Sunday, January 24, 2016

Football with Farnsy

Today's the big day; who's going to make it to the Superbowl?  Will Peyton Manning overcome injuries and Father Time to lead the Broncos over the apparently ageless Tom Brady and his fellow Patriots?  Will the former southside of Chicago football club, the now Arizona Cardinals take down the lately unstoppable force of the Panthers?  It all comes down to this.

Also, here's hoping that I don't get sued for actually typing Superbowl - you know how stingy and omnipotent the NFL is when it comes to that trademark... SUPERBOWL, SUPERBOWL, SUPERBOWL!!!!

*ahem* Anyway, since the Bears didn't really even sniff a playoff spot, I'm not particularly invested in the games today.  Sure, there are things I'd like to see happen; but, I'm not going to lose sleep over anything.  That said, football is definitely on the mind of many sports fans across the blogosphere this afternoon.

As such, today seemed like as good of a time as any to unveil the latest custom card to come out of my boredom induced Paint Shop Pro binges (I've already finished Making a Murderer, so...):

Look familiar?  That's no doppleganger or name-stealer, that is actually former Cubs hurler Kyle Farnsworth in a bright orange football uniform.  What in the heck is going on here?

I remembered reading early in 2015 that Kyle Farnsworth wasn't receiving much interest on the free agent market.  So, he was forced to ask himself, what does one do after an up-and-down, 16-year long career at the highest level of professional baseball?  Why, isn't it obvious?  You go and play semi-pro football of course!

Farnsworth inked a contract with the Orlando Phantoms (then) of the independent Florida Football Alliance for the 2015 season as a defensive end.  The Farns played football in high school, but that was many moons ago.  Nevertheless, the natural athlete made the team (well, what middling league would turn down that name/publicity?).

How did he do, though?  Let's take a look at the back of his card:

I'll transcribe the text here, since it's kinda a tough to read (kink to be ironed out):

"Kyle may have spent 16 seasons on the MLB mound; but, he is best remembered for his brutal takedown of Paul Wilson, when the latter charged the mound during a 2003 contest.  The Orlando Phantoms, of the Florida Football Alliance, hoped he could do just that to opposing quarterbacks when they signed him for the 2015 season.  All the "Farns" did was record a sack for the team in ever game, except for two, and earn a spot in the league's All-Star game.  Look out Bo Jackson!"
 Let's take a look at the "brutal takedown," just because I'll take any excuse to view that clip:

Back to the card, as you can see, he wasn't just there for fun-sies - Kyle was a pretty damn effective player on the gridiron.  The league may not be topflight; but, they certainly aren't pushovers either.  Said Phantoms head coach, Michael Torres:

"But many of them still have a goal of playing professionally elsewhere -- in the Arena League, the CFL or overseas -- and they don't go easy on anyone.
Florida semi-pro football is dang near college football, to be honest. There's a lot of talent. I've got a guy, Dave Roberts, who played at Georgia Southern. I've got another guy, Jonathan Akanbi, who played at Florida State and won a national title with Jameis Winston a couple years ago. I've got Mike Davis, who played at Virginia."

So, it's not like Farnsworth was just beating up on some jocks straight out of high school or business men trying to live out their glory days.  I suppose if you're a good enough to make it to the top level of any sport, you're probably one helluva an athlete overall.

After the Phantoms concluded their season, the itch to pitch came right back to Farnsworth and he found himself tossing 17.2 innings of 2.04 ERA baseball in the Mexican League.  Rumor has it that he's still looking for an MLB opportunity; but, he is also still listed on the Orlando Phantoms roster.  Which sport will he choose?

Farns snapping a selfie in the locker room of the Pericos de Puebla

I realize the suspense is slightly less gripping than that of Bo Jackon or even Jeff Samardzija's choice; however, it still captures my intrigue.

What also caught my intrigue was that no card existed to document this multi-sport foray.  Most minor league/indy league baseball teams produce team issued cars as a promotional tool; unfortunately, the Phantoms have no such budget.  Thus, I took it upon myself to produce the orange monstrosity you see above to properly notate this stint.

Looking back at it a few weeks after completing it, there are definitely a few things I'd like to change.  What are your thoughts?  Please make your opinions known in the comment section!

Meanwhile, I'm going to head over to the local casino for the big *Game Name Redacted* (in the time it took my to bang out this post, I've already been served with a legal notice by the NFL for my earlier usage of the proper noun) lead-up tailgate party, where they're showing both games on big screens.  Oh, but I'm not actually going for the games - I'm only going for the free concert being put on by Candlebox afterwards.  I suppose that shows you how much I really care.


  1. That first Candlebox album is a musical guilty pleasure of mine, still give it a spin from time to time.

  2. I like the card. The only thing I would change are the glasses Farnsworth is wearing. Is it possible to photoshop them out and add some Bryce Harper-esque eye black instead?
    BTW, Far Behind was my favorite song until Blur's Song 2 came out. Man, I miss the 90s.

  3. Love the card. Simple and effective.

  4. I like the card, but that's not the reason I'm leaving a belated comment...

    I just had to say I was excited to find that...


    (Squeals like a little girl)

    I was starting to wonder if I was the only one...