2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee

This marks the second year in a row that I have kept a running diary of the Spelling Bee. All week I have been looking forward to this day, however I would like to point out that many people have. The Bee has become a cult hit. Darren Rovell claims to be the top handicapper for this year’s contest and has his predictions in his blog. Once again the Bee will be in HD, but the main difference from last year is that Mike & Mike now have hosting duties. It’s a curious move. I’m not sure if it is a sign that the Bee is kind of a big deal or if ESPN/ABC is just trying to increase the exposure of Mike & Mike. It may be a combination of the two, but ever since the Imus debacle, ESPNRadio has been working double time to have Mike & Mike become the new morning drive-time power house. I like Mike & Mike, but this has the potential to become a live version of Cheap Seats. For some reason I just feel like picking on these kids on live TV is a lot more cold-hearted than doing it five-years down the road.

This year ESPN covered the early rounds on TV, kind of like a Super Bowl Pre-Game Show. I watched it at work. Top entertainment. However, the favorite for this year, Samir Patel, was eliminated in the early rounds. The word, clevis. Before we get into this year’s running diary lets once again take a look at Past Great Moments in Spelling Bee History:

– Napoleon Dynamite Reference
– This is Sports Center
– The Fainting Kid
– Cheap Seats
– Euonym
– An unfair word is given

8:00 – Opening of the broadcast. Robin Roberts provides the voice over. Some random kids, who may, or may not, have ever been in the Bee filmed an opening segment poking fun at themselves. It includes a Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods reference.

8:02 – More Robin Roberts voice-over montage. 15 spellers remain.

8:04 – 286 walked into the “Grandaddy of Them All” (Robin Roberts’ words, not mine), only one will walk out. Paul Loeffler is joining Robin Robberts, he won in the past, and still remembers the word, spelling, and definition of the word he spelled to win.

8:06 – Mike & Mike get introduced. Golic isn’t sure why he is there. Golic likes Jon Horton to win.

8:07 – Jonathan Horton is up first. I believe he led off the finals last year. Every time he spells a word, he stops after every letter, coughs into his hand. He can’t pronouce girolle (an edible mushroom, if you were curious). He says the word a dozen times, wrong, and finally the judges say “look at my lips as I say the word.” I could have sworn I heard them mutter a “Jesus Christ, is he retarded” under their breath.

8:08 – And he spells the word wrong. There goes half of the appeal of this year’s final. Sucks to be ABC.

8:10 – Some kid actually spells a word right. Rascacio, I could have spelled that. Not

8:13 – Tia Thomas likes to make knit hats for pre-mature babies. She has to spell zacate (green foliage). And she is wrong. I wonder if the parents of these kids know what these words mean let alone know how to spell them.

8:17 – Cody Wang, another favorite, spells apozem wrong. Three out of four kids have been eliminated so far. I hope every kids spells their word wrong so ABC has to fill time till ten. That would be entertaining.

8:20 – This little asian kid, Anqi Dong, is the second kid to write on the back of his card. He spells Buleuterion wrong and we are already down to 11 by the first commercial break. As he walks out of the competition he takes a seat on his dad’s lap. As soon as the network cuts to commercial I’m sure he is going to be beaten for being inferior.

8:25 – Stu Scott and his creepy lazy eye interview Jonathan Horton. Horton is crying and once again it is brought up that he loves Steve Nash. If you remember last year, the segment they had on him was priceless. He was talking about how he could get as good as Nash if he practiced, then they showed him shooting the ball over the entire basket.

8:27 – For the first time a kid makes a joke at the microphone. When given punaise, which is another word for bed bugs, Joseph Henares says that he would rather spell bed bugs. Even the judges started laughing.

8:29 – If I wasn’t watching TV I would have assumed that Claire Zhang was American. She spells urgrund wrong.

8:31 – The first “genius” is profiled. Kavya’s friends think she is the shit because she has gone to India. Her younger sister wants to be just like her and be a speller. She is the youngest in the competition at 11 years old. She has to spell cilice. I spelled it wrong, and I should have got it right since it was in The DiVinci Code. Kavya takes the entire time and then spells the word wrong. We are now treated to “The Dreaded Bell Montage.”

8:37 – There has been little to no use of Mike & Mike so far. I’m not sure why they even had them go there. By the end of the broadcast I will have a explanation (that I will make up.)

8:40 – Mike & Mike make appearance number two. They throw it to Stuart who is interviewing Kavya. He is on his knee in what looks like an awkward situation. Her little sister is standing with her and is clearly afraid of the eye.

8:42 – Nithr Vijayakumar provides us with the greatest name of the finals so far. Combine the most gentlemanly golfer in the world with a stoner and what do you get? It would be great if she made either a golf reference or a White Castle reference. She is struggling with pelorus. Will she get it right?

8:45 – Nope. There is a plethora of bells in the finals this year. Her family tries to console her to no avail.

8:46 – Conner Spencer steps up to the mic and immediately he is my new favorite. He reminds me of the catcher from The Sandlot minus the freckles. He spells helzel right and gives us our first fist pump of the evening.

8:47 – Matthew Evans thinks the bell is a mean thing. “To B – E – E or not to B – E – E, that is the question.” He is a comedian. He must spell genizah. When he finds out that it is of hebrew origin he gets excited. He nails it. Even though he has a funny shaped head.

8:54 – We are treated to a song about the rules of the spelling bee. It is dreadful. Sounds like its from the sound of music. These pieces are finally explained. They feature the cast from The Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Broadway musical.

8:57 – A nice up-close shot of a nervous spellers hands. Her word is Grognard (an old soldier). From the look on her face it’s 60-40 that she will get this wrong.

8:58 – 75-25 now that the announcer dude has told us that she only uses the back of her card when she is nervous. And she is wrong. There is now only one girl left in the Spelling Bee. This 14 year old girl from Madison, WI. She looks and sounds much older than 14. She wears every bracelet she owns as a good luck charm. 25 bracelets if you were curious.

9:02 – She spells helodes right to keep the girl’s chances alive without all the make up she is wearing affecting her speech. After the first run through the order we have lost more than half of the competition. Six boys left, and one girl.

9:03 – Chip: Prateek is the dark horse (If you couldn’t tell he is Indian)
At the hour mark, Chip has spelled one word right and I have put up a big goose egg.

9:07 – Evan O’Dorney is creepy enough to make me get up and bus my garbage. He is a math savant. Ok, his mom is even creepier.

9:11 – Schuhplattler provides us with the longest definition yet. And Evan nails it.

9:12 – Nate Gartke looks like a mini Chuck Klosterman.

9:15 – Joseph Henares once again surprises himself when he spells triticale right.

9:21 – My favorite finalist rushes through Cachalot (a sperm whale) and gets it wrong. He is pissed and smells his card while walking away.

9:22 – Fauchard is a word that has origins that are “basically Latin to French.” Matthew Evans is puzzled by the word, and gets it wrong. He walks away like he has something up his butt.

9:24 – Prateek, who Chip thinks is The Danny Almonte of the Bee stands in front of the mic with an aura of indifference. Not even his facial hair can conceal his smile when he heard the word.

9:26 – I misspelled epaulemant hardcore (apolmond). I suck at this game. Isabel nails it tho. Hmmmm Robin Roberts teases us before the bee-fore (get it?) the commercial by telling us the finalist went to the White House before the finals and met a special guest. I wonder who it could be? Monica Lewinsky? Jared from Subway? Mike & Mike?

