26 September 2005

E-A-G-L-U-C-K-Y!

When the NFL first released their schedule for the 2005-06 season, one game jumped right off the page. Raiders/Eagles. I got excited for two reasons: Firstly, I used to work with two huge Philly fans, and never got the chance to trashtalk, since I was an AFC West guy. Second, I knew I could go with them to the game.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to the game with Gary, who opted to stay home and hang out with his son. Fortunately, I was able to go to the game with my roommate. Here is a running diary of the events that would befall us in the city of brotherly love:

7:30 PM ET, New York: Roommate and I board the NJ Transit train that will ultimately take us to the SEPTA train that will ultimately take us into Philly. SEPTA? Is there a more apropriate name for public transportation in Philly? It's like they actually found the word Septic and found a way to make an acronym for it!

10 PM ET, Philadelphia: The plan was simple enough: get off the train, walk 20 minutes to Jim's, grab a cheesesteak, and then meet up with my friend Greg and get over to his house in Manayunk for the night. (Still amazed by these names I find on the Eastern Seaboard.. I guess growing up in California I became accustomed to names like Pacoima, Avienda de Cortez and Tierra del Fuego. Here it's names like Manayunk, Ramapo, Mahwah... cities that were imagined by 3 year olds who just learned how to speak.)

10:20 PM ET, Jim's: I knew about Pat's and Geno's, but this is the one that I heard was "legit." Like, the tourists went to the first two, but the hardcore folks went to this one. I don't know if I was right or not. I also have no idea if Philadelphians really DO love cheesesteaks, or it's just a tourist thing.. Now, I love a good cheesesteak as much as anyone, but I think, unlike a steak, or a burger, they're either good or they're not. There's not much variance in a cheesesteak.

Anyway, this place was decent enough, but for a spot that was "the place the tourists didn't go", they really knew how to "jump the shark" on a restaurant that was supposed to be legit. Putting up pictures of celebrities and their signatures seems to indicate that your legitimacy has become a parody of itself, and yes, you are a tourist attraction. Katz's Deli can get away with this, however.

10:40 PM ET, the 'yunk: Greg and his girlfriend pick us up and whisk us away to the merry land of Manayunk. We find out that Greg's girlfriend has 8 brothers and one sister.

Me: "Obviously you're a Catholic."

10:45 PM ET: We wander into the house and find a stunning 52" DLP television that glowers over the room like the monolith dropped in front of the apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey. No, I did not club Andy over the head with a bone... yet. But, I sure would have once I found out that that the TV doesn't work! It gets worse. He had an original Nintendo Entertainment System, complete with Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, and Double Dragon! (No Tecmo Bowl). So, we were left with conversation... how does that work, again?

10:46 PM ET: I tell him that I am going to fix the television. What the hey? I've got experience with broken televisions. Hell, when I first moved to NY, I had a TV that wouldn't turn off unless I unplugged it. Surely this couldn't be much harder.

10:46 PM ET: I stand up and start banging on it.

Yup, this was my bright idea. I try the left side, then the right side. Then a few buttons on the TV. See if you can guess how this turned out?

11:30 PM ET: We accept that the TV is gone, and it ain't coming back. I manage to get the sound working, and for some reason, they actually like the idea of staring at a blank screen listening to South Park. I totally vote this idea down. But that gives way to an argument about whether or not it was possible whether or not to live in a city and be totally unaware of one or more of its sports franchises. My argument was that it was totally feesible to live in Los Angeles, and know who the Lakers were, and have no clue what a Clipper was, much less realize that they were an NBA team. Andy said there was no way.

However, all this was prompted by the line from Major League when Jake Taylor is asked "The Indians? Here in Cleveland? I didn't know we still had a team!"

Now we're trying to figure out how it was possible to know of a team, once, only to have forgotten about their existence. (This is how cable and satellite companies make money, folks). I'd replay the rest of this argument, but I'm about to go ram Q-tips into my eyeballs.

12 MIDNIGHT ET: The prank calls start. I can't believe it took this long. I throw a *67 before a phone number, thereby blocking mine, and let it roll.

12:01 AM ET: The prank calls are over. I might be the last one standing at the age of 24 who still gets a kick out of this. (*note: I find out the next morning that the *67 trick does not work anymore when I get a very confused voice mail. That could have been much much worse. I ducked karma on that one, big time).

