Friday, January 31, 2014


Time to recap the recaps of the breakdowns of the recaps of all the exciting events in the run-up to Super Bowl MMXIV.

Let’s start with the … PRO BOWL… proof that the NFL will go to any lengths, regardless of how cheesy, sleazy or phony to filch money from a brain-addled fan base. The best that this charade has to offer is a justification for the values of Andy Griffith reruns. Aunt Bea, Floyd the barber and Barney Fife are far more believable characters than anything the Pro(zac) Bowl offers. This smell-a-thon is the NFL adding insult to injury.

Next… Media Day… when all of the players are required to make themselves available to the hundreds of sports writers, TV blokes and bloggers to provide intensely interesting answers to hundreds of inane questions that have been asked and answered over and over and over and over…

And the biggest story from this ask-all, tell-all look into the players’ and coaches’ thinking about the BIGGEST game of year that has been discussed, analyzed, dissected bisected, and broken-down by, well, everybody? Why, Marshawn ‘Beast Mode’ Lynch being available for 7 ½ minutes to say he has nothing to say.

Never in recorder history has so much airtime and so many written words been devoted to an analysis of… nothing! You are the man, Marshawn. In spite of the fact that Pete Carroll is as crooked as the Tennessee – North Carolina Tail of the Dragon highway, you’ve sold me. Go Seahawks!

 The most amusing pre-Bowl show this week was a rerun of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time. Now there was an hour of your life that you won’t get back. What is really insane… here was a show of commercials that was sponsored by… commercials. As previously noted, you can’t beat the NFL as a commercial delivery system.

It would be unfair to leave Roger ‘The $20 Million Man’ Goodell out of this discussion. Not to be overshadowed by a mere championship football game, Roger took to the podium this week to announce that he intends to triple NFL revenue to $25 Billion by 2017. NFL revenue will then exceed the gross national product of dozens of countries and place it among the corporate giants like McDonalds, Microsoft and Wally-World (soon to be The W-Universe).

Roger, of course, continues to justify the NFL’s tax-exempt status, taxpayer funding of new NFL playgrounds and a cap on payments to brain damaged ex-employees. If a system is successfully screwing players and fans alike, why change it!

Follow this link to watch Roger pile it higher and deeper to avoid answering a direct question from Vernon Davis of the 49ers. Roger should take a lesson from Mashawn: Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool rather than open it and prove you're a lying sack o' crap. 

So, open your wallet, pull up a chair and let the game begin.

V -


...which, following the lead of the networks, means "All Super Bowl, All The Time."

First, the betting line, which is currently Seattle getting 2.5 points. Seems a little weird to me, since it is an accepted premise that defense wins championships, yet here, the NFL's #1 defense, the Seahawks, are the underdog. Yes, the Peyton Manning-led Broncos are the #1 offense, but they will be playing outside in the always nasty New Jersey weather.

The media is trying to build up the game as cornerback Richard Sherman vs. quarterback Peyton Manning. It probably won't come down to those two because there are too many other factors. If the Seahawks win, there will be a mad rush by reporters to interview Sherman to see whom he might call "mediocre" this time.

A thanks to Janice Hough, Leftcoastsportsbabe, for this one:

My prediction: Doritos will have the best commercial, and Budweiser, the second best.

...And back to baseball.

Milwaukee Brewer announcer, Bob ("Juuuust a little bit outside") Uecker, says he will be cutting back on doing play-by-play at road games this year, but will do all the Brewer home games.Uecker has been Milwaukee's announcer for 42 years. The club announced that it will be erecting a second statue of him outside the stadium this year. Uecker commented that both statues will have better fielding pcts. than he did in his career, but he'll have the better batting average because, "They take too many pitches."

The broken bat that Roger Clemens flung at Mike Piazza during a World Series game, is up for auction.  The current bid is in excess of $4400. I have no idea how to comment on this.

NYS Congressman Michael Grimm, threatened to throw a reporter over the balcony during a press conference for asking an "inappropriate question." Grimm justified his threat by saying, "Why not? He's just a mediocre reporter."

Michael Young has announced his retirement, as has Lance Berkman. Why won't Manny Ramirez?

The Dodgers have announced that they will have two different road uniforms this year, in an attempt to confuse the opposition. The only one confused will probably be Tommy Lasorda.

Pitchers and catchers are just two weeks away.

"First a Florida manatee on a six-year winning streak is picking the Broncos to win the Super Bowl — and now Eli, an ape at Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo, is putting a similar six-year streak on the line by picking the Seahawks.  What’s next, a prescient Pennsylvania porcupine to break the tie?"  -- Dwight Perry
"There will be increased security at the upcoming Sochi Olympics.  For example, downhill skiers will now slalom through metal detectors."  -- Greg Cote
"Good thing they didn’t schedule the Super Bowl somewhere with really arctic conditions, like Atlanta."  -- Janice Hough
"Phoenix Coyotes will be changing their name to the Arizona Coyotes next season. Citizens of Arizona are petitioning the team to reconsider and call themselves the New Mexico Coyotes."  TC Chong

"I'm trying to confirm the mayor of Omaha tried to make a Super Bowl bet with the mayor of Seattle but was told, "We realize Peyton Manning is important to you, but, technically, your city is not in the game."  -- Brad Dickson
"There are over 18,000 Super Bowl tickets still available for purchase. The League is scrambling to sign up as many Academy Awards “seat fillers” as they can find before Sunday."  -- TC Chong
"The first Rangers/Devils game at Yankee Stadium had to be delayed because of glare. That is why they should have played at Citi Field. Because the sun never shines there."  -- Marc Ragovin

Stan Kegel and "The Humerus News," where are you?


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cluck, Cluck, Cluck

Having guests over to watch  The Real Gladiators of New Jersey this Sunday or do you need to bring a dish to the Annual  Derangement MMXIV?

Here's your opportunity to do something socially redeeming and prepare chicken wings correctly and most tastefully - without making the dumb-ass mistake of deep frying.

