Gumbel.

HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” recently did a segment about Monday Night Football and its upcoming switch from ABC to ESPN, a move that would mark… the end… of an institution.

I don’t consider Monday Night Football to be an “institution” of the same significance as, say, an organized religion, or Congress, or marriage, or a university, but I’ll grant them that a change has occurred. An incredibly minor change, because while the Monday night game will be on cable, the Sunday night game will now be broadcast by NBC. By my math, it evens out.

Anways, at one point, Gumbel was interviewing one of the higher-ups in the company that owns ABC and ESPN, an up-and-comer called “Disney.” They were discussing the switch to cable, and the end of an institution and blah blah blahGumbel smugly asked this Disney exec, [I’ll try to get the exact quote from a rerun] You’re switching Monday Night Football to cable, what about the little guys who can’t afford cable? Is it tough luck for them, now that they have to pay for something they used to get free?

A few thoughts occurred to me:

First, an economic point: it’s imprecise to say that the little guys get broadcast TV for nothing. Businesses pay billions of dollars to broadcast networks and cable channels for advertising time, and they earn billions of dollars when the viewers buy the products they saw advertised. In other words, you indirectly pay for “free” TV when you purchase the stuff you see in the ads. The difficulty is that because it’s indirect, the signals from the viewer (buyer) to the networks (seller) can be difficult to interpret.

Then I thought Bryant Gumbel had a lot of nerve challenging this guy when Gumbel’s own show isn’t broadcast and isn’t even on regular cable—it’s on HBO. “The little guys” have to pay even more to watch Gumbel’s show than they would to watch Monday Night Football on ESPN. Is his show meant for the elite who can afford HBO, while Monday Night Football is simply to pacify the slovenly masses?

Gumbel’s questions implied that people are somehow entitled to watch Monday Night Football gratis—or they should be. If so, that’s a warped sense of entitlement. Is the NFL supposed to arrange a game between two teams with payrolls in the tens of millions of dollars, playing in a stadium worth hundreds of millions of dollars, over a television network worth billions of dollars—and broadcast it at zero cost to the viewer? Well, even at the supposed price of “free,” a lot of those viewers are evidently watching something else on Monday nights.

I’ve heard three types of response to these complaints so far:

1. “Oh, come on, you’re reading too much into Gumble’s questions; yes, it’s a business decision, but just admit that it sucks a little that Monday Night Football will be on cable now.”Maybe so. As long as you acknowledge that broadcast TV is not an entitlement, I will admit that I am reading too much into it.

2. “Why should the people who can’t afford cable have to suffer? Why should the rich guys be the only ones who get to watch Monday Night Football?” There’s the entitlement mentality at work. Not being able to watch football is not “suffering.” And when ABC is hemorrhaging $150 million a year because Monday Night Football’s ratings are terrible, the solution is to show it to more people who give you money and fewer people who don’t.

3. “Who cares?” I do, and you should, too. Hopefully this historic event of unsurpassable importance (the switch to cable) will mean the end of those Hank Williams, Jr. intros we’ve been suffering through for 16 years, and the end of those stupid halftime recap medleys by Cowpoke McBumpkin or whatever his name is.

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 10th, 2005 at 4:59 PM.

3 Responses to “Gumbel.”

  1. scrappy Says:
    December 10th, 2005 at 11:36 PM

It is the probably the change from Monday Night Football being a non-excludable good to an excludable good that has gotten a few people’s goats. People must not like it when they aren’t allowed the possiblity to free ride any longer (the ones that don’t buy what is advertised during MNF. The invisible hand (or is it the socially conscious bird?) noticed a bit of a deadweight loss being created by an overproduction of football on the public (publicly paid for and enjoyed)… the marginal cost was greater than the marginal benefit and now the market must creep back towards equilibrium.

I sure hope I got an A my economics exam.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    December 11th, 2005 at 1:34 PM

Ah! The economic analysis is strong with this one. Be careful of your use of the word “public,” because in econ it means “government-funded” or “taxpayer-funded.” Taxes don’t pay for MNF.

Either way, I am pleased enough by your post that I will buy you a beer on your 97th birthday.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    December 14th, 2005 at 8:52 PM

… and he’ll dig you up to assure that he gets his beer.

Superdawg.

This weekend my aunt, uncle and five-year-old cousin took me on a short trip through the suburbs and into Chicago. We passed many landmarks of familial and general interest that reminded me how time can fly.

We stopped at the cemetery where my Grandma Marianne and Grampa Julius are buried. (For those who would understand: Julius was my Russian step-grandfather who was the source of the “Kate” accent.) Grandma Marianne hated geese in her day, which was probably why so many of them desecrated her grave in the particular manner they chose.

We drove past the hotel near O’Hare where O. J. Simpson stayed the day after his wife and her friend were brutally murdered by unknown assailants. You know, the hotel where he cut his hand. Accidentally. Innocently. It’s hard to believe that was more than ten years ago.

We drove past the high school my parents attended. We drove past the house where my Viscariello grandparents lived for decades. More precisely, we drove past the parking lot where the house where my Viscariello grandparents lived for decades used to be.

Anyhow, our eventual destination was one of Chicago’s minor but more charming landmarks: the Superdawg at Milwaukee, Devon and Nagle. It’s a drive-in hot dog and hamburger stand; you park next to one of the speakers, place your order, and a carhop will bring you your food. You sit in your car and eat. Not too many of these places around anymore.

Superdawg’s mascots are two anthropomorphized hot dogs named “Maurie” and “Flaurie,” after the owners. Maurie is the male hot dog, and wears a leopard-skin caveman outfit and sandals.Flaurie is the female hot dog, is blonde, has a blue bow, a blue skirt, and blue sleeves. I was unimpressed with the choice of mascots. They should have gone with a schnauzer wearing a hot dog bun, or a cape with an “S,” right? A hot dog wearing a caveman outfit was silly.

We placed our orders and the carhop brought us our food. It came in a small box with decorations reminiscent of the Fifties, probably because the architecture, look, and ownership ofSuperdawg haven’t changed much since then. The box didn’t have flashy coloring, it didn’t have a game piece, it had none of the trappings of modern fast-food advertising. The lid featured an image of Maurie resting on a two-piece chaise lounge. It had various writings on it, but the one that interested me most was:

“Your Superdawg lounges inside, contentedly cushioned in Superfries, and comfortably attired in Mustard, Relish, Onion, Pickle, and Hot Peppers.” (In my case, onion was crossed off, because onions and I—well, there’s history there.)

