Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bidding 2011 Adieu

This is the 566th and final post of The Mighty Quinn Media Machine for 2011. It's been another successful year for this blog, but I did notice a trend here recently: I've been writing less as the years go on.

I wrote a high of 713 posts in 2008, but they have been declining every year since. Last year I did 635, but this year it's down by 69. My guess is the more time I've been spending on Facebook has taken away some of my writing here at the blog. And I also think that the Red Sox bomb-out last September probably entered into the decline as well.

Hopefully I'll beat 566 posts for 2012. We shall see.

(And today, we will most likely break the all-time record for the most number of hits on this blog in one single day. I write this at shortly after 11 AM, and we've had a staggering 435 hits here already, and the record is 583 for one day. We usually get about 100-120 per day. I'll have an update on that tomorrow.)

I want to thank each and every one of you who stop here and check on my ramblings from time to time, and especially to those of you who come here a little more often. You make it all worthwhile, and I wish you all the best for 2012.

New Year's Eve is generally a quiet time for me. I usually spend it at home with family and friends and watch the ball drop on TV. I have been to Times Square on New Year's Eve just once: in the movies. (I have been told that you can see me as a reveler in the new Garry Marshall film "New Year's Eve" that came out earlier this month. I haven't seen it yet, but I worked on it for six days as an extra this past March, April and September. And I pop up early in the film.) I have always said there are three types of people who go to Times Square on New Year's Eve: tourists, cops and pickpockets.

I will be watching the Twilight Zone and Honeymooners marathons today and tomorrow. My DVR will be getting the workout of its life over the next 48 hours! The Twilight Zone has already begun on SyFy and will run until the early morning hours of Monday. The Honeymooners will start at 11 PM tonight and run until 6 PM on Sunday on WPIX here in New York. It wouldn't be New Year's without them both. But one thing I can now live without is "New Year's Rockin' Eve" on ABC. I was always a fan of Dick Clark, but since he suffered his stroke and insists on appearing on it, I can't watch him try to speak. It's more sad than anything else. And don't get me started on the musical "talent" they usually parade in. Totally unwatchable.

So in honor of New Year's, here's my favorite Honeymooners clip, from "The Golfer," as Ed Norton tries to teach Ralph Kramden how to play golf. It's known as the "Hello Ball!" clip. (The episode will air at exactly midnight tonight.) Enjoy:

A Happy and Blessed New Year to all of you for 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Turnovers Doom The Irish

Notre Dame's season ended last night with a thud as Florida State came back from a 14-point deficit in the second half and won, 18-14, in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.

The game looked promising for the Irish from the start, as Tommy Rees led a drive that unfortunately ended with a tipped pass in the end zone that was intercepted. But Florida State fumbled on their first play from scrimmage and Zeke Motta returned it 29 yards for a TD. It remained 7-0 until early in the third quarter.

Rees hit Michael Floyd, playing in his last game for the Irish, with a 5-yard TD pass to cap off a 62-yard drive to open the third quarter. It was a tough game for Rees overall, as he and Andrew Hendrix were shuffled in and out throughout the game.

Florida State scored twice in the third, on a 42-yard field goal and a 18-yard pass play. They tried a two-point conversion to cut the score to 3, but failed. Early in the fourth, Hendrix was intercepted, and on the next play, Florida State took the lead for good with a TD pass to make it 18-14. Notre Dame had a shot near the end, but Rees was picked off in the end zone with just under three minutes to play, and FSU ran out the clock. (ND got it back with 24 seconds left, but they were too far from the end zone to be a serious scoring threat.)

Notre Dame finishes 2011 with a 9-4 record, and will begin the 2012 season on September 1st in Dublin, Ireland against Navy.

And after the Notre Dame game, was the Washington-Baylor matchup in the Alamo Bowl. One of the most incredible football games I've ever seen. Baylor won 67-56, and the teams had no interest in playing defense: they set a bowl record for TDs (17), total yards gained (1,397) and missed the all-time record for points in a bowl game by just 2. It sure wasn't dull.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Red Sox Acquire Bailey

The Red Sox appear to have landed a new closer in Andrew Bailey, as according to Buster Olney, the Sox will send Josh Reddick to Oakland as part of a deal to get the Athletics' closer.

Bailey is 27, and has been the Oakland closer the last three years. He has had some elbow problems in the past, but I'm guessing that's not worrying the Red Sox brass.

The Red Sox will also acquire outfielder Ryan Sweeney, and they will send two single A players, first baseman Miles Head and pitcher Raul Alcantara, according to Extra Bases.

And also, old friend Hideki Okajima reached a minor league deal with the Yankees, and will be invited to spring training to try and make the club. The Yankees were about five years too late on Oki, as his pal Hideki Matsui recommended that they sign him before the 2007 season, but they passed on him. The Red Sox grabbed him, and he was a vital part of the 2007 championship team.

Trivia Q&A: December 27

When I got to Professor Thom's early Tuesday night, I discovered that the Celtics were playing the Heat on TNT at 8 PM, and I knew that could be the cause of potential trouble on a Trivia Night.

Fortunately, the rain and the fact the game was broadcast locally on cable kept the Celtics fans to a lower number, and we were able to get Trivia Night going, at halftime around 9:30 PM. We had a good crowd of Trivia folks, as 18 teams took part.

The scores for the first three rounds were rather low, and I feared I might have made this week's Trivia a bit too hard. But the scores rebounded nicely in the General Knowledge round.

The team of Old Lang Sign! did well all night, and had the highest score in the IQ Trivia round, and wound up winning with 41 points and by seven points. Another nice job by my favorite group of teachers!

Second place went to Sandusky: Great Babysitter or Greatest Babysitter? who had 34 points (and also won Best Team Name), and third place was a tie between Chocolate Breast Milk and Adrian Peterson Didn't Tear His ACL, It Just Went Ghost Protocol, both with 33 points.

An important message about next week: Because of Michigan's bowl game next Tuesday night, tons of Wolverine fans will be in Thom's, so we have to move Trivia Night next week to Monday, January 2nd, at 9 PM. We will return to Tuesdays on January 10th at 9 PM.

Current Events
1. Travel and Leisure magazine named what New York place "the best new landmark in America" for 2011?
2. The Associated Press selected what NFL player as their "Male Athlete of the Year" for 2011?
3. What rock band announced last week they will have a tour and new album in 2012 with their original lead singer, who left the group over a quarter-century ago?
4. The Green Bay Packers were recently picked in a recent poll by Public Policy Polling as "America's Favorite NFL Team." What NFL team was selected as the least favorite team?
5. Former President George H.W. Bush unofficially endorsed which of the Republican presidential candidates last week?
6. Jordan Romero, 15, last weekend became the youngest person to climb the highest mountains on all 7 continents when he climbed Mount Vinson on what continent?
7. What new movie release topped the Christmas weekend box office with over $26 million to become the number one film in America?

