- 35 years! But who’s counting?
Friday, April 27th, 2007
Today is my 35th anniversary at the Times Record News. I am celebrating it at the golf course — not playing, but covering the Byron Nelson Championship.Share
So you’re getting a re-run.
Or maybe you might want to call it a re-run of re-run.
This column first ran back in 2002 when I celebrated my 30th year working for the paper.
The year was 1972.
Nixon was in the White House. Watergate was just a swanky hotel.
Young American kids were dying on the battlefields of Vietnam.
Arab terrorists were murdering young Israeli athletes.
Don McLean’s “American Pie? was the year’s No. 1 song.
“The Godfather? was the top movie of the year.
Britney Spears’ parents were in the Pepsi Generation.
On April 27 of that year – exactly 35 years ago today – Ted Buss, then the sports editor of this newspaper, gave his newest sports writer a scorebook and sent him to Burkburnett to cover a Hirschi-Burk high school baseball game.
It was my first assignment and my first byline.
Since that day I have been fortunate enough to cover a Summer Olympics in Greece and a Winter Olympics in Italy; 31Dallas Cowboys’ seasons and three Super Bowls; baseball’s All-Star Game and all of the Texas Rangers’ home playoff games; the very first Dallas Mavericks game; the NCAA basketball tournament; a PGA Championship and a U.S. Open.
I’ve followed Tiger Woods inside the ropes for 18 holes.
I’ve met Willie Mays and Hank Aaron; Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson; O.J., Dr. J and Sugar Ray; Nicklaus, Palmer, Trevino and Player; Bo Jackson, Bear Bryant, Tom Landry, Nolan Ryan, George W. Bush, more celebrity elbow-rubbing than I have time to talk about.
Man, it has been a fun 35 years.
Maybe the best part of it all is I have been able to do almost everything I have ever wanted to do while still living in my old hometown. I didn’t have to move to Houston or Dallas and waste a big percentage of my life sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I didn’t have to become a damn Yankee or move out west to the land of fruits and nuts.
- Goodbye Tiffany
Thursday, April 26th, 2007
It’s always tough when someone dies. Sometimes you know them, sometimes you know of them. It’s especially tough when someone dies that you wish you could have known more.Share
A girl I went to High School with, Tiffany Dawn Stubblefield, died Wednesday in a car accident, probably on her way home.
I’m not sure if she had any kids, I’m not sure if she even had a husband, but that right there is what I’m talking about. She was only 27.
- Miss America’s war on perverts
Thursday, April 26th, 2007
Want to see some photos of Miss America?Share
Want to chat with her online?
Go to jail. Go directly to jail.
Don’t pass go.
Don’t collect 200.
Once upon a time, Miss Americas were all about world peace.
But Lauren Nelson is about catching perverts.
Miss America — from just up the road in Lawton — allowed herself to be used as bait in a Suffolk County, New York sting.
The county’s computer crimes unit baited perverts with an online profile of a 14-year-old, using photos of Miss A as a teen-ager.
Seven guys were arrested about chatting with her online and then sending her pornographic photos.
Four others were nabbed after chatting online and then showing up at house.
This is the latest news in our country’s obsession with “To Catch a Predator.?
In case you haven’t seen this NBC Dateline show, they bait guys who are online looking for sex with kids. They set up meetings in a house. And when the pervert shows up, he isn’t met by a nekid 13-year-old boy or girl — no. he gets a house full of hidden cameras and NBC correspondent Chris Hansen.
Then this kind of conversation occurs.
Hansen: “What are you doing here??
Pervert: “Duh, just hanging out.?
Hansen: “Who are you here to meet??
Pervert: “No one.?
Hansen: “Do you know David??
Pervert: “David, who??
Hansen: “The 13-year-old boy who you have been chatting with online about oral sex.?
Pervert: “No, you’re wrong. I meant Oral Roberts. This boy needs a church home. I’m here to invite him to my church.?
Hansen: “Are you the Pope??
The pervert then runs out the door and straight into the arms of policemen holding handcuffs.
- Troops coming home?
Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
In the past few days the fight on Capitol Hill has been about the return of American soldiers to American soil by Oct. 1. Most of congress, mainly Democrats, wants it, but Bush is avidly opposing the issue.Share
He thinks by bringing them home that it will send a losing message to the bad guys. Most of the details are being ironed out in military spending bills.
