Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Was anyone else freaked out when, out of nowhere, Mark Zuckerberg started speaking in Russian? 

There was a shocking turn-of-events when Mark Zuckerberg's congressional testimony was halted when T.J. Miller phoned in a bomb threat. 

"Mr. Zuckerberg, can you sit there with a straight face and tell me that you have never, ever, once giggled when you heard the name IBM?"

Once-great-comedian TJ Miller arrested for a fake bomb threat. You know it's a rough time for comedians when a Green Bay Packer, Trevor Davis, gets arrested for making a funnier bomb threat than TJ Miller did.

Mark Zuckerberg is being questioned by senators who do not know there is not an "Any" key.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Green Bay Packer,  Trevor Davis, was arrested at LA Airport for commenting to his date, “Did you remember to pack the explosives?” Davis was charged with making criminal threats. On the bright side, Pauly Shore hired Davis to write jokes for his comeback tour.

Since you asked:

This was a great Masters. Anyone who says golf is not fun to watch is not watching. 

Golf is in incredibly good shape with all of these amazing young performers and the beloved older guys like Phil Mickelson and, yes, I will say it, Tiger Woods. Ugly buildings, hookers and Tiger Woods get respectable with age. 

One of the great things about the Masters is reading between the lines. The year Bubba Watson won, it was revealed he came in first place by a huge margin when they asked the players who they would least likely defend in a bar fight. Bubba became the first Masters Champion that the green jacket thought was too tacky.

And guess who finished second in least likely to defend in a bar fight?

This years’ winner, Patrick Reed.

One could not help noticing the tepid applause Reed got from the gallery especially compared to handsome studs, Jordan Spieth, Ricky Fowler and Rory McIlroy. Reed’s applause sounded like the hand a mediocre Neil Diamond band, called Sweet Caroline, would get at a garden party. Or the hand the drunk brother-in-law got after his lousy speech at the wedding reception. 

Golf is too polite for boos, Reed’s reception was damning by feint praise. At first I felt sorry for him like I did back when Jack Nicklaus was the chubby kid that was not as popular as Arnold Palmer. Reed looks more like a Chicago tavern’s softball catcher. Give the guy a break, I thought. 

But that sympathy did not last. 

One does not have to wade far into Google land to find evidence of Patrick Reed’s extremely prickly personality. The most damning was he got kicked off the U. of Georgia golf team for allegedly cheating and stealing. Two alcohol related problems. Estranged family. Teammates at both U. Ga and his transfer school, Augusta State, are not fans.

We all do stupid crap as kids, but Patrick Reed took it to another level.

CBS announcer, Jim Nance, kept referencing Reed’s tenacious Ryder Cup performance as the source of Reed’s nickname, Captain America. Turns out the nickname is sarcastic as hell. Even Tiger Woods, who has many faults, but dropping his resume on players is not one of them, Tiger, his-own-ass-self, had to put Patrick’s Ryder Cup trash-talk in his place about his ‘tude with a quick,

“All you need is 74 more wins and 14 more majors.” 

And Tiger is Patrick Reed’s idol. Patrick Reed is just a little bit more popular with the players than Bubba Watson.

And Bubba Watson is about as popular on tour as sand trap sand in their knickers, a provisional ball, a surly and cheap bartender at the 19th hole and a groupie with an STD.

Greatest burn of all time. Bubba hit a ball into the woods at Augusta. He chided a fan with “Can you back up? You’re really not supposed to be here.” The fan shot back with,

“Neither is your ball.”

Epic burn. If Bubba had acknowledged it, all would have been good. But no, Bubba had to be Bubba and get all pissy about how he has two green jackets. 

Fair is fair, Patrick Reed showed guts besting a tough Masters field. He also bested the theory that golfers are chiseled athletes.  

Now that we know that Tiger Woods is a cheapskate, a waitress chaser and a jerk, throwing in his injured back, he seems more human. And we can cheer for him again. 

But now we need a bad guy to take Tiger’s place. Enter, Patrick Reed. The guy who looks like he won the fried Twinkie eating contest at the country fair.

But there is a far bigger sin than being an arrogant, rude jerk in golf. And that is being boring. Patrick Reed is not boring.

Somehow Bubba Watson manages to be an arrogant, rude jerk and boring. 

You cannot spell golf without OCD. That isn't true, but it should be. Watching arguably the hippest and coolest golfer, Ricky Fowler, take a solid one minute on live National CBS TV to place his ball on the green was so frustrating. 

The worst spectacle to witness in sports is a golfer with an errant shot asking for a ruling. They have to wait for the rules guy to get there, then pace around, talk about it for five minutes and then measure a club length like six times, drop the ball three times.

It is the sports equivalent of watching old people eat a sandwich.

Golfers are the kind of guys who have immaculate desks. They make you take your shoes off when you enter their house. They wipe smudges off their freshly detailed car with their thumb. If their mashed potatoes touch their meat, they lose it. 

"Porterhouse. What's this waxy build-up on my golf shoes? Now I want that stripped off and buffed with a fine shammy. Chop chop." 

My Mom Had a Bird Phobia 

In case anyone reading this is, like I was, skeptical of phobias, rest assured, anytime a bird flew anywhere near my mom, the look of utter horror on her face could not be contrived. Her terror of birds was deep-rooted. 

My mother claimed that, when she was a small child in bed with a bad fever, her younger toddler brother, John, brought in dead birds their father, my grandfather Rodgers had shot quail hunting, to make her feel better. My mom said they found her climbing the walls screaming.

Whatever the cause of my mom’s bird phobia, there was no denying its existence.

