Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Save Some Time - JCM Does One

Mellencamp is often my guest blog-writer.

Great song, great album.


Save Some Time to Dream

Save some time to dream
Save some time for yourself
Don't let your time slip away
Or be stolen by somebody else

Save some time for those you love
For they'll remember what you gave
Save some time for the songs you sing
And the music that you've made

Could it be that this is all there is?
Could it be there's nothing more at all?

Save some time to dream
'Cause your dream could save us all

Save some time for sorrow
Cause it will surely come your way
Prepare yourself for failure
It will give you strength some day

Try to keep your mind open
And accept your mistakes
Save some time for living
And always question your faith

Could it be that this is all there is?
Could it be there's nothing more at all?

Save some time to dream
'Cause your dream might save us all

Cast your eyes up to heaven
Oh what does that mean to you
Try not to be too judgmental
So others will not judge you

Save some time to think
Oh before you speak your mind
Many will not understand
And to them you must to be kind

Could it be that this is all there is?
Could it be there's nothing more at all?
Save some time to dream
'Cause your dream might save us all

Oh yeah
Your dream might save us all

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Leading the Polls

What a disgusting season the political season is.

One candidate after another...none of them able to stay out of their own way.

Questions that anger, enrage and stump men and women who are running for the highest office in the land.

Here's one:

What do you feel when I say God?

Candidate:

Well, I say God is the ultimate. You know, you look at this? Here we are on the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it 15 years ago. I made one of the great deals, they say, ever. I have no more mortgage on it, as I will certify and represent to you. And I was able to buy this and get a great deal. That's what I want to do for the country: Make great deals. We have to, we have to bring it back. But God is the ultimate.

Seriously!

That is how the candidate, who is leading the polls for one party, answered the question about God!

I say God is the ultimate.

If that response, which is word for word, doesn't make you think of a beauty contestant answering a question about world peace, I don't know what does.

And it's not just one candidate.

They all flat-out lie to promote their agenda.

There are people who listen to them talk and then...get this...count how many lies they told during the course of their talk!

The person who tells the least lies gets the office?

That is certainly what it seems.

The other day I was climbing a ladder to get to a work platform. I questioned a hardworking guy about why there weren't any stairs in the building yet.

"No idea," he said.

"Well, things are gonna' be different when I'm in charge of the world," I answered.

"I would vote for you a thousand times," he said.

Well.

Based on what I'm hearing out there...

...I would certainly be the best overall candidate.

I say God is the ultimate.

Are you f%^*ing kidding me?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Summer's Over

Well...

...that seemed quick.

Yet we had a really nice September, didn't we?

Yet I can't help but be sad, living in Buffalo, at this time of the year.

Autumn is nice. My birthday is coming up. It should still be safe to walk around town without a 40-pound coat for at least another month.

But it's coming, bitches!

"Remember when we had ten feet of snow?" Sam asked the other day. "I hope that happens again."

I thought back to those days last November.

How aggravated I was being stuck in the house.

"What's wrong with you?" I asked.

"It wasn't that bad," Sam answered.

We couldn't get the dogs outside.

The cars were buried.

I walked a mile and a half for tobacco products and salt and vinegar chips.

"It was horrendous," I said.

"Think about it," Sam said on a beautiful September morning, "That could happen again in about 50 days. Two weeks off of school. Sleeping late."

So, I guess it's all about your perspective on such a situation.

Sam wants it desperately and the cranky old dog wants the sun to keep shining.

"Imagine if it didn't snow all year," I said. "We can keep working around the yard. The construction jobs will go full blast all year long. You can shoot hoops all winter long."

"I'd rather get snowed in," Sam said.

"They are predicting that this winter will be worse," my beautiful wife chimed in.

"Who's they?" I asked.

"Farmer's Almanac," she answered.

It seems that I hear that same crap every single year.

Colder!

More Snow!!

Lasting Longer than ever!!!


"That'll be so cool," Sam said.

Yeah.

Cool.

It's coming, bitches!!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Will She Fix Her Teeth?

I finished up the memoir that Jewel wrote about her rise to fame and I don't think I'll listen to her music in quite the same way anymore.

I'll have even more respect for her talents.

I highly recommend that you read it for yourself as there are a whole lot of self-affirming messages placed in the pages of her story. Yet Jewel also showed herself as a flawed human who struggled with a whole bunch of things.

As we all do.

Think about it, though...she was a human being who was living on the streets, afraid to get out of her car because she was scared of life...

...and then she was an International star...flying to Europe with Sean Penn and performing with Bob Dylan.

That's a pretty great story.

Yet there was a single chapter in the book that really hit home.

Jewel had been discovered a bit after singing her heart out in a dump of a place. She was chosen to do some acting and was thrilled to meet a high-powered Hollywood producer.

The person with Jewel offered high praises and told the producer that he needed to make Jewel a movie star.

"Will she fix her teeth?" The producer asked...

...with Jewel standing right there with him!

I re-read that part a whole bunch of times as the single sentence sort of blew my mind.

That's what we are dealing with out there, I suppose.

One of the things that is truly plaguing society these days is that there is very little consideration given to other people. The Pope is on American soil spreading a message of love and peace and politicians are making sure that they cry about the message when the camera is on.

And then they go back, one by one, to their 'Screw you, I like me' way of leading the country.

There are refugees in a part of the world...looking for a place to live.

Think about that...running for your life with your spouse and your children...

...just trying to stay alive...

...and the debate rages about NOT actually helping them out!

"We don't want no stinking refugees!! We have our own problems!"

That is coming through loud and clear out of the mouths of the folks who worry about prayer being held out of schools.

"He's not a Christian!"

"I read the Bible!!"


The debate about who is the better religious guy rages...

...and deep down...

...no one looks at the person who is truly afflicted.

They just see the broken teeth.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Alleged Victim

The Patrick Kane story has taken a few Law & Order type twists this week.

And much like that stupid show featuring Munch, Olivia and Elliot...

...I'm losing interest.

For those who have already tuned out.

Kane was out drinking and he invited some girls back to his mansion because he is such a star for flipping rubber into a net.

If you hear his fans talking the girl was looking for a payday so she feigned a rape.

If you listen to the alleged victim's mother...

...I don't know what the hell you get when you do that.

The alleged victim's lawyer quit because the mother evidently played some sort of games with an evidence bag. Then news broke that Kane's DNA wasn't anywhere near the victim and all kinds of shit hit the fan on social media.