V -
Roasted Chicken Wings With Buffalo Sauce
Yield:  4 to 5 servings (20 pieces)
Time: 1¼ to 1½ hours, mostly unattended
Oil for greasing the oven rack
10 chicken wings
Salt and black pepper
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or other hot sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the lowest rack of the oven. Remove the middle oven rack and grease it with oil.
2. Cut off the small tip of each wing; discard or keep for stock. Cut through each wing bone at the joint to separate it into two pieces. Season the wings with salt and pepper.
3. Arrange the wings on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Turn the wings over and microwave on high for another 2 minutes.
4. Arrange the wings on the greased oven rack so that they aren’t touching. Return the rack to the middle of the oven—making sure there’s foil beneath all the wings to catch their fat—and lower the temperature to 350° F.
5. Roast the wings for 40 minutes. Turn them over, then roast for another 20 minutes.  At this point, they will be golden, crispy, and still juicy inside. If that’s how you like them, remove them from the oven. If you like them well done, roast for another 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Put the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When it melts, stir in the hot sauce and vinegar. Serve the wings with the Buffalo sauce on the side.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


It's 11:15 pm and SU has closed out Wake Forest in one of the ugliest basketball games of the season.

No one should have to endure watching 63 foul shots in a 40 minute game. Thankfully, both teams combined to miss 23 of them, many the front ends of a 1-and-1, or they would still be at the line after midnight.

Both teams were equally inept from long range combining for a hideous 6-34 from 3.

In a classic case of putting lipstick on a pig, with this oinker,  Syracuse matched its best ever start at 20 - 0

Orange fans will be waiting for news on Tyler Ennis' ankle with Duke playing in the Dome on Saturday.  It will take a stronger performance for SU to get win 21 and it definitely won't happen without a healthy Ennis.

My pick - Duke.

V -

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Duke ran Pitt off of its home court last night.

When Jabari Parker is the least efficient offensive forward, shooting 7-19, on a night when you win by 15, on the road, against a ranked opponent, you know others have had an outstanding game.

In addition to Rodney Hood (13 pts, 4 assts) and Amile Jefferson (14 pts, 10 rebs), guard Andre Dawkins was a story, scoring 20 on 6 - 7 shooting from 3, in 15  minutes of play. Quinn Cook was solid (9 pts, 6 assts). Parkers game-leading 11 boards were impressive.

Picasners everywhere are looking forward to seeing Hood, Jefferson, and Parker play against the Syracuse zone. Facing a team capable of shooting over 50% from 3, a highly skilled, quick front line and tenacious defenders will be  a serious test of any holes in SU's game.

Still, the Duke head coach is the guy that the NCAA pushes in front of cameras everywhere to occasionally assure all that piles of money have not had any negative influence on university and college campuses - regardless of any scandals.

SU- Miami Highlights: 1. Tyler Ennis, 2. Coach Jim Boeheim - while much improved in recent seasons, with 5:54 remaining in the Miami game, during a time out, the camera caught the pinky on his right hand slip into, and then out of, his right nostril. First time this year I've seen a Complete Entry & Exit. The team played a strong last 5:54 so, whatever works, 3. Jamie Dickson's comb-over stayed in tact.

Super Bowl MMXIV: How many Rayfield Wright's will be playing football in New Jersey this weekend?

V -

Monday, January 27, 2014


 Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the tax-exempt NFL who will be making $20 million during the last year of his current contract, is the man with the answers.

What better way to "Respect the Shield" than answering this question during the run-up to the Super Bowl, a game I'm sure he will enjoy.

“No, I want to know why!”  (click)

V -

Sunday, January 26, 2014


...and then the Superbowl commercials will air. Oh, they might show us a football game too, if they can fit it in. It's become such an "event," that it's really not about the game anymore. Announcers, analysts and sideline reporters will fall all over themselves to inundate us with facts and figures totally irrelevant to the game. Who cares what the Bronco's record was on  third down, with 8 or more yards to go, on a slippery field, going into the wind...well, you get the idea. We will be told every last detail about the lives of any player who shows up in the game. I don't care what his background is. Just tell us who made the tackle, if you can find the time. I'm sure the coaches are as repulsed as I am to have to listen to Erin Andrews ask him if he's wearing long underwear as he runs out onto the field. I MIGHT be interested in what kind of underwear Erin is wearing, but that should be on a different program.

You can bet on anything for the Superbowl, from something like who scores first, or will there be a safety right down to who has the best touchdown dance. Here's some you won't see:
THREE! The over/under on how many times we will be forced to see the replay of Richard Sherman's post-game interview where he trashed 49ers wide receiver, Michael Crabtree.

TWO!  The over/under on the number of times we will be shown pictures of the three Manning quarterbacks together, Archie, Peyton and Eli.

MILLIONS! The over/under on the number of viewers who will mute the sound by the third quarter. I've been practicing for a week now, so I could hit that button in the dark.

How long before Seahawks coach Pete Carroll throws a tantrum on the sidelines?

The game might not turn out to be much, but the commercials will be entertaining.

What special meal will Annie-O prepare to celebrate the game (Depends on what fast-food coupons she has.)

Thoughts on the Syracuse-Miami basketball game. It's been like all year: Syracuse falls behind a team they should beat easily, but they never panic. Nobody gets out of control, they just quietly settle down and win the game. A different guy steps up to make the big play or score the tough basket. Tyler Ennis is becoming one of the top point guards in Division I. Are there any worse announcers than the two drones who did this game? They were so busy  giving us worthless info, they neglected to tell us "minor" little facts like, who was the fouls on, how many fouls does a player have, and who made a turnover. Every time they disagreed with a referee's decision, the announcers turned out to be wrong. Of course, they favored Miami the whole game, so that played into their opinions. Are they really going to work the Syracuse-Duke game next week? Where's that mute button?

It's been four days now, since the Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka and the analysts have spoken. Tanaka will either be great, mediocre or a bust, depending on who you listen to.

