Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Here we are for the last This Week’s Picks of the year.

I cannot go without commenting on the soap opera called, “As Urban Turns”.

Saturday I was listening to Leonard Cohen, of all people, when my wife told me that Urban Meyer had resigned. Health problems. Then Sunday he decided to take a unspecified leave of absence. By the end of the week, I'm betting he’ll just take a PTO day.

Urban stopped to smell the roses and decided that was over-rated.

All of that seems reasonable compared to the Mike Leach Head Trauma Unit at Texas Tech. The latest is that Leach, who was suspended by the University for placing the son of a high profile Texan in a small electrical closet due to a mild concussion, is filing suit to be able to coach in the Alamo Bowl. This can’t be good.

Last year, I made a pick in every single bowl game. I did okay. I think I might have been 50-50. This year, my schedule got the best of me with I decided to just go with the Big Five Bowl games.

This Week’s Picks!

The Ruse Bowl: Oregon vs The Ohio State University. Every single blessed year you have the Buckeyes going to Pasadena to lose in the Rose Bowl. This year should not be any different. Ducks win.

The Sugah Bowl: Florida vs Cincinnati. Timmah’s last game as a Gator has been over shadowed by whatever movie is going on in Urban’s head. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is the high powered offense, but, it has never seen a defense like Florida’s. Florida win and Timmah gives all the praise to the Lord.

The Cop-Out Bowl: TCU vs Boise State. The Aroused Frogs and The Blue Carpet Bunch both play in a conference that is not a ‘BCS’ conference so instead of having them play a BCS school, the powers that be decided to have them play each other. Whatever. Both are good teams and this may be the best bowl game of the bunch. I’m going to with the Toadies on this one.

The Urange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs Iowa. Last year, the Bees got killed in the Chick-fil-a Bowl by LSU. The people that know this sort of thing think that a team can prepare for the Triple Option if they have a month. Iowa is not LSU. Bees win.

The Mythical National Championship: Alabama vs Texas. Can Texas win this game? Sure. Bama had some scares this year and Texas is not a bad team. If Utah had not stomped Bama so bad last year, I might have thought Texas could pull an upset. I just cannot see Nick Saban letting that happen again. Alabama’s defense is just too good. Bamy wins.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas In The Heart

You are a rock and roll legend. You rushed through middle age by constantly touring. You are now past retirement age of the people you grew up with and you have tried everything that show business has to offer. But there is one thing you have not tried. This is what you think (translation is offered for the Bob Dylan impaired)

“A Crismus albem (Christmas Album). Yeah, just like that ones they sold at Westurn Otto (Western Auto), with jangle buells (jingle bells) and background singers like Bang C’sby (Bing Crosby) and Per Cumo (Perry Como)”.

The legend of all legends, Bob Dylan, has recorded a Christmas album titled, Christmas In The Heart, and to say the least, it is different. Because when one thinks of Christmas, Bob Dylan does not leap to mind.

Christmas is comfort and joy. Christmas is merry and bright. Christmas is about hope and light.

None of these things are close to the image of Bob Dylan. Dylan has become very rich by being sarcastic, moody, pessimistic, and snarky. When you think of Nat King Cole, you think of a man smiling about the thought of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. When you think of Bob Dylan, you think of a man scowling at the thought of those stupid chestnuts having the nerve to roast on an open fire while people aren’t allowed to be free.

You cannot understand Bob Dylan without understanding that he is all about music. It’s the only true love of his life and he likes all of it. As with the last three or four albums, Christmas In The Heart, is a tip of the hat to the songs and the songwriters that he heard as a youth in Hibbing, Minnesota.

While it is great that Dylan is acknowledging the poetic work of “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”, it must be noted that most Bob Dylan fans want to hear him song his own songs. It has to do with his voice, which, like cappuccino, is an acquired taste. I like Dylan singing “Like A Rolling Stone”. Dylan singing, “Ave Maria” would be another matter.

I need to stop right here and confess that I am a Bobcat. I have been with Bob every step of the way since Slow Train Coming. I liked some of Budokan and I was there for Empire Burlesque. I think Love and Theft ranks right up there with all the great rock and roll albums.

However, his version of “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” (or as he says, “Hurk The Harawld Anjells Sing”) should be used to torture prisoners at Gitmo. This is not a track to listen to-this is a track to avoid. If someone behind you at church sounded like this, you would drop your hymnbook, turn around and stare at him.

The pattern Dylan uses in Christmas In The Heart is a “secular” song followed by a hymn or religious song. Dylan does better with the secular songs like “Christmas Blues” and “Christmas Island” than he does on the religious songs, although his version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and “Little Drummer Boy” are surprisingly good, considering what he did to the Herald Angels.

The best performance on the album, “Must Be Santa”, provides another one those patented Dylan surprises: a polka that rocks.

Dylan is accompanied by his band, led by bass player Tony Garnier (my nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize since he has worked for Dylan for twenty years) who prove that they can just about play anything, anyway, at any time. The background singers, who have taken some heat in the Dylan internet world, are great. There are times when you wish Bob would lay down his weary tune and let them sing.

Only Bob Dylan could record a “controversial” Christmas album. It should be noted that all of his royalties from Christmas In The Heart are going to the charity Feeding America.

Just for fun, here is a link to the video for "Must Be Santa". Yes, Dylan is wearing a wig.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This Weeks (Heisman) Picks!

No picks on games this week. Just too busy with Jingle Bell rocking around the Christmas tree at my wife office’s party. Plus, the boy is coming home from his first semester in college. Plus, Christmas shopping. Plus getting my wife’s car fixed. Plus a million other things.

Aside for the Army-Navy game, the Division One season ended last week. Division Two is having their championship in Florence, Alabama! If there is one thing that says, ‘well done’ it is a trip to Florence, Alabama. Grand Valley will play Northwest Missouri. Actually, it is a pretty fun game, but I wouldn’t know who to pick.

The FCS is in their semi-final round with Appalachian State facing Montana and William & Mary playing Villanova. Just a hunch, but I think Appy State will crush Montana, simply because of speed. I think Nova will beat Bill and Mary

It is now time for me to give my Heisman pick! (The sound of trumpets).

First of all, let me say of all of the awards that are given in this world, the Heisman has always been the one that never made a lot of sense. It is supposed to be for the “best player”, if that player happens to be a quarterback or a running back.

This year there are five candidates. Two of them are on it for the career, not their season stats. One is someone most of the nation has never seen play and another has a name nobody can pronounce. Additionally, there is one player, C.J. Spiller of Clemson, who not even on the list, but should be.

The two quarterbacks, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy have had incredible careers, but this year, they just haven’t been the dominant player that the winner of the Heisman should be. McCoy damaged his chances last week against Nebraska. Frankly, the Tim Tebow show has gotten a little stale. He’s a great everything, but it is just not his year.

Toby Gerhart of Stanford is second in the nation in rushing and first in scoring. He goes to Stanford, which is a Brainiac school, plus he is a rare White running back (I just thought I’d throw that in for the haters). However, he plays in the Pac 10, which brings him down a notch for me.

What do you do with a problem like Ndamukong Suh? He is the dominate defensive tackle. The Heisman, however, has a bias against defensive players. My solution: if the Heisman is the best player, make all of the winners of the various position awards (Like the Johnny Unitas award, and Butkus award, etc) on the stage of the Heisman. That way, the average fan could appreciate the career of an Ndamukong Suh as much as he would a quarterback)

That leaves Mark Ingram of Alabama. He was the best player on the best team. That to me equals the Heisman Trophy.

There seems to be a push from the media for Gerhart. He might win it. I don’t know if the Heisman voters have been able to watch a lot of his games. If this were the Oscars, I would think Gerhart and Ingram would split the halfback vote with McCoy and Tebow splitting the qb vote. That would make Suh the first defensive lineman the winner.

I just don’t see any of that happening. I think Ingram will win with McCoy somehow coming in second.

On a personal note, I must comment on the resignation of Scott Jones as the Head Football Coach of the Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs. The Mighty Mustangs had a poor record this year and they have never been to the playoffs. So it wasn’t quite unexpected. However, Scott is a good guy and he treated my son well.

I hope for him and his family all the best. Our time in the program was enjoyable and I was able to see first hand all of the work that goes into being a head coach. It is easier to criticize a head coach than to be a head coach.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This Week's Picks!

As a lot of you already know, this week was Cardiac Catheterization week here at Picks Central. It seems my annual EKG showed something called a “left bundle block”, which is not something out of Lombardi’s Packer days. As people say, it’s complicated and leave it at that.

Anyway, during my catheterization, I saw bright light. I walked closer to the light because I heard…..barking. Out of the light came UGA VII!

I said, “Where’s the Lord?” UGA said, “They didn’t even put you to sleep, Alan, or should I call you, Adam Lambert? Anyway, The Lord, Momma, Daddy, and Elvis all told me to tell you that it is not your time and to stop being such a big baby”.

I asked our late four legged friend, “How’s Heaven?” He said. “Oh, it’s great. Three squares a day and you get to sit on a block of ice next to a cheerleader. Wait that was my life. Anyway, I get to peer into the future. Did you know the next Palin grandbaby is going to be named, ‘Popcorn’?”

“So UGA”, I continued, “You can help me with This Weeks Picks!”

He said, “First of all, I’m a dog, not a genie, so don’t think you’re going to get something out of me besides the Palin grandbaby thing and that President Tebow’s wife has triplets and he resigns the Presidency to become a missionary to Cambodia and that each one of the triplets eventually goes on to win the Heisman trophy”. “Tim Tebow becomes President?” I asked. UGA shrugged and said, “Yeah, the future is really ruff.”

This week’s picks!

Division Two Playoffs: It’s down to four teams in D2: Carson-Newman, Grand Valley State, California (PA) and Northwest Missouri. Grand Valley and Northwest Missouri wins.

Division Three Playoffs: Let’s just say Mount Union and UW-Whitewater Six Flags will be playing for the championship and skip this next week.

Huskers of Corn vs. Texsas: It would make things interesting if Nebraska would beat the Longhorns, but it is not going to happen. Texas wins big to set up a chance at the Mythical National Championship.

Hippie vs. Hippie State: The last time an Oregon-Oregon State game mattered to anyone outside of Oregon was….never. All I know is that uniform-wise, you don’t watch this game in HD or you will get motion sickness. Ducks fly to the Rose Bowl.

