Monday, March 30, 2015

Goodbye Hoosiers, Goodbye

Remember the character "Granny" in Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josie Wales ? Her best line in the movie was, 'I never thought much of Hoosiers either.'

Sadly prophetic of Indiana's successful quest to make the down-the-rabbit-hole North Carolina state legislature look like the paradigm of reason; Indiana SB101 aka 'The Sanctify My Irrational Hate and Give Me That Old-Time Religion Act'.

Economic boycotts of offending states is the preferred tool of the United States of America, soon followed by blowing people to bits if that doesn't work. I'm opting only for the former path of action (I neither have the inclination or the means to blow anyone to bits).

So, The NCAA with national headquarters in the state, Nestle (cranking out a mountain of Nesquick and CoffeeMate in HoosierTown) and Vera Bradley (the eye-wrenching bags that no one can miss), you're off my list of vendors from whom I'll buy.

I checked this out with Rand, Jeb, Ted, Marco, Sean, Brisk Limpbisket, and Krauthammer the Impaler - they all said no need to punish business for the bigotry and stupid meanness of others. Buy. Spend. (Hey, me and my pals got stock!).

So not buying until Indiana relents must be the ethical thing to do.


Monday, March 23, 2015


At this point in baseball and college basketball,  the best players and teams should be emerging. We should be watching veterans and regulars on the diamond and high seeds still playing basketball. We should be reading about big names, familiar names, throwing strikes and hitting the ball, yet on Sunday, the Yanks were still playing guys with numbers in the 70's. On the court, there is still a #11 seed, a #8 seed and a #7 seed still shooting for the national title, when all we should see are #4 seeds and above. So apparently Cinderella is alive and kicking. There are a couple of interesting matchups still ahead: North Carolina vs. Wisconsin and Duke vs. Utah.
A sad note - despite my best efforts, legal and illegal, Annie-O is again kicking my butt in our personal NCAA Bracket. Since she is ahead by 4 and I can only gain one more game the rest of the way, I am officially dead. I'm going to have to cheat better next year. Maybe I'll fill her bracket with teams that aren't included.

** I watched CC Sabathia pitch twice now and his fastball is reaching 92 and 93 mph, speeds he hasn't achieved in two years. Everyone is saying how much better he looks and how pleased they are with his progress. Sorry, I have seen 4 home runs being hit and many line drives. So maybe his velocity is back, but the Yanks still have two losses when he pitches and that's what counts.

** I see that A-Rod's cousin and cohort in steroids, Yuri Sucart, has pleaded guilty. I don't know if it's to drug charges or to being A-Rod's cousin. (I think these are identical felonies)

** After watching the Yanks new shortstop, Didi Gregorious throw to first, I mentioned to Annie-O that he seems to have an exceptionally strong arm, however, it could be because I'm comparing it to Derek Jeter, who had lost most of the zip off his throws the last two years

** Baseball Tonight (BBTN) is ranking the top ten players at each position, starting with the three outfield spots. Boston, with 7 players competing for 3 spots, placed only one outfielder altogether. Interestingly, it's Hanley Ramirez as #4 in Left Field. This is a shortstop converting to left field and already he's better than 26 other left fielders? Brett Gardner is listed as #10, which is just as puzzling.

** The Wisconsin players had a good time with an NCAA official stenographer after their game. Here's the video and subsequent interview with Badger Nigel Hayes.
“Before I answer that question, I would like to say a few words: cattywampus, onomatopoeia and antidisestablishmentarianism,” Hayes said, according to the stenographer, who spelled the words correctly. “Now, back to your question."
 When asked about his unexpected words, Hayes explained his fascination with the stenographer’s job. “She does an amazing job of typing words, sometimes if words are not in her dictionary, maybe if I say soliloquy right now, she may have to work a little bit harder to type that word,” Hayes said, “or quandary, zephyr, Xylophone, things like that, that make her job really interesting.”
You have to remember that these are still just kids, not jaded, professional superstars. At least somebody is still having fun.