The alleged victim is a 'gold-digging whore' is about the extent of it.

The sad part about all of it is that the alleged victim, her dopey mother and the bumbling lawyers have done a huge disservice to what happens to a whole bunch of women every weekend.

Screaming 'Rape' is a terrible thing to do to someone...it's right there just below...I don't know...actually raping someone.

The athlete or rock star-groupie situation is a sad thing.

It truly is...for all involved.

Now I'm no star struck guy anymore. I don't get flummoxed by any athlete. I probably shouldn't, I'm a grown man...but kids still look up to these people and so Kane has certainly suffered quite a bit due to these allegations.

Of course, if he actually did it...he should suffer a whole lot more.

A few years back I ran into a bunch of the Sabres players as they left practice at Buffalo State. I spoke with a couple of them as they loaded their bags onto the bus and when I returned home I told the boys all about it.

"Why didn't you get their picture?"

"Did you ask them for an autograph?"

I told the boys that those 'toothless freaks' should've been asking for my autograph.

And I suppose that if we are to eventually do away with the alleged victim situation the rest of the world is going to stop fawning over flawed humans who happen to have won the genetic lottery and are able to entertain us in sport.

As for the mother in this story...

...what the hell is wrong with you?

How can you treat your daughter in such a manner?

An elaborate hoax?

There are way too many victims here, I suppose, and eventually the story will just go away...

...but some day there will be a real victim screaming for justice...

...and maybe no one will listen.

Friday, September 25, 2015

D.B. of the Week - Martin Shkreli

Most people don't know who the hell Martin Shkreli is.

Perhaps his D.B. of the Week Award will change all that.

Shkreli is an executive at a pharmaceutical company. He made an executive decision to jack up the price of a drug that is mainly used to keep cancer and HIV-AIDS patients alive.

The pill was being sold for $13.50.

But Shkreli wanted to jack up the profits.

So the price on the pill was going to be raised.

After all, there are other drugs that are researched.

The profit margins are tight.

So did Shkreli double the price?

Nope!

Triple it?

Nope!

He decided that in order to remain competitive he was going to have to raise the price of the drug that saves lives to...

...get this...

$750!!

Per pill!


The pill costs just a bit over a dollar to produce!

That's a D.B. my friends.

Once more...

...someone tries to take the crown of D.B. of the century.

Shkreli is backing down a little bit since he originally made the announcement.

$750 a pill????

Are you freaking kidding me!

Then to top it all off it was announced that Shkreli had problems before all this.

Seemed he got into a bit of a financial bind at his last job.

I really, really, really don't want to just paint all CEO's as greedy pigs...

...but it's getting harder and harder not to do just that.

I don't like this guy.

I really don't.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Yogi


My favorite Yogi Berra memory comes courtesy of my Dad's cousin, Marion Fricano who pitched in the Major Leagues in the 1950's.

I was about ten years old when Marion told us the story of having struck out Yogi...

...once.

"He homered off me a few times though," Marion said. "He loved to hit pitches that were a mile out of the strike zone. I threw one that was over his head to try and strike him out and he hit it a mile."

I recall every second of that story and was in awe, of course.

Then I learned that Yogi was famous for being a bad ball hitter.

Yogi won 10 World series.

He's the all-time leader in World Series hits...

...by a mile.

He was funny.

But the best stat of his life?

He was married for 65 years!

RIP Yogi!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Never Broken

I've always enjoyed Jewel's voice.

There are a couple of her songs that I think are written so beautifully. Yet the thing that gets me about her is that when she sings with just a guitar, as she often does on the Howard Stern Show...

...I don't know...

just beautiful.

Anywhoha...

Jewel was also on Howard's show to discuss the new book that she wrote - a memoir about her life - and what an interesting life!

She grew up in Alaska, was homeless for awhile, traveled around with a father who was unpredictable and a mother who was a little crazy.

Men were always trying to pick her up...even when she was less than 10 years old, evidently...and she lived those early years with one thought pushing her forward:

That her soul could never be broken.

I ordered the book on Monday night and decided to read a few pages as I watched the Yankees.

225 pages later I grabbed my phone and left Jewel a note on Twitter.

This is what happened after that:

Me: Pack your bags. Jewel answered me on Twitter.

My Beautiful Wife: So why am I packing my bags. You get the hell out.

Me: I'm just saying.

My Beautiful Wife: (Playing along) What did she say?

Me: I wrote her a note telling her that I was enjoying her book and she answered quickly. She loves me.

My Beautiful Wife: What did she answer?

Me: She said 'Thanks.'

My Beautiful Wife: That does sound serious.

Me: She added a smiley face.

My Beautiful Wife: Get the hell outta' here.


Jewel answered me!

Never Broken.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Can't You Stay Home?

I've often laughed at my beautiful wife and my tremendous mother-in-law for being over-protective of my children.

They have always been that way.

They check in with one another more than a few times a day and even speak in code at the end of the night to alert one another that there aren't any burglars in their homes holding them hostage.

It's maddening!

Yet...

Jake is a social butterfly now.

He's also playing a lot of basketball with his friends.

Pick-up games that Sam joins in on.

"We're going to play hoops!" They'll yell and then they pile into the car with one of their friends and off they go.

I did the same thing as a young man and I also threw long rounds of golf and a whole lot of dates in there.

So what's the problem?

On Friday night, I watched the Yankees lose to the hated Mess so my mood was a little lousy.

"Where's Jake?" I texted to Sam.

"Should be arriving shortly," Sam answered. "He's out for something to eat."

I wondered why he had to leave the house to eat...but all right.

And then I heard a siren.

Followed by about ten more.

Whatever was going on was happening in close proximity.

A car accident?

I got out of bed.

"When is Jake getting home?" I asked my beautiful wife, pretending that I just hadn't received an answer from Sam.

"I just talked to him," Kathy said. "Shortly."

I went back to bed.

I tried to read.

The sirens were getting louder.

I resisted the temptation to text Jake.

A half an hour passed and then I heard a car slowing down in front of the house.

Jake was home!

I heard his voice downstairs.

I cursed the thoughts of worry.

Worrying doesn't do a damn thing!

The next day Jake passed me in the hall.

"We're going to play ball," he said.

"Again?" I asked. "Why can't you just stay home?"

He laughed and looked at me kinda' funny.

"Are you turning into Mom?" he asked.

Damn!

I guess I am!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Pope Has Landed

Received a CNN notification that Pope Francis is on his way.

