When we last left Monday Morning Wicket Wanker, Peter King, he was extolling his love of breastfeeding, so long as it’s done where prying eyes that aren’t his own can’t see it. He also let us in on the lofty life and times of Nicholas Katzenbach, the prison camp book reading champ. Petey also learned that blueberries in your beer cannot stack up to citrus.
So what about this week? Did Peter King recreate an album cover from this obscure band of his youth called The Beet Als? Who is the Carlos Baerga of cricket? And what of wombats? Ted Koppel implores us to want to know. READ ON.
Ooh, exotic PK datelines!
“Did you know they have a clock named for Ben Roethlisberger? I guess someone has learned to forgive and forget.”
I walked the crosswalk of Abbey Road Saturday evening (the ZEB-ra, short “e” crossing), the one made famous by the Beatles album cover of my youth.
Actually, not the one made famous by The Beatles, since it’s no longer there.
The original zebra crossing, where the photograph was taken, was moved several metres for traffic management reasons more than 30 years ago, and no original features remain.
I saw test-match cricket, which I presumed would be deadly dull but wasn’t.
‘Twas not dull! ‘Twas quite droll.
And of course PK would fall for cricket. If you adore baseball as obnoxiously as he does, there’s no way he could resist the siren song of its even more sleepy ancestor.
I spent a day at the Fenway of world cricket.
WHO LET AWL OF THESE DAWT INDIAN DAHHHHKKKKIEEEEESSS AND PAKIS LAY CLAIM TO OW-AH MAJESTIC SPART OF KINGS!?
(No, I’m definitely not going to bore you with details and rules of cricket, except to say I’ve seen the Ichiro of world cricket, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, a left-handed batter for the West Indies team and who’s impossible to get out.)
DURRRR EVERYTHING MUST BE RELATEABLE TO BEISBOL! “I saw this fat Italian guy and he was the Pete Incaviglia of the cricket world.”
So the English crowd of 30,000 or so, many of the men in suits and the women in fine dresses and heels, politely clapped when the West Indies batsman, Adrian Barath, scored four runs. Sitting halfway up in the stands, I asked my brother why they were cheering.
“Because we brought the enlightenment of our civilized ways to the benighted folks of the former colonies. I say, top form, dusky one!”
What a concept … appreciating good play from the opposition.
“I’d never expect these English people to be so proper.”
I’ll get back to that in this unorthodox column (Monday Morning Wicket Keeper, a few of the Twitter Worldlies suggested I call it today), but let’s go football first.
Yes, let’s. Get all the nasty undesirable football out of the way so better to savor your time with the limeys later on.
What the LeSean McCoy signing came down to for the Eagles.
The most amazing thing about McCoy is not how precocious he’s been in his first three seasons, averaging 1,414 yards from scrimmage a season.
Calling people precocious has been a big PK thing lately for any showing of early success. The usage isn’t totally incorrect, per se. But it still looks weird as shit to read. “That LeSean McCoy! So precocious, learning to run at such an early age! He’s place well in the tony preschool.”
Now this is a good idea
The idea first surfaced when Michael Irvin wondered why the players entering the NFL knew next to nothing about the history of the game that was about to enrich them. “Why don’t you have the rookie symposium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame?” Irvin asked league people, and no one had a good answer for him.
“Who are you?”
This year, the league has moved the annual symposium to northeast Ohio, to take advantage of what it feels the Hall of Fame can teach rookies. “History, history and more history,” the NFL’s vice president of player engagement, Troy Vincent, texted me Sunday.
Yes, certainly, I can see how a bunch of kids fresh out of college would be enthralled by thzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The symposium will be held at a hotel in Aurora, Ohio, with the NFC rookies meeting from June 24-27, and the AFC rookies gathering from June 27-30. On the last day of each session, rookies will spend a half-day at the Hall of Fame, 45 minutes away, taking a two-hour tour, watching a 20-minute football history film, and listening to a Hall of Famer speak about the lessons of the past.