The Only Game That Matters: Florida vs. Alabama. You know, you could make a case for either one. I tend to think Florida is the better team, but not by much. If Mark Ingram plays like the Heisman contender he is, Bama just might beat the Gators. But, if Florida stops him like Auburn did, it will be a long night for the Tide. Florida wins, but I’m not thrilled with it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Last Saturday was one of those weird days in college football in which nothing made sense. For example, take the Harvard-Yale in which Yale was leading Harvard 14-10 late in the fourth quarter. While still in their own territory, Yale had a fourth and twenty-two. Seeing that Yale is one of the top colleges in the world, if not the universe, you would think Yale would punt and have their defense stop Harvard.

You would be wrong.

Yale decided to do a fake punt, gained only fourteen yards and turned the ball over to Harvard. On the first play from scrimmage, Harvard scored the winning touchdown. It is not known if the Yale coach has accepted a position with the Obama economic team.

However, that decision seemed down right scholarly compared to Les Miles’ Brain, um, Flatulence against Ole Miss. Ole Miss was compelled and determined to give the game to LSU when Les Miles and his clock management team managed to lose the game. Here’s what Pat Forde of ESPN said, channeling Les Miles barking instructions to Jordan Jefferson: “Jordan, it's all on you. You're 19 years old and doing this for room, board and tuition. I'm making $3.751 million a year. But you're on your own now, and if this goes badly I'm throwing you in front of the post game media train without hesitation”

I also need to mention that the Edinboro Fighting Scots, the official Division Two Team of This Week’s Picks lost to West Liberty University by the final score of 84-63. This proves the old football proverb, “If you can’t keep a team to less than 80 points you don’t deserve to go to a Division Two Championship game”.

And the dog died.

After UGA VII died, you could sense that something was seriously wrong at the University of Georgia. I mean, a “memorial service”, for a dog. What could you say besides, “He was a good dog”? It’s not like he told good jokes or was handy around the house.

I knew it was going to be a middling year for UGA. I just didn’t think it would include losses to Tennessee and Kentucky. I accept the yearly beat down from the Gators. But Kentucky? That’s like running for President and getting beat by Jimmy Carter.

This Week’s Picks!

Sick Puppies vs. Mighty Bees: In your heart of hearts, you know it would be so cool if UGA, as down as they are now, slays the mighty Yellow Jackets. Look, if they can’t beat them with Stafford, they ain’t going to beat them with Joe Cox. Tech wins and Georgia says, “Hello Shreveport”. (I was on “Hello Shreveport” in the late 70’s).

Rolling Tide vs. Warring Eagles: Awe-burned is getting better and has a better shot at beating Bama than UGA does Tech. They’ll still lose to Bama.

Timmah vs. Bobbah: It would be funny if both Tim Tebow’s last game as a Gator is the same game as Bowden’s last game as coach of FSU. It won’t happen. Twenty years from now we are going to wonder when the 100 year old Bobby Bowden is going to retire. Gators win.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Picks Central!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Good news everybody: In last week’s playoff game, The Fighting Topless Skirt wearers, I mean The Fighting Scots of Edinboro defeated East Stroudsburg (College Motto: Don’t Confuse Us With West Stroudsburg) in an exciting game that will long be remembered at every Perkins in central Pennsylvania. The Scots will take on West Liberty for the opportunity to play the winner of California of Pennsylvania and Shippensburg. Now say with me: who? No! Say with me: Go Fighting Scots! It is good that at least one pugnacious Anglo-Saxon nicknamed team is in the hunt for the real National Championship. Here's a team picture:

On top of that, the Division Three Brackets are out! Can you believe that Ohio Northern wasn’t selected for the playoffs? No, politics won out and Washington and Jefferson (the school) won the final seed and get to play Mount Union. Odd, Mount Union and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Six Flags are on different sides of the bracket page almost insuring that they meet, once again, in the Division Three Championship in Salem Virginia. When those people from Wisconsin hit Salem, look out!

This week’s picks!

Go in Dumb/Come out Dumb Too vs. Shep Smith’s School: Son, if these schools were in Division Three we would not worry about Mount Union. LSU seems to get stronger and stronger, while Ole Miss whipped Tennessee (Lane’s excuse this week: Team in jail). LSU is just meaner, stronger, and better…except at quarterback. Doesn’t matter, they’ll beat Ole Miss.

The Ohio State University vs. Meechigan: For a while there, it looked like Michigan was back. For a while in 1972, I thought I’d might grow up to be at least 5’10”. That didn’t pan out either. The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten. Ugh. Ohio States wins this one too.

Dawgies vs. Kentucky: What do you know? UGA won a game against a rival. I would feel better about this game if A.J. Green was playing. Still, it is Kentucky football. I’m going with the Dawgs.

Aroused Frogs vs. Male Cows: Ha, just a little racy humor. Everyone knows that Horned Toad is a lizard. Did you laugh when Yosemite Sam would say, “Great Horny toads”? I know I did. Anyway, TCU is the BCS buster of the year. Wyoming hasn’t had a good team since Pat Dye was the coach (whoa…trivia). TCU wins.

Eagles vs. Citadel: Everything was going okay for the Mighty Eagles of Statesboro and then they met Ap State. But, I have faith, One More Time! Eagles win.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Parent Discussion: On Colleges

It is that time of year when high school seniors are learning if the work (if any) that they did in the three years previously in high school (right) will get them into the college of their choice.

The college of their choice is always some place else. Another city, another state, another country, another planet (“Dad, Mars has some of the best facilities to study red dust in the solar system”). The one thing the college of their choice has in common with all of the other colleges of other kids is that it literally costs an arm and a leg to pay for it. Unless they give you scholarships, which sounds good but often times ends up being no big whoop, like the Camden County Toastmasters Scholarship-$100.00 a school year. This means they give you $50.00 a semester. So your bill of $12,000.00 a semester is now $11,950.00. Welcome to college. (Oh yeah, I'm not including books, meals, the various do-dad fees, and of course, spirit wear)

I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret. It really doesn’t matter that much where they go to school. What matters is that they join a fraternity or sorority.

Ha! Just a little of that college humor. As far what they learn, it is true that when you pick out a college, you are picking out a name just as much as you are anything else.

Now granted, if you go to an Ivy League school, that will mean a whole lot more than going to my alma momma Kennesaw State University (Home of The Fighting Owls) when you go apply for job. However, once you get the job, if you call in sick every other day, work on Facebook more than your assignment or get into political discussions with your boss, no diploma is going to help you.

My son is a college freshman, so last year I’ve become reacquainted with the college process. Most boys choose a college on the basis of the football team.

I cannot describe the importance of going to a school that has a football team. When I was at Kennesaw, it did not even have a basketball team. There is something about football which gives a school an identity. However, the one good thing about a no football team college is that you can be a fan of another school. In fact, I think a majority of fans of the various SEC football teams have never stepped foot in their favorite team's classroom. Just like the players.

On the other hand, girls, who let’s face it are light years ahead of boys in maturity, brains, color co-ordination, etc, choose colleges on the basis of academic reputation.

Hate to break it to you Mom, but them ain’t boys lifting up their shirts going “whooo”. Girls tend to go where their friends are going so they all can search for romance together, somehow get a degree, and become the President of company that builds houses for homeless widows and rabbits. And a place where they can drink and get pooped faced with the boys.

Having said all of that, there are lots of colleges/universities out there.

The Large State University

Every state has one or two large state universities. These schools are massive entities unto themselves that have their own personality and traditions. They usually don’t cost as much as a private college but they have large classes and often the dorms (like at the University of Georgia) are dumps. But, they usually have good food and rock bands (my favorite name of a college band: The Shut Ups). You don’t have to explain where you went to school. If you say, “Illinois” people have an idea of your academic background versus going to ‘Northwest New Hampshire Polytechnic State College and University'.

The Directional State University

Every state has a university that somehow has a direction in the name and is an up and coming college. Southern Mississippi. East Carolina. Western Michigan. My son goes to Georgia Southern.

When I was going to college, Georgia Southern had a reputation of being a party school, kind of like a chicken fried Animal House. I’m happy to say that after all of these years, it still has that reputation. I mean, the motto on the school seal is “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” (rim shot).

The truth is (Mom, sit down), all colleges are party schools to one degree or another. I have a friend of mine that went to Georgia Tech (a really hard college that enjoys torturing its students) tell me that he was walking down North Avenue when right in front of him was a splat of human vomit. He looked up and there was a fellow student up in a tree (this was when they still had trees on North Avenue) that had delivered the payload of throw up.

I told my son that I was quite aware of the legends of Georgia Southern parties. I’ve heard alums tell me things that I hope Jesus didn’t see. But I told him that college always looks fun. That’s how they market colleges: Come build your future and have fun doing it. But the fact of the matter is that if you are at Georgia Southern or Georgia Tech or wherever, if you don’t do your work, you are going to flunk out.

Next time: Other Types of Colleges

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Last year, This Week’s Picks decided to do something very dumb: follow the Division Two, Division Three, and FCS championships. It was dumb because, for the most part, I knew nothing about the teams I was reviewing. So, I just generally made up stuff. (Surprise!)

All I know about Division Three is that if you bet, bet on Mount Union. In the last 200 years of Division Three football, Mount Union has won 197 Division Three Championships.

Over in Division Two, they have announced their playoff brackets. West Texas Outback will play Northwest New Hampshire Polytechnic. Maryland Middle Banks faces off against University of Texas Out There. Perennial Division Two Power house Carson-Daily has a bye.

Seriously, one college that is in the playoff is Edinboro, which I thought was in Scotland, but turns out it is in Pennsylvania. They are the Fighting Scots. They beat Millersville last week. I know, I was surprised too.

This Week’s Picks!

Them Dawgs vs. WarPlainsTigereagles: At one time, I was really worried about the puppies in this one. Awe-burn is getting better, but the season is only so long. Dawgs win, but if the War Eagles win, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Big Bad Bees vs. Dook: Paul Johnson went for it on fourth and one when he could have tied it with a field goal. He looked like he always looks: like a man that didn’t get the rental car he wanted. The real sleeper team in the country is Duke, but they’ll be put to sleep Saturday. Bees win.

Team De-Jour vs. The Ohio State University of the World: Iowa lost its quarterback and their self respect against Northwestern last week. I hate Ohio State. They should beat Iowa. But I’m still picking Iowa because I hate Ohio State.

Team Dejour II vs. Carry me back, Virginny. Cincinnati has twelve quarterbacks and UGA doesn’t have any. Virginia is running out the clock while the Bearcats can make a statement. They will all over Virginia. Cincy wins.

Number Two vs. Number 129. Bamy faces the other Bulldogs, the Starkville kind. They could play Mississippi State and Georgia and beat them both, at the same time. Bamy keeps marching towards Atlanta.

