The Rundown

2022 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree selected

Shit if we’re not in December!

Sorry but that’s about all the Yule I can unspool for the time being. I’ll get back with y’all if and when I happen to come across more of the stuff . . . as long as it’s not painted in 80 proof. But seriously, the Rockefeller tree is a fine spectacle no matter what spirit(s) you happen to find yourself in. The peeps who schlep an 82 foot tall Norway Spruce through the rivers of midtown Manhattan are akin to brain surgeons and rocket scientists in my book.

Let’s get to this thing! . . . .

Idaho quadruple student homicide: 'Crime of passion,' 'burglary gone wrong' among possible motives, mayor says

Two weeks in and the quadruple homicide in Moscow, Idaho remains a tragic mystery. Law enforcement officials seem to be going backwards, having returned to the scene of the cold crime this week to lift more prints and repossess vehicles for investigative purposes. They’ve backtracked and sidetracked and basically, they’ve gone off the fucking tracks at this point. And the “we haven’t had a murder in these parts in seven years,” excuse ain’t gonna bring those four kids back. Unless the cops are giving a master class in Columbo, things might just be heading from horrible to even worse.

Japan made the bullet train famous . . . Don Cornelius was the professor of getting down when he hosted the legendary Soul train . . . the O’Jays classic groove had us punching a ticket onto the Love Train the same way Ozzy reminded us how crazy of a ride it really was. And now here come the peeps at the Dartmouth Steam Railway in the UK. These kids at heart are busy unwrapping their Train of Lights for the Christmas season. Check out their practice run.

I folded.

When I got home on Tuesday, there was time enough to catch the second half of the US vs Iran soccer match. I know I had sworn off the Cup because of the locale and the stench that comes with FIFA’s money grab. But this tilt had too much going on. On the one side you had a US men’s team trying to buck history. On the other, you had an Iranian national team that was being threatened by its despotic regime for supporting the protests in Iran. It ended with the US winning a nail biter 1-0; a bittersweet outcome in that we win but those kids on the other side lose more than just a soccer match.

Big props to US men’s captain Tyler Adams for kicking this question to the curb with smarts and class. Nicely played kid.

House Dems finally have Trump's tax returns - Wisconsin News

The House Ways and Means Committee said “Way!” after they finally found the means with which to grab six years worth of Trump tax returns. And no silly, this latest find has absolutely nothing to do with the train wreck of a campaign run that 45 has been warning us all about and which is actually maybe kinda gonna happen now. Nah, the fact that he’s been screwing people over for decades wasn’t important until, oh . . . just now.  The timing of it all is just a coincidence.

Peter Eigner to continue family tradition at BGSU | The Blade

Frank “Beach Walks” Angle is doing double duty for this week’s episode by providing me with our next story as well as the capper that sends us into the weekend. Thanks Cincy.

Peter Eigner is living his dream. He’s a walk-on goalkeeper for the Bowling Green Falcons and he’s never seen a lick of action to this point and that doesn’t matter nearly as much as the journey he took to get here.  Start with the fact Peter was a decent forward at St. John’s Jesuit, but he lacked the speed it takes to play Division I collegiate hockey. This was the opinion of none other than his father Ty, who was an assistant at Bowling Green when Peter was taking recruiting trips while still in high school.

Dad wasn’t being a hard ass, he was just being honest. He was and is damn proud of the young man his son has become and he’s thankful beyond words to have this time because well, it almost never happened.

Peter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when doctors found a grapefruit sized tumor in his abdomen; after which they discovered the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and bone marrow. He was four years old. He lost the next two and a half years of his life to chemo treatments and tests and more chemo treatments. There were bad days and there were worse ones. And through it all, his father Ty learned the two most important things about being a dad; always be truthful with your kids, and always say good night.

All these years later, Peter doesn’t remember much about losing kindergarten and first grade, but he does remember the fight that got him here. And maybe he gets a shot as the starter one day, and maybe he doesn’t. All that matters is that he is going to have the one thing that matters most of all.

A chance.

Just in time for Christmas, the Ralphie Parker house is up for sale and if you’ve got 10 million Red Ryders to spare, it could be yours.

The house that A Christmas Story made famous is being sold for that princely sum and no, Elon Musk is not interested in buying it, seeing as how he ain’t interested in anything outta Cleveland. The 1.3 acre property is living its best life as a museum and any prospective owners would have to be cool with keeping the history alive.

If you’re interested, you should . .  wait for it . . . get a leg up on putting in a bid.

Bullies suck.

Melvin Anderson, a seventh-grader at Buffalo Creek Academy Charter School in Buffalo New York knows this all too well. He was getting the worst of it from some of his classmates because he had the nerve to come to school in a worn out pair of sneakers. Name brand sneakers have been a source of bullying and worse in schools for decades, and so it really wasn’t a surprise that the poor kid was on the wrong end of this status war.

Enter classmate Romello Early, who decided he was going to do something about it. No, Mello didn’t challenge these kids to a fight. He didn’t even choose to shout them down with some trash talk, as much as they would have deserved it. What Mello did instead is why this story meets the second day of twenty-five special ones.

