It Begins or {possibly} Ends Here

I have been a football fan for as long as I can remember. I have seen some amazing players do some unbelievable things during that time. Incredible throws, ridiculous catches, and spectacular runs. Every time a player comes along, and shows the ability to consistently make these types of plays, they become stars in the league. Depending on how long these players are able to maintain their high level of gameplay, they may find themselves being mentioned in the same breath as the greatest to ever play their position. That is the natural progression for all athletes……except one.

The media push to elevate Patrick Mahomes to “GOAT” status, as fast as possible, has been unwavering. His every action on the football field looked upon the way someone would look at a new invention from DARPA….with utter wonder and amazement. Crazy runs. Unorthodox throws. Highlight reel plays on the regular. There is no denying that his meteoric rise, and clear next-level skills, are certainly worthy of the constant barrage of platitudes and exaltations he gets, but there is one moniker the sports media, and a lot of football fans, really WANT to give him. The next GOAT. And the reason for this……Tom Brady.

Let’s face it, Tom Brady IS the GOAT. Anyone arguing otherwise is either ignorant or biased. That’s a fact. Can he run like Michael Vick? No. Is he as accurate as Aaron Rodgers. Probably not. Can he throw the ball with the velocity of John Elway? Nope, can’t do that either. There are a lot of QB’s in history that can do things better than TB12, but winning isn’t one of them. He is the greatest winner in NFL history, and he did that as the quarterback. The field general. He’s not Robert Horry on the right team every year. He’s Michael Jordan. Jim Loscutoff went to 9 NBA Finals, and won 7, but we all know who was doing the heavy lifting on those teams, and don’t get me started on how many guys you’ve never heard of, that have World Series rings or Stanly Cup Championships from the Yankees or Canadiens. That’s not Tom. Brady LEAD his team to all the tiles he now has. That’s why he’s the GOAT.

However, from one generation to the next, fans and media trip over themselves trying to convince the masses that some new shiny toy, with 4 years in the league, will be better than the last one. Kobe is the next Mike. Crosby is the next Gretzky. Trout is the next A-Rod. Once in a great while it’s true, but more often than not, it isn’t. The only way to truly know if an athlete is better than another athlete is to wait and see, because comparing the first 4 years of the new toys stats, to the first 4 years of the old toys stats, is foolish. Jerry Rice had 264 catches for 4881 yards and 49 touchdowns in his first 4 seasons. Randy Moss’ numbers are better than those, but who is the GOAT? Admittedly, Randy is the 2nd best WR of all-time, but he’s not #1. The likely unattainable stats of Rice are a big part of it, but the 4 SB’s and 3 rings are the reason it is undeniable. Rings hold weight. They are THE tie-breaker, and the more you have, the better. The idea that Patrick Mahomes is going to go to 10 SB’s, and win 6 rings, is laughable. Especially considering the fact that Brady actually doing it, is laughable. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen in modern sports. It’s actually designed specifically to not happen, yet it did. So, the idea that the new toy is going to do even better is outrageous.

Now we are less than 2 weeks away from seeing these very men compete against each other in Super Bowl 55. There will be so many stories written about these quarterbacks in that time period. Most of them will have something to do with the new toy vs the old toy. However, in keeping with my wait and see mentality, the biggest story will be written when it’s over. It’s unfathomable to think that Mahomes will come anywhere near 6 rings, but if he wins a 2nd ring, in his 4th season, with a league MVP under his belt, the legend will continue to grow, and the moniker of GOAT will continue to gain traction, but that’s if he wins. If he loses, to 43 year old Tom Brady, then the chatter needs to cease and desist. If Tom can take HIS all-star offense to the Super Bowl, and beat Mahomes’ all-star offense, for a 7th ring, nobody should EVER try and make the argument that Mahomes will surpass Brady. EVER!!!! That argument will be over. How about we just enjoy Patrick’s career, and stop trying so damn hard to unseat the true GOAT. It’s stupid, and to be honest, it’s extremely unfair to Mahomes, and thoroughly disrespectful to Tom Brady.

Enjoy the game.

In Memoriam: 2016


Well, 2016 has pretty much sucked on an epic level. There has been more significant deaths this past year, than any other year I can remember. We’ve seen the death of justice. We have seen the death of democracy. We have seen the death of fact-based journalism, and we have seen the death of the office of The President of The United States. These are all things that I could write 10,000 words about. However, that is not what this blog is going to be about. Today I writing to pay tribute to the numerous celebrities, that died this year, who had a real impact in my life, throughout the years. Never before have I written one of these types of blogs and been more sad. Although the list of people to pass this year is far too long and distinguished, to comment on them all, I just want point out that nearly everyone who passed in 2016 had at least a small place in my heart. Whether it be Abe Vigoda as “Fish”, Dan Haggerty as “Grizzly Adams”, Tony Burton as Apollo Creed’s trainer, Anton Yelchin as Chekov in the new Star Trek movies, the always hip Craig Sager, or any one of the many icons like Gary Marshall, Doris Roberts, Gene Wilder, Arnold Palmer, Muhammed Ali, Leonard Cohen, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Morley Safer, Gordie Howe, Pat Summit or Debbie Reynolds. Everyone of which I have a memory of, in some form or another. This year has seen a literal hall of fame list of celebrity deaths. It’s unbelievable. That being said, I just want to take a few moments to comment on the people who’s careers spoke to me louder than the rest.


