Monday, January 31, 2011


If you watched yesterday's Pro Bowl you will need to begin psychoanalysis ASAP, and need to be medicated heavily. In my opinion, talking to the wife or girlfriend is preferable to watching the above mentioned game. I understand that this might be unpleasant for some of you, but come on, The Pro-Bowl? I still have no idea who won the damn thing.

Philly's favorite ex QB Donavon McNabb is going to his second Super Bowl - this time as an analyst. That's kind of like hiring Stevie Wonder to describe the beautiful colors in a French impressionist painting. McNabb, who barfed in the huddle the one time he and Fat Andrew were in the big game, hasn't shown this long suffering fan that he knows much about the game - unless the network wants him to describe how to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. He certainly won't understand why both teams in the game are actually running the ball, and why the QB's aren't throwing ground balls to wide open receivers.

The time between the playoffs and the Super Bowl is always boring as hell to this fan. As you may have figured out, I don't watch hockey, so tuning in to the first place Flyers is not an option for me. Ditto for the hometown Sixers who seem to be winning enough games so that they will make the playoffs and not get a lottery pick (They would fuck it up anyhow). There is hope however since we get the big Steeler win this coming weekend followed by the beginning of spring training!

Two weeks from tomorrow gang - and I can't wait! Renewal, a time when fans across the land can, at least for a little while, hope that their team will go from sucking big time last year to the promised land of post season baseball. Somewhere, in places like KC, Phoenix, & Pittsburgh there are diehard baseball fans who actually believe that their hometown heroes have a shot (Well, maybe not in Pittsburgh). Here in the greatest city in the world, our candystripers will field the best starting staff in the bigs and have to be considered as the frontrunners to get back to the series. I say, not so fast.

I hate to rain on the parade before the first game has been played, but unless Howard, Rollins, Ibanez & Utley hit the ball, and Lidge remembers how to close games out - we'll have to watch some other team represent the senior circuit. The gods of baseball may have set us up for the biggest fall of all when they allowed Cliff Lee to come back. Who knows what lurks in the dark hearts of the gods? They may have penciled in a ton of injuries. Perhaps Rollins will go down again. Perhaps they have Howard hitting .197 in April, May, June, and July with 8 home runs. Perhaps they have Howard setting a new all time strikeout record - good if you are Roy Halliday but not so if you are the teams go-to power hitter. And what about Utley? Maybe the gods will turn his right arm into lime Jello every time he has to throw the ball and it will go all over the place. How about a muscle tear for Ibanez?

I don't mean to be negative, but all of the above is possible - so don't order your red kool-aid just yet.

This fan doesn't get too excited about college basketball but a couple of things happened this past weekend that did bring some smiles. The Villanova Smugsters have now dropped a bunch of games that they normally would have won. Oh, the joy. Villanova, whose tuition is higher than many of the Ivies, really believes that their shit doesn't stink and are normally almost as arrogant as the assholes at Duke so when they lose, I enjoy it greatly. Villanova is an average school that presents itself as something they are not. I hope they lose the rest of their games. Speaking of the assholes from Duke, the number three ranked Blue Assholes lost a game to St. Johns. St. Johns (who haven't been a factor in the Big East since they changed their nickname from the Redmen to the Red Storm) bitch slapped Coach K's guys this past weekend. Nice!

That's it for now. Next time I'll introduce you to a guy named Johnny Dollar - a degenerate gambler who is known for taking action on anything.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I NEED TO VENT!!! (Chris Christie Edition)

I do not live in the state of New Jersey and my life is not directly affected by Gov. Chris Christie. The good citizens, in their anger at the state of the economy, took their rage out at then Gov. Jon Corzine, the former head of Goldman Sachs and elected Christie, who has been in office for a little more than a year.

Christie has shown himself to be not my cup of tea and has now shown himself to be a hypocrite.

In order to be fair I have to point out that when Christie took office he inherited a state in fiscal crisis. Huge deficits, unfunded pension liabilities, and one of the highest property tax rates in the country presented the guy with huge challenges. Faced with all of this and a state constitution that requires a balanced budget required that he make tough choices and demand that residents of the state share in the pain that he would have to mete out in attempting to get the state back on a more solid footing. Both Democrats and Republicans ran away from making the tough decisions and Christie would have to make them.

One of his first choices was to let a tax increase passed by the Democratic controlled state legislature expire. The tax had been enacted on those making $400,000 and above and had raised significant millions. Parroting the now-getting-old Republican claptrap that jobs would be created by getting rid of the tax, he paid for it by cutting or eliminating programs that were helping to keep the poor and kids above the water line. In other words, those least able to either fight back or survive the programs being eliminated were going to have to pay a price so that the monied classes could have more.

When Christie was running for Gov he railed against "big government" and told the electorate that he wanted the federal government to get off the backs of the people and the state. He railed against teachers and unions and everything else Republicans hate. Given the state of the country, the sheep forgot what Republicans do to everyone but the rich and the voters jumped off the cliff and elected him. They have paid the price for their irrational anger and will continue to do so.

We had an early winter snow storm in December that caused havoc in many places here in the Mid-Atlantic region, most especially in New Jersey. While the state was virtually shut down and paralyzed by the event, Christie was vacationing with his family at Disneyworld. Now I don't begrudge anyone time with the family, but the rules are different when you are the Gov of a state. If you are the Gov, I believe that you get on a plane and come back. Christie said that he didn't need to come back because he wasn't going to be driving a snowplow. It's about appearance, in my opinion, and Christie showed bad form by not coming back. The family could have stayed in Florida while he came back. Hell, the guy wasn't going to go on too many rides as he wouldn't have fit in the cars anyway. The visual of this rather large person being loop-de-looped should never be shown to children.

Why is he a hypocrite? Remember, this is a guy who hates the federal government and wants regulations and such to go away. OK, if that's how you feel, then please explain the letter Christie wrote to FEMA asking for $53,000,000 to pay for the December storm and those that have followed. The word is chutzpah (big balls in Yiddish). This fat fuck, who hates government, now wants the very entity he wants off the back of the state (and the rest of us) to pay his bill. Hey Christie, reimpose the tax cut you gave to the wealthy and pay for your own shovels and road salt. It happens every time one of these right wing asshole governors gets in trouble - they come home to Mama for bailout money. Christie isn't the only one - remember Bobby Jindal of Louisiana? He squealed like a pig demanding the feds to do more for his state after the oil spill.

If I were the director of FEMA I would write Christie explaining that there will be no money for his problem since we are in the era of budget cuts and reduced funding. I would suggest that he find ways to pay his own way - like maybe restoring the tax increase on the Wall Street types he rewarded.

