Thursday, March 31, 2005

I Pity The Fool


"He's a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd's deciding about yoga...."

George Plimpton, 1985


   I was a bit too young to fall for George Plimpton's spitball of an article. Not that I was some super-intuitive kid...I was- and still am- a bit of a rube. I was just too young to be reading lengthy magazine articles. Had I read it as an adult, I'd have bit.

   It happens. Bobby Heenan once said, "It takes a good man to fool Jake The just doesn't take him very long." You could switch Monponsett into that statement with no lessening of the overall veracity. I can be had.

   My husband likes to walk by my office when I'm online and ask me to find the story he heard on the news driving home. Usually, it's true..."Robert Blake beat the rap," "The Yankees signed Randy Johnson," or something like that.

   Occasionally, it's fraud..."The Ashley Olsen Twins just agreed to do Playboy" or  "George Bush just threatened to bomb North Korea into the Stone Age." I'll look for it until he snickers. I fall for this again and again and again. I'd make a short-but-fine Washington General.

   Back when I was teaching, I sprang this article on my students as a homework assignment. I dropped it on them as Current Events, and all I told them (as I handed it out at the end of the day, March 31st) was that the Mets had a new pitcher who looked almost historic. I took the liberty of altering the "1985" dateline. I'm almost sure Plimpton would appreciate it, and I'm sure he won't complain- he's ead-day.

   The kids bought it hook, line and sinker. I had informed the other staff about the story, and we all watched them babble about it. "Thank God he's in the National League."...."I bet Sosa could bang one out on him." and so forth. I was happy to see that some students viewed the article with skepticism. "That HAS to be wrong." "They're just trying to sell magazines" or "Trick ball....big fat diamond in the baseball."

   They were pretty upset when I clued them in. A few swore they knew itall along, and a few just swore, period.


Special Bonus: April Fool's Jokes To Play On Athletes

- Secretly replace Barry Bonds' steroid tongue cream with Icy/Hot

- Subtly attach a "Dead Kennedys" bumper sticker to Jose Canseco's wife-beater prior to his Senate hearing testimony.

- Have a maid with a sexy voice take Kobe Bryant's room service order....then send 6 Mississippi-style Hell's Angels up to his room with the food.

- Dig a big pit, cover it with palm leaves, situate yourself so that the pit is between you and Ron Artest....then throw a beer on him.

- Schedule a press conference where Al Davis proudly displays the new Raider pink and pastel blue.

- Find an old law about NCAA athletes having to maintain a certain GPA, and cancel the Final Four.

- Put every guy in the office in a Cavaliers uniform, send them to a Cleveland practice, and tell Lebron James that you traded for all white guys.

- Replace Sammy Sosa's bats with huge, cylindrical pieces of cork.

- Release a dozen starved pirahna into the locker room whirlpool just before Penny Hardaway finishes practicing.

- Dress up like Tony Hawk and show up at Tee Ball games, karate classes, and other sports that you look 25 years too old for.

Weekend Assignment #53: Recount a tale of a particularly successful April Fool's prank you perpetrated, had perpetrated on you, or witnessed personally. As a matter of humor, it's best if the pranks are not merely cruel (i.e., if it ends with someone in tears or in the hospital, that's probably stretching the limits of the phrase "successful April Fool's prank"), but aside from that, bring 'em on.

Extra Credit: Prank someone famous. Tell us how.

Monday, March 28, 2005

New Englander Qualification Checklist

- Your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May

- You know the 27th letter of the alphabet....pronounced "ahhh," and used where most Americans would use "r" 

- You've shot baskets in mittens.

-You can answer an important question with "ayup" ....even a question from a judge or a cop....and not only will they take no offense, they'll use the term as well.

- You instinctively walk like a penguin for six months out of the year

- You've worn shorts and a parka at the same time

- You know several people who have hit a deer more than once

- You have switched from heat & A/C in the same day, and back again.

- You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow.

- You install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked.

-You've had to shovel snow before your little league game.

 - You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

- Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

- Down South to you means Philadelphia.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Presiding Over The Funeral Of A Rival


 Happy Easter!!!

   Easter is a special day in Monponsett. Everybody puts on their Sunday best, children get Easter bonnets, the first flowers are emerging, and the air doesn't freeze your lips shut. Spring is just around the corner(it's actually been Spring for a week, but I don't consider it to be Spring until all the snow melts), and "rebirth" is the buzzword for today.

   It's also the day that the Sunday Sports are due out. We're like the Chinese place down in the plaza. We work holidays. You know the deal. Stuff yourself full of Easter brunch at Grammy's....then roll out after the NBA games to catch some deep-fried sweet and sour post-Easter goodness from the local Ming Dynasty.

   Easter is also neck and neck with Halloween and Valentine's Day to see who can sell the most candy. I have already secured my chocolate bunny, and it is stored in my office where no child can get at it. Gabrielle has her own stuff, and I get ornery when my level of chocolate runs low. Mr. Chocolate Cottontail is out of his box now, and he will soon be decapitated.

   So now that we're fed, it's time to check out the world of sports. It has been an interesting week, far beyond the two fine NCAA games we saw yesterday

Daddy Beats Suns

"I'll play the host at your I smoke a blunt and reminisce..."

    The NBA was rocked to the very core by the Shaquille O'Neal trade last summer. Anytime you trade a monster like Shaq Daddy to build around someone, that kid better bring the Dubs in with a fat rake. And if you enjoy your professional reputation as a general manager, the Diesel better break down before his extension, proving to all that you were right all along.

   This past week, Shaq took his NBA's best record into a game with the Beasts of the West, the Phoenix Suns. Shaq was a behemoth inside, smashing aside opponents like a rampaging Wooly Mammoth. When the evening was over, he owned the NBA's best record, earned at the expense of the NBA's second best team.

   Shaq has teamed with Dwayne Wade to basically gorilla pimp the Eastern Conference. Miami has worked the LA recipe(takeone Shaq, add scoring guard, voila!!) to a 53-18 record. While his contract extension might hold the chance of paying him $30 million to score 12 points a game, his Movement To The East has simply tipped the NBA balance of power back to the landof the Risng Sun.

   Back in LA, Kobe is the whole effin' show, and with his legal difficulties settled, he was at last free to start his own Laker era. The results have been a nightmare. The Lakers are 32-36 as I write this. They are almost twenty games back in the loss column. If the Lakers lose the #8 in a row (ironic?) while the Clippers win somewhere else, Kobe will be playing for the worse LA basketball team.

   And it's not like the Clip just drafted the next Olajuwon and have sixty wins already. They're the same old Lottery bunch they always were...they just have a roomie named Kobe, now. If the NBA were a neighborhood (with each division being a house), Los Angeles is a bunk bed ragamuffin kid's room in the squalid white trash house. They've pi**ed through three coaches since last June, and they'll probably bring in Contestant #4 this July.

   It gets worse. In order to make it Kobe's team, they had to lose the Diesel, his $29 million  year contract, his demands for a $30 million/2 year extension, and his status as the straw that stirs the drink. While this decision may be questioned, the motives can be understood. Kobe is a kid, and he might have 10 good years left. You build around that. The key was getting the best possible return for Shaq.

   Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Brian Grant are all fine players, but I truly believe that you could sprinkle seed onto a "NBA Top 50 Scorers" list and let a chicken peck 3 better guys off of it.

   They are less than the sum of their parts, which is hard to do. Odom is a solid player, a multi-talented Olympian who is always a threat to fudge around and get a triple double. Butler is a servicable forward, and Grant simply needs his own paragraph. He's the factor that turns the equation negative.

   Brian Grant owns what may be the worst contract on the books in the NBA today. He is owed an utterly ridiculous 13 million and change this year, 14 next year, and 15 the season after that. New Jersey is paying Dikembe Mutombo $14 million to play for Houston this year, but at least they get to stop in July. New York owes Lil' Penny and Allan Houston a few Iraq invasions worth of salary for 2-3 years. Those are his only rivals.

   So you have a Laker squad built around a Lottery-producing Kobe/Grant/Odom financial axis. Chris Mihm is a nice-but-clumsy fellow, and Chucky Atkins tries really hard. The rest of the squad are has beens and never weres. The Lakers are crippled financially, and if they use their draft pick this Lottery season, they'd better hope they score big....because Boston owns their draft pick one of the next 3 years from the Payton trade. The last time the Lakers gave Boston a draft pick, it turned into Larry Bird.

   Kobe is paid maximum NBA dollars through his 2011 contract ($24.8 million). Odom gets $62 million through 2009. Grant will collect an ungodly $15 million  through 2006-07. The four contracts they have on the books in the 2006-7 season put them over the cap. They lose Grant in 2007, at which point they can spend 8-10 million on a free long as they then play four-on-twelve.

   Unless Kobe rights this ship next year, no help is coming. Someone may take that nightmare Grant contract off their hands for an overpriced, Abdur-Rahim type player...but that day is perhaps years away. If they don't give the Celtics this year's Lottery pick, they could stand the chance of handing us a much better pick in 2006 or 2007.

   I don't blame Kobe as much as many do. He is scoring like a SOB, spilling dimes, and rebounding. He can still take games over now and then. But if you look at his record next to other NBA teams, he's no better than Corey Maggette, Steve Francis, or the Redd Mike. None of those dudes is on the books for $25 million in 2011.

   The worst part is that when the Lakers had a chance to slip into the playoffs with a run, they proceeded to reel off eight humiliating losses in a row. Without the Diesel, the Lakers went belly-up in crunch time. They will have to beg free agents to accept their paltry, mid-level exception. 

   They have these chances to get better.

- Kobe and Odom click, and a full training camp brings the Lakers out of the box like a cannonball in 2006-7.

- Odom is dangled over the summer, and fetches a player who enjoys the aforementioned chemistry with the Kobester. Lamar for a high lottery pick and an expiring contract?

- Someone offers them an unhappy star in 2007 in exchange for Grant's expiring contract.

- The Lakers gather a Lottery pick or two, and strike gold.

- They shake up the NBAagain, and trade Kobe before he becomes a Lottery fixture.

   All of these moves involve one man, and it isn't Kobe. LA needs to decide if they are gonna leave the future in the hands of the current regime. While the motivation is understood, the Lakers could have been assembled better by a monkey with a pack of NBA trading cards. They blew their wad- trading the Daddy- and they got played like hillbillies on 42nd St.

   They were essentially worrying about paying Shaq thirty mill to score 18 points a game. So they instead traded for three guys at the same salary who'll be lucky to combine for 18 a game. They should have offered Kobe a deal before last season, and shipped him off for 80 cents on the dollar if he didn't sign immediately.

   If I owned the Lakers, I would walk out onto the court during the last home game and fire Mitch Kupchak over the PA system. I might bring a few armed bodyguards with me, as Mitch goes about 6'11" or so. As the heavies escorted Kupchak from the building, I'd give Kobe a seven year deal stare as I threatened him with banishment to Toronto if he doesn't start producing next year.




 Saint Peter has three blondes in the waiting room. He calls the first one in.

"Miss....please explain to me what Easter is."

"Well.....Jesus was born in a manger, and on Easter, Santa visited him and gave him a stocking full of toys."

" to Hell. Next!"

   The second blonde walks in.

"Explain Easter to me, Miss..."

"'s that day where the Pilgrims like killed the Indians and ate them?"

"Off to Hell with you....Next!"

   The third blonde walks in.

"Explain Easter, please."

"Easter is a Christian celebration that celebrates Christ rising from the dead after his crucifixtion. On the third day, Jesus rose from his tomb....."

"'s your wings....Heaven is the third door on the left."

"....and then he saw his shadow, and we had six more weeks of winter." 

St. Peter then resigns his position.

Friday, March 25, 2005

High Above Courtside: The Movie


   After conquering the blogosphere, I've turned a wandering eye to the realm of Hollywood. Monponsett Stacey is simply too important and complex a topic to be handled by two-dimensional font. In order for people to truly understand the gestalt of what we do here, it is necessary for us to utilize different mediums. The only other alternative is moving to the lake and taking up the lifestyle which point, you'd probably come under the notice of my security team.

   That's a problem for another day. Today, we have to hammer out the fine print with the people from Ersatz Entertainment, who have financed the project. They expect big things, and they have given out a blank check to see that those big things do indeed occur.

   A movie about blogging will not be two hours of me at the keyboard, chuckling to myself as I get off a good joke, chatting with visitors, doing bong hits, cooking dinner and so forth....although such a film has been made, and it currently resides in the Smithsonian for posterity.

   No....High Above Courtside: The Movie will be a brutal and terrifying descent into the maelstrom. Life in Monponsett will be vividly brought to life. You'll smile sweetly as Baby Stace is brought to America. You'll warm as she grows up in a house with a bunch of sisters chattering in two different languages. You'll share in the triumph of her high school sports career. You'll cry as she is forced to care for her kid sister and brother during the hard times. But wait....there's more!

   You'll get caught up in a heroin-like rush of euphoria as she begins her Journal and wins the All Star Blogger Contest. You'll see the duality of a woman called both "brilliant" and "less and less funny every time" on national broadcasts. You'll fill with righteous pride as she rises from the ashes like a Phoenix, and goes on a literary rampage that leaves few Americans untouched in its' fury. When America votes to trash democracy and give Monponsett Stacey dictatorial powers, you will have been there from her humble beginnings.

   After this film is made, Hollywood will be shut down, and indigent migrant farm workers will be housed in the studios that became obsolete when the Greatest Story Ever Told II is released.

   Here's what we have negotiated so far:

- The film will be shot on location in France and Massachusetts.Duxbury, Rouen, and Monponsett will be closed for filming.

- The question of who the guaranteed Best Actress Oscar will go to for portraying Stacey is a question all of Hollywood has asked- no DEMANDED- to know. That is still being negotiated. Angelina Jolie has the looks, but she's too tall. Julie Delpy has the accent, but she just doesn't exude the wholesome sensuality of America's favorite blogger. Holly Hunter is too old, although she may get the Future Stacey role. Serena Williams has the muscles, but the Smurf is notoriously pale.

   In the end, Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano were locked into a room. No spectators were allowed in. There was a lot of crashing, glass breaking, screaming....and finally silence. When the casting director entered the room, he looked at the carnage and called Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was the stand-by.

