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OH Thursday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Christmas family NFL

 

This is happening too fast this year, here we are one week from Christmas and 3 days away from the official first day of Winter.

I can tell you this, Winter set in here in southern New England about a month ago.

Christmas is one of my favorite Holidays.

It’s about the only time of year that I get all five of my kids in the same place at the same time. My Mom and my wives parents will be with us on Christmas Eve.

We host Christmas Eve and the family, extended family and many friends stop and visit, eat drink and laugh together with a fire roaring in the fireplace and tidings of comfort and joy.

Christmas morning we have a great breakfast of homemade scones (the beautiful and talented mrsharry is the best baker I know)  I make the hair curling coffee… which I do every morning.

Around noon I take my Mom home so she can tend her 4 cats and then take a nap before my siblings drop in.

The rest of us head over to my brother and sister inlaws for a traditional Surf& Turf Christmas dinner, gift exchange, music, we sing  the 12 days of Christmas with everyone of the 31 of us joining in.

We draw the # day from a hat and let it fly. My sons and I usually share a # and sing in our best Monte Python or Dumb & Dumber voices.

One year I drew the much dreaded first day of Christmas, I had to sing alone. Much to my dear wife’s dismay I unleashed my best Bob Dylan voice and from that day forward I’ve had to buddy up, no more solos for Dave…some folks just don’t appreciate ”how does it feel… to be a partridge without a home…a complete unknown…

Once upon a time you dressed so fine   you threw the bums a dime    in your prime…didn’t you

After the singing we do a Yankee joke gift exchange. Lottery tickets, DD coffee, gift certificates and one year I wrapped a pair of old sneakers. The same year one of my brother in laws wrapped up a used pair of gold toe socks. My father in law always wraps a $50 bill in some of the strangest wrappings…everyone know its there but can’t figure which one it is.

 

After that and continuing on till 1 AM, we pair up and play the second leg of our family billiard tournament. My son Luke and I are in second place after the Thanksgiving leg. Son Chris and nephew Pete (defending champions) have a narrow lead on us because I managed to send the cue ball into the next room and land it on the foosball table on my 8 ball shot.

The other four teams of in laws and sons will have moments of glory but they will be short lived…they haven’t learned the oldharry rule… every 3rd drink needs to be water. Hydration is a must.

We’ll wrap up the 3rd and final leg on New Years Day.

NFL

As we roll onto the next to the last game of the 2014 regular NFL season I took a look back at my preseason predictions made with the help of ol shorty.

My final four teams were

New England & Pittsburgh in the AFC and

Green Bay and New Orleans in the NFC

it looks like these are still

Possible

 

The Saints are hanging on by a thread at 6-9 but benefit from playing in the NFC South, a division that the Jets and Oakland would compete in.

The Steelers are still in a dog fight with Cincinnati and Baltimore and it’s possible all three could make the playoffs

New England captured it’s 12th AFC East flag in 13 seasons and has the number one seed unless they stumble vs the Jets or Buffalo in the last two weeks.

Green Bay looked invincible 3 a couple of weeks back holding on to edge the Patriots but after a 2nd half meltdown that almost cost them a game vs Atlanta

And being shut down in Buffalo

They find themselves behind the Lions in the NFC North

Enjoy the week and Have a great week and a Merry Christmas

Deep Thoughts 12-17-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Cowboy Stadium...too nice to win? Johnny Manziel Fumbles Joe Maddon becomes a Cub.

 

Hello and welcome another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Is it possible that there are only 2 weeks left of 2014? I have to admit that I felt pretty good about the Cowboy’s chances against the Eagles last Sunday. The Thanksgiving Day massacre by the Eagles was more about Dallas being a tired team than Philly being a better team. Or could it be something else? The Palace in Dallas or Jerry’s World as the stadium is commonly called, has not provided much home field advantage this season. All four of the Cowboys losses have come at home this year…is this simply a coincidence or is there something more? I read a quote from a Cowboy player recently talking about how their home stadium does not really feel like a football stadium. Jerry’s World is a destination, not a place to watch a football game. Simply put…there is no home cooking in Dallas.

