Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tattoo U

"Theee" Ohio State football team is in hot water for seemingly only wanting to protect their inVESTmets. Some of the boys were caught selling athletic merchandise in exchange for some new ink. They have been suspended for 5 year! What a steep price they are paying as the the NCAA and the Big Ten sure cannot be thinkng of the shit load of cash they'd miss out on from Sugar Bowl and BCS and television obligations. I think an SMU-style inVESTigation is in order. What a slap in the face to all those student athletes who do it right. Suspending the big fish(star QB Terrelle Pryor) 8 months from now, when he will be playing on Sundays. What a disgrace. BCS...when the hell are they going to take that "C" out of there and call them out for the Bull Shit they are?

"Did not receive adequate rules education". That is the reason they WILL be allowed to play Arkansas in Katrina Country. What they are saying that somewhere between Basket Weaving 101 and The History of Table Manners in Modern Civilization, these fellas did not know that what they were doing, was wrong. But they will learn it by spring practices. But they gotta be suspended, so lets do it for Marshall and Troy State in 2011. Not the $15 million dollar Sugar Bowl. Nokia? Think thats it. Whats Nokia getting for that sponsorship? They are going to wanna see the best players battle it out, in what I actually believe will be a great football game, with America watching. But lets not pay the players.

Now I am a Miami fan and I know we haven't exactly been producing chioir boys  down in Coral Gables, but we went through our shit some years back and now are a model program. I am still a little bitter about that bullshit pass interference on 4th down that robbed us of back to back titles, (and an even half dozen over 20 seasons in the desert that night in very early 2003). Arizona has not been kind to the Canes. Vinny and Penn State. A game against Arizona in the 1994 Fiesta where the Ryan Collins led air attack could not even pass the fucking 50. 29-0 I think. Teddy Bruschi was an animal that day. And the Tressel-led heist that snapped our 34 game win streak, good enough for 5th longest ever, so I may be a touch biased toward the boys from Columbus.

We'll see what happens. What a shame. I loved college football not too long ago. Too many Bowls now. Think that they are going to have Pack-a Bowl next year in San Fran. Play it at PAC BELL or whatever the hell its called now. Everybody get stoned and come out for Garlic Fries and Exploding Popcorn Makers, for a price.

In this case, the Buckeyes dodged a huge bullet. But this school just got over that Maurice Clarrett mess and now this. Where the smoke is, so to speak, there is fire. People always were just waiting for those "Miami Thugs" to start getting that program in hot water. It came. Jimmy Johnson was better at covering that shit up than Coach Erickson or Coach Davis and even Coach Coker were. Don't be too suprised to see Coach Tressel going to the Bengals and pulling off a Pete Carrol and establishing safe haven in the pros. The NFL is like a witness protection program for coaches and the Marvin Lewis thing is not working for the Brown family in the Queen City. Thus the VEST may roll up his half sleeves and go to work for the worst organization in all of sports. Going from Ohio State to the Bengals is like going from a Rolls Royce to a wheelchair. But he can hide and who knows(someone has to fix that mess) become a decent pro coach. Great fan base and they are loud and are close to being good. So its a good fit. The big problem is the frugal ownership and the players making WAY more than Jim Tressel. The ego in sports is off the charts and this may be a tough pill to swallow, but it is potentially an epic challenge. And I think Tressel is one of the best out there and is a "Son of the State" in Ohio. He has a chance to become the biggest thing out of Cincinnati since "Family Ties" and what that crafty Alex P. Keaton had up his Republican sleeve next.

So thats my take for now. Lot of sleeve talk. Vests and sleeves. Slow time in baseball. Yanks are quiet. Which I like. No ink for the Bombers. Its all being used up right now in a Tattoo Parlor on "theee" campus of the Ohio State Buckeyes that the Coach, President, and AD knew nothing about. Trust me these guys all knew what the hell was going on. And in that cold public eye they have been branded as cheats, and this eye does not blink. If you blink you'll miss the ink. Roll up your sleeves Buckeyes and show us those damaging artistic displays.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Shan Job

Sign a guy to a 5 yr/$78 mill deal a few hours after benching him on the final drive of a game in Motown. Now demote him to third string behind John Beck and new starter Rex Grossman. Toss in an announcement that you have basically benched the QB for the rest of the season to "evaluate" what you have for the future. Mix it all up in a nice sized football crazy town that is D.C. and guess what you get? A bright future of the best parking spots in town. Not because you are the coach of the 'Skins and that is deemed as a communtity perk. But because your mental-breakdown has rendered you "clinically unable to perform" and cast aside with the other trainables of society. And I as a Giant fan just sit back and thank God that Dan Snyder got into the NFL. And lets not overlook the Albert Haynesworth disaster. Somewhere Sean Taylor is thinking to himself that he was lucky to get out with less pain. Talk about a train-wreck.