Stick around for the awesome seminar “How All The Hits I Made Would Get You Banned From The Game Today” by Steve Atwater.
It’s not earthshaking, and it’s not something that will be as valuable to the players as, say, the post-career transition training they’ll begin receiving when they report to training camps this summer.
But it’s something-ish! MAYBE!
But it’s something I’ve long felt was missing from the modern player’s football syllabus. I’ve found it amazing when players give you a blank stare when you ask the kind of question about a famous player from the ’50s or ’60s who any good fan in the street would know — and the current player doesn’t.
“Hey Brandon Weeden. You’re going against a Dick LeBeau-coached defense. Did you know he played for the Lions forever ago? No? Well, then. YOU ARE NOT A PRECOCIOUS HISTORIAN, SIR!”
Hey Rookies: Read This.
Rod Smith has been announced as the latest Denver Bronco to have his name memorialized in the team’s Ring of Fame. Smith retired in 2008 after a 14-year career that saw him catch more passes (849) for more yards (11,389) and with more touchdowns (68) than any undrafted free agent receiver in NFL history. I’ll always remember Smith as a player who practiced like it was a game, and played every game like it was his last. What Chris Spielman was to defensive football, Rod Smith was to the offense.
With less grit.
Smith: “That right there — work works. I tell people that all the time, work works.”
How illuminating. Rod Smith sounds like a pain in the ass to be around.
“I watch a lot of young guys and they get all this money and they feel like they’ve arrived. Three years later you’re looking for them. You have a flashlight in the daytime trying to find them because they think they’ve arrived. The work starts once you get there. My path to get there was hard and I sneaked up on my locker to make sure that my name was there for one more day. I don’t see that with a lot of guys right now.
This is already turning into the most crotchety column ever. These damn youngsters don’t know the value of history and hard work. ME-FIRST GLORY BOYS, THE LOT OF ‘EM! In maaaaaaahhhhhh day, men knew who played on the Browns’ O-line in the ’50s. You had to answer old-timey NFL trivia before you could set foot on the field. Once you got there, we concussed you just to make sure you weren’t a pussy and could play through the pain.
Monday Morning Wicket Keeper
I have seen one long day of test-match cricket, and I can draw one major conclusion: It’s incredibly civil.
Just what the NFL needs: civility! Let’s make everyone shake hands after every play.
My brother lives about an hour north of London in the countryside, and he’s forever wanted me to come over to see cricket. No time like this quiet NFL offseason to break away.
“What’s that? Your extremely high-paying job doesn’t allow you the luxury of jetting off to a different locale every weekend to attend a sporting event that has nothing to do with your profession but it doesn’t matter because you can still churn out a half-assed column mostly about your experience on that trip? A pity. Shame how things turned out for you.”
So we set off on the train Saturday morning for Day 3 of the five-day test match between England and the West Indies.
GRITTY VERSUS DAHHKIEEE AT CRICKET FENWAY! Did PK learn an important lesson about colonialism? “History, history and more history,” says Troy Vincent.
We connected with Neil and got on the train in his town, Luton, around 8:30. At the same station, fans of the soccer team West Ham got on chugging Foster’s, headed to their own game in London. Foster’s. At 8:30.
SUCH MISCREANTS ARE NEVER ALLOWED ON THE ACELA QUIET CAR! WHO RUNS THIS COUNTRY!? THE MONARCHY IS SLIPPING!
And the fact that people still drink Foster’s is even more surprising than the fact that people still play cricket.
Forget the rules. It’d take all day. Suffice it to say, though, I had no clue walking into the place what I’d be seeing, and halfway through the day, with the help of Ken and Neil, I understood about half of what I was seeing. It’s like learning a language by speaking it with natives. If you watch a game with people who love it and are good at explaining it, you get it in a couple of hours.
Swift learning curve, PK kinda has it, provided there are several folks there to help him.
Hours. Lots of those in a test match.
Awkward syntax. Lots of that in this column.
