Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What Oils, Fine Tunes, Calibrates and Aligns My Gears

By Michael Haas

Anyone can make a list of shit that pisses one off. But sometimes, like Bres, you must choose life. Ron Gardenhire once said, "You can't focus on all that negative stuff, you'll beat yourself up."

Anyone can list fairly broad and ambiguous things that make them happy. It's easy to just list non-specific stuff like "the crack of the bat", "a good book" or "oxycontin;" but I wanted to do something a little more fun, listing things that bring a smile to my face just thinking about. So here it goes. Geez my face hurts already.

* KISS's Lick It Up music video

* When my friend Wuters used to say in that cheesy Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous guys voice "It's good to be...Ashton Kutcher"

* Seeing a girls relationship status change from "in a relationship" to "single"
(even if I have no intention of even talking to the girl)

* Hollering "YEEEEE-HAAAWW" during almost any country song

* Sometimes my friend Troy does this dance-thingy. It's a bit obscene, but it usually makes me laugh uncontrollably.

* When theres room to spread out at the Dome (an empty seat all around you) and a Twins lead, a beer in one hand and a dog in the other, while talking to friends

* When I call my friend Jenna or my friend Melissa and I ask them "how are you?" they always say "good, you?" in a sorta Minnesotan accent. They never say "and you?" or "pretty good how are you?" they just say "you?" hahahaha. I'll call them on speakerphone sometime for you.

* How my friend Josh E. always answers his phone with a friendly"hello." He has caller ID so he never has to say it like "hello??" He usually emphasizes the HEL and lets the last syllable fall in.
This is in contrast to my friend Lara. This is how the beginning of our phone conversation usually goes.

Lara (sounding really confused): Hello?
Haas: Lara?
Lara (sounding confused): Yeaaah?
Haas: This is Haas
Lara: Hi

* I love making that jump in Mario 1, world 8, level 1. The level seems so easy, but you always know that's coming. It used to psych me out, especially when the music started going faster.

* Listening to Johan talk about how well he pitched. Hell, he could talk about the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act and I'd be enthralled.

* Driving home from work. Even when I had to drive from St. Paul to Minneapolis on 94 during rush hour, it didnt seem so bad. I just zoned out and enjoyed being done with work. Now my drive home consists of cows, woods, cornfields and empty winding roads. I'm very lucky.

* That song that happens to be awesome this week. You know the one, the one that's stuck in your head, and you think it's the best song ever and it makes you happy for the week. That song for me this week is Depeche Mode's Policy of Truth

* Jack Handey quotations

* When you get off your bike and you're like, all tired, but it's a good kind of tired, because you're glad to be where you are and you're glad you biked there. I'd imagine this goes for most physical activity - the release of endorphines, the sweat and the high heart rate - it feels pretty good. I've just never really messed around with that stuff.

* A really great, uplifting blog post. The kind that cure poverty and AIDS and create peace and harmony throughout the world. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ya Know, I Don't Even Want One Anymore

By Pat McCarthy

Recently everything in my world was shaken. I was cruising through life, enjoying all things, especially things American, and I was basically told my entire life was a lie. Imagine a little child being told that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy don't exist, and that they were a mistake. It was like that. Times ten. What could induce such feelings of existential angst you ask? Dairy Queen now mass produces their Dilly Bars.

I was indescribably upset. I couldn't form words. This incident occurred about a week ago, and only now am I able to coherently form words to accurately describe my flabbergastment.

When did Dairy Queen's dilly bars become mass produced? What happened to the hand dipped, soft serve on a stick with a curly cue on front wrapped in a paper sack? I don't want a frozen hard plastic wrapped, uniform ice cream concoction. Did they do away with the hand-stamped free dilly message on the stick?

I could understand the Buster Bar, it's a difficult treat to make, and having them mass produced in plastic bags was better than having none at all. Then it extended to the Mint Chocolate Chip Dilly Bar, which was understandable because it had a different ice cream interior. But now, a Butterscotch Dilly Bar mass produced? I'll pay to make my own and screw it up royally. The Butterscotch even tastes differently, and not in a good way. I'm completely baffled.

Walking the block and a half with my family to the local Brazier is an unchanging memory from my childhood. I don't know if the attachment would be as strong if it was a sterile, consistently average ice cream treat. The fact that it was a quirky Dairy Queen, suited to the building, rather than a cookie cutter design that many of the new Dairy Queens are, only added to the attraction, but that's another story.

John Steinbeck in Travels With Charley (Charley is his dog), was confronted with the same thing over 40 years ago when traveling around the
United States. He was disgusted by the middling of American cuisine. You can get the same thing anywhere, mass produced, wrapped in plastic to ensure the sterility. They will all taste the same, but they will be average, there will be no great food, nor no terrible food. This may be desirable for the producer, in this case Dairy Queen, to make something more predictable, but for the customer, or at least me, it makes the experience less enjoyable overall. This seems to be the general trend of the time, ensuring not failing rather than striving for success.

I want a handmade Dilly Bar, even if it means a few more germs on it. As George Carlin says in a more extreme example about swimming in the
Hudson River: it's good for your immune system. I want to hear an interior "I Got a Golden Ticket" song when I get to the stick and see the free Dilly Bar. I want a soft ice cream interior, where I need to hurry to finish before it melts all over, not a rock hard ice cream brick, that you should thaw before you eat so you don't break your teeth.

