Thursday, August 30, 2007


First, a happy birthday to that young stud of a pup, Mr. Ricky Fritsch. Ricky ends the list of August birthdays that included my nephew Michael, The Sister-in-Law (just back from Seattle) and my brother.

Now, let's get to a little high school football. We start with the latest on WGCH football. Assuming all goes well, I will be at the mic next Saturday for the call of Greenwich and Brunswick at Cardinal Stadium. I'm hoping the pregame will start at 9:50 AM, but I know the game itself kicks off at 10. Sean Kilkelly will be in the booth with me, and Nick Angotto will be walking the sidelines.

I also began to put the pieces together for the big trip to Naples, Florida on November 9th, when the Cardinals take on the Golden Eagles of Naples High School. I've exchanged emails with Naples AD Ernie Modugno and he said that we will have plenty of space to call the game in their VISITORS press box!!

Hello? A visitors press box? Are you reading this up here in Connecticut and New York, where the facilities are generally either too cramped or just flat-out insufficient? In fact, if I were to rate the press boxes, I would put Greenwich first (gotta love the home-cooking - the burgers at half time, the heating and air conditioning, and the fact that I always have space there). After that, I think I would put Boyle Stadium next - especially if I get to use the room that is separate from the rest of the box. I was going to rank them from there, but after the first two, they kind of blend together. Some - like Danbury, McMahon, New Canaan and Fairfield - are nice and have almost enough room, but have no privacy. Kennedy Stadium is OK but is very high up and when it is cold there, it is bone-chilling.

I never could figure out how we didn't get electrocuted at Trumbull, but their booth is roomy, if not the sturdiest. We never get to go in the booth at Harding but thankfully the weather hasn't been bad there. Then there's Darien and Staples (and Greenwich), with nice press boxes but they're very small. We'll likely be outside on Thanksgiving this year.

Oh, and I can't rate Brunswick because they don't have a box. and believe it or not, I can't rate Ridgefield because I've never called a game from there.

Anyway, enough about that. I have some great video for you (hence the title of this post). A senior in Ohio pulled off a classic stunt, and I have to thank the people at Deadspin for posting it. You can read the whole story here, but make sure to watch the video. As pranks go, this one is a dandy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Get Your Kicks on!

- Photo by Rob Adams (on Lake Casse Drive, Mahopac, NY - July 30, 2005)

Ride along as Rob Ryser from The Journal News takes you on a cross-country journey on US route 6. As the article points out, many, if not most people don't know that US 6 is a nearly coast-to-cast road, and once was the longest road in the US - from Provincetown, MA to Long Beach, CA. There are some flaws in the article, but I'm not going to point them out. Doesn't seem productive today. For the most part, the article does a nice job of letting readers in the lower Hudson Valley know that this stretch of road that comes out of Connecticut, goes through my home areas of Carmel and Mahopac, and heads through congested suburbia before crossing the Hudson River on the Bear Mountain Bridge (one of the roads huge highlights) is a pretty important link in US highway system.

I tried to find a link for the article on The Journal News's website but came up empty, so I'm going to post it here, and hope to not offend anyone...

Congested local highway offers a cross-country journey
Rob Ryser

With a gas card and a good map, you can drive all the way to California on Route 6.

It may seem comical to those who know how long it can take to drive a lousy mile on Route 6 that a chronically congested road in Putnam and northern Westchester could roll on and on into the Pacific sunset.

But it's no joke.

Route 6 really is a coast-to-coast connection - the longest historical highway in the United States in fact - cutting a transcontinental diagonal from Cape Cod to Long Beach, Calif.

It's true.

"That's pretty impressive," says Marty DiCola, the owner of Peekskill Paint and Hardware, who always thought the Route 6 where he does business ended somewhere over the Bear Mountain Bridge in Orange County.

The idea that one of the most notorious choke points in the Lower Hudson Valley is part of a two-lane legend across 14 states and four time zones may take a moment to absorb. But no one with plans to travel it should be surprised at what they find.

From the one-time whaling capital of the world to the Wild West, from New Englanders to American Indians, historical Route 6 is a 3,652-mile ribbon that wraps the most diverse people and the most dynamic regions into a common culture called America.

The downtown office towers and the gold mining ghost towns - and all the silos, oil rigs, suspension bridges and roller coasters in between - stand like icons of the nation's infrastructure along Route 6.

To be sure, with gas prices in the $3 range and cross-country road trips no longer what they used to be, few New Yorkers but the real roadies are likely to drive any farther on Route 6 this summer than they absolutely must.

But with a new book coming from a retired Connecticut journalist who walked Route 6 to document "places you can't savor in the fast lane," and a growing interest by Route 6 enthusiasts to post travelogues on the Internet, residents might replicate some of the road trip experience without starting up the car.

And anyone who has ever suffered the indignity of seeing a squirrel move faster on a wire than the car can advance during rush hour on Route 6 might now take pride in being stuck on a historical highway full of celebrity and novelty; a road that links the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the birthplace of Velveeta.

"It looks like we're in the middle of a whole bunch of everything, you know?" says Janie Jackson of Peekskill, 47, who thought, as perhaps many do, that Route 6 ends in the Hudson River.

It may seem strange to imagine commonality with other Route 6 states such as Nevada, where wild horses are as out of control as whitetail deer here.

The truth is that the New York portion of Route 6 is so integrated with the larger highway that it's emblematic of the whole. Like the longer historical highway, the local stretch of Route 6 has a commercial pace, but also comparatively rural sections. It has a crossing of awesome beauty over the Hudson River and places of supreme serenity atop Bear Mountain, as well as sections of Main Street life in Peekskill where families still use the sidewalks, and wild raspberries as sweet as jam grow through chain link fences.