- The soundtrack will be performed by Britney Spears and the survivng members of Pantera.

Rejected titles:

- God's Daughter

- Mind Gone Mad

- The Staceython

- The Last Smurf

- Revenge of the Soccer Mom


Weekend Assignment #52(!): Going Hollywood Picture from Hometown


This Week's Weekend Assignment marks its one-year anniversay -- a whole year! That's a lot of assignments and some of you have done nearly every single one. I want to thank all of you for playing along, and here's to another year of interesting assignments for weekend Journaling fun.

For this week, we go west for the star treatment:

Weekend Assignment #52: Congratulations! Hollywood is making a movie of your life, and you get to choose any actor you want to play you -- yes, even if they're dead (the things they can do with special effects!) Who do you choose and why?

Extra credit: Name the musician/band who will play the theme song to the movie.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

There isn't an IM smiley for the way I feel right now

   Nothing like a March 24th snow. I swear that we just melted off most of the snowpack the other day. It was briefly 50 degrees in Monponsett today, but that all goes out the window tonight when the 6-10" of the Monponsett White falls from the heavens and kills my rhododendron.

   7:43 PM, and the first flakes are falling. Paul just came over, and he had snow on him. Monponsett has had the worst winter snowfall in their modern history this year, and we look to pad the total with tonight's offerings.

   It toughens you. That which does not kill me makes me stronger. Mother Nature doesn't play fair. That's why God made Jeeps. Life is dangerous, but you deal with it. I have done some teaching, and small-town schoolteacher sounds like a fairly safe career move...until some freak mows down 9 kids in some Cowtown High School. 

   Too bad blogging doesn't pay. Nice and safe in my office, unless I accidentally electrocute myself....which is possible. I started an impressive kitchen fire once with a failed pizza, and I was briefly electrocuted during both the Perfect Storm and a nameless 1998 nor'easter. While I'll spare you the details...please be careful around electricity during floods.

   As long as you survive, my doctors say that a good electrocution actually has positive health benefits. My cholesterol count lowered, any cancer I was carrying was fried like Chong("If science could figure out a way to safely electrocute people, cancer would kill maybe 8-10 thousand people a decade"), and my heart is now conditioned to handle exertion that would kill a "normal" person.

   To this day, I carry a slight electrical charge that makes my immune system as tough as a Georgia prison guard. While my surgeon could make no guarantees, a science known as Medical Physics says that I may live to be 140-175 years old.

   Maybe if I live to be 175 years old, I'll understand the Madness. I can't call myself a big college hoops fan. I don't hate it by any means, and a good game is a lot of fun to watch. I'm simply not at all into it.

   Here's why I'm not that big on the NCAA:

- Without fanatical devotion, it's pretty hard to keep up with who is who. They roll everyone over every four years, and most of the good players only peak for a year or two.

- Notice how I didn't say "great." Any great player goes straight into the pros these days. Lebron should be in that tournament, as should Amare and Carmello and pretty much every other top ten pick of the last three years that isn't from fu**ing Latvia or something.

- Maybe because of that, it's a coach's game. I've done some coaching, and it is easier to look like an ass than it is to look good. Coaches have a lot on the line- money, reputation, potential recruits, and so forth- and they have a tendency to play it safe.

- Which leads to the same play being run all the time. Pass it around the perimeter until a defender doesn't shift properly.... at which point comes the 20 footer. Repeat again and again, until the last minutes...when it becomes a foul shooting contest.

 - One of the Unspoken Truths of the NBA Youth Movement is that a whole generation of kids saw Air Jordan get stifled by the Carolina game plan. Olajuwon and Sam Bowie (both of whom would probably have gone pro after their freshmen years these days) were drafted before him. While headier fans could see the Beast waiting to emerge in Jordan's college game, it wasn't until he was in the pros that he became a juggernaut. That cost Air some $$$. 

 -  Jordan was out there with James Worthy and Patrick Ewing. Talk about how the NBA has dropped in talent....think you'll ever see a college game with that level of talent again? Every single one of those guys- even the late blooming Jordan- would be in the NBA by the time they were 19. Care to see that much 20 year old talent on the court these days? Maybe when the Suns play Cleveland....

- Remember Tim Duncan? He was the last truly dominant center in college ball. If you know a seven foot high school player, he's probably already being courted by the pro teams. Only the abject humiliation of saying it is preventing David Stern from announcing, "With the first pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select Shaquille O'Neal's sperm."

- It's the Big Dance, but it's the Same Old Song And Dance. You can pencil Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, and three or four others into the Sweet Sixteen every year. Every single year after year after year.

   Ever notice how the consistently great basketball programs tend to be Southern schools that aren't good at football? Granted, a UCLA or a UConn throws a wrench in that theory...but if you  bet it every time, you'd end up with a slight profit.

- You can predict most of the results without knowing that much about the sport. I used to work at a place where our tournament pool was won by a Canadian English teacher who was picking her teams by jersey color and the brutal agony of all the guys in our pool who were vehement supporters of one squad or another. 

   I'm guilty of it myself, and I'm currently 4th out of 24 people in my AOL pool. My ranking will drop as the folly of choosing a school that actually gave me a degree becomes more and more appearant in the later rounds. Remember kids...absolutely NEVER bet your heart. Root with your heart. Bet with your gut. Know the difference between the two.

  Watch this..."The 2006 March Madness will feature strong teams from UNC, Duke, Arizona, UConn, some Big Ten school, Kentucky, Syracuse, etc....the final game will either be a blowout, or the foul shot yawner I described earlier."

   Whoever disputes my points....check your bracket. Check your past brackets, and remember to check your future brackets. See if I'm wrong.

- Kentucky has the hoop team, Ashley Judd, the Derby, and nice weather...but enough is enough. Bring back the UNLV backcourt in a hottub with a known bookie. Throw Ashley in there, as well.

- French major, I might add.

- I get a strong sense of Only Game In Town watching college basketball. If it weren't for college sports, I'd have no idea what people from Nebraska or Oklahoma State look like. I wasn't able to turn on the telly last weekend without seeing  some school from Iowa. "Hun....come quick ....Gonzaga vs Winthrop is about to start!!!"

   The fans have the star-struck, bright lights/big city look commonly seen on the gold medal podium at the local Special Olympics. If these people were spending just a little more time back on the farm, movie popcorn wouldn't be $6 a bag.

- Harvard goes for about $35,000 a pop. I'd presume Oklahoma State costs less. A good team like Duke can probably charge a fairly hefty ticket price to attend a game. Even if they give a bunch of seats to the students, they still can make money selling the rest of the tickets.

   By contrast, a guy named Kendrick Perkins left high school and went straight to the Boston Celtics. He makes $729,500 this season. He was a late first rounder, and he signed a guaranteed 3 year deal. He had his first million banked while guys at Florida State were still getting excited about being allowed to shoplift from a Foot Locker in a booster-owned mall.

   Fellow Celtic young'un Tony Allen did 4 years of college, and he was drafted around the same spot as KP. He makes a little more money, but he's not over a million. He has a nice Oklahoma State education to fall back on if he's out of the league in a few years.

