Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Picnic?

Same old, same old on Survivor: Redemption Island this evening. Matt wins his fifth straight duel and sends the lovely Stephanie home. Special Agent Phillip acts bizarre. Boston Rob’s divas continue to be air-headed and worship the ground he walks on. The Immunity Challenge reward is yet another picnic. Honest. Ometepe proceeds to win another challenge sending the Zapatera tribe back to Tribal Council. The Furry Farmer kept being stupid. And speaking of Tribal Council, Jeff Probst persists on being an instigator and causing trouble. Okay, that’s it. See you next week.

Alright, I will elaborate. But not a whole lot.

Matt, who somehow thinks God likes him better than anyone else, beat Stephanie in a game of concentration to win the Redemption Island duel, sending her home. After shedding a few tears, Stephanie told off the Furry Farmer and warned Boston Rob to watch his back. I’m going to miss that girl.

Special Agent Phillip continues being one of the strangest Survivor characters since Coach. He is especially entertaining when he goes off on Boston Rob’s petulant little harem of bimbos. I will miss the Special Agent when he goes.

Speaking of Boston Rob’s girls, when they are done on Survivor, they could easily get roles on one of those moronic VH1 reality shows. Oh, and by the way, someone please tell Andrea that she is from Wisconsin, not the San Fernando Valley.

Believe it or not, once again the reward for winning the Immunity Challenge is huge ass picnic lunch, this time complete with alcohol. I think facebook friend Patty 4-Names wasn’t far off when she suggested that Boston Rob’s harem might actually put on weight while being on Survivor.

Everyone knows what cohesive means. Don’t they? The Furry Farmer is dumber than a box of rocks. Wait, I take that back. That isn’t fair to boxes of rocks. And could someone please tell me what that big black thing was on his furry shoulder. I was waiting for it to crawl off of him, but it never moved.

Tribal Council has become the Jeff Probst show. Like I said before, he is an instigator and troublemaker. And he does it so well that Woody Woodpecker would be jealous. Then again, with the bunch of numbskulls they have this season, somebody has to make it interesting. It sure won’t be Julie. Unless of course her face finally cracks. Now, that would be cool.

The only thing that was out of the ordinary tonight was when the Zapatera tribe finally wised up and voted off Sarita instead of David.. That broad was so arrogant, she didn’t even bring her personal belongings. I guess she wasn’t expecting to get sent to Redemption Island. She guessed wrong. Ha!

That’s all I got for this week’s recap. The announcement of a merge during the coming attractions raised my eyebrow. Next week should be mighty interesting. Boston Rob looked a little concerned. Maybe his harem won’t want to be sleeping in his underwear much longer.

Tonight is the last time you can vote on my poll. If you haven’t already voted, make sure you do. The poll is just to the right of this blog. Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Memories From The Booth

Back in September of 2008, I wrote a short blog called “From The Booth”. It sheds some light on I how came up with the name for my blog. I let you know that from the late ‘70s all the way to the early ‘90s, I was heavily involved with softball. When not managing the infamous 400 Club squad, I could be found in the booth at Finney's West, announcing games. On average, I was in that booth for 18 to 24 games a week, games that provided me with countless memories. I have decided to start sharing some of those memories with you from time to time.

My main duty in the booth was to announce and keep score for the game. Typically, I would call the managers up to the booth; ask them to write their lineup on a card we provided for them. Using the completed cards, I would transfer the lineups onto the official scorecard. I would then look up the individual player batting averages that I had calculated prior to coming to the park, so I was able to announce them during the game. That being done, I would them announce the game.

In addition to that, once the game had began, I was also my responsibility to collect money from the teams, schedule upcoming tournaments, make sure the scoreboard was correct, phone the head umpire with game times and pay the umps, the other announcers and scoreboard operators.

Oh ya, I was also getting the information ready for the next game that would be starting at the top of the hour.

Despite all of that activity, I did manage to find time to have some fun. On occasion it actually involved filling out the lineup cards. 
One such instance was when Joe Gigliotti came to the booth to turn fill out the line up card for the team he managed, I believe it was Whale of a Wash and was sponsored by Terry Keller. It was an early Saturday morning tournament game.

After several attempts to get him up to the booth by calling over the PA, Joe finally made it. Standing behind the chest-high counter, the amiable manager greeted me cheerfully saying, “Hi Paulie, where are the lineup cards?”

