I always do (having a thesis, waiting for it to confirm), I got eager and tried to predict where resistance would be and jump on before confirmation. Been a fun ride either way. From 1.4K -> 42K -> 30k. Sitting in cash until I see what I want to see. Thesis is honestly unchanged. I was just probably early. Still waiting and watching to see the volume spike I want and a break thru the 4hr cloud. Could be awhile since it looks like we are about to break the daily cloud. Market is going to do the ‘ol irrational longer than you can stay solvent. We have completely decoupled from reality so patience is key here to see where the big boi’s wanna let her slide. Could have a serious melt up/chop from here. Wishing you all the best of luck and I hope you don’t blame me for any money you lost. I simply provide my opinion on the market and execute accordingly. I only do this publicly in order to help people understand TA. I never had someone to teach me so I understand the struggle and lost feeling for anyone who is interested and new to TA. Taking the ban with my chin up! Fair is fair :) GL and stay safe. I am not your financial advisor
With the season (hopefully) on the way I thought I'd put together some lists for top 5 players at each position in Indianapolis (not Baltimore) Colts history. I'll start with QB, and work my way through. This list is purely my opinion as a die hard fan since the early Manning days, and if you think I have no clue what I'm talking about, please feel free to let me know. Fun fact, out of the 26 QBs to start a game for the Indy Colts there are only 7 players that have a winning record. Three of them are Colts legends Josh Freeman, Gary Hogeboom, and Craig Erickson.
After the complete disaster that was attempting to draft John Elway #1 in 1983, the then Baltimore Colts stuck with Mike Pagel at QB, who had just led them to a winless season in 1982. Team owner Robert Irsay decided to move the team to Indianapolis before the 1984 season the team stuck with Pagel as their main QB despite him clearly not being their future at the position. This led to 2 season with losing records and last place finishes in the AFC East. Entering the 1986 draft, the Colts were clearly looking for a franchise player at QB. The obvious choice was Jim Everett out of Purdue, but unfortunately he was selected #3 to the Houston Oilers when the Colts had the #4 pick. Instead of drafting the only other franchise QB in the draft, Mark Rypien, the Colts decided to select promising Illinois QB Jack Trudeau in the 2nd round. Trudeau had shown a lot of promise in his career, leading Illinois to a Rose Bowl in 1984 and finishing 2nd in the Davey O'Brien Award (Best College QB) to Doug Flutie. Unfortunately for him and the Colts, this talent would not translate well to the NFL
After trading Mike Pagel to the Browns the starting job was set for Trudeau entering the 1986 season. Unfortunately the Colts were still a very bad team overall and Trudeau was not set to overcome that. In 11 starts he had 8 TDs, 18 INTs, and a 48.9% completion rate for an 0-11 record. It was immediately clear he was not the savior the Colts needed to bring legitimate football to Indy. Fortunately, a contract dispute between Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson allowed the Colts to trade for Dickerson midway through the 1987 season. Dickerson was an immediate breath of life to the fledgling Indianapolis Colts franchise and helped lead them to their first playoff berth. Trudeau shared starting duties with Gary Hogeboom, and both were successful in not screwing things up too bad, giving the ball to Dickerson, and staying out of the damn way. Trudeau started in his only playoff game and actually played decently well: 251 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT, but it wasn't enough as the Colts lost 38-21 to the Bernie Kosar led Cleveland Browns who would eventually lose in via "The Drive" in the AFC Championship. It was clear the Colts would need a better QB to compliment their new superstar in Dickerson, and thus they drafted future Pro Bowler Chris Chandler in the 3rd round in 1988. However, Chris Chandler was most definitely not a Pro Bowler for the Colts. Chandler didn't impress despite an 9-7 overall record, and was replaced by Trudeau following a bad start to the 1989 season. Trudeau had his best year as a pro in 1989: 2,317 yards, 15 TDs, 13 INTs, but the Colts still finished 8-8 and outside of the playoffs. Trudeau was improving, but was still clearly not the QB of the future, which they hoped to get by trading All-Pro Tackle Chris Hinton, Future All-Pro WR Andre Rison, and the #3 Pick in 1991 for the #1 Pick in 1990 which they used to draft QB Jeff George (Wow). Trudeau was kept as the backup and was a spot starter for the Colts from 1990-93. Despite the horrific play of George, Trudeau couldn't muster much better in his limited playing time and was released in 1994.
Jack Trudeau was at best a mediocre QB you could somewhat rely on to manage the game and allow more talented players to make plays. Unfortunately the late 80s, early 90s Colts didn't have too many of those so his play suffered as well. His numbers aren't great and he wasn't much beloved by Colts fans, but he did help lead the Colts to their first playoff appearance which helped me put him on the list over Matt Hasselbeck and others. Trudeau has actually hung around Indy doing various radio and TV appearances talking about the Colts and even has a couple of DUIs as well.
The Colts had their franchise QB in Andrew Luck, but leading up to the 2017 season it was revealed during the preseason Luck had a shoulder injury which would eventually lead to him missing the entire 2017 season. This left the Colts scrambling as they knew QB Scott Tolzien was not the answer at QB, so 8 days before the start of the season the new GM Chris Ballard traded 1st round bust Phillip Dorsett for 3rd string QB for the Patriots Jacoby Brissett. Brissett had looked at least competent spot starting for the suspended Tom Brady and hurt Jimmy Garoppolo in 2016, so he was the best option the Colts had available so close to the beginning of the season.
Bringing in a new QB for a team 8 days before the start of the season and asking him to play is like asking a train engineer to launch a rocket to the moon, so Tolzien started week 1 for Colts. He continued to not impress going into week 2, and was replaced for Brissett. Brissett was an improvement, but it was clear he was overwhelmed by the change of scenery and the rest of the Colts roster and staff was not talented enough to make up for it. He finished with competent numbers: 3,098 yards, 13 TDs, 7 INTs, 58.8% completion rate, 6.6 Y/A, but was merely a game manager for a bad team as the Colts finished 4-12. Andrew Luck was ready to return in 2018 and the Colts were willing to give Brissett the benefit of the doubt and kept him on as the backup. The Colts saw a major resurgence with Luck and an incredible draft and free agent class by Chris Ballard, leading to their first playoff appearance since 2015, eventually losing to the Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs. The Colts were looking to improve going into 2019, but a now too familiar announcement led up to the season when it was revealed a calf injury was going to cause Andrew Luck to retire 2 weeks before the start of the regular season. The spotlight was once again shown on Jacoby Brissett, who was asked to take over Luck's team. Fortunately this time Brissett was able to get all the first team reps in the preseason leading up to week 1 and was much more familiar with the system. That familiarity paid off as Brissett led the Colts to a 5-2 start, including wins over playoff teams like the Texans and Titans along with the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Brissett was not putting up All-Pro numbers, but had clearly improved from 2017 and was still not making game losing mistakes. Through week 9 he had 190 YPG, 11 TDs, and 6 INTs, and and the eye test had shown he was a good leader and could occasionally make big plays when needed. However, after a knee sprain in week 10 he was clearly not the same player. His injury either hampered his physical abilities or his confidence but his poor play for the rest of the season allowed the Colts to fall to 7-9, including an embarrassing 34-7 loss to the Saints that I made the trip over to New Orleans for and watched as Brissett sailed the ball over every receiver's head. Brissett will likely be the backup for the 2020 season behind free agent Phillip Rivers, but he's shown enough flashes of ability that his career is long from over, whether that ends up being on the Colts or somewhere else in the league.
I believe I'm with the majority of Colts fans in that when I see Jacoby Brissett I see somewhat of a tragic figure. He got thrown to the wolves in 2017 and did the best he could, but was basically set up to fail. It's honestly not too much of a stretch to say his play through week 9 of 2019 was the best QB play by an Indy Colts QB not named Manning, Luck, or Harbaugh. You could tell he was well-liked by both fans and teammates, especially through the first half of 2019, but his limitations as a player were clear. Colts fans have been spoiled in the 21st century by 2 all-time great QBs, so any deviation from that, especially when it's not by a QB we drafted #1 overall, will be seen as a major failure. I think people came down a little too hard on Jacoby by the end of 2019, and that he's still a solid pro capable of being the QB on a winning team in the right situation. However, he showed in the 2nd half of 2019 that situation is probably not in Indy going forward.
The Colts had come out of the Eric Dickerson/Jeff George era looking like an absolute dumpster fire. The Colts had been in Indy for 10 years and Indy was still very much a basketball town. The only signature player the Indy Colts had was Eric Dickerson, and he had a very sour exit in 1992 after 2 bad years. The Indianapolis Colts were still in the woods, searching for the player that could give their franchise hope that they would be treated as a legitimate threat in the NFL and generate significant interest from the fanbase. That hope came from an unlikely source in Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh had led the Chicago Bears to 2 playoff appearances in the late Mike Ditka-era, but his play had fallen off and by 1994 he looked somewhat washed. The desperate Colts made a surprisingly wise decision in not drafting QBs Heath Schuler or Trent Dilfer. Instead they drafted future Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to replace Eric Dickerson (this is the "Who the hell is Mel Kiper?" draft) and signing Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh didn't come out guns blazing in 1994 as he traded starting duties with Green Bay castoff Don Majkowski. Harbaugh put up decent numbers but the Colts finished 4-5 in games Harbaugh started, 8-8 overall. Harbaugh entered the 1995 season as no sure thing, the Colts actually traded their 1996 first round pick for young Tampa QB Craig Erickson in another baffling trade for an unproven QB. Erickson and Harbaugh competed for the starting position in training camp and Erickson was selected as the starter by head coach Ted Marchibroda. Erickson played poorly the first 2 weeks, being replaced and outplayed by Harbaugh in both games. By week 3 Harbaugh was the full time starter and didn't look back. Harbaugh was showing that he meshed well with new Offensive Coordinator Lindy Infante as Harbaugh put up some of the most efficient passing numbers of any QB in the NFL in 1995: 2,575 yards, 17 TDs, 5 INTs, 63.7% completion rate, and a league leading passer rating of 100.7 (ahead of guys like Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, and Dan Marino). Even more importantly he was a becoming the tough effective leader to energize the entire team, leading the Colts to 4 game winning drives that season, including one over the 1994 Super Bowl champion 49ers. The Colts were just outside of the playoffs going into week 17, but Harbaugh led the Colts to a win over the Drew Bledsoe led Patriots in the RCA Dome to sneak the Colts into the playoffs at 9-7. Harbaugh earned his first Pro Bowl appearance along with NFL Comeback Player of the Year. The Colts were going into the playoffs as 5.5 point underdogs against the San Diego Chargers, a team they had just lost to in week 16. However, thanks to 3 TDs from Harbaugh and an out-of-nowhere 147 yard, 2 TD performance from rookie FB Zach Crockett, the Colts overcame the odds. They were heading into a gauntlet of Arrowhead stadium against the best defense in the league and a Marcus Allen led 13-3 Kansas City Chiefs. In an ugly game where the wind chill was -15oF, luck worked in the Colts favor. Harbaugh didn't throw well, but picked up several key 1st down with his legs. He had 1 INT and 3 fumbles, but fortunately lost 0. Chiefs QB Steve Bono had 3 INTs and K Lin Elliot went 0/3 on field goals in a season where he made 80%. Colts K Cary Blanchard made 1/3, and that was enough to upset the heavily-favored Chiefs 10-7. Harbaugh's most defining moment as the Colts QB would come in the AFC Championship against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harbaugh's cinderella story continued on against Bill Cowher and Neil O'Donnell's Steelers. The Colts and Steelers traded scores throughout the game. With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Harbaugh threw a dime to WR Floyd Turner for a 47 yard touchdown to put the Colts up 16-13. Unfortunately the Colts couldn't run out enough clock on their next drive and the Steelers rushed down the field for the go-ahead score to put them up 20-16. Harbaugh wasn't done yet. With 88 seconds needing 84 yards, Harbaugh willed the Colts down the field to the Steelers' 29-yard line for a hail mary shot with 5 seconds left. Harbaugh tossed up a prayer that was very nearly caught by Colts WR Aaron Bailey, but he couldn't come up with it. The Cinderella story was over, but it was a defining moment for the Colts franchise. The 1995 Colts were within a hair of making the Super Bowl, and that 1995 playoff run led by Harbaugh created a real fanbase for them. Harbaugh's stats regressed some in 1996, but he still led the Colts to a 9-7 record and the playoffs, this time getting whooped by the Steelers in the wild card. In 1997 his stats improved some but the wheels fell off of the team as they started off 0-10, eventually falling to 3-13. Fortunately their record would net them the #1 pick in the 1998 draft. After it was clear the Colts were using the pick on QB they traded Harbaugh to the Ravens.
