Category Archives: Food
The worst month many of us have experienced is over.
What may become the worst month many of us will experience is now upon us.
Life without sports will continue throughout April, and probably May. If there are any games played before Fathers Day (June 21), it will be a Biblical miracle. If there are any before America’s Independence Day, it will be a major miracle. If the college and professional football seasons kick off on time in September, it will be a minor miracle.
ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit scared the living crap out of every coach, player and fan last week, stating he didn’t believe there would be any more sports, period, until a vaccine for coronavirus was available.
College football’s resident coronavirus expert, Ed Orgeron, believes there will be “no disruption” to the college football season, which is scheduled to begin August 29 with the Notre Dame-Navy game in Ireland.
I’m naturally pessimistic, and I’m tending to believe Herbstreit might be right. I’m not scared. I’m downright terrified.
My native state is in one of its biggest crises since Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803.
The banner on the top of The Advocate’s home page is grim indeed: 5,237 cases, 239 dead, 1,355 in the hospital.
For perspective, the coronavirus has killed three times as many Louisiana residents as Hurricane Betsy, which claimed 76 lives in the Bayou State (plus five in Florida) in September 1965.
The toll is only 17 short of the total number of people who perished in Hurricane Camille, the Category 5 monster which plowed much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast the same weekend as Woodstock in 1969. The total of 256 was spread over Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia and West Virginia; the latter two states experienced flash flooding in the Blue Ridge mountains two days after landfall.
Hurricane Katrina killed 1,836 in Louisiana in 2005. If the coronavirus comes anywhere close to reaching that figure, it will be just as catastrophic, maybe more so. I’m certain it will surpass the 550 who died when Hurricane Audrey roared into southwest Louisiana in June 1957.
Kansas has “only” 428 cases as of this minute. Barton County, due south of Russell County, reported its first case yesterday.
For the second consecutive Tuesday, I ventured to Salina to pick up food and other necessities. It was a complete success, as I picked up five dozen eggs, plus the sausages and other things I like.
Target had two surprises for me.
One, TOILET PAPER. And not just any toilet paper, the Charmin Ultra Soft I have used for most of the past 25 years. I first used it when I went to LSU, and I kept on using it living in Baton Rouge following graduation. I did not use it when I moved home from April 2004 through August 2005, but once I got to Russell, I started using it again.
I have 19 mega rolls of Charmin Ultra Soft in the utility closet next to my bathroom, but 30 mega rolls for $30 was just too good to pass up. I’m set for the rest of this year, and probably most of next year.
There were ZERO packages of toilet paper available the previous Tuesday in the same store.
I was also happy to find Bounty paper towels. Bounty and Brawny are head and shoulders above all other brands. They may be more expensive, but as they say, you get what you pay for.
The second surprise: Target’s stock of home haircutting kits was completely sold out.
I was stunned, but then I realized barber shops and salons were forced to close by the statewide stay-at-home order which took effect Monday. This is going to force parents to cut their children’s hair, although there are no grooming regulations to worry about since nobody will be attending school in a building until at least August.
Fortunately, I bought a haircut set at a Walmart in Topeka in 2007. It sat unused until November, when I elected to cut my own hair to save money.
Walmart did not have haircut sets, either. Bed, Bath and Beyond, whose stores are closed through at least Friday and longer in many states due to stay-at-home orders, is sold out online. Amazon’s supplies are low.
Speaking of Salina and haircuts, I miss Amber.
Chick-Fil-A was again my meal of choice. I hadn’t eaten since the previous night so I devoured a chicken sandwich and eight strips. I think their strips are just as good as Zaxby’s and Raising Cane’s, although they aren’t hyped as much as the sandwiches.
I have seriously lost track of time. I sat down to play Buzztime at 22:00, and now it’s 02:10. I’m surprised Buzztime hasn’t kicked me off the system, which it used to after 02:00.
Just posted my first perfect Late Shift of the night. On my 17th try. Usually I can get it quicker than that.
I’d better get to bed, or I’ll sleep through my appointment with Crista at 16:00, although I don’t have to drive to Hays. We’re doing it via Zoom, which was the case last week.
CORRECTION from the last post: the next FOUR College Football Playoff national championship game sites have been named. It will be Miami, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Houston, in that order, from January 2021-24.
The 2025 and 2026 games will probably go to two of these three sites: Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Detroit. I blacked out earlier and forgot all about the Raiders’ stadium in Nevada (named Allegiant Stadium), which opens either later this year or in 2021. I’ll take a guess and say 2025 goes to Minneapolis since the NFL will want to host Super Bowl LIX in Las Vegas, and 2026 heads to Nevada.
The construction schedule in Vegas is tighter than a pair of skinny jeans. If the stadium cannot be completed on time for the Raiders, they’re screwed. They have the option to play in Oakland for 2020, but would (a) fans attend and (b) the Athletics acquiesce? It may force the Raiders to become tenants in Santa Clara with the 49ers, or else play as many games as possible on the road early in the season.
The NFL could conceivably schedule the Raiders’ first eight games on the road, a game in London or Mexico City, and their bye week within the first 10 weeks, leaving them to play weeks 11-17 in Vegas. It would be highly unusual, but what else can you do? If the NFL were to schedule it that way and the stadium were ready in September, the game sites with the AFC West teams could be flip-flopped.
The College Football Playoff committee says it will let northern cities without climate-controlled stadiums bid, but how many fans would attend if the game were in New Jersey, which would entail the exorbitant costs of traveling to and from New York? Foxborough, where it’s a nightmare to get to and from the stadium, no matter if you’re flying into Boston or Providence? Seattle? Better hope Oregon or Washington has a magical season like LSU just completed, and I can imagine how many residents of the Pacific Northwest would react to legions of invaders from Alabama, South Carolina or elsewhere in the south.
One city which cannot host: Chicago. Soldier Field’s capacity falls a little more than 3,000 seats short of the minimum of 65,000. However, the CFP committee would be wise to grant a waiver if the nation’s third-largest city wants the game.
