Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whoa Doctor!

Why do newspaper columnists and ESPN/SI bloggers think I care what share of the Nielsen TV ratings the World Series gets? How could that possibly be of interest to me?

These announcers and columnists act like "storylines," as opposed to good baseball, is what people care about. The reason they are whining so much about the lack of storylines is because better storylines makes their jobs easier. They are like robots, and were probably salivating at the chance to rehash all the old 'Manny Being Manny' cliches and whatever else they had planned for a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series. Uh-oh! Now they have to actually think.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Levels of Booing

Booing does not help someone perform better. Yet Philadelphians boo their teams and players constantly, at the drop of a hat. You could call it being passionate and die-hard, I call it being fickle and selfish.

I have railed against our proclivity to boo before, but I am going expand on that, because not all boos are created equal. Some are acceptable, and some are not.

Level 0: Booing opposing teams, players, and fans

Not even open for debate. Something Philadelphians excel at.

Level 1: Booing for lack of effort

This is totally acceptable, and something I am proud of Philadelphians for. We do not tolerate a lack of hustle, or even a supposed lack of hustle. This comes up most often in baseball, where players like Mike Schmidt and Bobby Abreu, both all-stars, never really fit in because of their supposed lack of hustle (in truth, the game just came naturally to them, they made it look easy).

Best example: Booing Freddy Garcia for not running to first on a groundball. After the game he said his job was to pitch, and I knew right then and there Freddy would never do his job in Philadelphia again.

Level 2: Booing for failure to do one's job

Fans take some things in sports for granted: chip-shot field goals and sacrifice bunts both come to mind. When a player is unable to do what we believe is easy, we will boo that player. If Chris Coste cannot get the runner to second because he popped up his bunt, we will boo him for that. Will it get him to bunt better next time? No. But this is a boo out of frustration, and although not very supportive, I can defend it.

Level 3: Booing a coach's decision

Sending out the punt team? Defensive replacement for Pat Burrell? Yanking the goalie? Boo. It's the coach, not the players fault. I'm sure it doesn't raise the player's spirits, but this one is still okay in my book. Sometimes a boo is used to send a message, and this can be one of those times.

Level 4: Booing a player or team's failure

When the Eagles can't convert on 4th and 1, or the Flyers give up back-to-back goals, the fans are going to boo. They are upset, angry, and second-and-third-guessing the coach all at once. The only way to express all that is going on in their hearts, heads, and guts, is to let out a deep, resonating BOOOOOOO!!!!! as the players put their heads down and shuffle off the field. Is it effective? Not in the least. Does it make the players tighten up and worry about failure more than they should? Probably. Is it our God-given right as paying sports fans who haven't won a championship in 20-odd years? I guess so. Should we continue to do it? Only if we want to continue to be paying sports fans who haven't won a championship in 30-odd years.

Level 5: Booing a tragic flaw

This, to me, is the big one. It's probably the loudest, longest-lasting boo, and the one that can make anyone - player or fan - sick to their stomach. It's the culmination of an entire season, or seasons, or lifetime, and it's the boo of the tragic flaw. Typically this boo comes out late in the season, when one of our teams is about to blow a game in the way we all knew they would.

Ex: The Phillies have no situational hitting and get shut down by quality pitching. Picture a late September game against the Mets. Our pitching staff has hung in there, giving up 1 run over 7 innings. We are facing Johan Santana, and have managed plenty of double plays and strike outs, but no actual runs. Then we get runners on first and second with no outs. Top of the order up, J-Roll, first pitch groundout, Victorino, goes down swinging, Utley, takes a strike, then pops up to second.

Wait for it.....

.....aaaaaaaaaaand here come the boos.

Now I put this as number 5 because it's probably the most damaging boo on our psyche. This is not a boo you want to take lightly. Am I guilty of it? Not yet, but I could be. This boo is in our nature, and I can't say I defend it, but I understand.

Level off the charts: Booing someone because they aren't someone else.

This occurs when fans believe somebody else should be walking up to the batter's box, or coming into a game for a save situation. Fans are basically saying 'we wish you were someone else, so regardless of how hard you work or how good you are/were/can be, we are going to boo you because of a manager/coach's decision.

Best example: Booing Donovan McNabb at the NFL Draft. We wanted Ricky Williams, we didn't get him. Possibly my least proud moment as a Philadelphia sports fan.

This one also gets to what J-Roll was saying...how can a fan possibly boo somebody on Opening Day? Let alone draft day?

I am proud of Philadelphia sports fans, most of the time. But I will never understand how one can claim to support their team one moment and then boo the hell out of them the next.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Can I Get A Do-Over?

I have touched (rambled) on this subject before, (here, and here) but with the start of training camp, I think it's time to revisit that age old issue known as 'the contract situation.'

It's really starting to piss me off. Every year, some of the biggest news heading into training camp is not "how will so-and-so fit in with his new team" or "will the draft picks make a difference" or a million other questions about the state of the team. No, it is always about contract situations. And how half the players on the team are unhappy with theirs.

Gimme a freakin' break.

I understand all the quotes players rattle off. "This is a business." "I am just looking out for my family." "I have outperformed my contract."

Now, that last one is a bit of a sticky spot. In the NFL, contracts are not guaranteed, so a team can cut a player who is underperforming. But if a player overperforms, he does not get anything extra except maybe a bonus here and there. So I'll give them that.

Here's my issue, something that seems to really affect the Eagles more than any other team:

Young players signing long-term contracts extensions (I''m looking at you, Lito, Westbrook, and Shawn Andrews), and then immediately complaining about how they are not fair.

They have to understand what they are doing when they sign through 2013, right? It's called giving up maximum dollars for long-term security. Or are they hiring agents from the Hollywood Upstairs Sports Agency School?

Every year, the price to sign a star free agent goes up. Nate Clements signed a big deal last year, Asante Samuel signed a bigger one this year. If you sign an 8-year contract extension, and then a year later someone who you think you're better than signs a bigger deal, you can't just say "I want a new contract."

Either don't sign the extension, or stop complaining about it.

It wasn't like the Eagles held a gun to their head - they made smart business decisions by locking up young talent for the long-term before they can hit free agency. The Eagles do take on some risk as well - there is guaranteed money in the form of signing bonuses. If a player they think will be good ends up tearing all his ligaments or forgets how to block, they still get that signing bonus ($8.7 million in Lito's case).

I understand you want to get the most bang for your buck, but you can't have it both ways.

If you want to continually get what you are worth on the open market, sign a one-year contract (or 2 or 3, no need to be so drastic). If you want the piece of mind and stability that a long-term contract affords you, go ahead and sign on the dotted line, just don't go bitching about it two years later.

In the case of Westbrook, I don't know what he was thinking when he signed that contract. If you hear him talk, you know he has confidence in his abilities and thinks he is one of the best RBs in the league. So why sign a contract before you show that true potential? The Eagles were able to buy low on Westbrook, getting the extension done right before he burst through as a top 3 running back. Running backs have short shelf lives, and probably only get 1 or 2 really good contracts before they get sent to pasture. I'm sure his agent knew that, I'm sure he knew that, before they signed the deal. Imagine what he could have gotten if he was a free agent this year? He blew it, plain and simple (I guess that's what you get with a 'Nova education).

I remember when they announced Lito Sheppard's and Sheldon Brown's extensions. It was a big deal - locking up our secondary for years to come with two bright young promising stars. I remember chuckling and thinking how the front office (RJ) swindled these guys into extensions, knowing full well that they would be worth so much more in a couple seasons. Well why didn't they know that?

And remember our good friend T.O.? You know what kick-started his removal from the team? It wasn't his relationship with McNabb, or that we lost the Super Bowl, or that he was under so much pressure from concealing his homo-erotic tendencies, no it was his contract. A year into signing a 7 year, $49 million dollar deal with the Eagles he was unsatisfied with it! One year in!You know why? 'Cuz it was backloaded, and he realized the Eagles would cut him before he saw the big money at the end of the contact. Again, let me ask, what kind of agents are they hiring? Do they not read the fine print?

Now, I don't know if this situation can be solved. It's not really the players, front offices, or agents fault (well, it is kind of the agents). It's the whole mess that is the NFL collective bargaining agreement. Matt Ryan will probably make more money with his rookie deal than Westbrook will make in his entire career. Go figure.