Without looking up from my scorecard, I pointed to the pile of lineup cards in the small wooden box located on the wall just to the left of Joe’s shoulder. “Thanks, Paulie”, he chirped.

I nodded, muttering, “No problem” and went back to the game I was announcing. Thirty seconds later I was interrupted by, “Hey, where’s a pen?”

Again, not looking away from the game that I was announcing, I calmly asked, “Joe, isn’t there a pen on the counter right in front of you?”  A sheepish, “Oops, sorry Paulie” was his reply.

Once more I turned my attention back to announcing the game. Again I was interrupted, this time by Joe frustratingly asking me for a pen that works, because “This one don’t work!”

Still not looking, I abruptly thrust out my left hand and said, “Let me see that pen, Gigs.” I called him “Gigs” because that’s what we Italians do, we shorten up the names of people and add an s. It’s what we do.

After taking the pen from the frustrated manager, I successfully scribbled with it on an old lineup card. Tossing it back on the counter, I curtly told him that it worked fine.

For a third time, I attempted to go back to the game I was supposed to be announcing. As you have probably already guessed, Joe had other plans for me.

I might be paraphrasing, but I do believe the phrase, “This piece of shit don’t work!” was expressed in my direction. And it was in a very exasperated tone, no less.

This time I turned to look at the testy Joe Gigs. What I saw nearly caused me to burst into uncontrollable laughter. There he was standing with the card at a 90° angle against the wall trying his best to write his lineup on it.

Trying my best not to chuckle, I shouted, “Joe! For crying out loud, that’s a 29¢ Bic special, it’s not going to write when you are holding it perpendicular to the card against the wall!”

The befuddled look at his face quickly told me that any further attempts at explanation would be futile. I stood up at the counter across from Joe, asked him for the lineup card and put it on the counter. I then told him to try one more time.

When the pen miraculously began to write, the look on Joe’s face immediately went from befuddlement to one of amazement. That look quickly changed to a suspicious grin when he loudly asked, “How did you do that, Paulie?”

Honest. He did. You can’t make up stuff like that.

I just shook my head in disbelief and went back to announcing the game, this time without any interruption. Joe successfully filled out his lineup card, his team then lost its game by the slaughter rule and I announced eight more games on that warm Saturday.

But none with such an comical beginning.

That’s just one of the numerous memories from the booth. I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I did reliving it in my mind as I wrote it. Before you click away, please make sure that you vote for your favorite Rock bands in the new poll just to the right of the blog. Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Survivor Or Beauty Pageant?

Tonight’s episode of Survivor: Redemption Island had me wondering whether or not this was really Survivor that I was watching. When Special Agent Phillip told Natalie and Ashley that this wasn’t a beauty pageant, he should have chosen his words more carefully. If he had said, “This isn’t SUPPOSED to be a beauty pageant”, he would have been a little closer to the reality of the situation. It might not quite be a beauty pageant, but it sure isn’t Survivor like I remember it.

The show wasn’t five minutes old this evening and we were being treated to the lovely sight of watching Natalie trim Ashley’s armpit hair! When they announced that they were going to trim their leg hair next, I was fully expecting to hear that a Brazilian would be soon to follow.

First of all, I must tell you that the personalities of these divas have qualified them as two of the ugliest beautiful people that I have ever laid my eyes on.

These beauty queens are only part of the reason that I am questioning whether this is really Survivor anymore. For instance, where did they get the scissors necessary to keep their armpits properly coiffed?

Oh ya, that’s right they received a huge crate of Sears Craftsman tools on day nine when their tribe won the Immunity/Reward Challenge. It must have been in there somewhere. Or maybe it was in the toolbox given to each tribe at the beginning of this “journey of a lifetime”.

Give me a break.

Was tonight the third or the fourth time they fed the winners of a challenge? And the mopes acted as if were ready to keel over. For crying out loud, they started out with rice and water from the get-go.

They are a bunch of pampered prima donnas who act as if they have never watched a single minute of Survivor in their lives.

The sad thing is that this season started out with so much promise. Then those dopes from Zapatera threw a challenge so they could vote off “RESELL”. How’s that working out for you now? Morons.

Oh ya, tonight they voted off “STIFINIE”, yet another strong player. The imbeciles should have listened to Dave the lawyer when he said they should be keeping the strongest players rather than worrying about who they can trust.