It starts at 11 in the morning and runs until 1. Players and fans stop for lunch for 40 minutes. The second session is from 1:40 to 3:40. Then they stop for tea. (Or, in my case, beer.)
“FUCK YOUR EARL GREY, EURO FAGS! PK’S GETTING LIT! WOOOOOOOOO, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON! SORT OF!”
The third session is from 4 to 6. Strange atmosphere in the stadium. At precisely 11, with no warning from the PA announcer or the scoreboard, play began. Just started. Through the day, I kept waiting for music, or loud videos, or something on the scoreboard. Nothing. The occasional replay, and that was it, other than the numbing numbers on the board.
No Kiss Cam? How do their faces not melt off from the inactivity?
I spent the first couple of hours getting the hang of the rules and hieroglyphics on the scoreboard, and soaking in the whole deal. An hour in, I went to the men’s room and saw three kids, maybe 12, playing cricket in the concourse. One hit the ball toward me. I picked it up and tossed it back to them. “Cheers!” one kid said with a smile.
“Lucky for you, I only steal balls from American children.”
Neil bought us tickets to the hospitality tent, where lunch was served. Cerviche of halibut, it was called (cold fish), with seared chicken breast and French wine. Would Jerry Jones serve Cerviche of halibut at Jerryworld?
“YEEEEEEEEEE HAWWWWWW YEW BETTER BACON UP THAT CERVICHE OR GET THE FUCK OUT”
We settled in for the afternoon session. There was an instant replay review of a close play, and Neil extolled the virtues of this replay system versus the NFL’s. “Here, if you call for a review, and you’re right, you don’t get penalized — you can keep reviewing calls if you’re right,” he said. “In the NFL, if you’ve exhausted your replay reviews, and you see an obviously wrong call, you can’t challenge. That’s bollocks.”
Bad, he meant.
Thanks for spelling that out, Peter.
Nonsense, they meant.
Now Shivnarine Chanderpaul was at bat for the Westies. Strange-looking guy. Chanderpaul reminded me of Ichiro, a smaller guy who plays with such precision (though Ichiro seems in decline now). Steady Eddie, not a big slugger, concentrating on surviving and nipping away at the English lead. I liked watching him a lot.
But who is his baseball equivalent!? I must know!
Then it was over. No big announcement. We got up, walked out, and I suggested that since Abbey Road was so close, we should find it and walk the most famous crosswalk in the world. Funny thing is, about 40 or 50 people had the same idea at 7:15 on a Saturday evening.
ZOMG, you mean other people decided to visit this super obvious tourist trap, too? No way! It’s like the Anne Frank House all over again.
So we waited as Beatles nerd after Beatles nerd did their best John-Ringo-Paul-George imitation. Too young to know what I’m talking about? Google “Abbey Road album cover.” You’ll see why 54-year-old men get really excited to see a silly crosswalk.
HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.
Did PK just condescend about the significance of the Abbey Road cover? There’s nothing that PK won’t assume his readers are absolutely clueless about.
“Yeah, so we went to this place called ‘church’ the other week. Thought it’d be dull but they laid out the backstory in terms I could understand. Didn’t get everything, but a good amount. Sort of. Prayers. Lots of those in a church. Anyway, there’s this fella named Jesus. Google “Jesus Christ” You’ll see why 2,000 years of human history have been shaped by his life.”
It’s that time of year for speeches I really enjoy.
Dom Capers, Green Bay defensive coordinator, University of Mount Union (Ohio)
It’s been 40 years since I was sitting out there, like you, wondering what was next in my life. … Last weekend, we held the NFL Draft. Next weekend, we’ll bring in our new draftees for orientation. Every year, countless hours and millions of dollars are spent on the process. With the technology we have today, there’s a vast amount of information on every prospect. Yet, every year, 50 percent of the prospects in the first round of the draft fail. So, every year, as you go through this and observe this, you realize the biggest and strongest and fastest players are not always the most productive players in the NFL. You begin to realize the intangibles of the player are just as important as the talent.
