Well, we have made it to week 9 of the NFL regular season, which marks the official 9/17ths point of the season! I’m gonna get crazy and call it “halfway” for people who don’t like math. Anyway, I’ve received pleading e-mail after pleading e-mail, a brick through my window, and several death threats for going a whole 8 weeks without presenting my thoughts and observations on the current season. (Actually, the death threats were from this greasy Italian mafioso I witnessed whacking a couple guys. (And by “whacking”, I mean “performing masturbation upon”.) Needless to say, this guy is itching to “frost my cannoli”. Also he wants to murder me.) So anyway, here are my observations:

–Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was ejected for stomping on a guy’s face with his spikes. Ummm… well done! Not just any player would have the balls to pull that off. Sure, underneath a pile-up, there is probably a bunch of eye-gouging and nipple-tweaking and wet willies and stuff like that. However, that is all out of the view of referees and cameras. But Haynesworth is no coward! He was, no doubt, aware of the dozens of FOX cameras capturing his defiant act, as well as the millions of spectators cheering him on. And yet, he was unfazed. He was suspended 5 games, certainly a small price to pay for the opportunity to make a statement to society. The statement? “I am a guy who will step on your face with spikes for no reason.” Godspeed, Albert Haynesworth.

–I think TO has been getting a raw deal. The guy is a freak show, but he is not the Antichrist. Probably. He’s just an average guy like you and me, except a multimillionaire and a sociopath. But as they say, money does things to people. Can any of you honestly say that if you had millions of dollars, that you wouldn’t do pushups in your driveway, OD on creatine, or call Jeff Garcia a fag? I thought so.

Although I will say this: Bitching out your receivers coach during practice? Not necessary. Come on dude, it’s not his fault that Drew Bledsoe is old and shitty and less mobile than Christopher Reeve. You know, after he died. (Actually, if you paid close attention, you might have noticed him calling snaps in the first quarter of some games by mumbling “oil can” out of the corner of his mouth.)

–I just recently found out that NFL quarterbacks Tim Hasselbeck and Matt Hasselbeck are brothers. In hindsight, this probably should have been obvious. By the way, it’s pronounced Hasselbeck, not Hasselback. I’m looking at you, Chris Berman. I know you are reading this. “Hasselback” sounds like some obscure species of snake you would see on the Discovery Channel. “Here we observe the deadly hassel-back python. It can be identified by its distinctive yellow-and-black stripes and its career 71.4 passer rating.”

–Bucs QB Chris Simms was placed on injured reserve, officially ending his season after rupturing his spleen a month ago. Tough break for the guy. But I could have sworn you needed your spleen for something. Anyway, there are several positive silver linings for Chris to latch onto here:

— He now has one less thing to rupture during a game.

— He now is the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown-to-spleen ratio.

— He is only slightly more vulnerable to certain types of infections.

— He led a fourth-quarter scoring drive while suffering with severe internal injuries, then almost died right after the game. That has to get you some ass.

— He is eligible for all kinds of cool nicknames now. Like, “The spleen-less wonder.” Or “Chrissy no-spleen”. Or “I’ll never be as good as my dad” Simms.

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People often ask me why I don’t pay more attention to the news and current events. (And by “often”, I mean like 2 or 3 people ever.) “Kevin,” these hypothetical people say, “Shouldn’t you read the papers or watch the news more often? Do you not care about current events? Don’t you want to hear about what is happening in the world?” The answer to that? Actually, “not really.” To explain further, let me just give an example of what greeted me when I fired up my computer the other day. A selection of headlines:

n Ex-JonBenet suspect: Child porn case dropped

n Toddler died from E. coli tainted spinach

n Amish schoolgirls laid to rest

n Disturbing finds in child sex raids

n Her eyes tell the story: gang-raped at 3

n Sex offender found living in hole next to school

n State lawmaker suggests arming teachers

n Babysitter takes wrong child home from school

n Learn about foreplay at church

Let me just ask: What the fucking Christ is happening in our country? I barely got through the first half of the screen and I already wanted to hang myself. I’m trying to decide what is more depressing: the fact that so much fucked up shit is happening on a daily basis, or the fact that these are the things that people are most interested in reading. Fact is, these things are at the top of the page because people keep clicking on them.

Incidentally, I didn’t scour two weeks’ worth of headlines and news sites to find these tidbits. These were 9 of the 11 CNN.com’s “Top Stories” for one day.

I don’t want to sound like I am trivializing any of these stories; for the people involved, these are obviously the most important things going on. But what about the general public? Like everyone, I was horrified to hear about the Amish school shootings; I can’t imagine what the families of the victims must be going through. But after a week, is this still really the most important story for the rest of the country? Isn’t there a war or something going on? What’s this I am hearing about elections coming up?

Is this the only reason I avoid the news? Well, no. I am too involved in my own sometimes trivial bullshit to read the paper every day. I mean, who wants to listen to Brian Williams for an hour when you can make an animated monkey swear at people? But I just wanted to point out that I am not completely ruled by my apathy.

For those of you who were curious, of the two headlines I skipped over, one was related to the stock market. The other? “Outrageous Cher costumes fetch millions.” I’m surprised this week’s thrilling episode of CSI:Milwaukee wasn’t interrupted by a CBS Special Report for that one.