Friday, August 31, 2007

Time stops for no one

It's been a while since I have had a soapbox moment, so permit me to have one now.

About 12 days ago, I received a phone call during the day from my dear friend, Neil Koepke. For many of you who know Neil, he doesn't return a lot of calls quickly and he was calling me during normal business hours. I thought and hoped it wouldn't be the call that I got, but it was.

Neil's mom, Margaret "Peg" Koepke passed away at the age of 85. Her husband, Melvin, passed away about 21 years ago if my memory serves me right.

Peg was a good woman. She was very funny and had a raspy voice and she knew her son inside and out. If she saw a good looking woman who was well endowed, she would turn and ask Neil if that one would work for him ... or some comment similar.

Neil and I have talked about this day for a long time. Not because of the usual reasons that one would expect. We have a common bond of being only children.

It's something that we have laughed and talked about for ages. But every so often we would have the talk about THE day. It would be a serious talk about what will the world be like when your parents are gone and you have no brothers or sisters. We'd usually be at a bar when we would be talking about it because it was way too tough to go through the process sober.

Neil's mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago and he moved her up to East Lansing to be near to him. She was living in a nursing home near where Neil lives and it was truly a blessing to have a great place near him and to have Peg near by during her final time on the planet.

This week was the memorial service in Cleveland and Neil spoke and said that it was a great celebration of her life. I am very glad, she would have liked that. She probably would have yelled if people weren't celebrating something.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend, but Paul Shaheen flew in from Chicago and Neil's ex-wife, Sue, flew in from San Diego. I know he was very touched by both of them being able to come and that Paul pretty much ran the Catholic service.

Now comes the healing time and Neil knows that he isn't alone. He knows that all of his friends are family and are here for him. But for him, like me, it's not the same. It is great to have the support, but as an only child the nuclear family is now just you. Just like growing up. It was always easy to go play with your friends and hang out.

Want to know why I am about to have my third child? Part of it is because of the only child in me not wanting to have only children. Mind you - there's nothing wrong with only children, I just wanted something different. Obviously, there are other reasons for three kids, but this has always played a part in my thinking.

Right now, though, I am thinking of Peg and my pal Neil and much I love, understand and appreciate everything he is going though. We're here Neil and will always be.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Poster child of what bad parenting can do....

From - go there and see the great pic.

USC great, NFL flop, and not-that-bad Arena Football star Todd Marinovich was arrested this weekend after cops say he was hiding almost a gram of methamphetamine, a syringe and a spoon in his guitar case.

According to sources, Marinovich was skateboarding near the Newport Pier in Orange County -- where boarding is strictly prohibited -- when police approached him. Cops say a frightened Marinovich then took off, leading them on a short chase.

Cops caught up with the former QB, who was never much of a scrambler, hiding in a carport six blocks away.

Todd has nine prior drug-related cases in Orange County, and was on probation for a previous drug conviction.

Marinovich appeared in a Newport Beach court yesterday, where he plead not guilty to three misdemeanor charges. He will remain in custody until the Sept. 6 hearing

Leona Helmsley: The anti-Vick

Life is a very funny thing.

It has a sick way of working itself out and today is just another one of those days where the irony is outstanding.

Leona Helmsley left $12 million dollars to her dog, Trouble.

Read that sentence again.

She left $12 million dollars to her dog, but she didn't leave two of her grandchildren anything for reasons they know of. Plus the other grandchildren only get $5 million dollars IF they visit their father's grave once a year.

Heck, she only left her chauffeur $100,000.

Hey Michael Vick, maybe you too can buy your way into the good graces of the animal rights activists of the world. Start a foundation for pit bulls and name it after one of your best fighters.

After the last few months of Vick, it's just great to read a story so far to the other side of the ledger.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Vick selling, I ain't buying

As many of you know, I have been watching this Vick case from a personal and business perspective. I have watched it as closely as anyone, I think, in the country.

With that in mind, I watched Vick stand at the podium yesterday and speak from the "heart." Many people were giving Vick high marks from not reading from a statement and expressing his sorrow.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury of public opinion, I ain't buying the garbage that Vick is selling.

That is not to say he doesn't deserve a second chance. Sure he does. America is a great country and Vick will possibly play in the NFL again. I have no issue with it. If someone wants to take a shot on Vick, they better invest in hotels so they can make money off of the animal rights activists that will be at their stadiums week in and week out.

