Friday, December 31, 2010

My Last Post For 2010

So we're done with this year.  I don't think I'll be on this weekend, so be well.  Enjoy the Winter Classic (if they play it, due to rain), and the orgy of bowl games (it's just too much, folks).  I'll probably root for TCU, since Carrie is fascinated with them.  I mean, Horned Frogs, people!  HORNED FROGS!

I must say I do reflect on the year that has passed from time to time, and I'm thinking about it today.  It's been quite a year, but don't we say that about every year?

I don't have the brain power this morning to evaluate and analyze everything that happened in 2010 (music, movies, sports, oil disaster, Haiti, blah blah that enough?).  The first thing that comes to my mind is meeting Carrie.  For me, that night will forever be etched in my mind.  It's a very pleasant memory.  Sorry to be trite, but the moment I saw her was a strong one.  It led to a relationship that has brought me so much happiness.

I gave my wishes last week, so we won't review.   Let's just say I simply hope for happier and brighter times for all of us.  Yet as I also always say, it's so foolish.  Why do we need January 1st to change?  It never works.  Why can't it be July 10th?

Or April 3rd?

So if that's your thing, then enjoy (and please be safe tonight).  For me, it's a flip of the calendar, and a reminder to write 2011 on things.

But I know this: we'll keep moving forward, as always.


Politicians Lie? NO! (The Yankee Stadium Edition)

It's interesting to find things when you go through the "Exit 55" archives!  Apparently I wrote this back on February 23, 2010, and never published it!  So since it still seems semi-relevant, I'll post it now!

I've often said how there were original plans to save portions of the original Yankee Stadium. Now, via Brad's History of the Yankees Blog, we have pictures and drawings!

This is the way it was initially proposed. Then we suddenly found out in late 2008 there was no plan to save anything. The historical society turned their noses at it. The mayor turned his back. And so on.

I know - it might be a lost cause (Rob's note - 12/31/10 - It IS a lost cause since it has already been torn down...bastards) but this is the most famous stretch of sports real estate ever and, despite the 70's remodeling, some portion of it deserves to be saved. (Rob - 12/31/10 - it wasn't.  Thanks, Bloomberg and others)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

OK, I Have To Be Fair

I popped on the Pinstripe Bowl when it started to satisfy my curiosity.

Now I can't walk away from it.  The game, as always, is the thing, and this one is a good one.

Kansas State has a 28-27 lead with about nine minutes to play as I type this.  It's been fun to watch.

It's still not a great crowd though.  They're loud.  I'll give you that.

I'm hungry, so wrap this thing up!

UPDATE: Syracuse won a wonderful game, 36-34, that sadly was largely decided on a unsportsmanlike penalty.  The crowd was announced at 38,274.

Post Number 330

750px-NY-330.svg(Courtesy of Wikipedia.  Apparently, NY State Route 330 was decommissioned in 1980 and is now Tomkins County Route 115…that is likely of little interest to you)

I like numbers and little facts.  It is with that spirit that I present the 330th post in 2010, tying Exit 55’s output for 2010 with that of 2008.  I don’t have it in me to reach the 464 posts that I wrote in 2009.

To be fair, it’s not about the quantity.  Sometimes I write a short post.  Sometimes I write more.  I hope it’s about the quality.  I hope I entertain everyone just a bit.  I like to make people laugh.  I also like to spark debate and make people think.  I suppose there are moments when I want to touch you as well.  Occasionally I like to offer some insight into that lump three feet above my ass (Tom Hanks, “A League of Their Own”).

Repeatedly, I give thought into what I write here.  I see things that are blog posts all the time, yet they never get written.  Many times I get to the computer after the fact and the post just simply does not live up to what I was thinking “in the moment.”

I think 2010 might have been the year in which I deleted the most posts as well.  I wrote things – some of them pretty good – that just weren’t right.  Wrong tone.  Wrong words.  Wrong topic.

Overall, I still think we’ve evolved.  Hopefully I’ve gotten better.  Hopefully the spirit hasn’t changed.

What I do here (or on Facebook or Twitter, for that matter), isn’t for attention.  You bet I have an ego (can’t do what I do without some kind of one) but it’s rare that I write something begging for a response.  When I write with desperation about my job situation, or lack thereof, you better believe that’s a cry for help.  

Beyond that, a lot of it is for fun.

I write so many things that get crickets.  No big deal.  Responses are nice.  Readership is nice.  Attention can often be negative, so you have to be careful what you wish for.  I started “Exit 55” not concerned if anybody read it.  I like having readers, don’t get me wrong!

I like when I get “likes'” on Facebook.  Yet again, I lose no sleep.

I enjoy writing this blog, and so I continue to do it.

It will continue into 2011, whether I say “Happy New Year” or not!

If a Bowl Game is Played, and Nobody is There…

They just kicked off in Yankee Stadium.  Kansas State got an early touchdown to take a 7-0 lead over Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl.  Problem is, the Stadium kind of looks like this…
OK, that’s an exaggeration.  I know Nick Fox and Sean Patrick Bowley are both there, and there is a rather small crowd.  I might have gone if it was affordable.  Yet I can’t help but note that if, just if, the NHL had been allowed to hold the Winter Classic there in two days, there would have been an overflow crowd.

The Pinstripe Bowl didn’t need to happen this year.  Next year would have been just fine.  Based on the turnout in The Bronx, New Yorkers agree.

PS – Congratulations to Army on their 16-14 win over SMU in the Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas.  It’s their first bowl win since topping Illinois in the Peach Bowl in 1985, and their first bowl appearance since 1996.  Nice win for the Black Knights of the Hudson.


To me, the holidays are over.  Sure I often leave the tree and other accouterments up until after the first of the year.

Not this year.  I had the energy yesterday.  I had the time.

Down it came.

This wasn't meant to be some kind of "bah humbug" moment.  It was a meeting of time and convenience, so I went for it.

Doesn't mean my "holiday spirit" is gone, or whatever.  Just means I packed up.

Although I don't want to hear the music anymore.  Put it away until next Thanksgiving.

OK, gotta run.  The Pinstriped Bowl (or "The Reason Yankee Stadium Isn't Getting the Winter Classic Bowl") is coming up soon.

More Snow Troubles

Via this post on the Ditmas Park Blog comes links to reports in the New York Post and the Daily News.

If, as it says in the Post, there was a budget protest, then somebody – perhaps a LOT of people – need to be held accountable.  That is plain unacceptable.  In fact, screw it – fire them.  There are people who need jobs and ass hats like this need to be gone.

And they can dig into their pockets to pay forty bucks for the dig out that we had to pay on Tuesday.

Both reports continue to show what a mess the whole situation is.

Harmon Killebrew Has Cancer

Via ESPN, word came through that the great Harmon Killebrew, baseball Hall of Famer, one-time Washington Senator and Minnesota Twin (history lesson!  Same franchise) has esophageal cancer.

“The Killer” is 74.  At one time, he was fifth on the all-time list, in back of Aaron, Ruth, Mays, and Frank Robinson.

You just don’t like people if you don’t like Harmon Killebrew.  Here’s wishing him all the best for good health.

If You Believe Joe Posnanski, Jeff Bagwell IS a Hall of Famer

So, yeah, um, maybe I didn't give Jeff Bagwell the fairest look as a Hall of Fame candidate.  I thought he was very good, but perhaps not elite.

Joe Posnanski has been writing loads about his Hall of Fame ballot.  His latest effort discusses his eight definite votes.  Bagwell is one of those, in part because JoePo loves him some Bill James.

