Last October, sometime after Game 6 of the NLCS, right after my baseball high had crashed back down to earth (Damn you, Roy Oswalt!), I began to look forward to the upcoming College Basketball season. Actually, I looked forward to it until I remembered that the Illini squad had lost Deron Williams, Luther Head, Roger Powell, and Jack Ingram. Those subtractions to the Illini did not make me happy (Nick Smith finally leaving, on the other hand, made me ecstatic.)

Before the season began, I said I'll be happy if Illinois wins 20 games. And I will be damn impressed if they win 25 and make the Sweet 16.

But for the 972nd time this year, I am reminded why I don't bet too heavily on sports: Because I apparently have no fucking clue what I'm talking about.

Going into tonight's game, the Illini are 19 and 2. Nineteen and two. From a team that I (and I wasn't alone on this, either) did not honestly think would break 25 wins. Bruce Weber... Damn, that man can coach.

Tonight, the Illini go for sole possession of first place in the Big Ten as they face off against the Badgers of Wisconsin in Madison. The Kohl center was formerly one of the more intimidating places for a team to play at (but not for an 18-year old to see a Phish concert in.) That, of course, was before last January when the Fighting Illini rolled into Madison and beat the Badgers on their own floor, snapping their 38-game home winning streak in the process.

Lately, The Grateful Red has been a little less boisterous and the Badgers have been much less than their formerly unbeatable selves at home, as evidenced by a loss recently to the Bisons of North Dakota State.

[side bar - One of my favorite moments of my recent trip to Mexico was sitting pool side on Sunday afternoon, reading the sports section of the Miami Herald (which for some reason is the paper of record in Mexico) when I came across the college scores and needed to relay the news to Lionel Hutz, Illini alum and fanatic, who was sitting across the pool from me.
Me: "Hey! Wisconsin lost...At Home!"
Hutz: "To who?"
Me: "North Dakota Fucking State!"
Some Drunk Redneck Woman from West Virginia Who Was Sitting In The Pool Drinking: "Wha!?! North Dakota State? Big Ten sucks."]

So tonight, at 6 pm, I'll have the TV tuned to ESPN, as I watch the Illini try to advance to 6-2 in conference play and gain sole possession of the conference lead.

I suggest you do the same (unless, of course, the Illini wears orange and Wisconsin wears red; something which happened not too long ago and caused me to get a motion-sick like feeling while watching the game. If that happens again, you should just catch the highlights on Sportscenter or something.)

[Today's Illini fun factoid: Since leaving Illinois prior to the 2003-04 season for a more prestigious school, Bill Self has gone 61-22 while coaching the Kansas Jayhawks. Bruce Weber, during the same time span at Illinois, has gone 82-11. Also, Bruce Weber is not a huge douche. Bill Self is.]




My New Favorite Rumor (Non Fleetwood Mac Edition)

It's only Monday afternoon and my week has already been made. Hell, my entire year may very well be made if this rumor comes to fruition. Thanks to Pat Imig's "Monday Morning Memo" over at Joe Sportsfan, I can now giddily tell people:

"Bobby Knight may be the next head coach at the University of Missouri. And I am not making that up. Maybe someone else is, but I am not."

As the rumor goes, Knight recently purchased a home in Columbia, MO, sparking speculation that "The General" may be taking over the Mizzou hoops program next season. It actually makes perfect sense. Knight is a Mid-Western guy who enjoys hunting and fishing in Northern Missouri, and his good friend Tony LaRussa is only a short drive down I-70. Other than the fact that he is under contract with Texas Tech until the end of the 2008-09 season, I can't think of a single reason why this would (and should) not happen. Knight would probably have no problem getting out of said contract with Texas Tech (I'm not sure why they still have contracts in sports anymore...it seems as if no one actually fulfills them) and would hand the Red Raider program over to his son, Pat Knight, who has been waiting in his father's wings to run the program for quite some time.

Bobby Knight roaming the sidelines in Columbia. I can see it now. And it looks glorious.

"The General" coaching the Mizzou Tigers makes me excited for one reason, and one reason only: I am an Illinois fan.

And the Tuesday night before Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year. "Busch Braggin' Rights" day.

The Illinois-Mizzou rivalry should be the stuff of legends (I've written enough about it already) but under the watchful eye of Quin "That's one 'n' in Quin, guys" Snyder, the Mizzou basketball program has become lackluster and mediocre at best; and an all out orgy of drugs, bad hair, and recruitment violations at worst. I have not heard, nor could I ever imagine hearing, any Mizzou backer pleading the case that Snyder should be brought back into the program for next year.

Enter Bob Knight. The Anti-Quin, if you will. It can never be said that Snyder runs the tightest of ships. Knight, on the other hand, does. You better fucking believe he does. If anyone can clean up the mess in Columbia, it's Knight.

Knight has proven very recently that he can turn a program around. His Red Raiders are now a perennial top-25 caliber team. And I'm sure he could do the same in Columbia.

If (and I'm trying to remember that this is a huge if) Bob Knight comes to Mizzou, cleaning up the slew of recruiting violations and NCAA sanctions that Snyder will have left in his wake will be job number one. Installing an actual "system" involving an "offense," "set plays" and "defenses" (all of these terms appear to be foreign to the players currently on Mizzou's roster) will be job number two. Third, of course, will be recruiting. If anyone will be able to rebuild the Tiger's troubled program, it's Knight.

I love the annual "Busch Braggin' Rights" game. (They sell freaking shots of jager in the stands during the game, for Christ's sake. How can you not love that?) But considering the fact that it seems as if Illinois has won the last 78 or so contests between the schools, if there is another year of the game being ridiculously uncompetitive (like last December's 32-point blow out win by the Illini) the game will begin to lose a lot more than it's luster.

It will lose it's status as an actual rivalry game and become "that game every year when Illinois dominates Missouri and all of the Illini faithful get drunk and taunt the Mizzou fans."

No way does Bob Knight let that happen if he's in charge of the Tigers. No way in hell.



Cardinals MySpace Mania!

With an appreciative tip 'o the cap to Liam from over at Hey...Listen, I give you three reasons that I am concerned with the future of the Cardinals franchise:
  1. Anthony Reyes
  2. Tyler Johnson
  3. John Rodriguez

Yes, Major League Baseball players with freaking MySpace profiles. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Afterall, it seems as if MySpace was created solely for the purpose of helping people hook up with others, and lord knows that if I was a professional athlete, I would be an absolutely horrible person and would be having sex with with every single woman (or, for that matter, mayonnaise sandwich) that I could.

Anyway, as far as the profiles themselves go:

J-Rod's (oh...how I loathe that nickname) page is exactly what I figured it would be. Pictures of rather attractive ladies with large chests, him with his crew, and some motorcycle pics. Plus, he has always struck me as the type of guy who would take a picture of himself while standing topless in front of a mirror... and as it turns out, he in fact is. Yikes.

Tyler's page is actually kind of cute. You've got Wayne Hagin's call of his MLB debut and lot's of Cardinal's stuff all over the place. Also, he may or may not be friends with Al Hrabosky's daughter, so he's got that going for him... Which is nice. It's obvious that he's enjoying playing for the Cardinals. Good for him.

