Today Playboy announced that it will no longer show fully nude women in its magazine. This doesn’t affect me at all. I never subscribed to the magazine, never “read” it for the articles, and really can’t recall much interaction with it at any point in my life.

…except one related memory did come back to me today. I was maybe 9 or 10 and Pops brought me home 2 pages. Apparently the issue at the time was at the fire house. In it they had an NFL logo puzzle. I was a typical boy sports junkie, so Pops must have figured that I would enjoy it. But he also wanted to be responsible, so he only tore out the 2 pages of the puzzle. To not corrupt me he took the added step of stapling the pages back-to-back. (Good security Pops!)

I’m sure he told me not to tell Moms. I don’t remember if he further instructed me to not look at the in between pages. I believe I did anyway and I think I recall ads for videos they were selling. There were so many of them flooding the page that the picture accompanying each was smaller than a penny. Not enough material to actually be better than the puzzle itself, so I actually focused on the reason I was allowed to possess the Playboy pages in the first place.

The puzzle took each of the teams helmet logos and tweaked them a little. The task was to spot what they changed. For example, I remember the GIANTS logo was spelled “GAINTS”. I got most of them pretty easy, except for one, the New Orleans Saints.

I finally figured it was the Saints because they were the last team I had left. It was tough to figure out because the colors were much different than their standard helmet. And, more perplexing to 10-year old me, they replaced the fleur-de-lis with a marijuana leaf. (Playboy knows no boundaries!) When Pops came to collect the pages from me, I asked him about it and got a short answer…probably accompanied with another “Don’t tell your mother!”.


Eagles 2015-08-22

A couple months ago work had been given Phillies tickets that were offered to me. I went with Pops and Dave. The contact who had given the tickets to work was there. He was a real nice guy. He’s reached out to me directly a couple times since then to offer me Phillies tickets again, but it had never worked out.

Last week I got an email from him for an Eagles pre-season game. I don’t like the Eagles, I don’t like football, and I don’t like pre-season. But I checked with the family and they seemed to be interested so I accepted the tickets.

We were in OCNJ all week, so it took some emailing to coordinate. The contact had to go to work anyway, so he would drop them off with Advertising. We would stop in the office on the way to the game on Saturday.

The office would be closed by the time we went to get the tickets so I had to remember my key, check to see if I had the alarm instructions, and notify Operations that I would be disarming CHW at an off time. I had the instructions so I emailed them immediately.

Later, we drove to the office. We were about 22 minutes into the 25 minute drive when I realized I hadn’t gotten the key out of my car. Me (calmly), “ohhhh…dammit…I forgot my key. Damn.” Susie, “How can you be so calm!?!” Freaking out won’t solve the problem. It was similar to the blackout. When something is that much out of my control I just accept the situation for what it is. Hopefully she learns that.

Anyway, we were close enough that I thought it was worth driving by the office in case somebody was still there. Nope. CHW and CHH were all closed up. We drove home, got the key, drove back, I went into my office, and…NO TICKETS! I tried contacting the person from Advertising but couldn’t get a hold of her. Later I found out that since she knew I was on vacation that she didn’t think that the game could be this weekend. She was holding the tickets in her desk for safe keeping.

To make it up to the kids we went out to Champps for some junky appetizers. Julia admitted that she mostly wanted to go to the game for the popcorn. It didn’t seem like any of us were real upset. I think we had a better time at Champps then we would’ve at the game.

Super Bowl XLIX

Some random thoughts, then a longer story.

Scoring at the end of halfs. (Is it “halfs” or “halves” when you refer to it like this?) Same as NFC Championship game. When games are close, teams seem as if they are able to march down field at will every time using hurry up offense. Watching this happen in every game is the thing that frustrates me the most in football. (Actually about the game. I have documented my hatred of the NFL for all of the off field issues – Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Roger Goodell, deflate-gate, concussions, Aaron Hernandez, Washington franchise racist name, Richie Incognito, replacement refs, Saints bounty scandal, etc., etc., etc.) Any coach who doesn’t utilize this strategy (basically all of them) for the entire game should be fired. I am confident that I would be a dominating football coach based on this alone.

That said, great job by Pete Carroll going for the TD with 6 seconds left in the first half instead of settling for the FG. I believe most coaches call plays so that they don’t get second guessed or fired. Few actually play to win. It’s amazing…football culture is supposed to be manly men but the coaches really are a bunch of pussies. It was great to see Carroll play to win. I didn’t really have a rooting interest until I saw that and then decided to pull for Seattle.