First he's stopping off in Cuba to do mass in front of a massive gathering of people who have been held under the thumb of a communist regime for a long time.

But that's the point of the tour...to strengthen the relationship between Cuba and the United States. Pope Francis sort of brokered the deal that will allow peace to reign between the two countries.

And peace is good, right?

Saw a stat the other day about the trillions of dollars spent on war over the last 14 years.

We could use trillions around this country to say...oh, I don't know...pay a living wage to a lot of people.

So the Pope is bringing a message of peace.

Pope Francis will be in Washington by Tuesday and I'm sure that the message he brings will be carried all over and the notifications I get regarding his message will keep on coming.

This Pope has also received high marks for being a little more progressive in his thoughts in regard to the gay lifestyle and the past sins of the members of the Catholic church.

By all accounts people seem to like him.

Now, I'm a Catholic boy.

Was an altar boy for a long time.

(No shenanigans...so don't even ask).

Yet what always left me shaking my head a little was the dress up game that everyone seemed to play to read through the Sunday mass. We used to all have to sit quietly as the priest put on his garbs prior to saying mass. It was just a man putting on a costume.

And that's what I always thought about the Pope.

The big hat.

The Pope-mobile.

The fancy house and fancier church.

Speaking from a balcony.

Now...I'm not saying that any of it is wrong...mass should be a celebration of faith...it just always seemed odd to me.

And I've always been of the opinion that we are all created equal. The pedestal that the Pope is on was also, a slight head-scratcher.

Yet.

I am all for a message of peace in a world filled with turmoil.

I do favor the faith aspect of the language that the Pope will bring.

That faith can mean so many different things to so many different people and I know that Pope Francis will speak of including everyone when he talks about what we all need as we move forward.

It will be refreshing to hear a leader talk about love of people...all people...instead of dressing down entire races of people like Muslims, or Mexicans, or Women...just because they are different.

We can get back to the stereotypes and the hate as soon as the Pope-mobile heads for the airport.

Let's just all pause for a moment and act like we aren't no-thinking animals.

Give the Pope a week.

Let him bless us collectively.

Then we'll go back to insulting one another until kingdom come.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What Would Jeter Do?

Did you happen to catch the video of the two high school football players who drilled a ref who made a bad call?

Evidently they had been spurred on by their coach who had said that 'He has to pay.'

The linebacker could've killed the poor defenseless ref!

Yet I watched it without a second of surprise. It's the direction that we're heading in.

Sportsmanship is gone.

The Bills and the Patriots are playing a game in Orchard Park today.

Bills fans are really excited.

How does that excitement play out?

One of the geniuses on the team said:

"Don't nobody like the Pats."

Other players spoke up. The coach has shouted the bully approach from the top of the mountain. There are billboards up calling the other team names. The team store is selling degrading items.

And I sort of get it...the Patriots have made their own bed and everyone is against them, but it kinda' hit me late Friday:

What would Jeter do?

Derek Jeter played in more big games than just about any sports star, ever.

He battled Red Sux teams that were truly hateful.

Pedro tossing Zimmer to the ground.

Manny starting 'roid filled fights.

Teammates getting drilled for having the audacity to stand in the batter's box.

Bad calls.

Countless microphones shoved in his face.

And you know what?

I can not remember him ever saying a bad word about an opponent, an ump...or even a teammate.

I don't recall him ever bragging.

Even when he was holding the trophy over his head.

Think about it.

In 20 years of playing on the highest stage did you ever see him dress-down either an ump, a teammate, or an opponent?

Did you ever hear him say he was great?

I was kicking it around with the boys on Saturday night.

"It's funny," Sam said as he read me some of the quotes coming from the mouth of the Bills players (an organization that hasn't played a playoff game in 15 years, by the way).

"Why don't they just shut up and beat them on the field?" I asked.

"It doesn't matter," he said.

But for some reason it struck me that it sorta' does matter.

In every rink and on every field all over the country parents are dressing down coaches and officials.

Players are learning to bitch and moan.

And tell us how great they are and how crappy their opponent was.

It all sounds like Pro Wrestling.

So kids drilling refs doesn't seem all that shocking anymore.

Because Jeter has retired.

And evidently so has sportsmanship.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Little Indian Girl

Had a lot of driving to do yesterday and grew tired of Jenny McCarthy and didn't want to listen to Dr. Laura...so...

The Stones came to my Emotional Rescue.

That record came out when I was 13 years old.

It's still a great collection of songs.

I had it blasting!

The one song that I turned it down a little for was Little Indian Girl.

It's a strange song.

I remember thinking that same thing back when I was a new teenager.

Jagger is singing it in a drawl and the music is different.

It appears that Jagger, as the voice, is speaking to an Indian girl at a mission-type situation and he is telling the girl bad news about the character of her father.

The chorus of the song goes like this:

Lesson number one

Best to learn while you're young

Life just goes on and on getting harder and harder
Life just goes on and on getting harder and harder


When I was just a kid I can recall laughing at those words, wondering why an adult would tell a kid something like that.

Don't children deserve the chance to enjoy their lives for a little while before the grim reality hits them?

I laughed at the song as a 13-year old!

Now it's not the kind of song that you have listened to a thousand times through the years like Honkey Tonk Woman but I remembered every single line.

And I sang the chorus loud.

Lesson number one

Best to learn while you're young
Life just goes on and on getting harder and harder
Life just goes on and on getting harder and harder


And it wasn't that I was in a lousy mood...

...I wasn't being a Debbie Downer...

I was just accepting the chorus as truth.

It was no longer ironic as it was when I was 13.

That's kinda' sucky.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Read All About It!!!

I'm sad.

Mike Lupica was let go from the New York Daily News.

I'm an avid newspaper reader.

I have read at least one newspaper every single day for the last 48 years!

I still get up and go off to the store to pick up the newspaper - The Buffalo News - every single day.

I look for the columns from Bucky Gleason and Jerry Sullivan and Mike Harrington.

I honestly disagree with all three of them more than I agree with them because they all seem to really hate the 27-Time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized American Sports - but I read them.

Every single day.

A lot of the heroes that I've had in my life have been writers.

I loved Larry Felser's comments about the Bills, Sabres and Yankees (again...didn't always agree...but he was a great writer).

As a kid my Dad was always yelling me about one thing...over and over...taking the paper from him.

As a teenager I would read anything I could get my hands on and I dreamed of writing something that somebody read on a daily basis. A whole bunch of great writers reached me and I couldn't imagine a better thing to be then a newspaper columnist.

