Friday, September 28, 2007

Family Guy: I Have Some Work To Do

I stumbled upon this page of 10 songs from Family Guy on the Adult Swim website. Working in radio, I certainly have a soft spot for the classic FCC song.

Several of my other favorites are listed below. All 10 songs are good, though.

How in the world have I not found time in my life for this show?

I have some catching up to do.

You'll have to click the links to see the videos. I tried to embed them into the blog, but that didn't work.

"My Drunken Irish Dad"

"Peter's Got Woods"

"Vasectomy Barbershop"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

After weeks of chasing the Mets, and the wildcard leaders -- mainly the Padres -- four a playoff spot, the Phillies found themselves tied for the wildcard lead entering Tuesday night's home game against Atlanta.

It's been an agonizing 14 years since Philly's last playoff appearance, with several near misses over the last few years. Each of those near misses went about the same way...get off to a bad start, rally late in the season, then falter in the final week or two, and just miss the post-season, finishing with about 85 wins, give or take.

The phortunes of the Phillies are so predictable, here's what I wrote on April 2nd when trying to predict the upcoming season...

"They'll probably fall within the 83-89 win total like they've done the last few years, and fall short of the postseason. Again."

By the way, I had the Cubs winning 78 games, finishing 3rd in the NL Central. I had the White Sox finishing 3rd in the AL Central with 88 wins. Not so good on those picks.

Ah, but the Phillies are easy to predict. Sure enough, they started the season 4-11, then rallied to play some of the best baseball in the National League to fight and claw their way into a tie for the wildcard lead with San Diego.

So what did they do with their opportunity to finally control their destiny?

Naturally, they crapped the bed and lost to the Braves 10-6.

San Diego defeated San Francisco thanks to a 4-run ninth inning, and the Phils are now 1 game back again.

Now, the Phillies get to face Hudson and Smoltz, while looking uphill, and needing to look at the scoreboard.

Is the season over? Hell no. But the way this story ends is starting to look all too familiar.

I will now go back to banging my head against the wall.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Busy Weekend

Boy, I have been a busy guy this weekend. The weather was too nice to not take advantage.

I took some video of all of the things I did.

Hope you like it...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

R.I.P. Brett Somers

I was saddened to hear of the recent death of Brett Somers after a long illness. Brett was a mainstay on The Match Game.

Somers was always seated in the middle of the top row, with another Match Game legend, Charles Nelson Reilly -- who passed away in May -- to her left. Somers was married to Jack Klugman.

They say these things happen in groups of three. So, what does that mean for people like Richard Dawson, Fannie Flagg, Gary Burghoff, Lee Meriwether, Bill Daily, Arte Johnson, Elaine Joyce, Betty White, Marcia Wallace, Mary Ann Mobley, and Jo Ann Pflug?

Well, you may still have a few days and weeks left to secure some life insurance, but I wouldn't be buying any green bananas this week.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My RUSH Concert Diary

Ever since the concert schedule came out for Rush's Snakes And Arrows Tour, I had always thought that I'd be going to their September 8th show in Tinley Park. Not only are they one of my favorite bands, but the concert was on a Saturday night, allowing me a chance to get home late, without having the early turn around of a 3:20am wake-up-for-work awaiting me the next morning.

As I've mentioned before, Rush is one of my two or three favorite bands. There was always a very good chance I'd be going to this show.

The problem was finding someone to go with me. My wife, even though she's gone with me to a few of their shows in the past, was a little indifferent to going this time. My brother was a "maybe", but ended up having other plans that night. The guy I saw Rush with in 2002, my co-worker Kevin Schramm, had to work that night. Our new news guy, Jay, is trying to watch his spending while in the middle of paying a mortgage on a house he's trying to sell in Iowa, and also paying rent at an apartment in Morris -- a situation that has been made much easier now that he has sold his house.

For a minute, I even thought about bringing along Megan, our 7-year old. I took her to her first concert last month, so I thought she might like going to a concert featuring one of my favorite bands. I eventually decided against it, since she didn't know more than a couple of their songs, plus I didn't feel like carrying her all night considering she'd likely not be able to see anything.

