Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yo, Adrian...You Did It!

This is the love of my life. Meet Adrian Peterson.

Going into the final night of the fantasy football season, as I mentioned in my previous post, I needed 20 points from Adrian to win my fantasy league.

Heading into halftime of the Vikings game in Chicago, Peterson was barely recognizeable. I wasn't even sure if he was playing.

The Adrian Peterson of the Bears was threatening to have a better game, and he's only had seven carries all year.

Okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point. My A.P. wasn't even a factor, and I nearly went to bed. Nearly wet the bed, too.

Then, in the second half, Peterson got going. Two touchdowns and over 90 rushing yards later, I'm the champion of the Cutler's Farts Cure Cancer league by a 126-122 total, and what a sweet feeling it is.

Thanks to A.P., and to Mason Crosby, for hitting a 50+ yard field goal on Sunday, giving me an extra two points. Thanks to the 49er defense, that I picked up this week, for stuffing the Lions to the tune of 21 points.

I'd better stop. I'm about to break into press conference mode again.

And, the Bears actually won the game, giving the Iggles a chance to earn the two-seed in the East if they can just win Sunday in Dallas.

Piece of cake, right? It's not like the Iggles have ever let me down before, right? Right?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Yo, Adrian!

So, it comes down to this...

In my fantasy football league -- I know, I've already bored you to tears -- I need Adrian Peterson of the Vikings to score 20 points for me tonight, and I'm the champ.

91 or more yards and two touchdowns. 141 yards and one touchdown. No yards, but 10 two-point conversions.

Whatever works.

I'm going up against one Andy Behrens, who happens to be one of the fanasy sports experts on Yahoo, and was one of my friends in high school. Naturally, he's been in the top spot of our league for most of the season -- he'd better be, right? -- so to beat him would be a definite feat.

I mean, it must have taken an expert to know Roddy freakin' White would have a HUGE day yesterday, or that Brent Celek would get 121 receiving yards and a touchdown. Behrens has been killing it in our league all year, and he put up another 122 points yesterday.

But, I'm still hanging around.

I've hS the second best team all season, and after each of our bye weeks passed -- and our point totals from our "idle" lineups were higher than ANY of the four playoff teams that were playing -- we each won our semi-final games handily, so this matchup is the right one.

Our point total this weekend is higher than the two teams fighting it our for third place, too.

And, while I could be spouting venom at Coach Caldwell in Indy for resting his starters -- including my tight end, Dallas Clark -- possibly costing my team the points I'll need to pull off this upset win, I'm actually feeling pretty good about things, even if I lose after tonight.

I put just about my best team out there this week, have scored over 100 points, and have a shot going into the final game of our season. Couldn't ask for much more. Plus, I've already made money, so that's helping as well.

And, geek that I am, I've been having press conferences with myself all season.

The one last night went something like this...

"...We'll, what can you do, you know? Andy's got a tough, tough football team. You can't play defense in the Fantasy Football League. You just have to put the best lineup out there and hope for the best. I'm proud of my guys. They gave a tremendous effort today, and we have a chance. That's all I can ask as a head coach."

Not sure if I'll have the Gatorade shower late tonight -- I hope not, because by the time the game ends, I'll probably be in bed, and I'd hate to sleep in a bed soaked in Red G2 -- but there's no shame in finishing 2nd to a Fantasy Football guru.

"We gave it 110%. That's all I can ask as a head coach."

Now, go get 'em A.P.! Mikey needs a new pair of shoes.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Enjoy The Yule Log

A sincere wish for everyone out there to have a terrific Christmas. My gift to the millions of my readers will be more frequent blogging, very soon.

I promise.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eagles Punch Out Giants


Nothing like a well constructed animated .gif that I'm eager to share, to help jolt me out of my blogging laziness.

Found this on an Eagles fan forum the morning after a wild 45-38 win by the beloved Iggles.

The win over the Giants didn't quite happen on the Jersey Shore -- like the real video above did, on the show of the same name, at least -- but it was close enough.

Gotta love Andy Reid doing the chest bump with Desean Jackson. Nice to see Reid has recognized that actually bumping his chest with D-Jax's chest might propel Desean into next week, so he's going with a (slightly) less destructive backside bump.

Keep it goin' boys.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tiger's Errant Drive

Now it's making sense. Hottie wife thinks you're having an affair, so after she confronts you -- and possibly beats up on you a bit -- you hop in the SUV to get away from her at 2:30 a.m., only she is coming after you with one of your 5-irons.

She grips it and rips it, smashing out the back window with one good wallop, which startles you so much, you floor it, taking out a fire hydrant and landing you into a tree.

Since you were probably making a fast escape from the house, there was no thought of buckling up, so you get your face bloodied (although I've read some reports that are claiming there was no blood on the steering wheel, which would indicate Elin did most of the damage, not the crash).

No statement, no interview with the police, yet (it's been postponed not once, but twice), and rumors of a Tiger affair gaining steam by the second. True or not, Elin could be looking at a domestic abuse charge.

And maybe a spot on the LPGA tour.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Morris Redskins Post Mortem

After getting shutout by Mendota 35-0 last weekend, the Morris Redskins' season came to an end with a 6-5 record.

Judging by what I've heard, and what I've read since then -- and, really, for a good chunk of the season -- the most vocal fans (and not necessarily a majority) want changes, and they want them yesterday.

Mostly it's calls for the head coach to be fired, or the play calls to be handled differently, or the lineup to be changed. From the sound of it, there may be a line waiting at the Route 47 river bridge. The attacks have gotten so bad that the Morris Redskins Football message board has been shut down temprorarily so that cooler heads can eventually prevail.

What I don't hear that much -- from this group of most vocal fans -- is that, simply, the talent wasn't there this year.

Plain and simple, that's the real reason for a subpar Redskins' season. The team just wasn't as good as they've been in the past. And that's okay. It's incredibly improbable that it hasn't happened more often.

Sometimes the kids on the field just aren't as good as the other team. Nothing wrong with that.

The head coach that some people want fired is the same one that in his five years as varsity coach has won a state championship -- the first one for the school in over 20 years -- got them to another state championship, losing on a last second field goal, and defeated then big bad rival Joliet Catholic in the playoffs, not once, but twice...something his predecessor failed to do.

Did the coaches suddenly forget how to coach? Were they not responsible at all for the title run in 2005? The title game appearance in 2007, with mostly different players?

The program at Morris isn't in shambles. The sophomore team went 8-1, the freshmen were undefeated. The cupboard isn't bare, and I have a feeling that the varsity team will be back to the level we're all accustomed to soon.

But, you can't expect to go 14-0 every year. There are ups, and occasional downs. Chalk the end to this season as a down.

Save the vitriol and nastiness for a team that deserves it, the Bears.