Which I do not.  I consider the stats, of course, and sometimes they're too much to overlook, but a lot goes into my thinking when talking about the Hall of Fame, which is precisely what voters are supposed to do:
“Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played.”
But JoePo writes (and I agree with him here):
I think my e-migo Craig Calcaterra has made this point on Twitter, but I’d like to also make it as strongly as I can: I’d rather a hundred steroid users were mistakenly voted into the Hall of Fame over keeping one non-user out. I don’t know if Jeff Bagwell used or didn’t use steroids. But there was no testing. There is no convincing evidence that he used (or, as far as I know, even unconvincing evidence). So what separates him from EVERY OTHER PLAYER on the ballot? Were his numbers too good? That’s why you suspect him?
To me, the key is to stop using the steroids thing as a reason to keep players out, based ONLY on speculation.  Let's go down this road again...we all KNOW Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds (and Alex Rodriguez and on and on) were heading to the Hall of Fame before their so-called era of using.  We also KNOW they used (I mean, we're pretty positive in the cases of the Rocket and Bonds).  So why don't we just all stop being so snooty?  Just sayin'.

So, going with Posnanski, then Bagwell should be in the Hall.  Joe, of course, rants furiously about the case for Bert Blyleven, and compares him to Jack Morris.  Here's where I use my Don Mattingly clause: so long as Keith Hernandez never makes it to Cooperstown, I have no problem with Mattingly not being elected.  Same here.  Elect Blyleven?  Elect Morris.  Seems fair.

I know it doesn't work like that, but if Mex ever goes in and Donnie Baseball doesn't, then you can expect one of the great profane rants of all-time here.

If you didn't read the rest of Posnanski's piece, be prepared for the other players that will get his vote.  I was surprised.

Jeff Bagwell Wishes to Defend Himself

Jeff Bagwell had a pretty good career.  A guy who hit 449 home runs over 15 years with the Astros, Bagwell won the Rookie of the Year in 1991, and an MVP in 1994.  He's a career .297 hitter, and his name has often been linked with PED's, though there's never been anything more than innuendo about it.

He spoke with ESPN's Jerry Crasnick recently and continues to be defiant.

I'm not sure Bagwell's got true Hall of Fame credentials anyway, so I'm not sure this is worth getting worked up about.  Don't get me wrong, I have high regard for Bagwell.  I'm just not sure he's elite.  That's a Hall of Famer in my eyes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Again, Jeff Pearlman is On the Money!

Loved this.  Perfect.

If Jeff wasn't seriously up against a book deadline, he would be with his family.  Then again, he and I could sit together and toast a beverage at Panera while being told that we're both a couple of curmudgeons.  So be it.

My friend (and former WGCH colleague) Tommy Dee is often on WFANTomorrow morning he will be on with Mark Malusis and Kim Jones.  I have no problem with Malusis and am a big fan of Jones.  So listen.

Oh, and I guess I should announce, with pure joy, that WGCH will be airing seven Greenwich High hockey games, beginning on January 22.  Yours truly will be at the mic for the play-by-play of most, if not all of them (got one family conflict I'm dealing with).  I know Chris Kaelin will be along to do interviews and bench commentary, and may even step up to the analyst chair.  John Spang will hopefully be along, as will Sean Kilkelly.  Just got to confirm things with everyone!

Speaking of Sean, he has been busy at both of his blogs - Rangers Lead the Way, and Who Zeppelin.  Always worth a look.

Snowbound – the Day After

I’m back in the cozy confines of the 8-4-5.  We still have plenty of snow here, but there’s also a patch of grass to be found in the back yard, right near the shingles that blew off the shed.  The area of bare ground is a result of the drifting, blowing, and the sun as well, along with some temperatures that ventured beyond freezing.

Yet, back in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island…things remain a mess.  A day later, there are two large regrets:

1) That I ever turned off of Ocean Parkway in the first place (I thought it would be OK, and simply didn’t know how bad it was ahead), and

2) That we never took pictures of the experience.  I had my camera with me!

Anyway, I read a stunning and largely scathing portrayal of Mayor Snowberg’s reaction to this situation in the New York Times, by Michael Powell.  Mr. Powell, it turns out, is from the Ditmas Park area as well, so he knows first hand exactly what it was like for Carrie, and the Adams’s of the suburbs.  The Ditmas Park Blog also linked to the story.  I found the comments to be most interesting and largely devoid of the idiocy that comments can normally have.

Friends who have lived in New York City for years (or those who used to live there) say that it’s always been like this.  Manhattan gets cleaned and the outer boroughs are told “fuhgeddaboudit.”  Others say they can’t ever remember it being this bad.  Some said last February’s storm worse than this one and that the City recovered much quicker.

I’m not compelled to debate with anyone about it.  The simple bottom line is that it’s bad.  The media is all over the mayor.  The people are up in arms.

And now, people are dying (New York Daily News).  A baby is dead before it ever had a chance, because emergency services couldn’t get to her mother.  Simply wow.

Yet Mayor Broadwayberg says New Yorkers should go to a show!  Hey!  Let’s see if more people get maimed or die during another performance of the Spiderman fiasco!  WAAHHOO!!

All along, the Sanitation Department is ready for the Times Square orgy!

Again.  WAHOO!

Side note: Said it before.  Say it again.  I want the old Crossroads of the World back.  I don’t want the manufactured New Year’s Eve.  I want a younger, healthier, understandable Dick Clark, perched outside (though no Guy Lombardo…holy crap I don’t like that freaking song).  I don’t want Seacrest, and apparently that’s the only night Carson Daly works anymore.  Clearly, I don’t want him either.  And I want Howard Johnson’s back in Times Square (clams and the daily double of two hot dogs!). 

Perhaps with some of this, I wouldn’t dislike it so much.  Ah, but I’ll be with Carrie (hopefully – if I can get to her), so it should be much better.  I’ve tried to have a better attitude about it.  Still, I don’t do the trappings of the night (the hats and so on).  I eat.  I drink.  I prefer to watch movies and laugh and not see Times Square.  But times change, and maybe, with two enjoyable NYE’s in a row (last year with Mick and Gretchen at Tom and Sharon’s), I can begin to not hold the dread for the night that I normally have.

OK, way off the beaten path.

Word is some of the subways are running again.  Plows are still doing their thing, and maybe they’re getting to some side streets.  Temps are supposed to rise.

We can only hope.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


(Photo courtesy ShiaHD on this page, with video available.)
New York City.  The city that never sleeps.  Surely, a major snowstorm…a blizzard…wouldn’t be enough to strangle the Big Apple.  Right?


WRONG.  Big time.

The big Christmas whopper of a storm (New York Daily News) struck while Carrie and I were near Albany, visiting her mom, brother, and niece.  We watched the snow fall, and had a largely uneventful drive back, despite some 10 inches or so.  We got up this morning and began the trip back into Brooklyn.  Sean and my mom came along for the ride.  All was well – the Taconic, the Sprain, the Cross County – all pretty good.  We hit some traffic on the Deegan near the George Washington Bridge (what a shock!).  Getting into Manhattan and shooting down the FDR Drive, and across the Brooklyn Bridge was easy – better than usual.

Brooklyn was OK, though some lanes on the BQE just mysteriously disappeared.  Yet overall, all went well.
Then I turned onto a side street.  This thoroughfare, one that I use very frequently, was, in short, a total clusterf*%k.