The kid discussed his classmate’s predicament with mom and asked if he might be able to use his allowance money to buy Melvin a fresh pair of sneakers. Mello was willing to go further if necessary, letting her know he was cool with less presents if it came to that. Mom said dipping into his allowance would be just fine, and you know she had to be thanking her lucky stars to have a son who doesn’t just believe in the spirit of Santa Claus.

He’s also the big guy’s sub-contractor.

 

 

 

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner: Das Reboot

The club dining room at Mar-A-Lago is opulence on crack; gold leaf trim adorns every loose corner and cornice. Painted frescoes drape every wall. Persian rugs swim snugly along the floor and million dollar chandeliers float above the space as if silent witnesses to the grandiose pomposity of its owner. Tucked behind a velvet rope so as not to be bothered by club members, former president Donald Trump, Kanye West and white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes dine together. As we catch up with the terrible trio, Trump and Ye are embroiled in a heated conversation about a chillingly dystopian scenario. 

Trump: You can’t run for office! There is no way in hell the American people are going to vote for a reality show celebrity who says crazy, hateful shit. Hashtag DISASTER!

Ye: It worked for you! Once!

Trump: Fake rebuttal Ye! I was winning in a landslide in 2020 until they kept counting the votes. Totally illegal!

Fuentes: Boy, boys, boys . . . you’re carrying on like a room full of Jew lawyers! And Ye, our Leader is right about winning the last election. I was at the Capitol on January 6th and every single person I talked to agreed that it was stolen.

Trump: And there were millions of Americans there that day, but the liberal media wouldn’t show THAT. My people tell me there were 75 million fans in Washington that day! How many votes you think Sleepy Joe got?

Ye: Not 75 million?

Fuentes: It was reported Biden got 81 million but after you take into account the ballot stuffing, the twice counted votes, the dead people votes, the immigrant votes and all the lost votes for Trump, it was more like twelve thousand votes for Biden.

Ye: I ain’t here to stir up no shit, Boss. I’m fighting the same brainwashing socialist devil worshippers you are! All I’m saying is we should be working together. Hell, I’m Nikola Tesla, Jeff Bezos and Elvis all wrapped up in one mighty mutha! What if we ran as Co-Presidents? You take the Oval Office Monday through Friday and I’ll work it on weekends. I’ll turn the Lincoln Bedroom into a nightclub, I’ve been working on the plans.

Trump: Lincoln didn’t have a Co-President and I’m better than Lincoln so the answer is no. Maybe I can fit you in my Cabinet.

Fuentes: Well you know what they say Mr. President, the enemy of my enemy . . .

Ye:  . . Is a Jew!

The three crack up as the appetizer is served.

Ye: Is this what I think it is?

Trump: Chicken McNuggets.

Fuentes: The McNugget proves that whites know chicken.

Ye: I wanted to name my youngest McNugget but Kim wasn’t cool with it.

Trump: We raise our own McNuggets here at Mar-A-Lago. I have been assured it is a completely humane process, not that I asked!

Ye: But I thought they came from some kinda pink paste.

Fuentes: That’s the narrative the Jews and the media would have you believe, but it’s just not true. The McNugget comes from aborted chicks whose bloodlines were compromised by interbreeding. The poultry industry has an exclusive arrangement with McDonalds for this tainted but delicious product. The left has suppressed this information since the menu item was introduced in 1981 by creating this mythological pink paste. They would never admit that interbreeding is responsible for the downfall of mankind.

Ye: Damn, I wonder if that’s why my kids ain’t good at sports!

Fuentes: Your kids are an anomaly Ye, because interbreeding is usually a precursor to athletic prowess. It’s why I believe sports leagues should be abolished. They create the false impression that black people are superheroes while lining the pockets of the Jews who are only too happy to profit off this illusion.

Trump: Can you pass the honey mustard boat?

Ye: My man! How many McNuggets can you fit in your mouth at once!?

Trump: Fifty one. It’s a world record but they won’t recognize it! Just like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Fake Sciences refused to give me an Oscar for Home Alone 2! I have people come up to me all the time who say I’m a better actor than that Hanks guy. If I would have gone into acting, I would’ve been HUGE!

Fuentes: Hanks is a fallen Christian who sold his soul to the Jews, which is why he is exalted in Hollywood. They fall all over themselves when he plays a retard or a Jew.

Ye: My last manager was a retard and a Jew!

Trump: Hanks is completely overrated. He got paid not to talk in that Castaway movie!

Ye: I got paid not to talk by a lot of sponsors.

The main entrée arrives on a solid gold platter: Big Macs and French fries with a variety of milk shakes. Trump scarfs down the rest of the McNuggets before grabbing a couple plates worth of burgers and fries. 

Fuentes: How often do you eat like this?

Trump: Whenever I want a home cooked meal.

Ye: So who you gonna pick for your VP?

Trump: Marjorie is out, she’s too gassy. Sarah was dating her gardener, who’s Mexican, so I can’t take a chance with her. Boebert’s damaged goods with that whole foot fetish movie career she had going. I can’t understand what the hell that Herschel Walker is saying . . .  I’m suing De Sanctimonious for turning against me, Haley said something not so nice about me somewhere so I’ll probably sue her too, and I’m gonna murder Pence . . figuratively? Which one is that again?

Fuentes: It means not literal.

Trump: Oh, I mean literally.

Ye: What about that Kari Lake chick? She’s hot as fuuuu. . .

Trump: Voters think she lost . . she would just drag me down.

