Monday, November 30, 2009

Weis Out

Charlie Weis was fired as Notre Dame coach this afternoon. No surprise.

Apparently no decision has been made as far as whether Notre Dame will accept a bowl bid. AD Jack Swarbrick asked the players if they wanted to play in one, and should they accept, ND will have an interim head coach for that.

Roll out the usual suspects as far as who will be the next ND head coach. Let's hope this is a more inspired choice.

Memorable Movie Lines on Tuesday

This Tuesday night, we'll be doing a round of "Movie Lines Trivia" as the Special Category. It won't be an audio round, but I will give you a famous line from a well-known movie and you will tell me not only the film it came from but the actor who famously uttered that line. This round will be worth double points, as you'll get a point for each one you get right.

The Q Train lightning round will be another round of "All or Nothing Trivia." I will ask you ten relatively basic questions, and if you get all ten right, you get five points. However, if you get just one wrong, you get no points. We did it for the first time a few weeks back, and it went pretty well.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
Which character from "Peanuts" famously played the piano?

We'll get rolling at 9 PM tomorrow. As the holiday season gets underway, we will be doing some trivia to mark the occasion in the upcoming weeks. I hope you can make it out on Tuesday night.

Kicking Backsides and Taking Handles

Just when you thought Brett Favre's incredible first season in Minnesota couldn't get any better, it does.

The Vikings took the Chicago Bears out to the woodshed on Sunday afternoon at the Metrodome and simply stomped all over the one time Monsters of the Midway with an overwhelming 36-10 win.

The Vikes are 10-1, 5-0 inside the NFC North, and Favre once again had another banner afternoon among the Minnesota faithful. Favre threw three more touchdowns, and threw for 392 yards, which was just 10 yards off his all-time high. It was the fourth highest total of his fames career.

The Vikings had a whopping 537 yards of total offense, and the defense held Chicago to just two yards of total offense in the second half. They intercepted Jay Cutler twice. It was scoreless into the second quarter, but the Vikes rolled up 24 points to take a 24-7 lead into the half.

Favre spread around the love, and five Vikings had at least five catches: Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Chester Taylor, Bernard Berrian, and Visanthe Shiancoe. That's the first time in Vikings history that that has happened. Harvin, Shiancoe and Berrian caught the TD passes. Favre also tied the legendary Jim Marshall's record of 282 consecutive games played by a non-kicker.

Adrian Peterson scored the last TD to ice the game in the fourth quarter. He rushed for 85 yards, but he also fumbled twice. One was lost early in the game, and the other was reversed when the Vikings challenged it. Peterson has now fumbled 7 times this season, and 15 over the past two seasons, the most by any running back.

The loss finishes the Bears, who are now 4-7. The Vikings still lead the NFC North by 3 games, as Green Bay won on Thanksgiving Day. It was another well-rounded day for the Vikings, who face Arizona in Phoenix next Sunday night.

The more I see this team, and how easily they are making it look, it reminds me so much of the 1998 Vikings, who set the scoring record and went 15-1. They won't score more points than that team, but this team is just as good as they were. I certainly hope the end turns out better for the 2009 squad than the way that year concluded 11 years ago.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Eight Years Ago Today

We still miss you, George.

Going, Going...

Gone, goodbye, as immortal Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner used for his home run call.

The same can apply to Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis this morning.

Stanford drove the nail into Weis' head coaching coffin last night with a 45-38 win. (I missed most of it, as I had the pleasure of seeing Jimmy Scott perform at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan last night. Mr. Scott was in fine voice, despite being confined to a wheelchair. I got to meet him after the show, as my buddy Alex plays piano in his backing band. Jimmy's quite a gentleman, too.)

A season with such promise wound up falling completely apart. This was a team that many felt had a legitimate shot at winning 10 games. Notre Dame wound up losing the last four, two to clearly inferior teams that took it to them and also beat the Irish at home.

There's no sense sugarcoating this. The defense was awful, as last night's fourth quarter showed. Toby Gerhart ran right through them, and it's the main reason why this season fell apart at the seams. Jimmy Clausen had a Heisman-worthy season, and Golden Tate is a surefire first round NFL pick. Both had monster games last night, as Clausen threw 5 TDs, three of which went to Tate, who caught 10 passes. (That sums up ND's season in a nutshell: great offense, zero defense.) And now the question for both of them is whether one or the other will come out and be eligible for the NFL draft. Both have one more year of eligibilty left.

Notre Dame finishes at 6-6, and I would bet they won't accept any bowl bids. For the third straight year, Notre Dame has lost six games, the longest streak in school history. And all six losses have been by seven points or less, which again sums it up. ND can score points, but they can't keep the opposition from doing the same.

Charlie Weis had his chance, and now it's over. His winning percentage is worse than his two predecessors, Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham. He has six years left on his contract, and ND has no choice but to buy him out and search for another head coach. Weis impresses me as the type of coach who is better suited to an offensive coordinator's role. There are just some guys who are better off doing that than trying to run the whole show.

Time for a massive change, and that is coming very shortly. It just a matter of when AD Jack Swarbrick pulls the plug.

So long Charlie. Hope you enjoy the golden parachute that headed your way.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kevin Kernan: Overrated Sportswriter

Sportswriters are idiots.

I know that's a news flash to most of you, but as time goes on, I consider most of those who write sports stories for newspapers in the same league as lawyers and politicians as far as the respect scale goes. And I've considered most of them frustrated former wannabe athletes who are jealous of the money current athletes make and write dumb stuff to either make a name for themselves (see Shaughnessy, Dan) or because they just have a hidden agenda.

Just my opinion.

Today I see more palaver in the newspaper, courtesy of my friend Lisa at Subway Squawkers. (She brought it to my attention.) This one is from Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, who lists his 10 "Most Overrated Teams" and naturally being a New York sportswriter, puts the Red Sox on it. (It's also that time of year when writers like him can't write anything else, so they come up with BS columns like this.) But this guy's logic is so faulty as to be beyond belief.

Get this from his blog:
They have only two championships over the last billion years, and both came with Manny on the team. They’ve gone nowhere since he left, yet through the ages, trillions of books and postings and articles and twitters and Bill James' ravings have been written about the brilliance of the Red Sox. It was a beefed up Manny that made the difference for that team that finally enabled them to win some championships. Without Manny they would have missed out.

You've got me as to what this guy is using for brains. The Sox had to divest themselves of Ramirez, for upteen reasons I won't go into here. (And just about everyone has heard them about a million times.) And can I correct you on one of your facts, pal? The Sox have won SEVEN championships in their history, not two. Kernan's another who probably feels the first five the Red Sox won somehow don't count, because they were won before the Yankees won their first in 1923.

And what's this "they've gone nowhere since he left" BS? I guess making to Game 7 of the ALCS in 2008 with an injured ace and three injured regulars counts for nothing, right? The fact Ramirez was gone killed them that year, right? (The Red Sox had the second best record in baseball after August 1st in 2008.) And I guess Jason Bay made no contribution to them getting to the ALCS, right? And a 95-win season in 2009 and another playoff berth means nothing also? Nice of Kernan also to disrespect Theo Epstein and the terrific job he's done putting a yearly competitive team on the field. (Hey, some years you win it all and some you don't. I don't consider a year without a World Series win a lost year. Winning two championships in four years is pretty damn good, no matter how it's done.)