“All that shit you just learned? Insignificant. You can’t learn HEART. Unless the curriculum is vastly changed from my days in school. Apparently they don’t teach you guys NFL history, so who know what they’re doing.”
What I’d like to share with you today is … what I think are critical to success in any profession. Number one, and maybe the most important: Find something you love. Passion creates fuel.
You’re thinking of food.
The second thing is the law of compensation. The more you give, the more you get in return. It’s a simple principle, but it’s amazing how many people never figure it out …
Yeah, that’s total bullshit. What people make is seldom ever commensurate to how hard they actually work. PK is proof positive of that.
Martin Sheen, actor, New England Institute of Technology
While acting is what I do for a living, activism is what I do to stay alive. I came through the sixties clinging to the absolute certainty that lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for, and that nonviolence is the only weapon to fight with … No one has ever made a contribution of any real worth without self-sacrifice, personal suffering and sometimes even death.
Thanks for the dose of Baby Boomer compromised idealism. You’d have been better off saying “Don’t do what my son does” and dropping the mic.
E.J. Dionne, Washington Post writer, Allegheny College
The great generations harness the good work done one-on-one, in local communities, to larger movements for change in our nation and in our world. They remember what the philosopher Michael Sandel has taught us, that, “When politics goes well, we can know a good in common that we cannot know alone.” Your generation has a chance to get us beyond the wreckage of the old culture wars and to sweep aside the debris of prejudice on the grounds of race, gender and sexual preference. Your generation has the opportunity to restore faith in public life and in public action.
Never lose your desire to transform charity into justice, division into civility, selfishness into generosity, cynicism into hope.
Pretty sure Dionne just clipped that from 6,000 identical WaPo editorials he’s written over the years titled “CAN’T WE JUST ACHIEVE NON-PARTISANSHIP BY EMBRACING A BUNCH OF SQUISHY LIBERAL VIEWS?!”
Savannah Guthrie, “Today” show co-host and legal analyst, Hobart and William Smith College
The best advice I got was from one of my old professors at the University of Arizona. After I hemmed and hawed in his office for a while, he looked at me and said, “Savannah, think big.”
Actually, it was. The problem with all of us sometimes is we convince ourselves of all the reasons we can’t do something before we even try. We think small, so that we might succeed at that small dream we set out for ourselves in order to avoid failure. Think of what you might accomplish if you directed all that compelling, forceful energy toward convincing yourself why you can do it. In a nutshell, thinking big means conjuring up a vision for yourself. It means taking time, being reflective, and daring to visualize what it would look like if you could wave a magic wand and be exactly where you wanted to be in five years, even if it seems a little unrealistic at the moment. Look, we live in the real world. I’m not suggesting you … dream big dreams and refuse any situation or opportunity in the meantime that doesn’t live up to that perfect ideal. What I am saying is: Think big for yourself. Dream big. But then, be ready to start small.
In fact, that is exactly how it works. You start small, and you work at the small thing like it is the big thing. That’s how you get the big thing.
Perfect Peter King-style equivocation. “Never settle for small things. Think big. You probably won’t ever get to do those big things. That’s okay. Do the small things and do them well. But THINK of the big things you’ll never get to do.”
Ted Koppel, newsman, University of Massachusetts
More than ever before, we live today in a world of instant reaction, constant judgment and corrosive partisanship. Political debate is a wonderful thing; but partisan shrieking is corrosive and destructive. If we are to find solutions to the challenges we face, we have to relearn the virtues of compromise. If we are going to deal intelligently with the problems we confront, we need time to pause, to consider and reflect. But our media, news and social, are intolerant of anything but an instant response … Rather than using information to illuminate the world, though, we consume it like fuel. The more we burn, the faster we go. The faster we go, the less we see and understand. We slow down only for the accidents along the side of the road; and the biggest accident still lies ahead.
