Warning: like all my running diaries, this one is kind of long.

It’s getting very cold in the Tampa Bay area. In fact, it’s so cold that tonight we may get lows in the high twenties. For those of you who may be drooling vegetables or are otherwise unfamiliar with the Fahrenheit system of temperature measurement, that means it’s gonna get below freezing here (this happens about once every five years or so on average). It also means that there is a chance, however slight, that we will see snow. So, whenever I get rare weather and a football game (even a crap game like the Pro Bowl) on the same day, I feel I owe it to you, dear readers, to once again don my Bill Simmons cap and document the day’s events. Please keep in mind that the last time Tampa had snow that actually stuck to the ground, the year was 1977, bell bottoms were in style, girls were easy and there were no cell phones (actually, I guess the existence of the cell phone is really the only thing that’s different now). Anyway, on to the day’s diary.

9:01 AM
I just emerged from the bedroom and met Amy in the kitchen of my apartment (whenever I leave my bedroom, I emerge. Just one of my things). She asked me if she could borrow a pair of my socks to put over her own socks. She’s wearing my thick cotton robe, a pair of pants and three shirts. In case you’re scoring at home: it’s 46 degrees outside and about 65 in the house. Clearly, this is going to be fun.

While the Weather Channel lady drones on about snow in Philadelphia (like that’s news), I get the bright idea to open up my sliding glass door and let the beautiful day in.

Opening the door caused Amy to scurry from the living room and into the bedroom before returning to the living room (in a fit of pride-induced weather strength) to close the door. My Grandpa, a farmer from Iowa, would be disgusted if he knew such behavior existed. Me, well, I’m kinda glad she closed the door. Fun is fun, but that shit’s cold.

I just went into the living room to see why the hell I was hearing the Spanish version of a Rugrats episode. Then, I remembered, I’m dating a Puerto Rican who likes cartoons. I think I’m gonna step outside and taste the coldness.

Outside, I saw three people walking dogs. The only one (besides me) in a short sleeve shirt was a little girl who got the bright idea to stuff her arms into her shirt for warmth. Of course, she still has to hold onto the leash of her little Rin-Tin-Tin looking mutt. I’d have let you know how that played out, but common sense and the deep, bone-chilling swamp cold that is a Tampa winter dictated that I go back inside, where I listen to Amy laughing at the Spanish version of a children’s cartoon. Read that paragraph again. I swear, that’s Florida right there.

With some cajoling, Amy changed it back to The Weather Channel, where one of the weather ladies described the northeastern weather as “blustery and blizzardy.” I miss the Spanish Rugrats.

Amy is now reading. She’s officially bored with the running diary. How are you holding up?

According to The Weather Channel guy, Hillsborough county is under a high wind advisory, a freeze watch, a high surf advisory and a freeze advisory. This begs the question: what’s the difference between a freeze watch and a freeze advisory? (Meanwhile, some town in Massachusetts has a foot of snow. Some people have it so easy.)

Why does the Weather Channel send the little correspondent girl out to walk around Providence, Rhode Island just to prove that there’s a foot of snow there? I mean, what am I supposed to think here? Yup, that’s snow.

Well, it’s officially a freeze warning. The weather girl just told us to bring all of our plants inside. If I had some plants, I guarantee you they’d be dead by now. And the upcoming freeze would have nothing to do with it. But I digress.

For the record, it will only be getting warmer until about 6 PM. And it probably won’t freeze until 4 AM. I would have been smart to write this tomorrow, but I have to work tomorrow, and doing a running diary from work is one of the things that my boss has explicitly stated I am not allowed to do (it’s actually number five, between drinking and public masturbation. Gotta have rules).

Amy is upset that I’m not in a nice, warm bed with her. She has elected to take a shower. The running diary has officially pissed her off. Fortunately for me, she has to work at noon.

I just changed the channel to ESPN where the Sports Reporters gave me a look at snow-covered Manhattan. Weather transcends everything. Wow, I need to stop drinking first thing in the morning.