The caption was clever, but not edgy, or cutesy, or obnoxious. It, combined with the vision of Maurie unwinding on a chaise lounge after a long day at the office, changed my impression of him. It made Maurie seem like an exemplar of Hugh Hefner’s target audience: an upper-class, yet not uppity gent who enjoys his leisure and does some modeling.

But something was nagging at me: why wear a leopard-skin? Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate if Maurie were wearing a smoking jacket and puffing on a cigar, or maybe a pipe? I thought that would fit the caption better than a caveman outfit. But perhaps the leopard skin was more comfy than a smoking jacket, or his regular clothes.

I looked up at Maurie atop the restaurant, trying to discern the mind of this timeless figure. And then something clicked. I suddenly understood: Maurie looks relaxed in the picture on the box because it’s his subtle way of mocking us. That’s right, mocking us.

You sit in your fancy, modern car, thinking that Maurie and his wife look silly up there on the roof. You smugly bite into your relish-laden likeness of him, and might even think that you could create better mascots. You self-righteously finish your hot dog, and prepare to drive away…

…but then you catch that last glimpse of Maurie’s relaxed visage on the box, and realize that though you have consumed and destroyed a graven image of him, he is completely indifferent to it–for you are nothing to him. We are nothing to him. We don’t threaten him, or even raise his ire. Any feeble attempts at offending him fall pitifully short because we are mere ants before his mightiness.

Eyes blazing with primal ferocity, Maurie taunts the elements on the most punishing of these brutal Chicago nights, wearing naught but a flimsy leopard-skin as we mortals timorously drive by, snugly buckled in our toasty-warm cars, wearing our cowardly Gore-Tex parkas and our shameful mittens. We cower at the worst of winter’s bitterness and the cruel passage of time—Maurie roars at them, and at us, and towers over that blustery intersection, triumphant and unbowed for over fifty years.

Or maybe the owners just thought the caveman thing was neat, I don’t know. Either way, it was a pretty good hot dog. And it was nice to see timelessness, albeit briefly.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 5th, 2005 at 3:32 AM.

2 Responses to “Superdawg.”

  1. donnimikk Says:
    December 5th, 2005 at 10:00 PM

Grampa Julius also created my nickname. RIP

  1. ourladyofcoincidence Says:
    December 21st, 2005 at 10:41 PM

Just wanted to mention that the Noonan House is in the Superdawg area (at least a stone’s throw- maybe a little more…)- in case you’re not familiar… it’s got the tree that “grows” through the roof- very popular house in these parts.

Of course if you can’t get to the neighborhood, just go to:
http://wgntv.trb.com/news/?track=nav & then click on “Holiday Display” video.

Thought you might be interested….
Merry Xmas to all

 

On turning 30.

When growing up, you go through a stretch where birthdays are more than mere parties featuring the eating of cake, slurping of punch, and opening of presents. Starting at about your tenth birthday, they take on greater significance; you look forward to them with greater eagerness than before, for they mark rites of passage into adulthood.

At ten, you’re finally in double digits. At thirteen, you’re finally a teenager. At fifteen, you can finally get your learner’s permit, and at sixteen your driver’s license. At seventeen you can get into R-rated movies alone, at eighteen you can vote, at twenty you’re no longer a teenager, and at twenty-one you can drink legally.

After that, the excitement and anticipation die down. Twenty-two and twenty-three are no big deal at all. At twenty-five, your auto insurance rates drop and you can run for the House of Representatives—but that isn’t exactly thrilling. At twenty-seven, you’re as old as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain when they died. Eventually, you stop looking for any significance in your age, and may even forget that your birthday is coming…

Until your thirtieth.

Granted, the anguish over turning thirty is partly arbitrary. It simply means that you have been out of the womb for thirty of Earth’s trips around the Sun. It’d be fewer trips if humans had fewer fingers, and more if we had more. In a sense, “thirty years old” is younger than ever before: it is a smaller and smaller fraction of an increasing average lifespan.

And yet…

The night before turning “The Big Three-Oh,” you lie awake in the dark, trying to think about anything other than these irrational but very real mortal dreads:

…that your youth is gone and it is not coming back…

…that dreams and opportunities have irrevocably passed you by…

…that one day, however near, however distant, no matter what, you will simply end. It is utterly horrifying.

No more of those good milestone birthdays are coming.

Kids who you think don’t look too much younger than you call you “sir,” and you wonder whether you really look old enough for them to naturally address you with a term denoting respect—or, more precisely, a term denoting age.

It takes a little bit longer to stand up than it should. Maybe you just bumped your knee, or maybe you’re just a little tired. Your back has been sore for a while, but will surely get better soon—probably after you start exercising, like you’ve been planning for how long now?

You have more hair where you shouldn’t, and less hair where you should. Even worse, some of it’s turning gray. All those tiny little birthmarks of yours are changing size and color, and you consider going to the doctor to have them looked at, like old people do.

The stars of your favorite sports teams are younger than you. The hottest actresses are younger than you. You don’t get today’s music. Bouncers and bartenders don’t card you anymore. Strangers ask you if you have children. Children?

You’re a parent and turning into your own parents, or you’re disappointed in not being one by now.

You’re married and settling into a rut, or you’re worried that your marital prospects are dwindling with age.

You don’t have the job you knew you’d have, the car you knew you’d have, the house you knew you’d have, the money you knew you’d have by this time.

You are nowhere near living the life you thought you’d be living by now, and it is killing you

…well, what can I say? You’re thirty. Go ahead and die, you sniveling, geriatric whiner.

What, you thought I was talking about myself? In the second person? Wrong. I’m only twenty-nine. Thus, I don’t have to worry about aging, hopelessness, my own mortality or any of that crap that’s got your thirty-year-old knees a-wobbling.

I can skip and frolic and dance and sing tra-la-la… because I’m still in my twenties!

I can eat fast food, play soccer without stretching and let my cholesterol get so high it’ll have flashbacks for decades… because I’m still in my twenties!

I can go to the seediest bars, get impossibly wasted and schlep home at any hour of the night with some depraved, green-haired, tattooed strumpet and her shy, bespectacled twin sister who’s on leave from the convent… because I’m still in my twenties!

I can dodge the draft, I can drown my pregnant mistress near Chappaquiddick, I can go AWOL from the military, I can throw my Purple Hearts over the gates of the White House, I can drink, smoke, shoot and snort whatever I want and a year from now I’ll be able to wistfully say, “Ah, yes, I was young and foolish—I was still in my twenties!”