It has colonial heritage and a future of certain change.

In 2017 - not too soon for the congestion-weary - the state will draw up plans for a Route 6 bypass in Mohegan Lake.

"It's a great time to travel Route 6 because it is unspoiled," says Thomas Repp, the executive editor of American Road. "Route 6 is so long and so diverse and so overlooked."

What began in 1926 as a two-lane highway from Provincetown, Mass., to Brewster culminated in 1952 when a 150-mile section of wagon wheel ruts was paved between Utah and Nevada.

The more America grows, experts such as Repp say, the less Route 6 will look the way it does in Brewster and Peekskill, where pedestrians still rule the road, and the more it will look like the mega-laned intersection in Baldwin Place, where the only people who cross the ladder-like pavement paintings are those in cars.

Route 6's reach

It doesn't surprise road enthusiasts that many New Yorkers may not know the remarkable reach of their own Route 6.

"Americans have forgotten how to travel," says Repp, the author of two books about the storied Route 66. "The interstate highway may be safer and faster, but it has taken the romance out of the cross-country driving experience. Everybody is into destination travel."

Of course, some Route 6 locals know about its longest-highway status.

As a kid growing up in Mahopac, John Moore heard stories from his grandfather about Route 6 being a dirt road in the 1920s and 1930s. Now 49 and the owner of an antique-furniture shop on Route 6 in Cortlandt, Moore also has heard stories from buddies that Route 6 went all the way to California.

"I never really believed it, you know?" says Moore, a friendly man with a Hemingway beard. "It was the Sixties and everything."

It was in 1963 that California renumbered its highway system and ended Route 6 in Bishop. That act made modern Route 6 only 3,227 miles, and second-longest in the nation to Route 20's 3,345 miles.

California is committed to posting historical Route 6 markers along the renumbered section, but some can still find the way from the Atlantic Coast in Providence, R.I., to the Pacific port of Long Beach.

Walking Route 6

Joe Hurley proved it in 2004 when he took a rookie photographer and a veteran Geo Metro that died in Death Valley on a nine-month walking tour of Route 6 "to see if the country had changed."

The car was only to get to the hotel at night. During the day Hurley was on the road writing vignettes about a curmudgeon who whittled an ax handle on the porch in Pennsylvania, a guy named Big Daddy Frick who treated employees to free lunch off china plates daily in rural Indiana and a 92-year-old man missing a kneecap and a few fingers who sat on a Valvoline can and sold corn out of his pickup in Des Moines.

"I found two Americas," says Hurley, whose book about his trip is due out in January. "I found urban America and I found rural America. I don't think the two are at war, but urban America doesn't know rural America exists."

Hurley makes a case that the slower pace of life outside the cities gives people more time for one another. He suggests that people in small Route 6 towns are more like small-town people in other states than they are like city folk in their home states.

He became so used to being waved at by strangers and returning the wave across the Midwestern and Western states of Route 6, he says, that he caught himself waving to a fence post.

Try making that mistake on Route 6 at the Westchester-Putnam border - a conglomerate of commercial concrete and cars called Baldwin Place - where the architectural focus is a massive sagging necklace of traffic signals.

A touch of country

And yet a traveler just might consider such a friendly country gesture when the eyes catch the crayon-colored animal pens under three dreamy weeping willows. Standing out among the gas stations and warehouse stores on one corner of this intersection is a grassy property adorned with abandoned vehicles, ornate barns, rural memorabilia and farm animals that one might associate with wheat fields and one-room schoolhouses.

"We have gone from open fields and one or two cars parked on this road when I got here to shopping centers," says Bernard Zipkin, 86, a rural guardian of sorts and owner of Mahopac Farm & Museum.

He also knew that Route 6 goes all the way to California. The last thing he wants to do is sell the 31-acre property he has owned since 1967.

"People are consumed with buying new things, but if somebody needs a helping hand standing on the road, we are consumed with the fear of being taken advantage of," Zipkin says. "What has happened on Route 6 here kind of mirrors the whole thing."

Where Route 6 loses its bond with people is where the road cares more about moving four wheels as fast as possible than getting two feet where they need to go, locals and road enthusiasts agree.

In Baldwin Place, Jefferson Valley, Cortlandt and stretches of Mahopac and Carmel, the road is no longer the Robert Frost metaphor for life connections, but a punch line for such modern conventions as road rage.

A perpetually congested section of Route 6 in Mohegan Lake was the subject of so many public fits after the turn of the millennium, for example, that state and county transportation planners sat down with Yorktown, Cortlandt and Peekskill officials to reach a consensus about rerouting a portion to alleviate congestion.

Even then, during several years of intense study, no one uncovered Route 6's historic reach or the uninterrupted story that it tells.

"A road is just a strip of pavement until you get into the town and talk to the people and understand what the road means," says Repp. "You turn on the news and get a nice dose of depression, but you can go on the road and see what the country is really like."

Reach Rob Ryser at 914-666-6489 or

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Musical Interlude

My friend and broadcast partner, Sean Kilkelly, wrote that he went to see Montgomery Delaney (a fave here at "Exit 55") last week in Greenwich. Unfortunately for me, I didn't get to go, and am still wanting to see him perform. However Sean found some video of Montgomery shot while he and Keith Kelly performed on a radio show in Portland, Maine. I would have to say that this song is probably my favorite of his, called "Son of a Son."

Friends, I implore you to have a listen (and a look) at the work of a fine artist with a wonderful story to tell. It's cool to have somebody like this in "New York's Back Yard" (are you listening at The Peak?) and it's even cooler to say that, in an offbeat way (through emails) I can tell you that I've met Montgomery. There are just some people in the world that you root for, and he's one of them.

