Yes, it’s really happening. Football is back.
This time last week, a deal between the players and owners looked all but done. It took through the weekend to get it hammered out, but here we are on Friday now and real live football is taking place in Owings Mills today.
I have no idea what the Ravens are going to do in 2011. My guess is that they’ll be pretty good, but I’ll stop right there as far as predictions go.
So, while I don’t know what the Ravens record will be this season, I do know that virtually everyone in town is thrilled to have something to follow in the upcoming months that smells of legitimacy. Once September 11 rolls around and the games start counting – and mattering – the weeks are filled with reflection, happiness, disgust, promise, hope and community spirit.
These are fun times.
And Friday Mud promises to be fun today, too. I can’t guarantee you a winner as far as the Ravens go, but I can certainly promise you – and deliver – a winning edition of Friday Mud.
Go ahead and read it. And please put a “w” next to Friday Mud’s name in the standings.
It’s a win.
Have a great weekend.
> So, by now you’ve seen the highlights of Wednesday’s game in Toronto where Felix Pie threw the ball backwards, basically, while trying to get someone out at the plate. Later on in the game, he forgot that a passed ball on strike 3 was a “live ball” and simply stood at home plate and started to take off his batting gear. No one knows who the culprit was, but evidently some wise ass in the Orioles locker room left THIS CARD for Pie after the game. Harsh, I’d say. But good advice, for sure.
> We’ve made fun of Steelers fans around here and with good reason. This time, though, the joke is on us. Remember a few months back when I quipped that you’d never see two decent looking female Steelers fans in the same photo? I was wrong. You want proof? Check out THESE TWO STEELERS FANS.
> If you’re a fan of the local sports media scene, you’re well aware that Fox 45 TV anchor Bruce Cunningham abruptly “departed” from his afternoon radio gig at 105.7 The Fan back in the spring. Lots of people wondered what exactly Bruce would do with all of his free time. Turns out our WNST private investigator uncovered the REAL story behind Cunningham’s sudden exit. He recently started a movie production company. Don’t believe me? Well, RIGHT HERE is the proof.
> To avoid having to talk about the baseball team’s woeful summer of baseball for four hours every Friday, I’ve taken to playing my top 10 favorite albums of all time to mark the end of the work week. This week, I’m down to my #4 all-time favorite and it comes from THIS MAN. It’s certainly hard to pick one of his great albums as my favorite, but I went ahead and chose Darkness on The Edge of Town.
> Let’s face it, the Orioles pitching staff needs a new look. They have some young arms down on the farm, but I don’t see any of them coming up and being better than what we already have in Baltimore. I took it upon myself to find someone who is probably just a tad better than the likes of Simon, Bergesen, Gregg and Hendrickson. And I think I did. I’m fairly certain THIS GUY could get more hitters out than some of the dudes we’re trotting out there these days.
> Evidently I’m no longer allowed to be critical, post criticisms or offer a negative opinion of anything Boston-related, so I’ve recently taken the high road and resorted to posting positive things about Beantown. With that, I found a great photo of a spirited, intense, enthusiastic young Red Sox fan. As you can see, the young man is clearly growing up to be a “natural” supporter of the “Sawx”, Bruins, Celtics and Patriots. In fact, as you SEE HERE, he has quickly picked up on some of the true nuances of rooting for the various teams in Boston.
> I never knew athletes kept photos in their uniforms for special moments, but evidently a lot of them do. The urban legend is that they keep pictures on their person to reply to hecklers. Like, for instance, the moment a few weeks ago when the Yankees were in Tampa Bay and some college guys started berating Derek Jeter about his batting average. Jeter paused in the on-deck circle, reached into his back pocket, said, “Any of you clowns ever have this happen you?” and then displayed THIS PHOTO. It got awfully quiet after that.
> I thought the Three Stooges were all dead. As you can see RIGHT HERE, they’re very much alive.
> Tiger Woods announced on Thursday that he will return to action at next week’s event at Firestone CC in Akron, OH. Woods took to Twitter to announce his return to the TOUR. He also unveiled a message for his critics, deciding to use THIS OLD PHOTO to inform everyone of some additional new plans in his life.
> At the annual Philadelphia Flyers Fan Club convention last month in Florida, the itinerary included a number of recreational activities including softball, cornhole and darts. They also had a special Friday night “Hotties in the Hot Tub” happy hour where all attractive female Flyers fans were advised to put on their hottest swim wear and convene at the hotel hot tub for some reckless behavior. HERE is what the hot tub happy hour looked like.
> I’ve tried to give Glenn Clark some personal advice and urged him to broaden his horizons and try to learn more about our government and the political nature of our great nation. Last week, I stressed to him that he should read up on our country’s national security…in fact, great minds continue to author extraordinary books on the subject of defense. I picked THIS ONE up for Glenn last week. A great read…
> As the Toronto Blue Jays worked feverishly on a trade this past Wednesday, their GM and his support staff got so fed up with interruptions in their office they put a sign up on the door that read “TRADE IN PROGRESS, PLEASE STAY AWAY UNTIL DEAL IS DONE”. The Orioles front office put up a sign on their front door at roughly the same time the Blue Jays were working on that deal to acquire Colby Rasmus from the Cardinals. In Baltimore, the sign on the door of Andy MacPhail’s office LOOKED LIKE THIS.
The Shoot Section (where I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth)
Back in April, after a couple of years of being bothered with various bothersome ailments and injuries, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and began treatment with antibiotics. Depending on which medical expert you believe, those antibiotics can either be of great help or great harm. Personally, they helped me greatly, if that counts for anything. What I’m really here to do today is to remind you that you must not only check yourself for ticks every single time you’ve been outdoors, but you must remain cognizant of the Lyme Disease symptoms and visit your doctor if you find yourself coming down with any of them. RIGHT HERE is a simple but extremely informative web page about Lyme Disease. If caught early, you’re much more likely to not have the disease wreck you like it did to me for the better part of three years. Be vigilant, check yourself for ticks regularly, know how to remove them from your body if, in fact, you find one on you, and be completely aware of the symptoms — many of which might disguise themselves as everyday bothers like joint pain, heart palpitations and the like.