Dairy Queen, we may be through, even though I still love your dipped cone. I can't trust that they will always be dipped when I order. They may be the next thing to be mass produced, wrapped in plastic and trucked in a refrigerated car to the local DQ. I will try to get over this, but I can't promise anything and it may take a long time. However, if you revert back to homemade Dilly Bars, Buster Bars and whatever else is now mass produced and shipped out and remarkably average, I will be the first one in line breaking down the door.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Twins Commercials

The team here at AH! had one goal when this blog was established: find the lyrics to every memorable Minnesota Twins commercial and record them here on the intraweb for future generations to enjoy.

here is a list of the songs we'd like:

Hormel Hot Dog Row of Fame complete lyrics
Doug M-I-E-N-T-K-I-E-W-I-C-Z radio commercial song ("say it, dont spray it")
Torii Hunter "Smooth" radio spot. ("baby, I know, that you wanna go over that wall...")
"My Baby Waves The Homer Hanky" complete lyrics

And we should probably get the current ones down too, such as the "Mauersota" and the "Justin Morneau Most Vancouverish Player"

are there any other ones we should get?

Here's a good one from a couple of years ago:

"The term 'crowd' has been kicked around for too darn long. No one wants to be part of it, everyone wants to stand out from it; and your Mother told you never to follow it. Well my friend, your mother was wrong. Do you think the crowd doesn't make a difference in a pennant race? When has the roar of one guy sitting in his den ever initimidated an opposing batter? I ask you, has your floor lamp ever high-fived you back? Can your schnauzer do the wave? (mine can, but not well. not well at all) No. You need a crowd to do these things. You think just one person built the pyramids of uh... Gybraulter? Did the efforts of one man put us on the Moon? No there were three guys, and they might have had help. So join the masses who yearn to scream 'charge!' and eat dome dogs!
For the time has come to join

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ya Know What Grinds My Gears?

By Twinswin83
So often when I’m going about my daily life something either happens to me, around me or within my ear shot that is just utterly ridiculous or annoying. It’s times like these when I wish I had a tape recorder with me (ala Norm McDonald in Dirty Work) so that I could document all the little things that drive me nuts. Well, I don’t have a tape recorder, and since I’m busy saving up for a new adaptor cord for my Nintendo 64, I can’t really afford one right now.
That doesn’t mean I can’t rack my brain, however, and think up some items that I find irritating, baffling or just flat out infuriating about everyday life. Living in the upper Midwest where real problems in life are few and far between, it is the little and insignificant things we must dwell on in order to get some really good griping in. And since I’ve been raised as gold medal complainer this should be right up my alley. So with a shout out to Peter Griffin I’d like to introduce a new outlet for public venting called; Things That Grinds My Gears. Here’s a few starting topics:

-Dudes that clip their cell phones on the outside of their belt buckles.

-The fact that the last three Stanley Cup Champions come from Florida, North Carolina and California.

-Metal bats.

-Seasons 2, 3 and 4 of the O.C.

-The fact that they called it the “O.C.”

-Repeats of Twins games on FSN the day after they lose.

-The lack of Saved By the Bell reruns on basic cable.

-People that take forever in front of me at the drive thru ATM machine.

-When all you want is to make a really good turkey sandwich and you venture to the fridge only to find out that you’re all out of turkey. And cheese. And bread. And mayo.

-Canadians that do nothing but talk about how great Canada is.



-People who don’t use T9word when texting.

-NFL Live on ESPN in April instead of Baseball Tonight


-Hotels that don’t have wireless internet.

-When Johan throws a gem and the Twins don’t score any runs.

-Highlights of Lynx basketball on the local news.

-People that drive in the right lane of the interstate/freeway with their blinker on.

-People who make fun of me in North Dakota when I call the interstate a freeway.

-The fact that people in Japan get to vote for the MLB all-star game.

-“Head-On” commercials.

-People who really don’t have anything to complain about but continuously bitch about meaningless stuff anyways.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Faribault Is At It Again

By M. Haas

Recently, I picked up a copy of the Faribault Daily News and saw the following front page headline

How Faribault Stopped a Gang of Outlaws
And it had a big picture of some cowboys riding through downtown Northfield. It just about blew my mind. I thought to myself, 'I could've sworn that Jesse James and his gang of outlaws attempted to rob a bank in Northfield on September 7th, 1876, and that it was Northfield's heroic residents who wouldn't open the safe and shot most of the gang outside on the street' That's what I thought. Could I have been wrong all these years?

Perplexed and curious, I read on:
Members of the James/Younger gang may have robbed the bank in Northfield, but justice came to half of them at the hands of Faribault residents.

Ohhhhhhh, okay. So by "stopped a gang of outlaws" you mean dealing out justice to half the gang. I should have understood that.

The story of the raid is often connected simply and specifically to Northfield, since that is where the shoot-out that took four lives occurred. But the story of the buildup to the raid and its aftermath is far more complicated and includes several former members of Faribault

The article goes on to say how the town of Faribault received news of the attempted robbery, and started up a posse to go after the remaining members of the gang. The next part of the story took me a second to understand.