Bottom line, I came thisclose to not going, simply because I didn't want to go by myself. I went back and forth on it, until the morning of the concert. I just said "screw it", and decided to go alone. The spoiler-free reviews I allowed myself to read about the concerts were very good, I had heard they were playing songs they hadn't played on tour in many years, and of course, it was on a Saturday night.

So, about a week late, here is my diary of what transpired on concert day...

10:46: I arrive at Carson Pirie Scott in Joliet to purchase a lawn ticket. As I get out of the car, I notice a line of about 30 people standing outside the door waiting to get in. I knew they weren't there for Rush tickets, but, I certainly didn't want to have to wait behind them to grab my ticket and go. A guy told me they were in line for Springsteen tickets. The girl from the store asked what I was trying to buy. I told her Rush tickets, and she said I could go right in. She also said she was going to be at the show, too. Hey! I found someone to go with. Oops. My wife reads this. Moving on.

5:52: Driving to the show on I-80, I know I'm getting close when I see an unusual amount of cars driven by guys with ponytails getting in the right lane approaching the Tinley Park exit.

5:59: I pull up to a stoplight next to a truck full of twenty-something kids talking and laughing while "Tom Sawyer" is blaring from their speakers. The odds on seeing this on any other day of the year are pretty slim, so at least I know I'm driving in the right direction.

6:03: Getting into the First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre, or, The Amp, as we'll call it from here on out, is a bit of an adventure. There are no direct entrances off Harlem avenue. So, after turning onto the connecting street, you have two choices as far as where to enter, neither one is all that clear.

Then once you turn to get into the parking lot, you have two more choices -- right lane for drop off or VIP parking, or a handful of left lanes for general parking. It took me a few seconds to realize I needed to be in the left lanes, and I had to pull off a couple of Greg Brady pylon moves to get into the right spot. I was just hoping I wasn't heading into oncoming traffic. Considering most people attending concerts are either drunk, stoned, or both, shouldn't getting to the place be a little easier?

6:04: I've driven over 47 different softball sized rocks, each one making me cross my fingers and toes hoping that I haven't just gotten a flat tire. Is it too much to ask to pave the lot? Or, at least crush down the rocks a bit. I want my rock experience at a concert to be limited to the music coming from the stage.

6:06: I get out of the car and grab all of my gear...blanket, hat, jacket, bug spray, bottle of water, and two magazines to kill the time before the show. Am I going to a Rush concert, or an afternoon of bird watching in the woods?

6:09: A Dunkin Donuts truck is sitting near the entrance, and while in line to get into The Amp, a man comes by with a tray full of sample vanilla lattes for everyone to try. Where are we, at a Rush concert, or Ravinia? Naturally, I take one.

6:11: As I enter The Amp, I'm asked to open my blanket so they know I'm not packing any heat. Then, a lady asks for my cap. Bewildered, I hand her my hat, thinking they want to make sure I'm not carrying a hand grenade in there, or whatever. She laughs and says, "no, the cap on your water bottle." Huh? Great. Now I have to walk around with a bottle of water with no cap on it. This isn't going to end well.

6:13: I'm handed a promotional card that says it's good for a free concert shirt, plus a chance at front row tickets to tonight's show. All I have to do is stop by whatever booth it was. Can't do it now, too busy trying to hold my blanket, magazines, and jacket while not spilling my capless water bottle.

6:19: I find my spot on the lawn, fairly close to the concourse, with a clear view of the stage. You gotta love outdoor concerts for at least this reason: I can wait around for months without buying a ticket, then nine hours before Rush takes the stage, I can round up a lawn ticket and get a very nice view of the stage and video screens for about $30. On the other hand, it's starting to get a little too cold for the shorts I'm wearing, and it's supposed to rain.

6:25: I spot a guy that is a dead ringer for Jerry Springer, only this guy has blonder and bigger hair. Anyone who was on the lawn that night is nodding and smiling right now. Nobody on the lawn didn't notice this guy. It's impossible.

6:33: Oh yay, someone brought a beach ball for everyone to try to volley around the lawn. Didn't this fad go out of style about a week after "the wave"?

6:36: Scratch the complaining. Some dude just got walloped in the face by the beach ball when he wasn't looking. Too bad I didn't have some kind of tape rolling so I could send it to Tom Bergeron. I love this beach ball thingy.