Phillies Post Mortem

Yikes. Has it really been almost two weeks since my last post?

The off time has allowed me a chance to reflect on the oh-so-close season the Phils had, nearly repeating as World Champs, after bowing out to the dreaded evil empire in six games.

Funny thing, I'm not handling it that bad at all.

Don't get me wrong, it still sucks that they lost, but I'm somewhat ok with it. The better team -- at least, I'm pretty sure they were -- won the series. Plain and simple.

I didn't even watch game six. I was taping it on the DVR, and was planning on starting to watch it about 90 minutes after the first pitch so I could zip through commercials (and Yankees at-bats) like I had been doing throughout the playoffs, but I was tired, and just had a feeling they weren't going to win, and I didn't want to see that.

Plus, if they did win that game, I'd be happy to a point, but would just have to go through all of the same feelings of nerves, etc. the next night for a game seven.

So, when I woke up to go to work the morning after game six, slowly scrolled through the sports page on Yahoo to see that they lost, I was upset, but not heartbroken. In fact, I felt much worse after they lost game four. That's when they lost the series.

Sure, losing game three after Hamels was given a 3-0 lead -- and he looked darn good in those first few innings -- was a tough one, but after coming back to tie game four with a run in the 8th on Feliz' home run, only to have Lidge give up three in the 9th (after two were out with nobody on base and two strikes on Johnny Damon of all people) was much more of a punch to the gut.

But, ehy, they took the Yanks to six games, made sure they didn't get swept at home -- which would have resulted in New York celebrating on the Phils' home field -- and just got beat by a better team, or at least a team playing better at the time.

I'll still have Rollin's walkoff hit in game four of the NLCS, the great comeback win in Colorado in game four of that series, the dominance of Cliff Lee in the post season, Werth's bombs, Utley taking C.C. deep twice in the World Series opener, and the list goes on.

The nice thing, is that this Phillies team is primed to be a major factor in the NL race for at least the next few years, as long as everyone stays healthy. That's all anyone can ask.

Having that 2008 title sure takes away any potential sting as well.

So, thanks 2009 Phillies for a great season. Now, rest up. Spring training is only three months away.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

'Ol King Cole

Well, I have to hand it to Cole Hamels for giving me my biggest moment of fright on Halloween night.

Watching him hang a curve ball on the first pitch to Andy Petitte in the 4th inning of Game 3 of the World Series last night almost had me quivering with fear.

Petitte deposited it into center field tying the game at 3-3, and for all intents and purposes, the game was over right there.

Forget the blown called third strike on Texiera the inning before, and A-Rod's follow-up homer. It all evaporated as Hamels inexplicably threw his third best pitch to the worst hitter in the lineup.

Hamels, who was breezing along through three innings, later gave up a two-run double to Johnny Damon, and that was that. 2008 is a long ways away, Cole.

Now, for the first time in any of the last six postseason series, the Phillies are trailing. Doesn't look good now, as C.C. Sabathia is throwing tonight on three days rest, with A.J. Burnett going on Monday night.

It was so cold and windy here yesterday afternoon -- plus, our two daughters are getting over a week-long sickness -- that we didn't even get to trick-or-treat for more than a half hour or so. So, I'll have to drown my sorrows from last night in alcohol instead of chocolate. Just have to.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Power Of Positive Thinking

What? A Phillies fan (me) having a positive thought about the Phils? (yes, it happened).

As Game 4 of the NLCS was inching toward its conclusion, it was looking like L.A. was going to get the road win they would need to guarantee the series would head back to California.

An early 2-0 Philly lead quickly turned into a 4-2 edge for Los Angeles. After the Phils crawled back to within one-run in the 6th, The Dodgers were hanging onto that 4-3 lead into the bottom of the 8th. The Phillies mounted a rally, getting two men on with only one out for Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth.

This was it! Another chance for Howard to be a hero, or Werth -- who singled home the NLDS series clinching run -- to get the job done again.

Strike out, fly out, on to the 9th.

After Lidge dodged some bullets and kept the deficit at one heading to the bottom of the 9th, it happened. My moment of positive thinking. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, so that whenever the game ended I could just turn off the TV and head to bed -- for my upcoming four hours of sleep -- and I said out loud to myself, "just gotta think positive here, right?"

Why shouldn't I? After witnessing this team rally for the 2007 and 2008 NL East titles, winning it all in '08, and advancing to the NLCS in '09, why shouldn't I feel positive about their chances in the 9th.

All I kept thinking was, if they could just turn the lineup over...if they could just turn the lineup over.

And, with Jonathon Broxton coming in -- and is there anyone else in baseball that looks like they need to immediately pee in a cup? -- I knew that the Phils would find a way to get Matt Stairs into the game to pinch hit.

Stairs, of course, drilled a Broxton fastball "into the night" in game four of last year's NLCS, sending the Phils to a 7-5 win, and a 3-1 series lead.

The 9th opened quietly enough with Ibanex grounding out to second base -- and, does anyone ground out to 2nd more often than Raul? -- but then here came Stairs, and you could tell Broxton was having some bad flashbacks. He pitched around Stairs, walking him to put the tying run on 1st.

If one of the next two guys could get on base, they'd turn that lineup over for Rollins.

thankfully, Broxton's composure was still shaken, and he hit Ruiz with a fastball. As long as Dobbs didn't hit into a DP, Rollins would come up.

Why was I confident in Jimmy? He was due. It was hit turn for his 2009 moment.

After Dobbs lined out to third, up came Jimmy with two on, and two out. A single ties it up. An out, and the series is 2-2.

Jimmy likes to swing for the fences, and being eager to jack one out on the opening fastball -- which he missed badly, as it was about six inches inside -- I got a little nervous with the count 0-1.

"Come on, Jimmy! We only need a hit here, not a home run!"

And then...



Even Henry Hill from Goodfellas was excited...

Worst. Drive. Ever.

With Game 2 of the NLCS being played in the late afternoon, for the second year in a row I got to listen to the tail end of the game on my drive to work -- covering a local high school football game.

I tried to stay home as long as possible before leaving, as the pitching duel between Pedro Martinez and Vicente Padilla was moving along briskly...until the 8th inning, at least.

It got to the time of the day where I couldn't wait to leave any longer. The Phils were clinging to a 1-0 lead, and after having pulled Pedro -- who was masterful through seven scoreless innings (but only 87 pitches!) -- the Dodgers were mounting a threat.

Chan Ho Park was in the game, and L.A. had the first two runners on with nobody out. Perfect. This should make for a fun and relaxing 30-minute drive to my night gig.

