Monthly Archives: August 2016

Thank God. Praise Jesus. Mazel Tov.

Tonight is a night I have been long awaiting. I thought it migh tnever arrive.

Later this evening, the 2016 Summer Olympics are OVER. FINISHED. DONE.

I cannot stand the Olympics, period. I am sick and tired of turning on ESPN and having more than half of SportsCenter dedicated to the Olympics. I watch ESPN to get away from the Olympics, because every NBC Universal-affiliated network (USA, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, and of course NBC Sports Network) is foisting the Olympics upon the United States. Yet I have to hear about the Olympics during a time I want to see Major League Baseball highlights or the latest news from National Football League training camp.

These Olympics have been mostly about three athletes. all of whom I hope to never hear about again as long as I live. At least Serena Williams was bounced early from the tennis competition, or I’m sure we’d be hearing about her ad nauseam too.

Simone Biles is the greatest gymnast who ever lived, at least according to those in Rio “reporting” back to the United States. More accurately, Biles is being declared the greatest gymnast who ever lived by the American propaganda machine disguised as reporters.

I guess Olga Korbut never existed. Neither did Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Shannon Miller, Carly Patterson or Shawn Johnson, and certainly none of the great gymnasts who followed Korbut in Russia and the former Soviet republics, nor anyone who followed Comaneci from Romania. If you don’t accept Biles as the greatest who ever lived, I guess you’re anti-American.

I guess I’m anti-American. I’m not buying the Biles crap for one nanosecond. I didn’t watch, and I never will watch. If I never hear the name Simone Biles again, although I’m sure she will be plastered all over the TV screens of the world come 2020, I’ll be a happy man.

Michael Phelps. I was fed up with him in 2008, when NBC tried to shame those who didn’t think he was the greatest Olympic athlete who ever. I didn’t like him then, I don’t like him now. I will not watch swimming. NO WAY.

As for Ryan Lochte, enough is enough. He needs to shut up and just go away. Forever and ever.

I’ve also had enough of the US women’s basketball team. Nobody else cares about women’s basketball. Really. And does anyone in the United States really care about women’s basketball outside of Connecticut and eastern Tennessee? LSU went to five consecutive women’s Final Fours from 2004-08, but women’s basketball was never going to be more than the fourth most popular sport at LSU. Until there’s more competition, both at the Olympic level and in the college game, it will continue to be a backwater. And as long as there’s no competition, I don’t care.

I’ve also had enough of Twitter blaring the Olympics. A few people I know are way too emotionally invested. WAY TOO MUCH. Robin Fambrough, I’m looking at you.

Relatively early Saturday

It is really nice outside. The mercury has dropped, the sun is shining, and there is zero chance of any more rain. It poured over the eastern half of Kansas yesterday, so much so that it forced the suspension of numerous high school football games in western Missouri, and the Royals-Twins game at Kauffman Stadium had a rain delay of 3 hours, 35 minutes. It ended at 2:15 this morning on Eric Hosmer’s game-winning single as Kansas City won in 11 innings 5-4.

I want to make a drive east today. In the past, I would have stayed up all night and left before sunrise. Today, I slept until 5:55 (I went to bed at 9:30 last night), watched some more of The O.C., and finally got in the shower at 8:55. I’m almost ready to go, but I wanted to update the blog and download some new music to the iPod for the drive. I have to get gas before I leave Russell.

Most Saturdays, I used to sleep until a ridiculously late hour. Last Saturday, I was groggy the whole day because I took a Seroquel tablet the night before. I’ve learned now I sleep well enough only with the machine, and taking Seroquel will only aggravate me for the next day.

No Buffalo Wild Wings today. There’s a major UFC card tonight, and I do not like being there when fights are going on. It gets nuts. I thought about going over Tuesday, but the weather looks iffy. Next Friday looks like a much better day, as does Saturday. And if I’ve got work that needs to get done this week, better I’m here.

God my wall clock is 6-7 minutes fast. Maybe that’s too much. Then again, it gives me a sense of urgency to get things done.

Ending a long silence, take 32

I haven’t posted anything in too long. I had something terrible happen to me the afternoon of August 10, about five hours after I arrived at home following my latest trip to Kansas City. The drive from Kansas City to Russell was smooth, but after that, my life descended into deep hell.

I cried almost all throughout my session with Crista the next day. My eyes were red as, ironically, I stopped in at Dr. Jones’ office to pick up my contact lenses and get a pair of reading glasses, because I’ve been having trouble seeing small print up close. The reading glasses have helped, but I still made an appointment for this coming Thursday, the 25th, to check out my prescription.