Kernan hints of Manny's steroid use ("beefed up"), but he doesn't come right out and say it. I just don't get this "the Red Sox would have been nowhere without him" logic. They wouldn't have won the Series without Josh Beckett in 2007, or David Ortiz in 2004. The Yankees wouldn't have won the World Series in 2009 without Mariano Rivera, so what's the point in singling Ramirez out? You could do that with so many players on championship teams.

So in short: Kernan says the Red Sox are overrated because they've only won two championships this decade, and haven't won another in two years because Manny Ramirez was traded, conveniently leaving out he acted like a complete ass, made a complete disgrace of himself and forced his way out of town.

And this guy actually gets paid by someone to write such idiotic nonsense like this.

Sounds like Kernan is trying to get some "Curse of Manny Ramirez" thing going. This guy's just another reason why I don't read the New York papers any more. The majority of writers for these papers write stuff that belongs only in my cat's litter box.

And thanks to my friend Lisa for sucking it up and giving the Red Sox a little love on her blog today.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Means Traditions

I want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and that all of you enjoy the day with lots of turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

For me, it's always been a day of traditions. Lots of football, from Detroit and Dallas, the parade in Manhattan, where the Christmas season officially begins when Santa Claus comes riding down at the end. (Good luck to my friend John Pizzarelli, who is on a float in the parade this year.) And two others, that are both special to me:

Thankfully, ABC is broadcasting this wonderful special, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," tonight at 8.

And at noon on Q104.3 FM here in New York, Arlo Guthrie sings about the "Massacre":

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Arlo at Alice's Restaurant, or the Peanuts gang.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Especially those who put their lives on the line every day to make sure we live in freedom. God bless you all. And thanks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Never Too Early to Look Forward to Spring

The 2010 Red Sox Spring Training schedule is now out, and the Sox open it on March 3rd with the traditional opening day doubleheader with Northeastern (in the afternoon) and Boston College (at night). And the MLB portion of it opens the next day with their Ft. Myers rivals, the Minnesota Twins.

Interestingly enough, there are no games in March with the Yankees. They will play the Tampa Bay Rays five times, however. The Red Sox play the Mets twice, in Port St. Lucie on March 11th, and then will bust out the green uniforms against them on March 17th in Ft. Myers for St. Patrick's Day (pictured).

The Red Sox close the spring against the Washington Nationals on April 2nd, and then will travel up to Washington to play them the next afternoon. They then open the regular season on April 5th against New York at Fenway.

With thanks to my friend Jere for bringing this to my attention.

Trivia Q&A: November 24

We had 18 teams in for Trivia Night on Tuesday. It being just two days before Thanksgiving, it was hard to tell ahead of time how big the crowd might be, but it was gratifying to see many of the regulars in before the long holiday weekend began.

We had some strong numbers for The Q Train and General Knowledge, as that was not unexpected. (I tossed out the "Cairo, Egypt" question in True or False Trivia, as it was pointed out to me that a university in Morocco has given out diplomas longer than any other college.) But then IQ Trivia may have been the toughest round I have ever done in that category's history. Exactly half the teams, nine in all, got none of the five correct. I honestly thought a couple of the questions would be answered correctly by most of the teams. But only one team got as many as four right, and only two others got two right. (I promise next week's IQ Trivia won't be as hard.)

One of three teams that got two right, The Stepfathers (Because We Beat You and You Hate Us), managed to go from second place into first and the win with their success in that round. They are also won recently, so congratulations on their win, which wound up being a seven-point one.

Current Events
1. Edward Woodward, a British actor best known to the US for this late 1980s TV series that had a devoted cult following, died last week at age 79.
2. A former smoker won a $300 million verdict against this company last Friday in Florida in what is the largest award ever among the thousands of lawsuits brought in such cases.
3. For the second time this decade, this Hollywood star won People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" title last week.
4. A US district court last week found this group negligent in maintaining the New Orleans levees that contributed to the massive flooding during Hurrican Katrina in 2005.
5. French soccer player Thierry Henry handled a ball in the penalty area against this country in a World Cup qualifier last week that led to a tying goal and France qualifying and the other nation not, and FIFA ruled a replay of the match would not happen.
6. 70 students at the University of California Santa Cruz ended an occupation of an administration building they held for three days on Sunday peacefully, as they were protesting for this reason.
7. This singer was named Artist of the Year on Sunday night at the American Music Awards, and it was won of four awards she won on the night.

Answers: 1. "The Equalizer;" 2. Philip Morris; 3. Johnny Depp; 4. US Army Corps of Engineers; 5. Ireland; 6. tuition increases; 7. Taylor Swift.

Turkey Trivia
1. What continent did turkeys originally come from? a. Europe; b. South America; c. Asia; d. Australia.
2. What month is National Turkey Lover's Month? a. January; b. April; c. June; d. November.
3. What American statesman wanted the turkey to be the national symbol of the US? a. George Washington; b. Thomas Jefferson; c. Alexander Hamilton; d. Benjamin Franklin.
4. Yes or no: Can wild turkeys fly?
5. What do you call a baby turkey? a. poult; b. chick; c. turklet; d. giblet.
6. What country consumes the most turkey per year per person? a. US; b. UK; c. Russia; d. Israel.
7. Yes or no: Was the country of Turkey named after the bird?

Answers: 1. b; 2. c; 3. d; 4. yes; 5. a; 6. d; 7. no.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Henry VIII was the last English king named Henry.
2. Katmandu is the capital of Tibet.
3. Johnny Weismuller, who played Tarzan in the movies, once won a gold medal in boxing.
4. The world's oldest university is in Cairo, Egypt.
5. Blue and white are the two colors that appear on the UN flag.
6. Elvis Presley was tossed out of the Grand Ole Opry after just one performance because he didn't sing country "correctly."
7. California is the US state with the most national park sites.
8. The song "Happy Birthday To You" is actually copyrighted.
9. Hawaii is the US state with the highest average rainfall.
10. Sideburns got its name from a Civil War general.

Answers: 1. true; 2. false, Nepal; 3. false, swimming; 4. true; 5. true; 6. true; 7. false, Alaska; 8. true; 9. false, Louisiana; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. What cartoon huntsman carried a shotgun and spoke often of his desire to kill "the wabbit?" ( 1 point)
2. Slash was the lead guitarist for what rock group until 1996? (1 point)
3. Kabbalah is an offshoot of what religion? ( 1 point)
4. In paper measures, how many reams make up a bale? ( 2 points)
5. What was the name given to members of the militia who served on the American side of the Revolutionary War? ( 2 points)
6. What country is Qantas Airlines from? ( 2 points)
7. How many sides does a trapezium have? ( 3 points)

Answers: 1. Elmer Fudd; 2. Guns 'n' Roses; 3. Judaism; 4. ten; 5. Minutemen; 6. Australia; 7. four.

IQ Trivia
1. What legendary rock star's second published book was entitled "A Spaniard in the Works?" ( 3 points)
2. If you osculated someone, what in fact did you do? ( 4 points)
3. Nicholas Breakspear is the first and only Englishman to hold what position? ( 5 points)
4. Maniere's Disease is a condition that affects what part of the human body? ( 4 points)
5. By what nickname was convicted criminal Robert Stroud known? ( 4 points)

Answers: 1. John Lennon; 2. kissed them; 3. Pope (Adrian IV); 4. ears (hearing); 5. The Birdman of Alcatraz.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All Quiet On The Bosox Front, For Now

Things have been relatively quiet with the Red Sox this offseason, so there hasn't been much to report. One trade, no free agent signings as of yet. But once the first big free agent makes a deal (and that should be around the time of the Winter Meetings next month), things will get cooking.