The only thing that Vick is sorry for is that he got caught. Period. Sell it any way you want. It's not a black/white issue - it is a smart/dumb issue and Vick was/is dumb.

First off, he shouldn't have let this absurdly cruel sport dominate his life and destroy his opportunity at hundreds of millions of dollars. Anyone who jeopardizes his career as a superstar and more importantly, his freedom, for what he did is just dumb.

Next, once Virginia started investigating him, he should have gotten his attorneys together and told them everything from day one. If he had told the truth to the state, who knows how this would have progressed, but it wouldn't have been this bad. His arrogance and lying is what killed him. Never mind the fact that you never want to be the last one to agree to a plea. Heck, Vick wasn't even smart enough to have his boys take a hit for him ... isn't there any honor amongst thieves anymore????

Then of course was the most obvious part of yesterday, Michael found religion. Look, it's fine to find the man upstairs. I have NO issues with religion. I do have issues for people using it when it fits their needs. If you go to, there are tons of people saying that because he found it, he should be forgiven. Fine - no issues. Doesn't anyone who is religious feel used? Do you even care or is it OK to have another one on your side of the ledger?

Finally he apologized to a bunch of people, including the little kids who looked up to him. He didn't apologize to Rick McKay, Falcons GM, who he lied to a bunch. But where Vick lost me was a simple place he should of hit right away, he NEVER mentioned the Atlanta Falcons season ticket holders. These are the people who have paid for his life and who he lied to and screwed beyond recognition. Matt Schaub gone and Joey Harrington in ... and he doesn't apologize to the the ticket holders?????? Don't tell me he forgot them in his moment in the spotlight. It wasn't his first rodeo. He faces reporters all the time. And if he had PR people helping him, they should be shot for forgetting this group of people.

The worst part was that people at the Falcons game wore Vick jersey's last night to the game versus the Cincinnati Bengals. If Arthur Blank was smart about this, he would do a jersey exchange, turn in your Vick jersey for a Warrick Dunn or Keith Brooking jersey. Heck, I would wear a Harrington jersey and he couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat.

Just flat out dumb.

There are going to be a million stories online about Vick's speech and they will cover the gamut. Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post wrote a great column on Vick's first step.

Buy whatever you want from Vick's speech. I will never buy anything from him again and no company should give him the platform to do so.

I just hope the judge didn't buy it.

I know that the dogs watching sure as heck didn't.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back-to-Back Peach titles

How about the little leaguer's from the state of Georgia? Only the second time ever that one state has won back-to-back Little League World Series'. California did it in the 90s.

Just got back from a weekend in Las Vegas. That town is just nuts. More fake women there than anywhere else .... not that there's anything wrong with that. Also - mental note - never go there in August. It may be a dry heat, but 107 is still freakin' hot.

Michael Vick just spoke to the public with no notes. It was fine and I don't care how it's spun. It was too late and too predictable. All of a sudden he has found the man upstairs. Amazing how that happens when you are facing jail time, huh?

Also, he said he takes full responsibilty. Gee, about freakin' time. Might not have had to do that if you had taken care of your boys. Or maybe tried honesty from day one.

Big thing was he apologized to Roger Goodell, Arthur Blank, Coach Bobby Petrino, little kids and his teammates. He forgot Falcons GM Rich McKay and Falcons season ticket holders.

Give him a second chance fine - but I am sick of all of this. Why do we have to wait to December 10th for his sentencing? Just do it now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

As if he needs this kind of help...

Michael Vick is getting a few athletes to stand up for him. Some of his Falcons teammates spoke yesterday and were great.

But one of the last people on the planet he needs to stand up for him is Stephon Marbury.

"We don't say anything about people shooting deers and shooting other animals, you know what I mean?" Marbury said in an interview that was aired by Capital News 9 in Albany. "From what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors and I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down ... I think he fell into a bad situation."

Yep, he fell into a bad situation ... but then again Starbury... are you the poster child for all that is good???

What a clown. Can't all these athlete's just stop talking?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Maybe I need to rethink my views.....

WASHINGTON (CNN) — White House hopeful Hillary Clinton has raked in several high profile endorsements as she campaigns for president, but the latest may not be greeted with open arms.

Heidi Lynne Fleiss, the former "Hollywood Madam" who was convicted on charges connected to her prostitution ring, is a big supporter of the New York Democrat's White House bid, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

"I'm a big fan of Hillary's. Any woman who's smart, how can you not be?" Fleiss told the paper. "Even if you're a Republican, if you're a woman and you're smart, you have to respect her."