12:30 AM ET: Time to sleep. There's one couch and two very tired people. Andy is on the couch, and just decides that he's sleeping on it. I challenge him to a game of rock, paper, scissors; best 2/3. He is very very hesitant, but realizes that there is no way he can just claim this space of land without a fight.

12:31 AM ET: Andy takes rock, Dave takes rock.

12:31 AM ET: Andy takes rock, Dave takes scissors.

12:31 AM ET: Andy takes rock, Dave takes paper.

12:31 AM ET: Andy takes rock, DAVE TAKES PAPER!

12:32 AM ET: I take a victory lap around the house, as Andy lays dejected, slamming the couch screaming obscenities.

12:40 AM ET: ME : "Hey Andy, remember when you took rock and I took paper?" Andy: "GREAT JOB!"

12:41 AM ET: ME : "Hey Andy?" Andy: "GREAT!!"

--SLEEP--

10:30 AM ET: Wake up time. Breakfast is on our mind, and Greg has returned from his own breakfast to assist us in our decision. He throws a few things around, and then I say "BOOEYS?!" Andy is instantly engaged. "Bui's" is a lunch-truck that sits right outside of the UPENN campus, that, for some reason, has developed a cult following. I can't think of another situation where someone would ever be this excited about food from a foodtruck. But Greg says "Well, it's not exactly on the way. But, it's not exactly out of the way either. Fuck it, let's go." You know how some people will fight you if something isn't exactly tailor made to be the easiest way from point A to point B? Not Greg. God bless him.

11:15 AM ET, Bui's: Yum. Good truck, good times.

11:45 AM ET, The Link: We arrive, tickets in hand, team allegiance in disguise.

12:15 PM ET: We see a group of people wearing construction outfits handing out items promoting another new Adam Corolla show; seriously, did this guy just change agents or something? The woman hands me a tape measure with the show's tune-in info on it, and I tell her I'm going to throw it at Donovan McNabb's head. (I was genuinely shocked these words came out of my mouth, and... let's just say, she was too)

12:45 PM ET: Section 243. Riiiiiiiiiiiight up there with the crazies. Great seats, perched right over the 35 yd line. No Raider fans anywhere near me. Shit.

12:50 PM ET: I never want to go to another game at the Meadowlands ever again. This is the most amazing football facility I have ever seen. Spacious, state of the art, easy on the eyes, great view, great food. And this was all before the pre-game proceedings!

12:51 PM ET: The Eagles cheerleaders come out. For my money, they're the best in football. You can forget the Cowboys cheerleaders, they're a cliche by now. These ladies are something else. And, they're performing for minutes on end. A camera on my face would have revealed some sort of euphoric glaze, watching scantily clad women, dancing on a football field, beer in hand, about to watch my Raiders. Life is good.

12:55 PM ET: They've got a pre-taped piece with Swoop, the Eagles' mascot, in Swoop Wars. Where this bird, dressed as "Swoop Skywalker" comes out to slay the evil Darth Raider. It's genius. (I'm now wondering how Eagle fans can be all bad when they're doing cutsey things like this... *note: I never do figure this out).

1:00 PM ET: Pre-game introductions. Every Raider player's name/college is followed by an extraordinarily loud "SUCKS!" from the crowd. When they announced Woodson, I joined in. That's okay, right? He is an overrated jerk***...

1:05 PM ET: Kickoff. All the good natured Raider booing has turned into a sea of evil. Anyone wearing silver and black appraoching our section was showered with cheers of ASS-HOLE! ASS-HOLE! Women wearing Raider shirts/jerseys are told "Your shirt sucks! Why don't ya take it off!"

1:07 PM ET: I managed to keep my partisanship a secret right until, oh, about two minutes into the first quarter when the Raiders scored and I turned into a shreiking lunatic… before I realized what I had done, it was too late. The late-40's-lunatic insurance salesman sitting next to me slowly turned his head to me, jaw wide open, giving me a look of death, realizing he had a Raider fan sitting next to him. These guys are the worst to sit next to in ANY ballpark; they've already given up on their lives, their only joy left are their sports teams, and have seen too many horrific things happen to their team to forgive anyone other than an Iggles fan sitting next to them.