So what I am going to do is give some advice to the Phillies: overpay for a quality starting pitcher (Cole Hamels would do just fine). Scout the leagues, target a guy you think will be a stud for 5,6,7 years to come. Sign him to a record contract. Guess what? Within two years, that record contract, that oh-my-god, this is the biggest deal in the history of the MLB, will be an afterthought. Because some team will come along and find the next best guy and give him an even bigger deal two years later. And there won't be anything our pitcher can do about it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Dear The Spectrum,

We will miss you. We will miss the sticky floors, the seats directly behind concrete pillars, the boozy tailgating before concerts, the way clouds of smoke would float above the crowd at Phish shows. We will miss minor-league hockey, indoor soccer, princesses on ice, and everything else your wonderful venue provided for us after the Comcast Center became the new home of the Sixers and Flyers.

We are going to miss you, dear Spectrum. Sure, maybe minor-league hockey, indoor soccer, and princesses on ice aren't that big of a draw these days. And sure, maybe you are parked boldly in front of progress, playing a game of chicken with the Future. And sure, maybe I personally won't miss actually being inside your venue, but I am going to miss you.

You know when I'm going to miss you? When I am eating grilled mahi mahi with mango salsa before Phillies games, shopping at Nautica and Eddie Bauer at the halftime of Birds' games, paying $8.50 for a beer because I can no longer tailgate in the parking lot, and sleeping in one of the new hotels erected on your spot because drinking and driving has become "too dangerous."

I am going to miss the way you and The Vet used to hang out together, bragging about chick stadiums you used to bang while pounding a couple warm tallboys of Busch Light. You and the Vet, spitting on opposing teams' fans, making little kids cry, refusing to wipe the cheez-whiz off your mouth, dipping Skoal and smoking cigarettes at the same time. Giving each other black eyes just for the hell of it.

You two were the shit. Now, these fancy boys are showing up. Sure the Linc is pretty intimidating, and the Bank is pretty boozy, but without you there to guide them, they are going to forget their roots. A couple of years from now, the Linc and the Bank are going to see a passed out drunk chick covered in her own vomit. They will be a little confused, thinking "Isn't there something I am supposed to be doing right now?" Then they will look in your direction for guidance, and the only thing they will see is some high-end boutiques, too-fancy "sports" bars, and a hotel with more clean linen then you, dear Spectrum, have ever laid eyes on. And instead of getting a gentle prodding from you, saying things like "Go on, take her pants off," they will instead just alert the proper authorities, and someone will come and clean her up and escort her to the game.

It's going to be a scary world without you, you king among men.

Hopefully they will give you a true and honorable send-off befitting of your majestical place in Philadelphia sports lore. I am talking, of course, about sticks of dynamite jammed into every crevice of your structure, resulting in a 6 AM implosion where you crumble to a pile of rubble and dust.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Brand New Beginning

Oh you like that title don't you. ZING! It's the truth though. With the signing of Elton Brand the Sixers have begun their next era. Simultaneously, I think I just might have shaken that 2 year hang over left by Allen Iverson's departure. Besides being the most compelling and exhilarating player this city has ever seen, Iverson made the Sixers relevant every night. Sure we didn't quite win a championship or even go deep into the playoffs every year, but we had an identity. The last two years were difficult for me as a Sixers fan having only known an Iverson led squad since middle school. I ordered the NBA league package to watch the Nuggets play--I needed my fix. I probably paid more attention and rooted harder for the Nuggets at times last year than for my hometown Sixers. I can't say I am ashamed; it was what I looked forward to most as a basketball fan. It was comfort food like mom's baked ziti or veal cutlets.

All this changed when the Sixers signed Elton Brand last week. We entered a new era and became relevant instantly. I have spent the past week reading NBA analyst after analyst praise the Sixers for their bold move and even call us "contenders in the East." You kiddin me!? I haven't heard that since 2001. There are months ahead of day dreaming about Iggy dumping the ball down to Brand in the East conference championships as he punishes a Kevin Garnett or Anderson Varejao on the low block time and time again. Maybe Elton will kick it out to LouWill for a sweet, sweet 3. Or dish it to a cutting Iggy for a monstrous jam that will send the Wachovia Center into an uproar. Maybe he will throw an 'oop over his head, off the backboard to a flying Sammy D who will certainly improve on an already stellar campaign last year (Sammy D an All-Star? Ben Wallace did it...I'm just sayin!). The possibilities are endless.

Dude looks great in that jersey...not to mention, did we get new jerseys?

We have already looked into season ticket packages on the The2-1-5 here. A friend made a Brand t-shirt jersey with only a white tee and a black Sharpie and received plenty of love at the Phils' game.

The Sixers are back baby!

(Now the Sixers probably need a two guard who can score to really put them over the top...and I know this one guy who is going to be a free agent at the end of the year...I know, I know, I know, but I'm just sayin baby I'm just sayin...)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why I Love Local Sports Radio (Or Really Just ESPN 950)

So I do a good amount of radio listening at work these days. I have speakers on my computer and jump around from listening to music, national sportsradio, local sportsradio, PTI or other podcasts, and even some NPR from time to time. I usually tune into Mike Missanelli at 3pm.

I have emailed Mikey Miss twice and have had both emails read on air. You could say I'm batting 1.000 or heating up if you will. Here is my last piece from a few weeks ago that was called "impressive" and "very well written." I was flattered and totally pumped for the rest of the day at work.

"Hey Mike, enjoy the show.
I first thought Imus and bigots like him should absolutely be fired for their disgusting comments, but by giving him a forum he becomes a talking point for people to address the bigotry he exudes. Having such a bad stigma attached to him and his comments asserts that speech like that is unacceptable and disgusting, the hope being that people will think twice before speaking like him and maybe think harder about tuning in and therefore supporting him and his beliefs.

He actually read my full name (and pronounced it correctly) and I have even received a few letters from my growing fan base.

Anyway I am here to officially endorse ESPN 950. This town has enough sports negativity and doesn't need that "other station" and especially that "other guy" reminding us about it everyday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

From Mike & Mike in the Morning (Or, Why I Hate National Radio)

"Lots of big news today....CC gets his first win, Harden gets traded, and Elton Brand is headed to Philly. But by far, the biggest news today, Brett Favre may be coming out of retirement!"

Give me. A fucking. Break.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Musing on the Phils

Remember when the Phillies made the Bobby Abreu deal at the trade deadline? Our team had gone on a real bad losing streak and Gillick essentially gave up on them, sent Abreu, Cory Lidle, and some other guys to the Yankees. Eventually we replaced David Bell and Mike Lieberthal as well.

The result of those moves was a change from a plodding, one-base-at-a-time, wait-for-the-home-run type of team to a youthful, energetic, put-the-pressure-on-them type of team.

Instead of walks, strikeouts, and home runs, we were stealing bases, bunting, sac flying, scoring from first, and doing all sorts of small-ball-esque type maneuvers.

It was pretty awesome, and it propelled us to one game of the playoffs the year of the trade, and ultimately a division crown last year.

The epitome of that whole movement might very well be Shane Victorino. He is a case of Red Bull, someone who clearly forgets to take his Ritalin. Sugar Shane, or the Flying Hawaiian, injected the team with some scrappy, speedy play, the exact opposite of what we were - 8 middle aged white guys with balky knees and low batting averages who lived or died by the home run ball.

So this year we brought in Pedro Feliz and Geoff Jenkins, Victorino missed a little time due to injury, Chase Utley endured the worst slump of his career, and now we seem to be back in that all-or-nothing funk. We scored 20 runs this year. Woo-hoo! But anybody who watches baseball would rather have a bunch of 5 and 6 runs games than one 20 run game. That's just called pouring it on.

Instead, the Phils ring up 0, 1, and 2 run games like its their job. That's not something you expect out of a "high-powered" offense.

Our team's personality seems like it is close to slipping back into that "wait for someone to get a hit" mentality, instead of the "I'm gonna make something happen" mentality.

Victorino is still doing his thing, and Jayson Werth (trying to steal third the other night...twice...was a gaudy move) is too, but I personally feel like we could use one more hitter, a guy who can hit for contact, pinch run (and be dangerous at it), and have a decent glove.

Everybody knows pitching wins championships, and I completely agree that we need another starting pitcher to take things to the next level. Everyone also seems to agree that Victorino is the trade chip to use to bring in that pitcher.

The Phils have needed a pitcher for years. Seriously, it's probably been a more consistent need than a wide receiver is for the Eagles, but what if this year is the year where we finally make a move, push our chips to the center of the table and trade Victorino for a pitcher?

We've already lost Michael Bourn. Our team has clearly moved into the "any one of these guys could end up DHing on an AL team in 3 years" mode.

What if our offense takes a serious plunge into that brand of baseball that I don't think really has a name, but you know it when you see it, where there is no stealing, lots of striking out, some home runs peppered in there, and not much else?

Maybe the only way to take things to the next level is to trade Victorino for a pitcher, but seriously, Rollins and Victorino are the lifeblood of this line-up, and if you take away Victorino, that would make Werth and Jenkins every day starters. That is not a good thing. Our line up would be full of...yep...middle-aged white guys with balky knees looking to go yard every time, because its their only chance of scoring.

