Today is April 20th or in American date shorthand, 4/20. In some circles that date is synonymous with pot, weed, grass, dope, ganja, Mary Jane, chronic, bubonic chronic, sticky icky, broccoli, devil's lettuce, jazz cabbage, tree, herb, Maui-Wowie, kush, green crack, Houdini, and my personal favorite, reefer.
With cannabis recreationally legal in 16 states (add Virginia and New Mexico to the list this summer) & Washington, D.C. and anywhere from 65-70% of Americans supporting legalization (depending on your source), it seems like a matter of time until cannabis is federally legal in the United States (I'm not holding my breath).
Whether you recognize 4/20 as a holiday, it's just another day to puff that sweet, sweet cheeba, or you don't burn like Wade, there is no denying it's the most famous cannabis-related day on the calendar.
I don't want to be the Jeffrey Dahmer of vibes on this day of celebration, but it's important to remember how fucked up the history of "the war on drugs" and the reasoning behind cannabis' schedule one label are.
With more and more states legalizing, the legal cannabis industry raked in record high profits in 2020. You might have noticed countless restaurants and other companies running 4/20 promotions. I'm not sure how many of those actually care about restorative justice. We've seen how companies use Pride Month a cash grab. The same cannot be said for Ben and Jerry's. This was taken directly from their home page.
So what can you do? Well before grinding up some of that sweet left for your next bowl pack, bong rip, one-hitter, joint, blunt, spliff, gas mask, apple, or steam roller, please take 42 seconds to support the ACLU in telling Congress to support the MORE Act, which would deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and enact various criminal and social justice reforms related to cannabis, including the expungement of prior convictions (s/o Wiki). Hell, it's so easy to support that you can totally do it after indulging too ;)
CLICK HERE to add your name to the list. There's no reason (other than hate and white supremacy) that a plant that allows thousands if not millions of people to LEGALLY make a living/fortune can also keep thousands if not millions of people in jail, then ruin their chances at employment and productive life once they get out. We can do what's in our power to fight that evil. I highly suggest watching Grass is Greener on Netflix if you haven't already.
The American influence on European soccer is not exactly going Super well right now, but there's at least one Yank in football (futbol) who is doing things right, and that man's name is Ted Lasso.
Who is Ted Lasso? Well, in short, he's an American college football coach who now coaches soccer across the pond. What started out as a gimmick commercial to promote the Premier League on NBC in 2013 has turned into a full-fledged Apple TV series that premiered last August in a hybrid-streaming setting. The first three episodes came out at once, then only one new episode per week, like how people used to watch TV in the 1700s.
This clip from Late Night with Seth Meyers further goes into the development of the Ted Lasso character. Trauma Warning: Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde were still together when this interview took place.
If you only watched the first clip, you're probably thinking to yourself, "how many hacky football vs. futbol jokes can one show make?" and while it's a valid criticism, Ted Lasso is so much more than that. It's endearing AF. Ted Lasso is an upbeat, uplifting, heart-warming/breaking, hilarious show on Apple TV that just happens to be based around soccer. You will laugh and cry. It doesn't matter if you know what a kit, boots, or the pitch are or not. To use a tremendous 7th-grade word, Ted Lasso transcends football/futbol/soccer. Full disclosure: I have been a Sudeikis guy since he was going to Taco Town with Andy Samberg and Bill Hader, but this role may is the best thing he's ever done. It's my personal favorite new show from 2020.
Now, I totally understand if you haven't watched it yet because who actually has Apple TV? I only have a subscription because I got a free year with my iPhone. I think since I bought a Macbook last summer that it bleeds into a second free year. I'm not sure if I'm paying out of pocket yet, and unfortunately, there's no way to tell. Outside of The Morning Show and Ted Lasso I have no use for it. What I'm trying to say is with 93 different streaming services, I totally get if you haven't seen Ted Lasso season one yet, but we have ourselves a little 4/20 miracle today as news just came out that we're only three months and three days away from Season 2 of Ted Lasso!
Since I'm a hashtag good guy, I'm not going to spoil any of the plot except that the name of the club Ted manages is AFC Richmond. If you haven't watched yet, you've got three months and three days to catch up. If you're like me and can't wait for season two, hopefully, this teaser/trailer/industry buzzword holds you over like a nice pint of ale at ye local pub.
Unrelated but semi-related.
