Our plan was to surprise Dana King by showing up at his book launch for Grind Joint in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. We were up early Saturday morning (1:30 a.m.) … I drank my pot of coffee, took care of business, and began loading the car at 2:45 a.m. (the plan was to be on the road at 3:00 a.m.) … it was slick out (raining), so when I hit the back porch steps (the worst steps in the world) and slipped off the bottom two steps, the avalanche began … 350 pounds of unwilling momentum headed straight for the sidewalk.
Being right handed, I reached with my right arm (think obese Heisman Trophy with reversed arms here), but my short legs landed first … actually one short leg … the right one … the right knee, to be exact. Bada-boom, bada-bing … a very loud string of really nasty curse words followed … for a good five minutes … and then we were in the car (3:05 a.m.) and driving for the next 2 hours or so before the Principessa Ann Marie said, “Did you bring the cannoli?”
Oy vey, we took the gun and forgot the cannoli! We’d ordered it from 13th Avenue in Brooklyn (the cannoli capital of the U.S.) … but with all the distractions (cursing, pain, etc.), I forgot them … so another long string of curse words ensued … we settled on buying the fugazy brand of cannoli made in Pennsylvania and finished the 6.5 hour drive to beautiful downtown Oakmont, PA (which is a really nice town) …
And what a great bookshop (Mystery Lovers Bookshop) run by Laurie Stephens (without a doubt, one of the best hostesses I’ve ever encountered) … and a doll.
Rick Ollerman from Stark House Press was there with his incredible family (his two kids (little Rick and Sabrina) have won statewide essay contests) and they’re adorable (so obviously they take after Rick’s wife, Melissa).
According to Rick: Sabrina's first one was a "What Does Ski Racing Mean to Me" kind of thing and won her a tuition scholarship to the club program, which is affiliated with the USSA, the governing body of ski racing from the wee little ones up to the Olympics and other international competition.
The second contest was for the skier's to write about the impact their coaches have had on their skiing and their lives. This time Ricky won, so the USSA sent his coach and his wife down to Boston for an all-expenses paid (including hotel room) trip to the USSA Ski Ball, a five hundred dollar a ticket featuring the national luminaries, including Ted Ligety (who just won a record sixth straight giant slalom race).
Sabrina's entry was good enough to get her coach and her husband tickets to the event, but with no hotel accommodations, which worked out because she lives down there anyway.
USSA is supposed to send swag bags to the kids, and Ricky's coach donated a brand new helmet to Ricky with Ted Ligety's signature on it. That kid is a proud one.
The local club has been promoting their achievements in their local presentations and other activities. They said it brought national attention to our team and is apparently quite the prestigious thing.
Seriously, this is one of the nicest families we’ve ever come across and this too, the wonderful Ed Gorman gets credit for. I’m starting to think that all roads lead back to Ed, amici.
Dana King was surprised by a few things that day and the day before … his wonderful family is just that, wonderful. If you get the chance to hear Dana speak, do so because he’s really very terrific at this stuff.
Really bad football calls … San Francisco was robbed by one of the worst over-the-top roughing the passer calls I’ve ever seen … and at the worst possible time. It handed the Aints a fugazy victory, but more importantly, it jeopardized San Fran’s playoff chances. As it turns out, the Frisco player, Brooks, was fined for the play, once again proving the NFL has ZERO credibility (as it doubles down on the mistaken call). This is all about the league’s hypocrisy … “Look how much we protect the players!” is what they’re trying to say … this after cutting a sell-out deal to NFL players it hoodwinked for years by telling them their concussions weren’t concussions, they were “dings.” I say defensive players need to ask for an additional million per player to cover the costs of these fugazy fines, so their actual salaries aren’t reduced from the NFL’s attempt to show they give a fuck about anything more than the money they make off the backs of their players.
Linebackers (all football players) of the world unite!
Okay, we all make mistakes, but in the ONLY sport wherein the regular season actually means something, you can’t let Refs blow games with calls like that one. How to fix it? I’ll get to that after dealing with the Cheatriot whining about a Pass Interference call that wasn’t pass interference.
Check out this fiasco (NON-CALL) …
That was on the “winning” touchdown pass for the Cheatriots … still wonder why my son Dustin named them that (the Cheatriots)? But that isn’t the other really bad almost call last week … Cheatriot fans across the country were pissing and moaning about the so-called pass interference on the last play of the game (when Brady threw way short of his intended receiver and the ball was intercepted). Momentum was what carried Gronkowski beyond where the ball was thrown short. The LB interfered, yes, but he wasn’t the reason Brady underthrew the pass. It was GREAT to see the refs discuss the fugazy call one of them made and overturn it. There was no way Gronkowski could’ve caught that ball.
Now, how to fix this crap? Easy, challenges should include bad calls. You still only get three a half, but when bad calls can (and often do) reverse the course of a game, they have to be scrutinized. If the refs continue to blow the calls after review (which they’ve done several times now), so be it. At least there’s a chance a team doesn’t lose a game on what a ref “thought he saw.” As a wise coach used to say, “It’s as simple as that.”
A GREAT Playboy Interview with Bernie Sanders … buy the magazine, read the interview, learn something that isn’t a myth … and then look at the pictures.
2024 … the new date being bantered about as to when American troops will FINALLY leave Afghanistan … if that’s the case, that leaves, like, how many more Nobel Peace Prizes for this President? TK figures 2024 is about the same time when he’ll have his website issues resolved.
This week in the NFL … back to back bad weeks for the ugly Knuckster on the picks (7-8) … although I did break the code (bet against the Bills and they win … turn your back on the Rangers after they give up an easy goal and they score one of their own!) …
So, with that in mind, amici … here’s the ticket to your dreams!
The Aints will cover the -7.5 over the Falconless, 33-17.
The Wes Cravens will give the Yets another QB controversy (and cover the -3.5), 24-13.
The Pantherless keep the streak alive and cover the -3.5 over the Fish, 27-17.
Take the Bucs and the +9.5, even in a loss to the Lionettes, 30-24.
The Jags getting +10.5 against the Texas Two Steppers? ANOTHER LOCK OF THE WEEK, Jags, 21-20. Bet all the In-Knucks-We-Trust-Bucks you won on last week’s lock and press it on this one.
We’ll take the stumbling Coltless getting +2.5 over the Cardinellies of Arizona, 24-20.
In the big one in Moonachie, we like the Blue team to keep the dream alive. They’ll cover the -2.5 over the Girls, 34-27.
We like the Steelerettes getting +2.5 over the Brownies, 24-22.
And we love the Ramettes minues -1.5 over the Cubbies, 27-17.
The Vikingless plus +3.5 will cover in a loss to the Packing Company. Green Bay 21-20.
The Chargerless will cover getting +5.5 against the Chefs. Hell, they’ll win outright, 20-17.
We like the Tennessee Tuxedoes getting +1.5 to win outright against the Raiderettes, 23-20.
And in the fugazy bowl in Chowder land, we’ll take the Cheatriots in an upset (+3.5) over the Broncettes (because the refs will be getting new cars from Kraft), 27-24.
Revenge be thy name … watch out RGIII, the 40-whiners are pissed off (and rightly so) … San Fran more than covers the -4.5 in a 33-16 blowout.
The David Kolker Band … Standing on a Wire … I met David in a gym in Manhattan … oviously he's still in great shape and I'm a mess ... he's a great guy … and a great guitarist …
The Rides … Niel Young’s Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World … Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg …
The Doors … Roadhouse Blues …