9:30 – I wonder what Mike & Mike do between segments. The special guest was Laura Bush, and she made them spell government related words. Surprisingly none were impeachment, affair, sexual relations, or integrity.

9:33 – I like when they talk about the speller’s years of eligibility. It’s like college football. One kid may forgo his final year of eligibility to become a rocket scientist or a pastor. Fun fact: only eight graders are left. I don’t think any are home schooled.

9:35 – The young Klosterman spells his word correctly before ABC can put it on the screen. It took him 10 seconds. He didn’t even ask any questions about the word. Robin Roberts is speechless. She can’t even say something witty before the next commercial break.

9:40 – I lied, Joseph Henares is home schooled. So far none of the words come up as wrong in spell check. He shows good form by dotting all his “I” while writing with his finger on the back of the card. He gets aniseikonia (A condition in which the shape and size of the ocular image differ in each eye) wrong.

9:43 – Prateek Almonte is now out of the competition after being screwed by a Polish word.

9:45 – Isabel, the last girl remaining gets the boot after spelling cyanophycean wrong. And then there were two.

9:51 – We are down to the championship words. There are only 25 words on the list so if they get through them all, there will be co-champions.

9:52 – Matt O’Dorney leads off and knocks zoilus out of the park

9:53 – Mini Klosterman is taking his time spelling vituline. He is perplexed. But manages to pull the correct spelling out of his ass.

9:55 – ABC is squeezing in all the commericials they can. This is an odd time to go to a commercial break. Come to think of it they probably hoped for the champion to get his last word right at 5:54 so they could swing to a commercial before coming back for a post-game report. But that’s me pulling an explanation out of my ass. Come to think of it: Mike & Mike are there because it is hdsofnfosdf. Alright I got nothing.

9:59 – Matty O likes pasta and giving awkward high-fives. Mini Klosterman spells his word right and we are treated to another set of commercials. I wasn’t that far off last time. This was supposed to be the terminal break of the Bee that should lead into Grey’s Anatomy.

10:04 – And there is the graphic telling us to stay tuned for Grey’s in it’s entirety. Matty O nails yosenabe.

10:05 – Mini Klosterman the Canadian says “zed” instead of “zee.” He spells coryza wrong. It’s all on Matty O to spell his last word right to clinch the victory.

10:06 – Matty O nails serrefine. I finish the night 0 for a lot. Not impressive.

10:08 – Now for the interview with the new champion, Holy Feedback Stu Scott. He asks Matt why he doesn’t like the spelling bee. Matt likes math and music and doesn’t like memorizing.
Stu: At what point during the last word did you know you were going to win?
Matt: When I got the word
Stu: What do you think of the Spelling Bee now that you have won?
Matt: Are you trying to say that I should like it now?
Stu: That’s up to you
Matt: [Indifferent Silence]
Stu: Come on kid, you’re killing me

Just for the record, Rovell’s Number 4 pick won the whole thing. That is why he is the premiere handicapper for the Bee. The total Bee program got a 5.3 rating, which translate to almost 6 million households, but the last words got a 7.1. Not too shabby.

Until next year, stick to words that spell check knows.

Preakend 2007

Come listen to a story all about how our life got flipped, turned upside down. We’d like to take a minute, just sit right there and we’ll tell you all about this season’s Baltimore affair.

This year, like most, with less than a week till post time, we still had no plans for the weekend set. Dmo was in North Carolina, Mar & Jim$ in Hoboken, and Ostrowe & I in Rockland. All we knew was that Ostrowe would be driving down by himself because he would be going to North Carolina after the race. Originally we thought we would stay with Poppers. Nope. His dad was spending the night. Then we thought we could stay with Melissa and her friends. Nope. Not enough room. Then we thought we could stay with Jim$ lady friend. Nope. “Not enough room there either.” Then we thought we could stay with Mar’s friend from school. Nope. She doesn’t like Ostrowe. Then we tried to stay with Chubbs. Nope. $6.99/lb joke. At this point we were ready to sleep in the car. It had been done before, so I wasn’t really worried.

With no place to stay we decided it was time to try to add more people to our party. We set out trying to convince Moro and Anfron to join our merry caravan. After a few mail chain sessions, Moro and Anfron were in. Add them to Brock Singleton and two of Dmo’s friends from work and we had quite the bunch. Now we just needed a place to stay. On Thursday I finally suggested we get a hotel room for three nights. We surfed the web and found a Best Western 25 minutes from Pimlico costing $150 for two nights for one person. Ostrowe booked the room online since he was going down first and since there was five of us the room was costing us $30 each. Quite the find if I must say so myself. Of course after Ostrowe booked the room we found out that in fact, we could have stayed with Melissa’s friend.

The day before the Preakness, the mail chain kept chugging along. Moro and Anfron wanted to know more about what to expect. Moro also wanted to know what bar we were going to afterwards. Rookie mistake. We tried to tell him he was completely underestimating the Preakness, but he didn’t believe us. One by one we started leaving work and this is where we lay our scene.