That's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The always interesting mid-day gym crowd

Instead of getting a "real" job this summer, I opted to pal around with semi-professional basketball players and co-ordinate their workouts related both to basketball and strength training. Having just finished my first year of law school, I think I can say with a straight face that this is the first job I have actually been over-qualified for. I make sure the guys eat right, touch the baseline during suicides, and get ankles taped before 5 on 5s. Simply put, a marginally well organized nine year old could do what I do. One conspicuous perk, however, is that I get to spend four days per week at the Bally's Total Fitness in King of Prussia. While there, I get to immerse myself in a crowd that I have found to be nothing short of groin-grabbingly hilarious: the early afternoon workout crowd.

What's great about this crowd is that I see the same knuckleheads each day. There is one gentleman who appears to be old enough to be Charles Lindburgh's brother or uncle. Hair comes out of his ears with equal speed, determination, and intensity as from his head. He only uses the rowing machine. My theory is that he is gearing up for an octogenarian tri-athalon, but he is wholly uniterested in biking, swimming, and running. Something tells me he's not only not going to win, he's going to be very confused when he shows up and there are no rowing machines in sight. There is also a look-alike to the father on that Orange County Choppers motorcycle TV show. While I have learned that I am allergic to amoxycillan and penicillin, this gentleman is apparently allergic to sleeves and sleeve accouterments, as evidenced by his extensive tank-top collection. As I see this man do reps of 25 at 225 lbs. at age 60, I can only wonder: has he ever owned a sleeved shirt? I wonder what he attends the opera in? These questions may go forever unanswered, though, because he doesn't make eye contact with me because of my adherence to a sleeved lifestyle.
Another thing that's great about this gym is the MILFs. We all aspire to have a non-working spouse who does nothing than prep herself for "the business" after we return home from work. Let me tell you, the husbands of no less than thirty women who go to this place between 1-3 everyday are living that very dream. Aside from high school seniors, these women are the cream of the crop. It gets absurdly hard for me to jog, or be in mesh shorts at all, frankly, when a gaggle of 30-something year old hardbodies are all stretching each other out before an intense yoga session. As they prance away to their Beemer 3-series while I wait for the lazy players to lolligag to the car 30 mins after we finish, I can only do what any rational man does: memorize their license plate numbers, have Bucky run them later, and eat dinner and breakfast in the bushes by their house for a few weeks and wait.

Everyday, we also get the sports anchor of the NBC 10 team, made famous of late by Bucky on this very blog. I'm not sure what his name is but I have included a photo. The thing that confuses me about his is that he never talks about sports while he's there. Does anyone else find this a little queer? When I hang out with you guys, I ask Buck about busting crime, Tall Man about going green, and Rob about fun games he invents at his desk while a bespecaled Reekie manages my Wellington account. And this guy is a sportscaster for christ sake! What could be more fun than talking Birds with meatheads at the gym? My guess is that he's only in it for the chicks (or, in this case, MILFs) and would probably get lost if any sort of real sports convo was initiated.
In short, my days are pretty boring. There is some good people watching and Q-102 listening, but, on the whole, I just fantasize about MILFs doing their cardio work on my face. If that makes me wrong, that makes you a Commie.

I propose we all go to this Cornhole event on the 28th in Conshohocken. We all love boozing, eating, and playing cornhole, and for $25 we can do all 3 for 3 hours that day.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Things I Take For Granted (No. 805)

No. 805, Things I Take For Granted: The Philly Phanatic

The Philly Phanatic. That motherfucker is always up to something. He is a giant bird, very very green, hails from the Galapagos, loves smashing other teams equipment, and once burned Tommy Lasorda in effigy.

What a fucking crazy asshole.

Whenever I'm at Phillies games, I see him running around, dancing on the dugout, driving drunk through the infield on a quad, just doing totally crazy shit. One time he had a whole bag full of free t-shirts and hats and stuff...he gave the entire thing to some hard body sitting in the front row.

Plus he does this really great thrusting dance.

I'm spoiled. I get to see this guy hamming it up with the fans and hurling insults at the opposing team all the fucking time.

If you were a baseball fan from Wichita or Seattle or Pismo Beach you would only ever see this guy on SportsCenter every once in a while, when he does something truly outlandish. Not me. I get him 24 fucking 7.

Me and the Philly Phanatic.

Going Places.

Fuck Yeah.

Economy PLUS

Short vacations are always the hardest. Just as you begin to settle into a nice groove of boozing from the time you get up till the early morning hours, your are rudely thrust back into the sweaty-balled work week we all love to hate. This sobering transition is not made any easier by the fact that the return trip from your vacation location usually involves a plane ride, which implies any number of head crushing, leg cramping, and/or vomit inducing side effects. Crying babies, zero legroom, smelly people (ex. Jimmy), middle seats, 5$ booze drinks, overzealous TSA officers, etc. Let me tell you, these are not easy things to take when your Sunday morning starts with Screwdrivers, beers, and Colorado KB.

It was just this situation that I found myself in yesterday, sitting in the Denver airport, waiting to board and trudge back to row 20, when I had the idea to ask if an exit row seat was available so that I could stretch out my limbs and possibly sleep for a hot minute. The guy behind the counter seemed turned off by my request at first but after I told him about my height he understood. He told me that a Economy Plus seat was available, in the 7th row, but I would have to sit middle (I already had a window). I asked him how much and he said 50$ but that he was offering it to me for free and I better take it. Before saying yes he printed the new boarding pass and tore up the old one. Just what does Economy plus get you? About 5 inches of extra leg room, a big plus, but worth giving up a window for a middle? Now just slow down there one second. But the decision had been made, "fair is fair," I guess.

As I sat down in 7E I noticed a few of the bad signs, baby across the isle, guy next to me who didn't want to put the armrest down, overhead bins that didn't want to close; it was an ominous situation at best. Except for one thing, a total hard-body sitting next to me. As it turns out, she is Tanith Belbin, a Canadian-born ice dancer who has won several international competitions and will be competing in her second winter Olympics in 2010 (she won silver in 2006, for the USA). [On a side note, this gorgeous 23 year old informed me that she will be retiring shortly after the '10 games.] Unfortunately she is dating some fellow skater named Evan, so the mile-high club was a little out of the question, but that didn't stop me from casting more than a few glances her way.

Tanith and I really hit it off, once I spoke to her for the first time, which was about 15 minutes before we got off the plane. I would give you the details of our captivating, sexually charged conversation but I don't want to blog down the blog with personal details. Lets just say that Evan better watch his girl, because, I've always had a thing for hard-bodies who enjoy being thrown into the air while traveling at high speeds on a hard surface. Doesn't everybody? I'll leave you with something Tanith recently wrote on her MySpace blog, (yes, the stalking has begun):
"Have a great summer, take a vacation, and don't forget that change can absolutely be a good thing."
Rarely has better advice been offered Tanith, just be ready to make some changes of your own...

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Lack of Foresight

Dollar beer night. That was my idea for a Phillies game promotion. Charge a buck a beer, only let in people 21 and older, see what happens. It worked with hot dogs, right?

Obviously, this was something I just blurted out after paying $6.75 for a beer that I spilled half of on the way back to my seat, so I did not fully understand the implications of a dollar beer night at Citizens Bank Park.

Needless to say, it would probably be absoulute mayhem.

On Dollar Dog Night, you have people competing against each other to see how many they can eat, people rushing hot dog vendors and yelling obscene things at them, and people littering the field with their dogs. Hey, it's only a buck, right?

And that's just with a hot dog, imagine something even higher in alcohol content.

Luckily, we do not have to imagine. Thanks to the 1974 Cleveland Indians, we know exactly what would happen, as they hosted a 10 cent beer night (10 cents!) that July against the Rangers.

Very brief background: The Indians sucked. Cleveland sucked. Their fans sucked. And people love booze. Here are some quotes from an article I read about the evening.

"Even though the Indians offered copious amounts of beer at cut-rate prices, a great many attendees opted to play with a handicap, arriving at their seats drunk, stoned or both."

I love the term "playing with a handicap." Can we start using that to let people know we have been pre-gaming since last Thursday?

"Through deliberate coordination or spontaneous groupthink, hundreds of fans showed up with pockets full of firecrackers."

This is absolutely hilarious, and one of the perils I never even considered with a discount beer night. Imagine if the Phillies had this promotion, and you knew about it months in advance. I'm pretty sure fireworks would be the least dangerous thing people were bringing in.

"Anonymous explosions peppered the stands from the first pitch."

Way to not waste any time.