I suppose that means he will be the next to go when Zapatera loses it’s next challenge. It will be interesting to see how the Furry Farmer spells “Dave”.

The only thing that keeps me watching this season is Boston Rob and Special Agent Phillip. There is a reason that producer Mark Burnett brought Boston Rob and Russell back this season and added the Redemption Island twist.

He wanted to make sure there were at least two people who knew how to play this game and keep them around as long as possible.

As a Survivor Geek who has seen every episode of all 22 seasons, I have to admit I am very concerned. What can we look forward to in the seasons to come? Can they possibly pussify this great game anymore than they already have?

Here’s an idea for season 23. Survivor Borneo.

That’s right, bring back Richard Hatch, Kelly Wigglesworth, Rudy Boesch, Susan Hawk, Sean Kenniff, Colleen Haskell, Gervase Peterson, Jenna Lewis, Greg Buis, Gretchen Cordy, Joel Klug, Dirk Been, Ramona Gray, Stacey Stillman, B.B. Anderson and Sonja Christopher from that historic first season that debuted on May 31, 2000.

Alright, Rudy would be pushing 83 and Richard will probably be back in prison, but it can’t be any worse than this garbage! At least make next season an encore performance of Survivor: Borneo with commentary from those first contestants. It would be a marked improvement over the current crop of dimwits that we have playing a diluted version of this once great game.

In closing, you better thank your lucky stars for Boston Rob and Special Agent Phillip. Until next time…from the booth.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Notes From The Booth

I have a few random things that I wanted to let the blog world know about today. Nothing earth shattering, just a few pieces of information. First, I have to let you know that the day started out splendidly. At 7:18 A.M., I won $12.50 on the Money Wheel on WLIP! On top of that, I also won a $10.00 gift certificate from Something Different. It’s billed as a sports fan’s gift shop. Nice, huh? I guess I will have to keep listening to Bill Lawrence's excellent Wake Up Call show.

Speaking of sports, last night the Bada Bing! Fantasy baseball league held it’s annual draft. 2011 marks the 6th season of our league. It has been called the Bada Bing! each year except the first when it was the Big Sticks League. Here is what my draft looked liked:

Satriale’s Meat Roster

1. Ryan Braun, Brewers OF
2. Prince Fielder, Brewers 1B
3. Tim Lincecum, Giants SP
4. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 2B
5. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers SP
6. Brian McCann, Braves C
7. Andre Ethier, Dodgers OF
8. Cole Hamels, Phillies SP
9. Alexei Ramírez, White Sox SS
10. Casey McGehee, Brewers 3B
11. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox RP
12. Gio González, Athletics SP
13. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox OF
14. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers RP
15. Delmon Young, Twins OF
16. John Danks, White Sox SP
17. Paul Konerko, White Sox 1B
18. Miguel Tejada, Giants 3B,SS
19. Derek Lowe, Braves SP
20. Aubrey Huff, Giants 1B,OF
21. Vernon Wells, Angels OF

I am pretty happy with it. Not only was I able to get Braun and Fielder in the first two rounds, but I also picked up Gallardo and McGehee in later rounds. Four Brewers and NO Cubs. Outstanding!

Since I am in such good spirits, I have decided to do something nice. Starting today, the first two people who buy my book will receive a “Some Kenosha Softball” cap. That’s right, for only $15.00, you not only get my book, but also an embroidered baseball cap like the one I am wearing in my blog picture.

So get over to Sister Act Painting and Creative Treasures on 3816 Roosevelt Road and be one of the first two people to pick up a copy of my book. The store hours are:

Monday, Wednesday, Tuesday and Friday – 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Saturday – 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The store is closed Sunday and Tuesday.

One last thing, evidently most of you have not seen my new poll located to the right of this blog. It asks you to name your favorite Match Game celebrity. So far, only three people have participated in this very important survey. There are only a few days left, so please do your part!

Okay, you have your assignments – buy a book (and get a hat) and do my poll. Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another Koos Memory

On Friday, February 4, 2011, Larry Gutowski died at age 54. Larry, nicknamed Ziggy, was a co-worker of mine at legendary Koos, Inc. In memory of him I posted a blog titled, “R.I.P. Ziggy”. On Tuesday, March 15, 2011, Gary Hopkins passed away. Gary also worked with me at Koos Inc. In fact, he continued working there (it’s now North American Salt Company) until his recent retirement. He was 55 years old. While it saddens me to see another of the Koos alumni pass on, it makes me smile when I think of the good times with Gary.