Gov. Christie has shown that, like many of his political persuasion, somewhere along the way he lost his soul. I believe that unless he finds a way to stop hurting the little people he will be a one-term resident of the Governor's mansion in Trenton.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm on a roll! I picked both winners in yesterday's conference championship games and have that invincible feeling one gets when one gets to pocket some of his bookie's money. I'm talking fantasy money because I stopped the real betting years ago when it became apparent to me that I was supposed to pay my kid's tuition and not my bookie's. My record so far in the playoffs is 6-4 which in real life would have me up a few dollars.

The Bears-Packers game was one of the least entertaining games I've seen in a long time. Sure, the Bears played some decent defense, but teams usually don't win playoff games with the pathetic offense shown yesterday. Credit has to go to the Pack defense, especially my new favorite D-lineman BJ Raji, who has given fat guys a new reason to cheer and believe that they could be heroes someday (although they still won't get the girls).

The talk is all over the web today questioning Jay Cutler's manhood. I was certainly surprised that the guy didn't play most of the second half after 'hurting" his knee but I have to tell you that, in my opinion, when the money is on the line and you can walk - you give it a try. I won't go so far as to say that Cutler is a pussy, but the reason he was acquired from the Broncos and is being paid more than the national debt of Peru is to play and win games such as the one that was played yesterday. I seem to recall other QB's playing hurt, and especially remember a guy named Joe Namath playing when he could hardly walk - his knees were that bad.

Having said all that, even if the Meow man had played the entire game I believe the Pack would have ended up in the winners circle. Aaron Rodgers acknowledges that he did not play his best game, but the Packer D brought the W home.

The Bears-Packers game was so boring that I did some channel surfing during the commercials. I ended up splitting my viewing time between the game and the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car auction. Now I have to tell you that I am not what you would call a car person. I don't collect cars and would rather have my nails pulled out with a pair of pliers than watch people who talk funny make left turns for 500 miles. I did enjoy watching guys my age pay tons of money for cars they couldn't afford when they were young.

My favorite was a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible. This car had to be as long as a WWII destroyer and had more chrome than is left to be mined.

Back to the games. While waiting for the Steelers game to begin I caught a little of the post-game show from the Packers locker room. Now, I must tell you that this long suffering fan does not normally watch these things. I don't watch pre-game shows either since I have had enough of Boomer to last a lifetime, and have no desire to listen to Coach Johnson, or Howie or the other Boomer show me that they can't pick winners. I don't need their help in picking losers - I do that well myself.

So, I'm watching the postgame and notice that the Packers all had their NFC Championship shirts and hats on, and then they show me a commercial telling me how to order mine. Wow, they don't waste any time do they? But, if they can sell me winners shit, then they must also have been prepared to sell me Bears shit, and they didn't win. So what third world country (maybe Haiti?) will they send the Bears shit to? I have a great idea. Instead of just giving the stuff away to people who have never seen a game (too busy looking for food I guess), why not market the losing team's gear to hard core fans of the losing team, and for that matter to all the losers who have been watching the game? Who knows, it might work and the NFL will have found another source of revenue. While they're at it, why not a t-shirt and hat combo picturing hits that send guys to la-la land?

Finally, after an afternoon of watching a lousy game. it was time for the Steelers-Jets game. Despite being a Philly guy I have loved the Steelers for many years. How could one not love this team? Hey look, I would root for the Eagles if they were playing the Steelers, but other than that I enjoy watching the style of football played by the guys from "The Burgh." They certainly had their lean years, but once Chuck Knoll took over and the Steel Curtain was established - wow - great football started coming out of the city with three rivers and lots of unemployed steel workers.

For me, the first half was as perfect as it could get with the Jets being bitch-slapped by the Steelers defense. I enjoy teams that run the ball, and Mendenhall and company certainly dispelled the canard that the Jets could not be run on. As a former O lineman, I was ecstatic watching the the Steelers line make mincemeat out of the Jets. Wow, a team that runs the ball. I wondered what Fat Andrew was thinking when he saw that?Andrew, as you may know, does not believe in running the ball. Andrew believes in the west coast offense - which so far hasn't brought his teams any championships. I wonder if he noticed that defenses put less pressure on the QB when they have to defend against the running game. When a defense knows that you are going to pass pass pass, and pass some more - it becomes "KATIE, BAR THE DOOR" and they send everybody in to try and maim the QB. ("Katie, bar the door" was an expression a coach of mine used to yell. I didn't understand it then, nor do I today) [Editor's note - according to the internet, the exact phrase seems to be linked to a James Whitcomb Riley poem, by way of some old Scottish nonsense about Martinmas and white puddings:]

Despite being down 24-3 going into the second half, the Jets showed a lot of spunk and character with the way they played in the second half. Even Sanchez showed glimpses of knowing what he was doing, and the Jets defense kept the Steelers at bay giving the team from New Jersey a chance to win the game. In the end it was Ryan who had to suck it up and give the loser's interview after the game. He did it well and it is hard for me to dislike the guy despite his being the coach of a NYC Metro team. I'd love for him to trade the Jets green for the Midnight Green of the Eagles - but that, as they say, ain't gonna happen.

If you didn't enjoy this game then you should probably watch NASCAR or even soccer because this was as good as it gets. I mean how cool was it when the Steelers did the goal line stance only to give up a safety to the Jets on their first play? The hitting was crisp throughout the game, and how about the way Harrison and Farrior stuffed run after run by the Jets.

Now as some of you know, I find most of the commercials to be just plain stupid, gratuitous, and insulting. One more attempt to sell me a pick-up truck, or to get me to eat somebody's fast food poison might make me scream loud enough for some militia types in Idaho get worried. That said, the Dr. Pepper commercial featuring Michael Strahan flattening Donavan McNabb while delivering a pizza still has me laughing. The commercial is not the first time I've seen Strahan take D-Mac out.

As I said earlier, Mark Sanchez played a better game than I thought he would, but the best Sanchez moment took place on the sidelines. A video that I saw on Huffington Post today shows Sanchez picking his nose and wiping the boogers on the jacket of teammate Mark Brunell. For real. Sanchez is seen using the thumb and forefinger technique as opposed to the one finger scoop method. Whatever works! I recommend that you view this "highlight." Now, I know that some of you are loathe to visit a left wing commie pinko site such as the Huffington Post, but I assure you that you will not be affected negatively in any way. Perhaps after watching the video you can go to the Glenn Beck site and get a hate transfusion so that you won't be considered a liberal by your friends. Seriously, it is funnier than shit. [Editor's note - Our esteemed host doesn't seem to understand the concept of linking to what he's talking about. He's old and still learning the internet. See it here:]

The Vegas odds-makers have put out their early super bowl line and have made the Packers a 2 1/2 point favorite. Since I believe that the Steelers will easily win the game it might be a good wager, but I shall refrain from calling my old bookie. The 2 1/2 point spread is the narrowest in 27 years, and the Vegas favorite has won 32 out of the 44 games played to date.