"...lending the game a war-zone ambiance...along with clouds of exploded gunpowder and marijuana smoke."


"A few pitches later, a heavyset woman sitting near first base jumped the wall, ran to the Indians' on-deck circle, and bared her enormous, unhindered breasts."

You know, maybe this wouldn't be such a bad idea after all...

"The rain of beer became a hail of rocks, batteries, golf balls and anything not bolted down"

Ahh, batteries. If there is ever a hall of fame for projectiles, batteries have to be a first ballot, right? So simple, so small, so very painful. If I ever find myself routinely bringing batteries to sporting events, in the off-chance that J.D. Drew or John Rocker show up, I know I will have led a successful life.

In the ninth inning, things started to heat up. A fan jumped onto the field from the outfield seats and knocked the cap off one of the Rangers outfielders, who ended up tripping while trying to confront the fan.

The Rangers manager, Billy Martin, was understandably upset about one of his players being accosted.

""Let's go get 'em boys," he said, arming himself with a fungo bat and sprinting toward right-center field. The Rangers followed him."

Soon after, the 25 Rangers players quickly found themselves surrounded by 200 angry drunks.

From that point, things got out of control and I wish YouTube had been around. Basically, the Indians players all grabbed bats to go help the Rangers. There was literally a fight between the ballplayers and the fans. Athletes were hitting fans with bats, and vice versa. The ballplayers were eventually able to run away, and the fans then just started a giant riot, stealing everything on the field.

"Perhaps attempting to soothe the riotous beast, the organist then played 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame.'"

All in all, it seemed like a pretty successful promotion. The Phils don't need to do dollar beer night, they could bump it up to two or three dollars...even five would be nice.

Bottom line, I just want cheaper beer....and the chance to steal home plate, flash the umpires, and hit a few ballplayers with some batteries.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Air Madness: The Larry Mendte Story

There is nothing better than a scandal involving public figures. We’ve had a couple of good ones recently, including the whole Elliot Spitzer/prostitution thing, and the Larry Craig bathroom stall incident. Hillary Clinton claimed she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire, then someone got a hold of a tape recording of the landing, and shes calmly striding across the runway shaking hands with a bunch of army guys, with a smile on her face and Chelsea in tow. Of course, maybe the only thing better than an awesome scandal is one that involves some hometown players.

I’m talking about this whole Larry Mendte-Alycia Lane situation that’s been playing itself out recently. Quick re-cap: back in ’03, Mendte switched from anchoring the NBC 10 news to working for CBS 3 (sideline: remember when it was NBC 3 and CBS 10? Hurricane Schwartz is the only survivor from those days), and CBS 3 at that time also brought in Lane from an affiliate in Miami as essentially a hired gun to boost ratings. Prior to 2003, CBS 3 had devolved into showing nothing but The Price is Right, Letterman, Kilborn, King of Queens, and dead air. The Lane and Mendte one-two punch was lights out for the other networks, and the pair were seemingly unstoppable.

Things began to unravel when Mendte became overshadowed by Lane, someone who he saw as just another pretty face, not a serious journalist (Mendte’s job before NBC 10? He was an ‘anchor’ on Access Hollywood- so he’s a real Edward R. Murrow type). Then it came out that she sent photos of herself in a swimsuit to Rich Eisen via email, emails which were accessed by Eisen’s wife, who totally Hextalled him by revealing the whole thing to the public. Then, over the winter, Lane and her current boyfriend and then Q102 DJ, Booker, were partying in Manhattan, when Lane decided to get into drunken fisticuffs with NYPD cops. She was arrested on the spot and promptly fired. In those long-ago and carefree days of the winter of ’07-’08, this was all a source of great entertainment to me and millions of others in the Philadelphia area.

Interestingly, Booker was also fired recently. A Q102 spokesperson told the Associated Press that Booker was fired from his position as host of ‘Booker In The Morning’ because the music station was, quote, ‘trying to reduce the number of complete douchebags on the station by exactly one.’

Degrees of separation between myself and Alycia Lane: Four. My coworker’s girlfriend had a brief but hilarious affair with Booker while said coworker and his girlfriend were ‘on a break,’ and Booker of course still dates Lane.

The latest chapter in the Lane-Mendte saga cannot top Lane slugging a cop and screaming ‘I’m a reporter, Bitch!’ Yet it is still awesome. The FBI served a search warrant on Mendte’s home in Chestnut Hill, 19118, and seized computers and related evidence. The charges? That he accessed her private email account, which is illegal, like opening someone else’s mail. Mendte’s wife is Dawn Stensland, anchor for the cheap yet effective Fox News. This came about because Mensa-society member Larry Mendte left the window open on the computer at work he was using to snoop in her account, and a Lane loyalist who continues to work at CBS 3 alerted the authorities.

Mendte is now himself on the sidelines, benched while this whole thing plays out. Here is my question…how can I get into someone else’s email accounts and read their emails? Thus far, the stalking of my ex-girlfriend can only go as far as constantly monitoring the comments on her Facebook page and driving by her house twenty times a day. Having the ability to read her emails would be a huge win for me. Furthermore, I would like to talk with Mr. Mendte about somehow accessing the text message inbox and outbox on her cell-phone. That would also be a big help.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rob's Happy Time Adult Water Park

I'm more of an "idea man" than 0ne of those crazy "men of action." Definitely more into sitting back, coming up with a kick-ass idea, and then letting all the suckers run around like mad trying to make it happen. So I will use this space to let you, the people, in on some of my plans. I'm not a jealous or greedy man either, so if you like one of my ideas, feel free to take it and run with it.

So far, this has not happened yet. I'm constantly saying things like "You know what would be cool..." or "Listen to this..." or even "I've got a great idea..." which is then usually followed up with some totally rad, awesomest invention ever - like chocolate chicken, blacklight tattoos, or guitars that are, like, double guitars. For some reason, nobody is following me around with a notepad and pencil copying everything I say word-for-word and then analyzing it all to find little nuggets of gold that I am just dropping day in and day out.

However, I believe this is all about to change with my latest idea: an adult water park.

It's pretty much a no-brainer. Whenever you add the word 'adult' to the front of something that is already good, preferably something really sweet from your childhood (playgrounds, beverages, diapers, etc..), it makes it even more rockin'.

So we are going to take the beloved water park of our youth, and adult it up a little bit.

First, so we are all on the same page, let's just reflect on regular water parks right now. If anybody is familiar with the water park on the Ocean City boardwalk, or Dorney Park's Wild Water Kingdom, that is a good jumping-off point. I have heard about a place called Wolf Lodge, or something like that, which is indoors and has a hotel attached to it (this is more along the lines of what we are talking about).

So "kiddie" water parks, as we will now call them, are kind of loud, and for some reason, I am picturing them being very sticky. When you pay money you get a bracelet, and the color on your bracelet lets you know how long you can stay (Attention: Everyone wearing an orange bracelet will need to exit the park by 1:15). We will probably adopt this tactic for our adult park, but I am not sure exactly how it will be utilized.

The big draws at any kiddie water park are the real tall loopy slides, one for tubes and one not for tubes. These require climbing up a mountain of stairs, sometimes with an inner tube being lugged behind you, to wait in a line for your chance to slide all the way to the bottom into a big pool. There is also a ride, heretofore known as "Shotgun Falls," that is just a wide, open-aired slide, one or two bumbs in it, that spits you out about 10 feet above the actual pool. It feels like you are being shot out of a cannonball...or better yet, a shotgun. Actually, even better yet, like you're the cork being popped off a bottle of champagne (an aspect we will certainly need to take advantage of for our adult park).

Now, while these are the glitzy, showy rides that get you in the door, the real lifeblood, the backbone of any water park worth its salt, is the Lazy River.

Ah yes, the lazy river is a magical place. Winding around the perimeter of the park, sometimes even cutting through the middle, the lazy river is the perfect spot to chillax after an intense morning on Shotgun Falls. There are inner tubes aplenty, bridges to go under, and sometimes even waterfalls. It is a great way to see the entire park, and catch some rays while you're at it.

The most important part about our adult water park, besides the booze, is the fact that it will be indoors. If you've ever been in one of those artificial tropical rain forests (I believe there is one at the Baltimore Aquarium), that is the feel we are going for. There will be plenty of live plants on the ground, maybe growing on the walls, and some sections where there is a cool mist.

The three or four stories will all be open, so you will be able to meander along the lazy river, look up, and see someone all the way at the top about to go down one of the tall, loopy slides.

Now let's just cover the booze here for a second. There won't be any cash exchanged when buying beers or mixed drinks, that all gets taken care of with your bracelet. There is a skybar, at the very top of the building, where you can really get down to the serious drinking. Then, when you're done, you can just jump into one of those tall, loopy slides and coast all the way to the bottom. Once you're down there, I recommend burning some energy in the tide pool, checking out (newly renamed) Champagne Falls, and swimming up to one of the swim-up bars for some frozen cocktails. After you do all that, it's time to get busy in the Lazy River.