“A lot of people use (the word) ‘culture,’ but the attitude, everybody was team-first, from the front office, together with the coaches, together with the ownership, together with the players, the equipment staff, the training staff, I mean it felt like we were family.” - Jim Harbaugh on 1995 I don't think enough can be said about the effect of Harbaugh and that 1995 team had on the Colts. He gave us our first source of pride in the Colts and set the tone for the franchise to not be the laughingstock of the league. He paved the way for the decades of excellence that came after. Harbaugh will never be a HoF QB, but his effect on the Colts is severely underrated. For more details on the 1995 Cinderella season, read this IndyStar article: https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2016/01/21/1995-indianapolis-colts-jim-harbaugh-aaron-bailey-afc-championship-game-ted-marchibroda/78291676/
After a serious neck injury to franchise stalwart Peyton Manning, the Colts went from perennial playoff contender to nearly winless in 2011. It was unknown if Manning would ever be the same QB again, so the Colts opted to release their most valuable player and use their #1 pick in 2012 on a QB. There was some debate on possibly drafting the Heisman winner out of Baylor, Robert Griffin III, but new GM Ryan Grigson made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Andrew Luck. Son of former Oilers QB Oliver Luck, Andrew Luck blossomed under head coach Jim Harbaugh to revitalize the Stanford football program while also graduating with a bachelor's degree in architectural design. Luck was hailed by nearly every scout as a can't miss prospect, having nearly every physical tool you want from a QB along with a clear handle on the mental and intangible aspects of the game.
Expectations for Luck were high going into 2012, but not so for the team overall. Many experts put the Colts at or near the bottom of all power rankings. Not only had the team lost Peyton Manning that year, but also many key pieces from the Manning era such as Pierre Garçon, Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday, and Gary Brackett. To make matters worse, new head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia and missed weeks 5-16. However, despite all odds, Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 record. Interim Head Coach Bruce Arians proved to be a diamond in the rough by helping Luck turn a 2-14 team that lost multiple starters into a playoff team. Luck's stats weren't always pretty: 23 TDs, 18 INTs, 54.1% completion rate, and a 76.5 rating, but he could clearly make plays happen with an absurd 7 game winning drives. The miracles came to an end with a shellacking by the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs, but this season proved Luck would be no bust, he was a force to be reckoned with. Luck continued to grow in 2013 and 2014, improving in every category to crescendo in 2014 with a league-leading 40 TDs, 16 INTs, 61.7% completion rate, and a 96.5 rating. In 2013 he led the Colts to his first playoff victory in spectacular fashion. After being down 38-10 early in the 3rd quarter to the Alex Smith led Chiefs, Luck led a furious and unbelievable comeback 45-44 victory. Any Colts fan could tell you after seeing all the comeback victories Luck had led to never count him out, and he cemented that in this game. In 2014 Luck led the Colts past their old god of Peyton Manning in Denver in the divisional round, but were given a thorough ass-whooping in the AFC Championship by the soon-to-be Super Bowl champions New England Patriots in what is now infamously known as the "Deflategate Game." Andrew Luck was a very physical player and was known to take many hits, sometimes making spectacular plays through those hits. However, that punishment started to pile up and wasn't helped by GM Ryan Grigson's poor draft classes and inability to build a competent offensive line to block for Luck. This culminated in the injury plagued 2015 and 2016 seasons. Luck only played 7 games in 2015 and severely regressed in every statistical category, clearly hampered by various injuries such as a lacerated kidney. Luck's stats improved in 2016, but the team did not as they finished 8-8, partially due to an astounding 7% sack of Luck. Either some of Luck's good fortune had finally run out or the team and culture built by GM Grigson had completely failed to support their superstar QB. Owner Jim Irsay bet on Luck and fired Grigson after 2016. Hopes were high heading into 2017, but unfortunately an unknown snowboarding accident aggravated a previous shoulder injury for Luck. News was very slow to come out, but fans were shocked to find out he would likely miss the entire season 8 days before week 1. New GM Chris Ballard made a quick trade for Jacoby Brissett, but fans were worried after 3 years of being hampered by injuries Luck may never be the same player. In 2018 we believed those doubts were proven wrong. Luck had an incredibly resurgent season, leading the new look Colts back into the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 10-6 record. Luck's numbers were back to form: 39 TDs, 15 INTs, and career bests of 67.3% completion rate and 98.7 rating. Fans were pleased to finally see Luck playing behind a solid offensive line that prevented which prevented him from being sacked for 5 weeks and giving him a career low 2.7% sack rate. Luck led the Colts to a Wild Card win over the Deshaun Watson's Texans, but were stopped in the cold in Arrowhead against Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs. However, hopes were high leading into 2019 that the structure given by GM Chris Ballard would protect Luck and allow him to lead us to our Super Bowl. Sadly that did not work out as Luck appeared to have a calf injury leading up to the 2019 season. Fans held out hope he would be ready to go for the start of the season, but after the years of rehabbing Luck had finally had enough. 2 weeks before the season opener during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears it was leaked that Luck planned to retire. Fortunately his backup Jacoby Brissett was put in a better position to take his place as opposed to 2017, but the sudden and unexplained retirement of their franchise QB right before the season led to some fans to boo Luck as he left the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the last time.
Andrew Luck will forever be one of the greatest "what if?" stories in American sports history. Unlike many "what if?" stories, we got to see what we could have had with Luck. What the Colts had in Luck from 2012-14 along with 2018 was nothing short of incredible and it was clear he was improving to potentially become one of the greatest QBs in NFL history. Instead he's a tragic story where fans will forever be left to wonder what could have been with Andrew Luck. Would Luck have brought the Colts back to the Super Bowl if he he didn't play the majority of his career under the poor management of GM Ryan Grigson and HC Chuck Pagano? All we do know is that his sack rate under Grigson was 5.5%, and in one year on GM Chris Ballard's team it was 2.7%, coincidentally also one of his best statistical seasons. Peyton Manning's sack rate for his career? Tied for the NFL record with Dan Marino at 3.13%. Maybe if Luck had been better protected and coached better to avoid hits he could have made it up there with Manning, but as fans he'll forever be a "what if?" Luck seems like a smart and content man who's just starting a family, so I doubt he will ever return for any team. Even if he did we'll forever be robbed of what the best version of Andrew Luck could have been. However, in his short time here, he delivered enough incredible moments to give us hope and make us love the team. I, along with hopefully many other fans, will forever love Andrew Luck for his time with the Colts and am grateful for a helluva run.