Georgia Southern vs. Furman: I forgot to make a pick last week and the Eagles lost to Samford, which is sort of like UGA losing to Edinboro. Anyway, the Eagles should bounce back and win. Eagles. One more time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mad Men Recap

Episode Twelve, “The Grown-Ups” is the episode that answered the question: will “Mad Men” do an episode on The Kennedy Assassination and how it affected the office of Sterling-Cooper?

The answer was yes because it was (Caution, Caution: liberal arts word coming) the seminal event of the 60’s. Asked anybody who was around at the time, and they could tell you what they were doing. Except me. I was four. I think I was taking a nap.

Anyway, we found out that Peggy Olsen will have to make up a great big lie when she tells her children where she was when Kennedy was killed: She will probably say she was having lunch with a client when actually she was having (as we said in the 70’s) a little afternoon delight with the comically named Duck Phillips.

Before the end of Camelot, the English boss promoted Kenny Cosgrove, who is; let’s face it, cool, over Pete Campbell, who is not. Pete goes home to sulk with the wife.

Meanwhile, Roger Sterling’s daughter is finally getting married and she doesn’t like what New Mommy bought her and pitches a fit. Roger yells at New Mommy and New Mommy runs into the bathroom.

All of this was shattered by those three shots in Dallas. Don rushes home and finds that the change has already come: the maid is sitting on the couch smoking a cigarette with Betty.

The day after the Assassination, was the wedding day (trivia: I worked with somebody that was married on that day. Really.) and it turned out to be a bust. No waiters, no wedding cake. Everybody was walking around gloomy because a big eared Texan was President.

Into this happy occasion walks: Rocky’s Aide, with whom Betty has locked lips. Betty spends most of the rest of the wedding staring at the guy, giving her “take me from my terrible, but well cared for life” look.

The next day, Betty is watching TV and sees Lee Harvey Oswald get assassinated (people were doing that a lot back then). This gives the viewer two surprises: one, Betty shows real emotion besides dull rage and two, provides Betty with the logic to blame Don for all of the problems with the world when in fact all he ever did was assume the identity of a dead man and have sex with about 400 women. Geez, some people.

Rocky’s aide, having only seen Betty three times, decides he wants to marry her. Boy, could Don give him some stories. Betty marches back to the house and announces that she doesn’t love Don anymore, which hurts Don because he just broke up with Miss Future Hippie in the last episode.

The next day is Monday, which was an official day of mourning. This meant the office was closed. Of course, this means Don will go to the office and drink and smoke. Don’t fret, Don. Only a couple of more months before The Beatles hit town.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Last week we found out that trying to blind another human being is wrong. It is two quarters against Vanderbilt wrong.

We also found out that if only Coach Mark Richt was just holler at his players, maybe Georgia might win a game against a ranked opponent in the Obama era, because the black helmets just ain’t workin’ Coach! (Sorry, I was channeling Shane from Stockbridge on the Mark Richt radio call in show).

Oh well, even if UGA wins the rest of its games, it maybe looking at a bowl game in Shreveport. The Dawg nation travels well, and the Shreveport TV stations would love the shots of grown men hunkering down and barking. But, you know, UGA just isn’t a great team this year. Too many problems. Defense that can’t defend. An offense that is offensive. No blocking. No tackling. The Jerry Glanville-ish belief that the color black gives special super powers. Maybe next year. Dooley didn’t have a great year every year.

This week’s picks!

Dawgs with or without eyes vs. A Tech They Can Beat: UGA licks (sorry) its wounds against Tennessee Tech. They will win but nobody will care. Dawgs win.

Big Bad Bees vs. Backslidden Deacons: Tech is waltzing through what Jeff Schultz calls “Nerder’s Row (Vandy, Wake, and Duke). Wake should be better, but they have been snakebite all year. Tech won’t lose another game on its schedule. Tech wins.

Went In Dumb vs. Come out Dumb, Too: There was a letter in this week’s Sports Illustrated that really got my goat. Responding to a cover story about how great The SEC is, a reader said that even though the SEC is great now, it will never overcome the stain of segregation. No, a great football game cannot overcome social injustice. It must have been an ACC fan. Anyway, LSU plays Bam-y in what might be one of the best games of the year. The Tide’s defense is incredible. I think Bama will win. Barely.

JoePeePa vs. The One and Only Ohio State University: One team has Terrelle Pryor and the other one doesn’t. I’m picking the one that doesn’t: The Lions of Mount Nittany wins.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mad Men Recap

Episode Eleven, “The Gypsy and The Hobo” was the episode in which Betty finally found out why all of Don Draper’s shirt had the initials ‘DW’ instead ‘DD’ on them.

This was an amazing episode, really. Jon Hamm will probably win an Emmy, Oscar, Tony, and a Nobel (if they don’t give the President another one) for his amazing ability to transform from somebody cool enough to date the hottest teacher in school while married to the hottest wife in Ossining, to a great big dork.

It all started when Betty took the kids back home to Pennsylvania to work on her late father’s estate. As soon as Betty backed out of the driveway, Don was heading straight to Miss Future Hippie’s home for a little extra credit. Don had just gotten a bonus and of course instead of spending it on, oh, his family, he wants to take his chick out to Mystic, Connecticut.

While at her father’s house, Betty confides in the family lawyer that Don is a big fat great looking doo-doo head and wonders what to do. The lawyer tells her to stay with him then hands her a bill of $1500.00.

The boring subplot revolves around Roger and a client, who, now get this, turns out to be an old girlfriend from the 40’s. (Do you have a feeling the same thing is going to happen to Don some time around 1979?). This client eventually makes the moves on Roger, which he declines. What? Morals from Roger Sterling? It just goes to show you that the times they were a-changin.

Meanwhile, Don and Miss Future Hippie have this weekend getaway all planned out. Don has to stop by Draper Mansion to pick up some clothes and is greeted by Betty.

Betty confronts him about his box. Don spills the beans about being Dick and how it was easier to be Don than Dick. He was poor. He didn’t know when and how he would have ever told her that his name is Dick and not Don. “Pass the Corn Flakes; say did I ever tell you that Don Draper is my assumed name?”

Betty listens to this and conveys all of the emotion January Jones learned at the Wooden Hot Blonde Actress Studio. Don heaving all of this heavy emotional baggage on her and she looked like she was watching “Bonanza”.

Even though Don left Miss Future Hippie in the car and she eventually had to walk back home, seemed upset when Don called her to break off their affair. Just like all of the other Dads. Oh well, Miss Future Hippie, Woodstock is only six years away and you’ll still be young.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Here it is: Halloween! In the olden days (cue fiddles playing “Red River Valley”), that meant the Major League Baseball season had been over for a couple of weeks. Now it means we are in the middle of the World Series.

Now that my son, the formerly great 38, is off at college doesn’t mean we can’t relive Halloween memories like the time his costume was “The Man with No Face” and one of our neighbors called him Darth Vader. Or his “Man with a Baseball Sticking in His Eye” (followed, of course, by the November 1st visit by “Men from DEFACS”)

I remember being “Casper the Friendly Ghost” once for Halloween. Casper was either, “the friendliest ghost you know” or “the friendliest ghost, you know?” Were there other types of ghosts like “Marvin, the Moody Ghost”, or “Eugene, The Annoying Snort through His Nose When He Laughs Ghost”?

This week’s picks!

The World’s Biggest Substance Abuse Social: UGA and Florida play their annual “big” game, which, over the past twenty years, haven’t been that big for the puppies. The Gaters aren’t winning people over with style points, they are just winning. They’ll win again.

Just Buzzing Along: Tech took care of Old Viginny last week. Saturday, they’ll scrimmage against Vanderbilt. If this was an English test, I’d go with Vandy, since it is football, Tech rambles on. Tech wins.

Win One For Pee-Paw: The Werewolves of Raleigh travel to FSU to give the old man the pleasure of whopping up on them.Dag gum. FSU beats N.C. State.

What Will Lane’s Excuse Be This Week? I believe Tennessee has hopped over UGA as the number two team in the East for the future. But, Lane, dude, you’ll never make it in the SEC if you have stroke after every loss. Bamy didn’t win because of the officials. Missing some field goals might have something to do with it. You’re making the South Carolina coach look almost Presidential. Anyway, I’m picking the Chickens. Lane’s Excuse will be: “The Officials are Gay”.

Game I Won’t Watch Because Of “The Office”: North Carolina travels to play the Turkeys on the Thursday Night Game of The Week. No contest: Virginia Tech wins.

The Hey Man Bowl: USC vs. Oregon. The Ducks are having a pretty good season, but this is USC. Could USC have a two loss season? Yep, they will. Oregon wins.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mad Men Recap

Episode Ten, “The Color Blue” found Don Draper in the arms of his new lover, Ms Future Hippie. This, of course, was after he lied to his wife about having to work on the Hilton project. “Working on Hilton” is Don’s little code phrase for hitting on a new chick. He’ll use it for a couple of years, until he hears the phrase “feeling groovy”.

Turns out this new fling has a little brother that likes to bop in at all hours of the night saying such witty things like, “sorry to interrupt you”. Oddly enough, he seems to get into a lot of fights because he has epilepsy, which is news to me.

Meanwhile, at Sterling-Cooper, the British owners are cooking up a 40th anniversary bash to showcase the firm to sell it. This makes Lane’s wife happy, because she misses London and figgy pudding. Old Man Cooper doesn’t want to go because he’ll have to wear shoes or something.

Then something amazing happens: Betty Draper does something that is close to work. That’s right, Betty is doing the laundry. She finds a key that goes to that super secret desk drawer that Don is always locking. Betty puts two and two together and decides to…..unlock the drawer. In the drawer, she finds some comic books and a Playboy.

No, really, she finds all of this Dick Whitman stuff and the divorce from the original Mrs. Draper. She awaits Don’s arrival so she can confront him about this stuff.

Of course, this being Don Draper, means he can come in at all hours of the night for an early 60’s version of a booty call. Ms.Future Hippie’s brother got a new job and Don, in an unusual moment of turning down sex to do something almost decent, offers to drive the brother to Bedford, Mass. That seems like pretty fair distance from Tarrytown, but hey, you know Don. The brother convinces Don to go ahead and let him out of the car because, I guess he likes to walk in the cold.

The pointless subplot of the week has Peggy and Paul competing over the Western Union account. Actually, it is just Paul acting like a sixth grader. We see Paul drink and fall asleep. I don’t think Peggy has to worry about this.