Montgomery Delaney "Son of a Son of a Son,,," from CTD3 and Vimeo.

Richmond on the Road

Remember me? I know, I've gone into hiding. The Bullseye adjustment has taken me out of the blog loop but I'll be back. I've had things to talk about, but haven't had the energy.

So for those who enjoy such things, I leave you on this Monday with a great road video. Jim does a remarkable job of editing his road videos by speeding them up, adding some music, and a few witty edits. This is not some clunky effort. Oh, and he has lots more on YouTube. The video I've put here is his third selection from Richmond. I think it represents the city the best (from a highway perspective). The video starts on Interstate 95 south near Interstate 295 (north of the city line) and continues to I-195 south to VA route 195 back to I-95 north before a turnaround (probably at the Boulevard exit) and onto I-95 south, ending south of the Richmond city line.

To me, it's great stuff.

So take a ride through one of my favorite places.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Blowhard Speaks!

For some reason, the Daily News gave Al Sharpton (public hypocrite number one) a forum to discuss his "five musts for Imus." Who this son of a bitch think he is, and why does the Daily News allow such smut to be published?

Wanna know what I think Imus's "five musts" are?

1) Tell people, again, that the nappy thing WAS A JOKE. It was parody and satire, and that everyone needs to move on.

2) Lay down the law that clowns like Christopher Dodd and Tim Russert (sorry, Tim) are banned for life from his show.

3) Reassemble his old crew (yep, including Bernie).

4) Not change his show or style even one bit.

5) Tell Al Sharpton to STFU (and I'm sure you know what that means).

Here's what Reverend Hypocrite had to say:

5 musts for Imus


Martha Stewart came back to network television after serving time in prison. Marv Albert returned to the airwaves after pleading guilty to assault and battery charges. And now, it looks increasingly likely — though reports remain unsubstantiated — that Don Imus will get back on the radio.

That is his right.

But consumers and advertisers — and those of us who shined a spotlight on his bad behavior — also have rights. We also have responsibilities. Broadcasters and their companies must decide on standards that they will abide by. Sponsors can — and indeed, some should — refuse to financially support blatant bigotry, which is what led to his firing in the first place.

Most important, if and when Imus gets back in the broadcasting booth, each of us will have to judge for ourselves whether his apologies were an attempt to keep his job or whether he sincerely wanted to uphold standards that would respect all people, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

Indeed, if Imus wants to get back in front of the microphone, there are five steps that he should take to prove that he has learned from the experience — and not simply waited for the furor to die down.

First, he should squarely deal with the Rutgers fiasco, not just through a cosmetic meeting as before, but by coming to terms with the women he denigrated in a concrete way. One of the Rutgers women has filed a lawsuit, and rather than play legal games with her, he should settle that suit — and any other claims that the team members may make due to the psychological and public damage he did to them personally.

Second, he should publicly make clear that he sees himself as an example of how we as a society have increasingly allowed the hunger for humor and the drive for ratings to make the American public immune to the casual expression of racism and sexism.

Specifically, Imus should state (if true) that he now understands what led to his termination: Americans of all races and economic levels believe we can no longer move forward as a society by taking cheap shots at women and blacks or any other group.

He was not a pariah; his removal did not undermine his free speech rights.

Third, he should pledge to refrain from attacks on innocent people who cannot defend themselves and who may not have the coping mechanisms to deal with being ridiculed on the airwaves.

It's one thing to ridicule Al Sharpton; it's another to attack young women who did nothing more than seek to achieve excellence in college athletics.

To that end, Imus and his new prospective employer, if and when one emerges, should publicly release a contract clause making clear that he will not be permitted to engage in any racist, sexist or homophobic comments (unlike a contrary clause in his last contract).

Fourth, to show that he is truly committed to turning the page in whatever new show he launches, Imus should set aside some regular weekly broadcast time to sit with an ombudsman — preferably a member of the National Association of Black Journalists or someone else of color — who will mix it up with him and critique issues of the day. No, I'm not volunteering for the job.

Fifth, Mr. Imus should encourage all corporations, including the record industry, to stop subsidizing and promoting people who engage in racist and misogynist language, even in the name of entertainment. The rules must not be different for black rappers than they are for white broadcasters.

It was not and is not our desire to interrupt the life of Don Imus. We just want to ensure that he does not interfere with ours.

Sharpton is president of the National Action Network.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No Gifts Necessary

The first anniversary of Exit 55 came and went on Friday with no fanfare. That's OK. Thanks to everyone is sufficient enough. It's been fun. I know I've promised more things, but I'm laying low right. If the muse hits, I'll be back. Then again, that's always been to MO of this blog. I don't promise daily updates like the good people at Deadspin and Awful Announcing are able to provide but then again, they have multiple writers as well at times.

I hope to play a little "off the bench"-style catch up soon. The high school football buzz is picking up as well, and you might want to visit with Tim Parry, who is branching out in every way possible - an internet radio show, a video effort with Matt Levine, a new discussion board, and an SWC blog as well. Best of luck, guys!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Let's Watch Another Boring Kids Video

OK, these are posted with the intent of letting the grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and so on watch. For the rest of you, I'm happy to have you view this video, but completely understand it if you think it is torturous. For me, I really enjoyed the efforts of everyone at Pine Grove Country Day School's Camp today, as they put on one hour of wall to wall entertainment.

Of course, I have a few choice words though. First, I think nearly everybody in that auditorium (the adults, not the kids) needs to go back to school and learn respect. The room was completely full when the show started, and was nearly desolate by the end. Why? Because it was hot in there? I'll grant you that, but I sweat like Patrick Ewing at the free throw line taking when it's 20 degrees, let alone 80. So if I'm not roasting, then you shouldn't be either. Or you felt the need to get your kid and move on in the big-arse SUV to head off to Cold Stone for some All Lovin' No Oven?