I am looking forward to watching the game, especially since it is being played in Dallas. Both the Packers and the Steelers have a history of beating up on the Cowgirls in title games. Instead of his Cowgirls, Jerry Jones will have to watch two Cowgirl killers play in his house. It doesn't get any better than that.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Now I know that some of you are asking why the title of today's posting is using THE FINAL FOUR when most associate that name with college basketball. There are four teams left in the NFL playoffs so they too are the final four. In March I will acknowledge the name with basketball if only to tell how much I want some team to beat Duke by 76 points so I can see Coach K whine and cry. I don't care for the guy as he is a smug asshole and he needs to be caught in some kind of scandal that will bring him down several notches.

This weekend the games have the potential to provide great hitting and drama, especially in the NFC game between two franchises that have hated each other since 1921. In 1919 the Staley Food Starch Co. of Decateur Illinois wanted to form a company team - a common practice back then, and turned to a group led by George Halas to do so. In 1921, Halas moved the team to Chicago where they were called the Chicago Staleys. In 1922 Halas bought the rights to the team from Staley for $100 and renamed the team The Bears.

Halas was a tough cookie. In 1921 the newly formed Packers were attempting to sign a player that Halas wanted. The Pack were having financial difficulties at the time and Halas convinced the league to expel the team from Wisconsin. Halas then signed the player in question, after which he graciously agreed to allow the Packers back in the league.

There had been semi pro teams playing in Green Bay since around 1896 and one such team eventually joined the American Professional Football Association (the precursor to the NFL) in 1921. Their uniforms and equipment were provided by the Indian Packing Company, thus the nickname Packers - now the oldest continuously used nickname in pro-football.

Predicting the winner of this game is not easy for the long suffering fan who hopes to improve his 4-4 record and move to the positive side of the fantasy gambling ledger. Both teams play excellent defense, and it could be a very low scoring affair. I give a slight edge to the Pack because of Woodson and Mathews, and because Uhrlacher reminds no one of Dick Butkus - the greatest Bear defender of all time. On the offensive side of the ball, Aaron Rodgers is clearly superior to the Bears QB, so my pick is for the Packers to advance to the Super Bowl.

In 1933, Art Rooney established the Pittsburgh Pirates Professional Football Club. It was a common practice in the early days of pro football for the teams to use the nicknames of baseball teams. Some other examples include Phillies & Athletics franchises here in Philadelphia, Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, Boston Braves, New York Yankees (who sort of evolved into today's Indianapolis Colts), Brooklyn Dodgers (an earlier iteration of the football Yankees after a stint as the Boston Yanks, if you baseball fans can wrap your head around that one), Chicago Cardinals (who now represent Arizona) and the New York Giants (who now represent New Jersey).

The name was changed to the Steelers prior to the 1940 season.

During the war, players were hard to come by and the team merged with the Eagles in 1943, playing one year as the Phil-Pitt Steagles. In 1944 they merged with the Chicago Cardinals to form Card-Pitt, being called derisively the Carpets.

The team did tie for the division with the Eagles in 1947, with the Eagles winning a playoff game against Pgh on their way to a league title. For most of the 50's & 60's the team sucked big time until a guy named Chuck Knoll was hired and the rest is history.

In 1960 a sportscaster name Harry Wismer founded the Titans of New York and joined the AFL as a charter member. Playing their games in a half-empty Polo Grounds, the team struggled financially and in 1962 Sonny Werblin bought the team and changed the name to the Jets. One of the first things Werblin, a showman & entrepreneur, did was to pay the then exorbitant price of $400,000 to Beaver Falls, PA QB Joe Namath who had starred for Bear Bryant at Alabama. Namath, as you should know, led the Jets to the AFL's first Super Bowl win in Super Bowl III over the then Baltimore Colt (formerly sort of the Dallas Texans, who sort of inherited the New York Yankees franchise, and not at all related to the original Colts who joined the NFL from the AAFC. It helps if you make a spreadsheet. Franchises were as unstable during football's years as a minor professional sport as say, pro lacrosse franchises are today).

The Jets fell on hard times after that historic victory and have not appeared in a Super Bowl since, while the Steelers have 6 rings. Emotionally, I am all over the Steelers in this one despite Rex and his foot fantasies. The combination of a great defense, Big Ben, and some very good receivers should be able to overcome the Jets defense and the very average Mark Sanchez. I'll pick the Black & Gold to advance to the Super Bowl for a try at ring number 7 (Eat shit and die Jerry Jones - since it will be in your building and the Cowgirls will not be there!).

As a reminder - 25 days until pitchers & catchers report! It won't be long, and I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


So I got a letter the other day from Comcast informing me that my introductory Triple Play Package was about to expire. The letter told me that if I didn't re-up my rate would jump to $238.00 a month up from the $99.00 I pay now. Tonight was the night I chose to call, because there is no way I wanted to pay anywhere near the "new"rate. I don't want to be the schmuck who pays for the Comcast buy of NBC which was approved today by the FCC.

I dreaded the call because I didn't want to spend the next 3 hours on hold, and much to my surprise a lovely lady named Ashley answered my call after three minutes of jumping through hoops directed by a machine generated voice. I was thrilled to actually be talking to a live person. This should be simple I thought, since all I wanted to do was re-up for only $10.00 more than I was currently paying. Unfortunately for me I had a question about my bill. Don't ever have a question about your bill because if you do you will be transferred to someone else.

Lovely Ashley told me that she couldn't help me with the question about my bill because she was an outside contractor and wasn't authorized to deal with my bill. She asked if I would mind holding while she transferred me to a local Comcast person who would be able to help me. Of course I said that I wouldn't mind - what fucking choice did I have? After a few minutes of listening to a computer tell me how wonderful Comcast is, another computer got on the line and asked me to punch in my 13 digit acct. number followed by the pound sign. What choice did I have but to comply? Then the computer asked me to enter the numbers in my street address - but no letters. Again I obeyed and finally a human voice was heard.

I do like speaking with human beings, but the only languages I speak are English and Ebonics, and this clown was speaking in a dialect of Indian I haven't learned yet. I freaked and asked him to speak English since I couldn't understand a word he was saying. He mumbled something else and I asked him, not too politely, if he was an American and if he was in the USA. My god, I felt like a god damned Tea Party Birther asshole. Now I must say, Gupta kept his cool and said he would transfer me to someone else. Within a nano-second a lady named Betty asked if she could help me after she finished helping the customer she was working with. She put me on hold, meaning more Comcast bullshit computer-generated commercials. A minute or so later Betty got on the phone.

I guess she could tell by the tone of my voice that I was not a happy camper, and asked in a very sexy voice what she could do to make me a happy camper. In what turned out to be an OK conversation she took care of what I wanted, fixed the problem with my bill and gave me 6 months of free Cinemax and faster internet service for my inconvenience. She even fielded my complaint about having to talk to Gupta with aplomb and grace.