The Indianapolis Colts under Jim Harbaugh had finally established themselves as a legitimate team, but the Colts knew Harbaugh wasn't the long-term answer at QB. He was 35 going into the 1998 season and had just led the Colts to a 3-13 season, bad enough for the #1 overall pick. There was some debate about drafting Heisman finalist out of Washington, Ryan Leaf, but new GM Bill Polian made no doubt in the fact that he was drafting Peyton Manning. Leaf had some incredible athletic abilities, but there were some doubts raised about his ability to handle the mental aspects of the game. He also basically made the decision for the Colts when he skipped their draft interview, a passive-aggressive declaration he wouldn't play for the Colts. Peyton Manning, son of former Saints QB Archie Manning, was also a Heisman finalist out of Tennessee. No scout doubted Manning's ability to become a franchise QB in the NFL, but some wondered about his potential ceiling due to a complete lack of running ability and some arm strength concerns. However, he was clearly one of the most mature and mentally ready players to ever come out of college for any position. "I'll leave you with this thought. If you take me, I promise you we will win a championship. If you don't, I promise I'll come back and kick your ass" -Peyton Manning to Colts GM Bill Polian on the day before the 1998 draft
The 1998 Colts were still a pretty bad team overall, and the rookie Manning was not enough to overcome that. He had one of the best statistical rookie seasons ever: 3,739 yards, 26 TDs, 28 INTs, 6.5 Y/A, and a 56.7% completion rate, setting records for yards, TDs, and INTs (yards and TDs are currently held by Andrew Luck and Baker Mayfield respectively). However, the deficiencies of the team and Manning's record number of interceptions helped give the Colts a 3-13 record, including a week 5 win over Ryan Leaf's San Diego Chargers. Fortunately Manning helped lead one of the biggest turnarounds in NFL history in 1999, turning the 3-13 Colts in 1998 into the 13-3 Colts in 1999. People weren't exactly ready to give up on Manning after 1998, but 1999 was critical for showing Manning could improve and be at the helm of a winning team. Partially this was helped by sending Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to St. Louis in exchange for the draft pick to select Hall of Fame RB Edgerrin James, who had a phenomenal rookie year. The Colts ended up losing to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs, who had just completed the Music City Miracle the week before and would come within an ass hair of winning the Super Bowl against the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams. Manning was up and down from 2000 to 2002, still posting good stats but missing the playoffs in 2001 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oSFYxDGKy8 ) and having first round exits in 2000 and 2002. Whispers started turning into legitimate arguments about how Peyton Manning was a good stats, dome team, regular season QB that just didn't have it in the playoffs. In 2003 Manning started his absurd streak of 12+ win seasons (7 years) and picked up his first MVP award, the first (and still only) Indy Colt to win it. He also got his first playoff wins in 2003, but was quickly put to shame in a 4 INT performance in the AFC Championship against the Patriots, now known by Colts fans as "The Ty Law Game." The 2004 season is well known by Colts fans for cementing Manning among the all time greats. Manning was white hot all year, throwing for 4,557 yards 49 TDs, 10 INTs, and a 121.1 rating while only getting sacked 13 times. The 49 TDs was a record, which has since been broken by Tom Brady and Manning again while a member of the Broncos. Manning won MVP for the 2nd year in a row, but once again disappointed in the playoffs with a 0 TD, 1 INT performance against the Patriots in the divisional round, losing 20-3. Those arguments of Manning's postseason jitters were starting to feel more and more like reality for Colts fans. They knew they had their franchise QB, but his inability to perform in the playoffs continued to be baffling. 2005 was supposed to be the season that changed all that. Manning's numbers came back to earth somewhat, but he still posted a very efficient performance (104.1 rating) for a much improved overall team. GM Bill Polian had proved his days building the "Four Falls over Buffalo" Bills dynasty was no fluke, he now had a team with the #2 scoring offense and the #2 scoring defense. This was the year to break the Manning postseason curse. Unfortunately in one of the most upsetting games of my life, the Colts could not break that curse against the Steelers in the divisional round. Manning played relatively well: 58% completion rate, 290 yards, and 1 TD with no INTs, but watching the game the Colts struggled to maintain momentum and get stops against the rookie Ben Roethlisberger. Despite the inconsistent play, the Colts still had a shot. Steelers HoF RB Jerome Bettis attempted to ice the game with a goal line carry, but fumbled for the first time all year. With the entire Steelers offense stuffing the line, Colts CB Nick Harper was free to pick up the ball with a nearly open field ahead of him. Normally Nick Harper is one of the faster players on the field, however, as every Colts fan knows, Harper had been stabbed in the leg by his wife in a "supposedly accidental" altercation the night before. This possibly allowed the falling down Ben Roethlisberger to catch Harper by his shoe strings, preventing the nearly sure thing TD by Harper to put the Colts ahead. Instead Manning led the Colts into basically chip shot field goal position for one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history (Mike "Idiot Kicker" Vanderjagt) to tie the game. We all know what happened next. It was a shocking loss to say the least, and it was hard to blame it all on Manning, but it still felt like there was some sort of mystical VooDoo curse hanging over Manning and our franchise. If the Colts couldn't win it all in 2005 it felt like they never would. 2006 wasn't looking like anything special compared to the past few seasons, especially considering the defense regressed from #2 in scoring in 2005 to #23 in 2006. Manning was still putting up great numbers, but those were starting to feel like an exercise in futility. Fortunately the Colts caught fire at the right time, with oft-injured All-Pro Safety Bob Sanders getting healthy towards the end of the season and the trade deadline addition of Buccaneers DT "Booger" McFarland. That momentum pushed them to an AFC Championship, where Manning would match up against the source of his ultimate playoff failures, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Fortunately, this time it was in the RCA Dome, not Foxborogh, MA. Manning and the Colts started off cold, being down 21-3 at one point after a Manning pick-6, but the Colts rallied behind some incredibly orchestrated drives by Manning to finally get the monkey off his back. On a last second drive, Manning drove the Colts down the field to put them ahead 38-34 with 1 minute to go. A Marlin Jackson interception of Tom Brady sealed it, Manning and the Colts were going to the Super Bowl for the first time in Indy history. Manning played well in the Super Bowl, winning the MVP against the league-best Chicago Bears defense. Manning continued his solid play in 2007 and 2008, including his 3rd MVP in 2008. Both seasons ended with heartbreaking first round playoff exits to the San Diego Chargers, 2008's being the "Sproles and Scifres Game." 2008 also showed the first signs of physical weakness from Manning, having a knee surgery before the season that led to a slow start for the Colts. That was not the case in 2009, as Manning led the Colts to start the season 14-0. In a decision that's still derided today, new head coach Jim Caldwell decided to effectively bench Manning along with many other starters rather than go for the perfect season to prevent any injuries. Many had seen the Patriots in 2007 nearly complete the perfect season, but fall in heartbreaking fashion in the Super Bowl against a less talented Giants team. Caldwell, like many others, decided that any rust from not playing for nearly a month was worth the decreased risk of injury to his stars. That decision nearly backfired in spectacular fashion as the Colts were behind the New York Jets (a team they effectively let into the playoffs by letting them win in week 16) in the AFC Championship game until Manning led a furious comeback. It all ended poorly in the Super Bowl however as Manning threw a pick-6 to Tracy Porter that still haunts my dreams to Tracy Porter, allowing the Colts to lose to Drew Brees and his stupid baby and the New Orleans Saints. 2010 was one of the first signs of weakness from Manning. He had apparently injured his neck on this play in 2006 ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gjdmww3vgM ) on a hit that would now be extremely illegal. Manning apparently aggravated that injury in the lead up to the 2010 season, and it showed in the stats as he had how lowest rating since 2002 (91.9). For most other QBs a rating of 91.9 is a pretty solid season but for Manning it was a massive fall. This led to a quick playoff exit to the Jets in the first round. In the lead up to the 2011 season, Manning had several surgeries to relieve the pain in his neck which led to him missing the entire season. It was unknown if he would ever be the same QB again, or even play again. Manning's absence showed how incredibly important he was to the franchise, the only major difference between the rosters in 2010 and 2011 is Manning, yet the Colts went 10-6 in 2010 and 2-14 in 2011. This poor record led to the Colts earning the #1 pick in the 2012 draft, which fueled their decision to release Manning and draft a QB in 2012 (Chandler Harnish...and Andrew Luck).
"Fellas, if 18 goes down, we're fucked, and we don't practice fucked." -Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore on why the backup QBs don't get more reps Nothing to me cements Peyton Manning's role in Indy as much as this quote. Even his first 5 years before he became an all-time great, that was still the best sustained stretch of QB play in Indy Colts history. Once he ascended to another level in 2003, it was clear we needed to put every egg we could find into his basket. Manning was the perfect franchise QB: a steady presence on and off the field, consistent delivery of either incredible numbers or game winning performances (usually both), and he made nearly everyone else on the team a better player. His drive and commitment to team victory made him the guy every franchise needs if they want to field a consistently great team. Peyton had somewhat of an authoritarian leadership style, my way or the highway, but you can do that when you show that you're willing and able to give every ounce of yourself to the team and deliver the kind of results that he can. I think some people are disappointed in the Manning Era considering how historically great his stats are but he was 1-1 in Super Bowls in 12 years here. Honestly I think that's not too far off for any all-time QB. Drew Brees is 1-0, Brett Favre is 1-1, Aaron Rodgers is 1-0, Fran Tarkenton is 0-3, Jim Kelly is 0-4, Dan Marino is 0-1, all of these guys are all-time great franchise QBs but it's not abnormal for them to only win 1 or lose several. There are some exceptions: Tom Brady (6-3), Joe Montana (4-0), Terry Bradshaw (4-0), and Troy Aikman (3-0), but honestly you could trade any of the former QBs for Terry Bradshaw and they would also probably be 4-0. There's lots of luck in every playing career, and some get luckier than others. The only season I'd say the Colts were "robbed" of a Super Bowl is 2005, otherwise I think Manning's Colts career went about as good as it could have. Honorable Mentions: Matt Hasselbeck (5-3 record, probably our best backup ever) and Dan Orlovsky (just for saving us from a completely defeated season). Dishonorable Mentions: Jeff George and Kerry Collins (being very bad at QB isn't very uncommon for Indy Colts QBs, but these guys were so bad and toxic they dragged down the abilities of everyone on the team and are actively hated by most fans)
Gambling or betting on things seems to be an extremely male-dominated behaviour, especially here in Australia (and we spend the most on gambling per capita worldwide). From a subjective level, almost every one of my male friends and colleagues gambles daily, and social conversations amongst friends often tend to steer towards what's going on in the horses/greyhounds/NRL betting/AFL betting/under-12 disabled Ukrainian volleyball if that's all that's left. Blokes will make bets with each other over things like the coin flip before a game, the exact time of kick off and if a racecaller will say a catchphrase during a race. I believe that part of the reason is that betting advertising has become part of our daily life here. TV ads, radio, print media, social media; literally everywhere you look. They've even managed to seamlessly entwine betting watching sport - every ad break or pre-game show there is a representative from one of the bookmakers showing live odds, tips and gambling strategy. They have TV pop-up ads showing live odds. They even have banner advertising that is cookie-generated so you literally can't escape being marketed to if you're online at all and have looked up a sports result that day. In recent years, gambling ads are now primarily for racing and sports betting rather than, as in the past, for lotteries. On the flip side, none of my female friends or colleagues have any interest in gambling. Quite a few follow sport here but never put any bets on or talk about gambling. Is this because sportsbetting marketing is extremely targeted towards the male demographic? Here in Australia we also spend the most on gambling advertising over all other countries in the world. Our major bookies (Sportsbet, Ladbrokes, Neds, BetEasy) have incredibly male-oriented advertising with TV ads that specifically target men from 18 to 40 - this is obviously their bread and butter market but why? Sports betting advertising often features men standing together, drinking and watching a sporting match. Have a look at some examples of this targeted advertising all showing the single male demographic. Is this due to the fact that sports in general are more popular with men, and this is the reason for the propensity to sports bet? What's going on here? Are men just genetically predisposed to being competitive? END NOTE: I am not referring to casino gambling. For some reason Casino gambling is a lot more gender equal.
I want to share something a friend posted that helps clarify what's going on in the US right now. The protests are not *just* about one isolated incident. This is about race. The issue goes far deeper than that and it can't be explained away that easily.
Yes, all the protesting going on now is about race, I know it’s painful for many of you to admit but it’s true. I’ve seen people scramble to attribute what’s going on to something, anything other than systemic and institutionalized racism but the sad truth we must face is that; as a group, Americans exist with as much implicit bias as ever. We all unconsciously attribute particular qualities to members of societal groups. Lucky for us, in many instances we can quantifiably measure implicit bias and the results of it.
1 in 1000 black males will die by police vs 39 in 100,000 white males.
Black people are 6 times more likely to go to prison for the same crimes as whites.
Blacks are almost twice as likely to be pulled over as whites, even though whites drive more on average.
Blacks are more likely to be searched following a stop and just by getting in a car, a black driver has about twice the odds of being pulled over, and about four times the odds of being searched.
Blacks are more likely to be searched despite the fact they’re less likely to be found with contraband as a result of those searches.
Black people are arrested for marijuana at eight times the rate of white people even though there are far fewer black people and both races use it at the same rate.
Black people comprise about 12.5 percent of drug users but 29 percent of arrests for drug crimes and 33 percent of those incarcerated.
Innocent black people are 3.5 times more likely than white people to be wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and 12 times more likely to be wrongfullly convicted of drug crimes. And this is in light of limited incomplete data on wrongful convictions. The rates would likely be more staggering with data that are more complete.
Once black children are in the criminal justice system they are 18 times more likely to be tried as adults then white children.