Now, am I actually going to do all those crazy, irresponsible things? Probably not. But the point I’m trying to emphasize in your moment of crisis is that you are a useless, washed-up mastodon, whereas I am not.

All those years growing up, I was always the youngest in the group. The youngest in my high school class. The youngest on my club soccer teams. I couldn’t drive when I graduated high school, couldn’t drink when I graduated college… Well, my thirty-year old friend, you may have gotten your license first, you may have voted first, you may have drank legally first, but guess what? I’ll turn thirty last, you ancient bastard. I win.

So happy 29th to me and gimme my cake and punch.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005 at 2:10 AM.

7 Responses to “On turning 30.”

bologna of mal intent Says:
November 23rd, 2005 at 12:05 PM
Rather depressing start, but thank g-d i have the whole picture of dorian gray thing going on with me cept its more like a school ID and no connotative sodomy involeved. But taking into consideration the latter half of ur entry i think i shall choose to not waste my younger years i will spend this extended weekend going out and partaking in all kinds of debauchery drinking smoking and [redacted] till i become skitzofrenic, but in my case since i will lack the ability of blaming it on my age for another 13 years ill just blame it on my cousin.
So happy birthday Mr. V go out and tp egg and trench those acient bastards homes, have fun and blame it on your twenties (that probably wont stand up in court thou)
PS just kidding about the [redacted] and smoking

[Moderator comments: Do you know what a “mandatory reporter” is? And please spell better next time.]

PaxonIB Says:
November 23rd, 2005 at 6:06 PM
ahhh.. Mr.V!!!! you are still such a kid at heart!!! you sure do know how to make history fun (even though history in itself is one big, interesting novel,—the 1700s in particular— some teachers aren’t as good as you)!!!! [Moderator comments: Be nice to them anyways.] Happy 29th birthday, and HAPPY Thanksgiving~~ we miss u…. PAXON misses u!!!!! enjoy ur birthday. may all ur wishes come true!

donnimikk Says:
November 23rd, 2005 at 8:19 PM
I’m saving this and sending it to every last one of my peers on October 21, 2017 and it will feel great. Thank you Mr. V for having been even more pathetically young when you graduated than I will be.

By the way, we murdered Forrest 8-0, were now 2-3. Everyone scored except for leading score from last year… But I’m not bitter.

PaxonGator Says:
November 24th, 2005 at 7:22 PM
[Moderator comments: Link to PaxonGator’s silly alteration of the “cake and punch” photo has itself been altered.]

Sorry couldn’t resist. Happy Birthday Mr.V

Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
November 29th, 2005 at 7:31 PM
Mrs. Hmnahmna and I copyrighted all our wedding photos. You now owe me, thanks to all the traffic your site generates and considering the going rate per hit . . . . $0.0015 in royalties.

Pay up. Now.

Vincent Viscariello Says:
November 30th, 2005 at 5:42 AM
I have some other photos that Mrs. Hmnahmna might be interested to see, Doc.

Pay up. Now.

PaxonGator Says:
February 14th, 2006 at 8:52 PM
And Van Goughish interpretation by Jason Nipper

“Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels.”

One of my favorite novels is A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr. It tells of the recycling of civilization centuries after a nuclear war, from the vantage point of a Roman Catholic monastery in Utah.

My favorite dialogue is when Abbot Zerchi and a doctor argue about using one of the abbey’s courtyards for examining people exposed to radiation, and possibly recommending euthanasia for “hopeless” cases. Zerchi has just called laws permitting euthanasia “criminal.” The doctor responds:

“If I thought I had such a thing as a soul… I might agree with you.”

Abbot Zerchi smiled thinly. “You don’t have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.”

The visitor laughed politely. “A semantic confusion.”

“True. But which of us is confused? Are you sure?”

You don’t have a soul… you are a soul. It’s a construction which differs somewhat from common usage, in which we refer to souls as something we own rather than something we are.

More simply: if you lose a thumb, you’re still you. If you puncture a lung, you’re still you. If you lose your left foot, you’re still you (unless you’re my brother, who never passes or shoots with his right foot). In many religions, traditions and personal belief systems, when your body dies, the real, true “you” is elsewhere and separate.

Even if you don’t believe in the existence of souls, you probably recognize that there is some essential being that a person is rather than has; and the existence of that being is in no way diminished by merely amputating a limb. But would it be diminished by a serious brain injury, or debilitating stroke? How would that affect you as a soul, or an essence, or whatever?

I think, and some might agree, that just as you are a soul that has a body, you are a soul that has a mind. (Temporarily?) But the distinction between soul and mind is much trickier.

The mind affects the soul in ways the body doesn’t; it is through our minds that we can learn about good and evil, or virtue and sin—apart from any intrinsic knowledge that we may naturally have. The mind’s health affects our ability to make moral decisions and thus incur guilt or maintain innocence. That’s why in our legal tradition, you can be acquitted of a crime due to insanity. This is roughly analogous to “this soul committed no sin because his mind was lacking.”

But where’s the cutoff, if there is one? I’m not asking that from a legal perspective, but from a moral perspective. At what level of mental dysfunction can someone no longer be held morally accountable for their action?

In Christian thought, this issue may ultimately be moot due to concepts such as original sin, salvation through faith alone, your finest deeds being as rags before God, and so on. I can’t speak for other faiths or philosophies.

What interests me is the status of the soul when the mind fades completely—when the brain deteriorates physically or simply can’t function as it’s supposed to.

For instance: I have an eighty-five-year-old grand-aunt who is suffering from dementia. Since moving up here, I’ve visited her every couple of weeks. Her short term memory is in terrible shape and getting worse. When I talk with her alone, no distractions, no other people in the room, she will ask the same three questions in a loop that will start over in as little as two minutes. When I ask questions, her answers usually lead into one of a few long-memorized litanies.

When more of the family is around, her condition is less noticeable because she no longer has to keep track of longer conversation with a single person. The more people, the more combinations of talkers and listeners, the easier it is for her to hide the problem by having several short conversations with different people.

Physically, she’s in just about as good shape as you can be at 85. If she loses her eyesight, or a leg, she’ll still be Aunt Mary. But, pardon the expression, as she loses her mind, what happens? If she loses all of her mental capacity—or if she simply loses her capacity for moral judgment, will Mary still “be” in her 85-year-old living shell?