Fleiss currently resides in Nevada — now a early primary state — and runs a laundromat, called "Dirty Laundry."

The paper reports Fleiss actually tried to attend a Clinton campaign rally in Pahrump, Nevada last week, but was turned away because the building was filled to capacity.

According to Las Vegas' KLAS, Fleiss is trying to make it to the White House herself — or at least a replica of it. She's currently seeking to open a brothel in Nevada that is an exact recreation of the first family's home.

Fleiss isn't the first former Madam to express support for Clinton's White House Bid. Deborah Jeanne Palfrey, also known as the D.C. Madam, said last May she's pulling for Clinton. And, famed porn star Jenna Jameson has also said she is supporting the New York senator.

The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Bada Bing on eBay

LODI, N.J. — Scantily clad women have spent nearly 10,000 hours wrapping themselves around two stripper poles made famous in "The Sopranos" as fixtures at the "Bada Bing"
But now that the HBO mafia drama is over, the owners of the real-life club, Satin Dolls, say they will auction off the 12-foot stripper poles and other "Sopranos" relics on eBay later this week.

Of the items — which include a pool table, a disco ball, and the fluorescent purple men's room sign often seen in the background as fictional mob boss Tony Soprano conducts business — possibly the most recognizable are the pair of brass-colored poles on the dance floor.
Susie Quigley, who runs special events at the 19-year-old north Jersey club, which can be renovated now that the series has concluded, wouldn't guess how much the polls could fetch from "Sopranos" fans.

"It seems to me the show the show has a cult following," said Quigley, a former dancer who appeared as an extra last season during an episode filmed at the Borgata hotel and casino in Atlantic City. "The poles have been featured in almost every single episode. I can't begin to say."

Also up for sale: at least 10 standard-issue bar stools that James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano, and his crew sat on in the show. An L-shaped slab of the bar where they watched dancers and drank also will be auctioned.

The club will remain open for business during its renovation, expected to last three or four months.

Quigley said once the final episode aired in June, club owners were released from their contract with the show and were allowed to pursue renovations of the 8,000-foot building. The renovation will make the club more upscale and include areas for private parties and other intimate encounters, she said.

The club sells "Sopranos" souvenirs, including T-shirts, hats and coffee mugs. It is a popular stop on bus tours of "Sopranos" sites in New Jersey.

The Emmy-winning HBO show explored the life of the fictional Jersey mob boss and his family, and scores of scenes have been shot across the Garden State since it debuted in 1999.

Just after the episode aired, the diner where Tony sat with his family in the controversial series finale — Holsten's, really an ice cream parlor in Bloomfield — saw a boom in business.

Satin Dolls isn't the only New Jersey business trying to cash in on the fame of "The Sopranos."

The developer who owns the building that fronted for Satriale's pork store in Kearny — one of Tony Soprano & Co.'s favorite hangouts — plans to sell bricks from the facade as he demolishes it.

Manny Costeira is constructing nine condo units in place of Satriale's, calling the project "The Soprano." Prices will range from $325,000 to $385,000.

He said he doesn't know how much he can get for the 8-inch by 8-inch souvenirs, but suggested $100 apiece.

"I'm a big fan of the show, but I don't know if I'd run to by a stone off the pork store," he said.

When it rains....

Vick cited in traffic stopIndicted QB ticketed for not wearing seat belt

By Mike Morris, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Published on: 08/20/07

When it rains it pours, as Michael Vick found out last week.

Already facing federal charges relating to an alleged dogfighting operation, the Falcons quarterback was cited for not wearing a seat belt during a traffic stop in Isle of Wight County, Va.

Vick's 2007 Acura sport utility vehicle was pulled over by a Virginia State Police Thursday afternoon on U.S. 17 near Smithfield, across the James River from Vick's hometown of Newport News.

State Police Sgt. D.S. Carr said the SUV, driven by Jamal Wilson of Newport News, was stopped because the tint on the windows was too dark.

Vick, who was a front seat passenger in the Acura, was given a citation for not wearing a seat belt, Carr said. Wilson was given a traffic ticket for the window tinting.

Carr said Vick's seat belt violation carries a fine of $50, but does not require a court appearance.

The root of all evil in sports

I borrowed the headline from Sunday's New York Daily News. Mike Lupica is dead on with his column on gambling in sports.

The only league without a gambling scandal right now is baseball. And they have Pete Rose as their poster child.