Anthony's page, however, is the one which causes me the most worries. I just don't think that the Cardinal's most highly touted pitching prospect since Rick Ankiel should have pictures of himself doing shots (jagermeister?) on his MySpace profile.

[Insert easy Sidney Ponson joke here.]

Just take it easy out there, Anthony.

Be young, awesome, and have a hell of a time, but for the love of crap, take it easy out there.


Quick (And By Quick, I Mean Long) Thoughts From Mexico

[note - sorry for the extended absence, everyone. getting back into blogging after a break is generally hard to do. plus, i really need to find a job, so that is kind of taking precedence at the moment. anyhoo, here are the highlights of the trip. it's hard to give highlights to a trip to someone who wasn't there, but i did my best. i hope it's not too laborious. cheers.]

The night before I left, The Lady Friend and I were having a nice little dinner at McGurk's (well, it was nice except for the fact that "40 Years" was stuck in both of our heads and I could not keep from giggling every two minutes because of it) when I noticed that Jason Isringhausen was sitting across the room from us, also enjoying a nice little dinner.

That's when it dawned on me that in 18 months of living in St Louis, that was the first time I have seen a Cardinal out and about in everyday life. I don't know how that had happened. From what it sounds like, John Rodriguez basically pimps himself out all over this city, yet I had never seen a single Redbird outside of Busch Stadium. I had a premonition then and there, that I was in for a good trip.

(Also, although I did think about, I was able to control myself from booing Izzy as he left McGurk's, something which I would have had to have done if I saw him last October. Fucking Izzy.)
Dennis Quaid, Injury McProne, and myself all had a 6:30 am flight out of Lambert. Which meant, of course, that we needed to be there at 4:30 in the god-damn morning. While we were waiting in the terminal, sometime around 5:15 or so, we spotted two guys in the early 30's or so, sitting around, killing time (we assumed they were reading Maxim or Stuff. They just looked like those types of guys.) A few moments later, two other guys who looked rather similar approached them. At that moment, their leader (I could tell he was the alpha male by his sweet new Razor cell phone which he continuously flaunted) cried out "The Party Crew has assembled!"

I'm not sure if I need to say (er, write) this or not, but proclaiming (at 5:15 in the morning, no less) that your group of friends (who you have entitled "The Party Crew" or just "The Crew" if you're into the whole brevity thing) have "assembled," delves heavily into the world of douchbagerry, and requires a through making fun of.

Thus, when we noticed, some 15 hours later that "The Crew" were actually staying at the same resort as us, we decided to mockingly name ourselves "The Association" and whenever we met up for meals, drinks, tennis, etc., we found the need to say loudly "The Association has convened!"

And once, while getting ready to play volleyball, I yelled out "The Association will play volleyball!" within earshot of The Crew. The Crew then began giggling and pointing at me for making such an unbelievably lame statement, making it one of the rare "making fun of a guy who is actually making fun of us" moments which will eventually cause a rip in the space time continuum.

Here's to you, "The Crew," your awkward gathering at Lambert Airport gave me an easy joke to use every moment that I was in Mexico, and for that, I am forever in your debt.
We had not been in Mexico more than 45 minutes before I had one of the most awesome conversations I have ever had while riding on a bus:

Dennis Quaid: "I don't know if I should tell you this or not, but I just saw a truck with a monkey in it."
Me: "You just saw a monkey driving a car?"
Quaid: "No, it wasn't driving...it was sitting shotgun. But it did have it's arm out of the window."
Me: "Was it smoking a cigarette?"
Quaid: "No, but it should have been."
Me (to Injury McProne): "Hey, Quaid just saw a monkey driving a car."
McProne: (Shaking his head) "He's an idiot"

And from that point on, our trip became a trip built on nothing but lies. Every comment said or story told would eventually get topped by something more outlandish before someone would almost be forced to say "And Dennis Quaid saw a monkey driving a car!"
Our first night at the resort, The Association were all sitting around the poolside bar, telling stories, slamming drinks and all out rocking, when perhaps my favorite line of dialogue from the whole trip came into play:

Cookman : "So, how far away is the Great Barrier Reef?"
Me : "That's in Australia, dude."
Cookman : "Well, this is like the second longest great barrier reef or something."
Chad Sexington : "I think this is called the Good Barrier Reef."
Johnny Dangerously (formerly known as Willie Tripod) : "Or the Decent Barrier Reef."
(Everyone laughing and pointing at Cookman for not being worldly enough)
Cookman : "Shutup!"
I don't know why nobody told me this before I left, and, honestly, I'm pretty freaking upset that I wasn't informed, but apparently Boston Celtics jerseys are as good as gold in Mexico.

Which is how it came to be that I was able to trade an Antoine Walker #8 jersey for a $60 wooden mask (of course, as far as practicality goes, more can be done with a cheap Celts jersey than a Mayan mask, but I still firmly believe that I got the better of the deal. Sucker.)

Anyway, before my next trip south of the border, I'm loading up on cheap American sports jerseys, and I suggest you do the same. If a 'Toine jersey goes for $60, what, I wonder, would an actually good player's jersey would get you? Espactaculo de burro?
I lost a lot (and I mean a lot) of brain cells during the trip. I guess drinking for twelve hours a day, five days in a row will do that to someone.

By the third night, I was having an extremely difficult time forming complete sentences and found an unbridled, almost primitive joy in making my wine glass make noise.

It was very similar to what happened to Elaine when she gave up sex on Seinfeld. I was (figuratively, of course) staring at those spinning tire, clapping my hands and giggling along.
While coming back on a skiff from a snorkeling expedition through the Good Barrier Reef, I noticed something floating in the water about 200 yards away from us. Dramatically, I turned around, pointed out towards the object, and yelled out "SOMETHING!"

Chad Sexington, immediately after hearing my helpful cry, began laughing hysterically. "Something?" He said through his laughter. "That's the best you could come up with? Something?"

"It's better than what you came up with, " I retorted, "...nothing."

As it turned out, "something" ended up being nothing but an old gas can floating along with the waves, and our skiff captain, Diego, seemed a little pissed that he spent his time rescuing a damn gas can.

As I said earlier...I lost a lot of brain cells on that trip.
In case anyone was wondering, there was no clear cut winner in the Great Wedding Mix Off, however, my CD was played for about an hour during the wedding reception, so I think that makes me the winner. So there.

Also, in what was one of the greatest honors of my life, I was allowed to pick the song for the bride and groom's first dance. I went with "A Minor Incident" by Badly Drawn Boy, which was lovely. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that I will never forgive myself for not dropping a "Renegade" by Styx into the CD player.

God, that would have fucking rocked.
In case anyone was wondering, Gulia has no bellybutton.

She has a scar.

She was born with her intestines outside of her body, in a sack.

When they put them inside of her, they put her appendix in the wrong place.

If it ever explodes, she's a goner.


I'm sure this condition has an actual medical term to identify it, but I am way too lazy to look it up (although, according to her, this exact same thing was recently on an episode of Grey's Anatomy.)

And that's the end of that chapter.
As for the wedding itself, it was absolutely unreal/beautiful/other cheesy adjectives. Being married on the beach has cemented itself in my mind as the best possible way to get hitched.