As the Chiefs prepare for what they hope will be their biggest victory since 11 January 1970, there was some sad news out of the Truman Sports Complex.
Former Royals owner David Glass passed away last week at 84 due to complications from pneumonia. This came only two months after the sale of the Royals from Glass to John Sherman was approved by the other 29 MLB owners.
Glass was named the Royals’ CEO at the end of the 1993 season, a little less than three months following the death of founder Ewing Kauffman. Glass was the representative of the Kauffman trust which owned the team until he bought the majority stake before the 2000 season.
During the 1994 Major League Baseball players’ strike, Glass was one of the hardest of the hard-liners, demanding a salary cap and pleading poverty, claiming small-market Kansas City could not compete with the Yankees, Red Sox and the other big-market teams. Glass’ biggest allies were the White Sox’ Jerry Reinsdorf and the Brewers’ Bud Selig, who had been acting Commissioner since the ouster of Fay Vincent in September 1992. Selig got the full-time gig in 1998.
While Orioles owner Peter Angelos refused to use replacement players during 1995 spring training, Glass endorsed the idea wholeheartedly. Thankfully for Glass, future Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor forced the owners to allow the union players back to work before any regular season games were played with scrubs.
Glass, who was once the CEO of Walmart (then known as Wal-Mart), ran the Royals like the discount giant, slashing salaries to the bone in order to pocket large profits from revenue sharing and MLB television rights.
To be blunt, Glass was probably the most hated man in Kansas City for the first decade of the millennium.
The Royals lost 100 or more games four times in five seasons between 2002-06, bottoming out with a 56-106 disaster in 2005. Somehow, Glass and a dying Lamar Hunt convinced Jackson County, Missouri voters to approve almost $500 million in improvements to Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums in April 2006, although a proposed rolling roof was rejected. Hunt did not live to see the improvements to his baby; he died in December 2006.
In June 2006, Glass revoked the press credentials of two reporters who asked questions he deemed too critical. The Baseball Writers Association of America got involved, and Glass was forced to back down.
The questions were asked at Dayton Moore’s opening press conference as the Royals’ general manager.
Glass owed Moore a debt of gratitude, for if not for him, Glass would be as reviled now as he was then.
Moore took advantage of most of the high draft picks the team received for losing and turned them into future standouts Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer. Heavy investment in Latin American scouting yielded Salvador Perez, Kelvim Herrera and Yordano Ventura, and a trade with the Brewers sent Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar to Kansas City for Zack Greinke, the 2009 Cy Young Award winner who wore out his welcome one year later.
Glass went from goat to hero in 2014 and 2015.
The 2014 Royals made the franchise’s first postseason appearance since winning the 1985 World Series, sweeping past the Angels and Orioles before losing Game 7 of the World Series to the Giants and Madison Bumgarner’s bionic arm.
One year later, the boastful Royals took advantage of the error-prone Mets and won the World Series in five games. Reportedly more than 800,000 people turned out for the victory celebration two days after the series ended, but I think it was closer to 400,000.
Even though the Royals lost over 100 games in 2018 and ’19, Glass’ legacy was secure. He brought Kansas City from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the mountain in 10 years, allowing Royals fans to look down their noses at title-starved fan bases in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Milwaukee (UGH), Oakland, Pittsburgh and Queens. Houston and Washington were on that list until the past three seasons.
Glass was Richard Nixon in reverse. Had Nixon announced he would not run for re-election in 1972, he could have gone out a hero for negotiating peace with the Soviet Union, opening trade between the United States and China, and ending the quagmire in Vietnam. Instead, many remember Nixon for one thing only: Watergate.
I’d like to know why Old Chicago serves ranch with its calzones. I noticed this tonight at the Hays restaurant when two ladies ordered them. I was there to play some more trivia. It was packed, as were all other fine dining establishments in Hays.
I don’t like ranch, but people I care about very much (you know who you are) love it. However, it just doesn’t seem right with a dish loaded with pepperoni, sausage, mozzarella cheese and maybe vegetables.
I posted twice today to make up for the previous three days of non-posting. I won’t bore you any further.
Tens of millions of Americans are going to pig out on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and assorted other stuff. Sadly, tens of millions of other Americans don’t have the means to do so and will scrounge for food, like they have to every other day of their existence. It’s sad.
I’m fortunate to have a roof over my head and the ability to eat well.
Yet today, I am bypassing the traditional American Thanksgiving feast.
A couple of weeks ago, the lovely and talented Alexis Del Cid, a news anchor for the NBC affiliate in San Antonio, asked her followers what their favorite Thanksgiving side dish was.
Alexis, who went to San Antonio after a long and distinguished career at KCTV, the CBS affiliate in Kansas City, admitted she liked cranberry sauce, which many people, myself and my mother included, can’t stand.
I read several dozen responses, then I realized there really isn’t anything which appeals to me at a Thanksgiving meal. NOTHING.
Turkey? I don’t eat turkey on 361 or 362 days out of a given year. In the past, the only times I ate turkey was Thanksgiving and the three days after. Actually, I liked turkey on sourdough or rye with Swiss or provolone a heck of a lot better than I did eating it on its own. Yet it is way, way, WAY down my list of cold cuts.
My favorite cold cut is mortadella, followed closely by capicola, corned beef, pastrami and salami. I even like buffalo chicken occasionally, and of course, I’ll eat buffalo wings and Popeye’s chicken any time. Roast beef? I had Arby’s yesterday, and I realized I’ve been missing something by not going more often when I’m in Hays.
Peggy knows I’ve never ordered turkey when I’ve met her at Subway!
Even worse, my father decided not to deep fry the turkey like he has every year since he and my mother moved to Kansas 12 years ago. I remember eating the turkey prepared the traditional way in Louisiana. I had to stop eating white meat because it was drier than the Sahara.
Stuffing? It was my favorite. Then I got smart and realized the way my mother prepares it is the ultimate insult to her oldest son.
My mother bakes oysters into the stuffing, which isn’t even stuffing, since she bakes it in a separate casserole dish.
