Saturday, February 04, 2012

Last Call For The Contest

Well, another year, another shitload of commercials saying "the big game" because they're not allowed to say "Super Bowl." Am I allowed? Super Bowl! Fine me, buttholes!

Anyway, there are a lot of available squares in my Super Bowl contest, so enter now. Deadline: Super Bowl Sunday at 2:22 p.m.

The odds for winning the 2012 World Series are up on at least one site. Here are the top few:

Phillies 6/1
Yanks and Angels 6.5/1
Tigers and Rangers 9/1
Red Sox 11/1
Marlins 15/1

The last few years we've been right near the top with the Phils and Yanks. So here's a good chance to get 11 times your $ on the Sox. It's always sad to look at the Mets, who really should be a yearly contender. Right now, only three teams have worse odds than they do....

Super Bowl!

Terrible Job By Some Guy

Watched about thirty seconds of the "Town Hall" on NESN last night. One fan's question to Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington came via the Internet. The man claimed that "halfway through the 2011 season" the Red Sox lost him. He'd been a fan for 50 years and that had never happened to him before. He wanted to know how what the team was doing to "bring him back."

Halfway through the 2011 season, the Red Sox weren't too far out of first place and led the wild card race. They had the third best record in baseball. In their previous 69 games, they had played at a .652 clip, which translates to about 106 wins in a full 162-game season. They'd done even better than that in the most recent 25 of those games. All this plus two recent championships, and this man had HAD ENOUGH.

All I have to say about this is that I hope that guy picks any other team and goes and roots for them. Maybe he could become a Harlem Globetrotters fan. Going undefeated every year just might--might!--make him happy.

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Thing With The Teams In That Sport

Ever since the final play of that Super Bowl four years ago, I told myself that if the Pats and Giants met again, I'd root for the Pats this time. It made sense--now the Giants will have had the upper hand, and already have gotten to be their obnoxious selves and somehow turn it into a loss for the Red Sox, so therefore, let them get beat and laugh at them. (Until they meet a third time, and back and forth and back and forth.)

Flash forward to two Sundays ago. I'm in Miami, Florida, with my Red Sox hat on. Kim and I are about to go eat dinner, and the first of the two championship games is starting. Pats-Ravens. I'm already in a weird position, because even though I'd like the Ravens to win, I know the Giants might make the Super Bowl, and I'd prefer to have the Pats in there since they have a better chance of beating the Giants. Plus, every single person in Miami is assuming I'm a Pats fan. So we find a restaurant, and of course the guy assumes I want to watch the game (while my girlfriend is the only one of us who's an actual Pats fan) and sits us next to the TV, with a table full of people with that weird Maryland accent on the other side of us.

So it's completely uncomfortable for me. Too bad my hat didn't say "Red Sox fan who isn't a Pats fan and who wouldn't be rooting for them today were the Giants not alive in the NFC, therefore I'm rooting against them but thinking it's okay if they win, only to have to root for them in the Super Bowl but also be okay with them losing that." But no, it was just a B.

It was the fourth quarter. I finally decided to just go all out Pats fan, screw it. They were winning, and I could just sneakily take the credit for their win against my better judgement to avoid confusion and to know that should the Giants win their game later, I've at least got a team in there with a chance to beat them.

Then there was that play. That one play that turned me around again. Pats have the ball, up by three, with seven minutes left. I'm not saying you kneel on the ball there. But my lord, if you're gonna throw, it better be high percentage. And what does that sporkly-faced Belichick do? He throws end zone! Into double coverage! And of course it gets picked off, and I was so mad at the guy, for taking that one time when I was fully on board with his team and just risking it all because of his selfishness. And I'd think Pats fans would be just as mad at him. I said "Screw these guys, I can't root for this man and his team. GO RAVENS and even if the Pats win and play the Giants, GO GIANTS." I was really pissed. And on top of it, I realize I tried to take the easy way out by just using my Red Sox hat to allow myself to be the "winner." If I was gonna claim victory, I also had to take the mocking if they lost. And since I don't deserve that, I quickly jumped right back off. Again, screw these guys. (I knew as I was saying this that as the two weeks went on, I MIGHT ease off on them and go right back to thinking I'd just rather have the Giants lose, should they have their rematch.)

But first we had to get through this game AND the Giants game. So as you know, the Pats lucked into the win, and then much later the Giants lucked into theirs. Goddamn, it's really happening. Again.

So began two more weeks of hell. And I just keep going back and forth. You think when I hear asshole Giants fans saying how much they hate Boston and stuff, that I say "Yay, I'm with you, Vinny!"? Of course not. I want to see his team all break their legs at once on the final game-losing play. But do I want to see Belichick and Derek Brady celebrating as that happens? Hell no.