We sometimes forget that umpires have spring training, too. Here's good old Joe West getting in HIS work. 
(Courtesy of Dwight Perry)

"I just saw a list of "The 10 Wealthiest People in Omaha." Six of them are ticket scalpers in front of the CenturyLink Center."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Rangers working on the squeeze in spring training. They're trying to get Prince Fielder in a size-medium pants."  -- Alan Ray
"Talk about watching an overmatched 16-seed taking on a 1-seed on national TV this week.
But enough about Dick Vitale kissing Ashley Judd."  -- Dwight Perry
"March Madness. That’s the big tournament where you start out with 64 teams, and in only three weeks you’re down to no girlfriend."  -- Seth Meyers
"Artist  Yuriy Alekseev  is gaining fame for paintings done at the bottom of a Siberian lake. He specializes in waterscapes and portraits of Russian Olympians who didn’t medal in Sochi."  -- RJ Curry
"Kentucky’s 5-foot-9 Tyler Ulis got into a stare-down with Auburn’s 7-2 Trayvon Reed in the SEC tournament. This is the first sign Kentucky may be getting overconfident."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Sharks and Jets tangled again Tuesday night, with players sent off for holding, slashing, high-sticking, cross-checking, roughing and misconduct in Winnipeg’s 5-2 NHL victory. So who was the referee? Officer Krupke?" -- Joel Broudy 
"Baylor, Texas, SMU and Texas Southern all lost their NCAA-tournament openers Thursday. Last time the state of Texas had a day this bad, the Alamo was involved"  -- Janice Hough
"March Madness has officially begun today, where people that know nothing about college basketball fill out “bracket” pool sheets. Most of the players couldn’t tell you where Xavier, Villanova, SMU, Virginia or Michigan State are if you gave them a map and a GPS."  -- TC Chong
"An Indianapolis building saluted Colts receiver Reggie Wayne by lighting offices to form number 87. Not to be outdone, Toronto’s CN Tower saluted Leafs’ management by only using dim bulbs"  -- RJ Curry
" Hampton beat Manhattan in a play-in game for the privilege of getting hammered 79-56 by No. 1 Kentucky. Sort of like winning a competition between two Christians to meet the lions."  -- Janice Hough
"Tim Tebow worked out in Philadelphia for the Eagles. I won’t say how the passing drills went, but there are now two cracks in the Liberty Bell."  -- Brad Dickson
For my cousins, Cas & Fran:
"More people would call the Gambling Addicts Hotline if they made every fifth call a winner. -- Argus Hamilton


Saturday, March 21, 2015

FockxsNews wants Bilas

51 seconds left in a 2 score UAlbany - Oklahoma  game Oklahoma player drives the baseline from the right corner. Official positioned just outside the left baseline block has an unobstructed view of the driver as he steps out of bounds. Official is either dead, in a comma or has dozed off, no call. And that's after watching less than 30 seconds of that game.

J. Bilas, ESPN's new Senior Officials Apologist Person, also known as the 'softSOAPer' says no call was the right call. Bilas commented, "Why interrupt a nice drive and TV moment just because the player committed a rules infraction?" Reliable sources report that Bilas will leave ESPN to head a FoxNews sports-only schedule of shows. Fockx believes that his uncanny and new-found ability to distort reality and not believe his own lyin' eyes will bring their new, fair and balanced sports shows in line with their 'Blame-Stream'  propaganda products.

While Bilas can dunk on Hannity at will, it maybe a while before he will be able to lie, obfuscate and deny like the wily veteran.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Five month old grand-daughter Mabel has completed her bracket in the family pool. Mom put post-its with the name of each pairing on her high-chair tray table and whichever Mabes touched first was deemed the winner of that game.

Miss Mae had Albany and SMU among the final four. I like it. The-longest-of-shots New York team and Larry Brown. That's great stuff.

And, no lie, she has Kentucky winning it all.

The tournament is an amazing event but is never an end that justifies academic fraud as a means. I wonder what the NCAA will make of the more than $300,000.00 North Carolina will pay to settle the wrongful dismissal suit filed by the most ethical person on the campus. I suspect the shoveling has already begun.

Watch the games if you're a fan of college basketball or a professional gambler but be fully aware of what you are seeing.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


In a lot of ways, what the media calls "Championship Week" is more exciting than the actual NCAA Tourny. A lot of teams playing in conference tournaments this week consider just making the NCAA's a successful season. Consequently, the players go all out.

I also like this time because I discover new schools, new nicknames and some cute cheer-leading stunts.