   Kendrick and Tony could both flop out of the league by the time they are 27 years old. They will both make minimum NBA money until then. The difference?

   Tony spent years 18-22 of his life playing for whatever a years room and board is at Oklahoma St, Wabash CC, andButler County CC. Kendrick spent those years taking a few million dollars from the Celtics. If Kendrick decides to try college, he can do so at an easy pace....not the breakneck practicing/halfhearted classroom effort of the "student-athlete."

   Someone's getting paid a fortune when these games are played, and it's not the kids doing the sweating. Not since the days of the War of Northern Aggression have groups of blacks been exploited to this particular financial tune. Lebron could BUY a place like Yale if he wanted to.

- Not a lot of these "student-athletes" finsih their degrees....and some of these schools are not that difficult.The entrance exam for Central Florida involves spitting tobacco juice into an Dixie cup from 5 yards. Once arenas start filling to watch ringers, you just have a pro team with exceptional access to sororities.

- The opening of each tournament goes to show you how much hype can be laid at the feet of some pretty Boondock State kind of teams. For every Bucknell that advanced, how many Winthrops and South Mid Central Louisianas were cast aside, exposed as the opening round fatteners that they were?

   Watching 30 games of Big School Crushing Small School to finally see two truly talented twenty year old kids on the court at the same time is like watching a porno film with interminable buildup dialogue scenes between the facials.

   Porno film producers understand timing, and most sluts in those films are up on the dill pretty much immediately.Videotape costs money, and movie fans really don't want to see Tiffany Mellons talking about her aspiring acting career over a chicken dinner first date at some Applebees. That's what Natalie Portman is for.

   While I'd watch 2 hours of My Dinner With Andre if I knew that somewhere at the end I'd get to see Renee Zellwegger take on 4 or 5 Crips in some overlit California motel room...once you come to terms with your true beast, they have the better videos behind the desk.

   A great tournament will happen thismonth, and much of the nation will be enthralled. I may even get psyched for the final game, myself. Maybe. The NCAA better try a lot harder than they have been. I'm not some captive audience, college-sport-town-only rube...and if I see a boring game between two moderately talented squads, I'm Audi.


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sunday Sports Section

  Sunday morning is meant to relax. Listen to
"easy like Sunday morrrrrning," and picture it with a death-metal beat. Doesn't work. You need a more laissez-faire attitude. Acoustic guitar. Whispered conversation. Sleeping late. Yeah........

   Sunday is about kicking back and having a nice, slow chill. There are people we pay to entertain us on Sundays, and they are the only people who should be intense on Sunday...and even the NFL (much like an Irish drinker) waits until it's noon somewhere in the world.

   I'm all about a fat breakfast(all of Monponsett is breathlessly awaiting the opening of Pogo's II....which I hope will fill the Arthur and Pat's distinctively local breakfast place void I've had since I moved from Duxbury), an over-eager spoon in the hot cocoa tin, a bit of quiet reading with Gabrielle, a casual smoke and a nice walk with the dog once the sun's been out enough long enough to take the edge off the cold.

   I don't go to church much, but I never look down on the Good people hurrying off in their Sunday best. Much like me, I'm sure they are simply doing what makes them feel best. Which is what it's all about, even when you choose to stay home and worship in your own particular way.

   In fact, it is to these very same people that I dedicate my efforts today. Sunday is meant to go own easy, like a nice cold beer after hard labor in hot weather. There should be as little tension as possible.

   I grew up in a house that was absolutely stocked with girls- I'm one of four sisters, and my home was the gathering spot for the local mothers and daughters of the neighborhood .... especially on Sundays. One of the reasons I cook so well is because we usually entertained from 11 AM through dinner time, and often well after.

   In many houses, people get a huge Sunday paper to read while they eat breakfast or kill a lazy afternoon. The best parts of the paper often have a waiting list. You can learn a lot about a family by noting who gets the first crack at the Sports section.

   As the smallest and one of the youngest, there were two sections of the paper that I was lucky to see- the circulars and the sports section. Father took the sports section, and my older sisters would ravage the sales notices. I'd get the circulars after my sisters had scanned them- I often started with "Sears," looking at patio sets while they planned sweater purchases with the more desirable circulars.

   My older sister is really into plays, so the Arts section was out. I even lost out on the funny pages. Being the middle child sucks. Visitors would giggle when they saw a 10 year old Stacer reading the World section of the Boston Globe, not knowing that I had simply made a default reading decision. Eventually, I gave up, and just helped my mother in the kitchen.    

   I wouldn't even ask for the Sports section until the second football game started...and even then, I often had to slip it off the table when I was bringing him food. If I watched games with him, giving me the Sports section was a great way to shut me up during field goal attempts or 3-2 deliveries.

   There was great order in my house, even in the chaos of family, friend and pet. Many houses lack this order, and I'm sure several murders a year are caused by someone who was simply challenging the Sports page hierarchy in a particular home.

   Those murdered people of our present future may just well be saved. I'm thinking of using my quiet time every Sunday to do a Sports page. Nothing special, really...just a few things lurking around the edges of my mind. Maybe some middle child who was going upstairs to get the shotgun will instead log on and read my Sunday offerings...and by the time he's done, the Sports page is available a the coffee table. No one needs to be hurt.


  So....what's on the breakfast menu today?

Sacre Bleu!

Blue ice surface

- The Buffalo Sabres plan on using Blue Ice at one of their minor league arenas. The blue ice isn't in the picture yet, but notice the orange blue lines. If the blue line is orange, is it still a blue line?

   Supposed to be easy on the eyes, I suppose. This is actually a small market test of a broad concept designed to lure urban (black) teens into the sport. The inability of the NHL to break into the American black culture demographic is a marketing myth that the mightiest Madison Avenue minds can't explain.

   Malcolm X- who grew up in Boston- often spoke of the difficulties the NHL had in televising the game. "It's hard to see white people on ice" said the American civil rights activist. "Especially Canadian white people."


How's Yo' Hammy??

- Darvin Ham took a wine bottle to the head, courteousy of Mrs. Ham. A bit of disagreement got ugly at 3 AM, and deputies arrived to find the Hamster still on the floor. He refused medical treatment, and his wife was charged with assault.

   While domestic violence is no joke, you gotta like the woman who takes it at her 6'8" professional athlete husband. She'd make a terrific baby's momma.

Facial shields are optional at Darvin Ham's wine-tasting parties


Maple Syrup? Happen To Have Some Right Here

   Vermont knocked off Syracuse in the first round of the big dance, much to the delight of the good people of Monponsett. Vermont speaks more to the small town New Englander than the bigger programs at UConn or BC. When I played soccer or basketball at Duxbury High, I used to rock that color green on my uniforms. I cheered in a sweater/plaid skirt combo of that very same green. Thank God no Internet pics exist of that.

   I was pretty pissed when BC got the beatdown from those despicable miscreants in the Milwaukee uniforms, but a good run by Vermont would help ease the pain. If you've never been to Vermont, it's a trip. The whitest place in America, by the demographics. Mountain/forest-type people. As isolated as you can be these days. If you ain't from there, you don't come there.