Next, if you're in the auditorium, please for the love of Romper Room (and she never did say my name on that show) don't run your mouth. Future generations are messed up enough. Can't we set good examples by sitting there quietly and respectfully? The woman who was serving as the "MC" could barely be heard because somebody's mother/father/grandmother/grandfather/sister/brother/aunt/uncle/next door neighbor wouldn't shut up. We get it - your kid looks great/cute/scared/adorable. I'm guessing this conversation could wait until you're back in the Land Rover.

Somehow this did not seem to be a problem for The Son's father, grandfather and grandmother. We behaved.

Jesus, and this stuff is just getting started. On September 5th, The Son climbs aboard a school bus and heads off to kindergarten. With it will go a little piece of my heart, and the beginning of a new era. We'll deal with that in a few weeks. Now on with the show...

Show a Little Faith, there's "Magic" in the Night

Any person with a shred of musical knowledge knows that the title of this post rings a bell as a musical lyric. It's from "Thunder Road" and it's by a guy named Bruce. No, make that...


The man, and his band are back. The new CD, Magic, drops on October 2nd, and the buzz is that it is a rocker. No more sad yet revivalist (The Rising) or dark and brooding (Devils and Dust). I give you the official word from The Boss's official site:

'Magic,' Bruce Springsteen's new studio recording and his first with the E Street Band in five years, is set for release by Columbia Records on October 2, 2007. Produced and mixed by Brendan O'Brien, the album features eleven new Springsteen songs and was recorded at Southern Tracks Recording Studio in Atlanta, GA.

'Magic' Song Titles:

1. Radio Nowhere
2. You'll Be Comin' Down
3. Livin' in the Future
4. Your Own Worst Enemy
5. Gypsy Biker
6. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
7. I'll Work for Your Love
8. Magic
9. Last to Die
10. Long Walk Home
11. Devil's Arcade

'Magic' is the first new studio album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band since 2002's GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-platinum, number one album 'The Rising' (Columbia Records), which was also produced by O'Brien.

Bruce Springsteen's longtime manager Jon Landau said, "'Magic' is a high energy rock CD. It's light on its feet, incredibly well played by Bruce and the members of the E Street Band, and, as always, has plenty to say. It's also immensely entertaining. 'Magic' is the third collaboration between Bruce and Brendan O'Brien and is a culmination of their very productive creative relationship."
Oh, baby! I'm ready for some Bruce. Now just give me a tour with a stop at either the Garden, Giants Stadium, the new Prudential Center in Newark (if it must) or the old Brendan Byrne Arena and let's get the party rocking "out in the street." about a farewell to Yankee Stadium concert. Somebody STOP ME!

See, I CAN be in a good mood. I guess this would be the right time to say that I've probably said too much on the blog personally, and I've noticed a drop in comments - perhaps because y'all don't know what to say to me. Those who have written to me via email have read right through me, and I appreciate everyone's concern. Money, as we all know, is the root of all evil. From there it's a trickle-down effect. I let myself fall prey to all of that, and ruined some of the hard work that I had put in to brighten myself up. I began to act bitter, angry, and very mean again. In short, I acted like a victim. So all I can do is move on and start again.

My attitude about the red bullseye was wrong - mostly because I felt it was a severe blow to my ego. That and I don't like the hours. Once I got past my initial fears, the work became OK - somewhat mundane, but occasionally challenging. It is good, honorable work with some great people, and the pay is very reasonable. Heck, I even served as a cart person for the first time since I worked at Shopwell (not Shop Rite) in 1985. How long I will be there is anyone's guess, and it could be longer if they laid off the late nights and weekends (especially with football on the horizon). I need to be there for The Son, and that's tough to do right now, but I'm trying.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that things are OK. Yeah there are going to be ebbs and flows, but I'm resolute in my desire to fix everything. I accept responsibility for what I've done and apologize to anyone I have hurt. Now I must move on. I've begun journal writing again in the hopes of letting it all out there, and not hurting people here.

Sing along! "Tramps like, we were born to run!"

On This Date in History...

Today is August 16. On this date in history, a man who changed popular culture forever passed away at a much-too-young age. This man came out of a difficult youth and grabbed the nation, and the world, with his enthusiasm, boyish charm, moves, and his talent. He was also mightily flawed, as a womanizer and dealt with addictions as well. His name is known everywhere to this day, even if many weren't alive to see him during his prime. Later in life, he got much larger.

His name was George Herman Ruth. We call him Babe, and he died 59 years ago today.

Some of you thought I was talking about Elvis Presley, who also died on this day, but in 1977. Great talent, and a monumental figure, and the person that most are talking about today because of his legion of stretch pant wearing, velvet painting owning fans who think they spotted him at a Piggly Wiggly in Sulphur Spring, Texas.

Don't get me wrong - I'm OK with Elvis's music. It's obviously legendary for a reason. I'm a fan of "Viva Las Vegas" (quite cheesy), "Suspicious Minds", "Heartbreak Hotel" and several others. The problem is that, like many others that come to mind (Elton John, the Stones, even The Beatles), the artists, and even the songs, become caricatures. It's not fair, but that's the truth.

All of this said, I guarantee that there's no Babe Ruth marathon on TV. There are, however, a couple of Elvis marathons. No enemy of ours was saying "To hell with Elvis" as the Japanese did during World War II.

No, we're talking about The Babe, who probably had a few visitors to his grave today in Valhalla, NY (I've been more than a few times myself). I've detailed how he's still the greatest before, and how his number three should be retired across baseball because the single fact is that he saved the game - period.