6:42: After all this time, is "Check...1,2,1,2" still the best we can come up with when testing microphones? Isn't there anything more original or entertaining to say? Tell a joke, sing a song, insult everyone in the first three rows -- something.

6:52: "Jerry Springer" is returning from his third beer run.

6:59: Still about 45 minutes from the show starting -- don't you love this diary of the concert that's already over 1,000 words long, and we haven't even gotten to the show yet? -- so I decide to check out this whole "free concert shirt" thing. Too good to be true, right? Right. I get to the booth, and the shirt only becomes mine if I open a First Midwest Bank checking account. Thanks, but no thanks.

7:21: There's nothing like sitting on the lawn at a concert, glancing in front of me to my left, and seeing the plumber's crack of some overweight dude in sweatpants. Although, considering it's a Rush concert, maybe the term "Working Man's" smile is better suited. I couldn't luck out and glance at a similar view of a young, fit, beautiful girl that either went au natural, or at least was showing off a sweet thong. Of course, this is a Rush concert. The odds of seeing any good looking girls, in any kind of attire, is rather slim.

7:24: I decide to lay down on my back, close my eyes and rest for a few minutes before the show. Then I get paranoid someone will purposely step on my head, so I sit back up. I'm getting too old.

7:32: The ineveitable has happened. Someone walking by my spot has inadvertently kicked my water bottle, spilling it in front of my seat. The water has run down the slope to the guy in front of me. I apologize, claiming my innocence. He nods, and I just thank my lucky stars that I'm not sitting directly behind Mr. Hiney Crack.

7:44: There's nothing better than that moment right before a concert begins when the lights are dimmed. It's a thrilling feeling knowing the show is about to begin. The crowd starts to cheer, everyone gets on their feet. It's, well, it's a rush is what it is.

7:46: Love the intro video with Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart as bedmates. Anything that gives Neil some personality is fine by me.

7:48: Alex comes out on stage playing the opening riff from "Limelight". Geddy doesn't join him, yet. Alex retreats to his side of the stage and plays the riff again, this time joined by Geddy, and the song starts in full. I assume it was a mistake, but I found out later, it was planned. One of the drawbacks from being on the lawn...being too far away to detect the little things.

7:49: Ahhh, I catch the first of many whiffs of weed. Maybe it was a good idea not to bring my 7-year old, Megan.

8:08: Wow, Geddy is hitting just about all of the high notes. Are his vocal chords on H.G.H.?

8:12: I love the mounted acoustic guitar that Alex is using for certain songs. He wears the elctric around his neck, then when he needs to go acoustic, there is one perched atop of stand at the perfect angle for him to walk up to it and play as if it were slung around his neck, too. A high five for the designer of that little time saver.

8:16: Between songs, I glance around at the crowd. The place is packed! How many other bands that have been around for over 30 years, with the same lineup, that continues to produce new music, would pack a top-tier stadium like this? Correct. One.

8:20: Springer just went on another beer run.

8:24: During this first part of the concert, I've heard two of the songs that I really like -- "Entre Nous" and "Circumstances" -- that I've never heard them play before. The show could end right now, and I'd be happy. Wait, what am I talking about? That would only be a 40-minute show! Keep playing, boys.

8:27: Another whiff of weed.

8:40: As the first set is coming to a close, my cell phone rings. It's my wife. After a dozen "What?" "I can't hear you?" "Huh?" "Say what?" exchanges, I'm finally able to decipher from her that the radar shows we are about to get hit with a steady rain. All that stuff I said earlier about the positives of an outdoor concert, forget it.

8:43: Intermission. Any second now...wait for it...and bingo! Springer on the run for another brewski. This guy would be a good subject on an episode of Springer.

8:50: Trying to remember where I parked.

8:54: It's been nice sitting down for the last 10 minutes since part one of the concert ended. I don't understand why we need to stand during the whole concert. Once they come out, fine. After a couple of songs, why not sit back down on the lawn, or in your seat. And, of course, once the person in front of you gets up, you, and everyone else has to get up as well. I guess one reason for getting up is it makes it easier to dance, but there aren't many danceable Rush songs. Air drumming is the thing, and that's much easier to do when sitting.