Ye: Hell, then Ima be on your short list the way it sounds!

Fuentes: What about me?

Trump: I don’t know you, (winking) remember?

Ye: Okay, how ’bout this? I’ll be your consiglieri, with the understanding that when you decide to step down I take over.

Trump: You might be onto something . . .

 

 

 

In The Darkness Came A Light

Imma take the wayback machine to the winter of 2020, before we reckoned there would be such a reckoning as what happened across a calendar year and more. This post happened after I watched a video of people singing in a small town 4,300 miles away from me. They took the void and filled it with a sound that reached through the darkness and filled it with light. And all that song asked of us was to find the greatness in simple things . . like kindness and understanding, and most of all, gratitude.

This post was born of 4,300 miles worth of string, and two tin cans. 

Kim Kardashian called. She wants her first world problems back.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite as dreadful or hopeless as Vladimir Putin was hoping it might turn out. Unless you hang out on the Twitter or Reddit sites, which I do not recommend you do unless dystopian soap opera plots are your jam. And just so you know, I’m not saying Vlad the Impaler of Hope had anything to do with this virus. His powers are limited to horse back riding without a shirt, eating cinnamon encrusted beef jerky without need for water and fucking with our elections.

Europe currently has a “Do Not Disturb” sign up as it has been hit especially hard. Tom Hanks and his lovely wife Rita are literally castaways as we speak. The Utah Jazz have gotten more pub than if they would have won the NBA title simply by having a couple of players test positive. Americans of all stations and status from coast to coast are providing an ever expanding face to this virus.

You know things have gotten serious when sports get shut down, because nothing gets in the way of our sports. Not two World Wars. Not the assassination of a President. Not even September 11th. But the dominoes which began with the cancellation of March Madness has crept into the NBA and NHL suspending play while the MLB has scrapped spring training and is moving back opening day.

Without benefit of games, ESPN has had to rely on journalism. Which is another way of saying that ratings have plummeted. Casinos are closing. Retailers are posting limits on toilet paper and hand sanitizer purchases. Web MD is currently a more popular site than Porn Hub.

If you’re young, consider this a vacation from the every day. Your immune systems are assembly line peach in comparison to us folks of a certain age. I’m in that notoriously provocative middle earth population of peeps who consider sneezing a four letter word. And if this tunnel doesn’t start giving us a little sunlight, we may have to resort to punching anyone who coughs inside our bubble. Nothing personal, of course.

And really, that’s the whole thing right there, isn’t it? This isn’t personal, unless we really want to make it so. Because right now, as a species, we still have the ability to stoke that fledgling spirit inside us that believes humanity is a pretty okay place to be. Even on its shittiest days, the world usually gives us something to latch onto. Hope really is riding shotgun, idiomatically speaking. And now more than ever, this is happening if we extricate ourselves from dark web searches for toilet paper and hand sanitizers. If we just let ourselves consider that human beings have been through a hell of a lot worse than this. Hell, we somehow survived the election of 2016, after all.

Let’s just sit back and take a deep breath, and let’s consider someone who has tested positive. Let’s think about what their families and friends are going through right now before we whine about not having picked up extra beer and chips in the event we’re holed up for a couple weeks time. Let’s just put ourselves in someone else’s head for a simple moment, and do something novel inside a time when looking out for yourself has become status. Let’s pray for them. That they make it through this thing with nothing more than a lousy t-shirt. Humanity is the only inventory we should be concerned with right now. Because to my way of thinking, the darkest of times is when the light is needed most. So it’s okay if our grocery list consists of a little humility, a little compassion and a whole lot of gratitude.

There’s a town called Siena, tucked inside a hilly region of Tuscany between the valleys and the clouds. Italy has been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and so the residents of this charming little medieval arrangement of castles and cathedrals have been relegated to their homes as a result. But rather than bemoan this solitary existence fraught with ever more daunting scenarios, the people of Siena fixed themselves on a different approach. On the night of March 13th, one of the quarantined residents let loose with a song that floated from one window to another to another . . until the entire street was draped in music.

So this one little song from this one little town, I gotta think maybe it was telling us something. Maybe it was telling us that to dwell on the bold font headlines of gloom and doom is to miss the point. Maybe instead of focusing on what we are inside these moments, maybe we should focus on something much more powerful.

What we can be.

 

Going Halfsies On The NFL Season: Now Streaming On WordPress!

The Three Stooges Football 8x10 Glossy Photo | eBay

We’re at halftime of the 2022 NFL season and what have we learned?

Player safety still matters to the league, the network talking heads and the players . . even if it’s more lip service than a Botox clinic. Meanwhile, instant replay is the biggest oxymoron since reality television was invented. Officiating resembles a pledge drive for Kim Jong-un, Jerry Jones should marry the sound of his voice and for such a quarterback driven league, how comes I only trust Mahomes and Burrow at winning time?

Colts Punt

As for what yours truly learned? Not much.

I predicted the Arizona Cardinals wouldn’t be the third team in as many years to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium and at 4-6, it looks like a pretty good bet. But really, saying the Cardinals won’t win it all is like saying Vladimir Putin won’t win a Nobel Peace Prize. There’s no limb to go out on here.

I agreed with Vegas on the Bills, Bucs, Chiefs, Packers and Rams because I am a simple man. How’d that work out? Glad you asked . . .

