Saturday, January 05, 2008

Furthering The Boston/N.Y. Discussion

I keep hearing how Boston is this great sports city now, and New York is not. Which is true (as long as you conveniently forget that the Devils are in first and the Bruins are a middle-of-the-pack team, and yes, of course I had to look that up).

But what I don't like is when people act like "people in Boston are happy and people in New York are sad." And not just because I'm not a fan of the non-baseball Boston teams. Do Boston people not realize that for every New York team that does bad, you've got all the people who like their rival New York team in that sport happy because of it?

So it's not true that all New York fans are sad just because all (except for the Devils, and don't forget the Giants are in the playoffs, even though they're not exactly a great team) the New York teams are doing bad. They're all for the most part half-sad about their own team but half-happy that their rival is also doing bad.

It would be like if the Red Sox and Yankees were tied for last place, and some person from the west coast or something said "I'm so happy that all the Red Sox/Yankees fans are sad." When in reality, we'd both be half-happy that our rival is doing poorly. We and Yankee fans are not one grouped-together fanbase, just like "New York fans" aren't one group. They're two opposite halves. Or opposite thirds (or something) in hockey, with the three teams.

The ultimate thing that would make me happy would be that if all the Boston teams were doing well (okay, if I liked them all, which I don't, but that's not the point), and the Yankees, Giants, Knicks, and Rangers were in last place, while the Mets, Jets, Nets, Devils and Islanders were also doing well. That way it would be the Yankee-types all sad, and the opposite Yankee-types in both New York and Boston all happy.

Of course, there are those 5 percent of people from New York who just root for "all New York teams," which to me is as dumb as rooting for "all east coast teams" or "all American League teams." So, yeah, for those people (and screw them regardless), they are probably dying right now.

Oh, and about my division of the New York teams two paragraphs above this one, I guess some of you would group them differently. But trust me, having spent September 1975-May 2007 in the New York area, those are the teams Yankee fans, for the most part, like--Giants, Rangers, Knicks. Maybe it's changing now, but those will always be the teams I despise. (Okay, I can't say I despise the Rangers, since I have never cared about hockey, but, you know what I mean.)

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Lenghts I'll Go For A Comparison

Memphis Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni:

Fictional boxer Don Flamenco:

We watched a little of the Celts tonight (28 and 3, holy Chans!), and I couldn't help but notice the Grizzlies coach was a dead ringer for Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! fighter Don Flamenco. I figured this would've been noticed by someone, but no one on the internet seems to have made the connection.

Even if you don't think they look alike, you gotta give me credit for this:

I was specifically looking for a pic of Flamenco without his hairpiece. I seemed to remember that you could actually knock it off during the fight. I did an image search for Don, and all his pics showed him with hair. In fact, I couldn't even find any mention of the fact that he can lose his rug. What was I to do? Settle for a touped Donny? No way. I went to Every Video Game dot com and played the game, beating Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, and Piston Honda just to get to Flamenco. At that point I had to beat him up enough so that he'd lose his piece, but not enough to knock him out and win the fight. After round one, he still had the rug. But after two, they showed the close-up, and there he was, his scalp in all its glory--and I got my screenshot.

With the regular NES, this all would've been easy, but trying to play a game I hadn't played in years using a computer keyboard instead of the old familiar controller was rough. Still, I didn't lose once before getting to Don. It's like riding a bike, I guess. Remember the year that game came out? What a time we all had trying to get all the way to Tyson. It seemed at the time like figuring out how to get by the second Bald Bull was the most challenging (and important) thing in the world. How times have....stayed pretty much the same.

[coach photo by Joe Murphy]

Let The BS Begin (Updated)

"I did not provide Brian McNamee with any drugs to inject into my body." --Roger Clemens, December 23rd, 2007

"Roger Clemens said former trainer Brian McNamee injected him with the painkiller lidocaine." --AP article, January 3rd, 2008, referring to interview from December 29th, 2007

So even if Roger's telling the truth that he only took injections of lidocaine (psst...he's not), he's already begun the trail of lies.