So here's to The Babe. Raise a frosty one in his honor.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

So, the Imus saga appears to be done. Imus and CBS Radio settled, with word being that the financial agreement was in the neighborhood of $20 million, and that Imus can not smear CBS. Too bad, but that's OK because there are plenty of other people that would be happy to smear CBS Radio for him.

So that's the good - Imus is a free agent, and despite their claims, WABC is in the mix to bring the I-man to 770 AM. I still maintain that WOR is an option, and the long shot is that WFAN will just bring him back to 660 when all is said and done.

What's the bad?

It's official that Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton are the new morning team at WFAN. Yeah, good luck with that. Carton has said things that are far worse than anything Imus or Bernie McGuirk said, and Boomer can just be a tad too obnoxious. I'm not saying that I won't listen to them, but I am saying that I expect them to stink - period. Give it to January and wait for the I-man to return.

Not likely, but I can dream.

So we have the good and the bad. So what's the ugly?

A brave young woman named Kia Vaughn has sued our Mr. Imus. So who is she? That's right - you didn't know her, did you? Had she not chosen to sue Imus, you'd never know her name. But now, in an attempt to grab fifteen minutes of fame and some kind of settlement, this person has decided to let her leech of an arse-clown lawyer found on some late-night TV infomercial decide to press on with a lawsuit. Why? Three words...

Nappy. Headed. Ho.

Kia, get hold of yourself. You and the rest of the Rutgers team did look very brave and brilliant during that time. You should be thankful that the West Virginia tragedy didn't happen a week later because the Imus thing would not have existed. It would have dried up and disappeared. You played for the national championship. No harm was done otherwise to you or your team. You were the victim of a joke - of "sticks and stones." Now, you look like foolish and opportunistic. The "victim" deal ain't going to fly here.

May any judge in the land utter this statement to you: "case dismissed."

Phil Rizzuto - 1917-2007

I couldn't let the news of the passing of Phil Rizzuto go by without acknowledging it. I hope to have a little time to put my thoughts about The Scooter on the blog tomorrow. For me, as it should be for many of you - especially in the New York area, it's the passing of another piece of our childhoods. Phil Rizzuto was a part of our lives from 1941, when he joined the Yankees, until at least 1996, when he called his last game. For those of the generations older than mine, Scooter was a great player - part of seven World Championship teams. For younger generations, he was a cartoonish broadcaster. For non-baseball people (especially in the '70's and '80's) he was the spokesman for The Money Store. That's right, for those who thought Joe DiMaggio was "Mr. Coffee" and the Dime Savings Bank (instead of a mythic ballplayer), Phil Rizzuto was also a TV pitchman.

I hope to have a few thought for you tomorrow and play catch up. The red bullseye has worn me out for tonight.

I'll leave you with some Scooter video. Amazingly it is hard to find old video on YouTube or anywhere else featuring game segments, but this page from MLB and the Yankees has some goodies. The other thing is from YouTube. Commercial fans, enjoy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sometimes the Strangest Things Get Stuck in My Head

Thanks to my friend Bob for humming this yesterday. That led to full sing-along, and now it's stuck in my head. Sorry, Lauren...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pittsburgh Steelers...Mascot...What Doesn't Fit Here?

Ladies and Steely McBeam.

(Rob...take a deep continue)

OK, these are the PITTSBURGH freaking STEELERS. The team that barely had cheerleaders for a decade. These aren't the Cowboys or some other rah rah type of team. These are the Steelers, or the "Stillers" in 'Burgh-speak. They're like the Bears and the Packers and the Giants.

It's not like the Stillers haven't tried this before. There was The Terrible Fan (ouch) and Stevie Steeler (double ouch). The only one that I saw that was even remotely cool was this one, which was never a mascot but a logo used in 1960 and '61, and is used on certain throwback items.

I can only pray that Steely passes as quickly as Stevie and Terrible did. For the love of Cowher, Noll, Lambert, The Bus, Big Ben, Mean Joe and, of course, Terry Paxton Bradshaw.

Oh, and lest I not hold the Yankees collective feet to the fire. For some impossible, unfathomable reason, the Yankees had "Dandy", and I can't even tell you what the hell he/she/it was supposed to be. Out of respect, I will not post a picture of Dandy (they're not easy to find, to be honest) but I will give you a link. Don't say I didn't warn you that it's bad. Really bad.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

And That's That

So Barry Bonds now holds the career home run record. I felt positively nothing. No sadness, no excitement, nothing. In fact, I fell asleep and woke up a few minutes after the record-breaker. Then I went out to the DVR and watched it.

Then I went to bed.

I'm not immune to the magnitude of the moment. As I would with any other big moment, I looked around to find the various play-by-play calls and have come up with four of them so far:

- ESPN TV - Dave O'Brien was at the mic for the moment and I thought his call was precisely as it should be. He didn't overdo the excitement but reported it accurately and then bowed out to let the crowd do the rest.
- KNBR Radio (Giants flagship) - Jon Miller got the honor. Miller has become a target due to his work on Sunday Night Baseball with Joe Morgan on ESPN. But Miller is still a great radio announcer at heart. I know Miller is a student of Vin Scully, but his call was a bit of a downer in that he never pulled back to let the crowd do the rest. He continued to describe the scene, which is of course his job.
- Fox Sports Bay Area (Giants TV) - Former big-leaguer Duane Kuiper called it and did so with a lot of passion yet didn't lose his head. Kuiper has called many of Bonds' home runs so he felt a deeper connection and you can hear it in his voice.
- WTWP Radio (Nationals flagship) - Charlie Slowes called it on the Nationals' radio network. For the out-of-town broadcaster, Slowes recognized his place in history but still called it as passionately as if he was working for the Giants. A very good call.