Grab an inner tube, grab a drink, and just float around the park. There will be HD TVs scattered about, maybe a water-resistant foosball table, you get the idea. Also, there will be a section of the park for beer sports, with a floating beer pong table and maybe some mini-golf.

I haven't got all the details worked out, but that's not really my job.

So let's say it's a real hot day in the middle of August. You've done the beach, you've done the mall and the movies, and your AC is on the fritz.

Come on down to Rob's Happy Time Adult Water Park! The lifeguards are strippers and the booze is free!!

(note: booze is not actually free)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A plea for equity

OK- so espn.com just reported that our old friend (and by friend, I mean outrageously casual acquaintance) Matt Ryan got $35 million guaranteed from the Falcons. This has thrown me into quite a shame spiral made only worse by my overall lack of hygiene and outlook on life. I have decided to come up with a list of achievements that I have accomplished over the course of my life which make me, and not cannon-armed Matt Ryan, over-qualified for a $35 million bonus.

7 years old: during a belching contest with my babysitter (Jamal, brother of Mrs. Jimmy Rollins) I successfully belched and broke wind simultaneously, thus victoriously eliminating Jamal

Also 7 years old: while sitting on my father's lap during a Phils game, I "sharted," thus staining his pants. Upon further inflection, I probably needed to be referred to a gastrointerologist during my 8th year of life

12 years old: upon receiving unmerited criticism that I in fact had a "rat tail" despite clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, I threw a temper tantrum which resulted in a physical stand-off with a lesbian gym teacher on a crowded school bus. While I avoided a pesky "suspension" I had to later apologize to the teacher. After doing that, I returned to my lunch table and bragged to my friends about how the apology was completely without feeling or emotion only to look into their eyes and see the classic "dear lord, she is standing right behind you and you're in the process of being too loud" look in their eyes. Shortly thereafter, a subsequent apology was quickly followed by an afternoon in the principal's office.

15 years old: During evening rehearsals of "Fiddler on the Roof" my friend and I thought it would be truly groundbreaking to craft strawberry smoothies with an extra special ingredient. After wild and flamboyant advertisements of the concoction to anyone who would listen, we hoarded it from all friends. This aroused suspicion among teacher/chaperons who were there. This resulted in a Spanish teacher drinking all of it. We're not clear how his night ended but it is reasonable to suspect that it included Snickers Ice Cream bars and French Electronica music.

19 years old: After hearing that a dear friend would be in Israel for two weeks, I planned large pool and alcohol parties on his property. Trash was left both in and near the pool, various cleaning ladies dimed me out upon witnessing the raucous soirees which occurred nightly, and, long story short, I've never been as welcome there ever since.

As you can see, I'm not entirely sure who Matt Ryan thinks he is, but let me tell you, he is not better than either you or me and, frankly, we should all be entitled to a cut of his astronomical salary. If the aforementioned character portrayals aren't persuasive, then, tell me, what is?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is It Too Early to Buy a DeSean Jackson Jersey?

Just a simple question:

Is it too early to buy a DeSean Jackson jersey?

I know all about the Eagles success with drafting wide receivers, and I know rookies in general hardly ever make an impact on Andy Reid's teams, and I know the guy is 170 lbs. soaking wet, but does that mean it's too early to buy a DeSean Jackson jersey?

Personally, I am a little pumped right now, because I just had this revelation that the Eagles got the steal of the draft. True, I also had this revelation after reading a Dave Spadaro On The Inside column, which is pretty much like drinking Midnight Green Kool-Aid, but it was a revelation nonetheless.

Let's just take a look at the facts first. The guy was one of the best players in the country his senior year of high school at Long Beach Poly, which is a football powerhouse. He was recruited by every major program and chose to stay local and go to Cal. His senior year he earned First Team All-American honors, caught 65 balls for 6 TDs, and returned a kick and a punt. The year before he caught 9 TDs and returned 4 punts for TDs. Pretty impressive.

He was also projected to be a sure-fire first round pick, but teams passed on him due to character issues (who doesn't have character issues anymore?), and his diminuitive size. To that I say, look at Brian Westbrook, look at Allen Iverson, and look at Mark McGwire when he first came into the majors (sidenote: the NFL does not test for HGH). The guy will be playing wide receiver and returning kicks and punts. He doesn't need to be huge. It helps to be big if you're not as talented as him (Plaxico I'm looking at you), but with his skill, all the Birds need to do is find a way to get him the ball and he'll be juking and jiving all over the place. Barry Sanders was never a big guy, but the reason he never really got hurt is because it was hard to get a clean shot on him. Defenders were more worried about just bringing him to the ground than delivering vicious blows.

He has been working out with Jerry Rice (Jerry Rice!) for a while now, who is teaching him the ins and outs of the position (how to deceive a corner, how to get off the line of scrimmage, etc...), as well as how to stay healthy, how to train, and also the business side of the game. Forget about the Super Bowl rings and the MVP awards, I'm pretty sure this guy won Dancing With The Stars.

So he's got that going for him.

Which is nice.

Some other nice things about DeSean Jackson are his number (18), and his clear visor (not as intimidating as B-Dawk's all-black tint, but kind of sweet in its own right).

The Eagles are a veteran team, with a lot of good pieces in place. DeSean Jackson doesn't need to be a savior on this team, which is a role he would probably fail in. He just needs to be a piece of the puzzle. I think he is exactly the kind of player that can do that.

Maybe he'll take it to the house a couple of times on kick-offs or punts. Maybe he'll have a handful of catches for some big yardage, maybe he'll be another weapon for D-Mac to get the ball to, either way, I think it's just about the right time to buy a DeSean Jackson jersey.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It's probably already been said...

Great Phils game last night. I think the Phils and D-Backs could have an interesting East-West rivalry over the next few years because they both have a surplus of talent, play hard, and are well-managed. That being said, as I watched last night, D-Back (the obvious slur/pun for their fan names is just too easy so I'll abstain) fans behind home plate nearly ruined my entire viewing experience.

It is officially time to ban the "I'm on my cell phone in the background of the shot and I'm waiving into the camera like a complete dunce and not paying attention to the game whatsoever even though these tickets cost more than feeding a homeless person for a month" "fans" from the game altogether. I genuinely can not think of a tackier, me-first move at the ballpark. This type of buffonery needs to stay with Toomey and Co. in FDR well before the first pitch is thrown.

It ruins the game for the fans watching on TV. It makes puts the violator in perpetual fan purgatory without the chance of redemptipon. Have these folks never seen themselves on TV before? Have their idiot friends who text them "DUDE, YOU'LL NEVER GUESS IT, WE CAN SEE YOUR LEFT SLEEVE ON TV WHEN UTLEY TAKES HIS WARM-UP SWINNNGGGSSSS, CALL ME RIGHT FUCKING NOW!" never had a more exciting moment in their life than this? This hand-waving crap does the opposite of Jebediah Springfield- it enlittles every man.

In conclusion, let me state that if for some reason I or anyone else on this blog ever gets seats to the game where his visage is in the periphery of a camera 4 shot during a game, please, I beg you, don't be that loser on his phone not paying attention to the game. You go to the game to see Victorino's hustle and Howard's power, not yourself. If you're more worried about yourself and your appearance on TV, do us all a favor and stay home and hang out with Howard Eskin and his horseshit crew all day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

More on Drunk Driving

You know in the 40-Year-Old Virgin where that drunk girl makes Steve Carell blow into the breathalyzer thing in her car? Apparently that is called the Interlock Device, and is a very serious thing. A lot of organizations, like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), have been pushing to get these added to cars, not just the cars of serial drunk drivers or alcoholics, but all cars.

It looks like a very strong reality in the next 5-10 years, and in theory seems like a great idea: You get in the car, blow in it, and if you blow over a .3 or something, the car will shut down and not start. That way there won't be any drunk drivers on the road and nobody will get mowed down. Hard to be against that, right?

Well there is a website called interlockfacts.com that is actually quite against it. They have a well-publicized advertisement in USA Today showing a picture of Lindsay Lohan, with the caption A Good Idea For Her (meaning this device is good for her), and then three other pictures of what look like a wedding party and some other normal, social functions, and the caption A Bad Idea For Us. Basically the point they are making is that this interlock device really should only be used on total lunatics who are most likely alcoholics, and not the good, hard-working, hard-drinking people of everyday America.

And I totally agree.

Drunk driving is a choice. Sure, it might be illegal, but I feel like I have the right to choose to break the law. Keep your rosaries off my ovaries, and so forth.