Admittedly, I was never a die-hard Bowie fan through the years. I always liked him, but my knowledge of all his work was average at best. I knew what most fans knew. I knew the hits. I knew who he was married to. I knew the movies he had been in. I knew the fashion statements he had made over the years, but that was about all. Well, I did know one other thing. I knew that he was way more than the few things I knew. Naturally, as all the tributes started rolling in after his passing, my knowledge of this man grew exponentially. The other thing that grew was the library of David Bowie songs that I was now listening to. XM had a channel dedicated to his music for a couple weeks, and I was listening all day, everyday. I was mesmerized at the sheer number of songs he had that I had never heard before. Songs that I was finding far better than the hits I had known my whole life. This dude was a freakin’ musical genius. So many different styles, musically and lyrically. As a music lover, it cut me to the core that I had not been on the David Bowie train much earlier in my life. Fortunately, that is the great thing about music. If it is of a superior nature, it will last forever. Therefore, I still had plenty of time to get on board. I have quite a ways to go, but I’m getting there………..thankfully. I know this song isn’t exactly obscure, but it’s one of my favorite, so I’ll leave it right here. 😉




This one sucked big time. When Michael Jackson died, I was bummed, but not completely surprised. When Whitney Houston died, I was also bummed, but still not completely surprised. When Prince died, I was stunned and utterly speechless. If ever I wanted someone’s death to really be an internet hoax, this was the time. Unfortunately, it was 100% true. Prince was an icon in every sense of the word. Much like David Bowie, ironically.  The songs, the clothes, the movies, and of course, the guitar. I read an article, after he died, of an interview that Eric Clapton did some years back. The interviewer asked Clapton what it was like being the greatest guitar player alive, to which he responded, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Prince.” How cool of an answer is that? Super cool. And that was what Prince was, Super Cool. He composed music like Mozart, he wrote lyrics like Shakespeare, and he played a guitar like Yo Yo Ma plays a cello. Throw in all the great clothes, combined with his never douchey swagger, and you had arguably the most significant musician ever. To think that him and Bowie left us, within months of each other, is not just heartbreaking, it’s unfair. Thoroughly unfair. And don’t get me started on Vanity. A Prince disciple. Ugggh. Now I know I could leave you with any one of a dozen Prince songs, but this one will likely be my favorite for a long time. Enjoy. “Ya gotta have a mother for me, so move your bag ass ’round this way so I can work on that zipper, baby. Tonight, you’re a star, and I’m the big dipper.”


<p><a href=”″>Gett Off</a> from <a href=”″>Hotwax Residues</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


George Michael

David Bowie, Prince, and now George Michael? WTF 2016? Are you trying to erase every great musical memory from my youth? Now, don’t go saying that George doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the other 2 guys, because that’s like saying that David Ortiz doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Nobody is saying Ortiz or Michael are as good as their superior counterparts, but they are still both hall of famers. This guy truly had his fingers on the pulse of late 80’s/early 90’s music, and accumulated 8 number 1 hits. That’s a lot. Hell, Whitney Houston only had 11. Much like Bowie and Prince, he also had fashion style. Not to the same level, but it was there. He just had “it”. Many of the greats do. He owned the radio and MTV for over a decade, and only got better with age. Although there is no need to run down all of his songs, and my thoughts on them, the one that will likely always be my favorite is Freedom! ’90. The thing I loved most about that song was the buildup to the chorus. “Some times the clothes do not make the man.” Brilliant song on so many levels.



Malik Taylor aka Phife Dawg

Ok. We have already established that I was a real fan of the 3 people above, but now we are talking about someone, from a genre that I am extremely well versed in. I love rock, pop, r&b, blues and funk, but rap and hip hop is where my true love is. Especially old school hip hop. Moreover, A Tribe Called Quest is likely my favorite group of all-time, and although Q-Tip was the captain of the ship, The Five Foot Assassin was most definitely his first mate. For a guy who started out thinking that he didn’t have the skills to get on the mic, Phife proved everyone wrong, including himself. He was the Yin to Tip’s Yang. Pippen to his Jordan. Messier to his Gretzky. The perfect pair. I could probably recite the verses to every single song Tribe ever did, and at no point will I ever put more effort into Tip’s lyrics than I will Phife’s. He was extremely good at his craft, and probably one of the most underrated rappers ever. I’m not saying he’s top 20, or anything, just that he’s better than he gets credit for. All I know is that in my house, this guy will most definitely live on forever. FOREVER! “Microphone check 1-2, what is this?”