Well, the big night arrives and we are treated to the scene of Don Draper accepting an award while Betty knows that he might be somebody else. Maybe, it is hard to tell with Betty. She might have been thinking about her hair.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Last weekend, Mrs. This Week’s Picks and I traveled down to Statesboro, Georgia, home of the official “Statesboro Blues” for Parent’s Weekend. This is a weekend designed to make sure that your offspring has not become a Goth or Emo, or worse, an English major in college. The festivities included a visit to the holy shrine of Statesboro: Daylight Donuts. If Krispie Kreame donuts took steroids, they would be Daylight Donuts. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve been treated like royalty.

Unlike a certain fast food place there that name rhymes with “Tonic”. I ordered a “Number two” (careful) and did not get fries or a drink with my order. Then I had to engage in a scholarly debate with the worker that I had ordered “the combo” because I said, “number two”. It is like the time, many years ago, I would order a Cheeseburger and never get one. I would say, "CHEESEburger” and I would get a hamburger. I would take the burger back to the counter and say, “I ordered a CHEESEburger”. Normal customer service would be: “Oh, I’m sorry sir, let me get you a cheeseburger”. The customer service I got: “Let me debate with you what you said a minute ago. Then I’ll accuse you of racism/sexism/class-ism”. Soon I just gave up because I didn’t want to debate my participation in 500 years of history just to get a slice of cheese. It was just easier that way.

We went to the Georgia Southern/University of Tennessee Chattanooga game in what was probably the coldest, wettest October night in Statesboro history. During the third quarter, after I bought my beloved a hat and poncho to keep her warm and dry, she whispered in my ear the words that every man needs to hear: “Your nose is running”.

This week’s picks!

Bees vs. The Other Virginia: Ok, ok. I believe, I believe! Georgia Tech is the greatest football team of all time. Paul Johnson should be mayor. This Virginia team has started off slow, but has had a good October. No matter. Tech is just a stronger team this year.

Crocs vs. Other Bulldogs: One ray of warmth last week in Statesboro was the news that Florida was losing. Yay! But to the dreaded Petrino Pigs. Boo! Talk about a dilemma. Anyway, Timmah and the gang eked out a win and are going to Stark-vegas to meet Mississippi State. It would make their year to beat Timmah’s Team. They won’t. Florida wins once more.

Bamy vs. The Young Hot Mrs. Kiffin’s Husband’s Team. Have you ever noticed that when everybody talks about Tennessee it always dissolves into some porn talk? “I hate Lane Kiffin cause he’s such a big jerk but his wife is so hot. One day I was in Knoxville, and I stopped at a BP and there she was. I never thought anything like this would ever happen to me, but she….…” I don’t care how hot she is, there is no way they are going to beat Bama. Tide rolls up a win.

Whoo-wee vs. Ya-hoo: Bobby Petrino brings the Pigs to Mississippi and is a five point dog. Ole Mess has been a big disappointment this year. Pigs win, but I’m not happy about it.

The Eagles vs. The Homosexuals: The Mighty Eagles will play Appalachian State and I predict the Eagles will smite the Mountaineers with a smite that will make them stay smitten. Eagles win.

The Cole Rudder Special: Birmingham-Southern is playing The University of The South (Sewanee) or is it Sewanee University of The South? Anyway, it is the alma mater of the editor of Newsweek; therefore, I hope Birmingham-Southern smites them as well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Well, I guess Georgia won’t have to worry about Tampa or Orlando this year. Maybe not even Nashville or Shreveport.

Last week, UGA suffered its worst loss in the Marc Richt era when it lost to Tennessee 40 billion to nothing.

It wasn’t that, but it felt like that. UT, which has seemed flat over the past couple of years, actually looked like a football team that cared on both sides of the ball. Who was that and what have they done to Jonathan Crompton? He had the best game of his life last week. The game is already being called “The Knoxville Knockout”, with good reason. It knocked out Georgia from Tampa and Orlando. I guess you can say the Dawgs will be home for Christmas and you can count on them.

This week’s picks!

Couldn’t Have Happened at a Better Time: Georgia vs. Vanderbilt. UGA needs to beat at least one team in Tennessee this year. Vandy had their one good year last year. Dawgs rebounds against the Commode-doors.

Can’t Pick A Loser In This Game: Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech. The Bees beat Bobby’s Boyz last week. Va Tech has the ugliest uniforms this side of the Oregon Ducks. I’m tempted just to say “Tech wins” and leave it at that. I would like to think Buzz is better. I just don’t think they are there. Yet. The Hokies win.

Like I’m Supposed To Care: USC vs. Notre Dame. Yawn. USC is like a pro team. Our Lady needs overtime to beat Washington that beat….never mind. I still think USC is going to win.

Red River Hoop-De-Do: Texas vs. Oklahoma. Texas may or may not be the number two/three team in the nation. They slapped the Sooners silly last year. They will continue to slap. Texas wins.

Roll Chickens: Bama vs South Carolina. I’m almost ready to jump on the Bama band wagon, but they should have beat Ole Miss like the way Tennessee did UGA. South Carolina is better than they look, but they won’t be good enough. Bama wins.

Parents Weekend: Mrs This Week’s Picks and I are heading down to Statesboro (Home of Blind Willie McTell) for the Parents Weekend so we can hug and squeeze our little offspring that we saw..last week. Georgia Southern is playing the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Eagles win. GATA!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Full Disclosure

In the paper of record for Cobb County, The Marietta Daily Journal, we have a vigilant member of the fourth estate that keeps its watchful eye over the Cobb County Board Of Education. In fact, sometimes the paper reads like “The Board of Education News”.

Recently there has been a bit of a dustup concerning columnist Dick Yarbrough. He wrote a column, published in the September 26, 2009 edition in which he commented on Dr John Crooks and the Cell Phone Tower at East Valley Elementary School. Here it is for your pleasure:

Then a Mr. James Ney wrote a letter to the editor complaining about the article. Read it for yourself. http://www.mdjonline.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Yarbrough+column+almost+sacrilegious%20&id=3744891

Which lead to this letter from a Ms Virginia Gregory.


Just in case you don’t want to read it, Mr. Ney felt that Mr. Yarbrough's column was almost sacrarelgious. Instead of dealing with this question, Ms. Gregory went straight for the jugular of Mr. Ney exposing that he, dah-dah-dun, is an attorney whose firm, gasp, works on CELL PHONE LEASES.

But what I thought was interesting about Ms. Gregory’s letter was her insistence that writers of letters to the editor in a small news daily provide a small biography so the writers do not unethically try to sway public opinion. After a couple of paragraphs about how ethical she is, she states:

“Full disclosure is a central tenant of ethical behavior in the financial industry. If only it were enforced more often, we would all live in a wealthier, better governed society. If a person is caught "talking their book" (pushing an agenda in which he holds a pecuniary interest) without disclosing that interest, the regulators (FINRA) rightly go after that person's license. Businesses profiting from relationships with the government and elected officials ought to disclose that relationship first, then offer opinions.”

Yes, if it were only enforced more often in the Letters to the Editor section of the Marietta Daily Journal, we would be richer and much better governed.

Despite Ms.Gregory’s ad hominen attack on Mr. Ney , I began thinking that I should make a full disclosure in case I have the urge to write the Marietta Daily Journal a letter to the editor about a cell phone tower on Lower Roswell Road.

First, I am a Deacon at Roswell Street Baptist Church, where John Crooks serves on staff. I have had nothing but pleasant dealings with him but you have to remember that RSBC is a mega church. So I’m not in constant contact with him. It’s not like I’m Howard Borden bopping in on Bob and Emily every night.

Second, I own a cell phone. Third my in-laws live near East Valley. Fourth, I went to East Valley (once hit a triple in recess. Boo-yah!) and think it would really stink if I was stuck in a building that had asbestos in it. I mean, play on a play ground that had all of these cell phone rays around ready to fry me. Fifth, I am a father and I wouldn’t want my son to fry under the cell phone rays. Although, now that he’s in college, I wished he’d shave more.

Anyway, I really do not know enough about the East Valley Cell Phone Tower issue that would prevent me from not having my tires slashed; however, I do think it is a lot ask people to give a full biography when they write a letter to the freaking editor.

What if I just want to write to say hey? “Dear Editor, Alan here, the deacon at Roswell Street Baptist where John Crooks serves. Saw him yesterday getting a cup of coffee. Say, what is going on with Funky Winkerbean? Years ago it was about a kid in high school. Now it is about everybody getting cancer and not having arms."

What if I want to comment on an Around Town column?

“Dear Editor,

As an alumnus from East Valley Elementary School with a cell phone in his pocket, I can confirm I saw Philip Goldstein. He must be up to something.”

I’m beginning to understand why nobody ever asks my opinion on major school board issues.

Mad Men Recap

Episode Eight, “Souvenir” was sooooooooo dull that I forgot to add it to my weekly recap. Here it is: Betty and Don. Italy. Get it on. Pete is by himself. He finds somebody new to force himself on. He feels bad about it. Betty and Don come home. Betty goes back to being psycho Ice Queen.

Episode Nine, “Wee Small Hours” has Don agonizing over working for Conrad Hilton, who calls at all hours of the night to tell Don about the idea of a hotel on the Moon. This causes Don to go into work early. While driving in he sees Miss Future Miss Hippie Teacher jogging. This makes Don postpone going to into work for a minute to offer her a lift home and a few moments of Donny time. He lays on the charm pretty thick, but she is all into Martin Luther King and the “I Have A Dream” speech.

Back home at Casa de’ Draper, Betty is having a dream and it is not about children holding hands. Betty is on her ugly couch she bought and then, well, I won’t go into great detail, but you won’t need your little blue pills, if you know what I mean.

Betty decides to write her dreamboat (ha!) a letter. He responds. One thing leads to another and Rockefeller holds a fundraiser at her house. Rocky doesn’t show up. Neither does Betty’s dream lover. Betty goes to his office to confront him and then decides that she doesn’t want to fornicate, at least not then.

Meanwhile at Sterling-Cooper, Sal Paul Lynde is working as a director on a cigarette commercial. The cigarette company guy puts the move on Sal, but Sal refuses. The cigarette guy calls Harry Crane, who job is to look like every other Dad in my neighborhood growing up and tells him to fire Sal. Harry doesn’t.

Hilton comes in and given the full Draper presentation. How do you say Hamburger in Dutch? Hilton. Hilton is unimpressed and chews out Don. Of course, maybe if he let Don get a full night’s sleep may he’d come up with something better. Hilton storms out, a total embarrassment to Don. But then again, Hilton will have a grand daughter named Paris, so it evens out.

The cigarette man comes into the office to watch the commercial and pitches a hizzy and stomps out. Sterling sees this and fires Sal and then in a great moment of management tells Harry to take Sal to Don to figure it out.