Act I, Scene I (A.K.A. Friday)
12:07 PM Ostrowe arrive at Melissa’s house to pick her up. Sadly she is not wearing pants under her pants.
12:09 Ostrowe shows off his gentlemanly traits by carrying Melissa’s bags and holding the door for her. Melissa is put in charge of the running diary as car number one begins it’s journey to Preakness
2:07 Melissa disrespects the running diary by placing it on the floor of the car, receives scolding. 2:10 Ostrowe asks Melissa if she wants to stop for a food/pee break. Melissa responds: ” I can always pee.”
2:28 The first cheesy moustache sighting of the weekend.
2:39 Disaster befalls the humble party as they attempt to fill up the car with gasoline. As soon as the gas station employee walks away, the pump shuts off. Try as he may Ostrowe can’t get the pump to restart. Finally he has to move his car closer to the pump.
4:27 Flatulence. Since no name has been attached to it, I can only assume that Melissa is the source.
4:30 The humble party drives by a random guy in a wheelchair rolling down Baltimore side streets
4:33 Ostrowe drops off Melissa and admonishes her for awful running diary techniques such as unnecessarily writing on the backs of pages, leaving the running diary on the floor and entries placed in non-chronological order. All rookie mistakes, hopefully she learns for next time.
5:27 After a relaxing train ride from Grand Central to Tarrytown, Rick boards the bus to the mall. The phone rings and Mar is on the other end saying that he is at BJ’s. Mar is going to buy some chips and other assorted snacks for the ride down to Maryland. Rick tells him that anything is OK by him. Rick asks Mar if he has bought his ticket yet. Mar confirms that he has.
5:29 Ostrowe arrives at hotel in Edgewood MD, which is nowhere near Edgemont.
5:30 Rick calls Moro and Ostrowe to find out if they have bought their tickets yet. They have. All week, Rick was the one campaigning that everyone should buy there ticket online, yet he it is, Friday afternoon and Rick is still ticket-less. As a last ditch effort he calls his brother and walks him through the ticket purchasing process. Once that is complete he also has his brother print out directions from the hotel to Pimlico for him. Apparently, even though he sits next to a printer all day, Rick did not have anytime to do any of this during his busy day of surfing the Internet.
5:35 Ostrowe is checked into the hotel by Jeb; he has scraggly blond hair balding at the top and a goatee without any other facial hair. he kinda resembles Shaggy from Scooby Doo only if you were afraid he was going to sneak into your room at night and chop you up in the bathtub.
5:43 Rick’s bus driver for the evening is a little Buddy C-ish and takes the long, roundabout way to get to the mall. It got to the point that everyone on the bus was questioning the drivers competency loud enough for him to hear. Rick just sat there laughing. That kind of stuff just doesn’t bother him to much, everyone has a bad day once in a while. There are plenty of other things to get riled up about. Like being robbed.
5:50 The alarm clock in the next room over from Ostrowe starts going off; it will continue going off for the next 20 minutes before the front desk calls Ostrowe and asks if there is anything they can do to improve his stay.
6:15 After a quick pit stop at home, Rick picks up Mar. As he enters the car, Mar informs Rick that he did not buy any chips or snacks. He instead opted for 24 packs of Trident White gum. He hopes that he can whiten his teeth over the course of the weekend.
6:20 The caravan arrives a la casa del Moro. He walks out with his bag, a cooler, and a faux-hawk:
Rick: Bahahaha, you’re cooler looks like an Oma…..It is an Omaha Steaks cooler
Moro: And I brought a GameBoy for the ride. I borrowed it from my co-workers seven-year old son.
Chris Hanson: In these messages sent back and forth Dgenerate316 says: “Can I borrow you’re GameBoy for the weekend?” Our Decoy, I’mNotWorkingForDateline says: “Sure, you can play with my GameBoy whenever you want.” Dgenerate316 responds: “Ok, great I’ll be over in a little bit.”
Moro: Mar, I brought a GameBoy, what did you bring?
Mar: Gum.
6:30 While on the road Mar and Rick try to explaining more of the Preakness to Moro. Just then a running theme of the weekend is born:
Rick: When you look up Preakness in the dictionary, you see the word “shit-show”
Moro: No, you see Terry Galigan.
6:32 As the caravan, now three men strong pull into Anfron’s driveway Mar hopes out loud that Anfron doesn’t not get arrested this weekend.
6:36 Moro announces that his only goal for the weekend is to provide nineteen-year-old girls with alcohol.
6:43
The caravan is well on their way and as is the case with any long trip which features a Piccinich or two, blank paper and sharpies are a must. Mar and Rick explain the joy of making signs for other motorist on the road to Moro and Anfron. Moro comes up with the early favorite: “Hey Honeybuns.”
6:49
Moro: I know how we can pass time. Let’s just start saying ______ ________!
7:01 Upon entering the loathsome state of New Jersey, we stop to take advantage of their lower gas prices. At the pump next to us is a little wiener car reminiscent of the Really Tall Guy’s car in the Simpsons. Moro starts to write his Honeybuns sign, but completely over thinks it. He decides to wait to see how Mar does it.
7:13 The initial excitement that comes from the drive down to Preakness is waning. The mood in the car is a shell of its previous state.
7:21 Things pick up as we get our first client. Two sorority girls laugh at a series of signs that Mar and Anfron show them. As a note, these are not the stereotypical sorority girls that you are picturing. They are dumping looking girls who happen to have Greek letters on the back windshield.
7:32 Moro channels his inner Vince Vaughn as he chants his mantra in the back seat, almost in a trance: “Preakness Baby, Preakness.”
7:36
Moro officially is becoming the MVP of the first half of the trip. He is throwing out one-liners left and right. They may not always be the most politically correct things, but he is making us laugh. This time he has an idea for a new sign: “I’m just gonna write that I’m Jewish. This way they know I make a lot of money, I’m circumcised, and I’ll have tinted windows so they can’t see my big nose.” Come to think of it, what the hell is he talking about.
7:51 We pass a brunette on the left who is on the cell phone while driving a BMW. She refuses to acknowledge the hilarity of our signs.
Anfron: Typical Jersey Bitch.
7:59 Ostrowe spill water all over himself as he gets into his car to go run some errands
8:45 Rick hasn’t eaten in five or six hours, he is practically withering away. Luckily the next rest stop has a Pizza Hut. Rick’s eyes brighten as they pull into the parking lot. The caravan rushes inside and gets on the Blimpie/Pizza Hut/TCBY line. The line is long and is clearly not going anywhere fast. New Pizza Hut Pizzas come out of the oven, and nobody makes a move for them. Rick so badly wants the fresh pies so he tries to find out what everyone is waiting for:
Rick: Hey are you guys online for Blimpie?
Fake Avril and her Dopey Boyfriend: [No Response]
Rick: Are you guys getting Blimpie?
FA & DB: [No Response]
Rick: Blimpie? Blimpie? Are you guys online? Blimpie? Are you getting Blimpie? Ok then.
FA & DB: [No Response]
Mar: [A mental F*** This, and he walks around everyone and makes a b-line to the pizza]
We all got fresh pizza, except for Moro, and everyone that was in front of us on line. Turns out they were on line for Pizza Hut. Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey we don’t like you or your boyfriend. Deal with it. While waiting for the cashier to help everyone, Rick eats 3/4 of his pizza, but he is unable to convince the cashier to give him a discount.
8:55 The caravan piles back into the car and Ostrowe calls us to find out what we want from Subway. For being retarded, we are actually pretty heady and buy sandwiches the night before and bring them into Pimlico. Moro orders an oven roasted chicken sandwich on cheddar bread, and Ostrowe is forced to point out that the sandwich will probably be cold by the time he eats it tomorrow at noon.
9:20 Excitement is at an all-time low as the caravan is engulfed in windedness. After ten minutes of being in Delaware, we finally make it into Maryland.
10:00 The Caravan arrives at it’s destination: Edgewood, Maryland. 20 minutes North of Baltimore. There is a Waffle House across the street!!
10:20 A scholarly debate takes place on the subject of comfort/gayness levels associated with the sleeping arrangements. Mar just wants to sleep on a mattress, he doesn’t care is he has to share one. The rest of the gang, however, is a little reticent. It is decided we will be tearing apart the room.
10:30 After Ostrowe is on the phone with the Waffle House Customer Service Representative, he regrets to inform us that the Waffle House across the street still is under construction and won’t be open for a month or so.
10:40 While deciding when to wake up, Ostrowe announces that he needs at least 15 minutes to do his hair. He is going to wake up at 6:15 and the rest of us are getting up at 6:30.
Mar: Did you remember to pack you’re vagisil?
Ostrowe: How many chicks have you had sex with recently?
Mar: Well, I didn’t have sex with a beanbag.
10:43 It’s hard to describe how we rearranged the room so I call you’re attention to Figure 1.1:

Act II, Scene I (A.K.A Saturday)
2:00 AM Rick is awoken by the sound of Police Cars flying by outside. He can only assume the worse based on their geographic location. He shrugs it off and goes back to sleep.
4:50 Rick wakes up and does a 180 in bed, so that the blood stops rushing to his head. It turns out everyone is awake. And if they are not, Rick kicks the light to make sure everyone is up. Moro asks what time is it and when Ostrowe replies “4:50” everyone lets out a “wow” followed by a sigh of relief and we all go back to bed.
6:15 Everyone is awake, but only Ostrowe gets up since he has to do his hair. Moro informs everyone that his eyes met with Mar’s on several occasions during the night, Mar vehemently denies the accusations. Rick starts to regal the gang with stories from his dreams in which he was Spider-Man and at the Preakness. Everyone feels refreshed after an good night of sleep, except for Mar who got eight hours of laying down.
6:23 After 8 minutes of pre-shower preparation, Ostrowe turns the shower on. Anfron tells us about his dream in which he almost achieved his life-long dream of banging an Asian, however, she turned out to be a lesbian.
6:30 Ostrowe finishes his shower as Mar finds his phone filled with condensation since he left it on the air conditioner all night.
Anfron: [Upon finding an unused blanket at Moro’s feet] Moro you didn’t even use this blanket last night? I had to use jizz blanket
6:36 Ostrowe out of shower. 23 minutes.
6:40 Rick is playing GameBoy Color and narrating everything he is doing a la Carter Pewterschmidt watching an episode of Medium. Examples: “ooh Spider-Man . . . Hey look at me, I’m Spidey . . . Go Spidey go . . . ooh Wrestlemania 18 . . . Wow these guys are old . . . I’m gonna be Chris Jericho . . . I’m gonna fight Bubba Ray . . . My ring entrance is so cool.” (repeat ad nausea)
7:17 First ceremonial beer cracked by Ostrowe.
7:30 The rest of the crew is done with their showers. An average of 13.5 minutes per person. During this time, Ostrowe went down to the lobby and raided the continental breakfast. Since the room only has four full sized towels, Rick was forced to dry himself with two hand towels.
8:00 This is shocking. The car is all packed, we are ready to go (exactly when we wanted to be). This is too good to be true. Things are going smoothly…a little too smoothly
8:01 Hey look it’s Raph…..a little too Raph
8:20 We make it to Pimlino in record time. Each of the previous four-years we have parked in the same yard each year. Granted this yard is a good 30 minutes away from the entrance, it has become a Preakness home base. This year, for whatever reason, Rick decides to go against tradition. He pulls over at the first house that is offering parking. They can see the infield entrance from where they sit and immediately five fine entrepreneurial young men surround the car beckoning us to park on their lawn:
Rick: How Much??
EYM: $20
Rick: Do you guys have change of $100
EYM: Yea
Rick: [Slowly hands $100 out the passenger-side window]
EYM: [Grabs the bill and runs away screaming] I got $100, I got $100
8:21 [Mouths Agape]
8:22 [Mouths Agape]
8:23 [Mouths Agape]
(NC: OK, yes I know this was incredibly stupid on my part, I realize that. I really don’t have anyone to blame but myself. But to be honest I didn’t even think anything of it as I was doing it. Maybe I’m a little too trusting of people. Oh well, no use fretting over it anymore. It happens. Later in the day Ostrowe would dramatilize the events, and you know what, it was funny.)

8:30 The gang is still shell shocked walking to the infield. Not a word is spoken. Ostrowe breaks the silence by putting everything into perspective: “Everything was going perfectly, either that was going to happen or someone was going to die.” (R: When you put it that way I would gladly pay $100 to guarentee that we all survive the weekend.)
8:35 The gang arrives in the infield. Ostrowe forgot suntan lotion, Rick forgot the deck of cards. Dmo retains his championship belt.
8:45 Dmo, Brock, Sven, and Matt are dropped off at Preakness by Brock’s mother-in-law. Moro actually calls Brock by his real name, which will not be published. It’s like calling Rick or Mar by their real names, it doesn’t happen. Brock comes in telling us the story of the time he saw the most perfect breasts five minutes ago.
9:00 In a bit of blatant foreshadowing, Brock starts to take over the running diary:
Brock: “Just because I’m on a diet doesn’t mean I can’t look at the menu”
9:08 Mar: What are you betting on today?
Rick: I don’t know, I’m already down $100
Ostrowe: Never bet on black
9:09 Standing around doing nothing give Brock the urge to clothesline people. This could be hazardous to the health of a lot of people.
9:19 Brock predicts that he will body slam Ostrowe by 1:30 PM
9:21 Brock (starting to see a pattern yet?) tries to justify his acts: “I’m married and my wife is in New York for a year. You do the math.”
9:30 There is an African-American gentleman in the infield wearing a shirt that says: “Kiss me, I’m a Lepricoon”
9:31 Dmo: Too bad Big Lenny is not here to kick your ass
Brock: Big Lenny is a pussy
9:33 Ostrowe and Moro come back from an excursion into the depths of the infield sans Anfron. The first disapearence/casualty of the day.
9:39 Sven’s leg gets gashed open by a mystery object. Pimlico is a cruel beast.
9:41 The frisbee circle takes form. Being that the circle is about 4 feet in diameter, it doesn’t make for compelling anything. It takes only seconds for Brock to get hit in the face.
9:42 This circle has lasted almost longer than the original circle two years ago. Nevermind. Ostrowe gets hit in the beer and in a fit of rage launches the frisbee into the crowd.
9:43 Brock gracefully retrieves the frisbee in a secretive manner, however, as he returns to our campsite Event Staff follows closely on his heels and issues us a stern warning.
9:45 As a chick walks by, Brock makes his move:
Brock: Hi Hun.
[Chick does not aknowledge Brock and continues walking]
Brock: Damn, I wanted her titties in my face
9:53 A conversations takes shape about the merits and boundaries of “No Homo.” For those of you not familiar, saying “No Homo” before or after doing anything questionable totall absolves you from undertones associated with the act.
9:57 Over/Under: How many times Moro mentions Terry: 250.
9:58 Moro: Does [Sunra] know how lucky she is? She’s dating the Captain
10:07 As is the tradition at the Preakness many of the people, guys and girls included, who sit near the fence do not wait on the long lines for the portapotties, they just pee on the trackside fence. It should be noted though that on the other side of the trackside fence are Baltimore Police and even some army guys. On this occasion, while Baltimore’s finest are making a perimeter walk there is some hopeless guy peeing and cop proceeds to spray his pecker with pepper spray, watching that guy jump from far away was the height of hilarity.
10:14 Sven expresses his desire to one day own a little person.
10:20 No one outside our circle wants anything to do with Brock. He is a He-Man woman repeller. It stands to be noted that try as we may to make our campsite as big as possible after a few minutes we always wind up standing shoulder length apart. I think we may stop off at Macy’s after the race.
10:22 Brock is good and lubricated (read: drunk). He takes his shirt off and now all girls are 15 feet away from him.
10:25 The first random U-S-A chant of the day. Someone should write a book about this phenomina.
10:27 Rick: If I have a daughter, she is never going to the Preakness.
10:28 Wow. Ostrowe and Brock are actually carrying on conversation with other people and it’s before Noon. Meanwhile, Rick stands back and just watches from his perch on the cooler and just writes down this running diary entry.
10:31 This is truly amazing folks. Ostrowe, Brock, and Moro have been talking to Shelly the school teacher for three minutes now and have not once asked her to take her shirt offfffffffffff. This could be a modern day record. Someone make sure they are not coming down with something.
10:35 Moro sits on the poorly constructed cooler and falls through the top of it. He picks himself up out of the cooler and puts the top back on. Seconds later Anfron sits on the cooler and falls through the top.
10:37 Rick goes through the cooler as he goes to stand on it
11:01 Horses whizz by for the first time today. As Ostrowe turns his head to follow the action he gets a face full of boxers. Behind him is a skinny, white, high school kid with his pants around his knee. Brock takes one look at him and tries to set him straight. However, no matter how many times Brock tells the kid that he is not black, the wigger maintains that this is his style.
11:15 Rick is pummeled by Brock (R: That is what is written and I don’t even know how to embellish it, so lets just go with that)
11:20 By this point Matt has been wearing the Korean Rummy Championship Belt for over an hour. Brock then starts talking to any people who walk by: “He is the champ. And you know why? Because he is the only one that belt fits on.”
11:21 Brock follows in Poppers footsteps by excelling at picking up guys. He tries to justify this skill by saying that if we run out of beer, we can take theirs.
11:34 Ostrowe gets hit with the frisbee and loses his beverage for the second time.
11:39 Have you ever seen PCU. You know the scene when they are throwing the party and there are only guys in the pit and they start chanting for chips and beer. That is what it is like in the infield right now.
11:40 After seeing the fourth Chase Utley jersey of the day (Mike Utley? [Thumbs Up]) Rick and Ostrowe go take a picture with the guy. Well not so much the guy, as much as his back. Two pictures are taken, one by a random drunk and one by Brock. Ostrowe has more faith in the random drunk.
11:43 Brock’s most recent rant of the day: “If you don’t show your tits you’re a communist. You’re a terrorist.” Brock is quickly becoming the anti-christ of personality, people are literally backing away from him.