One word after another.

When I heard that Lupica was being let go I thought one thing...

...Oh shit!

Newspapers are dying!!!

And it's not a huge surprise.

My kids have never actually picked up a newspaper.

They sit with me as I pick through it and ask them questions, but put it this way, I don't have to look around the house for the newspaper...

...because I'm the only one who reads it!

I get a bunch of information off my phone now as well.

But I can't imagine not being able to grab a newspaper and opening it wide.

I just can't imagine it.

I'm sad.

And I know that if you write something now there are more and more places for it to be read, but no one is actually being paid for their talents anymore.

Good writers, great writers will always write...

...and they will do it for free now, evidently.

That's sad.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

D.B.'s of the Week - 9/11 Morons

Two stories broke this week that made me really shake my head.

Remember Devo and the song "Whip It"?

My buddy Al DeCarlo loved that song - he'd walk around singing it all the time. I think the band made it's name from the video and the fact that they wore bowls on their heads for the video.

Well one of the guys from the band - Jerry Casale got married on 9/11 and in all matters that lacked taste they had a 9/11 themed wedding...including a twin towers cake and place settings in the shape of box cutters.

Really?

How dumb is that?

Did anyone involved in that wedding understand that thousands of people lost their lives that day?

That it is the worst day in this country?

That people are still suffering?

People who attended the wedding received box cutters as party favors!!!!

Is that funny?

I think Gerald & Krista should be whipped...I can only give them the D.B. of the Week...

...but the worst part is they have to split it with Comic Steve Rannazzisi who also had a 9/11 problem.

Rannazzisi had a real Brian Williams moment back in September of 2001.

He said he was working on the 54th floor of the second tower when the plane hit the first tower.

My kids watch the show that this guy is in...The League...and think he's a real funny guy.

He's also a D.B. of the Week winner!

Rannazzisi has since apologized saying that it was a story that he told and told and told as time went by.

Even though none of it was true!

He knew that he shouldn't keep telling it, but what the hell...it was a good story and got him attention.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Yeah, I continue to tell my kids that I was Jerry West, back in the day, and that after my NBA career I was a medic in Viet Nam:

"I've seen bad things, man."

But those are jokes!

Do these people think they're funny?

Here's to you, Gerald & Krista...may your wedded bliss not be tainted by those poor people who died...

...and to Steve...thank God you made it out alive.

Dopey Bastards.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Love? Hate? P.T.S.D.


That's what I'm really trying hard to reconcile in my mind.

I was raised in a pretty strict Catholic environment.

The words displayed above mean a lot to me.

Yet through the years I have grown more confused by the religious beliefs of others.

I never confused hate with love when those nuns were beating the bejeebus out of me for being a wise-ass.

I know some people who really, really, really, really talk about faith and belief...

...and they look down their noses at people who don't act like they think they should act.

Isn't that non-Christian?

That's where my confusion lies.

People who are supposed to be following a love-based religion...

...really, really, really, really hate some people...

...who have been created the way they were by supposedly the same loving God.

Of course, I still have belief in what I believe.

Am I supposed to hate someone based on what I might believe, but don't know for sure to be true?

I don't think so.

That's what this quote is saying.

People spreading hate in the name of love should really think about how they are going about things.

But that's just my opinion.

What the hell do I know?

I still have P.T.S.D. from the paddle-wheeling nuns.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Up Against the Wall

Did you see the story about former tennis pro James Blake being tossed to the ground in New York City?

Blake, who is black, was standing outside the Grand Hyatt hotel waiting for a ride to the U.S. Open. It was just about noon when a NYPD officer grabbed Blake, slammed him to the ground and handcuffed him, screaming: "Police! Don't move!!"

Turns out that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Blake just happened to look like the guy who the cops were looking for in a fraud case. One of the higher-ups said that Blake could be the twin brother of the guy who committed the crime.

Gets you thinking, right?

Imagine just going about your day when you're suddenly grabbed, slammed and cuffed.

Would be pretty dramatic, don't you think?

The police commissioner has apologized and the cops are saying:

"It happens."

Blake is still seething, however, and wants to shine light on the fact that even if he had been the man who committed the crime, he was handled way too aggressively.

He wants more than just the apology.

He isn't looking for a pay day, he's just trying to see why things happen the way they do.

Look.

It's a real fine line that the police are walking these days.

Criminals are armed to the teeth.

Officers are being gunned down while pumping gas.

The race relations are a bit testy to say the least.

The take-down was in line with what the officers are trained to do...just happened to be the wrong guy...who happened to be a black man...a famous, Harvard-educated black man.

Could this all be fixed somehow?

I don't know.

The police officers are in a tough spot these days. A moment's hesitation could cost them their life.

I know that Blake is pissed.

I would be too.

Perhaps he feels it is based solely on the color of his skin.

That has to be an awful feeling.

But a moment's thought about how and why it happened...might make a difference to Blake once he calms down.

The bottom line is that we need police to do their jobs...

...without hesitation...

...without prejudice.

It sounds easier than it actually is.

Blake should be apologized to...and maybe that's all there is.

Monday, September 14, 2015

How We Were Built

Had a little bit of an exchange with Matt, who is a 22-year-old, on Sunday morning.

We talked a little about taking time off, having fun, and working non-stop for the greater good. We got around to the trouble that we all seem to be in.

It started with his excitement regarding the home football game and my attempt to discuss how crazy people get when they arrive at One Bills Drive.

"People drinking until they fall down, pissing in the sinks, fighting, falling, throwing things at each other and getting a DWI on the way home," I said.

"That's football!" he answered.

But then we did discuss the overall picture a little bit.

"A generation ago men worked from sun-up until sun-down building the country," I said.

"That was dumb," he answered. "Why would anyone work so hard and not live? All they were doing was making someone else rich."

The conversation didn't go much further although he wondered about whether or not people were careless enough to allow Trump to be in charge, but it did get me thinking.

Have we lost that crazy work ethic and the idea that we should work hard for the common good?

Yet the last sentence that Matt spoke was the important one:

"All they were doing was making someone else rich."

There's the shift, people.

I know for a fact that thirty or forty years ago people who toiled long hours didn't really consider how much money they were making another guy worth, and there was a reason for that...

...because they felt properly compensated for the time they put in and it seemed fair.

Not sure it seems quite so fair anymore.

The common worker these days is different from the common worker 50, 40, 30 even 20 years ago.

There are classes taught on it.