Gary was one of the most devout professional wrestling fans that I ever knew. Having had the pleasure of attending several wrestling shows with him, I knew that it wasn’t a good idea to tell him that pro wrestling wasn’t real. I didn’t want to get dropkicked.

Yes, Gary loved his wrasslin’. Not only did he know all of the wrestlers, he also knew all of the moves. That’s what almost got us both in trouble at Koos Inc. on a cold winter afternoon.

It was 2:00, which meant it was break time. I was chatting with Chuckie Haubrich when Gary plopped himself down on top of a pallet of 50 lbs. bags of Safe Step® Ice Melter.

I shot a quick grin to Chuckie and when he nodded back, we pounced on the unexpecting Hopkins. In a flash, he squirmed out from under us. This was no small accomplishment for the wiry forklift operator. He was probably 5’10” and 150 lbs. soaking wet, while Chuckie and I were considerably larger. Considerably.

Chuckie was 6’4” and went about 250 lbs. and I was a tad over 6’1” and significantly more than 250 lbs. Significantly more.

The size differential didn’t matter to the feisty Hopkins, he was more than happy to return the favor. He quickly applied several well-placed elbow drops to his much larger assailants and was loving it. Unfortunately his comeback didn’t last very long.

Chuckie and I recovered and soon we had Gary on his back again. I had just applied the sleeper hold on Gary when I noticed Chuckie had dashed out the door and down the ladder to his front-end loader.

Before I could ask him where he was going, I noticed the reason for his quick departure. Koos Superintendent Ed Appling had entered the plant and was heading our way. His eyes widened when he saw what was going on.

Thanks for the heads-up, Chuckie.

As I released my hold on Gary, Appling paused a moment before continuing through the plant on his way toward the warehouse. The very warehouse where Plant Manager Arnie Danielson was, going over shipping orders.

Gary and I were in deep doo-doo.

When our break had ended, we went back to work, Gary driving forklift while I sealed bags. It wasn’t long before Arnie walked into the production area. He called the two of us over to the side. Here it comes.

Or so we thought.

When Gary and I got over to a very solemn Arnie, he told us, “Ed Appling just spoke with me and he was very upset. He said that Vagnoni and Hopkins were wrestling on a pallet of bags.” Gary and I were prepared for the worst.

Then it happened.

Arnie broke into a wide grin and said, “I told him, bet I know who was winning!” He then said that he showed Appling the production numbers we had been putting up and that we were just blowing off some steam. Arnie had baled us out. Relieved, we thanked him and went back to work.

Gary loved wrestling and was a good guy. Although I hadn’t seen him in many years, I will miss certainly him. By the way, the graphic I used for this blog is a photo used for the Crusher’s obituary in 2005. I think Gary would have liked that.

Hopefully I won’t have to write any more blogs like this for a while. Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two Survivor Geeks – Live!

This blog is an experiment that I have considered doing for quite a while. Tonight I am finally going to give it a shot. During this evening’s episode of Survivor: Redemption Island, Fellow Survivor Geek Jamie and I have been emailing back and forth, exchanging comments and observations. Tonight’s (almost) live blog will be a transcript of that exchange. I hope you find this discussion between two Survivor Geeks interesting.

Fellow Survivor Geek Paul – It really hurts seeing Russell getting eliminated all over again. I'm pulling for Kristina to knock off Matt at the Redemption duel. Special Agent Phillip likes Boston Rob!

Fellow Survivor Geek Jamie – In a bromantic way. Where does a man get pink skivvies?

FSGP – From Zapatera – Stephanie and Krista get to view the duel. Julie is cocky. From Ometepe – Rob and Grant. Go Kristina! Wait, what's hanging out of her shorts? Oh no, Matt is giving Boston Rob shit during the duel!! Crap, Matt wins….

FSGJ – I don't like Kristina’s negativity I hope Matt knocks her out.

FSGP – Kristina is gone. Matt wins a third straight duel.

FSGJ – YEAH GO BLONDIE!! Good riddance!

FSGP – Special Agent Philip is gonna make a move. Watch! Nice that he is comparing the young girls to crabs! The young girls from Ometepe are getting on my nerves!