Can the soul, without the mind, still be morally active? Can it still incur guilt? Can it depart prior to physical death? Is it inert, essentially frozen until physical death? How much of the “mind,” our cognition, is actually the soul, if any? If I were to make a Grodzin-like model of the relationship between the mind and the soul, would it resemble a layer-cake or a marble-cake?

A much shorter version of these questions: Was Terri Schiavo still in there? How would we know?

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 20th, 2005 at 6:06 PM.

3 Responses to ““Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels.””

  1. apushisfun Says:
    November 21st, 2005 at 6:07 PM

Mr. V, what spurred you to write about this very touchy subject?

Now my personal opinion about the terry schiavo case is that she wasn’t there anymore. She had been in that vegetated state for, I think it was, 10 years. There is no possible way that she was going to come out of that state. (off subject: Mr. V, my dad just told me to tell you I love you and get off the internet, but I’m going to finish what I have to say and then get off.) They [the parents] said that she would respond to their voice and that she said that she didn’t want to die. They could of thought she said that because they wanted her to live so much. But, in my personal opinion, I think that her body was just responding to an outside stimulus like the parent’s voices and that her “attempt” at saying she wanted to “live” was just another responce that her body enacted.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    November 21st, 2005 at 8:49 PM

I wrote about this “very touchy subject” because I would like to kidnap souls, and conscript the leftover bodies with minds into an army of zombies.

  1. bologna of mal intent Says:
    November 22nd, 2005 at 10:45 PM

ooooh cool, can i lead the army or atleast be one of luetentes or however you spell it and what if were mindless zombies?
but to deal with shivo i think their would be no possible way to know if she was still “there” autopsy showed that her brain had shrunk to the point where they can definitively say she was blind so likley any reactions she had were nothing but reflexes and i gota agree with the nerd above that her parents probably were only seeing and hearing what they wanted to hear

P.S: long live the secret brotherhood of VDV


A letter to President Bush.

Dear President Bush,

I would like to congratulate you for nominating Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to the Supreme Court, where he would join such prominent justices as Antonin M. “Nino” Scalia. Hopefully his confirmation will be swift.

I would also like to take this occasion to suggest the following federal judges for any Supreme Court vacancies in the near future:

  • Anthony A. Alaimo
  • Ruggiero Aldisert
  • Thomas L. Ambro
  • Richard J. Arcara
  • Paul J. Barbadoro
  • Carl J. Barbier
  • Marianne O. Battani
  • Melvin T. Brunetti
  • Guido Calabresi
  • Richard A. Caputo
  • Richard J. Cardamone
  • William J. Castagna
  • David S. Cercone
  • Samuel Conti
  • Alfred V. Covello
  • Joseph A. Diclerico, Jr.
  • Paul V. Gadola
  • Arthur J. Gajarsa
  • Richard A. Lazzara
  • Joseph A. Longobardi
  • Kenneth A. Marra
  • William J. Martini
  • Frederick J. Martone
  • John R. Padova
  • Frank J. Polozola
  • Reena Raggi
  • William J. Rea
  • Charles J. Siragusa
  • John E. Sprizzo
  • Dominic J. Squatrito
  • Joseph L. Tauro
  • Michael A. Telesca
  • Ursula Mancusi Ungaro-Benages

I assure you, they are all judges of the highest caliber.

Sincerely,

Vincent D. Viscariello

This entry was posted on Monday, October 31st, 2005 at 12:56 PM and is filed under Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Silent “c.”

Yesterday’s indictment of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby exemplified one of my many great observations about politics, morality, and life in general: Half the trouble you get into is caused by lying about the other half.

Look at Bill Clinton. If he had simply been honest about the whole Paula Jones-Monica Lewinsky fiasco, he would not have been impeached, found in contempt of court, fined, disbarred, etc. At least, not on that occasion.

Look at Richard Nixon. If he had simply been honest about Watergate, instead of trying to cover it up, there probably would not have been as intensive an investigation. There would have been no recommendation of impeachment from the House Judiciary Committee, and he wouldn’t have had to resign. And everybody would just love Nixon nowadays.

For now, it looks like no one committed any crime regarding the actual leak of Valerie Plame’s identity. That may change, but for now, no one’s been charged with the crime of “leaking”–and yes, I know it has a fancier name than “leaking.” But, if the indictment is true, Scooter lied about when and how he learned Valerie Plame’s identity. Which messed up the special prosecutor’s investigation. Which is a felony. Scooter got in trouble not for the act, but for lying about the act. Sound familiar?

(I think the real shame of the whole thing is that it took attention away from debating the merits of Joseph Wilson’s claims about the war. Those of you who pay no attention to the news may ask, “Who’s Joe Wilson? Who’s Valerie Plame? What?” In short, Wilson took a trip to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake uranium. When he got back,Wilson said Bush invented reasons for the War in Iraq. It turns out that Wilson was lying about the trip himself. Plame matters because she’s Wilson’s wife and works for the CIA. Which was supposed to be a secret.)

Oh well. Don’t lie, scumbags. You’ll save yourself half the trouble you get into.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 29th, 2005 at 6:25 PM.

4 Responses to “Silent “c.””

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 29th, 2005 at 9:03 PM

Kinda funny how some people still think Clinton was the best president the US had seen in the latter part of the 20th century, despite the fact that he was a habitual liar. Er, wait… maybe Clinton was a great president because he wasn’t sure of the definition of ‘is’.

Either way, he looked like a scumbag to me.

  1. apushisfun Says:
    October 30th, 2005 at 3:03 PM

well it seems to me that, to state the obvious, clinton is a stupid idiot for lying to the supreme court. and it seems to me that mr. v likes making links to other websites. well isn’t that marvelous.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 30th, 2005 at 4:53 PM

As much as I dislike him, I did not intend this to be Clinton-bash time… he’s not the one currently under indictment. And my links are in fact “marvelous,” put in so that maybe people can learn some more stuff about various things.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 31st, 2005 at 5:12 PM

…but Clinton-bashing is so much fun!

A rational analysis of the Victory of the White Sox.

As a Cubs fan, I am trying to decide which is the most logical interpretation of the White Sox’s victory tonight (and if anyone knows the correct possessive form of “Sox,” let me know). The most likely possibilities:

1. The Victory of the White Sox bodes well for the Cubs. The Red Sox won last year after the third-longest wait in major league history (86 years), and the White Sox won this year after the second-longest wait in major league history (88 years). Therefore, logically, the Cubs will win next year after the longest wait in major league history (next year will be 98).