That's what's different about baseball from any other sport...and what makes it so excruciatingly stressful if you have a rooting interest in a playoff team. EVERY pitch is critical. So, as I'm working my way through traffic, hoping against hope that the Phils will be able to hold off this Dodgers rally, I'm living and dying with each pitch, holding my breath, exhaling, shaking my head, going through all of the different ramifications of each pitch in the 20 seconds before the next pitch.

It's brutal. But, it's playoff baseball. Not for the weak.

As my drive continued, so did the Dodgers rally: fielder's choice, but an error on Chase Utley's throw to first, allowing the tying run to score.(ruining a perfect double play chance), a Thome single putting runners at the corners, and then back-to-back walks forcing in the go-ahead run.

All of this transpired over the course of 30-plus minutes, and against five different Phillies relievers.

The half-inning started before I got in the car, and still wasn't over after my drive to work.

Needless to say, my good vibes built up after watching Pedro dominate L.A. while watching the game at my house quickly turned to sadness, anger and frustration by the time I got to the high school football game.

Even though the loss still left the Phils with the desired split in L.A., at that moment, as I took my gloomy mood and down-trodden face into the high school press box, it would have been awfully hard for me to truthfully believe Philly was about to sweep three straight at home to earn a return trip to the World Series.

But, it's playoff baseball. And, it's a different Phillies team then we're used to.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

What a clincher! Certainly helps erase bad memories from the last time the Phillies played playoff baseball in Colorado.

Now, I didn't see one pitch of Game 3, since the game didn't start until after 9:00pm local time for me, and I had to get up at 3:00am the next morning.

Nothing like going to the Yahoo MLB page, and tilting my head away from the main part of the screen, focusing instead on the scoreboard in the lower right corner, and slowly dragging the sidebar down until I got to the Phillies score, saw "Philadelphia" in bold -- an indication that they won -- and seeing the score.

From what I read, that was a doozy as well. But, hard to imagine it was anywhere near as exciting, and riveting, as Game 4.

I did watch all of that one. Well, most of it. I purposely had the game on DVR so I could fast forward through the commercials -- the only way to watch a sporting event -- and, it allowed me to (kind of) fast forward through other parts of the game I didn't want to see...like every Rockies' at-bat.

I just didn't care to hear the Rockies' crowd going nuts, or watching the Phils give up runs. No thanks.

So, I saw Vic's solo home run, and Werth's, and through the magic of double speed fast forwarding in play mode, gathered that the Rockies had cut the lead to 2-1.

Then it went to the bottom of the 8th, and all hell broke loose. The Francisco catch, Giambi's hit off Madson, then Torrealba seemingly hitting the game winner with a two-run double -- followed by a bad karma-inducing amount of celebration on second base. As my hopes dipped well below the Mendoza line, I fast forwarded to the top of the ninth.

Dobbs strikes out. Rollins works a single off of Street, and at least the tying run is at the plate. Victorino -- who already has a home run in the game -- hits a comebacker! Double-play? No, Vic's too fast and beats the throw.

Utley up, Vic is allowed to steal second. And, Chase draws a HUGE walk bringing up Howard. At this point, I'm about 5 minutes behind live television, and my wife -- unbeknownst to me -- is watching the game upstairs (live) while rocking our youngest daughter to sleep.

I hear her get up to put Sarah to bed, and I think for a second, "was she watching the game, saw Howard strike out to end it, and then got up at that point to put Sarah to bed? Am I thinking too much? Is it too late to start drinking?"

She comes down the steps, and I tell her -- again, not knowing what she knows -- that the Phils gakked up the lead and were down 4-2 with two outs in the ninth. She looked at the TV, smiled a bit, and made one of those "it doesn't look too good" faces.

She sat down with me to watch the rest of the game though. Not that I thought much about it at the time, but in hindsight, if she knew Howard was going to make an out, she certainly wouldn't want to be in the room with me when it happened.

Sure enough, after Howard crushed the double to right -- which when it left the bat, for a split second I thought it was gone, then at least was relieved to know they'd tied it, then thought, "oh, no, they'll just lose it in the bottom of the inning, or worse, have to go to extra innings. All of this was followed by the horror of the possibility that they wouldn't even tie it, as when they cut from the shot of the ball in the outfield back to Victorino (the lead runner) he was JUST TROTTING HOME FROM 3RD! Where was Utley?? Would he even score?? Turns out, Vic had initially missed third base, and after going back to tag it, then had to hustle to get to the plate before Chase who was right behind him -- my wife told me she had seen Howard's at-bat, but didn't know anything else.

Then Werth followed with an equally huge hit, serving a line drive into right-center to score Howard. Thank you, Jim Tracy for not walking Werth to face Cairo!

Up 5-4 with Eyre starting the bottom of the ninth thanks to a slew of lefties set to hit the plate for Colorado. Suddenly with two out, two men are on base, and TUlowitzki is coming up, and here comes Brad Lidge.

By now, I'm pacing in my seat, hands up to my mouth. My wife is still in the room rooting along with me -- not for her love of the Phillies, but her love of having me in a pleasant mood -- and three pretty decent sliders later, "Tulo" strikes out, and the Phils move on.

Amazing win.

Hopefully there are eight more nights in the near future where my wife and I are clapping and high-fiving after a Phils postseason victory. They don't all have to be this exciting, either. We'll gladly take a few 10-2 routs, guys.

Monday, October 05, 2009

As I Was Saying...

A few weeks ago, I promised I'd tell some recent stories that happened this summer, and to this point, I've forgotten to do that.

It's been a lazy few months at the blog, and I apologize to my millions and millions of readers. More blogs are coming. And they won't ALL be Phillies related. I think.

The two stories I had meant to tell involved a night at a Jackhammers game, and a lost afternoon trying to find my family at a park in Joliet.

Neither went as planned.

Back on July 4th, we had a pretty good amount of rain during the day, and the threat of significant rain remained for the evening hours as well. We decided to squash any plans to go see fireworks in the area, not wanting to sit and get drenched.

Our oldest daughter, Megan, was fine with it, and we promised her we'd take her somewhere to see fireworks sometime soon.

The most obvious choice -- from a close to home standpoint at least -- was to take her to a Jackhammers game on a night when fireworks would follow the game.

We rounded up some tickets for a Friday night in late July, and I took both of my daughters to the game (my wife had plans to go out with a few friends that night).

The game was set to start at 7:05pm, and since I had to work the next morning, I was pretty confident that I'd still be able to get out of there by 10:00 or so, and be home in enough time to still get a good night's sleep.

I mean, how long could these lower level minor league games last? There's no TV timeouts, there can't be a ton of managerial moves, etc. that typically drag out a major league game, right?

Well, the one thing I didn't take into account was bad baseball. Really bad.

The night we chose to go, the Jackhammers offered up a clinic on how not to pitch, hit and field. And considering how bad the 'Hammers were this year, that's saying something.