"Sports Media not sure how it's going to fit Superbowl coverage into just two short weeks."  --
"The first Pro Bowl draft was held last week. You think a lot of people try to get out of jury duty ...
To give you an idea how many players passed on playing, this year it’ll be an eight-man game."  -- Brad Dickson
"The East Coast has been hit with Blizzard-like conditions, less than two weeks before Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks really ought to do the right thing and and offer to let them play the big game in Seattle."  -- Dwight Perry
"Tiger Woods missed the secondary cut at this weekend’s tournament at Torrey Pines.  Which means at least a few hundred more casual American sports fans will be forced to watch the NFL Pro Bowl."  -- Janice Hough
"UFC champ Ronda Rousey said she secretly wants to have “57 babies” with retired MMA great Fedor Emelianenko. NBA players were shocked: "Having kids with just one person?"  -- RJ Currie
" Whoever introduced Archie and Olivia Manning has now officially cost the Patriots four championships."  -- Mike Vaccaro
"In Madison Square Garden, patrons honored King’s legacy by booing the Knicks and purchasing 10 cents worth of beer for nine bucks."  -- Phil Mushnick


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One Down, So Many to Go

Yes, the Yankees signed Tanaka for a butt load of money, giving hope to their anxious fans everywhere. With the addition of one more starting pitcher, a 2nd baseman, 3rd baseman, Teixeira remembering how to hit, answered prayers for a healthy Jeter and they might be decent enough to watch.

George Steinbrenner twice removed from baseball (but rich enough to buy his way back in, twice) and convicted felon, the man who hired A-Rod; I’m betting we will never see him in front of a jury again.

But it’s a great day to be a Republican Governor, former Republican Governor or aspiring Republican Governor, everybody.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continues to make the news because of actions consistent with being, well, a New Jersey politician or Jersey mob boss. While claiming to be a small government conservative, Christie appears committed to keeping GOP-reviled federal workers on the payroll. In his case, the FBI.

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, the Republican who served from 2010 to 2014, was charged in federal court Tuesday afternoon for illegally accepting gifts from a businessman who sought special treatment from the state. McDonnell's wife was also indicted. The alleged gifts include clothes, money, trips, golf accessories, and private plane rides. McDonald, another self-styled fiscal conservative, was elected the same day as another Republican governor who's hard on his luck, Chris Christie. McDonald no longer shares Christie’s FBI enthusiasm.

David Vitter, the junior senator from Louisiana, has announced his intention to run for Governor. His credentials are impressive having magically survived a prostitution scandal and dead madam. Vitter has been described as “…a nasty piece of work… He doesn’t seem to like anybody. He loathes senior senator Mary Landrieu, he detests Governor Bobby Jindal, he despises the media. They all pretty much hate him back.” That should all play well in the bayou.

Vitter’s views on the FBI are not known. 


Yes, the Yanks signed Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka for 7 years and $155 million. That's $22 million a year. It's still dwarfed by Clayton Kershaw's $215 million deal, which is a difference of about $8 million a year. Or, to put it into perspective: 2 infielders and a relief pitcher.

David Schoenfield of ESPN, says the Yanks are still "The Evil Empire." I say, "HOO-RAY!"  Adding Tanaka doesn't make the Yanks a cinch 1st place finish; there are still a couple of holes and not just a few question marks, but Cashman did go as far as he could with what was available. Bottom line, I'm sure 'The Boss' is looking down (or up) and smiling.

Tanaka won't be the only story line coming out of Florida this spring. Derek Jeter will always own some of the headlines. The press still follows him around. There was a headline earlier this week: "Jeter resumes on-field workouts in Tampa." They even published the number of ground balls he fielded (108, for those of you who have to know.) As Joe DiMaggio once said, "It's great to be young and a Yankee." Jeter's no longer young, but he'll always be a Yankee.

A-Rod sued his own Union for supposedly not doing everything they could to protect him. Maybe so, they were probably laughing too hard. Some players wanted to kick him out, but union bylaws prevented it. Plexico Burress shot himself in the leg; A-Rod's shot himself in both feet -- and his agent's feet, too.We may have to read about him for a while yet, but I'm betting we'll never see him on a major league field again.

Renee Fleming, the opera singer who grew up in Rochester, New York, will sing the National Anthem at this years Super Bowl. Since teams from Washington State and Colorado are playing, two states where marijuana is legal, wouldn't it make more sense if it was the Grateful Dead or Keith Richards?

"Reuters reports that during the recent heat wave, day after day Australians are seeing dead bats. "We can relate," say Houston Astros fans"  -- RJ Currie
"The new Cubs mascot was obviously designed to appeal to all Cubs fans between the ages of three and three and a half."  -- Brad Dickson
"Vladimir Putin, who wants Russian population growth, is claiming that homosexuality decreases the birth rate. If Putin really wants more babies born in Russia, maybe he needs to work on getting an NBA team."  -- Janice Hough
"Guinness confirms that two men at a Las Vegas electronics store set a world record by watching TV for 87 consecutive hours—it turned out to be the last two minutes of an NBA game"  -- Bill Littlejohn
"Prediction: Super Bowl turning point comes when Peyton Manning switches from "Omaha" to "Truth or Consequences, New Mexico" in his play calling and draws delay-of-game penalty."  -- Dwight Perry
"American Country Awards co-host Danica Patrick joked about her "checkered past." If we’re talking NASCAR, the closest she gets to checkered cloth is at an Italian restaurant."  -- RJ Currie
"Richard Sherman is a top student at Stanford, where he's close to completing his Masters. Here's one commencement speech you don't wanna miss."  -- Brad Dickson
"If MLB starts allowing advertising on it's jerseys, there's a perfect fit of a sponsor sitting there for A-Rod: Target."  -- Dwight Perry
" At the AFC Championship Game, the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau carried Peyton Manning off the the field. They it had to bring him back because it was only the third quarter."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Services

New England v. Denver

Social media brimming with posts from Brady-haters.

San Francisco v. Seattle
Violently pornographic
Incredible athletes and vicious thugs make remarkable plays
Incredible athletes and vicious thugs beat the shit out of each other
Officials embarrassed by calls they make and calls the don't
The cast of Braveheart screams for blood at 108db.

In two weeks time, sweet Jesus, the Christians and lions face off in New Jersey,
Roman numerals explained.
Another national anthem,
Another opportunity to... "Get back in there and sell, Sell, SELL!"




## Syracuse won another close one in the dome. The Orange had two things going for them last night, The dome crowd and Tyler Ennis.  CJ Fair notwithstanding, Ennis may be the piece that takes Syracuse all the way.