Bush said he will use all of his power possible to keep a strong military presence overseas. It’s too bad he won’t wake up and realize we can’t win.
- What kind of a wife would fire her husband?
Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
I have had wives cuss me, hit me and leave me, but I have never had one fire me.Share
So I really have no advice for Bill Buchanan.
Politics put his wife Karen in a “Him or me?? situation just after the clock struck midnight on “24? this week.
And Karen — the selfish bitch that she is — chose “Him.?
Then she called her husband up and told him he was fired.
It didn’t matter that 13,000 Americans had just died in terrorist nuclear attacks that day and Bill was directing the counter-terrorism unit in the city where the attacks occurred.
It was hit the road, Bill.
You should have seen it coming, Bill.
Anytime your wife refuses to take your last name, there is trouble brewing.
Karen Hayes never loved you, Billy boy.
If she had, she would have been Karen Buchanan.
Even worse, she lives in Washington D.C.
You live in Los Angeles.
That’s 2,672 miles apart.
A 39 hours and five minute drive.
You cross eight states to get to each other.
What do you do on Valentine’s Day — have cell phone sex?
Also, she’s a Princeton girl and you’re a Brown guy.
Ivy League rivals.
Princeton has four of the last football games against Brown.
Now, Bill, are you really surprised this bitch fired you?
- Hope my nose ring matches these white socks
Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
I’ve never been big on dressing up.Share
You who know me will shout “amen? to that.
That’s why every time I show up at work wearing a sports coat and slacks, people keep asking: “Who died??
But I guess they are right.
Every time I put on a coat, I reach in the pocket and find a funeral “program.?
When did the funeral homes start passing out these little programs at funerals?
Probably when they found out they could add another thousand or so onto the bill.
“Get your program. Get your program. You can’t tell who the dead person is without a program.?
Sorry about that. This was not supposed to be a blog about funeral ripoffs.
It is about fashion.
I saw an online feature today titled “Men’s Fashion Mistakes. What not to wear to work.?
They had a check list of 10 things that a guy should not do.
Believe it or not, I did pretty well on this fashion test.
1. No backpacks.
Yeah, right, like I am going to show up at work looking like I’m going to hike the Wichita Mountains. I don’t hike. Nor do I wear backpacks any time or any place.
2. No cologne.
Old Spice after shave is all I buy. And it matches my Old Spice stick deodorant.
Remember back when guys used to splash on about a pint of English Leather or Brut. I’d rather smell a bad fart. That broke me from cologne.
3. No comb-overs.
Hey, if I do, I don’t do it on purpose. The feature suggests that guys like me shave my head and look like Michael Jordan. Black guys like Mike can get away with that. But have you seen Howie Mandel lately?
4. No funky facial hair.
Since I have more hair growing from my nose and ears, I do my best to keep these two areas trimmed down. And can you really imagine me wearing a “soul patch?? — one of those funky looking unshaven thing under your lower lip. Not unless I get cast in a Kung Fu movie.
5. No wacky ties.
I do own a tie with pool balls on it. It looks really cool hanging in my closet.
- Sopranos…pt. 3
Monday, April 23rd, 2007
The third episode aired last night. It was OK. Nothing too big happened. Paulie almost died at the hands of Tony, but Tony came to his senses.Share
The most interesting part of the episode was a reestablished dominance of Corrado ‘Junior’ Soprano in the crazy house. It was funny watching him run the show like he tried to run the New Jersey family.
As the final episodes continue, I guess I’ll play devil’s advocate and predict the worst and hope for the worst.
- Wrong side of History
Monday, April 23rd, 2007
Watching Chase Wright pitch Sunday against the Red Sox was like watching a dog die. Well, in the third inning anyway.Share
It was exciting even as he gave up that fourth home run in a row, but I can’t imagine how frustrated he must have been with himself.
You couldn’t really do much, just give him positive reinforcement.
I’m guessing he’ll go back to the minors in a little while. He would have anyway, with Wang and Mussina set to return soon.
No matter what happens, Chase pitched two scoreless innings in the biggest rivalry in sports history on enemy territory.
- 4-20 now in “high” definition
Friday, April 20th, 2007
This is a re-run of my blog on this day a year ago.4-20Share
4-20 is now one of the most interesting days of the year.
If you planned ahead, you bought lots of stock in Oreo cookies because it’s a good bet on April 20, Oreo consumption will go up drastically.
You have heard of crunchtime.
Well, welcome to munchtime.
