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

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!

Friday, April 4, 2008

An Open Letter (to all the guys busted for pot on Cops and similar shows)

Dear All The Guys Busted for Pot on Cops and Similar Shows,

Let me be the first to offer my condolences. With all the unsolved murders, wife-beatings, and random acts of teen violence, it is ashame that you are getting arrested for possession of marijuana. You may not know it, but while you are handcuffed and pinned against your vehicle, I am sitting on my couch feeling for you.

To the Mexican guy who got caught with three nick bags of dirt rolled up in his sock, I am sorry it went down like that. Maybe if you had proper tags on your 1985 pick-up truck things would have gone differently, but the past is in the past. Best to just forget about it.

And to the two teenagers who got pulled over in their father's Audi, I truly felt that one. That was a really nice bong that the cops made you break on the street. You probably should not have been driving around smoking out of a brand new two foot bong but that is not the issue here. I hate to see it happen, but at least you did not get charged with anything. I guess you can take a life lesson out of this one.

The gentleman who got pulled over while out on a boat with some buddies? My heart goes out to you. It could have been a simple charge of boating under the influence but then they found your bowl and a glass container of what looked like a gram and a half of some high quality bud. Too bad. At least you have a boat.

The Afro-American lad who was chased through a few backyards got it pretty rough. Probably should not have run from the cops but these things happen. Getting caught with a zip-lock bag containing 20 or so grams of weed is never a good thing, and nobody wants to hear the words 'intent to distribute.' You were probably just trying to share some of that with some close friends.

Finally, to the older sir who got busted with a gram of marijuana, two crack rocks and a vial of cocaine, along with what looked to be a crudely fashioned crack pipe, I don't know what to say. Can't really approve of the other drugs. Hopefully you know a few guys in the local prison.

Though I may not be with you in the flesh, kind purveyors of the stickiest of the icky, I am there for you in spirit. So while you spend your time locked up behind bars, doing community service, or just thinking of an excuse to tell your parents, know that in a little patch of the country, there is a young man feeling your pain, sympathizing with your predicament, and keeping you in his prayers.

So to all those guys busted for pot on Cops and similar shows, I am sorry that it happened. But, as they say, better you than me.