Only, I fear, when that occurs — only when the combined impact of too many unemployed, too many foreclosures, too much debt, exacerbated by two undeclared and unfunded wars; only when the human and social costs of a crumbling education system and a flawed health care system, leave us wondering where and why we lost our footing as a nation, will we come to realize that WHAT is communicated to us is vastly more important than the medium by which it is conveyed.
… One day, most Americans will point at us in the news media and say: “Why didn’t you tell us? Why did you encourage all that bile and venom? Why did you feed us all that trivial crap, when so many terrible things were converging? And no one will be happy with the answer. Least of all, those of us who offer it. “What we gave you,” we will say, “is what you wanted.”
At this critical juncture in your lives, then, let me urge you — no, let me implore you to want more. More substance, more real information about important issues, more fairness, more objectivity, more tolerance for views that differ from your own. You have a truly magical array of media at your disposal. Use them well.
Oh my God, that’s the most shitheaded example of media paternalism ever. “Don’t you see? The media wants to educate you and shed a light on the most pressing matters of our time. But we are too distracted trying to please the unwashed masses, who clamor only for celebrity gossip and other frivolity. If only you simpletons would somehow become more aware of the world on your own and force us to do our job better, then the media could finally give attention to the things that shape our world. But that will never happen, because you won’t let us.”
Why did I want to share these? I’m not sure.
Why do I do the things I do? I DON’T KNOW.
I just think college graduation is a special time, with smart words spoken by precocious people that, every year, I cannot wait to read.
SECRET WORD SECRET WORD SECRET WORD SECRET WORD SECRET WORD SECRET WORD SECRET WORD SECRET WORD
One of the biggest thrills of my life was being asked to give the 2008 Ohio University commencement address (that’s my alma mater).
I didn’t pick up on that when you were sucking Bobcat dick the entire time they were in March Madness.
Three side notes: How great is Koppel?
If you liked the passages, great. If not, I understand; this is a football column, not The Chronicle of Higher Education. But this is who I am, which I guess, if you’ve been reading this column for a while, you understand. Thanks for indulging me.
Indulgences. Lots of those in a Peter King column.
Quote of the Week I
“I will say this about a sophomore slump — if there’s anybody that’s going to work through it, he’s going to work through it. When the season was over, one of the things he said was he wanted to find a way to make sure he didn’t have one. I think the less we talk about it, the less we get caught up in it, the better. It’s like the ‘Madden curse.’ He really wanted to be the cover. I think that’s the thing. Instead of running from it, saying, ‘Oh, I hope it doesn’t happen — it’s not going to happen. I’m not going to let it happen.’ I think that’s his approach to the sophomore slump.”
— Carolina coach Ron Rivera, to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, on the second season of 2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year Cam Newton, the Panthers’ quarterback.
“The less we talk about it, the better. So we’re hitting it head-on and talking about it all the time. That’s our approach and it’s batshit insane. I like it.”
Stat of the Week
Biggest reason why the Arizona Cardinals picked wide receiver Michael Floyd in the first round last month? The numbers say it all. If you’re going to employ Larry Fitzgerald, and you’re going to pay him ($16 million per year) like he’s the best receiver in football, you had best not put him out on an island with inaccurate passers.
You gotta get another person on that island.
Not that Floyd is going to fix the accuracy issues. But he should deflect some of the attention from Fitzgerald so the quarterback — whoever it is — can have a better chance to play well.
Always better to get overthrown in single coverage.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me I
Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel and his wife have an apartment in Manhattan.
Nothing earth-shattering about it. I just never figured Crennel as the Manhattan-during-his-downtime type. But good for him. It’s a great place.
Because if there’s anyone who screams urbane city dweller, it’s fucking Peter “ZOMG MY HOTEL IS NEXT TO A MALL WITH A LEGAL SEAFOOD” King.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me II
No matter what happens with the appeals and the New Orleans Saints season, this is going to be one weird Super Bowl week when New Orleans hosts the world — and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
It’s rebel time in New Orleans. Former Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie has designed a T-shirt that throws a roundhouse against the league office. The shirt says:
We Are One
Us Against Them
The word “WAR” is highlighted in the “We Are One” part of the shirt.