Fargo-Moorehead was the opponent. They scored early, and often. So did the Jackhammers. Inning after inning dragged along with bad pitching, fielding, and bad feelings building up inside your friendly blogger as the time kept on ticking away on a balmy Friday night.

Megan, 9, kept asking if the game was almost over. I couldn't give her any assurances as I was wondering the same thing. Our youngest, Sarah, 3, was getting sleepy by the 7th inning.

Again, so was I.

We finally reached the ninth inning at around 11:15pm. Sarah's asleep, daddy's getting cranky and Megan looks as bored as a nine-year old can look.

Of course we can't get a 1-2-3 inning so the dozens of fans that are left can get the only thing they came to the game for in the first place.

Nope, the Jackhammers start to mount a "rally" scoring several runs, prolonging the torture.

And to cap it off, as the ninth inning dragged on, one of the pitches from the Fargo-Moorehead pitcher came in a little to tight for the liking of whoever was batting for Joliet, so we almost had a bench clearing brawl.

We had the bench clearing part, but no brawl. Look, if you're going to give us an a game that lasts over four hours, at least treat us to a nice bloody brawl, right? I wasted precious space on my digital camera recording what ended up being a group of about forty players and coaches walking around the field puffing out their chests, with not a single punch thrown.

Disappointing.

thankfully, the game ended soon after, and the fireworks show took place moments later. Megan and I enjoyed the fireworks, but Sarah slept through it.

We got home shortly before midnight, but at least Megan got to see fireworks, and for better or worse, a more memorable night I 'm guessing.

Story number two is coming up in another post later.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Now Pinch Hitting...

For those keeping score, I'll be filling in for Schramm starting this Thursday on WCSJ.

I'll be doing mornings through October 10th. And don't complain to me that you won't be able to listen becuase your radio doesn't get the AM signal anymore.

WCSJ is an FM station now people. It has been for years. As Schramm himself would say, "grab a mitt and get in the game."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Let Me Get This Straight - Part 3

So, since I wrote this post last weekend, vowing to ignore the Phillies after their lead dwindled to five games, they've won six straight games, pushed their lead back to eight games -- while reducing the magic number to eight -- and (gasp) look to have things under control again.

The only concern now is injuries. The bullpen is a wreck with Romero, Eyre and Park sidelined, starter J.A. Happ may have aggravated his injury in last night's game (although he says he's fine), and now catcher Carlos Ruiz has a sprained wrist, although x-rays were negative.

But the hope is that those guys will heal up in time for the post-season (if they get there...had to say it).

This was a good week. Even the fans got some good publicity after the daughter of a Phillie fan threw a foul ball that her dad had just caught back onto the field.

The dad smiled, hugged his daughter, and was instantly booked on the Today Show.

You see, America, we're not all scum.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Let Me Get This Straight - Part 2

So, in the eight days since I wrote this glowing assessment of the Phightin' Phils, the following has occurred...

* They were swept four straight games in Houston against the sub .500 Astros, three times by one run.

* Brad Lidge blows his 10th save of the season, loses his closer's job in the middle of (potentially) blowing his 11th -- against Washington.

* J.A. Happ is forced to miss a few starts with an injury, forcing (gasp) Kyle Kendrick into the rotation today.

* Brett Myers and Ryan Madson -- the two pitchers counted on to replace Lidge -- combine to allow five runs to the Mets over the course of the final two innings Saturday turning a 9-5 lead into a 10-9 loss.

* The Phillies -- losers of 6 out of their last 9 -- see their lead in the NL East has dropped from 8 1/2 games down to 5, and they still play Florida six more times.

Ok, time to start ignoring them again. Good luck today, boys. I'll check the scores in the morning. Don't be surprised if that lead has dropped to 3 1/2, and a sudden increase in Xanax prescriptions in the Philadelphia area (and one stray case in suburban Chicago).

What time do the Eagles kickoff today?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Let Me Get This Straight

So, the Phillies managed to score just three runs in three games -- at home -- against the Giants...and won two of the three games?

Pedro Martinez, who is 38 and was basically ignored by all but a couple of teams this year, out-dueled the reigning Cy Young winner Thursday night, making a statement that not only is he worthy of his spot in the rotation for the rest of the year, but could merit serious consideration for a spot in the (potential) playoff rotation?

And, now their lead in the NL East is a robust 8 1/2 games over both Florida and Atlanta, 10 games in the loss column, while they've placed themselves more games over .500 than at any point since 1993?

Maybe I should start watching these guys.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Bird(ie)s!

In case anyone was wondering, I played some of the best golf of my life on Sunday. At least on the back nine.

I'm normally a "bogey golfer", which basically means that over the course of 18 holes, I'll shoot at, or around 18 over par, or, averaging a bogey each hole. On a normal par-72, that means I'd shoot a 90 on most occasions.

I rarely shoot much better than that.

There was one afternoon many years ago at Nettle Creek in Morris -- while playing fast to avoid a looming thunderstorm -- that I blazed the course and shot a 79, my best round ever. Sadly, I was playing alone, and since I've rarely even approached breaking 80 before or since, let's just say it would have been a lot better if there was someone around to corroborate my story.

I had no intention of having a really good day this past Sunday, mainly because I'd never played this course before, and I've only played one other round this year.

After double bogeying the 2nd hole -- even after using a mulligan on my tee shot that went in the drink -- I certainly wasn't thinking about shooting a low score.

And, for the first nine holes, I certainly didn't shoot a low score. I sloshed my way to a very mediocre (for me) 47.

Being a bogey golfer, 90 is my "par" score. If I break 90, I had a good day. So, my goal for the back nine was to shoot 42 and save my round.

I got off to a good start with a par on 10, and then, I got all Y.E. Yang on everyone.

Birdie on 10, birdie on 12, and a birdie on 18!

Three birdies in one day! I go three years without three birdies sometimes.

Even my dad -- roughly a 40-handicapper -- got in on the act. He hit a marvelous tee shot on the par-3 16th to about six feet, and drained the putt.

You have to understand my dad doesn't rack up too many birdies. With a bad back and various shoulder and hand injuries, let's just say he isn't very Daly-esque off the tee.

In fact, the tee shot on the par-3 16th...was with his driver.

Still, his birdie was a highlight of the day for him, and for me and my brother as well.

As for my final nine holes, I finished with a 37 (one over for the back nine) and a total of 84.

Take that, Tiger.

Wait. Take that Y.E.!

And, this time, I had witnesses.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Time To Tee It Up

What a beautiful day for golf. It's going to be sunny and 75 degrees today, and I'm ready to hit the links.

Today I'll be playing in a foursome that will include my dad, and my brother at a course up north a bit. This outing was arranged by my bro, Rick, as a sort of replacement outing that his workplace isn't having this year.