I don't get into all the rumor stuff, as you just don't know who to believe when it comes to that.

But the Sox did promote third base coach DeMarlo Hale to bench coach, replacing Brad (not Brian, Peter Golenbock) Mills, who departed to become Houston Astros manager. Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson is becoming first base coach, as Tim Bogar will move over to third base coach. Hale did a fine job as third base coach, as you rarely heard his name mentioned, that means he was doing the job. All other coaches will be back for 2010.

Throw away those old Jacoby Ellsbury jerseys. Since Mills vacated the premises, Ellsbury has taken his old number, 2.

J.D. Drew had shoulder surgery last week, and it was a relatively minor procedure, and will be ready for spring training.

Jason Bay turned down a 4-year, $60 million deal from the Red Sox, shortly before he was able to negotiate with other teams late last week. Smart move by him, as he and his agent want to see what interested clubs will offer him. My gut feeling is is that bay will be back in Boston.

The Red Sox raised ticket prices for 2010, as the most expensive seats, like the box and Monster seats went up $5, and the bleachers and lower grandstand went up by $2. Well, you know they weren't going to be frozen forever.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Trivia Night Is For Turkeys

Well, it is this week, as our Special Category this week is "Turkey Trivia." No, not about that country in southern Europe, but I'll have seven questions about that bird we love to carve up and devour on this upcoming holiday, and most of them will be of the multiple choice variety.

The Q Train lightning round this week will be another round of "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
Slash was the lead guitarist for what rock group until 1996?

I hope to see many of you this week, and we get going at 9 PM on Tuesday night. If you can't make it, I want to wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and thanks for making my Trivia Night so successful and a joy to host.

Clicking On All Cylinders

It was another case of Men vs. Boys at the Metrodome on Sunday, as the Vikings continued their march to the playoffs with a 35-9 stomping of the Seattle Seahawks. They looked excellent in all phases of the game.

The defense completely kept Seattle out of the game, as the Seahawks didn't get into Vikings territory until the end of the third quarter. And it was a memorable game for Number Four.

The Vikes are now 9-1, and continue to lead the NFC North by three games over Green Bay. Brett Favre had one of his best games of his career, going 22 of 25 and tossing four TDs, the 22nd time in his historic career he has done that, breaking Dan Marino's record. Favre also set the team record for passing percentage in a game with 87%.

It was scoreless into the second quarter, but the Vikings had their highest scoring peroid of the year, scoring three touchdowns. They were all in the air, as Favre hit Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe and Bernard Berrian to put the Vikings up 21-0 at halftime.

Favre ended his day with a TD pass to Sidney Rice with four minutes to play in the third quarter, and it was a spectacular catch made by Rice at the back of the end zone. It reminded me of Joe Montana's memorable TD to Dwight Clark in the 1981 NFC title game, as he scrambled around and appeared to just be tossing into the end zone, but Rice, who is leading the NFC in receptions, pulled down and incredible grab to make it 28-0.

Favre took a seat and Tarvaris Jackson came on for the fourth. He drove the Vikings down the field for their final score of the day, a 34-yard TD pass to Rice. It was one of six catches for him on the day for 89 yards.

Favre now leads the NFL in passer rating and has 21 TDs and just 3 interceptions. Also in this game, Adrian Peterson reached 1,000 yards rushing for the third straight year, but he lost yards on his final carry of the day (I'm surprised the Vikings didn't let him get one more so he could permanently go over it) and right now is sitting on 999 yards for the season. He ran for 82 yards against Seattle on 24 carries.

The Vikings take on the 4-6 Bears for the first time in 2009 at the Metrodome next Sunday. (It's unusual that their first meeting is this late in the year.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Goodbye Charlie

"You guys are a 6-5 football team. This will just not cut it for me. I'm not here to be a .500 football team."
--Charlie Weis, December 13, 2004, during his press conference introducing him as Notre Dame head coach

Well, guess what? Notre Dame is once again a 6-5 football team, with a 33-30 double overtime loss to what appeared to be a better and more interested UConn team.

The Charlie Weis Era is about to come to a crashing end, as his final regular season game will be next Saturday at Stanford. And should Notre Dame lose that one (which is a definite possibility, as Stanford has played very well this year), the Irish will indeed be a .500 team.

The predictions of a ten-win season ring really hollow right now. A 14-0 lead in the first quarter against the Huskies looked like it might turn the game into a blow out. ND looked really sharp in scoring those TDs, one on a Jimmy Clausen pass to Golden Tate, and then Clausen ran for another. Tate was sensational, as he caught nine passes and broke Jeff Samardzija's single season team record of 78 receptions.

ND was flat in the second half. Lousy tackling added to the misery and allowed UConn to tie it up at 20 in the fourth quarter. The Irish were lucky at that point, as twice UConn scored TDs that were called back for holding penalties. David Teggart missed a 37-yard field goal with three seconds to play that forced OT.

In the second OT, ND settled for a FG, and UConn went down the field and won it on Andre Dixon's four-yard run, sealing Charlie Weis' fate. What will be his final game at Notre Dame Stadium will be remembered as a loss to a team ND had never played before, and had just joined the ranks of Division 1-A just seven years ago.

Now it's just a matter if he'll get bounced before or after the season ends.

A coordinator's job in the NFL awaits him.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Do They Have to Put New York Through This?

One of the bigger news stories over the past week has been the Obama administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 co-conspirators at a trial to be held in New York sometime next year and not before a military tribunal.

I gave myself some time to think about this and came to the conclusion that this idea of bringing these people to New York for trial is simply insane.

New York City has enough of a target sign on its back, and I dread the thought of what it will be like when these assholes come here to stand trial.

I can only think of one legitimate reason why these suspects are getting a civilian trial and not a military trial: it's Obama and the Justice Department getting even with and embarrassing George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and CIA. And you know the defense these suspects will use is: "we were tortured." The trial will be more over waterboarding and the use of "torture." Wait and see.

Good luck for finding an impartial jury to try these scumbags, too. Especially in New York City. And I don't know why anyone would want to sit on that jury, too, even if it is sequestered. (Even if I could be impartial, I'd fear those terrorists finding out who I was.) And I can't begin to think of the security that will be needed when they come here. I have confidence in New York City's police to handle tough cases like this, but we don't have to be put through something of this extreme. There will also be angry (and maybe crazy) Americans gunning for them, too, wanting to be heroes in the name of the 9/11 victims.

And what these trials will do to many of the 9/11 families makes me cringe. They will have to relive the horrors they went through that awful day. Especially when seeing these creeps gloat about how proud they were to slaughter their loved ones.

As you may have guessed, I don't have one iota of sympathy for these suspects. They don't deserve a civilian trial. Not at all. They don't deserve the rights afforded to all Americans. This is just an awful decision, and it just reeks of politics. What they did was an act of war, and should be treated as such.

Obama and his administration better damn well get convictions on all of these people. If they walk on technicalities, he better forget about running for re-election, as it will cost him his presidency.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And You Thought MLB Umpires Were Bad?