   They are the last "local" New England team in the tournament. No one was paid $200,000 to play on the Catamounts. Before practice, they shovel out their cars. No head tripping in Vermont. It isn't Superstar country. Anyone who merits an entourage wouldn't be in Vermont.



- Don's Other Son

   Former Celtic Don Nelson pulled the truck over, and gave the keys to his protege. Don always valued Avery as a coaching candidate, and he essentially used his pull to make sure Avery got a shot running a good team.  You never know where or when Phil Jackson or Larry Brown will turn up.

   Don has a resume that few can match. He's Old School, and he's avant-garde. He played for Red, and went off and made a name for himself. He coached in Dallas, Golden State, New York and Milwaukee.

   Don was always a bit of a kook. He was a vehement supporter of Stickum(?), which pushed him over the top as far as being able to hold a ball well. He once stopped the mugging of his secretary by chasing the villain down on his Harley. He drove a tractor for charity. And he won wherever he went.

   He won a title in Boston with a shot that bounced a straight 5 feet off the rim before going in. He built a Mil-wocky team around Lanier, Moncrief, and Marques. He had Run-TMC in Cali. He built the Nash/Nowitzki team in Dallas, and he handed the ship to Avery in good order.

   Once a Celtic, always a Celtic...even if he coaches the bad guys for awhile.

Don Nelson/Avery Johnson


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Spring Haiku


   Still snow everywhere here in Monponsett

   Every now and then, I like to work in Haiku. 3 lines, with the first line having 5 syllables, the second line having 7 syllables, and the third line having 5 syllables.

   It's beautiful in the sheer simplicity of it. If Willy Shakes from Stratford-on-Avon and you get into a Haiku're both working within the same limitations.

   To keep it both Spring and Sports, I will focus my Haikus on two topics that are in the sports news this March. The Baseball/Senate hearings, and the NCAA March Madness Tournament.



Nothing says springtime

like seeing a baseball team

stand before Congress


Mark McGwire look:

Brawny Paper Towel Guy

with Popeye forearms


He took supplements

to get really, really BIG

and hit the ball far


Barry Bonds isn't there

and he'd be the most fun to

see testifying


Maybe the roid rage

will make Mark lose his mind and

pimp slap Senators


I doubt that happens

I never get what I want

Lucky for us, huh?





I check my bracket

Alabama is ousted

but I'm still in it


BC took on Penn

we beat them like lazy serfs

Milwaukee awaits


I bet BC , yes

a dark horse national champ

It is Boston's year


We'll thrash Milwaukee

rip out their small intestine

and show it to them


One of our players

was attacked by some armed men

the game? no pressure


when guns point at you

and you jump out a window

that's pressure...not hoop


I need a title

for my Boston College roots

I consider it a must

Weekend Assignment #51: Write a haiku about spring!

Haiku is three lines:
Five syllables, then seven
And then five again.

The Extra Credit:
A drawing or a picture
Showing spring in bloom!


Steroid Hearings Live!

   Urged by many, I changed the colors of the journal. Some people say it is hard to read, and I'll probably mess with it a f   ew more times. Please excuse any difficulties, and hit me up with any questions/comments/advice.

   Wanna listen/watch the baseball steroid hearings while you work at the office? Check this link:

 Watch Live Video of Hearing

   If you want to hear some old guys talk, follow that link. I don't know when the good stuff starts. Senator Jim Bunning is being called up as a witness at 10:35 Am EDT.

"It's not their's our game....they just have the privilege of playing it for a few years."

"Willie Mays and Ted Williams didn't bulk up by forty pounds when they were thirty five years old."

   I'm waiting to see Jose up there. How tremendous will he be under Senate inquiry? I wonder if he'll wear a purple blazer or something....and God knows what he'll say.

   I wish Bonds were testifying. Wearing wraparound shades, he could sit there in a wife-beater that shows off his guns. Ignoring the proceedings, doing curls whenever someone tries to talk to him. When he finally answers, he could just be like... "Sorry Senator....I was getting Big."

   Several Senators speak out on the weakness of the drug penalty in MLB. They note that the NFL puts you out for 1/4 of the season, while MLB is only 1/16th. Would they make Governor Schwarzenegger miss a year of his term? Edolphus Towns called out Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhnold as I wrote that last line.

   Doesn't Congress have anything better to do?   



Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Coolest NCAA Tournament Names


  One of the more important things a mother does is name her children. Husbands get a say, but the world would be full of people named "Ace," "Bo," and "Heineken" if males held too much sway in this field.

   My own husband- who can list "scientist" as his occupation- tried to convince me that we should name all of our children after pizza toppings..."Pepperoni," "Linguica," "Onion" and so forth. "How cute will a girl named 'Pepper' be?" he asked, before I got off the couch. He forgot I was an all-state soccer player, and his voice sank back to baritone in a few hours after I caved him in.

   It is a terrific responsibility. Few things can hurt a person more than going through life with a really silly name. Beatdowns, teasing, failure to be promoted, no chance of marriage...the world can be a cruel place when your first or last name is "Phleghm," "Crapper," or "Dimwit."

   I got stuck with a rather ethnic name that was unofficially changed to "Stacey" before I was old enough to have a say in the matter. I've tried to be better to my daughters, although many people told me I should have named Gabrielle's sister, "Xena."


   I chose "Melissa," and threw in a "Charlene" after the tropical storm we had to drive through to get me to the hospital once the time came. That's about as much mirth as you can afford, unless you want your kid living in the cellar till he/she's 45 years old.

Here's a few examples of what I mean: 

- My husband swears that he went to high school with someone named "Chip Chubb". I found that hard to believe, yet rich kids do end up with names just as silly as ghetto basketball stars. Duxbury High School isn't that large, yet I knew at least 8 girls named "Missy." I checked out his yearbook, and god damn it if there wasn't a Chip Chubb there. I'm told he's a really mean cop now, and even his own wife refers to him as "Officer Chubb."

- The Today show once contacted a man named "Al Nino" during a particularly brutal hurricane season. Al, who didn't seem to be the  coldest beer in the fridge, couldn't understand why people from Honduras were calling him to complain about Hurricane Mitch.

- The town of Holden, Massachusetts supposedly has a resident named "Richard Hertz."

- 1960s minor leaguer Buster Hymen saw his career stunted by his repeated refusal to change his nickname.

- In the 1940s, 60,000 Americans went to court and had their names legally changed from either "Adolf" or "Hitler."

- Rolling Stone did a piece on struggling jazz musician Phil Atio.

- There's a guy named "Faulk" in Athol, Massachusetts.

   One of the better reasons to watch the NCAA Tournament is to sit back and laugh at the names hoisted upon innocent childern born in 1986. It's not a black thing, although the ratio of black/white players does mean that the following list will have more soul than a scouring of Duxbury High School yearbooks.

   So, without any further ado, here's the sillier names I could glean off the rosters of NCAA Tournament Teams:


Nate Funk (Creighton) ..."You were 8-72 last year....Why the playoff talk, coach?"...."Well, we made some new plays. drafted well....and we got the Funk."


JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State) ...His brother, "SoupsOn Curry," is a junior at Johnson and Wales Cooking College in Rhode Island


Xavier Whipple (LSU)...True story....the same woman was sleeping with Xavier McDaniel and Mr. Whipple from the Charmin ads.....she had a kid who sort of looked like a 6'8" power forward, and also sort of looked like a 50-ish anal-retentive store clerk.


