Sunday, October 29, 2017

All Hallow's Eve

First, did you miss me?  Thought not, well I'm back.

I love Halloween.  
My childhood memories of Trick or Treat 
and the time leading up to it 
always brings a smile to my face. 

The smell of burning leaves, 
the crispness of the air at night, 
pumpkins everywhere, 
football on Friday nights,
 all take me back to that wondrous time.

I remember planning for Trick or Treat.

Should we start by knocking on nearby doors or should we creep out first to other neighborhoods?

Do I bring an extra bag or run home to dump my tasty treasures before the re-load?

Will I be the one to find the KRNS Mystery House and win the transistor radio or am I too late?

Will the Hines Lumber Co. Guesthouse be out of the Botan Rice candy before I get there?

Is Dr. John still giving out FULL SIZED candy bars??

Are there any "big kids" dastardly pilfering treats from younger doorbell ringers?

Will Mom let me stay out later this year?

Who will bring the biggest bag of bonbons to school the next day?

Enough reminiscence, I need to complete my spooky decorations.  Yep, I am that house on the block, the one with all the window decorations, lights, and inflatables - looking forward to all the Trick or Treaters to come knocking at my door.

And now I leave you with a quote from Ray Bradbury's Halloween Tree:

“They banged doors, they shouted Trick or Treat and their brown paper bags began to fill with incredible sweets. They galloped with their teeth glued shut with pink gum. They ran with red wax lips bedazzling their faces. But all the people who met them at doors looked like candy factory duplicates of their own mothers and fathers. It was like never leaving home."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

An Image To Forget

Here you go NFL, this is the face of your league for the next year.
Nice choice....

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Get It Right!

In recent years the all star games for many pro sports leagues have become jokes, mostly due to the leagues' own doing.   Allowing the fans to pick the players is NOT the best method to recognize the best of the best.  Last year's debacle with the voting scam devised by a tech-savy Royals' fan topped the list of just plain dumb moves by MLB.   Time for reform.  It has been suggested that making the fans vote worth 33% of the tally, the player's vote 33% and sports writers the final 33% would recognize the deserving.  I like it.  Fans still have their say, but the true insiders have the majority of the weight.  I have previously ranted about the ignorance displayed by MLB in last year's all star game, so I won't beat that dead horse.

But take a look at the recent all star games....

The 2016 version of the NFL pro bowl looked more like a touch football game than an actual tackle game.  I know, people don't want to get hurt, but geez make it look like a real game.

An even bigger laugh was the NBA All-Star Game!  I went against my own advice and actually tuned in during the ending minutes of the game.  I saw players taking the ball out of bounds, throwing length of the court passes to teammates "cherry picking" at the other end of the court.  All this in an effort to break 200 points.  Two hundred points??  Did anyone even attempt some defense?  But, what do you expect from a league that makes the poorest excuse for a defensive player the 2015 league MVP?

 The NHL may have just about got it right.  Their 3 on 3 tournament format was entertaining start to finish.  But it wasn't without controversy.  John Scott, a 9 year journeyman enforcer, was selected by an internet campaign that saw him garner the most votes.   The numbers put the C on his chest for the Pacific Division.  The problem?   He wasn't even on an NHL roster.  He had been sent down by his club, the Coyotes, to the AHL.   He was recalled and then traded to the Montreal Canadiens, who promptly sent him down to their AHL affiliate.  Uh oh, according to the rules you must be on an NHL roster to be eligible for the game.  After a fan uprising, the NHL allowed Scott his spot in the all star line up.  What did he do with this opportunity?  His team won the tournament and he was selected as the MVP.   Cinderfella?  I would say so.

Additionally, Red Wing Dylan Larkin wasn't voted in by the fans to compete in the fastest skater competition, but his captain, Joromir Jagr, knew better and placed him in the event.   How'd he do you ask?  Won it all, setting the record for the fastest time ever recorded in the event.

Fans vote by affiliation, not by who is actually deserving.

As Sheryl Crow sings it, "A Change Will Do You Good!"  Time for the pro's to get on board.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Mind Control

     It has been interesting to read that my disdain for Cam Newton is all due to his race. Or so I am to believe.  The politically correct police have told us that we dislike him and his actions because we have a certain mind set towards Black quarterbacks.   Hmm, could it be we just don't like him due to his antics, history, and most importantly his beating the Ducks in the National Championship?  I find it totally ridiculous to tell me what to think - or why I think as I do.

Psychoanalysis for the masses via the media, a feeble attempt at mind control. 


Sorry, not drinking the Kool Aid you're mixing.

Let us take a look as to the foundations of my contempt for all things Scam:

1. The laptop theft at Florida.
    Newton was in on the theft of a fellow student's laptop worth $1700, and then threw it out the window when officers arrived to investigate.  He had used his login name on the computer to access the university's network which made it easy to trace it back to him. 
2. Academic cheating
   Newton turned in a paper after changing the real student's name to his.  Caught, what was his solution?  He bought a paper off the internet and turned it in.  And, once again, he was caught.
3. Turning tail
   Set to appear for a hearing in front of Florida's Student Conduct Committee, Newton ran off to Blinn College rather than face up to his academic fraud.
4. QB for sale
   Well publicized, Daddy Cecil shopped Scam around to D1 schools to the tune of $180,000.  Wait, isn't this amateur athletics?  I guess we can now put a price tag on potential Heisman trophy winners.
5. Beats Oregon
     He was a member the Auburn team that beat the Ducks in the Natty.  I am well within my rights to despise him and his team.  I still have full contempt for the San Francisco Giants who demolished my Tigers in the 2012 World Series.
6. His celebration antics
  Ahead or behind after he scores, he dances and celebrates his accomplishment.  Yes, I am old-school, believing that a spike in the end zone or a jump bump with teammates is sufficient celebration enough.  However, some of his "dances" have lasted as long as 10 seconds, a little over the top.  

