It's getting on, and I'm already late for my appointment at the tattooist's, so I'll make this short. Here are my co-Emailers of the Week and away we go.
That was the first salvo. The cavalry charge was led by a member of the profession,
"Look here, Z. Aside from being a fat punk, you've got an IQ the size of an after dinner mint ... " Wait a minute. Wrong letter ... that's the one from my ex-wife. OK, here it is:
"I've enjoyed reading you for decades now, but you really missed it when you ripped colleges for hiring coaches who had NFL contracts. As if NFL teams didn't do the same EXACT thing.
"Nick Saban was under contract to LSU when he was signed by the Dolphins.
"Here at Miami, where I've been four years since leaving the Jaguars,
"Probably every college coach who went to the NFL in modern history was under contract. Hypocrisy? It's been done both ways. Exactly the same way."
OK, I admit it, I'm the referee who ejects the guy who retaliates, rather than the first guy to throw the punch. I got carried away, mainly because I dislike the hypocrisy of the college community more than I do the NFL variety, although it's close. At least the NFL doesn't try to place a phony tag, such as "scholar athletes" on its warriors, and make them pretend to attend classes. But I'm bobbing and weaving now. Those two e-mailers nailed me and I admit it.
"Why are you always the first one to beat yourself up?" a sympathetic reader wrote about a decade ago. It's always been the way. When we're in a restaurant and the waitress brings out the mains and says, "Careful, this plate is REALLY hot," I've got to immediately lift it with both hands. One young woman got so upset that she practically shrieked, "What are you DOING?" and I said, "I'm into pain." Ten minutes later we had a different waitress. I could see the first one going up to the maitre'd and saying, "I'm not waiting on freaks."
So Rick and Michael, please feel free to write in the future, anytime you feel like ruining the day for an old person who's never done you any harm.
I answered this question, maybe six or seven years ago, but the numbers were different, and besides, I like it anyway.
His question: Can I share his optimism about the Bills' chances for next year? Depends on how far you expect them to go. Ever since the end of the days of
Now here's my kind of letter.
Well, when my computer acts up and I call Technical Assistance at SI, there's always a problem with the terms they use. They automatically think everyone's on the same page, and I haven't a clue what they're talking about. After one guy laid a whole bunch of this geekese on me, I said, "Let me ask you this. If they're cross-keying their linebackers, how do you set up your weakside protection?" "Now how the hell should I ... ?" he began, but I cut him off at the pass.
"You see, I know that," I said, which was a lie, of course, because I had merely spouted gobblydegook, "but that's the way I react to that stuff you tell me." What was the outcome of that little exchange? It was reported to the Assistant Managing Editor, who told me, "One more incident like that and you go on report."
The great pass-blockers today? Hard to say, for an entire game, although I've seen some unlikely people get in some serious licks.
"Thoughts on Argentinian Malbecs?" They make too much noise and drown out the other wines ... check that ... vastly improved in recent years. At one time I never liked wines from the Argentine, despite the good prices and all the publicity. Short-finishers, no real style or class, and I also got hints of unclean cooperage. Now they can come on with some elegance, especially the Malbecs, but unfortunately the prices have reflected that. For classy reds that are still decently priced, give a look to the New Zealand pinot noirs, especially from the Central Otago region.
You'll notice that I didn't use the expression, West Coast Offense, because that is the middle ground between them. The West Coast Offense is a term coined by
"I have a record of each of the 956 times you have written this," says my Flaming Redhead. With about 956 more to go.