## Vod suggests locking announcers Doris Burke & Dick Vitale in a closet...forever. I don't know about Burke, but Vitale never needed an actual game to announce one. And while she's changing her image, Burke might want to consider a new hairstyle, too.

## The Yanks signed one-year deals with Gardner, Robertson and  Nova, none for more than $5.6 million.

## Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami Marlins best player (& maybe one of the NL's best) to a one-year deal for $6.5 million.  Clayton Kershaw was quoted as saying, "Really? $6.5 million? Is that for two months?"

## Finally, an explanation for Dennis Rodman's frequent trips to North Korea. He just checked into rehab for alcohol addition.

## This is interesting. In an ESPN sports poll, 71% voted AGAINST banning home plate collisions. (A little less than 50,000 votes) What sport did they think they were talking about? Professional wrestling?

## The Cubs have decided to put a mascot into the mix. 'Clark the Cub' isn't making any new friends. Cub fans don't like the name or the fact that Clark wears a shirt but no pants. Cub fans are not shy about expressing their feelings. Whoever puts on this costume might not make it through the first home series.

## This just in: Clayton Kershaw is still rich.

"Charles Barkley appeared in the Patriots’ locker room to inspire the team to win a title. Were Dan Marino and Anna Kournikova unavailable?"  -- Brad Dickson
"Unemployed Detroit resident dismayed to learn job opening is with the Lions.”  -- The Onion.Com
"The Houston Rockets scored 73 points in the first half — and then just 19 in the second — in a 104-92 loss to Oklahoma City last week. Bet Kevin McHale never uses that halftime speech again."  -- Dwight Perry
"An arbitrator’s ruling means Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire 2014 season. About the only place you’ll see A-Rod play is in the tabloids."  -- RJ Currie
" New Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason says he wants the Commodores to someday play for the Southeastern Conference championship. Making me think that he left Stanford with a prescription for medical marijuana."  -- Janice Hough
" The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL traded a player to San Antonio in exchange for hotel accommodations on a road trip. What does this do to an athlete’s confidence? “Who’d you get for me? Johnson?” “Nah, a couple of rooms at the Ramada.”  -- Brad Dickson
"Too bad Major League Baseball didn’t come up with instant-replay challenges 30 years ago.  The thought of Billy Martin kicking dirt on the wheels of a camera tripod? Priceless."  -- Dwight Perry


Saturday, January 18, 2014


Saturday's ESPN broadcast of the SU – Pitt basketball game was a remake of Clint “Never Saw a Chair I Couldn’t Talk To” Eastwood's  Italian-oater “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".

(The Good)  Syracuse and Pittsburg put on a show of smash-mouth, old-time Big East basketball, the winner holding sole possession of first place in the ACC.

Rakeem Christmas was Everyman for SU with 10 points, 4 rebs, 2 steals, 3 blocks, and an assist.

Trevor Cooney (The Bad) was brutal. He shot poorly and Boeheim chewed off both of Cooney’s ears for terrible outside defense. He did grab a huge defensive rebound, his only one of the game, with 1:07 remaining and SU up one. On the ensuing possession, Tyler Ennis (game high 16 points) scored what proved to be the winning basket.

(The Ugly) If ESPN can hire game announcers as capable as the play then discerning fans will unmute the audio. Doris Burke and “the other guy” were simply horrible and blabbed interminably about anything and everything except what was happening on the court. Doris has been an acolyte of the nonstop drivel mode of broadcasting since her arrival via women’s basketball and “the other guy” who, one would imagine, was hired to be the play by play announcer, was, in a word, clueless. 

Imagine locking Doris and Dick Vitale in a closet… and just leave them there… forever.

During a timeout I clicked into the Oklahoma State Kansas game. I was shocked at what I heard; the names of the player(s) controlling the ball, the name of the defender(s), a description of the on –court action, who shot the ball and who rebounded. Amazing!

Final word. There is no doubt that without Tyler Ennis SU would not be undefeated, first in the ACC and ranked 2nd in the country. Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are excellent at what they do. Ennis does more. 

V -

Friday, January 17, 2014


Baseball is a dead issue for the next two months. A-Rod’s suit is filed in federal court and will languish there. The Dodgers signed Kershaw for a mountain of money for seven long years joining the Yankees and Angels as the dumbest franchises on the planet. Instant replay has been expanded for 2014 so we’ll lose one of the most entertaining aspects of the game – arguing about the ‘would'a, should'a, could'a’ impact of blown calls. Sooo… since Super Bowl MMMMMMMMMIV is coming up, it’s time to pay at least a little attention to our beloved contemporary gladiators in the NFL.

I’ve been watching the NFL since 1955 and was a devout NY Giants fan who watched Y. A. Title pass for seven touchdowns against Washington and watched the Bears open up his noggin in the 1963 championship game; heard announcer Chris Schenkel excitedly yell on national television, “He (Del Shofner) faked him out of his jock!” on a touchdown scoring pass play; watched Johnny Unitas snatch victory from the Giants in 1958 and watched Rosie Greer meet Jim Brown head-up at the line of scrimmage and end the great one’s day – and also watched Brown torment the Giants more often that not.

The only thing I liked more about the NFL was Julie London’s Marlboro commercials. Julie brought the phrase ‘smokin’ hot’ to life vamping carcinogens in a black stiletto gown during NFL broadcasts. Time outs with Julie’s commercials beat the hell out of the bozo-come-lately Marlboro Man. But I digress.

Things, as they will,  changed. After 1963 the Giants were lousy for 20 plus years and I did not have the stamina of a Cubs fan. During the 1982 strike I found that there is life on a Sunday afternoon outside of a football stadium equally or more satisfying that watching  the NFL blood sport. After taking almost 25 years off after the Giants 1987 Super Bowl win I got sucked back in, and... quite the scene.

Notwithstanding Chuck Bednarik’s 1960 tackle that nearly killed Frank Gifford, bigger, faster, stronger roiders are routinely blowing up people with increasingly more violent hits. Former players are suffering from severe brain injuries and the debilitating effects of repeated injuries and long-term addiction to pain medications.

Players shooting themselves while carrying concealed weapons. Players murdering others with weapons not quite so concealed.