If we let this happen, soon we will need to blow into all sorts of things just to get them to work.

Oh, and for full disclosure, it turns out this Interlock Facts website was created by the liquor industry.

On a related note, the Philadelphia Eagles currently have 3 pro-bowl caliber cornerbacks and 0 pro-bowl caliber wide receivers.

Should we trade one of our corners for a WR? Should we keep all 3 corners and be totally stacked at that position? Is Lito going to stay happy all season? Can we get the media to not totally sabotage the situation by bringing it up every day? And does Asante Samuel seem like a total mercenary to you, too? I feel like he is not the kind of guy to go up to Lito and be like "It's a unique situation we're in let's be cool about it." I see him more being like "If he dies, he dies."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Go Sixers and Eagles and Phillies!

I write just moment after the Flyers won 4-2 against the Canadians to take a 3-1 series lead in the conference semis. I did not watch. I was watching the Phils game, though, when the crowd erupted between pitches of an otherwise inconsequential at-bat. At first I was thinking either a) streaker or b) college night brawl but I soon found out it occurred because the Fly-Guys scored a go-ahead goal to go up 3-2 in the third period. It was at this moment that I had an epiphany: The Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup in about a month. There will be parades and celebrations and shirtlessness that only men like Reekie and other assorted women abusers can really cherish. And for this championship-starved fan living in the ultimate championship-starved city, I will be fucking pissed.

Hockey really stinks. I must admit that I am biased, though, because I hate cold weather and I can’t skate. I never followed it growing up nor did any of the male role models in my life (my Dad and Phillip Banks). I realize that I’m in the minority here- especially in Philly- but just hear me out.

First off, I can’t imagine a worse spectator sport than hockey. I honestly think polo would be easier to follow on TV. The puck is too small and the action is too fast. I used to love the “Fox Streak” thing that would follow the puck around, but apparently hockey purists were able to do away with it. Line changes occur mid-play and there is never enough time for cameras to zoom in on players’ faces like they can do in baseball or basketball. So, I bet you’re thinking, “What about Football? There are unlimited substitutions and you can’t see players’ faces there, either.” Let me cut you off right there. If you’re really comparing hockey to football you live in Calgary, own Molson stock, and worship Jim Carrey. Stop reading this blog and feel free to proceed to www.ilovecanadabutnotasmuchasgaysexanddavecoulier.com.

Goals in hockey are always really tough to figure out and/or get excited about. Almost all of them occur either as a scrum in front of the net where some Canuck finally bulldozes an Eastern Bloc refugee and the puck just happens to cross the line or some deflection off a slap shot that happens so quickly the viewer can’t react until the resulting face-off. (Note: I do respect the skill and hand-eye coordination of those forwards who are great deflectors of the puck, it just sucks to try to follow as a fan). In soccer, goals occur after fierce counter-attacks, winding free kicks, or individual efforts worthy of international praise. Hockey goals are the heavy-handed, awkward, and clumsy cousin to Maradonna’s and Ronaldinho’s messiah. Think: an aqua velva approach vs. officer harper’s approach.

If this blog had an editor who pared down the length of our articles, all paragraphs of this entry except this one would go. Hockey’s tradition, customs, players, and overall outlook on life are ridiculously un-American. The players come from Canada and Eastern Europe, the announcers and ESPN commentators all have that weird “ah-boot” and “eh” twang to their drawl, and the sport has almost no player base in American like AAU basketball teams, Pop Warner football teams, and American Legion baseball teams. As a result, there will be no influx of American talent or interest in the sport in the next generation. I say, let’s let lacrosse or soccer be the fourth major sport in our market.

I’d like to conclude with the recent trends in the National Hockey League which hammer home my point that hockey stinks. Fighting is all but prohibited now. This is absolutely ridiculous. If I have to sit through two and half hours of a glorified Canadian speed-skating contest, I sure as fuck better see some god damn fists-of-fury action. Forget Gretzky and Messier, I’d prefer a little more Holyfield and Hopkins. I suppose this is so the sport can become more “family friendly.” Its real consequence, however, is weeding out Broad Street Bully aficionados and rolling out the red carpet for Jort-tastic, vegetarian couples with kids from Manitoba. Next, there are now points for overtime losses. Let me say this again. You get rewarded in hockey for losing. Could there be a more perverse statistical category in the history of sports? I mean, we’ve all fooled around with out 3rd cousins at in-laws’ weddings, but we don’t a gold fucking star for doing so. Next, there are now safety nets which cover approximately a third of the area around the arena. As if the puck wasn’t hard to enough to follow in the first place, Batman and Wonder Woman’s superhuman robotic kid couldn’t even see the puck at this point. Lastly, the size of the goals has increased while the dimensions of goalies’ pads have decreased. Can you think of a more gimmicky ploy? What if Bud Selig decided, let’s push the pitcher’s mound back to 70 feet and pull the bases in to 80 feet. America would be up in arms. You know no one gives a shit about hockey when none of these BS “alterations” to the game caused any sort of reaction other than “who the fuck is Gary Bettman?” It’s simply not our national pastime or even tolerated adopted step-child of a sport. It’s more like that lingering dutch-over fart that no only ruins morning sex, it ruins your boxers, too.

Sammy D Keeps It Really Real

It is tradition in sports for players to do superstitious, wacky, and sometimes just plain ridiculous things to get themselves hyped for the playoffs. Beards are pretty common (LETS GO FLYERS!!), wearing the same socks or underwear for every game or maybe wearing headbands or making up a new cool handshake--they all get the job done.

Sammy D joined the fun last night with quite a splash. Sammy has dabbled with different hair styles before, ever since high school actually. He rocked a beautiful fro back in the day, has kept it tight and fresh at other times, briefly had cornrows when Ivey was still in town, and then there is his usual variations of twists and braids that fit his Haitian roots quite well. Even with these versatile styles, no one could forecast the powerful display Sammy rocked last night.

Sammy Bear was sporting an incredible pseudo fohawk expertly crafted with tight even lines on both sides--but the party didn't stop there! In graffiti type shaving he had 'SD' on one side presumably for Samuel Dalembert, but as he later clarified it also stood for 'Strong Defense.' You Kiddin' Me!? Brilliant! On the otherside it appeared to say 'LT,' which as Zumoff reported was for a 'loved one.' Oh man! (Check out the game tape here )

It was also reported that Sammy asked his teammates if it was cool for him to do this. Has there ever been a more lovable basketball player?! (One guy does come to mind...) But even when Sammy is goal tending or crossing over and taking 18 foot fadeaways you can only laugh. And when he hits that fadeaway? Hah! You kiddin me!? Do it again Sammy, just because I love you childish passion for the game. Sammy is also an international ambassador of basketball, community service, and compassion.

Sammy and the Sixers didn't have a great game, but I like to think that had more to do with the Pistons simply not missing and a few calls going the wrong way. I can only hope we get to catch Sammy D and his masterpiece again tomorrow night and if we are lucky maybe, just maybe, the new 'do can carry us onto another round.

Let's Go Sixers!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hanged Over

I was recently watching a tv show in which a concerned mother engaged in 30 days of binge-drinking as a way to reach out to her 19-year-old, party-hearty daughter.

It may be a stretch to call it "responsible programming," but it was not without impact. Specifically, watching a mother and daughter getting hammered for an hour definitely has some high comedic value.

I personally enjoyed watching the mom, who was a fitness buff, handle the hangovers. She gave up on her morning runs, stopped making breakfast for her 9-year-old son, and switched from a diet of fruit, fish, and vegetables to pizza and fried chicken.

Watching her stumble around from room to room, sitting in chairs with her hands on her head, and complain about any noise or light in her general vicinity, was hilarious, but also, very relatable.

You see, after sleeping, working, and drinking, I probably spend the majority of my life dealing with some degree or stage of a hangover.

From the Tuesday morning, went-out-to-watch-a-ballgame-Monday-night-and-had-one-too-many-beers-now-I-am-tired-and-angry-and-at-work hangover, to the Sunday morning, dear-God-I-hate-myself-has-anyone-ever-died-from-a-hangover-I'm-never-drinking-again hangover, I have experienced them all.

Sometimes hangovers are very straightforward; you go out and get drunk and the next day you feel bad. Case closed.

Other times they are a bit sneakier. Sometimes you may only have a few beers, but for whatever reason, you cannot function the next day. Or there is the inevitable "delayed hangover" : you wake up feeling great, ready to rock and roll. Fast forward 3 hours later and you are resting your head on a La-Z-Boy with your knees on the ground, an untouched glass of water by your hand, and the TV turned on but with the sound on mute. Good times.