I honestly am back to leaning toward rooting MORE against the Giants than against the Pats. But whatever, if you're a Pats fan, do you want ME on your side USING your team as a hired gun? No, you should be telling me to fuck off and go root for the Giants. And Giants fans should say the same thing.

I just wish I could be happy about the fact that ONE of these teams will lose, instead of sad that one will win.

And how come it seems to be only ME that has to deal with this? As a person who grew up a Jets fan, I'm pissed either way. Yet I don't hear Giants fans saying "the one bad thing about winning is we might make some Jets fans happy," or Pats fans saying "the one bad thing about winning is that we might make some Jets fans happy." (See how it's the same sentence?) Not that either team would consider rooting against his own team, I'm just saying, it seems like I'm always the only one concerned with this stuff. My friend Jim, the Celtics/Yanks fan, never seems to worry about anything at all. My friend Mike, the Yanks/Knicks fan, seemed unaffected by the Nets/Yanks partnership (more on that later).

It's interesting to hear Jets fans' take on Sunday's game--I feel like most are more anti-Pats. But not all. The FAN's Joe Benigno is going through the same thing as me, and when he made his call about officially rooting for the Pats because he's just so sick of the "other" teams in his city always having parades (he's also a Mets fan), I thought, Well that's refreshing. I wish more Jets fans were saying that, because I feel like the ones rooting FOR the Giants think the Pats and Red Sox are the same team, which they are not. (I also know Joe was a Yaz fan back in the day and I can relate to his Jets/Mets-ness with my Jets/Sox-ness.) If the Pats were at all likeable to me, I'd have no problem here. And if people could separate sports, I'd also have no problem. The Pats winning shouldn't make people paint all fans of Boston sports teams with the same brush, but unfortunately that's not how it works. On the way home from my Florida trip, I stopped in Baltimore to visit my friend there, and I realized all the people there probably wanted to kill me for wearing a Red Sox hat. Meanwhile I was rooting for the Ravens to beat the Pats! (At least some of the time.) It's so stupid.

And that takes us back to where I'm coming from in all this just so people understand. As a kid, I was as die-hard a Jets fan as I was a Red Sox fan, in the in-between land of Connecticut. I was in the 1% in both cases. (And I was literally the ONE PERSON who rooted for the Nets in basketball.) If you lived in Fairfield County in the 80s, you liked the Yankees, Giants, and Knicks, period. You of course switched to the Mets in 1986 because you're a goddamned frontrunner, but other than that, you stuck with your commuter dad's traditional, stiff-collared NEW YORK teams. The occasional outer-borough dad might have Jets/Mets kids, but I didn't come across many. My teams were the exact opposite of Yanks/Giants/Knicks. (It was a rough childhood. I remember my friend once said, "well, we're all frontrunners when you think about it, because we all started liking our team at some point when they won in the past," at which point I said, "I've NEVER seen my teams win." He then pointed out that I always seemed to be the exception to the rule in our group of friends....) And there never was an issue. I'd wear a Sox hat and a Jets shirt at the same time. My football team's main rival was the Giants. We also of course had our division rivals, mainly the Miami Dolphins. But I never thought about the Pats. Never really thought of them as being in the "same town" as my baseball team, which they're totally not anyway. In '86, I rooted for the Bears in the Super Bowl, but I would have rooted for that fun-lovin' bunch against ANY team. The Pats weren't on my radar.... We got the NY papers, and there was no Internet. So if the Pats fans gave a shit about the Jets, I didn't know about it.

And then we got toward the late-90s. I was out of college, still a huge Jets fan. And things started to change. Maybe it was Curtis Martin. Maybe it was Bill Parcells. But suddenly the Jets and Pats hated each other. I certainly was super-pissed at Bellichick when he royally screwed us over by quitting as coach on his first day or whatever. We were ready to take it to the next level and he fucks us. But really, I still wasn't thinking of the Pats as any kind of rival. Hell, we gave you Brady by knocking out Bledsoe. (Actually, now that I think about it, I must have started to at least dislike the Pats before that, because my little line about Bledsoe was that he's "the most overrated PERSON in the world." But anyway, soon the Pats hated the Jets and the Jets hated the Pats and I was in a weird position. Was I supposed to chant along to "Boston sucks" at the Meadowlands? I was slowly getting the feeling that I "couldn't do this anymore." It was 2001, and now the Pats were champs and whole new fanbase was mocking me as the loser. I was already a tormented Red Sox fan, and baseball took up much of my year. I finally made the call to just give up on the Jets. Which tells you something about the Jets--pre-2004 Red Sox fans found them too difficult to root for. But I also did it to get my winters and my Sundays back. (Because if was really just quitting on them because they lost, that would go against everything I stand for, and I would have given up on the Sox long before then.) The Nets had just partnered with the Yankees on the YES Network, so I basically said I'm giving up on everything but baseball. I even had this possible plan of going for all the Boston teams, but decided that if I did, I'd wait TEN YEARS so that all the players would be different....