According to local historian Chip DeMann, 'the Faribault posse arrived in Shieldsville (10 miles west of Faribault) hot on the trail of the six remaining members of the gang. They went into the Saloon to wet their whistles and left their guns in the buggy. Within minutes, the (outlaws) showed up.'

The Faribault newspaper of the day describes the events:
The robbers, as they rode by Hanlin's hotel, where they had stopped one night before, asked Hanlin's son what team that was and how long it had been there. He answered that it was a Faribault team and had arrived about five minutes before. One of the party then said, 'They are after us; let's smash their guns.'
"They rode up to the wagon and one took hold of a gun. The young men came to the door, and one attempted to take his gun. The robbers pointed their revolvers and told them to get back in the house, which they proceeded to do."


Lets think about this for a moment...

Ohhhh, okay. So by "stopped a gang of outlaws" you mean chasing after them for 10 miles, then stopping for a drink and getting your guns stolen. I get it now.

So Faribault's contact with the James/Younger gang amounted to this:

- they slept in towns outside of Faribault
- Two members spent about two months in the jail there
- a guard was shot and killed by another guard at the jail, thinking someone was trying to spring the prisoners
- a posse attempted to chase the outlaws but got drunk instead

And to top it all off, in Tuesday's edition of the Daily News they had a 'question of the day' that one could cast a vote online.

Q: Who has the better Jesse James story - Northfield or Faribault?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Where 'The Simpsons' Went Wrong

By T.F Rezac

I have thought long and hard about this. How could one of the best, history making shows ever to grace the airwaves "jump the shark" if you will. You can make the case for a variety of reasons; rise in amount of un-funny guest stars, increase in religiously themed shows, or that it has lost its edge with the emergence of such animated shows as South Park or Family Guy among others. But I put the blame, mainly, on two things: The death of Phil Hartman, and Barney Gumble sobering up.
When Phil Hartman was murdered it took away two great characters from the show. The constant appearances of Troy McClure were put to a stop and were replaced by real celebrities who lacked the recurring appeal and Lionel Hutz was replaced by Gil, the least funny person on the show.
Barney and Moe were two of the funniest characters in the tenure of the show, and when Barney stopped drinking it reduced their role in too many episodes. Barney was the lovable drunk who every one of us can relate to, and Moe was ugly and a loser with the ladies, which I can absolutely relate to.

My favorite moment from each:
Lionel Hutz:
When the family hires him to defend Homers soul against the Devil,
Lionel Hutz: Well, I didn't win. Here's your pizza.
Marge: But we did win.
Lionel Hutz: That's okay. The box is empty

Troy McClure:
"You may remember me from such public service announcements as; 'Designated Drivers, the Lifesaving Nerds' and 'Phone Tornado Alarms Reduce Readiness."

Barney Gumble:
"I'm concerned about the beer situation. After this case and the other case, we've only got one case left!"

Moe Szyzlak: When Bart prank calls him,
"Listen to me, you; when I catch you, I'm gonna pull out your eyes and stick 'em down your pants, so you can watch me kick the crap outta you, okay? Then I'm gonna use your tongue to paint my boat! "

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Former Intern Gal Has Arrived!

By Krystal W.

That's right, gentlemen, this is a Former Intern Gal writing from my new post in Peoria, IL. Since most of you have no idea who I am, let me introduce myself. My name's Krystal and I interned at KFAN a year ago. It was basically the best internship ever. I screened calls for Common and Chad two days a week and went to Twins games, sat in the press box (sometimes next to Jack Morris or Tim Laudner), ate free hot dogs and pretzels, then went into the clubhouse to get the post game interviews and see Joe Mauer naked. (Yes, that really happened.)

Am I telling you guys this to make you jealous? No, that's just a fringe benefit. Really, it's just to show how much I love baseball, the Twins and sports. I majored in Journalism at the U of M, hoping, one day, I'll be the executive producer of Baseball Tonight. Right now, I just got a job in Peoria, IL, where I produce the 6 pm newscast. Michael invited me to this blog because of our mutual adoration for everything Twins and to contribute a little female perspective. So, if you guys have any questions only a girl can answer, just let me know. I'll be happy to listen. Although, I must warn you: I took a "How Girly Are You?" quiz on Facebook once, and I scored only a 35%.

Okay, I'll leave you with just a few things I think I think, so you can get to know me better (and, yes, I shamelessly stole that from Peter King):

-The Office is the best show on TV. This is important, because if you're like me, you can tell a lot about a person by which TV shows they watch. Others include: Arrested Development, Curb, LOST, The Wire, and Always Sunny. And since I'm getting free HBO in my new apartment, I've just gotten into Entourage.

-I've been in Illinois for only three days, but I already miss the Twins terribly. So much so, that I teared up every time I heard Dick Bremer's call of Justin's walk-off Sunday. And ESPN played it a lot. (I got MLB Extra Innings, but it sucks. It never works. I don't recommend it.)

-I'm counting down the minutes til Harry Potter comes out, both the movie and the book. And if you're shaking your head in disgust right now, fuck you. You don't know what you're missing.