Check out this disgrace from today's World Cup qualifier between Ireland and France. Ireland's up 1-0 in extra time in the second leg with the winner going to next year's finals in South Africa. (The previous encounter was a 1-0 France win so they needed OT to get a winner.)

Thierry Henry of France clearly handles the ball on a long pass in the penalty area (and he looked like he was offsides to boot), and gets the ball over to William Gallas, who scores the tying goal, and France goes to the finals, and Ireland gets screwed big time, and will watch the finals on TV. Here's more about the match.

It makes the Irish in me boil over. Pathetic.

Even Yankee Fans Like Thom's (Well, At Least For Trivia)

My friends Lisa and Jon at Subway Squawkers did a very nice write-up of their experience taking part in Trivia Night last night at Thom's on their site today. Lisa's a Yankee fan and Jon's a Mets fan, so it interesting talking to them afterwards about being in a Red Sox bar.

Check out the post here.

I'm glad you both had such a good time. Thanks for the shout out!

Trivia Q&A: November 17

We had 19 teams come out for Trivia Night on Tuesday, and I especially pleased to see Lisa and Jon from the fine baseball blog "Subway Squawkers" come out and try their hand at Trivia. Thanks for taking the time and taking part.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, and we did another audio round, this time "Beatles Ringtone Trivia." The scores were actually pretty good, and they were even better for our latest addition of "Q Are You?" where I give out clues about current celebrities. (I think I may have given out too much last night, so I have to be a little less giving next time we do it.) Both categories are now in permanent rotation for Trivia Night and will be back in December.

The scores were close for IQ Trivia, but the team of Obama to China: I Owe Hu! wound up winning by just one point. They led throughout the evening, and it is their second win in three weeks. Nice job guys!

Current Events
1. A state of emergency was declared in this Central American country after more than 140 people were killed there by floods and mudslides.
2. This European carmaker passed Toyota recently as the world's number one largest auto producer.
3. Sports Illustrated reported last week that this classic rock band will play the halftime show at the upcoming Super Bowl this February.
4. Mike Tyson's in trouble again, as he had a dustup with a photographer at this airport last Thursday, and he and the paparazzi were both arrested.
5. This Hollywood star lost two homes in New Orleans last week worth nearly $7 million in a foreclosure auction because of unpaid mortgage payments and unpaid real estate taxes.
6. This rock superstar made a "rookie rock star mistake" over the weekend, when he referred to the crowd at one of his concerts on a number of occasions as being in Ohio, when in reality he was playing a gig in Auburn Hills, MI.
7. The first legal "marijuana cafe" in the US opened last Friday in this Pacific Northwest city, and it's a private club for users of medicinal marijuana.

Answers: 1. El Salvador; 2. Volkswagen; 3. The Who; 4. LAX; 5. Nicolas Cage; 6. Bruce Springsteen; 7. Portland, OR.

Q Are You?
1. This man was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935. He began his show business career as a TV writer in the 1950s and 60s. In the late 1960s, he began his filmmaking career, and has won 3 Oscars, and has been nominated a total of 21 times overall.
2. This man was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1958. He's a self-made billionaire who purchased an NBA team once owned by Ross Perot in 2000. In 2008, he attempted to buy the Chicago Cubs, but was rebuffed by MLB.
3. This woman was born in Nutbush, TN in 1939. Her records have sold nearly 200 million copies worldwide and she's sold more concert tickets than any solo music performer in history.
4. This man was born in Gullport, MS in 1969. As a quarterback, he led his team to a Super Bowl title in 1996, and was MVP three straight years in the NFL. He's also won the most games as a starting QB in NFL history.
5. This woman was born in Houston, TX in 1947. She exploded on to the scene with a smash-hit TV series in 1976, and her character's name was Kelly Garrett. Her show ran 5 years, and since then she's best known for appearing in TV miniseries and hosting a reality series called Shear Genius.
6. This man was born in New York City in 1949. He was a reporter for both CBS and ABC, and hosted "Inside Edition", a tabloid/gossip TV show in the early 1990s. He currently hosts the most watched cable news program on American TV.
7. This man was born in Waco, TX in 1945. He's been an actor, comedian, producer, playwright and musician. He won an Emmy for his writing in 1969, but is better known for winning back-to-back Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album in 1978 and 1979, and has twice hosted the Oscars ceremony.

Answers: 1. Woody Allen; 2. Mark Cuban; 3. Tina Turner; 4. Brett Favre; 5. Jaclyn Smith; 6. Bill O'Reilly; 7. Steve Martin.

Beatles Ringtone Trivia
Answers: 1. Eleanor Rigby; 2. Paperback Writer; 3. Penny Lane; 4. I Want to Hold Your Hand; 5. Please Please Me; 6. Lady Madonna; 7. I'm Down; 8. Nowhere Man; 9. Love Me Do; 10. Help.

General Knowledge
1. What successful author wrote the novels "The Shining" and "The Green Mile?" ( 1 point)
2. What term is used to denote the unauthorized accessing of computer programs, often with criminal intent? ( 1 point)
3. What term was popularized by Winston Churchill for the imaginary boundary in Europe between the capitalist West and the communist East? ( 1 point)
4. What state was the Grant vs. Lee Civil War Battle of Spotsylvania fought in? ( 2 points)
5. "The Liberty Bell March" is the theme song to what classic TV show? ( 2 points)
6. What is the name of the ancient temple on the Acropolis in Athens that was dedicated to the goddess Athena? ( 2 points)
7. Magyar is the official language of what country? ( 3 points)

Answers: 1. Stephen King; 2. hacking; 3. The Iron Curtain; 4. Virginia; 5. "Monty Python's Flying Circus;" 6. Parthenon; 7. Hungary.

IQ Trivia
1. Which of King Henry VIII's wives was born in Spain? ( 5 points)
2. In what US state is the largest national park found? ( 4 points)
3. What nation has the longest coastline in the world? ( 3 points)
4. Who is the patron saint of Scotland? ( 4 points)
5. What former heavyweight champion boxer was killed in a plane crash in 1969? ( 4 points)

Answers: 1. Catherine of Aragon; 2. Alaska (Wrangell-St. Elias); 3. Canada; 4. St. Andrew; 5. Rocky Marciano.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shout Outs

Wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate my friends at The Fresh Air Fund for a very successful summer they just had.

This past year they teamed with OneSight, and they screened about 3,000 kids and made sure they had good optical care. They gave them free eye exams and eyewear. Nice job guys.

The Fresh Air Fund has always done great work every year with kids who are less fortunate, and I'm proud to help them out on my site. They have a new updated site that explains their mission. Check it out here.

I had a great night of Trivia last night at Thom's with a group of students from NYU. We did something similar last year, and once again, everyone had a great time. I pulled out some of my best past trivia questions and we had eight teams compete. My thanks to Marissa, Dave and everyone else who came out last night.

And of course, we have our regular night of Trivia tonight at Thom's at 9 PM. And no, there won't be any questions tonight that I did last night!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Know Your Beatles Ringtones

Well, we worked out the technical difficulties, and on Tuesday night we are bringing back the audio round on Trivia Night. It will be part of The Q Train lightning round, and this week it will be "Beatles Ringtone Trivia." What that is is ten Beatles songs you have to identify after hearing a brief snippet from each. They won't be the song actually done by the Beatles, so you just have to listen to the tune to identify it. And since it is part of the lightning round, they will be repeated all just once, and not at the end of the round.