Well, it's been ten years, and I show no signs of becoming a Pats fan, in case you couldn't tell. It's still the same freakin' guys anyway! Apparently you can take the fan out of the Jets, but you can't take the Jets out of the fan. Or something. Every time a Pats fan mocks the Jets, I take it personally. How can I help it? So my plan of "not caring" anymore never REALLY took, because here we are with a freakin' SECOND Pats-Giants Super Bowl, and I'm writing pages and pages about it. And before you tell me to "get over myself, it's not about you" or whatever, just think what you go through when two of your rivals play each other. (Hey, maybe you truly can make yourself not care--I don't know how you do it.) And by the way, I'm still pissed at Pats fans for being SO anti-Jets while seemingly not giving a fuck about the Giants, who beat them in their most horrific loss. Maybe THIS goes against what I say about separating the sports, but Giants fans are mainly Yankees fans, and Jets fans are mainly Mets fans. I know there's the division rivalry, but I'd love it if Jets fans and Pats fans united in their hatred of the Giants. But of course, many Pats fans' parents were Giants fans before the Pats existed, so I guess that's where the soft spot comes from.

The other night I noticed an HBO documentary about Joe Namath. He, of course, is my Ted Williams when it comes to football. Seeing all the shots from the glory days, or as Jets fan call it, "glory day," started giving what little Jets fan remains in me some pride. As long as I still have these feelings, why not just go back to the way it was? Instead of being afraid another Sox fan might find out I'm a Jets fan, shouldn't I be wearing THAT team's colors with pride, just as much as I do with the Red Sox? I don't know. We'll see. I do kind of like being able to do stuff on Sundays in the winter and completely not care that football games are going on, and knowing my heart won't be broken. But maybe that's the easy way out. I say I "don't care," yet, again, look how many words I just wrote. Remember that day I tried to be a Lions fan? I just think switching teams is something I'm not capable of. So it's either Jets or nothing. And I just may stick with nothing, but I know I'll always, at the very least, if not "care" or "pay attention," check the score.

This Sunday, Go _______s!

A *Would-Be* Win

Wow, again they put Opening Day and 100th anniversary day games on sale before the lotteries start, with the SRO packs. I got in right away at noon, had OD tix, but then didn't buy them, since I already have them. But it's always good to get practice in the Virtual Waiting Room--and it's fun to pat yourself on the back when you succeed--even if you're not actually making a purchase.

I did take the opportunity to finally record the "haunted choir" of Tessies, though. Check it out:

I would have given you a heads-up on this sale, but I didn't see the e-mail till about ten minutes to 12. You can try to get in now--I don't know what's still left though.

I Love This Stuff

Left: Sword swallower I saw on a family vacation in Key West, late December, 1991.
Right: Same guy, same spot, January 2012. Click to enlarge.

My dad was filming with the giant top-loading VHS video camera the first time. Above left is a screen shot, from the point in the act at which the guy purposely wastes the film of someone (us) shooting "moving pictures" by standing still for a long time.

As Kim and I strolled along that same pier a few days ago, I was thinking of this guy--and there he was. He noted he was 61 years old now. (In the '91 performance he said he'd been swallowing swords for 18 years, so he's up to almost years in the biz 40 now.) Above right is also a screen shot, from a video I took with my still camera.

In '91, he was calling himself "D.W. Blademaster." The Internet tells me he's now "Dale the Sword Swallower," and further research shows his real name is Dale Pritchard.

I gave the guy a buck and told him I'd seen him 20 years ago. He smiled his now-much-fewer-toothed smile and thanked me. Then we watched the sun set and everyone cheered as it sunk into the sea. And then we went to a drag show. ("That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over and over and over...")

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Didn't You Just Ask Me That?

Groundhog Day: Where Are They Now?

Still time to enter the Super Bowl contest.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Holy Shit!

Got into the VWR a little before 12:00, got through almost immediately, scored those digital upper bleacher tickets for OPENING DAY and that 100-year anniversary game! And more! I couldn't believe it when I saw they were including these games in this sale, considering the rest of the tix to those games are lottery only--lotteries which haven't even started yet! And this is great for me because I live for the 12-dollar seats since I go to so many games.