Rick's goal wasn't to complete mimic what his company would have done, but simply create a day for some family and friends to have a group "outing" at a nice, relatively nearby course.

In all, there will be 16 of us -- four foursomes -- teeing it up in the 11:00 hour today, and it should be a lot of fun.

It'll be nice to just have a day with no work involved whatsoever. The last week or two has been a bit dizzying for me, and that's partly why the blog posts haven't been as plentiful (as promised).

In addition to doing my early-week air shifts in Plano, I was also training with Schramm during the end of the week so I'd know the ins and outs of working the 'CSJ morning show, which I had to do the last two Saturdays, and this past Friday.

All of which left me little time to work on my other bajillion tasks (production, booking the sports show, working on websites, updating our imaging, and trying to remember each day which building I'm driving to).

Plus, all of this was going on during the last few days of Megan's summer vacation, so when I did get home each day, we tried to spend as much time outside as possible, or going places that she enjoys, to make the most of her last few days before school resumes (Monday).

By the time the night would roll around, I was pooped. Blogging was not a high priority at that point.

I know, excuses, excuses.

But, trust me. I'll get some time back soon, and there are some funny stories to tell -- like the one from last night when I was faced with a very messy situation in the Ed Debevic's parking lot -- that I will get to.

First things first. Where did I put that box of naked lady tees?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A One, A Two, A Three Rivers Fest

A gentle reminder: I'll be broadcasting from the Channahon Three Rivers Festival Friday night from 6p-8p for the WJDK 2-for-1 carnival ride night.

Make our sponsors happy please, and get your sticker at their location before you arrive.

Of course, I'll bring a few stickers with me in case you don't have one when you get in. But, please, get them from the sponsors if you can.

Bleacher Bum

After my statement in a previous post that if the Phillies took two out of three from the Cubs, I'd buy the first round of Old Styles for everyone.

Well, looks like the first round of Old Styles is on me.

And, it still may be on Shane Victorino.

I'm sure you've heard about, or seen the footage of Vic getting doused with beer Wednesday night while making a catch in the Phils' 12-5 rout at Wrigley. Pretty good concentration to be able to catch the ball while the beer -- and cup -- poured down on him.

And, in typical Cubs fashion, security swooped in and kicked out THE WRONG GUY.



So, I'll be more than happy to pick up the tab, although don't be surprised if I back out of the deal, since the post said I'd buy if the Phils took two out of three. Since they swept, that could be a deal breaker.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just When I Think I'm Out...

...they pull me back in.

I'll be subbing for Schramm on 'CSJ this Saturday morning, and again next Friday and Saturday, August 21st and 22nd.

That is all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Phils Hit Wrigley Phield

One other thing I noticed the other night in between beverages, was that I've hardly written at all this year about my beloved Phillies.

Last season, I wrote extensively about their ride to a championship. And, it wasn't as if I only started writing once they inched toward the title. There were plenty of lows to document -- as was the case in my blog entries from 2006 and 2007.

Maybe the success from a year ago has made me more complacent. Don't get me wrong, I'm still following each game -- although, I'm still avoiding results until the next morning. It's easier on the stress level -- But the urge to complain and congratulate on a daily basis on here hasn't been there. Yet.

As of this writing, the Phils -- after dropping three costly games to Florida this weekend, while Atlanta was sweeping a series in L.A. -- have a four game lead in the NL East.

Now they come to Wrigley for three. Oy. I still live in fear of a Phils/Cubs playoff series. Nothing would frost my rear end more than having the Cubs eliminate my Phillies in a playoff series. Each and every pitch would be excruciatingly nerve-wracking for me, potentially even more so than in their previous World Series appearances.

The reason, besides my hatred for the Cubs, is because I live in (near) Chicago. SO, of course, if they were to defeat my team over the course of a week or two, that's all I would hear about on every newscast, on every sports page, from everybody I would talk to, etc.

I'd be better off leaving town for a couple of weeks and closing myself off from the rest of the world.

Of course, the flipside -- a Phillies win over the Cubs in the playoffs -- would be a slice of heaven that I cannot begin to describe.

The only thing comparable would be the day earlier this decade when Donovan McNabb brought the Eagles to Soldier Field in an NFC playoff game and helped Philly knock off the Bears. I was watching that game with many members of my wife's side of the family, plus all of their Bear fan friends.

When the final whistle sounded, I walked into an empty bedroom and jumped up and down for a good 30 seconds.

Ooh well, hopefully a Cubs/Phils playoff series never happens. It's bad enough they're playing the next three days at Wrigley. Unless the Phils take two of three of course.

If they do, I'll even buy the first round of Old Styles.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Eating At Reggie's

As I begin to drink my third cranberry and vodka of the evening -- hey, it's Saturday night (no early wake-up tomorrow), and the kids are asleep -- it dawned on me that I haven't updated you on a teensy weensy bit of radio info...

I'm back on the air.

Well, it's not exactly what you think, but, I am indeed back on the air, some of the time at least.

This whole last month or so, it feels like, to borrow a Seinfeld reference -- surprise, right? -- that I'm now "eating at Reggie's," the diner that the gang would occasionally visit when not going to Monk's. It's the place George ate at when his worlds collided in "The Pool Guy" episode. I kind of feel like George did at the end of that episode.

As you know, I am no longer doing mornings at WJDK. I was given that news in early June, and did my last show on June 30th. It seems that my radio talents -- vast, and deep as they are -- are needed elsewhere.

There are many projects and happenings going on within our family of stations that require an expert. Someone that can jump right in and take control, steering those projects straight to completion. Someone that can lead the charge, and get the job done with accuracy and promptness.

That person wasn't available, so they've recruited me.

And, that's pretty much it. There are things that need attention at our group of stations, and I'm the guy they want to handle them. But, to tackle these things, it required me dedicating most of my time away from on-air work, and focusing on off-air projects.

The main thing is...I'm still employed. I still work in Morris -- some of the time. I still do sports, production, and the Saturday morning sports powerhouse, Spotlight On Sports.

But, half the time, I'm eating at Reggie's. I'm working at our mother ship station in Plano, doing some on-air work (mornings on Mondays and Tuesdays), and working other projects on Thursdays.

Has it been an adjustment? You betcha. It's not easy to go from doing something that you've enjoyed for 13 years, and completely shifting gears away from what you know and love doing.

On the other hand, this is a challenge for me. Something that may end up being a bit of a kick in the rear that infuses some extra energy into my daily grind. Do I miss doing mornings on WJDK? Absolutely. And, from the emails, calls and messages I've received, it seems that you miss the show, too. I really appreciate the feedback.