2011 Trivia
1. What deceased rock legend, a three-time Grammy winner, received a Grammy nomination for a box set released in 2011?
2. What European country banned the words "Facebook" and "Twitter" from being spoken on TV and radio unless they are part of a news story?
3. The world's largest bridge over water, nearly 26 miles long, opened last June in what Asian country?
4. Apple opened their largest store last month at what famous New York City location?
5. What rock band concluded their latest world tour in Canada last July, grossing over $736 million, the highest grossing tour of all-time?
6. According to Forbes magazine, there are now 3 countries in the world that have more than 100 billionaires. The US and China are two. Which one is the third?
7. According to the Wall Street Journal, which company passed McDonald's in 2011 as the world's largest restaurant chain?

Name The Month Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Seal Team Six kills Bin Laden in Pakistan.
2. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns.
3. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies.
4. The Occupy Wall Street movement begins in Lower Manhattan.
5. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is shot and seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in Arizona.
6. Christian Lopez returns Derek Jeter's 3000th hit ball, a home run, to him.
7. Japan is struck by a powerful earthquake and tsunami off the Tohoku coast, killing nearly 20,000.
8. Bruce Springsteen's sax player, Clarence Clemons, dies after suffering a stroke, at the age of 69.
9. American Airlines files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
10. The sexual assault case against former IMF head Dominique Strauss Kahn is officially dismissed.

General Knowledge
1. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" comes from what 1979 film? ( 1 pt)
2. Who was the first US president born in the 20th century? ( 1 pt)
3. As of 2011, what is the world's largest online marketplace? ( 1 pt)
4. What country does the legend of William Tell come from? ( 2 pt)
5. Stars die when they run out of what element? ( 2 pt)
6. What future US president watched Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession in 1865 from the second-floor window of his home in Manhattan? ( 2 pt)
7. Currently what is the color of British passports? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What 19th century novel was the first American novel to sell one million copies? ( 4 points)
2. Clinophobia is the fear of doing what, something a person normally does every day? ( 5 points)
3. What Oscar-winning director is the godfather of actress Drew Barrymore? ( 4 points)
4. The Transamerica Pyramid is located in what city? ( 3 points)
5. Mount Godwin-Austen or "K2" as it sometimes called, is the world's second-largest mountain and located principally in what Asian nation? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. 9/11 Memorial; 2. Aaron Rodgers; 3. Van Halen; 4. Dallas Cowboys; 5. Mitt Romney; 6. Antarctica; 7. Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol.

2011 Trivia
1. Elvis Presley; 2. France; 3. China; 4. Grand Central Station; 5. U2; 6. Russia; 7. Subway.

Name The Month Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. May; 2. February; 3. October; 4. September; 5. January; 6. July; 7. March; 8. June; 9. November; 10. August.

General Knowledge
1. "Apocalypse Now;" 2. John F. Kennedy; 3. eBay; 4. Switzerland; 5. hydrogen; 6. Theodore Roosevelt; 7. red (burgundy).

IQ Trivia
1. "Uncle Tom's Cabin;" 2. Going to bed; 3. Steven Spielberg; 4. San Francisco; 5. Pakistan.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wrapping Up 2011 On Tuesday Night

We will have our final night of Trivia for 2011 this Tuesday night at Professor Thom's at 9 PM with the Special Category of "2011 Trivia," seven questions about the year just coming to a close. The Q Train lightning round will be "Name The Month Trivia." I will give you ten events that occurred in 2011, and you have to tell me the month of the year it occurred in. Every event will be a different month of the year.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Stars die when they run out of what element?"

We will get going shortly after 9 PM tomorrow. I hope to see many of you then, but if I don't, I want to wish you a very Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you for more great Trivia in 2012!

It Couldn't Get Any Worse. But It Did. Much Worse.

The first two plays of the second half of last Saturday's Vikings road finale in Washington brought a monumental disaster to the team in this train wreck of a season.

Adrian Peterson took a shot to the knee after a three-yard gain, and left the game with what he later said at the time was a serious injury. An MRI later revealed that AP suffered a torn ACL and MCL, and may very well miss the start of the 2012 season.

The Vikings will talk more about Peterson's injury in a press conference later today. Injuries of this nature normally take up to nine months to recover.

And on the very next play, Christian Ponder was knocked out of the game with a concussion after he was sacked. He did not return, and his status for the finale next Sunday against Chicago remains uncertain.

With these two disasters happening around them, the Vikings showed lots of character, as they went out there and beat Washington, 33-26. The two injured players' replacements, Joe Webb and Toby Gerhart, provided a needed spark. Webb ran for one TD and threw for two more, and Gerhart ran for 107 yards, including one 67-yard run that set up Webb's rushing score.

The Vikings win now means they will not be getting the number one pick. That honestly doesn't matter to me, as they will be getting a top three one for sure. They can now do no worse than 1984, when they went 3-13. They are now 3-12, and face the Bears at the Metrodome to conclude this awful campaign.

And it looks like it would be the last game played in Minnesota, as the Vikings appear to be close to getting a new stadium deal done. It looks like a move to Los Angeles won't be happening. I'm so glad to get this bit of good news, as over the last few months it gave me some idea what it was like for my dad back in 1957 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Linus Knows The Score

Here is Linus, telling us all the true meaning of Christmas. It's the best part of my favorite Christmas special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas". And I'm glad Charles Schulz fought hard to get it in:

Not to put a damper on the Christmas spirit, but last night I watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" that I DVR'd from early in December, and I simply appalled by the chopped up version ABC presented. In recent years they've showed a 35-minute version to accommodate all those commercials they have to show, but this year they went back to the 30-minute version. They cut Linus hitting the can with a snowball, Charlie Brown looking for Christmas cards in his mailbox, Schroeder playing "Jingle Bells" and Shermie's immortal line: "Every year it's the same. I always end up playing a shepherd." I was simply appalled by this butchered version, and ABC should be ashamed for what they did to my favorite holiday classic.

OK, enough of the ranting. It's Christmas.

Enjoy the holiday everyone!

The Beatles Wish You a Merry Christmas

Here's a very cool "mashup" video of the Beatles Christmas messages they sent exclusively to their fan club members, combined with a few bits from their songs.

Every year from 1963 until 1969, the Beatles recorded a message combined with music for the fan club, and I remember WNEW-FM here in New York would broadcast the messages during the holidays. I haven't heard them in ages, but this is really cool. Enjoy:

Just Wish I Had Some Music To Go With It

Traditions are a way of life here at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine, and here's one of my favorites, which I post here every December 24th.