As for the fees, they're the same--4.50 per ticket, plus the $7 "per order processing fee." But, whatever, huge bargain for some huge games.

Now I just have to make sure I bring that credit card to the game! And remember which one I used! And hope the person at the gate actually knows about this and doesn't look at me like I'm crazy when I give him a credit card instead of a ticket! It says you have to go to Gate B or C so I'll have to remember that too.

[Added: They had said the Nats series would be in this sale, but it was NOT there at all. Also, it's funny--the registration for the Opening Day/Yanks series lottery started today too, but because of today's sale, I already have what I want for those games--and at the exact price I would have wanted! I still entered for the Monster drawing though.]

[Update to update: The Nats series in June is now there, as of 1:42--so I'm finally in for that series.]

Three Things And A Bonus Thing At The End

1. Today those "digital tickets" go on sale. Go to for details. So...the handling/processing/order/made-up fees will be much, much lower, right? Right? We'll see. Maybe there'll be a $10 "digital fee" tacked on to every invisible ticket....

2. My Super Bowl contest is on. Go and enter! You can win stuff.

3. Check this out:
Sticker of my old band, The Pac-Men. I was in Baltimore the other night, on my way back from Florida, and I timed it so I could see my friend Brian's new band, Wargames. (Brian was the singer of The Pac-Men, I was the bass player.) And right there on a soda machine in the venue, one of our old band's 10+ year-old stickers. I don't know what's more amazing: That any of these stickers are still around, that one would be found so far from our home base of Danbury, Connecticut (we did play at least one show in the Baltimore area and exchanged shows with a band from down there called Charm City Suicides, but it's not like we were well-known in the mid-Atlantic region, or anywhere else outside Newtown Teen Center and Tom Perkins' bedroom, really.), or that nobody stickered over it in the last decade! This machine was almost like a punk rock art installation. It's as if people only had the goal to cover the whole machine with one sticker layer, then leave it be till the end of time, as opposed to just having a spot to plaster with sticker over sticker over sticker. And then that machine, since 2001, has been salvaged from each DIY club as it closes, moving on to the next one, showing a new crowd ten years worth of stickers. The only uncovered part of the machine was the soda buttons. Brian suggested we make Coke and Dr. Pepper stickers in a punk style and put them on the buttons. I suggested 7Up be done in the 7SECONDS logo. But the point is, I was very proud to see our sticker there. Thanks to every kid in Baltimore over the last ten years who had the chance to cover that thing but decided not to.

4. There wasn't gonna be a 4, but while writing this, I had that Bryant Gumbel show on, and holy crap, there's this high school football coach who never punts. And goes for the onside kick after every time he scores. Genius--never, ever give the ball to the other team (without first giving yourself a chance to keep it). Guy wins, too. I can't wait till this practice reaches the NFL. Or at least college.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New York City, FL

I sometimes like to listen to my old AM radio standbys, the FAN and WCBS-880 out of New York, when I'm driving. It seems like no matter where I move to, my car picks up these stations. My friend joked that I'm "grandfathered in." It's a little weird listening to the details of traffic jams on the Jersey Turnpike while driving through Attleboro, Mass., or some shit. But I'm just used to it. And of course I'd take the FAN over any Boston sports radio so that's a little more normal. But recently, I took it to a whole new level. I was driving to Florida, and listen to what was coming in crystal clear as I crossed the state line from Georgia:

Too bad you can't see much of Florida in the video, but those stations only come in down there at night.

I'll be posting more about my little big trip soon. Including my amazing feat: seeing the same street performer in Key West that I saw when I went there in 1992! More his feat than mine, I guess. But needless to say I shot video BOTH times. I guess that was needful to say. But I was. It's gonna be a fun comparison. I just have to find the VHS from twenty years ago. But I'm pretty sure I can come up with it.

Super Bowl contest is still wide open. Scroll down and enter.

Super Bowl Contest! Win A Red Sox Ticket! New Krazee Rules!

Super Bowl FunSquares! But this year there's a twist: It ain't random! It's first-come, first-fun. You choose your numbers.

Here's how it works: At the end of each quarter (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Final Score (if game goes to overtime, the score at the end of the 4th becomes meaningless)) you look at the last digit of each team's score. Let's say it's Pats 14, Giants 7 at the end of 1. The person with "Pats 4, Giants 7" wins that quarter. The hierarchy goes: Final, Halftime, 3rd, 1st, in terms of prizes.