Song: Stonedman (Star Man Parody) 
Artist: Ole Dozo
This hit single premiered one year ago today!
Alex Smith is calling it a career after 16 years in the NFL with the 49ers, Chiefs, and Washington Football Team.
After leading the University of Utah to an undefeated season, highlighted by a BCS busting win in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, Alex Smith was the 1st overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft; becoming one half of an answer to the trivia question "Which college/university is the only one to produce the #1 pick in the NFL and NBA draft in the same calendar year?" with Andrew Bogut.
Of course, as the reigning Comeback Player of the Year, most articles today are going to be about how inspirational Alex Smith's comeback after a devastating injury that nearly cost him his right leg. There's no denying that. The E60 piece is a must-watch. I still can't believe he actually pulled it off and played professional football again. The dude's leg looked like a half-eaten chicken wing. What Alex was able to accomplish on the football field this season after what happened to him in November of 2018 is remarkable. His leadership and "game managing" helped WFT go from 2-7 to the playoffs. I wish he was able to play in the Football Team's playoff game.
But before becoming the Joe Theismann for millennial/Gen Z football fans, Alex Smith was one hell of a quarterback.
Along with John Elway, Fran Tarkenton, Donovan McNabb, and fellow class of 05er, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith is one of only five quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 35,000 passing and 2,500 rushing yards. In the seven career playoff starts, Smith threw 14 touchdown passes and only two interceptions.
It really was the tale of two careers for Alex. In today's era where we see teams give up on 1st rounders after only a year or two, he's the last of a dying breed. From 2005-2010 Alex Smith looked like a total bust, completing less than 60% of his passes while throwing more INTs than TDs and sporting a 19-31 record as a starter.
From 2011-2020 once he had consistent coaching (the 49ers had three different offensive coordinators Alex's first three seasons), Smith went 80-36-1 with 148 TD and only 86 interceptions (never reaching double-digit interceptions in a single season). In his career, Alex Smith lead teams went 99-67-1. With 199 career touchdown passes and 99 wins, I truly wish he was able to sprinkle in one more of each before hanging up his cleats for good.
There were rumors Urban Meyer wanted to bring Alex to Jacksonville to mentor Trevor Lawerence this season.
Now that his career is officially over, I think it's safe to say Alex had some all-time lousy luck. First, he went to an awful situation in San Fransisco and had to deal with the Rodgers comparisons like it's his fault the 49ers made the wrong decision. Then once the 9ers got good, Kyle Williams cost him and the rest of the 2011 squad a spot in the Super Bowl. The following year, Alex was playing the best football of his career when he got hurt and lost his job to Kaepernick. I still think the 49ers win that Super Bowl with Alex Smith, but it's easy to forget how electric Kap was when he first broke onto the scene.
Next, he gets shipped to Kansas City in 2013 and helps turn the Chiefs around after one of the darkest seasons they ever experienced. Then in the playoffs, his team lost a game where he threw 4 TD and held a 28 point lead in the 2nd half.
In 2016 the Chiefs lost to the Steelers at home after having a game-tying two-point conversion taken off the board following a questionable holding call. His final game (2017 Wild Card round) with the Chiefs saw Kansas City blow a 21-3 lead to the Tennessee Titans where Marcus Mariota threw a fucking touchdown to himself before they eventually went forward with Patrick Mahomes in 2018.
There's no denying picking Mahomes over Alex Smith was the right move for the Chiefs going forward, but I always felt bad for Alex for the situations he ended up in since his style of play wasn't as sexy. He had his best season in 2017 and got shipped to Washington with their God-awful field, and of course, we all know what happened there.
In 16 starts over three seasons with the Football Team, Alex went 11-5. He was a winner wherever he went and beloved by his teammates. The 2011 Saints-49ers Divisional Round game is still one of my favorite games of all-time; craziest final fourish minutes ever. If the 49ers end up winning the Super Bowl that season his touchdown run and game-winning pass are elevated even higher in NFL lore.
Congrats on a great career, Alex. I loved watching you play but am sooo happy you're calling it before what's left of your leg got destroyed even worse. *Switches back to third person POV* It looks like if he ever wants to coach, Andy Reid's got a spot for him.
It's fucking crazy that a RUNNING BACK from Smith's 2005 49er draft class is still technically active. Frank Gore needs to sign with the Patriots this year to complete his tour of the AFC East.