  • Bills- They’re a Netflix docu-series in cleats, which means that falling in love with them might kill you.
  • Bucs- Tom Brady looks forty-five years old and so do his teammates.
  • Chiefs- He is to contending status what Tom Cruise is to box office.
  • Packers- I’m glad Miami didn’t trade for Aaron Rodgers because that would have been SO Miami.
  • Rams- They won it all last year after which they turned into a Dario Argento flick.

I thought the Bengals would have a tough time getting back to the big dance after last year’s near hit. A hat tip to the inimitable George Carlin. . . yes that’s right.

After Cincy sent me a ton of threatening emails, I backed off on doubting the Bengals . . pretty much. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t right about the Dolphins and Ravens being in their way. Rather than leaving well enough alone, I tinkered with the idea the Jags, Broncos, Raiders and Colts would be . . . wait for it . . . good! You’d have been better off pushing all your chips into FTX. And I haven’t mentioned the Jets surprising 6-4 record until right now because I believe in Elvis Santa more than I believe in New York.

American Rhetoric: Movie Speech: The Wizard of Oz - The Cowardly Lion on Courage

In the NFC, I really didn’t like anybody. A half season’s worth of games hasn’t changed my mind either. The Eagles are solid if not spectacular, the Cowboys are the kind of product you would peddle on Shark Tank, the Seahawks are more fake than a Florida Man tan and the Vikings and 49ers have great uniforms . . but I feel as if the conference is Reservoir Dogs to the AFC’s Pulp Fiction ; fun to watch but not my first option. If I had to choose my favorite, Imma go with my Wizard of Oz meets Jimmy the Greek fever dream wager and place exactly no money on the Lions to shock the football world. And I haven’t mentioned the Giants surprising 7-3 record until right now because I believe Tupac is tending bar at the Tropicana more than I believe in New York.

How to Watch Chargers vs. Dolphins on November 15, 2020

If you thought I’d conveniently forgotten my pick to win it all, don’t be silly. In spite of their lackluster performance thus far, I’m sticking with Justin Herbert and his dreamy hair to carry the Chargers to the promised land. This phone conversation might explain why . . .

“Hello?”

“Yo, it’s Miami!”

“Hey baby, wassup?”

“Who’s LA to you?”

“Just a friend baby . . just a friend . . . I promise,”

“That ain’t what I’m hearing. I heard you’re talking about LA all the damn time!”

“You know who my bae is, so why mess with the stress?”

“Can’t you see I’m breaking my back out here!”

“And I love that about you. Don’t you know that?”

“I don’t see LA beating Buffalo. Hell, I don’t see LA in first place but guess who is?”

“You are,”

“Damn right. And Imma prove everybody was wrong about me . . .”

“You do that baby, you do that,”

The Rundown

Silhouettes of people standing on a high observation deck in front of the full moon

Welcome to the last Rundown of November, as Santa gets to stepping on all his propers while shoppers bargain and retailers put the peddle to their year long mettle. Meanwhile, the temps here in the East are finally catching up with the date on the calendar, which is kitschy for cocoa but not so much for those of us who appreciate flip flops.

The above capture comes to us courtesy of The Atlantic, and if I gave you a million guesses to figure out where this meeting of earth and outer space was taking place, you would only need the first one. New York City, of course; from on high at the EdgeNYC Observation Deck on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan. The shot was snapped in Hoboken, as if Sinatra was writing the lyrics.

Let’s get to Friday . . .

What is the Real Cost of the World Cup?

I don’t want to be obstinate about not watching the World Cup, but shit if they don’t make it impossible to do so. Once every four years, I give a flip about the sport for more than ten minutes, and it’s the World Cup’s fault. Until now. This has nothing to do with those silly Christmas wish list commercials starring Jon Hamm as Santa Claus in which Fox Sports pretends the US Men have a chance of grabbing gold (They don’t). No, the reason I can’t watch is because the dirty business of Qatar is starting to make the IOC peeps look like boy scouts. FIFA sold its soul to a filthy rich country that treats women, laborers and gay people like criminals. Read up on how many workers died in the leadup to the games and you’ll be saying thanks but no thanks right along with me.

Division III Football: Gallaudet Wins ECFC Title, Clinches First Playoff Bid | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

There’s another football field in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where a Division III college team will take the field to play Delaware Valley University in the opening round of their playoff tournament tomorrow. The Gallaudet Bison are in the postseason for only the second time in school history and the first time in a decade. This small private school outside of Washington D.C. is special in a way none of those big league FIFA teams can match.

They’ve battled illness, which swept through a quarter of their roster last month, and they only have three full-time coaches on staff presently. And yet, here they are and these kids believe here is just the start. Their head coach Chuck Goldstein hasn’t used his whistle since he got to campus. That’s because Gallaudet is a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. They rely on a big bass drum and sign language since words carry no weight. And that’s more than okay with this group, because they’re winning with a most novel approach in this day and age. By leaning on each other.

They’re proof that actions speak louder than words.

 

Leave it to Jon Stewart to encapsulate the Kanye/Kyrie imbroglio with his razor sharp wit. His interview with Colbert is pure genius as he deftly weaves between comedy and honest social commentary. I was a fan of this guy thirty years ago, but I have to tell you, he’s gotten so much better with age.