Having no clue how to delegate football authority, Snyder is what Steinbrenner was doing to the Yankees of the 80's. Gotta get the hell out of the way. Best organizatons in NFL almost always have a solid trait in common: quiet ownership who have their GMs run the team. Quick fix signings and trophy hasbeens are a nice combo if you enjoy playing golf on the first Sundays of January.

I know the NFL's parody can turn you around quick, and I've probably jinxed the G-Men for the 'Skins game on the 26th ,  but thought it has to be said. The more Mike Shanahan has been coaching, the greater John Elway looks. Shanahan should go coach in college and take his son Kyle(off. coord.) with him. How does Snyder name a coach who "names" his son the Off. Coord.? Billion dollar team being run by the guy who brings his kid to work. Thats like having a waitress at a Five Star resturant be allowed to keep her baby in the kitchen while she works. Doesn't look right. Let football minds your team.

Let the Bill Parcells rumors begin.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nighmare at the Flemington Fair

This is a true story. Kick back and relax for this one. I feel like a witness to the Hindenberg telling this. And by the time you finish reading this, you will know the horror and utter chaos of Saturday, August 3, 1985, my sister Geri's 12th birthday.(Goddamn you're getting old)

I was 9. My brother Frank was 6.
Best friends with the Figa Kids: Vicky, John, and Kevin.

Before we went to the Fair, all of us kids were at our house on Garrett Drive. We spent the whole day playing ball or tag or freeze tag or even ghost in the graveyard, all of it. At around 5:00 I believe we were all ready to go. It was only a few miles away and we were excited over the impending, all out euphoia that lies ahead of us.

We grew up next door to the Zender family. Very nice people and great neighbors. Carolyn was the oldest of 2. She was my age. Born,I think, a day and a year after me. Of course she was invited to go because she was all of ours' friend. Upon her arrival (around 5:15) my mother offered Carolyn a hot dog or a hamburger that she could throw on the grill. Carolyn said "no thanks"because she had spent the afternoon at her grandparents and had eaten Two BLTs. So with that we jumped into my mother's 1982 Ford Escort and off to the Fairgrounds we went.

Does anyone recall the size of Escorts? Tiny ass car. But we all fit comfortably in that car. The car was tiny but so were we.It was my mother driving, 5 kids in the back, and me in the front seat with my brother on my lap. Talk about illegal...but we never got hurt because our parents had good sense. And seat belts? You crazy? I think we used to scrunch them under the seats so we can fit more people in the car.

Anyway, back to the story. We arrive at the Fair on a perfect, warm summer night. We got our wristbands and were conveening on which ride to pop our excited cherries on. First, it was the "Haunted House". We all went in there and got the shit scared out of us. When we were done with that,everyone agreed that the "Swings" be next. Even today I would go on the "Swings" and I am 34. It was a high and quick ride. It stretched out and above a good piece of Rte 31 and would just go round and around again. So we all go on this one together and when it is done we really start getting fired up about which ride to attack next.

Carolyn had gotten off the "Swings" and was a little dizzy looking. My mom asked if perhaps she wanted to take a few minutes and not go on any rides for a bit and just walk around with her. Well, Carolyn-being the 8 year old trooper that she was-knew it wasn't going to be any fun walking with a mom and all the rest of us having a freakin' blast. So she said "no, I think I am okay". Think you might know where this is heading.

I believe it was Vicky or John that suggested that we all go on "Tilt-A-Whirl". Everyone has been on this and if you haven't, I feel sorry for you, but I'll quickly fill you in. Its a ride where you basically are spinning real quick and are being tugged and jerked around. Heavy "G Force" especally for little kids. In fact we were all so little, that all 7 of us got in the same cart. So we get on. I sat all the way to the left. My brother Frank next to me, and Carolyn right in the fucking middle. We probably weren't even through the first whirl, maybe 3 or 4 seconds into a solid 90 second ride, when the predictable happened. The first "tilt" and Carolyn "hurled". And I mean violently spraying everywhere. It was like David Ortiz hitting a pinata at a 6 year olds' birthday party(the explosion). Out of her nose, her mouth. Eveywhere. Helplessly we all start screaming at the guy running the ride to "STOP THE RIDE". I'll never forget that carnie's face with a smirk on it and him just shrugging his tattooed shoulders as if to say, "I can't, sorry kids but you are screwed". We all hysterically were just screaming, crying, pleading for God almighty to bring this ride to an end.Its weird because I remember looking at the faces of the people that were on line to go next and they had this look of absolute terror on them. At least I thought so. It was hard to tell with all that goddamn spinning going on. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the ride came to merciful stop. The shock,  the trauma, the unthinkable disaster, was over.

