Let me start by saying this…..
The last time I spoke to Steve McNair was in January, right before the event he did with us down in Nashville. The call came in WELL after midnight on Thursday night; and Steve was the subject of controversy in Tennessee because he was going to be involved with a “Ravens rally” before a playoff game against the Titans organization whose existence he was so synonamous with. Steve’s manager had called me the day before to say he couldn’t be involved with the event. But Steve himself called me very late/very early Friday to say “I gotta do it man. I gotta do it for the kids.” I asked Steve if he knew what time it was, and he said “Yeah, but I had to let you know man.”
The event stood to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, which was particularly important to Steve. I was really happy to know that Steve was willing to stand up in the face of the people who challenged him.
I couldn’t tell you much more about Steve personally. I met him immediately when he was first traded to Baltimore, and I unfortunately left for Phoenix right before his two year run here began. I just never really got the chance to get to know him much more than that. As the news has unfolded this weekend, I’ve been a mess of emotions, and have thought so much about how much I admired the guy. I am not ashamed to admit that I respect Jeff Fisher in a way that might be borderline “man crush”, and I will admit that during the rivalry with the Titans early this century I always felt that the Titans franchise was remarkably similar to the Ravens, and I couldn’t help but respect their team (as long as the Ravens beat them on the field).
I thought about skipping this weekend’s 15-7-0; but it was important to me to laugh. I remember the day of Sean Taylor’s unthinkable murder, I was asked to do my daily 15 minute comedy bit for a radio show I worked for at the time. It seemed strange, but I felt it comfortable to mention the tragedy, and then ask for permission to try to have fun. It was KINDA like the time Lorne Michaels asked Rudy Giuliani if SNL was allowed to be “funny” when they came back after 9/11. “America’s Mayor” responded with the simple quip “Why start now?”
So I’m asking your permission to have fun. I’d ask for permission to be funny, but I know you’d have a smart one-liner for me. There won’t be anything more about Steve in here. I’ll let that play out on its own.
As a note, since this weekend started on Thursday night. Read accordingly.
You get props….
So, many of you know that at some point in my life I’m finally going to get around to writing my book. My book will of course be about the great Juan Dixon, and it will be called “We Needed A Hero.” The book will get that title because sports fans from this region who are about my age really never had a true “hero” until Juan Dixon came around. I’ll spare you the details of the book other than to ask that you buy it (if I actually finally get around to actually writing the damn thing). But anyway, buy my book.
Oh right, Joey Chestnut. You see, the moral of the story is that years later; we finally have our next great hero. I’ve seen a number of great accomplishments in my day; but standing on a street corner in Brooklyn to watch our greatest American champion successfully defend his crown and smash his own world record; I’d be lying to you if I said it didn’t bring a tear to my eye. Or that I didn’t rush up on stage the very second the contest was over to give the man a hug.
The best thing “Jaws” said to me all day?
“Plus, you know, I think the hot dogs are really good.”
This man is a hero America. Get on board now.
Upon hearing the news that he had made the American League’s All-Star team as the lone representative from the Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones released this statement……
“This is a big day for me. I feel like I have been named the prettiest girl at fat camp.”
(Editor’s note: No, no, he really said it. Just trust me. I mean, why would I lie to you if financial gain wasn’t an option?)
Do you think the invitations to Tiger’s event read like this…..
“Please come to my party, where you can enjoy watching me kick your ass. Cake and punch will be available.”
Also, you’ll be seeing this video (or actually Comcast SportsNet’s version of this video) a lot over the next 24 hours…..
4-Shin-Soo Choo, Derek Lee, Justin Morneau and Casey McGehee
In other baseball news this weekend, Jason Bay made the All-Star team despite toting just a .260 average and going 0-5 with 5 strikeouts against the Orioles last week. But I think people from Boston are really smart. For example, this guy is an elected official……
Your city is awful, your people are worse. I guess I’ll throw in a shout-out to Tim Wakefield, who made his first All-Star team since 1963.
For absolutely no reason at all, I’d like to remind you of what Serena Williams looks like in a bikini.
If this isn’t a reminder of why America is the greatest country on the face of the planet, I don’t know what else you’re looking for. Seriously, this country rules. And Serena is apparently pretty good at tennis too.
I would love Robbie Rogers even if he wasn’t the man of the match in the US’s win over Grenada. That is of course because Robbie went to the greatest school in the history of the world, a proud Maryland Terrapin.
I know what you’re thinking. “Glenn, does that mean that no matter what, you just immediately love every person that went to the University of Maryland, no matter who they are?”
Well, the answer is yes. Except for these guys anyway……
Ehhhh….who am I kidding? Even those guys.
7-Justin Turner, Radhames Liz, and Chris Salberg
Congratulations also go out to Jim Miller and Chris Tillman of the Norfolk Tides, who were each named to the International League’s All-Star team for next week’s game in Portland.