You want pictures?  You want to see how bad this area was?  Check out the good people over at the Ditmas Park Blog.  Some great shots are here and here (and there’s a lot of coverage of the storm).  But specifically, have a look at this post, with a picture of a bus that brought everything to a stop.

Including us.

I went forward…backwards…and repeated.  I did everything I could to move us.

We were stuck.  I had visions of abandoning the car, just as many others – TOO many others – had done.  I didn’t want to consider what that would entail.

Fortunately, a few enterprising guys walked by, and asked me if I needed help…for a price.


It took an hour – probably more.  These three guys (I never got their names), worked feverishly; digging, pushing, strategizing.  It took enough to get us back to the nearest corner and turn me around.  The only thing to do was to get us back to Ocean Parkway – which was clear, save for the cars parked in the center turning lanes(!).

A Russian gentleman (I’m basing it on the language he was speaking) rooted us on and gave me driving instructions.  A shopkeeper watched and smiled, as did others.  In some ways, we became a fascination of sorts (a celebrity, as our saviors thought I looked like one).

We had to dodge parked cars – including those in the middle of the road.  We had to dodge shovels stuck in the road, trying to dig a mini van out.  We had to dodge people, standing the in the road.

Eventually, we were free, and I waved and honked the horn with a mix of relief and joy.  I was able to work around that street and get Carrie within a block of the warmth and happiness of her apartment.

Sean, Mom, and I escaped from New York.

I think, largely thanks to the good humor and companionship of my passengers (who were amazingly patient), and the nature of the guys who worked so hard to free us, that my rage isn’t over the top.

But ho…lee…crap.  Trains aren’t running.  Buses are stuck.  Side roads are a nightmare.  Emergency vehicles can’t get through.  Parts of Brooklyn and Queens are literally paralyzed.

Yet…YET…effing Times Square is getting cleaned up for Friday night.  Are you kidding me?  Is that where the priorities are?  Who the hell cares about the million idiots watching an orb?

Clearly, Michael Bloomberg and business people do.  But they don’t even remotely care about the outer boroughs.  The regular folks.

Must not be an election year.  Oh that’s right, the mayor was just reelected.  How convenient.

I literally just heard one of Mayor Bloomberg’s henchmen (Joseph F. Bruno, commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management) saying that the storm wasn’t predicted to be so bad.  Is he an idiot?  I was up near Albany, watching The Weather Channel, and Carrie and I could both see that NYC was going to get HAMMERED!

This is an embarrassment of huge proportions to New York City.  Oh Times Square will be just fine.  It’s the rest of the City that is a mess.  A forgotten mess.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Elvis Costello!

OK, so I'm here.  I was up early to be on WGCH with Tony Savino, so I have a moment before the Christmas Eve rush begins.  I mentioned Elvis Costello in my Christmas post, and here is the utterly brilliant song in question (written by the very under-appreciated Nick Lowe).

OK, bonus video - here's Elvis doing the show when he was the guest host on "Late Show with David Letterman."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve Eve

It’s 11:37 PM on December 23rd (Festivus) and the Steelers have just finished demoralizing the Panthers, 27-3.  The Rangers lost earlier tonight in a wonderfully exciting shootout (still don’t like it) but it’s December.  Lots of hockey to be played.

That leads us to Christmas.

I’m not sure I will be near here tomorrow, and I’ll be out of town over the weekend, so I figure now is the best time to wish all of you who are so kind to visit me here a Merry Christmas.

You might not believe it when I say this, but I feel blessed.  Despite everything (well documented), I have a wonderful girlfriend, a great son, a loving family, and a great population of friends.  Not everyone who reads “Exit 55” is a friend but I feel blessed to have you on board as well.

My wishes are simplistic.  Peace.  Love.  Understanding (I sound like Elvis Costello, no?).  Selfishly, I have a few things that I want also, and you likely know what those are, but I think it can be whittled down to simply being happy – consistently.

At this time of year, we pause to think of those defending us around the globe.  We think of those less fortunate.  Yet that should also happen as often as possible.

I also think of getting to know Matt Brown and his dad, Mike.  Despite the circumstances of a crazy 2010, I hope they have the most amazing Christmas and, based on Mike’s response to me earlier today (via Facebook), I think they will.  Their attitude and upbeat enthusiasm is contagious.

On behalf of all of us here at “Exit 55” – which, in reality, is me (and Sean…and anyone else that wants to attach their name) – Merry Christmas to all of you.

A View From The WGCH Press Box

I wrote the latest edition of "A View From the WGCH Press Box" for the Greenwich Post.  It's linked here.

Also over at the Post, check out Paul Silverfarb's article previewing the Greenwich High School bowling team.  Wayne Gioffre is the head coach - as solid a guy as you'll meet (and a GHS football assistant coach, whose parents have been wonderful to me).  Billy O'Connor, a GHS football player (and a not-good, great, kid) is among the team leaders.

Yes, we're talking about bowling.  Something very near and dear to my heart, as a three-year letter winner and senior Captain at Mahopac High.

The Airing of Grievances (Linky Dinks)

Happy Festivus, one and all.  Join us for the feats of strength as we gather around Fesituvs Pole.

Let us begin with the airing of grievances, courtesy of Ken Fang on Fang’s Bites.  He says a lot of what I’m thinking.

Ozzy Ozborne likes Lady Gaga.  Thinks she can be another Madge.  Yep, we all know that.  Now he’d like her to disappear for a while (via Stuck in the 80’s).

You HAD to see this by now, right?

This joins I’m on a Boat, Jizz in My Pants, and Dick in a Box as examples of pure satirical genius.  I know there are others, but these four make me LOL.

Darren Rovelle wrote a strong rebuttal to UConn coach Geno Auriemma’s comments about gender bias.  I laughed at what Geno had to say, but come on now.  Relax, all.  All that being said, I think their streak deserves the same celebration as any other.  Let’s not get hung up in who is better or worse.

Jack Curry wrote a fine tribute to Bob Feller and recalled the time the Hall of Famer drove him to the airport.

We ended on a nice note to prove we’re not just airing grievances around these parts!

A Great Holiday Light Display

While we get caught up in foolish arguments like saying "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas"*, let us not debate one thing.

Cool holiday (or Christmas) light displays rock.

Take this one from LaGrangeville, NY.  It is unlike anything I've ever seen in person.  We personally got to see this song - "Square One" by Coldplay.

The family who set this all up has a website.

I highly recommend it!

* Oh, the whole "Happy, er, Merry, um" argument.  I'm not sure I understand what difference it makes.  I get it.  It's Christmas.  So, yes, "Merry Christmas" when in public speaking to some random person seems OK.  That being said, without insulting other holidays and/or celebrations, how am I to know who celebrates what?  Hanukkah is over.  Duly noted.  Still, what's the problem?  So, really, why is "Happy Holidays" so bad?

When I went into McDonald's in Union Square, I held the door for a woman who was on her way out.  Now, before you paint me as some kind of chivalrous dude, it's OK.  I've done it for years, despite people rarely offering up a "thank you."  This woman, however, shocked me.  Not only did she say "thank you", she also said "Happy Holidays."  To be honest, it caught me off guard but I also liked it.  So, really, should I be offended that she didn't say "Merry Christmas?"

I've got bigger fights to deal with.  Like that whole how-am-I-supposed-to-afford-to-pay-for-Sean's-CHRISTMAS-gifts-thing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another Blog to Introduce You To

We love promoting other people around here in the "Exit 55" batcave.  I think we've opened eyes to a lot of interesting, fun writers.  Those who have done a good job of keeping their bloggies' relevant...and many who have simply disappeared.

