Thursday, December 31, 2015

Too Many Shoes

Not surprisingly, currently I have way too many shoes. In the past month I have actually pared down several pair, though more need to go. I’m not sure I’ve even listed them all here from memory. Shoes provide me with endless enjoyment and I get them cheap, so it’s a relatively inexpensive habit. I always know a pair can be sold if I don’t like them.  

While the New Balance 993 running shoe style I’ve favored for well over ten years still provides hours of comfort and support, they have become out of fashion for wearing out on the town.

Some rarely-worn shoes are unsellable due to their condition, but I like them too much to give away.  Others are rarely worn, like the Jordan RCVRs, but I love them too much to sell. I’m making this list to help decide which to keep. A few pair were obtained for the express purpose of selling. I could easily sell ten or eleven of the 46 below and not miss a beat. I have obtained over half this list in the past two years, so at least I’m keeping the inventory fresh.   

For some reason three of my four pair of golf shoes are adidas. 

Most of these shoes can be seen on the SHOES tab above, the most popular post on this blog.

Ateliers Arthur brown lifestyle sneakers 2015
Adidas Adicross spikeless golf black 2015
Adidas Tour Traxion golf white/black
Adidas shell toe golf shoes white (sell?) 2014
Altra Olympus 1.5 black orange (sell) 2015

Chaco Pedshed Gunnison black 2014
Clarks Blakeney black loafer (sell) 2014
Columbia Veracruz boat shoes (sell?) 2014
Converse Chuck Taylor white low (sell?)
Crocs black (wash cars)

Crocs navy (backup pair) 2015
Crocs Athens flip flop grey (beach)
Cole Hahn Santa Barbara loafer brown 2014
Cole Hahn loafer black (replace)
Ecco golf brown (sell?) 2015

Ecco loafer black (work) 2015
Ecco chukka boot black
J Crew driving loafer brown
Jordan RCVR navy (sell?)
Lands End Mules black 2015

New Balance 310 grey/orange (hole)
NB 993 grey
NB 993 navy
NB 993 black
NB 994 grey (nice) 2014

Nike Air Jordan 9 white black (old)
Nike Air Max 2013 black teal (old) 2015 (above)
Nike Air Moc brown (sell?)
Nike flip flop black 2014
Nike KD7 orange 2014

Nike LunarGlide 4 grey/orange (nice) 2015
Nike LunarGlide 4 grey/green 2015
Nike Zoom Moire silver (yardwork)
Nike cross trainer white royal (sell) 2015
Nike white leather sneaker 2016

Odyssey flip flop black 
Puma TT Super black white (sell?) 2015
Puma leather white navy (old)
Puma tennis leather white black (sell)
Reebok Fury Insta-Pump black “house shoes”

Reebok Zig Energy silver blue (yardwork) 
Sperry navy sneaker (summer) 2015
Timberland City Adventure Front Country
Three pair of misc brown loafers (gave 2 away)
Black loafers (sell)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Twelve Days of Christmas

Annual video of the kids singing The Twelve Days of Christmas. Should be better next year when Mary-Clayton joins the cast.
Nine movies you should watch on Christmas day, after you’re finished with the presents and meal (according to Annie Hall, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Godfather, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, The Cutting Edge, Bridget Jones Diary, 200 Cigarettes, and The Princess Bride. Usually I don’t need an email to encourage me to watch You’ve Got Mail.
Dec 21st: Worked past 5:45. Had to get M from Cumming but he wasn’t going to be ready until late, so I headed home. Stopped by three thrift stores. Picked up a Glenn Robinson Hawks bobblehead but passed on two different pair of Nike Air Max running shoes: one black and one classic white. Also stopped by the Stinky Kroger for Ceil. At home we had a late dinner with W and MC: baked chicken with rice, broccoli, and green beans. Anna was at a sleepover. Will and Ceil watched The Empire Strikes Back. I had to drive to Cumming to fetch Matthew – right when it started raining. I drove slow. On the way back I gassed up my Civic and stopped by Kroger again for Nyquil – Ceil is sick. Was after 11 pm before I got home.
Watched the lighting of the national Christmas tree on the White House lawn. While the President said that Christmas was to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Obama only called Jesus a great teacher, not mentioning anything about Christ being the Son of God. The president then said all religions could celebrate this time of year. At least they still called it a Christmas tree. The Atlanta Symphony changed the name of their concert to “A Very Merry Holiday Concert.” I guess “A Very Happy Holiday Concert” sounded even worse.
CHRISTMAS was  small but I did come home with five pairs of shoes: a pair of navy Sperry sneakers, Lands End mules, Tommy Bahama loafers, Crocs to wash the car in, and a black spackled pair of Nike Air Max. A few months ago I missed out on a blue pair, so I quickly snapped up this black pair.  
One of the few websites I read daily is Uni Watch, which details various uniform news. Every December the writer has a drawing to give away various items he has accumulated over the past 12 months. On Christmas Day he announces the winners. I have been entering the drawing for probably ten years but have never won – until this year. I won a New Jersey Nets belt.