Black people make up 13% of the population and 40% of the prison population
When black people are convicted, they are 20% more likely to get prison time then white people and they typically see sentences that are 20% longer than white people.
Black women are three times more likely than white women to die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth due to negligence and not having their pain taken seriously by doctors. Many doctors truly believe the physiology of black people is different than that of whites which intensifies these problems.
So what causes all the above? Well Americans of all races view black people as fundamentally different than white people even though we all have the same human physiology and race is a social construct. Contemporary studies have revealed that: Blacks are seen by Americans as less innocent than whites and people generally. Americans adultify black children. Americans view black girls as less innocent and more mature for their age, from ages 5 to 14 which means they’re more likely to say that black girls, compared to white girls, need less nurturing, less protection, to be supported less, to be comforted less, are more independent, know more about adult topics, and know more about sex. This leads to stereotyping in which innocent mistakes by kids are treated as if they’re willful crimes by adults. Because of the above, black children are more likely to be diagnosed as having oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder rather than depression, anxiety, ADD, ptsd etc that white children with the same symptoms get diagnosed with. When Americans believe a man in a random image is black, they generally see the man as larger, more threatening, and potentially more harmful in an altercation than a white person. And they are more likely to say use of force is justified against the black men than a white men. Americans tend to associate black-sounding names like DeShawn and Jamal, with larger, more violent people than they do white-sounding names like Connor and Garrett even though the FBI has called the white supremacy terrorist threat the greatest threat of violence to the American people. The above helps explain why someone like Aaron Dean would have that much fear about the young women Atatiana Jefferson who was in her apartment playing video games when he murdered her. He saw a black person and that scared him. Moreover, White families hold 90% of the national wealth, black families hold 2.6% Blacks and Native Americans experience the highest poverty rates while whites experience the lowest poverty rates. Black families have a fraction of the wealth of white families, leaving them more economically insecure and with far fewer opportunities for economic mobility Black households have far less access to tax-advantaged forms of savings, due in part to a long history of employment discrimination and other discriminatory practices. A well-documented history of mortgage market discrimination means that blacks are significantly less likely to be homeowners than whites, which means they have less access to the savings and tax benefits that come with owning a home. Persistent labor market discrimination and segregation force blacks into fewer and less advantageous employment opportunities than their white counterparts. Blacks have less access to stable jobs, good wages, and retirement benefits at work Under the current tax code, families with higher incomes receive increased tax incentives associated with both housing and retirement savings. Because blacks tend to have lower incomes, they inevitably receive fewer tax benefits—even if they are homeowners or have retirement savings accounts. The bottom line is that persistent housing and labor market discrimination and segregation worsen the damaging cycle of wealth inequality. If we look at media, white is positioned as normal in most forms of every medium. If the cast has more blacks than whites it’s considered a black film or tv show. Disney won’t even let black ppl in its animated movies unless they’re animals because black bodies connote something to white people they don’t want in Disney movies. Most music, film, tv and books have to be approved by white editors and gate keepers before being released. The protests aren’t exclusively over the episodic instance of George Floyd or even just the systemic police violence against mostly black people. We’re tired of all the above being true yet having white people still gaslight us about it. It took less than an hour to gather these statistics from credible sources and each statistic for the most part can be summarized in a single sentence yet so many intelligent white people still claim racism isn’t an issue and they don’t see race, meaning of course they refuse to do anything about it. We’re tired of that. Having implicit bias is how we are conditioned to be. We saw representations of black people on tv, read about them in skewed reporting, heard rap music released on labels controlled and dominated by white voices and opinions and I bet for a lot of you white folks reading this, your families taught you in good faith that a certain kind of black person is bad. It’s not just a police problem, it’s a problem with how we are all conditioned to think. There is clearly a national problem in 2020 stemming from multidimensional wide spread deeply ingrained implicit biases. We all have implicit biases, you can have black friends and family members and have racist thoughts and actions. You can be black and have implicit bias against black ppl. It doesn’t mean we’re bad people, it means we’re humans brought up in a society where ideologies of whiteness are positioned as default and black is often depicted as wrong. Admitting that all this is true is one of the most patriotic things you can do today. This country was founded on racism, it’s embedded in our thinking, our culture and our actions. White people went from enslaving blacks for centuries to watching black people hang while enjoying picnic lunches and castrating young black males during lynchings and mutilations to rendering the lives of brown people systemically worse and more difficult than those of white people. If you’re truly patriotic, you love what you know this country can be more than what it currently is. The most patriotic people want what’s best for this country and know it can go in that direction if we all put in the work necessary to get it there. I love this country and the people in it and I know that when we admit our biases and that we all perceive race and the connotations behind it, we can have real discussions and implement systemic level meaningful changes. When this happens, we will move forward as a nation better and more successful than we ever have been. No more pretending we don’t see race because when we bottle it up these resentments build and black people are getting killed because of it. I’ve come to learn that the people who say race doesn’t matter to them or that they don’t see race tend to have the strongest opinions and beliefs about race and black people. To address this we have to talk about it. It's the only way. A lot of you have been posting “no lives matter” but I know you don’t believe that. You believe your significant others, families, friends and loved ones matter, you all do. I know it’s hard to admit for many of you but black lives do matter. If the phrase black lives matter offends you, you gotta look inside and ask why. I’m sure you’ve all heard the burning house analogy by now but here it is. We know that black people have been disproportionately killed, mutilated and injured by white people and white police officers throughout modern history. If only red houses on a block were on fire would you say all houses matter and use the firefighting resources to spray the water and anti fire powder on all the houses? No, you have to label and identify the houses that are in trouble to address the problem. This doesn’t mean other houses aren’t important, they just aren’t the ones burning. Just think about it on the most basic level, if it bothers you to say the lives of black people have value, you have some real deep level bigotry to process and that’s on you as an adult not on anybody else...but I’m not mad at you about it. Think about what kind of energy you want to be putting out there. Do you want to have the far corners of your subconscious hate a certain kind of black person because of how they dress, walk and talk? Do you want to have to look your grandkids in the face and say that you didn’t want to help fix all the problems in the statistics I listed at the beginning of this post? I don’t believe any of you think like that. It's gonna take work, the kind that takes years to go through and a lot of pain for everybody but we can do it as a nation, I know we can do better. But that’s just it, we have to do something, being silent on this or denying it affirms the power structures that ultimately hurt us all. Edit: Formatting and to clarify that I didn't write this, a friend did online and I felt it is worth sharing because it explains the issues in a very well written and easy to understand way. Not just for fellow Americans but for the foreigners who aren't understanding what's really happening.
Edit: long post and maybe not worth the read; feel free to scroll past the background info if you’d like - I’m still looking for some suggestions as to what it was I've always been drawn to Halloween. I absolutely love the time of year and look forward to it. I still do, but I have to share this, even though it happened a few years ago, I still think about it... I have no idea if this was a paranormal event or something else, but I'm still looking for answers. My friend and I had rented a townhouse and were attending the University across the road. It was the week of Halloween and I had some decorations up, nothing crazy though. Nothing outside because honestly it wasn't the best neighborhood and I didn't want anything vandalized, but I had put some orange lights around the windows on the inside, had a few skulls placed here and there, my favorite scary mask was on a lamp - so when the lamp was on, the red skin of the mask's face was really accentuated, plus I had some fake spider webs, etc. My roommate didn't care about Halloween at all. Didn't mind that I had decorations up or anything, but really wasn't "into it" like I was. We both knew we wouldn't get any trick-or-treaters' or anything like that where we lived, which she was mildly sad about because she liked to see the kids' costumes - she was very creative and loved to sew, create things from secondhand items, draw/ sketch/ paint, etc. She'd always made her own costumes with the help of her mom when she was younger (we basically grew up together) so she loved to see the kids who had made their own, or added a little flair to something to make it more unique. Anyways, I always have scary movies playing throughout October. Again, roommate doesn't care. She's not a fan but doesn't hate them. It's like a food you would eat if it was there, but wouldn't ever buy or prepare for yourself. After the reruns got a little boring I pulled up YouTube and typed "Halloween" or something vague like that and let it play through random videos one day. One of the videos had a YouTuber scaring his boyfriend by placing a mask on the outside of the window, so that when you drew the blinds this terrifying thing was looking in at you. The little suction cups that held it on were hands so at first it's definitely a jump-scare! Like a monster has his nasty little hands pressed against your window trying to peer inside. We both saw this prank in passing since we weren't really WATCHING it was more or less 'background noise' and I'm glad we did because we both had a good laugh about it and even decided to rewind it to watch the whole scene play out. They went outside and pulled it off the window to show the viewers what it looked like up close vs from the outside of a window. I thought about how I'd definitely do this to someone in the future! It wasn't Halloween when this happened, it was the night before. So the night of the 30th, I'm going to bed. I put on some scary movie in my room while I folded clothes and felt bad for myself because I didn't have any Halloween plans (boo hoo, I know). Even my roommate was out at a party. It was my fault I didn't have any plans though... I didn't plan a get-together or party, and I didn't look for any events either. The party my roommate went to was really far away. I didn't know the hosts at all. I was welcome to come, but I didn't. I'm weird about spending the night at strangers' places, and I didn't want to end up Ubering home, paying some ridiculous amount of money (because I knew I'd inevitably have some drinks, and I'm not the type to drink and drive). Oh well, I thought, maybe I'll hang out with my other friend tomorrow night who lives in a neighborhood that gets trick-or-treater's and help give out candy, and dress up a little bit. I lock up the house when I'm done with the clothes (and feeling sorry for myself, I know, boo-hoo). I go to my bedroom and turn off my big light, but I leave the orange lights up that are strung around the inside of my window. I always have my blinds down, because like I said it's not the safest area, but I do crack them during the day sometimes to at least let some natural light in. So I go over to close the blinds completely and THERE'S A MONSTER FACE STARING AT ME WITH IT'S NASTY LITTLE HANDS PRESSED TO MY WINDOW. I remember it vividly. It had green, wrinkled skin that looked 'moist' like it was slightly perspiring. It's nose was long, and obviously flexible because it was being bent down as it was pressing it's head heard against my window trying to see inside. It had big dark eyes that were slanted, dark gray in color, but no irises or defining features about them. Eyebrows were wispy, long and gray (like an evil wizard's or something). The nose was so long and thick that, because it's face was pressed against my window (hard), it covered most of the mouth. I could only see the corners of the mouth. The corners of the mouth weren't drawn up into some creepy smile or anything. It oddly made it even more scary. It looked like the mouth was just hanging open. Not like it's jaw was dislodged or anything, it wasn't gaping. I just imagine it was like an open rectangular mouth. There was what looked like steam on the window around where the mouth would be, and also around where the green little hands (that looked slimy and sticky) were pressed. The hands were really small in proportion to head, which was slightly larger than your average human head, but wider if that makes any sense. The "hands" looked the size of cat paws, but reminded me more of chubby tree-frog feet. No claws or anything that I saw. So I involuntarily jumped back and screamed. And then I felt stupid. Seriously? We had literally just watched this prank on YouTube and even replayed it. My roommate obviously did this, and was waiting for me to call her, bitch her out, and then both laugh about it. My phone was in my pocket and I went out to the living room still shook but feeling relieved. The adrenaline was still there so I wasn't going to fall back asleep anytime soon. I made a small mixed drink and was about to call my friend and bitch her out, but tell her how much I admired her Halloween spirit and how great she did creating it and making it look so realistic. It was so good! Then I got a better idea, I wouldn't call her. She'd be expecting me to call, probably giggling with anticipation. So I'd pull one on her and not give her the satisfaction. I sat down with my drink in the living room, turned the TV on for a bit and browsed social media. I fell asleep laying on the couch with the TV on, and my phone still in my hands. I woke up the next morning to my roommate coming home. She was obviously hungover and miserable. I sit up and I start making jokes like, "Hey do you want to order some tuna sandwiches?", because she was always nauseated when hungover. She started to get pissed so I said "I'm sorry.. but you kind of deserve to take some jokes yourself!". She looked confused. Then said her head was killing her and asked if I could get some medicine for her. I said "Yes of course I will, you know I'm just messing with you because of the creepy troll-looking thing. It was brilliant by the way. My red mask has always been my favorite *I gestured towards my mask I had on the lamp*, but in a way yours was scarier because it didn't seem like you were trying too hard to make it EVIL or SINISTER, just creepy." I kept rambling... " I bet you thought I hadn't seen it since I didn't call you freaking out. I did that on purpose because I just imagined you waiting for the phone call, putting me on speaker, and laughing about it. So, got you back, kinda! Anyways, it's really well-made from what I saw - super realistic! I didn't take it down yet, but if it's cool, I want to take it my friend's house tonight and try to scare her. I think I'm going to help give out candy since I've got nothing else planned. You'll have to show me what you used to make the 'steam' effect on the window by the way, that was the best." I start walking towards my room to get her some medicine and she says, "I seriously have no idea what the fuck you're talking about". I turned around and crossed my arms. I rolled my eyes and said, "Really? Seriously? I didn't think you'd have the energy to try to keep this prank going with you being this hungover and all. I am going to take a picture of it really quick while I'm in there grabbing the meds though, in case you won't let me borrow it"... I make my way into my room and grab the meds off my bathroom counter. I pull out my phone and open up the camera. I walk straight towards the window without even looking up, and pulled up the blinds completely for the best photo, but there was nothing there. I moved my phone away. There wasn't anything on my window. Shit. It must have fallen off. I hope it didn't get stolen. I didn't have a screen in my window so I opened it and looked down. Nothing. So it didn't fall off, it was removed and stolen. I sighed. I wanted to keep it. I don't know how long it took her to work on that thing, but I assumed it wasn't entirely easy. I mean, how do you make something that looks so real? It appeared to be perspiring, had a long ass nose that was bending with the pressure of being pressed on my window "to peer inside", yet STILL STUCK to the window with it's tiny, chubby, wet tree-frog hands. I went to close my window when I noticed the footprints in the clay. There was no 'backyard'.. just a small, gross, clay path that went behind the townhomes about 3 -4 feet wide at some points, and it just backed up to a hill that was too steep walk up. I expected to see my roommate's shoe footprints if anything. But all I saw were small, cat-pawed sized footprints that reminded me of what I imagine chubby tree-frog feet would look like. I stuck my head further out the window and along the backside of the townhomes there were random clay footprints on the ground, but also on the sides of the of vinyl siding. I believed her when she said it wasn't her. I showed her what I saw when I stuck my head out of the window. First she said, "I would never walk back there just to scare you, let alone make some crazy mask or something", and then she got a serious expression on her face, real concern, and said "...this is really creepy though, I don't like it. I thought you were actually going to try to scare me by fabricating some story and showing me this stuff... but there's no way you did this". We still have no idea what it was. I have never heard of a creature with green wrinkly skin, (unknown height), with a wide long nose, dark gray eyes, wispy eyebrows and the ability to essentially suction cup itself to buildings with weird, extremely difficult to describe, feet. The feet were so small in proportion to the head. I have no way of telling it if was standing or just 'suction cupped' to my window so I have no idea how tall it was. Has anyone ever heard of something like this?
My journey of getting to know SHINee (pt.1) - The SHINee World
Hello, it's me, the girl who made a post gushing about Key. Some of you said there will be no escape for me, so I'm not even trying to, but diving in head first. After months of thinking about it, I finally decided that I should explore Shinee a bit more, since I only knew Replay, View, Odd Eye and Everybody well before. The only reason that made me hesitant was Jonghyun and my fear of falling in love with him without a chance to ever appreciate him how he deserved it. But I thought to myself that I would rather get to know and love him -even if it might hurt- than never be able to experience this mans beauty and artistry. I just watched a little guide on them and am now ready to delve into their music. So this is my plan: I will listen to all their albums chronologically to get a sense of their roots and of their growth. I thought my fresh expercience and reaction to their songs might be interesting to some Shawols (or other people who still hesitate to get into Shinee) and that's why I'm posting this here. Just fyi, I don't know anything about music theory, so this will only be my personal opinion. I'm planning to make my reactions to each of their albums a seperate post, so I guess I'll be here for the long run. Each post will include the innitial reaction that I first had when listening to each song. I will then proceed with my thoughts of some live stages, probably the comeback stage as well as the b-side of each era and a newer performance of these songs (if I find them). Naturally I will include links of the stages I saw. Lastly I will deduce who -in my opinion- did the best in each era (and I will try to not be biased towards King Key). So anyone who reads this should be prepared for very long posts. Before I start with my album "review" of The SHINee World, I would like to ask any Shawols how I can get to know the members better. I'm happy about anything- you can recommend me guides or your favorite live stages as well! Give me anything or rather everything. And should I also do the same for their solo albums when the time comes? Now onto my reactions to the songs.
The SHINee World (Doo-Bop)
First listening: First of all, before listening, the title of this song reminded me of that song of this American boy (/kids) group that consisted of brothers (I'm not American, so I don't know who they are, I just heard a snippet of them on some German TV show once). So this song is nothing like I expected it to be! I thought it was going to be upbeat and happy-go-lucky, but no! I was greeted with some sick beats! And they are sooo the 2000s, I love it. This is something I would've listened to back then if I knew they existed (my 9 year old self liked Hip Hop movies back then). Jonghyuns vocals were a stand-out in the beginning. Later, I immediately noticed how they referenced a line of REPLAY, very interesting since both songs are such a contrast of each other. Onew and Jonghyun were so great, Jonghyuns bridge was chefs kiss. Also- now I know where that meme of Minho ("My name is Minho) comes from. God bless. 2. Love's Way First listening: So this is some kind of ballad, huh? Pretty singing from the get-go, but the beat is somehow throwing me off? Their voices and the melody of their voices are pure bliss though. Oh my god, the run that Onew did! Yes, that was my thought while hearing it. This is a very chill song. The raps contribute to this vibe. Oh, I love the part after the raps. And then they ruined it with the robotic voice processing and then they saved it again. This is a roller coaster ride. They brought the robots back... please stop. 3. Love Like Oxygen First listening: I already know that I will like this, the beat is exactly my style. I like how powerful their voices sound in this one after their softer voices before. It gives me the feeling that there is actually a reasoning behind the order of songs, like the album is really meant to be heard in one sitting. I really like the instruments they use in the chorus and once again their voices build the melody, not the backtrack. I love how the bass is their base for this song. Until now, it's definately my favorite until now! MV: I didn't know this had a MV, so let's see! The choreography with the chairs is pretty neat! It's not very common anymore (right?), but some other groups back then did it as well if I'm not wrong. The dance definitely made the song even better to me! I can't say much about the MV itself, since it's mostly dancing and close-up shots. But this is really a song to groove to imo. Newer performance: Oh, the suits! End me! Wow, Taemins visuals are shocking me this time! How could I not notice in all this time? Btw- I would let Jonghyun fire me any day. I'm not kidding. And they finally let me see Onews hair, he looks so good! They all exude this sexy energy now... How? AND WHY DID TAEMIN SMILE THE WAY HE DID AT THE END?! Don't test me! 4. Romantic First listening: Ugh, please... don't be cheesy, And again... The adlibs saved my impression of the first beats. Now I actually like it, the guitar is nice. Now it's not cheesy anymore, just a pretty song. I would love if a guy would play this for me. The guitar makes me feels this way. Onews voice is really shining again (if it's really him). Jonghyuns adlibs are my new life fuel as well. I really like the contrast that Keys deeper and nasally voice has, it's very different from the genius main vocals. Romantic might have replaced Love Like Oxygen as my favorite song for now. I think I'll return to this song in the evenings when I get ready to go to sleep. It's relaxed, but still fun. I just enjoyed the rest of the song, so there is not much to say anymore... 5. One For Me First listening: A chill song again, I like it. This song really gives me nostalgia of the boygroups back then, even if I don't remember too much. Their soft "hah" is really nice, it adds to this relaxed atmosphere... she said while one of the main vocals spat powerful adlips. On another hand, it's a guitar beat again... and I like it... again. The adlibs are on point again, or rather like always. Nice to listen to, but I still kinda like Romantic better. But this is only my first listening, things might change. 6. Graze First listening: Another chill song with a guitar beat. This is pure bliss, why are they doing this to me? They are starting of with beautiful singing once again. End me please. This time the raps don't feel as forced anymore as well. Jonghyuns and Keys harmony is great! I love me some harmonies! The raps aren't as forced in this song anymore, but I like the singing better, sorry Minho, sorry King Key. Their singing is god tier. 7. Last Gift First listening: And now a piano beat... How did they know?! I love these... While listening to this song, I remembered the intro. Funny how the rest of the album is mostly chill and vocals based until now. I won't lie, I'm not a big sucker for ballad, so I don't think I will place this one in my regular playlist, maybe in the "I'm depressed" one. I don't think I have to mention their vocals again. But Onews pretty vocal color still catches me off guard sometimes. 8. Best Place First listening: This is totally a vibe song to chill to... again. Oh, I like the melodies they create with their voices. I guess this is a SHINee thing, I already like this song a lot better than Last Gift (like I said, I don't really like ballads in the beginning, they have to grow on me). The playful piano is right up my ally as well. I actually like the little raps in the background as well! This song also gives me those nostalgic vibes of the time back then... It's a nice and relaxing feeling. Now in the end, it kind of feels like acapella because of the voices that over-layer each other. 