Wait……their reward is to spend three days in Portland that they could have spent on vacation?
I’m sorry…..there are no consolation prizes available.
Remember how I said Tim Kennedy was my favorite soldier in the world? He has company. There’s really nothing about Matt Russell that falls into the category of “news” from this weekend, but Matt Russell is a former Navy goalie and current Washington Bayhawk who is currently serving in Iraq. For that, he kicks ass. And I know he’s not the only athlete who is serving or who has served recently, but he’s the only one that I had a story about waiting for me in my Inbox. And it is REALLY hard for me to go searching for other stories when I know that there is an episode of “Kendra” waiting on my Comcast DVR.
So here’s to you Matt Russell. When you get home, I’m buying you a Blue Moon. I’d buy you more, but how would you drive me home?
I get the feeling that I am going to SERIOUSLY regret the fact that I wasn’t able to hang out more with Rick Maese while he was working in Baltimore. I mean, it’s not as if I never knew the guy, but something tells me he would have been the perfect candidate to have me pass out on his floor after a weekend with Mike Grinnon in College Park.
Rick recently took a new gig with the Washington Post as a Redskins beat writer following his dismissal from The Sun. He did an interview last week with the humorous DC-sports Blog “Mister Irrelevant”, and here are some of the many gems….
When asked about his firing while covering a game at Camden Yards:
No, it wasn’t cool, but there’s probably no perfect way to whack an employee. I didn’t need a hug or a pat on the back or a Baltimore Sun souvenir mug on my way out the door.
I’m a couple of months removed now and I mostly feel sadness. The Sun is important to Baltimore, and there’s still a lot of good people trying to do good work. To me, what’s happened there isn’t fair to these people who are on the ground — who are actually practicing journalism — and it’s not fair to the people of Baltimore who depend on the Sun in so many ways. So it’s sad to me. I sincerely hope the people steering the ship have a plan. In a perfect world, newspapers are run by journalists, not kamikaze pilots.
When asked about how he’s been spending his time off:
My recent extended vacation has forced me to figure out what else I like to do to pass the time. I’m big into music. In the past few weeks, I’ve seen Drive-By Truckers, Old 97s, Martin Sexton, Gaslight Anthem, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers and Michael Jackson. Wait, scratch that last one. No one will ever top David Bowie or the Beatles. Seen Bowie once. Supposed to see him a second time, down in Miami several years back, but the show was canceled. After the opening act, some dude fell from the catwalk and died on the stage. Bowie never came out. I’m not sure anyone’s death has affected me quite so profoundly.
And on his memories from The Sun:
I’m going to sidestep your question slightly. I’m saving the embarrassing athlete stories for Larry King. Or. Maybe my best-man toast at Gary Williams’ wedding.
Anyhow, when I look back at my time with the Sun, it won’t be a singular story or some home movie. It’s more like flipping through a photo album. Going to work each day at one of the best ballparks in the country. Meeting Ali. China with Cal. China with Phelps. Brian Billick quotes. The student section at Comcast. Dressing as Lincoln and making a mockery of the Presidents Race. Getting an earful each morning from Angelos’ loyal staff subjects. Barbaro. Blindly hunting for Miguel Tejada in the Dominican Republic. Witnessing Dan Steinberg’s ongoing mental breakdown. And that unforgettable Orioles’ World Series. Wait, scratch that last one.
Anyone else get the feeling he’s better off?
Hits a home run and throws a gem in a win. He goes both ways. Sorta like Tila Tequila…..
Here’s the quick explanation. Law is the man who came up with the quote “Sliced bread is the greatest thing since Matt Wieters” that the people over at MattWietersFacts.com turned into a t-shirt. So to bring everything full circle, Keith Law took a picture of himself wearing the t-shirt and holding a slice of bread.
Bringing things even fuller circle, the slice of bread was quoted as saying “You know what, that Matt Wieters fella is even more awesome than I am. Except of course when you slather Esskay bacon, lettuce, and tomato on me. Then I kick more ass than anything else in the world.”
12-Orange Blossom Cream Ale
I was a little worried that I was drinking a foreign brew on the 4th of July; but it’s from California. Which means it’s almost American!
Do you ever get this feeling while you’re watching the Orioles:
“How come all of the good players play for the other teams?????”
In a recent taste test conducted by me; fruit salad was crowned heavyweight champion of the salad community. With no offense to pasta salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, or really anything else in the world; fruit salad is just much awesomer. So awesomer in fact that I decided to invent the word awesomer in order to be able to describe it.
At one point while standing on the corner of Surf and Stillwell in Coney Island Saturday, I looked at a friend of mine and said “is there anything greater about our country than being here on this day?”