Atlanta was expecting a Christmas Day temperature of 74 degrees this year. I can remember many years with warm Christmas weather, including 72 degrees in the early 80’s. With all the rain last week I thought about adding my kids’ old Noah’s Ark toy to our Nativity Scene.  
We were able to watch some NBA. Ceil’s 84 year-old mother said “I’d sure hate to guard that Steph Curry.”
When I saw the video of the woman calling LeBron a crybaby I knew anyone sitting on the front row at a Warriors game had to be someone. Leave it to the London Daily Mail who get the scoop. Then the Cavs website took her to task, which is kinda low. Interesting that Alicia Goetz’ husband Jim is worth much more than LeBron. They are doing the right thing – not making a big deal out of it.
SATURDAY: we were about to have the big family Christmas dinner with over 20 in attendance. When they called everyone in for the blessing Ceil’s mom said “Now wait just a minute, I want to see want Indiana does here.” That Virginia Tech game was a nail-biter. Tough to score over 50 points and still lose.
SUNDAY: Earlier this month I began to wonder what big story would unfold on the 27th. Earlier this year both times we returned from South Carolina on a Sunday afternoon after a major holiday we learned of a big event in the sports world. On Easter Sunday Craig Kimbrel and BJ Upton were traded to the Padres. The Sunday after Thanksgiving Mark Richt was fired. What would it be this time? We stopped in Augusta at the Washington Road Taco Bell, and excursion that took an excruciating 25 minutes to complete. This game me ample time to check social media, where I saw Chris Dimino’s tweets about Dews. Before Christmas we were going through looking for old photos of Will for the wedding, and I snapped one of Will with Bobby Dews. Little did I know that Dews had taken a turn for the worse after his heart procedure. Hopefully the Braves will add a memorial Dews patch next year, though they will already be wearing a Turner Field patch. Probably a stretch, but perhaps they’ll have a Dews bobblehead night. Not sure who else they can have besides Markakis and Olivera.
Loved the Falcons win over the undefeated Panthers. I wanted to tweet “Falcons > Panthers” or “The Falcons STILL haven’t beaten anyone” but didn’t. Of course in defeat Cam Newton raced off the field, hardly congratulating Matt Ryan along the way. Newton won’t be joining Brady and Griese any time soon.
Did you see the Patriots team captain flub the overtime coin toss? He was quick to blame Belichick, which might earn him a ticket out of town. Sure Belichick said to kick, but any player who makes it to the NFL should know to say which goal he wants to defend. Many have long forgotten the historic AFL championship game when Abner Hayes did the same thing under near hurricane conditions. His team was able to win anyway. Unlike the captain Tom Brady refused to blame his coach, instead shouldering blame for the loss himself even though he wasn’t asked.
Watched Heaven Can Wait, with Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, and Deacon Jones.
MONDAY: Eleven people at work today in our department. At least ten are off. They brought in Jimmy Johns sandwiches for lunch. Dec 23 was pizza. My serious diet/exercise program starts January 11. I’ve even picked out an accountability partner. Typical evening. Left work a little early for me, 5:25 pm. Went by three stores and purchased a nice pair of dark grey and green Nike Lunarglide running shoes. Gassed up the CRV in Midway and made my way in the downpour to Cumming to pick up M. Left Cumming and made it back to East Cobb in time for a haircut. Didn’t get home until almost 9 pm. Long day. W was in Cartersville and Anna out on the town. I watched “For the Love of the Game on the MLB Network. Since I had a small Jimmy Johns sandwich at 4:30 I wasn’t hungry. Ate a yogurt and some Ritz crackers and cleaned shoes while watching the movie, which didn’t end until midnight.
TUESDAY: Left work at six last night and stopped by two stores and Wendy’s on the way home. At home everyone was gone. I did laundry, cleaned shoes, played on the computer, and watched TV.  
WEDNESDAY: Lots of work to do today. Monday and Tuesday I did plenty of my own stuff but also lots of work. Filling in for the tube mill lady for the first time, which has taken up a little more time than I expected. They brought in Chickfila for lunch yesterday and the rumor is pizza for today. I doubt I’ll leave early but others might.
BOWLS: According to my calculations I trail Reid by two games. On the 4 games played so far where we picked different teams you are 3-1 and I am 1-3. I should’ve picked Toledo, Duke, and Baylor, then I would’ve been 20-4. I thought Indiana’s experience against tough teams would’ve helped them beat Duke but Cutcliffe is a good coach. I thought Baylor’s QB situation would help NC but the Heels just can’t play defense. Miami was another disappointment – guess I shouldn’t have picked them either, obviously. I have to win at least one of these games tonight to keep from losing. My Louisville pick is questionable but Texas A&M’s QB situation is in disarray. Feeling good about my USC pick but you never know.
All those people bragging about their trendy little Nissan Leafs don’t think about the past 35 years when I’ve been getting 40 MPG driving Civics, Jettas, Golfs, and Subarus when they were getting 10 MPG driving their huge trendy Suburbans.
Reasons while Islamic terrorists hate the USA: we waste money on ugly sweaters. $5.00 cups of coffee. Nobody drives minivans any more because they’re not cool.  
Have you seen the new Star Wars? Not sure when I’ll get around to seeing it. Will has been watching the first six. A co-worker gave me a Kylo Ren bobblehead.    
Have I told you a million times about Rusty’s father-in-law, who played against Pete Maravich in high school? Pete was a freshman for Clemson High and Donnie was a senior at Abbeville High.
Our honeymoon in Bermuda: we rode mopeds, rode the bus, walked around the island, went to the beach, explored the western maritime part of the island, snorkeled, and went out on a sailboat.
Charles de Gaulle: “The graveyards are full of indispensable men.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