I went off my sleep machine for a couple of nights. I was going to go off my meds, too, but Dr. Custer kicked my tail a bit when I saw her the day after my appointment with Crista. I agreed for her to go back on my meds and sleep machine.

Now I have a problem with the sleep machine. Not the machine itself, but the mask. There are way too many straps to keep up with. I am seriously considering a full face mask. The nasal mask is nice, but I might feel better with a different one. My health insurance will pay for it.

I had another session with Crista this past Wednesday. Told her I’m scared about what might be coming, but she also told me that I needed to see Catilyn play her first match on the 30th. Norton’s home playing Hill City and Ellis, which is good for me, since I will get to see someone else I don’t see enough, Linda Nighswonger, who coaches the Ringnecks. I also need to see Peggy, obviously.

Dawn Amos’ birthday was last Sunday. I feel bad I couldn’t go to Kansas City to see her. I promised Robb I would come back soon, hopefully next week. I can’t go Thursday due to my appointments, but Tuesday is a possibility. I won’t be able to on Tuesdays until late October if I want to see Caitlyn play.

Speaking of birthdays, a very important one is next Friday. I’ll explain in an upcoming post.

I’ve been watching The O.C. way too much. Today is a very good day to be watching, as the man who gave us Sandy Cohen, Peter Gallagher, turns 61. He looks fabulous. Hard to believe yesterday marked the 27th anniversary of the nationwide premiere of Sex. Lies and Videotape, which starred Gallagher, Andie MacDowell, Laura San Giacomo and James Spader. The movie was shot in Baton Rouge in late 1988, a year after another film, Everybody’s All-American, was filmed in Louisiana’s capital.

Today, Baton Rouge is a real-life horror movie. Most of the city and surrounding area is reeling from devastating floods which have left 13 dead and tens of thousands homeless. It will go down as one of the worst non-hurricane natural disasters in Louisiana’s history.

Livingston Parish, east of Baton Rouge along Interstate 12, was hit much worse than the big city. Denham Springs, the largest community in Livingston, was swamped. Schools in Denham Springs won’t open until at least late September, and Denham Springs High may be closed until mid-October. I once covered a basketball game there. The hometown Yellow Jackets bombed Baton Rouge Catholic 85-59, shooting 60 percent from the field.

Another place I’m familiar with which was badly flooded was St. Amant, a tight-knit community in southeastern Ascension Parish, about 40 minutes south of where I used to live in Baton Rouge. I saw an aerial photo of St. Amant High, and it was completely underwater. The Pit, the football stadium at St. Amant Primary, fared no better. I spent many a Friday night at The Pit, including one where O. Perry Walker of New Orleans gained 707 yards and LOST. Twenty-one penalties for 182 yards and a defense which gave up 51 points will do that.

I am sick and tired of the Olympics. SICK AND TIRED. Come Monday morning, the world will be a better place. No more Olympics until the 2018 Winter Games, and no more summer crap until 2020. And hopefully Ryan Lochte and his pals will never be heard from again.

Buffalo Wild Wings bat cave

I have had trouble the last two days reading the menu and seeing things on my phone at Buffalo Wild Wings. I am a little concerned, but at least I can see the television screens, and I have not had any problems driving. 

The lighting at Buffalo Wild Wings, at least the one at Zona Rosa, is not optimal. It’s not this bad at Salina. Hopefully that’s the root cause of the blur, and when I get back to Russell later this week, it’s gone. 

I e-mailed Dr. Jones about it and she told me to just monitor it. Believe me I will. 

I’m back at B-Dubs for day four. I actually didn’t get there when the restaurant opened today, waiting until 11:30. I made a quick run to Hy-Vee, and then back to my hotel room to put some stuff away. Good move. I really had to use the restroom.

I also had to take a break this afternoon to get batteries in my three Fossil watches. While I waited, I walked over to Cold Stone Creamery and enjoyed a coffee ice cream creation. Delicious. 

I can’t stand hot coffee for the most part, but I can drink frozen coffee and eat coffee flavored ice cream all day and all night. Interesting. 

The heat and humidity are returning to Kansas City later this week. Hopefully I can wake up early enough and bolt Wednesday morning. Driving home will be easier, since (a) it’s not supposed to rain and (b) it will be away from the sun, so no glare. 

