Monday, April 30, 2007

The Mighty Quinn?

"I'm the most prepared collegiate player for the NFL in this year's draft," Brady Quinn said. "There's not one other player that's had the kind of coaching that I've had the past couple of years. There's not one other player that's done what I've done the past couple of years. I am the best leader for a team."

The majority of NFL teams disagreed with Quinn. (Hey Quinn: Why are you mouthing off about your "accomplishments" from the last couple of years? Other college players have won national championships and even bowl games that last two years. You?) He fell to #22 in the first round of the draft and was picked by Cleveland, who had even passed on him the first time around at #3.

Just because his name is "Brady Quinn" and he went to Notre Dame, that doesn't make him a great quarterback. Though you'd think those big-game victories over the likes of Purdue and Navy would count for something.

Damn. I was hoping the Vikings would draft Rick Mirer Brady Quinn so that when he's a bust he could take the Purple down with him.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Good Things Happen When We Work Together

Former Sioux Drew Stafford makes sweet pass to former Gopher Thomas Vanek, who scores nice goal. From Friday night's Sabres victory over the Rangers.

I was at a sports bar that had the audio tuned to an NBA game, so maybe my game was in German also?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doctor X!

Until we moved in 1972 when I was six, my family lived in West Fargo, ND. During that late-sixties/early-seventies era, one of the joys of being a kid (and adult too) in the Upper Midwest was AWA wrestling. Not being able to remember much about the AWA in that day, I asked my older brother to bring back some memories about a wrestler burned in my mind forever: Doctor X. All I remember about him was that he was masked and that he scared the bejeesus out of me. Take it away, Randy:

My brother has asked me to tell a story about a wrestler in the sixties called Doctor X. First, some background on Doctor X. He was a masked villain who wrestled in the American Wrestling Association. He was known for using the figure four leg lock to force his opponents into submission. He also had an agreement to remove his mask if any opponent could beat him two out of three falls, although if an opponent won because Doctor X was disqualified, that would not count. One of his opponents, the Crusher, labeled him a “Quack”. Sometimes, the Crusher would show up Doctor X’s TV matches and yell “Quack, Quack” at him and get the whole crowd going.

There were always rumors as to Doctor X really was, some felt he was another wrestler. Minneapolis sportswriter Sid Hartman reported that Doctor X was another wrestler called Hard Boiled Haggerty (“Hard Boiled” came from his shaved head). My friend next door, Jim, and myself bought into this rumor and made these claims to Jim’s older brother, Tom. “He’s his own man”, Tom proclaimed, whose statement proved to be foreshadowing. Shortly after Jim and I jumped on the Hard Boiled Haggerty bandwagon, Haggerty showed up at a Doctor X match on TV. Haggerty was outside the ring, yelling at Doctor X, which was strange considering that they were both villains. This was an obvious ploy to dismiss the Hartman claim.

As for the story about Doctor X, it was when he made an appearance on KXJB-TV in Fargo in the late 60’s. This TV station had a local afternoon TV show co-hosted by lead sportscaster, Jim Adelson, and one of the female anchors. This was before shows targeted certain demographics; in one segment they might interview a professional wrestler, then the next segment they would talk about cooking. When I was in the fourth grade, I would watch this show whenever they interviewed a wrestler. One day Doctor X was on when he was in Fargo for a match. Adelson interviewed him; then he and Doctor X took calls. One of the callers taunted Doctor X by chanting “Quack, Quack”. Doctor X played the perfect victim as he looked for sympathy from Adelson about all the abuse he took.

An elderly woman then called during the middle of the Doctor X segment (this was before callers were screened on talk shows; on this show, the host actually answered the phone). The woman asked the female host as to what was the best way to cook corn on the cob. The female host gave the woman her method, something about boiling the corn for so many minutes. After the woman hung up, Doctor X told the female host something like, "That’s not how you should do it. You want to get a steamer and steam the corn for x number of minutes so the corn has the right texture.” The female host looked at Adelson, dumbfounded. Adelson just pointed at Doctor X and smiled at his co-host, doing a fantastic job by not laughing out loud. Even as a 10 year-old, I realized that this was hilarious, a masked wrestler explaining the intricacies of steaming corn.

Doctor X was eventually defeated and had to take off his mask. His name was Dick Beyer, someone no one had ever heard of, “his own man” as my next door neighbor Tom predicted. Doctor X made a comeback as a good guy, while still wearing his mask, but it wasn’t the same, the mystique was gone.

Thanks, brother! To see Doctor X in action (in admittedly not too terrifying a scenario), here he is wrestling a bear.

And here's the website of Beyer/Doctor X/The Destroyer.

Monday, April 23, 2007

RIP, David Halberstam

David Halberstam is dead at the age of 73 after being in a car crash.