J'son Stamper (Minnesota) ...I was going to name my daughter G'brielle, but one look at the Minnesota recruiting class spoiled THAT one.


LucQuente White (Texas Tech)...Amazingly, he wasn't the only LucQuente in his Senior class


Pops Mensa-Bonsu (George Washington) ... This man actually doesn't exist...I just made up a name to see if you were paying attention. Once a teacher, always a teacher.... Ironically, this is how you say "Husband, I can't have sex's my time of the month" in Swahili.


Winsome Frazier (Mississippi State).....Winsome, Losesome


Jahsha Bluntt (Delaware State) ....... When he goes to parties, people roll him. His mother named him "Jahsha" to take attention away from the "Bluntt" surname.

Kevin Pittsnogle (West Virginia)....gotta be a white guy....with a trust fund. Coach's son?


Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes (Gonzaga)...His name is a combination of French, Spanish, Portuguese and Stupid. People with that name get beaten up by RuPaul.


Obie Trotter (Alabama A&M).... His super-absorbent brother Stayfree is really looking forward to this tournament.


Stetson Hairston (Southern Illinois)......The last Hairston with a cool name was "Happy," so this guy at least has C/W credibility. He has a brother named "Fedora."

Colt Thorpe (UTEP).........Wasn't he "The Fall Guy" a few years ago?


Lamarr Farr (Montana)....If he lived in Boston, he'd be known as "Lamahhh Fahhh."


Mo Charlo (Nevada).... "Remember the Charlo, Mo! " When he goes to San Antonio, he gets attacked by 2000 Mexicans.


Jarrett Jack (GeorgiaTech).... JJ will say "Dy-no-mite" upon request, but it will cost you. Once switched his first and last names, and was removed from Dale Jarrett's car as the Talladega 500 was starting in 2004.


Ryshaun Sunkins (Fairleigh Dickinson)....The proper spelling of Ra'Sean(see below)......Black southerners are funny when they get phonetic when naming kids.


Kelenna Azubuike (Kentucky)....pronounced, "Azubuike"


Cletis Fobbs (Louisiana-Lafayette).....With a name like that, he should be forever chasing Bo and Luke Duke through the back roads of Hazzard County.

Channing Frye (Arizona).....With a name like that, he'd BETTER be a 6'8" black guy.


Ra'Sean Dickey (Georgia Tech)....Black guy? Nahhhhhhhh.... 


Chevon Troutman (Pittsburgh)...... Somewhere in North Korea, there is a CIA assassin subconsciously programmed to kill Kim Il Song the moment someone says this guy's name backwards.

   Does "Scientific Maps" still play?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Little Known NCAA Tournament Facts


- "Bucknell" is Dutch for "has no chance at all."

- If IQ had tangible mass, the court would tip up like a see-saw during huddles in the Stanford/Mississippi State game

- The last time this many pumped-up white people came to Albuquerque, it was just about to stop belonging to Mexico.

- Vermont was disqualified from a preseason game when the ref found syrup on the hands of several Vermont players.

- Go ahead....tell me where either Gonzaga or Winthrop are...

- Central Florida had to change their team name in 1958 after poor public reception of their Klansman mascot.

- There was a fire at the Alabama library, but they saved both copies of Curious George.

- a "Blue Devil" is a gay bar umbrella drink

- If Rick Pitino loses in Albuquerque, he'll be so upset that he'll cross the border and begin to beat Mexicans.

- say "Gonzaga" after someone sneezes, and see if they thank you.

- Whoever wins the NC State/Charlotte game takes home the Fife Trophy as the best secondary team in Carolina.

- While the UAB/LSU game might be boring to you, you can make 175 points in Scrabble if you hang those letters on a Triple Word Score. 

- People at Northern Iowa are very snobby towards people from Central and Southern Iowa.

- No one named "Hatfield" or "McCoy" will be allowed to attend the Kentucky/Eastern Kentucky game.

- When Niagra loses to Oklahoma, the newspapers will say "Niagra Falls."

- The Washington/Montana game can't be fixed, because the Mafia hasn't made it out there yet.

- 54% of all Americans are upset when George Washington loses to William and Mary.

- A degree from Alabama A&M comes with a free bowl of soup

- Farleigh-Dickinson turned down a seven figure offer to rename themselves "Harley Davidson."

- Say "Gonzaga" loudly in Japan, and Tokyo will evacuate.

- The owner of the Oakland team is threatening to move it to Los Angeles.

- The FDA estimates that there will be 15,000 pounds of chewing tobacco in the audience during the Oklahoma State/SW Louisiana game.

- Creighton fans can consolethemselves with a night on the town in New Mexico after they lose.

- Albuquerque is using this NCAA exposure in their bid to bring the 2016 Olympic games to New Mexico

- Mexican authorities have lined the border to prevent any Americans from sneaking into Mexico after the Albuquerque regional.

- Bookies currently have a "who cares?" betting line on the Winthrop/Gonzaga game

- New Mexicans call everyone from north of Colorado "Lower Canadians."

- Wayne Simien doesn't understand why he gets asked to pose with bananas a lot.

- Chris Paul has delivered several low blows in his career, and considers his latest one to be a "7.5." Said the mercurial guard, "You get an automatic 7 points for caving a guy in,,,,after that, the score is raised by how long he can't breathe properly."

- Bobby Knight's contract at Texas Tech prohibits him from attacking players, fans, coaches or media. Look for Bobby to find a loophole, and attack the UCLA mascot once things get out of hand.

- Imagine a guy with Bobby Knight's temper on steroids? He'd bust straight out of that sweater like the Hulk.

- A bet between the governors of Washington and Montana will force the loser to spend a Saturday driving into logging camps with a "Save The Trees: Kill A Lumberjack" bumper-stickered Honda.

- Wilt Chamberlain claimed that an initiation ritual in Kansas sororities during his time in college was called Scaling Mount Chamberlain. "I had me more corn-fed white girls than a Nebraska nursing program" said the Stilt.



Saturday, March 12, 2005


   Sorry about the strange title. That is how one pronounces "art" in Massachusetts. We drop the "r" sounds that are sent down to Texas, and put into words like "wash."  

   Sports have never been a player when it comes to being the subject of great art. I dug around a bit, and this is what I came up with:


Click to view full-sized image

Jockeys Before A Race, Edgar Degas


The Fisherman, George Bellows



Bullfight, Pablo Picasso (although only five foot three, girls could not resist his stare...subsequently, Pablo Picasso was never called an asso'...)