However, Lionel Hutz was a bundle of nerves/hangover (he had to be physically helped to his room the night before) and was forced to leave the wedding reception after about an hour to go sleep/puke.

Gulia spent her wedding night slamming Dos Equis and playing Catchphrase with Johnny Dangerously, Chad Sexington, a Bridesmaid (who refuses to take her husbands last name out of sheer laziness...I can respect the hell out of that) and myself until 2:30 in the morning.

One hell of a wedding night.
On the final afternoon of the trip, The Association found itself sitting on the beach drinking beers and Miami Vices (50% pina colada + 50% strawberry daiquiri = 110% heaven) and discussing how little anyone wanted to leave. It was during this time that the following exchange occurred:

Dennis Quaid: "I have to pee, but I don't feel like walking to the bathroom."
Injury McProne: "You should just pee on the beach then."
Johnny Dangerously: "Why don't you go stand on that stump and piss right there."
Quaid: "Then I could just wash up in the ocean!"
McProne: "See, it's a good idea!"
Me: "Great idea!"
Dangerously: "Fantastic idea!"
Quaid: "I'll do it!"

And so it came to be that Dennis Quaid pissed his shorts while standing on a stump in broad daylight.

Twenty minutes later, a family of four came over and posed for a picture on that very stump.

That may or may not have been the highlight of the trip.

[buonas tardes]

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I'll Leave You With This

Since Will over at Deadspin had to unleash "Sweet Shaun Alexander" (yes, set in tune to "Sweet Home Alabama") upon the sports blog-o-whatever, I figure I should counter him with this song, the worst sports tribute song of all time.

Generally, I try to embrace anything and everything pro-Cardinals, but a Busch Stadium tribute song set to that stupid Five For Fighting/Disney Credit Card commercial is too much.

"Its '82 ...for a moment...Ozzie and the Birds are ready to play...Whitey Ball everyday...Celebration on our minds."

Honestly, I love the Cardinals and I loved old Busch Stadium more than any man should ever love a building, but this song literally makes me want to vomit.

Thank the Lord I never heard this during last season because I would have found whomever wrote it and killed them.

Killed them dead.

And with that, I'm gone...


I'm Out.

I'm closing up shop and getting ready to head out the door. Thirteen hours from right now, I'll be hopping in the car and heading for the airport. Next stop, Drunksville.

If I make it back alive (and that may very well be a huge if) I promise you a complete and thorough re-cap.

And if you think I'm not pulling out this trick while I'm on the beach, you're out of your mind (thanks for the idea, Ace.)

Also, the Cardinals just re-did Jason Marquis' contract, giving him $5.15 Mil+ this upcoming season.

This new deal makes Jason the highest paid Jewish pitcher who had a losing record last year in all of the major leagues.

Congrats, Jase.

Hasta la vista, babies.


You Have Got To Be Fucking Kidding Me

With an appreciative tip o' the cap to Rob The Bouncer over at Clublife, I give you these guys.

Rob has basically made his mark on these here Internets writing about the clubers and ass-hats who regularly visit the club in which he works. I have been reading his blog for about a year or so now (and if you are not already, I highly suggest that you do) and whenever he has written about club patrons I have always pictured the typical "striped shirt guy" and "$30,000 Millionaires" which I all too frequently run across here in the Loo.

While I don't particularly care for those fellas, I always wondered why Rob got himself all worked up while dealing with them. As it turns out, he is dealing with a different beast altogether: Guidos.

Shit, if I even had to look at (let alone deal with) these guys every day at work, I would have offed myself years ago.

Good. Lord. (note - both links have sound. Awful, awful sound.)

More power to ya, Rob. You're a stronger man than I.



The Great Mix Off of 2006

48 hours from right now, I should be pulling up to my hotel room in Tulum.

As any good travel agent would put it: For an evening or a week, there's no place like Tulum. Sun, spirits, and sacrilege, Tulum has it all!

Or does it?

Not quite. What Tulum is lacking in is mix CDs. Actually for all I know, they have more mix CDs than one could shake his or her sticks at. But, come Wednesday, there will be even more.

Thanks to a hot little idea created by Willie Tripod we are having a mix CD off.

That's right...It's a mix off.

Each participant makes a mix CD and burns enough copies for the other participants. After all mix CDs have been heard, the council votes and a winner is determined. What does the winner get? As of right now, only rights (but you know how much I love Rights.) Another prize (such as a free Irish Carbomb or eight) will probably be given out as well.

The front-runner for best mix is Cookman [pronounced kook-man (he once wore a Halloween costume which was nothing more than him having messed up hair, acting like an idiot, and wearing a shirt which said "Cookman" across the front of it. Get it? He was kooky! Unfortunately, he misspelled it "cookman" and he went through the evening hearing snide remarks like "where's your spatula, Cook-man?" or "Whose leg do I have to hump to get an omelet around here, Cook-man?" Good times, great oldies.)]

Cookman has long been into the mix scene producing classics such as "Lonesome Andy," "Laid Back Tunes, " and the upcoming "Corporate Ecstasy." No, I did not make any of those titles up.

I made my list as I normally would: with lots of flow...peaks and valleys, man, peaks and valleys. However, I did not want to fall into the trap of "hey, we're going to the beach... let's make a beach tape!" So there will be no Jimmy Buffet or Bob Marley, as much as I love them both. I also left off Phish's "Fee" and Ween's "Bananas and Blow" after deciding that they too are just a little too beachey.

So here's what I came up with, titled "Five Nights in Mexico (Lionel Hutz and Gulia get Hitched):
  1. The Bends - Radiohead
  2. Haiti - The Arcade Fire
  3. For You - Bruuuuuuce Springsteen
  4. I want You - Bob Dylan
  5. But Then Again No - Shout Out Louds
  6. That's Entertainment - The Jam
  7. Tired of Being Alone - Rev. Al Green
  8. It Must be Love - Madness (yeah, I only know about this song because of a fucking commercial, sue me)
  9. Kid Charlemagne - Steely Dan
  10. What is Life - George Harrison
  11. What a Wonderful Man - My Morning Jacket
  12. Picture This - Blondie
  13. A Minor Incident - Badly Drawn Boy
  14. All I Need - The Temptations
  15. If You Leave - Nada Surf
  16. On a Night Like This - Bob Dylan
  17. Let it Rain - Eric Clapton
  18. Showdown - Electric Light Orchestra (ya gotta end big)

Head on over to the new and improved iD1G1T if you feel like listening to any of the tunes (or any other tunes, for that matter.)


Also, if you feel like spreading a little of your love around, head on over to The Phat Phree and give me some nice little votes for the Shocker article.




A Prelude To A Trip

I'll be perfectly honest with you: I've got nothing.

I have no idea what's going on in the world right now.

Australia invading Iceland? I wouldn't have noticed.

President James K. Polk has risen from the dead and gained control of the majority of the eastern seaboard? Huh...how about that?

The Packers have signed me as their new head coach? Whoopty-freaking-do.

How has it come to this? How has Al Fritz, admitted news junkie and info hound turned a deaf ear to all of the worlds happenings?


Five days from right now, I will be sitting on the sunny beaches of Tulum, Mexico with a Mojito in my hand and a pound of sushi in my belly. And it's all I can freaking think about.