HOF Nominees

There were a total of 108 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists, including the following notables:

QB: Drew Bledsoe (NE/DAL, below), Brett Favre (ATL/GB/MIN/NYJ, above), Steve McNair (TEN), Phil Simms (NYG), Kenny Stabler (OAK/HOU/NO), Kurt Warner (STL/ARIZ), and Vinny Testaverde (NYJ). Favre is a lock. Warner had three Super Bowl appearances in his brief career. Simms and Stabler won Super Bowls but are still borderline choices – especially Simms, whose New York Giant pedigree helps. Bledsoe made it to the Super Bowl but won't make the hall. 
RB: Shaun Alexander (SEA), Ottis Anderson (NYG), Tiki Barber (NYG), Roger Craig (SF), Stephen Davis (WASH), Terrell Davis (DEN), Eddie George (TEN), Priest Holmes (KC), Edgerrin James (IND), Daryl Johnston (DAL), Jamal Lewis (BALT), Clinton Portis (WASH), Herschel Walker NJ/DAL/MIN/PHIL/NYG (also KR), Ricky Watters (SF/PHIL), Brian Westbrook (WASH/PHIL). See my November post reviewing their numbers (HINT: Herschel's NFL numbers dwarf all the others).

WR: Isaac Bruce (STL), Gary Clark, Henry Ellard, Marvin Harrison (IND), Torey Holt (STL), Terrell Owens (SF/DAL/PHIL), Sterling Sharpe (GB), Jimmy Smith (JAX), Rod Smith (DEN). No way TO gets in, at least any time soon.

TE: Mark Bravaro (NYG), Jay Novacek (DAL). No Jim Mitchell?

K/P: Morten Andersen (NO/ATL), Gary Anderson (PIT/TEN/MIN), John Carney (SD/NO), Jason Elam (DEN/ATL), Sean Landeta (NYJ/NYG), Nick Lowery (KC). I'm sure at most one specialist per year would be voted in. Check back in a few days for a post breaking down the kickers.

Coaches: Don Coryell (SD), Bill Cowher (PITT), Tony Dungy (TB/IND), Tom Flores (OAK), Mike Holmgren (GB), Jimmy Johnson (DAL), Chuck Knox (LA), Buddy Parker, Richie Petitbon, Dan Reeves (DAL/DEN/ATL), Pete Rodriquez, Lou Saban (BUF), Marty Schottenheimer (KC), Clark Shaughnessy, and Dick Vermeil (PHIL/KC).

Owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (SF)

I left out all the linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs.

