For the 12th straight year, members of the Buffalo Bills gathered at Ralph Wilson’s Williamsville home to watch the excitement of this weekend’s NFL Playoff games.
“It’s important to us to keep these kinds of traditions alive,” Bills RB Fred Jackson said during a particularly thrilling moment of Sunday’s Broncos/Steelers game. “Some of the newer players don’t get to experience the energy of watching other teams compete in the playoffs in Ralph’s basement very often. It’s a nice thing for them that we do this.”
The tradition began in January of 2000, the week after Buffalo lost to the Tennessee Titans in the fabled “Music City Miracle.” The dejected team gathered at Wilson’s home to watch the rest of the playoffs unfold that year and ended up having a great time bonding, reveling and generally “hanging-out.”
Former Bills WR, Eric Moulds remembers that get-together fondly. “It was so much fun…just being with the guys on that team. You know, eating nachos and shooting pool,” he recounted. “And there were some great football games, too. It was just a special time.”
The team enjoyed the bonding and merriment so much that they made it a point to meet back at Wilson’s fully-finished basement a year later to watch the 2001 Playoffs when they failed to make the postseason. The second gathering was just as effective and memorable as the first. The players decided, then and there, that this would become an annual tradition.
“It’s really something I was looking forward to when I got here,” current OLB and recent addition to the roster, Shawne Merriman, gushed over a completely unironic plate of Buffalo-style chicken wings. “I’d heard the stories of the camaraderie that comes from these parties. It didn’t disappoint. I look forward to more of these events in future years.”
The team hopes to meet next week at Wilson’s to watch the second round games and continue the poker tournament – a relatively new tradition that began in 2004.
“The poker is always a hit, sure. We also usually do a mass Spades tourney with some of the Houston Texans players, but they weren’t able to make it this year,” Jackson sighed. “There’s always next year.”
Tomorrow is arguably the worst day of the year. That hideous ruse of a holiday…Columbus Day. I have decided to use this platform to air my grievances about this horrible, stupid day. So, here are my top 10* reasons for why I hate Columbus Day:
10. It’s based on a dirty, dirty lie. Everyone knows that Columbus didn’t discover America. The Norse found it some 400 years before Chrissy-boy was even born. In 1964, Leif Ericson was given a commemorative day in October as well. Well, whoop-di-doo! More people know about Lumpy Rug Day than Leif Ericson Day. Nice respect there.
9. FDR. Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1934 under the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. And it is no secret that FDR was one of the worst presidents in the history of our country. To my knowledge, officially establishing Columbus Day was FDR’s only contribution to America. Thanks a lot, Frank! You could have bombed somebody, but nooo…you gave us a crappy holiday. No wonder you couldn’t walk.
8. Columbus is of questionable origin. His nationality is commonly listed as “Genoese.” Where the hell is that? That’s not even a real country. We celebrate a dude who came from a made-up country? Unless someone provides me with a Genoa certificate of live birth, I’m not buying it. Besides, in school, we were taught he was from Italy. Or Spain. I don’t remember. So, which is it? Oh, hey, speaking of school…
7. …Columbus is a jerk. He made me learn stuff as a kid that has never been useful. Because of him, I can tell you that his three ships were the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. I actually put my knowledge of this information on a job application once and was politely asked to leave. So glad I learned that and not something useful, like how to change a flat tire. He was also stupid looking.
6. No one knows when it is. It’s only been within the past couple of years that I have even learned that Columbus Day is sometime in October. That’s all I know. I’m always caught off guard by it and being caught off guard is just not cool.
5. No gifts. When was the last time you received a Columbus Day gift? That’s right, never. Historically speaking, the only “gift” Columbus and his crew gave in 1492 was smallpox. So, if you want to celebrate truthfully, I hope you enjoy your infectious diseases.
4. Those terrible Columbus Day TV specials. Granted, The Muppets Take the New World was pretty entertaining. But, name one other C-Day special that wasn’t horrible? You can’t. I remember in college, seeing Rob Thomas sing a modified version of “I Saw Three Ships” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on some TNT special, and I still haven’t recovered.
3. It’s inherently racist. I am 1/32 Native American on my mother’s side. So I am entitled to be a little infuriated at the celebration of a guy who came here and just mowed down my ancestors. I tend to think that the people Venezuela got this one right. Hugo Chavez 1 – Columbus 0.
2. Lousy sales. There is no such thing as a “good” Columbus Day sale. The only holiday with worse sales is Arbor Day. Sales for Christmas go on for weeks/months beforehand. Even Presidents Day has better sales. And Presidents Day is a complete waste of time.