9:13: The between sets music has stopped, and the buzz in the crowd begins again. The second half of the show is about to start, and sure enough, here comes Springer with yet another round of beers.

9:16: The second set begins after a video featuring a rather goofy Alex Lifeson portraying several different characters. The choice of "Far Cry" to open the set is a no-brainer. I really thought they'd open the concert with that song. It's the most recognizeable release from their new album, and it's got a killer beginning that just begs to start a show.

9:25: Pretty gutsy of a classic rock band to devote so much time in their concert to the new songs. Generally, when a band that's been around for awhile says "here's one from our new album," a subtle groan can be heard throughout the venue, and Springer-types in the crowd get up to get more beer, or drain the beer already in their system. However, with Rush, and with this new album, the crowd is as enthusiastic for the new stuff as they are for the oldies as well. By the time the concert ends, nine new songs will have been played, and none of them disappoint. Reason number 83 why I like these guys so much.

9:32: Quick note on the crowd. A very diverse group. In the past at Rush shows, it would be basically a bunch of guys in their 30's, all wearing concert shirts two sizes too small. In this crowd, sure there are those guys, but also guys in ther 50's, women of all ages, teenagers, young kids, probably the most wide-ranging group I've ever seen at a Rush concert. New fans, old fans, from generation to generation. Still, the crowd could use an infusion of hot women.

9:40: Rush always brings the goods when it comes to lights, lasers, fog, smoke (or is that just extra puffs of weed), and tonight, plenty of pyro!

9:46: As much as I love the internet, and as much as I was checking out the Rush message boards ever since their album was released earlier this year, I have to say that I'm proud of myself for avoiding most of the spoilers concerning the concert. I've been pleasantly surprised by the intro video, the handful of songs that I wasn't expecting to hear, the order of the setlist, etc.

9:49: I've also been surprised at how good Geddy's voice sounds. He just ripped through the highest of high parts in one of my favorite songs, "Freewill" -- right after the instrumental break in the middle -- and the crowd went nuts. They appreciate the fact that Geddy must be playing tonight with a swarm of bees in his pants to be able to pull off some of these notes that he hasn't been able to hit this consistently since the Reagan era.

10:21: Finally, the drum solo. The only downside is that the crowd insits on cheering throughout the entire. I understand the desire to cheer on Neil Peart, a drum god with few peers, but I don't know, maybe it's just me, I'd like to actually hear the damn thing. Save your applause until it's over, and zip it with the "wooooooos", too. I'm sounding too cranky. Maybe I can get Springer to get me a beer next time around.

10:28: I'm planning my exit strategy. Two summers ago, my brother and I saw Coldplay at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin. 30,000 in the crowd, and when it ended, we sat still in the parking lot for two hours. That's not an exaggeration. My plan for avoiding that kind of disaster again tonight was simple. Get from the lawn to the side of the pavillion (near the exit) as close to the end of the show as I could, then bolt for the parking lot before the majority of the crowd so I could high tail it out of there in just a few minutes.

10:39: Tom Sawyer has just concluded -- after being introduced from the boys from South Park -- and Rush has left the stage. We all know an encore is coming. The rock concert encore...the worst kept secret in music.

10:49: "Passage To Bangkok" is song two in the encore. The smell of weed is strong enough to knock a maggot off of a meat truck.

10:54: "YYZ" begins, and this seems to me to be a good song chocie for the final song. I make my way toward the concourse, and stand and watch the end of the performance near the walkway that leads to the exit.

10:58: End of show, and I am doing my "I really need to walk fast, but not fast enough that I'm going to bother running" walk. As I'm hunting for the exit, I'm thinking many things...where did I park? I remember, it was near A3; wow, the guys played a phenomenal show in front of a packed, jacked crowd; my legs are killing me from standing for about three hours; I never tried to get that last beer from Springer.

11:02: I find my car, in front of most of the crowd, and actually get out of the parking lot and back onto I-80 within five minutes. One Little Victory for me. I make it home by 11:30, and pat myself on the back for going ahead and getting a solo ticket for yet another tremendous Rush show. These guys are in their 50's, have only released three albums of new music since 1996 (although I get the sense the next album will come sooner rather than later), and who knows if and when they may tour again. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to see them again.