I'll never forget the look on my mother's face when she sees 7 kids covered in puke and crying their collective eyes out, walking towards her. She had no idea what to do with us. I mean we would just look at each other and instantaneously throw up almost on cue. That girl was only 8, but those BLTs she ate covered us in so much bread puke that it looked like we just climbed out of a tunnel of quicksand. I'll never forget that she had a half a tomato dangling from her shoulder. She was wearing an all turquoise suit. So that color jumpsuit supplied a decent contrasting back drop to the utter chaos in the forefront. Monet would have been proud, but my mom wasn't really looking at the artistic angle of this mess.

To her great credit, my mom got us all calm. There was no doubt that this fateful birthday party was over and we had to go home. But before we could, what were we going to do to clean off?

Now everyone knows that the 4H always had and still has a legacy at the Fair. And thankfully they were all out in full throttle that day. Animals everywhere. My mother ushered us all over to the sheep section and asked a man to borrow the hose he had attached to a generator. He took one look at all of us and rushed over to help us. He handed the hose to my mother and she went to town rinsing us off. So there we were, getting hosed off in front of the sheep tent at the 4H section of the Flemington Fairgrounds. Imagine Florence Henderson hosing off a puke-ridden pack of Brady Kids. Sort of like that. Now it was time for us to go home.

The seating arrangements were a little difficult because no one wanted to sit next to Carolyn  in case "Old Faithful" erupted again, due to the motion-sickness element of the car ride home. So as I recall she sat in the back-left window seat. My brother was on my lap, but now I was on my sister's lap in the front seat. My mom was driving of course, and the Figa Clan were in the back where they too improvised. Vicky had Kevin on her lap way over to the right side, right up against the window. I think their faces still have press marks from the window. And John braved the uncertain elements and sat bitch. Right in the middle. Right next to Mt. St. Helens.

We all arrived home without further incident. Carolyn ran next door all embarassed. Poor girl, she was very nice and a great neighbor with a great family, but we were glad to see her go because we all felt she ruined the party. Anyway, my mom made more stuff on the grill and we were all changed and clean. We were going to watch a movie and eat some popcorn before my father came home, than sing and have cake and ice cream.

At around 10:00 we were watching Goonies(I think) on our brand new "Beta Max" VCR, when the doorbell rang. My brother ran to answer the door assuming it was our father coming home when he yelled out, "Its Carolyn!" I recall a bunch of us making fake throw up noises at this announcement. Anyway she came in with a present for my sister. We ended up having a great time and I think the next day we all played kickball next door at Carolyn's. Everything turned out fine.

This story took place over 25 years ago.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Favre's Last Stand? God I Hope So...

Have you had enough? I know I have. Wrangler commercials and a daily ass-kissing fest on ESPN. All-time great QB nearing the end and my boys, "The G-Men", are going to end this prima donna's career again. Remember Corey Webster (Giants CB) caught Brett's last Packer pass. "Mr.Lambeau" was not "cold" like they were saying, he was getting beat up by an underrated Giants D. Same D that knocked Brady all over that desert in Glendale to snag our 3rd Lombardi Trophy.

Retire? Don't know yet? Favre is starting to look every bit the grandfather he is. One too many seasons. Great season last year was trumped by a patented late INT in New Orleans. Should have hung em up. Vindicated his shitty stint with that- green team that just can't seem to build their own goddamn stadium- Jets. But he couldn't stay away. Perhaps his family drives him so nuts that he'd rather go out on Sundays and get beat to a pulp than go fishing with "junior". Maybe he has a backyard football game in a pair of rugged Wrangler Jeans while stepping out of a pickup. You've made your dough. Just relax and enjoy doing nothing. And if the family drives you crazy, just take a few mill and go live on an island. You can do "Red Stripe Beer" ads. Hoooorraaaaay beer! And play football on the beach in Wrangler's new 'rugged white sand look'. Favre has been getting beat up and disrespected in the press by the same people who used to say hello to him already on their knees. And this shit with the Jet girl picture? Thats bull. Women reporters should be nowhere near a football field if they can't take a little whistling and flexing. Just ask Clinton Portis if you don't believe me. The Abe Lincoln of the NFL. Honesty makes him one of best interviews in sports. "It they dogs": classic Portis quote about the Vick thing.