FSGJ – I agree that they are catty. Phil has absolutely no game.

FSGP – He is making a good move working on Ashley. Stephanie and Krista are making it interesting at Zapatera. Steph is hot, in a Fran Drescher kinda way.

FSGJ – Focus P! This isn't a beauty contest. There are too many vapid young chicks in the game for my liking. Oh Shambo where are you???

FSGP – Come on! I know you’re digging on the Special Agent! Not much of the Furry Farmer. These Zapatera dopes don't now how to play Survivor!

FSGJ – Yeah let's have more furry Ralph. More food? WTF? It’s like Survivor buffet this year!

FSGP – I thought the same thing about the food reward! The challenge was kinda interesting. The Furry Farmer is a dope. “Your other left!!” Classic. Your boy Rob finally wins a challenge. Steph is gone, watch. : (

FSGJ – “Move to your other left Ralph.” LOL Uh oh… YEAH BAWWWWSTON!!

FSGP – Who will it be, the vivacious Steph or Krista? Ometepe are really digging that grub!

FSGJ – There are plenty of blonds to make up for her loss. Pastries?? Really? Where is the spider eating and the live chicken raising with everyone splitting 1 egg for the day! It’s an outrage. It’s better than Club Med out there!

FSGP – I’m sorry, Survivor has become “pussified”…

FSGJ – Say it with me! Rob is a Hall of Famer!!!!

FSGP – Zapatera doesn’t have a frickin’ clue. Have they never seen Survivor before?

FSGJ – I wish they had shown more of that sea turtle (I love sea turtles) I don't think this is what you’re looking for in the liveliness of your blog.

FSGP – you’re right, it isn’t! LOL And yes, Boston Rob is a HOFer.

FSGJ – WOO HOO! I think they should get rid of Stephanie. Krista is less of a threat. I don't like how this episode focused on all of this girl drama and pastry.

FSGJ – What? Sarita and Ralph are a couple? When did that happen???

FSGP – Sarita is a fool. Krista isn't bashful, is she? I thought it was a boring Tribal Council. Well, Krista goes. At least I get to see Steph another week.

FSGJ – Focus P! Focus! I wonder who will win on Redemption Island…hmm??

FSGP – I think it has to be Matt. He’s like butter; he’s on a roll…

FSGJ - This season needs more pain and less pampering. Go ROB!

Aright, in case you couldn’t interpret what Jamie and I were babbling about, I will give you a very quick summary.

Kristina lost the Redemption duel to Matt. She is the third person eliminated. Ometepe won the Immunity/Reward Challenge and received a bunch of goodies including coffee and pastries.

And finally, in a rather boring Tribal Council, Krista shot her mouth off enough to be sent to Redemption Island. Next week she will duel with Matt to see who is sent packing.

Well, what do you think? Was interesting? It sure was different. It’s 8:15 pm and I’m just about ready to post the blog! Please let me know. Until next time…from the booth.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A New Rivalry

When I think of sports rivalries, the first one that comes to mind is the World Champion Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. After that, it’s the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs. Nationally, the big rivalries are the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes and the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. But personally, the only ones that really matter to me are the Packers vs. the Bears and the Brewers vs. the Cubs.

That is until recently.

Due to the fact that my English friend Bev Cooper and her entire family are enormous football fans, I might have a new rivalry to consider.

Before continuing, I should make you aware that we are taking about English football or footie, as the Brits like to call it. Over here, we just call it soccer. But that’s a topic for another blog. Back to the new rivalry.

This new “football” rivalry is between Arsenal and its neighbor Tottenham Hotspur, with whom they regularly contest the North London derby. It is sort of like the Packers and the Bears competing for the NFC North division title each year.

Here is a little background on the two football teams from “across the pond”. First Arsenal.

Arsenal Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, having won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups. They hold the record for the longest uninterrupted period in the English top flight and are the only side to have completed a Premier League season unbeaten.

Arsenal is also the third most valuable Association football club in the world as of 2010, valued at $1.2 billion. For much of Arsenal's history, their home colors have been bright red shirts with white sleeves and white shorts. Nicknamed the Gunners, their crest is a cannon, which faces east with the club's name written in a sans-serif typeface above it.

Now for some Tottenham history.

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, commonly referred to as Spurs, are an English Premier League association football club based in Tottenham, North London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane.