Joey Chestnut was introduced to the crowd at Nathan’s Famous to the tune “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who. My pal John Chambers (buy his stuff on iTunes) and I immediately started air guitaring every riff and belting out every lyric. We then looked at each other and I said to him “why the hell don’t they just change this song to our national anthem?” My pal agreed, and it wasn’t until about ten minutes later than my buddy finally wised up and said “Wait, The Who isn’t an American band.” I responded by saying “I know, but they should be.”
And for as much ass as our country kicks, I’m not completely certain it is a good thing that the most patriotic song most people my age could think of Saturday was this gem from “Team America World Police” that is ABSOLUTELY not safe for work. Unless your work is being Bob Saget. And if that’s the case, thanks for reading Bob.
You got lucky…….
I’m not the type to take away from a man on the day of one of his greatest accomplishments, but damnit I thought Andy was finally going to do it today. I had 7 years worth of frustration pent up as an American tennis fan that I was ready to release, too. Here’s a bet I’d like to get advice on…..which happens first: an American wins a grand slam or the Orioles make the playoffs? Chew on that.
Anyway, at least having Pete Sampras in the crowd meant we got to see a few screen shots of the great Veronica Vaughn….
…….and the reminder of Bridgette Wilson’s existence also reminds me that every girl I’ve ever met named Veronica has received this response from me…..”Veronica Vaughn……want to touch the heiney”
These are also reminders that there was a time when Adam Sandler was funny. That’s a pleasant memory.
Do you get the feeling that a newspaper in Daytona probably said “4th of July Fireworks Come ON Track in Race”?
Tony Stewart won the race. Kyle Busch wrecked on the last lap. I think I need a bigger iPod. Can someone donate one?
More NASCAR analysis later.*
(*By “later” I mean “likely never.”)
This was the same guy who asked his team for some time off so he could promote his rap record.
Now, he’s an outstanding player again, and he’s going to pocket big money to go out to Los Angeles and collect championships with Kobe Bryant.
Is there a less likeable guy who is more popular? If I was Sammy Sosa, I’d be kicking myself that I never thought to grow out dreadlocks. Or win two World Series titles. I guess there is a difference.
Look, this isn’t about Ian Gregory necessarily being lucky. A young man who has had to go through cancer absolutely deserves the chance to hang out with his favorite football team; even if he has a terrible parent who allowed him to root for the Cowboys.
What this is really about is the fact that it is “My Wish” week again on SportsCenter; which means their had better be a fresh box of Kleenex somewhere around the apartment. I wish I was kidding; but these damn videos ALWAYS leave me in tears.
Trust me, I hope Marion Barber turns his ankle in the first week of the season (unless I end up drafting him); but damnit I can’t help rooting for the guy for at least 3-4 minutes.
Here it is…..
6-Shoot The Freak
Only in New York. Nothing like wandering down the street and hearing “Shoot the freak in the freaking head!” or “It’s Coney Island, what did you expect?”
How this attraction still exists I don’t know; but there’s a part of me that’s glad it does. Look, New York isn’t for everyone. For example, I went to something called Rubulad while I was in town this weekend, and after my 4th or 5th Pabst Blue Ribbon; I decided it probably wasn’t for me.
But I wasn’t sure how to get off the roof.
Or why the cow next to me was watching a silent film on a projector.
And I only wish I had a camera to prove these things.
7-The Luckiest Dang Gal On The Face Of The Planet
Now, I know that having the name “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” would tend to lead to the idea that the subject is, in fact “lucky”, but something I learned this weekend officially makes her even luckier.
The Skee-ball lanes above are at the Coney Island Arcade. When we arrived there Saturday while our friends took in the Wonder Wheel; I immediately requested $5 worth of quarters from the man in the Arcade so I could show off my freakish pop-a-shot basketball prowess; as well as my relatively mediocre Skee-ball stardom. I took the quarters, handed a couple to TLDGOTFOTP, and placed mine in the Skee-Ball machine nearest me. It was at that moment that potentially the most fateful words in the short history of our relationship were spoken…..
“I’ve never played Skee-Ball before.”
I know what you’re thinking.
“Glenn, how did you not leave her right there in that Coney Island Arcade and let her find her own way back to whatever people might still accept her?”
Trust me, I considered it.
But I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, and a chance to show she was a quick learner.
But I was wrong.
Her first ball was thrown overhand.
Her send bounced right back in her face.
I’m pressing on for now, but I have to admit that the future of our relationship is still in doubt.
HOW IN THE HELL HAVE YOU NEVER PLAYED SKEE-BALL??????
You’re a zero……
Kansas City Royals
I know it sounds like I’m piling on; but the story of what they did to Baseball Prospectus’ Rany Jazayerli is practically Bader-istic.
The long and short of it? The Royals didn’t like something Jazayerli blogged; so they threatened to cut him off completely from the team…….and anyone (including radio shows) who associated with him as well.
Jazayerli is (of course) amongst the biggest Royals fans on the planet.
Somewhere Steve Melewski was thinking to himeself “I think the Royals are really doing a good job.”