To add to the "hilarity", the Eagles came out wearing their alternate home uniforms, that are in black. They started the game by botching three kicks in a row, and having their kicker limp off the field, giving way to their back-up Tight End making their kicks. After that, some yahoo behind me kept yelling at the team about their unfortunate choice of jerseys: "HEY! WHY ARE YOU GUYS WEARING RAIDER-BLACK? GET BACK IN THE LOCKERROOM AND PUT ON GREEN!"

--then--

"WHY AREN'T YOU GUYS WEARING GREEN?!"

--THEN--

"WHY THE F--- AREN'T YOU GUYS WEARING GREEN?!?!"

--THEN--

"GODDAMMIT! GET BACK IN THE LOCKERROOM, GET A NEW KICKER, PUT ON YOUR GREEN, AND START THIS OVER AGAIN!"

(He said this way more than three times, but you get the idea. I think he was the 5th Queer Eye member to be this disturbed about their uniforms)

1:xx PM ET: ME: "Hey Andy, remember when you took rock, and I--" ANDY: "GREAT!!!!!!"

1:xx PM ET: Crazy insurance broker man starts rolling a joint. Man, he is weird. Then, I thought he was about to punch me after this exchange:

HIM: Man, your team really _______ ________ sucks.
ME: We suck? Really? I guess I'm not that smart, but maybe you can tell me why my 0-2 team is making your defending NFC championship team look so bad? Can you tell me that?!

I was a very popular person is Sec 243 that day, even without the silver and black on.

2: xx PM ET: Finally, two other Raider fans show up, and I tell them I was getting lonely without them. Now, just remember that I'm NOT wearing any Raiders gear at this point.

So, you're you, and you show up to a football game, and someone in the section tells you that they were getting lonely without you.

Sound good?

(We cleared things up sooner rather than later).

3:xx PM ET: By now, Janikowski has missed two field goals, and I'm wondering if we can trade him to the Eagles for their kicker whose leg is about to fall off.

4:xx PM ET, 4TH QUARTER: Tie game! Tie game! Oh my...! I am standing up and screaming at this point. Less than a minute to go, and the Raiders tie it up. I don't give a good goddamn what Eagles fans are in my section and what they want to do to me; I was hollaring like a brute. I even stood up and said "Oh, they scarrrrred now!" (I don't know who I think I am, or what I was doing... maybe I just wanted to die that day.)

4:xx PM ET: They drive down the field. We commit penalties. We play like, well, the Raiders. And, Gimpy McGee, the Eagles kicker who is practically wheeled out in a wheelchair BARELY splits the uprights to give the Eagles a victory.

Maybe it's just my way of thinking, but I was happier to be in my shoes than day than an Iggles fan. True, we just lost, but we lost tough. They won, but they won ugly. We already know we're not going anywhere this year, and we have to scrape for silver lining. They've got a lot of rationalizing to do, after this ugly win against an 0-2 (now 0-3 team) as they try to preserve the optimism that they're going back to the Super Bowl... which they ain't.......

No, that's bull. I was furious. I wanted that win so badly, I could taste it. We had 'em. We f'ing had 'em. And I don't care if it was the last game we won all year (No, I would have cared), but we should have won that game, and the two games before it. Which reminds me...

What in the world is the NFL doing giving a 5-11 team a schedule wherein they play the two Super Bowl teams within the first three weeks of the year?!

Anyway, that was my trip to Philly. I'll be back on Thursday for Week 4 picks!

22 September 2005

Our Phone Lines Are Now Open...

Week 1 - The strangest week in the NFL. If you're a Suicide/Survival Football player, you have come to rue Week 1. This year, it was the "sure-thing" Vikings and Rams causing the proverbial "Week 1 Massacre", and knocking out 80% of the league.

Week 2 - We think what we saw in Week 1 was for real... but what we saw in Week 1 was mighty strange. For example, the KC Chiefs shutting down the Jets offense? (Or any offense?) Week 2 is our chance to 'rub our eyes and make sure what we're seeing is real.' So what happens this? Peyton Manning doesn't throw a TD pass till the 4th Quarter, and the Bears DEFENSE scores more points than the Colts OFFENSE (seperate games, mind you, but...). However, certain trends continue: Minnesota looks lost, Favre looks old, and Tampa Bay keeps rollin' on them Cadillac grills.