Oysters BAKED into a stuffing/dressing? I’m about to cry just thinking about it.
I am the same person who downed four dozen charbroiled oysters when I went to Baton Rouge with my dad in April 2018. I downed three dozen fried oysters from a Cajun-themed restaurant in Columbia a few years ago. My favorite menu item at Ivar’s in Baton Rouge when I lived there? The fried oyster po-boy.
If oysters aren’t my favorite food, they are a close second behind a RARE steak. I could eat oysters just about every day of my life and die a happy man.
To think my mother would waste perfectly good oysters by baking them into something is revolting. I’m going to take some Alka-Seltzer. Extra strength.
Sweet potato casserole? My mother cooks this at least once a month, sometimes more. What makes it so special for Thanksgiving? Pass.
Baked macaroni? It’s good, but again, it’s not special for Thanksgiving at 1224 North Brooks, nor was it special when we lived at 224 Jaguar. Nope.
Green been casserole? I’m not big on green beans, but I will eat them. There was a time when I got sick over seeing them. However, I’d rather eat asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower.
Pumpkin pie? Okay, but if I have a need for sugar, a Twinkie will do fine. Same with pecan pie.
There was a three-year period (2004-06) where I did not eat a Thanksgiving meal.
In 2004, I was in a hospital ICU battling pneumonia and a collapsed lung. I’ll never forget I woke up watching the Colts and Lions on television, wondering where the previous two days had gone.
In 2005 and ’06, I was in Kansas while my parents were still in Louisiana. I made a bigger deal about not having anyone to eat with in ’06 than ’05, but it turned out okay.
Today, it’s my choice not to eat. I told my mother not to cook because I wouldn’t eat, but my brother and his family are here from Tennessee. I wish my parents had gone south. I would have liked the privacy.
There were years where I would rant and rave about how I had nothing to give thanks for. That’s not true. This year, I’m staying away from social media. Maybe I should do that more often.
Football and trivia will tide me over today. And a nice steak, rare of course.
The Kansas City morass is over for now. I got the hell out of dodge yesterday at 1040. It was past time.
Monday was nothing but boredom. Eight hours at Buffalo Wild Wings with not talking to anyone and nobody else playing trivia. Everyone I knew who works there wanted Monday off because two employees had their wedding reception Sunday night–40 days after the ceremony and 1,100 miles from where it took place. . One bartender was bitching he was up until 0400 Monday then had to come into work at 0730.
Well, dumbass, there’s no reason to be up until 0400 unless you have to be. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for you.
I am done with weddings, unless Caitlyn invites me to hers, which I doubt. I’m not getting married, and I don’t want to go to anyone else’s.
Between not seeing anyone I knew, whether it be employees at B-Dubs or fellow trivia players, and the heat, it was a waste. I didn’t make it to Columbia. Then the trunk of my car was splattered by a bird Monday night. I sat in way too much traffic.
Tuesday morning, I woke up and found a message in my Twitter DM box from Peggy. She wondered if I was still in Kansas City, because she wanted to meet me in Russell on her way to Miami County, where she was going to spend the holiday weekend with Courtney and Andy, their kids, and the rest of the Cox and Otto clans.
Thank you Peggy! You saved me a lot of pain.
The room move paid off yesterday. The room I moved to Sunday evening was directly below my other one, and I had easy up and down the east stairwell to my car. Within 45 minutes, I was packed, the car was loaded, and I could get back to Russell.
At 1430, I was back at 1224 North Brooks. Thankfully.
Peggy and I met over Subway at 1730. I wouldn’t go for Subway, but she wanted to try one of the new sandwiches on ciabatta bread. I tried one and it was great. Maybe I’ll go back for more.
I’m not big on Subway because I grew up eating too many great sandwiches in New Orleans. Between oyster po-boys, shrimp po-boys and muffulettas, I couldn’t go wrong.
Back to the Golden Q today. No Cassandra. Par for the course this week.
The United States female association football team defeated England yesterday and now plays The Netherlands for the championship Sunday.
Alex Morgan embarrassed herself after scoring the second US goal yesterday, mocking England by mimicking a proper lady sipping tea out of a cup.
Morgan is married to some tattooed association football player from Mexico now playing in the fraud of a league known as Major League Soccer, so she will never be accused of knowing how to properly sip tea.
I am sick and tired of the American jingoistic media fawning over Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who sat out yesterday with a muscle pull. It’s as if nobody else is on the team, although Julie Ertz gets some coverage simply because her husband is a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Between the disgusting displays by US players after scoring goals to manager (do not call an association football leader a “coach”) Jill Ellis sending members of her staff to scout a hotel where England was staying in case the Americans won, I have had it up to here with this team. They were just as arrogant in 2015, when Carli Lloyd was being praised as the greatest thing since sliced bread and Hope(less) Solo was still around.
I want the Dutch to win Sunday. It would force the jingoistic Americans to shut the hell up. It’s only going to get worse between now and the opening of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
That was a very good reason to bail out of Kansas City yesterday. There were a bunch of jingoistic American fans at Buffalo Wild Wings Friday who would not shut up. Sadly, my headphones had no battery life and I stupidly forgot the charging cord in my hotel room, so I was screwed.
I know what I will not be watching Sunday. I’m ready for this crap to end.
Wimbledon began Monday. Boy.
The non-stop Serena worship is on full blast from London. Most ESPN “experts” think Serena will win the ladies’ singles title.
I honestly don’t care who wins, as long as it is not Serena. I quit caring about tennis when Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe all passed their primes.
Another thing which gets my goat are media who keep using “WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND” in bylines. WIMBLEDON is a section of LONDON. The byline should always be LONDON. They must have forgotten a few things in journalism school.
When the Brooklyn Nets play at home, the byline always reads “NEW YORK” not “BROOKLYN, NEW YORK”. Same with the Yankees, Mets, Rangers and Islanders. It’s always NEW YORK, not the borough. Why can’t the idiots who cover Wimbledon get it?