David Stern is having a blast with Tim Donaghy. Michael Vick may get convicted for dog fighting, but Roger Goodell is worried about his gambling as much as anything else. Rick Tocchet just got two years probation for running a gambling league.

They are the only ones who have been caught at this moment, but I am sure there's more to come.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Classic day off concept...

Russians offered day off, prizes to procreate
Officials hope ‘Day of Conception’ will help turn around declining birthrate

MOSCOW - A Russian region best known as the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin has found a novel way to fight the nation’s birthrate crisis: It has declared Sept. 12 the Day of Conception and for the third year running is giving couples time off from work to procreate.
The hope is for a brood of babies exactly nine months later on Russia’s national day. Couples who “give birth to a patriot” during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.

Ulyanovsk, a region on the Volga River about 550 miles east of Moscow, has held similar contests since 2005. Since then, the number of competitors, and the number of babies born to them, has been on the rise.

Alexei Bezrukov and his wife, Yulia, won a 250,000 ruble prize — equivalent to $10,000 — in June after she gave birth to a baby boy, Andrei. Bezrukov said patriotism wasn’t their motive for having a child, their third, although the money was welcome.

“It was a patriotic atmosphere, you know when everyone around is celebrating, but I wasn’t thinking of anything but my son,” he said. “The whole thing is great, it’s great to get 250,000 rubles when you have a new baby to take care of.”

Sparsely populated countryRussia, with one-seventh of the Earth’s land surface, has just 141.4 million citizens, making it one of the most sparsely settled countries in the world. With a low birthrate and very high death rate, the population has been shrinking since the early 1990s.
It is now falling by almost half a percent each year. Demographic experts expect the decline to accelerate, estimating that Russia’s population could fall below 100 million by 2050.

In his state of the nation address last year, President Vladimir Putin called the demographic crisis the most acute problem facing Russia and announced a broad effort to boost Russia’s birthrate, including cash incentives to families to have more than one child.

Ulyanovsk Governor Sergei Morozov has added an element of fun to the national campaign.
When he held the first competition in 2005, 311 women signed up to take part — and qualify for a half-day off from work. In June 2006, 46 more babies were born in Ulyanovsk’s 25 hospitals than in June of the previous year, including 28 born on June 12, officials in the governor’s office said.

More than 500 women signed up for the second contest on Sept. 12, 2006. Exactly nine months later, 78 babies, triple the region’s daily average, were born. They were welcomed into the world as Russia’s national anthem was played, the officials said.

Steadily rising birthrateSince the campaign began, the birthrate in the region has risen steadily and is up 4.5 percent so far this year over the same period in 2006, according to the regional administration’s Web site.

Everyone who has a baby in an Ulyanovsk hospital on Russia Day gets some kind of prize. But the grand prize winners are couples judged to be the fittest parents by a committee that deliberates for two weeks over the selection.

The 2007 grand prize went to Irina and Andrei Kartuzov, who received a UAZ-Patriot, an SUV made in Ulyanovsk. They told reporters they were planning to have another child anyway when they heard about the contest.

Irina Kartuzova had to have a Caesarian section to deliver the baby and it was scheduled for June 12.

The selection committee chose the Kartuzovs from among the 78 couples because of their “respectability” and “commendable parenting” of their two older children, a spokesman for the governor said.

Other contestants won video cameras, TVs, refrigerators and washing machines.
Under the federal program, women who give birth to a second or subsequent child are to receive certificates worth $10,000, which can be used to pay for education or to improve the family’s living conditions.

Monthly support payments were raised this year to $60 from $28.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jury selection for Vick trial


Where were you 30 years ago today? I was 9-years-old and living in Fort Lee when Elvis Presley passed away on this date in 1977. Matter of fact I think I was in Ms. Haberle's third grade class in School #2.

Hard to believe the King has been gone that long. Imagine if he had lived in the Internet world that we live in? US and People Magazine's would be all over him. he would be the lead on twice a week for sure. BTW - if you haven't been to Graceland, you have to go just once in your life. The Jungle Room is something I will never, ever forget. Something you have to see to believe.

Thirty years later, the hockey world lost a legend as Sam Pollack passed away. Many of you will ask, who was Sam Pollack? He was only the man who built the legendary Montreal Canadiens teams of the 60's and 70's. He built what in my mind, and many others think, was the greatest team ever put together in the 76-77 team. They lost eight times in the regular season and dominated their way to the Stanley Cup title. Pollack was 81.