Unfortunately, that last example happens all too often to me. And I always get fooled. So you had 19 beers and 3 shots, went to bed at 6 and woke up at 9 and you're feeling great? Doesn't seem a little suspicious? Nope, not to me, I am ready to start making all sorts of plans for the day, especially ones involving running around in the heat and drinking beers. Then noon comes and I am lying comatose and groaning on my basement floor. Unfinished basement, I might add.

One fun thing I like to do with my hangovers is blame them on one particular action of mine, and not the sum of all my gross debaucheries.

For example, "Man, I shouldn't have done that last shot of tequila, that's why I feel so bad right now."

What I am saying here is that very last shot of tequila is the one that caused the hangover. The first four shots were totally cool, as were all the beers and rum and cokes and cigarettes and adderol and 6 am cheesesteaks. If I only refrained from that last shot though, I would be right now running a tri-marathon.

Blaming it on a particular type of alochol, as opposed to the amount consumed, also works well in this situation:

"From now on I'm drinking Miller Lite, Budweiser always gives me a hangover."

The thing about hangovers is, everybody gets them (if you're doing your job properly, that is), and yet there are so many different "cures" out there.

Personally, I like for each hangover to dictate my reaction.

Others swear by certain "treatments," such as: pounding water, sleeping all day, drinking beers, smoking weed, exercising, watching television, eating fried foods, a greasy breakfast, or an expensive sandwich, drinking tomato juice, gatorade, vitamin water, or ginger ale, taking a cold shower, going swimming, and slurpees.

As I mentioned above, dealing with hangovers is probably fourth on my list if I ever kept a journal of my daily actions. If the above "treatments" I mentioned seem all too familiar to you, chances are you're in the same boat as me.

(scratch that, if you're reading this blog you're in the same boat as me).

(followed closely by regrets).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

They Said It

Kyrylo Fesenko, Jazz center, to a writer whose media credential was dated 20008:

"Were you sent here to kill us all?"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

TO Spotted at Hardcore Porn Shoot!!

Well it looks like TO is spending some quality time in Miami at a porn shoot. I always thought if he was hanging with pornstars it would be more like this this crowd. The site that posted the picture, BangBros, is based in Miami where Drew Rosenhaus is also based. After some reflection I can't really hate on this move--in fact if I were in Miami and had nothing else to do hell, maybe I would go hangout with the BangBros.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Philly's Most Wanted

You know when I was a boy,
folks used to say to me
"Slow down Dewey, don't walk so hard"
And I used to tell them
Life's a race, and I'm in it to win it
And I'll walk as damn hard as I please
-Dewey Cox

I don't know about you guys, but Brad Lidge nearly gave me a heart attack Sunday night; after Reyes got on base, I could almost see the proverbial broom coming down on us for the series sweep, like we just got zapped by a malfunctioning shrinking ray after a freak backyard baseball accident and our nutty inventor dad Walter Szalinski was unknowingly trying to dispose of us in the dustbin. Thanks to prolific fielding by Bruntlett and competent fielding by our first baseman, we scraped our way to a 2-4 record against the Mets, who we don't see again until July (the most patriotic of months). I guess maybe thats not too much to be excited about, but at least we avoided the sweep and we won't have to pitch to David Wright again until after the true dog days of summer are upon us.
After the loss on Friday night, Richards, Rob and I took a little trip up Broad St from Pattison to have a few beers, and after jamming out to 'Time To Pretend' by MGMT and becoming fully pumped to drink Heinekens and Jagerbombs all night (also check out 'Love always Remains'), we arrived at the new Marbar at 10th and Walnut, a place that subsequently was turned upside down by our raucous behavior and boozy natures...but while most of the 2-1-5 squad was in attendance, including but not limited to BdOd and BC, one member was conspicuously absent. In fact, no one has seen or heard from him since March 12th, when he posted the inappropriately named and unfortunate blog article "Better than the Best Sex with Oshun, the Afrocarribean Goddess of Sex."
I'm talking of course about Perfect Friend. You know, many people approached me after he posted that rambling collection of apparently nonsensical, 'stream-of-consciousness' writings, supremely concerned for his well-being. Invariably the words 'relapse' and 'rehab' were used over and over to discuss his condition, but the truth is no one knew what his situation was; by that time he had already severed all social ties and stopped showing up to work at the museum and the library. Indications are that his final blog entry was less of a 'canary in in the mineshaft' situation as it was perhaps his last stab at participating in reality, albeit completely unsuccessfully.
So where is he? I wish I knew. Some suggestions are as follows; that he and Charles Patrick are on a Crocodile Dundee-style "Walkabout" in the New Mexico badlands, subsisting purely on peyote, poisonous berries, and puddle water, all the while attempting to create abstract art and writing children's books; he's in Brazil, living a Col. Kurtz type lifestyle as warrior/poet/deity in charge of a primitive tribe of Incans deep in the rainforest; he got into law school and moved away to go to law school; him and Dr. Bonnie went into business together catering weddings, confirmations, and track banquets at Dugan's on the Blvd.
Of course, until we hear from Perfect Friend directly, its all pure speculation. Matt Steuer literally disappeared one day, and then the outgoing message on his cell-phone was this young girl's barely audible voice, and we never heard from him again. Bizarre. Of course, maybe our Perfect Friend has simply taken some time off to walk bold and hard down life's rocky road...yes, something tells me one day Perfect Friend will be back, and he will better than ever.

A Great Sports Weekend

A lot of things happened this weekend. The Sixers upset the Pistons to go up 1-0 in the playoffs, the Phillies battled back against the Mets to prevent a sweep, and the circus came to town.

I could only pick one thing to write about, and if you were watching the late innings of the Phillies 5-4 win on Sunday night, you would know exactly what I am talking about. The kind of once-in-a-lifetime moment that has the ability to be greater than a playoff win, a 2-hr day by Chase Utley, and a high-wire trapeze act combined.

That's right, I'm talking about the Philadelphia debut of one T.J. Bohn.

In the game of baseball, you get used to seeing a lot of faces pass through a team during the course of a grueling 162 game season.

Some are hot-shot rookies who get called up from AA ball at the age of 19 and never go back to the minors.

Some are journeymen catchers, who battle back and forth between AAA ball and the Show, eventually earning a roster spot on the way to becoming a 33-year-old rookie.

Some make memorable first impressions - guys like Sal Fasano and Mike Zagurski. You remember the first time you saw them play, because of the extreme facial hair or the fact that a professional athlete still has his baby fat.

Others are not so memorable, but end up playing a big part in that team's future, a guy like Kyle Kendrick for example. When he first got called up, he was part of a group of young pitchers all trying to help the team during an arms shortage. I don't remember anything that stood out about Kendrick compared to some of the other guys, but fast-forward a few months later and he's a 10-game winner.

I can definitely tell you I was more excited about Zagurski than Kendrick, but right now I am definitely feeling better about Kendrick.

So these first impressions can be a lot of things - misleading, a sign of things to come, not very important at all, or maybe even life-changing.

The reason I am bringing all of this up, of course, it because last night could very well have been the most important moment in the history of the Philadelphia Baseball Phillies. The introduction of one T.J. (Thomas Joseph) Bohn. Now before you get all excited about a guy named T.J. Bohn, please keep in mind that it is not pronounced 'Bone,' but is pronounced to rhyme with 'swan.' Still, the guy has a mullet.

He took a couple good hacks and looked at a ball right down the middle of the plate to quickly get his first Phillies at-bat over and done with. I like that, no need to make a big deal of it and spend a bunch of time fouling off pitches. No, just get up there, take your cuts, and get back to that dugout, Bohn. Time to grab some sunflower seeds and relax.
So who knows what to expect of this T.J. Bohn. He's got a great name, a great mullet, and he takes great hacks. What you do know is that some guys get an opportunity and never let go (Victorino, Shane) others get multiple chances and never take advantage of them, or at least wait until they are on another team (Floyd, Gavin). Still others just end up robbing you (Garcia, Freddy).
Only time will tell.
So picture yourself on a hot day in late August. The Phils are battling back against the Mets and the pitcher is due up. When you find yourself asking, "Is T.J. Bohn available to pinch-hit," remember this day, remember me, and, above all else, remember that Bohn was sent back to the minors less than 10 days after making his debut and has not been heard from since.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rounding third should never be this unpleasant

Last night's Phillies game against the Houston Astros was as triumphant as the final class presentation of Bill S. Preston, Esq. & and "Ted" Theodore Logan which allowed Ted to stay in Cali and form the Wyld Stallyns. ("SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!") I don't think I've ever seen the boys in red play such inspired ball in the bottom of the ninth after looking all but asleep against Shawn Chacon & Co. in the previous 8.