-All my friends are getting engaged right now, and all I can think is,"Over/under: 4 years."

-Favorite baseball movie: Field of Dreams of course. But, growing up, I must've watched Angels in the Outfield a few dozen times.

-I prefer the DH. Now, I know it's not the pure way the game was meant to be, but the Wild Card is new, and we can't dispute that wasn't a great idea. I think the DH just makes the game more exciting and trying to figure out a double-switch gives me a headache.

-I was there that final Sunday in October, when the Twins clinched the division. Pretty much the greatest day of my life. (Although, I must say, that going into that game, I wanted them to face the Yankees. I had such a good feeling that we could finally beat them, but we had to face Oakland and make Barry Zito look like Sandy Koufax, securing him an absolutely outlandish contract, which basically assured Johan Santana's eventual departure, because there's no way we will ever be able to afford his next contract.)

Okay, that's what I got for now. Any questions?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Great Moments in AH! History

By Tom Daymont

Many people probably think that the writers and readers of Alright Hamilton! are just a handful of dudes just out of college who like to spend their time at work writing and reading blogs that deal with bars, baseball and a variety of other Minnesota sport teams.

Little do they know that some of us (not me) have actually been around for some of the greatest events in sports history. Let’s take a look at some of these moments.

Who could forget when Tony F. Rezac had a dramatic finish at the 1986 Masters. Coming back from 9th place on Sunday to beat a young Greg Norman, and future Hall of Famers, Tom Kite, Nick Price, and Tom Watson.
Some of these moments go back even farther. Like when “The Iron Horse” Josh Holm set the MLB record playing in his 2,130th consecutive game. While this was thought to be an unbreakable record, it stood for 56 years until it was finally broken by Cal Ripken Jr. on September 6, 1995.
Not all moments by AH! contributors have been “great”, a young Andrew Bresnahan was at the October 14, 2003 game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins. Andy, better known now as “Bresna-man” attempted to catch a foul ball in front of Cubs left fielder Moises Alou at Wrigley Field. As many now know, Alou did not make the catch and the Cubs failed to reach the World Series. As for the Bresnahan, no one knows exactly where he is now.
As for Michael Haas, who could forget the 1965 fight with Sonny Liston in Maine. The fight only had 2,434 fans attended it live, setting an all-time record for the lowest attendance in a world championship boxing fight, but that didn’t stop the fight from being one of the most controversial in boxing history.

Midway through the first round, Liston fell to the canvas, in what many have argued was not a legitimate knockdown. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott, a former world Heavyweight champion himself, seemed to be confused after he sent the boxer to a neutral corner, but Haas refused, instead posing over his fallen rival, yelling at him to get up, then with his fists up in the air, celebrating the fall. Haas was awarded a first round knockout in front of a couple thousand confused and disappointed spectators.

But probably the greatest athletic acheivment of any Alright Hamilton contributors is that of Mark “The Stilt” Waters. Doing something no one has done since. Mark scored 100 points in NBA game on March 2, 1962 at Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The game was between the Philadelphia Warriors, for which Mark played for and the New York Knicks,

While Mark holds the record for most points averaged in a season and most points in a single game. Mark also proclaimed in his second autobiography “A View from Above” that he has slept with over 20,000 women. Which if you do the math, means that Mr. Waters slept with 9 women a week since the time he was 15 to the time he was 40.

Other AH! Readers have also been featured in sports related movies. Matt Pillsbury, better known as Daniel LaRusso, is tutored by Karate master Mr. Kesuke Miyagi in this 1984 John G. Avildsen film (director of Rocky). He is seen here in a promotional photograph.

There you have it, the next time you read a post by Mark Waters concerning the Timberwolves and you ask yourself “what does this guy know about basketball” remember he once scored with 20,000 chicks and 100 points in a game.

upcoming articles on AH!

By Michael Haas

sorry, i think i have a case of the mondays.

i think tom has something to post this week, and i know krystal was going to put something on eventually. i'm writing a piece on faribault n' jesse james. i want soup to write something. and bresnahan too. kory might have a grinds my gears post. luke was going to write about something too.
let me know!

and thanks for all who commented on the thursday post. i wanted a touch of seriousness to the blog once in a while. i think i'll stick to humor and/or bitching for a few posts though.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lies My Teacher Told Me - A Book Review

By Michael Haas

Lies My Teacher Told Me is a book by James W. Loewen that came out about ten years ago. The tag line reads, "Everything your American history textbook got wrong" but don’t let that fool you, because Loewen doesn't talk about details; he discusses ideas and themes in an intelligent criticism. He rips apart the way that history is taught in public schools, noting that textbooks miss the point of many of the stories they tell, while skewing and omitting facts in a deliberate attempt at making the U.S of America seem flawless, and duping the kids into believing they can do anything.