But the real number I wanted to talk about today was the number 8. No, this isn't because I saw it on Sesame Street (which by the way, a new season started. Whoo hoo!). The reason that 8 is the number of the day is because next year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive something other than the 8 car.

Now, it may be sad that he cannot keep the number his grandfather drove, but NASCAR and anyone who is involved in the merchandising of Junior is going to be laughing themselves all the way to the bank.

Think about how many fans Junior has. Think about how many of them own everything with the number 8 on it. Think about how all of them will buy all of the same things with WHATEVER his new number is. While people may be disappointed and upset because they love and are used to the 8 car being Juniors, the money is about to roll in again.

Now that Budweiser isn't his sponsor - this bodes well for the amount of dollars the new sponsor of the car is going to put into it. For surely, they will get bang for the buck with the new number change as well.

Be amazing to see how much Junior will sell as compared to his old 8 car that will stay with his stepmother Teresa. My guess is that it will blow it out of the water. Hey Teresa, think is was a good move to be that greedy? You will soon enough.

As the King would say, Teresa and DEI will soon be in "Heartbreak Hotel."

30 years and still the King everywhere except in NASCAR where King Richard Petty is still the tops.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Remembering a New York legend

While most of you know I am not a Yankee fan, I did still grow up in New York and I did grow up watching Yankees baseball on television. Back in the day, because I am so old, we didn't have a satellite dish with the MLB package and you had to watch what was in your market.

So when I was growing up in the 70's and 80's, you couldn't not watch the Yankees broadcast without listening to Phil "the Scooter" Rizzuto. He was this 5-foot-6 man with a spirit the size as the tallest skyscraper. He used to be in the booth with Bill White and I can still hear him telling stories to him by starting with his typical, "Hey White....." and he always had at least one "Holy Cow " per game.

You may not have been a Yankee fan, but he was as famous in New York as Ernie Harwell in Detroit and Vin Scully in Los Angeles. The main difference was that Rizzuto also won seven World Series as a Yankee shortstop.

Watching Mike and Mike on ESPN today, they described it perfectly by saying that Rizzuto was the crazy uncle you never knew what he was going to say, but you loved him. Buster Olney talked about a Yankee icon and what he meant to the organization and baseball.

Mike Lupica talks about how Scooter made all of us part of his family. Three great columns in the NY Post about Rizzuto. Richard Sandomir of the NY Times wrote a great recap of the Scooter's life.

More from the NY Daily News and NY Post.

As George Steinbrenner said perfectly, "Heaven must have needed a shortstop." You didn't have to be a Yankee fan to love the Scooter.

He is and will be sorely missed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Story of the day

I was going to write about Michael Vick's hole getting deeper, but we are all bored and sick of the story by now, aren't we?? I am just shocked that his boys are flipping on him more than anything else.

Anyway, I found another funny story this morning that I must share... because that's what I do.

My first thought was to wonder if these mice are Jewish? Then I thought, wow, maybe that's a new profession ... a plastic surgeon for mice. Enjoy!

Nose Jobs Turn Female Mice Into Sex Machines

By Charles Q. Choi

Female mice apparently become as randy as males after their senses of smell are tampered with, ending up aggressively trying to mount any mouse that moves, research now reveals.
These findings open the question as to whether circuits for male behavior exist in a dormant state in females, and vice versa, in other species — including in humans.

In many animals, the vomeronsal organ often helps detect scents.

In mice, it especially helps detect pheromones, molecules used to attract the opposite sex and to communicate other signals linked with social behavior, such as parenting or aggression.

The organ is found in the noses of practically all land vertebrates, except humans and other higher primates.

Key to helping signals from this organ travel up neurons to reach the brain is a gene called Trpc2.

After they knocked out this gene in specially bred mice, Harvard molecular neuroscientist Catherine Dulac and her colleagues found that females displayed uniquely masculine sexual behaviors.

The mice began chasing, mounting and thrusting pelvises against other mice, both male and female, as well as giving out ultrasonic mating calls and sniffing derrieres.

"These results are flabbergasting," Dulac said. "Nobody had imagined that a simple mutation like this could induce females to behave so thoroughly like males."

As to whether or not this applies to humans, especially since humans lack vomeronasal organs, "my guess is as good as yours," Dulac told LiveScience.

Rodents are driven by smell, while "humans and higher primates are mostly visual — hence pornography!"

The effect was not limited to female mutant mice — it was also seen when the researchers surgically removed the vomeronasal organs of normal mice.

The female rodents who had their sense of smell genetically or surgically short-circuited also abandoned typically maternal behaviors.