Question: Why do all the borderline nominees only come from major market teams?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Renaissance Man

Bobby Dews was a Braves fixture for most of my life. At some point several years ago the multi-talented renaissance man became one of my favorites, and I’ve been a Dews fan ever since. Player. Coach. Baseball. Basketball. Georgia Tech. Poet. Novelist. Fisherman. Movie Star. His passing was noted by former Braves’ luminaries Bobby Cox, Freddie Freeman, Chipper Jones, Dale Murphy, Eddie Perez, David Ross, John Schuerholz, and others.
Dews grew up in rural Edison, Georgia and was one of the most talented athletes to ever come out of the state. At Georgia Tech he starred in both basketball and baseball, playing for Whack Hyder. Dews was named the Jackets’ defensive player of the year in both sports.
He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals organization and toiled in the minor leagues for ten years, at one time or another playing all nine positions on the field (but mostly shortstop). Daytona Beach (1960), Billings (1961), Lancaster (1961), Tulsa (1961, 64, 66-67), Portsmouth-Norfolk (1962), Winnipeg (1963), Jacksonville (1965), Arkansas (1966-68), and St. Petersburg (1970). In 1967 he pitched one inning for Arkansas, allowing one hit and hitting one batter. In 1968 he even caught a game.
In 1969 Dews began his coaching career, managing the Lewiston Broncs (1969), Cedar Rapids Cardinals (1971), Gulf Coast Cardinals (1972 and 74), Modesto Reds (1973), Greenwood Braves (1975), Kingsport Braves (1976), Greenwood Braves (1977), Savannah Braves (1978 and 1983), Durham Bulls (1982), Greenville Braves (1984), and Richmond Braves (1984) – finishing with a record of 414-413.
Dews’ playing career was diminished with his struggles with alcohol. Finally in the late 1980’s Bobby Cox sent him for treatment and Dews was able to conquer his demons once and for all. From that point onward Dews was willing to speak about his battle with anyone who would listen.
Dews served on Bobby Cox’ coaching staff from 1979-1981 and later during the Braves storied run of 14 straight division championships. He helped transition floundering first baseman Dale Murphy into a Gold Glove centerfielder. In 1999 at the age of 60 Dews became the Braves’ bullpen coach, where he could often be seen wearing two batting gloves and catcher’s chin guards.
In 2006 Dews’ visits to the nearby Our Lady of Perpetual Help cancer hospice became a national story.
The 2008 season marked his 35th consecutive season with the Braves. Dews was the subject of a Fox Sports South “driven” profile, joining the likes of Braves greats such as Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Cox, Chipper, McCann, and Francoeur.
Several years ago I stumbled across a used Bobby Dews Braves jersey at the Turner Field game used shop. To this day I regret not buying it.
Braves beatwriter Mark Bowman wrote a fitting tribute, including one more amazing Dews story I had never heard: at the age of 65 he caught the Atlanta Braves 2004 Hall of Fame game in the July heat at Cooperstown New York.
After retiring Dews became writer in residence at Andrew College in Cuthbert Georgia, where he published four books, including two novels. His longevity and great storytelling ability made him comparable to Don Zimmer and Buck O’Neil. Too bad Dews passed away too late to be included in any of the year-end tributes.
Though in 2016 the Braves will be wearing a patch commemorating their last season in Turner Field, I’m hoping they’ll find room for a memorial Dews patch as well. And perhaps also a Bobby Dews bobblehead – complete with batting gloves and chin guards.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Bobby Dews 1939-2015

The multi-talented Bobby Dews has passed away.
He will be missed. More on Dews tomorrow.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Top Ten Falcon QBs

Top Ten Greatest Falcon quarterbacks:

1. Matt Ryan (2) has been excellent throughout his career.
2. Steve Bartkowski (10) gave team its first deep playoff run.
3. Chris Chandler (12) led team to its only Super Bowl appearance.
4. Michael Vick (7) led team deep in playoffs before being jailed. A top ten Falcon? No way.
5. Bob Berry (17) led team to its first winning season.
6. Bobby Hebert (3) gave the team consistency.
7. Bob Lee (19) beat the Purple People Eaters on Monday Night Football (above).
8. Randy Johnson (11) was the team’s first QB, a first round draft pick (below).
9. Chris Miller (12) was good but suffered too many concussions.
10. Dave Archer (16) returned to become the voice of the Falcons.
Michael Vick was recently named the 10th greatest Falcon. Twelve players who rank higher than Vick as an all-time Falcon: Jamal Anderson, William Andrews, Steve Bartkowski, Keith Brooking, Chris Chandler, Claude Humphrey, Julio Jones, Tommy Nobis, Matt Ryan, Deion Sanders, Jessie Tuggle, and Jeff Van Note. There are probably others, like Bill Fralic, George Kunz, and Jim Mitchell.

Friday, December 25, 2015

2016 Letter

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas! As the new year kicked off reality set in: 2015 would be a year of change at the Murphy house. Little did we know how much change would truly take place.

