Sunday, August 16, 2009

Making up for lost time

Forgive me, folks, for my week-long absence from this cyberspace, but I’ve been working on three books at once and the deadline for a couple of chapters is fast approaching. I promise not to disappear for so long a period again.

Clearly, much has happened since the last time I wrote.

It’s time to play some catch-up.

I believe Tony Dungy is the best thing dog-killer Michael Vick had going for him during his search for a new NFL city in which to resume his career and attempt to redeem himself after his heinous acts of cruelty. Vick also will benefit from being around Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who’s as good a role model as you’re going to find in today’s world of sports. That said, I still wonder if Philly was the best place for Vick. The City of Brotherly Love has the toughest sports fans and media to please, and callers to Philadelphia’s often vitriolic radio talk shows already have been vicious. As an animal lover, I still can’t understand how Vick or anyone else could have found pleasure in what he did, but I do believe in second chances. And if Vick is smart, he will lean heavily on both Dungy and McNabb along the way.

Speaking of second chances, Louisville wouldn’t have retained basketball coach Rick Pitino after his affair became public if he were a .500 coach with no titles on his resume. Sadly, if you just win, baby, everything gets glossed over in sports.


I try to refrain from gleaning anything meaningful from exhibition football games, so please take these following observations with a grain of salt: I like the progress the Bills are making with their no-huddle (the tempo was noticeably faster Saturday night vs. the Bears than it had been last week against the Titans) and you have to hope that the trend of forcing turnovers continues into the regular season.

At some point fairly soon, Aaron Maybin needs to forget about the salary slotting associated with NFL rookies and get to camp.

I’m all for the Bills going permanently to their throwback uniforms. I never cared for the clownish uni’s from the Gregg Williams-Tom Donahoe era.

Took a break from writing yesterday to journey to Cooperstown to play 19th century base ball with my teammates and counterparts from the Silver League at Genesee Country Village and Museum. I had played once before on the hallowed grounds of Doubleday Field. To know that you are standing in the same batter’s box that Mickey Mantle once swung from and are roaming the same rightfield grass as Roberto Clemente and the same shortstop dirt once patrolled by Cal Ripken Jr. is pretty cool.

That old-style photo I included with this blog is of “The Barber,’’ “Scribe’’ and “Country Mile’’ – also known as Curt Kirchmaier, yours truly and Max Robertson – sitting in the first-base dugout at Doubleday. We’re all in our 50s and too stubborn to act our age. At the suggestion of Excelsiors captain Ryan Brecker – a young whippersnapper who celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday – we geezers headed to a nearby shop in Cooperstown to purchase some old-school T-shirts. Mine bears a drawing of a 19th century baseball player with the phrase: OLD GUYS RULE: THE OLDER I GET . . . THE BETTER I WAS. And to drive home the point, following the game, Max, his wife Cathy, and I celebrated by reliving our split of Saturday's doubleheader with bottles of Old Slugger, a wonderful beer brewed in the nearby Leatherstocking Country town of Milford.
Belated Happy B-Day wishes to my daughter Amy’s fiancé, Brian Renno.


Joe Territo said...

It's a damn shame that the MLB player's union put a stop to the Annual Hall of Fame Game at Double Day Field. It was an awesome tradition. I felt the same way you did this weekend Scott, as I occupied the same hot corner that Brooks Robinson played in 1961.
Joe Territo

rotica65 said...

Its good to see you guys are alive and well - By the expressions on your faces its looks as though you three huligans had just left the old watering hole in Mumford - Tailor