Don is not too pleased with this and decides to let Sal stay fired. Sterling comes in and threatens Don. Don is over his head, he says.

Being that this is Don Draper, he has three options. One, he can run off and adopt the identity of a dead man, but he’s already done that, and you can’t do that too much. Two, he can just run off. But he did that in California. Three, he can hop in to the sack with Miss Future Hippie. He chose three. As we knew he would.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Last week I did something I have never done before: watch a Division Three game via the Internet.

It was Birmingham-Southern vs. Trinity University. We have a buddy on the Birmingham-Southern team and it was really neat to see him play over, as President Bush used to say,” The Internets”.

The game was played at Trinity University. Trinity describes itself as “An inspiring faculty, bright and engaged students, an energized community, and the chance to do it all. We are also Presbyterians.” Trinity is in San Antonio, Texas. I know everyone who goes to San Antonio, goes to the Alamo and Trinity University. Incidentally, the other day Franke Wilmer was there speaking on “The Role of Energy In Shaping International Relations and Human Rights”. I know what you are thinking: Party!

This week’s picks!

The Unfortunate Celebrants vs. Dullenters. Georgia lost last week, in part, because they were not Tardy to the Party. Really, it was the dullest celebration in the history of football celebration. Georgia is fortunate not to be 0-5, but then again, they could be 4-1. Tennessee, what can you say? It seems like they are getting better in each game. Can they beat UGA? Sure. Will they beat UGA? Nope. Dawgs win.

Buzzers vs Pee-Paw: Really, retire already Bobby before Jimbo becomes 79. Tech wins.

Tigerauxs vs. Hope Tim Feels Better: The whole Gator nation is praying that Timmah Tebow is well enough to play. Yeah right. Tebow could have one leg blown off, no ears, a glass eye, and a spastic colon and they would expect him to play. It is said the concussion has already had a lasting effect on Tebow. He was caught watching, “The Girls Next Door”. I’m not sure LSU is a strong as Florida. Florida wins.

Eagles vs. Heels: Georgia Southern travels to Chapel Hill for a “pay me” game against UNC. It would be sweet for Georgia Southern to win. They won’t. Tar Heels win.

Pigs vs. Tigereaglesplainsmen: I haven’t written about Awe-burned this year because I thought they would stink. They haven’t. I root for anybody over Arkansas. Auburn wins.

Cornyhuskers vs. Mizzouri: Mizzo is one of those schools that nobody talks. Nebraska is as dull as the state. Mizzo wins.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Faberge Egg

I remember being in fourth grade at East Valley Elementary School (or as we said it:” Eas Valley Elemenery Skool”) singing about the inauguration of President Richard Nixon. We sang:

Oh Richard Nixon, President of The USA!
Oh Richard Nixon, he will save the day.

Of course we didn’t sing that back then. They were too busy trying to teach us reading and writing and trying to crush our souls and not giving one whit about our self esteem. And paddling, boy did they like to paddle back in school back then. In fact, if we did sing song like that it would have sounded like:

Oh, (wham) Ow! Richard (wham) Ow! Nixon, (wham)

I guess you are expecting another right wing rant against the love affair some people have with President Obama. It is weird to see school children, singing about how great a President is, like he is some Dear Leader. As weird as it was when the President came into office being followed by a YouTube video of various “stars” pledging an “oath” to the President, including one oath not to flush after number one.

I think one of the things some people are realizing about the President is that the idea of President Obama was better than the fact of President Obama.

Here we had a self made man. Ok, an Oprah made man, but you get my point. He comes out of nowhere to win the White House. He not only defeated a true American hero (John McCain) and the best looking female/dingy politician in my life time (Sarah Palin), but also Hillary Clinton, who had spent the previous eight years measuring drapes in her mind.

Unlike President Bush, whom I like, but let’s face it, often seemed like a kid in school trying to ask for a hall pass, Obama could link a subject to a verb.

Above all, here was a man who was half-African and half Caucasian that was a law school professor. This is a liberal’s super-duper fantasy.

Nobody could argue with his huge brain or his rhetoric. Yes, we can have hope and change and skittles with Unicorns, and non-fattening milkshakes. All you got to do is sit down and talk to people and they will be captured in his wavelength.

Iran-easy pisy. Gitmo. Shut it down. Health care for everybody. Hey, here’s a stimulus package on top of that.

Things haven’t quite worked out that way. The economy is still sluggish, to be nice about despite billions of dollars to Democratic cronies. You can’t really shut Gitmo down. Iran is almost out of control.

Which leads to Healthcare.

I think this occurred: while talking about Healthcare with Rahm Emmanuel, Emmanuel mentions that the mistake they made in the Clinton White House is that they had a plan. Then people read the plan. Rush Limbaugh. Hate happened and the Healthcare Reform got tabled. So The President and Emmanuel decide to have their “Seinfeld” moment. Like Jerry and George, they decided that the Healthcare plan would be about nothing: no plan equals no complaints from those right wing bigots goobers that we depend upon for our tax revenue.

So they farmed it out to the House, which, on the Democratic side of the aisle, is nuts. Pretty soon the President had to go around and tell people that he had no plan, but if he did, killing Pee-paw was not a part of it. No sir, I don’t have a plan, but it I did, it would not include waiting for years to have Open Heart Surgery, that you should just take a pill for anyway.

So here we are, the President has fallen to earth real fast. He lets his Chicago buddies talk him into going to make a pitch for the Olympics, forgetting that in the past 30 years, the Olympics have been in the United States four times. (It’s true: Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and Salt Lake City; Summer in Los Angeles and Atlanta).

The President’s sales pitch, if you could call it that, should have been titled: “It Would Be Really Cool For Me To Get The Olympics”. It didn’t work, and the President left with just an inkling of knowing what it was like to be George W, Bush.

It looks like instead of a Roosevelt, we have a Carter. Instead of a Reagan, we have a Ford.

Chris Matthews reminded people that Obama had “a lot of crap left on his door”. We’ve had 44 Presidents and with the exception of one (Washington) all of them complained about what the last President left him with. John Adams said, “That Washington with his wooden teeth and all. He never told a lie. Yeah right.”

It looks like the mainstream media, in an effort to: a) right a social injustice and b) sell books, magazines,newspapers, and DVDs, decided not to ask the Senator from Illinois any tough questions. No, instead they treat him like a Faberge Egg. The problem is he doesn’t look that special at all.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mad Men Recap

Episode Seven, “Seven Twenty Three”, is almost as gross as last week’s episode that feature a lawn mower running over someone’s foot because it featured the comically named Duck Phillips and Peggy doing what in the late 80’s we called “The Wild Thang”. Let’s face it, Peggy is an acquired taste in the looks department and Duck is just creepy to the nth degree.

At the Draper castle, Betty has an interior decorator because, hey, Don makes all of this money. The actress who played the interior decorator must have thought she was supposed to do an imitation of Lovie on “Gilligan’s Island”. Betty, of course, has to drag Don into her pretension. Don amazes everyone with his insight on where to put an end table.

Don gets to office and guess who is there? Conrad Hilton. Hilton wants Sterling-Cooper to handle three of his hotels. This makes Don the star of Sterling-Cooper, if he wasn’t already. The Big Three (Roger Sterling, Old Man Cooper, and the British guy) want Don to sign a three year contract with Sterling-Cooper for a lot of money. This makes Don mad, for reasons unknown.

Meanwhile, Betty has the Ossing Junior League because she wants to be a Secretary so she has an excuse to ignore the children besides her usual (massive depression). The Junior League is up in a tizzy about a water tower and Betty knows just the man to talk to: the man who wanted to touch her belly at Roger’s party.

Over the weekend, an eclipse takes place. For some reason, Miss Future Hippie Teacher is leading a group of kids in making a box you can watch the eclipse with. Her and Don get into a conversation in which she makes in clear that she is not only a Future Hippie but a tease.

Someone who is not teasing is Peggy, who after getting a royal undeserved reaming by Don, runs over to return an ugly scarf Duck gave her. Well after she informs Duck she would rather work for someone who constantly berates her for doing good work, Duck makes his big Duck move on her. This makes the first idea Duck has had that works in years.

Betty meets that Rocky’s aide at a bakery. Betty then proceeds to bore up the joint with revelations that she went to Bryn Mawr and she studied anthropology. As they leave the bakery, they spy an ugly couch that Betty buys much to the horror of the interior decorator (this takes ten minutes).

Roger decides to lean on Don about the contract. Don does his usual ‘if it is not from my mind, it must not be important’ pout. When Don goes home, Roger calls the house and speaks with Betty, informing her of the contract, which must have been the first non-Betty thought she had the entire day. Don comes in, Betty confronts him. Don leaves, because that he what he does when he gets mad with Betty.

While driving through the night on a two lane road, cig in one hand, booze in the other (aw, the good old days). Don picks up a guy and girl that are going to Niagara Falls to get married.

Don showing the typical Draper wisdom, takes a couple of pills from the couple, who ended up beating him up and stealing his money, but not before Don imaging his step-dad berating him for having soft hands.

Don shows up to work and Old Man Cooper is sitting at Don’s desk. In the first season, Pete exposed Don’s true identity as Dick Whitman to Old Man Cooper. Old Man Cooper reminds Don that he knows Don’s big secret. So Don signs. This could have been done days ago over the phone.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Week's Picks!

I haven’t written too much this year of the Mighty Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs because our favorite sixth string wingback, BEN MANIS#38, has graduated and the Mustangs have started the high school season 0-4

Last week was the annual game with Harrison,the school down the street. Harrison and this is just being scientific, sucks.

That is just funny man humor. Harrison is a fine school but they were always a little better that Kennesaw Mountain in everything. If Kennesaw Mountain were a car, it would be a Chevy while Harrison would be a Lexus.

In school history, Kennesaw Mountain had only beaten Harrison once. That is, until last week when Kennesaw Mountain beat Harrison again. So hat’s off to the Mustangs! Time for This Week’s Picks.

The Other Bulldogs vs The Bees: Tech got its stinger back against UNC, which was no big whoop in my humble opinion. Mississippi State almost beat LSU. The smart people say Tech, I say Viva Stark-Vegas! MSU wins.

Bullydogs vs Bayou Bungels: UGA had to struggle to defeat the Solar Satans of Arizona State while LSU had to bow up against the other Bulldogs. If Georgia had a defense that could actually stop other teams from scoring, I would feel better about this game. As it is, I think the Tigers let the good times roll all over UGA. LSU wins.