It’s “Reefer Madness” all over the USA — the day when many Americans celebrate marijuana.
I had never heard of 4-20 until a year or two ago. (But my kids had.)
The origin of the 4-20 dates back to 1971 when a group of high school kids at San Rafael High School in California met at 4:20 in the afternoon to smoke weed.
It’s as simple as that, although there have been many other theories such as:
420 is the penal code section of marijuana use in California.
420 is the Los Angeles police radio code for marijuana smoking in progress.
420 is the number of chemical compounds in marijuana.
4-20 (April 20) is the day that rock stars Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin all died. (Morrison died on July 3, Hendrix on Sept. 18 and Joplin on Oct. 4)
4-20 (April 20) is the best time of plant marijuana.
- Boxers or briefs?
Thursday, April 19th, 2007
AOL posted something today called “Battle of the Best Brands.?Share
Since I am bored and really have nothing to blog about, I think I’ll take this test.
1. Target vs. Wal Mart?
Once upon a time, I would have picked Target because I knew where everything was. Then they started re-arranging their store and I hate that. Wal Mart just has more to offer.
2. Hellmann’s vs. Kraft?
Mayonnaise is mayonnaise.
3. Bud Light vs. Miller Lite?
It’s still the King of Beers.
4.Coke vs. Pepsi?
I hate Pepsi. Does that make me an old fart?
5. McDonald’s vs. Burger King?
The Whopper is better than anything McDonald’s has ever made.
6. Google vs. Yahoo?
This could change quickly since the company I work for has made a deal with Yahoo.
7. Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts?
I wish we still had one. The coffee and donuts were great. And they didn’t have a tip jar. How can a place that charges 5 bucks for a cup of coffee put a tip jar on their counter?
8. Microsoft vs. Apple?
Don’t ask me why. I don’t have a clue.
9. Southwest Airlines vs. JetBlue Airways?
I like peanuts. And I have never heard of JetBlue Airways.
10. Whole Foods Market vs. Trader Joe’s?
United Market Street
I really don’t need the other two.
- ‘LIKE A TURD IN WATER?’
Wednesday, April 18th, 2007
I read every word in every story of the “Parents vs. Rider? feud published in our paper this morning.Share
And at this time I have no opinion on the issue.
I need more facts before I can take either side.
The one thing we all need to learn from this is you better watch what you say at all times.
You never know when a tape recorder is running.
In these days where you can do everything except unclog your arteries with your cell phone, there is no such thing as privacy.
Don’t believe me. Ask Cosmo Kramer.
Yes times have really changed.
I can’t imagine my teachers and principal at Wichita Falls High School having a conversation quite like the Rider one I read about in the paper today.
I really can’t see O.T. Freeman sitting in an office with Helen Grace Gould and Edna Farabee when all of a sudden Miss Gould pops up and says: “It’s going to go over like a turd in water.?
I’m betting Miss Gould never said “turd? her whole life.
She might say “there was some poopy in the potty? but not “turd.?
But Female Voice 1 did — and it showed up on Page 8A of the Times Record News this morning.
Better be glad this is not England.
Can you imagine what a British tabloid would do with this story?
This morning on Page 1 — in 200-point extra black type, the headline would read:
“LIKE A TURD IN WATER??
(I liked it so much, you notice I used it to headline this blog.)
Now someone tell me exactly what “like a turd in water? means.
Is it when you lift the lid off the commode and see that one little brown souvenir left behind by the last guest?
We have all been there. Don’t like it one little bit.
But the guys down at the pool hall never said “like a turd in water.?
Their old expression was “like a turd in a punch bowl.?
That has such a deeper meaning because people don’t drink out of a toilet bowl –but they drink do out of a punch bowl.
As my boss just said: “That kinda breaks up the party?
- Guns on Campus
Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
After yesterday’s tragedy at Virginia Tech I started to ponder the weapon’s possession, as a form of self-defense, policy at Universities.Share
If a dude is walking around with a gun, and I was a student, would I be able to protect myself by using deadly force.
I wonder if anyone at VT had the opportunity to do so.
I wonder if something like this, God forbid, happened at MSU, if someone could.
- I really don’t want to remember Charles Whitman, but it’s hard to forget
Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
My first reaction to the Virginia Tech tragedy on Monday was: “Charles Whitman.?Share
Although it happened almost 41 years ago, Whitman’s college campus massacre can’t be forgotten by us Texans. It was just too close to home.
