The NFL kicks off today. Well, Denver and Baltimore played Thursday nite. But most of the teams start their season today. Despite the concussive nature of the sport, I am still a fan. I’ve quit chewing tobacco. I’ve quit drinking to excess. But I haven’t quit the internet and I haven’t quit football. I have stopped watching boxing, but that is more of a function of who I hang out with. My wife never had a thing for combat sports, but she does like football.
I grew up a Giants fan. My dad was one. When he was a kid, there was no Boston team and he never switched over to the Patriots. I started following the team around the time that Herm Edwards scooped up a fumble when an exchange between Joe Pisarcik and Larry Csonka went awry. I stayed with them for 30 years. Saw some terrible ones, but I also saw three Super Bowl champs. Well, the middle one was when I was out of the country fighting Saddam and the Iraqis.
But when I got married, I switched over to the Patriots. It wasn’t so much a switch as it was a change in emphasis. I always sort of liked the Patriots. It was easy to root for them while rooting for the Giants. Then, this millenium, I came to admire Bill Bellichek’s coaching. He’s supplanted Bill Walsh as the premier NFL coach in my lifetime. The fact that he and my wife are both Wesleyan grads didn’t hurt.
Anyways, I’ve already been up for over an hour. I’m like a kid on Christmas day. Only the fat guy I am waiting for isn’t Santa. It is Vince Willfork.
Fire trucks fight fires. Why don’t ice cream trucks fight ice cream? I bet that’s Mayor Bloomberg’s dream; a whole cadre of converted ice cream trucks whizzing down Manhattan streets and those of the other borough; sirens playing off-key versions of Old MacDonald’ looking for desserts to seize.
We’ve got a bakery in progress at the corner of Lexington and 42nd.
That’s a four alarmer.
If this catches on, like smoking bans, small towns will have volunteer ice cream men. They’ll hang out at the gingerbread house and help old ladies by getting pies out of their trees. They’d be assisted by teen-aged dessert Explorers. Some of these teens will fight boredom by baking cakes; just so they can have a call to respond to.
You’ve heard of helicopter parents? Always hovering over their children? My mom was the opposite. I told her I was joining the Army. “That’s nice. Don’t get shot. Come back in four years.”
Now my youngest cousin is in an aviation battalion in the National Guard. They got activated to go to Afghanistan. My aunt and another private’s mother went along with the unit. They rented a condo in Kandahar and pestered theirs kids’ platoon sergeant. “Why did Jones get promoted to spec 4 before my Peterson?”
They pestered the mess sergeant. “T-rats again? My boy deserves better.”
“Moooom.” Their sons would protest.
“We’re not just Army moms. We’re helicopter parents.”
“You don’t know how right you are.”
One of the Apache pilots gave serious thought to letting a stray missile hit their townhouse.
Eddy Ruxpin admitted to selling secrets to the Russians. He wanted to sell Alaska back to them. He really did, in his mind. But the reality is that he was one delusional young man. I never thought I’d be writing this, but here is the whole story. From the beginning. Dead drops. Tundra. Cyanide. Taiga. Secret codes. The Pipeline. Invisible ink. Northern Lights. Microfilm. Firing recoiless rifles at avalanches.
Alaska from the birth of the earth. Gold, black gold, earthquakes and volcanoes. Continental Drift. Aurora Borealis. Flora and fauna.
The land bridge. Vitus Bering. The Russians. Expansion. Exploration. Industrial Revolution. Capitalism and Socialism. The Civil War. Karl Marx. William Seward. John Wilkes Booth. The Klondike. Jack London. Henry Ford. World War II. The Cold War. Statehood. Lee Harvey Oswald.