I’m a Jerry’s Kid

I first learned about the Green Bay Packers dynasty of Vince Lombardi in the mid-1980s. I learned the names of the stars of the team which won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls between 1961 and 1967: Starr, Hornung, Taylor (the most important for those growing up in Louisiana), Nitschke, Davis, Adderley, et. al.

And of course, the right guard leading Hornung and Taylor on the power sweep, #64, Jerry Kramer.

Kramer is by far the most famous athletic graduate from the University of Idaho. If you think it’s anywhere near Boise State (or Idaho State for that matter), think again. It’s way, up in Moscow, in the northern panhandle. It’s only 8 miles from Washington State (the university in Pullman). It’s in the Pacific Time Zone for crying out loud.

Kramer played 11 seasons for the Packers. In 1964, he nearly died due to actinomyosis, a bacterial disease which produces large abscesses in the mouth, lungs and intestines, and those abscesses can break open and spill pus filled with bacteria all over the body. He recovered and played four seasons after that, helping Green Bay win the NFL championship in 1965, then Super Bowls I and II the next two seasons.

In 1969, Kramer was voted as one of the guards on the NFL’s 50th anniversary team. He finished his career as a five-time first team All-Pro, and he was a second team All-Pro in 1968, his final season, despite playing on a 6-7-1 Packers team under Phil Bengston, who succeeded Lombardi as coach (Lombardi remained as general manager in Green Bay in 1968 before taking over as Redskins coach in 1969. He would be dead of colon cancer before the 1970 season began.).

Eleven of Kramer’s teammates–Starr, Hornung, Taylor, Nitschke, Adderley, Willie Wood, Jim Ringo, Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, Forrest Gregg and Dave Robinson–are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Why the hell is Gerald Louis Kramer not in the Hall of Fame?

Shame on you, PFHOF voters. You have kept this deserving man out of the hall longer than I have been alive! Kramer’s first year of eligibility was 1974. Okay, maybe he didn’t deserve to be inducted on the first or second ballot, but why was he not in by the late 1970s, by which time Taylor, Gregg and Starr were all inducted? Certainly he should have been in by 1984, the year Gregg succeeded Starr as Packers coach.

The seniors’ committee has been in charge of Kramer’s nomination since 1989. What the hell?

Let’s not forget Kramer was not only the leader of the famed and feared Green Bay Sweep, but he was also an accomplished author, writing Instant Replay, his diary of the 1967 season, and Distant Replay, which was a 1985 update on the Packers who played in Super Bowl I.

Also, Kramer could do more than block on the football field. In the 1962 NFL championship game, Kramer kicked three field goals despite 35-mile per hour winds swirling around Yankee Stadium, which dropped the wind chill to zero. Hornung, the regular kicker, had a sore leg, and Lombardi pressed Kramer into duty. As it turned out, those three field goals were the difference in the Packers’ 16-7 win over the Giants, capping a remarkable season in which Green Bay outscored its foes 431-155 and lost only once–at Detroit on Thanksgiving–in 15 games.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame website lists 44 offensive linemen (tackles, guards and centers) who played in the modern era (post-1950) in the Hall of Fame.

I look at some of the guards on the list, and wonder why the hell Kramer isn’t in, yet they are.

I can live with John Hannah in the Hall. I watched him play late in his career with the Patriots, and he was still as effective as ever. He may be the only one on the list who was better than Kramer.

Gene Upshaw? Didn’t care for him as NFLPA president, but no doubt he was a great one with the Raiders.

Larry Little? If he’s in the Hall, Kramer has to be. He was helped playing next to Hall of Fame center Jim Langer, and another guard who deserves serious consideration, Bob Kuechenberg.

But Joe DeLamielleure in ahead of Kramer? NO. NO. NO. He made his name off of blocking for O.J. Simpson in Buffalo. He blocked for Brian Sipe in Cleveland when he was the NFL’s MVP in 1980, but I can’t really think of much else which distinguishes him ahead of Kramer.

Tom Mack in ahead of Kramer? NO. He was helped playing with a tremendous unit, including Hall of Fame tackle Jackie Slater in the final years of his career with the Rams.

Billy Shaw in ahead of Kramer? PLEASE. Other than the Bills’ back-to-back AFL championships of 1964 and 1965, not much else I can think of which would make him more worthy than Kramer.

Russ Grimm in ahead of Kramer? It’s all because he played for The Hogs, who became notorious for blocking for two of football’s biggest hams, Joe Theismann and John Riggins. Yes, the Redskins won three Super Bowls with Grimm up front, but if Grimm is in, why isn’t left tackle Joe Jacoby?

