Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Da Bears (Skins)

"We want Billy" and "We want Sonny" were the bumper stickers I would see in the DC area. That's because we had two excellent quarterbacks in Billy Kilmer and Sonny Jurgensen. I just loved Redskins football. I recall back when we were terrible but it was still fun. But then coach George Allen arrived. The Skins started to win.
When I moved to Chicago in the late 80s, I missed my hometown. So it made me feel really good when the Skins came out here and hammered the arrogant Bears of Chicago in the playoffs. Bears fans love that great Super Bowl team of 85 but my team has Super Bowl titles in 1983, 1988 and 1993. And all we say is "Hail to the Redskins."
Well, the Skins came out here last Sunday and Brady and I went. We took the Metra train to the city and hopped on bus to Soldier Field. Our overpriced tickets were on the 10-yard line in the top deck but we could see everything. It was a dreadful game. Both teams stunk. The Skins did win but I took very little joy out of it. What's interesting is during those commercial breaks on TV, the players just stand around looking at each other. Unlike baseball where they toss the ball around the infield, they do nothing. Riley and I have tickets in early December when the Patriots come out here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goodwill Hunting

Goodwill Stores? Dirty words in my world back when I was a kid. My mom loved to shop at the Goodwill. So as I grew older and wiser, I would use this as a blackmail ploy. "If you don't give me what I want, I will tell everyone that you shop at the Goodwill."
Oh, gosh, not the Goodwill. It was filthy. Full of dead folks clothes for poor people to try on. I doubt they even washed that stuff. I stayed away.
Evidently, it skipped a generation. That's my boy, Riley, up there with his hand designed Goodwill poster in his room. We have such a store walking distance. Now, off the record, I did purchase two chairs for my shrine from Goodwill. But I'm sure they cleaned them up before letting me take them.
Riley and my Mom love to go shopping together as this store is full of cheap items. He would never use his favorite store in a blackmail scheme. It wouldn't even cross his mind. In fact, he wants a gift card from this establishment for Christmas. Times have changed that's for sure.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On kiddie football

Been through the wars of kiddie football. From the excitement of seeing your kid catch a touchdown pass to the tears and comments that this team is no good and your boy wants to quit.
Concussions have been in the news lately. I asked a doctor a few weeks ago if they should warn parents about the dangers of football and concussions. He whispered something to the effect that doctors could wreck football with such an order.
Our experiences have been mixed. I'm not one to paint my windows with Flames colors and slogans and ring bells for the stinking team. I will cheer when appropriate and stay away from negative stuff. This year has been tough. I actually wrote an email to the coaches (no reply) in which I stated my wonderful boy (yeah, right) has been misused and should be a star. The team mom replied that everyone has been writing the coaches complaining. And then a parent stopped by and said he heard there was a mutiny on our team.
I get it. It's not the sport where everyone gets to be a star. Sometimes, you just have to block for the other guys.
But how fun is it to just root that your kid doesn't get hurt?
Is is right to make young kids practice three days a week during school?
I think I will stick with baseball. Everyone can be a star.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The day the music died

My older brother bought a single of "Winchester Cathedral." We had a record player in Virginia and I ended up playing that 45 all hours of the day. It was my introduction to modern music. Of course the tunes of the sixties were great with the Beatles, the Who and the Stones. When the 70s kicked in, I was hooked for life. The Eagles were my favorite followed by the Marshall Tucker Band, Poco, Grateful Dead and Nils Lofgren.
When I moved into a dorm at the University of Maryland, I put my Panasonic speakers in the window and blasted Jay and the Americans singing "Cara Mia". I'm sure that went over big. As time went on, I moved the speakers to the hallway and hammered out "Carry on My Wayward Son, by Kansas.
Ah, the amazing obscure 80s. So many terrific bands inspired by that great DC station WHFS. I went to so many concerts like Rank and File, the Long Ryders, the Bongos, The Slickee Boys, Stranglers, Three O'Clock, Wall of Voodoo, Smithereens, Talk, Talk, Richard Lloyd, the Rivits, New Musik, the Neats, Magazine, the Lucy Show and on and on and on.
It was incredible. And then I moved to Chicago only to see the music die out. I even called a local radio station to find out what happened. One blogger told me I got old. Heck, the music of the 90s was dreadful. Grunge? Crap!
I lost track of the 2000s since I was still stuck in the 80s. And that's totally fine with me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

H-Man sighting in Chicago

Now I don't mean to scare all those eligible ladies out there but H-Man does have a girlfriend. Her name is Cynthia. She is a former American Airlines flight attendant who is keeping H-Man company in DC. The most striking thing he told me about her is the number of funerals she attended after the attacks of 9-11. We forget about all those flight attendants who were murdered that day and the friends they left behind. Anyway, H-Man had another trip to Chicago last week for a meeting with his fellow dentists. We seem to have our watches in sync as I always pick him up at Ohare. We time it almost perfectly for when he picks up his bag, I am just pulling it in. He was laughing when he spotted my No. 1 Orioles fan license plate on my old Camry. I took him downtown where he checked into his hotel. We had a meal and some drinks and talked until after midnight. It did take me about three bars to find a decent beer. Yes, I had to blast my IPOD on the way home to keep me awake. It's fun knowing the H-Man will be visiting Chicago a few times a year.