"How do we inspire the computer-aged workers?"

Instant gratification, having the answers at their fingertips, knowing that they should be happier and that happiness isn't based on the bottom line of the corporation.

All of those things must be considered now.

Sun-up to sun-down is no longer it's own reward.

My teenage son and his friends were talking about leaving their jobs at local fast-food joints.

"I just stopped showing up," one of the kids said.

"You didn't bother to call and tell them that you were quitting?" I asked.

"Why would I? Didn't wanna' go anymore."

I was shocked and amazed.

But that is the way it goes now, I suppose.

My Dad was fond of telling me:

"When someone gives you a job to do, do more than what is expected."

I can honestly say that I do that every day.

Every single day.

"You wake up like you're shot out of a cannon," my youngest son mentioned one morning.

I'm hoping that a little of that rubs off on my children. My beautiful wife sets the exact same example.

Yet, it might be a losing battle.

"Your generation is amusing itself to death," I said to Matt.

"We do enough," he answered.

I suppose.

But that's not how we were built, is it?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Lying for a Living

I had cause to share a little time with a lawyer recently...

...in a tense setting.

And the entire dance in a courtroom or a hearing is absolutely baffling to me.

The same question is repeated in 9 different forms in order to get a potential witness to trip up.

Documents that answer a question properly are simply ignored and little bits and pieces of other documents are utilized in order to make a case that the person making the case knows is not true!

It's amazing.

And at the same time it's sort of exciting.

Depending upon what is hanging in the balance it's something to see when the lawyers and the judges dance around, using the English language as a tool of deception.

There was a moment when I had cause to see one of the lawyers that could safely be seen as 'on the other side'. It was well before the proceedings were to start and we made precise eye contact.

"Hi, how are you?" I asked.

The lawyer simply did not answer.

Just looked back at me!

Like a boxer before a bout.

I'm not the kind of guy who takes kindly to such blatant rudeness.

"You can't even say 'Hello'?" I asked.

"Hi, how you doing?" the lawyer asked.

I didn't answer.

Now I watch a lot of Judge Judy.

I know how it all goes.

You are to be quiet until it is your turn to speak (or Judy will hammer your stupid ass)...

...but it's really hard to do when someone is simply cherry-picking information and testifying that what they are saying is the truth when you know damn well...

...that it isn't.

Now there is also a real disadvantage to trying to play the game when you are not speaking the very same language.

A lawyer knows how to swing the tide.

The judge may very well be friends with the lawyer.

It's a real dance.

Thankfully things worked out in the hearing that took place. A lot of the talk centered around truth and non-truth and since I have a real hard time with deception...

...I was on the right side of things.

And the whole thing swung to the side of what was correct.

Then we were off the record.

And it was time to say goodbye.

I didn't bother.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What It Is

Mark Knopfler Handles One for Me:

This guy is one of the best guitar players ever.

I share admiration for him with a number of my friends (Hi Terry) and siblings.

"He's spectacular," my brother John is fond of saying.

He is.


"What It Is" by Mark Knopfler

The Drinking Dens Are Spilling Out
There's Staggering In The Square
There's Lads And Lasses Falling About
And A Crackling In The Air

Down Around The Dungeon Doors
The Shelters And The Queues
Everybody's Looking For
Somebody's Arms To Fall Into

And It's What It Is
It's What It Is Now

There's Frost On The Graves And The Monuments
But The Taverns Are Warm In Town
People Curse The Government
And Shovel Hot Food Down


The Lights Are Out In City Hall
The Castle And The Keep
The Moon Shines Down Upon It All
The Legless And Asleep

And It's Cold On The Tollgate
With The Wagons Creeping Through
Cold On The Tollgate
God Knows What I Could Do With You
And It's What It Is
It's What It Is Now

The Garrison Sleeps In The Citadel
With The Ghosts And The Ancient Stones
High Up On The Parapet
A Scottish Piper Stands Alone

And High On The Wind
The Highland Drums Begin To Roll
And Something From The Past Just Comes
And Stares Into My Soul


And It's Cold On The Tollgate
With The Caledonian Blues
Cold On The Tollgate
God Knows What I Could Do With You
And It's What It Is
It's What It Is Now
What It Is
It's What It Is Now

There's A Chink Of Light, There's A Burning Wick
There's A Lantern In The Tower
Wee Willie Winkie With A Candlestick
Still Writing Songs In The Wee Wee Hours

On Charlotte Street I Take
A Walking Stick From My Hotel
The Ghost Of Dirty Dick
Is Still In Search Of Little Nell

And It's What It Is
It's What It Is Now
Oh It's What It Is
What It Is Now

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11


Hard to believe it's been 14 years.

I know that we can all recall that day in vivid detail.

I hope and pray that we never endure a day like that...

...pray today for those who perished:


September 11 Words:

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”

—President Obama in a 2011 radio address

“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”

—Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl, in Shanksville, Pa., in 2002

“My older brother John lived [his life] in Technicolor. … When he walked in the door, the whole house lit up. And I’m sure heaven lit up when he got there too.”

—Anthoula Katsimatides at the World Trade Center site in 2005

“Five years from the date of the attack that changed our world, we’ve come back to remember the valor of those we lost—those who innocently went to work that day and the brave souls who went in after them. We have also come to be ever mindful of the courage of those who grieve for them, and the light that still lives in their hearts.”

—New York City mayor ­Rudolph Giuliani at the World Trade Center site in 2006

“One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. And here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.”

—President George W. Bush at the Pentagon in 2008

“My father, Norberto, was a pastry chef at ­Windows on the World in Tower One. For 10 years, he made many fancy and famous ­desserts, but the sweetest dessert he made was the marble cake he made for us at home. … Whenever we parted, Poppi would say, ‘Te amo. Vaya con Dios.’ And this morning, I want to say the same thing to you, Poppi. I love you. Go with God.”

—Catherine Hernandez at the World Trade Center site in 2008

“With almost no time to decide, [your loved ones] gave the entire country an incalculable gift. They saved the Capitol from attack. They saved God knows how many lives. They saved the terrorists from claiming the symbolic victory of smashing the center of American government. … They allowed us to survive as a country that could fight terror and still maintain liberty and still welcome people from all over the world from every religion and race and culture as long as they shared our values, because ­ordinary people given no time at all to decide did the right thing.”

—President Bill Clinton in Shanksville, Pa., in 2011



Thursday, September 10, 2015

D.B. of the Week: Kim Davis

Wow.