Asinine on-field behavior from primping players smooching with their own biceps, dancing, and prancing, spastically gyrating in the end zone, and imitating Superman have become a league staple. No doubt the 2015 Super Bowl will feature as much vaudeville and hideously rendered national anthems as football .

Receivers made an art form out of whining, begging for a flag for holding, pass interference or being called a bad name on every play.

Officials reside in the Land of the Hopelessly Lost. Blown and missed calls have now determined who goes to the playoffs and who does not. There is little consistency from crews about high hits, targeted hits, helmet-to-helmet hits, who infringed on the neutral zone or was drawn off sides. Challenges are made by the high tech process of throwing a small red rag on the field, sometimes seen, sometimes ignored. When seen, and a play is in fact subject to review, an official huddles beneath a hood on the sidelines to interminably review video and render a unilateral decision. Smooth.

The quality of the product basically stinks in many cities: Atlanta, Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, New York, Oakland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, and Washington. Add in the mediocre .500 teams and you have a total of 17 teams, more than half the league, that cause consistent visual trauma.

And Fantasy Football. This may be the saving grace of the NFL. With the emergence of ubiquitous fantasy football leagues with drafts, trades and sophisticated statistics, there is absolutely no need to support a given team. All that matters is the individual performance of players on your fantasy roster. Tony Romo becomes the favorite of a Giant fan who has him on his fantasy roster? How post-modern!

Apparently what remains the same is the attraction of commercials. While Julie held my rapt attention, Super Bowl commercials now have their own shows providing breakdowns, analysis and interactive viewer polling. Back in the day, water consumption from toilet flushes spiked during commercials. No longer. More than ever, the NFL is a commercial delivery system.

This weekend, proving there is no accounting for taste, I’ll watch  New England at Denver where Brady and Manning will more than likely act like adults on-field before watching San Francisco at Seattle, a game that includes Colin “I Am So in Love with My Bicep” Kaepernick and Pete “To Dirty to Coach in The Corrupt  NCAA” Carroll.

In both cases I’ll click out of all commercials. Without Julie, what’s the point of watching?

V - 


## MLB has instituted replays in the game, but can't agree on the wording prohibiting plate collisions with the Players Union. So they want to get the calls right but are still arguing over keeping the players safe. Which will lead to calls like, "The catcher is still down, Pete. Yeah, but they got the call right, Jack."

## I thought we were done with this guy, but no. Tim McCarver will be broadcasting baseball again this summer, this time locally for the St. Louis Cards. Take heart Missouri residents, it's only for 30 games. He's like a bad back: it only hurts when you breathe.

## In the aftermath of the Clayton Kershaw signing ($215 million for 7 years), the Dodgers announced they are cutting their scouting department by 50%. GM Ned Colletti was overheard to say, "We don't need more scouts, we need more accountants." (It's not true but you have to wonder)

## While being interviewed, Yankee's owner Hal Steinbrenner said he considers A-Rod  "an asset." In the Jason Bourne series, an asset was a hired killer. I guess Hal knew what he was talking about.

## This is new. Opposing teams often engage in friendly banter before a playoff game, with mayors betting each other with local products as the wager. But now, the "banter" between San Francisco and Seattle, doesn't seem so friendly. 49er fans bought a billboard outside the Seahawks stadium ribbing the Seahawks. The Seahawks front office refuses to sell tickets to anyone with a California address.  Seattle's cornerback, Richard Sherman, says, "There's no love lost and there's no love found."  You're telling me. I hope the game is half as good as the pre-game shenanigans.

## Speaking of shenanigans, what was the purpose of Peyton Manning's yelling. "Omaha! Omaha!" before each snap last week. I wonder what bet he lost.

"Jerry Jones and Tony Romo walk into a watch the playoffs."  -- Bob Chavez
"Things are going so bad for N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, he called A-Rod and offered to swap scandals."  -- Brad Dickson
"Mahiouba has been crowned Most Beautiful Camel in the annual Abu Dhabi pageant. To some, Most beautiful camel is an oxymoron, like most outstanding Houston Astro."  -- RJ Currie
" Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill: “As a side note, the House will now be known as the Yankees."  -- Mike Hart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Seattle and Denver — whose states legalized recreational marijuana on Jan. 1 — will host the NFC and AFC title games on Sunday. Defensive coordinators are bracing for a bevy of second-hand smoke screens."  -- Dwight Perry
"A B.C. study says individuals who experience a lot of failure have greater appreciation for life's little moments. When Tony Romo heard this he said, "Look! A rainbow." -- RJ Currie
"Never doubt the power of prayers by comedians, I used to ask God that someday I’d make as much money as Alex Rodriguez, and today that dream came true."  -- Argus Hamilton
Avalanche winger  Ryan O'Reill injured his shoulder in a team hug. My wife, an R.N, says it's common for a man to get hurt that way — especially if he's hugging another woman."  -- RJ Currie
" Much controversy over the Seahawks not selling playoff tickets to Californians. Actually after watching him on the sidelines last weekend it would make more sense for Seattle to ban coffee shops from selling to Jim Harbaugh."  --  Janice Hough
"The Canucks have lost 7 of their last 8 games. Their best on ice plus-minus rating to date is 0, held jointly by the national anthem singer and the Zamboni driver."  -- TC Chong
"Manning is using “Omaha” as an play call at the line of scrimmage because the league would not allow him to use “Papa Johns”.  -- TC Chong


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Vod has documented the corruption in "amateur" sports, but the professional teams have no clue what to do with the income earned up front. There are a number of athletes who will be into their 40's and still pulling down 8-figure salaries. And you can't just put this on the Yankee's head. Seattle got into the act with Cano's contract, but now the new "Evil Empire" has arisen on the west coast.

The L.A. Dodgers have agreed to pay Clayton Kershaw $45,500...a game! For seven years! The deal is $215 million for 7 years, and based on his record for the last four years, that's what it works out to. He's a pitcher. They get hurt all the time. Suppose he needs Tommy John surgery some time? He going to miss a full year, even though he could probably buy the hospital that does the surgery. If that happens, the Dodgers pay $30 million for nothing. Since A-Rod is due to miss all of 2014, maybe Clayton will loan him a couple of mil.

