Noonan at Noon: Movember In December

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Greetings friends,

I apologize for my lack of communication. In the waning weeks of October, I shouldered my golf bag, plunked down the twilight fees and raged (often) against the dying of the light. Alas, the time change was inevitable and I find myself after-work nine holes thwarted by 5pm darkness.

No matter. Fall now hangs thick in the air. As does the mustaches that hang above the respective upper lips of my friends and coworkers. I speak, of course, of the masculine tradition of Movember. Ah, Movember. A celebration of Selleckian proportions, a Reynoldsyian regalia, a Bronsonesque bacchanal, this — okay, I could continue on this for a while.

Son, don’t even try to attempt Texas waterfalls like the class 10s springing forth from Mount Sam.
Son, don’t even try to attempt Texas waterfalls like the class 10s springing forth from Mount Sam.

Now, some of you may recall my fondness for the full beardand I do not stray from my staunch position that a man’s face plumage in ultimate display is a glorious one indeed. And while I’ve long maintained that sideburns are like two sad tombstones to what might have been, the mustache is a bold foray into the arena of facial follicles. It makes a powerful statement, and that is: cancer sucks and must be defeated at all costs.

The four hourseman of the mustachalypse.
The four hourseman of the mustachalypse.

Yes, allow me to cut to the quick. Cancer sucks. And, indirectly or directly, it affects many of us. The fact that there’s a month where us gents can put aside our differences in football allegiances, single malt regions, and enforcement of USGA rules — and actually work together to raise money for men’s health issues — is nothing short of kick ass.

Amen to that.
Amen to that.

To whit, let’s keep the lip toupee going for another month. The first five lads to reach us on the socials at the end of December, with picture proof that they’ve kept the nostril curtains for an extra month, gets some free Criquet gear, our respect, and a $100 donation from us (in their name) to cancer research.

 
In closing, I’d like to point out two things.
 
1) Seriously. Free Criquet shirts and a $100 donation on your behalf to cancer research. Send us a pic on the socials on November 30 and another one on December 31st (or January 1st-ish — we know how it goes on New Years) with #movemberindecember. Not only is it more money going toward cancer’s demise, it’s the perfect excuse to give the womenfolk when they demand to know why you’re still going Groucho.
 
2) This might be the first post ever to feature a triple Elliott, a momentous feat rarely achieved by the clean-shaven set. And while it won’t break the Internet, it’s a helluva lot cooler than Kim Kardashian’s posterior. (Seriously, she’s out of ways to get attention — her next stunt will have to be something like eating her own offspring.)
 
Sigh. It drains my life force to have even typed the word “Kardashian.” Perhaps a head-clearing out on the course is in order. Along with a flask of Glenlivet Nádurra — it is a bit brisk out there. I’ll see you on 19.
           
Be the ball,
 
Noonan
 

P.S. Hell with it. An extra $200 donation for the first person who goes full Connery too. 

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Tips For ACL Music Festival

We braved the elements, the lines, and even the port-a-pottys and survived the first weekend of ACL. As thousands more pour into Austin for weekend number two, bringing their patchouli with them, we’re prepared to help you get the most out of your wristband.

ACL headliners and headliners of every CD I burned in high school.
Beeline to these ACL headline-rs.

Tip 1: Go see Outkast.

Right now, stop reading and just GO SEE THEM. Some of the greatest love stories of the last decade began when a man met a woman on the dance floor while shaking it like a Polaroid picture. Plus,  Big Boi and Mr. 3000 don’t always get along, so check them out this weekend before they decide playing music for people in exchange for a lot of money isn’t something they want to do anymore. Fair warning: there’s about a 97% chance of a contact high, so buy munchies ahead of time.

 

If you see a herd of these people around a band you don’t know, stop and listen.
If you see a herd of these people around a band you don’t know, stop and listen.

Tip 2: Follow the hipsters.

Fool-proof system for identifying legit up and coming bands: follow the hipsters. Soon, they will stop liking this band because they’re “too mainstream,” and that’s fine, it just means there’s plenty of room for you on the bandwagon.  So, if you see a mass of dudes in sock hats crowding around a stage, stop and give the band a couple of songs to win you over.

Tip 3: Don’t sneak in booze.

You’re an adult. Adults buy their drinks. Yes, these drinks are overpriced, but you know what else is overpriced? Paying 300 bucks for a wristband and getting kicked out before you hear any music because they discovered that—no—you weren’t happy to see them, that was just some whiskey in your pocket. Plus this year you can’t bring in coolers, which means you have no mixers. So instead of paying four bucks for a water to mix with your snuck-in sweet tea vodka, just pay six for a beer.

acl3

Final Tip: Definitely bring an inflatable ball, it’s a given.