Update, 5 PM: Clemens has been asked to testify before Congress later this month. Along with McNamee. And Knoblauch. Which still cracks me up. We used to make fun of that guy constantly in the "before this blog existed" days. Just the name. Knoblauch. And now Congress is calling him up: Mr. Knoblauch, can you come down here and talk to us? Dude on ESPN right now saying Clemens would be "smart to testify," or else they subpoena his ass,

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Red Sox/Pilgrims

I found a 1912 picture on a message board of a bunch of people in Hot Springs, Arkansas (now home of Erik Estrada's "Hot Springs Village!"). The people in it, male and female, old and young, have "BOSTON" pennants, and below the pic it says "Boston Pilgrims." The person who supplied the pic knew nothing about it, and neither do I. We do know that the Red Sox used to have spring training in Hot Springs, so it really could be some team members or their families or something.

Then I remembered--by 1912, the Red Sox were the Red Sox. That is, they weren't the Pilgrims anymore. And then I thought back to the Bill Nowlin article in which he claims that the Red Sox were never called the Pilgrims--that the history books had it wrong.

Well, I'm about to disprove that theory. Kind of. Obviously, the name "Pilgrims" had to have come from somewhere. Nowlin even admits that he found it in a 1907 article, although he pretty much says that's the only time, and no fans or newspapers other than that called the team the Pilgrims.

But take a look at this New York Times article (left, or go here and click "view full article" for the PDF) from 1912, describing the Red Sox beating the Giants in the World Series. First of all, as per usual with these old baseball articles, the writing is absolutely fantastic. More on that later. But now let's focus on the key line:

It had been demonstrated that the Knickerbockers had it all over the Pilgrims at any style of going until Engle came up to bat and cracked a fly to centre.

Now, the actual team names were Red Sox and Giants. Those names are used in the rest of the article. But this one line occurs in a little section about how New York was about to be proven better than Boston, in general, as a city, until the Giants blew the game (even joking that anyone opposed to the idea was about to be shot). So they're talking about Pilgrims and Knickerbockers, referring to people from Boston and people from New York. This is where the confusion came from in the first place, I think. If you're saying "Pilgrims" when talking about the Red Sox, you're not saying that that's the team's nickname, you're just referring to them as a bunch of guys from Boston. So I'm sure when people started researching the old days, they came up with some references to "Pilgrims" or some other nickname in articles describing the Red Sox, and that's why we always used to hear that the Red Sox were "formerly called the ______." (Pilgrims, Beaneaters, Somersets, Americans, Nickel-Shoe-shiners, Speakeasies, Three-Penny-Operas, Crazy Frazees, Prohibition-Busters, etc., etc.)

But I don't care about that as much as I care about this awesome article. Click it to enlarge. Oh my lord, look at this line about the famous botched pop-up:

Anyone could have caught it. I could have jumped out of the press box and caught it behind my back.

Yeah, dude! Way to tell it like it is. There's so much other great stuff. Please read the whole thing. If you didn't know about the 1912 World Series, this tells you how crazy it was: The Royal Rooters being pissed and boycotting the last game, the Giants breaking down in the end, all the luck going Boston's way when it had gone the Giants' way up until the finish, the talk of the series being fixed and the focus on money shares, the celebratory dinners. He even uses the word "baseballic." And if you think paying attention to the fine details of the strategy in a baseball contest is new, think again. And check out this, about Christy Mathewson:

Mathewson, matching his brain and his experience against the driving power of the Red Sox, was out there pitching, lobbing his slow one around the corner, shooting his fast one across at unexpected intervals, while [Smoky Joe] Wood was burning holes in the air.

1912 rules!

(Like many things, this started with a discussion thread on Joy of Sox.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"DB Cooper Mystery Solved!"

...are the words no one's been able to honestly say. But the FBI is reopening the case. The deal was, some dude hijacked a plane a long time ago, requested parachutes and a sack of cash, got both, then jumped out of the plane, at night, in the rain, and was never heard from again.

Some people are critical of the FBI for wasting time on a decades-old case in which no one was even injured. Personally, I just bought a game-used undershirt of someone on the Red Sox. Not a player. A coach. So I shouldn't talk.

One thing we do know about Cooper. He definitely didn't land safely, hop on a Greyhound, buy a mansion in Boston, change his name, and start a Red Sox blog. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a dump in my golden toilet.