The Special Category will be another round of "Q Are You?" I will give you three sentences about a current living celebrity, and you will I identify who I am talking about.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
What term is used to denote the unauthorized accessing of computer programs, often with criminal intent?

We'll get rolling at about 9 PM. We had a nice pickup of the crowd last week, and I hope to see more of you tomorrow.

Winning Extremely Ugly

I spent Sunday afternoon at Bar None, the Vikings/Saints hangout in Manhattan, checking out the Vikings-Lions game. It was the first time I had been back in a few weeks. Despite the fact the Vikes were 16 1/2 point favorites, bum teams like the Detroit Lions always scare me.

There's an old saying about there is no one freer than someone with nothing to lose. Well, the Lions were in that position Sunday, and for three quarters they were hanging around the Vikings when they shouldn't have been. And the Vikings only had themselves to blame for it.

The final score was 27-10, but Minny should have won by five touchdowns. It really wasn't a close game by the stats. The Vikes had over 500 total yards of offense, against one of the NFL's worst defenses.

The Vikings made way too many penalties (13). One cost them a TD on their opening drive in the first, when Jim Kleinsasser was called for jumping offsides. The Vikes had to settle for a field goal.

Detroit could do little on offense in the first half. Adrian Peterson ran for an amazing 22 yard TD run after it looked like he stopped behind the line of scrimmage. It looked like he was running for another late in the first half, but Lion DB Philip Buchanon punched the ball out of AP;s arm and it rolled into the end zone where Detroit fell on it for a touchback. They added a FG to make it 10-3 at the half.

The Vikes capitalized on a Detroit fumble and Peterson ran another in from one yard and it was 17-3. But Detroit wouldn't go away, as Matthew Stafford threw an 8-yard TD late in the third to cut the lead to 17-10.

Brett Favre had a big day, as he threw for a season high 344 yards, including 201 of those yards to Sidney Rice. In the fourth, he threw a bomb to Rice of 56 yards, and that set up Favre's TD to Jeff Dugan to basically salt away the game at 24-10.

Peterson rushed for 133 yards, scored two TDs, but fumbled twice. The Vikings looked really sluggish against a far weaker opponent, and I guess some might attribute it to the week's layoff. They looked undisciplined at times with all the penalties and fumbles. It was an exasperating win for the Vikings, one that the coaching staff better take a close look at this week. It wasn't at all pretty.

The Vikings have now beaten the hapless Lions 12 straight times at the Metrodome, the last Detroit win coming in December 1997. Yep, it was the last century the Lions last had any success in Minnesota.

The Vikings take on Seattle at the Metrodome next Sunday. Green Bay beat Dallas, so the Vikes lead in the NFC North remains at three games.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Bell Begins Its Toll

And that bell will be tolling for one Charlie Weis, as Notre Dame lost on Saturday night at Pittsburgh to the Panthers, 27-22.

Before this season, most experts had the Irish winning 10 games, and with this loss, they are now 6-4. They have two remaining games on the schedule before any bowl possibilties. So the most they can win is now nine if they run the table.

And neither the UConn home finale nor the last game at Stanford are gimmes, especially with the way Stanford stomped all over USC today, 55-21.

ND looked like a dead team in the first three quarters last night, as they could muster only 3 points in them, and falling behind 20-3. Pitt's a good team (ranked 8th going into the game) and showed some strong defense in those first three quarters.

Notre Dame finally scored a TD on Jimmy Clausen's one-yard run to open the fourth. But Pitt answered it right back, Dion Lewis, who was particularly impressive, ran for a 50-yard TD to make it 27-9, and I thought the night was done for ND.

But Golden Tate caught an 18-yard TD from Clausen to make it 27-16. Tate had another game, catching nine passes for 113 yards. But his most impressive play of the night was an 87-yard punt return for a TD that made the score 27-22 (a two-point play failed), as tate scampered right up the middle and gave Irish fans some hope.

But with just over 2 minutes left, Clausen was hit around the 20-yard line going back to pass and the refs ruled correctly that it was incomplete and brought up fourth down. But the replay booth, for whatever reason, overruled it and called it a fumble (which Pitt had recovered). One first down later, it was all over.

A nice comeback fell short, but ND only have themselves to blame for the loss. A season of great promise is slowly slipping away, and you have to believe that Charlie Weis will ultimately pay the price for it. Weis maybe one of those coaches whose better off being a coordinator as opposed to being a head man. I hope he's getting his resume ready, because he maybe needing to use it soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Guess What Capt.Tange & I Have In Common?

So, what would that be you're asking yourself? That Derek Jeter and I were born in same town? That he and I have similar range playing shortstop? That we both could get any woman we want at the drop of a hat?

You'd be wrong on all three. (Although the latter one is close.) Actually, Jeter made a cameo appearance in the new Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg film "The Other Guys" as reported by all the New York tabloids on Friday. Jeter was playing a homeless guy in Coney Island and they filmed a scene at Nathan's yesterday. (Wonder what Red Sox fan Wahlberg talked with him about? Hmm...)

And yes, I have also been part of the filming of "The Other Guys" too. I haven't mentioned it much on this blog, but I've been working as an extra in some New York productions, and back in October, I was a background actor in a scene filmed at Green-Wood cemetery, and both Ferrell and Wahlberg were part of it, along with Michael Keaton and Damon Wayans Jr.

It was an all-day shoot in the cemetery on an incredibly windy day. (It was so windy it became dangerous, as a branch broke off and injured an extra, not seriously. So they moved it to a more open part of the graveyard.) I was in a line of "cops" that the stars were in, and I was playing a civilian. (I got to ride up to the scene in a limo in the film, so I must have been someone important.)

I really enjoyed the shoot, and it was the first time I ever had fun in a burial ground. I'm really having fun doing the extra job, and I've done about 10 productions so far. Two so far have aired. (Both were walk-on roles on the TV shows "Law and Order SVU" and "The Good Wife.") I'll talk about more of my adventures as an actor as the winter progresses.

Can't wait to see how much face time I got in "The Other Guys." I think I got a few seconds worth, but I'll know when the movie is released. And I guess I can tell the grandkids one day that I was in a movie with Derek Jeter. (Not right next to him, of course, but you understand.)

But really, would I want to do that?

Happy Anniversary Felix

It was on this day, in an unknown year, that "Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence." And thus was born one of the greatest sitcoms in TV history, "The Odd Couple." (I'm going to say 40th anniversary, as the show debuted in September 1970. And I guess I really shouldn't say "Happy Anniversary" to Felix, but he did get back with his wife on the show's final episode.)

He went to live with his buddy and best friend Oscar Madison. I've seen every episode of the show at least 100 times in my life, and I'll probably watch each another hundred times before I die. I just wish someone would bring the show back, and at a decent time.

So in honor of my favorite photographer and sportswriter, here is the original opening from the first season in 1970:

And a Happy Friday the 13th to you all as well.

UPDATE: There's an "Odd Couple" marathon tonight at 11 PM on Channel 11 WPIX here in NYC. It's got some of my favorite episodes of all time, including "Password." They're doing it in honor of Felix' "anniversary." Nice job, WPIX! Thanks to my friend Lisa for letting me know about it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where Else But Boston?

Jason Varitek, who will be 38 this coming April, took the full five days he was allotted to decide he'd exercise his player option for $3 million and will be back with the Red Sox in 2010.