Frank “Beach Walks” Angle sent me this one. It’s how people in Michigan deal with subfreezing temps and a shit ton of snow. They make buff snowmen whilst attending football games. This young lady’s work is impressive as all get out, but her gloveless “ain’t no thing” attitude leaves me whatting my whats! The only person more shamed than me is that fat bastid, Frosty the Snowman.

There was an announcement from some guy down in Florida that took place on Tuesday but for the life of me I can’t remember what in the blessed hell it was about. I even left a reminder to myself in my draft folder which read “Address the HUGE announcement by that guy in Florida on the Rundown this Friday!”. . . . and while you would think that would be enough to jog my memory, nope. The front page of the Rupert Murdoch owned New York Post was having just as much trouble as I was remembering who this guy was and what he was going to be announcing, so they went with Florida Man.

I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do.

How to win at Scrabble: tips from two world champions | News Review | The Sunday Times

The peeps at Scrabble have updated their word count by more than 500 of the little buggers, and it’s sure to lead to mayhem across the land as players get used to the new normal. I am here for that!

A top five favorite ‘o yours truly? Sure why not . . .

1- Thingie- It was only a matter of time
2- Verbing- They understand me
3- Bae- Mmm Hmmm
4- Fauxhawk- My submission in that contest to rename Washington’s football team
5- Welp- It’s about damn time!

Len Johnson is never going to own the front pages or score the top spot on the cable news shows, and it’s a good bet he’ll never trend. Never mind that he’s earned a Purple Heart, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and a Presidential Unit Citation. No, all he’s ever going to be remembered for when his time on this planet comes to an end is the positive difference he made in the lives of so many people on a daily basis.

A former Marine, Lance Corporal Johnson was sent home from Vietnam after suffering multiple wounds in a firefight. He was all of eighteen when he lost the use of his left foot while staring death in the face at a time when many kids his age were preparing for college. But what the war took from him pales in comparison to what the man has given back to the world ever since.

He’s been a volunteer for the organization Disabled American Veterans (DAV) for fifty years now. This involves checking in on veterans in and around the Philadelphia area and lending a helping hand. Sometimes it’s groceries and sometimes he’s driving them to a doctor’s appointment and sometimes it’s just a conversation. Johnson does the little things that mean so much and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. And as Saint Vincent is my witness, he also visits veterans who have been incarcerated and drops off toys for the children at the Catholic Workers Orphanage.

So what do you give the man who has given everything?

A group of local veterans along with the folks at TrueCar answered that question when they gifted Johnson with a brand new Chevy Traverse. It will replace his twenty-year old minivan that had logged more than 300,000 miles. They presented him with his new ride at a small gathering of family and friends, far from the spotlight and the headlines and the crush of a madding crowd. The smiles provided the answers to all of life’s big questions, the hugs were the most finely written of scripts and the words were simple ones, full of love and honor, gratitude and service. The lesson was simplest of all.

Chase the quiet of great things.

 

Tell Me Your Fantasies And I’ll Tell You Mine

Fantasy league football is God’s way of saying “I got nothing! “.

If you’re not familiar with the game, you should probably stick to Netflix chilling. Don’t get me wrong, the endeavor is kitschy and amusing, but it’s also horribly redundant when you consider we live in a world where questions as to what is real and what is fake already take up way too much of our brain matter. Fantasy football takes reality and squeezes it into an unnatural paste that compromises many a fan’s enjoyment of the sport. Good thing for me I don’t watch much football and possess a half-ass (at best) knowledge of the players. If I was any more blissfully ignorant, I’d be in Congress.

The history of fantasy football dates back to 1962, when a part owner of the Oakland Raiders got together with a few of his pals and a shit ton of alcoholic beverages in a New York City hotel room and came up with a game based on players statistical valuations. That lost weekend has become a $70 billion dollar industry that gives fans yet another reason to love the game, and hate it too. Both.

I’ve partaken of this curious netherworld once before and I acquitted myself rather nicely with a playoff berth. After which I was unceremoniously discarded by an opponent who chose his players based on results rather than by whether or not their names would fit in a Tarantino flick.

The ass kicking was a reminder that some peeps take this shit seriously. They read up on the numbers and watch videos and a lot of them even play in several leagues simultaneously. I refer to these folks as psychos . . . sorry Frank.

There are a million different leagues with a million different rules out there and for the purpose of this blog post I will ignore all of them. My league worships at the altar of the running back position, which runs counter (pun intended) to the actual sport, where running backs are afterthoughts compared to quarterbacks and wide receivers.

My original lineup was plenty good, or so I thought. I had guys like Aaron Rodgers, Keenan Allen, Jaylen Waddle, Najee Harris and Kyle Pitts. It was peach street to my lying eyes, after which the season started and my pie went rancid. Outside of Waddle, who’s been a solid keep, I gave the Luca Brasi treatment to the rest of these dudes. Aaron Rodgers played like Mr. Rogers on hallucinogenic tea. It was easier to spot Bigfoot than Keenan Allen this year thanks to a hamstring malady. Najee Harris played like Franco Harris, which ain’t good considering the latter is 72 years old. Kyle Pitts, as it turns out, is aptly named. I was able to turn those deplorables into some righteous gets; namely Jeff Wilson, Miles Sanders, Isiah Likely and the future Mayor of Chicago, Justin Fields. If I was a real general manager for a real football team, my acquisition of Fields would’ve meant season tickets to the Lyric Opera House, my own booth at Gibson’s and a shared hedgerow with the Obamas. Instead, I’ll have to settle for a winning streak. Whatevs.