Looks like I may have extra trivia tonight. It is pouring in Hays, and the storm is barely moving. Reminds me of Louisiana when storms would dump buckets of rain on one place, yet five miles away, not a drop fell.
Everyone who is coming into The Q over the past hour has been soaked. I made the right choice by not cracking the windows in my Buick.
Tomorrow is INDEPENDENCE DAY. Yes, the date is 4 July, but it is INDEPENDENCE DAY in this country. Everywhere else has a 4 July, too, but it doesn’t hold the significance.
I watched with interest since the beginning of 2018 as a new hotel was constructed in Salina off Magnolia Road west of Interstate 135. I was hoping it would be a Marriott-branded property, since the only Marriott in Salina for the past eight years has been the Courtyard at I-135 and Schilling.
Indeed, it was a Farifield. It opened earlier this year, and I decided to try it out last night.
The outside looks great. The rooms for the most part are fine.
However, I had more than one problem.
First, the elevator–the only one in the hotel–was out of order. My original room was on the third floor, which would not have been a problem EXCEPT for my large green suitcase. The prospect of lugging it up the stairs was unappealing.
The front desk moved me to the first floor…into a handicapped room, which I did not enter. I knew when I saw the hearing impaired sign that it was trouble.
I remember being assigned to a handicapped room on a road trip with LSU’s baseball team to Ole Miss. This was a dump of a motel, and being in a handicapped room wasn’t making anything better. Fortunately, they found a regular room.
The third time was the charm in Salina yesterday, but I was still unhappy about being on the first floor. It is usually much louder on the ground floor than on upper floors, and it was going to be worse in the morning, because the room was cattycorner to the breakfast area.
However, trouble struck when I got back from Buffalo Wild Wings.
The sink in the bathroom was completely stopped.
I tried to open the trap, but it would not open. I didn’t have my plunger with me, and I had no tool to try and pry the trap open.
I was reduced to bailing water from the sink with a plastic cup. Lovely.
It was at that point I decided to cut my stay short and return to Russell tonight.
Other than that, Salina has been good, between Buffalo Wild Wings and Amber cutting my hair.
I have had it up to here with bugs doing suicide missions on the front bumper and windshield of my automobile. I’ve washed the car four times in the last three weeks, and it looks awesome…except for the bugs.
Looks like I will be using that unlimited car wash pass in Wichita and Kansas City quite a bit between now and early October.
There will be new blood in the NBA Finals. The Raptors and Bucks begin their Eastern Conference championships series tomorrow night in Milwaukee.
The Raptors, who began playing in the 1995-96 season, have never made it to the final round. Their only conference championship appearance was in 2016, when they lost to LeBron’s Cavaliers.
Milwaukee has an NBA title, but it was all the way back in 1971, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was still Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson was playing point guard for coach Larry Costello. The Bucks made it back to the finals three years later, only to lose to Boston in seven.
Since then, the Bucks have only made the conference finals four times, losing to Philadelphia in 1983 and 2001, and to Boston in 1984 and ’86.
I’m hoping against all hope Portland can beat Golden State in the West. I’ve had it with the Warriors. They’re not as arrogant as the Patriots or Alabama football, but it’s bad enough.
I was scared after San Jose beat St. Louis 6-3 Saturday in the NHL playoffs. Thankfully, the Blues bounced back last night to win 5-2 and now are even going back to Missouri for the next two games.
Just hoping Boston can finish off the jerks from Carolina.
God, I’m going stupid. Just had a horrendous Countdown trivia game. My score of 8.825 was the lowest for a full game this year, and I think the lowest in two years. I could have scored that when I was 15. The silver lining was I wasn’t playing anyone, and I haven’t faced anyone in Salina since last year, and I have yet to draw an opponent in Hays.
Bounced back to 12.597 last game. Okay. Feeling better.
The good thing about going on trivia binges is it keeps me from giving in to temptation and disgusting things nobody should be doing on the Internet. Last May, I was in a very bad place, one which compromised my values, my finances and nearly cost me a lot more.
What is America’s obsession with jalapeño flavored stuff? I understand japalenos on Mexican dishes–even though I don’t like japalenos on my nachos, tacos or enchiladas–and jalapeño poppers at fast food and fast casual restaurants such as Sonic and Buffalo Wild Wings, but it has gone overboard.
Case in point: jalapeño flavored M&Ms.
Just the thought of it makes me want to throw up.
Since when do chocolate and jalapeño go together?
M&Ms has come out with three new flavors, and stores across the country, including Kansas City, Salina and Hays, have large displays featuring them.
English toffee is delicious. I bought a bag at the grocery store in Hays a few minutes ago. Heath and 5th Avenue, both of which feature toffee, are among my favorite chocolate bars. Heath pieces used to be the only kind of candy I would get in a Dairy Queen Blizzard, although I’ve expanded my tastes to include many other flavors.
Thai Coconut? Mixed emotions. If it were just coconut, I would dive right in, because Mounds, which is dark chocolate and coconut, is another of my favorite candy bars. But the “Thai” part concerns me. I can eat the Thai curry wings at Buffalo Wild Wings, but many times, Thai is very hot. I’ll pass unless someone else offers them to me.
Jalapeño? Don’t get me started.
No. No way. I’m not touching that one with a four-meter pole.
My mother might like jalapeno M&Ms. She is a sucker for anything jalapeno. My father, however, has much more sense and avoids jalapenos on anything except nachos at a restaurant.
The craze to put out jalapeno flavored anything is similar to the sriracha craze of five years ago. Buffalo Wild Wings had a sriracha-flavored sauce out for a limited time in 2014, and I told Liz or Lisa or whomever was taking care of me to make sure I didn’t get stupid and order it. I didn’t.
I flat refuse to order anything with sriracha or jalapeno. I also will not touch the mango habanero sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings. I tried it once six years ago and swore NEVER AGAIN. I also tried the hottest sauce at BWW in 2008, and I said NEVER AGAIN. I can take heat, but not ridiculous amounts.
The NHL is down to its last four teams in quest of the Stanley Cup.
I said after the first round I was hoping for a Bruins-Blues final. That is still a possibility.