Munich Olympic Games, 1971 by Jacob Lawrence

Munich Olympics Poster, Jacob Lawerence


Bottom Of The Sixth, Norman Rockwell (Mickey Mantle later did his work, The Bottom Of The Fifth, as a sort of tribute)







Friday, March 11, 2005

NCAA Player Term Paper Subjects

- "Famous NBA Token White Guys"

- "In The NBA, They Get A Cut Out Of Every Arena They Fill"

- "Getting The Most Out Of A Booster-Sponsored Shopping Spree"

- "If He's Not A Scot, Why Doesn't He Wear Pants?: Analyzing Fred Flintstone"

- "Sorority Pimp"

- "Seven Days, Twenty One Meals: Ramen Noodles Variations"

- "Why Cheerleaders Need 6'9" Black Men"

- "Goldenseal And The NCAA Drug Testing Policy"

- "How To Get Sorority Girls To Take Ecstasy"

- "Wanna Keep Your Job, Professor? Boosters And Skipping Class To Play Madden 2005"

- "My Dumb Stay-In-College Ass: Analyzing LeBron James' Contract"

- "Twelth Man, Coach's Son"

- "How To Cook Cocaine"

- "Hot Plate Cuisine Classics"

- "My Work Study Job: Protecting the Stadium From The Fearsome Nebraska Crocodile"

- "

Why Duke Sucks

- Southerners consider it to be Ivy League

-They lost a title game because Bobby Hurley had diarrhea

- It's just like Yale, except that more people chew tobacco

- Why does the football team suck so bad?

- Rhymes with "puke"

- a "Blue Devil" sounds like a gay bar umbrella drink

- began admitting blacks in 1961....40 years later, they're known for nothing BUT the black guys on the hoop team.

- The most famous graduate of the Law School (Richard Nixon) was disbarred.

- The "Blue Devils" name comes from a French alpine military unit that was pounded into blood sausage by the Germans in WWI. Care to guess which country ended up bailing out Les Diables Bleues?

- Their most famous non-basketball undergrad alumni is either the wife of Bob Dole or the wife of Bill Gates.

- When the coach has to be called "Coach K" because his players can't pronounce his real name, you may as well just join the NBA and forget all that academic stuff.

- If Sheldon Williams drives too far off campus for a burger, he might get lynched.

- Classes are occasionally cancelled to allow students to go home and help with the tobacco harvest

- Would the Confederates have fought so hard if they knew that the state of North Carolina would soon be best known for groups of 12 black guys (unless the son of the coach is playing) chasing a ball around?

- people there are still excited over being one of the better teams in a league that could easily be called "Guys who weren't good enough to go straight to the NBA"

- coughonlysportintowncough

- If Grant Hill played for Duke in the 1950s, he'd have to use a separate drinking fountain than the coach.

- The tobacco farms of school founder Washington Duke have killed millions of Americans.

- Washington Duke also joined the Confederate Navy in an attempt to keep the black man in bondage.

- Duke  (then Trinity College) was a Confederate POW camp.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Imminent Senate Hearing Quotes

- "Senator...if there was some drug available that would let you make speeches like Winston Churchill, wouldn't you have been on board?"

- "I don't hear you when you say 'used steroids'....I refer to it as 'getting big,' Senator."

- "You backstabbing son of a bitch! I donated $5000 to your campaign."

- "Before I answer that, let me tell you about going yard on Madonna."

- "Without steroids, I start listening to the Indigo Girls and voting Democrat."

- "Why isn't Governor Schwarzenegger here?"

- "I plead the 11th....I ain't sayin' s*** till you get Barry Bonds in here."

- "Didn't you sodomize a congressional page?"

- "Take a supplement to hit home runs = Senate Hearing.......Lying to the country to start a war that murders 1500 Americans = Nothing."

- "Mr. Schilling was only invited here to up the "Old White Guy" count among the defendants."

- "I will answer no questions from a man who dumped a woman in the hahbahhhh at Martha's Vineyard."

- "My agent told me I was trying out for the Washington Senators."

- "Jayson Williams called....he wants Ted Kennedy's lawyer."

- "You may be asking the questions, Senator...but I have my own bobblehead doll."

- "Now that I have all of you here, would someone please explain the Florida ballot to me?"

- "We were going to invite Ichiro, but he makes Senator McCain nervous."

- "I'll check the Constitution, but I'm pretty sure that we can't use these guys in the Senate/House of Representatives softball game."

- "Senator Helms...didn't I see you at the Vibe Awards?"

- "It's not like I blew off somebody's head....ooops, sorry, Senator Kennedy."

- "I brought this little baseball bat for Senator Dole's mangled hand....and where is he?"

- "Mr. Giambi asked me to get the hypodermic needle he left in the White House when the President had him over after the 2002 series."

- "I like the nice, broad back the steroids give me, wife says I have a 'Chinese Swimmer' look."

- "I thought Cal Ripken was the President."

- "I know it's none of my business, Senator Clinton....but you should have beat that Lewinsky girl's ass."

Monday, March 7, 2005

Moon Over Oakland

Randy Moss: Differences Between Minnesota and California:

- "I look forward to playing with a white quarterback."

- Girls in California won't let him leave the hockey game on TV during sex.

- You can't walk across a lake in June.

- Tough to find Molson on tap anywhere.

- "Glad I spent all that money on fur coats."

- Coke machines don't take Canadian nickels here.

- "Damn...I was just about to take up snow-shoeing."

- " guys who aren't athletes.....they do exist."

- "Not a lot of neighbors are attacked by wolverines around here."

- His "Moon Over Lambeau" dance will get him a boyfriend named "Todd" if he does it in the wrong bar.

- "I'm from Minnesota....Compton doesn't scare me."

- "Don't worry, kids.....Daddy will buy 6 feet of snow."

- "Is the governor Austrian, or am I about to fail another drug test?"

- "If I put one of these Hollywood things in Minnesota, I'd make a fortune."

- "I bet that Salma Hayek would look good in a nice ski jacket."

- "I guess I can take the plow blade off the Range Rover now."

- "'s wanna buy some snow tires?"

- "What Natalie Portman really needs is a guy with 4.3 speed."

- "I hear Sacramento's bangin'.....road trip?"

- "If a third of these Mexicans moved to Minneapolis, the Taco Bells there would prosper."


How To Tell When Your Local Slugger Is Off Steroids

Ways To Know When Your Local Slugger Is Off Steroids:

- "Barry hasn't wrecked a coffee machine since last summer."

- "Last summer, Sheffield and Giambi used to go to the bathroom together like girls on a double date. I just don't see that this year."

- "Sure, I moved the fences in a bit...and occasionally someone slides into second and hits the wall....but people pay to see home runs."

- "No one laughs when I say 'team chemistry' anymore."

- "The decision to lessen the fried food available at the training table has led to a startling decrease in visible back acne this summer."

- "Chicks dig the sacrifice bunt."

- Press Conference, 2008......"My client will retire after passing Babe Ruth's 714 record. He will honor the black man by allowing Mr. Aaron's record to stand...... No, it has nothing to do with the fact that he has been averaging 8 homers a year since he switched trainers."

- "Mr. Selig? Sammy Sosa's on line one....he wants to know if 'the blood of a teen virgin' is on the Banned Substances list."

- "....and Team USA Softball girls more than held their own during the exhibition game bench-clearing brawl against the Baltimore Orioles. Brady Anderson will come off the Injured List in early May."

- "Well, Mr. Steinbrenner....Hypodermic Needle expenditure is down almost 70%"

-  "I swear that like half of the player wives are pregnant this summer."

- "All right, big man....push that more're a bench press can do it....All right, good job....let's move up to 120 pounds, now"

- "People would look back on the Summer of 2004 as the End of the White Guy Era."