9. Y Si Fuera Ella First listening: Okay, I take back my statement about ballads. This one has taken my soul already. Everything is pretty. I love pianos, I love the voice (is it only Jonghyun?). For some reason it reminds me of the Ballads in Mamma Mia. This is totally my style. It's kind of dramatic as well. Y Si Fuera Ella really has that musical feeling. Wow, I'm blown away. I can totally imagine the lead role running up a hill in distress or something. And now after being dramatic, it returns to this homely melody. Yes. I really get those Mamma Mia vibes. I guess I will be the only one though. Also- this reminds me of sitting in my grandparents' kitchen for some reason... sometimes the songs their radio played had a similar feel. I think I am already attached to this song, because it reminds me of so much of my childhood. So great! Y Si Fuera Ella is now my favorite song of this album. Live Performance: I'm blown away. He just fills up the stage while just standing and singing there. Why am I even saying "just"? He just cast some kind of spell on me. Wait- he dropped on his knees! Dramatic screaming? Wait, He was shot?! I told you! This song is for a musical, his acting is insane! I can just say... this is what you call a legendary performance... 10. Four Seasons First listening: To be honest, I don't expect much after Y Si Fuera Ella. The vocals are really nice again and this song is like a break from the emotional roller coaster of the mentioned ballad. I actually don't have much of an opinion of this song... It exists. For me it's the most forgetable until now. But I can't expect to love every of their songs. It's also their debut album, sooo... 11. In My Room First listening: It seems like this is another ballad. I at first thought it was a solo for Onew, but then Key appeared. I am kind of confused, but it's okay. Once again, I'm not a ballad person, but I can enjoy some good violins and voices. Probably another song for my sad playlist. The last line was soooo good. Other than that, I don't have much to say again... 12. Replay Actually not my first listening: I have been waiting for this! I absolutely love Replay! A bop! It makes me so happy, because it's so fun. I was actually introduced to this song by TXTs performance of it and Replay immediately caught my attention. I checked out the original and loved it even more. I don't know why I like it so much, but I can say: Those powerful voices, once again! Yes please! The song structure is so much fun as well! It's not repetetive but catchy and that's hard. Definitely the best debut song I ever heard! After listening to an album of mostly chill songs, it was so refreshing! Replay is song of the century (SOC), thank you. MV: I won't say much about the MV either, because I already saw many parts of it, but this is the first time seeing it as a whole. First of all- cute. Second of all- Taemin dancing after the girl... funny. This is meme-worthy stuff. That's some Michael Jackson shit, my boy. So I guess they are all after the same girl... adults and a literal 14yo. I could laugh, but I won't. Because it's 11pm over here. Oh and now they are dancing with hearound her... wholesome. That's my take on this lol Live performance: So this is their debut stage - I'm excited! Omg, the introduction has me wheezing! The voice, The English! Oh, they all look so young and cute! I love the dance as well (at least what I saw until now). Taemins smile melts my heart, such a baby. So they did live vocals back then, I dig it. The outfits are kinda cringy, but still okay. Except Onews fedora, burn it before he tips it. This stage is very different from debut stages today... I kinda like it better. Now everything has to start of epic, so I really love this fresh feel of their Replay debut stage. They all look really happy to be there, it's so cute. Also- Taemins face while he did his "solo dance"... It screamed "I'm a prince and I know". Newer performance: Aw, the throwback to their debut stage is so wholesome! Okay, how can I like this live version better than the original even in the first 10 seconds? Ears, please explain yourselves! Their singing must've gotten a lot better, I don't know any better explanaition for this! I love the outfits! Taemins cap and hair, Jonghyun as a whole! Damn! But why do SMs stylists to put hats on Onew? I wanna see hair god dammit! Minho is a real snack, I can lie. I won't talk about Key, because of... reasons. The remix of the song is nice as well! All in all, this is such a nice stage! They seem to have a lot of fun and their vocals are on point as always! I bet this stage is really special to some of you guys! :) Oh no, Jonghyun was crying in the end :( The last lines... sooo beautiful when they sang along with their fans. I'm soft. Now I will have to end my first journey into SHINee world, because I'm tired and overwhelmed. In conclusion I was surprised of the album itself. I thought it would be very different. In my thoughts it would've been a lot more of Pop like Replay, but I got chill songs and a masterpiece of a ballad! My personal top 3 songs until now are: Replay, Y si fuera ella and Love Like Oxygen (Replay and Y si fuera ella are just god tier, while Love Like Oxygen is.... king tier?) Who caught my attention this era: Jonghyun. He is such a good vocalist, who sadly doesn't get mentioned as much as he should be when discussing top vocals. After that probably Taemin, he was just so cute. My bias: Still Key, but who knows what might happen... Thanks for bearing with me! Let me know any suggestions or criticism, your own reactions... anything! Bye~
I Read It So You Don't Have To: Secrets of the Southern Belle (by Phaedra Parks)
I hope the past few days have been restful and rejuvenating for you all, but -- as I'm sure you must have learned by this point -- the journey to personal betterment is an eternal endeavor. We haven't got a moment to waste, so let's bid adieu to the sunny serenity of the California coast and settle in down South with Real Housewives of Atlanta's Phaedra Parks, as she descends from her ivory porch swing and illuminates the esoteric in Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to Be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment. True to the title's descriptive and straightforward sentiments, Phaedra begins the book with a concise synthesis of the worldview she hopes to present:
I believe every woman should be a Southern Belle or minimally aspire to being more ladylike, charming, and intelligent, because we should all be treated well.
As she continues, we get our first glimpse of the deep well of compassion that underlies Phaedra's mission to improve the lives of those around her.
Honestly, I sometimes feel sorry for women of northern persuasion. There they are rushing around in their baggy, drab clothes, doing everything for themselves and looking like they just rolled out of bed. They don't seem to understand there's a better way.
Thankfully, I no longer have to count myself among that witless horde. I feel like, until this fateful moment, I have been living like one of those people from the black-and-white "before" footage of an infomercial -- haphazardly bumbling through the most menial of daily tasks with no way of knowing how much brighter my world could be. Phaedra has freed me from Plato's Cave, and I have no choice but to follow her instruction and strive to shape myself in her image. A true Southern Belle is known -- first and foremost -- for her fundamental kindness and compassion towards others, so it is only appropriate that the book's first section is succinctly titled, "Be Nice." However, even this simple directive has been trampled by the corrupting influence of the modern world. As Phaedra laments,
Unfortunately, as we see more migration from other parts of the world, we also see an increase of poor manners and rude behavior.
She elaborates, providing specific examples of the personal injuries incurred as a result of these unmannered interlopers.
I find it particularly odd in business, when the salespeople or tellers don't speak or thank you for your patronage. Don't they realize that without customers they would not have a job?
I, too, find it offensive when minimum-wage workers have the nerve to act like actual human beings rather than automatons at the mercy of my personal whims, and I appreciate that Phaedra is bold enough to ask the question that has undoubtedly been on the tip of our collective tongue. Yet somehow, she still remains humble enough to freely admit where she has room to learn; here, she lets the reader in on "something I've never quite understood about non-southerners:"
They're suspicious of basic southern warmth because they're worried it's insincere. But at the same time, they will tell you the most inappropriate things! They tell you stuff about their health that you don't want to know. They launch into crazy stories about their terrible childhoods and how misunderstood they are. They complain about what happened long ago, and they fret openly about the future. Then they tell you what they paid for things and you want to crawl under the table. Frankly, that's not very attractive.
What is attractive, then, you may ask? Effusive compliments, for one thing -- "I don't know why some people are so concerned with being sincere, when being nice is so much more effective." We also learn to "never contradict anyone, even if you know they are wrong." Phaedra illustrates this particular lesson with the following example:
If someone tells you that your taxes are due on April 30 instead of April 15, you look puzzled and say, "Goodness, I had no idea. Did they change the date?"
And what happens after that? Either the person says yes and you're forced to play along with whatever bizarre delusion and/or power-play your companion is currently indulging, or they say no and you say -- what? "Right, of course, I knew that the whole time!" Or, "Gotcha! It's April 15th, you incompetent fraud!" Or maybe, "I don't even know what taxes are -- money is for menfolk!" I just can't imagine any of those scenarios playing out with less discomfort than a simple correction, but after four years living in New England, I can only assume that's just northern negativity clouding my vision. We are next presented with a list of "compliments that come in handy," a few of which I've transcribed below for immediate incorporation into your own phrasal repertoire.
What an interesting way to think about it. (Good for a point on which you disagree with someone.)
You thought of every little detail; I love a meticulous lady!
Wow! That is so original. I would never have put it together like that. (In this South this might mean, "I hate it," but in a polite way.)
Boss Babe is out -- Meticulous Lady is in! Phaedra reminds us to keep health concerns -- "especially female issues" -- far from polite conversation, then shifts gears to a much-needed lesson in verbal comportment. It's not just their "attractive regional accents" that distinguish Southern Belles from their less-attractive northern counterparts; they also devote great attention to evoking grace through their cadence and tone.
Sometimes northern women can sound awfully abrupt. It's just a habit they have, poor things.
If you'd like to take your place amongst esteemed gentility, however, I urge you to change your ways! For one thing, when speaking, "slip in something affectionate so that a very harsh reality doesn't come across as rude or abrupt." For example, see how much unpleasant confrontation is avoided with the following turn of phrase:
Darling, don't you know you're too smart and pretty to be the town drunk?
Silly girl, haven't you heard? Addiction is for ugly people! You should also feel free to use these compliments liberally throughout conversation -- "You don't have to mean it, you know." As an example:
If you can tell that someone has put a lot of effort into a particular aspect of her outfit, just draw attention to it. Sparkly stars-and-stripes high heels could be terribly tacky, but you bet they're supposed to be noticed, so go ahead and do it. "Those are certainly patriotic shoes!"
Let me take a crack at it -- This book certainly has a lot of words in it! Writing a book is such an impressive achievement -- I'm sure it feels so rewarding to finally see it In print! And I love the way you occasionally use infinity signs as bullet points -- it's so evocative! I think I'm getting the hang of this! "Another southern difference?" As Phaedra informs us, "we try not to make direct requests. It just sounds so forward and frankly unpleasant if someone comes right out and says what they want from you." Phaedra's Starbucks barista must really despise her -- If it isn't too much trouble, could I bother you for something to drink? No, anything's fine -- I wouldn't want to impose. Almost like a modern-day Rosetta Stone, the next passage introduces us to the nuanced connotations that pervade a true Belle's vocabulary. For example, Phaedra tells the reader that "if I tell someone 'Goodness, you must have spent all day on your hair. I am so impressed!' it really means I hate it." Before I manage to convey how impressed I am by the book before me, I read on to learn that "when you're discussing a homely girl, you generally say, 'She's so smart!' The general thought is you can't be both ugly and dumb. God wouldn't be that cruel." Please excuse me while I take a few hours to re-analyze every compliment I've ever been given in my entire life. Now that that's done, here are a few more translations to help you decipher the Belles in your life.
Belle-Speak: She's a nurse-in-training. Unvarnished Truth: She dates only old men.
Belle-Speak: She's a butter face. Unvarnished Truth: Everything looks good but her face.
Belle-Speak: Hope he's got money. Unvarnished Truth: He's unattractive and pays for affection.