But, I'm now faced with the next chapter in my professional life. Time to roll with the punches, and grab a menu at Reggie's.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

B(l)ogged Down

I realize I haven't exactly been a blogging savant lately.

In fact, I've kind of taken an unofficial break from the blog to try to get my head straight.

As you may know, things have been turned a bit upside down in my world, professionally, and, frankly, my mind has not been on blogging a whole lot. Strange, in a way, because this is a time when I could certainly draw from plenty of happenings in the past month or so, and entertain you with details of what's been going on.

But, considering everything that's gone on over the last few weeks, I just needed a bit of a break. There are plenty of non-work things I can fill you in on, including our trip to the Jackhammers game -- that lasted four hours on a night that I had a quick turnaround for work the next day.

Or, the day that I got lost trying to get to Megan's bridging ceremony...in my own hometown, only to have the day turn into a positive because of what I found on my way home (after giving up on trying to find my family).

Those stories, and more are coming, and considering the chance to speak my mind on the air has diminished considerably -- but not completely, more on that in a future post -- my desire to get on here and pound out a great deal of blog posts IS there, but it's just taking a little longer to get the juices flowing, while I get myself situated with my new situation.

Hope you understand, and, thanks for continuing to visit this thing.

If you have suggestions on what you'd like to see or read on here, leave a comment.

With temps expected to hit the mid 90's this weekend, hopefully that will give me even more of an excuse to stay in the AC and crank out some new stuff for you, and begin a more regular ritual of getting fresh posts to you so you can continue to quench your Wireless Mike thirst, or something like that.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Small Step...

What a time for moonwalks?!

First, Michael Jackson's infamous moonwalk received a ton of airtime following the singer's death recently...



Then, the most famous moon walk of all was honored all day yesterday as we reached the 40th anniversary of man walking on the moon for the first time.

Assuming it was all real, of course...



And, eerily, Walter Cronkite just happened to pass away three days prior to the 40th anniversary of the moon landing.

Along with the day John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, his coverage of the moon landing is -- arguably -- the news story he is associated with the most...



Here's a recap of Cronkite's career, as reported on by NBC.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Girls

Today is our youngest daughter, Sarah's birthday. She turns three. Her arrival back in 2006 was the reason I started this blog in the first place.

It was the easiest way to provide an outlet for listeners -- along with family and friends -- to keep updated on how things were going with our newest member of the family.

Today is also the day of our annual family birthday party. In addition to Sarah's birthday today, our oldest daughter, Megan recently had a birthday of her own, turning nine on July 10th.

So, the last few days my wife and I have been doing our best to get our house -- inside and outside -- in, at least presentable condition for our guests (we think we'll have about 30).

If you have young kids, you know it's near impossible to keep the house as clean as you'd like it to be on a regular basis. Not that I'm a neat freak or anything, but a cluttered, messy house is something that drives me a smidge crazy. I'm always picking up this toy, or cleaning off that table, or picking something off the floor, only to have that same location get cluttered again, seemingly, within minutes.

As the party approaches each year, we do our best to get most of the cleaning done during that week. However, most of the cleaning really needs to take place on Saturday -- the day of the party -- so that there ends up being the least amount of possibility that the floor, the tables, the yard, will get messy again before the guests arrive.

Every parent reading this is shaking their head right now.

But these are minor complaints. In the end, the day is always a fun one, filled with lots of laughs, and lots of love.

Happy birthday, girls!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Joe Schmitz

People magazine recently conducted a search for 30 "All-Stars Among Us", each one representing one of the teams from Major League Baseball during the recent all-star game in St. Louis.

Through internet voting, Grundy County's very own Joe Schmitz ended up getting the most votes, and he represented the White Sox -- Joe's favorite team -- Tuesday night at the all-star game.

A great honor for a great man.

Joe is the president of Operation St. Nick, a local organization that raises money for needy families in the area and provides Christmas gifts to children each year, and other services, such as Easter dinners for those less fortunate.

Newsman Jay Capron and I have interviewed Joe several times during this process, and the most recent interview -- recapping Joe's unforgettable three days in St. Louis -- will be aired again Saturday morning at 9:00am during Spotlight On Sports on WJDK and WCSJ.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just Like Riding A Bike

One of the rites of passage as a parent is teaching your child to ride a bike.

For several years, we had been encouraging our oldest daughter, Megan (just turned nine) to take off the training wheels and learn to ride for real. She kept saying she wasn't ready yet.

This summer was different, and over the last couple of weeks, we've taken her to a few different flat, empty parking lots, and she's now riding without a problem.

On day one we were at my wife's work lot on a Sunday afternoon. It's not the flattest of spots, but it was certainly a familiar one, and we knew there wouldn't be a lot of interruption.

As with all kids the first time they try to ride a bike on their own, it wasn't easy. I walked with Megan, one hand on the seat to help guide her along.

After a few times around the lot, I'd start to take the hand off, and let her go by herself for a few seconds at a time. By the end of the day she could get a good 10-15 second run going before she'd lose her balance.

One of the advantages to having waited so long to learn is that the bike she's riding -- similar to the Disney Princess model above, and originally purchased for her several years ago -- was little enough that she's very close to the ground, and any loss of balance is rectified with a simple placement of foot on pavement. Almost like learning to swim in a three-foot deep pool, when you're well over three feet tall.

Day two came on a night last week. We found a school parking lot near our neighborhood that was big, flat, and empty. Megan had a lot more confidence this time, and although I walked with her during her whole time riding, she hardly needed any assistance.

Last night we went for the third time, and I should have brought a lawn chair and a book to read. She's getting pretty good at it now, but certainly not cocky about it. She still is going nice and slow, not trying to do too much.

Nothing beats seeing the smile on her face that shows off the fun she's having, plus the sense of accomplishment at learning something that she had put off for so long.

Guess it's going to be time soon to save up enough for a new bike for Megan.

And, hopefully I remember where I put those training wheels for our other daughter Sarah -- who turns three Saturday. Soon, I'll be teaching her the finer points of cycling as well. I'm sure I'll remember how to do it.

It's just like riding a bike.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Running Of The Idiots

Please tell me I wasn't the only one rooting for the bulls during the annual ritual of the ridiculous in Spain recently.

And, I couldn't have been the only one to not even flinch when hearing of the demise of one "reveler" who literally messed with the bull and got the horns.

Blank

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Attack Of The DUI's

Do these come in threes like celebrity deaths? Considering the first celebrity DUI of the week was Joyce DeWitt, it would seem appropriate that we get three.

Three's Company, after all.

That was one of the all-time classic sitcoms, and I don't know if it gets the respect it deserves. Of course, Joyce DeWitt had virtually nothing to do with its success, or why I liked it so much.

It was all about John Ritter, and he carried that thing flawlessly for years.