Here is The Yule Log, which is a tradition on New York television, too. The burning log airs with Christmas music on WPIX Channel 11 every Christmas morning, from 9AM-1PM. (And followed of course by "March of the Wooden Soldiers.") And this year, Antenna TV (a new cable channel owned by WPIX), will be airing in the middle of the night this year also, from 3AM-7AM. I will be fast asleep dreaming of Santa Claus' arrival, but I'll watch the Channel 11 edition as I open my gifts.

I wish all of you readers of this blog a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Festivus: A Time For Miracles!

Yes, it's that day again. When we get the pole out, perform feats of strength and air our grievances.

It's Festivus!

I hope you all enjoy the day, whether it's showing just how strong you are or yelling at your relatives.

For the uninitiated, here's all you need to know about Festivus.

And it wouldn't be Festivus without a clip from the godfather of the holiday, Frank Costanza:

And it's also the great Jerry Koosman's birthday today, too...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Red Sox Add New Coaches For 2012

Red Sox fans won't have to worry about Tim Bogar screwing up sending base runners to the plate anymore, as he will become Bobby Valentine's bench coach in 2012. DeMarlo Hale, the former bench coach, will be the Orioles third base coach next season.

Other coaches joining his staff will be Bob McClure, the long time reliever who was the pitching coach in Kansas City last season, and Jerry Royster, a 16-year veteran utility man, who will become the third base coach.

As a member of the Braves back in the early 1980s, Royster made one of the greatest catches I've ever seen, reaching high over the wall at Fulton-County Stadium to steal a home run. "This Week In Baseball" used to show it on their opening montage every week. (And that was a huge wall they had in that park.) Unfortunately, I couldn't find a YouTube clip or a still shot of it, so his baseball card here will have to do.

Unfortunately, Bill Buckner will NOT be on Bobby Valentine's staff, as he accepted a position as a coach with the Cubs Single A affiliate in Boise, Idaho, where he currently makes his off-season home.

Still no word on who will become the Red Sox' closer next season, with Daniel Bard moving to the rotation. They are still talking with free agents Ryan Madson and now Francisco Cordero, but nothing seems imminent with Christmas fast approaching.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Trivia Q&A: December 20

We had a festive crowd in for the Christmas edition of Trivia on Tuesday night, and 20 teams took part. The popular name for team names were for the late, and not-missed-at-all Kim Jong Il. So for Best Team Name we picked "Live Free Or Dietician." ("You 'Kim' folks all canceled each other out," I explained.)

Current Events was a tough round, as the high score was just five of seven. But we had some strong scores in two Christmas Trivia categories. It was two-team race heading into IQ Trivia, but the team of One Less Bad Driver: RIP Kim took the crown, garnering 53 points and winning but just two points. The team that was running with them, I'm So Ronrey (another Kim Jong Il reference, I think) took second with 51 points.

Third place went to The F-Dash Dash Dash Word with 49 points.

Our final edition of Tuesday Night Trivia for 2011 will take place next Tuesday, on December 27th at 9 PM.

Current Events
1. Former French president Jacques Chirac received a two-year suspended jail sentence after he was found guilty of what crime?
2. Moncef Marzouki was elected president of what North African country last week?
3. More than 400 people were killed last Saturday when a tropical storm struck what Asian country?
4. Joe Simon, a comic book writer and artist, died last week at the age of 98. In 1941, he co-created what comic book superhero, his most famous creation?
5. Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who helped bring down communism in Eastern Europe, died last weekend at the age of 75. What country did he become the first democratically elected president of?
6. New York City will top the 50 million mark in 2011 in the numbers of tourists coming here. From which foreign country do over 1.1 million of them come from, the most?
7. What Oscar-winning actor was punched by security in China when he attempted to visit a blind activist lawyer in that country last week?

Christmas Trivia
1. On the sixth day of Christmas, what does my true love give me, according to the song, "The 12 Days of Christmas?"
2. On December 25, 1776, George Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River to attack Hessian mercenaries in what New Jersey town?
3. In "A Charlie Brown Christmas," what Christmas song does Lucy ask Schroeder to play for her on his piano?
4. What type of pipe does Frosty the Snowman have?
5. The carol that begins with the line "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" is called what?
6. What Tchaikovsky ballet is a favorite during the Christmas season?
7. "The Night Before Christmas" was written anonymously in 1823 but it attributed to whom?

Christmas Films Trivia By Decade ("The Q Train")
1. The Santa Clause
2. White Christmas
3. Home Alone
4. Love Actually
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas
6. It's a Wonderful Life
7. A Christmas Story
8. Miracle On 34th Street (original)
9. Scrooged
10. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

General Knowledge
1. Dave Thomas founded what fast-food restaurant chain? ( 1 pt)
2. "Get Down Tonight" was a hit song from what 1970s disco group? ( 1 pt)
3. What US president is on the far right of Mount Rushmore? ( 1 pt)
4. Hispaniola is the name of the island shared by Haiti and what other country? (2 pt)
5. What is the second book of the Old Testament, after Genesis? ( 2 pt)
6. What European country was the first to adopt the metric system? ( 2 pt)
7. What was the first color film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What country singer, who had his first hit in 1981, holds the record of 58 Billboard number one country singles? ( 5 points)
2. In 1930, what Minnesota-born novelist was the first American to win the Nobel Prize for literature? ( 4 points)
3. Which King of France was executed during the French Revolution? ( 3 points)
4. What NFL team plays their home games in Raymond James Stadium? ( 4 points)
5. "The Fatherland Liberation War" was another name for what 20th century conflict? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. embezzlement; 2. Tunisia; 3. The Philippines; 4. Captain America; 5. Czechoslovakia; 6. United Kingdom; 7. Christian Bale.

Christmas Trivia
1. Six geese-a-layin'; 2. Trenton; 3. "Jingle Bells;" 4. corncob; 5. "The Christmas Song;" 6. "The Nutcracker;" 7. Clement Moore.

Christmas Film Trivia By Decade ("The Q Train")
1. 1990s (1994); 2. 1950s (1954); 3. 1990s (1990); 4. 2000s (2003); 5. 1990s (1993); 6. 1940s (1946); 7. 1980s (1983); 8. 1940s (1947); 9. 1980s (1988); 10. 2000s (2000).

General Knowledge
1. Wendy's; 2. KC and the Sunshine Band; 3. Abraham Lincoln; 4. Dominican Republic; 5. Exodus; 6. France; 7. "Gone With the Wind."