There is a great desire to go back and check the past D.B.'s of the Week to figure out who might be number one.

This week's winner:

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk, might actually be in the running as the greatest of all of the D.B.'s.

We all know the story by now, right?

Davis is an elected official who has a job to issue marriage licenses in her county. There's no disputing that it is a part of her job. Well, the law of the land changed recently and gays were granted the right to be married under Federal Law.

Davis doesn't agree.

Which is fine.

This is America.

We can all think for ourselves.

Davis, evidently believes in the sanctity of marriage as handed down in the law of her religion. Marriage is between a man and a woman, in her mind. In her religion, God does not want gay marriage.

Still all good.

She is not being stopped in believing what she wants to believe.

It doesn't even matter that in her religion God also frowns upon Divorce 1, Divorce 2, Divorce 3, children outside of marriage, and the 4th and final marriage, we hope.

After all, who are we to judge her?

But this is where the story steps into D.B. territory:

You can't bring your religious beliefs into work and frown upon or judge others. You can't refuse to do what your job requires you to do because you have different beliefs than the person standing across the counter.

What if you worked selling pork sandwiches but your religion forbade the eating of pork?

Can you refuse to sell pork?

And still keep your job?

What if your religion forbade the use of cars and you worked as a used car salesman?

Can you not sell a car?

In both of those instances noted above, you'd be fired for not doing your job.

That simple.

But here's the rub.

Davis is spinning it, saying that her voice is not being heard and that by silencing her stand on gay marriage, people are taking away her rights to celebrate her religion.

Wow.

That's dense.

There has to be a separation between church and state.

Has to be.

You know why?

We don't all have the same beliefs!

There are a whole lot of different religions!!

Thinking your faith is the only faith that matters is actually pretty mind-boggling.

Some of us frown on being hypocritical, for example.

Davis received four marriage licenses.

Four!

Could someone along the way have refused her right to get another one based on the fact that she was making a sham of the whole ''til death do you part' thing?

It's a dangerous thing when people start refusing to do their job based on what they perceive the life of the person across the counter to be.

Anyone can be judgmental about anything!

There as an excellent Family Guy episode where Peter started a church that had Arthur Fonzarelli as the god. At face value it was a silly twist on the whole religion experience.

With Fonzie as his god, Peter did all sorts of crazy and whacked out things that a whole lot of people thought were pretty silly.

But Peter believed.

He had the right to believe.

Listen, D.B. of the Week...Peter's rights can't trample the rights of others...

Family Guy made that apparent.

Is Peter's faith in his god a good starting point to set the laws of the land?

Of course not!

Kim Davis' faith isn't either.

Congrats on D.B. of the Week.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sing-Along Songs

I'm not sure what my kids are going to do when they reach middle-age and beyond.

The songs they listen to don't lend themselves to flat-out singing in the car when no one else is watching.

My friend Kim posted a song on social media the other day - Triumph - Fight the Good Fight - and I not only instantly sang the song in my head, I started thinking about the best of the sing-along songs.

My list is a little embarrassing.

1). Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind - that song could go on forever - I could just keep singing the lyric over and over. In fact Gord has a bunch of them - Her name was Ann, but I'll be damned if I recall her face.

2). Rick Springfield - Don't Talk to Strangers - Told you that it's embarrassing - it gets worse - I love this song though!

3). Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind - There used to be a girl I thought of when I sang this one. I remember her name, but I forget her face.

4). Barry Manilow - Mandy - Barry has a bunch of them because he wrote jingles that stuck in your head, but damn if you don't feel like crying about how he lost Mandy...and he's gay, right?

Shouldn't it have been Andy?

5). Paul Davis - I Go Crazy - I think that was his name - one hit - great song - damn I sing it loud and proud.

The thing about the sing-along song is that it kinda' sucks when it comes on and there are other people around.

Especially if it's my beautiful wife's sing-along song.

We all recall the moment.

The kids will never forget it.

It was horrible I tell you!

Just horrible.

Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart.

In defense of my wife that is a difficult song to sing as loud as you can with your kids and your husband threatening to leap from the car onto the pavement below.

But she did it.

When she got to the Turn Around Bright Eyes part...

...there were real tears.

Not from her.

"That was easily the worst ten minutes of my life," Jake said, "And I had a massive tumor removed."

Sing your sing-along songs alone.

That especially means you, wifey.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Teenage Years

Went golfing with some old friends on Sunday.

It was a tough round because it was really hot, but to a man, we were all happy to be out of the house and away from our kids.

Man, we must have driven our parents crazy!

And I guess you really don't fully understand it until you have kids who want to do things no matter what you have in mind. We all ranted and raved a little about this kid or that kid and how they just don't seem to get it yet.

Looking back on it, I consider that I was a pretty easy kid to raise to an adult, but the truth of the matter is that I was just as aggravating to my parents as my kids appear to be to us.

The other morning, one of my kids joined me in the living room. I had Sports Center on and was catching the baseball highlights. This particular kid isn't really a Yankees fan but he started the conversation with:

"Beltran is actually having a pretty good year."

"He's hitting close to .290," I said.

This particular kid sat down on the couch and watched the highlights.

"At the beginning of the year they had a lot of question marks," he said. "No one thought Tex, Beltran, McCann and A-Rod were all going to have good years."

"I did," I said. "They're all good players."

"Well, I didn't," he said. "But they're going to the playoffs."

We watched the highlight of McCann hitting one out.

He was quiet.

"Say, do you think I could have a little money for the Irish Festival today?"

I almost laughed.

He was buttering me up with Yankees talk!

I thought of my Dad and the cool things that he always did for all of us. At any given time one of the kids would be suddenly flush with cash and my Mom was always wondering where we got money. The rest of the kids knew that Dad slipped a ten or a twenty to someone.

We all knew that eventually we'd get a turn.

I sent this particular kid out to retrieve my wallet.

"You can have it, but don't be stupid, you moron."

The kid laughed.

He knew that I was giving him the advice that Howard Stern's father gave to Howard.

And that's about all we can do, actually.

Hope that the morons won't be stupid.

Raising teenagers is about being broke and holding your breath as they venture out to do goofy things.

We all were there at one point or another.

Later that night this particular kid walked into the house.

I was just glad that he was back home in one piece and that he looked no worse for the wear.

"The Yankees won," I said upon seeing him.

"The Yankees suck," he said. "They're gonna' get knocked out in the wild card game."