2. The Victory of the White Sox completes the ultimate karmic insult to the Cubs. Two years ago the Cubs, the longest-cursed team in the majors, were five outs away from going to the World Series when everything went… well, let’s just say “wrong.” Then the baseball gods rubbed it in by allowing the 2nd and 3rd longest-cursed teams to win the Series in the next two years. One of those teams, of course, was the Cubs’ crosstown rivals.

3. My arrival in Chicago gave the White Sox the additional karmic boost they needed to overcome their drought. Therefore, logically, a major Chicago sports team will win the championship every year I live here.

If it’s number 3, I should send Mayor Daley a bill.

This entry was originally posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2005 at 12:44 AM.

4 Responses to “A rational analysis of the Victory of the White Sox.”

Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
October 27th, 2005 at 8:03 PM
You forgot the following:

4. If the Cubbies pull it out, it will signify the end of the age.

5. The Bears will continue to suck. After the Blackhawks in ‘06, the Bulls in ‘07, the Cubbies in ‘08, and the Apocalypse in ‘09, there will be no more opportunity for the Bears. Can the power of the Ditka hold off the Second Coming long enough for one more Bears championship before Judgement Day? Probably not.

jmanpc Says:
October 29th, 2005 at 1:32 PM
Possibility 5: The White Sox are really good and the Cubs suck.

I dunno. It just seems logical to me.

Possessive form of Sox: Sox’s (Good job, you got it right. Maybe you should pursue a career in elementary education and teach small children the meaning of the phrase ’such is life’. It’d be great if more small children were sarcastic and cynical; especially if they shunned the stupid kids. You know, like the ones who think 2+2=22. Speaking of stupid people, you could teach the munchkins to enjoy politics, because there are too many politically incompetent people around, like the people who think raising minimum wage will solve all poverty problems. Little kids should know basic economic principles like inflation… but I digress.)

Vincent Viscariello Says:
October 29th, 2005 at 6:28 PM
Typical jmanpc… sucking up after you’re out of my classes. A bit “politically incompetent,” wouldn’t you say?

jmanpc Says:
October 29th, 2005 at 8:57 PM
Sucking up by saying you should be a elementary school teacher? I dont think so. I just enjoy your sarcasm and cynicism. And I hate stupid people.

The new “James Bond” may be a wuss.

I was schlepping around on the internet this afternoon when a headline on the Drudge Report caught my eye:

New Bond: I hate guns…

Surely, Ian Fleming is rolling in his grave. Bad enough that this clown, Daniel Craig, has blond hair. Bond is supposed to be a heavy-drinking, chain-smoking, mildly cruel, womanizing badass like Sean Connery, not a whining, fair-haired, panty-waisted ninny who spouts drivel about how “scary” guns and bullets are.

I know, I know: Daniel Craig isn’t really James Bond, he’s just an actor playing a fictional character. Well, hopefully he can pull off not acting like a wuss. He could also use a last name.

Even more disturbing is this quote from Roger Moore, who acted in more of the crappy Bond flicks than anyone: “Today I am completely opposed to small arms and what they can do to children. I played every role tongue-in-cheek because I don’t really believe in that sort of hero. I don’t like guns.” Let’s break this down:

  • “Today I am completely opposed to small arms and what they can do to children.”

First, which children are we talking about? Second, nobody likes “what they can do to children.” But everybody likes what guns can do to thieves, rapists, murderers, terrorists and pumpkins.

  • “I played every role tongue-in-cheek because I don’t really believe in that sort of hero.”

Is that what it was? I used to think that Roger actually played every role tongue-in-cheek because he didn’t really believe in a golden-gunned, triple-nippled supervillain with a Solex Agitator; or an underwater city housing the progenitors of a race of superhumans; or a space-based city housing the progenitors of a race of superhumans; or a seven-foot henchman with metallic teeth who can chew through steel bridge cables and survive a fall from a plane without a parachute; or twin KGB assassins who double as knife-throwers in a circus; or an octopus cult made up of hot female superspies—the leader of which of course falls for Bond, the man who made her father kill himself; or a secretary who will give away her boss’s secrets and take a bullet for Bond within sixty seconds of meeting him; or a hot Russian female spy whose code name just happens to be a pornographic movie rating; or the whole concept of a seemingly ageless superspywho can drive, fly, operate, defuse, break, fix, shoot, stab, beat up or have sex with absolutely anyone or anything he wants without consequence… but I was mistaken! I guess if they’d just written Bond’s Walther PPK out of the scripts, then Roger would have played it straight.

  • “I don’t like guns.”

We should have known; Roger’s hair was the wrong color, too.

[Dear Bond-philes: What somewhat unlikely events/people from the Moore movies did I leave out?]

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at 5:59 PM.

6 Responses to “The new “James Bond” may be a wuss.”

  1. aabrock Says:
    October 25th, 2005 at 6:45 PM

I read that article too and was also surprised that Moore intentionally played Bond as “tongue-in-cheek”…I always thought it was the direction that the producers wanted to take theseries, I mean how else can you explain the increasingly cringe-worthy puns and heroine names that have gone on since he left? I hope we are not gearing up to be disappointed in Casino Royale.

Regardless, I still like the guy because of:
1) his extreme niceness in real life
2) his relative lack of ham-iness in For Your Eyes Only
3) http://darrellreimer.com/?p=101

Speaking of the new Bond, he is kinda short and blond but he can play it serious…Layer Cake was a pretty good movie.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 25th, 2005 at 6:54 PM

Don’t get me wrong, I do like Roger Moore (and he was good in Live and Let Die, also). But what he said created a disturbance I haven’t felt since… well, it just aggravated me, that’s all. It seems to me that an actor who opposes guns shouldn’t star as a hero who relies on them to save the world.

  1. aabrock Says:
    October 25th, 2005 at 8:15 PM

Well while we are here, let me see if this will stire things up:
http://www.cinematical.com/2005/10/24/cinematical-seven-the-best-bond-movies/

Now I am not saying that I agree with everything on here (replace Goldfinger with FRWL) but at least someone else appreciated Timothy Dalton and plots that don’t place earth/silicon valley/instanbul on the edge destruction. And enough with the nuclear weapons; what did master spies ever do before the atom bomb?

  1. scrappy Says:
    October 26th, 2005 at 7:02 PM

I have always had the dream of blasting a pumpkin into bits with a shotgun.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 26th, 2005 at 7:54 PM

ive always had the dream of blasting crappy james bonds with a shotgun.