After a forgettable start, I fought my way back to 5-5 with a chance to make the playoffs, where anything can happen (Read: Imma get my ass handed to me). That’s another problem with fantasy football. It’s damn near impossible to cheat your way to victory. The best I could do on this count was offer an opponent a bottle of Hennessy if he sat Josh Allen for our tilt. I also engaged in some trash talking with another opponent in a failed attempt to make him forget he had a couple players to switch out on their bye weeks. Alas, my record has nary a “Gate” but mucho mediocrity.

Next year I’m joining a Chess Club.

The Rundown

Swirling lights appear in the night sky above a northern town.

The above snapshot is courtesy of The Atlantic and it shows the northern lights doing their thing across the night sky in Tromso, Norway. It brings to mind the moody sway of that erstwhile astronomer of pen and paper, Jack London. Dig this quote.

With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow, this song of the huskies might have been the defiance of life, only it was pitched in minor key, with long-drawn wailings and half-sobs, and was more the pleading of life, the articulate travail of existence. It was an old song, old as the breed itself–one of the first songs of the younger world in a day when songs were sad.

That right there is a high five to the heavens . . it’s a Vitamin Si Si shot to the soul . . it’s our lips whispering in Gods ear. And its how we jump into Friday . . . .

Since the dogs took over this spot last Friday, Imma start this week’s episode with the story of Koda and the magic pumpkin. This special fella was diagnosed with terminal cancer after a mass was found in his intestines. He lost seven pounds during chemo treatments so mom began feeding him cans of pumpkin squash. Hundreds of cans and one scan later, the mass was gone. The family credits the diet regimen, which Koda now keeps to, because why mess with that kind of success?

McDonald's Launches Promotion for McCrispy Ultimate Gaming Chair - The FPS Review

Okay, we are officially screwed.

McDonalds unveiled its very own gaming chair as part of a contest giveaway in the UK. It comes with grease proof leather, dedicated dip holders, a burger “heat zone” and french fry holsters. And if I devote any more time to this monstrosity, my head will explode.

Officer DuChaine visited 1-month-old Kamiyah in the hospital.

The first Christmas gift of the season was delivered to Kansas City when police officers Richard DuChaine and Charles Owen responded to a call and ended up saving a life. One month old Kamiyah Allen had stopped breathing and the two men were able to resuscitate her using CPR. “The baby was so small, she looked like a doll,” Owen said.

Kamiyah was suffering from RSV, a respiratory illness which has spiked in the US over the last two years with children being the most affected. Thanks to these heroes of the week, she’ll get to celebrate the holidays. So I’m sending her the very best of wishes just a little bit early.

Merry Christmas young lady.

Pennsylvania Senate election results 2022: Did John Fetterman or Mehmet Oz win?

I was wrong about Fetterman. The democratic senatorial candidate from PA outlasted Dr. Oz in one of the most forgettable battles since the Jaguars took on the Jets. And unlike an NFL contest, this one actually matters. 600,000 of those Fetterman votes were placed before that ill conceived debate but that’s not what sealed this deal.

Fetterman dominated his blue plate specials while stealing scraps from the red tables across the state. And it didn’t hurt one bit that he was able to draft Josh Shapiro, who nabbed the Governor’s mansion because his opponent Doug Mastriano proved too extreme even for many Republicans. The PA results mirrored a lot of the country in that the big inroads the GOP had promised for the midterms never came to pass: In spite of the fact history was on their side and inflation is the only robust thing about this economy.

Not for nothing (since nothing is what it’s worth) but Trump backed candidates got what they deserved.

A Christmas Story Christmas' Trailer & Poster: Ralphie Confronts The Holidays As A Dad – Deadline

Ralphie is back!

Fans of the iconic A Christmas Story can celebrate the movie’s 39th anniversary this holiday season by feasting on the long awaited sequel. The cast will include five of the original members, including Peter Billingsley in the lead role. I never saw the original and Imma choose Violent Night as my movie going fare, but it’s still cool to see the excitement associated with fans of the classic Christmas tale.

Kyrie Irving Apologized to LeBron James for Behavior When They Were Teammates | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Kyrie Irving posted a link to the film Hebrews to Jews: Wake Up Black America, which portrays Jews as Satan’s best friends. When he was called on it, he pretended he was the smartest guy in the room by insisting he couldn’t possibly be an anti-Semite because of his ancestry. What this coddled dope fails to realize is that a family tree doesn’t give you the right to post hateful content. His refusal to apologize was followed by an apology, of course. This guy is a tired act.