But let's face facts. What other choice did Tek have?

He wasn't going to take a cut in pay and go somewhere else, where he wasn't even guaranteed being a starter.

No one, and I mean no one, was going to give him that kind of money, especially to be a backup catcher. And that's what the Red Sox captain is right now. Nothing more than a backup to Victor Martinez.

He didn't start any of the Red Sox postseason games in 2009. Teams ran wild on him last season. (Remember the Texas Rangers and their glorified track meet last summer when they swiped eight bases off him in one game?) He threw out just 16 runners in 2009. 108 stole off him.

Forget Tek's "intangibles," like how pitchers like throwing to him. The arm isn't there, and the bat isn't either. Varitek hit just .209 in 2009.

His days as a starter are now over. He'll be catching Josh Beckett every so often, to give Martinez a break. He's been a great captain and handled himself with professionalism. But his next stop should be in the coaching ranks, and Peter Gammons once said that MLB players voted him one of the players most likely to become a manager one day.

One last go around in 2010, and then I hope Jason Varitek retires as a Red Sox. Father Time catches up with everyone, and he's right now he's knocking on Tek's door.

BTW, I put no stock whatsoever in the rumors that just popped up about Hideki Matsui. The Red Sox would have to move David Ortiz to make it happen, as Matsui is strictly a DH, and I just don't think that would be possible.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You.

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918 (and exactly two months after the Red Sox won their fifth World Series title), World War I came to an end. And to commemorate that historic day, the United States celebrates Veterans Day, to remember those brave souls who have given their service in defense of our great nation.

To all of them, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I say thank you.

You can never, ever say thank you to them enough.

Trivia Q&A: November 10

We had a nice crowd in for Trivia Night on Tuesday. 20 teams took part, and I was ably assisted by my friend John, who is about to launch his own trivia night in a bar in New York, and I showed him the way I do it, and I'm sure he will incorporate some of my techniques into his own version, which I'm sure will be very good.

It was a night when the scores were rather high in most rounds, as the questions were a little less hard outside of IQ Trivia. We debuted a new round called "All or Nothing Trivia," which was 10 basic questions the contestants had to answer, and all but four teams got them all correct. You got either five points (we felt ten was too much) or none if you got even one incorrect. The feedback afterwards was pretty good, so it will be back again as part of the Q Train at a future date.

The scores were incredibly close all night long, and we had a four-way tie for second place going into the last round. But the team of The Stepfathers (Because We Beat You and You Hate Us), who was seven points behind the leaders going into IQ Trivia, ran the table with a perfect score and wound up winning by just two points. Nice job guys!

We couldn't do the audio round this week, but we hope to have it back and ready to go as The Q Train next week.

Current Events
1. The Discovery Channel has lined up this TV megastar to narrate an 11-part series called "Life," the follow-up to "Planet Earth," beginning this March.
2. It was announced last week that these two Hollywood stars will co-host the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony, the first time since 1987 it has been hosted by multiple hosts.
3. Hines Ward, a wide receiver for this NFL team, was voted "The Dirtiest Player in the NFL" by a poll of 296 players in Sports Illustrated last week.
4. The unemployment rate topped this number for October, the first time it has reached that number since 1983.
5. This British rock star was released from a London hospital last Thursday after being treated for the flu and an E. coli bacterial infection.
6. This singer last week became the first artist to have four number one songs from a debut album on the Billboard Pop Songs chart since its inception in 1992.
7. Rep. Joseph Cao, a congressman from this southern state, was the lone Republican to vote for the healthcare overhaul bill put together by House Democrats last Saturday.

Answers: 1. Oprah Winfrey; 2. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin; 3. Pittsburgh Steelers; 4. 10%; 5. Elton John; 6. Lady GaGa; 7. Louisiana.

World Geography Trivia
1. Hudson Bay is located in what country?
2. In what body of water is Madagascar located?
3. Between which two countries is the Bering Strait located?
4. In which European city is the International Court located?
5. What country is Santo Domingo the capital of?
6. In which country is the Pampas region found?
7. Where in the world will you find the Great Barrier Reef?

Answers: 1. Canada; 2. Indian Ocean; 3. US and Russia; 4. The Hague; 5. Dominican Republic; 6. Argentina; 7. Australia.

All or Nothing Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Who was the second President of the United States?
2. What US state has the largest population?
3. What group had a number one hit in the late 1970s with "Stayin' Alive?"
4. Which month has the fewest days?
5. What MLB player has the record for most home runs in a career?
6. Who was the last US president to be assassinated in office?
7. What state was President Bill Clinton born in?
8. What international film won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2009?
9. How many US senators are there currently respresenting the state of Texas?
10. What state's nickname is "The Garden State?"

Answers: 1. John Adams; 2. California; 3. The Bee Gees; 4. February; 5. Barry Bonds; 6. John F. Kennedy; 7. Arkansas; 8. "Slumdog Millionaire;" 9. two; 10. New Jersey.

General Knowledge
1. What kind of foodstuff is Monterey Jack? ( 1 point)
2. What is the capital of North Carolina? ( 1 point)
3. What famous comet made recent appearances in 1910 and 1986? ( 1 point)
4. When the Hindenburg crashed and burned in 1937, what type of gas was it filled with? (2 points)
5. What do you get when you ferment milk with bacteria? ( 2 points)
6. In what Asian country would you find the Kashmir region? ( 2 points)
7. A fungo is a type of what piece of sports equipment? ( 3 points)

Answers: 1. cheese; 2. Raleigh; 3. Halley's Comet; 4. hydrogen; 5. yogurt; 6. India; 7. baseball bat.

IQ Trivia
1. Who was the first actor to win Emmy Awards for acting, writing and directing for the same TV series? ( 4 points)
2. Who was the first Roman Catholic elected Vice-President of the United States? ( 3 points)
3. What isolated mountain range is found in western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming? ( 4 points)
4. In what Latin American country will you find The Gulf of Mosquitoes? ( 5 points)
5. What famous artist titled his autobiography "Diary of a Genius?" ( 4 points)

Answers: 1. Alan Alda ("M*A*S*H"); 2. Joe Biden; 3. The Black Hills; 4. Panama; 5. Salvador Dali.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Wake's Back For Two More

The Red Sox and Tim Wakefield reached agreement on a two-year deal today that will pay Wake $5 million for 2010 and 2011 plus incentives.

Wake now gets a serious shot at the Red Sox record for wins in a career, as he is just 17 wins away from tying Cy Young and The Texas Con Man's record.

The Sox also exercised the option on Victor Martinez for 2010, and declined the options on both Alex Gonzalez and Jason Varitek for 2010. Gonzalez was due $6 million, but could still be back at a lower contract. Varitek's option was $5 million, and no one was surprised the Sox declined. Tek has a player option for $3 million, and has five days to exercise that, otherwise he becomes a free agent.

Here's more from Extra Bases on all these moves today.

Everything or Nada This Week

We're introducing what could be a new recurring category to Trivia Night this week, and it's called "All or Nothing Trivia." It will be part of The Q Train lightning round. In this category I will ask you ten questions of rather basic knowledge, and if you get all ten correct, you will receive five points. (And no, there won't be any questions about Frank Sinatra in it.) However, if you get just one of the ten wrong, you will receive a total of zero points. And because it's a lightning round, nothing will repeated after the round concludes. We'll see how this goes.