A guy who I had never heard of, Chris Snelling, got things going with a bang. Burrell followed up his efforts with an inconceivable bomb to right to tie the score at 3. Following a pesky Gieoaeff Jenkins walk, Pedro Feliz scorched a Velvarde fastball down the left field foul-line.

Freeze this moment.

If you have closely watched the Phils over the last year and a half, you come to expect certain things. Myers is an asshole, Utley is a gamer, Howard is streaky, Victorino is squirrely, Hamels is a heart-throb, Romero is the best player of all, and Rollins does a little shuffle/bat kick/tap thing with his cleat after getting brushed back when he hits lefty. Above all of these certains, however, is the consistently poor job done by Phils third base coach Steve Smith. While attending my first game of the season, I openly disparaged his efforts to Tall Man and others within earshot. Hopefully, after last night, the Phils will go to Criagslist for a potential replacement because his judgment is as sound as one who passes gas in the middle of a set of sit-ups.

With the ball trickling up the line, heady veteran Jenkins watched its trajectory, speed, and angle, along with the actions and pursuit of the Astros left fielder. After getting halfway to third from second, he put his head down and entered endgame mode.

This is where Steve fucking Smith throws up the stop sign. Keep in mind that there is one out and a catcher is coming up next followed by the pitcher's spot. Jenkins has been chugging hard off contact. The game is already tied- if we were still down one this is the right call. If you get thrown out here, we at least go to extras where Romero could potentially pitch eight perfect innings. You gotta send him here. Luckily, heady vet Jenkins declined Smith's advice and ended up scoring on a bang-bang play to win the game.

Two things to take from this event:

1) Steve Smith is always wrong
2) Always go balls deep, especially when it means beating last year's save champ in the bottom of the ninth on Jackie Robinson Day-- for who else so emblazoned images of snatching victory of the jaws of defeat in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Day At The Links

As Monday loomed on the horizon this past weekend it looked to be a bad one. I would be leaving California (after 5+ days of boozy good times in 85 degree weather) at 10:40 PM PST (Sunday) and arriving at JFK @ 7:15 AM EST (Monday), knowing that I can't sleep on planes (despite taking Ambien furnished by a friends mom), followed by rush hour traffic into NYC and a ChinaTown bus ride back into Philly, which got me home at high noon with about 1.5 hours of sleep to my name. So what was my move at such an exhausted moment? Play golf of course.

I headed over to Walnut Lane Golf Course (the challenging par 3 5th pictured to the right) knowing that their 16$ greens fees (Walking, After 2 PM, weekdays) would be just what the doctor ordered. I was not disappointed.

As I walked into the clubhouse and began to pay for my greens fee, I noticed a group of four older gentlemen (the only other people in the "newly renovated" space other than the cashier and myself) sitting at a plastic table with beers (2PM = EARLY afternoon drinking). Hearing them carry on about some 'little shits [who] probably don't even live on Martin St.' followed by some serious guffaws, I dismissed them as silly old drunks. However, at the suggestion of the cashier, I turned to see that one of the men was none other than John Chaney. As I admired his camo Phillies hat and Temple windbreaker (circa 1999) the cashier told me that the legendary coach has made Walnut Lane his 'retirement home', coming by almost every day of the week (please read the article, especially the part about what they do after golf). Although I didn't engage Mr. Chaney as much as I would have liked to, I got out "Hey Coach, how's retirement?" to which he replied "not bad," before taking another sip of his beer and getting back to his conversation with fellow old heads. I couldn't hide my smile.

After hitting my tee shot to the 228 yard par 3 4th (pictured), I chipped onto the green only to discover exactly what Chaney and Co. had been discussing. In white spray paint, some hooligans had drawn a 6 foot tall cartoon man with a matching 5ft veiny meatstick, ejaculating across the green, with the balls centered on the old hole location. They had included the message "Martin St. Vandals ft. G" and topped it off with "Fuck the 5th District," something that Chris H. will surely loathe to hear. Honestly it was quite a work of art (worthy of the penis drawings in Super Bad), it even made me chuckle, but the message was all wrong and the location unacceptable. I two putted for bogey and moved on.

I was flying around the course and playing decent golf as I finished up the 8th hole looking to finish up my front nine playing bogey golf (thats nine over par, I realize not exactly a lofty goal) when I was invited to play through the group in front of me, three guys, about 20-21 years of age, who looked liked they had come straight from class (glasses, buttondown shirts, jeans, not what real golfers wear). I teed off and as I walked by they asked "Want a beer" as they produced a lukewarm High Life tallboy, which I happily accepted and drank over the next couple holes. As I walked away I heard the familiar sound of a Bic lighter and the accompanied coughing that made me realize "Hey, these guys might not look like golfers, but they sure know how to play the game."

Along the rest of the way I shot a mediocre round, found a few balls in the rough, lost a few balls in various places, chased a gopher, saw a fox, pared a couple holes, triple bogeyed a couple holes, and finished the course in a brisk 2.5 hours. All in all, not a bad day for a Monday that could have otherwise been disastrous.

In other news the Flyers went up 2-1 in their series with the Caps following a 6-3 victory in Philadelphia highlighted by Mike Richards penalty shot through the 5 hole of Baby Huet to seal the deal in the third period. The game also saw the return of Darien Hatcher (who played well) from his broken leg and Patrick Thoresen who almost lost a testicle the other day. Scary Stuff. Yesterday the Sixers were totally siked out of a win over the Cavs by instant replay resulting in a difficult first round match up with Detroit. Think the NBA wanted to see 'Bron get homecourt?

Big News on the Eagles Front

The Sixers are about to start the playoffs, the Flyers are in the midst of a playoff series, and the Phillies are in the beginnings of defending their NL East crown and improving upon their first playoff trip in 13 years.

So what's the big news today?

The Eagles, our only non-playoff team in the past year, have released their 2008 schedule.

I'm not gonna get into a detailed analysis, or even list all the games here, because I'm lazy and so much can change between now and September.

But what I will do is say these three things:

1. We have our bye in week 6 (not a bad time for a bye).

2. We play the Cowboys in our last regular-season game (can't beat that).

3. We play on Thanksgiving!

How cool is that?

A Thanksgiving game for the Birds? National audience on one of the biggest football days of the year. Awesome!

Certainly better than watching the Lions and Dolphins stink it up again.

We're playing the Cardinals too, so it sounds like a W for the good guys.

Go Birds!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Getting to Know You

I'm sorry, today is probably the busiest day of the year at my office, unless tomorrow is somehow busier, so I don't really have much time to say anything of value.

Instead, I will leave you with a quick little story from the personal vault that I just remembered yesterday.

While in high school, perfect friend and I decided to start a Students Against Drunk Driving club. We needed a teacher to be a sponsor/administrator so we asked the health teacher, who was very young and extremely pretty.

She was hesitant at first, because perfect friend was in her class and very candid about his weekend exploits. Eventually she gave in, and agreed to be our advisor.

I was promptly suspended from school for drinking during a school trip, and she called us both assholes and never talked to us again.

The lesson, as always, is something about boozing beers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

PA to Factor Big in Upcoming Primary

'Vote Early and Vote Often'
-William Hale Thompson

I have been hearing a lot about PA in the news lately- the upcoming primary on April 22nd in our state is the biggest prize left with its 158 delegates. As far as endorsements, PA democrats are all over the place. I quote NBC 10, "Clinton's backers in the state include Rep. John Murtha, who was an early advocate of withdrawing from Iraq, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who is black." Well said. Clinton is also supported by Fast Eddie, who I am a big fan of. Obama is supported by Sen. Bob Casey, but is pretty well behind in the PA polls. But, as they say, the only poll that matters is the one on election day.

So this April 22nd, show your support for your favorite candidate. For example, starting bright and early I am helping my local ward leader coordinate a number of mustachioed policemen with nightsticks and tall hats to be posted at all voting places to make sure the members of local unions vote in line with our choice for president. Additionally, we are rounding up day-laborers from area breadlines and promising each of them an Indian head nickel if they vote for our candidate. Of course, there is also the painstaking task of bribing each and every one of the vote counters to alter tallies in our favor.

I will also personally be voting on behalf of those members of our party who have died of Yellow Fever and Smallpox over the past year.

But the work doesn't just start on the 22nd. The night of the 21st, I will be siphoning petroleum from my '32 Ford and filling a bakers' dozen of whisky decanters half-full, in order to create incendiary devices with which to bomb various of the opposition's headquarters in Brickyard, The Devil's Pocket, Franklin Town, Wharton, Southwark, and Haines St. Hollow.

After a hard-night of machine-politicking, my chums and I will head down to the local tavern for a few pints of room-temperature draught beer. Election season is indeed an exciting time of the year!