Kyrie’s one time running mate, LeBron James, wants us to know he can no longer root for the Dallas Cowboys. Reason being? Owner Jerry Jones won’t let his players take a knee during the national anthem. Okay fine. I think players should be able to kneel if they want to, but I also know that Jones gets to make the rules since it is his team. Just because I do not agree with Jones doesn’t change this fact. But what lands LBJ here is his assertion that he made this decision for moral reasons. In the same breath, he said he will now root on the Cleveland Browns. The same Cleveland Browns who employ Deshaun Watson; who currently has twenty-four women alleging sexual misconduct and assault against him.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Widow Tracks Down Fallen U.S. Soldier's Old Toyota Celica to Surprise Teenage Son

The Cincinnati Kid is back with this Veteran’s Day special that puts everything in perspective. I usually post a music video at the end of my Friday episode, but for today, it’s Steve Hartman and the kids sending us into the weekend. It’s a story that happened back in 2017, but the message is right on time.

Justin Rozier was nine months old when his father Jonathan- an Army 1st Lt.- died in Iraq in 2003. As a boy growing up without a father, there were countless times when he was reminded of the tremendous void in his life. When he was fifteen, he told his mom Jessica what he wanted more than anything; he wanted to find a car his dad once drove. Any car would’ve been fine with him but the way he talked about his late father’s ’99 Toyota Celica convertible made the ride seem like a winning Powerball ticket.

Which is the kind of luck it was going to take for mom to track it down since she sold it after her husband’s death in order to make ends meet. She posted the vehicle information on Facebook in the hopes of getting a bite. Before long, some people in Pleasant Grove Utah became the other end of a magical line when they found the car. Kyle Fox who runs a non-profit called “Follow the Flag” decided to double down. So they bought the car and then got to work on it.

I’m not gonna give everything away, but let’s just say their labor of love was a great big thank you to all the brave men and women who serve as well as the families that keep them strong.

Here’s to our heroes.

Making The Empire Evil Again!

The Shadow of the Yankees' Evil Empire still looms over baseball - Pinstripe Alley

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .

The Yankees used to be despised on a level Darth Vader could only dream of. They were damned on Broadway, vilified on the silver screen and despised by rival teams, fans and writers everywhere. Mike Royko, the legendary columnist for the Chicago Sun Times once opined “Hating the Yankees is as American as apple pie, unwed mothers and cheating on your income tax,”. In 2002, the President of the Boston Red Sox Larry Lucchino made Yankee hating an iconic paradise when he referred to the Yankees as “The Evil Empire”.

Those were the days.

And then the unthinkable happened; the Yankees became just another team. There’s still plenty of hate thrown their way these days, but it’s simply not the same level of intensity. That’s what happens when you win one measly championship in twenty one years . . . and when you lose to your ancient rivals in historic fashion, after which you stop beating them in the postseason altogether . . . and when you don’t fire a manager every six months . . . and worst of all, that’s what happens when a rival club starts hogging hardware whilst being an enmity magnet in its own right.

Tragically, the Bronx Bombers have lost their mofo. So Imma dish up a 10-step plan that will (hopefully) return the Yankees to most hated status.

Hey . . . a boy can dream.

1- Elon Musk buys the Yankees. You gotta admit, you hate them more already. I do too and I’m a fan!

2- The prevailing opinion is that the Yankees will outbid every other team in order to keep Aaron Judge in the Bronx. Problem is, he’s thirty-years old and injury prone and he’s going to cost enough to pull half the cities in this country out of the red. All the zeroes attached to his next contract will be rewarding him for a once in a lifetime season, and that’s not good business. It’s time to thank him for his services and move on. Unless it’s the Red Sox, in which case we’re gonna have to pay him.

3- Of course we can afford the money Judge is gonna demand. That’s the point. By not rewarding the most popular Yankee since Jeter, fan bases across the map are gonna hate us. This will be especially true if he’s beating up on the National League next season. Unless it’s the Mets, in which case we’re gonna have to pay him.

4- In the best case scenario, Judge signs with a club that is at least a time zone removed from the Bronx. If and when this happens, we figure out how to get Shohei Ohtani. Sell the farm, literally, to get him to New York, and then pay him more than you offered Judge. This will engender even more vitriol. Now we’re cooking!

5- Sign FA Carlos Correa. Yankees fans will quickly forgive the former Astros sins since he’s a sensational player. Every other fan will call us Satan Inc. Mmmmmm.

6- While it would be sublimity squared to sign free agent shortstop Trea Turner away from the Dodgers, we already filled that position with Correa. That ain’t gonna work. So . . . we just buy the Dodgers instead. A tidy 4.5 billion will get ‘er done.

7- Since we’re supping for salt mines, we’re going to buy the World Champion Houston Astros while we’re at it. Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em!

8- Our unprecedented free agency haul sets us back a cool 6 billion plus, but it has added a couple hundred wins and a world title to the roster. After which we sell off our redundant positions in order to replenish the farm system we sold away earlier.

9- With a payroll approaching one billion Steinbrenners, the Yanks are slated to pay a couple hundred million in luxury tax penalties as per MLB rules. No sweat, since we’ll just use the money we fetch from our real estate investments in Houston and LA to cover things.

10- Charge Twitter users who won’t pledge their allegiance to the Death Star extra.

I realize there’s no guarantee this sinister plan of mine brings the world series trophy back to the Bronx, but all I know is Darth Vader ain’t walking through that door any time soon and welp . . .

It’s my only hope.

 

 

Joe Pesci Reads Today’s Birthday Horoscope!