The club’s motto is “To Dare Is to Do” and its emblem is a gamecock standing upon a football. Tottenham Hotspur were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season.

At the end of the 19th century the club switched colors to the white shirts and blue shorts, which they are now well known for wearing, hence the nickname “Lilywhites”.

There you have it, Arsenal Gunners and Tottenham Spurs, a bitter rivalry that dates back over 100 years.

On 20 November 2010, Tottenham registered their first win at Arsenal in 17 years when they came from 2-0 down at half time to win 3-2. The win also broke a 68 game run of winless results away from home against the “big four” clubs.

As of that date, the all-time record shows Arsenal with 71 victories to 51 for Spurs. 46 matches have ended in a draw during this storied competition. Perhaps due to the intense rivalry between the clubs, relatively few players have played for both Arsenal and Spurs since 1913.

There you have it, a new rivalry for me to sink my teeth into. Now all that’s left is to choose which side to support, Arsenal or Spurs. That shouldn’t be too hard, just pick a team, right?

Not so fast.

Just as my family members and friends are divided between the Packers and Bears, so are my British friends when it comes to Arsenal and Spurs.

On the Arsenal side, it’s Bev, Sparky, Ben, Louise, Vicky, Poppy, Scott, Debbie, Jake and James. Ten Gunner fans! Not bad, but once again, not so fast.

Showing their support for the blue and white there is Sue, Margaret, Hazel, Christine, Carol, Keith, David, Donald, Dave, Tony, Fred, Eddie, Jamie, Steven, Emma, Claire, Clinton, Mandy and Victoria. Yikes, that’s nineteen! Now what, which team do I back?

Trust me when I tell you that this rivalry is just as contentious as ours, so I have to be very careful. The battles on facebook between the two factions are epic and aren’t for the faint of heart.

After much deliberation, I have decided to throw my support to Arsenal in this historic rivalry. I have three solid reasons. First, I have known Bev the longest, over five years now. Secondly, I think the Arsenal’s cannon is much cooler than that skinny bird standing on a ball. Finally, 9-year-old Jake just received his orange belt in judo and I don’t want any trouble from him. Besides that he’s a Packer fan.

I know I am bound to catch a lot of grief from Spurs fans, especially Sue, Margaret, Mandy and David, but my mind has been made up. Hopefully my fellow Arsenal fans will protect me. GO GUNNERS!

Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest

In case you weren’t paying attention last week, Survivor: Redemption Island belongs to Boston’s Rob. The episode tonight made this even more obvious. The only way he doesn’t win the million dollars is if he screws up in a major way. By sending Kristina to Redemption Island he rid himself of the only person with enough brains to challenge him. He was fully aware of that, that’s why he convinced his mighty band of morons to vote for her. Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest.

And from what I have seen, there isn’t anyone from the Zapatera bunch savvy enough to outwit him when the merger comes. It certainly isn’t the Furry Farmer.

As far as the rest of them go, Stephanie is the lone person who seems to know how Survivor is supposed to be played. But she isn’t long for this game because she was a disciple of Russell. Besides that she is intelligent and stupid people are afraid of people with intelligence. Therefore, her days are numbered.

Here’s a brief recap of what happened on the show tonight:

The Ometepe tribe is growing tired of seeing Special Agent Phillip’s junk falling out of his pink briefs.

Someone forgot to tell Russell Hantz that there isn’t any crying in Survivor. Yes, that’s right, the “Hall-of-Famer” shed a few tears when he lost the elimination challenge to Matt.

However, before making his final exit from Survivor, Russell proved what an ignoramus the Furry Farmer is by tricking him into telling everyone he had a Hidden Immunity Idol in his possession. He made look like a real simpleton.

Back at Ometepe, Boston Rob made up a game for his tribe of dimwits to play while he found a Hidden Immunity Idol. What a group. Remember, Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest.

The Immunity Challenge was basically a Sears commercial, pimping Craftsman crowbars, shovels, hatchets, saws and hammers. What’s wrong CBS, don’t you make enough $$$ off of Survivor as it is?

By winning the challenge, the nincompoops from Zapatera not only won the tools, but a barbeque set complete with food. While feasting, the Furry Farmer asked the members of his tribe if he could lick the mustard off their noses.

Honest, he did. I can’t make stuff like that up.