** Wish they all could be California...**
The state of California has 12 teams playing today, with 6 of them playing each other:
CS Northside vs UC Davis
UC Riverside vs UC Irvine
CAl Poly vs UC Santa Barbara

** It's in code **
(Florida International vs University of Texas-El Paso)
(Univ. of Texas-Pan American vs Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City)

** When just the state isn't enough**
Everybody is familiar with Michigan or Tennessee, but that doesn't mean there aren't other deserving universities in the states. They just need help locating them, so:
  The East:
Eastern Washington
Eastern Carolina
Eastern Michigan
  The West:
Western Kentucky 
  The North:
Northern Colorado
Northern Arizona
  The South:
South Florida
  And let's not forget:
Middle Tennessee

** No fair praying**
St Joseph's vs St. Bonaventure
(I wonder if the Lord changes sides at halftime?)

**Ahh, the nicknames**
  All that glitters -
Golden Eagles - Golden Bears - Golden Panthers
Naturally, with so many teams (there's 120 playing today), there's bound to be duplications.
3 Wildcats, 2 Cardinals, 2 Fightin' (Irish & Illini) and 4 Bulldogs.
If you're wearing a "Go Rams" T-shirt at this Atlantic 10 Conference game between Fordham and VCU you'll fit right in: both claim the Rams as their nickname.
Some nicknames don't bring nice images to mind: If the Demons play the Vandals, the refs may have to carry weapons.
We're all familiar with the animal mascots - Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh my), but I think I'd have trouble getting behind the Kangaroos or the Anteaters. I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation of a "Hoya."

**Blood on the water**
Some real emotion-packed games today.
NC State vs Duke and North Carolina vs Louisville
St Joe's vs St Bonaventure (Don't worry. It'll be holy water)

** A-Rod hit a home run yesterday. Are we done with the national headlines documenting his every move now? I am.

"David Ortiz says the league should go after pitchers to speed up MLB games. This from a guy whose home run trots can be timed on a sundial."  -- RJ Currie
"The world record in the ski jump was broken two days in a row — the second time I believe by a Boston commuter."  -- Brad Dickson
"An office building in Indianapolis configured its lights to form the number 87 as a tribute to just-released Colts receiver Reggie Wayne. Cleveland, not to be outdone, left a skyscraper totally lit in honor of Johnny Manziel."  -- Dwight Perry
"2015 has started off as a wild year. Two llamas escape, nobody can agree on the colors of a dress, and Harrison Ford has hit more fairways than Tiger Woods."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"The Houston Texans just traded QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to the NY Jets. Not sure how Fitzpatrick feels about the deal. But isn’t it many little boys’ dream to grow up and join the circus?"  -- Janice Hough
"Monday was National Napping Day. This is when we announce the teams chosen to play in the NIT, no?"  -- Brad Dickson
"The Jets traded for receiver Brandon Marshall but still have no decent quarterback. That’s like someone who can’t cook buying a great set of pots and pans."  -- Greg Cote
"Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard drew fire for eating lunch during an intrasquad game. He should know better — usually other teams eat the Mets’ lunch."  -- RJ Currie



Sunday, March 08, 2015


** A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod. He's been the big story for the last two weeks. Can he still play? Can he still hit? What will the Yanks do with him? Where will he play? Will he just DH? But mostly, can he still hit? So he singled in his first at bat since September of 2013. It started out being described as a line drive, but I've seen enough replays to know it was really just a soft, hump-backed liner to left field. I know, it's still early, but will someone please tell the media?

** Speaking of hitting, one of the Yanks' pick-ups from last year, outfielder Chris Young, struck out in an intra-squad game yesterday - against a pitching machine. When asked about it, Young replied, "Well, they do throw kinda hard."  He did ask for the umpire to check for excess lubricating oil.

** Another one bites the dust. The Texas Ranger's Yu Darvish may soon be undergoing Tommy John surgery. (So many pitchers are having this surgery, the media now just calls it "TJ surgery" or just "TJ.")  I think Mr. Tommy John should ask for royalties.

** According to reports out of  Port St Lucie, the Met's ace, Matt Harvey was lights out in his first efforts after having "TJ" surgery (there, I said it) last year. Supposedly, his velocity reached 99 mph. You can't always trust those training camp radar guns. Annie-O registered an 86 last year and she's had two knee replacements.

** The Syracuse Orange didn't look too good yesterday, fading badly in the second half after staying with NC State for the first 20 minutes. Coach Boeheim didn't look good at all by skipping the post-game interviews and tossing assistant Mike Hopkins out there instead. The media is calling for his resignation or firing over the misdeeds of the past. I agree -- if he can take John Calipari with him. Calipari ruined two other basketball programs and left both in the lurch to suffer sanctions while he went merrily on his way to Kentucky, free as a bird. His recruiting violations at UMass and Memphis resulted in sanctions that he never had to deal with, simply by leaving for another job. 