Jermaine Kearse’s catch. Unbelievably acrobatic. Unbelievable concentration. And the part that everyone is overlooking, in the midst of all of that, to have the wherewithal to recognize he wasn’t tackled, get up and try to get more yards. This should be compared to Willie Mays catch in the 1954 World Series. He makes the catch and spins to try to get the tagging runner.

I don’t have much to say about Idina Menzel’s national anthem (it seemed too slowly paced), or Katy Perry’s halftime show (they billed it with Lenny Kravitz…but he was only on stage for 10 seconds and not even for his songs???), but I will highlight a commercial I really liked:
Good all around, but love that anxious, sombrero-wearing polar bear gasping when it was Mexico’s turn to draft.

OK, now for the most important part of the game – the gambling. Though I love to gamble, I am usually anti- box pool. Look at these odds! Plus it is seriously just random luck. I like to participate in things where I feel like I have some effect on whether I whether I win or not. However Pops has been running a box pool for a couple years now and he always asks if I want to get in. For anyone other than Pops I would say no. It’s only $20/box. Plus he pays for every scoring change so more numbers are in play.

I got a copy of the pool about a week ago. On the side where all the rules are listed Pops writes “GLAH”. Julia saw that and asked, “What’s GLAH?”
Me: “Good luck”
“What’s the ‘A’ ‘H’?”
[ignoring her]
“What’s the ‘A’ ‘H’?”
[Tries to change the subject]
“What’s the ‘A’ ‘H’?”
[Tries to distract her with something on TV.]
“What’s the ‘A’ ‘H’?”
Pam snaps: “Just tell her already!”
“ASS HOLES! Good luck, Ass Holes!!!”
Pam shoots me a look. There is dead silence for half a second. Julia busts out laughing.

This year I drew New England 8, Seattle 4. Pretty shitty #’s. I chalked it up as a loss and forgot about them. I am not a person who obsesses “maybe NE will get 4 safeties and Seattle will get 2 safeties”. I hate those people who strategize the whole game hoping for their numbers to come out. So like I said, I forgot about exactly what I had until it was Seattle 24, NE 21 and Pops says if NE scores a TD I’ll win. NE scored and I got $50 for the score change. And with only 2:02 left, there was a good chance that I would get the end of game remaining pot of $850. BTW, I am no longer rooting for Seattle. Winning money clearly trumps the fact that Pete Carroll went for the First Half TD.

So basically there are 2 possible outcomes left. NE wins 28-24 and I get the money. Or Seattle scores a game winning TD to win 31-28. So who has 1, 8…Tommy! With 2 minutes left the money is basically mine to lose, so I figure that I’ll hedge my bet. I offer Tommy $200 for his box. He declines. Seattle starts moving down field. I offer $300. He declines again. Then the Kearse catch. Pops jumps in before I can say anything and offers $500! And Tommy declines again!!! Oh well. At this point it looks like I’m getting the $50 and that’s it. And then the inexplicable call on 2nd & goal from the 1 that resulted in the Malcolm Butler interception to essentially end the game! I hold on and win! Went home with $800 (I threw $100 to Pops for running the pool.) And poor Tommy went home with nothing. Poor guy should’ve taken the offer.

Touchdown elevator

Wednesday’s I pick up the girls at religious school at 6:00, take them out for a quick dinner, and then take them to Julia’s allergist for shots. We have to be at the doctor by 7:00 or else they lock the door. Today, it was just me and Julia so we went to Zoë’s since Susie doesn’t like it. They were slow in getting our order ready, so we were a bit rushed. We couldn’t finish and brought our food for later. Even so, I wasn’t 100% sure we were going to make it. About halfway there I started calling out times we needed to be through each light so that I would feel comfortable we were going to get there in time. We made each light! The last one turned green just as we were approaching. It’s like everything was happening perfectly. We parked and adrenalin was still pumping so we ran into the building. Plus we still had to deal with the slow elevator. But just like the light that turned green for us, the elevator doors started opening just as we approached. This is amazing! What are the odds that this all works out so perfectly? I threw my arms up – half amazed, half in celebration. But when the door completely opened I saw people in there…and they saw me…with my arms up…like a crazy person…celebrating the arrival of an elevator. Well, at least Julia got a good laugh at my expense.