Matt Forte, ticke football player? (US Presswire )
After writing this column for six years now, I've realized the most under-appreciated aspect of column-writing is that you must first come up with an "idea."
You must care enough about this "idea" to go to the trouble of rendering an opinion (that's by necessity incomplete and probably wrong), an opinion which might garner you public bile, venom and occasionally gay pornographic pictures cut and pasted onto the fringes of a letter (yes, I still have it in a shoebox).
You're constantly concocting and discarding ideas: some on the cusp of greatness, some at least print-worthy and most just weird dreck you come up with while drunk. With that in mind, here are some of my most recent favorite abandoned column ideas.
>>Football should become two-hand tickle. This totally negates the problem of player concussions, brain damage, subsequent lawsuits and suicides while adding a hilarious wrinkle to the game. Players are allowed to tickle on the line for five seconds and then rush the QB to tickle him. A reception or rush will result in even more tickling. Brawny running backs who once smashed apart defenses will now be subject to a good tickle and guess what? Welcome to Fumble City; Population: that tickled guy.
>> Pope Francis, with his headline-garnering talk of "Today everything comes under the laws of competition ... where the powerful feed upon the powerless" should totally get a RedEye column called "What's the deal with the idolatry of money?"
>>Kids these days have it so easy with all their porn. In my day, my friends and I gathered around "Pretty Woman" at sleepovers to catch a glimpse of the shadow of Julia Roberts' nipple.
>>Is it racist to think that Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook looks exactly like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Donatello?
>>To really appreciate Gandhi, get high and watch the film "Gandhi." The whole 3.5 hours, I had this incredulous reaction to the heroic non-violent resistance leader: "Wait, what? You're really gonna do that, Gandhi? You're gonna just walk to the sea and start making salt? And then—hold on—you're gonna not eat until the people of India stop the protest you started? You crazy, Gandhi."
>>I told you the Bulls should have traded Derrick Rose the moment his ACL snapped in 2012. When I wrote that in the days after he got injured, I got hate tweets for a month, but, ahem, I'll accept your apology now, @BearsBulls_rule85.
>>You ever have one of those moments where you're about to sit down and pay some bills or get a bunch of work done but instead masturbate into the toilet? Yeah, me neither.
>>The Tea Party in Cobb County, Ga., has inadvertently revealed how liberal conservatism can be. By protesting the Atlanta Braves' new taxpayer-financed suburban stadium, they find themselves on the same side as the Sierra Club. Publicly financed stadiums are a microcosm of how governments run by and for chambers of commerce milk public revenues for private profit. The Braves' new stadium is just an easier-to-understand version of what happens in the private sector every day, from banking to agriculture, with all the benefits flowing to roughly 400 people. Pope Francis, we await your column.
RedEye special contributor Stephen Markley is the author of "The Great Dysmorphia" and "Publish This Book."
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