Boston plays Carolina in the East and St. Louis faces San Jose in the West, with the winners matching up for the most treasured prize in North American professional sports.
I’d like to see the Blues reach the finals for the first time since 1970 for my two friends who love the Blues, Larry and Lisa. I’m not a fan of Boston’s sports teams, but I can tolerate the Bruins much more than most NHL teams, since they are an Original Six team.
San Jose? The Sharks are the reason why the Minnesota North Stars left for Dallas, so I have a natural disgust for them.
The Gund brothers became majority owners of the North Stars in 1978 after their franchise, the Cleveland Barons, were forced to merge with the North Stars by then-NHL president John Ziegler, since both were teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Ziegler was unwilling to abandon Minnesota, the most hockey-mad state in America, and frankly, neither were the NHL’s Board of Governors. After all, the North Stars were still drawing strong despite some very bad teams in the 1970s, while the Barons couldn’t draw flies during two seasons in northeast Ohio.
Now how does this tie into the Bay Area? The Barons originally began life as the Oakland Seals during the 1967 expansion which brought the North Stars, Blues, Penguins, Flyers and Kings into the NHL as well. The Seals were mismanaged throughout their nine seasons in northern California, at one point falling under the ownership of gigantic douchebag Charles O. Finley, the same many who screwed Kansas City royally by turning the Athletics into a clown show before moving them to Oakland after the 1967 season.
The Gunds became majority owners of the merged North Stars-Barons franchise, and by the late 1980s, they were itching to get out of the Twin Cities.
They did so by selling the North Stars to another turd, Norman Green, and Ziegler and Board of Governors granted the Gunds an expansion team, the Sharks, which played their first two seasons at the Cow Palace in the San Francisco suburb of Daly City before what is known colloquially as the “Shark Tank” opened in 1993. (Ironically, many in San Jose are scared the Sharks will move to San Francisco when the new arena built for the Warriors opens later this year, but that’s not likely).
Green was disillusioned by the North Stars’ home, the Met Center in suburban Bloomington, a stone’s throw from the former home of the Twins and Vikings, Metorpolian Stadium, which was vacated in 1981 and torn down in 1985 to make way for the Mall of America.
Of course, Green did what any piece of feces owner does, he begged the taxpayers of Minnesota to build him a new arena. When the people of Minnesota said no, he took the franchise to that noted hockey hotbed, Dallas, which was desperate to have a winning franchise, since the Mavericks were the worst team in the NBA at that time, several years before sugar daddy Mark Cuban cam on the scene
The same stubbornness of Minnesota voters nearly cost the state its other three franchises.
The Timberwolves were all set to move to New Orleans in 1994 before David Stern blocked the deal due to the shady finances of the ownership group who wanted to move the franchise from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to its mouth. The Minnesota legislature approved major improvements to the Target Center, and the Timberwolves have never threatened to leave Minnesota since.
The Twins were all but set to be contracted by Bud Selig following the 2001 season. Carl Pohlad, who owned the franchise at the time, was all but willing to give up and take the money. But the state said no, and courts within the state blocked MLB from contracting any team. The voters of Minnesota were chastened, and in 2010, Target Field opened.
The Vikings were all but gone to Los Angeles in the middle of the 2000s. Even though the Metrodome was built for them, not the Twins, they complained long and loud once Target Field opened, and the carping became worse after the Metrodome’s roof collapsed in December 2010, forcing the Vikings to move two home games (one to Detroit, one to the University of Minnesota). The Vikings got their new stadium three years ago, and it has already hosted Super Bowl LII and the 2019 Final Four.
I’m not a fan of California hockey. On the other hand, I can understand why the NHL wants to be in the Bay Area, given its population and disposable income. Plus, the Kings needed an in-state rival, although the Ducks came along two years later and gave the Kings one much, much closer to home.
As for the Hurricanes, I hate that the Hartford Whalers, who had the second best logo in all of professional sports (behind the Milwaukee Brewers’ “ball-in-glove’) left for a place which knew absolutely zilch about hockey, a place where it is impossible to play hockey outdoors (except in the winter in the far western part of North Carolina which is colder due to the higher elevation of the Appalachians), a place where anyone who isn’t following basketball during the winter is, frankly, out to lunch.
Fred Demarest, someone I knew from LSU and someone I like a lot, is an associate athletic director at North Carolina State. He has ditched the Devils, the team he grew up following in New Jersey and at William Paterson College, for the Hurricanes. I’ve had to chide him about this. I can understand him wanting to support the team which plays in the place he lives, but the HURRICANES? The slimy Hurricanes, who left Hartford despite strong support?
I do not believe hockey belongs in the south. NO. St. Louis and Washington is as far south as it should extend. I don’t care if Dallas/Fort Worth has 10 million people in the area. NO. And why does it belong in Raleigh, where Duke and North Carolina are king and always will be?
I was nauseous when Dallas won the Stanley Cup in Buffalo in 1999 on a goal which shouldn’t have counted. I was apoplectic when Tampa Bay won the Cup in 2004, and again when Carolina won it in 2006.
If it’s San Jose and Carolina in the finals, I will really be sick to my stomach. Boston and San Jose? GO BRUINS. St. Louis vs. either Eastern team? GO BLUES.
I was scared the Bucks were going to choke it away after losing to Boston by 22 points on their home floor almost two weeks ago.
Milwaukee hasn’t lost since, and now it is in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001, and only the third time since last reaching the NBA Finals in 1974.
Rest in peace, John Havlicek, I’m sorry I didn’t get to see you play when you were doing your thing with the Celtics.
The Bucks, who won 116-91 last night to clinch the series vs. Boston in five, plays either Toronto or Philadelphia in the next round. Milwaukee has a bad history in the playoffs against the 76ers, but in many of the previous series between the clubs, the Bucks were the underdog.