At this point, I’m assuming we’re only weeks away from Sean Payton abducting Goodell and holding him for ransom until he gets reinstated for the season. I’d openly root for the Saints if that happened.
Tweet of the Week I
“Love the families that hoot and holler at graduations like somebody just got asked to “Come on down” on The Price Is Right. #UVA”
— @dandalyonsports, Washington Times columnist and proud University of Virginia grad dad, Sunday, tweeting from Charlottesville.
Agreed. Always thought the hooting and hollering was a bit overdone — if not gauche.
BARBARIANS!!!! WHO INVITED THE MINORITIES!? HOW DARE THEY SHOW PRIDE.
Seriously, who thought anyone at the University of Virginia was capable of vocal outburst? The school must have pumped in some Dave Matthews Band for the ceremony. That’s on them
Tweet of the Week III
“Said it before and I’ll say it again: The Super Bowl in New Orleans this year will be the most awkward SB week in the history of the league”
— @wingoz, ESPN host Trey Wingo.
Agreed, Trey. Roger Goodell should bring his earplugs.
All-time annals of awkward-ology!
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think there’s one thing I don’t get about Jonathan Vilma: how he has as his Twitter avatar the Sports Illustrated cover, screaming “Bounty Culture” with Vilma front and center, very big, jumping out on the cover. If being degraded by being identified with the bounty story is a sue-able offense for Vilma, and if he accuses Roger Goodell of disparaging his character to the point where it’s going to be difficult for him to ever find work in or out of the NFL, why does he identify himself with something so reprehensible? How on the one hand can you want something like the SI cover representing you to the Internet world, and on the other hand you sue the man responsible for allegedly making you so infamous?
Willing to bet any amount of money that Peter King has very serious discussions in private about why black people address each other with the N-word.
3. I think the end of the line of Junior Seau’s popular restaurant in San Diego — and the downfall of his other restaurant interests in southern California recently — leads me to ask this question: How much of a factor was financial trouble or financial pressure in Seau’s suicide? Not that I know anything, but I now think the question has to be asked.
Players have restaurants that fail all the time. That doesn’t necessarily mean they personally went bankrupt. Don’t let me get in the way of your reckless speculating, though.
4. I think I have only one piece of advice for the Wilfs, in the wake of the news about the new Vikings stadium being approved and on schedule to open in 2016, and as it concerns whether to fork out the extra dough to cap the place with a retractable roof rather than a permanent one: Do it. Bite the bullet.
“Do the deluxe package. All the options, bells and whistles. Everything. STEP IT UP. How many times in his life does a man buy a dome? This won’t come every year. You’re not gonna want to look back and wish you had gone big.” – car salesman Peter King
You’ll never regret it, especially on beautiful autumn October Sundays when it’s cloudless and 48 degrees outside. And one other piece of advice: Make sure Christian Ponder, or whoever the quarterback in 2016 is, isn’t one of those indoor-loving guys who will want the roof closed all the time. No reason for it on nice days.
You’re totally gonna love it one week out of the year, provided the franchise quarterback in 2016, who you likely haven’t even met yet, isn’t solidly opposed to it. Which he might be. MAYBE.
5. I think if I’m a Saints fan, I’m not really pleased with the prospect of GM Mickey Loomis becoming either the official or de facto director of basketball operations with the NBA Hornets in New Orleans under the new ownership of Tom Benson. That’s what the New Orleans Times Picayune reported Sunday was a likely outcome when Benson’s Hornets ownership becomes official. Last time I checked, being the general manager of an NFL team was a full-time job.
Last I checked, he’s suspended. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints are already transitioning to get someone else in there, given Loomis liabilities with the bounties and possibly spying on people.
8. I think, not to be negative about reporting on the perimeter of offseason practices 197 days from the start of the NFL season, I wouldn’t get too caught-up from breathless pronouncements from Organized Team Activities around the NFL beginning today.