Now listen, I know that people in India need jobs. However, Comcast does not have one fucking TV, Internet, or Phone customer anywhere in India or anywhere else outside of the USA. There are millions of Americans who would love to be the person who talks to angry Comcast customers when they call - and I believe everyone who calls this company of criminals is angry. Just because Gupta will work for peanuts or sacred cow burgers is no reason to make me have to talk to someone who sounds like he is chewing on cow chips. Hell, I can understand Haley Barbour better than I could Gupta, and I can hardly make out what that fat nazi fuck is saying.

I know that we are living in the 21st century where technology works, but when I am looking for customer service - I WANT A HUMAN BEING TO ANSWER MY CALL!!! I don't want to have to identify myself three times to a fucking machine. I also want the human being who finally answers the phone to be able to deal with my issues and not put me on hold where I have to listen to a computer tell me how wonderful a company Comcast is. They are not wonderful - they are run by assholes, like most large corporations who want no regulation and who pay little or no taxes.

Enough of my ranting for one night. I'll have a bowl of heavenly hash and everything will be just fine.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Week two of the playoffs is now history, and once again we see that the pundits and all of their conventional wisdom have not a clue. That's because they have to play the games, and once they do that, then things will happen that the pundits just don't believe will happen.

Who would have thought that the top seeds in both conferences would be joining the Eagles in front of their TV's to watch the conference championships this coming weekend? Certainly not I, and certainly not the pundits on all of the pre-game shows. Why, if the players and coaches listened to what had been said by such gurus as Chris Berman or Tony Dungy, the Jets and Packers would have stayed home. They didn't and, as a result of their showing up, Tom Brady was made to look pedestrian, Bill Belichek was outcoached by a guy who likes feet, and the Pac slaughtered those Falcons who everybody said could not lose at the Georgia Dome.

The results of yesterday's games set up what could be some great games next weekend. Wow, George Halas and Vince Lombardi's spirits will almost certainly be on the sidelines at Soldier Field when the Bears and the Packers clash for the 4,127th time (or so it seems). Both of these teams play defense (get that Andrew?) and I expect some hard hitting. That isn't to sell the AFC game short since both the Steelers and Jets know how to play defense as well. By the way, please tell Buddy's son Rex that Pittsburgh plays it better than the Pats.

Especially nice to this long suffering fan is that both games will be played on GRASS, and none of the teams involved wear silly uniforms. No accent piping or stripes going nowhere will be worn this weekend. I can't wait, and I'll have more to say later in the week.

Given that today is Martin Luther King Day, and that spring training is just around the corner I thought I would see what kind of team we would have if we composed a team of the first black players from each team. These players come from the 16 teams playing when Jackie Robinson broke the modern color barrier in on April 15, 1947. There had been black players before Robinson, but we'll have that discussion at a later date. Also, if a team moved to a new city a la the Browns, only the first black member of the Browns gets on the team, not the first black Oriole. Same goes for the Senators/Twins. Expansion teams also don't make the cut because by the time baseball expanded starting in 1960 every team had broken the race barrier.

Some of the names you have heard of, and there are several HOFers on the squad. Most were journeymen whose stay in the show was brief. Most of the great black players came to the show in the "second" wave of integration which occurred in the early 50's, so guys like Mays and Aaron don't make the cut.

Our Team:

1B: Monte Irvin - NY Giants 7/8/49
2B: Jackie Robinson - Bkln Dodgers 4/15/47
3B: Hank Thompson - StL Browns 7/17/47
SS: Ernie Banks - Chi Cubs 9/17/53
C: Elston Howard - NY Yankees 4/14/55
LF: Minnie Minoso - ChiSox 5/1/51
CF: Lary Doby - Cle Indians
RF: Sam Jethroe - Bos Braves 4/18/50

P: Bob Trice - Phi A's 9/13/53
P: Satchel Paige - Stl Browns 1948 (Not first on Browns, but first in the AL)
P: Don Newcombe - Bkln Dodgers 1949 (Not first black Dodger, but first in NL)


2B: Curt Roberts - Pirates 4/13/54
1B: Tom Alston - Cards 4/13/54
OF: Nino Escalero - Reds 4/17/54
1B: Chuck Harmon - Reds 4/17/54
OF: Carlos Paula - Senators 9/6/54
3B: John Kennedy - Phillies 4/22/57
3B: Ozzie Virgil Sr. - Tigers 6/6/58
2B: Pumpsie Green - BoSox 7/21/59

Saturday, January 15, 2011


The temptation was for me to be satisfied with my first playoff week record of 2-2 and leave this weekend to those who know what they are doing. In my fantasy betting I'm down the vig, which for those not in the know is the 10% premium the bookies collect from losing betters. In other words if you bet a dime ($1000) and win, the man pays you $1000. If you lose you pay the man $1100 which includes the 10% vig. Successful bookies try and have half the action on either side and thus guarantee themselves a 5% profit.

As I have mentioned previously, I stopped betting when it became apparent to me that I was one of the guys the bookies loved. Over the years I have paid a bunch of vig, which means when it comes to picking winners when point spreads are introduced I am challenged. But, I will continue my playoff picks for your amusement and remind you that if you want to cash in - bet against my picks.

Saturday Games:

Ravens @ STEELERS: I love the game, and have to go with the black and gold. Both defenses should be fearsome and perhaps Fat Andrew and his staff could learn something by watching how defense should be played. On the field today will be d-backs who actually can tackle people. Asante Samuel should be forced to watch guys making tackles. It will be a joy to watch a game without having to hear Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Take the Steelers.

Packers @ FALCONS: The Packers are playing good football of late, and their defense, led by Matthews and Woodson, will surely try and blitz Ryan to an early exit. However, the Falcons are tough to beat in the city where the kids have to go to school on Martin Luther King Day and I believe they will prevail in the Cracker Dome or whatever they call the place they play. The long suffering fan hates indoor football almost as much as he hates the west coast offense but I have to call 'em as I see 'em. I'll root against the Falcons for a variety of reasons including the silly feminine sleeves they wear. I'm not too keen on people wearing blocks of cheese on their heads (Halloween excepted) either and would enjoy seeing some of them beaten. Take the Falcons.

Sunday Games:

Seahawks @ BEARS: By all that is holy, the Monsters of the Midway should have an easy time of mauling the Seahawks. That the Seahawks are even playing this week is amazing considering just how much they suck. The Bears are not much to watch when they have the ball, but do play some very nice defense. They just keep hitting people and should, if allowed by the zebras, maim Hasselback so badly that he'll never want to play football again. Once again I suggest that the Fat one and his defensive staff be bound and gagged and forced to watch how defense should be played. Take the Bears and the cash.


If you have been following the pre-game rhetoric you have noticed that Rex Ryan has once again demonstrated his advance case of hoof-in-mouth disease, and has enlisted Cromartie to make stupid statements about New England. The Pats have spent the week mostly silent, but I imagine Bellichek and his guys will do their talking on the field. Tom Brady is in my opinion the best QB in the game today and he and his balanced attack should prevail this week. Sorry Rex, but at least you'll be able to spend more time with the feet after Sunday. Take the Pats.