R. Patrick

First Day of (my) Spring

As winter turns to spring, we have come to expect certain things. Days get longer, birds begin to chirp, and boobs seem to get bigger and more properly displayed. Collegiate lay-ups and full-court presses are replaced by professional fungoes and suicide squeezes. And while the weather may not have wholly cooperated on the 3rd, it truly was my first day of spring (Rita’s owners and operators be damned) because I went to my first Phils game of the 2008 season.
Make no mistake about it, this year is pregnant with possibility. With key additions like Brad Lidge and Pedro Feliz (not to mention addition by subtraction moves such as dumping Barajas and assigning Helms), Chaz’s bunch looks poised to repeat as NL East Division Champs in the face of competition from the Braves and Mets. This last sentence demonstrates the recent arrogance of the Phils and their phans, because young and hungry teams such as the ExposNationalsFarmTeamformostNLSquads step their game up when they travel to the cozy confines of The Bank, and the result can be taking two of three.
The day started off quite well. By Noon, a healthy group of a dozen or so were boozing and playing lawn games in the gem that is FDR Park. (Author’s Note: if you haven’t been pregaming for Philly sporting events at FDR, you are no friend of mine because you seem to A) enjoy paying for parking; B) not enjoy watching things like Toomey knock over a tub of approximately 1,200 cheddar goldfish and then giggle himself into a near urine-inducing stupor; and C) disregard the right, no, the duty, to piss as openly as any mountain climber would dare to dream). Wawa sandwiches were in the mix, the newly constructed washers set was making as many friends as Shuptar was alienating, and signs ostracizing the baseball and love-making skills of Pat Burrell were nearly completed if Primo hadn’t given the first “W” wayyy too much real estate on the sole 8” x 16” placard. (The piece of construction paper soon met its final demise at the hands of Petrillo. Its final resting place is a garbage can, its headstone reads only a solemn: No Household Trash. Truly, a life taken too soon).
If you can believe this, Richards and I selfishly decided to leave this Eden to actually make it to the park and watch the game. As we strolled in during the top of the first, reality quickly replaced the euphoria that hovers like a dim mist which intoxicates the nostrils and pores of all FDR pregamers. Moyer was getting shelled, the wind was whipping icy hatred into section 114, and dollar dogs were nowhere in sight. Before we knew it, it was 5-0, Nats.
Like Tim Redding before him, Jason Bergmann was mowing down Phils like Chelsea does man-egos. As we settled into the bottom of the third with nothing brewing, our own 34 y/o second-year stud Chris “the Coste with the most” Coste swaggered into the box. Before Bergmann even started his wind-up, I mentioned to the man of un-average height, “What does this guy need to do to play everyday? Every time I see him, he’s doing something great for our squad, and look at his hilarious picture on the jumbotr….” *CRACK*. And like that, it was 5-1, Nats, after a Coste moonshot. The first highfives since a “hole-in-one” which occurred during a washers match were thrown and said man of un-average height scampered into the concourse to get a round of cold ones.
It was at about this time that tragedy struck. As Richards and I joked about flexing muscles on the FanCam to impress “all of the too-bundled hardbodies up in here”, he received a call that whose effects are similar to a pet dying, receiving an unjust parking or moving violation, or finding a bare fridge at 3am when its just you and a slightly too-hot girl for you to pull otherwise. Our favorite officer had turned around on 76 and decided not to attend the game with us. We knew he’d be late, we were both sympathetic to his laborious schedule these days, but, nonetheless, a significant amount of wind came out of our collective sails. Now, stories about apprehending the slime of Germantown after a high-speed pursuit in rush hour traffic while getting blown by a councilman’s daughter resulting in receiving three merit awards at a banquet in the deep Northeast with other hirsute heroes who demanded that a shot taking contest precede an accuracy contest at an underground gun range which serves both reuben sandwiches and Thai happy endings would be replaced by humdrum predictions like “you think they bring in Saenz here?... nah, I bet Condrey…”. Boo-earns, indeed.
Things took a turn for the much better in the 6th inning when we used up all of our bleeding, seeing-eye singles for the entire first half of the season to rally from the early deficit. It was great. Things later took a turn for the much more hilarious in the 8th. Two Caucasoid gentlemen who appeared to hail from the Rawnhurst or Bustleton section of our fine city were walking up the aisle that intersects sections 114 and 113. Just as they were about 3 steps below our row, one guy, without saying a word, just turned and 180-d the other guy. They both spilled to the cement stairs and the melee was on! Tall man had a better view of the entire affair, so for real “facts”, I defer to his account. By my more entertaining account, however, I believe the rhubarb was the result of either misplaced sneeze particles or the classic “oh, I thought you were somebody else who also happened to insult my jean short/Wrangler performance fleece/Umbro bandana combo.” Either way, an unmarked guard separated them and continued his investigation in the concourse behind our seats. Beware of these Gestapo-like gentlemen. Plain-clothed fight breaker-uppers seem to be ever-looming at The Bank like Tallman around 19 y/o’s at parties who don’t seem to know anyone.
I found a few things to be very comforting yesterday. When The Vet was imploded, I thought the years of blue-collar passion (the very same passion that has cheered career-ending injuries and booed ex-hometown heroes when they return with arch-nemesis teams) forever perished along with the dust and rats to be forever replaced by the bourgeoisie clientele of The Bank, $11 sandwiches, and vomiting in bathrooms stalls as opposed to other fans’ faces. I was wrong. I saw a fight ten feet from me. I saw two old friends from high school just by chance. Tallman and I snuck down to Rolls-Royce seats after the 8th inning. Beers were, one could say, going down like beers. While it may no longer be with us in body, the spirit and the sweaty charm of The Vet lives on to this day. After pirating the previously mentioned Tera Patrick/Miko Lee/Dani Woodward/Kobe Tai-esque seats, Tallman and I had the opportunity to see the play of the game. Reigning MVP Rollins went from first to third on a bunt proving that big players make big plays, all but sealing the W.
As we went back to FDR and the car, I couldn’t help but notice the grass looked a little greener and the air smelled a little fresher, as expected when they days are just recently growing. This was but a fleeting moment, however, because the entire area surrounding Tallman’s car was soon flooded by a symphony of urine, vomit, and spilled cooler juice as we all (and I mean us two and then like 15 other dudes in a 100 foot radius) got in one more outdoor piss at FDR before the trip back up 76 to reality.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cal Ripken Busted in Steroid Scandal (Brother Billy leaked the evidence)

You know what, we need a new day for April Fool's. Every time I see a goofy headline on the first of April, I immediately get suspicious, it's like the fun is gone.

And this year, April fool's was the same day as Opening Day. I couldn't really be bothered with pulling any pranks when I'm worried about those Phightins. And I had big plans to post a blog here that would involve some trickery, maybe a little haberdashery, but I was too busy sucking down Lager Bottles.

Whattaya gonna do?

How about make April Fool's a free-for-all? So long as you pull a prank in the month of April, I say it's fair game.

Glue-ing your roommate to the floor? Check, so long as it is done in April. Telling your boyfriend you're pregnant? All's fair in love and war, and the month of April.

How 'bout this one: Mail a big box of porn to a made-up address, and put the return address of someone who is either married or still lives with their parents. Just check your calendar ahead of time.

So good talk, we'll go ahead and call this April Fool's Days, maybe April Fool's Month.

Whatever you want, so long as you're pulling pranks.

And I will leave you with this little tidbit, definitely not made up, but I wish it was:

Years ago, Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe were traded for Heathcliff Slocumb. Also, David Ortiz was traded for Dave Hollins.

Factor in Terry Francona and Curt Schilling, and it's like Philly gave Boston that championship.

Go Phils! Santana who?