Friday, March 02, 2018

College Basketball's Final Month 2017-18

Tip Off: I look at the college basketball season as a play in four acts.
There is tragedy: having to put up with horseshit announcers such as Seth Greenberg, Jason Williams, Dan Dakich, Dick Vitale, Clark Kellogg, sideline commentators, 94 Feet With Jay Bilas...and worst of all, Holly Rowe.
Bill Walton provides the comedy with his wry observations on the game, life and lifestyle...and you can learn a lot from him.
And...of course there is plenty of drama.

Act one has a couple of scenes.
The first one features the major conferences taking on the cream puffs on their home court. The visitors get a big payoff and get to learn a bit about their weakness. It is both a learning experience and money for the athletic department.
Scene two highlights those early season invitational tournaments...usually held in resort destinations. Big fun with a nice mixture of high and mid major teams.
In scene three, we see the intrer-confernce tournaments like the ACC/Big Ten.
Scene four is a rarity: a major conference team playing a true road game...versus another major or a quality mid-major...a vanishing breed.

Act two is the conference schedule. The best are in those conferences where all teams play each team home and away.

In act three, the stage is set for the conference championship. The pressure is on and the fans benefit.

Act four; the penultimate event kicks off the finest three weeks in sports, The NCAA Championship Tournament. 63 games in ten days...truly the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

At its very best (the UConn women), college basketball is poetry in motion.


I love this game.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Curmudgeon in the Wry 601

Saturday, February 17, 2018--- 1085 Words---Average Reading Time: 4 Minutes, 8 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
No French Fry Left Behind.
Free shipping and handling.
Back by the demand of virtually no one.
Seeking only to enlighten and amuse.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Continuing to call them as I see them.
Virtually free of original ideas. 
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Viewer Indiscretion Is Advised.
Tom Baldrica: Minnesota Correspondent.
Carl Moesche: West Coast Correspondent.
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Rave: Gloria Grahame.
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Reading: “Light It Up”—Outstanding from Nick Petrie.
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On the Hi Fi: “Quiet As the Moon”—Dave Brubeck.
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Under Rated: Chill Wills.
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Quote: “All life is 6 to 5 against.”---Damon Runyon.
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Don’t Go Changin’: Bill Belichick’s lack of charm is charming…and refreshing. He’s my kind of guy.
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Truism: ESPN remains the last to care what LaVar Ball thinks…still calling them “exclusives.”
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Play Ball:  In the years between when the Chicago Cubs won their two most recent World Series . . . 1908 and 2016 . . . Arizona became a state, got a Major League Baseball team, and won a World Series.
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Lucky Me: Thank the Lord I did not grow up in an era where everyone walked around staring into a phone.
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Shaken, Not Stirred:  When Ian Fleming finished his first "James Bond" novel; he celebrated by buying himself a gold-plated typewriter.
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Fun and Educational, Mr. Wizard: Victorinox makes the Swiss Army Knife. They've been in business since 1884 . . . and they have never laid off an employee.
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For the Record: The voices of Dick Enberg and Keith Jackson will always be in my head…two of the best sports broadcaster of a bygone era, when announcers knew the game was the most important aspect of the broadcast, not the broadcaster.
The way today’s announcers’ go on-and-on, you would assume they are paid by the word.
Enberg is in the Hall of Fame for three sports.
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Okie from Muskogee: The official state vegetable of Oklahoma is . . . the watermelon, a fruit.
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Truism: The college three-point line is too close.
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Quote: “It’s not what you do…it’s what you do next.”—Pam Bondi.
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Show of Hands: Raise your hand if you care about the Winter Olympics.
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Happiest Place on Earth: The U.S. Department of Defense is the largest purchaser of explosives, followed by the Walt Disney Company. 
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Anachronistic: All Star Games have become unnecessary and uninteresting.
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Ho, Ho, Ho: The movie "A Christmas Story" is based on short stories originally published in "Playboy".
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Non-Guilty Pleasure: Tiger Woods has not won a tournament since 2013.
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Map Reading 101: Reno, Nevada is actually west of Los Angeles, California, because of the way California curves.
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Time Out: Fourteen U.S. states are split into two time zones:
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No Question: Free money fixes nothing.
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Pop Quiz: What ended in 1896?
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Just Asking: When your team wins, do you feel the powerful urge to run downtown and set some fires…as did the fans of the Eagles?
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Jeepers Creepers: Snowstorms now have names…please.
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Didjaknow: The phrase "red tape" comes from the early 1500s, when the Holy Roman Empire would use red tape to seal the most important political documents and decisions
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New Normal: Magazines seem to get smaller every month.
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For the Record: Only two QB's in the history of the NFL  - Patriots Tom Brady (18 years) and Packers Aaron Rodgers (13 years) - have thrown fewer interceptions than the number of games played in a single season for an entire career with a minimum of 10 years in the league.
Not even the best QB ever, #19 Johnny Unitas.
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Strictly Business: Getting free money from the government should be just as difficult as getting it from other sources.
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Truism: You only get what you earn.
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Aloha: Hawaii is the only U.S. state that produces coffee.
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Food for Thought: Just as women are not as innocent as they appear to be, men are not that dumb.
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Who Knew: Boardwalks did not get their name because they are made of wooden boards.  They are named after the guy who came up with the idea to set up the first one in Atlantic City in the 1870s:  Alexander Boardman.
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You Cannot Make This Stuff Up: On New Year’s Day, the morons at HLN reported, “Today’s Super Moon is the first of 2018.”
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Third Time’s the Charm: The Big Mac was originally called The Aristocrat.  That name bombed, so it was switched to the Blue Ribbon Burger. That also bombed.
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You Know You’re Old: If you remember when NFL teams had taxi-squads instead of today’s bloated rosters comprised of self-absorbed-all-about-me narcissists. 
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Quiz Answer: 1895.
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Highway Robbery: With some tickets going for as much as a couple of grand and only one original member still in the band, The Eagles are the most expensive cover band of all time.
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Name Game: The most common name for cities in the United States is Fairview clocking in with 273.
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Don’t Look Now: Just because you cannot see it does not mean it does not exist.
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The Hits Just Keep On Coming: Is it the singer or the song? Here is a clue: The songwriters do not have to go on the road unless they choose to.
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Over Doing It: Do we really need to name winter storms?
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Benjamins: Hundred dollar bills make up 80% of American currency.
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Reality Check: When too many words are used explaining charges on your bill, you are usually getting screwed. Think cable bill.
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Logical Conclusion: No professional athlete is as good as he claims to be.
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But Whose Counting?:  Double Stuff Oreos only contain 1.86 times as much cream as regular Oreos.
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You Make the Call: Why is it that the moment an actor achieves any success they immediately become an expert on life in general and politics?
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Nobody Asked, But: How many people would still want to come to the USA if they could not get welfare?
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Geography 101: Tijuana, Mexico is further north than Savannah, Georgia.
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Final Thought: I cannot tell you how little interest I have in the British royal family.
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Bonus Track: Is there a sports mascot that does not offend someone?
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were.