  1. domthebomb Says:
    November 4th, 2005 at 6:47 PM

Roger Moore is my favorite Bond. And Live and Let Die is my favorite Bond movie (so far). Moore was cool, Sean Connery was just skanky.

Mr. V’s Generic Recommendation Form.

Due to the large number of student recommendations I’ve had to write since leaving Paxon, I have decided to post a generic recommendation form. Simply copy the text into a Word or Works file, change the date, replace [full] with your full name, [first] with your first name, and “her” with “his” or “him” when necessary. Also, note in the second-to-last paragraph, I say that I will only date or marry women with your name–well, if you’re male, you’ll need to add an “a” to the end of your name or use a feminine form of your name. I’ve put everything you need to edit in boldface. When you’re done, just put a couple of letter “V”s followed by some squigglies for a signature. Good luck.

. . .

[today’s date]

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to strongly and emphatically recommend [full] for admission into your university. It shocks and appalls me that she would even need my recommendation. One would think that the mere presence of her name on the application would automatically lead to admission—one, that is, who knows the real [full].

My first encounter with [first] was on August 14, 1972, nineteen months after I was taken prisoner in Viet Nam. My captors tortured me, kept me in solitary confinement, and starved me for weeks at a time. They tried to make me denounce my country, but I knew that if I could stay strong long enough, my country would come through for me. Finally, after three Special Ops units had been wiped out in failed attempts to rescue me, the Pentagon sent her in.

I will never forget that steamy day when she parachuted in and wiped out every VC within five miles. I will never forget it: the screams of my captors as she butchered them, the door to my cell being blasted open, and then [first] coming through with the head of a prison guard impaled on her bayonet. Nor will I forget her sheer elation upon learning that a shell-shocked, beaten, tortured man such as myself could, having grown heartless and bitter throughout the brutality, still shed a tear, joyous at the sight of a savior’s friendly face—[first]’s face. For beneath her cold, ruthless, bloodthirsty exterior was the warm, nurturing heart of a loving soul.

[first] saved my life. [first] taught me calculus and archery. [first] is ambidextrous and telepathic. [first] knows the etymology of every word in the OED and always uses the correct verb tense. [first] knows the last ten digits of pi (π) and can divide by zero. [first] can carve ice sculptures with chainsaws and can etch secret codes on grains of sand with her heat vision. [first]dug the Grand Canyon with her mighty pickaxe and destroyed Atlantis when its people displeased her[first] saved Earth from [first name spelled backwards]her evil twin from an alternate universe—and her army of giant robotic bumblebees.

Knowing [first] has truly changed my life. On my back I have tattooed “[first]” in 58 languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphics, Elvish and Klingon. I will only date women named [first], and my wife will be named [first]. I am going to name all of my children after her. I shall name my daughters [five feminine variations of your first/middle names], and they shall be beautiful and graceful. I shall name my sons [five masculine variations of your first/middle names], and they shall be handsome and strong.

Understand that your failure to admit [full] will bring the full fury of my wrath down to bear upon every employee and trustee of your puny university, as well as their loved ones. You don’t want any of this. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Vincent D. Viscariello

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2005 at 3:58 PM.

9 Responses to “Mr. V’s Generic Recommendation Form”

  1. aabrock Says:
    October 21st, 2005 at 10:32 AM

Wow Dom, I had no idea you taught Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry! Also, try your hand a writing a few madlibs…I think you have what it takes.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 21st, 2005 at 1:12 PM

Aabrock, it is totally unrealistic to suggest that I am old enough to have taught John Kerry.

(Next time I talk to you, if I call you “ab-rock” instead of your real name, I apologize.)

  1. Vivienne Says:
    October 21st, 2005 at 8:47 PM

My name is male. Same as my middle name (mom and her grandfather were “tight”- as those young people say- and needless to say, my middle name is his name, just spelled different).
The masculinity of my names pose a problem for that almost-last paragraph.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 22nd, 2005 at 5:59 PM

i might actually use that and see what happens

  1. donnimikk Says:
    October 23rd, 2005 at 11:09 AM

Do you think Harvard will let me in with that?

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 23rd, 2005 at 11:51 AM

Into what?

  1. Cetentae Says:
    October 31st, 2005 at 11:12 PM

I’m glad I never asked you for a recommendation!

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    November 1st, 2005 at 3:59 PM

You should’ve; you’d be in Harvard, gratis.

  1. PaxonGator Says:
    November 24th, 2005 at 9:54 PM

Off and sent to JU, knew there was a reason for them waiving my application fee.

Nightmare.

Normally, I am aware of the context of my dreams; I am aware of certain assumptions or premises that lead into the story. Not so in the one I had a few nights ago…

The dream begins with me in a tuxedo at a wedding. I am confused, because I have no idea how I got here. I’m looking around, trying to figure out whose wedding it is, what I’m doing here, what my character’s motivation is, et cetera.

It is my wedding. My friends Evans, Patton, and Chip are standing as groomsmen, I see the bridesmaids, and the minister is my friend Tim. I see the guests, my family on the right side of the church and the bride’s family on the left. But I still don’t know who the bride is.

I think it might be a certain girl from college, whom we shall call “Martha Quinn”—in which case I’d be utterly fascinated to know how the hell I pulled that off. Or perhaps it’s a certain girl from after college, whom we shall call “Ingrid Bergman”—in which case I’d be utterly fascinated to know why the hell I pulled that off.

The minister gives the go-ahead, and, shivering with anticipation, I turn to my bride and pull back the veil.

And then I just plain shiver.

She is not attractive. At all. She is the antithesis of attractive. If I had commissioned artists to draw “pug fugly,” they could not have come up with this. Actually, that may not be true; she looks like Moe Szyslak, except blonde and uglier. And she is smiling at me.

With fortitude heretofore unknown to Mankind, I refrain from showing my revulsion. The PG-rated version of my first coherent thought is: “There is no way I will consummate this marriage.” How can I? I desperately want to vomit and she’s still got her clothes on.

I look to the minister, hoping to see some hint on his face that this is all a big prank. No such luck. I look at the groomsmen. They’re smiling, happy for me. So are the bridesmaids. So are the families. Everybody in the building is radiating pure joy. This is not good.

A little context here would be useful, but there is none. As God is my witness, I have no idea how this happened. How did I meet this woman-thing in the first place? How could I have asked her to marry me? Had the courtship, engagement, and ceremony all been arranged five minutes ago while I was in the bathroom? Hadn’t I ever been sober enough to call it off, or had I been drunk, high and in a coma since we first met?