Alan Rickman

I wholeheartedly admit that even though his career was fantastic, he will always be Hans Gruber to me, or is it Bill Clay? Either way, he was the coolest bad guy, in the biggest action blockbuster of the 80’s. Die Hard was to action what The Breakfast Club was to teen angst. The benchmark. Right in the middle of it was Alan Rickman. His portrayal of the lead protagonist was brilliant, and truly gave you a window into the man who would go on to have a terrific life in the entertainment industry. He could play any role with ease, and he was a joy to watch. I know that those who are younger than me will be more inclined to remember him as Severus Snape, and that’s ok. It just proves that he bridged the gap from one generation to the next. How awesome is that? Every story I heard after his passing, from those who knew him best, was that he was an even better human being than he was an actor. Considering all the jaded lives that so many in Hollywood live, it is refreshing to know that he was above all that. I was going to post a video of him dying at the end of Die Hard, but that seemed in poor taste, so I’ll give you some Hans Gruber being cool, because let’s face it, Alan Rickman was cool.



Carrie Fisher

What can I say here, that hasn’t been said a million times in the last week. This one hurts. Much like Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher had an amazing career, but just like Rickman she will always be remembered by me for one of her earliest roles, Princess Leia/General Organa. That’s right. I said General Organa. I said it because she deserves the recognition that comes with her advancement in the Star Wars world, because it mirrors her real life. The person she was in 1978, is not the person she had become in 2016. Much like Leia, she had been through battles and wars, and came out the other side a far more strong and seasoned woman. She exuded badassery, in every way. I know that she is a far bigger success than just a character from Star Wars, but that will likely be her most remembered role. As a big Star Wars fan, I was hoping very much that she would finally get to use the Jedi skills, that we all know she has, before this new trilogy is over. Now, all I think about is the fact that the next movie is already in the can, which means that General Organa’s death will be delivered to Star Wars fans via the opening scroll of Episode 9. That makes me want to cry just thinking about it. Dammit, I hate 2016.











My Open Letter to Donald Trump



I’d first like to say congratulations. Although I wholeheartedly admit that I disagree with virtually everything you (seemingly) stand for, there is no denying that you ran an amazing campaign. You did what you had to do, to win the nomination, and continued doing it right up until the election. You did, and said, what was necessary to get where you needed to be. It was a genius plan, and it worked perfectly. Anyone denying that fact, wasn’t paying attention, and you most certainly deserve credit for it………….but now that part is over. You ARE going to be the next President of the United States, so it’s time to shift from campaigning to running the country.

You’re no longer talking to your base. You are talking to the whole country, and more importantly, the whole world. I think we can all agree that when trying to accomplish a goal, many of us are willing to do anything and everything to attain it. Many times fighters will say the most awful things about their opponents before a fight, but win or lose, they usually hug it out in the ring, and go back to being normal people afterwards. This is what I think you need to do now. Go back to being a normal person. Go back to being the person who earned the friendship of people like Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and so many others, who people like me can’t believe supported you. Nobody is surprised when people like Ann Coulter or Ted Nugent support you, but there is a great deal of surprise when those who are famous, and seemingly level-headed do, and I believe that is because with all your flaws, and past transgressions, there is still some good in you. You’re like Anakin Skywalker. You’ve been seduced by the dark side, but instead of waiting until you are dying, to have an epiphany about your evil ways, you have the chance to do it now, with ample time to reap the benefits of it. Imagine what it would do for your brand. A redemption story to end all redemption stories.

Of course, if any of the sexual allegations that are being levied upon you are true, there is no coming back from that. You won’t even see the end of your term if that’s the case. Everything else that you have done, or been accused of doing, is repairable. Paying off old debts? That’s a piece of cake. Racially biased landlord practices? An honest and heartfelt apology, with a significant donation to an inner city program, would help fix that. It’s all fixable. You just have to want to do it. You have to have enough foresight now to recognize that if your Presidency falls perfectly in line with all of the things you said on your campaign, you are going to fail miserably. You’re either going to turn the clock back on progress in this country, or you’re not going to accomplish any of those things that you said you would. Both of those circumstances do not bode well for you.

Unlike the way Republicans treated Obama, I am not going to be on board with the “let’s make him a one-term President” mantra. What you do in your Presidency will determine that on its own. I’m going to choose the route of believing that you are not nearly as evil as you have presented yourself over the last 2 years. Do I think you’re a bigot? Yeah probably, but even bigots can change their ways. You are in the unfortunate position of going into your Presidency under the imagery of being the most vile person to ever become President in this country, and I just do not believe that that is the person you really want to be. I believe that this campaign got away from you. It made you do and say things that you may not normally have done or said, in an effort to get to the spot you wanted to be. Like I said before, the things you have done in your past, before you ran for President, will continue to be there, but how you move forward could actually turn you into one of the most forgiven people in American political history. Americans love a great redemption story. You just have to want it.

Now, in the event that you do not do that, which I don’t expect anyway, just don’t touch the nukes. We can survive anything else. You’ll never get a wall built in 4 years. You won’t overturn Roe vs. Wade. As long as Ginsburg doesn’t die, the Supreme Court will be exactly as it was before Scalia died, except for the ages of the justices you appoint. If you, and the Republican Congress, repeal Obamacare, all those people that voted for you that were actually benefiting from it will never vote to reelect you, because they’ll finally see the repercussions of that decision. Repercussions that are far worse than anything that’s happening to people during Obamacare. Simply stated, you won’t get half the things done that you said you would, and the half you do get done will fuck things up enough that you will have no chance of ever being reelected. More importantly, no Republican will ever get elected again. Foreign leaders will openly and candidly talk about your utter lack of knowledge and temperament for the position. You will be mocked uncontrollably for your entire Presidency, and your brand will go in the shitter, and never recover. Believe me, this is what will happen.