The second one is not even really a euphemism so much as Phaedra trying to demonstrate her knowledge of hip modern slang, but I digress. We transition into advice for conversation starters -- "don't throw them complicated or controversial subjects like politics, animal rights, or local zoning." Truly, I can't tell you how many times I've been approached at a party with an opener about municipal ordinances, and it just kills the mood like nothing else. Worried about how you'll ever find something to talk about under these restrictions?
Don't worry about sounding interesting. "Interesting" is an overrated notion. Just fill the empty air.
That…explains a lot, actually. Our next lesson is in reference to dinner parties -- "don't make a fuss, unless you're complimenting the cook." In case you're confused as to how this guidance should be interpreted, Phaedra clarifies with some examples -- "'Is there meat in here? I'm a vegetarian' is the wrong kind of fuss." Since I typically ask this question while flailing my arms wildly and making intermittent whooping noises, I completely understand how it could be disruptive amongst refined company. Although I'm starting to get a bit nervous that I won't be able to keep track of these seemingly countless rules, Phaedra's next assurance puts my mind at ease: "If all else fails, remember the secret weapon of the Southern Belle is delicate helplessness." In the next passage, we learn that, "if there's any characteristic that defines a Southern Belle, it's her habit of firing off little notes on any occasion." Just as with verbal compliments, these notes require little to no basis in factual reality -- "obviously it's perfectly all right to exaggerate." But while truthfulness is more or less dispensable, your choice of writing implement could have grave repercussions. As Phaedra exhorts, "Never, ever write a letter in pencil. You might as well not bother at all." Within the realm of pens, however, "blue and black are perfectly acceptable, even if they do lack panache." We return once again to the topic of appropriate subjects for conversation, and are cautioned against asking anyone their age. Of course, wild speculation is encouraged, "as long as you're out of earshot." In the next tip, Phaedra declares: "Don't discuss the cost of anything. Any discussion of cost is just in poor taste." I just can't help picture how much of a nightmare this woman must be at a fast-food drive-through. Our final instruction?
Don't discuss hair color. Men always pretend they don't dye their hair, so you just have to go with it.
At first glance, this seems reasonable enough, especially in the context of the social graces espoused by the book so far. However, Phaedra's attempt at further explanation quickly begins to careen off-course.
For women, it's a little bit more complicated because you have the question of whether the drapes match the carpet, so to speak. And I do know some who dye the carpet to match -- that was the big thing in high school. Now with all this weird waxing, you don't have to do as much dyeing, but that's another thing you don't talk about either!
Let's see if I've got this straight: I should always believe a man about his purported hair color no matter what, but if a woman tries to lie about hers, she'll get caught…because I will inevitably be forced to confront the realities of her pubic hair? An intimate partner, sure, but I just can't imagine this situation arises with enough frequency to merit even the few lines its given in this text. And honestly, at this point, I don't even think I want to know what Phaedra means by "weird waxing." This section of the book concludes with a final catalog of "the 'She did what?' mistakes." The list starts off strong with "wearing white to another woman's wedding." However, by the time we end on the most unimaginable of atrocities -- "drinking beer from a bottle" -- I'm beginning to wonder if this list was actually supposed to have been titled "things the sexy homewrecker does in a bro-country music video." The following section is titled, "Work Hard," and I am immediately inspired to do exactly so by the implicit challenge thrown down in Phaedra's opening lines, in which she coquettishly asks, "Who always delivers a presentation on time, with the printed materials perfectly written and proofread?" I'm usually quite good at taming my most pedantic impulses, but contrarian passions I never knew I had are foaming at the mouth to find an upcoming typo and self-righteously call her bluff. Although perhaps I should find a more feminine way to phrase that; as Phaedra cautions, "we don't like to think of ourselves as driven, because that sounds so neurotic and unpleasant." We next learn that "you cannot be a Southern Belle unless you understand what it is to be ladylike." But unfortunately, it is all too easy to be caught up in the ways of the world and lose sight of this primary calling.
A lot of women today enjoy being the feisty, brassy, foul-mouthed kind of gal who drinks with men and shows a lot of flesh. They think it's cool.
Phaedra continues and reflects that, "I've heard the argument that this is progress, from the feminist point of view, but I don't necessarily agree." I can never remember -- which wave of feminism was the one with all the feisty gals? But clearly, their agenda has gone too far! How, in contrast, does a delicate Southern Belle behave?
She looks as if she's heard of sex, probably has had sex, but has no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings.
I'm not sure exactly how to convey this highly specific sentiment in any other way than purchasing a t-shirt custom-printed with the phrase, "I have heard of sex, have probably had sex, but have no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings," so I hope that approach will suffice for now. Phaedra follows up by cautioning us that,
A lady never puts in the shop window what isn't for sale.
Personally, I like to think of myself as more of a museum than a gift shop, but to each their own! We next learn more about the delicate balance a Southern Belle must achieve in order to maintain her esteemed position. For example, while "she doesn't cuss and doesn't talk dirty," frigidity is similarly unbecoming -- "if somebody tells a good dirty joke in her vicinity, she'll laugh." I'm barely a third of the way through this book, and I'm already exhausted at the prospect of having to remember all of these hyper-specific edicts. It's no surprise that the Southern Belle has to remain consistently vigilant; as Phaedra intones, "coming from a Pentecostal family, I hate to see a woman down more than two drinks." It seems to me like the simplest way to avoid such emotional turmoil would be to simply refrain from compulsively tallying the beverage intake of strangers, but I soon learn there are far more perilous hazards lurking around every corner. Phaedra shares her personal strategy for avoiding the very implication of incivility in the following excerpt:
I don't ever go to the bar at a party; I think that just looks terrible. If I must have a glass of wine or crave a fruity adult libation, I'll ask a nearby man to procure it for me.
Sir! Procure me a fruity adult libation -- tout de suite! But I would hate to diminish the male gender by implying that they're only good for the acquisition of potables; no -- men can be leveraged in an increasingly broad array of day-to-day tasks. As Phaedra shares:
I have friends who have never in their lives pumped gas for their own cars. They will ask a complete stranger to do it for them. One of my besties from New Orleans will flag down a man, give him her credit card, and have him pump and pay for her gas.
Honestly, I can't help but wonder if this might actually be some kind of avantgarde performance art, in the tradition of Marina Abramović's Rhythm 0. Because the idea that this gambit has never gone horribly, horribly awry truly strains credulity. As I read on, however, I learn that my current train of thinking is sorely misguided.
Sometimes when I'm at a grocery store the fellow bagging the groceries will ask if he can take them out to my car. Why would you say no to this? But sometimes women do. And I look at them and sigh and think, "Poor thing. She has a lot to learn."
Thankfully for my personal development, the next chapter -- titled "A Crash Course in Being (Selectively) Helpless" promises exactly the sort of content that I so desperately need to understand. As Phaedra explains, a Southern Belle is "never intimidating, because some things she just can't do on her own." She goes on to offer concrete examples of how to incorporate this ethos into your life on beginner, intermediate, and expert levels.
Experts: assume help will arrive. Flat tire? Pull over to the curb, and don't sweat it. Can't figure out which wrench to buy at Home Depot? Or how to program your DVR? This is what former boyfriends and other gentlemen are for. Believe me, the age of chivalry is not dead.
Rent due? Don't sweat it -- a gallant gentleman likely already has a check in the mail. House burning to the ground around you? You should know a Belle doesn't walk down the hallway on her own two feet! Bear attack? I'm sure a male bear is just around the corner, ready to jump in and defend your honor! Without a hint of irony, we transition to Phaedra's advice for the workplace. We learn that the quintessential gentlewoman is savvy, competent, and always at the top of her game. For instance, at her workplace, "she figures out how to work the coffee machine and the copy machine." With that kind of go-getting attitude, the Southern Belle will be bound for the C-suite in no time! Provided, of course,
She never does that thing I hear of in the North sometimes of telling you how little she paid for something. Why would you brag about bargains?
I can't hear the phrase that thing I hear of in the North in anything other than the voice of Tinsley's mother, Dale. Except she would probably use it in reference to something like "giving compliments to your daughter" or "weight gain." Regardless, a more appropriate question at this juncture might be, "Are you sure this book was proofread quite as judiciously as you claimed?" As I scan the page, my eyes happen upon the line:
10 percent for tithing, if your religion encourages tithing, which mines [sic] does.
Of course, it would be entirely uncouth for me to brag about my typographical superiority in this context, so now seems as good a time as any to exercise some of my newly acquired techniques. Oh, Phaedra -- bless her heart! I suppose we can't all be detail-oriented, can we? It must be nice to be so casual and carefree when you express yourself! Without further ado, however, we move along to our next lesson -- "People don't know when you're hungry, because they can't hear your stomach growling, but they definitely know when you're homeless." To be honest, the more I think about this statement , the less sense it makes to me (people…can hear your stomach growling?). Luckily, with the jam-packed schedule of a Southern Belle, I simply don't have time to dwell on the issue for a moment longer! Our next tutorial? " If you have one fabulous pair of shoes, you will wear them to church. It is the very least you can do for Jesus." As we all know, Jesus loves sweet kicks, so he loves nothing more than to see you rock the newest styles when you drop by on Sunday. And besides -- the higher the heel, the closer to heaven! Phaedra summarizes the Southern Belle's can-do attitude with the line: "We all may not be sitting around big ugly Formica boardroom tables, but we get things done." As someone who has only ever attended meetings held around moderately sized tables, I find this to be a validating sentiment. When it comes to extracurricular pursuits, "beauty pageants are important." However, "as much as she loves performing, the Belle will not take to the stage: some of those theater people are just too peculiar, bless their hearts." Honestly, Phaedra and I come down on the same side on this one. But I will have to heartily disagree with her next passage -- with respect to traditions of stepping within Black Greek Life -- in which she states,
The traditionally white organizations don't have anything comparable.
Um, excuse me? Have you never seen this iconic video?! However, Phaedra does reassure us that she's far from ignorant in the ways of the world. As she states, "I have read about hookup culture and known a few easy women." Of course, easy men don't exist -- or at least, that's what I've read in all the most prominent textbooks regarding hookup culture. But don't mistake Phaedra's awareness for acceptance -- "that doesn't mean I like any of it." However, this sentiment is belied just a few paragraphs later, when our author recalls:
I offended the mother of one of my best friends once by booking some exotic entertainment at this friend's birthday party. My friend loved the anatomically exceptional dancer, but her mother was livid.
I'm sure that it was only your friend who loved the "anatomically exceptional" dancer, and I assume this must have been one of your aforementioned token "easy" friends, besides. A Southern Belle, in contrast, is interested in serious, long-term relationships. And for this purpose, "it would be much better to marry a young man that you can train. I have always said that I would rather be a babysitter than a geriatric nurse." Yet even these kinds of discrepancies seem trivial in comparison to the boundless passions of eternal love. As Phaedra shares,
I want Apollo and me to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary, so I try to overlook momentary annoyances.
That aged well. Bless her heart. We're soon treated to a cheeky list of "what her husband doesn't know," which echoes several key themes from earlier in the book -- most notably in its bizarre fixation with pubic grooming.