Cheers, Alex, Geddy, and Neil. You all deserve a toast. If you need a drink to raise, ask Springer for one.

Here are a few vids to enjoy...

"Entre Nous" from the tour (not the show I was at however)

"Spirit Of Radio" from the same concert as above

"Freewill" from The Hollywood Bowl, showing off Geddy's top notch high-pitched vocal

Notre Shame

Week 1: Georgia Tech 33, Notre Dame 3.

Week 2: Penn St. 31, Notre Dame 10.

Week 3: Michigan 38, Notre Dame 0.

Somebody pinch me before I wake up from this joyous dream.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Parenting Test No. 273

Considering how big a fan of High School Musical our 7-year old daughter, Megan is, my wife and I have worked extra hard at trying to keep all of the latest Vanessa Hudgens news away from her.

Any info, stories, links, discussion about Hudgens and those pictures floating around the net should only be handled by an adult, preferrably, me.

As far as we could tell, Megan hadn't heard anything about the photos, blissfully unaware of the whole controversy. The problem is, that my wife and I can't be with her throughout the entire day. Those darn school kids.

We were sitting at dinner the other night when out of the blue, Megan starts talking about Hudgens. She mentioned that her friend at school told her that Vanessa "took pictures of herself without any clothes on, and sent them to Zac (Efron)." My wife and I took a deep breath, looked at each other with a half smile/half "oh, boy" expression.

We really weren't prepared for her next comment.

"(My friend) was wondering if they had s-e-x."

That's how she said it, too, spelling it out, so she must know that it's something bad or naughty.

Frankly, we didn't ask her if she knew what s-e-x was, or if her friend had told her what it was. After the shock and awe of the question wore off, after our hearts started beating again, and after the realization that "oh, no, our daughter has moved up a rung on the growing up ladder of life" by making her first known reference to sex, we did what we could to abandon the subject.

We honestly had no comeback for what she said. We were not prepared to deal with that topic with a 7-year old. Should we have been? Several times during the rest of the night, my wife would just look at me and say, "She's seven!"

All we ended up telling her was to not talk about it to anyone else because it was no one else's business. It was Vanessa's personal business, not ours. That seemed to work, but again, not being with her all day long makes me wonder what she, or anyone else, has been saying about this whole thing.

As a parent, especially of a girl, hearing her make that first reference to sex, whether she knows what it is or not, doesn't rank up their with other "first" experiences, like the first steps, first words, or even first solid poop.

I realize that it's September in the midwest, and the bees are going to be all over the place here soon. I didn't expect the birds to join them for several years, however.

So, let's just hope that for now, all of this "pics without clothes on", and "s-e-x" talk concerning Vanessa Hudgens, and anyone else for that matter, stays away from our precious little 7-year old. She's way too young to be thinking about any of this stuff.

There's been talk that more pics, and possibly a video or two from Hudgens' past are out there, too, and may make an appearance online soon. Hopefully those things will stay far away from Megan's eyes and ears, and end up where they my email.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Do You Know The Muffin' Men?

Is it hockey season yet? Okay, it may be a little too early to write off the Eagles, but just giving away a very winnable game to Green Bay is not the way to start a season.

First, Greg Lewis muffed a punt early in the game -- granted, Lewis is very new to the position, and was leveled right as he was trying to catch the punt -- and the ensuing scramble for the loose ball resulted in a Packers touchdown. Of course.

Second, with about a minute to go in the 4th quarter, with the score tied 13-13, J.R. Reed sprinted to try to catch a short punt, couldn't get under the ball, and muffed it. The Packers recovered, and seconds later kicked the game winning field goal. Naturally.

Now, had the offense done something with the ball after getting the all-too-common Brett Favre turnover late in the 4th quarter, at least Reed's muff never would have happened. Ifs and buts, candy and nuts.

It was the kind of loss that just leaves you in a grumpy mood the rest of the day. Considering yesterday was our wedding anniversary, maybe I should have just done yardwork all afternoon, or taken the family out somewhere, or watched High School Musical 2 with the kids for the 33rd time, instead of subjecting the household to that dud of an Eagles debut.