You all know who you are.  No need to name names.  I've even invited some of those departed to guest-blog here and they still might.

So, without any further interruption, allow me to introduce Laura McMullin.  I've only officially met Laura twice - once at her wedding (and dear God, who remembers people then, unless they have a memory like mine?), and at her husband Bryan's grandfathers' 95th birthday party a few weeks back in Maryland.

I've told many people that Laura and Bryans' wedding was an all-timer.  Rarely have I laughed and enjoyed myself as much as I did that night back in October out on Lawn Guyland.  It was a classy and fun-filled night.  Laura and Bryan have this way of keeping laughter as a main ingredient and not taking life too seriously.  From only meeting them twice, it's something I already admire.

Anyway, I'm going off the highway here.  Back on track.  Laura has started a blog, which she says is "about my experiences creating things from a loving place."  She also says she doesn't know how to knit.  That's OK, since Bryan's cousin is a really good knitter.

You might know her.  Nice girl.  Goes by the name of "Carrie."  Pretty.  I'm kind of fond of her.

Oh, and Laura...keep up the work on the blog!

Stunned and Honored

I voiced my displeasure and frustration with the continuing dumbing down of the sports broadcasting industry on Monday.  Yesterday, I was thrilled to find that Jeff Pearlman not only read it, but he had some very complimentary things to say.  He carried on the discussion from there.

Thanks again, Jeff.

I taught at Connecticut School of Broadcasting last night, and continued to preach the same thing that I've been preaching.  Personality, preparation, stories, details.

One anonymous poster wanted to know what sabermetrics had to do with anything.  Fair question.  I'll keep my answer short.  Stats are wonderful, but too many of the current crop want to bury the listener/viewer with OPS, WHIP, WAR and so on.  They want to hit people with what a batter hit on a Saturday during a full moon in the Bush 43 years against a right-hander from Des Moines.

That, in short, is what I have against sabermetrics, as it is related to sports broadcasting.

Merry Christmas From the Singing Six-Time Super Bowl Champion Steelers

At times, this is pure horror.  At times, it is very funny.  Some of the players individually wish one and all well at the 7:00 mark, and some bloopers follow.  Watch Ben Roethlisberger set up Maurkice Pouncey.

Good stuff.  Harmless fun.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Only For Jon (The Rest of You Are Welcome to Look)

I told you I'd link to Jeff Pearlman again.  I'm doing so for Jon from R-Va (Up Front's great guitarist, my great friend, and the great dad of Rose and Lilah - who just celebrated a birthday).  He's also Rebecca's great husband.

Nothing will ever prove Jon's immense variety of musical taste than this.

Barnes and Noble in Union Square played "The Heart of Rock and Roll" by a band named Huey Lewis and the News today.  My smile was as wide as Park Ave.

Thank You, Jeff Pearlman

I've linked to his blog more times than is probably allowed (and I'll be doing it me), but Jeff Pearlman said almost everything I wanted to say.

So thanks, Jeff.  Spot on (except for the part about that windbag Evan Roberts and Mike and Mike).

More than ever, in the industry that I truly, deeply love, quality is losing out over crap.  I found that out today - beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I look around at my friends in the business.  My WGCH guys and others.  Guys who deserve to move up and all I see is a demographic of fresh-faced d-bags who think sabermetrics is the way to go.  Management, as always, wants cheap labor, and figures the listener doesn't care. 

Go to the discussion board at STAA  and you'll find a wide variety of people.  The ones I truly like (Kenn Tomasch, Phil Giubileo, Steve Penstone, Robert Ford and others) are generally grizzled veterans who speak from experience, and generally without a lot of arrogance.  Some of the younger ones (Nick Gagalis is among them) get it - they're lucky to be where they are and do so with little ego.  They're confident in their ability, and willing to be open-minded to learning.

Then there are the others.  *sigh*  Old and young (mostly young), who are so hung up on technique - wanting to be that mix of Scully, Joe Buck, Gus Johnson (or Jim Rome, and other talkers) that they've forgotten to be THEMSELVES.  Tell stories.  Call the action.  Talk.  Have fun.

It ain't rocket science.

Or maybe I'm just too old and not as good as I thought.  Yet in a rare moment of my own confidence, I'll tell you that's not the case.

This ain't bitterness, by the way.  It's frustration.  My day to call the World Series has gone, but it's not too late for a lot of talented people.  People who deserve it.  Not because they're suck-ups or because they collate media notes well.  Or because they're dating someone.  But because of they've earned it.


McDonald's, Union Square

That's where I find myself on the Monday before Christmas.  The Barnes and Noble, my usual haunt, must have overwhelmed routers or something because I couldn't get online.  Instead I came here, a bastion of highbrow behavior if ever I saw one.


It's a strange mix of people, in the way that a bus depot is a strange mix of people.  A bunch of loud "YOU GO GIRL!" girls aren't far away and, at one point, I was almost run over by a gaggle of kids.

It is what it is, I guess.  So be it.

I wanted free Wi-Fi?  I found it.  The fact that it isn't at a MENSA meeting isn't anyone' fault, no?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Further Dumbing Down of Sports

In an era in which Fox is adding music to football broadcasts (really?) and other stupidity comes this from Cuba (via Tom Hoffarth).

I don't like the shootout, nor do I like ending things on penalty kicks.  I'm not really a fan of the various overtimes in football, where a tie is possible in the NFL, or where they play from close range in college.

Let.  Them.  Play.

It's worked in baseball for over a hundred years.  Don't mess with it.

The Upside of Social Media and the Heartbreak of Loss

I truly find social media fascinating.  I'd take a job working with it if I could find one.  Anyway, there was a huge outpouring of emotion over the passing of Steve Smith this week.

Oh, you didn't know Steven Smith?  No - neither did I, and to be fair, I hadn't heard of him until I began reading about his passing in several places online, from varied and respected people.  Well-known journalists and more were writing about his passing.

Smith was 24 when he was killed in a crash on the New York State Thruway.  He had many friends and a living family, but the way most of the world got to know him was via Twitter.  He had over 23,000 tweets, and a following that was as large as the group he followed.  A die-hard Yankees fan who seemed (from all that I've read) to know what he was talking about and was fair and honest in his opinions, he had attracted a fairly loyal following.

Many have paid tribute to him.  I'm posting a link to one from Amanda Rykoff, a contributor to espnW.  It's very well written.

To get the full story, let me direct you to Pete Iorizzo's story in the Albany Times-Union.

The young woman who had fallen for him but never had the chance to tell him so, continues to Tweet with a broken heart.


The Kidney Stone

Anyone remember the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer has a kidney stone ("The Gymnast")?

I do - clearly.  Sadly, the big meanies on YouTube won't let me post the classic moment when he passes it at Madison Square Garden during the circus.

So go here to watch it.  Of course, they don't include the closing credits, when he exits the men's room whistling a happy tune.

That's what is going through my mind today.

I did find the full episode though.  Enjoy.

kramer gets a kidney stone


For those who inquired, yes, I went to the emergency room on Friday for kidney stones.  It's the second time I've waged that war.  I feel better today, though maybe not quite 100% yet, but I think I am probable to play today against the Jets.

Thanks for the concern and support of all.

I knew this was coming (the FCIAC Football Blog is gone).  Tim says he's not coming back and I respect his decision.  I won't tell tales out of school, but I can tell you that, as his friend, Tim has pit up with a lot of shite from a lot of people.  Coaches, parents, writers, players, and fans need to look at themselves in the mirror for the stuff they would say or write to a guy that was just trying to provide a service to fans of the FCIAC.  I, once again, mourn the loss of it, and did what I could to convince Tim to stick around.