In February Will flew out to Oklahoma to propose to Mary-Clayton. Ceil and Anna drove to Norman with MC's mother, to set up and witness the big event. During the summer Will trained as a Physical Therapist in Roswell at PT Solutions. This fall is helped set up the on campus SEC Network broadcast, gaining sideline access to Sanford Stadium. In December he graduated from UGA, and he's been accepted into the medical college in Augusta.

Anna graduated from Veritas in May, having also taken classes at Perimeter College. In July she traveled to Colorado to spend time with good friend Brittany. In August Anna started her college career in Athens, where she's had the time of her life: football games, sorority, hanging out with friends strumming their guitar, taking trips to the North Carolina mountains, Clemson, and south Georgia, a speeding ticket…and attending a few classes as well.

Matthew is in his second year at Legacy Community Academy in Alpharetta, and is active in youth activities at Grace Midtown and Passion City Church. He went on church trips to north Georgia and Daytona Beach, as well as forming a band and writing music with his friends. Matthew hung out at Six Flags and attended concerts all around the city.

Ceil continued to help out at Veritas. This fall she started teaching art to kindergarteners at Legacy, a job she loves. With help from nephews and nieces Ceil hand addressed all the wedding invitations. She designed the rehearsal dinner invitation, with a little help from her niece and nephew (and Anna).

Dave attended games in Athens, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Clemson, Gwinnett, Panthersville, and Rome, collecting bobbleheads and making friends with baseball fans and bobblehead addicts. He went to the doctor more than ever, treating a torn shoulder, minor blood clots, and other issues - yet survived another Peachtree Road Race with Will. Dave's fledgling eBay business continues to sputter along.

Barney had a happy year, recovering from minor surgery to continue to rule the roost. He does have a hilarious new habit: whenever Ceil cooks he retreats upstairs, far away from the smoke detector.

We made our annual July beach trip to North Myrtle Beach.

In September we had the eight 30 year old Bradford Pear trees lining our property cut down, along with two large trees hanging over the back of our house. It really opened up and cleared out the view. Later on in the year we fixed some plumbing issues in the house, and after the new year we'll be putting in new floors, ceilings, and walls to replace those torn up when the pipes were repaired - but don't let that construction stop you from dropping by!

Merry Christmas!

D, C, W, A, & M

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Last year the Gwinnett Gladiators paid homage to the Atlanta Flames by recreating a version of their jersey, wearing it on a regular basis. I just found out about it recently. Very nice.
Two very good-looking sweaters. Unfortunately the Gladiators wore black pants instead of red.
I always thought the Flames had one of the best looking sweaters in hockey - up there with the Red Wings, Canadians, Rangers, Bruins, Oilers, Maple Leafs, and Coyotes.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Top 50 College Players?

The top 50 college football players of all time, according to Jason Fletcher of
You see so few lists of college football players that I had to study this one. There are numerous questionable selections though the top 25 is relatively solid. A year or two ago ESPN ranked John Hannah in the top five, yet he is not mentioned by Fletcher. Just because a receiver or quarterback recently broke college records playing for a pass happy school doesn’t mean he was a better college player than Jerry Rice or Anthony Carter, two of several notable omissions. Several recent players were listed with notations that their records have already been broken. Were the players really that good?
50. Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech 5
49. David Klingler QB Houston 7 1990
48. Brian Bosworth LB Oklahoma 44 1986
47. Howard Twilley WR Tulsa 81 1965
46. Reggie Bush RB Southern Cal 5 2005
45. OJ Simpson RB Southern Cal 32 1968
44. Derrick Thomas LB Alabama 55 1988
43. Ty Detmer QB Brigham Young 14 1991
42. Trevor Insley WR Nevada 87
41. LaDainian Tomlinson RB Texas Christian 5 2000
40. Billy Sims RB Oklahoma 20 1978
39. Leon Hart DE Notre Dame 82 1949
38. Merlin Olsen 71 Utah State 71 1961
37. Hugh Green DE Pittsburgh 99 1980
36. Orlando Pace OT Ohio State 1996
35. Ryan Broyles WR Oklahoma 85
34. Case Keenum QB Houston 7
33. Mike Singletary LB Baylor 63
32. Lee Roy Selmon DT Oklahoma 93 1988
31. Marcus Allen RB Southern Cal 33 1981
30. Chuck Bednarik C/LB Penn 60 1948
29. Tommy Nobis LB Texas 60 1965
28. Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska 93 2009
27. Ron Dayne RB Wisconsin 33 1999
26. Charles Woodson DB Michigan 2 1997
25. Deion Sanders DB Florida State 2 1988
24. Ernie Davis RB Syracuse 44 1961
23. Dave Rimington C Nebraska 50 1982
22. Ronnie Lott S Southern Cal 42 1979
21. Vince Young QB Texas 10 2005
20. Al Brosky DB Illinois
19. Randy Moss WR Marshall 88 1997
18. Bronko Nagurski RB/DT Minnesota 1929
17. Howard Hopalong Cassady RB/DB Ohio State 40 1955
16. Glenn Davis RB Army 41 1946
15. Dick Butkus LB Illinois 1964
14. Doc Blanchard FB Army 35 1945
13. Earl Campbell RB Texas 20 1977
12. Bo Jackson RB Auburn 34 1985
11. Sammy Baugh QB/P Texas Christian 33 1936
10. Tony Dorsett RB Pittsburgh 33 1976
9. Jim Thorpe RB/DB/K/P Carlisle 1912
8. Tommie Frazier QB Nebraska 15 1995
7. Tim Tebow QB Florida 15 2008
6. Doak Walker RB Southern Methodist 1948
5. Red Grange RB Illinois
4. Archie Griffin RB Ohio State
3. Roger Staubach QB Navy 12 1963 (above)
2. Barry Sanders RB Oklahoma State 21 1988
1. Herschel Walker RB Georgia 34 1982
Fletcher correctly notes that Barry Sanders' second place ranking could be a stretch, since he only had one great season.