One day, when I was 8, on a cold, early spring day, a bird flew into our house. 

My mother screamed a scream I had never heard anyone scream, let alone my mother, and then bolted across the street. She couldn’t just be out of the house, she had to be across the street. 

At the age of 8, I was suddenly entrusted with getting this bird out of our house and saving my mother from dying of terror. Which, at the time, seemed like a real possibility. 

My brain went into overdrive. I remember thinking birds like to sit on branches, so I ran outside and tore off a branch from a tree hoping to coax the bird onto the branch. 

Keep in mind, while I did not share my mother’s bird phobia, this bird was only slightly more terrified of me as I was of him. The bird was flying around in our kitchen banging into the windows trying to get out to our backyard. 

So I started trying to use sporting equipment to capture the bird. A tennis racket, my baseball mitt, a small fishing net. Nothing worked, of course. 

Out of nowhere, in the house walked a 13-year-old boy walking home from 8th grade, whom my mom had begged/recruited. At 8, 13 seemed like a grownup to me. 

He just calmly walked in, spoke softly to the bird, calmed it down, the once frantic bird nestled in his gloves like it was a nest. He walked outside and released it. It flew away. And, just as quickly as he appeared, the mystery hero just walked away. 

At the time I remember thinking, this is like a Jesus miracle.

AC Scores Her First Goal

While 90% of our experience with competitive youth women’s soccer clubs in San Diego was positive - besides the wildly rude and whacko parents of the Legends and Slammers - and we still have good friends from the soccer years, let me tell this cautionary tale.

Ann Caroline had the world’s laziest English coach when she started soccer. He spent half of each practice on the phone if he was even there at all. (For those old enough, picture the British cartoon boozy cad, Andy Capp, but without the sense of humor) 

So, because Ann Caroline was fast, Andy, I will now call our lazy coach, not his real name, could stick her at sweeper, the last defender before the goalie, and not worry about anyone getting a breakaway. AC, as she was nicknamed, would run anyone down and simply boot the ball away.

In addition to not needing to sufficiently train a goalie, Andy, the lazy British coach, did not have to teach AC how to dribble, pass or shoot. The only three skills needed in soccer besides running fast. 

Imagine if you had a tall kid in basketball who could jump through the gym and could block shots. But the coach did not bother to teach that kid how to dribble, pass or even shoot a free throw?  

In addition to being a soccer coach, Andy fancied himself a comedian and actually wrote a book about us crazy soccer parents. 

Each time you met Andy outside of soccer, he told you the same story of a Hollywood studio dying to make a movie out of his book. (By this time I could do a dead-on impersonation of Andy) 

Andy: "How's she goin', mate?" (Andy did not remember names) 

Anyone: "Oh, not good, Andy. It seems I have to have an operation to have my spine removed through my nose."

Andy: "Oh, that's super, mate. Hey, did I tell you someone wants to make my book into a movie?" 

So starting AC’s third year at only sweeper, I put my foot down and, to my surprise, Andy, our lazy British coach, agreed to put AC at forward on offense, in a big tournament, no less. But only if their team advanced in that tournament out of their group.

The team advanced and, to my slight pleasant surprise, Andy kept his word and put AC up on offense as a forward. 

Much to everyone’s shock, even, I admit, mine, almost immediately AC stole a ball, broke away up the left sideline, cut 90 degrees in front of the goal, shot and scored. It was amazing. It was electric. It was Mia Hamm-like. 

At that split second, when AC ripped the shot at the upper right corner, like she had done it a thousand times, when we all should have been hysterically celebrating, and most were, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed AC’s lazy British coach, Andy, and three sets of our own team's parents, close their eyes and audibly groan in disappointment. 

At first I couldn't believe what I was seeing. They groaned as if the other team had scored on us instead of AC scoring for us. 

Once they realized what they were doing looked really bad, they instantly stopped and pretended to cheer. 

But I know what I saw. They were upset AC was going to take their kid's position and or playing time. Team be damned. 

Not only was AC’s own coach rooting against her to score, so he could keep her at sweeper, so were some of our own team's parents. Parents I truly thought were fans of AC’s and friends of ours. Parents we had been on countless road trips and hotel happy hours and had over for dinner.

To say I was crushed is putting it mildly. While I expected something like that from the always-self-centered Andy, the other parents? That was a shock. (Well. Except for one clownishly pompous dad who united everyone else by being the single person we all despised)

Our team was the last of a truly neighborhood competitive team. By three years in to competitive soccer, other competitive teams had parents driving from up to two hours away. Our team was all still from our neighborhood.That made their reaction even more disappointing.  

The moral? Well, there are three: 

One, chances are good your kid will not play soccer in college, so do not stress about bad calls or playing time. Have fun. 

Two, remember some parents, not all, but some parents are not just cheering for their kid, they’re also cheering against your kid. 

And three, do not assume somebody is smart simply because they have a British accent.

P.S. A few years later, Andy would not only run the entire soccer club out of business, he also sued his fellow-English partner. 

Having burned bridges he had rebuilt and burned twice before, Andy is, last I heard, out of soccer, divorced and, to his credit, now earning money as an Uber driver. Although, if he drives like he coaches, I cannot imagine Andy agreeing to go where his passengers ask to go. 

AC would be driven out of soccer by her sophomore year in high school by two things, her love of track and field and a crazy high school soccer coach, a woman so evil and sadistic, who had never ever played soccer, she made Andy seem like John Wooden.

As of this writing, they have not made a movie out of Andy's book. 

Sunday, April 08, 2018