Though I'm his friend, I won't tell you that I blindly defend Tim, nor will he blindly defend me.  We keep it real and honest.

Yet after seeing some of what he went through, I don't blame him.  This past week was a great example of true bush league behavior.  I've probably said more than I should so I'll stop.

John Nash pays tribute here from his Hour Sports Minute Blog.

Speaking of farewells, Ken Fang writes one of the best media blogs on the planet.  He also writes on Twitter.  Or at least he did.  He discusses his decision to back away from Twitter on his blog.

I suppose some of these feelings can go along the lines of "the terrorists win" or "the inmates run the asylum."  Whatever.  I've had my own moments when I've wanted to walk away from "Exit 55", Facebook, and others because I seem to get in trouble for what I write, for having strong opinions, for writing too much, for being online too much.

I've talked about this before.  It's an ongoing battle.  I've seen blogs openly mocked.  That's the business of the writer but of course, I think there are plenty of reputable, hardworking writers out here.  It's a shame that we need to feel this way. 

It's a further shame that Ken and Tim have made their decisions.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fifity Years Ago Today: The Park Slope Plane Crash

My thanks to The Graying Mantis of The Dark Ranger for posting a link to an interesting series of articles about the collision of two planes over the skies of New York City on December 16, 1960.

Start here to get an understanding of the tragedy.   Eventually, move forward to learn the story of Stephen Baltz, who had New York in his grip for a day as the sole survivor, only to pass away.

I've driven through this area, and haven't paid it much mind.  Park Slope in 2010 isn't quite what it was in 1960, as it was described as being a fairly rough area.  It's much better now, and I will be sure to look more closely next time I'm there.

This video includes images from that day, along with audio that was broadcast on WNYC Radio.

I can't even imagine what it must have been like, nor do I think I want to.

A search produced some YouTube videos.  This one is a news-style report, with details of the Park Slope fire, as well as a fire at the Brooklyn Naval Yard.

Bob Feller (1918-2010)

The news broke last night that the baseball world lost Bob Feller.  It wasn’t a total shock, having just read a week or so back that Mr. Feller had been placed in hospice care.

You can have a look at his career numbers, via Baseball Research.  Oh mercy, they’re nice, but of course what we know – and all SHOULD know – is that he lost ostensibly FOUR years of his career to World War II.  He enlisted in the Navy on December 8, 1941, and returned in time to appear in nine games in 1945.  If you start looking at his stats in 1939, and bookend them with 1946 and 1947 after his return from the war (excluding those nine starts in 1945), Feller won 122 games – averaging 24 wins per year.  Now take those 24 wins and tack them onto the “what if” years of 1942-1945.

Ninety-six more wins.  I won’t even venture into projecting strikeouts and so on.

Feller never complained.  Never considered himself to be a hero.  He just felt that winning World War II was the most important win of them all.

Yet those numbers seem diminished, and often keep Feller out of the “greatest ever” conversation.  Of course that’s foolish but that is the nature of those things.

A member of a lost generation?  Yes.  Outspoken?  Definitely.  Feisty?  You bet ya!  Even a little arrogant?  Sure.  It’s all part of what “Rapid Robert” was.

For a more definitive obituary, I turn you to Joe Posnanski, who wrote a stunning farewell.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Brooklyn New Yorkers?

This can't be real.  It has to be a joke.

Kelly Dwyer writes on Ball Don't Lie at Yahoo! that the New Jersey Nets might become the Brooklyn New Yorkers.  They even have a potential logo, looking like graffiti, which just looks stupid.

Sorry, folks, there was a time when graffiti was, you know, sort-of, kind-of, perhaps cool.  An art form.

That was in 1983 or so, when New York City wasn't the most safe, pleasant place.  So by comparison to the hookers, porn shops, and needles around Times Square, graffiti was positively cultured!

Not now.  Haysooz Cristo (that's "Jesus Christ" for the uninitiated) but it's big-time unsightly.  It's all over the Manhattan Bridge (which is an incredibly cool structure, though nothing compared to the nearby Brookyln Bridge) and it bugs me every time I see it.

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.  Brooklyn is also so fierce about saying that they're "NOT" Noo Yawkas.  They're from Brooklyn and with that comes their own form of arrogance civic pride.

Jay-Z and company should come up with something else, because this doesn't cut it for me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hockey is THIS Desperate?

Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are going to appear together on "The Price is Right", which stopped being relevant to me when Bob Barker left (if not long before).

Anything for publicity for the Winter Classic, I guess.

OK, whatever.  Moving on.

Linky Dinks

Let's start with a rare road note.  Ever wonder about I-95?  I mean, you're on the New Jersey Turnpike and...WHACK!...the I-95 signs are gone!  There's a longer story to it (neighborhood opposition and so on) but the road has been unfinished forever.  Yet there is a plan, but it's going to take some time (Toll Road News).

I gave you my final Bill Gonillo Five vote yesterday.  Tim Parry announces the final results (FCIAC Footblal Blog).

Tim also gives us the final state polls.

Tim pointed this out to me.  A little abuse for Bridgeport, CT on "Family Guy."

Staying with videos, I hope everyone has kept their sense of humor.  I saw this on Jeff Pearlman's blog, and I laughed pretty hard at it.  I like playing with stereotypes and so on, and that's what these famous folks do, while talking about a worthy cause.  Plus it's from director Judd Apatow (who produced the "Exit 55" much-beloved Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy).  So here.  Please laugh.

Here's more about the film from the New York Times.

One more video for you.  Terry Bradshaw (Favorite.  Football.  Player.  Ever.)  pays tribute to "Dandy Don."  Nice.  Linked from Fang's Bites.
<a href=";brand=foxsports&amp;from=foxsports_en-us_videocentral&amp;vid=5c349790-ea0f-4e5d-ba4b-a2ad60fcd289" target="_new" title="NFL on FOX: Fired Up">Video: NFL on FOX: Fired Up</a>

Fang's Bites also brings us the advance press notes on the MLB Networks airing of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.  Won't be easy for a Yankees fan to watch, but it's broadcasting history, so I will try.

Also from broadcasting, I remember so well when NBC went without broadcasters for a meaningless Jets/Dolphins game in the Orange Bowl in 1980.  I watched on that Saturday and was fascinated.  ESPN remembers it also, by Greg Garber.

Stuck in the 80's brings us Will Farrell (I'm bowing now at his greatness) and John C. Reilly doing a parody at the class mashup between David Bowie and Bing Crosby (originally done on TV in 1977).  It comes via Funny or Die, with an MP3 download.  It is, to be blunt, awesome.

That should be enough to hold y'all for tonight.  If you're in the East, stay warm.  It's a whopping 18 degrees here at "Exit 55" Headquarters!  No wonder I'm getting the urge for baseball season!

Cliff Lee is a Phillie? OK.

Last year, the Yankees were thisclose to bring Cliff Lee to New York from Seattle.  It didn't happen.

It didn't bother me.  Sure, he beat them a few months later in the postseason but I lost zero sleep over it.

Late last night, my phone buzzed with the news that Lee had signed with the Phillies for less money and less years (but more average money per year) than the Yankees or Rangers were offering.

Again, I'm not bothered.  Sure, it would have been nice, but it doesn't have to be this way.  Now Brian Cashman has to be a creative general manager.  Now he has to go find a plan B.