Pay it no mind. Not when there’s the crushing civility of cricket to celebrate.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Most depressing in-flight movie in the history of in-flight movies: Young Adult, with Charlize Theron. You’re too good to play cheesy and creepy, Charlize — especially when the script drags and the story’s lousy. Sheesh.
But it worked so well when Cameron Diaz put out pretty much the same movie less than a year earlier.
b. Love the British papers. Saturday’s edition of The Times featured a long dispatch from Australia focusing on the Southern hairy-nosed wombat being endangered because of the potato weed, a noxious plant that damages the wombats’ livers. Not many other papers covering the decline of the Southern hairy-nosed wombat.
Koppel wants to know when the citizenry is finally going to get serious on wombat issues.
d. There can’t be an athlete under more pressure today than LeBron James.
Pressure. Lots of that in LeBron’s life.
e. Rachel Nichols is really good at her job.
Indeed. Stick her on the wombat beat. It’s quasi-important-ish.
f. Best documentary program I’ve seen on TV in a while: Weight of a Nation, on HBO. Tremendous job of telling us about the obesity epidemic we’re facing. Stark stuff from Bogalusa, La., regarding long-term effects of weight gain on the population — and how history is repeating itself on a new generation of kids there.
There isn’t any alarmist movie or documentary about concerned white people problems that Peter King will not throw up his arms about. BULLYING EPIDEMIC! OBESITY! SEATTLE’S INATTENTION TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY’S COFFEE WOES!
h. Al Michaels, for all the L.A. Kings pain he’s endured over the years, must be happy to be watching the best team in hockey. You didn’t know Al was a two-decade Kings’ season-ticket holder?
Totally thrilled for that wealthy announcer who told me that if I didn’t stay at the Four Seasons on the reg then I’m a filthy peasant who should be stripped of his voting rights.
i. Hard to imagine anyone beating the West’s eighth seed for the Stanley Cup.
j. Hard to imagine anyone beating whoever the West’s NBA championship series rep is.
Name five things more difficult to imagine. You can’t.
k. Imagine the Thunder and the Kings winning the NBA and the NHL, respectively. What odds would you have gotten for that daily winter-pro-sports double last September?
100/1 odds that I couldn’t imagine it
l. Mike Aviles, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Keepers of the Sox flame.
Again, no idea who you’re talking about until you list their non-union cricket equivalents.
m. At some point, we’re going to have to take the Orioles seriously.
Probably in August or September, when everything else in baseball starts to kinda matter.
n. It’s May 21, David Wright. You’re not supposed to be hitting over .410 seven weeks into the season.
YOU STOP THAT RIGHT NOW, DAVID WRIGHT. HIT YOUR APPROPRIATE AVERAGE!
o. I was never much of a fan of the Bee Gees or of Donna Summer. But I do recognize the talents of the group and the lady, and both Robin Gibb and Donna Summer deserve our respects. Rest in peace.
p. Coffeenerdness: Had more than my share of Costa Coffee, England’s Starbucks (and there is Starbucks over here as well) in the last three days. The espresso’s a little milder than I’d like it, but the milk in the latte is superb.
Little milder than I’d like it! Get on it, England’s version of Seattle. Which is probably most of England. IT’S SO RAINY AND REMOTE!
q. Beernerdness: Had the good fortune of drinking Marston’s Pedrigree bitter at the cricket match Saturday. Funny the way they serve it if you’re getting multiple beers at the concession stand — you put the beers in a light cardboard holder with a grip on the top of it, and you carry the three or four pints like a beer suitcase.
That’s how the professional drunk get around.
Re the beer itself, it’s a copper-red-brown and it had a thin head, but a head that stayed heady for the life of the beer. Like many beers here, the carbonation was less than American beers, and it’s served not as cold. The taste was a little bland, but easy to drink, and the kind of beer that you can have three or four over the course of the afternoon and not be affected.
Pfft. Stronger beer, the UK needs it. PK had to go through four or five suitcases before he could even get a buzz on.