So, for your sake, and America’s sake, and the world’s sake, be wise to my suggestion, and go with the redemption story. It is a no-lose proposition.

Choose wisely.

Unless you raped those girls, in which case you’re totally fucked. Good luck.



Pink Hats Need Not Apply


   It goes without saying that I have a multitude of topics floating around in my head, that I want to eventually write about. For whatever reason, I just don’t get the proper motivation to do so, and those subjects just continue to fester in my brain. Inevitably, when this happens, all it takes is for me to read or hear something that pushes me over the edge about one of those subjects, and provides me with that proper motivation I need to start writing. Today’s subject is a result of that very scenario. Thank you Bryant Gumbel and Real Sports for getting me back on my blog. It’s been too long.

Being a Bostonian, I cannot ever remember a day in my life in which I was not a Red Sox fan. From the days of my youth in the 70’s, when you only got to watch one game a week on Friday night, on WSBK TV38, until the present day, where you can watch every single game on NESN. Baseball has always been a big part of my life, and it will continue to be until I no longer walk this Earth.

Going to the game was always a great treat, too. Driving to Braintree and getting on the red line, taking it into Boston, then jumping on the green line to Kenmore Square. Even as an adult, the ride into the city for a baseball game always gives me butterflies. Then there is the walking up to the park, and into the building, with all the other fans. The excitement builds with every step. Then comes the apex of the journey. Walking out of the tunnel and seeing the field. Pure bliss. You find your seats, sit down, and so begins another game.

I still remember what that feeling was like the first time I ever went to a Red Sox game. I recall my Dad slipping an usher some cash to get us a better seat. I think of the smells in the air, and the players warming up. I also recall one very significant moment that took place as my Dad and I sat there. It was the moment when he flipped my ticket stub over and made me read the part that said ‘as a fan, I assume the risk of injury from any flying debris from the field, i.e. foul balls or bats’. My Dad stressed the importance of this warning. In a nutshell, he said it is my responsibility to pay close attention to what is happening on the field, especially when a pitch is being delivered. As crazy as it may sound, that warning has stuck with me my whole life, and virtually every REAL baseball fan I know, who attends games live, knows this warning as well. This brings me to the reason I am writing this blog tonight.

Earlier today, I caught a segment of Real Sports about the epidemic of fans being injured by foul balls, and broken bats. Admittedly, I had no idea that so many people had been hurt in recent years. Of course they mentioned the woman at Fenway, and a couple other prominent ones I had heard of, but there were a lot more incidents that I had not heard of. A lot more. The story focused first on MLB’s reluctance to address this issue, by extending the netting all the way down the baseline, and also their lack of legal accountability for injured fans. Although I am not completely opposed to the netting idea, I would prefer it not be done. The reason is quite simple……………….It shouldn’t have to be done!

The fans of today are stupid. It’s a total pink hat generation. More concerned with everything else but what’s on the field. If you want to protect the fans from their own stupidity then fine, put up the nets, but stop acting like this is somehow Major League Baseball’s fault. Maybe instead of blaming MLB, you should start showing EVERY SINGLE ONE of these injured fans on the news, EVERY SINGLE TIME it happens. Clearly these quasi-fans are in need of an incentive to pay attention for 2 seconds every minute. It’s not that hard. Look at your phone all you want. Chat with your friends constantly. Look at all the signs around the park, but how ’bout every 45-60 seconds, when the pitcher throws the ball, YOU PAY ATTENTION!!!!

You don’t go to a Gallagher concert and blame him when you get covered in watermelon because you weren’t paying attention and forgot to hold up the plastic, and that’s just watermelon. I know that getting hit with a ball or bat could be very detrimental to my well being, so I make damn sure that I’m not distracted when a pitch is being delivered. Is it still possible that a fan who is actually paying attention could be injured? Absolutely. However, it would be a rarity, and therefore not considered to be a major safety issue. Instead, we have dumbass after dumbass getting hurt because they are not actually doing the one thing that every REAL baseball fan does, which is watching the game. For crying out loud, a pitch takes just a fraction of  a second. If you can’t relegate a fraction of a second, every minute, to watch the actual action on the field, then just stay home and let a REAL fan have your seat, because you don’t deserve it. This is just another example of the masses having to suffer the consequences for the jackass few. Don’t back down MLB. These people need to wise up.


They’ll All Be Missed



Well, it has been a few years since I have done an ‘In Memoriam’ blog from the previous year, but as there have been some people who died, with whom I have lots of fond memories, I figured I would do one this year. Some of these people are more well known than others, and not being on my list is not an indictment on said person. This is merely my ode to the ones who meant the most to me, in some way or another.

Wes Craven

I don’t think I need to go into any detail about what this guy meant to movie fans over the last 40 years. Everyone has a favorite Wes Craven movie. EVERYONE! Whether it’s Elm Street or Scream or something a little less commercially popular like The Serpent and the Rainbow, he managed to touch a nerve with virtually everyone that likes to be scared. Hell, I even liked Vampire in Brooklyn. One thing is certain, Wes was highly skilled at movie making. I can’t put a finger on which movie of his I like the most, but I guess that’s what made him so amazing at his craft. He kept the good stories coming, and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you, Wes. For everything.