The Sports Reporters is a very negative show. You know a show is negative when the host actually says, “Okay, let’s talk about something good, now.” I mean, shit. Is four separate guys on four separate soap boxes going off on negative tirades about sports really necessary? Answer: probably. I mean, I’m not changing the channel.

Ahh, Sports Center. Like an old friend of whom I only have fond memories.

Amy just announced that she will be going to work early, today. I don’t think it was the running diary, the Weather Channel, the ESPN, or the morning beer. But I’m sure the combination certainly influenced her. Whatever.

With the wind chill, it’s currently 40 degrees. I’m getting a sweater.

And Amy is out. If you’re scoring at home, she lasted one hour and fifty-two minutes. Quite frankly, I’m impressed.

10: 57
For the record, I’m on my third beer and thousandth word.

In honor of my own personal freedom, I am heading to the pub. I will be back to update this, soon. Maybe even before the Pro Bowl starts. To quote that one guy from that one movie, “This isn’t over. Not by a long shot.”

2:00 PM
Well, I’m back. I’ve chowed a couple slices, drank a few beers and returned home to prepare for the beauty that is the Pro Bowl. Naturally, no one’s coming over or anything. That’s part of the Pro Bowl’s charm. It’s like a fat chick with great football tickets: fun, but not really worth the trouble.

This is beer number seven. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t legally be allowed to type right now. I feel a nap coming on.

I just awoke in time to see Matt Hasselbeck win the quarterback’s challenge in the pregame gimmick show for the Pro Bowl. I know, I know. You don’t care. Time for some leftover pizza.

The NFL calls its forty yard dash competition at the Pro Bowl, “The Fastest Man Competition.” They used to call it “Unnecessary Forty Yard Dash to help Justify All-Expense-Paid Trips to Hawaii.” So the new name actually is a step up.

I think it’s funny that DeAngelo Hall needed instant replay to win The Fastest Man Competition. Clearly, the NFL needs officials. Not even good ones. Just living ones.

Part of me really hates hearing Chris Berman say, “Aloha.”

According to Weather Underground, it’s 45 degrees with the wind chill. Aloha means we’re shivering our asses off. Oh yeah, here’s a quote from Syracuse Tom (who was cooking earlier at The Local Pub): “Snow in New York is not news.” CNN begs to differ, T.

I think I’m gonna need a menu just to figure out who’s coaching where next year in the NFL. Stuart Scott just lost me (never a good sign). “No officer, I swear I’m sober. Had a nap and everything.”

I just witnessed a five minute segment entitled, “Is T.O. Worth the Trouble?” And you know what? I’m still not sure.

Is there a voiceover job Kiefer Sutherland won’t take?

Ahh, water. Mmmmm. Is there anything worse than a midafternoon hangover? Don’t answer that.

Chris Berman, Steve Young, Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin are predicting what will happen next year in the NFL. We haven’t even started the Pro Bowl yet and these guys are acting like they see the whole next season coming a mile away. Am I really supposed to believe that? Because I don’t.

I’d give anything for Berman to ask Irvin a question and have him respond, “Honestly, Boomer, I don’t really care. I’m just happy to be in Hawaii. Where my bitches at?” And if that could be followed by a whole slew of Hawaiian Tropic bikini models bringing him crack-rock on a silver platter, all the better.

I never thought I’d think this, but well, Steve Young needs to chill out.

Okay, I’ll ask. When Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin go out drinking, who picks up the tab? Do they split it? Do they arm wrestle for it? Where’s The NFL Network when you need them?

Match.com is now working with Doctor Phil. Do I really need to write jokes when stuff like this happens? I mean, that’s funny in and of itself, right?

I’ll bet every reporter in Hawaii right now feels like they’re getting away with something. They’re probably like, “Really? I get to spend a week in Hawaii? Really? To cover a game no one watches? Wow. Is it my birthday or something? Don’t answer that. I’ll see you at the luau.” That’s how I’d feel anyway.