Those are our tips, but there’s only one rule to enjoying ACL: get after it. See as many bands as you can and go nuts with your friends, but avoid stranger danger and their hallucinogens.

Here’s to back-to-back weekends of bands, drinks, and fun you may not remember. Giddyup.

The Best-Dressed Ryder Cup Fans of All Time

There are a few reasons why we love the Ryder Cup so much. Not only does it mark the beginning of Fall golf season, but it is also a beacon of higher fashion and fan-dom. You’ve seen the best and worst outfits of the golfers, but have you seen what’s on the other side of that string fence? We think not.

These people may not be playing any golf, but they ARE playing the game of life, and winning. Here are some of the best-dressed Ryder Cup attendees.

Ryder-Cup-fan-outfits-4Wendy’s couldn’t afford the official advertising fee, so they improvised.

Morphsuit-001This guy just blends right in with the scenery. Life: 0, this guy: 1.

Ryder-Cup-fan-outfits-6-576x420These guys must be looking for Lacy Underall.

A Team Europe golf spectator watches play on the sixth fairway during a practice round at the 39th Ryder Cup matches at the Medinah Country Club in MedinahIs that part of the green? Wearing a human?

rydercup7Paul Revere’s nightmare, come to life.

rydercup2Those hats are the reason we get out of bed every morning.

rydercup3Sincerely hope this hair is real, but have a good feeling it’s not…

rydercup4Knights of the grounds table. From the knees up.

rydercup5Think this one speaks for itself…

rydercup6The Ryder Cup is so much fun, even leprechauns can’t resist the allure.

rydercup1We don’t know what’s better: the costumes in the front, the wigs in the back, or the awkward American photobombing the crap out of this picture.

blog1What’s Miguel Jimenez doing in the stands at the 2010 Ryder Cup?   Find out here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319177/Cigar-guy-revealed-Global-phenomenon-Rupesh-Shingadia.html

blog2Limited edition USA velour track suits or the cardinal sin of wearing sweatpants in public?  You decide.

blog3Note to self.   Avoid sitting behind Captain America.

 

Noonan at Noon: Know Thy Selfie

To thine own selfie be true.” – said Shakespeare, never.

My friends,

In the off hours from my worthy summertime pursuits of golf, barbeque, and ice-cold gin rickeys, I began to notice a disturbing trend take shape in the Social Medias (y’know, the place we go to stalk the people we haven’t spoken to in five years). “Welcome to 2009, Noonan”, I hear you saying. And yes, granted, the selfie is not necessarily a new phenomenon, I just don’t remember them being so brazenly ever-present.

Shakespeare attempting one of the first-ever documented selfies, along with the first ever-documented hairstyle known as the “Gallagher.”

Whereas once the selfie was the occasional and understandable “Hey, here I am in Mongolia in front of the orphanage I just built!“ or “Is it normal for a unicorn horn to be growing from my forehead?”, it has now turned into “Hey! here’s me doing something that 99% of you could give a rat’s patoot about, and I’m forcing you to look at me—AND YOU SHALL LOOK AT ME, DAMMIT!” The frozen smile, the vapid searching eyes, and the expression that says “if this doesn’t get at least 10 likes my life will be meaningless.”

A few weeks ago it was announced, that Kim Kardashian is releasing a book of selfies in the spring of 2015 (mark your calendars not to get it!). It’s not so much a book, per se, as it is a collection of pictures Kim Kardashian took of herself. Which means it’s not so much a collection of pictures she took of her herself, per se, as it the marker for how far we’ve fallen as a civilization. She may hold the distinct honor of being the official signpost for when humanity went over the cliff.

Sorry grandfathers who fought in WWII, this is what we did with the freedom you gave us.

Then there was the recent iCloud caper in which thousands of celebrity photos were leaked online for the leering enjoyment of America’s youth and creepy divorcées. Aside from the gross invasion of privacy, it brought to light another take on the selfie: the nude selfie. Apparently this is a thing with a lot of people. A LOT of people. This just further confirms my suspicion that most of life is like one big Eyes Wide Shut party to which yours truly was not invited.

“Hey, who brought a camera in here?”

What do we do in this new world where everyone clamors for a ‘like’, an LOL, or the comment equivalent of “Hey, I see you seeing yourself!” as a validation of one’s existence? Perhaps my own selfie will yield some sort of clarity…

Noonan in the raw.