Notable omissions: Jim Brown, Mike Ditka, Tom Harmon, Paul Hornung, Sam Huff, Calvin Johnson, Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, Marcus Mariota, Tommy McDonald, Jim Parker, Walter Payton, Johnny Rodgers, Gale Sayers, Lawrence Taylor, Norm Van Brocklin, Pat White, Doug Williams, Ricky Williams.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Great Plays in Baseball History

JT Snow is the only player in baseball history to score a run while dragging a small child along behind him. And he did it in the World Series, in 2002. The Giants were credited with two runs on the play. The MLB Network recently named the play one of the top ten greatest plays at the plate.
With two runners on base Giants outfielder Kenny Lofton tripled into the deep right field alley. Tiny three-year-old batboy Darren Baker, son of Giants manager Dusty Baker, tottered out to grab the bat – unaware that two baserunners were at that moment bearing down on home plate. As first-baseman JT Snow crossed the plate he quickly grabbed the tot by the front of Darren’s jacket, scooping him up like a lion cub and holding him safely out of harm’s way as third-baseman David Bell barreled across home plate behind Snow.
After the season Major League Baseball instituted a new rule: all batboys must be at least 14 years old. This became known as the Darren Baker Rule. A bobblehead commemorating the event was commissioned but never executed. Darren had been the shortest baserunner since Eddie Gaedel pinch hit for the St. Louis Browns.
Like Darren, JT Snow is the son of an all-star father. Jack Snow starred as a wide receiver at Notre Dame and the Los Angeles Rams (below). After his father died JT, then with the Boston Red Sox, changed his number to 84 to honor his father. Before retiring JT signed a one day contract with the Giants. Snow took his familiar position at first base at the start of the game and tossed warm-up grounders to the infielders before being replaced. Eugenio Vélez, Omar Vizquel, and Rich Aurilia threw balls in the dirt to mess with Snow, but Snow still made the plays.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Thursday night I worked late then drove out to Cumming to fetch M. Stopped at three thrift stores along the way. Drove through Taco Bell for him on the way home. I still wasn't hungry from the big lunch I had at work. 

I took off Friday and worked around the house. Did laundry all day, then late in the day opened the door to the downstairs bedroom and found it piled up with dirty clothes. Did laundry all day Saturday as well. There's still two baskets of laundry to do. Will arrived home from Athens with another carload of his stuff. By Saturday I had his room where you could walk through it. Ceil was working on posting grades for her classes. Anna went to lunch with friends from high school. At noon C and M went shopping, they didn't get home until after seven. Burgers, fries, and baked beans for dinner. Afterwards we played Scattegories, a board game. I dominated.

More cleaning on Saturday. Didn't watch any bowl games. M had some friends come over and take him out for the afternoon. C cooked a chicken & noodles dish, and salad. That night Noelle hosted a shower for W&MC attended by our small group, MC's family, and a few Living Science students - 23 people in all. Good to see Kevin, Alyssa, Kara, and Lucy. Lots of good desserts to eat.