My good friend Bill Franques and I are huge Bucks fans. He remembered the 1974 finals, in which the Bucks won Game 6 in double overtime in the Boston Garden on a skyhook by Kareem in the closing seconds, only to lose 102-87 in Game 7 at Milwaukee. That left Bill with a strong antipathy for the Celtics. I don’t have such an antipathy for the Celtics, but I badly wanted the Bucks to win this series.
Just had a Boston Celtics trivia question at Golden Q. It regarded Moses Malone and his stupid comment during the 1981 Finals, which he said after the Rockets won Game 4 91-86 that he could get four guys off the street from his hometown of Petersburg, Virginia and beat the Celtics.
Alrighty then. The Rockets weren’t going to beat Bird, Tiny Archibald and Robert Parish with the team they had, which was Malone, ancient Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich, spare parts (Mike Dunleavy, Billy Paultz, Tom Henderson), a servicable player who would never emerge into stardom (Robert Reid), so what made him think lesser men could do it?
Five years later, the Rockets had a better team, led by Ralph Sampson and Hakeem (then Akeem) Olajuwon. But the Celtics were far better; they still had Bird and Parish, but Kevin McHale had emerged into a star, and Bill Walton enjoyed his best season since leading Portland to the 1977 championship. It would take a few years and more favorable matchups before the Rockets won titles in 1994 (the year NBC idiotically cut away from coverage of Game 5 of the NBA Finals except in Houston and New York to show a washed up football player fleeing from the authorities on the freeways of Los Angeles) and ’95.
Less than two years later, Malone was in Philadelphia, and two years after his ill-timed comment, he, Dr. J, Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney steamrolled the Knicks, Bucks and Lakers as the 76ers won their first NBA Title since coach Billy Cunningham played for the team in 1967, so it all worked out for Moses. Rest in peace, big guy.
The Brewers have won five in a row. Life is good in Wisconsin. Will the Packers oblige? Still have four months to find out.
Sorry for yet another novella. I do that sometimes. No, make that more than sometimes.
My humdrum life in western Kansas resumed at 1100 Sunday. The Seroquel I took to h help me sleep Saturday had me groggy. I was fading fast. I wanted to get home in time for lunch because my mother was cooking salmon and asparagus, two of my favorite foods. Plus, I had been eating nothing but White Castle, Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings for 10 days, save for a Blizzard at Dairy Queen in Columbia when I met Bill for lunch on the first day there and a couple of hot dogs from QuikTrip. A home-cooked meal did me some good.
Yesterday (April 23) was the 34th anniversary of the introduction of New Coke. Coke had been building up to the rollout of a new formula for three months, with Bill Cosby stating in commercials that New Coke would taste just as good as the original.
I recall New Coke being pretty good. I couldn’t tell the difference. I was unaffected by Coca-Cola bringing back the “Classic” formula three months after rolling out New Coke, because I would drink anything. Whenever I saw New Coke in stores for the next few years, I’d buy it over the Classic formula, although sightings of New Coke in metro New Orleans were few and far between.
What was funny was my father was drinking Pepsi during this period, and my brother and I were drinking Coke. Looking back on it, seems silly now. I don’t have a preference for Pepsi or Coke. I usually buy whatever is cheaper, although the Pepsi 2-liter bottles fit in the door of the refrigerator in my garage, while the taller Coke 2-liters do not. Heck, I think Kroger’s imitation of Coke Zero Sugar and Pepsi Zero Sugar is pretty good. There are some versions of pop I like, such as Dr. Pepper Ten, TaB and Pibb Zero, which only come in cans, although I haven’t seen TaB in quite some time. I like TaB because it’s sweetened with saccharin (Sweet and Low), which I find superior to aspartame and Splenda. I last saw a TaB 2-liter in 1997 in an Albertson’s in Baton Rouge.
The Stanley Cup will remain in the United States yet again. The last Canadian team in the NHL playoffs, the Maple Leafs, choked away Games 6 and 7 vs. the Bruins. The Leafs have got to trade one of their big scorers for help on defense. I don’t care if it’s Austin Matthews, Mitch Marner or Mikael Nylander, just get help on the friggin’ blue line. And get a competent backup goalie. Heck, the Leafs had a better goaltending situation in the 80s with Ken Wregget and Alan Bester. Frederik Andersen is going to die if he keeps facing 50 shots a night like he has many times in Toronto.
The good news? The Predators and Golden Knights are also gone from the playoffs. Gary Bettman’s dream of the Stanley Cup residing in Vegas or redneck country is down to the Hurricanes, who play the defending champion Capitals tonight in Washington in Game 7. God, Washington had BETTER win. I have always despised the Carolina Hurricanes because they used to be the Hartford Whalers, whose logo is the second best in sports history, behind only the Brewers’ ball-in-glove which forms “M” and “B”. I’m not a fan of the Sharks or Stars, but they are far more palatable than Na$hville and Vega$, teams I cannot stand. And I certainly could stomach Ovechkin and the Caps much more than the friggin Hurricanes.
Na$hville, Vega$, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida are on my list of teams I will never, ever root for. Also on the list are the NFL’s Panthers, Buccaneers, Ravens, Dolphins and Patriots (as long as those two buttholes are there); MLB’s Reds, Orioles, Marlins, Rays and White Sox (at least as long as they keep wearing those disgusting black uniforms); and the NBA’s Heat, Magic, Nets, Knicks, Kings and whatever team LeBron is playing for. The Detroit Lions are on the list right now because Matt Patricia is a buffoon.
I’m hoping for a Blues-Bruins final. Even though Boston eliminated Toronto, I can stomach it because it was a fellow Original Six club. As for St. Louis, the Blues have not been to a Final since 1970, and they are 0-12 all-time in Finals games, getting swept in ’68 and ’69 by Montreal and in ’70 by Boston, when Bobby Orr scored the Cup-winning goal 40 seconds into overtime after he was tripped by St. Louis’ Noel Picard. The shot of Orr flying in the air is the most iconic photo in NHL history.
More importantly, two people I care about are HUGE Blues fans: Larry, my trivia buddy who I got to see last Friday, and Lisa Toebben Daniels, whom I miss greatly.