Joyce's DUI came about at the beginning of the week. Then earlier today I noticed that the Big Ragoo was handed a DUI as well.

Eddie Mekka, Carmine from Laverne and Shirley, was involved in a minor fender bender, apparently after he was on a bender.

At least I think that's Eddie Mekka. Could be Luigi from the Mario Brothers game, but I'm pretty sure he's a cartoon.

So, if these things do come in threes, and the theme this week is old sitcom stars, who's next?

Mackenzie Phillips from One Day At A Time? Nah, that one seems too easy.

Potsie from Happy Days?

How 'bout Epstein from Welcome Back, Kotter?

What's your guess?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fading Lights

I've put together a montage of morning show moments from over the years. It's a bit long, but hopefully you'll enjoy it.

It's set to the tune, "Fading Lights" by Genesis.

Click here to hear it.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Stars Of The (Final) Show

Tuesday, June 30th, I did my final morning show on WJDK. It's something I've known about for a few weeks. I've been presented with a chance to work on some new projects within the company -- so, yes, I am still employed -- while maintaining my production and sports duties.

The night before my last show, I realized that it had been awhile since I had aired any audio of my daughters, Megan (turning 9 later this month) and, especially Sarah (turning 3 this month).

Over the years, some of the best -- and most frequent -- feedback I got about the show was regarding my on-air stories about my daughters, and the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Certainly a very relatable topic for most of my listeners.

So, on Monday night, with tape recorder in hand, I sat down with Megan and Sarah and had a very informal conversation with them about their summer, their interests, and just them in general.

The girls were more than eager to talk. Megan gave thoughtful responses about things she is enjoying during her summer vacation, what she'd like to be when she grows up, and also displayed some newly found piano skills by playing a couple of the songs she's been working on at piano lessons.

Sarah gave us a rundown of her invisible friends (Yageg, Yo-yo, Babe, and Hegeg -- all names she has made up), talked about her visit last week to the library, and waxed poetic about her recent trips to the potty to make poo poo.

At the end of the talk, I asked Megan if she had any last thoughts. After thanking her fans -- and she has a bunch of them -- I mentioned to her all the feedback I've received about her and Sarah over the years, I told her I loved her, she said 'love you, too', and then she said into the microphone, "I love you all, bye."

When I got to work the next morning, my original intention was to edit the interview down to about 5 minutes or so, and make that one segment during the show.

I recorded a lot more than I had thought I did, and after doing some editing, I ended up having four or five pretty good segments, that totaled way more than 5 minutes.

As I sifted through the tape, I kept coming back to Megan's last line.

Right before the last show started, I decided to make "family" the unofficial theme of the day. I opened with an old bit of Megan reciting the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," and used the segments of the interview with the girls throughout the show. We tied in Jay's son Jack's 6-month birthday as well to fit the theme.

As the last few moments approached, I cued up Megan's final thoughts from the night before. My last show closed with Megan, on tape, saying, "I love you all, bye," followed by me saying the same thing.

Needless to say, 'ol Dad here was unable to hold back the waterworks once the mic was turned off.

It's been a great run. I hope you've enjoyed the show half as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hapty Birfday 2 Me

Thanks, Homer.

Yep, Tuesday was my birthday. Both Jay and my mom seem to think I turned 40 this year. They're kidding. I think.

I'm not quite to 40 yet, although after chasing around two young girls all day and night, I feel a lot older than 40!

The girls I'm chasing are my daughters, Megan (turning nine next month) and Sarah (turning three), not two random young girls. Although, if I was chasing around two random young -- but, legal -- girls, I'd probably feel a lot younger than 40.

But I'm digressing, and regressing. Not to mention, digging myself quite a big hole, so let me take off my South Carolina governor's hat for a minute, and finish the post.

I had a great birthday, spread out over a couple of different days, celebrating with my folks this past weekend, and with my family on Tuesday.

Nice gifts, great food and beverage, plus plenty of laughs and good times.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Went Back To Ohio

I'm back from my weekend with the boys in Ohio. We were celebrating mu buddies upcoming wedding with a little thing called a bachelor party.

Nobody got arrested, and everybody made it back safe and sound.

While most of the guys were eager to hit the night spots at Put-In-Bay each of our two evenings, the treat for me was having Friday night, and all day Saturday with no major responsibilities, other than helping to make sure the fridge or cooler of choice was properly stocked.

There were several guys on the trip -- out of the 18 total -- that are married with kids, and a lot of our enjoyment was just having the time, and freedom, to sit on the deck of our cabin and waste away a Saturday, reading a magazine, staring at ladies at the pool, playing bags, staring at ladies at the pool, and staring at ladies at the pool.

It was a fun weekend. Groom to be, Brian, proposed to his girlfriend on the ABC7 local news last year.



I've known Brian since junior high, and the two of us have shared many a laugh over the years, poking fun at just about everything in the pop culture world, and spending a lot of our chats and conversations rehashing all the silly things we've done over the years.

When I play back my feeble attempts at play-by-play at Blackhawks games from my earlier years, Brian was usually right there next to me.

His is the voice yelling "Shoot it!" in one of the clips.

He was the best man at my wedding, and one of my next projects is to dig up the audio of Brian and myself singing the Love Boat theme at the dinner table that night.

Don't hold your breath for that, though.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Making His "Mark"

Carlos Zambrano had one of his annual meltdowns at Wrigley Field recently, arguing a safe call at home plate -- which was the correct call -- and got tossed by the home plate umpire.

The umpire in question, Joliet's own Mark Carlson, who was a guest on Spotlight On Sports many moons ago after he had become a major league ump.

An incredibly nice guy, by the way.

Over the years, I had lost track of whether Mark was still calling games at the Major League level. I guess, that means he's been doing just fine. Umpires, in theory at least, don't really want to be recognized, or considered part of the game in any memorable way.

So, thanks, Mark for reminding me that you still are out there. And, feel free to eject as many Cubs as you feel fit.

Here's the meltdown in case you missed it...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Clubber Lang Can Sing!

Did you catch Mr. T singing at Wrigley Field recently? Quite a treat.

Who doesn't pity the Pirates?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tough Glove

So, after a sterling 7-3 road trip, the Phils came home tonight and lost in extra innings to the Red Sox 5-2.

However, I'm still smiling this morning. Once I got a look at how the Mets blew their latest game -- this one, a 9-8 heartbreaker to the Yankees -- I could hardly conceal my grin.

As long as the Phillies remain in first, I'll gladly trade losses with the Mets, especially when they are as hilarious as this one was...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jon And Kate Plus Hate

This is Kate Gosselin, of the increasingly unwatchable TLC show Jon & Kate Plus 8.

If I never see this woman on my television again, I will be a happy man.