Scorpio Zodiac Sign: Horoscope, Compatibility, Careers & More

Yo . . . Scorpio! Ya gonna have a pretty great fucking day, as long as you don’t open ya trap. Because you know what happens when ya start yapping. Somewhere along the line, your brain ain’t communicating with ya mouth and before long, there’s a shit factory happening and you’re producing a surplus! Also, don’t get involved in any property matters today because you’re really not very good at them. Same goes for tomorrow, the next day, the next week, the rest of the year and well . . I hope ya get my fucking point by now.

If ya keep a positive mindset, da sky is da limit. But since it’s damn near impossible for you to do so, keep ya feet on the ground and stay inside all day. But since you don’t get along with common sense . . at all . . if you really wanna face your fears on your special day, go out for Mexican. Invite your in-laws. And oh yeah, do some tequila shots before they get there. Oh shit, nevah mind! I forgot! You did that last night!

At work you might be challenged, but you can use your expertise to problem solve the shit out of any obstacles that come your way. And if that doesn’t work, you can always sleep with da boss. And if that doesn’t work, collecting unemployment for a couple months ain’t the worst thing that could happen. My Uncle Tony did that after he lost his job breaking the kneecaps of degenerate gamblers. Actually, he lost his job because they wasn’t degenerate gamblers, they was late in returning their videos to Blockbuster.

Remember that you only live once. Oh no, that’s not right. You only die once.

 

A Million Miles Away And Closing Fast

Welcome to Iowa state road sign Stock Photo by ©alexlmx 101851732

There are some days when I feel like the world really is the matrix; an elaborate and complicated labyrinth of shushing doors and dimly lit hallways that lead to a master lab where a billionaire God runs things with a CPU that processes quintillions of operations in the flap of a hummingbird’s wings.

Okay, there are many days when I feel this way.

I’m not saying we’re artificially generated beings with a predestined flight pattern that takes us from conception to calamari with nary a wiggle’s worth of holy shitake with which to rewrite the final score. Nah, that’s too orthodox for the trip we’re keeping to. The fact that we hurt and we ache and we bleed means we’re more like organic compositions with enough roust for the joust.

Truth be told, the mysteries of creation are as infinite as Nick Saban’s recruiting list. I grew up believing the world had been fetched from a fledgling filament that filibustered its way out of a galactic dark room. Some of the most brilliant students of the cosmos, and Albert Einstein, have disagreed with this theory. Their argument, put simply, is that you ain’t getting something out of nothing.

That’s where my matrix idea comes in. It exists in plain sight because we’re so busy contemplating how we got here that we never considered why. Thousands of years ago, the search for that first dusty footprint involved serious old men sitting around smoking their brains trying to figure out who rolled this joint into being. Hundreds of years ago, that search resulted in the invention of the telescope which allowed for a nuanced interrogation of the stars. Last year, on Christmas Day no less, the James Webb space telescope was launched. And as captivating as the images it captured were, when it comes to the biggest question of all, humankind is still . . wait for it . . in the dark.

I happen to believe we were highjacked by a more advanced species at some point in our distant or not so distant past. This holistic takeover was undertaken in the name of what else? Science! These superior beings, we’ll call them Martians for lack of a less dramatic name, rolled us across this plush swatch of green like a hot pair of dice at a high stakes table. Which makes us a templated test kit that grew out of its britches with a reckless ferocity, much to the delight . . . or dismay, of our silent masters. I guess they’ll sic one of those asteroids on our asses if it’s the latter. I don’t know and you don’t know and neither do those white lab coats, in spite of their caviar budgets and champagne trips to the outer limits.

But when I question things, it’s not God I’m sitting across from. It’s the million little tells we overlook because we’re so busy trying to crack the cosmic case, the same way Agent Kujan swung right through the hanging fastballs Verbal Kint was serving up in The Usual Suspects. 

A top five list of things that make me go What’s up with That? . . . Okie.

1- Glitching- As defined, this means an unusual occurrence that cannot be logically explained. In the last decade alone, we’ve experienced President Trump, a perennial title contender in Beantown and the image of an ordinary egg that earned the most Instagram likes . . ever.

2-Mirror Images- We get caught up in the idea of doppelgangers while the experts claim the odds of a perfect facial match are one in eight trillion.  But that doesn’t explain how Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley could stand in for each other in the same Broadway production (they haven’t . . I don’t think) and get away with it. My point being, exact replicas are scant but reasonable facsimiles are everywhere. Which is exactly as it would be if we have carbon copies in the cosmos.

3-The Mandela Effect- The dude didn’t die in prison, but many would wager money that he did (I haven’t wagered any dough on this . . . I don’t think). Just as many people grew up reading the Berenstain Bears while many other people grew up reading the Berenstein Bears. Hmmmm.

4- Universal Laws- Says who? Our scientists or some other planet’s game makers? Or is it both?

5- The LA Lakers Magic Johnson vs the Boston Celtics Larry Bird had to have come from a simulation. It was just too fucking perfect.

All I really know for absolute-ish certainty is that we are blood and guts because the Rambo movies told me so. I also know we are incredibly fragile, vulnerable creatures because Hallmark is still in business. And I know we’ve got a soul because opera makes us cry. The rest is going to remain a mystery to me until the lights go out. After which I’ll wake up in a biodome on some space outpost with a huge sign welcoming me to Iowa and rewarding me for my involvement in the Earth project with a million years worth of steak, bourbon and smokes.

I’ll chill with the questions.