For instance, after giving birth, normal female mice spend about 80 percent of their time in their nest nursing their newborns, but the altered females readily wandered away after some two days of motherhood, eventually leaving the nest altogether.

While nursing mice ordinarily attack male intruders and reject their sexual advances, the mutant females were docile toward males and seemed highly receptive to their overtures.
Often the differences in behavior seen between the sexes in mammals are attributed to chemicals such as hormones

These new findings suggest otherwise — the researchers found that female mice that had their sense of smell genetically or surgically hampered showed normal estrogen levels, testosterone levels and fertility cycles.

Dulac and her colleagues described their findings online August 5 in the journal Nature.
"Our work suggests that neuronal circuits underlying male-specific behaviors develop and persist in the female mouse brain, but are repressed by the normal activity of the vomeronasal organ," Dulac said.

"In fact, our research suggests a new model where exactly the same neural circuitry exists in males and females," she added. "You only have to build one brain in a species, and that one brain is built, more or less, the same in the male and the female."

The only thing that differs between the sexes in mice when it comes to sexual behavior is due to how the vomeronasal organ works, Dulac suggested.

"While male and female bodies are strikingly different physiologically, it appears the same cannot be said for the brain," she said.

These findings might open up new avenues for investigation into the brain origins of sex-specific human behavior.

Dulac and her colleagues are now studying male mice with genetically disabled vomeronasal organs to see if they display feminine traits.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday thoughts...

It comes as no surprise to anyone that Tiger Woods won the PGA Tournament for the fourth time. He has now won 13 majors and is five behind Jack Nicklaus. He finished 2nd in two of the other three majors.

The amazing part is Woody Austin finished in second place only two shots back. Ernie Els had chances to get tied with Tiger at different points, but couldn't make a putt on the back nine.

Best story in sports in ages has to be Rick Ankiel. A few years ago he couldn't find the strike zone as a pitcher for the Cardinals. Now he comes back as an outfielder and has three homers in three games. Good for you, Rick! Persistence pays off.

Anyone want to know why the NHL is still in serious trouble??? The New York Islanders just gave Andy Sutton 3-million per year for 3 years. Just absurd - amazing how much you can get paid for being 6-foot-6.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Battle at Kruger

Here is an unreal video from a safari. Little wild ... but very cool!

Light it up!

OK - so my friend Justin Simon has been working with me on a project for what seems like a lifetime. He's the brains behind one of the funniest things I have ever seen - but it makes sense - called the Always Lit.

It's for the knuckleheads who lose lighters. It's a great idea that needs to be seen to be understood. Check out the page and buy a few!!! Tell them I sent ya!!!

Also for you crazy tequila people, check out the Patron Social Club. Very cool site that I got from my friend Chuck Schiller in Dallas. His company, The Richards Group, works with Patron. Now that is a good gig!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

One hope, one dream, one shock

So we wake up today and for the first time in 33 years, Hank Aaron's name isn't at the top of the Home Run list anymore.

He slides down into the number two slot on the list. While that may be technically true, he will always be the Home Run King to me. He is number one when it comes to class, decency and everything that a baseball "purist" would hold near and dear to their hearts.

Last night, when a video ran from Aaron congratulating Bonds on breaking the record, it wasn't the first time we saw what a great man Aaron was. But it was the most telling of how awesome a man he is. After everything he went through in his chase for Babe Ruth's record, he has to be wondering why did it have to be Bonds to break my record? Didn't matter - Aaron has done the right thing with this from the beginning. Just the same way he handled the racist clowns during his chase. He is one of the greats in sport, record or no record.

Everyone knows that records are meant to be broken, but if Bonds cheated as we all suspect he did, forget an asterisk, it's a black mark. Aaron's record doesn't need to be taken away from someone who would have been a Hall of Famer without cheating. And there's no question about it, Bonds was a Hall of Famer before. Now the question is whether he is a Hall of Shamer.

Time and hopefully Bud Selig will tell. But no matter what, you may blame Bonds, but you also have to blame Bud. The owners and he knew what was going on. Can't sell it to me any other way. So Bud - this black mark is for you to! Sorry but you did it to yourself.

One other thing that needs to be said are about the fans of the San Francisco Giants. While I have many friends in the Bay Area, I can't not talk about how they stood behind Bonds all the way. Good for them, but then again, they are represented by Nancy Pelosi. Need I attempt to say more????'s John Donovan has a great piece today on the fact that Barry may hold the record, but he's no hero. Amen! Also check out the front page - great graphic of Bonds!