IQ Trivia
1. George Strait; 2. Sinclair Lewis; 3. Louis XVI; 4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 5. Korean War.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Two Categories of Yuletide Trivia This Tuesday

This week Tuesday Night Trivia will have its annual round of Christmas Trivia, with the Special Category being "Christmas Trivia," seven questions concerning the great holiday that is fast approaching. The Q Train lightning round will be "Christmas Film Trivia By Decade." I will give you the names of ten famous Christmas movies, and you have to tell me in which decade they were first released. And it will be a double-points category, because if you know the exact year, you will get a bonus point.

BTW, our other three categories will NOT include any Christmas Trivia, just the two revolving categories.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What European country was the first to adopt the metric system?"

We get going shortly after 9 PM on Tuesday night. Sorry for you Frank Costanza fans, but there will be no Festivus Trivia. Maybe next year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Race For The Number One Draft Pick Is On

The Vikings and their defense were taken out to the woodshed today by the playoff-bound New Orleans Saints, 42-20 at the Metrodome.

Drew Brees threw for 412 yards and five touchdowns, while Christian Ponder had a tough day against the Saints. He still shows a lot of promise, but he missed a lot of open receivers and threw another interception. The Vikings defense was simply a horror show, allowing 570 yards to the Saints.

Ponder threw two TDs to Toby Gerhart, and that's about the only good news I can say about the Vikes today. Adrian Peterson rushed for 60 yards in 10 carries on his return from injury.

Indianapolis got their first win of 2011, and St. Louis lost to Cincinnati, so the Colts are now 1-13, and the Vikes and Rams are both 2-12. All that remains for the Vikings this season is where they will draft in April: first, second or third. (I will NEVER root against the Vikings when it comes to getting a higher draft pick. They are my team, and always have my support.)

A loss next week to Washington and the Vikings will tie the 1984 team with their 13th loss of 2011.

It can't end quick enough.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

25 Favorite Odd Couple Episodes

A few years ago, I put up a post on my blog about my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, and it seems like just about every day I get someone googling about the classic show and winding up on my blog. Another one of my all-time favorite TV shows is "The Odd Couple." It is one of those shows I never get tired of watching, even if I have seen just about every episode 100 times. The quality of the show has stood the test of time.

I even had the pleasure of speaking to Ron Friedman, the esteemed TV writer who wrote a number of Odd Couple episodes. (His most famous is the Christmas episode from the first season.) His son-in-law is one of the BLOHARDS, and we were together at my friend Joe's house last Thanksgiving, and he called him and we chatted for a few minutes. A very nice man.

Anyway, here is my list of my favorites from the catalog of 114 shows, that ran on ABC from 1970-1975. Like I did with The Twilight Zone, they will be in order that they were first broadcast. (And I had a tough time narrowing down my favorites, so extended this list to 25.)

#6 "Oscar's Ulcer": Oscar has an ulcer, and Felix prohibits him from chasing women and playing poker. (Any show involving Oscar's ulcer was hysterical, in my opinion.)

#11 "Felix Is Missing": Felix gets a rush call for a job in Canada, and Oscar doesn't realize it and thinks Felix is missing. The great Albert Brooks makes one of his early appearances as Rudy Mandel, one of Felix' clients.

#12 "Scrooge Gets An Oscar": The only Odd Couple Christmas show, as Oscar refuses to act in a Christmas play, and has a terrible nightmare he's Scrooge.

#13 "The Blackout": $50 goes missing when the boys are playing poker, and Felix is certain Oscar stole the money.

#23 "What Does a Naked Lady Say To You?": Felix is dating a librarian, but Murray discovers she's really an actress in an all-nude play.

#27 "Hospital Mates": Felix and Oscar end up in a hospital together, Felix with an operation on his nose and Oscar with an injured foot.

#32 "The Fat Farm": Felix and Oscar check into a health spa together, where Oscar cracks.

#33 "The Odd Couple Meet Their Host": Oscar goes on a talk show with David Steinberg and ridicules Felix, and he demands equal time.

#37 "Felix The Calypso Singer": Felix and Oscar go down to a Caribbean island, and when Oscar's girlfriend Nancy announces she can go while they're down there, Felix has to leave.

#41 "You Saved My Life": Oscar saves Felix's life, and Felix won't stop thanking him for it.

#58 "Password": Felix and Oscar go on the TV quiz show "Password" together. One of the all-time best.

#63 "The Ides of April": Felix gets called into the IRS office and is convinced he's on his way to jail.

#64 "Myrna's Debut": Myrna is convinced she can become a tap dancing star and enlists Felix's help in making her dream come true.

#66 "My Strife In Court": Felix and Oscar get nailed for ticket scalping and wind up in court, which features the infamous "assume" moment.

#67 "Let's Make a Deal": Felix and Oscar go on "Let's Make a Deal" to try and win Felix a new bed.

#69 "Take My Furniture Please": Felix gets the great idea to bring in all-new furniture to the apartment, but Oscar hates it and brings in his idea of "new furniture."

#70 "The Murray Who Came To Dinner": Murray walks out on his wife, and moves in with Felix and Oscar.

#75 "The Odd Holiday": Another flashback episode, when Oscar, Felix and their wives take a vacation to the Caribbean island of Hockaloma, and it costs Felix his marriage.

#78 "The Songwriter": Felix writes a song, "Happy and Peppy and Bursting With Love" for actress/singer Jaye P. Morgan.

#79 "Felix Directs": Felix makes a documentary "Mondo Filth", about Oscar, and a friend of Oscar's suggests he direct his movie.

#83 "A Barnacle Adventure": Oscar's inventing dentist gets the boys to invest in his barnacle glue invention.

#86 "The Flying Felix": Felix is suddenly afraid to fly, and Oscar does all he can to get him back on an airplane.

#93 "The Rain In Spain": Felix tries to change Myrna to get her back with her old boyfriend Sheldn (yes, with no "O", as it was left off his birth certificate). Features one of the show's funniest moments at the end, when the boys meet Myrna's brother and sister.

#108 "Felix The Horse Player": Oscar finds a sure way of winning at the horses, and brings in Felix as his partner.

#114 "Felix Remarries": In the show's final episode, Felix and Gloria get back together and get married again.

With thanks to both Jack Klugman and the late Tony Randall. They made magic for five years together.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lowrie & Weiland Sent To Houston

The Red Sox traded Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland to the Houston Astros for one-time Yankee prospect Mark Melancon.

Houston used Melancon as a closer for most of 2011, and he had 20 saves, and 2.78 ERA in 74 1/3 innings.

I would guess the Red Sox will use him as either the 8th inning or closer next season.

After last season's debacle in September, I figured Weiland had no future in Boston. And Lowrie not gets a chance to play every day in Houston, if he can ever stay healthy.