Of course, then again, the Yankees could do nothing and begin the season with what they have.  Is that a good thing?  No, but is is that bad to go with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett (ugh), Phil Hughes, and (hopefully) Andy Pettitte?  Maybe Ivan Nova or somebody else steps up.  Maybe there's a trade to be had.

Maybe not.

Believe me, I get it.  Holding a major in Yankees History means knowing about the 27 World Championships.  It means knowing the 40 American League Titles.  It also means knowing first-hand about the down CBS years, and the 1980's, when being the winningest team didn't mean winning world championships.

Still, despite what many say, there is a mission statement: win.  Win the World Series.  Win at all costs.

And I don't want to hear this crap about how it's not so much fun when it isn't home grown, or some shite like that.  I want my team to win.  Period.  The World Series win of 1996 was simply spectacular, as was the titles of 1998-2000.  So were the Bronx Zoo years of 1977 and 1978.  But 2009 was a chance to climb back on top, and wake up my son to watch as our team won the first title of his lifetime.  No doubt it was different and maybe not as sweet but it was still special.

That being said, it yanked the phonies out of hiding.  Fair enough, but any championship does that (see: Red Sox, Boston).

So now I hope for Brian Cashman to work some magic.  It's OK to not land Cliff Lee.  The Yankees drew their line in the sand and didn't go beyond it.  George Steinbrenner would have.  That day has passed.

Your move, Mr. Cashman.

By the way, good luck to the fellas across New York that have to face Lee, Doc Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels roughly 20 times per year.  Yikes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Masuk Should Be Number One

Well-written article here by Kevin Duffy via the Danbury News-Times.

This sums it up for me - Masuk is number one, and there's a real problem with the voting system in Connecticut.  There needs to be more balance around the state.

Then again, I thought it was a joke when Greenwich didn't get the mythical number one in 2007 - when I thought they could beat Ansonia and anyone else in Connecticut.

Three high school football posts from me for one afternoon?  That's enough.

There's hot stove baseball to discuss!  Don't kid yourselves, folks.  Despite the NFL, NHL, and NBA, baseball is a 365-day sport!

The Final Connecticut State Football Poll (Media Edition)

Xavier topped Masuk (Sean Patrick Bowley/CT Post).  Nothing like the little ol' "I-91 bias" with those doing the voting failing to look around the state a little.

Moving along...

The Final Bill Gonillo Six

If you believe Tim Parry, this is the final time that I will ever vote in the Bill Gonillo Five poll (of which, I vote for six teams).

We'll worry about 2011 when it gets here.  For me, I'm content to put the 2010 football season in the rear view mirror.  So let's do our final BG Six:

1) Masuk (Last time: 1)  Um....duh.  Simply awesome.  Made New Canaan look like Chris Kaelin's favorite team, the Little Sisters of the Poor (OK, not really but by all accounts, it was a blowout).  Incidentally, if I had a vote for the state (HINT!), Masuk would get my top vote, edging Xavier.

OK, so after this it all becomes a know what. Ugh...
2) St. Joseph.  That's right.  You read it.  They won a state championship and impressed me in doing so.  It's not about what happens when the year starts.  It's about where you stand when it's all over.  St. Joe's won a title.  End of story.
3) New Canaan (2).  Boy this one wasn't easy.  Still, Masuk beating them 50-20 does not ruin a year.  It shows the greatness of Masuk.
4) Trumbull (4).  Losing to Xavier in the finals is not a crime.  I'm going to pop them back up to three because of their advancing to the title game.
5) Darien (3).  Wish I could do 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D.  That's how close I think St. Joe's, New Canaan, Trumbull, and Darien are.  I can't do it that way.  So this is it.
6) Staples (5).  Again, ugh.  I could have gone with Brookfield here, since they advanced to the Class M semis, and the Wreckers were gone after the Class LL quarters.  Still, I have major respect for the Wreckers.  They get the vote.

And so ends 2010 for high school football.  I anxiously await 2011.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Fascinating Look at the Announcement of the Death of John Lennon

ESPN's "Outside the Lines" is still tremendous TV.  This is an interesting behind the scenes look at what went into announcing John Lennon's death in 1980.

Dave Van Horne Wins the Ford Frick Award

Congratulations to longtime Marlins and Expos play-by-play voice Dave Van Horne for being selected as 2011 winner of the Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

No offense intended, but my vote was for Graham McNamee

But what do I know?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Missing John

I had another post written this morning.  It was full of, well, nothing.  Nothing good anyway.  Just riding the roller coaster of life.  I've been having trouble putting things into words on here lately anyway, and have stopped writing about various topics due to that.

I also wanted to write more about the loss of John Lennon, 30 years ago tonight.  There are plenty of other perspectives out there.  In short, I was 12.  I went to bed, having watched some of the Monday Night Football game.  It was past my bedtime when Howard Cosell announced John's death to the world.

I woke up to a world of Beatles music, including on both WNBC (where Imus was ruling) and WABC, where Harry Harrison was once and forever "The Morning Mayor."  My sister, 10 years my elder, and who truly experienced Beatlemania, having watched "The Ed Sullivan Show" on that magical night in 1964,  gave me the bad news.  Oh boy.

John once famously visited Cosell in the MNF booth.  This was in 1974.

We need some music.  This is so brilliant, sad, and soul-bearing

"I didn't mean to hurt you.  I'm sorry that I made you cry."  Wow.  The words to that song are...yeah.  Wow.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Pat Gillick in Hall of Fame...George Sterinbrenner Not

I picked George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller to go to the Hall of Fame back in November

The voters did not agree with me.

Congratulations to Pat Gillick on his election (via ESPN).  My feeling was many executives don't get in, but hopefully this opens the door to more worthy candidates.

But shame on the voters.  Marvin Miller missed by one vote, and Dave Concepcion came in third?  Steinbrenner didn't even receive eight votes. 


Friday, December 03, 2010


The Beatles.  Huey Lewis.  Other "celebs" that are completely frightening.  Words escape me.  Just watch.

Why Huey?  Why?  The horror of it all!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Too Many Links

Well, we'll try to cover them all on a rainy Wednesday.

From Songkick, here are the top 10 cities for live rock music.  New York (and the Northeast in general) are nowhere near.  I can't say I'm surprised.  For one thing, the value of a show in the Northeast is garbage.  You need a mortgage to go to a show.  Then, most of the shows are, well, not that good.  Just not.  Sorry.

From Beckett Media comes a picture of what Derek Jeter would like like in each baseball uniform.  Some are just funny (the Pirates?).  Some made me physically sick (no surprise - the Sawx and the crosstown nitwits).  Here's the deal - if Jeter goes, fine.  But I'm done with him at that point.  He will have sold out for the money.  Period.  The only uniform I care about is the one that has 27 rings.

That being said...he's coming back to the Bronx (LoHud Yankee Blog).  Done.  And could Zack Greinke be a possibility?

Not a great offseason in The Bronx.  Jeter...Rivera (oh God...sign the man for whatever he wants!)...and silliness among the ticket holders (NYY Stadium Insider).  Maybe I don't regret not renewing my tickets after all.  TV and the occasional tickets seem a lot better to me for all sports.  What's really being gained by being there?

The Yankees family lost Gil McDougald (LoHud).  I probably never heard of him.  A lot of us who know our history knew who he was.

More Yankees are on the Hall of Fame ballot, including...GULP!...ConstanTino Martinez!  Wow...getting older.  Loved Tino...not a Hall of Famer (LoHud...again!).