Halberstam is one of my favorite writers, I have read five of his books. His October 1964 routinely shows up in any "Top Ten Fave Books of All-Time" lists I make from time-to-time. That book is about the 1964 World Series between the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals. Baseball had been integrated for almost twenty years. The Cardinals (and the National League as a rule of thumb) had been actively pursuing black ballplayers, while the Yankees were slow to do so. Hence - in the Series a young, fast team beat one that relied on aging power. This was also the crashing end of the Yankees dynasty until the late seventies. Halberstam doesn't just detail the seven games of the Series, he goes into detail about the whole 1964 season for both teams and delves into many of the players' pasts. This book is highly recommended for all baseball fans.

While reading the AP story I linked above, I liked this part about when Halberstam was a journalist in Vietnam:

Halberstam later said he initially supported the U.S. action there but became disillusioned. That was apparent in his 1972 best-seller, "The Best and the Brightest," a critical account of U.S. involvement in the region.

Neil Sheehan, former Saigon bureau chief for United Press International and author of "A Bright Shining Lie," a Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the war, recalled how Halberstam once called a general at home to get permission to fly to the site of a U.S. defeat. At a briefing the next day, a brigadier general scolded "pitiful, lowly young reporters" for having the temerity to call a general at home.

"General, you do not understand," Halberstam responded, according to Sheehan. "We are not corporals. We do not work for you. ... We will call a commanding general any time at home we need to get our job done."

The general was flabbergasted, Sheehan said.

Halberstam "stayed the course and he kept the faith in the belief in the people's right to know," said George Esper, who spent 10 years in Vietnam with the AP and was Saigon bureau chief when the city fell. "In the end, and I think we can all be very proud of this, he was proven right. The bottom line was that David was more honest with the American public than their own government."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weblog Comments Update: Anyone Can Comment

Google owns Blogger, and this week they made me switch my blog creation stuff to a Google account. Apparently, they are also demanding that anyone with a Blogger ID who wants to comment must also create a Google ID.

So I have changed the comments settings and anyone can comment. You won't need to login with any sort of ID.

Thanks for reading.
Anybody Who Likes Frasier Needs To Watch REAL Sitcoms Like I Do

Caught a great episode of The Andy Griffith Show on TV Land tonight. A farmer, played by Alan Hale Jr. (best known as The Skipper from Gilligan's Island), comes to Mayberry in search of a wife he can bring back to the farm. Barney throws himself into the role of matchmaker, the farmer falls for Barney's gal Thelma Lou, and hijinks ensue.

What truly grabbed me with this episode was that Hale's character repeatedly referred to Barney as "little buddy" - and this episode aired over two years before Gilligan debuted.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Wonder Years Update!

I know I am prone to hyperbole, but The Wonder Years is truly one of the greatest TV shows ever and doesn't show up enough in syndication. I remember when in its early years, I was a fanatical follower; while my roommates preferred Thirtysomething. Had a conversation with anybody about that show lately? Didn't think so. But you bring up The Wonder Years and you'll instantly be in the best conversation of your day. Try it at a water cooler near you!

Anyway, I am here to report that in Minneapolis Channel 41 (Channel 20 on my Comcast digital) is showing The Wonder Years on weeknights at 9:00 pm. Two episodes back-to-back. My brother has checked in from Denver and says it's on the ION network (which I found out that KXPM Channel 41 is part of) on weeknights for an hour.

I stumbled upon the show tonight and immediately threw all plans out the window. The first episode dealt with the last day of seventh grade for Kevin Arnold. The funniest part was the final day of gym class. I missed the beginning of his lecture, but I believe Coach Cutlip takes credit for turning the gym class into men:

"When you look back, you'll know who to thank. Me, Ed Cutlip. Human being, man, educator."

Then he starts to bawl. The class is all embarrassed, but then one kid vomits. Cutlip regains his composure and orders somebody to get a mop.

"As for the rest of you, sixty laps. Six-oh. No shirking!"

Classic Cutlip!

Thursday night is going to be a challenge. Throw away a chance to see the second nightly episode of The Wonder Years just to see a portion of the first period of the Wild game which starts at 9:30 pm? Geez ... oh well, thank goodness it's a road game for the Wild (by the way, Brad May is a total butthead) and they're playing on the West coast and I'll get to see at least one episode of Kevin Arnold and friends.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"I Just Can't Stand Here All Day Talking To My Many Fans"

This first photo is from Brad Schlossman's blog (scroll down to Picture 1) ... Sioux forward Andrew Kozek looks eerily like Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. Damn, I think Kozek is even wearing the same shades!

Friday, April 13, 2007

All Hail Johnny Drama

I don't have HBO, but have watched all of the Entourage episodes on DVD. This is a show that went from four stars (get to live vicariously through guys much younger than me in Hollywood) to five stars (season three is awesome) in my Netflix ratings. I never thought a show whose central steady character is played by the same actor who was the dumb kid in a Married With Children ripoff would become a hands-down favorite of mine.

