Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Weekend in Review

Thoughts from my "surprise" Chicago visit

  • So, I spent this past weekend with the rest of the Kankas visiting my aunt in Chicago. I didn't mention this to anyone at first, since I didn't know how much free time I would have. Turns out, I had my whole Sunday free. I was able to meet up with Mike and Meg, but Klondike said he was busy. He didn't exactly use the words "clothing order," but they were implied.

  • The surprising thing was that Klondike actually has an answering machine. I was fully expecting to not be able to reach him. Now, did he actually reply to my message? No, but that's another story.

  • On Sunday, the young Hattons (and their new Focus) met the Kankas for brunch at Denny's (Meg's comment: "We went to Denny's after church on a Sunday. When did we get so old?" Hey, it was really close to our hotel.) Afterwards, my parents unceremoniously dumped me into the Hattons' care, while the Kanka girls could go shopping. Since I'd been to Chicago before, I didn't really have any sightseeing to do, so we just went to the Hattons' luxurious 4th floor apartment.

  • Well, I did have some sightseeing to do, but I couldn't locate the place. The map our hotel gave us listed a Knute Rockne Stadium, but I forgot to bring that map along with me. Mike, if you still want to look, it's between Oak Park and Cicero, on the corner of Roosevelt and a street that begins with a C.

  • Once at the apartment, Mike showed me the scrapbook a fired-up old ND alum had given him. It chronicled the late 20s to the late 40s. In it were scores of old pictures and newspaper clippings recalling the years from Rocke to Leahy. Wow, there was so much in there. Also included were handwritten recordings of famous people commenting on Rockne's death. One of the only non-ND set of clippings were from the Jackie Robinson saga - obviously, this person knew that this was a momentous happening.

  • After that scrapbook, it was time for Mike and Meg to pull out their own photo albums from the past few years. Ah - good times, great memories, and not a sober Brady picture in the bunch.

  • On to more random ramblings. Coming home from one of First Federal's branch offices the other day, I noticed a sign for a "Playmakers Theatre" production of a Shakespeare piece. There was no mention of Snoop Dogg making a special appearance.

  • The latest Madden commercial features the Titans facing a 3rd and 1 against the Ravens. Ironic considering how well the Titans ran on the Ravens last year, but that's another story. In the commercial, Ray Lewis starts babbling like an idiot, then picks up the yellow first down line (which he finds to be rather heavy) and moves it back a few yards. The moral of this commercial? Lewis, an overglorified safety who always plays the robber spot and relies on tips from the DLine to get interception, has no chance of stopping anyone on 3rd and short.

  • The phrase of the summer? "He's doing what's best for his family." This is how LeBron James explained Carlos Boozer taking $68mil over $40mil, and it's also how former Miami Hurricanes now on the Browns explain Kellen Jr.'s holdout. I don't blame LeBron, and I in fact commend him for realizing that he needs to say the right thing, but this is ludicrous. I don't even want to start on the Postons this week, but I will say this: we need to round up a bunch of homeless people and parents who couldn't afford Christmas presents for their kids, and then line them up to kick the Postons squar in the nyuts.

  • While we're on the subject, I read in an SI lying around in the Hattons' apartment that Shaq's wife thinks that they've outgrown their 18-bedroom house. Well, there can only be three explanations for this: 1) Shaq is now so fat, he can no longer fit through the doors. 2) as Mike suggested, Shaq now has way too many posse members staying at the house. 3) the O'Neals need a visit from the underpriviledged squadron I mentioned above.

  • Great news out of San Diego: the Chargers have said that if Phillip Rivers continues to hold out, they will begin to reduce their offer to him. Good for you guys. Now, in the Chargers' case, they can do this, since they didn't even draft Rivers, and since they still have and Drew Brees and Doug Floutie. But, the Browns are in no position to do this. Butch Davis already proved that he wanted Kellen Jr. at all costs by giving up an arm and a leg to move up one position. That's something the Postons can feed off of. Maybe I'm just lucky that Mark Shapiro of the Indians is willing to put values over talent. Shapiro was willing to trade away Milton Bradley because he was a jerk. Butch Davis, on the other hand, appears to be a guy who looks at talent over personality, as evidenced in the Winslow case, and with guys like Gerard Warren.

Answering Ellen's Essay Questions

  1. Team USA Men's Basketball will not medal at Athens. Explain why. Use the following to support your answer; no defensive intensity, no half-court passing, and the total inability to hit jumpers against the zone.

  2. No defense, no passing, poor shooting. Well, have you seen the NBA lately?
  3. The Modern Pentathlon, shooting, fencing, swimming, cross-country running and equestrian show-jumping, is outdated. The following will comprise the new, Postmodern Pentathlon; Golden Tee, EA Madden NFL 2005, Tony Hawk's Pro-Skater, Halo for Xbox and Fantasy Football. Explain why.

  4. Why is "going out and doing stuff" outdated? Because we're a nation of lazy fat messes. Aw screw it, let's just stay indoors and play video games all day. Can you at least throw darts or something pretend-athletic in there?
  5. Which white actor was more miscast as a Native American Olympic champion; Burt Lancaster as 'Jim Thorpe, All American' or Robby Benson as Billy Mills in 'Running Brave'. Use examples.

  6. I actually haven't seen either, so I can't form too much of an opinion here. I do know that Lancaster did very well in Field of Dreams, and that Jim Thorpe was completely robbed by not being named greatest athlete of the 20th century (but that's how short-minded the ESPN types are for you). So, if I had to make a choice, I'd say Benson was more miscast.

Coming tomorrow: a look at everyone's favorite teams' chances at the MLB playoffs, plus the highlights of MLB players' entrance music.