 

 

In the old days of Texas Stadium, many of the fans proudly wore their Cowboy blue on their collars. At Jerry’s Cowboy Stadium…to purchase a ticket, fans must pay a PSL fee (personal seat license) to be eligible to purchase a season ticket. For even marginal seats, this fee can be more than $10,000. For 50 yard line seats, the fee will exceed $100,000. The sky boxes provide another option, but those boxes run from $100,000 to $500,000. Obviously the average fan is simply priced out of buying a Cowboy season ticket. This is good for Jerry Jones, but bad for the Dallas Cowboys. There is no roar of the crowd at Cowboy games, unless it if from the visiting fans.

Next weekend, the Cowboys host Andrew Luck and his Indianapolis Colts. While Dallas remains in control of their own destiny, perhaps it is too bad that the Cowboys are not headed to Indianapolis to play this game. What is truly unfair is that some team from the NFL South will be headed to the playoffs with a record that is less than .500. I continue to think that Dallas is built to succeed in the playoffs...at least offensively. It is the defense that makes wonder.

 


 

                                   Johnny Football did not have the succes last Sunday that he knew regularly on Saturdays.

So much for Johnny being good in his first NFL game. Although I realize that this game was poetic justice with the cocky rookie player receiving his dose of humble pie. But, I am still left thinking that Johnny has a chance to be a decent NFL QB. The Browns have played pretty well this year and it appears that they are a QB away from being a team that nobody wants to face. Will this be someone besides Johnny Manziel? After one game, I think the answer is an emphatic, yes.

 


 

I caught a great article this week about how Joe Maddon became manager of the Chicago Cubs. Here is the link, I hope you take a moment to check it out: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2297391-inside-the-chicago-cubs-theft-of-joe-maddon-one-of-mlbs-best-managers

 It is no secret how I feel about Joe Maddon. What a cool guy and a terrific manager. The Cubs are a team quickly on the rise. There is some serious talent in Chicago and I think that the Cubs and Astros become more relevant in 2015.

 

That’s all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

Instead of a Seeing Eye dog, what about a gun? It's cheaper than a dog, plus if you walk around shooting all the time people are going to get out of the way. Cars, too!

 

Whenever I need to ``get away,'' I just get away in my mind. I go to my imaginary spot, where the beach is perfect and the water is perfect and the weather is perfect. The only bad thing there are the flies. They're terrible!

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…

 

 

 

 

Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Welcome to Wednesday, Gabbers. We’re roughly a month away from Christmas. This is the time of year we all revert back to childhood, if only for a day or moment-to-moment. This week has been pretty tough as far as my childhood. This week marks the passing of two key aspects of my childhood: Sy Berger (father of the modern baseball card) and Norman Bridwell (author of the Clifford book series).

Clifford the Big Red Dog was a big hit when I was in elementary school. He’d get even bigger shortly after when PBS launched an animated tv show about Clifford and his friends. Scholastic has calculated that millions of copies of Clifford’s adventures have been sold. The series has been published in at least 13 languages.

I can hardly believe it, but Clifford has been with us since 1963. Bridwell got the idea from his wife’s imaginary friend, a giant red dog. Bridwell brought his ideas to 9 publishers and was turned down by all. The dog was originally going to be named “Tiny”, but Bridwell’s wife suggested the named Clifford instead. The rest is literary history.

A little after the time I discovered Clifford, I began my love affair with baseball cards. I fell in love with the game by listening to my dad talk about the players and teams he grew up with. I furthered my passion through playing the game and attending a few games down at Tiger Stadium. The symbol that most lured me in, however, was my dad’s collection of baseball cards. He has an extensive collection that reaches back to the 50’s and continues to this day. I got plenty of gems from him, including several for autograph sessions at card shows at the mall.

My love of cards pales in comparison to my dad or IHM. My brother has a quality collection of both rookies and inserts. I had a great Detroit Tigers collection as well as a near full Topps 1993 baseball set. I still have my Topps, but I gave a few of my Tigers to a kid I coached who loved collecting Tigers, but had none of the old players.