Week 3? I think I'm just as confused... but I have a vague idea of what to expect (picks in CAPS):

Tennessee Titans at ST. LOUIS RAMS (-6 1/2): I go into this whole introduction about how bizarre everything is, and then lead off with this game? (Great.) Anyway, Same old story, year after year, with these two teams: Mike Martz, Steve McNair, Mark Bulger. For this game, at St. Louis, Titans' WR Drew Bennett is Questionable, Titans' RB Chris Brown is Questionable, and Rams Head Coach, Mike Martz, is always Questionable. Rams will win, but will anyone care?

Oakland Raiders at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-8): Nice marquee match-up here with two of the most spoiled brats in all of sports. Anyone who has read this blog knows my feelings about Randy Moss (and anyone who dared to pick up a remote control and switch on ESPN in the offseason knows allllll about Terrell Owens)... but now Moss is a Raider, it makes it that much easier to look past these things, and instead, focus on the honeymoon phase, and all the nice outreach work he has done for children. Really, heartwarming stuff. However, I expect a quiet day from Randy, as the Eagles will blitz the heck out of Kerry Collins all day long. Collins needs his time, and won't get nearly enough to make his throws. If the Raiders are to have any shot at this one, they'll need to lay off the penalties (Ha!), drastically improve the performance of their secondary (HA HA!), and play with some fire (Now I'm actually laughing out loud). Eagles will handily cover the spread.

Cincinnati Bengals at CHICAGO BEARS (+3): Now, I actually think that next to Steelers/Pats, this is the marquee game of the day. You've got Cincy, a much much MUCH improved team on both sides of the ball, with the league's next star QB in Carson Palmer going into Chicago, a team with (as of Week 3) the most dominant defense in the league. Chicago has some weapons on offense as well, so I expect a very even game. I think the homefield advantage will give them the edge, and while I don't expect them to score as many points on defense, I'm certain they will make life very difficult for everyone wearing the league's silliest looking uniform.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at New York Jets (NL): It seems like the oddsmakers might be waiting on Leftwich's health to call this one, but I think he'll play, and I think he'll win. The Jets are what they are- light offense, light defense, kind of blahh; Chad is a question mark, Curtis Martin is too old, and the players are punching each other. Mr. Pennington is having some trouble getting his act together after reconstructive surgery, and that is about par for the course. Some good moments, and some "what in the world??" moments... needless to say, sports talk radio is having this team for breakfast. And every single one of those idiots calling in, bemoaning the "loss" of Paul Hackett should have their heads examined... Hackett was run outta town faster than Trey Atwood on Rodeo Drive. (This is a clear homage to Sports Guy.. I don't even watch the show anymore, but yet....) But the Jags have shown me some things; their defense held the Colts scoreless for longer than any defense ever has, and they have yet to commit a turnover! Leftwich might be a little banged up, but he is really coming together, and yes, this is the same guy who played with broken limbs. I expec a tight game, but I think the Jags will edge the Jets at home, and all hell will break loose on WFAN.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (-3) at Miami Dolphins: Love Saban and the new-look Fish, but they're not quite there yet. Carolina plays well on both sides of the ball, and just beat the defending champs. The line is a nod to the Dolphins improvement, but I do expect Carolina to cover.

Cleveland Browns at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-14): Trent Dilfer. Peyton Manning.

ATLANTA FALCONS at Buffalo Bills (NL): Another wait and see approach by the boys in Vegas, on "Monday Night" Michael Vick. Falcons fans, this is Cub fan: I feel your pain, two-fold. I know the feeling of having talent on your team so tantalizingly good that you know if they could only stay healthy, just once, it would be enough. (Of course, I'm not talking about any pitchers on the Cubs... right?) The Falcons have blown hot and cold, but I think the Bills will just blow. HAHAHAHAHA... oh man, somebody cut me off.

Arizona Cardinals at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-6): I might have made this point before, but, shoot, here goes again. Has anyone else noticed that all Pacific Northwestern sports teams are exactly the same? They're ridiculously mediocre for years on end, and then, all of a sudden, they put it together, do some amazing things leading up to the post-season, and ultimately shit the bed. You know what? I don't even care who wins this game. Kurt Warner should not have a job in the NFL anymore. Arizona shouldn't have an NFL franchise, and I vote we give Seattle another 5 years to get it together, or all their teams go somewhere else. Capisce? (ahem, Seahawks won't cover.)