The Bucks are resting up after sweeping the Pistons. Now they play the Celtics, who swept the Pacers, in the second round. Boston looked damn good in taking out Indiana, so I’m worried. I think this will be tougher for Milwaukee than Toronto or Philadelphia would be in the Eastern Conference Finals.
As for the West, who cares? We all know the Warriors will finish the Clippers tonight, then they’ll crush the Rockets, then either the Nuggets (hopefully) or Blazers. Why bother?
The NBA should let the Warriors have a free pass to the Finals, and have 16 other teams battle it out for the right to play Golden State for the championship. Would make things a lot more ##########################################################################
Today’s discovery: I can play Buzztime trivia in Hays.
The Golden Q, a popular hangout for Fort Hays State University students, is a new member of the Buzztime network. I have taken advantage twice today, first during a two-hour gap between appointments, and now. My favorite game, SIX, is coming up at 1930.
Now I don’t have to drive to Salina, or even farther, to play. That’s a relief.
The food is pretty good. One item I can’t find anywhere else: chicken gizzards. I’ll have to try the wings.
I finally ran out of White Castle today. 😭😭😭
I ate the last of the leftovers from Tuesday in my hotel. I ate White Castle for eight straight days–six in Columbia and two more days of leftovers in Kansas City.
I don’t know if I can eat another restaurant hamburger. As much as I love the Big Mac, it pales to sliders from White Castle, especially their impossible sliders, which are made from a plant-based material.
I’m going to miss the crab cake sliders and fried clams from White Castle. They’re gone after Saturday, since Sunday is Easter and Lent is over. They won’t be back until next February. I didn’t miss the opportunity to devour plenty of both.
I did not eat any other type of fast food in Columbia. After all, I can get Zaxby’s in Kansas City and Lawrence, Chick-Fil-A in Salina, Taco Bell and everything else in Hays, plus McDonald’s and Sonic in dear old Russell.
God I wish White Castle would open in Kansas City. You can spit anywhere in St. Louis and find a White Castle. That blows. I wish Raising Cane’s would leave and White Castle would take their place. I hate to rag on a Baton Rouge tradition, but when employees put their elbow in a vat of lemonade and film it for the Internet, I can’t patronize a place like that.
But here’s what baffles me: why the F**K is Dickey’s Pit Barbecue in Kansas City? Dickey’s should have been forced to shut down forever when a woman in Utah nearly died from drinking tea laced with lye. I’ve never eaten at Dickey’s, but it can’t be good. And I would never consider eating there in Kansas City of all places. 🥵🤮
White Castle would be far more popular in this town than that crap Dickey’s. And it would be a lot easier for me than driving two hours past Kansas City, although Columbia also has the lovely supermarket Schnucks, which I’ve found to be superior to Hy-Vee and Dillon’s.
Today was laser hair treatment number five. I no longer look like a grizzly bear with my shirt off–not that anyone sees it. But I hated looking in the mirror at all that hair. Hated it. It feels so much better to use a backscratcher and scratch all skin instead of half skin and half hair. Next treatment May 23.
I wasted much of my day at Buffalo Wild Wings (Shoal Creek, not Zona Rosa) playing trivia. But my last game is coming up and I’ll be out at 2030.
To iHOP or not to iHOP? Tomorrow is Good Friday and I probably shouldn’t indulge on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. Then again, the rules about fasting on Good Friday have been flagrantly abused by most Catholics since 1967. Also, I will be in Hays Wednesday for a bunch of medical appointments. I can get iHOP on the way back to Russell.
My life is pretty boring. This blog post shows it.
Yes, I succumbed to my craving for IHOP’s Swedish crepes last night for dinner. I nearly regretted it.
I left Buffalo Wild Wings at 1730 and immediately got my breakfast for dinner. But I admit I got a little greedy…I added an order of the Nutella crepes and hash browns to my Thursday night/Friday morning order.
I ate all the Nutella crepes, the hash browns, and I started on the Swedish. I also finished half a can of Lay’s Stax plus a small bag of popcorn.
I watched two movies and three episodes of Law & Order: SVU before going to bed. I was starting to fade during the episode which aired on NBC, so I’ll probably watch it again before I leave Kansas City.
At 0400, my gluttony caught up with me. Indigestion. Bad.
I managed to get a little more sleep before I woke up for good at 0610. Some Extra Strength Alka Seltzer helped, and I ate my crepes for breakfast.
God I might wear out the iHOP in Hays when I go back west. Or both in Salina when I’m traveling there.
I was able to order wings from Buffalo Wild Wings today. However, the fish sandwich it is offering during Lent was outstanding. Larry had it when I met him yesterday to play trivia and he liked it, so I said what the heck. Excellent. I’m not a huge fan of beer-battered fish, but B-Dubs doesn’t bury the fish in batter like Long John Silver’s.
FYI, LJS gave me the terrible heartburn in Hutchinson during Norton’s game with Royal Valley last Friday. Never again. However, I don’t foresee myself in Hays in a situation where I would need to eat on a Lenten Friday again this year. Either I’ll be in Russell or somewhere which has more options.
Why am I eating LJS? Come on, I lived in Louisiana for almost 29 years. It’s the same as a chef at Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris eating truck stop steak.
Huddersfield Town is almost out of the Premier League. Fulham will be joining them. The third relegation spot is up for grabs, with Cardiff City, Burnley, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Brighton and Hove Albion, and West Ham not entirely safe.
Liverpool and Manchester City have separated themselves in the title chase. The next four–Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea–are battling for spots in the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues.
Wolverhampton is having a great first season back in the Premier League after being in the Championship for six seasons. Watford is in good form and could finish in the top half. Bournemouth is somehow afloat despite playing in that bandbox stadium. Everton is again a disappointment. No reason it cannot challenge the “Big Six”.
As for Leicester, another mid-table finish is coming down the pike in the East Midlands. It’s been a very hard year at the KP; Leicester’s owner perished in a helicopter crash on the stadium grounds following a match earlier this season, and recently, manager Claude Puel was sacked.