Sooners (or Later) vs The Tropical Depressions: They (who ever they are) have Oklahoma 7 ½ points over Miami (Florida not Ohio). How do you score half a point in football? Hit the cross bar? Even though Miami (Florida Not Ohio) got killed by the Turkeys of Tech, I think they should bounce back against OU. Miami wins.

Our Lady vs Washington (The State, not D.C): Notre Dame has had almost as many close games as UGA while Washington was this year’s Oregon State. I can’t see Washington causing two upsets this year. Although it would be cool seeing Lou Holtz sputter around.

Eagles vs Terriers: Georgia Southern travels to Spartanburg, South Carolina (“The Crossroads of The New South”) to play Wofford. GSU is in the crossroads of Bulloch County. Georgia Southern wins.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More From "Mullet"-Your Kid's Coach

You and Your Child’s Coach

Now that you have bought your kid’s glove, bat, and shoes, you are now ready to meet the most important person your kids life: The Coach.

Coaching in youth sports is a highly stressful position that is filled with only the top men of the community. After a vigorous screening process (“Do you want to coach?”) a man is accepted into the Coaching Fraternity. Some call him names like “Hey you” and “That guy” and funny nicknames that rhyme with “gas pole”. But he is the man that will teach your son the game of baseball.

But, first he has to make sure that his KID is recognized as the biggest salami in the deli and guarantee that his KID is picked for “The All Stars” (yes, there are All Star leagues for kids that have graduated kindergarten. If you can round first base without pooping on yourself, you are a candidate for “The All Stars”)
He usually has an assistant coach known as The Assistant Coach and it is usually filled with someone of these qualifications: 1) he is a friend 2)his kid is a good player 3) his wife is hot.

Now other books on youth sports try to tell you to talk to the coach and get to know him. The truth is that most coaches don’t want you to get to know them unless, of course, your kid is a good player or your wife is hot. If your kid is a good player and your wife is hot, the man just may move in with you.

Here are the different types of coaches:

A. Major Pain: This is a guy that is either in the service or has just retired from the service and thinks elementary school kids are just like the grunts in the military. They usually run the kids a lot and try to establish a espirt-decorps by yelling at them. Most kids usually have nervous breakdowns the first week of the season and then get used to it and turn him off. Pros: Usually gruff but nice underneath everything. Con: May want your kid for a secret mission to Iran.

B. Old Yeller: This is a non military guy who has studied all of the great coaches and has determined the one secret that binds them all together is screaming at players. A lot of the instructions this guy yells, “Hit the bottom two thirds of the ball at the correct perpendicular” don’t make a lot of sense. Pros: Dead of a cerebral hemorrhage before the end of the season. Con: Before he dies, you always know he’s there.

C. Bi-Polar Bob: This coach begins the season as Barney the Dinosaur and ends it as Michael Myers. If the teams wins, he is happy and crying, hugging all the kids, promising to take them to Disney World. If the team loses, hide all sharp objects. Pros: On a good day you get ice cream! Con: You see him on the news in a watchtower.

D. Hurried Harry: This coach is usually the Vice President of his company and has decided that he has the time to coach a baseball team. Pros: Usually has neat gifts for the players because he can afford it, like a team bus. Con: Schedules all of the games late because of his work schedule. “Um, I hope you parents don’t mind a ten p.m. start time…”

E. Rather Be Somewhere Else: Occasionally, there are those people that are talked into coaching by this stirring argument: “We need other coaches”. Usually this happens at the last minute and the guy has not made any preparations to coach. So, if you ever hear the words, “I was not planning on coaching this year”, go ahead and stitch a “L” on your kids jersey.

F. Coach Big Shot: This coach is very wealthy, sometimes from jobs you would not think would pay a lot of money, like District Manager for “The World’s Finest Chocolate” or a speechwriter for Howard Dean. Still, this coach will shower your kid with gifts like batbags, windbreakers, Underarmor Gear, motorcycles, etc. One day, you will peer into the dugout and see him giving cigars to all of the players and lighting them with a $100 bill. What’s even better, he will pay for the names of the kids on the back of their jersey and if he is really loaded, on the back of the hats. Pros: Usually has some cigars left over. The post season team party is an all-expense paid trip to Aruba. Cons: Sometimes mistakes you for domestic help.

G. The Hunk: It may surprise you men out there, but there are those men among us who do not go totally to seed after they get married. The guys that even after working 14 hours a day find the time to do 300 push-ups in fifteen minutes, run four miles a day and make love to their wives three times a night. They usually make as much money as Coach Big Shot, but these guys have their own TV show. Pros: Never needs help carrying the equipment from their car. Con: You hear your wife mention his name while talking in her sleep

Seriously, though, most coaches are guys like you that have jobs and families and other stress related activities like the male waste production system that insists you go to the bathroom after every meal or even gum chewing. They don’t receive any monetary reward. Just the thrill of knowing that their kid can play better than yours is payment enough.

I know what you are thinking. How can I help out? My answer is don’t even try. The reason for this is that you might get stuck in the worst job in Youth Baseball: Dugout Dad.

Being the Dugout Dad means you have to stay in the dugout and help remind the kids who’s turn at bat it is. After ages 11 plus, this isn’t that bad, especially if you find jokes about breaking wind funny. Before then though, you are just a grown up standing around trying to get kids to “pay attention” during a game. Let’s face it, it is hard enough to get the kids to pay attention if they are out in the field, much less if they are on the bench, where there are bugs, and gum, and burps, and the other. You people really need to discipline your kids better.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mad Men Recap

Episode Six, “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency”, begins with an announcement that the British are coming from the home office. If it were the 70’s, the office would have pronounced it a “bummer” because the British are always insisting that employees of Sterling-Cooper work instead of what they usually do: smoke cigarettes and drink booze.

Old Man Cooper meets with Don and Roger. He informs them that he thinks the British are impressed with Don (I mean, who isn’t?) and might want him to move to London. OMC also wants Don and Roger to bury the hatchet. Roger thinks Don is judging him, while I think Don just wants a trophy wife like Roger’s.

Which leads us to the Draper household. Betty, back from dream world , is holding Baby Gene Gene The Dancing Machine. Brother Bobby wants to “pet” his little brother, while sister Sally doesn’t want anything to do with him. This stirs something like a “maternal” feeling in Betty, that causes her to do something for Sally besides snarling put downs at her. Betty buys Sally a Barbie.

The Brits finally make it to the office and they bring in the new manager. A man named “Guy”. They take the older British manager in an office and give him a stuff Cobra as a token of appreciation for being transferred to Bombay with a stiff upper lip, old boy.

Everyone gathers in the conference room and Guy announces the big changes. The older Brit is going to Bombay and everyone will answer to him. They forgot to pencil Roger Sterling name in the Org chart because drinking booze is just not a position anymore.

The invasion (ha!) of the Brits, coincides with Joan’s last day at Sterling-Cooper. Joan, who put the Hubba in Hubba-Hubba found out the night before that her husband did not get the chief residency job at the hospital so they might have to move to, gasp, Alabama, and practice medicine on people there because dumb hillbilly Southerners don’t need no good doctorin’ cause we got Jeezus.

The Brits give the news of the reorg to the general office riff-raff and give a huge going away party for Joan. In the midst of all of this revelry, Don gets a call from Conrad Hilton to come for a face to face.

Don met Hilton at Roger’s Kentucky Derby party and impressed Hilton with stories of urinating on people’s cars for the crime of having money. Hilton presents Don with a couple of story boards for Hilton Hotels. When asked his opinion, Don said, “That’s hot” and proceeded to beg Hilton not to have grandchildren.

Meanwhile, back at Sterling-Cooper, minor male character goofball #1 is riding minor female character goofball #1 on a riding lawn mower that Ken Cosgrove got from the John Deere account. Somehow, the minor female character begins driving the lawn mover recklessly and runs over Guy’s foot spewing blood all over the office. Joan jumps into action by doing something medical, which safes Guy’s foot. Unfortunately, this couldn’t save Guy’s job because there is some rule in England that you have to have both feet in advertising.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This Week's Picks!

College football fans are very passionate. By passionate, I mean, mentally ill. For you younger text savvy kids: passionate = nuts.

I knew this gentleman at one time; I’ll call him Ed, because that was his name. To say Ed was Georgia Bulldog fan is to understate it. UGA is not as big of fan of the Bulldogs as Ed was. His apartment, and this is the truth, was decorated in Red and Black. Of course he was single.

But that was in the early 80’s. Now in the 21st century we have people who would make Ed seem like the exchange students that play tennis during the football games. The internet messages boards have made either everyone an expert or a jerk (the writer thinks he is an expert while the readers are convinced he is a jerk.)

Yet every now and then, there is a post on a message board which cuts through the clutter and says what needs to be said. This is from the AJC message boards of a Jeff Schultz column. This is from Mo Mo.

Mo Mo
September 20th, 20095:24 pm
Yuall got to quit talking about mR. Pal Johnsons offence. He knowed it work. Just because he don’t win game or score points, don’t mean it aint working. It do work and Mr. PAul Johnsen aint going to change it. If he catch you taking about his offence, he going to call you stupid. He a good man, but he have a mean streak.Them was 3 tough teams he play. dat defense is working good. They nobody scored points like on them georgis bulldawgs.Them tech fans know they going to win rest of games unless they loose some.Lets all have some oven-baked potted meat and we all feel better.

Thanks, Mo Mo. I could not have said it better myself. This week’s picks!

Puppy-wuppies vs Solar Satans: Remember last year when the UGA-Arizona State game was a big deal? Me neither. The Desert Demons haven’t really played anybody and The Dawgs are lucky not to be 0-3. UGA wins, but I think Solar Satans would be a good name for a band.

Rambled Wreck vs Heels of Tar: Paul Johnson basically said Tech, um…..looking for a Baptist deacon word, looking, looking, *inhales*. UNC is going through their every other year talk that the football program has finally turned the corner and will be like the basketball program. I’m not buying it. I’m taking Tech with some oven baked potted meat.

Old Mess vs Clucks: USC, given a bit of luck, could have been going into this game 3-0. The Rebs haven’t really played anybody. I’m picking them because all of the cool kids are picking them. Ole Miss wins.

Eagles vs Phoenix: Just as we are arriving to see old number 38 BEN MANIS, Georgia Southern heads to Elon University to play a tough Southern Conference match up. Elon, which describes itself as “the nation’s top university for engaged learning” matches up well against Georgia Southern which describes itself as PARTY”. Eagles win.

Birmingham Southern vs Rhodes: Attention! We have another great#38. Old pal Cole Rudder, plays for Birmingham Southern and wears the number 38! Anyway, I hope Birmingham Southern beats the tar out of Rhodes. Birmingham Southern wins.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More From "Mullet"

This is from chapter two of my saga, The Umpire Has A Mullet.