In gambling news, my dad bet the Celtics to win the NBA title as a present for my girlfriend, who loves the Cs. If they win, she cashes in to the tune of a few of the other kind of Cs. So I say, if they make the Finals, she should bet a little bit on the other team, to cover her ass. That way, if the Celts lose, she wins however much she puts up on the other team. If they win, she still wins the original money, minus the dough she put up on the other team. Or at the very least, if the Finals goes to game 7, and the Celts are favored, she should bet the opponent in that game. That way, if the Celts win but don't cover the spread, she'd be cashing in on two bets. And if anything else happens, she still wins some money, having put up nothing.

She refuses to bet against the Celts in any way, though. Admirable, gotta let ride! Let it ride!

Troubling Developments

Things I've scene in the blogaxy lately:

1. Bloggers changing their names and starting a new blog. As Roseanne once said, we "know whoya are!"

2. Bloggers being paid by ticket agencies not simply to put up a text link, but to write a phony blog entry about how they just happen to really love said agencies.

3. Ticket agencies using the tagline "tickets from the source." Talk about false advertising. That'd be like me robbing an old lady of her marble rye, then selling it to the public, claiming I was the source of the rye. "Yeah, dude, it's from me. It's mine. I'm the source." Never mind that I fucking stole it from the source to become the new source.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Final Pics Of 2007

A crow across the street, between snowstorms. Click all to enlarge.

Amazing Larry up on his hind legs. In the background, Ace Frehley pulls a "Three Men and a Baby boy" in the window reflection.
Danzig with the phantom head-turn.

On New Year's Eve, we went to New York. We planned on doing Times Square, which I did thrice in the 90s, but it was so damn crowded a good seven hours before midnight, we said Screw it. So after dinner we just walked through a deserted Central Park. Very cool. And the weather was fine, a big reason why so many people came out, I'm sure. Above, a crazy statue somewhere in Midtown that was supposed to be a modern day Virgin Mary or something. We also randomly passed by that section of the Berlin Wall, which I first saw when my friend Jason visited me in New York last year.

At Rockefeller Center, the world's largest "Give-a-Penny/Take-a-Penny." Oh, the first thing we noticed when we got to the city was the new NYC Taxi logo. They've stolen the Boston T logo! I looked it up, and a chic design company called Smart Design "came up" with this logo. My theory is that Steinbrenner was involved in the process, and continued his "try to be like Boston so he can be a winner, too" theory. (I do kind of like how they use a version of the checkerboard design to evoke the old checkered cabs. But still, terrible job.)

In a fountain on 6th Ave, a whirlpool. (Too bad about the water bottle.)

Belvedere Castle in Central Park. We drove back to my parents' house in New Haven and watched the ball drop between Twilight Zone episodes. Incredibly, A-Rod chose to once again thrust his face into the spotlight. If it wasn't official before, it is now: He is the biggest phony there is. "Oh, I just happened to be right near this spot where the whole world is watching at this exact moment. And gosh do my loving wife and I love New York." Aren't you proud to be a World Champion Red Sox fan? And if you're a Yankee fan, don't you wanna just pistol-whip the guy at this point?

And about the people in Times Square: When someone hands you a funny hat plastered with a huge corporate logo, if you must wear it, why not at least turn it around? Do you think they paid those people to be billboards?

Finally, back on the Connecticut shore earlier today, the view of Long Island Sound from above a seagull.

And now for my annual talk about the Twilight Zone. I actually got Season One on DVD for Xmas, which is awesome, but we've been watching the marathon on the Sci-Fi channel like crazy, as is the New Year's tradition. My tied-with-Midnight Sun-for-favorite episode was just on. The Hitch-hiker. For some reason, I never looked into the history of the actress who played Nan Adams. Turns out she (Inger Stevens) committed suicide about a decade after the episode. She had a pretty messed-up life. My favorite line from her bio: "and once she leaped from a crash-landing jet liner minutes before it exploded."

Monday, December 31, 2007

Have A Great '88

Came across this on my "Jere '87" VHS tape. Thought I'd take a look at where these stars are 20 years later....

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