Hmm. Nah. I’m heading back out to the course. I’ll see you on the 19th. Until then, as always,

Be the Ball,

-Noonan

A Noonan Family Vacation

Happy 278th year of existence, America.

We’ve had a good run thus far. Some great times, some bad times, some times when we weren’t as nice to everyone as we should be. A few times when we were jerkholes, and a lot more times when we did things right.

Then there was that one time we did more than just fine in that 2014 global intergalactic game of kick the ball past the guy into a net.

If not for your beer, Belgium, this game would be wholly unforgivable.

But now it’s time for your birthday, America, which comes on the heels of Canada Day. I mention this for no other reason than to posit: what the hell exactly is Canada Day?

What’s yer point, hoser?

But I’m not here to talk about traditions as common as buying a 3-gallon jar of mayonnaise from your neighborhood OmniMart. For July is the the time in every man’s life where he embarks on the summer vacation. Or for those of us in the throes of our 30s, the summer family vacation.

Don’t let the word “vacation” deceive you. For this is a time when you decide to take a break from the stresses of home, and stress out about them in a wholly new environment.

A 3-hour road trip to the beach becomes an epic, nightmarish haul of a) kids or b) kids and in-laws or c) kids and your parents or d) kids and your friends and their kids or e) any or all combination of everything I just listed here. God help us all.

“We’re not pulling over for ANY reason…I told you to go back at the gas station!”

My friends, finding the 19th hole in such a stressful clime is damn near impossible. TO say nothing of the unloading, the meals, the early wake-ups, the screwed-up sleep schedules, the close quarters, the kid with explosive bodily functions at 2:37am, the sudden (and constant) disappearance of money from your wallet, and the daily assault upon your nerves and patience from people you thought you knew and loved. And if you’re hoping for fireworks on the 4th, well, simply get into an argument with your wife about who’s held the toddler the most during mealtimes and can-I-please-just-have-3-minutes-to-eat-my-f@#$ing-hamburger. (Sadly, the fireworks on summer family vacation are rarely of the bedroom kind, especially when the travel crib is in your room.)

I am exhausted simply typing it.

I offer no pearls, no tricks o’ the trade, no hidden insight into the travails that await all of us lucky enough to have wonderfully weird groups of people whom we love and who love us and who, for some reason, we annually sequester ourselves with in different, expensive locales.

Who’s ready to have fun at all costs?

Sunshine, cheap beer, and the occasional breath of fresh air are your friends. Cherish them, savor their brief and fleeting presences, much like you would a cool breeze on a hot beach.

Happy trails, comrades, may you live to fight another vacation next year. And be the ball.

-Noonan

 

Noonan is Back: The Glorious Mystery of Meat

Greetings, my friends. I have returned.

For these past few months, I’ve wandered hither and yon, through fairway and forest and well-tended green. I’ve had some rough patches along the way, yes, but nothing from which a sturdy 7-iron couldn’t save me. Also, rumor has it I got my card, and entered a few tournaments. And that rumor was started by me.

Still, in my brief sabbatical, I’ve seen some sights. Bubba owning the Masters. Brendan Todd taking the Colonial. Martin Kaymer’s 23-foot putt to clinch the Players (Sir Duf, I lost a bottle of whisky on you – a Johnnie Black, but still.) Our very own Chris Doak – the 323rd best player in the world and proud wearer of Criquet apparel – is slated to play in the Pinehurst after finishing just 12 away from Rory at the BMW Open. Chris, well done, lad.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Dammit. YES.

But I return to you, not with tales of 18 holes but of the 19th. For in my journeys across our fine country, in our human rituals of roasting meats over fire, I came to realize an epidemic of laziness had overtaken the land. 

You see, post Memorial Day, it occurred to me that most Americans have no idea how to make a hamburger. This is a national travesty.

I have seen too many store-bought, pre-made patties. Too many unseasoned, 95% lean abominations. To say nothing of the occasional turkey patty masquerading as cow (perish the thought!). So comrades, I sought, I found, and I now present to you: the best goddamned hamburger you’ll ever have in your life.

This is NOT the greatest burger in the world. This is just a (very generic) tribute.
Now, dilettantes of the Big Green Egg, sultans of the smokers, and craftsman of the cast iron, I would not dream of accusing you of such burgerous blasphemy. By all means, pour yourself an icy Coors yellow belly or a Gin Rickey (I am partial to St. George gin and half a lime myself) and do your thing. We’ll meet again soon.