Tribal Council was pretty run of the mill. Host Jeff Probst got Kristina and knucklehead Special Agent Phillips to bicker about which one should be sent to Redemption Island. Kristina lost and Boston Rob just grinned.

One last thing, WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO SURVIVOR??? At the very beginning, they are given flint and tools. Tribes are winning food on the fourth episode; before that it was fishing equipment and a tarp. For crying out loud, Richard Hatch and Sue Hawk would have killed for such luxuries.

I do believe Survivor has become sissified.

Okay, having said that, I feel much better now. Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest will be back next week. I can’t wait to see what kind of tomfoolery those numbskulls get themselves into.

Until next time…from the booth.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The “Association”

Then next time I hear someone refer to the NBA as the “Association”, I will puke. I’m not taking about vomiting in my mouth either. It will be a full bore projectile puke. The “Association”. What a bunch of pretentious, arrogant crap. I have never heard the NFL called the “League”. Maybe if you have a quality product you don’t have to be so pompous and ostentatious.

Back in the early ‘80s, the Milwaukee Bucks’ slogan was “Green and Growing”. It was sort of corny, but it was apropos at the time. Now in 2011, the Bucks’ slogan is “Where Amazing Happens”. Amazing, huh? Too bad the Bucks, and the NBA for that matter, are irrelevant to me. You are probably thinking that the reason I feel this way is because the Bucks stink.

Let’s see, the Bucks currently have a record of 23 win and 37 losses in the Central division of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. They trail the division leading Chicago Bulls by 19 full games and have very little chance of passing the Charlotte Hornets and catching the Indiana Pacers for the final playoff spot.

You have that part right, the Bucks do indeed stink. But that’s not why I couldn’t care less about the Bucks and more specifically, the NBA. It goes deeper than that. Much deeper.

Professional basketball has become increasingly more monotonous and unwatchable. I don’t believe that I have watched an entire quarter of an NBA game this year. For me, watching a pro basketball game is akin to watching a soccer match. They both are similar to watching paint dry.

In addition to that, the “Association” is chock full of highly unlikeable players. I am aware that all pro sports have their share of overpaid egomaniacs, but NBA players come off with such a blatant, in-your-face gang mentality.

Not only are these cretins excessively overly compensated, they are now being allowed to form their own teams. It’s like an AAU traveling team.

With my interest waning for several years, all the hoopla surrounding LeBron James choosing a team to play for did nothing to help the way I feel. If you assumed that I didn’t watch “The Decision” on ESPN, you are correct. What a joke.

By the way, do you happen to know what King James has tattooed across is broad shoulders? “Chosen 1”. Got much of an ego, son?

While we’re on the subject of tasteless tattoos, there are several others decorating the bodies of the “Association’s” finest.

Jameer Nelson must come from the LeBron James School of modesty. The tat across his shoulders reads “All Eyes On Me”. Not to be out done in the area of humbleness, Amare Stoudemire is the self-proclaimed, “Black Jesus” according to his tattoo. Enough said about egos.

Another beauty is Stephen Jackson’s tattoo, “The Prayer of Death”. It features two hands praying, clasped around a gun. And people say that NBA players aren't role models!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the ink that these world-class athletes sport extolling their passion for money.

Brandon Jennings of the Bucks has “Young Money” inscribed across his back. I'm not sure if this tatto will make sense when he's using his senior discount at the movie theater later in life but for now, it tells you what matters to him.

Then there is Mo Williams. It’s pretty ironic that the large “NBA” tattoo on his back has nothing to do with basketball. Instead, it reads “Never Broke Again.” Too bad the players’ association estimates that 60 per cent of retired NBA players go broke five years after their NBA paychecks stop arriving.

Unsubtle body art isn’t the only thing that players from the “Association” receive low grades in.

As with many professional athletes, it has become a right of passage to try to single-handedly keep the earth populated.

NBA notables in the area of paternity suits include Jason Caffey who was arrested in 2007 for failure to pay child support in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He went to bankruptcy court seeking protection from creditors, who include eight women with whom he has had ten children.

Another NBA star is Shawn Kemp, who was ordered to pay an Ohio woman $20,000 a month in child support. The number of children that Kemp has reportedly fathered out of wedlock ranges from seven to thirteen.

However it is the 5’9” Calvin Murphy who stands tallest among “Association” players when it comes to impregnating women. At last count, Murphy has fathered 14 illegitimate children with nine different women.