On Wednesday, myself and nine of my closest friends will be flying into Cancun International Airport and taking a ride down the Yucatan peninsula, destination: Paradise.

Six days and five nights on the Riviera Maya, all inclusive. Thursday night, two from our group are getting married on the beach. The rest of the time there...it's all play.

Since the majority of my friends put up a front that they are decent, upstanding individuals in order to gain and keep employment, I'm not going to use any real names describing our tales on this here slice of the Internet. However, since in real life we are all a bunch of idiots, tales will indeed need to be told. So, code names are in order.

If you personally know me or any of my friends, these won't be hard to figure out. But, hopefully the man won't be able to get them.

Here's the cast:

Zeus - Real Estate Mogul.
Smells like hummus.
Likeys the ladies.
Will be richer than God someday.

Cookman - Salesman/Aspiring Actor
Gyrates incessantly
May or may not be Mr Arnold from "The Wonder Years"
Peoria Area All-Metro Offensive Line, 1997.

The Double J - Tall, leggy blonde.
Can drink me under the table.
Engaged to Cookman.

Chad Sexington - Master baiter.
May or may not be my cousin.
Tans in the nude.

Dennis Quaid - Loan jockey.
Has swimsuit reading "Suck My Wake" on it's ass.
At six years old, he took karate lessons. Quit when the Sensei would not let him go pee.
Looks frighteningly like Dennis Quaid.

Willie Tripod - Biggest dick in three counties.

Played Lacrosse in college.



Injury McProne - Looks like DJ the Gardener from "The OC"
Also looks like that Luis Guzman guy.
And Teddy Bruschi.
More groin/hernia/knee surgeries than
JD Drew.
All Midwest Soccer, '97.

Alex Fritz - Big moron.
Thinks Mr Met is the best mascot ever.
Tender, giving lover.
Is me.

Gulia - May or may not have a belly button.
Surprisingly good at "Tiger Woods 2004."

Lionel Hutz - SIU School of Law alum.
Once hospitalized after drinking gin and
potato soup.
Speaks in the third person.
Peoria Area All Metro Soccer, '97

That's the cast. This is going to be a rough few days to get through. I honestly can not hold a thought in my head for longer than three seconds without stopping to think about the beach.

"Yeah, boo-fuckin'-hoo, Al, ya bastard. Must be rough," You're probably thinking. "Getting ready to go down and be pampered in the sun, while I'm up here freezing my ass of and working. I feel real fucking bad for 'ya."

Well good. You should.

(Have a nice weekend. See you Monday.)




Dateline: Friday night, two weeks back.

It was 9 pm and, since for all intents and purposes I have no friends (face it, I've alienated all of you over these last few months...I just needed to put it in print to make it official. Thanks, guys), I began deciding what I would do during the evening before I passed out on my roommate's stupid overpriced couch. I could: A) Drink a bottle of whiskey, play Sonic the Hedgehog, cry, and masturbate; B) Take four Excedrin PMs, play Mega Man, send text messages, and masturbate; or C) Drink a bottle of whiskey, take four Excedrin PMs, cry while sending text messages, and masturbate.

While deciding which route I would take to Nappytown, USA (Choice C was the winner. It almost always is), and hoping to find a Girls Gone Wild commercial, I grabbed the remote to see what I could get on the TV to jump start my self-mutilation fest.

Quickly, I came across a College Basketball game between Bradley University and Wichita State University on Fox Sports. Since Bradley is from Peoria, IL (yeah that's P-Town, baby...my ol' stomping grounds) any game of theirs which I happen to stumble across on TV automatically gets five minutes worth of my attention. That night's BU-WSU game, however, was an instant classic; featuring a buzzer beating 3-pointer by BU guard Daniel Ruffin to send the game into overtime before WSU came up on top, winning 69-67 in OT. It was one of the more enthralling games I have watched all season. Needless to say, I made it from tip-off to final buzzer of the game before I started to make sweet, sweet love to myself. And good Lord, was it sweet.

Now, there is only really one reason why I remember any particulars from that contest (more often than not, booze + sleeping pills = forgetful.) It's because of one of those team's nicknames. It was so offensive, and so supported by that particular school's student body, that the actions I saw that evening will be etched in my memory until my death in 2047 by cyborgs sent back in time to kill me and you (yes, you) by Marcus Vick (will his crime spree know no end?)

I can't believe it has gone this far.

Yes, Bradley University goes by the nickname "Braves." Can you imagine the gall that that University has? A school located in a city (Peoria) and a state (Illinois) both named after the Native American Illiniweks, actually using a nickname which helps promote and reflect courage, honor and excellence upon our Native American forefathers. For shame, Bradley University! No wonder the NCAA demands that you change your nickname!

I want you, America, to get down on your knees and thank God/Buddah/Yahweh/Allah/Ramakrishna that the NCAA is here to be our moral compass. Our voice of reason, if you will. There to keep terms like "Braves" away from the decent, hard working people that John Mellencamp sings about. Pink houses, baby! Pink fucking houses!

And while the Braves vile nickname continues to sicken me to no end, it was not their nickname which held my interest for lo these two weeks. It was the name of their opponents: The Wichita State University Shockers.

That's right. I said it.


As in Shocker (n.) - The act of inserting 2 fingers (preferably the pointer and middle) into a woman's vaginal opening and 1 (the pinkie finger) into the anus. Also known as "Two in the pink, one in the stink."

As I sat back on my couch, wondering how in the hell "The Shockers" is still an acceptable nickname, the television camera began to pan the crowd at Charles Koch Arena (that's another article altogether.) The more the student body was shown on TV, the more I began giggling. It became obvious that someone, somewhere was playing a joke on me.


Clearly, I was being made to look quite the fool. No way in hell do ten thousand people, all in unison, perform the motion which symbolizes not only sticking two fingers up a vagina, but also sticking a pinkie finger up a butt hole.

No fucking way they can get away with that.

No way that gets by the FCC.

And yet, it happened. And the Shockers march on. No censorship by the Government. No fines or restrictions by the NCAA.

That's when it became apparent to me: The state of Kansas, and to be particular, the folks at Wichita State, have pulled one over on us.

We slept on them, and they got us. Naming their college team after a sex act! That's tremendous stuff, right there.

If the Shockers make the Sweet Sixteen this year, that will be the furthest a sexually provocatively named team will have advanced in any competition since Teen Wolf's Beacontown High "Beavers" won Regionals.

Well done, Wichita State. I really didn't think you had it in you.

As for the NCAA, the message being sent, essentially, is that Bradley should not be known as the Braves, but if they want to be called the "Jelly Doughnuts" that's all fine and dandy.

While I agree that some nicknames in sports may very well be found offensive by others (Washington Redskins...yeah, you know it's wrong) as long as every Murphy, Duff, and Lee out there is okay with Notre Dame being called "The Fighting Irish," I have no problems with respectful, culturally sensitive, and historic names like "Braves," "Warriors," "Seminoles," and "Illini."

However, if the NCAA doesn't watch out, next year's Bradley squad might just be calling itself "The Coshocton Shockers."