CHAPTER TWO: Skills Test and Hypothermia

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Must be recreational baseball time!

Youth baseball is not a spring sport.

Youth baseball starts somewhere between the last out of Fall Ball (more about this complete waste of time later) and the last present being unwrapped at Christmas.

Maybe it is just around here. Here in Cobb County, Georgia, people are baseball crazy mainly because it is a great way of achieving some sort of status. When I was a kid in Cobb County, Georgia you had status if you worked at Lockheed or if your kid appeared on “The Popeye Club”. (“The Popeye Club” was a kid’s show on WSB-TV that featured “Officer Don” a policeman that introduced Popeye cartoons and a puppet named “Orville The Green Dragon”. You didn’t learn anything about math, spelling, or tolerance. It was great.
And for the record, my Dad worked at Lockheed Georgia and I made my television debut on “The Popeye Club”. I am not a total loser.)

Now you can be a nuclear scientist in this county but if your kid is not on an All-Star team, the people who can barely wipe their rear ends without video instruction will look down their noses at you because their little Shane was on the Soap Creek Pony All-Star team with his friends Hunter, Taylor, and Tyler. “Sure, he can split an atom, but he never taught his kid how to hit.”

Take a guess when you first register for youth baseball. Early January. Parents around here wait in line for hours to get their little Tater a place in the local park’s baseball leagues. The good news is that once you get Tater in a park, you will never have to wait in line again to sign him up for baseball. Each year, around Christmas, you get a little reminder in the mail to send in the registration for the spring season.

The park we played at had a great way of making you work the concession stand.

Parks do not make money with the various leagues they provide. They make money with their concession stands. Sometimes I think youth league baseball is just a way to bring people to the concession stands like country music is what radio stations play in between commercials for tires.

Our park said, Ok every parent on every team has to work in the concession stand. If they don’t, we will not send you a registration in the mail and you will have to wait in line like you did when you signed Tater up in the first place.

To my knowledge, every parent worked at least one shift in the concession stand each season.

Once you get Tater signed up, the park sends out a postcard listing the date and time of “The Skills Test”. One time, our “Skills Test” was two days after one of our famous Georgia ice storms.

In Georgia, it rarely snows, but we do have storms which we call snow. Real Georgians will have a running duck fit when there is a threat of snow. We buy all of the bread and milk at Kroger’s (or as we call it, “Krogers”) and listen to the Yankees laugh at us. Then the storm hits, knocks out all of the power and we stay home from work. The Yankees look outside, get into their cars, and drive into a ditch because we have ice not snow. We call it ‘snow’ just to throw Yankees off.

“The Skills Test” is when the various coaches sit in lawn chairs to evaluate the skill level of each kid that is signed up for the season’s league. They are usually dressed in heavy overcoats and lacking their gluttus maximus because they have frozen their butts off.

When your little Tater arrives, you go to a table with the only civilizing force that can be hoped for at a park sitting at it: a mom. She finds Tater’s name and assigns him a number. Unfortunately, 400 hundred other Taters are there too.

“The Skills Test” is usually three pitches from a coach to see if your kid can hit. Then the kid runs to first base to see how fast he runs. Finally, the kid grabs his glove and the coach throws three grounders to the kid to see if he can field and three high pops to see if the kid can catch.
Then you go home. This takes hours.

In my son’s first skills test at this park, he was in first grade. In first grade baseball, you can win or lose based solely on skill-the skill of an adult to throw a pitch to a kid that at most is four feet tall. The coach pitching this skills test was very good. Kids were whacking the ball very well. However, since he had pitch three pitches to four hundred kids, his arm was worn out and about three kids before mine another fellow took over.

I know this fellow is faithful to his wife, works hard, and loves Jesus but he could not throw a ball into the strike zone of a six year old. I supposed he just wasn’t blessed this way.

The kids in front of Ben took literal hacks at the ball like they were chopping wood. Finally Ben’s turn comes and I wanted him to look good in front of all of the other frozen parents. So I mustered up all of the great parental wisdom I could and yelled, “Use The Force, Ben!” I thought this was fairly humorous and I got a bunch of stares from the other frozen parents. Maybe if it had been warmer I would have gotten a laugh. I would have settled for a chuckle.

Rule One of “The Skills Test”: Never make lame ‘Star Wars’ jokes while your kid is batting.

Rule Two: The kid that tests right before your kid will hit the three pitches to him over the fence and cause the coaches in the lawn chairs to scribble in mass his number on their note pads

Rule Three: Your kid will foul off the first pitch, miss the second one, and hit a dribbler to the coach pitcher on the third one. He will trip while running to first base. He misses the three grounders thrown to him and all three high pops will miss his glove and hit him in the head. You have to explain to the Emergency Room doctor that you did not beat your kid, rather he was at a baseball skills test and the bruises around his eyes are from missed high pops. He then wants you to explain the hypothermia.

After the Skills Test, you retreat back home where you wait usually a week or so for your child’s coach to call you. Nine times out of ten this coach will, A) Mispronounce your last name*, B)Mispronounce your child’s name C) Mispronounce your child’s team name, and finally, D) Give you the wrong date, time,and location of the first practice.

Before you actually go to a practice, it is important to buy your child the proper equipment. Some sports, this can be cheap. Wait, I take that back. There is nothing cheap about youth sports.

You would think that basketball would be cheap. Not if you get the kid the shoes everyone has to have. The AirAnswerOneJamesAndOneShox, which has its own motor and parachute. If your kid shows up with the Target on sale shoes, you might as well figure that the child is not going to amount to much.

In baseball you need a glove. Hopefully you have one of your own that you can give your kid. Or you can be like me and have a kid that is left handed. (If you have a kid like this, check with the hospital he was born at and see if they have a return policy.) So, we had to buy a glove.

Then you need shoes. Do not try to get by with soccer shoes or football shoes. Somehow, those shoes are different from baseball shoes. I’m not quite sure how the baseball shoes help, but it is always a joy to see a child, like my son, tie their baseball shoes once in the life of the shoe and then spend an average of thirty minutes trying to get the shoes back on.

And how could I forget the bat? Bats today can cost anywhere from four thousand dollars to two million dollars. I recommend taking out a home equity loan to buy a baseball bat.

To pick the right bat simply go into the sporting goods store and say in a loud voice, “I have four thousand dollars in my pocket and I want to buy a bat for my five year old.” The salesman will sell you a BAZOOKA BOMBER signed by Barry ‘Tater’ Bonds. It will weigh about 12 pounds. Your kid will not be able to hold it above his head and he will forget it at the park one day.

*This is as good place as any to advise you as to how to pronounce my last name. It is only FIVE FREAKING LETTERS AND EVERYBODY WANTS TO MISPRONOUNCE IT. The correct pronunciation of my last name is MAY-NIS not MAN-IS. I’ve had people, and this is the truth, tell me, to my face, that I am not pronouncing my own last name correctly. My father said MAY-NIS. My grandmother said MAY-NIS. My MAY-NIS kinfolk said MAY-NIS. When Moses came down from Mt Sinai, he said, “Hey MAY-NIS, look at these tablets!” Yes, it rhymes with a comical part of the human anatomy. While I’m at it, my first name has four letters: A-L-A-N. Just because there are several ways to spell it, doesn’t mean that when you refer to me you can spell it ANY OLD WAY YOU WANT . I know you had an uncle who spelled it A-L-L-E-N or A-L-L-A-N or A-L-A-I-N. That still does not make my name spelled that way. Don’t make me have to explain this again.

Mad Men Recap

Episode Five, “The Fog”, has Don and Betty visiting Sally’s teacher, Miss Future Hippie, because Sally got into a fight with a fat girl after recess. Betty looks like she is wondering what this has to do with the most important person in the world, herself. Don looks like he is trying to figure out her cup size. Miss Future Hippie puts two and two together when Betty tells her that her father died a week/month/sometime ago (time is not relevant in Bettyland) and comes up that Sally is upset about her grandfather’s death. Miss Future Hippie tries to be a comfort to Betty, but since normal human emotions are foreign to her, Betty goes to the bathroom.

Meanwhile, the New British bosses at Sterling-Cooper are trying to watch that budget and are nickel and diming the boys to death. Don tries to get the Brits to lighten up, but they are immune to his charms.

In seasons past, this would have caused Don to run in to the arms on one of his many trollops, but he goes home this time only to have Miss Future Hippie call. She said she was calling about Sally but I think she was calling about Don. Of course, Betty has to ruin all of Don’s fun by going into labor.

At the hospital, modern viewers were given a peak at what it was like to be born in the 50’s and early 60’s. It involved heavy drugs and Nurse Lisa Simpson. While in the waiting room, Don meets a regular Joe, a prison guard and they bond in a superficial way as only Don Draper can.

At the office, Pete Campbell gets a phone call from someone even more slimier than himself, the comically named Duck Phillips. For some reason, Duck has never really made it big in advertising. Really Duck?! What do you think the problem could be, Duck? How come people do not take you seriously, Duck?

Pete agrees to meet Duck for lunch and who is there? Peggy, his baby’s momma from the first season. Duck wants them both to come work for him at his new agency. Pete walks out, but Peggy stays for lunch, no surprise there.

During her labor, Betty has a series of odd dreams, culminating in a dream about her dad, mom and Medgar Evens. Like most of the things in this show about Betty, it is long and pointless, but it did end with Betty waking up with the baby in her arms. She wants to name him, Gene, after her dad. Don, reverting back to the old Don (Yay!) isn’t too thrilled with this and asks Betty is she knows Miss Future Hippie’s phone number.

Pete, when he is not walking out on lunches, is trying to create a new ad campaign for Admiral and realizes that black people spend money too. This leads Pete to do market research on the only black person he has met-the elevator attendant. Armed with all of this information, he goes in the presentation with the message: sell to black people. This alarms the Admiral people who in turn go to both Sterling and Cooper to complain. Pete gets chewed out by both of them. Shows that’s how messed up the 60’s were: Pete is the only one trying to do the right thing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early Pickings

For the first time in a long time, the Princess Bride and I did not go to a high school football game last Friday night. That did not prevent the mighty Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs from losing to the Etowah (pronounced: “Etter-wah”) Eagles. The Mustangs are now 0-3 since our favorite 6th string wingback BEN MANIS#38 has graduated. Just a coincidence? I might go to the game this Friday night. It has been one of those weeks, but if I do go, I may post about it in the award winning blog, Humor Me.

An early This Week’s Picks.