The Special Category will be "World Geography Trivia." We'll test out your knowledge of where things around the world actually are.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
What famous comet made recent appearances in 1910 and 1986?

We'll get going at our regularly scheduled time of 9 PM. Originally we were going to have another round of Audio Trivia for the Q Train this week, but some technical difficulties have forced that to be postponed until next week. Hopefully we work out all the bugs with that and have it then. Hope to see many of you Tuesday night.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Vikings Lead Increases On Their Off Week

The Minnesota Vikings had their lead in the NFC North go up to three full games today, and they didn't even take the field, as it is their off-week.

The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers both lost. Chicago was routed by the Arizona Cardinals at home, 41-21, and Green Bay blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter at Tampa Bay, as the Bucs, wearing their throwback uniforms from their bad old days, won for the first time this season, 38-28 at Tampa.

Thanks Cards. Thanks Bucs.

The Vikings are 7-1 and both the Bears and Packers are 4-4. The Vikes are done with Green Bay, but they still have two games with Chicago, so their chances are are better to catch the Vikings.

Does football have a Magic Number? I've never heard of one, but if there was one, it would be 6 for the Vikings to repeat as NFC North champions.

Also, I was watching the Patriots-Dolphins game from Foxboro this afternoon, and at 4:13 PM they had to leave the game, as the Giants game had to be shown from the start here in the local New York market. Fair enough. But CBS never goes directly to the second game, they have to go to two minutes of bloody commercials before the next game begins.

I remember last year there was a game they left as one team (don't recall who exactly) was lining up for a field goal to tie in the final seconds, but CBS bailed on it so they could show two more minutes of commercials before going to the local team's game. Today they were fortunate the Patriots were up by 10 points in final 30 seconds, so the outcome wasn't in doubt.

Anything for a buck.

Navy Sinks ND Again

Notre Dame saw their chance at a BCS bowl game go right out the window on Saturday as they dropped a disheartening game to Navy, 23-21.

The Irish were a 12-point favorite over the Midshipmen, but Navy looked like the better team from the get-go. And they ran the ball down ND's throats, as defense looked incredibly suspect all day.

Navy ran for 348 yards, including two of their three TDs. They scored a TD in each quarter of the first half, while Notre Dame missed two field goals. Notre Dame finally got on the board with A Robert Hughes one-yard run. But Navy answered it right back, with a 52-yard pass from Ricky Dobbs to Greg Jones to make it 21-7.

One encouraging note for ND was the return of Michael Floyd from his collarbone injury. He caught 10 passes for 141 yrads, including a TD pass from Jimmy Clausen in the 4th quarter to make it 21-14. Clausen completed 37 of 51 for 452 yards. He set the ND record for completions and his yard total was the 4th highest in school history.

But with 1 minute to go, he sacked in the end zone by Craig Schaefer for a safety to make it 23-14. ND then recovered an onside kick, and with 28 seconds left Clausen hit Golden tate on a 31-yard TD pass to make it 23-21. But they failed to recover another onside kick, and that was it.

It was Navy's second win in three years over ND, and the first time an unranked Navy team beat a ranked ND team since 1936. It gives Charlie Weis' critics yet more ammunition, and now the 8-1 Pittsburgh Panthers await Notre Dame, now 6-3, next Saturday at Pittsburgh. You have to wonder if Weis will survive as head coach should they lose any of their three remaining games.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Hot Stove Begins as Theo Starts Dealing

The Red Sox were opened for business for the off-season on Thursday when they swung a trade with the Florida Marlins, getting outfielder Jeremy Hermida for minor league pitchers Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez.

Theo Epstein wasted no time in letting the baseball world know he's going to be active in the Hot Stove League, pulling off the deal in the hours after the World Series concluded. Hermida has struggled the last two years, after a solid year in 2007.

I don't know if the Red Sox see Hermida, who turns 26 in January, as an every day player, as some are thinking he might be a replacement if Jason Bay leaves (and he officially filed for free agency yesterday). But I would bet he might be the Red Sox' fourth outfielder next season. (That could mean the end for Rocco Baldelli in a Red Sox uniform.)

The timing of yesterday's trade tells me the Red Sox will be very busy this offseason. Hermida could be a movable piece, or he could be a big part of next season. It's just hard to make an definitive statement on that right now.

And also yesterday, I had nearly 500 hits on this site, as my Site Meter numbers went crazy right as the World Series was concluding. And what were people looking for? The common search words were "Yankees" "payroll" "2009." Yep, the obsession with the billions they spent to finally win/buy a championship led folks to a post I put up back in March: Red Sox vs. Yankees: 2009 Total Payroll. Well, on the bright side, at least the aftermath of Wednesday night's unfortunate events brought some new folks to my site.

And speaking of the MFY, here's an interesting article by Joe Posnanski about the Yankees and their bloated payroll that's worth reading. Thanks to my buddy Dave for bringing it to my attention.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Not In This or Any Other Lifetime

The title of this post is what I tell people who ask me if I'd ever root, under any circumstances, for the New York Yankees.

Think I will offer them and their fans my congratulations? Look elsewhere.

I am a Boston Red Sox fan and will be until the day I die. And I am damn f***ing proud of that.

Thank you for those two World Series titles this decade, Theo and The Trio.

102 days until pitchers and catchers report.

It can't come soon enough.

Sic 'em, Pedro

From yesterday:

"I'm pretty sure that every Boston fan out there can feel proud that I'm going to try and beat the Yankees and I'm going to give just the same effort I always did for them. They're special fans and they will always have my respect."

And this about Red Sox fans:

"I know they don't like the Yankees to win, not even in Nintendo games."

Damn straight.

Go get 'em, Petey. Game 7 awaits.

Trivia Q&A: November 3

We had 15 teams in for Trivia Night on Tuesday, while the Celtics were winning big in Philadelphia on the TVs. We had some solid scores for General Knowledge and True or False Trivia, and General Knowledge's were pretty strong too.

The team of H1N0: H Wins! led throughout the night and had a slim one point lead going into IQ Trivia. They were one of only four teams to get as many as two right in that final round (only one got three right), but it was enough for their very first win on Trivia Night, as they wound up winning by three points. Good job guys.

Audio trivia will make its return to Trivia Night next Tuesday, in a category still to be named.

Current Events
1. United Airlines announced last week it was officially retiring this iconic numbered airplane, the most produced commercial aircraft in history and will be using the more fuel-efficient Airbus instead.
2. The Church of Scientology was convicted of fraud in this European country last week, and fined nearly $1 million, with suspended prison sentences for four officers.
3. Regina Benjamin was confirmed last week to what post in the Obama administration, and just the third black person to hold it?
4. Three pieces of steel fell from this famous American bridge last Tuesday on to its roadway, forcing the bridge's closure for a number of days last week.
5. This African nation appealed to the worldwide community for food aid for over 6 million people they say are in danger of starvation.
6. This US automaker announced on Monday it had made a $1 billion profit for 2009, the first profit they turned in a full year since 2005.
7. An 11-foot statue of this man was unveiled in Kosovo's capital city of pristina on Sunday, a place where he is considered a hero by ethnic Albanians for his help over ten years ago against Yugoslavia.

Answers: 1. Boeing 737; 2. France; 3. Surgeon General; 4. San Francisco Bay Bridge; 5. Ethiopia; 6. Ford; 7. Bill Clinton.