My final example for why I find so many “Association” players deplorable is none other than Latrell Fontaine Sprewell, a product of Washington High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 1997, he choked his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, during a Golden State Warriors practice, which ultimately resulted in a 68-game suspension.

In 2004, at age 34 years old, he was due to make $14.6 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves and was demanding a contract extension. Sprewell, described the team’s offer, reported to be worth between $27 million and $30 million over three years, as “insulting.” He was quoted as saying, “I got family to feed.”

In 2007, Sprewell had his 70-foot, $1.5 million, Italian-built yacht repossessed to pay off the $1.3 million still owed on it. I almost forgot to mention the name of the yacht. “Milwaukee’s Best”.

The bottom line is NBA hoops are just plain boring and games have become excruciating to watch. Much has been made of the supreme sports inaccuracy that NBA’s final minute is a chess match with coaches flexing their considerable managerial muscles. While announcers might insist on calling this aspect of the game compelling, I just call it boring.

When you combine the egocentric personalities, the lack of scruples and the tedious games, you can understand why I won’t be tuning in today when the Bulls take on the Heat in Miami.

The “Association”, where amazing happens. Ya, right. Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


WARNING! Spoilers In This Column!

I am about to do something that I have never done before in my five plus seasons of writing Survivor recap blogs. I honestly never thought that I would do this. Never. Ever. What I am about to do is unprecedented.

Granted, I have issued Spoiler Alerts in the past, but they were meant for people who hadn’t watched that night’s episode. Tonight is different. I am about to reveal who wins Survivor: Redemption Island. That’s right, I know the Sole Survivor of season 22 and I am about to let you know who it is. So stop reading right now if you don’t want to find out.

I’m serious. Don’t go on if you don’t want to know. This will probably spoil the rest of the season for you, but I have to do it. I have no choice. This is your last chance to click away. Honest. Okay, you had fair warning. The winner is…

Boston Rob Mariano.

There, now you know. And don’t you dare say that I didn’t warn you. Although if you were watching this evening, you probably figured it out for yourself.

Let’s be honest, the moment the Zapatera dimwits voted Russell off to Redemption Island, Boston Rob had won. Producer Mark Burnett might as well make out the giant million-dollar check to him right now.

Just consider what Boston Rob has to work with on his Ometepe tribe. The only males he has are a deranged special agent and some dork whose claim to fame is suiting up for six games with the San Diego Chargers in 2003. Other than that, he has three mindless bimbettes that worship the ground he walks on and Kristina, who might be his only competition.

That’s okay though. Zapatera isn’t any better. In fact, this eclectic group might even be more inept.

They have a female firefighter who bears a striking resemblance to Indian Chief Cochise, a sleazy lawyer and dopey ex-marine who almost let it slip that they tanked the Immunity Challenge. They too have an ex-NFL player. At least this guy played in 129 games. But that might be the problem; he seems to be post-concussed.

The other three females are two Russell disciples, one of which sounds an awful lot like Fran Drescher and a strange woman named Sarita. The remaining Zapatera tribe mate is easily the most bizarre of the lot.

Farmer Ralph might be the strangest bastard that I have ever seen on Survivor. Physically, he is a cross between WWE stars, George “the Animal” Steele and Jimmy “Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant. If you don’t know they are, Google them.

Incredibly, Farmer Ralph’s peculiar physical appearance is not his most disturbing feature. The poor man can’t put together an intelligible sentence. Twice at Tribal Council, Jeff Probst had to ask him what he was trying to say. The second time, an exasperated Probst shook his head and said, “I think he said…”

The piéce de rèsistance was when he spelled Russell – “RESSELL”. I think Zapatera should make Farmer Ralph their leader. At least that would be interesting.

There you have it. Sure Russell could come back if he can win enough Redemption Island duels, but even I think that’s highly unlikely. No, I think this season is Boston Rob’s for the taking. He would have to really do something dumb not to beat this group of nincompoops.

Sorry if I spoiled the rest of season 22 for anyone, but I warned you.

But not to worry. Even though I already know who’s going to win, I will still watch and do recaps each week. I will be rooting for Russell to stick around as long as he can on Redemption Island, but when the inevitable happens, it’s Boston Rob all the way.

Ya, I said it, Fellow Survivor Geek Jamie. Until next time…from the booth.