B.B. King

What can I say. This dude is a legend. I can’t provide a biography of this guy without using google, but I know he was incredible. What does it matter where he got his start, or why he named his guitar Lucille (great story). Who cares. Just sit down, turn on his music, and enjoy the amazing sound that is B.B. King. I am so happy that my wife and I were able to see him live at the end of 2014. It was terrific. He did a lot of story telling, but when he fired up the strings on his Gibson guitar, you just sat back in your seat and reveled in his genius. There will never be another one like him, but you can listen to him whenever you want. Make a point to do so. Soon. Like right now.


Roderick Toombs aka Rowdy Roddy Piper

Oh my gosh, where do I begin? If you’re in the 35-50 year old range, and you were ever a wrestling fan, Rowdy Roddy Piper is a god. In the 80’s, when wrestling was really beginning to hit it’s stride, you had 2 kinds of wrestlers. The good guys, who were all truth, justice, and the American way, and the bad guys who were all mean, scary, awful individuals. Then you had Piper. A complete wise ass, who wasn’t trying to be anybody’s friend. He didn’t like the good guys. He didn’t like the bad guys. He hated everyone. Oh, he’d act like he was boys with someone every once in a while, to get what he wanted, but just as soon as they got comfortable with him, he’d poke them in the eyes and end that buddy-fest real quick. He made quite a few films, but his acting career wasn’t anything stellar. However, he was the star of one of the most underrated John Carpenter movies of all time, They Live. A movie that contains what I believe to be the best back alley fight in film history. Which is perfect because his whole life was a back alley fight. Well, I enjoyed every punch you ever threw, pal.


Stuart Scott

He was the first truly cool guy on SportsCenter. Yeah, other guys had been entertaining before he got there, but what made Stu so good was that he talked about sports the way all of my friends talked about sports, and it was awesome. His catch phrases became part of the sports lexicon. “Cooler than the other side of the pillow”, “Straight Butter”, and of course, “BOO YAH!” Whenever I used to turn on ESPN to watch SportsCenter, I would always be bummed if he had the night off for some reason. The other guys just didn’t do it like Stu did it. I can still remember watching his ESPY speech and thinking how much I hoped he would beat his cancer. Although I have never been directly ‘touched’ by cancer, I loved his quote that “you beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” Even at the end, he was still speaking my kind of language. It’s your world, Stu. The rest of us are just payin’ rent.


Charmayne Maxwell, member of Brownstone

Ok. I understand that this one is kind of random. I didn’t even know this woman by name until she died. It was only then that I discovered she was one of the 3 women in the 90’s R & B group Brownstone. Although I can’t speak on her as an individual, I was still bummed to hear of her passing because her group was responsible for one of my all time favorite songs, ‘If You Love Me’. Although hip hop was my main music source in the 90’s, I definitely loved me some female R & B music. Artists like En Vogue, SWV, Jade, Xscape, and of course, Brownstone were the authors to the romantic side of my music tastes. So many great memories listening to this specific song. They were a little bit of a one hit wonder, but that one hit has always stuck with me. Like all music, I can enjoy it forever. They don’t have groups like this anymore. Everyone is a solo artist now.


It’s Not Just One Thing

This week, in my continuing saga of letting my Facebook friends choose my topic, I have been blessed with a subject in which I have a multi-layered take. The topic is respect, or lack thereof, in today’s society. There are so many ways in which this topic could be approached, and it’s likely that you’ve heard all of them, but today I’m going to offer my perspective about the most relevant factors that I believe have led to where we are today.

I think when we try to come up with a reason for why “people” in this country have such little respect for their fellow man, I think it is important that we pinpoint exactly which “people” we’re talking about here. We are talking primarily about the under 45 crowd. This is not to say that people over the age of 45 are not disrespectful, but in most cases, that disrespect is deeply based in some type of ignorance or bigotry. Meaning, that the disrespectful 55 year old white man may only be that way towards minorities, but is respectful of everyone else. That certainly does not make it right, but it doesn’t mean that that person is disrespectful as a rule. It’s the under 45 crowd that seems to have a large number of members who just can’t be respectful to anybody. Considering that group makes up nearly 60% of the population, that makes for a lot of disrespectful people out there.

Now, the obvious and most endorsed blame always goes to the parents. Considering the age bracket we’re discussing here, that tends to put the beginning of this trend solely in the lap of the baby boomers. That may very well be true, but I have a hard time understanding why a generation of people, who came from stricter upbringing, would suddenly decide to stop raising their children the way every other generation had raised their children before them. This isn’t to say that they didn’t do exactly that, because I do tend to believe that poor parenting is the largest reason for the poor behavior of so many people in this country, but it still begs the question as to why did the baby boomer generation up and decide to change the manner in which they raise their children? In my opinion, it comes down to three important factors.