So who's was best? I'd take anyone of them (I have yet to hear the Nationals TV call) to be honest with you. It was like a buffet, with a lot to like in each case. Now my concern is about posting them and violating copyright laws. Since the moment is so fresh, I'm not sure that would be cool. If anyone has any thoughts, or wants to host the audio, let me know. Oh, and if anybody finds any other calls, pass them along.

I'll spare you any other comments about the record, except to say that I question Hank Aaron's video tribute, but perhaps guilt got the best of him. He had been pretty consistent in that he wasn't going to make a big deal about Bonds passing him. He wasn't going to travel to the games or anything like that. Yet he felt compelled to record a video tribute. They loved it in San Francisco while others have been somewhat critical. Personally I'm confused.

As for those who are so strong in their belief that Bonds is the greatest player ever? Puh-leeze. I'm not sure he even makes my all-time team - sorry. Is he better than Ruth? Laughable. Cobb? Nope. Would you take him over Aaron, or DiMaggio, or Mantle (in his prime), or Mays, or Williams? I'm just throwing outfielders out at you.

Whatever - it's over. A-Rod, you're now officially on the clock.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I was at a family gathering on Saturday when an unnamed relative asked me how The Police were. After I told her that the show was great, she got to the real reason for her query:

"Is Sting still hot?"

Oy vey.

OK, let's get to the brass tax of it. Even though I am quite heterosexual, I'm manly enough to admit that I would happily look like that when I am 55. He looked quite good to the babes in a tight-fitting white T-shirt and jeans, while bandmate Andy Summers (who's 64, by the way) looked like he had just gotten off his shift at the local Valvoline quick oil change and decided to jam with his friends.

So Sting wins on style points and hunkyness. What Summers and Stewart Copeland lack in that department they more than make up for in musical talent. Truth be told, ol' Stingo is the weakest link of The Police. However, he writes great songs and his voice is still strong, so he can stay.

The setlist at Madison Square Garden on August 1st was identical to what they've been playing for much of the tour - especially shows in East Hartford and at Giants Stadium. Opening with "Message in a Bottle", the lads came out strong before jumping into "Synchronicity II", a person favorite that I would have liked to have heard later in the set. In fact at that point, with the exception of the obvious "Roxanne", my criteria was accomplished, for the two opening numbers were my favorite songs.

For me, the concert was as much a vacation and a get-away as it was about music. It began with my boarding a Harlem Line Metro North train at Croton Falls. About a half-hour later, The Wife joined me as she got on at Pleasantville. A short time later we were in Grand Central, and soon after in our room at the Club Quarters (a private business-class hotel) on 45th Street. Now I know hotel prices in New York are so obscene that you'd like a kiss as they're ripping you off, but for my money, this was exactly what we needed. Granted the room was maybe a 10x20 TOTAL (now subtract from that for the bathroom!) but the bed was OK, and the place was clean. Come on - it was a treat! Plus Times Square, the Garden, and more were a short walk away. You're on 45th St!

We freshened up in the room, including taking time to hydrate ourselves before walking downtown to grab some dinner. It's funny (not funny ha ha) that New York has so much in terms of everything yet it never seems like you can just take a walk and find a restaurant. At least that's our experience. So soon we were at Madison Square Garden (still the World's Most Famous Arena despite its poorly run basketball team). We were about to begin the walk to the Empire State Building and the Heartland Brewery restaurant (went there before) when we did indeed stumble on a place.

FATS - Fat Annie's Truck Stop

Why was it perfect? There was no wait for a table, cold beer was on tap, and the menu was to our liking. Yes, it was loud (isn't that always the case?) but being so close to MSG, they knew to play lots of Police tunes (they opted for the Synchronicity Tour DVD to see Stingo in his hideous fashion glory...and mullet). The food was good, as I dined on a Roast Beef Po'Boy which included a side of tater tots.

Bonus points to each of you who immediately thought of Napoleon Dynamite.

Dinner gave us some time to talk and get caught up with each other because The Wife and I haven't exactly been operating on the same schedule/wavelength/mood. So despite the noise, we got some things out of our systems - something we would carry on with during the opening act at MSG.

We eventually moved on to The Garden and reviewed the overpriced merchandise before finding our seats. As I mentioned, we talked during the opening act, Fiction Plane, which featured Stingo's son Joe Sumner on lead vocals and bass (just like...the lead singer and bass player in The Police). Based on reviews that I've read of this band, we didn't miss much.

Our seats were good, but to be honest, were they really worth the price? I know The Wife was so happy to finally see The Police (as was I) but no, I have to be honest, these seats weren't that good for the price we paid. The stage was down to our left, and we weren't on the floor. Still it was a rare experience, so I'm not complaining. The stage design matched the show itself. What I mean by that is how I explained the show a day later - no bullshit. Seriously. The stage was nondescript, with three giant overhead screens that largely showed shots of the band and occasionally gave a little something extra. For instance, during "Synchronicity II", the screens and the ribbons below it turned the colors of that iconic album.

Several light towers occasionally came out of the stage bottom, and the overall lighting would change for certain songs, such as "Roxanne", when the stage was bathed in red.

If I have to explain why, then you have failed The Police Knowledge Test. You can now just read for fun.

The other part of the no-bullshit show was that it was just three guys and their instruments. There was no orchestra, or backup singers, or brass section, or anything else. It was just Sting, Andy and Stewart rocking out with some cool lighting and not a lot more. Thanks for that.

The previous criticism of the songs was not valid during our show. I didn't hear the extended jazz segments that had plagued earlier shows. There were some solos that showcased the brilliance of Andy Summers' guitar and Stewart Copeland's drumming, in which he broke at least three drumsticks and kept right on playing.