He doesn't know what her true hair color is, because the curtains always match the carpet.
He doesn't know how often she waxes, or exactly what waxing entails.
He doesn't know that she has her own credit card, her own savings account, and a safe-deposit box.
I've got to say, that last one hits just a little bit different with hindsight. Always timely, however, are Phaedra's views on the importance of the homemaking arts. In this evocative passage, she describes the primal horror of an encounter with a woman tainted by an unimaginable curse:
A nice lady from another part of the country recently confessed to me that she doesn't know how to do any crafts. In fact, she said, she gets all nervous and antsy in crafts stores, because they're so full of things she doesn't understand. I laughed like I thought she was joking, but really, I felt bad for her. Imagine not knowing how to make all those cute objects that brighten up lives in the South! I shudder to think what the inside of her house looks like!
With that fable still ringing in my ears, we transition to the next section of the book: "Look Pretty." Phaedra reflects, "I am always shocked when I leave the South and encounter the enormous number of women who don't seem to understand how their clothes should fit." Now feels like an appropriate time to draw attention to the book's back cover, in which an open-mouthed Phaedra swivels her torso in such a way as to create a bulging protuberance across one half of her chest. In awe of her commitment to inclusivity, I now realize this could only have been an intentional choice to make herself seem more approachable to us northern oafs, and for that I am eternally grateful. Phaedra goes on to inform us that, "personally, I prefer skirts and dresses over pants." However, although "high-waisted pants and pants with visible hem cuffs are quite elegant and ladylike," one should take care never to forget that "minimalism and menswear looks are just puzzling and not appealing to a Belle." I, too, must admit that I find menswear looks puzzling -- a girl? in boy clothes? I just can't make heads or tails of it! And this is far from the only contemporary fad that baffles the true Southern Belle. As Phaedra continues:
I've never understood the appeal of the natural look. It's so easy to improve your appearance; why wouldn't you take advantage of the many beauty aids available to you?
In a frankly unexpected dig against the ceramic arts, Phaedra notes that "unless you are a professional potter (and I don't think Southern Belles generally are), your nails need to be clean and filed." More generally, your physical proportions should remain mild and inobtrusive:
Ever since voluminous behinds became fashionable, I often see these lumpy, huge derrieres on women with legs as thin as a chicken's, and I think God would never put a rump roast on toothpicks, so why did you do that?
That's why I always caution my friends to pair their butt implants with a battery of leg implants, in order to really round out the overall contour of the body and mimic that structurally stable, God-given look. After all, as Phaedra quips: "'Knowledge is power' -- that's my motto." But this knowledge doesn’t come without a price; being as world-wise as Phaedra often requires direct confrontation with the atrocities of today's world. As she recounts, for example: "I was astonished to find out that not every woman possesses a lint roller." It's truly a tragedy to learn how the other half lives! We are next informed that, "you have to have your ears pierced, but only one hole in each ear." The consequences for an infraction of this critical edict are left unvoiced, from which I can only assume that they are swift and merciless. Any self-respecting Southern Belle has a taste for the finer things in life, and Phaedra is no exception. As she remarks:
I love diamonds; I'd have a diamond duvet if I could afford it.
Because I am less fiscally endowed, I have had to settle for stuffing my duvet with assorted Swarovski crystals, at least for the time being. However, I'm eager to upgrade -- I can only imagine that the extra hardness of the diamonds will add a satisfying acupuncture affect to my nighttime regimen! Phaedra moves on to fashion advice, and cautions the well-heeled Belle to remain conservative in her fashion choices. But don't worry -- there is a time and a place to let loose and express your more artistic side. Or, as Phaedra says, "something a little funky or ethnic may even be appropriate from time to time." To further illustrate this principle, she explains: "If I were going out West, for example, I might wear some turquoise bracelets." But some things are a bridge too far! Any woman with a modicum of dignity would know never to be caught dead in "polar fleece," "a naughty-nurse costume," or "footed pajamas." We are also encouraged to carry around a hand fan -- "the elegant way to stay cool" -- as well as a "small leather-bound notebook for jotting down inspirations." I lose my train of thought for a moment, caught up in a daydream about the ingenious wonderings that must be contained within Phaedra's hallowed journal. But I'm brought back to reality by a declaration of "what's not in my purse," beginning with the stern pronouncement: "any kind of contraband substance." Our pilgrimage to polite society continues with a comprehensive exploration of the monogram's social gravitas. As Phaedra intones, "I've even seen cars with a very discreet monogram on the driver's door." But with light must come darkness, and the next chapter bravely confronts an issue many others would fear to face: "Looking Like a Tramp" ("There, I came right out and said it," Phaedra breathlessly gasps below the harsh text of the passage's title). She gathers herself together and courageously reports, "some women look downright sleazy." Alas -- even more tragically -- couture catastrophes are not restricted to those of legal majority. Phaedra heroically pulls back the curtain on a nationwide epidemic of wardrobe misconduct being perpetrated against society's most vulnerable:
I saw a picture not long ago of some hippies or hipsters or whatever you call them from some remote city. The parents looked the way you'd expect them to look, a little bit bedraggled, but the worst thing was they had this adorable little baby all done up in a black onesie. And as far as I could tell, it wasn't even Halloween!
How to combat this terrifying trend? Phaedra offers words of wisdom: "Little Southern Belles always look sweet and appropriately girlish." Specifically, we are encouraged to incorporate design elements like "tasteful, conservative rickrack." By way of further explanation, she clarifies that, "what they don't do is dress like Lady Gaga in dresses made of butchers' best cuts of beef." I'm disappointed to learn that my idea for an Etsy store selling bespoke meat-based children's clothing might be a nonstarter, but I suppose I appreciate our author giving it to me straight. Another childcare commandment?
No costumes outside the house. Of course every little girl loves to play dress-up. But I truly dislike seeing Snow White or a fairy princess trailing along behind her mother at the Piggly Wiggly.
As she sits in her living room, most likely waiting for a man to come to her aid for some reason or another, Phaedra is struck by a sharp, blazing pain. As the flash of blinding torment subsides, she catches her breath and shakes her head wearily -- another costumed child has gone into a grocery store. Forgive their guardians, for they know not the harm their actions have caused to our author's delicate and genteel sensibilities. But it does us no good to dwell on the darker side of life! Rather, we'll move right along into the book's final section, "Have Fun." However, this does not seem to be exactly the same kind of "fun" colloquially mentioned in mainstream circles. Rather, the Southern Belle defines fun with the principle, "everybody needs to know that you made an effort." For example, "if you're pouring punch into paper cups for a gaggle of seven-year-olds, put a spring of mint in it." My previous experiences in the general vicinity of children lead me to believe that at least 75% of the seven-year-olds in this group would respond to this elegant enhancement by dumping the punch out on the ground because it has a gross plant in it. Maybe that's part of the fun? No analysis of Southern culture would be complete without a discussion of that most hallowed of pastimes -- college football. And although "only a really unusual woman watches football alone," it is imperative that a Southern Belle attend the social events associated with the on-season. What's more, she should take care to do with impeccable style. As Phaedra laments:
Sometimes I see pictures of women in store-bought football jerseys and I feel sorry. A store-bought jersey does nothing to flatter the feminine body.
As for the game itself, minimal understanding is required -- "Naturally a Belle knows how much men enjoy telling her things, so she isn't shy about asking questions." True to her generous spirit, however, Phaedra nevertheless provides a basic primer in the rudiments of the sport:
Basically each team is trying to get the ball through the tall H-shaped goalposts at the end of the field. […] The problem is that the ball can look awfully little from pretty much anywhere in the stands. There's no shame in watching the video replay to see what really just happened.
As a final tip, Phaedra suggests that "belles whose husbands have season tickets might even invest in matching linens and china." Our next unit of instruction concerns the arrival of a newborn bundle of joy; as we learn, "the birth of a baby is a big deal in a southern family." It's so interesting to learn all of these unique cultural details! I don't know if I've ever heard of another culture that places such importance on birth -- I'd love to get an anthropologist's take! There are also strict guidelines to which one must adhere regarding the naming of a debutante-in-training:
A Southern Belle's name: -- is obviously feminine. -- is two syllables or more (names like Ann or Joan seem abrupt, like so many Yankees). -- is a real name, not a geographic feature like Sierra. -- means something. Preferably something nice.
Once born and appropriately christened, children should be painstakingly shielded from the contaminating influences of the world at large. Phaedra explains that "pop culture is full of children behaving disrespectfully." Without the slightest suggestion of self-reflection, she goes on to declare that "besides, we think TV characters are basically tacky." Phaedra reiterates a few of the courtship commandments mentioned previously, most concisely in the adage, "Belles don't date losers." And, as any suitor worth his salt should know, "a date with a Belle is no time for a boy to experiment with 'alternative' clothes or grooming either." Instead, a Southern Gentleman takes care to keep his language clean from distasteful or offensive language -- "For instance, why say 'liquor' when you can say 'adult refreshment'?" As we near the end of the book, it seems only fitting that we take a few pages to cover the traditions and rituals associated with life coming to a close. Buttressed by her extensive knowledge of mortuary science, Phaedra instructs us:
Postmortem is no time to experiment with cosmetics. No one wants their sweet aunt Gertrude looking like some ashy Jezebel when she meets Jesus.
The passage concludes with the brassy observation, "we don't usually cremate in the South; we figure if we wanted to burn we'd just live recklessly and go to hell." Before the book closes in earnest, Phaedra shares a few of her special, meticulously developed recipes. The most evocative of her culinary optimizations is a recipe for sweet tea, in which she thoughtfully informs us, "sweetness can be personalized by adding more water or ice to the tea." The book's final pages contain an instrument designed to measure the effect of the preceding 252 pages on one's essential courtesies, charmingly titled "The Belle-O-Meter Quiz." As Phaedra explains:
So, ladies, how are you doing? I'm sure you've all been very attentive to my suggestions and are amazed by the results. You're probably totally used to a steady diet of compliments and flirtation and invitations. But here's a little quiz in case you feel the need to measure how far you've come.
If you'd like to take the full quiz, you can do so here. But if your busy Belle schedule doesn't permit you to devote that much time to something so self-indulgent, a few example questions are provided below:
Your routine greeting when you meet a new person is: a. A surly glare. b. "Hi." c. "Well, hello! How are you today?"
If your gentleman friend brought you a corsage to wear on a date you would: a. Put it in the refrigerator. Nobody wears corsages nowadays! b. Pin it to your coat collar and check your coat. c. Pin it in an unusual spot like your waist or behind your ear, after extracting one little blossom to put in his lapel.
The answer key informs us that answering mostly C's means that "you are a genuine Southern Belle." As Phaedra goes on to suggest, "maybe it's time to share your new skills with a friend and pass along this book. I hope it's been helpful to you." As a book hoarder of the highest order, I will have to skip that suggestion, but I am nevertheless thankful to move one step closer to self-actualization with the help of another Real Housewife. Until next time! Upcoming plans in comment below!
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