The Bengals New Uniforms Are Officially Out and I Might've Been a Little Harsh At First (But Not Really)
In March, when new Cincinnati Bengals uniforms leaked on Twitter, I wrote an informative blog about the history of their uniforms. Today their new look is official. For the first time since 2004, the Bengals have made wholesale changes to their unis.
They're not as bad as I initially thought. They're fine, somewhere between a 6.7 and 7.1 out of 10. They'll certainly cover the player's privates and shoulder pads. I don't hate them like I hate the new Falcons unis. A little minimalistic for me, but that's an excellent way for a cheap franchise to cut costs. I mean, they even used the Deion quote that I reference back in March but left out the most important part of Deion's Primetime message.
Simple doesn't always mean bad when it comes to uniforms. The Packers, Raiders, and Giants have simple uniforms, and those are widely considered upper echelon in the NFL uniform landscape. These are certainly an improvement from the Carson Palmer/Andy Dalton era uniforms, but IMO leave a little more desired. You can find tons of fan-made edits that blow these out of the water, but I'm going to use the exact same example from the previous blog for the sake of time.
Personally, when I see these jerseys, they scream Houston Texans, and I cannot get past it; major Texans vibes with "BENGALS" written across the chest and a similar shoulder concept. Plus, from 50 feet, the orange ones are carbon copies of the Bears orange tops.
That's my biggest problem. The Bengals aren't thinking for themselves, just like how Paul Brown "stole" his uniforms back from the Browns. You have the perfect opportunity to go all-in on a new look for the Joey B. era, and instead, you become the Chicago Texans. CREATE YOUR OWN PATH, Bengals!!!
Just because you're the only team to lose multiple playoff games to the Houston Texans doesn't mean you need to steal their lack of swag. Be you, Bengals! Have you been following the news recently? The Texans are the last NFL origination you should be copying in any aspect.
I know there are only so many possible designs and fonts, but when you have this opportunity to rebrand and shake that loser image that the Bengals have been cultivating historically, you gotta have a little more creativity and individuality than orange and black Texans jerseys.
I know those are both frowned upon in football, but the Bengals were long overdue for new threads, and with a (potential) franchise QB in Joe Burrow, it's the perfect time for a rebrand with a hot ass look. Again, the new Bengals uniforms are fine. Not as ugly as I first thought in March, but they definitely leave you wanting more. Side note: Are TV numbers a thing of the past? These don't have them, neither do the new Patriots, Chargers, or home Rams jerseys.
Song: Vacation (1982)
Artist: The Go-Go's
It's officially April Break for the boi! LFG
Just last night/this morning, I blogged about Chris "Mad Dog" Russo screaming into oblivion about Kevin Durant taking a night off for load management while dealing with multiple injuries. Today in why we should not assume things (even though I'm just as guilty) because you never know what people are truly dealing with, another Brooklyn Net, LaMarcus Aldridge, retired out of thin air after announcing he's been dealing with an irregular heartbeat.
LaMarcus has made his money, been a 7x All-Star and 5x All-NBA performer. At 35 years old, nearing the end of his career, the one thing missing from his resume was a ring. So when he signed with the Brooklyn Nets less than a month ago after his contract was bought out by the San Antonio Spurs, it seemed like a natural fit for a guy this late in his career. He had only appeared in five games with the Nets, his last on April 10th against the Lakers.
I mean, your heart breaks (maybe not the best metaphor here?) for LA. Nobody wants to see a career end like this, but it's a trillion times better than his heart giving out on the court. There's a tragic history of undetected heart-related deaths in basketball; Hank Gathers, Reggie Lewis, and Pistol Pete being the textbook examples. While I'm sure he wishes he could still play on this title contending team, you have to respect him for realizing that ball is not literally life. It's a tough call, but the right one, and I commend LaMarcus Aldridge for doing what was best for him and his family for the long haul. You could say he's blazing a trail for the rest of his life. I love that the Nets are keeping him on as an assistant coach (at least according to wiki). Are people debating whether or not he's a Hall of Famer yet because this is definitely the appropriate time!
Song: Crawling Kingsnake
Artist: The Black Keys
Album: Delta Kream (2021)
April 15th is not exactly one of the best days in human history. Of course, some positive advancements are associated with this date, like insulin becoming available to the general public (1923) and Jackie Robinson's breaking of the MLB color barrier (1947). Still, for the most part, when I think of this date, it's taxes, the Titanic, and terrorism.