And to take Lowrie's place, the Sox signed utility infielder Nick Punto to a two-year deal, at a total of $3 million.

I Guess The Mets Aren't Very Good At Arithmetic

The Mets are having their 50th anniversary season in 2012, and will be wearing the patch on the bottom left. That's all well and fine, as teams should honor their major anniversaries. (Don't know if the Red Sox will wear a patch for their 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, but I bet they will.)

This got me to thinking that the Mets wore a 25th anniversary patch for the 1986 season, but wasn't something wrong with that? If 2012 is the 50th anniversary season for the Mets, shouldn't 1987 have been their 25th anniversary year? When I went to school, 1962 + 25 = 1987. 1986 was the Mets 25th season, and their 24th anniversary year, just as 2012 is the Mets 51st season, and their 50th anniversary year.

Using the logic they did back in '86, 2012 should be the Mets 51st anniversary.

As any Mets fan can tell you, Mets management just doesn't seem to be very good at math these days.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tek: Please Retire

The Red Sox announced they have come to terms with former Rays,Indians and Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach on a one-year deal. He will most likely backup Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and his presence means one thing: Jason Varitek's time in Boston is most likely over.

Shoppach didn't hit much for the Rays last season, but he did throw out 41% of all the base runners attempting to steal in 2011. (Wouldn't be nice to actually see some opposition guys thrown out at second next season?)

This surely means the road has ended for Tek. And I really hope he doesn't do what many past-their-prime athletes have done: hang on for one more year with another team after spending a successful career with just one. Think of when Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas and Dwight Evans limping to end of the line with another club instead of the one they should be remembered for.

I really hope Tek calls it a career, and begins his next one as a coach or manager. I remember Peter Gammons once saying he would definitely be managing an MLB team one day, and I tend to agree with him. Tek will be 40 in April, and it's really time he step away.

I can only thank him for being One of the 25, and his contributions to the Red Sox will live forever. I hope the Captain uses some sense and walks away with his dignity in tact, and doesn't go somewhere else just to hang on and get a paycheck. He's better than that.

And Captain, thanks always for this lasting image:
It's the way I'll always remember you.

They Need To Be Saved From The Savior

It's really tough sledding being a Mets fan these days.

As a matter of full disclosure, I come from a family of devoted Mets fans, and my earliest years were filled of memories seeing the Mets at Shea Stadium. I was a huge Mets fan, but an act of heresy committed on June 15, 1977 pushed me away as a fan. You remember that: when the Franchise, Tom Seaver, was run out of town by the infamous M. Donald Grant and his minions in the press.

The Red Sox came into my life, but that's story for another time.

In the late 1970s I said I would take the Mets back when the team was sold to someone who had the first clue as to how to run an MLB franchise. And the Mets saviors appeared in the form of Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon. It seemed like a new day had dawned for the Mets, as they brought in Frank Cashen as GM, who had been the brains behind those championship teams in Baltimore in the 1970s.

The Mets won a championship in 1986, and were the toasts of New York in the mid-to-late 1980s. It was great to see the Mets on top of the city again, and the Yankees be little more than an afterthought. But it didn't last, as Doubleday was bought out by Wilpon, and the Mets went horribly off the rails in the early 1990s, and they really haven't regained any of the magic that made them special a quarter-century ago.

Today the Mets have become just a bad joke. And they remind me so much of the darkest days of the franchise of the late 1970s. Remember when the daughters of the late Joan Payson, a very good baseball person, tried to run this team after Grant? I've done my best to forget them also.

The Mets need to be saved from the savior. And right now.

A dark cloud has descended on the once-proud franchise. It will not be lifted until the Wilpons have been run out of town. I won't go into all their misdeeds, as the Ponzi scheme they were involved in is well-known. But it was revealed yesterday that the Mets were granted another loan, and for $40 million. This after they couldn't pay back a $25 million loan from MLB earlier this year. They made no attempt whatsoever to sign Jose Reyes, and let him sign with the Miami Marlins. Sandy Alderson also revealed that the Mets lost a staggering $70 million last season.

It's 1979 all over again. Is this anyway to run a franchise in the nation's largest market?

Fred Wilpon and his idiot son Jeff have run the Mets into the ground and made the club a laughingstock. But since they are good pals with MLB commissioner Bud Selig, don't bet that MLB will do to them what they did to Frank McCourt and his destruction of the Dodgers. I fear that the only way the Mets can be saved is if they lose the lawsuit by Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme victims. They might finally be forced to sell the club entirely.

New York will only become a two-team town again with the Wilpons in the rear view mirror.

It simply can't happen soon enough.

Trivia Q&A: December 12

Whenever we move Trivia over to a different night, it is always problematic as to how many folks will come out. But I was really pleased to see many of the regulars in the house on Monday night, as we had 13 teams in on a special Monday night edition of Trivia. (The bar will be hosting a private party on Tuesday night, hence the switch.) I thank all of you for rearranging your schedules and coming out.

We seemed to have nothing but ties in all of the first four rounds, and going into IQ Trivia, first, third and fifth place were all knotted up. But one of the teams tied for third, Santa-dusky Is Coming To Town (the Best Team Name winner), ran the table and got all five correct in the last round to jump into first place and win with 56 points. It was their first ever win on Trivia Night.

Second place went to Insert Belgian Joke with 50 points, and third place went to The Real Vicious Felony Is That Mariska Hargitay Didn't Get To Kiss John Quinn with 49 points.

We will return to Trivia on its regular day and time next week: Tuesday, December 20th at 9 PM.

Current Events
1. What TV actress slammed Newt Gingrich and his plan to have poor kids serve as janitors on her Twitter account last week?
2. Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin was recently kicked off a plane after getting into an argument with a flight attendant from what airline over his using his iPad?
3. South Carolina Republicans briefly considered selling the "naming rights" to its 2012 presidential primary after TV talk show host?
4. What European country finally swore in a new government last week after 541 days of negotiations?
5. Randy Babbitt, the head of what federal agency, resigned last week, three days after being arrested for drunk driving?
6. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was one of three people to win the Nobel Peace Prize last weekend. What African country is she president of?
7. What TV series attempted to film an episode in Lower Manhattan last Friday based on the Occupy Wall Street movement, but real OWS people shut it down and forced the NYPD to revoke the show's filming permit?