Perhaps you have noticed that the remaining playoff teams all have a few things in common. They all play defense well, and they all run the ball. (Pay attention Andrew) I'm not talking about the back-in-my-day 3 yards and a cloud of dust stuff, but rather the use of the run to both set up the pass and to protect the QB's from being hit 30 times a game. When defending against a team that runs the game - defenses can't blitz on every down because doing so leaves themselves vulnerable to draw plays that can turn into big gains. Another plus factor for teams that run the ball is that a running game is easier for the O-line. Run blocking is easier than trying to protect the passer from defenses that know you are going to pass 287 times. This means that the O-Line is not dead tired late in the game and the QB has a better chance of still being alive late in the game.

It is so sad that we here in Philly have to watch Fat Andrew go out of his way to prove Einstein's definition of insanity correct each and every week. For those of you who don't know, here is Einstein's def of insanity: "Doing the same thing that hasn't worked over and over again and expecting different results is insane." Sounds like Andrew and his insane attempt to win a title with his dink and dunk offensive game plans. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired listening to Andrew tell me that he has to do better.

With a mere 31 days until pitchers and catchers report I am starting to get excited. My hopes are high that someone will emerge to play right field, that we won't need middle relief, and that Rollins, Utley, and Howard will hit-it-where-they-ain't like they used to do. No pre-season red kool-aid, but after watching Fat Andrew and his team implode and having no winter teams to get excited about it will be nice to hear the crack of the ball coming off the bat.

Enjoy the games!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm going to assume that most Eagle fans have gotten over the loss to the Green Bay Packers. I certainly have stopped laughing about Fat Andrews declaration that he loved prime rib. I mean he probably likes a lot of other foods as well - so what. For those of us who will continue to watch the playoffs the good games start this weekend.

The Ravens/Steelers game has the potential to provide more mayhem than Jared did down there in Tucson as we have a contest between two teams that have no like for each other and have defenses that hit with the intent to maim. Making matters more interesting is that this is the rubber match between the clubs - each having beaten the other once in the regular season. Both teams like to run the ball (unlike a certain large red haired lover of prime rib) which will only intensify the fun for this long suffering fan.

The style of play both of these teams employ almost reminds me of my day when we used a straight T formation and all of the backs ran the ball. Passing was just not a big part of the equation - because as coaching legends like Lombardi and Woody Hayes knew, when you passed the ball many things could go wrong. The first time passing became a prominent part of pro ball was when the AFL was born back in 1959. AFL teams passed a whole lot more than did their NFL counterparts and used wide open offenses. It was an entertaining brand of football, but even the AFL knew how to run the ball and some of the best runners I saw play included Cookie Gilchrist of the Buffalo Bills. Gilchrist who died the other day was a 250 pound fullback who ran angry - much the way Jim Brown did. He enjoyed running over people and did so every week. At 250, Gilchrist was larger than all but the biggest lineman, and he was fast.

Gilchrist began his career in the Canadian League right after graduating from high school, and enjoyed much success during his 6 years up north. When the AFL was born he joined the Bills and helped them win championships. All was not honey and roses for Gilchrist in Buffalo. Cookie was an angry black man and was considered both uncoachable and unmanageable by his coach, Lou Saban. He definately traveled to the beat of his own drum, and because of that did something that helped the civil rights movement more than a lot of peaceful sit-ins and marches did.

The AFL was about to play an all-star game in New Orleans, at that time a city looking to attract a pro team. NOLA at that time was a strictly segregated city, and when the black players landed at the airport the taxi drivers refused to take them to their hotel. The black players had been booked into the Roosevelt Hotel which was a "black hotel". Gilchrist called a meeting of the black players and they decided that they would not play in the game because of the treatment they were getting. The league was beside itself and urged the blacks to play stating that if they didn't play it would be a victory for the segregationist policies of the city.

Much to their credit the players told the league that they would not play. Knowing that without Gilchrist and the other black stars the game wouldn't be much of an all star game so the league transferred the game to Houston, which by that time allowed blacks to stay at the same hotel the white players were housed at.

Lenny Dykstra just can't seem to stay out of the news these days. A story came out today reporting that LA prosecutors have declined to file charges against Nails after his housekeeper accused him of sexual assault, citing a lack of evidence. The 41 year old woman claims that one of duties as Lenny's housekeeper was to give him a blow job every Saturday. (I'm not making this up)

She reported the accusations after Lenny failed to pay her $2000 that he owed her for her services. Now I have a few questions - like how long was she in his employ? And if her Saturday chore was so offensive, why didn't she quit? The 'housekeeper' stated that she didn't quit because she was afraid that if she had, she wouldn't get her money. Uh huh. There are many other questions regarding this but I'll leave that for others to ask since this is a family oriented blog.

Lastly I must report that since the shooting spree in Tucson, sales of Glock 9's are soaring. Gun dealers in Arizona report a spike of 60% in sales of Jared's weapon of choice. What a country!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Part The First: I Can't Watch Anymore

Call me a fair weather fan if you must. Call me anything you like, but I have walked away from my TV. I can't watch any more of the Eagles game - and I'm going to tell you why.

I didn't think the Eagles were going to win today's game against the Packers, and perhaps they will mount a miraculous comeback and squeak out a win. If you believe that then you have been slurping the green kool-aid all day. I can't watch the Fat Boy anymore. Give me a fucking break. It is the 4th quarter and you are down by 11 points. It is 4th and a little more than a yard to go and you call for a field goal attempt. Sure, Akers should have made it, but even if he had you are still down by 8 points. Maybe The Large One can't count, but if you don't believe that your team can run the ball for one fucking yard, then you and your team have no business even being in the playoffs!

I don't care that Reid has been to 77 playoffs. I don't care that he is hailed by most of the idiot pundits as one of the great ones - he can't coach on game day. He has proven that since he got here.

If you go for the first down and don't make it you are no worse than you were before the attempt. If you make it you have the chance to finish the drive and be down by 4. If you make the field goal you still need 8 points which means a TD and a 2 point conversion - the toughest play in football.

(The Eagles have just proven my point with Celek stepping out of bounds before making the catch.)

Somehow, someway, The Fat Boy needs to encourage his troops to find a way to stop Sparks from looking like Jim Brown, and perhaps have Samuel get his head into the game, otherwise, well, we will begin the countdown to Feb. 14.

Well, the Mulligan on the 2-point try didn't work out - so now let's see if the defense can bail The Fat Boy out.

I'll sign off for now so I can suffer through the last 4 minutes of the game. Back at you later.

Part The Second: It's Over

If you are a regular reader you have already seen Fat Andrew's post-game press conference so there is no need to repeat Andrew's signature line -"We have to do better."

Let's face it, the Eagles just are not one of the elite teams in the NFL, and if you don't believe it, review the last two regular season games before watching a replay of today's game. There will be those who will remind us that the Eagles are a banged up team and that they exceeded expectations by getting to the playoffs.