There's probably no question that the best song of the night was "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic." This song holds particular weight to The Wife because a kid named Billy dedicated it to her at some dance (Enchantment Under the Sea?) back in 1981 or so. The song really pulled the crowd out of its collective seats - assuming one was sitting.

The song also carries considerable weight for me because I used to be a DJ on a radio station called Majic 105. I used to play that song a lot, and dedicate it to The Girlfriend, because most ever little thing she does is magic.

Other highlights? Ooh...tough. In addition to the songs that I've already mentioned that were excellent, and virtually everything was enjoyable (not a clinker to my ears) "Invisible Sun", "Can't Stand Losing You", and "So Lonely" (with its reference to "the Andy Summers Show") were especially good.

Satisfied, we returned to our room thinking about what reunion we'd want to see next. We saw The Eagles in 1994, and said The Police would be awesome at that time (OK, done), or the E-Street Band with Bruce (done), it's hard to say. My obvious answer is never going to happen, because John Lennon was taken from us in 1980. So that led us to Led Zeppelin. Of course the argument there is that John Bonham died in 1980 (a tough year for music). My point was that if The Who could carry on without Keith Moon (or John Entwistle for that matter), then Led Zeppelin could play without Bonzo.

Then on Friday, we heard that there indeed was a rumor, but that seems to be dead, quoting
On June 25, 2007, World Entertainment News reported that Led Zeppelin had allegedly agreed to re-form for a special memorial concert in honor of Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records who died in December 2006. It was also reported that if the concert went well, the band would go on tour in 2008. The same report suggested that the three surviving members would be joined on drums by John Bonham's son, Jason. [64] However on June 28, Robert Plant made it clear at a press conference that the reunion discussions were false, and once again, the hopes of a Zeppelin reunion were shot down

I digress.

To Friday, where we awoke (late, I might add) to the news of the I-35W bridge collapse. We absorbed that news and headed downtown via Subway to SoHo, where The Wife had a shop that she wanted to visit that was, of course, closed and out of business. Not to worry, with limited money anyway, we enjoyed lunch in Little Italy at Novella on Mulberry Street. Look I'm no expert, but I enjoyed my meal and The Wife seemed to also. What pleased us most was that, in our economic nightmare, both of our New York meals were less than fifty dollars each. That's not easy to do!

We walked and endured the heat, and trudged back to the subway for the beginning of the return trip. One thing - New York's subway system is what it is, but I'll take the London Underground any day. Just my .02.

After our return to Croton Falls, we drove home. As we did so, I glanced at the wife and, in a cheesy moment, told her how much I enjoyed our brief respite to New York. Was it perfect? No - there are still kinks to work out. But it was a start.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Imus is Back on MSNBC!

Well, maybe not. Watch the video and enjoy...especially Dan Abram's reaction. Clearly somebody had fun with a mini-tribute to the I-man.

Incidentally, what you saw was the cover of a comedy album called "This Honky's Nuts", originally released on record and 8-track in 1974. My brother still has an originally copy of the record.

Historic Day

Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on his 500th home run yesterday at Yankee Stadium. I have heard the play-by-play calls of Ken Singleton (I watched it live on YES) and John Sterling (on WCBS-AM) and I guess the trajectory of the ball didn't convince either of them that the ball was going out. So their calls are less than bombastic (did I just say that about John Sterling?). I did not hear the Royals radio call, but will try to eventually. New hall of famer (that is, the most recent winner of the Ford Frick Award) Denny Matthews might have made the call on Royals radio. I'm sure his call was fine as well.

Furthermore, kudos to the Yankees for not turning the moment into some kind of a sideshow, complete with fireworks, clowns, flyovers, and Mr. Met parachuting to home plate to present A-Rod with a set of steak knives.

Oh how things have changed though. I have no problem with A-Rod's reaction. He didn't show anybody up, but he did clearly show emotion. Mickey Mantle, upon hitting his 500th in 1967, sheepishly ran around the bases.

Later on Saturday night, I watched Barry Bonds tie The Hammer with his 755th in San Diego. Much is being made of Bud Selig', but what was he to do? Again, parachute to home plate? So he didn't clap, so what? He made it very clear - at least to me - that he wasn't thrilled to be doing this, considering his friendship with Hank Aaron but more importantly, that Bonds is tainting this record.

Much has also been made of the San Diego fans, and their reaction. What were they supposed to do? People LIKE to be a part of history. It is why fans will begin to root for the opposing pitcher to throw a no-hitter or perfect game. (Note - I was at Yankee Stadium as Bartolo Colon flirted with a no-no against the Bombers. I was not rooting for Colon. Sorry - too loyal) These San Diego fans - at least the ones who applauded - now get to say, "Dude! I was there the night Bonds tied Aaron." Besides, many of them are likely San Francisco fans who came down to "the greatest city in the world."

For the play-by-play, I heard Dave O'Brien and Orel Hersheiser on ESPN. O'Brien is a solid pro with good pipes, and his call was professional. Not Scully-esque, but darn good. I just listened to the Giants radio audio (at least I think that's what I heard) and I think Dave Flemming got the honor of the call. If so, he did a good job, though talked too much to describe the action. I would have liked a moment of silence to hear the crowd. That's the broadcasting teacher in me talking.

I had a feeling that when A-Rod got to 500, Bonds would take the spotlight away. Such is baseball.

Good luck to Tom Glavine tonight as he goes for 300 on ESPN. Glavine is a good guy and one who is tough to root against.