- "Just got back from can get good odds on Lou Pinella actually winning a clubhouse fight this summer."

- "The success enjoyed by Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez has all the players trying to look skinny this summer."

- "Look at Barry's man-arry glands jiggle as he tries to beat out that soft grounder to the mound."

- "No, Sammy...even if it is legal, it won't help to put the cork in your biceps."

- "He's what you call 'regular-big,' son"

- "Mr. Sheffield sure does seem listless this summer."

- "Matsui wins all the clubhouse arm-wrestling challenges, now."

- "They call it a 'home run.' It's when they hit the ball over the wall. They had one on TV last week. I swear!"

- "Welcome to the 2006 All Star Game Tee-Ball Challenge!!"

- "It has nothing to do with client has just come to appreciate sacrifice bunts and infield singles more since he quit lifting weights 4 hours a day."

- "How come all these people are yelling 'steroids' at Mr. Bonds, Daddy?"

  "Well, Princess.....Mr. Bonds was taking these bad drugs so he could hit the ball harder....he lied about it, broke a bunch of cherished recoreds, and will die at 45 when his kidneys shut down.....more popcorn?"

- "Pokey Reese walks away with his third All Star Game Slap Hitting Singles title"

- "How did it feel to launch homer number 14 into that October sky, Barry?"

- "Suddenly, FDR and Christopher Reeve are walking more than Bonds is."

- "So why do they have the designated hitter, then?"

- "San Francisco down one, man on third...Bonds up to bat...BOO YA!!....sacrifice bunt."

- "......just a little more wind behind that one, and it may have rolled all the way to the wall."


Friday, March 4, 2005

A Word From Our Sponsors

   Stacey Monponsett here, and I'm the author of the High Above Courtside journal. I'm world famous, filthy rich, amazingly charismatic, and I look so good that I make Farrakhan want to get a little white sugar from your favorite Smurf.

   High Above Courtside has become an irresistible force, with millions of people stopping by every day to read whatever little gem I wrote last. See that thing on the side that tells you how many people have visited this page? I roll that MFer almost every day.

   AOL knows the deal. Sports Department people like J-Mott and the incorrectement exilĂ© Mobetta4u are nobody's fool. AOL VP and All Star Blogger Contest ( judge Ted Leonsis is a particularly vehement fan of this Journal, who immediately cashiered former contest judge Nate Newton when he said that my picture "has chipmunk cheeks."

   Less than 50 days after I started this journal, I was being flown to Houston to cover the baseball All Star Game. Since you all pay AOL, it was sort of like everyone chipped in a quarter cent to send me to Texas to wander around with my sister and make Roger Clemens jokes. I thank you for your support.

   I am a frequent feature on Sports Bloggers Live(, and many media analysts say that I am the anchor that will hold the show in the Harbor of Success. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice considers me to be America's most powerful woman. Hospitals have reported a dramatic rise in babies named Stacey, and property values in HAC-related towns in Massachusetts(Duxbury and Monponsett) have undergone a Barry Bonds-like spike in potency.

   Life has been good to High Above Courtside and our readers. We rule the blogosphere. We have already imposed a levy on AOL users, and we may do so again. My lawyers are currently working to have a line inserted into the 1040 tax form that will allow every US taxpayer to donate a dollar to help our efforts here. We have a lot of political, financial and media powerhouses behind us, and we have 2008 as a target date (figuring in the inevitable Supreme Court battle).

   The Amazon and Siberia regions are rapidly undergoing deforestation as millions of people print copies of HAC articles to put in scrapbooks, decorate high school lockers and college dorms, hang on walls over kitchen witches and those God Bless This House plaques, tape to bedroom know, the whole nine. One of my fans actually reads HAC articles aloud when she's ovulating, in hopes that some of my Mad Skills will somehow implant themselves into her progeny.

   We here at High Above Courtside are all about the Greater Good. While we skip Church to stay home and worship in our own particular way (with an elaborate ceremony that involves french toast, cocoa, a comforter, and ESPN's NFL Sunday Countdown), we do buy into most of the moral imperatives. We don't kill. We rarely steal. We don't know what "covet" means, but it doesn't seem to be the verb for what I'd like to do with several of thy neighbor's spouses.

   Where am I going with this? We'll get to that, but first I want to tell you about life. I've been rich and I've been poor, and I can assure you that it is better to be wealthy. I love life. I'm stepping large and laughing easy. Every night, after the kids are asleep, my husband and I throw $100 bills into the fireplace as we make furious love on our platinum sofa.

   Some people have awful lives. Every day is a painful and humiliating exercise in desperation, as they try to jaywalk across the Superhighway of Misery. Life is a savage struggle for preeminence, and the road to glory is littered with the wreckage of the Losers. Some people deserve it, but others just get in over their heads through no fault of their own. Few see it coming.

   I had a friend in high school named Devon. She was from a wealthy family, and she was going to Yale on a soccer scholarship. She was on the road to success, and a home in a gated community seemed imminent.

   One summer, her family got in a plane to visit their property in Peru. The flight was normal until the end, when a freak microburst (a compact, powerful thunderstorm) caused their plane to crash into the Andes mountains. There was much injury, and only Devon was strong enough to leave the wreckage (after cannibalizing the pilot) and seek out help.

   As she descended the mountain, she was suddenly surrounded by armed men. They turned out to be from Sendero Luminoso-the Peruvian Shining Path guerilla army. Desperate for money, they abducted her and sold her into white slavery in Thailand. She was last seen at a squalid Bangkok brothel, being tossed about by a gang of Thai sailors who had purchased her for $2.35 American. 

   Devon is an extreme example, but many people are in some degree of trouble. They need our help. That's why the people from the United States Marine Corps asked me to speak to you about their Toys For Tots foundation.

   We all need a little help now and then...especially around the holidays. But it is never too early to give. Please visit their web site ( and do what you can to make sure that every kid gets a present next Christmas.

   Even if their parents are heroin addicts who feed their habit by burglarizing churches and mugging elderly, that doesn't mean that the kids should see Christmas go by without getting their ragamuffin hands on a Playstation II or a My Pretty Pony action figure.

   I'm not begging- I'm imploring. The kid who gets nothing one Christmas may just grow up to burglarize your home, hold you at gunpoint in a dark alley, hijack your 747, or shoot you when you make too sudden a movement while he's robbing the local 7-11. It's better to give a little now, to avoid giving a LOT in the future.

   Besides...I told you to do so. Readers of this journal know that they should get to steppin' like slavery when I order it. I have a finely tuned sense of right and wrong, and I know exactly how much Sin one can get away with. The key is balance. Do some good. Visit the site, and find out how you can help.

Thank you for your time.


Weekend Assignment #49: Your Product Placement 

Weekend Assignment #49: Congratulations! You've become famous enough to be courted for product endorsements and/or charitable cause spokespersonhood. Which product or charity would you personally endorse? Incidentally, while the idea here would be a chance to highlight a product/charity you enjoy or believe in, it's perfectly acceptable for the purposes of this Weekend Assignment to make an endorsement purely for the cash. So if you want to go in that direction, knock yourself out (note: the product has to be legal; the charity has to be an actual one).