The first one is economics. Pretty much since the time the baby boomer generation began having children, wages have not kept up with the cost of living. This has led to virtually every home in America having two working parents. It also means that everyone else in your neighborhood has two working parents, too. When you have kids growing up with such a limited amount of adult supervision, compared to earlier generations, they are going to do what kids do, except a lot more. We often talk about the fact that bullying has gotten worse due to the internet and smartphones, because kids no longer have to see the faces and the emotional pain of those they are tormenting, which makes it easier for them to do it. The same can be applied to children being raised over the last 50 years versus how they were raised prior to that. It is easier for kids to test the boundaries of all things when their parents, or other kids parents, are not there to punish them for it. This brings me to the second thing on my list. Over protection.

I don’t really know where this one went off the rails but all I can say is that when I was growing up you weren’t safe from anybody’s parents. Moreover, nobody else’s parents ever worried about what your parents were going to think if they found out you got whooped for doing something stupid. Hell, my parents would have just thanked them and then beaten me some more. Somewhere in the 80s, when the true pussification of America really began, people became far too overprotective about their own children, and somehow that translated into parents thinking that they were the only ones worthy of reprimanding their child. Of course, that’s also the same time frame in which parenting and self help books became so popular, and all of a sudden smacking your kid, or spanking them, for doing something stupid became cruel and unusual punishment. Socially accepted parenting changed and everyone has suffered as a result. Truth be told, that may actually be the single biggest reason why two generations of kids have grown up to be assholes, which leads me to my last point. Turning the other cheek.

If you are over the age of 40, you are the last generation of people in this country who knew that being disrespectful to someone, could result in physical harm coming your way. I am in no way endorsing someone getting beat down silly, but a good smack in the face was definitely on the menu in my day if you said something fucked up to somebody else. That shit just doesn’t exist anymore. Now people aren’t afraid to talk shit, or act foolish towards other people because being disrespectful isn’t a crime, but slapping somebody in the face who is disrespectful to you is. Therefore, you are put in the position of trying to decide whether it’s worth teaching someone a lesson if it’s going to result in you getting in trouble with the law. For me personally, I don’t give a shit. I’ll take my chances with judge Joe Brown. Most people won’t though, and the assholes know this. This only increases their ability to be disrespectful. Big surprise.

In the end, I really don’t think that this subject can be narrowed down to any one particular origin. I think it is a series of events, over time, that have led to where we are now. Poor wages lead to limited adult supervision. Over protection led to even more limited adult supervision. Pacifism, and turning the other cheek, led to less repercussions for poor behavior, and certainly television, movies and the internet have all done their part to enhance this issue. I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to take to reverse this trend, but my only suggestion is that people be more willing to put an asshole in his place, even if it means a visit from John Q Law. As long as you don’t overdo it, you probably won’t get in trouble. Lets hope. 🙂

It’s All Very Beer To Me Now


The topic that was handed down to me this week, was actually handed down to me last week, but I have been so busy that I have not had a chance to write it until now. That being said, I believe it was supposed to be something about what my favorite, and least favorite, types of beer are, and why. I thought long and hard about how I was going to approach this blog, because I tend to write mostly from the gut. I’ll have an opinion on something, and I’ll just write what that opinion is. If somewhere along the line I write something that I feel needs a little proof in my head, to confirm it before I write it, then I will do a little research, otherwise I prefer to just write what comes off the top of the dome. This blog will be no different. I did not do a bunch of research about what goes into certain types of beers, and how they’re made, or how they’re supposed to taste. This blog will just be about how I got into beer, and why I like what I like.

For starters, I think it’s important to establish that up until about seven years ago, I couldn’t have cared less about beer. I was a casual drinker at best. Just a typical Corona, Red Stripe, Stella Artois kind of guy. That had worked for me for a long time. However, sometime shortly after I moved to Dallas, I can remember my wife wanting to attend a local wine festival. Something I had absolutely zero interest in doing. Mainly because I just don’t like wine. Never have. Sure, I could drink a light white wine at a special event, if need be, but generally speaking it just wasn’t my thing. For some reason though, I did have a slight level of envy in the idea that my wife had this beverage, which came in so many varieties, that she could taste test and pick and choose which ones she liked. It sounded kind of fun to me, but there was still no way I was drinking wine. Beer I was cool with though. I figured that I could apply the same philosophy to beer that my wife was applying to wine. Try different kinds, broaden my horizons, and see which ones I liked. So began my journey.

The first thing I did was go online and try to find out what was the best approach for diving into more flavorful beers. Pretty much everything I read had two key suggestions. Most important was starting out mild and working my way up to more rich brews. Thinking that after a lifetime of drinking extremely light beers, that I would be able to dive into a stout or a double IPA, would only doom me right from the start. I was going to take Dr Leo Marvin’s advice and start out with ‘baby steps’. The other piece of advice, which I actually found to be even more valuable, was a slightly more obscure recommendation. It was a formula for truly being able to determine whether or not you actually might like a beer. It’s as simple as this. If you can finish one, no matter how long it takes you, always try a second one. The philosophy behind this is that beers are an acquired taste. If you really hate one, you will know it from the start. You will not even get halfway through a beer if you do not like it, but if you can manage to finish the beer, chances are you will find it even tastier when you crack a fresh one, because it will taste much better than the last gulp you just drank, from the beer you have been sipping on for 30 minutes. I cannot begin to express how accurate that second recommendation has been. With these two tips in hand, I decided I would be leading off with brown ales and blondes.