Snow white and the seven fucking dwarfs - I love fairy tales.

There isn't a team in the playoffs who doesn't have a bunch of their players banged up by this point in the season. Winners find a way to get the job done, and losers make excuses before going home. The Eagles are going home - you make your own judgement about their character and intestinal fortitude.

As for my performance this weekend I came in at 2-2. I went 0-2 yesterday and 2-0 today. If I had been gambling I would be down the vig' to the bookie. I will have some picks for next week at a later date. I once again have to remind you that I don't bet any longer because I generally lose - so if you must place a bet with a local bookie, play every game against me and you may win.

It has just been reported that because the Eagles are no longer involved in the playoffs Fat Andrew has accepted an offer from WIP to participate in this year's Wing Bowl. He has been installed as a heavy favorite to win the contest. It has been reported that Andrew routinely eats 432 wings at a time and he feels confident that he can do better in this type of contest than he has shown he can do coaching. Wait.....this just in - NJ Gov. Chris "9 Chin" Christie has agreed to be Fat Andrew's opponent and believes he will win the event going away. Christie, who has been taking the food out of the mouths of poor kids ever since becoming Gov of The Cesspool State, has promised his kids a vacation at the Country Buffet if he emerges victorious at the Wing Bowl. He never breaks a promise to his kids, so let the people of the state eat cake while he's bankrupting the Country Buffet chain (If they can find any cake after he has finished eating his).

This could be the greatest sporting event in modern history and should get network coverage - maybe even in HD-3D. How awesome it would be to see these two human pachyderms in 3D and listening to them in sensaround sound. The NFL playoffs will seem like watching reruns of Captain Kangaroo compared to this. Perhaps we can convince the two of them to appear in sumo outfits, or maybe wrestling tights. Linda McMahon can do a pay per view WWE event on this one. Alka Seltzer and Pepto Bismol would each pay major bucks to sponsor this bad boy.

A Wing Bowl between these two losers would be nice because as far as the long suffering fan is concerned we are about to enter a period of nuclear winter as far as watching sports is concerned. As you know, I refuse to watch any sport that doesn't play a 4th quarter which means the Flyers won't be on my TV, and I've never been high enough to be able to enjoy the current edition of the Sixers. I'll watch some playoff football, especially next week's contest between the Steelers and the Ravens. This will be the rubber match between these two squads and the potential for dead bodies on the field is very real. To say that these teams hate each other is a major understatement so I'll sit back, have a bowl or two of this heavenly hash and hope that there are enough stretchers at Heinz Field to carry all those needing help off the field.

Until next time, take care and don't get caught in one of Sarah Palin's crosshairs.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Okay all you football fans - the playoffs are here and your Philadelphia Eagles are in the thick of it. For you Jint, Cowgirl and Skin fans - all I can say is that your teams are home getting high or whatever they do when they are not playing football. The long suffering fan has plans to watch our birds this weekend, but I will not drink any green kool-aid before the game. I advise you to do likewise. I'm sorry gang, but I found a way to get the Wayback Machine to look ahead and it gave me the post-game Fat Andrew press conference. I don't want to spoil things for you, but I heard a lot of "we have to do better" from the coach. However, the Wayback Machine wasn't built to look ahead and it broke down before the end of the press conference so all I can report is what I was able to see.

FA: I thought we had a solid game plan going into the game, but it looks like we'll have to do better next week.

Eskin: Coach, you mean next season don't you?

FA: Howard, you are always so negative.

Eskin: But coach.......

Bob Costas: Coach Reid, in the entire history of the NFL since the merger, no team has been able to win here in Philadelphia when the temperature in International Falls is below 26 degrees F. Do you attribute todays performance to that or because owner Jeff Lurie ate some tainted pate and had to be rushed to the hospital where reports have him clinging to life only because he has been able to be hooked up to a heart/lung machine.

FA: We have to do a better job all around. We are planning to draft a new caterer for next year.

Missenelli: Coach, history has shown us that the teams who can run the ball are the teams that win in the playoffs. Can you explain why you ran the ball twice today and passed 67 times?

FA: We have to do better, but since we count punt and kick-off returns as running plays the stats end up balanced.

Eskin: McCoy had only one run today...was he hurt?

FA: He carried 1 time for a net loss of 3 yards, and he has to do better. The O-line couldn't open any holes in the pre-game warm-up so I figured they needed to figure out how to stop the pass rush.

Costas: Vick was hit 37 times today - and Desean Jackson caught zero passes - whats up with that?

FA: Jackson is still suffering from hoof and mouth disease and he has to do better. I thought Vick scrambled well all things considered, but this guy Matthews kept getting to him.

Eskin: You seemed to bury yourself behind your play card - what's with that?

FA: Actually my play card is a Chinese food menu and I was attempting to make the right calls from each of the columns on the menu.

At this point the Wayback Machine fizzled out so I suppose we'll have to watch the damn game for the rest of the details.


A warning before reading my picks. I haven't placed a bet on any game for several years because most of the time when I met a guy named Jackie on Tuesdays it was to give him my money instead of the other way around. When Jackie went away for 37 months I stopped betting and stopped losing - so be careful taking my advice. Betting against my picks might be the way to go if you are disposed to wager.

Saturday Games:

SAINTS at Seattle: Seattle is hosting a game despite having a losing record and are 10 1/2 point underdogs to the defending champions. Coach Carroll has complained about how much harder it is in The NFL because of the salary cap that he didn't have to deal with at USC. 10 1/2 is a lot of points to give, but I don't think it will be that close so I like the Saints.

Jets at COLTS: Coach Ryan has made this personal, having stated that he hates Peyton Manning. His QB, Marc Sanchez, has complained that due to the salary cap he made more money playing for Carroll at USC. Despite the Ryan bullshit his team should lay down against the elder Manning brother allowing Rex to get home to his favorite footsy games.

Sunday Games:

BALTO at Chiefs: Matt Cassel led the '08 Pats to an 11-5 record and missed the playoffs. He may wish that his Chiefs had missed the playoffs this year after Ray Lewis and the murderous Raven defense gets through with him. KC did poorly this year against teams with winning records, and they will do poorly on Sunday as well. The best thing about the Chiefs this week are their uniforms, but the classic crimson & gold won't help. Lay the points and ride the Ravens to some cash.

PACKERS at Iggles: Green Bay comes in to the Linc with 15 guys including 6 starters on IR. Despite this, the Pack has been able to play ferocious defense which I believe will spell doom for the Eagles who have the worst O-Line in the playoffs. Clay Matthews, not having to worry about the running game should have a field day hitting Vick. The Eagles also have the worst defensive backfield in the playoffs which should help make the Packer receivers look like Stallworth and Swann did back in the Steelers run of the 70's. I want our guys to win, but those of you looking for a repeat of the Dec. 26, 1960 outcome will be dissapointed. Even if Assante Samuel trys to make a tackle, the Eagles under genius Reid will find a way to send the Eagle faithful home with yet another playoff loss.