The book starts out innocently enough, on a topic that everyone is familiar with: how Chris Columbus is portrayed historically. The dozen books that he surveyed paint do not portray Chris as a man who uttered "I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men and govern them as I pleased" Columbus wiped out villages and began a tradition of disease, plundering, slavery and racism in the Americas whose affects are felt even to this day.
Our 28th President Woodrow Wilson is also one of the main bad men whom Loewen mentions often as a symbol of what is wrong with textbooks. Everything that Loewen hates about how historical figures are portrayed seems to be embodied by Wilson. It turns out that Woodrow was an open white supremacist, who segregated as many departments of the government as he could. Wilson also embodied a theme shared with other us presidents: undeclared wars without the support of congress. Wilson overthrew many democratically elected governments. (see Haiti, Mexico) If foreign governments did those things to the U.S., it would be called state sponsored terrorism. The list of other covert missions to topple governments for us political and/or economic gain is quite long. Loewen is not surprised that the textbooks he surveyed either omit or downplay these events.

The book goes on to discuss the myth of reconstruction, ripping how Helen Keller's story is taught (you can do anything! romanticism, when in reality she was a socialist) and the omission of how Native's got fucked over (wars, disease)

Loewen does a good job of going through inaccuracies, telling true stories and then explaining why and how the way it's currently taught is dangerous to the students. He attempts to explain why the events and people are skewed or omitted, usually blaming ethnocentrism, elitism or just plain stupidity. He also throws around some sociological ideas, such as the Orwellian line of thought - "who controls the present, controls the past"
But he also realizes that the textbook business is a business, and that often the publishers of the books are aware that some schools and states may not buy their book if any part of it is perceived to be unpatriotic or generally negative.

In conclusion, Loewen believes the textbooks present history as a succession of boring events, and as a line of progress. He particularly harps on the idea of progress in the textbooks.
"The faith in progress has promoted the status quo in the most literal sense, for it proclaims that to progress we must simply do more of the same. This belief has been particularly useful to the upper class, because Americans could be persuaded to ignore the injustice of social class if the they thought the economic pie was getting bigger for all."

His idea is that if you teach students that America is progressing upwards and always has, students will not become active citizens in their community and that they have no sense of their own civic importance, or how things we do now will impact the future. If America is always correct and is always progressing, why would we participate in society, have an opinion or voice an opinion?
This is the question that I took from the book:

Do we teach our children that
America is flawless and that they can do whatever they want when they get older, or do we tell them the truth?

Why I Hate the Boston Red Sox

by Mark Waters

It pains me to type the following sentence: I hate the Boston Red Sox.

I have a lot of relatives who live in the Boston area, so as a kid, I loved going to Fenway Park to root for my then favorite team. (sorry Twins Faithful, but from age Whenever-8 I was a bigger Sox fan.) The best part about flying out to Boston every summer was seeing the giant CITGO sign towering over Fenway.

In fact, up until a few years ago the Red Sox were the other team I cheered for every night, until they made the fatal error...becoming hypocrites.

Larry Lucchino (Red Sox CEO) is the man who coined the phrase "Evil Empire" when describing the New York Yankees. Boston GM, Theo Epstein, is a spokesman for that term, pissing it out of his mouth a number of times since its birth. All of you understand why the Yankees earned that title, obviously, but how are the Red Sox the "Little Engine that Could?"

Last time I checked, Boston's team salary is a minuscule $143,123,714. (2nd highest in Major League Baseball). 11 of their 14 highest paid players were bought via free agency. As most of you know, they spent 40 million dollars JUST TO TALK to Daisuke Matsuzaka.

I passionately hate the Yankees for their complete disregard to money management, but at least they aren't attempting to fool anybody. They know they are hated because of their spending. But whiny Lucchino dubbed these guys the Evil Empire, yet has now turned into what he so despised.

Darth Maul kept it real. He was evil from day one, realized this, and went about his day. But Anakin started out all "woah is me", hated the siths, but ultimately turned on everything he believed in and became what he hated.

So go ahead and enjoy that 2004 world series trophy, Theo & Co. You basically bought it on ebay. Hypocrites.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Barry Bonds hit career homer No. 747

By Tom Daymont

Bonds hit #747 last night, just the second home run since May 8 for the steroid-using-slugger and his first this month. With that two-run shot, Bonds is just eight homeruns shy of tying Hall of Famer, Hank Aaron's record of 755 career dingers. With Sports Auction for Heritage rescinding their million dollar bounty on ball #756, I now have no idea what I would do with that precious (and most likely waterlogged) ball.

I have been thinking about what I would do if that white and red winning lottery ticket somehow fell into my fateful hands. Would I keep it for my grandkids? Would I give it back to Bonds for a signed syringe? Would I sell it to the highest bidder before I even left the ball park? Or would I curl into the fetal position as I am beat to death by a mob of angry Bonds lovers?
While I realize that I am not the only person who has thought of this, (and I am sure there are other blogs out there on this topic) I would like to recommend one action, and one action only, if you find yourself catching that controversial orb.

Bust out your black Sharpie, or better yet a Magnum. While your eyes are being clawed out and your groin kicked, draw a big black asterisks on it and huck the ball back, Rowengartner style. Sit back and laugh as hundreds of money hungry baseball fans jump on to the field tacking everyone in sight like the middle school classic turned politically incorrect named game of “smear the queer”.

As you exit the park being called names like dumbass and idiot, you can be happy in knowing that the real #756 is tucked safely in your underwear.

Hello, Ebay.