Q-Tip Trivia
1. Which of the following countries are located in the continent of Africa? a. Guyana; b. Mozambique; c. Mynamar; d. Benin.
2. Which NFL teams have never won a Super Bowl? a. Tampa Bay Bucs; b. New Orleans Saints; c. Jacksonville Jaguars; d. Philadelphia Eagles.
3. Which of the following states has been the site of the birth of a US president? a. New Jersey; b. Connecticut; c. Wyoming; d. Kentucky.
4. Which of the following bands were recently elected to the 2012 class at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? a. Guns N' Roses; b. Kiss; c. Rush; d. The Moody Blues.
5. Which of the following films from the 2000s were nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award? a. Erin Brockovich; b. Gangs of New York; c. The Queen; d. Avatar.
6. Which of the current TV shows are broadcast on HBO? a. Boardwalk Empire; b. Hung; c. Mad Men; d. The Closer.
7. Which of the following planets are smaller in size than Earth? a. Neptune; b. Uranus; c. Saturn; d. Mars.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
2. Almost half the paper currency in the circulation in the US at the end of the Civil War was counterfeit.
3. The US is the second largest country in area, after Russia.
4. "The Godfather Part II" was the first sequel to win the Best Picture Oscar.
5. Tornadoes rarely move at speeds greater than 40 MPH.
6. Pasta originated in Italy.
7. Elvis Presley had a black-belt in karate.
8. The abbreviation for the state of Missouri is MS.
9. Ludwig van Beethoven composed only one opera in his lifetime.
10. The "S" in Harry S. Truman stands for nothing.

General Knowledge
1. Who was the fifth President of the United States? ( 1 pt)
2. If the temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, how many degrees Celsius is it? ( 1 pt)
3. Prague is the capital of what European country? ( 1 pt)
4. What rock band disbanded in 1980 after the death of its drummer John Bonham? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the term for three consecutive strikes in ten-pin bowling? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the only city in the world located on two continents? ( 2 pt)
7. The 2010-11 "Jasmine Revolution" took place in what North African country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Until 1841, what country maintained a settlement in Sonoma County, California called Fort Ross? ( 4 points)
2. The alter-ego of what superhero worked as a freelance photographer at the Daily Bugle newspaper? ( 3 points)
3. What object does a selenologist study? ( 5 points)
4. Charles Carroll, the only Roman Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence, represented what US state? ( 4 points)
5. Ganymede is the largest moon of what planet? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Eva Longoria; 2. American Airlines; 3. Stephen Colbert; 4. Belgium; 5. FAA; 6. Liberia; 7. "Law and Order SVU."

Q-Tip Trivia
1. b,d; 2. c,d; 3. a,b,d; 4. a; 5. all; 6. a,b; 7.d.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false, Canada; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false, China; 7. true; 8. false, MO; 9. true; 10. true.

General Knowledge
1. James Monroe; 2. zero; 3. Czech Republic; 4. Led Zeppelin; 5. turkey; 6. Istanbul; 7. Tunisia.

IQ Trivia
1. Russia; 2. Spiderman; 3. The moon; 4. Maryland; 5. Jupiter.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Can Someone Please Explain This To Me?

Why in the world does CBS schedule "60 Minutes" at 7 PM on Sunday nights during the NFL season, when the games that begin at 4:15 PM (and WHY 4:15 PM for crying out loud??) rarely ever end before three hours?

Absolutely inane. And it plays havoc with the DVR.

Has anyone explained this to the boneheads who run CBS? "60 Minutes" started 42 minutes late tonight, and EVERY Sunday night it starts late with a post-4 PM game.

Anyway, it was another rotten day for the Minnesota Vikings today. No Adrian Peterson again, and Christian Ponder was gutting it out with a sore hip. It appeared they were going to be blown out of their socks today in Detroit, as the Lions ran out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, and I had visions of the Lions scoring 50 or more points.

But the Vikings showed some guts. It was a terrible day for Ponder, who was picked off three times and lost a fumble in the end zone for a TD. He was pulled in the third quarter with the score at 28-14, and Joe Webb came on and pumped some life in the team, and led them to 2 TDs, one of which he ran for 65 yards.

It was 34-28 in the final minutes, and Webb led the Vikes down the field, and got them to the one yard line with 9 seconds to play. They actually had a shot to win, and the last time the Vikings came from 21 points down to win was in December 1985 when they beat the Eagles. But Webb fumbled on the next play and the ball was recovered by the Vikings as the clock ran out. The Lions got away with a facemask penalty on the play, which would have extended the game by one more play with the Vikes getting the ball inside the one.

It was the 8th Vikings loss by seven points or less. They are now 2-11, with three more games before the 2011 season comes to a merciful end. All that remains is whether they will match their worst record in team history at 3-13, or even be worse than that at 2-14.


Q-Tip On a Special Monday Night

We will be having a special Monday night edition of Trivia Night at Professor Thom's tomorrow, due to a party the bar will be hosting on Tuesday night. And we will be having Trivia at a special time as well: 8:30 PM. (We will go back to the usual day and time next week, on December 20th at 9 PM.)

This week we will have "Q-Tip Trivia" as the Special Category, and that is when I ask you seven general knowledge, multiple choice questions, and the answer can be 1, 2, 3, all 4, or none correct. You have to decide which are true and you get a point for each correct answer. However, if you make a wrong choice, you automatically get no points for that question. So you have to be careful.

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

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What is the term for three consecutive strikes in ten-pin bowling?"

We get started tomorrow a little earlier, at 8:30 PM. We go back to normal next Tuesday at 9 PM, and will stay at that day and time for the foreseeable future. And next week will be our special Christmas edition of Trivia. But I do hope to see many of you that can make it in tomorrow night.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Occupy SVU

I don't talk very much on this blog about my background acting gigs, as I do most of that on my Facebook page. (No real reason for that, it's just worked out that way.) But yesterday, I was called on to be an extra on the TV show, "Law and Order: SVU", which I have done four times in the past, the most recent was in October of 2010. I've always enjoyed doing the show, as it's always a good shoot.

The "Law and Order" people were doing their "Occupy Wall Street" episode, and I was suppose to be an OWS protester. As we were doing another scene on Chambers Street early in the morning, one of the production assistants told me that the OWS scene had been canceled. After the scene was done, I checked on my brand new iPhone, and a friend of mine had sent me a link from the New York Times that the scene had been cut because real-life OWS people had invaded the set and had occupied it.

I knew this was going to be an interesting day, but I didn't think it would take this bizarre twist.

The word got out on Thursday night that the show was filming in Foley Square on Friday, and about 100 protesters invaded the set and would not leave. That is, until the NYPD arrived and ordered everyone to leave, and the city had rescinded the producers' permit to film there. I'm guessing they feared real trouble there on Friday when the filming would have started.

In an interesting twist, one of the show's executive producers wrote on Twitter (since deleted; see above link for more) that the protesters would have been shown in a sympathetic light in the episode. (I heard that the show revolved around a city councilman who gets involved with one of the OWS protesters and is accused of rape. Not sure if that is 100% true or not.)