OK - all that being said, we all have one thing and one thing to do now that Bonds is on top of the list. It's not an easy thing for many of us to do, but considering what is going on, we have no choice baseball fans. You ready? Deep breath. Here goes: Let's go AROD!!!!!

He's 32 and he's 256 away from Bonds. He can do this. We need him to do this. We need to support him no matter what jersey he wears. And trust me, that's a tough issue for many to put aside. But it needs to be done.

Come on board the ARod train ... it's for the good of the game. And ya know what, I think Hank would rather be third to him rather than two to Bonds. And didn't Babe Ruth wear number 3? More appropriate for the Hammer.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Favor from y'all

Hey gang - my client and friends at Red Lobster are now on You Tube. Can you please make sure to check it out and if you actually like (which you will!!!) give it some positive love back! Thanks !!!!

The line of the day....

As a New York Football Giants lifelong fan, all of you know how I dislike Tom Coughlin with an immense passion.

I want them to go 2-14 and get the top pick and get a new coach, specifically Bill Cowher.

That being said, what has gone on with Michael Strahan is just insane. Here's a great quote from him this weekend.

"What's been most disappointing has been all of this nonsense that I'm holding out for more money. The truth is that football has been very good to me and I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by advisers who have ensured my family and I will live comfortably for the rest of my life. You deserve to know what's really going on. My agent [Tony Agnone] met with the Giants earlier in the year and discussed many things, including my contract. Money is not the reason that I have not reported to training camp and it will not be a factor for my return. This has already been communicated to the Giants, and while the reports may indicate a 'hard line' taken by the team regarding money, it is not necessary as this issue has been decided well before July."

Here's my question ... if it ain't about money, then why does he keep saying that? He could have told them ages ago about his thoughts of retirement, but he didn't until the day before training camp. If it were decided WELL before July ... why are they taking this stance with a Hall of Famer at the end of his career?

To me - it's all hogwash. It's a joke. Michael - it is about the money - just say it! And when you do, say it while walking away. You have been falling apart for the last three years and while you are a legendary player in our history, the way you have handled all of this is your fault.

Hey Mr. Mara - great job. Stay strong and don't give in.

Historic weekend

So many things happened this weekend in sports, where should we focus our time?

Barry Bonds finally tied Hank Aaron for the home run record. The happiest person, Bud Selig, was there to see it. He stood up, didn't clap and now is heading home because he was there for that and he doesn't feel it necessary to hang around until the record is broken. Odds are that Bonds will do it in his game tonight against Washington because Bud is gone. So obviously, Barry when you do, this Bud's for you!

ARod hitting his 500th homer was nice. He became the youngest person to join the club and he's heading down the path to breaking the all-time record. He will probably blow the doors off of whatever Bonds sets the record at. Best part was because it was down the line, close to being foul, that John Sterling couldn't be all obnoxious about the call.

Then there was the Hall of Fame football inductions. Usually these can be long and boring and this one was long, but it wasn't boring. Thurman Thomas asked his wife to marry him again. Michael Irvin gave an emotional speech about his life and what he has been through. Charlie Sanders finally taking the time to say "Hi Mom." He had never done it because his mom died when he was 2 and he never felt right about it. And then Gene Hickerson, being pushed by his running backs, as he suffers from Parkinson's. It was an incredible ceremony.

And by the way, they played a football game the next day. YIPPIE!!!!! Football is back!!!!

The runner-up for my favorite moment of the weekend was Tiger Woods taking Rory Sabbatini out to the woodshed and kicking his butt on the final round at Firestone. Tiger was the only golfer under par and won by 8 strokes. I hate to say this because it may sounds nuts, but it was never THAT close. He just dominated a very difficult golf course. I know this because I played there with my father-in-law and brother-in-law a few years ago two weeks before the tournament. The rough there is harder than anywhere I have ever played. For example, my brother-in-law hit and incredible drive on the first hold that took one small hop into the left rough. We knew exactly where the ball landed and couldn't find it. We walked for 10 minutes in the spot and to no avail. Wild stuff.

But my favorite moment of the weekend is something that we may not see again for a long time: 300 wins from a pitcher.

To start, Tom Glavine is a class act. He's one of the good men in baseball. I like him for no other reason than he was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings to play hockey. I still think he made the right decision by throwing a ball. It was cool to see him become the 23rd person to reach 300 wins at Wrigley Field. It adds to the drama and history in my mind.