A million bucks is a million bucks. I don’t care if Osama Bin Laden hit that homerun. I’m getting paid.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ode to Chicken in a Biskit

By M.L. Haas

Oh, how I love you, Chicken in a Biskit
I much prefer you to a Triscuit
I eat you for dinner, I eat you for lunch
And that meal mid-morning, I think it's called 'brunch'
I eat you at work, I eat you at home
I eat you so often, I wrote you a poem
The doc says I'll die at age Twenty-five
But when I'm not with you, I don't feel alive
So when the waiter asks "What'll it be?"
Just reply, "Chicken in a Biskit, that'll be all for me"

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Greatest "Non-Great" Sports Movies Ever

By Tom Daymont

Now I would be the first to admit that a list of the greatest sports movies is about as unoriginal as a post about why some bars suck.

But I think there is too much pressure on these people to be “cool”. These writes for ESPN’s Page Two or Sports Illustrated, have to worry about whether they seem like they a. know anything about sports and b. know anything about movies. Thus they thoughtfully choose movies as to not offend or alienate any of their thousands of readers. Luckily for you (one of the half-dozen loyal readers of AH!), I do not have to cater to these people. I can give you a list of 10 best Sports Movies you won’t find on any other list. Does that make them bad movies? Maybe. But don’t they have just as much of a right to be placed on a list as those other, more famous sports movies? No. Well, either way, I am making a list, but I’m only checking it once.

10. Men With Brooms
Although many of you have probably never seen this movie, it’s really not that bad. Paul Gross stars as the leader of a recently reunited curling team from a small Canadian town. Like all good sports movies, their coach dies, and they must win in his honor.

Greatest Moment: One of the characters describes curling in a dramatic monologue as “dangerous shit.”

What’s Bad about it:
It was made in Canada.

9. Cool Runnings
The (loosely based on a) true story of a few Olympic hopeful sprinters that form Jamaica’s first bobsled team. Hilarity ensues as this group of misfits untie the small Caribbean country.

Greatest Moment: The idea that John Candy (Irving Blitzer) was a former Olympic Bobsledder.

What’s Bad about it: It’s another Disney feel good, we-didn’t-win-but-we-learned-a-lesson-anyway movie.

8. The Replacements

When the Washington Sentinels, goes on strike, the team's owner, calls former NFL coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) out of retirement to coach a rag-tag team of replacement players to finish the season's last four games. McGinty turns to former Ohio State player Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves) to be the team's captain for the duration of the season and Falco is forced to shape up the group of misfit players.

Greatest Moment: Orlando Jones playing a cocky wide receiver with no hands.

What’s Bad about it: Roy from “The Office” playing a def tight end.

7. Rookie of the Year
Henry Rowengartner, a 12-year-old Little Leaguer, has dreams of playing in the major leagues. One fateful day he slips on a ball and breaks his arm. His doctor explains that the tendons in his arm have healed "a little tight." Amazingly, he can throw in the hundreds, the Cubs in desperate need for some help, sign the young Rowengartner. This 1993 movie shows, that while the kid can learn from the pros, the pros can learn something too.

Greatest Moment: The cameo by Barry Bonds.
What’s Bad about it: The term “funky buttlovin”

6. King Pin
Star bowler, Roy Munson, whose career was prematurely "cut off" hopes to ride a new prodigy to success and riches. Randy Quaid plays Ishmael, a young Amish man who is a natural born bowler.

Greatest Moment: When Bill Murray is introduced as “Big Ern” the flamboyant balding celebrity bowler.

What’s Bad about it: When Randy Quaid is nipping out as he retrieves some beers from the large refrigerator.

5. The Sandlot
Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood with his mom and step-dad, and wants to learn to play baseball. The neighborhood baseball guru Benny “The Jet” Rodriquez takes Smalls under his wing, and soon he's part of the local baseball buddies. Lifeguards, S’mores, and “The Beast” gives these kids the best summer of their lives.

Greatest Moment: When Michael "Squints" Palledorous scores with the hottie lifeguard.

What’s Bad about it: The tagline from the movie poster “They're more than a team. They're the best buddies in the entire history of the world.”

4. Vision Quest
This coming of age movie in which high school wrestler Louden Swain (Matthew Modine) decides he wants to be something more than an average high school athlete and sets his sights on a prize that many don't think he can win – an All-Star named Shute.

Greatest Moment: When Louden, a room service delivery boy, gets sexually molested by a dude doing yoga at the hotel he works at.

What’s Bad about it: This movie helped slingshot Madonna’s career.

3. Mighty Ducks
After being charged with drunk driving, hot shot lawyer, Gordon Bombay is sentenced to community service, coaching hockey. There, he meets the District 5 peewee hockey team, a team of perennial losers who finish at the bottom of the league standings year after year. Can he turn this team of misfits in to a winning squad who learns life lessons at the same time? You betcha!

Greatest Moment: Ummm… everything, it was made in Minnesota.

What’s Bad about it: From a hockey stand point, the flying V would be illegal and/or incredibly easy to stop.

2. Little Big League
Thomas Heywood, owner of the Minnesota Twins dies suddenly, leaving the baseball club in the hands of his 12 year-old grandson. Billy Heywood, a preteen son to a single mom, quickly fires the manager and decides to run the team himself. “It's the American League! They have the DH! How hard can it be?"