At least I didn't have to watch the final field goal. Since we live in the Chicago market, Fox cut away from the Eagles-Packers game to go to San Diego for the Bears-Chargers matchup. Ironically, just a few hours prior to that, I said to my wife, "You just know the Eagles are going to be driving for the game winning field goal when Fox is going to cut away to get to that all important Bears-Chargers kickoff." Well, after watching that second muffed punt, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman never looked so good.

A few posts back I mentioned how much of a roller coaster the baseball season is. Highs and lows seven days a week. Well, football is worse -- when you lose. A full week of feeling like crap about your favorite team, until they suit up again. And, of course, I'll be there with them next week, and every week. I'm a fan. Just a very frustrated one. Goes with the territory rooting for this team.

Meanwhile, where did I put the Flyers 2007-08 schedule?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Are You Ready For Some (Classic) Football?

A full slate of NFL games is just one day away, and to help get you in the mood for all of the fun, I thought I'd point you in the direction of some classic video from the past.

Hurry, though. It's quite possible that these clips will be pulled from Youtube before you even get a chance to enjoy them. The NFL doesn't like having any of their precious clips available for public consumption. Heaven forbid. So watch these before they go away.

The clips come from someone named WIICTVFAN, a Pittsburgh sports fan apparently. He's posted complete Super Bowl footage as the games actually aired. This is priceless stuff!

We're talking Super Bowls IX, X, XIII, and XIV, plus the 1978 AFC Championship game as well. There's even footage of the last Stanley Cup Finals game the Blackhawks played in, the deciding game four loss at home to Pittsburgh in 1992 -- a game I attended.

Rather than try to link every single game, etc., just go to this dude's video page, and you can figure out the rest.

I can't tell you how stoked I am that these clips are here -- even though they may only be available until I finish typing this sentence.

Whew, just checked, they're still there (for now).

The first Super Bowl I remember watching was Super Bowl XIII, and at that time, it didn't get much better than Pittsburgh vs. Dallas. Tremendously exciting game featuring the top two teams in the league during that era. Plus, as an Eagles fan, I hated the Cowboys. I still have the t-shirt from my youth of the eagle pooping on the Dallas helmet. So, watching Jackie Harris drop that touchdown pass was bliss.

These were some of my first football memories, and to see classic games the way they aired is a real treat. Even the simple stuff is cool, like in the Super Bowl X footage, the CBS theme music being played each time they went to commercial. Or, how about the promo for the Mary Tyler Moore Show? Too cool.

I was too young to remember the first Pittsburgh/Dallas Super Bowl (X), so to see it here as it originally aired has been as big an online thrill for me since the day Vanessa Hudgens emailed me those pictures of her.

The Super Bowl X video has been my favorite so far. Summerall and Brookshier. A Super Bowl played during the day. A setting that seems so simplistic compared to Super Bowls today -- it's all about the game, not the pomp and circumstance. Commercial breaks that aren't more than 90 seconds long. Lambert. Staubach. Bradshaw. Pearson. And in the clip I'm posting below, Lynn Swann's amazing catch, easily one of the 10 best catches in league history (it comes at about the 6:43 mark).

There's just something about seeing this stuff as it aired. Chills.

Each of these clips is about 10 minutes long, so for some games there could be as many as 15-20 parts. A minor flaw. For something this good, I don't mind the extra clicking.

This is what should be on NFL Network. And it should still be part of the basic cable package on Comcast. At the very least, it should be left alone on Youtube.


The Office Meets Jason Bourne

As the wait for new episodes of The Office continues -- the season premiere is September 27th -- here is a very well done mashup using the audio from The Bourne Ultimatium preview, mixed in with video from The Office on NBC to hold you over.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Phillies Phail Again

About a week ago, the Phillies finished off a four game sweep of the hated New York Mets. The final win was a crazy one -- a win-for-the-ages kind of game. The Phils scored three runs in the last two innings to pull out an 11-10 game that drew them to within two games of the Mets.

Fans were giddy. The players were reacting as if they'd won the World Series. Living in Illinois, I was only able to follow the game online. A few minutes after it was final, I watched the highlights on And again. And again. I even made my wife watch the highlights. Things were going good. Muck the Fets!