Not to lessen the violations made at Syracuse, but here's a link to some of the worst violators:

** Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh coached first base for the Oakland A's during a spring training game yesterday. Apparently, he's preparing a second career while we wait for his expected departure from the Wolverine program when he finally irritates the Michigan University officials. Smart move, Jim. We all know how secure baseball coaching jobs are. 

I haven't blogged in a while, but other people have been busy -- very busy.
"Tickets for the Oakland A’s third game of the season start at $4. This is affordable to most everybody except Oakland A’s players."  -- Brad Dickson
"Saturday night we turned our clocks forward an hour. Knicks fans are just hoping they could turn the clock forward to the end of the season."  -- Janice Hough
"The Cleveland Browns unveiled their new helmet that’s a more vivid orange. Now, if only they could make Johnny Manziel brighter."  -- Ian Hamilton
"Ex-NHLer Eric Lindros, in a defamation suit against former referee Paul Stewart, claimed Stewart called him “unfriendly, hostile, rude, insulting, vindictive, cruel, uncharitable and generally a despicable person”: Which I’m figuring is about 5 for 8."  -- Steve Simmons
"MMA champ Ronda Rousey needed just 14 seconds to win on Saturday night. As for her next bout, it’ll be between pitches at a Yankees-Red Sox game."  -- Dwight Perry
" The NE Patriots have decided  not to pick up Vince Wilfork’s two year option, which will free $8M in their salary cap hit. They will further save $2.5M in food costs which they will transfer to the Red Sox so they can afford to feed Pablo Sandoval and Big Papi."  -- TC Chong
"At UFC 184, Ronda Rousey submitted Cat Zingano in 14 seconds. I’d make a joke here, but I’m pretty sure if I fought Rousey, I’d submit during the pre-fight weigh-in"  -- Brad Dickson
"Tennessee released tackle Michael Oher, the inspiration for “The Blind Side”: “Michael took the news fine, but Sandra Bullock had to be escorted off Titans property."  -- Bill Littlejohn
 "Patriots decline to pick up the option on Vince Wilfork, thus creating two open roster spots."  --
"The NCAA brought the hammer down on the Syracuse basketball program and Orange coach Jim Boeheim, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Legal experts say they’d never seen five lawyers come out in a zone defense before."  -- Dwight Perry
" Two Tennessee high school girls basketball teams got banned from the post-season for intentionally trying to lose a game to avoid facing the top seed. The first thing that gave them away? They came out in tank tops."  -- RJ Currie
"The ex-manager of the Lincoln Race Course claims he was fired after reporting that cashiers gave cash to people who didn’t even bet. Of all the ideas I’ve heard to revive the popularity of horse racing, this one’s probably the best."  -- Brad Dickson 
"In a most bizarre game between the Leaf and the Panthers, both Florida goalies were injured. Starter Roberto Luongo left the game after the 1st period, was replaced by Al Montoya and was in his street clothes when Montoya had to leave the game. Luongo supposedly returned at the 9:08 mark of the third and stopped all three shots he faced. The Leafs never even noticed that the “replacement Luongo” was a cardboard cutout."  -- TC Chong
"Recently-married Joey Logano called his Daytona 500 winner’s ring harder to replace than his wedding ring. If marriage were racing, his first lap started in a ten-car pileup."  -- TJ Currie



Saturday, March 07, 2015


Syracuse AD Darryl Gross either deserves high-fives for trying to take the heat off Jim Boeheim or acknowledgement for winning ‘The 2015 Dumbest Man in the Room’ competition with his response to SU’s failure to coherently administer its drug testing policies.

Ever the jokester, Gross said, “The (athletic) department followed an ‘unwritten policy’ because the written policy was confusing.”

Amazing! Given poor reading comprehension skills, Darryl’s department just decided to make stuff up. Perhaps Darryl and other highly paid department administrators should have used the tutors that completed athlete’s papers to provide them with a single syllable interpretation of the written policy so they would no longer be confused.

On a positive note, Darryl and his staff have at least provided Common Core proponents with ammunition for major instructional change to ensure that high-level employees of major universities have basic reading comprehension skills.

All this time I thought ‘Cuse was an endearing nickname for Syracuse University athletic teams. Now it’s clear that the AD and others found the full name “Syracuse University” to be incomprehensible and officially downsized the name to the single syllable ‘Cuse to avoid confusion.

Good job.