You gotta' love 'em, right?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Congrats to Diane & Karl


Mom was by last Sunday for sauce and we talked about her wedding anniversary that was due this week.

Mom and Dad were a month short of 50 years of marriage.

But like I told Mom...their marriage is still going strong...Dad is celebrating with her...somehow.

The photo that leads off the blog shows a couple that just celebrated #50.

Congrats to Diane and Mighty Karl!

It's funny, but I met Diane a long time ago when I was teaching a creative writing class. The class was a great time and was really memorable. I wish I had time to do that again.

Whenever I had a book signing, Diane came by to get a copy...soon enough Mighty Karl joined her and the friendship is still going strong.

These two are loyal people!

And it makes my day to catch a joke on social media from Karl and an update about life from Diane.

Karl is a fan of the 27-time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized American Sports so we trade A-Rod jokes and mourn the close losses.

Diane still reads what I write...and for that I'm grateful.

The other day someone asked me how long I've been married.

I did the standard "way too long" joke and then thought about the fact that there truly people out there who are defending the sanctity of marriage by staying together through the highs and lows and putting the other person's needs right there with their own.

And when you consider marriage that's what it is all about:

Two people pledging to be loyal companions through the peaks and valleys of the rough terrain that life provides.

When one falls behind the other waits up for them to catch up.

That's the beauty of marriage and it makes me smile when I think about those who were able to negotiate the turns and make it through the dark days.

We may be redefining what the terms of marriage are...and that's okay...because it's really just about a couple of things:

Love and commitment.

Congrats, Diane & Mighty Karl.

50 more, please!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

"Man, The Dope Is That There's Still Hope."

The lead of this blog is a Springsteen line from Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street.

I think of it all the time.

In the context of things going wrong.

It's easy to get down when you read the news or watch life play out for you on the headline news networks.

But.

Man, the dope is that there's still hope.

This weekend there are still people laughing and playing ball with their family.

There are groups of friends making tee times where the laughs will happen.

People are inviting their parents or grandparents over for dinner.

Watching movies.

Catching a baseball game.

Smiling.

Loving one another.

And yet what do we have filling out minds and hearts on a daily basis?

People making hateful stances in the name of God...our political leaders telling lies, calling each other names, looking down their noses at races full of people.

Hate is easy to find.

But.

Man, the dope is that there's still hope.

A couple of weeks ago I was at a baseball game in Kansas City.

People were happy to be on the kiss-cam.

People were chanting and doing the wave.

I didn't even care who won.

The sun was shining and people were smiling.

And here on Labor Day weekend I think about the heavy workload that my job has brought to me and I think of so many others who are in the same boat...and it's easy to get down...but we have a place to go...to feel productive...to make money for our family.

So we can smile, and share and raise our kids in the light that God provides.

There's still hope.

So as you rest, or while you work...

...consider that all the garbage that you see isn't what should control your mind.

Life is a battle, no doubt.

No one said it'd be easy.

But.

Man, the dope is that there's still hope.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Never Don't Give Up

Saw a girl in a convenience store the other day...her neck was covered in tattoos. I asked her if it hurt when she had them added to her body.

"The one's you can see weren't too bad," she said.

I didn't ask any follow-up questions.


You think this guy feels bad?

Did he choose those words, or did the artist mess it up?


You think that one hurt?

What is wrong with people?

Doesn't anyone know this guy?

Tell him that it might be something he eventually regrets?


Knowledge?

Indeed.


This should serve him well for the rest of his days.

May not be all that long a trip.


Unbelievable.

This last one might be my favorite.

He tried to translate his name.


No Ragrets!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Kim Davis & Roger Goodell

It's amazing to watch the video clip going around on social media where the County Clerk in Kentucky - Kim Davis - refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

Simply amazing.

Davis said that she would not issue the licenses because to do so would clash with her religious beliefs.

First off...

...what is so hard to understand about the separation between church and state?

Do people not comprehend that their religion is not the religion of every other freaking human being who is walking the planet?

Remember when Peter Griffin established a religion centered around Arthur Fonzarelli?

Enough with the religion in government!!!!

Enough!!!

It's not set up that way and it shouldn't be!

Secondly, Kim Davis is really an aggravating son-of-a-bitch because who made her the boss of all married people?

She's been married four times!!!

And she is in charge of it now?

I guess she knows enough about how it doesn't freaking work, right?

But it's a simple thing, really.

Laws were passed - the Supreme Court, no less - made it the law of the land...and Kim Friggin' Davis decides that the law is flawed????

What a dope.

Speaking of dopes...

Roger Goodell lost again.

Again, this one was pretty simple for anyone who didn't have an emotional attachment to which team of severely concussed, steroid-freaks would win the game on any given Sunday.

(As if that's not prearranged in that crooked sport).

Goodell picked a punishment out of the air for a transgression that may or may not or generally, perhaps, who-the-hell-knows? might have potentially happened.

He suspended one of the best players to ever play the game 4 games for something that is listed in the rule book as a $50,000 fine.

And he expected to win that ruling?

Unlike a lot of other people I actually read the information made available about the case.

It was garbage.

Did New England press the issue?

Walk the line of the rule book?

I imagine.

Was it a crime worthy of the punishment the dopey commissioner doled out?

No stinking way.

Every year a baseball pitcher is disciplined for bringing out too much pine tar - no one remembers it - there's a standard penalty - it's not a quarter year suspension!

Then Goodell doubled down in stupidity by making himself the arbitrator of his own decision!

How stupid is that?

I'm thinking Goodell should make his way down to Kentucky and hook up with Kim Davis.

They could get married!

Two dopes making dumb decisions based on their own simple minds.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

D.B. of the Week: Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling is not working with ESPN for a while.

Seems he was suspended for a tweet that featured Hitler in salute and compared the Muslims to the Nazi's by saying that 7% of Germans were Nazi's and that now 5-10% of Muslims are extremists.

Curt, Curt, Curt.

About 6 months ago Schilling jumped on a group of kids who savagely attacked his daughter...

...on Twitter.

Schilling went all over the world then and played the part of a hero because he said that people shouldn't be allowed to sit behind a keyboard and randomly spread hatred.

The media fawned all over Schilling on that one because he was (for one of the only times in his life) right!

And then he went on Twitter...

...and spread hatred.

Curt has earned the D.B. of the Week honors!

Schilling is a very opinionated man but it seems as if he really acts without thinking and he doesn't seem to get the idea that he too is spreading hatred.