My mind races, trying to figure out how to get out of this, fast. Should I just object when the minister asks? Do they even ask for objections at weddings anymore? Should I say, “I don’t” when the minister asks, “Do you?”

I look at the woman-thing’s family. They’re beaming; happier than pigs in slop. They look like the type of nurturing, supportive family that would tear me limb from bloody limb, right there on holy ground, if I didn’t marry their girl. So I can’t just make a break for it. I’ve got to go through with it, for now.

Maybe I can have the marriage annulled. Or I can get a divorce–hopefully, tomorrow. I mean, I don’t even know what her name is, where she grew up, what her favorite song is, what her cat’s name is, what she wants out of life… that’s a good excuse, isn’t it? How bad would it look that my first marriage lasted a day? Would I have to go into hiding from her family? How do I explain to her that there will be absolutely no honeymoon-suite festivities, tonight or ever? After all, I’m a sensitive guy and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Still smiling, I am in total panic. This is the worst nightmare I’ve ever had. This is worse than the one when I fell out of the airplane. This is worse than the one when I was shot by an axe murderer. This is worse than the one when I saw my sister gunned down on national television. This is worse than the one when I saw “Martha Quinn” and a four-year old boy who looked an awful lot like me (it turned out okay; I escaped). This is even worse than the very first nightmare I can remember, when Kermit the Frog turned into a vampire.

Finally, the moment of total, perfect, absolute doom comes, and the minister begins to ask the question: “Do you…”

Mercifully, my alarm woke me.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 16th, 2005 at 8:26 PM.

14 Responses to “Nightmare.”

  1. Area2 Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 12:16 PM

In case you have another nightmare like this, go ahead and get married and kiss the bride. The worst that could happen is that she turns into Kermit the Frog. You could do worse.

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 3:31 PM

how do you know she wasn’t thinking the same thing?

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 3:46 PM

Impossible, for two reasons:
1. I’m not blond.
2. I’m “The Bomb,” remember?

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 7:02 PM

1) okay…almost the same thing. minus the “blond” part.
2)Oh, you thought “the bomb” had positive connotations?

just take comfort in knowing that somewhere in eastern germany a woman named ADOLWOLFA was waking up in the same cold sweat.

[Moderator: East German woman’s name altered to protect her privacy.]

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 12:48 AM

I must admit that I did think “the bomb” had positive connotations when used as slang. Maybe I was wrong, but I’m going to need some empirical evidence.

So for the next week, if something upsets me, I will say, “That was the bomb!” If the Bears lose to the Ravens next week, I will say, “Man, those Bears are the bomb.” When my roommate’s cats (one of which is named “Vinnie,” incidentally) sneak into my room just to aggravate me, I will say, “Quit being the bomb, you little bombs!” When I get cut off in traffic, I will call the offending driver a “motherbomber.”

And we’ll see how that goes. Then, the week after that, I will revert to using it as connoting positivity. When I finish reading Former Mormon Student’s book, I will say, “I am the bomb, for I have finished the book.” When I call up my five year old cousin, I will ask my aunt, “Hey, can I talk to The Bomb?” When I get my Italian roast beef sandwich at Portillo’s, I will finish it and scream, “That sammich was the bomb, holla” at the top of my lungs.

I will then make a rational, scientific judgement about whether it is better to be “the bomb” or not. None of which changes the fact that the monster in my nightmare was ugly.

  1. aabrock Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 12:53 PM

Interesting dream…wish I could sympathize but I can only empathize as I hardly ever remember my dreams. There is only one dream in my life I can specificly recall: being chased by a giant in-makeup Gene Simmons, inspired by a freaky KISS pinball machine. But even though I do not remember dreams I know it when I AM dreaming. On multiple occasions I am 100% certain that it is a dream and not only that I have the power to wake up whenever I want. Seems like you needed that power in your dream…

And am I the only one that laughed at Dom being SHOT by an axe murderer? Had he misplaced his poison?

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 2:06 PM

Actually, in some of my dreams I do have that “power.” Example: in one I was dressed up for Halloween as a rock-n-rollin’ demon and chasing this miniature version of… oh, never mind.

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 5:05 PM

don’t talk about your wife like that!
oh and your roomie’s cat’s name is ironic…because the greatest nickname for you ever would be “Vinnie the Pooh”-spelling optional. (it works much better spoken.) And feel free to gather empirical evidence as to the connotations of “pooh” as well.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 18th, 2005 at 9:15 PM

Now, domthebomb… when you leave comments like that, it makes me think you don’t love me. (I can’t find the smiley that actually sheds tears.)

  1. domthebomb Says:
    October 19th, 2005 at 3:47 PM

😥

  1. jaxaca Says:
    October 19th, 2005 at 7:26 PM

i enjoyed the shooting axe murderer as well ‘aabrock.’ I guess there are better ways to go.

  1. Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
    October 24th, 2005 at 9:31 PM

Just remember, it could have been, say “Myanmar.” Then I would have at least had a twinkle in my eye.

Is ordination inherited?

Hm.

  1. Lassie-v 5.0 Says:
    October 27th, 2005 at 6:30 PM

Thanks alot Mr. V. now I’m gonna have a freakin’ nightmare too. oh well what can ya do?
-You favorite ex-student whose brother you also taught

  1. Simplexity17 Says:
    November 5th, 2005 at 1:31 AM

“Hadn’t I ever been sober enough to call it off, or had I been drunk, high and in a coma since we first met?”

I laughed at this for a very long time. At least it was just a dream…

It seems your personal anguish tickles me, but only because it was all only in your head. Which brings me to the point of commenting, do you have a problem with blondes? I should hope not…Oh yes and by the way, I am pleased to no end that your sense of humor is still in tact. “…destroyed Atlantis when its people displeased her…On my back I have tattooed ‘[first]’ in 58 languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphics…”

A useful button.

I would like to be able to activate my car’s center brake light without hitting the brakes. Hopefully this would cause the tailgaters to back off. I want to be able to look in my rearview mirror, see that the impatient moron behind me is so close that… well, so close that I’m worried I’ll get hit, smirk my little smirk, and, with the James Bond theme playing in my head, press… The Button.

The driver behind me would see the center brake light and panic, believing that I’ve actually slammed on my brakes in the high speed lane of a major interstate with no other cars in sight. And as he reflexively hit his own brakes, hopefully spilling his coffee in his lap, I would calmly pull away, still going the same 5-miles-under-the-limit-speed that caused him to ride my bumper like that in the first place.