One In, Four Out, One Waits

The FYC would like to wish a sincere congratulations to (or as the kids now like to say "mad props to, dawg") former Cardinals closer Bruce Sutter for finally making the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sutter's most memorable moment as a Redbird was striking out Gorman Thomas to end the 1982 World Series. That strikeout will probably be the definitive lasting image from Ol' Busch II for a few generations worth of Cardinals fans ("Ol' Busch II?" Why do I sound like an old prospector when I talk about a stadium that was torn down just two months ago? "Awww...Peaches! Cinnamon and Gravy!")

Nobody rocked the Baby Blues/Crazy Beard quite like you did, Bruce, and for that, I say it's time to celebrate...Kool and the Gang style!

While one Cardinal made it into the Hall this year, four former Redbirds are now off of the ballot forever. My new best friend Will Clark received only 4.4% of the votes and will not be on next years ballot. Neither will longtime FYC fave Sweet Willie McGee who dropped from 5 to 2.3% of the vote.

Will Clark not getting 5% of the vote surprises and disturbs me, and not just because we're buds (which we are.) For a nice little stat comparison between Will the Thrill and Jim Rice (who, if you listen to some is the best player not in the Hall, though I believe that distinction belongs to Dale Murphy) check out this thread at VEB.

With fewer and fewer of the baseball stars whom I had idolized as a youngster making it into the Hall (Will, Willie, Doc Gooden, Donnie Baseball, Ivan DeJesus, etc.), I'm beginning to think that maybe there should be a Hall of Very Good opened up somewhere (Memphis, perhaps?)

If there's not a HoVG, than my kids are going to think that I'm crazier than Ol' Doc Brown explaining the flex capacitor while I'm regaling them with tales of Andy Van Slyke, Eric Davis, Shawon Dunston and the like. I'll even donate my 1991 Score complete set to the HoVG (actually, it's a complete set minus the Tom Pagnozzi card which I destroyed after he tried to gain carnal knowledge of my sister.)

Two other former Cardinals were on the ballot for the first time this year: Gary Gaetti, who received four votes; and Gregg Jefferies, who received two.

Which really makes me wonder: There were two writers out there who honestly think that Gregg Jefferies should be in the Hall? Two baseball writers?

Greggie is a borderline HoVG member, let alone HoF. It's incidents like this, among many other reasons, that help show how much the HoF voting process stinks.

And here is the weirdest page about Gary Gaetti I could find. (immediate sound. enjoy.)

One other Cardinal was on this year's HoF ballot, former closer Lee Smith. Smith, MLB's all time Saves leader, has been on the ballot for a few years now and received only 45% of this year's votes. Perhaps with Sutter's inclusion into the Hall, the voters may be more likely to vote for relief pitchers. That, however, seems unlikely and chances are Big Lee Smith will end up in the HoVG.

Big Lee was one of my absolute favorite players as a child, but I didn't like him in the way I did, say, a Bill Madlock or Steve Trout (which is to say in a quasi-sexual manner. Look, I was a very confused six year old.)

I liked him because he scared the living shit out of me.

Hell, he scared the shit out of most grown men.

In fact, if Lee Smith really wanted to get into the HoF next year, he should spend the next twelve months going door to door to the homes of each and every baseball writer who votes for the Hall and hand them a note reading:

"If you don't vote for me to make the Hall of Fame, I will punch your fucking lights out. I'm Lee Smith."

And I would be willing to bet that Lee Smith would get 100% of next year's votes

The man's scary. That's really all I'm saying.



Quick Thoughts, 1/9/06

I just want to put this on the table...Mike Laga is four years younger than current New York Mets First Baseman Julio Franco. Do with that information what you will.

After watching the Max Baer v. Joe Louis boxing match on ESPN Classic Friday night, I wonder two things:

1. Is boxing the coolest, or what?
2. If the early 1900's brought us nicknames like Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown for an amputee and "The Brown Bomber" for a black boxer, is today's society missing sweet nicknames simply because of political correctness? Shouldn't Bobby Jenks be nicknamed "Cracker McThrowsFast" or Antonio Alfonseca be known as "That Fat Ass Dominican With Too Many Fucking Fingers. The Damn Freak?"

As am optimist, I hope everyday that something good will come out of the ongoing War in Iraq.

As a hater, I think everyday that it was one of the dumbest invasions of all time and I can't wait for it to be over.

As a realist, however, I know that it will lead to at least one good thing: A remake of First Blood.
One of the best popcorn flicks of all time, it is also one remake which would not only be easy to make, but also timely. Basically, John J. Rambo is a returning Iraqi veteran instead of a Vietnam vet. The rest of the movie will be exactly the same as the original.

The only remaining question is who would play Brian Dennehy's character "Sheriff Teasle."
You're first pick would probably be the still living Brian Dennehy. That pick, however, would be a bad one. Brian Dennehy couldn't even play Brian Dennehy if his life depended on it, and hasn't be able to since Cocktail. (What's that? He wasn't in Cocktail? The guy I'm thinking of was little known bad-ass Ron Dean? You mean the same Ron Dean who played Emilio Esteve's dad in The Breakfast Club? Well then...nevermind.)

Anyhoo, Brian Dennehy's character should be played by Paul Gleason. And Chris Cooper should be in the movie, too, just because he creeps me out a whole hell of a lot.

If you're in a giving mood this beautiful day, head on over to The Phat Phree and give me some generous votes and/or comments for the updated Will Clark article.

Donde esta me love? Muy appreciante! Discotequa! (I'm going to Mexico next week and I've been brushing up on my spanglish. Notice?)



Will Clark, Let's Hang Out

Dear Will Clark,

I heard that you're in town this weekend to attend the Cardinal's annual Winter Warmup down at the Millennium Hotel (are we still celebrating the new millennium? Really? C'mon people...You're better than that.)

Since I don't feel like paying three figures for Larry Effing Bigbie's autograph, and because I'm not 12 years old, I will not be attending the Winter Warmup. More caring, I'm sure you could not be.

However, I don't think that me NOT attending the Warmup should keep us from getting together.

I have been a big fan of yours for years. I've still got your rookie cards (both the 1986 Donruss "The Rookies" version, and the classic 1987 Topps) and I even owned a San Francisco Giants hat during the early 1990's.

When you came over to the Cardinals in 2000, I'm not sure if you are able to comprehend the level of excitement which I felt, but I would imagine it equates roughly to the same feeling you felt the first time you drank a Busch beer and/or masturbated (or maybe the first time you did both at the same time.)

Like heaven, Will Clark. Fucking heaven.

So, here's my proposal for you, Will Clark: Fuck the Winter Warmup! Lets have a hang, Will Clark!
Those little kids running around don't give two shits about you. I do, Will Clark.

I was there for your first playoff game wearing the Birds on the Bat in Saint Louis.
I was there when you hit that jack off of Tom Glavine in game two of the 2000 NLDS.
I was there when you announced your retirement (and for that last one, by "I was there," I mean: I was in North Carolina and one of my friends e-mailed me a few days after it happened.)

The point is, Will, I've been there for you. Now, I need you to be there for me.