Last April, Albert Haynesworth received a $21mm check from the Redskins. As you know he sat out most of Camp Shanahan, failed numerous physicals and ended up suspended for the final 4 or 5 games. He played in a total of 8 games, made 16 tackles and recorded no sacks. ($1,312,500 per tackle!) What a surprise to Redskin fans when they got their 2011 Redskin calender and found Big Al as the January calender poster boy. You can't make this shit up.

The Raiders became the first team since the merger to sweep their division and not make the playoffs. Al Davis has not been told yet.

Finally. The long suffering fan still follows the high school games and frankly is sick and tired of the suburban schools getting all the kudos from the writers on the high school beat. I am sick about seeing 7 Council Rocks and 4 CB teams ranked as the best of the best. These guys don't even consider players from the Phila. Public League when putting together all-everything teams. Well they can finally eat shit and die because not one school they rank as the best of the best is represented in this years playoffs while the Phila. Public League will have 4 players in the playoffs. They are:

Brent Grimes - Northeast High School, Atlanta Falcons
Jahri Evans - Frankford High School, New Orleans Saints
Jameel McClain - George Washington High School, Balto. Ravens
Raheem Brock - Dobbins Tech, Seattle Seahawks.

Enjoy the games! Enjoy the playoffs without the Jints and the Cowboys. Especially enjoy Jerry Jones hosting the Super Bowl without his Cowgirls!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The long suffering fan has had two bad days in a row. It isn't funny so stop laughing. Yesterday AM I got stuck in an elevator in my building with a person who turned out to be claustrophobic. I live in an old building and the elevators can only hold 2 maybe 3 people comfortably. Being old, from time to time they just stop, not caring whether or not they have reached the desired floor or not. The solution when that happens is simple. You take out your cell phone, call the building manager, explain what is going on - and he goes to the roof, does whatever he does and the car starts moving again. So I made the call, and knew that in about 2 or 3 minutes my trip would resume. The problem was that I was riding with a rather large and malodorous woman, who almost as soon as we stopped started having a rather nice panic attack. If the bitch hadn't grabbed me while screaming I would have enjoyed her attack, but it was annoying to have this fat lady holding on to me while screaming for Jesus to save us. It was more than the long suffering fan could handle so I pushed her away telling her that Bob, not Jesus was going to take care of the problem. She didn't like that and turned her panic attack on me. Now this woman spends her time handing out The Watchtower magazine at the 69th St terminal so I had to endure being told of all the terrible things that were going to befall me in the next life because I was a non-believer. All I could do is wonder what I had done to deserve being stuck in the elevator with this whacked out lady. Why couldn't she have been Rasheeda, the new smoking hot resident of the 4th floor. Rasheeda is so hot that the fire department has to follow her around so she doesn't cause spontaneous combustion, and I get stuck with Lady Lardass. Perhaps you are starting to understand why yesterday was not the best of days.

Making matters worse was that the biggest sports news of the day was about the goalie the Flyers were trying to unload. Why would I care about that? I have said many times that I can't watch a sport where every night they don't play a fourth quarter. This is a sport that thinks it cool to play hockey outdoors in the middle of the fucking winter in cold weather cities. What's with that? And how crazy do you have to be to pay money to freeze your ass off to watch a stupid, inane and idiotic game. Somebody needs to explain to Gary Bettman that real games come in either quarters or halves. Your game has to be divisible by 2 - and three doesn't cut it.

So I finally get rescued by Bob, not Jesus and I go into my apartment to read my e-mails. What do I find but an e-mail from Scott. Scott sends me an article from the NPR site concerning the illegal alien problem Israeli is having with people from Africa sneaking in to the holy land. I'm not making this up. Why is my only son sending me anything from the commie pinko tree hugging NPR people, let alone an article telling me that the Israelis (Jews) are having yet another problem with svartzas. (Svartza is the yiddish word for black people - formerly called negroes.) Apparantly the juden are freaked out about this, but not because of what you might think.

Here is the real problem. As you know, when blacks move in, the Jews move out as quickly as they can. (examples: W.Philly, Olney, etc) The Israelis have a major problem because they are surrounded on three sides by Arabs who don't care for them, and on the other side by the Med. They have nowhere like Lower Merion or Elkins Park to run to. This fact tells me that they will have to find a way to deal with seeing their sons with sisters and their daughters pushing baby strollers with mixed babies.

There are positives of course to this situation. By embracing these new settlers the Israeli music scene will improve greatly - I mean how much klezmer music and horas should one have to listen to? I suspect that Israeli sports teams will also become more competitive with the inclusion of these new members of their society.

This is supposed to be a sports blog so I'll mention that Fat Andrew's men are scheduled to play Green Bay in the wild card round of the playoffs. I like the Packers, but I'll try to amplify my reasons in a later blog.

Also on the sports scene Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were elected to the Hall Of Fame. (Stop yawning - I'm not done. If you don't stop I'll ask Roberto to spit on you like he did to an umpire.)

In a sports related story it seems that no matter how low Lenny Dykstra sinks he finds a way to go lower. It was reported that our former hero Nails Dykstra bounced a check to one Monica Foster. Dykstra had hired the lady as an escort - you know just to talk and have drinks with. If you believe that, I have a bridge that I can let you have for a real good price. Foster has starred in several porno films including one called "Flava of Lost", and in a spoof of the Cosby Show which advertised 8 hours of inter-racial sex.

I saw a picture of Miss Foster's derriere, and I must tell you - this sister is the real deal. (Lenny's poor mother) She has posted that not only did Lenny's check bounce but she saw him snorting an unknown white powder. Say it ain't so dude! Lenny's attorney issued a statement that Lenny was unavailable for comment.

I'll close by reminding you that I've had two bad days in a row. Today's bad day can be described by just saying the following. John Boehner, Speaker of the House. Arrrgh - the dark ages are back!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Despite falling apart against the eventual world champion Giants, 2010 has to be considered a successful season for Charlie Manuel's charges. Given the many injuries and the relatively poor offensive performance, Charlie was able to lead the Phillies to 97 victories and another post season appearance. Now with 2010 all but over and with pitchers and catchers scheduled to report in 43 days I thought it would a good time to talk about the prospects for the '11 season.

We have become accustomed to the Phillies being able to put up runs in bunches which made last year so hard to deal with. The team is aging and has had to deal with injuries to many of the key players. This season it will be about pitching, and you have to adore the starting rotation. I have no idea how the 2011 edition of the Phillies will perform, and I won't be drinking red kool-aid anytime soon - even though they have to be the favorites to win the NL going in to the season. You will be able to read in many mags and listen to many pundits predict the candystripers season so I thought I would warm up the Wayback Machine and take a trip to North Philadelphia setting the controls for Dec. 31, 1910. Come along for the ride and listen in as I interview A's manager Connie Mack about his teams chance for the upcoming '11 season.