Needless to say, but I'll it anyway; I was in for a pleasant surprise when I found out that the Black Keys are releasing a new album next month.
After going nearly five years between albums #8 and 9, The Black Keys 10th entitled Delta Kream, a collection of blues covers inspired by their Mississippi blues influences' works, comes out on May 14th. If this isn't your first DOL blog, you know how much I love cover songs, especially cross-genre covers. This is like cross-genre adjacent since the Keys are a blues-rock band, but after listening to their take on Crawling Kingsnake (not that I am familiar with the original), I cannot wait to hear the rest of this album. In my research, I learned they recorded this entire album in 10 hours after the end of the Let's Rock Tour. I love that they're paying homage to their inspirations. Someday at Barstool, I'll slam myself through a coffee table to pay tribute to Chris Farley.
Full disclosure, I, myself, was on the verge of having a DNP (rest) next to Ole Dozo on the April 14th blogging ledger.
Ya boi was in bed before 10:30, already logged into OnlyFans, with legitimate aspirations of falling asleep while it's still PM when I saw this clip and knew it was so good that it had to be blogged. Sometimes I just want to relax after work and not put the pressure of writing something I'm proud of when my creative juices are not flowing, especially with a whole week off to focus on DOL next week. I'm turning this into an unwanted emotional dumping but fuck it, we're here. Sometimes I have so much anxiety that I can't even decide what I want to write. Then it turns into me talking shit to myself in my head about how I'll never reach my dreams if I can't capitalize on potential creative time and that I need get fucking faster. I'll have the time and energy but just can't get my flat ass into something worth writing, and it manifests into more self-hate horraayyyy!! Then there's moments like this when I'm "like fuck a good night's sleep" go after your dreams, Dozie. This falls under the latter.
Reader, what you're about to listen to is a sports rant that rivals any I've ever heard in... let's call it essentially two decades of genuinely following professional sports. I just referenced Herman Edwards in a blog yesterday. "I'm a man! I'm 40! is excellent and always will be, even if that man is now 53 years old. Everybody and their grandmother can recall a stanza or two from "We're talkin 'bout practice."
After writing that entire paragraph, I just realize now those are all coaches or players at press conferences. This is a full-on radio meltdown, although I think it could certainly be filed away in the rant category as well. I have nothing but respect for the Dog. Chris "Mad Dog" Russo has been doing this for far longer than I have even been alive. We all know his voice and inflections are hysterical and make him, him. He's also, with all due respect,,, old and this rant is the apex of old man yells out clouds in the best possible way.
The old man yells at clouds trope is more overused on the internet than the @ key, but when you're literally dating yourself (1963-1979!!!!) and referencing guys who had to take fucking TRAINS, you might as well check yourself into the sports-take nursing home. You cannot compare this generation of athletes to guys who played when there weren't even 50 states. Load management has been around for at least a decade by now, Dog! Let it go.
Does he make some valid points? Sure. Players used to never take nights off, but look at what just happened to Jamal Murray. He tore his ACL playing late in a game that was basically over, and now the Nuggets' bleak title hopes are gone. It's tough because he's not factually incorrect. These guys are making tens of millions of dollars, but you gotta be smart with that much money invested in players. It's not like KD isn't banged up and hasn't dealt with some nasty injuries the last couple of years. Nets are in full championship or bust mode, and they didn't sign and trade for Kevin Durant for April games. He should be taking it easy like Glenn Frey. He just missed over a month, and it's all about being healthy for the playoff run.
It's so refreshing in such a horrible time to be alive that there's people **genuinely** getting this worked up about regular season basketball and teams making wise longterm decisions. Where are the Mad Dogs out there for things that actually matter, like stopping mass shootings? It just makes me happy to know there are people out there who actually care about minute shit like this. In a doom and gloom news/actual world, we need this. We're still midst a pandemic but do you think Mad Dog Russo cares? Why would he? John Havlicek ran eight miles every game, Bob Cousy's train was late in 1956 and they all still played. This rant gives me hope for better days. We're almost around the corner. Like Bob said, "every little thing is gonna be alright." Thank you Mad Dog for helping me remember that.
Song: Destroyer (2021)
Artist: Of Monsters and Men
Fun fact: I've seen Of Monsters and Men twice, May of 2015 at Lupos and June of 2016 opening for Florence and I just heard this for the first time minutes ago!