Jeff Pearlman breaks down the NFL Hall of Fame ballot.  He doesn't agree with me (SHOCKING!).  He doesn't think Jerome Bettis belongs in the Hall.  I'm driving the Bus to Canton!  He also doesn't think Dermontti Dawson is worthy.  *sigh*

Fang's Bites says ESPN has a new booth for Sunday Night Baseball, with Dan Schulman and Bobby Valentine joining Orel Hersheiser.  That should be good.  On the other hand, the radio side will stay in the hands of the so-so (at best) Jon Sciambi, who will be joined by Chris Singleton.  Dave Campbell, one of the best in the biz, is out.  That's a crime.

From Stuck in the 80's Sir Bob Geldof tells what he thinks the two worst songs are.  He's wrong about one of them...

Jon at Vintage Richmond brings us a picture of the flooding near Main Street Station in June, 1972, courtesy of Hurricane Agnes.

Jon wrote an entertaining look back at his days among the elite of hardcore music (I'm not kidding when I say fact, he still is).  He wrote for Double Cross.  Pay special attention below the Up Front poster well down in the post, when he talks about his most memorable times at the old Anthrax club in Norwalk, CT.  He mentions a friend (though not by name).  My oh my, I'll NEVER forget that night!

By the way, I normally post a video of Sean and I doing one of those JibJab video things (you know them if you've seen them).  I don't know...I'm just not into it this year.  It's been ruined for me, or something.  No big loss.

The great Scully's birthday just passed (Media Bistro).  I don't thank God too often, but I thank God for Vin Scully.  He's 83, and he is still better than any of us in the broadcasting business.

Not to be forgotten, Bob Wolff (who had the radio call of Don Larsen's perfect game...called by Scully on TV), is also still the age of 90!  Link from National Sports Journalism Center.

Was it a slew foot (Deadspin)?  Was it not?  Sidney Crosby says it's much ado about nothing.  Mike Milbury says no way.  Brandon Dubinsky and others say it was dirty.  Looked pretty sketchy to me, and there's no doubt that Crosby not being penalized for it was a superstar call.

Guess that's all I have.

The Festival of Lights

Is it really December already?  Wow, then happy Hanukkah!  Enjoy those eight crazy nights.  Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Adam Sandler!

Peace and love, one and all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bill Gonillo Six (The Pre-State Playoff Edition)

Well, things are, er, weird, aren't they?  Darien WINS the FCIAC but gets blasted by New Canaan.  So what do we do with this?

1) Masuk (Last Week: 1).  To me, this is the easy part.  They're 10-0, have scored nearly 500 points, and allowed on 63.  Hit the Staples button (the store, not the high school), because "that was easy."
2) New Canaan (4).  I know, I know...WHAT?  They're not the FCIAC champs.  Yeah but they throttled the FCIAC champs on Thanksgiving Day.  I also know what I person, when they pounded Greenwich.
3) Darien (2).  They would have stayed at number two if not for the Thanksgiving game, compounded by the total idiocy of the Dunning Field painting thing.  I could have dropped them to fourth, in favor of Staples, now couldn't I?  Tempting...but I won't.
4) Trumbull (3).  I'm going to ding them for the FCIAC loss.  The only thing that keeps me from dropping them lower than Staples is that, head to head, they beat Staples.
5) Staples (5).  I saw what I saw in person.  Maybe they're young, but they're really good.  I want to put them higher, but the logic wouldn't be fair.
6) Oh boy...what do we do here?  Despite their loss to Trumbull, I'm going to keep St. Joe's at number six.  Yes, Newtown...and Brookfield...and have every right to be upset.  You're each 8-2, and St. Joe's is 7-3.  I know.  But the Cadets/Hogs play in the FCIAC, have a talented team, and fought hard with Trumbull before injuries bit them.  That's enough for me.

Onto the states!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Single Dads

I saw Kenn Tomasch (with two "N's"...can't believe I screwed that up) post this on Facebook.  Written by Chris Jones in Esquire, he talks about Dads.  I can completely understand.

Being a parent is hard work.  Being a single dad is a different kind of hard work.  The balance, the need to make every moment count, handling those around you, and so on.  I can't quite explain it.  It's also difficult to make sure that the dad (that's me) continues to have a life.  So there's that tightrope to walk because if I'm not doing right (mentally, physically, etc) then what good am I to Sean?

I had a stranger - some lawyer - tell me that my son, his CLIENT, wants to spend more time with me.  Well that's just lah-di-da great.  Of course I want more time with him, but I'd like it to be more than the hour of looking at toys at Wal-Mart or Target, because it really doesn't make sense to take him back to my house, since there's not enough time.  I'd like more than a few days a month.  I'd like him in MY school district.

I'm not complaining.  I'm happy Sean wants to be with me, and I want to be with him - hell, I offered to have him live with me in return for NO CHILD SUPPORT.  Yes.  That is correct.  THAT, friends, is how much I love my son.  That is how much I miss him.  He's not a dollar sign to me.

So it has been an adjustment.  An adjustment to understanding that Sean likes that time at Wal-Mart.  Or Target.  Or Sonic.  An adjustment to seeing how he now plays me because, hey, he doesn't see me all the time, so is respecting me important?

Hmm.  Respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Aretha sang it so well.  Number one on my hit parade is respect - from everyone.  I don't sense I get a lot of it.  Different rant.  Different time.

We're getting used to the single dad routine.  You'd think it wouldn't be that big of an adjustment, given how long it has been.  But with the changes that took place in September, when I went from being a 50% dad, to a 20% dad, well, it's been different.  Tough to go from seeing Sean, say, 20-25 days every month (during school months) six.

And life goes on, but the article Kenn posted hit home.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pre-Turkey Thoughts

Here on this Thanksgiving Eve, I wish the readers of this very little piece of real estate all the best happiness and health.

I wrote a post for the Greenwich Post, and I think we're going to keep doing it.  I enjoyed it, so why not?

Tomorrow will be my final football broadcast for 2010, unless someone is kind enough to ask me to participate in the playoffs somewhere.  I'd like to put a little mileage between me and the season before I reflect on it and decide what kind of season it was (at least in the booth).  I can say it had fun moments, but I can also say there were other, rather forgettable moments, both on and off the air.

I laughed a lot.  I also felt my blood pressure skyrocket.  The usual...bad equipment...competing media outlets...egos...schedules...blah blah blah.

After tomorrow, I have no idea when my next broadcast is.  I hate - REPEAT, HATE - that feeling.

It's been a strange week, beginning with a wonderful birthday.  Today, I attended the funeral of my Aunt Jean, who passed away last Friday at the age of 85.  Despite her age, she was in good health (we thought), so her passing was a shock.  The feelings of today (and yesterday as well), were mostly bittersweet.  So sad to say good bye, and so sad that it takes these events to see family that I truly enjoy.  Conversely, I did get to see family that I truly enjoy, and was able to introduce Carrie to everyone.

Side note - it's a special person who takes a day off from work to attend a funeral for a woman she never met, to support a boyfriend and his family whom she has known for barely eight months.  That's a good person there.

I have thoughts from the funeral, such as a few comments on the church and their exclusionary tactics.  I thought it was obnoxious.  Others disagreed.  Some agreed.  Fair enough.  Also, I've noticed that many funerals have become very impersonal.  What happened to the eulogies?  Perhaps it's a family decision, but whatever and I doubt it, given my aunt's love of good times.  I don't want some individual of the cloth speaking blankly about a person they never met.  I want stories.  And laughter.  Maybe even tears.  But it will at least be personal.