Greatest Moment: Every minute. It’s the Twins.

What’s bad about it: Griffey Jr. robs the would-be winning homer and forget the Cubs Goat curse, after the movie came out the Twins have yet to win the pennant.

1. Major League
The new owner of the Cleveland Indians puts together a purposely horrible team so they'll lose and she can move the team. But when the plot is uncovered, they start winning just to spite her. This film was nominated in 1990 for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Japanese Academy Awards.

Greatest Moment: Harry Doyle (Milwaukee’s Bob Uecker) and his incredible play-by-play behavior.

What’s Bad about it: This movie had the opposite effect as Little Big League had on the Twins and the movie actually helped the Indians dominate the Twins and the rest of the AL Central during the late 90’s.

Honorable Mention: Little Giants

Danny O'Shea (Rick Moranis) has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, Kevin, the famous College and then pro football star. Danny's daughter, Becky, is cut from Kevin's team because she's a girl (despite her being the best player). She convinces her dad to coach a pee-wee team comprised of misfits, named "The Little Giants” in this David versus Goliath epic.

Greatest Moment: When the Giants use the clever “Annexation of Puerto Rico” play to fool thestupid Cowboys and win Pee-Wee Football Glory.

What’s Bad about it: The uncomfortable kissing scene between Becky and Junior reminds me too much of my youth.

Junior Floyd: You wanna learn how to kiss?
Becky O'Shea: No. Why? Do you?

That's my list. I am sure many of you have your own top ten, but remember this was a list of movies that are rarely on a list of best sports movies. I know how good Caddyshack and Bull Durham are so please don't yell at me too much.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Light My Fire (In Review)

By Josh Holm

In this autobiography/biography, Ray Manzarek takes you on the roller coaster ride of The DOORS throughout the psychedelic sixties. Manzarek, a talented music geek from Chicago, meets up with intellectually radical Jim Morrison at UCLA film school. After Jim's many failed attempts at becoming a director of film, he started writing abstract poetry. Ray's film career wasn't very bright either, so they started mixing Jim's eclectic poetry with Ray's inovative music. They loved what they had created, but how could they make the rest of the world love their music? After picking up a drummer (John Densmore) and a guitar wizard (Robby Krieger) to accompany the unique organ and voice duo they already had, they started getting opening gigs all over California.
They knew they had something special and unique, something nobody had ever heard before. It was an upbeat mixture of jazz, classical, California surf, Flamenco guitar, and Chicago blues that made an irreversible impact on the music world. As we all know, their music wasn't kept inside Californian borders. With their first number one hit "Light My Fire", they hit the big apple and moved their way inward. Their music brought them all the fame and fortune that they could have ever imagined, especially for doing what they loved.

The book is well written, and gives you a great understanding of each band member's feelings as they rode the tidal wave lives of rock stars. Ray's focus always seemed to be on Jim. As the book goes on, Ray speaks of Jim as if he studied and worshiped every move he made. He constantly brings up the girls he would woo, and is amazed by the charisma that Jim effortlessly gave off while on stage. Ray, on the other hand, was always hiding behind his organ, playing with head down and eyes closed, one hand on the organ, and the other on a bass keyboard. Ray would go on and on about how Jim would take control of the crowd with his "Shaman dances" and his spot on vocals.
Although the band seemed to be like a functional family on stage, they struggled to stay together off it. "Jimbo", (as Manzarek refered to Morrison's alter-ego. The Jim Morrison that would abuse alcohol and dabble in hard drugs) skipped many rehearsals and recordings, which drove the band crazy. The other three members had to confront Jim about his heavy alcohol use on a number of occasions, but it never seemed to sink in. As we all know, "Jimbo" lead the rock icon who had so much potential, to spontaneously separate from the DOORS, and eventually take his life at the early age of 27.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in getting to know the ways of the sixties rock scene. Manzarek does a great job of putting you in his shoes on stage with the likes of Van Morrison, the Grateful Dead, Simon and Garfunkel, and many other epic rockers of the time. Jim will intrigue you with his witty/spiritual poetry, and his careless spontaneity that made him the huge radical rebel that shaped the future of rock n' roll and its stars forever.

"That day, which you fear as being the end of all things, is the birthday of your eternity."

Monday, June 4, 2007

Lyle Overbay: The Best Ever?

By Michael Haas

First baseman Lyle Overbay has impressed with his stick and his leather at every level of baseball, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Drafted by the A.Z.D.BACKS out of Nevada in 1999, Overbay quickly developed into one of the most exciting young players in the National League. He has played for three teams in his career and amassed 69 big flies and 628 hits - - but how does he compare to some of the best first basemen ever? Let's take a look.

The man that set the bar for all first basemen is a man named Lou Gehrig. I know what you’re thinking: “Dude, you’re comparing Lyle effin Overbay to Lou Gehrig?” But just hear me out; once you look at the numbers, I think you’ll be surprised.

The Hall of Famer played in 2,130 consecutive games (over 15 years), averaged .340 with 37 round trippers and 149 RBI per season with a 1079 OPS. The Mighty Yankees won six world titles with Biscuit Pants before he prematurely retired in 1939 on a count of his very own disease.