New England Patriots at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-3): I think the time has come. Bemused by the Raiders in Week 1, embarassed by the Panthers in Week 2, this is put up or shut up time for the Patriots. But, this time, the Steelers are ready. Wille Parker, Big Ben, that safety with the wild hair, and 50,000+ who want nothing more than total Patriot anihilation. I even think that Steelers will cover, and get the talking heads really fired up about a Steelers Super Bowl.

DALLAS COWBOYS (-6 1/2) at San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco... you wreck my suicide pool, and then you look like a pop warner team against the Iggles in week 2. The hell with you all... and have fun playing Parcells' bunch after that Monday Night Debacle. I'm sure practice was reaaaaaaaaal fun this past week in Dallas. Note to Tagliabue: this is the week to let Nolan wear the suit, so he can be put to rest right after the game.

New York Football Giants at SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-6): This is easy.. 0-2 San Diego, pissed off and ready to explode, and guess who's coming to town? The snot nosed punk who told the Chargers he wouldn't play for them, and had Daddy strong-arm them into trading his rights to the team in the #1 TV Market. Giants have had two soft wins, and are ready to be exposed.

Who I Like On Monday Night, and I Don't Mean Sam Ryan:

Another cheap homage to King, and Yes, I do mean Sam Ryan.

KC CHIEFS vs Denver Broncos (-3): I hate both these teams, but the Chiefs are pretty damn good. Maybe really good. Might be special. Vermeil has a look about him this year, and that two-headed running beast is amazing. Looks like they can play D too... TOTALLY unimpressed with Denver. Every NFL coach named Mike this year might be in trouble, especially Mr. "I'm such a brilliant coach, I can't win without John Elway".

Okay, time to make sure I still have a job. Feel free to send all your hate-mail to my roommate! (I'm already looking right at you Jets and Giants fans...)

21 September 2005

I'm still thinking...

Morning ABCs...

a) Woke up this morning to a 60ish degree day. This makes me happy.

b) Started reading "Now I Can Die Happy", the first book by ESPN's Sports Guy, and I don't think we properly have this guy in perspective yet. He has become an icon for my generation, and must-read material for, literally, everyone I know. Sports Guy has written about the feeling of his admiration for Baseball and Red Sox guru Peter Gammons, what his columns meant to SG, and the feeling of despair and rage when he would open up the paper to find Gammons' normal column written by someone else. I think he would be pleased to know how many times I, and others, have had that feeling towards SG. I've even had a girl in a bar tell me how funny she thinks he is.

Anyway, this book is excellent, and I was laughing out loud until my eyes slammed shut. Early highlights include: an ongoing diary about attending a wedding with his friends during the most amazing sports weekend, having to miss it, and returning home to find that his girlfriend, "The Sports Gal" ruined his attempt at recording the game(s) by innocently watching Regis and Kathy Lee, before leaving for the weekend. The line, "Why? That didn't mess up your taping, did it?", sent shivers through my spine. If I had a nickel for every time I'd heard that.

c) In looking at my book collection, I realized that it is an overwhelming collection of sports books, biographies (mostly sports), some fiction, and history. I suddenly imagined my girlfriend asking "Why do you like sports so much?" (*note: this would be the imaginary girlfriend, not the real girlfriend who, at her own will, sat with me and watched football all sunday long. that's right.)

The answer?

It's an unhealthy relationship with no way out.

Back in Psych class, I learned about the different types of relationships in which people participate. I remember two of them... (there might have been more, but...) One of them was a simple, set, equal ratio of 1:1. You get what you give. In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. The other one was a little trickier. An unfixed ratio of madness. You give and you give and you give. You might get, and you might not, but because you're unsure when you're going to get, you hang on, and keep giving; and when you actually do get, it's an amazing feeling that keeps you wanting more. Ignoring sports for a second, let's all think back to the relationship we've engaged in, or witnessed a friend in, that sounds like this. She's a huge bitch, and a total pain in the ass, but they're still together, because he keeps hanging on, waiting for the glory days to come back. (And, really, is that any different than seeing Mike Remlinger trot out to the mound, wondering if this is the day he remembers how to throw strikes?)

The point is this: We're all stuck in these relationships with our teams. And the greatest part is that they have figured out a way to keep us stuck. The reason most real-life "ratio of madness" relationships eventually end is because of the incessant, non-ending hell and misery wrought. How have the teams figured out a way around this? THE OFF SEASON! Where hope springs eternal...