The Resurrection of Don Imus

Robert Kolker has written an excellent article about the erstwhile I-man in New York magazine. The article has its flaws (God's Other Son was originally written in 1981, not 1994) but what it does beyond a shadow of a doubt is prove what a gutless worm Les Moonves is.

Read on, friends.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Roadgeeks Everywhere Mourn

Don't let the title fool you. I know that EVERYBODY is mourning what happened in Minnesota. For those of us who consider ourselves "roadgeeks", I think we feel a certain affinity for what happened. Any news of this magnitude makes my head snap to attention, but the fact that a highway/bridge was involved made it hit a little closer for me, though I've never been anywhere near Minnesota.

The Star-Tribune is the local newspaper there, so I would guess that there is the best place to go for more information.

Oh, and for those who have gotten it wrong: It is Interstate 35W, NOT Interstate 35. They are two different roads.

My thoughts? I heard someone say today that we are spending $250,000 per minute on the war in Iraq. Call me crazy, but wouldn't that money be better spent on our own infrastructure? The very same infrastructure that can help keep us safe?

There will of course be a call to panic, and some of that panic is necessary, as folks wonder about local bridges like the Tappan Zee Bridge, which I just drove over today. It's already been said that the Tap has long surpassed its life expectancy.

This especially hit home for me because The Son (Little Roadgeek) and I just watched a National Geographic Channel show about the bridges in New York City. The most poignant part, in relation to this tragedy, was the review of the collapse of "Galloping Gertie", the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that fell in 1940. This is some color footage of the old bridge that stood for just four months, how it swayed, and its collapse.
Incidentally, only one individual was killed in that collapse - a dog that refused to get out of the car that was left on the bridge.

Now, readers here know that I am a media junkie, and can watch most any video, but am sensitive to the feelings of those who would be offended by such things - like the September 11th video and audio, or the hanging of Saddam, and so on. With that said, the video of the bridge collapse does exist at YouTube. Go see it for yourself. I don't know why, but something is telling me to not post the video here. There will be a point when you might call me a hypocrite for posting some other ghoulish item, and that's fine.

On other fronts, I owe you a review of The Police show. I'm a little wiped out tonight, so I'm going to give you Jim Farber's quick review in the Daily News, along with Eric Danton's in the Hartford Courant of the show a night earlier at The Rent in East Hartford. Oh, and a set list? OK:

Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity II
Walking On The Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When The World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
Truth Hits Everybody
Bed's Too Big Without You
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You

King Of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take

Next To You

NOTE - the East Hartford and Madison Square Garden set lists were EXACTLY the same!

It amazes me that good seats are still available for other shows. The show rocked. Then again, the prices are outrageous, so maybe that's why. Whatever, I owe you more details, and will when time allows. Let me just say this - I needed a great night and, for the most part, I got it. It wasn't perfect, but then again, what is?

I also want to give you a full roadtrip report as we got out of the house today and went to Easton, PA for a little Crayola magic.

All in due time, I guess. It's storming pretty badly here right now, so I'm off for the night. Stay safe on the roads...please!?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Happy August!

Yee HAH!! Bring on August, baby! No more fooking July!!

Hmm...did I say that out loud?

Well, I don't care, because I'm so freaking happy that July is over. There is a chance that life might carry on after all. And thanks to y'all who reached out to say "waddup" (or something like that). Some of my friends were fair and honest in their assessment of things, and even though I kept thinking somebody was going to yell at me and tell me what a horrible person I am, nobody did. In fact, the support was universal, with one person telling me to not be so hard on myself. I often accept blame that I shouldn't.

"Waduup." Is that English? bad.

Anywho, the new month doesn't mean that all is well, but it does mean that the slate can be wiped, yet the truth is that I have a fairly long memory and hold a fantastic grudge. Take that for what it's worth. That slate normally isn't wiped completely clean. There's always some residue.

OK, so we're off to see Stingo and the boys tonight at the Garden. I hope to give a review in the not too distant future. We'll be back in the area tomorrow, and have a clean Friday as well - which we'll spend as a family. Then we're going to visita charity softball tournament on Saturday before heading off to an Adams Family (snap! snap!) picnic.
Yeah, something like that.

In short, things will be busy over the next few days. And what about the red bullseye, you ask (come on, I heard ya')? They can't seem to get their act together. I asked for my hours and they said they'd call me back. That was after I had "orientation" with them on Monday for nearly three hours.

So for Friday, does anybody have any suggestions where to take the family that isn't too painful for the adults but fun for The Son? I desperately want to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown (I was The Son's age when I went for the first time and was so excited that I put my pants on over my pajama bottoms - and didn't notice it until much later in the day). I don't think we'll be going there, but it could happen. The Crayola Factory in Easton, PA stands a chance. We have maybe one or two other ideas. Let me know if you have any. Yes, price could be an issue but we'll see.

Oh back to The Police before I go jump in the pool and get ready to leave. I mentioned some time ago that the reviews were brutal. Well I just read recent reviews from the shows in Montreal, Toronto and at Fenway Pahk, and they're a lot better. The Boston reviewer had some harsh words but gave the show passing grades. It seems everybody's got some sort of beef with the show (largely the jazz element) but the fans seem to be happy. I suspect I'm going to enjoy myself.

I will be revealing none of this to The Wife, if I can avoid it. I'd rather she go in expecting the worst and being pleasantly surprised.

I doubt you will hear from me before late tomorrow or Friday, but if I get to a computer tonight, I'll say a quick hello.

King of Pain!

PS - A-Rod - the Yankees hit EIGHT home runs last night. Do you think you could have hit ONE of those?? So we know the deal - A-Rod will hit number 500 tonight, and Barry Bonds will hit 755 and 756. At least Tom Glavine will not get 300 while I'm at the show tonight. The Mets bullpen blew that chance last night.