I have a problem. It concerns the E-mailer of the Week award that I have set up to honor those questioners who are particularly astute or perceptive or witty or, in some cases, brutally critical, for good reason. But what about the puff? Oh, it's good for the old ego, but I know that if I read some bloke issuing awards to people who merely liked him, I'd roll my eyes and... but wait. I can bounce this thought over to someone who never has lied to me or tried to inflate neither an ego nor a tire.
"Honest ones. Those who mention that you tend to repeat yourself, and use analogies half a hundred years old, and lose track of things, and..."
OK, that'll do. Thank you, honey. Our E-mailer of the Week is
Well, that's two weeks in a row that sentiment has guided my choice of an award winner, and that will be the end of it, I promise. But first I must mention to my kind Kokomokian (Kokomoker?) that I was an ESPN guy once upon a time. For a number of years I was at the anchor desk at the NFL draft. What sunk me, in the late '80s (and I'm SURE I've mentioned this at least three or four times ...I guess Linda was right...oh, what the hell) was the seemingly innocent question: What will the player of the 1990s be like?
"Bigger, faster, stronger," etc., said
Chris looked horrified and said, "I'm not touching that one." Ditto Joe T. Then they went to commercial. And the switchboard lit up. And when we came back, I was off the set, and an ex-employee of ESPN. And I swear to you, your honor, that's just the way it happened.
• My innocent reference to the method I use to tape and watch my games has produced roars of laughter from the tech-set. A VCR and tapes. I guess that's funny, but not to me. "VCR's? My God, Grandpa, do you take the Iron Horse into town, too?" writes
Kerosene? What's that? Is that what the candle is made of?
"You are still using VCR's and cassette tapes? Wow," writes
Wow yourself, Ed. Bow wow! Woo!
Flamboyante is doing just fine, thank you. She makes me a nice Costco prime sirloin Sunday night, after she's changed over to the late games, while I'm out seeing something live. The whole operation runs like a military precision drill team.
OK, everybody, I'll tell you how it is.
Some people, you see, just don't have minds that work that way. Linda still tells the story about how I poured water, in lieu of oil, into the crank case of the car and cracked the block (is that the right word?) and there was a big WHACK! and we were two and a half grand poorer.
When I was in the army, they taught us, in basic training, how to break our rifle down into little pieces, and clean the thing and put it back together again. Barely literate country boys needed one brief lesson and they were pros at it. Your faithful narrator? Well, I got to the point where I could do it. But I had to do it every day. If I missed a single day I was sunk. The whole thing would whizz out of my mind. And I could only do it on the same portion of my bunk, with the same background, and any noise or other distractions would throw me for a loop and I'd have to go through the whole thing again.
Ditto with Tivo or any other miraculous bit of digital equipment. My brain just doesn't work that way. But I can quote lines from movies half a century old, and memorize rhymes I learned to match classical musical themes, in grade school, and rattle off the names of Napoleon's marshals or the 20 wine growing regions of Italy. Granted, I specialize in the useless over the useful, but that's just the way it is.
• The Broncos' poor tackling Monday night has produced a veritable beehive of questions in the e-mail of
"We ain't here to cause no trouble... we're just doing the Super Bowl shuffle." As a guy with a minor in poetry, how could he have let that go through? Trouble? Shuffle? Such an easy fix... "We ain't here to cause no scuffle," etc. It got to the point where, whenever he would see me coming his eyes would whiten and he'd shy like a horse and head in an opposite direction.
There are only 14 Charbono makers in the world, and 12 of them were represented at our Wine Media Guild luncheon a few months ago. Dick was there and lectured about his 2005, which was judged the best in show. Now it's not going to be easy to find. You might have to write to the winery, which is in Calistoga. Address it to
Best team? I'm stepping out of your 25-year limit and going back 32 years, to the 1976 Steelers that did NOT win a Super Bowl.
Screw this, I said, and headed for the offensive linemen. Got them all to myself...Hickerson,
I even remember the headline the
• Oooh, dark suspicions from
Who wants to be settled?