Sorry for the turbulance, but at last we appear at the Broad Street Station and can go streetside to meet the driver that Mr. Mack has arranged to take us to his office at Shibe Park. Given that we had landed on a gray chilly day and that our car did not have windows, the ride north to Lehigh Avenue was not a pleasant one, but I was anxious to see the ballpark which had opened on Easter Sunday just two years ago in 1909. My driver was a pro and was able to negotiate the trip in about 20 minutes. Broad Street is a magnificent thouroughfare - tree lined and home to many mansions occupied by the movers and shakers of this booming industrial giant of a city. When the driver made the left turn onto 21st St, I got goosebumps knowing that I was just moments away from interviewing the man behind the team some were calling the best team of the day.

Here we are! Wow, even in the gray of winter the park looks awesome. We entered through the turreted main gate and I was escorted to Mr. Mack's second floor office by a security guard wearing a service medal from the Spanish-American War. I wonder if he had been at San Juan Hill.

When I walked into Mr. Macks office I saw a decor that seemed to come right out of Antiques Roadshow. The Keno brothers would be all over his Victorian desk, and would absolutely pass out at the sight of Mack's rolltop desk tucked in a corner. This is where he sat when he needed to get some real work done. Mack was a tall lanky man wearing a three buttoned pin stripe suit, a beautiful shirt with the detachable collar. He graciously offered me a seat, and after the obligatory questions about my trip we got down to basics.

LSF: Thank you for seeing me on such short notice. I know you are busy getting ready for the upcoming season.

Mack: Your welcome young who did you say you wrote for?

LSF: Well, I am sort of an independent writer looking for a story about your champion A's.

Mack: We are indeed the defending world champions.

LSF: Last season your team won 102 games and beat the Cubs 4-1 in the series. Can your 1911 edition top that.

Mack: The core of last years team is back, so I am confident that we will be competitive. Young man, the game is about pitching and I'll put my staff against any. I've got Coombs coming back and you know he won 30 last year. Chief Bender is back coming off a 23 win season, and don't forget Eddie Plank who I think can be as good as anyone.

LSF: 102 is a lot of wins to try and duplicate - you'll need some hitting to go along with your stellar pitching.

Mack: We're gonna have a real good line-up, not too different from last year's. I have Frank Baker playing third, and with his power he might be able to hit 10 or more home runs. The college boy, Eddie Collins - he went to Columbia, has 2nd base covered, and even though the other guys think he is an overeducated snob, he'll do just fine. Stuffy McGinnis is one of the best 1st baseman in the league, and Jack Barry patrols SS as well as anyone, including that guy from the Cubs. We'll hit the ball well, and I expect big things from my outfield trio of Lord, Murphy, and Oldring. We've got two decent catchers in Ira Thomas and Jack Lapp, and my son Earle could provide decent play from the bench.

LSF: Given your success last year won't other teams be gunning for you - making it that much harder to repeat?

Mack: I'll take my chances with a team that beat the Cubs. They did all the talking about how good they were last year, and my boys beat the snot out of them. I worry about that gang from Detroit and Mr. Cobb, however. He is the meanest nastiest guy on the planet, and he likes to hurt opposing players when he slides into a base. Collins will have to be alert because he will be a target of Cobb's. Boston has a decent team with a good young left-hander -- what's his name, oh yes, Ruth. He'll be tough, and he isn't an automatic out when he bats. The New Yorkers aren't quite ready for prime time, and the Browns, White Sox, and Indians should be easy for our boys to beat. We may not win 102 this year, but I like our chances.

LSF: The ballpark is awesome, and has to be a big improvement over Recreation Park.

Mack: Yes it is, would you like a tour?

LSF: Please.

We walked down a flight of steps and soon were on the field. Though the grass was brown and the bases had been removed for the off-season I was impressed. Mack had spared no expense in building Shibe Park even though he could hardly afford this modern temple to the game. I was standing where home plate would be in a few months in what was then the grandest stadium of them all. Yankee Stadium wouldn't open for several years, and until it did this was the standard. As I looked around I saw the seats that many years later my father and I would sit in. (Always the third base side.) I have to admit that I was in awe of this palace and so many memories rushed at me from all sides. There out in center field I would watch a kid from Tilden Nebraska patrol his area with an aplomb he didn't get credit for. If a ball was hit hit to deep center (408) Whitey would more often than not get credit for a put-out. And looking out towards the 335 sign in left I could see Philly native Del Ennis making it look easy. So many memories.

Mack: Are you okay son, you look like you are in a trance.

LSF: I'm fine sir, I was just dreaming about the good times I am going to have in your ballpark when I am a kid.

Mack: What do you mean.

LSF: I thought you knew that I have traveled from the future to see you today. I came here on the Wayback Machine from 2010.

Mack: So, you know how this season turns out.

LSF: Yes sir, I do, but I'm not sure I'm supposed to tell you.

Mack: Well, maybe you could answer one question for me. Am I still the manager in 2010.

LSF: No sir, you are not, but your legend and accomplishments are still held in high esteem.

Mack: You aren't going to tell me about the '11 season are you?

LSF: I can't do that sir, but I'll leave you with this. The fans will have another year of great baseball here at Shibe Park. Mr. Mack, my time here is drawing to a close and I have to get back to my time, or I might get stuck here. I wouldn't want to stay here and end up in a trench somewhere in Europe in a few years. So let me thank you for your time and wish you a successful 1911 campaign.

Mack: Thanks for coming young man, I'll have my driver take you to your Wayback train, but if you want he'll stop at the Automat on the way.
They serve a great cup of coffee at the Automat, and a cup only costs a nickle.

LSF: I'll take a raincheck on the Automat, and thanks again for your time.

There is always Wayback lag when I travel back to our time, but before I take a well deserved nap I'll tell you what I wasn't allowed to tell Mr. Mack. His 1911 A's didn't equal their 102 wins of '10, but did come in with a record of 101-50 finishing 13 1/2 games over the second place Tigers.

Jack Coombs fell three short of his 1910 win totals but managed to bring home 28 victories. Bender had an off year only winning 17, but Eddie Plank won 23. These guys could pitch.

Home Run Baker managed to hit 11 home runs on top of hitting .334. College boy Eddie Collins came in at .365 and a .451 OBP, with McGinnis, Lord, Murphy, and catcher Jack Lapp all hitting well north of .300. The team batting average was a very lusty .296, a number unheard of in this era where .265 is considered a good year.

In the 1911 series, the A's dispatched the John McGraw-led NY Giants four games to two, including two wins over Christie Mathewson. Yessir, our home town heroes brought home the championship flag for the second year in a row. Maybe our current heroes can do it again. The Wayback machine only goes back in time so we'll have to tune in when the candystripers take the field on April 1 against the Houston Astros.

I hope you've enjoyed the trip back and that you will all have a happy and healthy new year. (Now about right field!)