Now on a serious note, as a Giant fan, this game tomorrow scares the hell out of me. We cannot beat the Vikings. Always had trouble with them. And this recent dominance has all been seen through by Leslie Fraizer. All of a sudden Minnesota is playing great and they are a 'home-dome dog'. Eli plays great indoors and I feel a shootout coming. Peterson is gonna go off. Giants always lay a defensive egg when they play the best running backs in the league. He'll go for well over a 100 tomorrow. And I think Elijah is gonna pass for 3 bills. Vikings secondary is terrible. Vikings' DBs couldn't cover a bald spot. Game to me is really a toss up, but high scoring one. I think we see Tavaris in the 2nd half as the Giants D will make it an even half-dozen Qbs that they'll have had KO'd this year. JPP is looking like a young Strahan with his speed.

The Giants plane had to land today in KC because of the weather in Minnesota. Wonder if that effects anything? Perhaps tomorrow the Giants will get down early, even by double digits but then they will wake up. And when that D wakes up, thats when we will see the last of Favre on the field. Those boys are gonna come out a little cranky tomorrow because of poor sleep and a brutal flight. So here is my pick. I never play the Giants on a bet because of pessimistic nature and don't wanna be doubly pissed off if they lost a game and I lost a few hundred bucks.
                1     2    3   4     Final
NY GIANTS       3    10   14  14       41          
MINNESOTA      14     7    7   6       34  
Just a hunch. Don't put any of the kids' trust funds on my pick. I never bet on my team. No idea what the line is. May change because travel mishaps. Was Giants laying 3. Home Dome Dog. That stat doesn't mean that much anymore.  If the line stays the way it is-then lay those magic bones down. Personally I think a lot of "out of towners" influenced this game so FOX can have its coverage all over any "Favre Developements", and that huge and isolated NYC viewing market almost condemns this game to be entertaining. This will be one of those bend but don't break kind of days for the D. They may score, but they are going to get punished by a top-ranked defense who hit awfully hard.

Perry Fewell has proven to be the right man for this job as defensive coordinator, and this was another stellar move by Jerry Reese. Fewell reminds me of John Fox with his revolving defensive line. And Fox was a good one. But I think the "out of towners" who made this line (- 3) and are begging you to take the Giants. They may have this one pegged, so stay clear of this game if you plan on making a wager. Thats my advice.

Now as a fan I say LETS GO BLUE
Just win anyway possible. Get the fucking "W". Put pressure on Philly and Don King...ooops I mean Mike Vick. He went to jail 'Michael' Vick and came out 'Mike' Vick. He was sentenced to do time and took some letters out of his name. But we drew the blue print on how to stop him. And we will beat the Eagles on the 19th. Giants are legit contenders but they gotta finish the season strong. Not like last year when they quit. How great would it be to win the Super Bowl in Dallas? Nice feather in the fedora.
So there you have it...And remember God created Monday Night Football so you can get back the cash you lost on Sunday.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself

I am a sports nut. When it comes to my teams, I take this stuff seriously and therefore am very qualified to have this avenue to display my oration. Also allows me to persue entertainment and satisfy a conscience. I enjoy sports immensely, and more importantly thrive in any conversation having to do with any athletic knowledge.

This name "Two Point Tony" was born in the legendary playgrounds around the greater Hunterdon County area. A place called Lenape Park, nestled down Sergentsville Road, right off the Route 12 circle. A bunch of us were playing some hoops outside on a warm night. We split into teams. I was playing with some of my friends that were there, in particularly the dudes from Knuckle Sandwich and their posse. Knuckle Sandwich are a great group of guys, a local legendary ensemble, and pretty damn good balllers. I would just sit back and drain deep threes all day. But we always played one point or two point. Two point obviously being behind the arc. So I would hammer down a decent amount and they all started calling me "Two Point" Tony.

It's funny because I happen to be donning a recently found Knuckle Sandiwh tshirt that I have been reunited with while starting my blog. You see my recent streak of sobriety is allowing me to fit back into some of my "threads of yore." And that shirt fits me great again. So anyway, that's the legend of "Two Point" Tony. And those of you who remember playing against me are all witnesses. Kinda like LeBron. Only wouldn't have teased New York last summer. He should have wanted to "take his talents" to the Mecca of not only the world, but of course the sports world that being NYC. If you win a handful of titles in Miami you would be an alltime great player, but if you did it on Broadway just once, you would become an Immortal. Kinda like Messier. Messier hasn't had to pay for a drink in New York in 16 years. LeBron missed his chance to grace the Mount Rushmore of New York Sports Legends. What a shame.