11:44 Poppers shows up
11:45 Brock harasses a nearby lady: “Don’t Fuck with me Turquoise, show me your tits.” Well I guess the good thing is that he never physically harassed any girls…
11:51 He just won’t stop, he just won’t stop. “You there. You look like you have a sister. Get her to show her tits.”
12:08 Ostrowe: (To a girl that walks by him) Hi. Can I buy you a house?
12:10 After doning a cape Brock jumps on a cooler and says: “I am Super-Titty-Looker-Ater.”
12:15 Poppers leaves. That was a noteworthy visit. You ever notice when someone says “Maybe I’ll stop by” or “Maybe I’ll see you later,” Vegas doesn’t even take bets on these statements. You can guarentee you won’t see them again. There isn’t a person who doesn’t do this.
12:30 Brock win the Masters and has a random drunk put the Green Jacket on him
12:51 Three girls come to our campsite. Grab one of our blankets and proceed to use it as a pee shield. Once they are finished Matt runs over, grabs the blanket and hugs/licks it.
1:15 Ostrowe has been gone one hour. I’m sure if he was in any condition to keep a coherent running diary there would be some funny entries here.
1:06 The kids with the Green Jacket have become Brock’s new fan club. He is demonstrating wrestling moves for them and using Anfron as his wrestling buddy.
1:10 The crowd is so ancy that whenever a girl goes up on someone’s shoulders and does not flash the crowd, people from all directions just start hurling beer cans, filled with beer, in that general direction.
1:13 And now we present you with the third way to go to the bathroom at the Preakness. Step One: Cut a hole in box. Step Two: Put your junk in the box. Step Three: Then you pee in the box.
1:14 As Brock puts Anfron in a full nelson, some Penn State students start a “We Are” “Penn State” chant. We counter act their chant with a “We Are” “Moon Crickets.” No one is amused, well, besides us of course
1:27 Brock fulfills his prediction of body slamming Ostrowe. And he is three minutes early.

1:30 Moro: Guess who I am [Sticks his tongue against his lower lip to imitate having dip in his mouth]
Then he goes on a five-minute rant about Terry peaking with “What does he do all day!”
1:35 Five minutes later Ostrowe finally gets his revenge on Brock. However, the brutal Ric Flair Chop that he delivers breaks his watch
1:40 Sven draws a smiley face out of sunscreen on a passed out chick’s ass. He is immediately chastised by the protectors of said drunk chick. Maybe they shouldn’t have let their guard down.

1:55 Anfron attempts to ask a chick if her boobs are real. Before he gets a chance to ask he is cut off by some guy who thinks that Anfron could be a date rapist. I don’t blame him.

2:00 Anfron is by far the drunkest of the group, Brock is drunk too, but he not showing the effects as much. Good thing Anfron just walked away alone, who knows if we will ever see him alive again
2:15 Moro finally admits that he will not be making it to a bar after Preakness. The infield claims another victim.

2:20 This is too much, too much man
Dmo: Bah I’m old
Moro: How do you think Terry feels?!
2:30 Matt pours more beer on the passed out drunk chick as the Navy Seals parachute onto the track in their annual tradition. Once again Moro creams his pants: “One of those has to be Terry! That would be his entrance!”
2:35 For the first time today a patron of the infield has been led out by the Police. He is late this year. As Brock chugs a random bottle of alcohol that his new friends provide him the perp catches his eye and he walks besides him for 250 yards mocking him.
2:40 Mar tries to wake me up by calling me a ji****oo but I’m not asleep, and he is also not talking to me.
2:42 The annual jet fly over. Pretty much a guaranteed U-S-A Chant initiator.
2:46 Everything is late today. The first creepy old guy of the day just walked through our camp. While we are here, this is my list of things that should bar you from entering the infield:
– You have gray hair
– You are over 35
– You have a kid
– You are a college professor
2:50 Mar starts talking to chicks. Ostrowe starts trying to undress a different set of chicks
3:09 Anfron rises from the dead. Everyone is impressed
3:24 Jim$ and Mar funnel three beers each. After words Mar steals the funnel, funnels some more, then passes the funnel onto a new group.
3:39 Brock appears out of thin air and stumbles over ever cooler. He sees the Korean Rummy Belt and starts to use it as a weapon. Anfron tries to bully Brock, with poor results

3:42 You can’t make this stuff up:
Redneck: Where are you from?
Brock: Virginia
Redneck: Is that is Maryland?
3:43 While standing on a cooler, Jim$ calls Rick over and like a Roman dictator, tells him what to write down: “I am going to buy a horse and name it Titties and it will win the Triple Crown in 2008. Then in 2009 when we come back we will drink Black Eyed Susans from cups that say “2008 Titties””
3:45 Anfron is passed out in a chair so Brock elbows him in the head