To me, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is not complete until Mr. Kramer has a bust in Canton. Voters, do it in 2017 so he can enjoy this honor while he’s still alive.

No power and the missing escape

I’m off to a flying start this morning. Actually, it isn’t as bad as I would have made it out to be in the past.

I forgot the power adapter for my portable printer back in Russell. I don’t know how that happened, but it did. Not the end of the world. If it were September 7, not August 7, I would have been in a world of hurt. But right now, it’s only a minor inconvenience. I figure I’ll put any documents I need to print on a flash drive and go down to the hotel lobby.

Second, the “ESC” key is missing from my portable keyboard. Again, no big deal, since every other key is there, and if I really need to use ESC, it’s on the main computer keyboard. That’s working again somehow.

Yesterday had a very bad incident. I was losing at trivia, and then I got frustrated with a couple of people I had never seen before talking about the Olympics. I mentioned out loud that I don’t care for the Olympics and thought it was a waste of time.

The two people to my left did not like it. They wanted me to leave. I almost did. Fortunately for all of us, manager Chad McCart stepped in. He got me calmed down, and then reseated the other two men away from the bar and comped their ticket.

I regret what I did. I really did. I stayed until 8:30 instead of leaving. I just have got to not do that. It fills me with shame and regret.

At first, I thought the incident might keep me up late. Instead, I was fast asleep by 10:30. Thank God for APAP and CPAP machines.

Day three at B-Dubs. Hopefully no problems. And hopefully Robb and Dawn show up.

I never started believing

Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” is playing at Buffalo Wild Wings over the speakers. 

It is not my favorite Journey song. Far, far, far from it. In fact, I’ll list my favorite Journey songs in order:

  1. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
  2. Anytime
  3. Only the Young
  4. Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’
  5. I’ll Be Alright Without You
  6. Wheel in the Sky
  7. Open Arms 
  8. Lights

“Don’t Stop Believing” and “Who’s Crying Now”? I’ll pass. 

They can’t all be winners.  

Brett Favre and LSU’s deep football depression

The Pro Football Hall of FAme induction ceremonies will be starting in Canton in a couple of hours.

The biggest name of this year’s inductees is Brett Favre, who set many NFL passing records during his career, mostly with the Packers (1992-2007). 

Favre’s biggest game as a pro came in New Orleans, when the Packers defeated the Patriots 35-21 in Super Bowl XXXI. He also defeated Tulane twice in the Superdome as the starting quarterback for the University of Southern Mississippi. 

I have never cared for Southern Miss. What use does it have? With all of the junior colleges across the state, with THREE historically black colleges, plus Ole Miss and Mississippi State, why is Southern Miss even there? I understand it’s close to the Gulf Coast, but it wouldn’t be that hard to drive to Mobile and South Alabama, or to New Orleans. 

Another reason I can’t stand Southern Miss is because it foisted a man who dragged LSU into its deepest football abyss. 

Hudson Hallman. Better known as Curley Hallman, who was Favre’s coach in Hattiesburg. 

If not for Brett Favre, Curley Hallman doesn’t go 23-11 in three seasons at USM, the Golden Eagles don’t beat Florida State in 1989, or Alabama and Auburn in 1990, and he never, ever sniffs the LSU coaching job. 

Brett Favre was the reason why LSU football collapsed. 

What I don’t understand is how Ole Miss and Mississippi State whiffed on Favre. 

The Rebels and Bulldogs were constantly near the bottom of the SEC in the 1980s. Certainly Favre could have done wonders for either team. 

The biggest problem for Ole MIss was it was on probation when Favre was being recruited by then-coach Billy Brewer, who himself would become ethically challenged later in his tenure. In 1987, the Rebels were banned from television and bowls, so maybe the idea didn’t appeal to Favre.

Brewer and his assistants committed egregious recruiting violations in the early 1990s. In November 1994, the NCAA came awfully close to giving Ole Miss the death penalty. The Rebels were very lucky to get away with a one-year TV ban, two years without postseason play, and the loss of 25 scholarships for 1995 and 1996. 

As for Mississippi State, its coach at the time, former Bulldog quarterback Rockey Felker, wanted to keep running the option, which had been the bread-and-butter of his predecessor, Emory Bellard, the father of the Wishbone formation. Favre running the option? No way. Felker had a sentimental attachment to the option, having run the Veer at MSU under Bob Tyler, who was as ethically challenged as Brewer. 

Mississippi State has historically been a terrible passing team. Their recently departed quarterback, Dak Prescott, throws the ball well, but he made much more happen with his legs with the Bulldogs. 