Baseball cards were around in the early 1800s. Berger grew up collecting cards himself. He was an avid collector and turned his passion into a career. Berger is credited with taking a small Brooklyn-based company and turning it into Topps Trading Cards. Berger is also credited with making the cards bigger and more colorful.

Cards help connect fans with the game. They continue to tell the story of the game. They are a tangible piece of the game that fans can have and hold. Berger is responsible for one of the greatest bonding activities in my family. He helped me get into sports. Berger’s improvements have created legions of fans and brought us all closer to our game.

That’s all for me this week. Thanks as always for stopping by. I hope everyone is ready for the holidays. My wife and I will be enjoying the time in Michigan. Once we get home, however, we’ll be getting our new home ready. We just put in a successful offer on a three bedroom home in Coraopolis, PA. Looks like I have plenty more Pirates games in my future.

Tuesday's Tantrum - 12/15/14
Category: FEATURED

Hello my friends.  Whew, this past weekend was crazy, with another one coming.  Stay sane my friends, stay sane…

Hanukkah.  I want to wish a Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate.  Tonight is the first night and it runs all the way through Christmas Eve.   

Army/Navy.  Don’t tell me this wasn’t a game worth watching.  Don’t tell me this game was about 6-5 vs. 4-7 with two antiquated offenses.  Don’t tell me that Army didn’t score an offensive touchdown.  Don’t tell me that it meant nothing.  What I saw was both sides leaving everything they had on the field, and quite frankly, I loved both teams defenses – you can’t play the triple option any better than these two did.  Navy won their 13th consecutive game over Army, but it was a damn dogfight – Army gave them everything they had and then some. 

And you know what, when I see the raw emotion post-game coming from both sides, but especially Army, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever felt in sports.

NFL.  I want to thank the Cincinnati Bengals for what they did Sunday.  Total dominance.  I don’t normally like the taunting, but when Rey Melaluga took 15 yards for getting right in Johnny Trademarks face with the money sign, I literally laughed my ass off.  It was clear to me that this kid was woefully underprepared!  He wasn’t ready for the speed of the game, and a desperate opponent who needed the game for playoff purposes.  How in the hell could he not be ready?  I get losing, but by 30 points and less than 100 yards passing?  Are you kidding me?  I hope this brought his arrogant ass down a peg.  Sorry, I know there are folks who disagree, but it’s how I feel.  Other stuff:

  • Hey SF, how embarrassing is it for you drama queens to be knocked out of the playoffs by Seattle?  I hope you take that sting with you into the off-season and let it burn.  Time for the GM to get to work.  Oh, and now the SF players are going to get loud w/their frustration?  Please, you are the ones who stunk it up.  Own it!  You wanna be pissed?  Get your asses to the gym off season, work together, and stop with all the bullshit drama.  In the meantime, you can make it up to the fans to at least beat San Diego come Saturday Night.
  • Is it really true that the only place Green Bay has NEVER won is Buffalo?  Thanks Aaron Rodgers for effing up my fantasy playoff game and congrats to the Steel City Dawgs. 
  • Minnesota sure gave Detroit a game.  Teddy Bridgewater had 300 yards on Detroit?
  • If I’m Cleveland and I have seven wins after 14 games, I’m happy no matter what.
  • I’m telling you now, watch out for St. Louis and Jacksonville next season.
  • I truly can’t believe that Andrew Luck has SEVEN pick-sixes in his short career. 
  • I know Peyton Manning was sick, but is it time to worry about him?
  • Dallas actually withstood the pressure?  Happy for Jeff – that is all.    Oh wait, DeMarco Murray broke his hand?  Uh oh…
  • Memo to Miami, might be time to question your Head Coach right about now?  Outscored 27-0 in the second half of a game you had to have?
  • That NFC Wild Card Weekend is gonna be something regardless of who plays whom.

Adrian Peterson.  What a shock – the union is filing a federal lawsuit against the NFL re/Peterson.  Are these idiots tone deaf?  Memo to the union:  It’s not good PR to defend AP.  Yes, one child died due to abuse from somebody else, and then he takes a switch to a second kid and bloodies him up?