Turns out, the blondes and the browns were far easier than expected. They were not harsh or bitter. They were actually quite mild. The flavor itself was the only new thing, which is to say, they actually had a flavor. I was very anxious to advance quickly in this process, so within just a few months, and thanks to the ability to create variety packs at the supermarket, I had tried several blondes and brown ales and was now ready to up my game to something with more punch. This took me to lagers.

I found out very quickly that there are far more varieties of lagers then there are blondes and brown ales. Initially, I was trying lagers that didn’t look very dark, figuring that I would be more likely to adapt that way. So far, I was following my first beer recommendation perfectly, and all was going well. Then I tried a black lager, and for the first time I had to apply recommendation number two. I can still remember the bitter beer face I gave my wife when I took my first gulp. She looked at me and just said, “Oh baby. It doesn’t look like you like that one.” I must admit, I wasn’t initially thinking about recommendation number two at the time, because up until then things had gone so smoothly. Nevertheless, I pressed forward and found myself slowly getting through the first beer. Sure enough, when I cracked that second one and took a sip, it didn’t taste nearly as bad. I guess beer drinkers actually do know what the hell they’re talking about. I can say without reservation, that I have applied recommendation number two frequently, and it has worked nearly 100% of the time.

After the lagers, came the IPAs. Then the double IPAs. Then the triple bocks, and the stouts. Then came the flavored beers, and from there on out the world of beers was wide open. There isn’t a beer out there that I’m not willing to try, and honestly there really isn’t a beer out there that I hate. I’m not a big fan of beers with unusual flavors though. At its heart, I still want a beer that tastes like a beer, and not like pumpkin pie. As with any alcoholic beverage, I do appreciate a good little buzz, so I do find myself looking for beers with higher alcohol content, so as not to need a full six-pack to feel good. Like I said, there are no beers that I absolutely can’t stand, so I will just leave you with a short list of the ones I really like. I wish I could offer some rhyme or reason as to why I prefer these ones, but I am not a connoisseur. I just know what I like, so here you go.

Imperial Stout——–Old Rasputin.

Milk Stout—————The Temptress.

IPA is a tie————Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada.

Belgian Style Triple— Devil’s Backbone

Black Lager———-Ugly Pug

Bock Style————Dead Guy Ale (LOVE THIS BEER)

I’ll leave you by saying that if you have always wished that you drank a more worthy beer, and are ready to give up the bullshit domestic beers, from the heavyweights, that get promoted constantly on TV, I highly recommend following in my footsteps and seeing where it takes you. All I can say is that 7 years ago, the list of beers you see above, would have never, ever, ever found their way into my home. I am so glad that they did. It was totally worth it. Stay thirsty my friends (but don’t drink Dos Equis, because that shit sucks). 🙂

Music To My Ears & Brain

music & science

So, it is week 3 of ‘Let My Facebook Friends Choose A Topic’. This week’s topic comes from my great friend Michelle.

—Best concert I have ever attended, and best venue—

As I have not attended a ton of concerts in my life, I think I will just list all the ones I have been to first, and then tell you which one was the best.

Aerosmith (3×) @ Worcester Centrum, Boston Garden and Gexa Energy Pavilion

Bon Jovi (3×) @ Worcester Centrum and Great Woods (<<<Forever) twice

Naughty by Nature featuring Biggie, Mary J Blige, Jodeci @ Worcester Centrum

House of Pain featuring Rage Against the Machine and Funkdoobiest @ Boston Center for the Performing Arts

Toni Braxton and Kenny G @ Boston Garden

Gloria Estefan @ Fleet Center

B.B. King @ Winspear Opera House in Dallas

Janelle Monae @ House of Blues Dallas

Chicago @ Verizon Theater Dallas

Now that we have the list of eligible candidates, I can say without reservation that the best concert I ever attended was Gloria Estefan at the Boston Garden. I know that may seem hard to believe, considering that she doesn’t exactly rank high on the Jeff Chick playlist, but the show itself was so awesome, and the list of well known songs that she has is much larger than I had thought at the time. If I was a much younger man, I would likely have chosen Naughty by Nature or House of Pain, but as you get older you realize that a great concert is more than just hearing songs you like. Sometimes it’s about hearing songs that you forgot you liked, coupled with an a-list stage show. The production of this concert was amazing, colorful, dynamic and just plain visually stunning. The hits just kept on coming, and the place was just hopping. It was likely the only concert I have ever attended in which the vibe in the building was just that of pure joy, and a desire to get up and dance. I remember looking at my wife after that show was over, and telling her that I thought it was the best concert I have ever been to. 15 years later nothing has changed that opinion.