Lyle Overbay’s best season came in 2006 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Overbay would hit .312 with 22 homers and 92 RBI with a .880 OPS. while helping the Jays dethrone the Boston Red Sox as the runner-up in the AL East. His 2007 campaign was sidetracked after just two months when Johnny Danks broke three bones in his hand with a fastball. At the time, Overbay was hitting very well - a solid .256 average and projecting to hit 23 bombs and drive in 79.

So The Big O is not quite as good as the Iron Horse, but they're in the same conversation. He turned 30 years old in January, so if his hand heals, he should continue his Cooperstown numbers for a few more years. Perhaps 15 years from now, we'll be watching two first basemen enter the Hall together: Doug Mientkiewicz and Lyle Overbay.

Lyle Overbay on the web:

Official statistics at Baseball-Reference
really stupid Blue Jays commercial


OK I admit it. Lyle Overbay should not be compared to Lou Gehrig. He probably shouldn't even be compared to Derek Lee or Mark Teixiera. But Lyle Overbay is the best baseball player named Lyle to ever play the game. A look at The Other Lyles:

Lyle Bigbee
This guy played for the A's and the Pirates in 1920 and '21, respectively. He threw 45 innings for the A's and gave up 40 earned runs. He must have known someone in Pittsburgh, cuz they signed him for some reason in '21. He pitched 8 innings for the Pirates, allowing just one run. Sadly, he never again played in the majors. He did hit one home run though. Sounds like a nice guy.

Lyle Judy
This Lyle only played one year. He was 21 years old playing for the Cardinals back in '35. He must have been fast or something, because the only two times he ever reached base, he stole second. He never got a hit, he grounded into two double plays and played in just 8 games.

Lyle Lutrell
Lyle-Lu played shortstop in a whopping 57 games for the old Senators in '56 and '57. He hit two bombs and sports a .192 lifetime batting average. I'll have to ask Harmon about this guy next time I see him.

Lyle Mouton
I don't remember this guy, although I'm sure I've seen him play in person. He played for the White Sox 1995 through 1997 and bounced around a bit before retiring in 2001. His best season came in '97 when he hit .269 in 88 games. Maybe this Lyle would have been great if he were able to see the field more often. I think the Twins should look him up - he could be the bat we need to push us over the edge. He's 38 years old and has only hit one career home run. He could be '06 Phil Nevin or the '05 Bret Boone.

"Me is the best Lyle!"

Lets all go to the movies with Tony

By Tony Rezac

Since I have been gone I have seen some new movies, not very many. Some were released when I was still back at home but never got around to seeing. If you need help deciding on a flick, this might help you.

****=Great, must see
***=Good, recommended
**=Take it or leave it
*=Don't waste your time

Pans Labyrinth:
When I found out this movie was entirely in Spanish with sub-titles I was very skeptical. But, I decided to stick it out, and am I glad that I did. This movie is Alice in Wonderland with some Saving Private Ryan and a dash of Lord of the Rings all mixed up with about the same amount of drugs that Rauol Duke took in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." In an age of cookie cutter flicks and remakes of movies that sucked to begin with, this is a truly original and well made flick that will make you wish for more than one or two truly good movies a year. While it would be more appealing if there were an English option I feel it would take away from the experience. If you don't have the patience for 2 hours of reading you wouldn't enjoy the movie anyway.
Horrible, truly awful. The first 20 minutes the movie really has potential to take off and be a good action/adventure flick. It has John Malkovich as the evil king and Jeremy Irons as the long lost "last Dragon Rider" who must train Eragon, who is to be his replacement. Then all of a sudden, Jeremy Irons is dead and John Malkovich is replaced by some 2 bit Lord of the Rings reject. Don't let the beginning fool you, this is one of the worst movies ever made.
(not even going to honor it with a rating. If you see it I will slap you)

Night at the Museum:
This is your typical Ben Stiller flick, a guy who can't control the situation no matter what, gets thrown into a situation that no one can control. Luke Wilson also makes an appearance as the crazy friend who tries to change the world. Not a bad movie, just a movie. It’s hard to judge any Stiller flick after Zoolander and my personal favorite Heavyweights. It has its moments though. It would be much more enjoyable if Dick Van Dyke had a bigger role as the night security guard. **

Hilarious and absurd, I'm sure you've all seen it.

Casino Royale:
This one I've been wrestling with since I saw it about a month ago. When I see a Bond movie I expect to see a few things: snazzy gadgets that will never be plausible, things blowing up for no reason, sweet cars and hot chic’s. There were no gadgets at all, 2 explosions I can think of, and did anyone else catch him driving a Ford Focus early in the movie? The Bond girl was played by a true beauty but he fell in love with her? This movie didn't follow the tried and true Bond formula that has worked for over 30 years. While this movie is a very well made spy movie, it lacked many things to make it a truly good bond flick.
** 1/2

Tenacious D in "The Pic of Destiny":
As I stated in my previous post, this movie is great. The dialogue is lame and childish, but Jack Blacks lyrics are inspired and hilarious. The D, as they refer to themselves, actually are gifted musicians and song writers.