Saturday, December 02, 2017

Curmudgeon in the Wry 600

Saturday, December 02, 2017--- 942 Words---Average
Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 7 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
No French Fry Left Behind.
Free shipping and handling.
Back by the demand of virtually no one.
Seeking only to enlighten and amuse.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Continuing to call them as I see them.
Virtually free of original ideas. 
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Viewer Indiscretion Is Advised.
Tom Baldrica: Minnesota Correspondent.
Carl Moesche: West Coast Correspondent.
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Rave: James Garner.
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Reading: “Infamous” by Ace Atkins.
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On the Hi Fi: “Bix Lives” by Bix Beiderbecke.
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Under Rated: Frank Morgan.
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Truism: You never forget not getting a thank you note for a gift.
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If You’re Scoring At Home (Or On The Road): Since Eli Manning became the starting QB for the Giants, the Cleveland Browns have started 24 quarterbacks and the Knicks have employed nine head coaches.
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Rant: 78 teams will play in the various bowl games…seems to me invitations to 6-6 teams is a participation trophy.
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Didjaknow: The average cloud weighs 1.1 million pounds.
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Post-Meal Analysis: The average Thanksgiving meal takes 18 hours to prepare and 12 minutes to eat.
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Quote: “Don't do whatever you like -- like whatever you do.” – Anon.
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Truism: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago…second best time is now.
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Go Figure: Carrots were originally several colors, and the most common one was purple.  Dutch farmers in the 16th century bred red and yellow carrots to make orange ones, since it was their royal color . . . and those became the standard.
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Just Asking: When was the last time you used your Salad Shooter?
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Face Facts: Politics is show biz for ugly people.
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Business as Usual: When in doubt on the various scandals, the NCAA does what it does best…it forms a committee.
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You Make the Call: Why are Subway sandwiches piled high with meat…but only in the TV ads?
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Dollars and Sense: The first athlete to earn $1 million was bare-knuckle boxer, John L. Sullivan in 1882.
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No Kidding: Were it not for malls, where would 14 year olds go to smoke?
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What’s Next: Not having the traditional red, white and blue bunting draping the box seats during the World Series was a candy-assed move from MLB.
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For the Record: The bird in Twitter's logo has a name . . . Larry…as in Larry Bird. Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, grew up in Massachusetts and was a huge Boston Celtics fan.
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The Double Whammy: Baltimore Orioles RHP Jack Fisher surrendered Ted Williams' 521st and final home run in 1960, as well as Roger Maris' 60th home run in 1961. The Williams homer was his final at bat.
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Truth In Advertising: Ad spotted in the Norway, Maine Advertiser Democrat: “Ears Pierced $7.95, While You Wait.”
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Challenge Yourself: Solve the crossword puzzle using only the Down clues.
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Who Knew?: When I was a kid I always said I would never badmouth the new music when I was an old timer…then came rap and hip-hop.
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Changing Times: 1968 AL Rookie of the Year was New York Yankees RHP Stan Bahnsen who finished 17-12. The only other player receiving votes was Washington Senators OF Del Unser who batted .230.
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Word Games:  "Ping pong" is trademarked by Parker Brothers.  The generic term you are supposed to use for the game is table tennis.
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Counting the Days: The dates 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, and 12/12 all fall on the same day of the week, every year.
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Food For Thought: Basketball has a shot clock---pitchers should have one as well.
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Mensa meeting: Marilyn Monroe had an IQ of 163 . . . Albert Einstein's IQ was 160.
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Idle Thought: The easiest way to locate something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
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Department of Redundancy Department: Young rookies, plan ahead, advance reservations, anonymous stranger, very unique, LCD display, kneel down, foreign imports, evolve over time.
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Disney World is twice the size of Manhattan and roughly the same size as San Francisco.
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Inconsistent, Me Thinks: How can the federal government ask US citizens to repay college loans when illegal aliens are receiving a free education?
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Just Business: Japan has more 7-Elevens than any other country in the world…about 16,000 locations.  The USA has about half that.
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Rant: Colleges being referred to as “Nike” schools or “Adidas” schools should be embarrassed.
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Hold The Phone: There's enough energy in one gallon of gas to charge your iPhone once a day for almost 19 years.
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The New Normal: Another summer without a summer song. I guess they don’t make them any more.
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They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To: In 13 seasons, 631 receptions for 9,275 yards and 68 touchdowns, Raymond Berry fumbled exactly once. And, never once showed off.
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The Civilized Way To Travel: Amtrak started in 1971 . . . and has lost money all 46 years it's been in existence.
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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: If Random House is paying Colin Kaepernick a million dollar advance, how much will they pay someone to write it for him…and then read it to him?
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Final Thought: Great coaches make teams better as the season progresses.
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Bonus Track: The Yankees were a lot more fun when “The Boss” was running the show.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were.