Jerry’s travels.  Starting tomorrow, Jerry is gonna spend four days in Denver with his Football buddies from Sioux Falls celebrating their fantastic 11-1 season which was capped off with a dominant bowl win over Central Oklahoma in the Mineral Bowl down in Missouri.  They’ll be getting their party on and having a good time. 

NBA – Sacramento Kings.  Late Sunday Night, Head Coach Michael Malone was fired.  Sacramento was 11-13 and haven’t had this good a record in EIGHT FREAKING YEARS.  The reason for firing him was that they wanted to go uptempo – a style of play that the team as currently constructed can’t possibly run.  Clearly the ownership and management are going with style over substance.

Christmas Music.  Here’s two more that really get me pumped up for the season.  The first one, I go back to the Boston Pops with a pretty nice video and a Christmas Medley:

The second one is a bit more progressive with the Mannheim Steamrollers version of Carol of the Bells:

 

Musings From The Hoodwood 12-16
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NBA MLB College Football

Run for your life Johnny Football! Manziel bombs against the Bengals

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals are hoping for another Fantasy Football title.

NFL: Manziels Big Flop

The hype was palpable. Johnny Football was going to get his first start in the NFL, the much ballyhooed 2012 Heisman winner and first round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns was going to get take the stage and possibly shine against a vunerable Cincy squad that had suffered a painful 4th quarter collapse against the Steelers. But the Bengals came out running and the Browns came out…flat. Far from being inspired by their crazy crowd, Manziel looked scared. He looked tentative. The Bengals seemed to be everywhere on defense and Manziel was getting beat on like a rag doll. Manziel finished a pathetic 10-18 for only 80 yards. 80! Manziel and the Browns only had the ball 38 plays and barely 20 minutes as the Browns were hammered 30-0 to be formally eliminated from the divisional and for all intents and purposes the AFC playoff race. Manziel said he was “humbled” by his performance. You think about it, Manziel had been chirping to get the start and when Brian Hoyer finally played his way out of the starting position, the natives figured Manziel was going to be ready to step in. Instead, Manziel looked confused, unprepared. He threw two interceptions and was sacked three times and his QBR? 1.0 That’s it…it wasn’t like his counterpart Andy Dalton was that much better but he didn’t really need to be. He had the redoubtable running of Jeremy Hill who ran for 148 yards which was more yards by himself than the Browns had in the entire game. Manziel may look back at this inauspicious start of his career and laugh. I doubt that though.

NFL: Reseed the playoffs?

Here we go again, the whining commences because the NFC South is the bastard child of the NFL this year. Remember when the NFC West champ won the division with a 7-9 record? That team was the Seattle Seahawks they won the division and hosted a playoff game while the NFC South had three teams win 10 games or better and the Tampa Bay Bucs with the New York Giants both won 10 games and were on the outside looking in. This year it’s the reverse. The NFC South is the weak team and there is a chance that a team with a worse than .500 ledger will win the division. Commence the whining, reseed the playoffs. Now this has quieted some as the chances that the Cowboys might win the NFC East, but there will likely be a team that will win at least 10 games and miss the playoffs. Now who will it be? Detroit? Green Bay? Philly? Seattle? Dallas? Keep in mind that Arizona has already taken one playoff spot off the table. There are five teams but only four spots left. Someone is going to be left out in the cold and the crying will commence. Lets be clear the playoffs don’t need to be reseeded, you don’t need to add an extra team. The playoffs are fine the way it is. This isn’t every one gets a trophy. Some teams  are going to get left out, you have to have a division winner and that winner hosts a playoff game as reward. Yeah the NFC South is weak but the game is cyclical.

Quick Hits

Six Divisional Titles in a Row for the Pats

Is Peyton getting the noodle arm?

The end of the Jets-Titans game was a madhouse

The Pacers were up on the Lake Show at one time 53-19

Kobe passes MJ and his sycophants go nuts, I say big deal

Damn, Jay Cutler is that bad…

The Bandits win in the GMFL Playoffs and are going to the title game.

Im going to add more to this I promise.

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