Bees vs Hurry-canes: Although they have won their first two games, Georgia Tech has not exactly been very impressive. Miami might be on their way back to good times and thuggy-ness. I know rooting for Miami is like rooting for Kayne West to yank a VMA out of Taylor Swift’s hand, but I think Miami will win.

Canine vs Swine: Here’s how bad things are in Arkansas-they think Bobby Petrino is the cat’s meow and not the Chicken Feed he proved he was in Louisville and Atlanta. Here’s how bad things are in Athens, the Dawgs are an underdog to Arkansas. The line is right. Dawgs lose. But the Dawg Message Boards will win with some of the funniest lines ever in the history of the Internet.

Number One vs Whatever Tennessee Is: Florida has played two pick up games while the Vols lost to UCLA last week. I think Pappy Kiffin might be able to figure out a way to slow down Timmah and the Gators. I just don’t think Kid Kiffin will be able to light up Jonathan Crompton enough to beat the Florida defense. As of this writing, the Line has Florida 28 points over Tennessee. Despite all of this, Kid Kiffin’s wife is the hottest in the FBS.

Mooshiners vs Boro of Eagles: Last week, our fears were confirmed when Georgia Southern went to Brookings, South Dakota and got whacked by South Dakota State. The bright lights of Brookings must have gotten to them. The Southern Conference schedule begins with Western Carolina, another “directional” school, so termed by nephew. (The only other directional school Georgia Southern plays all year). Anyway, the Battling Moonshiners come to the big city of Statesboro and will lose to the Eagles.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mad Men Recap

Episode Four, “The Arrangements”, begins with Grandpa Gene, Betty Drapers goofball dad, taking the kids for a drive. However, the person driving was the Draper’s oldest child and bartender, Sally, who is 10 years old, If there is going to be a shocking moment in “Mad Men” most likely it will involve Sally, for someone who is constantly whiny, is also constantly ignored.

Down at the office, Pete Campbell has landed this biggest sucker in the history of business. One of his old college chums wants to take his money and create a Jai Lai League. This is even too dumb for Don, who in the past few episodes has developed something of a conscience and ethics.

Later, it is learned that the director of the Patio ad has dropped out. Don taps Sal to direct. This leads to Sal working late at home with his wife, whom it can be said, “Hubba, Hubba”. A man that wouldn’t find this woman attractive must be….well we found out that answer a couple of weeks ago. To confirm it, Sal recreates the ad for his wife and did everything that except a Paul Lynde imitation.

Meanwhile, Grandpa Gene, when he is not giving driving lessons to Sally, decides to talk to Betty about his burial and his “arrangements”. Betty is her usual glum, narcissistic self. If this was in the late 90’s, she’d dress as a Goth.

Peggy has decided to move into Manhattan to ease her commute time. Two hours a day, sometimes late at night. This has no effect on her mother, who informs Peggy that she’ll get raped if she moves to Manhattan. Nothing like good old encouragement for Ma. But, she’ll keep the TV Peggy bought her.

Back at Casa de Draper, Grandpa Gene is bragging about the Germans he killed and the “clap” he defeated. I think it would have been cool if he had killed “fiddy men” like Cotton Hill. Anyway, he lets Sally eat ice cream before dinner and pays attention to her, which had to be a new to Sally. The only time dear old mom and dad pay attention to her is when she is making a Bloody Mary.

This being “Mad Men” nothing real and normal can last too long. Grandpa Gene dies at the supermarket. Betty’s brother and sister-in-law come down to finalize the burial for Gene. Someone laughs, Sally overhears and freaks out. In her maternal way, Betty tells her to shut up and watch TV. Sally goes and tries to come to terms with death and dying by watching the evening news that features a story of a Buddhist monk sitting himself on fire. Do you see a commune in her future?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Last week, I went to another Marietta High School football game. Or as the P.A. announcer says, “Mayretta Hiskool”. They played Northview Hiskool which is in the ritzy part of Fulton County (yes there is still a ritzy part of Fulton County). Marietta pretty much dominated the game and our friends’ son, a sophomore, got into the game. He played 17 seconds. Oh, it reminded me of a time, not so long ago, waiting, hoping, praying, begging, pleading, pledging money to the booster club, to see if our favorite sixth string wingback, BEN MANIS#38 would get into a game.

But, that it the past and the future is now and now is the time for this week’s picks!

Pooches vs. Cluckers: In the most boring game of football played since men stopped growing handlebar mustaches, South Carolina beat Jonathan Holloway’s North Carolina Wolfpack. Georgia on the other hand, thought that the game against Oklahoma State was going to be only one quarter long. Turns out, they played three more. Postings were posted on the Dawg Nation message boards. A lot of them said bad things about Joe Cox and his momma. That and Coach Richt needs to shorten his quiet time. No matter, I think the Dogs are better that the Chickens, so I’m going with them. Dogs win.

Our Lady vs. Meechigan: Notre Dame is back, so says Lou Holtz. Then again, Lou wants to tell you about the time he dated Amelia Earhart. Meechigan plans to play four hundred students at quarterback. While I’m not thrilled with the Irish, I think Elon could beat Michigan. Notre Dame wins.

Rocky Toppers Vs The Hollywood Bears: Last year, you knew Tennessee was in trouble while you watched this game. I think they’ll give UCLA a run, but I think UCLA will win.

Trojan Men vs. Buckeye Boyz: Both teams have quarterbacks in Pampers. I’m going with USC because of Pete Carroll. USC wins.

Eagles vs. Jackrabbits: Honest, the Georgia Southern Eagles travel to Brookings, South Dakota (“The Home Of Endless Opportunities”) to play South Dakota State. In case you were wondering, they have a Perkins, Burger King, Quiznos, Ram & O’Hares, and a Zesto. The Jackrabbits play at the Cereal Bowl. I am not making that up. I think if Georgia Southern can ignore all of the bright lights of Brookings, they should be able to win this game. GSU wins.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Beatles

Today’s question comes from a 25 year old college graduate who asks, “Am I the only person who thinks The Beatles are slightly over rated?”

Before we beat this individual up, we should consider that this person was born in 1984, at the height of what musical historians call, “a real sucky time in music”. Let’s face it; the 80’s were one big blur of stupid music.

On top of that, this person was born at a time in which adults talked endlessly about “where they were” when something important happened. Usually, it started with discussing “where you were” when you heard JFK got killed and it ended with “where you were” when you first saw The Fonz.

Tucked in between was usually a long conversation about the first time you saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

Here is mine. We didn’t watch Ed Sullivan at my house. It came on at the same time as “Walt Disney” and he usually had a movie about a bear cub or some kids deciding to become pirates. Plus, I’m pretty sure my parents thought there was something medically wrong with Ed Sullivan.

I’m not sure when I become aware of The Beatles, but I can confirm that if you think they make a big deal out of Obama, you have never seen what kind of deal is until you saw the big deal they made out of The Beatles.

I think to understand why The Beatles are important, you really need to look at the evolution of The Beatles and the time it took to go from “Meet The Beatles” (their first album) to “Abbey Road” (their last; “Let It Be” was recorded before “Abbey Road” and released afterwards). The time: six years (1963-1969).

To put it into some sort of perspective, Michael Jackson released “Thriller” in 1982. His follow up “Bad” (aptly named in my opinion) was released in 1987. Two albums in five years.

To go from “Love Me Do”, their first single to their last “The Long and Winding Road” is an incredible achievement both musically and lyrically.

Frankly, I’m not a big fan of “Sgt Peppers”, although I’ve always liked “Lovely Rita, Meter Maid”, and “Penny Lane” is a great song. A lot of their later songs like “I Am The Walrus” sounds like they were on drugs, which, surprise, they were.

John Lennon, to me, was a big gas bag boor. In “Let It Be” (the movie) you can see how George Harrison got tired of Paul McCartney and his bossy boots ways. Can I get a witness in saying that Billy Preston be considered the fifth Beatle?

Despite all of that, you cannot over-estimate The Beatles. Paul McCartney was 23 when he wrote these words:

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far way
  now it looks as though they’re here to stay.

The Beatles over rated? Well, George Harrison said of Elvis, “When he was great, he was really great”. The same can be said of The Beatles.

By the way, I own only one Beatles album.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mad Men Recap

It is late to start a weekly recap of "Mad Men", but this is just as good as time to start because you are always kind of lost with "Mad Men". Not "Twin Peaks" or "Lost" kind of lost, but still, a little lost just the same.

If you want to know more about "Mad Men", here's a link to the Wikipedia page.


Last week's episode, “My Old Kentucky Home" features three things we got real tired of in the 60’s. Petty theft, pot parties, and the accordion.

Sterling-Cooper is working on the Patio soda account, which I guess is small enough for the home office (which last week nixed The Madison Square Garden account) in England, which fortunately wasn’t in this episode. Roger Sterling and his new trophy wife are giving a Kentucky Derby party at his estate in Long Island and the copy writers are not invited. This was okay with them. It meant they could actually begin the 60’s by smoking dope for inspiration. It turns out dope was one of the most over-rated things about 60’s besides Hubert Humphrey. This had to be one of the most boring pot parties in the history of drugs. The copywriters, led by Peggy, mainly sat around and ate.

Before the Drapers could go to Roger’s party, the Drapers had the great $5 missing mystery. Last week, Don, in an unusual fit of humanity, took in Betty’s daft Father, who ranges from being totally out of it to being sort of out of it. Now there is somebody new in the house Betty can despise seeing that she hates Don and the kids. Speaking of the kids: Sally, who mixes a mean martini, took $5.00 from Grandpa, who like all old people, immediately realizes it was missing. Of course, he blamed the African-American maid.

When Don and Betty get to the party, the first thing they see is Roger in blackface singing “My Old Kentucky Home”. This disgusts Don because although he assumes a dead man identity and cheats on his wife, at least he is not a racist. The party drags on and on is only saved by the dancing of Pete and Trudy Campbell, who for once in the show are not whining about everything. That goes to show you what a boring party this one was.

Let’s see, Betty gets her pregnant belly touch by one of Gov Rockefeller’s men. Over the past three seasons, people just want to touch Betty. Why? Who knows? The woman is as dull as dirt and dumb as a door. Roger’s trophy wife (who used to be Don’s secretary and one of the ten women in New York state not to sleep with Don) gets drunk and says something about the Draper’s separation in season two. Don and Roger have words.

There was another party. Joan and her wacko doctor husband held a party at their apartment for his doctor friends. Turns out Joan’s husband probably won’t make mega bucks by ’65 and he had a patient who died due to his malpractice. This party made Roger’s party seem like Mardi Gras. It ended with Joan playing the accordion. The Beatles can’t get here soon enough.