Sunday, November 26, 2017

Curmudgeon in the Wry 599

Sunday, November 26, 2017--- 1416 Words---Average Reading Time: 4 Minutes, 59 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
No French Fry Left Behind.
Free shipping and handling.
Back by the demand of virtually no one.
Seeking only to enlighten and amuse.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Continuing to call them as I see them.
Virtually free of original ideas. 
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Viewer Indiscretion Is Advised.
Tom Baldrica: Minnesota Correspondent.
Carl Moesche: West Coast Correspondent.
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Rave: Johnny Mercer.
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Reading: “End Game” by David Baldacci.
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On the Hi Fi: Nat King Cole’s “Stepping Out of a Dream.”
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Under Rated: Billy May. May arranged “Come Fly With Me,” Frank Sinatra’s first gold album in 1958.
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Ever Wonder: Why do the employees of the airline companies lie about why and how long the delays are going to be?
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Words To Live By: You do not have to do anything special…just do everything right.
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Hmmm: Is there always an SUV in your rearview mirror, or does it just seem that way?
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Fact: There is always an SUV parked next to you when you are attempting to emerge from a parking place.
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Helpful Hint: It is far easier to back into a parking spot than it is to back out. All the more important in the land of SUVs.
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You Make The Call: Isn’t it amazing that in America, our flag and our culture offend so many…but our benefits do not?
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Quote: “To quote Henny Youngman, take ESPN, which has taken political correctness to such a ludicrous level that it has voluntarily surrendered its credibility to become a national bad joke, a “Kick Me” sign self-fastened to its back and front.”—Phil Mushnick.
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One More Reason I Have Lost Interest In Baseball: From baseball cybergod Bill James: In 1987, there were 41 active players with 1,000 or more career plate appearances who had more walks than strikeouts. In 2017: one, Albert Pujols.
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Factoid: In 1969, Bradford Phillips patented the folding umbrella, the design most of us use today. Inventors looking to one-up it persist however. The U.S. Patent office receives so many patent applications for umbrellas; it must employ four full-time examiners to indefatigably evaluate them.
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Truism: It is easier to be a gracious winner than a gracious loser…learn to be both.
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Quote: “ A woman never forgets the men she could have had; a man, the women he couldn't.”—Anon.
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Idle Thought: Political correctness has more to do with indoctrination than education.
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Quote: “Last year, we could not win at home and we lost on the road. My failure as a coach was that I could not think of any other place to play.”—Former hockey coach Harry Neale.
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You Don’t Need A Weatherman: Why is it so difficult to locate a hurricane-tracking map until the cone puts the bull’s-eye squarely on the USA?
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Doctor’s Orders: Ask your doctor if medical advice from a TV commercial is right for you.
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American Exceptionalism: Not at the movies. Not this summer past.
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Keep the Change: Why does it take seven to ten business days for a refund to be credited to your account, but only minutes to take it out on any given day?
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For the Record: There are three kinds on economists…those who can count and those who cannot.
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Didjaknow: Pez dispensers were designed to look like cigarette lighters . . . because they were supposed to encourage people to stop smoking and have a mint instead.
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Book It: I long ago overdosed on the Beyonce and Jay-Z drama.
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Quote: “You’re never too old to learn something stupid.”—Anon.
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Didjaknow: The last shot of the Civil War was fired on June 28th, 1865 . . . almost two months after the war ended . . . off the coast of Alaska.  A Confederate warship hadn't gotten word the war was over and destroyed 24 Union boats.
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We Have a Winner: Before their opening game loss, the Patriots, at home, with Tom Brady at QB and leading after three quarters were 105-0.