So go ahead and enter in the comments section. Make sure you look at all the other comments before you post--don't repeat someone else's numbers. (Obviously you can repeat ONE of someone else's numbers, just not both.) (Also check after your comment went through in case someone beat you to the same numbers. In that case just change yours and enter again. But then someone could have beaten you to those numbers, and you may end up in an endless loop, like Super Mario World 8-4. Hopefully this doesn't happen to you.)

To clarify, your comment should look something like this:

Pats [single digit number], Giants [single digit number].

Remember, this has nothing to do with who's winning the game, only the last digit of each score matters. (Another clarification: You just pick the one set of numbers, not four sets. Your one set is what you root for in every quarter and you can win multiple quarters.)

The fact that you get to choose makes it interesting. 0, 3, and 7 are the best numbers, with 4 and 6 next, then maybe 1 and 9, by my football math. But you never know what'll happen. And besides, the final score is the big prize, and the hardest to predict (since the first quarter is way more likely to end with the better numbers than the fourth, since they're starting the game at 0-0). So we'll see if the earlier people to enter actually win more quarters than the late-comers.

One thing I did do randomly is select the time of day to put up this post. I'm writing this on Sunday, but I have set it to post automatically at 5:04 a.m. on Monday, as per a random time generator. Proof here. Of course, I could have just kept trying it until I got a time I wanted, but come on, 5:04? Why would I purposely give the advantage to early birds? I'm a card-carrying member of NightOwlsAnon. Also, I have been using Twitter strictly to let people know when I do a post, and I've decided to not put this one on there until later in the week--that way a bunch of random people who don't even read my blog won't beat the real readers to the punch. (If you want to be updated when I do a new post (if I think of it!), you can follow me on there @rsfpt. And I might not even keep that up because it's just not something I'm that excited about. But I'm trying it for now.)

Let's talk prizes. I bought an extra upper bleacher seat to the Sunday, May 13th Sox-Cleveland game at Fenway by accident. (Don't worry, you don't have to sit next to me, it's in a separate location from my seats.) So that's the top prize.

The other prizes are two wax packs of 1989 Fleer baseball cards (a chance at the B. Ripken Fuck Face card!) and a wax pack of 1984 Topps baseball cards.

Final Score Winner chooses one of the four prizes. Halftime Winner chooses from the remaining three, 3rd Quarter Winner chooses from the remaining two, 1st Quarter Winner gets the prize that's left.

There's room for a hundred entries. So tell your friends. If any blank squares win, there'll just be that many fewer prizes given out. Maybe. Price to enter is zero dollars. Good luck!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I was on va-fun-tion last week (as you could probably tell by the sparse posting) so I didn't see this press release until last night. The Red Sox (and supposedly all the teams) will finally be offering a scalper-killing type of ticket. You buy the ticket with a credit card, and when you get to the ballpark, you show the credit card you used to get in. For now, this will be done only with upper bleacher seats for select games.

This is a big deal as far as I'm concerned. I remember writing about doing it like this, and wondering if it was possible to maybe have people show ID at the gate. This seemed like it would just make everybody have to wait longer, but if you can just swipe a credit card, it shouldn't take too much extra time.

And I love that they're doing this with my ticket of choice, the $12 upper bleacher. (These seats will go on sale February 1st.) Because if you haven't noticed, the BASTARDS at FuckHub have it set up so that all the bleachers tickets appear to be one section. So people sell the $12 seats as if they were $28 seats, and then raise them soul-lessly from there. An entire generation of people already thinks tickets originate from ShitHub--so they don't even know that the face value of the tickets they're buying could be $12 as opposed to $28. (Look closely on their seating map and you can actually see the line dividing bleacher from upper bleacher, yet they group them all into the "bleacher" category.)

So I wonder, if the teams really go through with this and end up doing this for all seats for all games, is the secondary market history? How sweet it would be. And what does this mean for the FecesHub/MLB partnership? Is the Hub pissed, or have they worked it out so they're still in on the take? There's still a link in the ticketing area for SH, telling you how great it is, while out of the other side of their mouth they preach the evils of gauging. It's like, Hellloooo, you're the ones that allowed this shit to happen in the first place. Go all out on this and say "fuck the secondary market" or don't do it at all.

Of course there's also the question of: What if I want to buy tickets and then give them to someone else? If I buy a $100 ticket and then Aunt Gilligan dies the day before the game and I have to fly to Seattle that day, I'd just lose the $100. There needs to be a way you can give your ticket away (or sell it for face value or less). As Robert McKee said, Do that, MLB, and you'll be fine.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States