As much as it hurts me to say, he is a phenomenally talented athlete whose skills I marvel at.  But, his self-promotion, his road to stardom, and his need for individual attention make me less than a fan, NOT HIS COLOR!

So all you analysts who see racial hate as a motivator for all dislikes, you will not shame me into joining the Cam Newton fan club.

And....he beat the Ducks.....

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Time For A Course Correction

I was 17, driving past the capital building in Boise early on a weekend morning looking for street signs when an old man on a bench droned, "You're going the wrong way..."  I had been concentrating so hard on the street signs that I had missed the one way sign.  I quickly whipped a U turn, found the correct sign, and headed off toward my destination.

Much like my Idaho adventure, it appears my Detroit Teams are also headed in the wrong direction.

The Tigers finished a dismal season by declaring that manager Brad Ausmus would return in 2016.  I had been a backer of Ausmus until the last month of the season when I saw pitching continue to spiral downward.  It's time for a "new voice".  In conversations with a Dodgers fan, I expressed my hope that LA would fire Don Mattingly and the Tigers would grab him as fast as they could.  Nope, new general manager Al Avila gave a vote of confidence to the current skipper.  The Dodgers and Mattingly mutually parted ways and this led, of course, to the Marlins courting Donny Baseball for their head man.  One good note, the Marlins are a dead end and Mattingly could be available after a season or two.

1 - 7,   the Lions current record, if not for da Bears, they would be 0 - 8.   Time for a big shake up - more than just firing the offensive coordinator and line coaches.  The buck stops with the head man.  Jim Caldwell doesn't look to have the answers and the band aid approach of firing assistants isn't going to change this team.  The defense is dismal, the offensive line a sieve, and the running game is non-existent.   Combine that with the same technique problems at QB and you have a team headed for the number one draft pick next April.  Have some guts, turn the page and re-tool from the front office down to the coaching staff.  Beating that dead horse, as long as the Fords own the team, it will flounder.  They just don't seem to have the ability to hire quality front office people who then can't hire a long-term head coach.  Can anybody say Matt Millen?

The Red Wings, my best hope for Motown salvation.  Watching my free preview of Center Ice (won't even think about subscribing until they broadcast all games in HD), the rebuilding Wings show promise.  Dylan Larkin is a star in the making, the 19 year old is exciting to watch.  In stark contrast to the Lions and Tigers (can I get an oh my?), the head man of the Winged Wheels, Ken Holland, is the Dumbledore of hockey.   This headmaster knows how to magically get the most out of the organization's players.  Looks like they are likely to extend their play off streak to 25 in a row, but take their lumps in getting there.

The Motor City counts on their sports teams to provide something positive to hang their caps on. Team owners need their version of that old man on the bench letting them know they are going the wrong way.  But, they have to read the signs and follow what they say...

Friday, July 3, 2015

MLB All-Star Game, A Travesty

First, in answer to all my faithful readers (OK, both of you), I have not been abducted by aliens. I have been, well, just uninspired.  Oh sure, I have had a few ideas roll around in my head, they just fell out one orifice or another.   But, get ready, the bear has been poked and here is my latest installment.

Turning the midsummer classic into a joke, AL voting by the fans has been, in reality, some computer geek digitally stuffing the ballot box.   Too many Royals heading up positions that should, by all rights, belong to another deserving player.

Let's take a look at the voting leaders by position;

C - Salvador Perez, Royals
     Sal is hitting .263, respectable for a catcher, but Stephen Vogt of the Athletics is at .290 with 53 RBI's - 25 better that Perez.  Geez, Sal isn't even the 2nd best statistically, he ranks 3rd behind Vogt and Brian McCann of the Yanks.

1B - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
    Right where he belongs, leading the vote.  But don't look now, former Tiger Prince Fielder is tied with Miggy with a league leading .365 BA.  I'm willing to bet there will be a throne for the Prince in Cincinnati.

2B - Omar Infante, Royals
     Here is where the obvious ballot bunching shows up.  Infante is hitting .231 while Jason Kipnis of Cleveland is clobbering at .347.   C'mon is this ridiculous or what?

SS - Alcides Escobar, Royals
     A .273 hitter, his year isn't too bad, but compare to Jose Iglesias of the Tigers hitting .326.  Not even close!

3B - Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays
     OK, I buy this one, JD is hitting .300, Moustakas of KC or Machado of Baltimore would be fine, as well.

OF - Mike Trout, Angels; Lorenzo Cain, Royals; Alex Gordan, Royals
     Agree with Trout, a .303 hitter.  No to Cain (.298) and Gordan (.265).   Add Brett Gardner, Yankees (.304) and Nelson Cruz, Mariners (.303).

DH - Nelson Cruz, Mariners
     Make a switcheroo here, move Cruz to the starting OF and add Prince Fielder at this spot.

MLB commissioner Selig needs to take the voting out of the hands of the public and put it back where it belongs, in the hands of the players themselves.   This year's ballot is proof. 

And those are some seriously ugly hats!


Lastly, do you think Pete Rose will throw out the first pitch?  Don't bet on it.....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Just Say No!

     Not one Redwing on the bench for the 2015 NHL All Star Game?  What a crock, nice move NHL.  You are telling us that the team with the 5th best record in all of the NHL doesn't deserve at least one representative?  On top of that, they are the only team without a roster spot. OK, fine, let them take a few days off and return renewed and refreshed for the second half of the season.  But, for me, I am disappointed not seeing one Winged Wheel sweater on display in Ohio.  I'll be skipping the game, hope you do too.