I'm rambling.  Best to let it go.  You might enjoy my rants but they seem to just get me in trouble.

Please join us tomorrow on WGCH, as Kato, the Wingman, Killer, ~S.L.Y.~ and Captain Greenwich give it our best one more time.  No MSG, so no problems.  I don't think the WWPT guys will give us any trouble.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birthday Video of the Day

This is tremendous!  Thanks, Justin!

My 42nd birthday will forever be remembered as a great day, capping off a great weekend.  I got to take a road trip, have breakfast at Waffle House, stroll around the outlets at Reading, PA, grab a Coca-Cola Icee at a Wawa, find old-school Steelers merchandise in the outlets at Tannersville, PA, have dinner at Wholly Guacamole, and laugh a lot with my wonderful Carrie.

That was just Saturday!

Sunday was the GYFL, but also dinner back in Brooklyn with Carrie.  Monday was some wings and shrimp, a few drinks, a Rangers win (a really good game - Martin Biron is everything I expected him to be in net), and more laughs (especially at "Family Guy" Season One)

I assumed the worst, but I had the best.  I had over 100 birthday wishes on Facebook, along with phone calls and texts.

You are all amazing.  Thanks for the reminder.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pump Up Music

A question for you all to ponder...let me explain.

Last week, Chris Erway and I were driving (with the one and only Sean Adams) to the Greenwich/St. Joseph football game in Trumbull.  As "Wingman" got into the car, he told me that he was thinking about music to get him fired up for the broadcast, just as athletes do for games.

The whole conversation, and the tunes we were finding, helped pick me up, as I had been pretty low that morning.

It got me thinking.  I just heard Mr. Imus playing Eminem's "Lose Yourself."  Yeah...that would work.  But what else?  Of course, I suggested Metallica's "Enter Sandman" (of course, out of respect to The Great Mariano).  That would have to be on my list.

So what music would you use?  What do you use to workout to - maybe that's different than what we're talking about?  I'm curious, and looking to be inspired.


Mitchell & Ness (and My Birthday)

OK, I admit it.  My birthday is Monday.  I've been refusing it, avoiding it, pushing it away.  Not because I don't want it or that I'm afraid of it though.  Overall, it's another day.  For the most part, my past several birthdays have been largely forgettable and/or disappointing.  Thus my current attitude.  I'm adjusting it.

I thought about gathering my friends - from all parts of my life - because I thought that would be great.  It just didn't happen.  My own fault.  My own stubbornness.  Maybe next year.  This, by no means, doesn't mean that it won't be a great weekend. 

OK, so why did I call this post "Mitchell & Ness?"  Well because they make some of the coolest sports merchandise you'll ever see, including jerseys that look like they've come straight off of Lou Gehrig or Rod Gilbert or Terry Bradshaw.

They've opened a new store in Philadelphia.  I'd like to stroll around that place with a valid credit card!

Life Lessons

People make mistakes.  All the time.  I feel like I’m the home office for them (ok, I’m being humorous).

Jeff Pearlman, whom I often post links to, writes of a time that he committed what was supposed to be a harmless prank.  It went terribly wrong.  In the end, only Pearlman himself was hurt but it was a lesson learned.

I don’t really know Jeff.  I’ve interviewed him twice.  We graduated a few years apart.  We’re on different ends of the spectrum about a lot of things.  Yet I get the sense he’s an OK guy.  He seems to have lived a decent life.  Married, two kids, the whole thing.  He’s constantly checking his own pulse to make sure he’s doing right – by his wife, his kids, his world.  Struggles with religion and so on.  But I know he isn’t always right.  He obsesses over his pure hatred of Sarah Palin.  He’s a hypochondriac.  And more.  I know this because I’ve read it all on his blog.

He lets most of it out – warts and all.  On occasion, so do I, and I struggle with it all the time (we’ve been down this road).

I never stop learning.  Never stop learning that all people aren’t made the same.  That the way I can laugh with one person isn’t going to work with another.  That I’m also flawed.  That I don’t always say things the right way.  That I can also do better. 

I will do better.

There’s this notion that people don’t change.  That’s utter garbage.  It depends on what needs to be changed.  My core hasn’t changed in (almost) 42 years, but I’ve altered things over that time.  Opinions have changed.  Things that seemed the right way to go in 1987 don’t fly in 2010.

There’s nothing deeper here.  No “Rule 55.”  Just something that I’ve been thinking about, and Jeff helped crystalize it for me.

Happy Friday Links

Man, the New York Islanders just don’t get it.  They’ve pulled the credential of an ultra-popular blog.

You know, a blog that actually has a decent reputation.  Unlike this one.

Please tell me you saw this:

How did this come to be?  Rolling Stone has more.  Bruce also sat down with Fallon for an interview.

Greenwich and Staples will play next Thursday at Cardinal Stadium.  Tim Parry wrote a preview for the Hearst papers (including the Connecticut Post and the Greenwich Time).  Be on the lookout for a quote from WGCH’s Sports Director (though not named by title).  Here are the rest of the links to the turkey games, courtesy of Tim.

The Worldwide Leader’s magazine is doing a movie issue, in which they’ve taken athletes and placed them in movie setups.  Some of them don’t quite work for me, but these three are pretty good.

Ryan Miller as Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack”!

Danica Patrick as Veronica Corningston in “Anchorman” (a filthy pirate hooker – that’s a line from the movie!)

And Lindsey Vonn as Catherine Tramell in “Basic Instinct”.  Wow – this one is uncanny.

Fun stuff.  Fang’s Bites has more.

Speaking of movie quotes, Kenn Tomasch (I remembered the second “N” this time – HA!) lets one go during a game-opening.

Elsewhere, Roger Ebert writes about the brilliance of NPR – radio that isn’t pretentious.

I’m not going to go crazy on the AL Cy Young Award.  A guy that went 13-12 won it.  This isn’t a pro-CC Sabathia/Yankee thing, as he didn’t think he deserved.  Yankees want championships – period.  Joe Posnaski yacks about his joy over the death of wins as an important stat.  This gets a “whatever” from me.
From hockey, The Graying Mantis writes an honest recap of Wednesday night’s Rangers loss to the Bruins.  That’s why I like him.

Former Yankee Jim Leyritz is on trial in Florida for DUI and vehicular manslaughter.  Chad Jennings from the LoHud Yankees blog updates things.

Chad also has a note on Congress recognizing the late Bob Sheppard.

From minor league baseball, Benjamin Hill takes a little umbrage with something that ESPN’s Rob Neyer wrote.  Bravo.

Tiger Woods appeared on ESPN, taking softballs from Mike and Mike in the morning.  Sports Radio Interviews has some quotes.

This might be the first time I’ve posted anything from cricket, but it is at the very foundation of baseball, so why not (via Deadspin)?  Is that Monty?  YES!  What a play!

I love old photographs, and Shorpy is as good a place as any to go see them.  Take a look at Poughkeepsie, NY in 1906.  My dad worked there.  My sister worked there.  My cousin works there.  Friends, etc.  I go there a lot.  In short, I’ve seen way too much of Po’ town for my taste lately.

The Beatles are finally on iTunes.  In case you need a reminder, have a look at their progression.

A little Jeff Pearlman for ya.  Recently, the NFL Network picked their 100 greatest (with Jerry Rice foolishly over Jim Brown at number one).  Pearlman picks the 100 worst on Deadspin.

He also talks about not taking kids to sporting events (the NFL in this case).

That’s all I have for now…isn’t that enough?!?