Now, as for the best venue I have ever attended ANY event at, I am going to cheat a little bit and pick a venue based solely on what the event was. Therefore, my choice is the Winspear Opera House in Dallas. It is an amazingly beautiful facility to begin with, but when you get to sit 20 rows from the stage and listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson talk for 3 hours, it goes straight to the top of my list. I don’t think I need to go into any great detail about the architecture or the sound system or even the comfort of the seats. The second you turn the lights down and shine a spotlight on Neil deGrasse Tyson, and listen to him talk, it becomes the best friggin” venue on planet Earth. Of course, considering that criteria, I suppose I should make my 2015 Cadillac CTS company vehicle the best venue because that is the location that Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson put his ass at 4 a.m. in the morning when I picked him up to take him to the airport, and got 45 minutes of uninterupted one on one conversation with the coolest genius known to man. It was AWESOME!! I feel like I might be messing up this venue question. Oh, who cares. My blog. Until next week, I leave you with this. 🙂

This Is What I Get


In an effort to not only increase the frequency of the blogs I write, but to also step outside the box and write about topics that I may not normally think to write about, I decided to put the fate of my subject matter in the hands of my facebook family. Every Monday I post the word ‘now’ as my status update, with the commitment that I will write about whatever topic the first person suggests. It has had an interesting effect on things, because first of all, I post this status update randomly during the day, so it has become somewhat of a competition to be the first one to notice my post and to get in first with a subject. Secondly, and likely more interesting, is that it can lead to a topic that I have absolutely no interest in writing about whatsoever. I don’t mean a topic in which I do not have an opinion, I mean a topic that is hardly worthy of being written about at all. Thanks to my old friend Jocelyn, I am bound by my commitment to write my blog this week about cheeseburgers. This will be quite brief.

If you don’t like cheeseburgers, you are either a vegetarian, or lactose intolerant. Otherwise, you are not somebody I want to be friends with. I don’t care where you get your meat. I don’t care what kind of cheese you like on it, even though Swiss and cheddar are the only two quality choices. I don’t care if you like grinding shit up in your meat to add flavor. I don’t care if you like steak sauce, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish or any other goddamn condiment for that matter. Every single ingredient that you use to make the cheeseburger that you like, is arbitrary. All the matters is that you acknowledge that cheeseburgers are great. I don’t think anything else needs to be said about it.

There’s my blog. See you next week with what I can only imagine will be a much more worthy topic. Peace out

P.S. If you make any effort whatsoever to convince me that you think a turkey burger is as good as a cheeseburger, just defriend me now. 🙂

I’m Waiting For You To Show Me Some Goddamn Gratitude



\ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\


the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness

If you have ever seen In The Line of Fire, with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich, then the quote I used as the title for this blog is one you should know well. Although John Malkovich’s character’s desire to be appreciated by Clint Eastwood’s character is clearly misguided, it doesn’t change the fact that we have all had that moment, on any given day, where we just want to look somebody in the face and say those 10 words. However, the fact that we want to say them, isn’t the problem. It’s the fact that we feel like we need to say them, because showing gratitude toward someone who does something for you, has almost become a thing of the past. Why?

Is it entitlement? I clearly understand that we live in a very entitled society these days. Everybody thinks that they deserve what ever good comes their way. I’m not sure exactly when that started, although I do trace a lot of the stupidness of today’s society back to the birth of participation trophies. The true Genesis of the pussification of America. The “everybody is great and everybody’s a winner” mentality. It’s ridiculous. All it does is create a generation of kids who don’t know what it’s like to be told no, or to ever have to deal with the idea that someone is better than they are at something. If you don’t ever have to learn what it’s like to lose, or fail at something, then you will never know what it’s like to show true appreciation for those who may have helped you to accomplish something. It’s quite sad.

Are we hypocrites, though? I only ask that question because when we do something nice for somebody, and they do show appreciation, we always tell that person that it’s no big deal, and that they don’t have to thank us. So, do we only want the gratitude just so that we can prove we’re too humble to accept it? Does that mean showing gratitude and being humble are like oil and water? Both are great, but separately? You have to admit, those two things play an interesting dance with each other at times. Very peculiar.

All that being said, it is really annoying when you go out of your way for somebody and they show you virtually no appreciation. For me, I can’t say thank you fast enough when someone helps me. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the help is, I will never not let that person know that they are appreciated. It’s so easy to do. It’s just words. Well, it’s just words most of the time. Sometimes, you have to up your game a little bit and do little bit more than just say thank you.

This is when someone does something so meaningful for you that it requires you to really show your gratitude, and yes, I mean doing something, instead of just saying something. Either going out of your way to help them with something that is equally as important to them, as a way of showing your appreciation for what they did for you, or taking the time to do something extra nice for that person, i.e. buy a gift, to express how grateful you really are for what they did. Like I said before, a good friend will tell you that you do not need to do such a thing, but that is just the humbleness speaking. Nobody ever does something big for another person expecting a reward, but deep down we wouldn’t mind one. Furthermore, showing such gratitude for something big, isn’t a prerequisite for that person to help you the next time you do something big, but repeatedly not doing something special, may very well lead to that person not helping you in the future. As we all know, that’s where the animosity begins. The belief that someone is willing to go out of their way for you repeatedly, but you are not willing to do the same for them, or show enough appreciation for them when they do it. That is a sure fire way to see a friendship go south very quickly. So don’t do that shit. Never pass up an opportunity to show gratitude toward someone. It’s the right thing to do.