I really haven't talked about this subject, but I can honestly say I don't get these OWS protesters. I'm still trying to find some kind of point to all these "encampments." I was going to play one of them on TV on Friday, but that didn't happen. Actually, they got me out of more work, as I would have been on the set far longer on Friday in the chilly weather. So I guess I should be thanking them. I suppose.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


The night of December 8, 1980 was one of the worst of my life. I can't believe 31 years have passed since.

We miss you always, John.

Here's one of my favorite solo John songs, about the city we both love:

Papi Returns As Pujols Sells His Soul

David Ortiz will return for a 10th season with the Red Sox, as he officially accepted arbitration by last night's midnight deadline.

He and the Red Sox can still negotiate a two-year deal up until the arbitration case is heard, which figures to be in February. The Red Sox haven't had an arbitration case since 2002. So I would bet a new deal with Papi will get done at some point.

The Red Sox also today revealed many of the things they plan to do in honor of Fenway Park's 100th anniversary. Check here to see some of them.

And today the big news is that Albert Pujols has decided where he wants to play in 2012 and beyond. It is not St. Louis.

It's Anaheim, with the L.A. Angels. The deal is said to be around $250-260 million for ten years.

So much for Pujols caring about his legacy as being one of the "all-time great Cardinals." I'm sure Redbird fans are feeling betrayed today. Listen, if he wants to go for the big money, so be it. It's his right. But I don't want to hear the words "it wasn't about the money" when the Angels introduce him at the press conference. I would actually have had more respect for Pujols if he had accepted a smaller offer from the Cardinals to remain with the team for life. It would have reminded me of Kirby Puckett turning down more lucrative offers from the Red Sox and White Sox in the early 1990s to stay in Minnesota with the Twins for the remainder of his career. And you can see how revered he is in the Twin Cities, and always will be.

I hope you enjoy the additional money, Albert. You just trashed your legacy.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Trivia Q&A: December 6

We had a terrific turnout at Professor Thom's on another rainy night in Manhattan. (Does it rain every Tuesday night now?) 20 teams took in the Trivia, which included my friend and devoted Trivia regular Gillian, fresh off her appearance on Jeopardy last Thursday.

We had close scores all night, and they were pretty strong in both Even Numbered Trivia and General Knowledge. Four points separated the top five teams going into IQ Trivia, but the team in first, No Cain Do, got 4 of the 5 questions correct to win the night with 51 points. Nice job by Emily and her friends, as always.

Second place went to Did Jim's Small Heart Grow 3 Sizes Today, Or Is He Just Happy To See Me? won a tiebreaker to take second place with 49 points. Third place went to Mysterious Black Boxes, also with 49 points. (And the pitcher of beer is yours on your next Trivia Night!)

Best Team Name: I Saw Professor Thom's Trivia Guy at the Strip Club Last Night...Busted!

A reminder that next week's Trivia Night will be on Monday, December 12th at 8:30 PM, due to a party in the bar next Tuesday night. We will return to Tuesday night on December 20th at 9 PM.

Current Events
1. The UK government recently expelled all diplomats from what country out of England?
2. What 16-term Congressman announced last week he will not seek re-election in 2012?
3. What airline, the world's fourth largest, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection?
4. A rare and pristine copy of the first appearance of what comic book superhero set a new record last week for the most money ever paid for a single comic book: $2.16 million?
5. 200 pieces of jewelry worth over $50 million will go up for auction at Christie's, along with other memorabilia from what late actress next week?
6. What prestigious New England university was recently selected by Unigo as "the best place to go to college in the United States?"
7. A class at Georgetown University is being offered this semester about which popular rap star?

December 6th Trivia
1. On this day in 1790, the US Congress moved from New York City to what other city?
2. In 1865, slavery was officially banned by what number amendment to the US Constitution?
3. In 1917, Finland declared their independence from what country?
4. On this day in 1973, who was confirmed by the House of Representatives as the 40th Vice-President of the United States?
5. In 1933, which novel by James Joyce was ruled bot to be obscene by a US federal judge?
6. In 1969, Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by the Hell's Angels at a concert by what rock band at Altamont Speedway in California?
7. In 1992, what Hall of Fame wide receiver broke Steve Largent's record for touchdowns receiving in a career with his 101st?

Even Numbered Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. The pearl wedding anniversary is this number of years.
2. To the closest round number, a marathon is this number of miles.
3. Arizona is this number US state.
4. The current Pope, Benedict, is this number.
5. Cancer is this number sign of the Zodiac.
6. This is the freezing point of water at sea level in degrees Fahrenheit.
7. This is the total number of days in a fortnight.
8. This number was retired throughout MLB in honor of Jackie Robinson.
9. The highest number on a standard dartboard is this number.
10. This is the approximate total number of grams in an ounce.

General Knowledge
1. Gavin McLeod played Captain Merrill Stubing in what hit TV series? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the official name for the tick-like logo of the Nike sports company? ( 1 pt)
3. What color is Pac Man in the classic video game? ( 1 pt)
4. Elton John won an Oscar for the song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," which was featured in what movie? ( 2 pt)
5. Faber College was the setting for what 1978 film? ( 2 pt)
6. What battle is commemorated by Nelson's Column in London? ( 2 pt)
7. What is the largest state in area in Australia? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. "The Bridal Chorus," also known as "Here Comes The Bride," comes from an opera by what classical composer? (4 points)
2. What nation became the second independent country in North and South America, after the United States? ( 5 points)
3. Becky Thatcher was the sweetheart of what famous literary character? ( 4 points)
4. The murder of Laura Palmer was the centerpiece of what 1990s TV series? ( 3 points)
5. FBI agent Robert Ressler is credited with inventing what two-word "crime term" in the 1970s? ( 4 points)

Current Events
1. Iran; 2. Barney Frank; 3. American Airlines; 4. Superman; 5. Elizabeth Taylor; 6. Boston University; 7. Jay-Z.

December 6th Trivia
1. Philadelphia; 2. thirteen; 3. Russia; 4. Gerald Ford; 5. "Ulysses;" 6. The Rolling Stones; 7. Jerry Rice.

Even Numbered Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 30; 2. 26; 3. 48; 4. 16; 5. 4; 6. 32; 7. 14; 8. 42; 9. 20; 10. 28.

General Knowledge
1. "The Love Boat;" 2. swoosh; 3. yellow; 4. "The Lion King:" 5. "Animal House;" 6. Trafalgar; 7. Western Australia.