$25 million for A-Rod.
$30 million for Kershaw
$24 million for Cano
$24 million for Albert Pujols
These are all one year salaries.

It's like Monopoly money to these teams.



There are scholarship athletes with extraordinary academic deficiencies in the hundreds of private and public universities in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision and Division 1 basketball schools.

Earlier in her career as UNC learning specialist, Mary Willingham was stunned when a scholarship basketball player came to her office for help with his class work. He was unable to read or write.

Of 183 athletes in revenue-generating sports admitted to UNC between 2004 and 2012, approximately 60% were reading between the fourth and eighth grade reading levels and almost 10% were reading below a third grade level.

University of Oklahoma professor Gerald Gurney found that about 10% of revenue-sport athletes there were reading below a fourth-grade level.

CNN research reported that these cases are more the norm than the exception. According to academic experts, the threshold for being college-literate is a score of 400 on the SAT critical reading or writing test. Many student-athletes scored in the 200s and 300s on the SAT critical reading test -- a threshold that experts said was an elementary reading level and too low for college classes. The lowest score possible on that part of the SAT is 200, and the national average is 500.

Schools have built enormously profitable business models around basketball and football and this model includes aggressively recruiting and signing ‘athletes’ to fill the rosters and to win.

It’s no secret. Everyone knows. Faculty have spoken up about illiterate athletes pushed through with passing grades to keep up their eligibility to play, while their reading was little addressed.

Reactions range from outrage that this is allowed to continue to outrage that there is any suggestion that the practice be stopped and deny a college education to someone who, otherwise, has not earned the opportunity (but can help the team win).

The most vested stakeholders, the schools earning tens of millions of dollars through their ‘revenue generating’ sports, the NCAA charged with protecting the best interests of ‘student-athletes’ and negotiating lucrative television contracts, media companies paying billions for hugely profitable content and fans flocking to stadiums and arenas in growing numbers are neck deep in supporting the current arrangements and quick to deflect, repudiate, or deny the truth in any critcism.

Gurney, who looked into the situation at the University of Oklahoma, put it bluntly: "College presidents have put in jeopardy the academic credibility of their universities just so we can have this entertainment industry. ... The NCAA continually wants to ignore this fact, but they are admitting students who cannot read.

"College textbooks are written at the ninth-grade level, so we are putting these elite athletes into classes where they can't understand the textbooks. Imagine yourself sitting in a class where nothing makes sense."

That’s exactly how I feel researching the responses from the NCAA and D1 administrations.

The CNN report concluded, “U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania introduced legislation in the House last year that calls for a complete overhaul of the NCAA. When he talked to CNN, he cited the lack of consistency in the way recent NCAA investigations into various improprieties were handled at Auburn, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, Ohio State and Penn State.”

"I think (the NCAA) needs to be looked at. I think they need to be reined in," Dent said.

Mary Willingham went on the trip to Washington and said she came back feeling that they could make some progress in bringing change.

Others aren't so confident that a beast as big as collegiate athletics can be tamed.”

V -

Tuesday, January 14, 2014



This week Chad Picasner at Large total page views topped 50,000 for the last five years. 10K page views a year is not a bad average, except only about 20% of those views are made by real people. The rest are generated by automated software, malware sights, spammers, the chinese military, miscellaneous sports bloggers and other  unsavory characters.

Assuming an average of 2K real-people looks  a year, then approximately 7 real people look at CPaL each day.

If you are one of the 'Magnificent 7' , we urge you to get professional help as soon as possible.

The staff of CPaL disavows any knowledge of satanic messages appearing in CPaL posts read backwards and we assure you that neither Chad nor Vod pay any serious attention to the messages they receive directly from their dogs.

While it defies all reason, we thank you for your loyalty, proving once again, there is no accounting for taste.


Monday, January 13, 2014

“Morally, he’s broke.”

“Morally, he’s broke.” 

Neither Chad nor I have enough information to substantiate that claim as fact and we should all be extremely careful about making moral judgments at the risk of pissing off a whole host of gods, saviors, and deistic entities populating Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other assorted brands of religion worldwide.

What we can, however, be reasonably sure of is that the institution of Major League Baseball, where A-Rod plied his craft, is and has been morally corrupt for decades.

For decades, players were no more than chattle to the teams that literally owned lifetime access to their services, period.

For decades, baseball remained an exclusive white men’s club. Long after people of color were allowed to die on the battlefields of Europe and remote Pacific islands, none were allowed to play in the “All-White” American and “All-White” National Leagues.

For decades, major league baseball owners, managers and trainers, led by Mr. Commissioner Bud “I See Nothing” Selig, reveled in the superhuman stats put up by the most successful juicers of the not-yet-over PED Era and “saw nothing” all the way to the bank. This same cast of elites did everything possible to discredit players that finally broke the rule of ‘what happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse’, and let us all in on baseball’s latest dirty little secret.

Whatever A-Rod has done pales in comparison to the well-documented systemic corruption of owners and the Commissioner’s regime.

As for the “process” working? The process is defined by contractual agreement between the owners and the players union, the two groups who together fought against testing for years and finally instituted a testing program that was described by MLB’s paid sleaze and informant Tony Bosch as “easy as cake” to circumvent.  It requires a limbo-low standard of performance to have any confidence in a decision regarding PED’s rendered by that cabal.

Whether A-Rod used PED’s or not will become historically irrelevant. The lasting poster boys for PED’s in baseball are soon to be enshrined in Cooperstown. Torre and LaRussa, men paid to know, men who spent eight months a year watching their charges metamorphosing into circus freaks yet saw nothing, knew nothing and said nothing, will remain MLB’s constant reminders to baseball fans that ‘there’s a sucker born every minute’, and for years it’s been us.


Sunday, January 12, 2014


...and maybe forever. His suspension was reduced from 211 games to 162, effectively eliminating his participation in the 2014 season. He'll be 391/2 when he's eligible again in 2015 but will have played for only two months since 2011. How effective could he be at that point? I'm glad that the system worked, but you have to feel somewhat sad for the demise of the career of as talented a baseball player as he was. The same way I feel bad for Daryle Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. Yes, they bring it on themselves, but not only did they deprive themselves, but also the baseball fan, the person who paid money he probably can't afford to watch these gifted athletes perform. It's been estimated that A-Rod has earned over $450 million in his career, including the $95+ million the Yankees will still have to pay him, but that's just money. Morally, he's broke.