3:50 Mar: Jim$ has banged Oprah Winfrey and Marilyn Monroe
3:51 Jim$: FlyFirstClass will win the Preakness.
That is the obvious choice for Jim$ since that is what he does all the time. Jim$ is so wealthy he occasionally flies from JFK to LaGuardia to beat the traffic.
3:52 Jim$: Martin O’Malley (The former governor of Maryland) Sucks
Dmo: Martin O’Malley is gay
3:56 Random guys run over to our camp: “Brock Singleton we’re calling you out!”
4:05 Ostrowe and Rick venture over to the betting windows. There is a guy standing there trying to talk to any girls that will listen to him:
Random Guy: Hi. My name is Petey
[Chick walks away without acknowledging him]
Hey! We’re not the only ones!
4:40 The first rain drops start to fall. All the worst parts of the bible are trying to break down the gates of hell so they can join the fracas in the infield.
4:59 Mar and Jim$ start horsing around (no pun intended). Mar lands a brutal Ric Flair chop then runs away, not far enough away though. Jim$ throws his beer all over Mar and then they go at it. Mar drops Jim$ with a DDT which Jim$ simultaneously sells well and rolls out of without any harm done to his glass cups.
5:00 Anfron once again sits on he poorly constructed cooler. Rick helps him out then puts the top back on. I shit you not after thirty seconds of walking around Anfron sits on the cooler again and fall through it again
5:01 The following argument takes place, it’s one that only we can have:
Jim$: I can’t believe you did that. You are always such a gentleman.
Mar: You threw beer on me. I thought you were a gentleman.
Jim$: You are the biggest gentleman I know. I am shocked.
Mar: Bah you are much more gentlemanly than I am.
Jim$ You are the most gentlemanly
Dmo: You two are the most gentlemanly men I know. I can’t believe that just happened.
Jim$ & Mar: No Dmo, you are the biggest gentleman.
5:02 Jim$ points out that he paid Virgil in singles and Rick paid him in hundreds
5:03 Jim$ is flaunting his trophy rack
5:05 The Fight of the Century breaks out. It makes the fight from 2005 look like De La Hoya/Mayweather and De La Hoya/Mayweather look like Falcetti/Fitzgerald. As the fight is breaking out I try to find out where Brock is. I turn around and he is having some fat guy try to break a can of beer over his head.
5:07 Rick Proclaims he is officially retiring from Preakness
5:25 The Civil War is finally over. Here is a brief recap: A circle about 100 feet in diameter opened up. People in all directions were throwing full beers cans across in the circle into crowds. Some people graduate to throwing coolers, still others throw chairs. Every now and then some guy will cross the battle lines to try to convince people to stop, then a fight breaks out. One guy runs across the circle swinging a chair like a baseball bat. Next thing we know Brock is in the middle of the circle, standing on a cooler egging on both sides. Now instead of a war consisting of either side of the circle, everyone is busy trying to hit Brock. He is in the middle for almost ten minutes and only gets hit with a can once. Finally the event staff escorts him out of the infield. As soon as Brock is gone we look over and Anfron has made his way into the center and he has five guys screaming at him wanting to rip his head off. Rick dashes into the line of fire and drags Anfron back into the group with the rest of us. Craziness.
5:26 Jim$ tells Mar that some random girl stole his chair. Mar goes over to her and tries to get “his” chair back.
5:30 Brock reappears. All he had to do was take his shirt off and walk back in.
5:31 Mar is still fighting over “his” chair and now he gets Brock to help him get it back.
5:34 Ostrowe disappears. He may be dead.
5:37 The other blanket that Rick brought to the infield is currently being peed on. Fantastic.
5:51 Yet another fight breaks out.
Jim$: This would have never happened if Bob Ehrlich was still governor
Mar: This never would have happened if Bob Costas was still governor.
Bob Costas loves Chinese food
5:55 Anfron is once again pronounced dead.
6:00 Ahhhhh the reoccurring Mar, Jim$ Abby debate.

6:05 Moro: If Terry was here none of this would ever happen
6:12 Anfron once again defies logic and shows up again
6:15 Mar calls some girl a hooker behind her back. She turns around because she does not like being called a hooker
6:20 The race is about to go off and Rick has managed to keep everyone he is driving back to the hotel within arms length. But as the gate opens Mar says he has to go to the bathroom. He refuses to pee on the fence and he walks away.
6:23 Tara wins $6.80. Mar misses the race.
6:44 We make it to the car without incident. In even better news, my car is still in one piece.
6:47 Anfron starts peeing right in the middle of the driveway we parked on. The owner of the house is standing in front of him:
Female House Owner: What are you doing? Don’t do that
Anfron: This is what you get you (Two Really Bad Words in a Row)
Rick: Anfron get in the goddamn car. What the hell is wrong with you!
Moro: Sorry, he is really drunk
6:48 Quickly into the car and driving away…..fast.
6:55 Mar and Anfron have a rabbit season/duck season argument using two words I can’t publish
7:12 In a really scary moment the caravan has a run-in with a drunk driver. While traveling in the fast lane the BMW in front of Rick comes to a complete stop in the fast lane. Rick swerves into the shoulder and the BMW almost swerves into him. Rick sits in the shoulder for a minute trying to figure out what to do next. Eventually he pulls back out into the fast lane and the BMW starts pacing him in the shoulder. Rick then slows down to let the BMW get ahead, but the BMW slows down too. Rick speeds up then the BMW floors it, swerves in front of Rick. Rick spends the next 15 minutes in the slow lane.
7:34 Waffle house. Rick and Ostrowe haven’t been since the Derby. I park and turn to Ostrowe. He only has one sunglass lens. The other one is MIA. Ostrowe realizes it too and says: “Hmmmm when did that happen.” Ostrowe claims he is in no shape for Waffle House and doesn’t get out of the car. Everyone else walks into Waffle House, but Anfron doubles back to the car.
7:35 Anfron walks into Waffle House with a Bud Light
7:36 Ahhhh fine Waffle House Cuisine
Waitress: What can I get you?
Anfron: I want a friggin steak
Waitress: And to drink?
Anfron: A friggin beer
Waitress: But you have one already
Rick: He’ll have a water
7:38 The people at the table next to us leave and Anfron walks over to their dirty table. He takes a plate with a half eaten sandwich off the table and brings it back to our table. He scarfs it down all the while dipping the sandwich into the used ketchup on the plate. This is a new low for us. (R: I’m ashamed that I was at the table)
7:40 Mar has left about nine messages with three different people
7:42 Final totals for the day:
Mar- Down one shirt
Moro – Down one Omaha Steaks cooler
Ostrowe – Broken sunglasses and watch
Anfron – Broken sunglasses, gained a lot of shame though
Rick – Down two blankets and $100 (R: I didn’t place any bets and didn’t buy anything to try to convince myself that I “broke even.” It didn’t work)
7:43 Anfron forgot that he ordered a steak and he is wearing his poncho inside out
7:45 Rick: Remember the time Anfron stole food from another table and ate it?
Anfron: No
Rick: Really? It just happened
Anfron: Wow, that’s gross
7:52 Moro: “Who is on the back of that Yankee’s shirt? Galigan 26?
8:10 The caravan returns to the hotel. Rick stays at the car to look for his hoodie, but he can’t find it. He assumes it was stolen. He walks back to the hotel room and finds Ostrowe, Mar, and Moro in bed.
Rick: Where the hell is Anfron?
Moro: He went to the bar
8:13 Rick walks into the bar to find Anfron passed out with his head on the bar.
Rick: Anfron what the hell are you doing?
Anfron: Where am I?
Rick: You came to the bar
Anfron: Why?
Rick: Like I would know. Come on lets go back to the room
Anfron: [Something not related to English]
Rick: What?
Anfron: What?
Rick: What?
[Repeat for 35 seconds]
Rick: If you want to go back to the room say “what”
Anfron: What?
8:17 Anfron finally goes back to the room and passes out next to Mar.
8:21 Elsewhere….Sven makes Brock’s mother in law pull over on the highway so he can puke
8:22 Rick goes outside to talk to Tara on the phone
8:40 Moro calls Rick:
Moro: Where are you?
Rick: I’m hanging myself from a tree
Moro: What?
Rick: It was a joke
8:50 Moro scares the crap out of Rick when he comes to make sure he is not hanging from a tree.
8:51 Elsewhere….Sven makes Brock’s mother in law pull over on the highway so he can puke…..Again.
9:10 Bedtime