IQ Trivia
1. Richard Wagner; 2. Haiti; 3. Tom Sawyer; 4. "Twin Peaks;" 5. serial killer.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Trading Places

I knew Tito was going take a year away from the dugout.

And that's what Terry Francona will be doing, as he will be the third man in the booth on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" with Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser. Tito will also be doing some baseball analysis during "Baseball Tonight" and other ESPN baseball shows. On Sunday Night Baseball, he replaces, of course, Bobby Valentine.

Who replaced Terry Francona in the Red Sox dugout.

That first Sunday night game involving the Red Sox should be more than an interesting game, to say the least.

My Thanks To Josie Wood's

It is with regret that I announce that Wednesday Night Trivia at Josie Wood's pub will no longer be happening. The bar manager and I mutually decided to suspend it, as we were not getting the crowds we had hoped for. We gave it six months, and I'm sorry it just didn't work out.

I thank everyone at Josie Wood's for the opportunity. Martin and his staff run a very good bar, and I was treated very well there. I encourage all of you to go there, at Waverly Place and Mercer Street.

Tuesday Night Trivia at Professor Thom's continues to bring in the big crowds, and I encourage all of you to come tonight, and every Tuesday. (However, we will doing Trivia next week on Monday, December 12th at 8:30 PM, due to party at Thom's on Tuesday. We go back to our normal Tuesday nights on December 20th at 9 PM.)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Time To Get Even On Tuesday

On Tuesday night, Professor Thom's Trivia will have "December 6th Trivia," seven questions about the day in history, as the Special Category, and "Even Numbered Trivia" as the Q Train lightning round. Every answer will be an even number between 1 and 50.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Faber College was the setting for what 1978 film?"

We get going shortly after 9 PM on Tuesday night. A note about next week. Due to a party being held at Professor Thom's on Tuesday, December 13th, we will be having Trivia Night next week on Monday night, December 12th, and at a special time of 8:30 PM. We will return to our usual Tuesday night edition on December 20th at 9 PM.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Fox Ruins Football, Too

I watched the Vikings-Broncos game today on Fox, as it was broadcast locally here in New York. It turned into a great game between two young QBs who know each other well: Christian Ponder of Florida State versus Tim Tebow of Florida.

Ponder has harrassed all day by the Denver defense, and injured his hip early on. But the kid showed a lot of guts, and set the Vikings rookie record for most yards thrown in a game: 381 yards. He went 29-for-47, with three TDs, two to Percy Harvin. But he threw two costly interceptions.

One was brought back for a TD in the first quarter, and the other happened inside two minutes to play with the game tied at 29. Denver brought the ball down to the five yard line and ran the clock down to two seconds, before kicking the game-winning field goal for a 35-32 win.

A heartbreaking loss for the Vikings, and it was their 10th loss of 2011. Tebow threw two clutch TDs in the second half, and torched the lousy Vikings secondary on both occasions.

But the title of this post refers to the Fox network, who broadcast the game. I knew the network would have to leave the contest if it was still going on by 4:15 PM, as the Giants-Packers game was to follow. TV has those rules about the home market, and that is fine, and I have no problem with that.

The problem I have if that Fox always pulls this crap of not leaving when the late game is kicking off, but BEFORE the game starts, and today they left at 4:11 PM, a full four minutes before the Giants game started. They left the Vikings game just when the Broncos tied it at 32, just inside of two minutes to play. They left to show FOUR BLOODY MINUTES OF COMMERCIALS!! That really pisses me off, as you can read.

I've ranted on this blog about this crap before. (And I'm sure I will again.) Today I was fortunate to have NFL RedZone (which I highly recommend), and I saw most of the plays that ended the game, including the game-winning field goal.

Absolutely no excuse for screwing over fans like this. Only one way to sum it up: Money talks, bullshit walks.

See You In Cooperstown, Petey

Pedro Martinez, One of the 25, said yesterday that he plans to formally announce his retirement from MLB within the next few weeks. He last pitched for the Phillies in 2009, so I'm surprised it's taken Pedro this long to realize his career was over.

His next stop will be in Cooperstown, New York in the summer of 2015, when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame. To honor the Great Pedro, I present this clip from September 10, 1999, when he pitched the greatest game I have ever seen in my life. Pedro was at his all-time best (and should have been MVP that year, as we all know a jackass of a sportswriter left him off his ballot that cost him the award). He beat the Yankees (who just happened to be the defending champions), 3-1, striking out 17. He allowed just a home run to Chili Davis in the second inning, and that was it for New York. The most incredible fact of the night was this: Scott Brosius popped to third base in the fifth inning to start the inning, and he was the last Yankee to hit a fair ball. He retired the following 14 batters in order: 12 on strikeouts, and 2 on foul outs. Simply unbelievable.

Enjoy your retirement, Pedro. And thanks for all the great memories. Especially 2004.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Nice Touch By Bobby V

The fact that Bobby Valentine chose number 25 might have rubbed a few Red Sox fans the wrong way, as it was the number worn by the late Tony Conigliaro, and many feel that number should be retired.

An interesting article by Ron Borges in the Boston Herald tells a story that Valentine told about having been Tony C's roommate at San Diego in 1976 when he tried to make a comeback there after retiring from the Red Sox in 1975. (I never knew Tony tried to make a comeback after leaving the Sox for good in '75.)

Valentine also reached out to Mike Lowell, who last wore the number 25 as well. He gave Valentine his blessing. Nice to see Bobby V discuss what for many is really emotional subject.

In other news, a probe of forgeries is underway of many of Babe Ruth's autographs, and it has the blessing of his family. My friend Pete Nash has more on his great site, Hauls of Shame.

And, the 11th annual Winterball Baseball game will take place tomorrow, December 3rd, at Maplewood Park, in Malden MA, beginning with batting practice at 10 AM. It is to benefit Toys For Tots and US Marine Corps, and it is hosted by the Boston Amateur Baseball Network.

Maplewood Park is at 99 Crystal Street, and it will feature the Young Bucks taking on the Aging Stallions in a nine-inning game. Here's more from past years of the event.

So what if the temperatures are in the 30s on Saturday? Play ball!

UPDATE (12/3): My buddy Jere has an interesting post on his blog that it looks like Bobby Valentine might very well have been mixing up Tony Conigliaro with Joe Pepitone. Check it out.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

A New Sheriff Rides Into Town

Bobby Valentine officially met with the media at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon.
Interesting how many writers from the New York papers were on hand for it.

I was wondering just before the conference began: what number will Bobby V wear? He wore number 2 at both Texas and with the Mets, but Jacoby Ellsbury has that.

He was seen putting on a jersey with number 25 on it.

Let's hope he makes Tony Conigliaro and Mike Lowell both proud.