Steve Young just said that, in the NFL, “there are a lot of running backs running around.” Brilliant, Steve. Someone just hand the man an Emmy right now. Why even vote?

Did you know that Shaun Alexander is a philanthropist? Seriously, he helps kids and stuff. Wow, that’s beautiful. I thought athletes spent all their time doing crack and stepping on old ladies. It’s good to know that some of them are human. (And yes, that’s sarcasm you smell. Asshole.)

I’m taking out the garbage now. And I’m comfortable in the knowledge that I can pause live TV. It’s a good thing, too. No one has chemistry like Andrea Kramer and Shaun Alexander. They’re like the Bosom Buddies of the NFL. And you think I’m joking.

Okay, so I’m joking.

It’s freaking cold! I mean exclamation-point-cold!

Again, it’s time for a beer. After all, I almost feel hydrated.

The Bengals’ wide receiver, Chad Johnson, is soliciting the help of 2003’s Miss Hawaiian Tropic to improve his end zone celebration dances. And you think I’m making this up.

I’m not making this up.

For some reason, whenever Berman goes through the list of memorable Pro Bowl moments, my eyes glaze over and I completely tune them out. Kind of like I do when my girlfriend goes on about “Battlestar Galactica.” And yes, my girl watches “Battlestar Galactica.” What can you do? We all have our quirks.

Who the hell let Theisman announce the Pro Bowl? Oh yeah, ESPN. To quote my buddy Peek, “I hate Theisman. He’s a lousy announcer and a total hater.”

I have just been informed that thirteen players are wearing microphones for this game, including all the quarterbacks. That’s right, all of them. If you’ve never heard a Peyton Manning audible, now’s the time to turn on your television. I, for one, can’t wait.

And I’m not joking.

6:04 PM
According to The Weather Channel, Tampa is now under a Wind Chill Advisory. I don’t know what that means, but it’s cold (42 with the wind chill).

And now, multi-platinum recording artist, JoJo (who is so smoking hot, I can’t believe I’ve never heard of her) will sing the National Anthem.

JoJo nailed the anthem. I mean, she did a hell of a job. She was so good, I think I saw Troy Polamalu using his long-ass hair to wipe a tear from his eye. Really, she was that moving.

Peyton Manning just called tails and won the coin toss. The man is Pro Bowl gold. If only every game was played in Hawaii, Manning would have won a Super Bowl by now. Oh, and kudos to Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, who tried to give a speech before flipping the coin, causing the fans to drown her out completely. Good stuff.

I’ve asked it before and I’m asking it now: how come the Pro Bowl never sells out? Is Hawaii that great that no one feels a need to go to the Pro Bowl? Actually, I think I just answered my own question. Just forget I’m even here.

No matter what these announcers tell me, no matter what stats they show me, and no matter how many times they say it, I refuse to believe that Manning/Harrison is better than Montana/Rice. There’s just no way.

And the rain starts to fall and ruin and otherwise beautiful Hawaii day. Hey, at least they don’t have to deal with freeze advisories. Lucky multi-millionaires (well, there’s a redundant statement, eh?).

AMC has Rambo: First Blood going up against the Pro Bowl. Houston, we have a dilemma.

Was Brian Dennehy ever thin?

I don’t care what anyone says. When your team has the starting punter in the Pro Bowl, well, it’s a bad sign. Just trust me. Oh, and speaking of bad signs, the NFC looks exceptionally weak in this game. Though to be fair, it is raining. Aloha means you’re a hungover athlete (I think it really does, too).

And Manning is intercepted. Wow, this game could be even worse than the Super Bowl. Let’s go to Weather Underground for an update.

41 degrees with the wind chill. Oh, the humanity.

I just got to hear Peyton Manning say “Goddamn”, “sticky balls” and “slick balls.” Could we mike him every game, please? What do I have to do to make this happen?