Scene III, Act I (A.K.A. Sunday)
8:00 Rick wakes up, showers, and goes to find some food.
8:26 Rick returns with food:
Moro: Is that a Terry Breakfast
[Rick hurls a bagel at Moro’s head]
8:30 Rick opens the door and leaves it open a crack because after getting some fresh air outside it is like death in the hotel room.
9:30 HBO has a tremendous double feature on this morning. Little Big League followed by Rookie of the Year.
Moro: (About Thomas Ian Nicholas) He was in American Pie?
Rick: Yea, he was the one who had sex with Tara Reid
Mar: Who hasn’t has sex with Tara Reid though
Ostrowe: (from the bathroom) Poppers
9:32 While watching Rookie of the Year Moro asks, “Is that Terry?”
9:35 New theorem: Anything that requires effort is gay to Mar. This from the kid who is moving to California this summer
9:36 You can’t start a story with “One time I was at Fitzy’s and Terry was there…” That is way to vague.
9:42 Housekeeping shows up and for a second we all panic and Moro tells them to comeback later
10:38 The caravan has to make a pit stop in Baltimore to pick up Melissa for the ride home.
Mar: Are we going to be gentlemen and let Melissa sit in the front?
Anfron: Probably not
10:44 Melissa once again is not wearing pants under her pants
11:20 Rick is starving and craving a smoothie. He examines every road sign he passes waiting for something the excite him. Then he sees it. At the Chesapeake House. A FRESHENS. THE GREATEST SMOOTHIES ON THE PLANET! Rick quickly parks the car and runs inside fearing the worse. Maybe the stand burnt down during the night, or maybe they will be out of smoothies. NOPE! The weekend finally takes an up-turn.
11:24 Rick, the smoothie-whore, cuts more people in line at Burger King and grabs some food to go along with his smoothie.
11:30 Moro: Boy I wish I had some Burger King fries to go with my Quiznos Sub
Rick: You’re a dick, all you had to do was ask
11:35 Whoppers!!
11:59 Rick: You ever see people throw their babies up in the air? WTF??
Mar: Maybe subconsciously they are like, “This f’king thing”
12:22 Mar: I remember when Terrell moved to Congers and I was like “Holy shit a black kid.”
12:43 Melissa: Rick your balls are melting in my hands.
2:01 Rick: Why is Masiello the Assistant Captain?
Moro: Because he is Masiello. He lives in a three-bedroom apartment in Nyack and thinks he is the shit.
2:14 Moro: Hey Rick, do you shower in the morning?
2:24 Mar regals us with examples of why Jim$ and Shibon don’t get along. One such story revolves around Jim$ using the C-word.
Melissa: He called her a C**T?
Mar: No, not really. He said she was being a C**T
Melissa: Oh, that’s not as bad
Anfron: What’s the difference?
Rick: It’s like Halloween. She was only temporarily acting like a C**T, she wasn’t physically a C**T in real life.
3:00 As Moro correctly predicted we arrive home. Good times.
3:08 Dmo gets call from Melissa on the drive down to Raleigh. when asked how many times Moro mentioned Terry on the ride back to Rockland she responds “A lot.”

That was a heck of a weekend. See you again next year….maybe.

Preakend V: The Mega-Picciniches Collide

It’s been five years since we attended the Belmont Stakes in 2002. Since then Triple Crown season has been the unofficial start of the summer. In 2003 we attended our first Preakness, making this year my historic fifth Preakness. Looking back, the Preakness has always been the Champagne of Races. This is mostly due to the fact that we have only been to one Kentucky Derby and the Belmont has become like a dolphin’s butt in the last few years, watertight (Seriously you can’t even water in with you let alone a cooler.) The Preakness has been home to the Sandy Chang sighting, Ostrowe’s sun burn, and the Sweet Murph Teriyaki. Unfortunately however, the last few years have been disappointing in the way that life has interfered, like it has a tendency of doing. Between real jobs, graduations, and responsibilities we haven’t all been able to be at the Preakness every year. BUT finally, we will all come back to Pimlico. And we have quite the crew this year:

New Members
Moro: Beep Bop Boop Bip. (Translation: Underestimates the magnitude of the Preakness)
Anfron: Give us our best chance to talk to people other than us. (Read: Actually having conversations instead of saying smart ass comments to people)
Brock Singleton: Part-time Professional Wrestler. Once had a feud with Big Lenny

Returning Members
Ostrowe: Once passed out while chanting Big Lenny. After a one-year absence, Ostrowe comes back to Pimlico looking to prove to everyone why he was voted the most entertaining Preakness attendee at last year’s race.
Vodka/Cranberry: Ostrowe’s sidekick. Six liters of it.
Mar: He will most assuredly be winded.
Dmo: Also returning after a one-year absence. It is guaranteed he will steal something by the time the day is over. He is also putting his Korean Rummy Championship on the line.
Rick: Is hoping to win the Designated Driver Award this year. He got hosed the last three years. It is comforting to know that there are that many designated drivers hanging out in the infield though.

Stay Tuned.

The Kings of Yore

Looking at the Sports Lineup this past Saturday, one couldn’t help but be excited. Regular season baseball, playoff hockey, playoff basketball, The Kentucky Derby, and De La Hoya/Mayweather. Now I know not everybody was excited about every event on Saturday, but you have to admit, the lineup is definitely tantalizing.

For the last week boxing has regained the spotlight. The fight was built as the one that was going to save the sport. It won’t. By this time next week boxing will once again be an afterthought.

Flashback to 80 years ago. First weekend in May 1927. The Yankee’s most potent lineup ever, Murders’ Row is tearing up the field at old Yankee Stadium. The New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers are also playing in the area, and their fans are equally, if not more passionate, than the Yankee fans of the time. There is no NBA, it’s the first season of the NHL (well first year that it is THE hockey league, no one cared much…kind of like now), the NFL is in it’s infant stages (no one will care until 1958), the Kentucky Derby is set to go off, and if there was a huge mega-fight it would be in the Garden, right in the heart of the city. And what would have been getting the most attention? Horse Racing and Boxing.

Back during the Golden Age of Sports, Horse Racing and Boxing came first in the public’s eye. Heavyweight Champions were like royalty. Horses became legends. But somewhere between then and now things changed.

Between 1930 & 1946, six horses won the Triple Crown. Not to mention there was a horse named Seabiscuit running around in 1937. During the same time period the heavyweight division was being dominated by the names Tunney, Schmeling, Baer, Braddock, and Lewis. Back then TV was still a dream, but legends were still being made. Kids and parents alike would park themselves in front of the radio to get a chance to hear about their heroes. Imaginations ran wild, and it is for that very reason that many of these people (and horses) always seemed larger than life. Newspaper writers wove their words with such precision that these real beings came off as mythical creatures.

With the advent of television these two sports received an added boost. Native Dancer ushered in the televised era of horse racing with perfect timing. He was a grey horse, which allowed for him to be picked out in a crowd. Every time he raced, the Nation tuned in. Unfortunately his only loss ever was in the Kentucky Derby, nevertheless, everyone loved him. At the same time Rocky Marciano was the heavyweight champion and he would retire as the only undefeated Heavyweight Champion, ever.