It appears that Syracuse picked a good time to join the ACC. After beating N. Carolina handily yesterday, the Orange are 16-0 and 3-0 in the ACC. Perennially powerhouses, Duke, N Caro., N Caro State and Maryland  are a combined 4-8 in the conference and 43-21 overall. Right now, Syracuse looks like the big dog in the ACC. There's a long, long way to go, however. There are some holes in the Syracuse game and the ACC teams will eventually figure them out.

I've often said that one of the things I most admired about Bobby Knight was that he ran a clean program. He insisted that his players attended classes, maintained their grades and acted like responsible citizens. Dean Smith operated the same way. Well, Dean and Bobby are gone and unfortunately, their legacy does not live on. We've seen the shameful acts perpetrated on the college sport scenes by Ohio State or coaches like John Calipari, but did you expect to see such situations like this to happen at North Carolina? Gird you loins and read this article by Phil Mushnick of the New York Post.

Johnny Manziel opted for the NFL draft. He's one of the most talked about players in the country, but how well will he perform in the pro game? He's certainly quick and has a good arm, but he's still a little guy. Before you try to tell me how wrong I am, I give you two words: Doug Flutie. Same kind of player, similar size and a great leader. He ended up a serviceable player, but certainly no cinch Hall of Famer.

It looks like the Yanks are about to throw another $120 million at a Japanese phenom, one Nasahiro Tanaka, plus another $20 million for the 'right' to give him that money. To quote Charlie Brown: "This better work."

Two more NFL playoff games today. I hope we don't have to listen to a lot of jibber-jabber from the announcers about the weather. Let's save it for the Super Bowl in February in New Jersey, where you can get good odds on a snowstorm, an ice storm or some very frigid weather.

By the way, am I the only one who's ears are bleeding after listening to two hours of screaming and blither from Dick Vitale...BABY?  At one point he named three different NC players in the space of 10 minutes, whose "...outstanding play was critical if Carolina was going to win."   I never knew that.I guess it was easier to say that than actually research the teams before the game. Retire, please, Mr Vitale. My ears are begging you.

"The Chiefs, going for their first playoff win in 20 years, blew a 28-point, second-half lead. The low point occurred when Chiefs kicker Charlie Brown was about to kick a field goal and Chiefs holder Lucy pulled the ball away."  -- Brad Dickson
"Apparently women’s ski jumping hasn’t been in the Olympics until now because some (men) were afraid it could damage female fertility. Uh, except which sex has the more external, and thus at risk, fertility “parts”?"  -- Janice Hough
"Ronda Rousey (current MMA Champion) admits to a crush on retired MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, saying that she’d ‘have 57 of his babies’.If she wanted 57 babies with someone, wouldn’t she have better luck with a retired NBA legend?"  -- Bill Littlejohn
"The Colts fined punter Pat McAfee for tweeting a candid locker-room photo showing Andrew Luck’s naked backside. That’s what you call getting thrown for a loss on a naked bootleg."  -- Dwight Perry
"A minor league hockey fan in Norfolk, Va., caught a puck in one hand while he held a sleeping baby in the other. But the real trick was balancing that beer atop his head."  -- Brad Dickson
"According to a new study, fits of laughter can lead to fatal asthma attacks, heart ruptures and seizures. More bad news for Maple Leafs fans."  -- RJ Currie


Friday, January 10, 2014


Yasiel Puig has been stopped twice for speeding, once at over 100 MPH. In the category of "Idiotic Things Professional Athletes Do," Puig has effectively put A-Rod's antics on page two. Now Puig has said he has hired his cousin to drive for him. They never learn. We saw how hiring cousins worked out for A-Rod.

I read that LeBron James claim to be Johnny Manziel's mentor. I don't think LeBron realizes that Manziel doesn't get to pick his team, which eliminates a one-hour special, "The Decision - Part II."

Dan Le Betard, who writes for the Miami Herald, turned his BB HOF vote over to Deadspin, a sports blog. Deadspin polled it's readers on who to vote for, and Le Betard followed the results. While somewhat unorthodox, it doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me, the Baseball Writers of America, have taken away Le Betard's vote for a year, maybe as long as five years. Yeah, we can't have the uneducated, uninformed American masses involved in such a complicated activity as voting players into the hallowed grounds of the Hall of Fame. No, it takes the expert, analytical thought processes of the baseball writers to screw, er, make that determination. And a fine job they've done so far.

Interesting note, Tom Glavine, just voted into the Hall, was the NL player Union representative during most of the "steroid era," and was one of those people who argued against steroid testing. Just think, if he had lobbied FOR testing, maybe guys like Clemens and Bonds might have been standing on the podium alongside Glavine this summer.  

Buster Olney, whom I respect, has listed four suggestions to help repair what he calls a flawed voting system for the HOF. All the suggestions are designed to open up the voting, allowing more players to get elected. I disagree in principle. The selection should be more stringent. Half the players that writers mention when they discuss who wasn't elected,don't belong in the Hall anyway. I firmly believe that Hall should contain outstanding, exceptional players, not those who were just good, or even very good. Don Mattingly is a perfect example. He had a career that was certainly going to put him in the Hall, but was cut short by injuries. How can you vote for a player based on what you THOUGHT he was going to do? So Mattingly won't ever be elected. Sad, but proper, in my humble opinion.