I have heard people say that all 300 wins proves is that you have longevity. While they may be right, isn't that something that should be rewarded? Say what you want about Cal Ripken's streak, but there's something to be said about showing up to work and working hard.

If you won 15 games for 15 years, you would be at 225 wins. Think about that? Isn't that impressive to win 15 for 15? How many people have actually done it? Not sure, but I bet you can count them on your hands. Randy Johnson is 16 wins away and he's just had back surgery and is probably done. The other guys close are old and far, far away. Glavine is the last of his generation of great pitchers to accomplish this goal. And depending on health issues and so on, it's up to the C.C. Sabathia's and Johan Santana's to run with it. But it will still be a long time till we see this goal accomplished again.

The question of the day is what was the most impressive part of the sports weekend to you? C'mon - open up and share your thoughts.... tell me if I am off base (ball).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Shamless Red Lobster Plug

OK, most of you by now know that Red Lobster is one of my clients.

I have to tell you, we work with some great people there. Two of my favorite folks are Michael LaDuke and Darryl Mickler, the Red Lobster chefs. Two unbelievable cooks and even better people.

We have just posted our first videocast with the two chefs from our trip to Boston. Check it out and let me know what you think. PLUS you need to go try Red Lobster's Fresh Fish menu. It's very, very tasty and it's healthy! Just don't have the Cheddar Bay Biscuits and your fine.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yankee empire in transition?

Fortune has a story today on what could be a big change in the baseball landscape if any of this is true.

The New York Yankees' cable network, the YES Network, is for sale, Fortune has learned. And some baseball insiders and Yankees limited partners are wondering whether the team itself might be next.

Also - one of my old partner's in crime, SI's John Donovan, writes about the best GM in baseball. After Mark Teixteira hit a homer and drove in four RBI last night is there even a question?

From the how dumb can someone be department:

A newspaper reporter who said Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick would have been "better off raping a woman" than being charged with dogfighting has apologized and will no longer appear on the local sports panel TV show where he made the remark.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Paul Zeise made the comments Sunday night on the "Sports Showdown" show on KDKA-TV, a CBS affiliate. He was disagreeing with another panelist who said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should suspend Vick for the rest of the season because he was indicted on federal dogfighting charges July 17.

And finally - from the picture says a thousand words department ... YIPPIE!!!!!!!

Sick feeling watching bridge video

Growing up in New Jersey people always jokingly ask me, "what exit?"

My response was always that I didn't grow up on an exit, I grew up on a bridge.

The George Washington, to be exact, was right outside my window in Fort Lee. Crossed over it what seems like a million times. Been through a ton of tunnels and over many, many bridges in my life, as have most of you.

Included in those bridges I have crossed is the one you see now crumbled on television. It connected the downtown Minneapolis area near the Metrodome to the University of Minnesota.

What a strange feeling. I just spoke to one of my nearest and dearest, Jess Myers, who lives in the Twin Cities. Everyone is his world is fine, thank god. What's insane is that he told me that he has a friend that was on the bridge literally two minutes before the crash. Scary.

Jess also said that the time the bridge fell was an hour before a Twins game and during rush hour. Odds are that more folks will be found today, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

After September 11th, it was hard to look at a bridge or tunnel and not have the worst thoughts in the back of your mind. But the kinds of thoughts of what happened last night rarely, if ever, entered my mind. Just insane that this doesn't happen more with the amount of older bridges in our country.

If you want more info on the story - best two places are two of the better newspapers: Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. CNN has incredible footage of the bridge collapsing.

There was actually funny news late yesterday out of St. Paul that I wanted to share with y'all. One of the greatest organizations in sports is having another great promotion.

The St. Paul Saints and the newly merged Humane Society have partnered to give out 1500 Michael Vick chew toys during the Saints August 21 game.

These are the same folks that have had a pig bring a baseball to the mound. They had Futon Alley in right field that had a futon, TV and a fridge full of beer. They used to give haircuts down the first base line and massages down the right field line.

When I went to a game there, it was Mary Tyler Moore night. The people who looked most like the TV characters won tickets to another game.

One of the many happy moments and thoughts I have from my travels in the great state of Minnesota.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Who let the dogs out....

OK - so there's one part of the Michael Vick case that no one has touched on. What happened to the dogs that the feds confiscated?

Well today's New York Times answers the "biting" question. I just couldn't resist. Here's a new picture from the Virginia house. Enjoy.

Bonds rookie card is hot!!!