LSU was set at quarterback with Tommy Hodson. No way Favre was beating out a Louisiana native who led the Bayou Bengals to the 1986 SEC championship, their first since Bert Jones played in Baton Rouge in 1970. Then again, Jones was NOT the full-time starter in either of his first two years. Maybe a Hodson/Favre rotation would have worked wonders. Or maybe not. 

For some reason, Bill Curry, the new coach at Alabama in early 1987, didn’t see fit to drive down Interstate 59 a couple of hours.  If Curry had taken the time to look at Favre, maybe he doesn’t get a brick thrown through his window at home, and maybe he doesn’t bolt for Kentucky after three seasons. 

Actually, Hallman lucked into Favre. Jim Carmody, his predecessor at USM, recruited the kid from Kiln to Hattiesburg. Hallman was an assistant at his alma mater, Texas A&M, in 1987 before succeeding Carmody in 1988. 

Curley Hallman had no business as the head coach of an SEC football team. He made it worse on himself by hiring bad assistant coaches. His running backs coach, Steve Buckley, played as many downs of college football as me. ZERO. He was a cheerleader in college. 

Of all of Hallman’s assistants, only one, Phil Bennett, found work in a major conference after leaving LSU. Bennett went on to be the defensive coordinator at Kansas State, head coach at SMU, and then defensive coordinator at Baylor, where he is still employed. 

It wasn’t until Nick Saban came from East Lansing to Baton Rouge in 2000 that LSU finally pulled itself out of the swamp and into the elite echelon of college football.

I contend it would have been much better had Favre gone to Ole Miss or Mississippi State. Sure, he may have beaten LSU four times the way John Bond did for State from 1980-83. But at least Curley Hallman would never have led a team out of the tunnel at the north end of Tiger Stadium. 

Stupidity, you’ve taken over


Olympics? OVERRATED to say the very least

The opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was held last night. It was on the big screen at Buffalo Wild Wings in Kansas City, but I did my best to focus on the other big screen, where the Blue Jays-Royals game was playing, and my trivia screen.

I cannot stand the Summer Olympics. Let me put it this way: I would get more severe heartburn watching the Summer Olympics than I would eating a dozen of the hottest wings at B-Dubs.

I watched the Olympics in 1984. I was young and didn’t know any better. Everyone was watching in the summer of 1984, at least in the United States. The games were being held in Los Angeles, and the networks rallied around the Stars and Stripes and urged Americans to do their patriotic duty and cheer on the Americans. It became a much more patriotic endeavor after the Soviet Union and most Eastern Bloc and Communist nations boycotted. Notice I said “most”, because Romania and China defied the boycott. In fact, the Romanians were more popular than any non-American athletes.

I was sick with the chicken pox during the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. The winter always fascinated me much more than the summer.

I watched the 1988 Winter Olympics from Calgary religiously. I did a sixth grade project on bobsledding.

I watched the first half of the 1988 summer games from Seoul.

On the evening of September 23, 1988, my views on the Olympics changed drastically.

That Friday evening, Canadian Ben Johnson ran the 100-meter dash final in 9.79 seconds, setting a new world record. He beat out 1984 gold medalist Carl Lewis of the USA to do so, and the NBC announcers were worshiping Johnson as if he were the new Adonis.

Over the weekend, it came apart.

As CBS and NBC televised week 4 of the NFL that Sunday, breaking news from Seoul reported Johnson failed a drug test. Steroids.

Goodbye Olympics.

Since that fraudulent race, I have barely watched the Olympics.

I’ll never forget in 1996. My father and I went to a Yankees-Rangers game in Arlington on our way to Kansas, and the Rangers showed the men’s 200-meter dash final on the big screen television. Most everyone cheered as Michael Johnson won the gold. I could have cared less.

I got nauseated in 2008 when Michael Phelps was given the Jesus treatment. NBC and the other networks shamed those who didn’t like or didn’t care about Phelps as anti-American. I guess I’m anti-American. I don’t like Michael Phelps. I don’t care about Michael Phelps.

I don’t care about swimming, period. I don’t care about gymnastics, period. And frankly, if I didn’t spend nine years going to endless track and field meets, I wouldn’t care about that sport, either.

Those three sports are all the networks care about at the Olympics. Men’s basketball was an afterthought until the NBA first allowed its players to participate in 1992.

I tweeted last night the only way I would watch the Olympics is if I were forced to watch TV, and the only choices were that and Seinfeld. As much as I don’t like the Olympics, I despise Seinfeld.