Sunday school, then I didn't do too much. C worked on grades and made a Mexican dish. M cooked chicken tacos for him and Anna. We were going through old photos of Will for the wedding. C went shopping and A went to Grace Midtown. I drove M over for his night out with his small group friends Daniel, John, and Nathan. Had to pick him up at 10:30. I should’ve turned on the Sound of Music because its Ceil’s favorite. Instead we watched Elf, one of my favorites. I didn’t watch the Falcons. I watched the Red Zone channel. I still say the Falcons main problem, aside from not having an offensive line, is the offensive coordinator / play-caller. Matt Ryan’s interception was tipped. People always forget that. Also took a nap.

I had thought about visiting the AFB museum when I was in Destin.

Some people have never seen or heard of a handbell choir. It’s interesting to describe it to them, and to tell them about watching someone like Ouida Sarah play a song all by herself.

Reading a biography of Johnny Carson written by his lawyer. Quite interesting. Early in his career managers and agents and wives took advantage of Johnny. One corrupt manger was Sonny Werblin, the owner of the Jets. In the late 1960’s Johnny’s second wife had an affair with Frank Gifford. Interesting that Johnny was basically a hard to get to know introvert. All the stars used to working with a script were in awe of Johnny for his ability to perform on live TV night after night without a script.

Torn about the Georgia State bobble. It looks cool – the coach on the chair with his broken leg. There are only 500 being given out so it might be valuable. With Christmas, traffic will be bad but I’m not sure how big the crowd will be – how early I’d have to go to get one. Georgia State is buying Turner Field. Don’t they know how bad the traffic is down there? Maybe they can get the city to help spruce up the area – YEAH RIGHT!

Interviewing to host next year’s Miss Universe pageant.

Earth is to the Miss Universe Pageant as Bartow County is to Georgia Distinguished Young Women Pageant.

Wearing my Chewbacca costume to watch the new Star Wars. When it comes out on Redbox.

At the recent Climate Change summit world leaders agreed to 75% reduction in the length of CVS cash register receipts.

Twenty NFL players who “lost it all” according to  I’m pretty sure “lost it all” is a relative term, in some cases merely meaning they lost all of one poor investment. Tiki Barber, Mark Brunel, Dermontti Dawson, Luther Ellis, Archie Griffin, Travis Henry, Rocket Ismael, Bernie Kosar, Dick Night Train Lane, Dan Marino, Andre Rison, JaMarcus Russell, Chris McAlister, Deuce McAllister, Terrell Owens, Ray Rice, Warren Sapp, Lawrence Taylor, Johnny Unitas, and Michael Vick. Art Schleister was not mentioned.

The MLB Network listed the top 50 all-time plays at the plate. Sid’s Slide was third. A vast majority of the plays happened since the turn of the century – totally diminishing hundreds of great plays that took place during the first 125 years of the game. When Julio Lugo’s game-winning run on an umpire’s blown call makes the list, you know not to take it seriously.

When I am out there is little work others have to do in my stead. When others are out there is a constant stream of unfinished work I have to complete. Vendor ran out of a high-use tube that he should never run out of. The wrong material was sent to our customer. Shipments set up for after the customer closed for Christmas. A form was filled out incompletely, missing several bits of important information that no one else knows. And that was just this morning.

Another department forgot they sent out material months ago to be reduced to a smaller size. The vendor contacted me, so I arranged the pickup and volunteered to help with the out-of-the ordinary receiving. But the receipt was set up wrong, so it couldn’t be done until it was fixed. A 15 minute task turned into a 4 hour ordeal. While working on it I stumbled across another forgotten order, this one 6 months old, a $4,000.00 problem. Every time I fix someone’s work order problem I get to go to their department and eat their Christmas food. No wonder I’m so fat.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bowl Quality Rankings

If you want to determine the quantity of the college bowl game you’re watching relative to the national championship game, this list ranks the bowls by the USA Today Saragin rankings. The lower the combined rank, the better the bowl. Over the years the Peach Bowl has been able to achieve a relatively low rank, but its status as perhaps the least of the playoff committee’s bowl games may have cost it some panache.

The Russell Athletic and Alamo bowls boasts stronger matchups than both the Sugar and Peach. The traditional New Year’s Day bowl game in Jacksonville has teams with a rank equal to the lowly Belk Bowl. Thirty-two team ranked higher than 50th in the nation are going bowling, which makes sense with 82 bowl spots to fill.

A bowl game may have two low ranked teams but still be competitive, especially if the teams have rankings close to each other - like the Pinstripe and Hawaii bowls. So the lower the second number (the difference between the two team’s rankings) the better the game should be.    