But apparently the 41 years have erased the memory of that tragedy for other.
The only mention of it in our paper this morning was:
“Aug. 1, 1966: Shooter fires rifle from an observation deck at the University of Texas; 16 killed; 31 wounded.?
Charles Whitman’s name was not even mentioned.
But before the bloody attack that left 33 dead at Virginia Tech on Monday, Whitman’s was the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
He took a sawed off shotgun, a Remington 700 bolt-action hunting rifle and scope; a M1 Carbine; a .35 caliber Remington rifle and three pistols to the UT tower that stood 27 stories high. From there, he turned the Texas campus into his own personal shooting gallery.
- Golf wins out over blogging
Monday, April 16th, 2007
Taking off today to play the very best golf course in Texas.Share
Every year at this time, I get the privilege of walking in the footsteps of Hogan. I am a regular in the field at the annual Colonial Wide Open.
This is a special gig for the media.
And since I have been covering the real Colonial tournament for 26 years, I always get an invitation to be a part of the Wide Open.
And today, for the very first time, my partners are two old “wire gods? that I have known forever – Denne Freeman, retired sports writer for the Associated Press and Mike Raubin, retired sports writer from the UPI.
We will be teamed with a Colonial member and probably have no chance at winning or coming close. But I can promise you we will have a whole lot of fun.
Maybe there will be some stories worth telling you tomorrow
- Why I’ll always remember Friday the 13th
Friday, April 13th, 2007
For most of you, Friday the 13th will come and go and you’ll never even know it was here.Share
But for me, I have a souvenir from a Friday the 13th gone by that always makes me stop and think about this supposedly unluckiest of days.
My right hand still has the mark from a 1967 skin graft. Technology back then left a person looking like something left over from a Frankenstein movie. My hand is living proof.
There are also a few scars on my right arm to remind me of Friday the 13th of October, 1967.
There are people who have known me most of my life who don’t know what happened to my hand and arm. Most are too polite to ask.
But every once in awhile, I’ll be in a grocery store line and some little kid will shout out:
“Hey, mister, what happened to your hand??
Mom will quickly slap him or shake him, tell him to shut up and then start apologizing for the honesty of a child.
For years, I tried to hide the scars.
But after awhile, you just say “to hell with it.?
Although I can still type around 90 words a minute and still do all the things I could do before Oct. 13, 1967, there are still limitations on the use of my right hand. I still can’t bend my fingers enough to make a fist and there are some missing tendons in my wrist that cause some problems.
If it weren’t for this, I am sure that Tiger Woods would now be only the No. 2 golfer in the world.
But the reason I am blogging about this today is to tell you how it all happened.
It was a nice sunny Friday afternoon in October and a good friend of mine asked me to go to Arlington with him to see the Coyotes play a high school football game. He was a senior at Wichita Falls High at the time and had just bought his first new car. I was going to Midwestern.
He brought along two other high school friends whom I didn’t know.
He drove. Those two rode in the back. And I rode shotgun.
We took the Jacksboro Highway, and I remember going through Jacksboro.
But just south of Jacksboro — where the road went back and forth for two-lane to four-lane — my friend somehow got stuck on the gravel shoulder with an 18-wheeler to his left.
He sped up to get around the truck and lost control of the car in the gravel.
All of a sudden we were in the northbound lane going south.
I had been relaxing with my arm outside the window and my right hand resting on top of the car.
When I saw us about to go head-on with a northbound car, I went into shock and froze.
- Quit dancing! C.W. is a good newspaper man
Thursday, April 12th, 2007
During his resignation/retirement interview yesterday, our editor Carroll Wilson said he hoped “there’s not dancing in the streets? over the announcement.Share
He didn’t really mean it.
If there had been a street dance on 13th street this morning when he turned the corner to come to work, he would have laughed his butt off.
Good newspaper people don’t mind being hated.
It just means they have done a good job.
Not everybody liked C.W.
That comes with the territory.
But at the same time, a whole of people did like him.
That comes with the territory, too.
I call it the “Howard Cosell Philosophy.?
Half the people hate you, half the people love you — and all the people listen to you.?
People read Carroll Wilson.
That’s why he gets those nasty “letters to the editor.?
The really scary thing about being a newspaper columnist is when those letters quit showing up in your mail box.
I read Carroll.
Maybe it’s because we’re about the same age and I can identify with a lot of the things he says, but the main reason I read him is he’s a good writer.