Alas, the odds on that happening are not good. Our oldest daughter, Megan LOVES the show. Luckily, all of the adult drama has passed right over her head, so on each episode that she watches, she focuses on the kids and what they do.

Kate should take note.

The picture above depicts her "working", and doing her "job" while ignoring her kids at home. She spends about 20 days a month traveling across the country for various speaking engagements (cha-ching) and book signing (cha-ching), leaving husband Jon to take care of the kids back at their mansion (thanks to the $75,000 per episode they receive from TLC. Cha-ching!).

Then, when she does show up at the house in the premiere, she takes the kids with her to help pickj out party favors for the sextuplets 5th birthday party. She's all too eager to point out that Jon is not around for that weekend, so she has to do everything by herself -- something she whined about multiple times last night -- and then spent the rest of the episode putting on phony displays of laughter and happiness, while the people around her -- including the kids -- had grim looks on their faces.

She's narcissistic, overbearing, a shrew, selfish, and demeaning. And those are her good qualities.

I won't go into all of the details on the show, or the fractured relationship between Jon and Kate -- who seem ready for a divorce, after watching last night's season premiere -- because there are countless articles and websites that recount the details, or at least the allegations much better than I could in this post.

Just suffice it to say that, as usual, the ones that will suffer are the kids. They might not know everything that's going on, but they know enough to realize that something is wrong. Dad's not around -- probably kicked out of the house -- and Kate is bound and determined to keep those cameras around, and keep her "career" of touring the country alive, instead of staying at home where she belongs and fixing her family.

Oh, but it's all Jon's fault according to her. When allegations of her indiscretions were brought up, Kate wanted to change the subject because it made her mad. It doesn't matter. After watching this show way more than I wanted to these last few months, it's obvious her heart belongs to Benjamin Franklin.

You know, I actually don't mind if Kate is on my television in the future.

The more Megan watches, the more she'll realize how good she has it.

And, really. Chop off the hair.

It looks ridiculous.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hawks Win!

After blowing a 3-0 lead, the Blackhawks put away Detroit in overtime last night, 4-3 at United Center.

Let's hope Martin Havlat will be okay after the crushing hit leveled upon him early in the game.

For the first five seconds or so after this hit, I thought he was dead.

This is one of the reasons I play golf.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baseball Bets

Not sure if anyone remembers, or cares, but now that we're a little over a month into the season, I thought I'd update you on the progress of the season-long baseball bet going on between the Three Stooges (your truly, Jay, and Kevin).

It's a pretty tight race. We weighted the win total category, since the Cubs are picked by just about everyone to rack up more wins than the Phillies and White Sox. We just may not have weighted it enough.

Going off a Vegas gambling site, we had the Cubs slotted for 92 wins, the Phils for 88, and the Sox for 80. Well, Kev's just about caught me in that category (just one game behind heading into this weekend), and he's just seven behind the Sox (making up almost 50% of the deficit within the first six weeks of the year is not a good sign for Jay).

On the flip side, with the injury to Aramis Ramirez, and the slow start for Giovanny Soto, Kev is lagging behind in third place in the RBI category.

Our "goofy" stat is the Sunday winning percentage, and so far, Schramm's Cubs are a perfect 4-0.

That category was my idea.

Excuse me while I bang a baseball bat over my head.

The good thing is, the overall stats are very close for our bet, and it should make for a competitive season.

I'll update you again in a few weeks. Be sure to clear your schedule.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hat Trick For Patrick

Here come the Hawks!

There's still time to get on the bandwagon, folks.

Could things get much better for the Chicago Blackhawks this season? A young team, getting better day by day, their longtime play-by-play announcer, Pat Foley, back in the booth where he belongs (although, in a sad twist, wouldn't be behind the mic in the Cup Finals, if they get that far), all games on television for the first time ever, over 22,000 fans in the seats, and in the standing room sections, pushing overall season attendance to over one million, and a berth in the conference finals!

It's been an amazing transformation, and a long time coming. Back in the 60's and 70's, when Bobby Hull, Stan Makita, and Tony Esposito were stars for the team, the Blackhawks were the hottest ticket in town.

There was a brief resurgence in the mid 80's, when Denis Savard helped the 'Hawks to a couple of Conference Finals appearances.

For a time in the early 90's, the Blackhawks also enjoyed a handful of years where they were legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup, reaching the finals once, but getting swept by Pittsburgh (I was in attendance for the final game. A sad night, for sure, but, man, I got the chance to watch a team skate around with the Stanley Cup. Even though it was the opponent, it was an awesome moment for a hockey fan like me).

When players were allowed to leave via free agency without getting paid what they deserved from "Dollar" Bill Wirtz, the team started to struggle, fans found other ways to entertain themselves, and the Blackhawks became an afterthought.

Then, Wirtz passed away, and everything turned around. Son, Rocky Wirtz took over operations, hiring John McDonough from the Cubs as President of the team. He brought back Pat Foley, all games were televised, and -- most importantly -- the team on the ice continued to improve, becoming contenders at just the right time.

Will the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup this year? Who knows? They may get swept in the next round. But, there's no denying that the future looks as bright for this team as it has in a very long time.

There's still room on the bandwagon.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Amazing Race...To The Bathroom

On the show this morning, Jay and I recounted the events of Sunday's Amazing Race episode, when Jen and Keisha finished in last place due in large part to Jen's inability to control her bladder.

As they were racing to the finish line, Jen -- who had gulped down several bottles of water to help get her through a difficult eating challenge -- couldn't hold it anymore, and had to stop at a restroom to relive herself.

That allowed the cheerleaders to sneak ahead of them, and finish in third place, sending Jen and Keisha home.

I referenced a marathon runner who displayed much more determination, bravado, and fearlessness when he faced a similar situation while racing recently. And, this was much more than just a simple need to relieve the bladder.

Yes, this racer was faced with a more colon-related matter. A fecal matter, if you will.

However, there was no way this racer was going to let that get in his way. Either that, or he just couldn't get to the port-a-potty on time.

Click here to see what I'm talking about.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

So Long, Scrubs

One of my favorite sitcoms of all time, Scrubs, signed off last night -- most likely for good.

There's a chance it will come back next year with a few of the cast members gone, including star Zach Braff, but, even though I'd welcome the chance to get a few more laughs from future episodes, considering how strong last night's finale was, I think the best plan would be for it to go away for good.

There are a large amount of great montages and clips at Youtube, and I'll just leave it up to you to dig up some of your favorites, or some clips you haven't seen in awhile from the show's past.

On today's show I played the song "Book Of Love" (the Peter Gabriel version) that played over the final scene as J.D. pondered his future outside of the fictional Sacred Heart Hospital.

While the song is strong enough on its own, seeing it in the context of what was happening on the show adds the proper amount of depth.

Here's the final scene...