Monday, March 24, 2014

A new study shows electronic cigarettes may be no help in quitting smoking. E-cigarettes did, however, help the users appear 30% more douchey.

I’m really glad Stanford made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA playoffs. Finally, those poor Stanford players have something to take their minds off of their dismal job prospects.

There was a real shocker on “The Good Wife.” “The Good Wife” let her husband watch all of the weekend NCAA basketball games in his underwear while drinking beer. Now she is called “The Great Wife.”

There are four teams from the West in the Sweet 16, Stanford, San Diego State, Arizona and UCLA, but the Big East does not have one single team; or as New York sports writers call that: the Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse.  

I’m glad Stanford made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA playoffs. Not to mention names, but Stanford is one of the teams whose players could probably spell the words National Collegiate Athletic Association. 

Since you asked:

Mark Cuban may be right about the NFL imploding in ten years. They have been surpassed only by Spirit Airlines in terms of trying to figure out ways to suck money out of their customers. (right now the evil vampires at Spirit are trying to figure out a way to weasel in a "Find Your Plane in the Ocean" fee in light of the Malaysian missing plane tragedy)

But the discrepency between the popularity of the NCAA tournament and the NBA has never been wider. Everybody I know loves the NCAA tournament. Nobody I know gives a damn about the NBA. Granted, a lot of my friends are disgruntled Lakers fans and San Diego does not have a team. 

You can say a lot about retiring commish David Stern and his marketing mistakes, but you can't say he is dumb. He is getting out for a reason. Think Pete Carroll at USC. 

If the Bulls won, I would be glad, - I really like Yannick Noah - but I don't think I would watch. When a team like the Knicks cannot keep a player as good as Jeremy Lin because of it upsetting their diva, Melo Anthony, than the system is broken. The inmates are running the asylum. Players are no longer coming into the league in the win-at-all-costs mold of Michael Jordan, they are now coming in with the I-only-care-about-me mold of Kobe Bryant. 

With the exemption of maybe one LeBron every few years, players should have to play on their college team for at least three years. That helps both the NBA and the NCAA. Having the NBA filled with spoiled jerks is not helping their brand.  How did Duke and Kansas, the teams with the two top lottery picks, Wiggins and Parker, do in the tournament? How is that level of youthful choking going to help an NBA team? 

If a player really is a future franchise player with justified financial hardships, than their future agent, business manager and shoe company can afford to, and should be allowed to,  front their family for three years of college. The NCAA needs to give athletes more money anyway. 

Just saw "Saving Mr. Banks." Good. More depressing than I thought it would be. 

Here is a little fun fact of the 50th anniversary of "It's a Small World" ride. My family was one of the first to ride on the “It’s a Small World” ride. 

We had VIP passes to the New York World’s Fair Expo in 1964. We got the passes from my Uncle Bill Schoen who did all the speech writing for Ford including Ford President Robert McNamara. (He would soon follow McNamara to the Johnson White House. Yes, I am name-dropping) 
For a family that just bought a house on Elm Street in Winnetka, Ill., this was quite the first class trip. Every ride we bypassed the amazingly long lines and sat in a VIP waiting room sipping soft drinks and eating snacks until they escorted us to the front of the ride. 
Although I was only five, I can vividly remember things like my dad telling an impatient me to “Hold your horses.” And a woman with a beautiful Russian accent, who was in charge of that ride, laughed and laughed about that. She thought that was the funniest expression she had ever heard.
She made pistol fingers and said;
“Is so American the expression holding of the horses. Like cowboys, yes? Bam, bam.” 
We flew into the relatively newly named John F. Kennedy Airport and my mom would still mist up at the mere mention of his name.
Also I remember our hotel was on Central Park and my mom was a little surprised at how small the rooms were. We had a car and a driver full time courtesy of Ford. My dad loved that. If there was one thing he hated, it was paying cab drivers. 

Like it was yesterday, I can remember my mom pretending to fuss at my dad to stop saying how glad he was he didn't live in New York. Like a lot of people who grew up in Chicago, my dad had a built-in distrust of cocky New Yorkers. 
Over and over and over again I was coached to hold my parent's hand when we were on the street. We rode a carriage through Central Park and went to the zoo. We went to the top of the *Empire State Building and went to, but not, I don't think, inside, the Statue of Liberty. (The ferry ride was the only interesting part for me) 

We met my Grandmother Rodgers in New York, she had just returned from Russia on a trip to Moscow with my cousin Billy. She gave me a Russian wooden hand-carved bear inside of - no, I am not making this up – the Russian Tea room. Her admiration for the Russian people was unending. As I recall my admiration for their food was not as high.

We went to a fancy Italian restaurant and I didn't like the spaghetti because it was so far removed from my beloved Chef Boyardee. The main thing I remembered about the trip was I had to wear my Sunday school clothes, bow tie and jacket shorts and loafers, way too much. My mother's mission was to dress me like John-John Kennedy when he was saluting his father's casket. Which was humiliating because I was so much older than he was. (two years) 

When I moved to New York in 1983, it was depressing to see those iconic Expo towers and globe (As seen in "Men in Black") I remembered so fondly as a child, in such a depressing place as the aptly-named Flushing Meadows.

*As a kid I was not a fan of the World Trade Center. My parents thought it was too modern and, more importantly, it took away my bragging right to say I had been on top of the tallest building in the world. 

"Breakfast Club" thirty years later.

Here is the thing we Clark jocks (Emilio Estevez) always had it over the wannabe thugs, Bender (Judd Nelson) If they were nearly as tough as they dressed, they would play a sport. We knew we could kick their asses. They knew we could kick their asses. That is why they had to make jokes about us behind our backs where we could make jokes about them right in front of them and there was nothing they could do.