I’m sorry, but Shaun Alexander is just too freaking nice. To be a legendary running back in the NFL, you have to have a little O.J. in you. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

Not to be outdone by Manning, Hasselbeck just threw an interception to John Lynch, who once stepped on my shoe in Bar Tampa in the late nineties. And no, he didn’t apologize. Team player, my ass.

You know you’re getting older when every time you watch Rambo, you try to figure out just how much money that small town spent trying to get John Rambo. I mean, counting man hours, it has to be in the mid hundred thousand range, right?

And yes, this is the kind of stuff I think about. I’m lucky I can keep a job. I really am.

“I’m gonna get that son of a bitch. And when I do, I’m gonna pin that Congressional Medal of Honor to his liver.”

I mean, no one writes like that anymore. No one.

Amy just called. She’s coming over. We had the following conversation:

Amy: What are you doing?
Me: My running diary of the Pro Bowl.
Amy: Shit. Are you still doing that?

There ain’t nothing like a chick who loves your quirks. Not that I would know. But, that’s what I hear.

The AFC put up seven points while I was talking on the phone and watching Rambo. And you know what, I’m not even slightly bothered by that.

Amy walked in while talking on the phone and then handed me a DVD she just rented. Ahh, I think that was a hint.

My neighbor, who just insulted the Buccaneers for the fifty sixth time in three weeks, brought his girlfriend’s little dog out for a walk. Needless to say, Amy ran outside to pet it. Chicks and small dogs. It’s just one of those things you don’t question. Like the Pro Bowl.

Amy’s not buying the “we can’t make love until I finish with the running diary” excuse. I’m gonna see if I can push her off until half time. And just so you know, the odds of me being raped tonight are 1 to 9 (that means $1pays you $9, by the way).

Theisman just described a lineman with the words, “there’s a young man who’s enjoying the Pro Bowl.” Well that’s one of us.

After Vick competed a lucky pass, and Theisman said that those are the kind of passes Vick is learning to throw, Theisman’s counterpart responded with the words, “Joe. He just threw the ball up into the air into triple coverage. And these are the throws he’s learning?” Even Theisman’s partner knows he sucks. Well, that makes all of us.

I just heard a miked Michael Vick say, “Get the money” over and over again after completing a pass. We should mike everyone in the game. I mean, what’s the downside here? Oh yeah, and Neil Rackers kicked a field goal (somewhere in the distance, a dog barks).

Amy is patiently reading a book and waiting for half time. The sacrifices I make for you, the reader.

The AFC’s Shayne “of the extra y Shanes” Grahme just scored a field goal. More importantly, Amy is an irresistible force at this moment. She’s done everything shy of a strip tease. Did she just shut the kitchen light off?

After further review, she did shut the light off. I don’t like the look on her face. We have three minutes to half time and she’s officially taking off her clothes. I’m calling foul, here.

Okay, her bra and belt are now on the end table. The only thing that’s saving me here is the unseasonably cold temperature (currently 38F with the wind chill). At least she has to keep her sweater on. Man, I hope I can finish this.

We’re at the two minute warning. Amy’s frustrated as hell. I honestly think she could get violent at any moment. Pray for me.

Manning just threw an interception, but I really didn’t get to see it. There’s 1:37 left to play and Amy is officially in “Stripper who needs to pay the rent” mode. You know, this could be the most difficult running diary in the brief history of running diaries. I mean, I’m scared to go into the living room right now.

Bidwell punts what should be an NFC touchdown, but all of the NFL’s officials are way too drunk to notice something like that. The officiating in this league is so God awful, it’s hard to even care about its level of quality anymore. And no, I don't have a joke here.

It’s now half time. See you in a few. Hopefully.

Ladies and gentleman, I have been deeked, deceived and lied to even. DeAngelo Hall just damn near scored a touchdown after Amy said they were at the halftime commercials. Women, do not believe a thing they say.

Vick to Crumpler for the Touchdown! We got us a game. Oh yeah, and if you’re scoring at home, that’s Truth: 1. Amy: 0. I’d sum up the half, but it’s hard to type while being molested. See you soon.