Election Trivia
1. When he ran for president in 1992, Ross Perot received how many electoral votes in total?
2. Who was Michael Dukakis' vice-presidential running mate in his losing effort in 1988?
3. In the last 13 presidential elections since 1960, did California vote more often for a Democratic or Republican candidate?
4. What number constitutional amendment set the minimum voting age of 18 for federal elections?
5. Name 1 of the 2 presidential candidates to win 49 of the 50 states in a presidential election.
6. What presidential candidate did Bob Dole run as a vice-presidential candidate with and lost?
7. How many states did Barack Obama carry in his presidential win of 2008?

Answers: 1. none; 2. Lloyd Bentsen; 3. Republican (7); 4. twenty-six; 5. Richard Nixon (1972) and Ronald Reagan (1984); 6. Gerald Ford; 7. twenty-eight.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Each member of the Monty Python comedy troupe has an asteroid named after him.
2. Carly Simon's father is the "Simon" in the Simon and Schuster company.
3. The nose is the human bone broken most often.
4. Joe Namath was one of the celebrities that was on Richard Nixon's "Enemies List."
5. Citizens of Monaco aren't taxed based on their income.
6. History's shortest war lasted just two days.
7. James Buchanan was the only bachelor president for his total term.
8. The oldest continually occupied building in the USA is in New York City.
9. George W. Bush and Sylvester Stallone were born on the same day.
10. The first Summer Olympics held in the US was in Los Angeles.

Answers: 1. true; 2. true; 3. false, collarbone; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, 38 minutes between Britain and Zanzibar; 7. true; 8. false, Santa Fe, NM; 9. true (July 6, 1946); 10. false, St. Louis (1904).

General Knowledge
1. What year did the last manned mission to the Moon take place? ( 1 point)
2. After the President of the United States nominates someone for the Supreme Court, who votes on the nomination? ( 1 point)
3. What is the name of the object in an incandescent light bulb which converts electricity to heat and light? ( 1 point)
4. What fast food chain serves dilly bars? ( 2 points)
5. The Columbus Crew are the current champions of what professional sports league? ( 2 points)
6. By what nickname is Nadya Suleyman known as? ( 2 points)
7. What is the world's largest nation by population that is all in the same time zone? ( 3 points)

Answers: 1. 1972; 2. Senate; 3. filament; 4. Dairy Queen; 5. MLS; 6. Octomom; 7. China.

IQ Trivia
1. What piano legend had the first million-selling jazz album in history? ( 4 points)
2. "Rush to Judgment" was a national best-selling book about what famous event? ( 3 points)
3. What South American city has the largest metropolitan area population in the Southern Hemisphere? ( 5 points)
4. Who recorded the first posthumous number one Billboard hit single? ( 4 points)
5. What Caribbean religion, which utilizes ritualistic animal scarifice, combines attributes of the Christian and Yoruba religions? ( 4 points)

Answers: 1. Dave Brubeck, "Time Out;" 2. JFK assassination; 3. Sao Paulo, Brazil; 4. Otis Redding, "Dock of the Bay;" 5. Santeria.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Got Nerves?

The World Series returns to New York tomorrow night for Game 6, and it will also bring back a rested Pedro Martinez to face Andy Pettitte, on just three days of rest. Can't help but think of the night of October 19, 2004 right now.

I like it. And I like this, courtesy of Allan at The Joy of Sox:

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."
--Andy Dufresne

Keep the Faith, Philadelphians.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Election Trivia on Election Day

As you all know, Tuesday is Election Day throughout the United States, and to celebrate that fact, we will be having a round of "Election Trivia" as the Special Category on Tuesday Night Trivia. It will be mostly about Presidential elections, even though we aren't electing a President tomorrow. (And those questions are always more interesting anyway.)

The Q Train lightning round will be another round of "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for tomorrow is:
"After the President of the United States nominates someone for the Supreme Court, who votes on the nomination?"

I was glad to see so many of you liked the changes we made to Trivia Night last week. The audio round will return next week. We should get going around 9 PM, and it was great to see so many of you back with us over the last two weeks. I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Brett Favre Debunks Thomas Wolfe

It was the game everyone was waiting for, and Vikings as well as Packers fans had circled for weeks. Brett Favre made his return to Lambeau Field on Sunday, and the reaction was what you might expect: a mixture of cheers and boos, but it was mostly negative. There were Packers fans with pro-Favre signs up, amid the "Judas" and "Traitor" ones from the Cheeseheads.

And yes, Brett Favre could indeed go home again.

Favre made his return to Green Bay a truly memorable one as the Vikings swept the season series from Green Bay with a laugher that turned into a nail biter at the end, 38-26.

Favre tossed four TD passes, and the Vikings led 17-3 at halftime. And they came out with a TD early in the third quarter and it looked like a Vikings cakewalk was at hand.

The Vikings stopped Green Bay cold in the first half, allowing the Pack just 47 yards. But after it was 24-3, GB came alive. They capitalized on a Vikings fumble on a kickoff and converted it into a TD, and scored another late in the third to make it 24-20. I started to have a bad feeling about this, as the Packers had some big time momentum and the Vikings defense looked like it did during that near-collapse against Baltimore a few weeks back.

Favre led the Vikings to an early fourth quarter TD, a two-yard pass to Jeff Dugan. But the Packers answered it back with a TD from Aaron Rodgers (who was spectacular in the second half) to Greg Jennings. But a two-point conversion was stopped by the Vikings' Kevin Williams to keep it a five point lead.

The Vikes iced the game just inside two minutes, as Favre threw TD number 4 to Bernard Berrian to complete the scoring, aided by a 33-yard run by Adrian Peterson to set it up. Overall, Favre was 17-for-28 for 244 and 4 TDs.

No matter where you stand on Brett Favre, you have to admit it was one hell of a memorable game. For the 7-1 Vikings it was a gargantuan win, as they now pull 2 1/2 games ahead of both Green Bay and Chicago, who are 4-3.

The Vikings now get the off week next week, and will return to the Metrodome on November 15th to play the last-place Detroit Lions.

Men vs. Boys

The title of this post just about sums up what Notre Dame's easy 40-14 win over Washington State felt like last night. ND was a 25-point and just covered. And it was the first time all year that Irish fans could breathe easy in the fourth quarter.

It was a big night for Jimmy Clausen, who went 22 for 27 and 268 yards. He threw two TDS, including a desperation Hail Mary of 50 yards to Golden Tate at the half that he pulled down to give ND a 30-7 commanding lead.

Duval Kamara scored the first TD on a pass from Clausen, Tate also had a 16-yard run for a TD, and Robert Hughes had the other first half TD. He was in for the injured Armando Allen, and had 131 yards on 24 carries.

Clausen left the game in the third quater, as he reaggravated the turf toe that has been bothering him all season. He was replaced by Dayne Crist, who threw a 64-yard TD to John Goodman that capped the Irish scoring for the night. Crist suffered a knee strain when he was tackled late in the game, and was replaced by third-string QB Evan Sharpley.

ND played this game in the Alamodome in San Antonio. I was wondering why they played a game in Texas against Washington State. It appears they wanted to impress the sought-after Texas recruits, and they may have just succeeded with this performance.

The Fighting Irish, now 6-2, take on Navy at South Bend next Saturday afternoon, in what should be a tough game. When was the last time you could say that about a Notre Dame-Navy matchup?