But, since he is my boss, there have been times when I hated the guy.
I would go home, drink a few beers and rant and rave to my wife about how I would like to kill the little prick.
I’m sure at the same time, in another part of this town, Carroll — after his third glass of wine — looked over at Lynda and said; “I would like to kill that fat prick.?
The next morning we would sit down, make up and laugh at something funny that had happened here at the newspaper yesterday, or the day before that, or the year before that or the decade before that.
After all, we have worked here together for 24 years.
- Jack is back; and so is ’24′
Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
I am fixing to do something very un-George Bush-like.Share
I admit I was wrong.
A week ago, I was sure that Jack Bauer was on his last legs, headed for either the cemetery or an old folk’s home.
Our country was no longer safe in his shaky hands.
That was last week.
Or should I say “last hour??
This week, Jack was at his best, and “24? was its old action-packed self again.
If you saw the latest version of the movie “Cape Fear,? you remember the scene where the family is high-tailing it out of town and Robert DeNiro is hanging onto the bottom of the family van.
Well, this week Jack takes a similar ride, clutching onto the undercarriage of a trash truck being driven by the nasty terrorist, Fayed.
Once they get to the warehouse, Fayed and his terrorist buddies outnumber Jack at least 5 or 6 to 1.
But guess what?
There is only one man left standing (or sitting), and it is Jack Bauer.
After killing all of Fayed’s machine-gun toting friends, it comes down to Jack vs. Fayed — mano y mano.
- I found some good in Don Imus; Now fire him
Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
My grandma used to tell me that if you looked hard enough and long enough, you can find some good in everybody.Share
So I spent a few minutes this morning looking for something good about Don Imus.
It’s certainly not his looks.
This radio talk show host is one ugly dude.
He certainly has a face made for radio.
He’s 66 years old but doesn’t look a day over 90.
And you don’t need a whole lot of talent to make a living being a radio shock jock.
(See Howard Stern.)
Just be crude and rude and somebody will pay you for it.
But I found something good about Don Imus.
He and his wife Deirdre founded the Imus Ranch, a working cattle ranch in New Mexico — a charitable organization that helps kids with cancer as well as siblings of SIDS victims.
Having said that, Imus should be fired for the “nappy-headed hos? remark he made about the Rutgers women’s basketball team that he made on the air last week.
Now usually when Jesse Jackson starts hollering for someone to be fired, I take the other side.
But if Imus gets out of this with only a two-week suspension, then someone owes Jimmy the Greek a big apology.
- What would Jackie think
Monday, April 9th, 2007
ESPN has been giving this story a lot of air this past month or so.Share
Journalist after journalist have chimmed in on the subject, but I guess I’ll offer my opinion. They are all pointing out that Major League Baseball is about 8 percent black.
What’s the point.
Yes there aren’t that many blacks in baseball, but where is the George Mikan look back about there not being whites in basketball anymore.
The Barry brothers are all but retired or out of the league, so why no love for the whites in basketball percentage story.
Where are the black olympic swimmers, how about the white olympic sprinters?
- Christmasizing Easter; Bah humbug!
Monday, April 9th, 2007
Every year, it seems, they are turning Easter more and more into Christmas.Share
I don’t exactly know who “they? are, but I can feel their hand on my billfold.
Since Americans spend around $154 billion celebrating the birth of their Lord and Savior, surely they won’t mind forking over only $14 billion or so to celebrate his resurrection.
And if mom and dad will put 50 or 100 bucks on their credit card to get those precious photos of Junior sitting in Santa Claus’ lap — well, they just have to buy the matching set with their kid with the Easter bunny.
How long ago has this creepy rabbit been hanging around the mall?
What’s next — the devil himself on Halloween?
A big turkey for Thanksgiving?
If mom and dad will buy pictures of Junior sitting in the lap of a wineo dressed up in a rabbit costume, they will also buy Satan and Tom Turkey.
I saw they were selling Easter cards at the drug store.
Never have I sent anyone an Easter card. So don’t be hurt if you didn’t get one from me this year.
How long will it be before people wise up and start celebrating Easter Eve?
Christmas Eve was a good idea for getting another day off from work. And you might have noticed that some are now asking for Christmas Eve Eve off. They need that extra day to get ready for Christmas Eve.
Can I say Bah Humbug to Easter?
I don’t know for sure what a Humbug is, but I still think I will “bah? it.