Jeremy Piven has been a favorite of mine for years and years, and his role as Ari Gold may be his best performance yet. But Kevin Dillon as Johnny Drama truly steps up to the plate in season three. His blustering about his roles over the years has grown on me immensely (in a conversation with Paul Haggis in reference to DeNiro's weight loss for Raging Bull, Drama mentioned his weight loss to play a "bulimic pedophile on The Commish" ... man that was great) and in the final 2006 episode he is the voice of reason as the boys discuss firing Ari.

Plus he landed the first blow when Vince's entourage brawled with Seth Green's group. All hail Johnny Drama!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Latest Podcast Available

The latest edition of Exiled Radio has been posted. Enjoy.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Random Stuff

If you are a Netflix user, be sure to check the return address on your return envelopes. I have noticed that when I return two or more DVDS at once, I tend to get return envelopes with a Fargo address. I assume this is because Fargo is a likely two-day delivery instead of my usual Minneapolis one-day return address. I simply cross out the Fargo address and write in the Mpls one. I advise all y'all to do the same.

My longest-term friend Mardi sent me some M&M cookies via the US mail yesterday. They are awesome! We have been pals since we were both 4 or 5 years old and both living on the same block in West Fargo, North Dakota. Her Mom would babysit me and she made M&M cookies (which I had never had before) and all these decades later Mardi and I bond over our recollections of M&M cookies and Sesame Street. Mardi turned me on to that show, it was in its first season or two at that point. Mardi has been my friend for a longer period of time than anyone else. I call her "longest-term" as I don't know the correct term for this. We're the same age, so I don't like to refer to her as "my oldest friend." Maybe "friend who has put up with me for the longest" is the correct term? I will ask her after I give her a huge hug when I see her next month.

Congrats to Ryan Duncan for winning the Hobey Baker award. Yes, he was likely the third-best offensive player talent-wise on the Sioux team this past season. But he had the best season of all the players on his line and in a season that by mid-point was screaming for consistency by someone, anyone ... Duncan was able to light the lamp more consistently then Toews or Oshie. Those guys will have better pro careers, but Duncan might be a four-year gem - an increasing rarity in college hockey these days.

While the Duncan award is cool, it only eased my pain over the Sioux's loss in the semifinals last night to Boston College for about two seconds. I thought about this earlier this week: the Sioux hockey team is the only team I care about. I follow the UND football team and cheer for them, but don't live and die with them. The only pro football team I care about is my fantasy football team, which isn't real. I used to live and die with the Twins, but now I'm basically a playoffs bandwagon-hopper. Same for the Wild and the Wolves, but I care more about the Twins (playoffs time) due to my prior allegiance. Sometimes this lack of caring bothers me ... then I remember that I've discovered, for example, Joan Didion during this time of not emoting over teams. And I realize all is well.

I left my CPA's office this morning not happy as I owe money to the IRS. (Further proof to the people that ask me to do their taxes that I am NOT qualified for tax work as I did my own tax payment estimates for 2006.) I stopped at the Uptown Lund's to pick up a half-gallon of milk. After I paid the cashier, she told me to take a bouquet of flowers. She had a few on her counter for customers to take. As sweet as a bag of M&M cookies. Not being someone who ever displays flowers in his apartment, I had to think quick. I used a Premium empty bottle as a vase. The flowers are pretty. People are good.
The King and I April 2007 DJ Schedule

Fri - 6 > Dj Fathertime's World Trip
Sat - 7 > Super Awsome Alabama Liquid Snake
with Djs: West Nile Virus, Lori B. & Mt. Klauda

Mon - 9 > Sigelman
Tue - 10 > Lisa's Tuesday Night Dance Party
Wed - 11 > Plain Ole Bill
Thu - 12 > Housekeeping w/ Brian Thomas
Fri - 13 > Dj Luke Andrews & Dj Glen of Jetset Radio
Sat - 14 > Blunt City = JamesPatrick & DanielPaul

Mon - 16 > Rockit Fuel! = C-Gull, T-Machine, A-me & Cecil Otter
Tue - 17 > Dj Joseph Scott
Wed - 18 > Nikoless
Thu - 19 > The Saint
Fri - 20 > Tone & Tonic w/ Julius Romero
Sat - 21 > The Fun Boys Present: Sweet Baby Nursery

Mon - 23 > Dig Dug
Tue - 24 > Brigadier Woodro of The 3King Sound System
Wed - 25 > Things Kings Do... King Otto + Mike the 2600 King
Thu - 26 > Ebony & Don Cacheine
Fri - 27 > Treehouse Records
Sat - 28 > JOBOT

Mon - 30 > James Leonardo

Monday, April 02, 2007

Maybe They're Being Postmodern?

In today's Hi and Lois strip, Hi reports from the comics page he is reading that "Beetle got beat up."

Weird thing is ... Beetle Bailey is Lois's brother!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Highly Recommended.

A few years back, Jim Walsh wrote about assassinating Fleetwood Mac for the Kill Your Idols book. Keith Pille has adapted that essay into a comic. Awesome stuff.