He has certainly alienated everyone in and out of baseball with his opinions and while he is certainly free to post what he wants...he must be ready for the consequences.

What did Schilling want for those kids who posted absolutely vile tweets about his daughter?

Jail time!

He got a couple of the kids fired from their jobs.

He vowed to get them thrown out of their schools!

"We can't have this!!" he cried.

Yet what did Curt actually fall into?

The tweet that he sent out was actually historically inaccurate.

History suggests that about 35% of Germans were followers of Hitler and that less than 1% of Muslims are actually extremists now.

That is the danger of the social media world.

People will pass along a photo of something that appears to favor their side, with stats to boot...and the photo may not even be accurate.

I recall a nun, back in grammar school, telling us that headlines can be made to seem what we want them to see. This nun explained to me that there was a horse race in Russia.

The American horse beat the Russian horse in a two-horse race.

"The newspapers in Russia, the next day, said: 'Russian horse finishes second; American horse finishes second to last.'"

I always remembered that example.

I beg my kids to question things that they read.

If they take a hard stand on something, I give them the other side.

It infuriates my beautiful wife that we are all arguing all the time...but perhaps it will keep them from someday garnering D.B. of the Week Honors:

Right, Curt?

We need to stop the spread of hatred on Twitter!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Boo!

A man fell to his death at the Atlanta Braves-New York Yankees game on Saturday night.

It appears that the man, allegedly, went to the rail in the second deck to scream his displeasure with the pinch-hitter that the Yankees were bringing to the plate in the 7th inning:

Alex Rodriguez.

Somehow the man lost his footing and went over the rail, landing on the concrete below where hundreds of fans watched him suffer on the ground.

Horrific.

It's always seemed strange to me because I work in the safety field where construction guys must work behind erected guardrails that are set at 39" to 45" with a mid-rail at the mid point.

And yet...go to a game or a play of even your kids high school and you'll see that the rails are set much, much lower than that.

That's the first point.

The second point is that it appears that the man was worked up into an absolute lather with his hatred for A-Rod who had been suspended for using steroids.

A-Rod has had boos rain down on his head in every state in this country.

But to try and scream from the upper deck...and to do it to the point where it actually takes your life away?

I'm trying to remember if I ever booed at a sporting event.

Perhaps.

When the Bills were great I remember not really caring for Bryan Cox of the Dolphins.

Cox had flipped off the Buffalo crowd.

I also remember being at Yankee Stadium in the years when the Yankees were coming off a World Series victory. Derek Jeter had started the next year slowly and was zero for his first twenty-five at-bats or so.

He grounded out to second in the first at-bat at the game I was attending and boos rained down!

They were booing Jeter!

(I wasn't!).

Coming off a World Series!!

(I actually think the Yankees won it again that same year).

But you certainly can see things like this coming.

People are truly invested in their sports teams.

They are paying big money for the chance to go to the game and voice their pleasure or displeasure.

Falling to your death as you boo a player?

Tragic.

Mind-boggling.

And raise those railings!

And put a net along the dugout lines!!

Come on, this is baseball...not the NFL...

...we actually care about people not dying as a result of the game!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My NFL Preview! 2015!!!

Okay, Matt, Jake & Sam...

...here you go.

Beat my head in with the awful predictions that I make here, but know that I have not been wrong about the Bills not making the playoffs in 16 years.

Is this their year?

You have to wait and see!

NFC West: Seattle

Seattle and Arizona are good teams. The other two teams should suck. Seattle wins the division because their quarterback is a good leader.

NFC South: Saints

Wow. Putrid. Someone has to win it though so I'll go with the best QB - New Orleans will survive.

NFC North: Packers

The Vikings will have a full year of Adrian Beatyourson but the Packers are the best team here...because they have a good quarterback.

NFC East: Cowboys

I still think that Dallas is going to make it to the Super Bowl one of these years because while Romo coughs it up once in awhile he's still a pretty good passer. They should win the division, but the Eagles are also going to be interesting because no one can follow what Chip Kelly is doing...he's gonna' confuse the league. Besides, he now has the Christian following, right? The Eagles went from Vick to Tebow...that's a true 'Hail Mary.'

Wild Cards:

Arizona and Philadelphia

So...what do we have in the NFC?

I'm thinking that while the best teams may still be Seattle and Green Bay...

...Dallas will somehow emerge to go to the Super Bowl because of good QB play.

AFC West: Denver

Was out in Kansas City recently and they are all excited about their chances this year, but doesn't Manning's team always win this division? Good quarterbacking goes a long ways.

AFC South: Colts

Colts. Luck is a really good passer. They don't have much else, but the rest of the teams here are really putrid.

AFC North: Bengals

I'm not in love with anyone in this division either. In recent years, the Bengals are always up there, but the shoddy play of Dalton does them in no matter how good the rest of the team is. I suppose they can still win the division because the Ravens and Steelers seem down and Manziel set back the Browns for another 10 years.

Which brings us to the AFC East: New England

I don't think that Brady will serve four games. I'm not sure he'll serve even four minutes. It doesn't matter anyway. New England will win the division again, but there will be a lot of competition. I think Miami will be good. I think the Bills will be good...but will they be good enough to end the 16 year playoff-less run?

Nope!

Wild Cards:

Miami and Kansas City.

Did I reference quarterback play at all as I went through the reviews?

It's a passing driven league. All the rules are set up for quarterbacks. The defensive player can't even hit the receiver with a hot breath. Running backs are hardly a factor at all anymore.

So, ground and pound and win with D is a grand idea...

...if you don't have a QB.

And the Bills don't.

Sorry, boys...I think it will be close though...I'll say 9-7, but a whole bunch of road games in a row will hurt down the stretch.

And yet...

...some good news for you.

I don't think the Pats will make it back to meet Dallas.

I have a sleeper in the AFC.

I'm saying the Super Bowl goes like this:

Dallas over Miami.

(And I'm hoping that Frank Zocco is watching the game in a rubber room because Miami will lose on a last drive type of scenario).

Editor's Note: I am going to try, very hard, not to be negative about the Bills or the league this year. I will not mention the felonies committed by the players or the mush that the former players brains are...after all, it's entertainment...who cares if the combatants are getting destroyed, right? This is America!!! We love football!!!

America's Team Wins It!!!!

And Jerry Jones joins Donald Trump on the GOP ticket!!!!!

Heather Heyer

She was a 32-year old woman who wanted to protest the white supremacists in her town. She got killed for her stance. And it's pretty...