322 17 Celebration Bowl Alcorn St (169) vs NC A&T (152) 17
212 12 Cure Bowl San Jose St (100) vs Ga State (112) 12
192 10 Arizona Bowl Nevada (101) vs Colorado State (91) 10
170 28 Idaho Potato Bowl Akron (99) vs Utah State (71) 28
163 47 New Mexico Bowl Arizona (58) vs New Mexico (105) 47

159 21 St Petersburg Bowl UConn (90) vs Marshall (69) 21
155 21 Bahamas Bowl Middle Tenn (88) vs W Mich (67) 21
154 32 Camellia Bowl Ohio (93) vs Appalachian State (61) 32
148 18 Quick Lane Bowl Cent Mich (83) vs Minn (65)
148 08 New Orleans Bowl Ark St (70) vs La Tech (78)

143 51 Independence Bowl Tulsa (97) vs Va Tech (46)
127 25 Poinsettia Bowl Boise St (51) vs N Illinois (76)
125 07 Pinstripe Bowl Indiana (66) vs Duke (59)
121 39 GoDaddy Bowl Ga Sou (80) vs Bowling Green (41)
115 05 Hawaii Bowl SD State (55) vs Cincinnati (60)

109 41 Armed Forces Bowl Cal (34) vs Air Force (75)
102 46 Heart of Dallas Bowl Wash (28) vs Sou Miss (74)
93 13 Miami Beach Bowl W Kent (40) vs South Fla (53)
92 04 Sun Bowl Miami (44) vs Washington State (48)
88 02 Boca Raton Bowl Toledo (43) vs Temple (45)

79 05 Birmingham Bowl Auburn (37) vs Memphis (42)
76 24 Foster Farms Bowl UCLA (26) vs Nebraska (50)  
75 33 Liberty Bowl Kansas St (54) vs Arkansas (21)
72 22 Belk Bowl NC State (47) vs Miss State (25)
72 26 TaxSlayer Bowl Penn State (49) vs UGA (23)

68 10 Cactus Bowl WV (29) vs Ariz St (39)
66 04 Music City Bowl Tex A&M (31) vs Louisville (35)  
63 03 Military Bowl Pittsburgh (33) vs Navy (30)
60 12 Las Vegas Bowl BYU (36) vs Utah (24)
57 19 Texas Bowl LSU (19) vs Texas Tech (38)   

49 15 Outback Bowl Northwestern (32) vs Tennessee (17)
36 08 Holiday Bowl USC (14) vs Wisconsin (22)
35 05 Citrus Bowl Michigan (15) vs Florida (20)
33 21 Peach Bowl Houston (27) vs FSU (6)
26 06 Sugar Bowl Oklahoma State (16) vs Ole Miss (10)  

25 11 Alamo Bowl Oregon (18) vs TCU (7)
23 01 Russell Athletic Bowl UNC (12) vs Baylor (11)
18 08 Rose Bowl Stanford (5) vs Iowa (13)
12 04 Fiesta Bowl Notre Dame (8) vs Ohio State (4)
10 08 Cotton Bowl Michigan State (9) vs Alabama (1)

5 01 Orange Bowl Oklahoma (2) vs Clemson (3)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

NFL Jerseys by Team

Doodled another list of coveted NFL jerseys:

Bears RB Brian Piccolo navy 41 (above)
Bengals WR Chris Collinsworth black 80
Bills QB Jack Kemp blue
Broncos RB Floyd Little red 44
Browns OT/K Lou Groza brown 76
Buccaneers QB Doug Williams orange 12
Cardinals S Larry Wilson white 8
Chargers WR Lance Alworth powder blue 19
Chiefs WR Ottis Taylor red 88
Colts WR Raymond Berry blue 82
Cowboys LB Chuck Howley blue 54 (above)
Dolphins RB Jim Kiick aqua 21 (above) 
Eagles QB Norm Van Brocklin green 11
Falcons P/S Billy Lothridge black 26
49ers QB YA Tittle red 14
Giants RB Frank Gifford blue 16
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles black 5
Jets WR Don Maynard green 13
Lions DT Alex Karras blue 71 (below)
Oilers QB/K George Blanda blue 16
Packers OG Jerry Kramer green 64
Panthers DE Reggie White black 92
Patriots WR/K Geno Cappaletti red 20
Ravens CB Deion Sanders purple 37
Raiders C Jim Otto black 00
Rams QB Bob Waterfield yellow 17
Redskins QB Sonny Jurgensen burgundy 9
Saints K Tom Dempsey black 19 (below)
Seahawks WR Steve Largent blue 80
Steelers DT LC Greenwood black 68
Texans DE JJ Watt blue 99
Titans QB Marcus Mariota navy 8
Vikings DE Jim Marshall purple 70 (top)