I thought about coming on here and posting about that game, and how fun the next few weeks would be as the playoff chase heated up.

But, I knew better.

Don't get me wrong, that four game sweep was fun, and I was a very happy man after that 11-10 win. But happiness as a baseball fan comes and goes daily. For Phillies fans, happiness lasts on a minute by minute basis.

In fact, being a fan of any Philly team is rough. But we've covered that before. Several times.

But, back to the Phightins. You see, that four game sweep against the Mets was all the more necessary, because the Phillies had opened their homestand going 1-4 against the Dodgers and Padres, two teams fighting for the wild card and Western division races as well.

That four game sweep also came after a prior road trip that saw the Phillies blow not one, but two games in which they had 4-run leads against the Pirates of all teams.

And, after going to Florida following that four game sweep, although the Phillies did win the opener of their series with the Marlins, they lost the next two, including Sunday's game when they held a 5-run lead.

It should be noted that the finale of the Mets' series - the wild 11-10 win - the Phillies also blew a 5-run lead in that game...and an 8-5 lead, too.

So let's fast forward to today in Atlanta. After splitting the first two games with the Braves -- another team I'm sick of -- the Phillies had a chance to win the series, draw back to within four games of the Mets, and creep back to within two games of the wild card lead.

Wouldn't you know it, by the 2nd inning, the Phillies were up 5-0!

Uh, oh.

To make a painfully long story short, after leading 8-2 in the 8th, the Braves string together bloop hit after bloop hit, score four runs and make it an 8-6 game. In the bottom of the ninth, after two were out with nobody on base, the Braves string together two infield singles, draw a walk, and then some clown hits a game winning bases-clearing double off the tip of the glove of Chris Roberson in right field, and the Phollies, I mean Phillies, lose 9-8.

Quite possibly the most demoralizing loss since Mitch Williams made Joe Carter a folk hero back in 1993. It was certainly the worst loss of the season.

I could go on and on about how ill I feel, how rough it is being a Phillies fan, etc., but I'd rather let some of the other Phillies' fans out there do the talking for me.

Here is a sample of some of the opinions shared by Phillies' Phaithfuls on the message boards at

Roman529: "I am happy we are not going to the playoffs. This team doesn't deserve anything accept to lay awake at night in the off season and wonder what could have been."

JIMI20: "Anybody wanna bye some Phillies gear REAL CHEAP. Hats, Shirts, Hood, Jacket, Towels...Etc....Best offer."

Rodak2000: "Unbelievable only the Phillies could blow a lead like that. Another chapter in their book How To Lose Ball Games!"

HuskerPhil: "I'm outta here for the rest of the season. That's one of the worst meltdowns ever. Put a fork in 'em . . . Turn Out The Lights . . . Pick Your Cliche - - The Season is Over"

4778774: "This was the crowning achievement game for this year. It is over!!!!!!!!!!!"

Iggleholic: "I am going to put my bag of bits in a vice now, because it pales in comparisson to how torturous it is to watch this team. Hate is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about this team at the moment."

PhillyFan927: "I'll have to invent some new expletives to properly express how I feel about this."

tyrone330: "i hate this team."

Pain. Misery. Heartbreak. The life of a Phillies fan.

A few minutes after the game today, while I sat stunned, staring blankly at the television, I muttered, "I hate baseball. I can't believe they just blew this game."

My seven-year old daughter looked at me and said, "Why do you still watch it?"

Good question, Megan.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

So That's How He Does It

Looking at the latest issue of Rolling Stone the other day, it became pretty obvious to me how Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine does so well with the ladies. The guy has been linked to hotties like Natalie Portman, Jessica Simpson, Maria Sharapova, and others. How does he do it?

Well, look at this photo. He has surrounded himself with four of the ugliest dudes on the planet. Granted, Levine is a decent looking guy, but put him onstage, or in a video, or on a magazine cover with these other four members of the group, Levine goes from being a "7" on the street, to a "10" instantly.

I can't really blame the guy though. Heck, I know what it's like for him. How could I not after working so many years surrounded by the likes of Steele, Schramm, Tambling, Haensel, and now, Capron.