For the rest of you, read on.

This burger is not for the faint of heart, or the clogged of artery. It is also a bit unorthodox, as it is created inside one’s abode. Of course, charcoal is a different (and beauteous) beast. However, when the summer season hangs hot and sweaty upon your brow, you’ll be glad to be cooking these amidst the blessing of air conditioning.

THE BEST GODDAMNED HAMBURGER

2 pounds of sirloin steak tips. 

Food processor. 

Go.

Do not mince. Pulse until chunky and then spread on a cookie sheet.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter, pour on the meat, douse liberally with salt and pepper. (And if you’re not using kosher salt, God help you.)

Form patties, roughly ½ pound each.

Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. (Crucial in allowing the butter to set and for you to enjoy a Gin Rickey.)

We let meat rest so that we may rest ourselves.

Now, get a cast iron skillet and place that sucker over a medium-high flame. Once smokingly hot, sear patties on both sides. Then place in an oven at 300˚ until done (about 130˚ in the middle, according to your meat thermometer). What, you’ve never used a meat thermometer for burgers? Holy St. Anthony!* I’m pouring myself another Coors yellow belly.

*Patron saint of butchers

St. Anthony loved animals. Especially with potato salad.
Laying aside the necessity of cheese (to each his own) there comes the conundrum of condiments. Ketchup or mustard? No, my friends, you want pub sauce.PUB SAUCE¾ cup of mayo

2 Tablespoons soy

1 T brown sugar

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T minced chives

2 garlic cloves, minced

Generous twists of black pepper

Mix

Now. NOW. The crowning moment. Put burger and sauce together. Put inside good buns (challah, brioche, whatever). Put inside mouth parts and into your belly guts.

As to what to drink with your creation, well, that’s a whole other story in and of itself. In a pinch, my experience is that cheap canned beer cracked open at a hair above freezing makes an excellent dining companion. 

Until next time, comrades. God bless ‘Murica. And be the ball.

- Noonan

SUPERDADS

We celebrate Father’s Day to honor the brave men who have ascended to the world of Fatherhood: a brave place filled with dirty diapers, endless nagging, sleepless nights and the challenge of preserving whatever dignity is left after the fact. All dads are Superdads in some way or another; some are just more famous than others.

Today we celebrate these men for their accomplishments: for their uncanny ability to make mushy mac & cheese, for their knowledge of all things (even the things they know nothing about), for their leadership and for their love as they lead their brood through the ups and downs of growing up.  

Thank you Dads.

Superdad JFK with his twelve kids.
Lloyd Bridges and his little “Dude”. Early abiding at its finest.
Superdads like Clint Eastwood make the saying “like father, like son” seem strangely inadequate.
This Redford Superdad owns his own Ski Resort.  Respect.
Superdad Vader lending a hand.
Superdad Nicholson with his daughter Jennifer. Cannot speak to his parenting skills but must have had it’s moments.
Superdad Nicklaus wins The 89 Masters at age 46 with his son Jackie on his bag.
Superdad Sinatra with daughter Nancy , her Godfather Don Corleone and Luca Brasi.
Superdad Hoffman probably using the pool analogy to explain the meaning of life to his progeny. No, we don’t know what the pool analogy is either.
Superdad Charles spends his 10 minutes per day with his son William.
Superdad Niven sharing laughs and cocktails with his sons, aged 15 and 12.
The Dudes.
Superdad McQueen teaching his son how to look cool in the desert.

 

Celebrities Grillin': Memorial Day Edition

Memorial Day is great for a few reasons. Not only have we dedicated this day to remember those who fought bravely for our country, but charcoal-enthusiasts everywhere have also dedicated this day to mark the start of the grilling season.

In celebration, we give you Celebrities Grillin’. May the smell of hops and charcoal linger throughout your summer.

Recently voted by People Magazine to be the world’s sexiest hamburger.
“Yeah, that’s right, Presidential Aprons biotch.”
Heidi, you had us at the first pork chop.
GRRRRRRR-YLLS
Skrillex or Bono? Whoever it is, they are probably grilling tofu burgers. We respect the flame, though.
Grills? No, GRILLZ.
Nice frat-tat, Efron. Someone get this man a Criquet shirt.
George Foreman, the man who single-handedly tried to ruin the integrity of the backyard BBQ.
Hulk Hogan, the man who tried to rip off George Foreman.
The Rock: the man who brought it all back. First meal: Hogan’s left hand.