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PHIL STEELE: CAN YOU HEAR THE FOOTSTEPS...

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The giant in hand--that's what it means to carry Phil Steele's baffling and brilliant college football guide. For those in the know, it's crack on cheap paper, the bathroom reading keeping addicts on the john so long their feet fall asleep. For those who live with them, its arrival is akin to Dr. Rieux finding dead rats in the sewers in The Plague, a sign of desperate, hectic days to come.

Michael's got a peek at Phil's Top 25. From what we can tell, Phil's reaaaaally bullish on offense, and reeeallyy hard for Louisville this year. For those not familiar with Phil Steele, he combines crack statistical research with an inscrutable home grown ecosystem of endless acronyms, including VHT (Very Highly Touted), RZS (Red Zone Scoring), and TWCID (Tijuana Weekend Causing Immediate Divorce--sometimes Phil plants little Easter Egg Confessionals in there just to keep you guessing.) It's the best guide out there and wastes no time with "BEST LOOKING CHEERLEADERS" segments featuring glossy photos of women with their clothes on. (The EDSBS guide, when it eventually comes out, will follow the Garnett/Marbury rule for photo spreads: "all nude, but tastefully done. That's important. To be tasteful. Yeah.")

Oh, and Mike, just to satisfy your Braveheart fantasy:

"I have nothing. Men fight for me because if they do not, I throw them off my land and I starve their wives and children. Those men who bled the ground red at Falkirk fought for [Michael from Braves and Birds]. He fights for something that I never had. And I took it from him, when I betrayed him. I saw it in his face on the battlefield and it's tearing me apart."

Just remember who wins that battle and who ends up having the sadomasochistic fantasy death scene, right? We'll clarify our belief in momentum--sloppily stated on our part, btw--in a post tomorrow.


But they'll never take...MY INDULGENT CREEPY TORTURE SCENES!!!