However, as television was helping to boost the popularity of boxing and horse racing, it was doing the same to other sports. In 1958 “The Greatest Game Ever Played” took place at Yankee Stadium. Oddly enough it was between the New York Football Giants and the Baltimore Colts. This game single-handily launched the NFL into the public conscience. Similarly, college football also benefited greatly from the advent of television. The first ever instant replay was during a college football game on ABC. The announcers had the talk the fans through it so as not to incite riots.

Boxing and horse racing both reached their peak at the same time. In a span of six years in the 1970’s, three horses won the Triple Crown.
1973: Secretariat runs away with the Belmont and becomes the bar which all thoroughbreds of our generation are judged.
1977: Seattle Slew enters the Derby undefeated and sweeps the Triple Crown.
1978: Affirmed has three battles with Alydar in the Triple Crown races and is victorious each time.
This marked the last time a horse won the Triple Crown. Additionally, in 1975 the public had a love affair with Ruffian, arguably the most popular filly of all time. Sadly, she was the Barbaro of her generation. She broke down in a match race against the winner of the Kentucky Derby that year.

Simultaneously boxing had just finished watching all of the epic fights between Ali, Foreman, and Frazier. This was the beginning of the end for the Sports of Kings.

Today no one cares about horse racing, unless the same horse wins the Derby and the Preakness. And even less people care about boxing. Horse Racing has a slight advantage over boxing in that every year people look forward to the Kentucky Derby. From the time that all the gates open at the Derby, there is about a 1 in 400 chance that we will see a Triple Crown Champion in any given year. Boxing, however, has very little to look forward to each year. There is a laundry list of problems in the boxing world:
Alphabet Soup: Immediately after the Ali/Foreman/Frazier era, boxing began to divide. Now we have four different champions in each weight class. It is hard for any one boxer to say that they are the best when three other governing bodies each have their own champion.
Pay-Per-View: The fact that most people can’t see the fight live isn’t good for your sport. It’s the equivalent of the NFL pre-season and some regular season games on regular TV, but the Colts vs. Patriots is on PPV. Unfortunately I paid for the fight this weekend, and that won’t happen again. As of Sunday night you could still see the entire fight on YouTube.
Lost in Translation: The De La Hoya/Mayweather fight was a good fight, but it wasn’t entertaining. It was like watching The Godfather in Italian. You know it’s a good movie, but you can’t truly appreciate it. The average person won’t see the greatness in the fight, which leads into the next topic.
Competition: The UFC and mixed martial arts is uber-popular now because there is a better chance for the fight to be exciting. Audiences like to see people get knocked out. UFC fighters throw caution to the wind in every fight. In a match like De La Hoya/Mayweather the fighters are too smart to be knocked out.
Heavyweight Division: This is probably the most important thing that needs to be fixed. Boxing is only as strong as the heavyweight division. Part of the reason that the heavyweights were so popular in the 1920’s was because they WERE larger than life. There is something inherently better seeing two 6 foot 6 guys duking it out than two middleweights. For the record Mayweather is 5’6″ 150 lbs. Not very intimidating.

Is it impossible to fix boxing? No. Is it improbable? Yes. But I still hope it happens.

As for horse racing, the sport knows it lives and dies with the Triple Crown. When another horse wins it, people will start coming back. Do yourself a favor, one day go to the track and watch a horse race in person. Make sure you get as close to the track as possible. It’s a pretty awesome sight to see.

I’ll leave you with these two facts:
– At top speed, race horses can cover about 54 feet per second
– If I was a boxer, I’d be a heavyweight

Unspoken Rules of Life: Vol. I

First thing first. I know what you’re thinking; “Isn’t the correct phrase, Unwritten Rules.” Yes, yes it is. However, you forget to factor in my level of retardation. The phrase ‘unspoken’ stems from minor faux-pas on my part one night. We are not ones to let a good recurring joke slip through the cracks, hence the title. (Note: I realize 90% of the people who are reading this were either there that night or know of the story, but allow me to think that I am writing to the general public for just a moment.

Secondly, the following rules are not to be confused with The Rules of a Gentleman. Rules in the latter category would include allowing women through a door first, offering your lady friend your overcoat on a cold or windy day, and refusing to stop to ask for directions. These are things that all guys should do no matter what. Unless of course your name is Tom Brady. Since he is exceptionally Handsome, with a capital H, he could do the exact opposite and women would still fawn over him. If you don’t believe me here is the evidence:
http://www.vsocial.com/ups/f27eb4ab7b0e882168159e75075e88e9

Speaking of Tom Brady, his season ends on a down note, people start to doubt him, and then his biggest rival wins the Super Bowl and the MVP trophy. How does Brady respond? He goes and has the greatest off-season in recent history. First he dumps Bridget Moynahan (for the record: she is overrated and has mutant toes, big turn off in my book, there I said it), then he starts dating Gisele Bundchen (A Victoria’s Secret Model, every guys dream), then word comes out that Moynahan is carrying the Dreambaby (and I couldn’t blame her, if I was dating Tom Brady I’d secretly milk him at night and store his sperm for this very reason too). THEN, not to be topped word gets out that Bundchen is pregnant too! Granted that turned out to be a rumor, but still, it’s epic. This man is not human. I’m convinced that if there was an auction for the prize of being Tom Brady for a day, the bidding would end around $2.32 million. After this it was easy to see why Brady lost his good, catholic, school boy aura, but just when you think he has lost the fan base consisting of 35-54 women, he comes back and becomes the biggest story of the draft when it is “leaked” that he restructured his contract to allow for Randy Moss to join the team. What’s more? It’s only MAY. The pre-season doesn’t even start for three and a half months, and already Tom Brady is the number one story of the off-season and the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl this season…..but I digress.

Onto the rules:

Don’t walk on the grass at Springfield College
This is the rule that started it all. Literally during orientation we are told that we are not supposed to walk on the grass. I played along for a while, but I am a firm believer of the axiom which states the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. By the end of my tenure I didn’t even care anymore.

Never use a urinal immediately next to one that is already in use
This rule is frequently ignored and always leads to awkward situations. If all the urinals are taken, use a stall. If the stalls are taken, just wait. I hate it when there are three urinals and I am using the one on the far right then the next guy uses the middle one. What’s worse is when the first guy uses the middle urinal.

Don’t initiate conversation around the urinals
You do realize if you are talking with with someone at the urinals you both are holding you’re package. That doesn’t seem weird to you? If you feel the need to chat, wait 45 seconds until we get to the sink, then you can talk our ears off for all we care.

If you insist on walking three-wide, don’t be a dick about it
There is nothing inherently wrong with walking three-wide in a hallway or on the street, it happens sometime. But be considerate to your fellow pedestrians. When someone is walking towards you, just get out their way. Don’t make them squeeze around you. Ass.

Courteous Driving
If someone lets you go ahead of them. Give them a wave. If someone give you the right of way. Give them a wave. If they cut you off. Give them the finger.

All that’s all for this edition, stay tuned for more Unspoken Rules as they become written.

The NEW Work Day

Whenever people ask me what I do, I have one of two options. I can briefly give them an overview, which doesn’t really say much and is kind of vague. Or I can give them the long winded response which they stop listening to after a few seconds. So I made this video about my day at work that will leave people more confused and in the belief that I do nothing at work. Enjoy.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=5847674371786623944&hl=en