So if you're reading this, Will Clark (and I know you are) shoot me an e-mail. Let me know what you're doing Saturday afternoon (besides the stupid Winter Warmup.) I'll give you directions to my place, we can drink some beer, maybe a whiskey or two, eat some chili, and watch football with the guys.

Come on, Will Clark.

For old times sake.

See you Saturday!
Alex Fritz

PS. Bring some chips, please, Will Clark. Please!

"I'll be there, Al. I'm Will Clark!"



Oh, what a whirl-wind year it's been already! In review:

1/1/06 - I became a spokesman for Oops, I Crapped My Pants.
1/3/06 - Great Orange Bowl!
1/4/06 - If Uncle Tupelo ever taught us anything, it's that mine owners are inherently evil. I guess they did know what they were talking about.
1/4/06 - Texas wins the National Championship! Evelio D'Leon cries himself to sleep somewhere in Al Asad, Iraq while masturbating with his old school U of M hat, whispering something about "glory days" and "Chester Cheetah." (How's that for your recognition, D?)
1/5/06 - I get BOMBED at Pat's Bar off of home-made ginger-ale and whiskeys.
1/6/06 - Cardinals still don't have Roger Clemens, Joe Perry still doesn't have a shirt on.
1/6/06 - I spend 8 minutes of my crappy life reviewing my year.
Consensus: 2006...Same As It Ever Was.

What's on tap for this weekend? Well, The Lady Friend is hoping a train to Kansas City, leaving me up to my own devices (and by devices I mean not wearing pants, cooking up a batch of my award-winning-world-famous "Adam Vinatieri Chili", drinking whiskey, and watching playoff football.)


Have a good one, folks...be back at ya on Monday.

You stay classy, Internets.




"Joe Perry, Roger Clemens...Roger Clemens, Joe Perry."

Not really, but my buddy Dave just got a text message saying so, so if it actually does happen, remember: You heard (er, read) it here first!

Also, Dave just received his first customized Cardinals jersey of the new year. Which player, you ask? Why Sir Sidney Ponson, of course.

What number? ".08"

Top that, Cardinal Nation.


Thursday Night Drinking Society (TNDS) Invitation, 1/5/06

Dear St Louis,

The official Winter 2K5-2K6 Thursday Night Drinking Society (TNDS) Tour continues on 1/5/2006 at Pat's Bar & Grill on Oakland Ave.

For all of you Illini faithful, The University of Illinois will also be starting their Big Ten Conference Scheduele at 8 O'Clock, tipping off against the Spartans of Michigan State. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2...and will probably be the only thing which I will be paying attention to until 10 or so.

This is the fourth stop on an ongoing tour of the Saint Louis area's finest shady hole-in-the-wall bars. Previously, stops have been made at The Tin Can Tavern and Grill, Trueman's Place, Riley's Pub, and Cousin Hugo's. The tour will continue throughout the upcoming season, until the vernal equinox, at which point it will probably mollify into a Beer Garden Aficionado Society.

And just for the record; at each stop thus far, good times and ribaldry have won in straight sets.

Send this e-mail along to whomever you may seem fit, as long as they possess a hardy attitude and are privy to libations, grandstanding, and horseplay.

Remember, on Thursday, January 5th, Pat's is the place to be, at around, let's say, 8:00-ish.

Also, I am no longer on any medications, so you need not fear being assaulted by some creepy guy who may or may not have crapped his pants.

Good day.



Hook 'Em, 'Horns!

In honor of tonight inevitable Texas Longhorns Rose Bowl victory (God, I love to jinx stuff!), I give you one of my alltime favorite Texas fan stories, one which made it way across the Internets a few years back, but perhaps has gone without being gazed upon by your lovely gree/brown/blue/hazel eyes. Enjoy:

"A chronology of events for Saturday, December 4, 1999, and the early morning hours of Sunday, December 5, 1999:

6:00 Arise, play the Eyes of Texas and Texas Fight at full-freaking blast
6:20 Get in car, drive to New Braunfels
7:30 Tee off (me and a buddy were the FIRST tee-time of the morning)
8:50 Turn 9 (crack open first beer)
8:53 Crack open second beer
8:55 Crack open third beer
8:58 Crack open...(you get the idea)
10:30 Finish 18 (holes, as well as beers), sign scorecard for smoooooth 95.
10:35 Headed for San Antonio (Alamodome - Nebraska vs Texas)
10:50 Buy three 18-packs for pre- and post-game festivities
11:10 We decide we don't have enough booze, so we double-back to a liquor>store and buy the good ol' 750 ml plastic bottle "Traveler" Jim Beam
11:50 Arrive at the tailgate spot. Awesome day. Not a single cloud in the sky. About 70 degrees.
11:55 I decide that we're going to kick the shit out of Nebraska.
11:56 I tell my first Nebraska fan to go fuck himself.
12:15 The UT band walks by on the way to the Alamodome. We're on the floor of a two-story parking garage on the corner (a couple hundred of us).We're hooting and hollering like wildmen. The band doubles back to the street right below us and serenades us with Texas Fight and The Eyes of Texas. AWESOME MOMENT.
12:25 In the post-serenade serendipity, 50-100 grown men are bumping chests with one another, each and every one of them now secure and certain of the fact that we are going to kick the shit out of Nebraska.
1:00 The Nebraska band walks by on the way to the Alamodome. Again, we hoot and holler like wildmen. Again, the band doubles back and stops right below us to serenade us, this time, however, with the Nebraska fight songs. Although somewhat impressed by their spirit and verve, we remain convinced that we are going to kick the shit out of Nebraska.
1:30 I begin the walk to the Alamodome, somehow managing to stuff the "Traveler" and 11 cans of beer into my pants.
1:47 I am in line surrounded by Nebraska fans. They are taunting me. I am taunting back, still certain that we are going to kick the shit out of Nebraska. I decide to challenge a particularly vocal Nebraska fan to play what I now call and will forever be remembered as "Cell-Phone Flop Out." Remember flop out for a dollar? (ed. note: No, I don't) The rules are similar. I tell this Nebraska jackass that if he's so confident in his team, he should "flop out" his cell phone RIGHT NOW and make plane reservations to Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl. And then I spoke these memorable words: "And not those damn refundable tickets, either! You request those non-refundable, non-transferrable sons-of-bitches!" He backs down. He is unworthy. Price: $712. He is humbled. He lowers his head in shame. I raise my cell phone in triumph to the cheers of hundreds of Texas fans. I am KING and these are my subjects. I distribute the 11 beers in my pants to the cheering masses. I RULE the pre-game kingdom.
2:34 Kickoff. Brimming with confidence, I open the Traveler and pour my first stiffy.
2:45 I notice something troubling: Nebraska is big. Nebraska is fast. Nebraska is very pissed off at Texas.
3:01 The first quarter mercifully ends. 9 yards total offense for Texas. Zero first downs for Texas. I'm still talking shit. I pour another stiffy from the Traveler.
3:36 Four minutes to go in the first half: the Traveler is a dead soldier. I buy my first $5 beer from the Alamodome merchants. While I am standing in line, a center snap nearly decapitates Major Applewhite and rolls out of the end zone. Safety.
3:56 Halftime score: Nebraska 15, Texas 0. I wish I had another Traveler.
4:11 While urinating next to a Nebraska fan in the bathroom at halftime, Iattempt to revive the classic Brice-ism from the South Bend bathroom:"Hey, buddy, niiiiiiiiice cock." He is unamused.
4:21 I buy my 2nd and 3rd $5 beer from the Alamodome merchants. I share my beer with two high school girls sitting behind me. Surprisingly, they are equipped with a flask full of vodka. I send them off to purchase Sprites, so that we may consume their vodka. I have not lost faith. Nebraska is a bunch of pussies.
4:51 No more vodka.
5:18 Score is Nebraska 22, Texas 0. I am beginning to lose faith. This>normally would trouble me, but I am too drunk to see the football field.
5:27 I call Southwest Airlines: "I'm sorry, sir. Those tickets have been confirmed and are non-refundable and non-transferrable."
5:37 I try to start a fight with every person behind the concession counter. As it turns out, the Alamodome has a policy that no beer can be sold when there is less than 10 minutes on the game clock. I am enraged by this policy. I ask loudly: "Why the fuck didn't you announce last call over the fucking PA system??!!"
5:49 Back in my seats, I am slumped in my chair in defeat. All of a sudden, the Texas crowd goes absolutely nuts."Whazzis?," I mutter, awaking from my coma, "Iz we winnig? Did wez scort?" Alas, the answer is no, we were not winning and we did not score. The largest (by far) cheer of the day from the Texas faithful occurred when the handlers were walking back to the tunnel and Bevo (the Texas mascot) stopped to take a gargantuan shit all over the letters "S", "K", and "A" in the "Nebraska" spelled out in their end zone. I cheer wildly. I pick up the empty Traveler bottle and stick my tongue in it. I am thirsty.
6:16 Nebraska fans are going berserk as I walk back to the truck. I would taunt them with some off-color remarks about their parentage, but I am too drunk to form complete sentences. With my last cognitive thought of the>evening, I take solace in the fact that if we had not beaten them in October, they would be playing Florida State for the national championship
6:30 Back in the car. On the way back to Austin for the basketball game.
7:12 We have stopped for gas. I am hungry. I go inside the store. I walk past the beer frig. I notice a Zima. I've never had a Zima. I wonder if it's any good. I pull a Zima from the frig. I twist the top off and drink the Zima in three swallows. Zima sucks. I replace the empty bottle in the frig.
7:17 There is a Blimpie Subs in the store. I walk to where the ingredients>are, where the person usually makes the sub. There is no one there. I lean over the counter and scoop out half a bucket of black olives. I eat them. I am still hungry. I lean further over the counter and grab approximately two pounds of Pastrami. I walk out of the store grunting and eating>Pastrami. The patrons in the store fear me. I don't care.
8:01 We are in South Austin. I have been drinking warm beer and singing Brooks and Dunn tunes for over an hour. My truck-mate is tired of my singing. He suggests that perhaps Brooks and Dunn have written other good songs besides "You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone" and "Neon Moon" and that maybe listening to only those two songs, ten times each was a bit excessive. Perhaps, he suggests, I could just let the CD play on its own. I tell him to fuck off and restart "Neon Moon."
8:30 We arrive at the Erwin Center. I have 4 warm beers stuffed in my pants. We're going to kick the shit out of Arizona
9:11 Halftime score: Texas 31, Arizona 29. I am pleased. I go to the bathroom to pee for the 67th time today. I giggle to myself because of the new opportunity to do "the bathroom Brice." There are no Arizona fans in the bathroom. I am disappointed. I tell myself (out loud) that I have a "Niiiiiice cock." No one is amused but me.
9:41 I walk to the bathroom while drinking Bud Light out of a can. Needless to say, they do not sell beer at the Erwin Center, much less Bud Light out of a can. I am stopped by an usher: "Where did you get that, sir?" I tell him (no shit): "Oh, the cheerleaders were throwing them up with those little plastic footballs. Would you mind throwing this away for me?" I take the last swig and hand it to him. He is confused. I pretend I'm going to the>bathroom, but I run away giggling instead. I duck into some entrance to avoid the usher, who is now pursuing me. I sneak into a large group of people and sit down. The usher walks by harmlessly. I am giggling like a little girl. I crack open another can of Bud Light.
9:52 I am lost. In my haste to avoid the usher, I have lost my bearings. Ihave no ticket stub. I cannot find my seats. Texas is losing."
10:09 Texas is being screwed by the refs. I am enraged. I have cleared out he seats around me because I keep removing my hat and beating the surrounding chairs with it. A concerned fan asks if I'm OK and perhaps I shouldn't take it so seriously. I tell him to fuck off.
10:15 After the fourth consecutive "worst fucking call I have EVER seen," I attempt to remove my hat again to begin beating inanimate objects.>However, on this occasion I miscalculate and I thumbnail myself in my left eyelid, leaving a one-quarter inch gash over my eye. I am now bleeding into my left eye and all over my shirt. "Perhaps," I think to myself, I'm taking this a bit seriously."
10:22 I am standing in the bathroom peeing. I'm so drunk I am swaying and grunting. I have a bloody napkin pressed on my left eye. My pants are bloody. I have my (formerly) white shirt wrapped around my waist. I look like I should be in an episode of Cops.
10:43 Texas has lost. I put my bloody white shirt back on my body and make my way for the exits. I am stopped every 20 seconds by a good samaritan/cop/security guard to ask me why I am covered in blood, but I merely grunt incoherently and keep moving.
10:59 With my one good eye, I have located the parking garage. I walk up six flights of stairs, promise that when I see my friend I will punch him in the face for making me walk up six flights of stairs, find the truck, and collapse in a heap in the bed of the truck. I look around and notice that traffic is lined up all the way around the garage, six whole flights, and no one is moving. I take a nap.
11:17 I awake from my nap. I see my friend in the driver's seat. I lift my head to look out the bed of the truck and notice that traffic is lined up all the way around the garage, six whole flights, and no one is moving. I am too tired to punch my friend. I call my friend a "Stupid cocksucker."
11:38 I lift my head to look out the bed of the truck and notice that traffic is lined up all the way around the garage, six whole flights, and no one is moving. I call my friend a "Stupid cocksucker."
11:47 I lift my head to look out the bed of the truck and notice that>traffic is lined up all the way around the garage, six whole flights, and no one is moving. I call my friend a "Stupid cocksucker."
11:58 I am jostled. The truck is moving. I lift my head to look out the>bed of the truck and notice that traffic is beginning to move on the second floor. I jump out of the truck, walk to the edge of the parking facility, and pee off the sixth floor onto the street below. My friend looks at me like I just anally violated his minor sister. I turn around pee on the front of his truck while singing the lyrics to "Neon>Moon."
12:11 We are moving. We are out of beer. I jump from the truck and go from vehicle to vehicle until someone gives me two beers. I am happy. I return to my vehicle
12:26 We have emerged from the parking facility. We make our way to my apartment and find Ed sitting on the couch with a freshly opened bottle of Glenlivet on the coffee table in front of him. We are all going to die"
12:59 We have finished three-quarters of the bottle of Glenlivet. We decide it would be a wonderful idea to go dancing at PollyEsther's. Ed has to pee. He walks down the hall to our apartment and directly into the full length>mirror at the end of the hall, smashing it into hundreds of pieces. We giggle uncontrollably and leave for PollyEsther's.
1:17 The PollyEsther's doorman laughs uncontrollably at our efforts to enter his club. "Fellas," he says in between his fits of spastic laughter,"I've been working this door for almost a year. I've been working doors in this town for almost 5 years. And I can honestly say that I ain't never seen three drunker mother fuckers than you three. Sorry, can't let you in." We attempt to reason with him. He laughs harder.
1:44 We find a bar that lets us in. We take two steps in the door and hear "Last call for alcohol!" I turn to the group and mutter: "See, dat wasn 't that fuckin' hard. Day don't fuckin' do that at the Awamo...the awaom...the alab...fuck it, that stadium we was at today..." We order 6 shots of tequila and three beers.
2:15 Back on the street. We need food. We hail a cab to take us the two> nd one half blocks to Katz 's. The cab fare is $1.60. We give him $10 and tell him to keep it.
2:17 There is a 20 minute wait. We give the hostess $50. We are seated immediately.
2:25 We order two orders of fried pickles, a Cobb salad, a bowl of soup, two orders of Blueberry blintzes, two Reuben sandwiches, a hamburger, two cheese stuffed potatoes, an order of fries, and an order of onion rings.
2:39 The food arrives. We are all asleep with our heads on the table. The >waiter wakes us up. We eat every fucking bit of our food. Most of the restaurant patrons around us are disgusted. We don't give a fuck. The tab is $112 with tip.
2:46 I'm sleepy.
9:12 I wake up next to a strange woman. She is the bartender at Katz's. She is not pretty."