So imagine your bitch on wheels girlfriend. You used to love her, but things aren't right, and you have a nagging feeling that this is an unhealthy relationship, and maybe, just maybe, it's time to go. Then she decides to go away for 5-6 months! While she's gone, you start to forget about the misery, and remember the good things. You start seeing slight improvements, some more drastic than others, providing hope! (read: maybe they signed that power hitting shortstop and shored up their miserable bullpen!) Before you know it, you can't wait for them to come back, and everything looks rosy again!

Then they do come back, and lose 15 straight games to open the season. 1997 Cubs, I'm looking right at you! ...and it starts all over again.

I know what you're thinking, "Dave, what if this team/girlfriend wins the world series? Isn't that good enough for you, you miserable curmudgeon?!"

Of course, the answer is "No, it isn't." Go ahead and ask a Red Sox fan if 2004 was good enough for them. Better yet, ask a fan of the team that has 26 World Championships to their name. Are THOSE good enough for him?! Of course not. In fact, it only makes things worse. Raising expectations like that means you have to deliver all the time, thus increasing the level of hate when you don't.

So to all those trapped like myself, I say, "Go ahead, pull up a seat, buy a t-shirt, read a book, remember the good moments, ignore the bad, and remember... just like old whats-her-name, on any given day, anything is possible."

And that's why I love sports.

Thank you for your time, the men with the white coats are here now.

(NFL picks delayed until the boys in Vegas are ready with the lines).

20 September 2005

Nothing But Nothing...

There is nothing like a good friend telling you that your blog reminded him of a Peter King column to bring the inspiration like a mutha...

I promise I won't do this every time, but just because...

8 Things I Think I Think:

1. I think that Giants fans didn't quite understand the meaning of Saints home game last night at the Meadowlands. Snatch the soapbox away before I stand too long, but when the NY Yankees stormed towards the World Series in the post 9/11 world, it would have been un-American to utter a single boo. So, Saints WR Joe Horn hurts himself in the end zone and a neanderthal Giants fan (maybe redundant) screams out "Where's your cell phone now, p***y?!" Nothing funny about that peace, love and understanding. Typical New Yorkers; of course they're more important than anyone else.

2. I think that I have an irrational and unhealthy love for DIRECTV's NFL Sunday Ticket. Really, can the FDA please smack a warning on the ads for Sunday Ticket about talking to a doctor in case of heart palpatations and/or 6-hour erections?! Every game. Every Sunday. I mean, hell, if I wanted to watch the Cardinals vs. Rams (aka, the Abu Ghraib Game of the Week), I could, even if I didn't live in the .05% of the country receiving that game. However, I think I'll spend the time watching the Raiders accrue yellow flags like there's a famine coming, and all they can eat are... yellow flags. (Great).

3. I think that the Raiders need Bill Parcells.

3a. I think I would even take Vince Lombardi. Today.

4. I think that watching the White Sox slide into oblivion after having an unthinkably large lead over the AL Central is solace for watching another Cubs season go down the drain.

5. I think I was slightly disturbed reading an article about local residents on the Lower East Side's disappointment with "gentrification." I don't have a problem with mourning the loss of local flavor, and cheap eats. But one local resident was upset about gentrification because now he didn't see white people getting mugged anymore, and it was a safe neighbhorhood to walk at night. And I'd like to thank him for making me a fan of gentrification.

6. I think I can't wait for HBO's new Sunday Nights with Curb Your Enthusiasm, and organic American offering Extras from English funnyman Ricky Gervais. The way things are shaping up, I will have successfully atrophied my muscles by Monday morning...every week.

7. I think blogging is like exercising... if you don't do it for a while, it may take some time to get back into shape.. Mr. King, I apologize.

8. I think one of the things I'll never forget was the night I met Peter King, while working on a late night local TV sports show. It was the same night that Mets great, Tug McGraw, had died. After Peter's segment was over, he opted to watch the rest of the show in the control room, along with myself and the rest of the show's production staff. The show's final segment began with a taped piece tribute to Tug McGraw; and as the clips were rolling, I mused aloud, "He looks like he could have been Al Leiter's father." And Mr. King turned around to me and said "That is a great, great call!" Made my night. Great, great guy.

stay tuned for NFL picks later this week.