What timing! I had an absolute blast while The Backstreet Boys were performing (what are the odds of that happening?) and entered the living room just in time to listen to Peyton Manning congratulate Joe Theisman on his great announcing. Clearly, greatness recognizes greatness.

Delhomme just threw a stupid shovel pass for an incompletion. Nothing brings out the playmakers like the Pro Bowl.

Steve Smith just tried to lateral on a kickoff return, causing a loss of about five yards and Amy, who knows very little about football, to say, “Wow, that was stupid.” And she’s right. It was. But you know, the Pro Bowl is all about showcasing individual idiocy. I mean talent. Individual talent. That’s what I meant, I swear.

I just learned that America won the Gold in the half pipe snowboarding event. Allow me to speak for snowboarders everywhere: “Dude… are those Doritos?” Truly a momentous occasion. I feel some tears coming on.

And Tampa Bay’s own Derrick Brooks returns an interception for a touchdown. Do the hometown boy dance. Do the hometown boy dance. Woo! Woo! (I am very white.)

It’s currently 39F with the wind chill. Wait a minute. It just got warmer? I’m starting to think that Weather Underground ain’t as accurate as advertised.

In an interview with Michelle Tafoya, Champ Bailey, recipient of the game’s most recent turnover, implored us to “Keep watching.” He then added, “Please.”

Trent Green ties it up with the old Quarterback sneak. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a more boring tie game.

Champ Bailey just dropped Tiki Barber WWE style. Umm, Champ, this is the Pro Bowl. You can stop trying now.

If the AFC wins and Champ doesn’t get MVP, well then, I just don’t think I can take the Pro Bowl seriously anymore. (I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.)

Neil Rackers with a field goal for the NFC (do you hear a dog barking or what?).

And another fumble. What was the over/under on turnovers in this piece of crap? Twenty? My God. Anyway, the NFC recovers. I’m counting down the seconds until another field goal. Also, I’m starting to get a little delirious. Don’t worry though. Much like Champ Bailey, I’m finishing this game.

(And yes, I know you’re not actually worried. It’s just an expression.)

McNair fumbles. The NFC recovers. Hey, where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, here in my living room. About four times in the last two hours. I thought it looked familiar.

Amy on announcer Paul Maguire. “He reminds me of my Dad. He just talks a whole lot and doesn’t really say anything.” This insight was brought to you by Gillette. Gillette: now introducing a razor with five blades. Because four will never get all the hairs on your face, you ugly gorilla. Gillette: the best a man can get.

Just so you know, we’re around the 3700 word mark. Congratulations, you officially do not suffer from ADD. Good to know, huh?

And we just reached the two minute warning. The NFC is up by three. Vick has them in field goal range. Amy is so excited she almost put down her book.

Current temperature with wind chill: 41F. It is getting warmer. Current temperature inside: 68F. And the heat is on. Looks like I may have to wait until morning to get snow. Or, maybe it’ll never happen in my lifetime.

I can’t help but wonder what it would be like for Tampa to get snow though. I mean, the nearest snow plow is five hundred miles away…

Niel Rackers hits another NFC field goal (will somebody shut that damn dog up?). The NFC is now up by 6. 1:13 left to play. Here we go. As Madden would say, “This is what you play for, right here. Well, I mean, if you can’t play for a Super Bowl, anyway.”

Amy on the Pro Bowl, “It’s like this is the prom, but for NFL players.” I have no idea what that means, and yet I agree. If that makes any sense.

The ageless Rod Smith just got injured with 22 seconds left. I mean, man. Couldn’t you have timed that a little better, Rod? Hey, I can make that joke. He’s okay. Ugly, but okay.

Eight seconds left. Fourth and ten. This is for all the marbles right here.

McNair is sacked. And it looks like the NFC gets all the marbles this year. That, and $40,000 per player. And to tell you the truth, I could care less.

Thanks for spending the day with me. I’ll let you know if it snows.