1. I still have to work. I’m trying to think of a job that I have held that has given me this joke of a holiday off…and I can’t come up with one. In fact, at my current job, tomorrow is one of our 10 busiest days of the year. What’s the point of having a holiday if you don’t even get the day off? Super lame.
*- Honorable mention goes to the fact that it shares a name with Columbus, OH. And nothing good ever comes from Columbus, OH.
With the news of crotchety opinion magnate Andy Rooney’s passing last Friday still fresh on our minds, the entertainment world has lost another titan. Writer/Producer/Director Hal Kanter passed away yesterday at the age of 92…the same age, coincidentally as Rooney.
Well, I use the term “coincidentally” loosely. They were really just the latest casualties of the curse known as The Forever 92 Club.
Musicians may get all the notoriety with their so-called Forever 27 Club – a distinguished list of stars who died at 27 that includes names like Hendrix, Joplin, Cobain and, recently, Winehouse, but, no one cares to look at the darker, far-more-tragic 92 Club.
In fact, the rate at which the Forever 92 rakes in victims puts the 27 Club to shame. Just this past September, lovable character actress, Frances Bay, of Seinfeld and Happy Gilmore fame, joined its esteemed ranks. It took over 17 years for Amy Winehouse to enter Forever 27 after its previous newest member, Nirvana singer, Kurt Cobain was added to the list. But, Forever 92 knows no such patience. Three stars in less than 2 months join the throng of unfortunate souls that were claimed before their time by the dreaded F92C.
Other members of this elite club include:
Senator Robert Byrd
Dick Winters (Of Band of Brothers fame)
Civil Rights Crusader, Rosa Parks
Jazz Musician, Snooky Young
MLB Pitcher, Bob Feller
Dancer, Ruth Page
Sports Announcer, Ernie Harwell
Cryogenics Pioneer, Robert Ettinger
Actress, Claudette Colbert
Publisher, Harold McGraw
Jockey, William L. Passmore
Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr. (Pilot of the Enola Gay)
Composer, Virgil Thomsen
Designer, Oleg Cassini
Voice Actor, Jackson Beck
Record Producer, Israel Horowitz
Author, Tasha Tudor
Cyclist, Harry Hill
Horticulturist, Morgan “Bill” Evans
Inventor, Joseph Francis
General William Hood Simpson
Sir Étienne Dupuch 1
Mathematician, André Weil
Rugby Great, Haydn Tanner
Urban Planner, Robert Moses
Mary Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch
And these are just the most famous members. I’m sure there are others that time has simply overlooked.
Take it for whatever it is, there is something about celebrity that just doesn’t allow for one to grow obscenely-old. These stars burned bright for just a tad more than 9 scant decades.
1 – Sir Étienne died mysteriously in his garden after catching fire trying to destroy an ants nest only fueling the mystique of the curse.
With the smell of gun powder, stale Budweiser and provel cheese still permeating downtown St. Louis after the Cardinals capped an improbable season by winning Game 7 of the World Series on Saturday, one thing remains crystal clear: The red birds could not have done it without….the rally squirrel.
Whether or not the wayward squirrel had anything to do with the outcome of this year’s MLB (#)postseason is anyone’s guess, but one can’t deny two facts. 1) the squirrel showed up of its own accord and 2) the Cardinals won the World Series.
This, of course, is not the first time a rally mascot has captured the hearts of a fan base and led to team triumph. In the fall of 2002, the Anaheim Angels rode the wave of prosperity generated by the two year-old phenomenon known as the “Rally Monkey” to come from behind and beat the San Francisco Giants in dramatic fashion to capture their first World Series title.
The 2011-2012 Kansas Jayhawks will see Bill Self hit the court with just six returning scholarship players from last year’s Elite 8 squad. In addition to this core group are
nine eight seven six new faces – Freshmen, redshirts and transfers – looking to contribute.
The ultra-thin Jayhawks should still, somehow, be in the mix for a conference title in what’s left of the Big XII. Tough non-conference match ups against Kentucky and Ohio State are presumable losses, and the first-time full round robin conference schedule is likely to take a toll on the young Kansas team. They will lose games they shouldn’t, possibly win games they shouldn’t and end up winning a game or two in the NCAA tournament come March.
This season will be dominated, however, by anxious Kansas fans collectively holding their breath every time forward Thomas Robinson steps onto the floor. If he happens to get hurt, the team will be entirely on the shoulders of guard Tyshawn Taylor. And nobody wants to see that.