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Reality Check: Life deals the cards face down.
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You Make the Call: If all seven billion people on the planet played in a single-elimination rock-paper-scissors tournament, you'd only need to win 33 games to become the champion.
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On Demand Stupidity: Just when you thought the sports channels could not shoot any lower, Fox hires Michael Vick as an analyst for their Sunday Kickoff Show.
The bar was lowered years ago when Ray Lewis was embraced by MSESPN…Lewis is now seen on Fox.
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Conspicuous Stupidity: Roger Goodell, commissioner of The National Felony League is a transparent, pandering phony.
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No Contest: A news conference with Goodell is like a date with Siri, only with less sincerity.
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Hmmm: Do clouds ever gaze down and say, “Hey look, that one is shaped just like an idiot.”
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Just Between Us: My kingdom for a song on the radio I can listen to.
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Bottom Line: You would think with all the ex-NFL stars out there, networks could find a proper analyst without a criminal past.
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Picture This: Will Fox Sports distribute publicity photos of their analysts with both front and side views?
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Winners and Losers: The 1916 New York Giants had both a 26-game winning streak and a 17-game winning streak, yet finished 4th in the National League.
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In the Lineup: Many players in the National Felony League should have the front and side views on their trading cards.
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Quote: From Kid Rock, “F*ck Colin Kaepernick.”
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Lights, Camera, Action: There is one actor besides Harrison Ford who was in all three of the original "Indiana Jones" movies.  A guy named Pat Roach was killed by the airplane propeller in "Raiders", a bad guy in "Temple of Doom", and a Nazi in "Last Crusade".
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Different Strokes: Basketball in North Korea has different rules.  Dunks are worth three points, shots in the final three minutes are worth eight points, three-pointers are worth four points if the ball doesn't touch the rim, and you LOSE a point for missing a free throw.
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As Time Goes By: There were over 61 million people using pagers in 1994.  That number is down over 90% to about five or six million today, mostly in hospitals.​
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This Will Be On The Final:  Play-Doh was originally created in the 1930s as wallpaper cleaner.
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But Who’s Counting?: The longest streak of sold out games in sports is for a minor league baseball team in Ohio called the Dayton Dragons.  They've sold out every game for the past 18 years, which is a total of more than 1,200 in a row.
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Cover Up:  If you took all the cardboard that Amazon uses for shipping boxes in a year, it could cover the entire United States around two-and-a-half times.
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Name Game: There are 76 colleges whose sports team nickname is the Eagles.  Tigers is the second-most common with 46 schools . . . and Bulldogs is third with 40.
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Never again: Joe Sewell had single digit strikeout totals for an entire season in 10 of his 14 years in the major leagues. 
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Wedded Bliss: According to an interview with Walt Disney in 1933, Mickey and Minnie Mouse are married.
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If You Are Scoring At Home: The Washington Generals lost to the Harlem Globetrotters 2,495 times in a row before they accidentally beat them on January 5, 1971.
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Unreliable Source: MSESPN has a well-known code of selective justice and injustice…one that would have us believe that inequality promotes equality.
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Top This: The 1906 Boston Beaneaters hold the Major League record by finishing 66.5 games behind the NL pennant-winning Chicago Cubs. Boston had four, 20-game losers, the only time this has happened in Major League history.
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Jolly Good: Big Ben isn't the name of the clock or the clock tower in England . . . it's just the name of one of the bells hanging in the tower.  The tower's name is Elizabeth Tower.
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Final Thought: Wednesday, August 30 was National Coloring Book Day…or as ii is known in the college jock factories, National Textbook Day.
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Bonus Track: Maine made it illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder in 1939.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were.