Yes, the expectations for the Foxes have been through the roof since the miracle championship of 2015-16. On the other hand, Leicester doesn’t have the resources nor the deep top-flight tradition of the Big Six. Considering the Foxes were all but relegated at Christmas 2014, to not be in the relegation scrap after Christmas the last two seasons is pretty good.
There will be no new faces in the Premier League for 2019-20. The current top two, Derby County and Sheffield United, have been there before, as are closest pursuers Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa.
Major League Soccer started its season earlier this month. Sporting Kansas City or any other team could lose every game and end with zero points–that’s nearly impossible–but would stay in the top flight. That’s why I don’t watch MLS, among other reasons.
I wonder if the Vatican knows St. Bonaventure and Saint Louis will play fo rite Atlantic 10 Conference tournament championship tomorrow, with the winner going to the NCAA tournament. Two fine Catholic institutions battling it out, although I am partial to the fellows from Olean, New York. I am still peeved Saint Louis once employed the late Rick Majerus, who, despite being Roman Catholic, opposed the church’s teachings on many issues, including abortion. I’ll leave it at that. Majerus was a heck of a coach, as evidenced by his success at Ball State and Utah, but his personal life was odd to say the least.
St. Bonaventure made the Final Four in 1970, but lost the best player to ever wear the brown and white of the Bonnies (formerly Brown Indians), Bob Lanier, during the East regional. The Bonnies were mortally wounded when they got to College Park for the Final Four, and were no match for Jacksonville and Artis Gilmore. Gilmore’s Dolphins then lost to UCLA, which was in the two-year interregnum between Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton. The Bruins still won titles both years, and would extend their streak to seven before losing to David Thompson, 7-4 Tom Burleson and North Carolina State in the 1974 semis.
There is a debate as to the exact location of St. Bonaventure. I’ve always thought the school was in Olean, but the postal address is St. Bonaventure, New York, and others refer to the borough of Allegeny in Cattaraugus County, New York, southeast of Buffalo. I’ll stick to Olean, since it’s easier to find on a map than the other locales.
Kentucky blew it. Lost 82-78 to Tennessee, so the Volunteers play Auburn tomorrow in the SEC tournament final. I cannot stand Auburn these days because of a jerk fan from Baton Rouge I knew when I lived there. I am not an Alabama fan in any way, but knowing he’s miserable when the Crimson Tide beat Auburn makes me feel a little better.
Speaking of Alabama, LSU is not a rival of the Crimson Tide. NOT. A. RIVAL. LSU’s rival is now Texas A&M, and that’s that.
I just played Andy Gibb’s “Everlasting Love” on the jukebox at Buffalo Wild Wings. God, why did you need drugs to make you happy, Andy? If you were still alive today, you and Barry could be touring and raking in $$$$$$ as the new Bee Gees. Instead, poor Barry is all alone. Andy died 31 years ago this month. Maurice and Robin left the realm of the mortal earlier this millennium.
Okay what have I not discussed? Trump’s emergency declaration? Well, that will have to wait–if I comment on it at all.
Eighteen hours ago, I had never tried the Swedish crepes from iHOP.
Now I’m craving them worse than a pregnant lady craves ice cream and pickles.
While I was on the barstool at Buffalo Wild Wings Shoal Creek last night, I decided to order pickup from iHOP in Liberty so I could have breakfast in the morning. I figured I’d put them in the fridge in the hotel room then warm them for 90 seconds in the morning.
After getting lost on my way to the restaurant, I decided I couldn’t wait until morning. I tried one.
Wow. I have a new favorite iHOP dish, and one of my favorite restaurant items anywhere, right along with any steak from Outback, the Jumbo Combo pizza from Minsky’s, the Veggie 7 pizza at Old Chicago, the brisket and corn grits at T.J. Ribs in Baton Rouge, the charbroiled oysters at Acme Oyster House in New Orleans and Baton Rouge…you get the idea.
Thank God I got two orders. Breakfast was great. Now I want to go back and get some for late tonight and tomorrow morning.
The best thing about the Swedish crepes is they are meatless, meaning I can eat them on Lenten Fridays. If I happen to go to Columbia next month, I guess I’m going there at some point.
LSU’s basketball saga is over, at least as far as playing in the SEC tournament. The Bayou Bengals, the SEC regular season champion, lost 76-73 to Florida when the Gators, coached by New Orleans native Mike White, hit a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left.
LSU is a lock for the NCAA tournament, but with so much controversy surrounding Will Wade and the wiretap which revealed his willing to do anything to sign Javonte Smart, the three-time Louisiana high school player of the year from Scotlandville in north Baton Rouge, what can LSU reasonably expect?
I don’t think my alma mater will last past the first weekend. I hope I’m wrong, but I see trouble.
Kansas City is now overrun with Iowa State fans in town for the Big 12 tournament. The Cyclones play Kansas State at 1800, followed by Kansas vs. West Virginia, which finished last during the regular season but is still alive thanks to wins over Oklahoma and regular season co-champion Texas Tech.
Honestly, I only know what’s going on because I’m at Buffalo Wild Wings. If I were back in the basement in Russell, I would probably not watch.
I won’t watch the selection show Sunday. I can wait until the bracket comes out.
I usually don’t watch the NBA, but with the Bucks heading for the top seed in the East, will I have to?
The Chiefs are big news this week with the start of the NFL’s business year. Dee Ford, Justin Houston and Eric Berry are gone. Tyrann “Honey Badger” Matthieu is in. Kansas City needs to restructure its defense, but right now, it looks like it will try to win every game 41-38 with Mahomes.
The Saints let Mark Ingram go to the Ravens via free agency. It looks like the Cardinals will draft Kyler Murray first overall after drafting Josh Rosen last year. Great idea, Arizona, to let Murray get beaten up behind an offensive line which is worse than a sieve.
The Cardinals have had a horrendous offensive line since Dan Dierdorf was in his heyday, and that’s when your intrepid blogger was in diapers. Arizona is doing this back-assward, but I can’t help it.
Swedish crepes at iHOP. Gotta have them again.