Via my buddy Brad, it's recouping with the esteemed Dr. T.

One of the stranger things I've seen in a fortnight, it appears to be from the same "Mr. T Teaches Break Dancing" series which made their way around the Internets a while back.



Chicago Cubs Announce Official Strategy For 2006

Club relying on starters to stay healthy all season long

Other strategies include scoring more runs than the other team, not having Nomar Garciaparra under contract, and more chicks in pink hats.



Sad, sad stories all around.

Just another case of the more things change, the more things stay the same, me guesses.


Two Thoughts on the Orange Bowl and One Way Too Long Thought About Vh1

G-rrrrrrrrrrrreat College Football match-up last night. I was thoroughly impressed (except by the kicking...that aspect of the game was craptastic at best.)

The Orange bowl will almost (almost) make up for Notre Dame's lackluster performance in the Fiesta Bowl when I think about this year's bowl games twenty years from now.

Last night, when Penn State called a timeout with 35 seconds left, the ball on the 20 yard line, and an inevitable PSU field goal coming up to seal the game for the Nittany Lions, ABC cut to the crowd, and the Florida State faithful in attendance were doing the ubiquitous "Tomahawk Chop." I sat there and thought to myself, "what the hell are they cheering for? This game's over." Two seconds later, I realized "wait a sec, that kid still has to make the field goal for the Lions to win."

Three seconds after that, wide right.


Congrats to Penn State on an epic triple overtime victory. Well played.
Welcome back, Mike Tirico.

One of the first great announcers at ESPN, he seemingly refused to toe the company's line in the mid-90's of "style over substance" (I'm looking right at you and your Mark Grudzielanek-esque lazy eye, Stu Scott) and was left to cover lower tier events like the PGA's John Deere Classic.

However, in the last week he has called the best two College Bowl games of the Bowl Season (Michigan and Nebraska's instant classic Alamo Bowl and last night's Orange Bowl) and has done so swimmingly and without lowering himself to the modern day sports journalism sea of hyperbole and instant history.

Bravo, Mike Tirico. Bravo.

Now, if Charlie Steiner can have a career resurrection, early-to-mid-90's ESPN announcers will be having Vh1's Best Year Ever in 2006.
While I'm on the subject of Vh1, I just gotta say: "I'm done with you, Video Hits One."

We had some great days. Back in the mid 90's, I could always count on seeing a Counting Crows "Long December" or maybe Fastball's "The Way" video before I went to school in the morning. That made me happy.

And in the early Double Zero's, Vh1 Classic always provided good background noise while my Marine buddies and I got shitty off of Yuengling in our barracks rooms.

But after seeing your new lineup, with a Flava Flav dating show (shouldn't Chuck D be brought in at some point and slap the shit out of Flava...have some self respect, man) and some celebrity fat club show which makes a mockery of my childhood love of Kelly LeBrock, it's over. It's fucking over.

I don't care about celebrities.

Tom Cruise is crazy. I get it, and I don't care.

Paris Hilton is dumb. Got it. Don't give a shit.

Hillary Duff and Lionel Ritchies daughter are skinny. So-the-fuck-what.

Rachel McAdams has hairy nipples. Ummm...alright, that one is kind of interesting...ya got me.

The point is, somewhere along the way E! turned into soft core porno and Vh1 became the new gossip channel.

But, in the immortal words of Positive K, "I'm not trying to hear that see."

So that's it, Video Hits One, until you start playing cool music videos made by middle aged white people again, you are out of the rotation.

You had your chance. And you blew it.

Good day, sir.



Creepy New Years!

When New Years Eve rolled around, I found myself on day number three of my battle against the sickness. The night before, I had stayed in, downing pints of Thermaflu and popping Sudafed PE. Towards the end of the evening I began sipping on some Tylenol Sore Throat medicine, which for all intensive purposes was fucking peyote, cause I was "trippin" (as the kids like to say.)

So when I woke up on New Years Eve, things were a little off. I tried playing some video games, but my hand-eye coordination was absolutely shot, I was about three seconds too slow on everything, and I kept tackling my own players while playing Madden. Probably not the right state of mind to do some serious drinking on, but, whatever. After watching "Trading Places" twice in one sitting (perhaps the most underrated comedy of the 1980's) I felt refreshed enough to handle some libations.

Notice I said some libations. I was not, however, prepared to handle what I did drink, which would be half a bottle of Jameson, a bottle of red, various mix drinks, and a bottle of bubbly.

If I had done all of that doping and drinking in the solitude of my own home, there probably would not have been a problem (other than the serious substance abuse problem which would clearly be on display) but instead, I did them in the presence of hundreds of others at a rather ridiculously large private party in downtown St. Louis. Things did not go well.
Case in point:


I gambled and lost. A follow-through, if you will. Luckily it happened while I was in the men's room. But still, when you even have to debate with yourself about whether or not your boxer-briefs should just be thrown away while you're at a party...it's time to go.

And away we went. By that time, I was so far gone that I didn't even really question whether or not it was a good idea for The Lady Friend to pinch the cheeks of a middle aged police officer on the street and tell him that he looked cute. In fairness, he did help us snag a taxi, but still, pinching cop's cheeks? That just don't seem right.

But, nothing about that evening does seem exactly right. In a perfect world, I will have learned my lesson and will never drink while on cold medicine again.

In the real world, however, it will probably happen more times than I wish for. And I very much would like to tell you not to what I have done, but in hindsight, that was one of the more fun New Years Eves in recent memory.

In fact, I'd have no problem doing it all over again (well, all except the poopy butt.)

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"I'll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize the state of Missouri."