I’ve already got the perfect place on my dashboard for The Button: the passenger belt warning light that looks like a perfectly pressable button. Whenever someone’s sitting there without her belt buckled, the light starts flashing. I immediately lean over to press it, hoping that this will be the time it’ll activate the ejector seat, or electrocute the passenger. No such luck. So as long as it’s sitting there, doing nothing, I may as well turn it into The Button.

Since I’m on the subject, I think the hazard light button on my dashboard should also have enhanced functions. If I were an alien sitting in my Corolla for the first time, and I saw a black button with a red triangle within a red triangle, I would assume that that button activated a heads-up targeting system for miniguns or guided missiles (the hazard symbol has always reminded me of the targeting lights from Predator). The perfect place for the firing mechanism would be the overdrive toggle on my gear shift. I never use that thing anyways; it’s always on.

Never mind what prompted these thoughts, because I know you’ve had them too.

All this, of course, assumes that I have any working knowledge of automotive electronics, which I don’t. So I must turn to my dear engineering friends from Clemson. This is your hour.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2005 at 3:22 PM.

7 Responses to “A useful button.”

  1. twink Says:
    October 14th, 2005 at 9:15 AM

You could always get a bumper sticker that says “Get off my ass or I’ll shoot”.

  1. clarkkent Says:
    October 16th, 2005 at 1:20 PM

mr. v

i just want to disregard your post and call you inspirational and fawn over you because youre hot and stuff. but if i was commenting on this particular post, id say that youd have to have t.w.d. install a flux capacitor to your car, because time travel is far more useful than a fake brake like….if you are appealing to clemson engineers that is.

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 16th, 2005 at 4:16 PM

So drivers in Chicago are just as inconsiderate as they are in Jacksonville? This must be stopped.

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    October 16th, 2005 at 8:36 PM

Clark–

I would laugh at the first part of your comment if I didn’t know you were being sincere. But instead I’m going to eat a grilled cheese sammich.

  1. clarkkent Says:
    October 17th, 2005 at 9:36 PM

touche, mon frer….

  1. Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
    October 24th, 2005 at 6:25 PM

I’m too busy to put in the flux capacitor. You’ll just have to make do with the nuclear reactor I’m assembling.

  1. Simplexity17 Says:
    November 5th, 2005 at 1:45 AM

Genius, pure genius. But due to my lack of this fine device I am forced to actually “brake check” the…um…[insert word here]. In fact, today, as I was pacing myself at a steady 70MPH along Toll Road 417 on my way home from UCF for the weekend I was being tailgated and, because of my lack of “The Button” I was forced to actually remove my foot from the accelerator and tap on the brake. She proceeded to drive up beside me, roll down her window, yell at me that she was in a hurry, shoot me “the bird” and get back behind me where she immediately continued to tailgate. Yes, The Button would make millions. Start working…

Hockey.

I wish I could have grown up playing hockey, even though I would have been horrible at it. What a great sport! You’re wielding a stick with a curved blade, blasting away at a hard rubber puck which at the right speed can maim an inadequately protected person, slamming your opponent into a fiberglass wall with bone-crunching malice for the amusement of bloodthirsty rinkside spectators– and ice-skating, which is always romantic.

My favorite player in hockey, or in any sport right now, is Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I first learned about him in 1993, my last year in high school. What impressed me most that season was not that he was the best player on the two-time defending champions, nor that he was regarded as the next Gretzky. It wasn’t even that he won the Pearson Award (players’ MVP), the Hart Trophy (writers’ MVP), and the Art Ross Trophy (top scorer with 160 points; second place had 148). What impressed me most about Lemieux was that he won the Pearson, the Hart, and the Ross despite missing 24 out of 84 games due to radiation therapy for Hodgkins’ lymphoma.

If you think about it, that’s even more impressive than my winning 25 consecutive paper football games in seventh grade.

Anyhow, to the point: Thank God the NHL is back from that ridiculous lockout. I’ll never understand why professional hockeyballers. whose minimum salary was $180,000 and average salary was $1.8 million, would go on strike or force a lockout by the owners. I would give my left foot to play professional soccer; you’d think these babies could tolerate a salary cap.

I do wish that the Stanley Cup had been stamped with the names of the champions of Canadian amateur hockey for 2004-05. That would have been a nice touch, especially since the trophy originally went to amateur teams. It also would have been a nice jab at the professionals, who apparently thought they made so little money that they chose to make no money at all in the 2004-05 season. How principled.

But there were two silver linings to the lockout. First and most important was that the NHL, hoping to draw fans back after the lockout, made some changes that should increase goal scoring and improve game flow. The games have been more exciting and higher scoring so far, but we’re only a few days into the season. Here’s hoping the good times last. (And here’s hoping FIFA considers making some changes, too.)

The second silver lining was that the lockout gave Lemieux, who is 40 years old now, more time to recover from injury and get “re-charged” for this season. The Penguins are as yet winless, but they’ve been exciting to watch. Their new wunderkind, Sidney Crosby, has five points in three games… nice to see a rookie on at least one of my favorite teams can perform.

Happily, now that hockey’s back, the summer of 2006 will be as wonderful as I expect every even-numbered-but-not-evenly-divisible-by-four summer to be. Why? The NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Finals, and the World Cup in Germany. Also, I don’t have to worry about a barrage of political ads leading up to the Presidential election. And, of course, it won’t be as hot or humid up here as back in Florida.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 9th, 2005 at 10:48 PM.

5 Responses to “Hockey.”

  1. MyCreativeAlias Says:
    October 10th, 2005 at 2:38 PM

GO FLYERS!!!!

  1. jmanpc Says:
    October 10th, 2005 at 4:17 PM

i like watching people beat each other up.

  1. jaxaca Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 4:18 PM

I agree that hockey’s return is nice. Maybe I can finally wear that Avalanche jersey that I’ve had for some time now. It has my name and everything. However, with that said, I must emphasize the “betterness” of Western conference hockey over the East…man do I miss Colorado.

  1. ktea Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 5:29 PM

I admired you called them hockeyballers, that really made my day. However, I do believe there are 2 people more excited then you about hockey being back, and that’s my brother and father. I blame them for all of my violent tendencies, all those hockey games I was forced to watch. I love it now though, if you come back to Jax you should see the Barracuda’s they are not half bad. We went to see them during the absence of the NHL.

  1. Simplexity17 Says:
    November 5th, 2005 at 1:54 AM

I love the insertion of romanticism in your somewhat violent opener…]]>