"Roger Goodell says the NFL is open to expanding the playoffs from 12 to 14, possibly as early as 2015. Will be interesting then to see how the Dallas Cowboys will manage to finish 15th."  -- Janice Hough
"A man donated a testicle to science in exchange for $35,000 to buy a new Nissan 370Z. I'd hate to think what he would have had to donate if he wanted a Porsche."  -- Brad Dickson
"Figure skater Brian Boitano has admitted he is gay. Really? There’s a guy who didn’t even have a door for his closet."  -- TC Chong
"At Major League Baseball's winter meetings, two player agents got into a fistfight. So, home-plate collisions are gonna be banned, but it's OK for agents to throw down at the winter meetings?"  -- Brad Dickson
"What's with that 49ers’ timeout when the Packers tried a field goal to end the half in the Wild Card? It was about -23 Celsius with wind chill; do you really need to ice the kicker?"  -- RJ Currie
"Hall of Very Good opens across the street from Baseball HOF in Cooperstown to very good reviews."  --
"Why did FIFA chose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup? Because Death Valley was busy."  -- Jerry Periso
"The weather forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of rain for the Seahawks-Saints playoff game.  Or, as we call it in these parts, Saturday."  -- Dwight Perry
"Johnny Manziel is headed to the NFL. Through force of habit, he wants $65 to sign his name on the contract."  -- Brad Dickson


We're Number Dumb

Eat your heart out, Canada. Sure, you had a good run of headline-making scandal centered on a bombastic, morbidly obese, crack smoking mayor who reveled in  partying till he puked. But it’s all over but the crying. When the USA needs to get the really dirty jobs taken care of we send out a call to New Jersey… and the Jersey boys get the job done.

Need to 'off' a mayor? We’ll send in Gov. Chris Christie.

You say RoFo was fat? Not to worry.  Big Chris still carries a couple of tons of fighting weight. The picture jockeys will need their wide angle lenses to capture our guy.

Hanging with crack heads and boozehounds is the crime? This one is easy to top. Our guys create the biggest intentional traffic jam in NY/NJ history, closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, shutting down emergency vehicle access, risking the lives of anyone needing hospital transport and all the while making sure that it's timed to ensnare hundreds of kids in traffic-trapped school buses.

And we can do the job on the cheap. Give us a couple of bucks for traffic cones and it's done with perfectly plausible deniability for Big Chris.

 “I was out getting a cannoli when all this went down,” claimed the Governor.

It feels great to get that All-American mojo back. USA! NJ! NJ!

Thanks to Chad...
for performing the obligatory congrats to the most recent HOF inductees, deserving or not. Given the Hall's reputation for the blind-leading-the blind it's surprising that hundreds of umpires have not been enshrined.

A special thanks goes out to Skip Bayles for impugning the reputation of Frank Thomas on ESPN's Gasbag Extravaganza, aka 'First Take'. SkippyBoy is certainly the Duke of Douche,
pointing out that while there is not now or ever has been any claim by anyone, any reasonable suspicion, or any evidence of any kind that The Big Hurt used PEDs, doesn't mean he never has. Nice hatchet job, animated by a shrug of the shoulders, by one of the really vile talking heads.

I'm preparing an analysis of the current SU basketball squad. It should be ready by next May and expect it will be totally accurate.

Sympathy to those residing in the Tug Hill.

 - V

Friday, January 03, 2014


It won’t be long now that the baseball season will begin in earnest with less than ninety days and counting until the Yankees open the 2014 season in, YAWN, Houston.

While doggedly trying to hang on to the fantasy of being “America’s Pastime”, baseball remains the most sleep inducing of the three major professional sports – baseball, basketball and football - competing for attention, and there is no point in pretending that soccer, hockey, golf or NASCAR is in the same league as the Big 3.

Football, played at both the professional NFL and professional Collegiate level, is the clear winner for violence, drama, horror, bigotry and everything else that captures the imagination of ESPN talking heads, sports writers and unemployed bloggers. Football provides a consistent stream of rapists, murderers, bigots of every kind and description including homophobes and racists, wife beaters, men with imaginary girlfriends… and all before a game is actually played.

The mayhem and violence in the game leaves many players suffering debilitating brain trauma, drug addiction and shortened lives. Now that’s entertainment.

While basketball is second to football in destructive, anti-social and criminal behavior it excels in providing a basis for illegal gambling, turning teenagers into bling-flaunting multimillionaires, and in the distinction of having the entire month of March named for temporary insanity. And talk about commitment to the game, in 45 states the highest paid state employee is not a governor or head of a major state department, but a football or basketball coach.

All that baseball offers is a few guys who have turned themselves into disfigured circus freaks with better living through chemistry, several who forgot how to speak English under oath, an occasional dude driving 110 in a 45 and Derek Jeter, the Yankees Golden Boy who pissed off nearby residents by building a twelve foot high wall around his Florida estate in violation of local zoning. How long can such trivia keep our attention?

Many have argued that the beauty of baseball is in the game. Bushwah.

Go to any game and it is quickly obvious that the real beauty is in ignoring the game. You’ll find more people catching up on events with friends, drinking a few beers, munching ballpark food, shopping for team shirts and souvenirs and doing everything possible to ignore the tedium that is the game.

Try watching a televised baseball game, aka, commercial delivery system. I defy anyone to watch a full nine innings without nodding off less than three times, taking multiple bathroom breaks, changing channels seven or more times, preparing and consuming four snacks and getting annoyed that the few significant plays in the game all occurred during one of the aforementioned breaks.

But baseball does have its endearing qualities. I like catching up with friends at a game. I like hotdogs and a beer. And no other sport has made a fashion statement close to the ubiquitous baseball cap, the enduring symbol of the game adopted by every other sport as an advertisement and cash cow. The cap has been copied by many and equaled by none.

The baseball cap is an enduring cultural icon loved by Americans of all ages. The Yankee cap is, without doubt, a first among equals, recognized worldwide, both loved and hated by millions. Travel anywhere in the country and you’ll see people sporting baseball caps, year round. Brooklyn hasn’t had a baseball team in over 50 years but a Brooklyn Dodgers replica cap remains a best seller.

The game – generally slow paced, methodical, with brief moments of excitement. Many can take it or leave it. Baseball caps? The best in the business.


Corporate America is such a swell bunch of guys and gals with leaders who have nothing but the best interests of their employees directing their every action. While we applauded McDonalds for encouraging their underpaid employees to apply for food stamps, they have stepped up their game this holiday season. Apparently assuming that all of their employees lived in houses with actual golden arches, McResource (isn't that precious!), the companies employee advisement website, explained how to tip servants at the holidays. Fortunately, the website quoted the famous etiquette expert Emily Post, reminding their fast food workers that one week's pay plus a small gift was standard for an au pair, as well as the generous cash gifts expected by pool cleaners, massage therapists, and housekeepers. You know, the usual staff employed by people who work at McDonald's.