WTF!!!!!!! Sept 5 Edition

I promise nothing on the Jets at all this time around. Really!

But, WTF is going on when:

1) I read back on August 28, that the NLFPA had filed a grievance in support of former New England Patriots former tight end Aaron Hernandez collecting an $82,000 workout bonus. Per his contract he was to collect that sum if he participated in 90% of the teams voluntary offseason workouts. Now as you may know The Pats cut Mr. Hernandez after he was arrested on June 26 for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Now I am not going into all the ins and outs of Hernandez’ case, and whether he is guilty or not  because I simply don’t give a rip-roaring fuck, even though I got my own strong opinion about whether he did or did not do the alleged deed. Because, ya know,  if the man met the obligations of his contract before the team cut him then give him his damn money. I mean WTF (1) it’s 82 Gs!!!. The damn Patriots have that in their coffee money fund and (2) it is his money because he fulfilled his part of a signed contract. So give him the money! Besides, he probably needs it right about now to pay his lawyers.

2) Recently there was an article in the news about a Bronx (NY) firefighter who is also a Marine reservist who faces expulsion from the USMC for sending a warning to a wrong email account.

It seems reserve Maj. Jason Brezler, who had served four combat tours in the Middle East, sent information about a suspected Afghani police official to an unsecure email address. He self-reported his error, but now his case is before an officer misconduct board.

This is what the article reported: “A city firefighter whose warning of a threat to fellow Marines in Afghanistan fell on deaf ears faces expulsion from the Corps — because he used the wrong e-mail account.  Reserve Maj. Jason Brezler… got an urgent call last summer from Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

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“The Marines were asking about a shady police official, Sarwar Jan, whom they suspected of molesting local minors and who had access to their post.

“Brezler quickly e-mailed warnings about Jan’s history of abuse and suspected ties to insurgents. Later realizing he sent classified information in an unsecure email, the Annapolis alum self-reported his error, and the message, to a superior. No action appeared to have been taken and days later, Jan’s 15-year-old ‘assistant’ used Jan’s rifle to kill three Marines and wound another at a Nowzad base.

“Sources said Brezler’s case is before an officer misconduct board. Brezler is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.

“Brezler declined to comment Tuesday.”

 

firefighter Jason Bresler

Okay (1) he sends info that warns certain officials about a possible problem by a very strong potential unfriendly in a spot of the world where we ain’t exactly always well liked and some very bad things can happen and (2) it appears no one takes the info he sends seriously and nothing was done to follow up on his intel and (3) someone connected to this very shady and nasty character goes out and kills three of ours.

So can someone tell me why I think the wrong person is being brought before a misconduct board and being threatened to get his ass tossed out of the service and probably have a lot of well deserved benefits taken away?

3) On August 28, on CBSSports.com, there appeared a piece written by Mat Snyder titled “Countdown to a Pirates winning season: Five more wins”

Snyder writes, “As has been ridiculously well documented, the Pittsburgh Pirates hold the longest streak in the history of professional sports in not posting a winning season. The last time they did so was in 1992, the days of Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke, Doug Drabek and Jim Leyland. Well, after a blowout win Wednesday night, the Pirates are this many wins away from toppling the streak of futility: five.

“With 30 games to play, the Pirates would have to lose 26 of 30 to not end up with a winning record. So it’s just a formality. The focus of the team is instead on winning the NL Central, where they trail the Cardinals by a half-game. They lead the Reds by three games for the top wild card spot. So if this is how things end, the Pirates would get a home playoff game in PNC Park for the first time ever.”

Now, I’m not sure how many of you were around in 1960 but I was. And something that crushed a 12-year-old boy’s heart occurred in 1960. The freaking Pirates beat my favorite team in the 1960 Worlds Series on a freaking walk off HR by freaking Bill Mazeroski.

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Now if my beloved Yankees are somehow not to be in the playoffs then I, being the old softie that I am, will probably root for the Pirates.  Or, if the Yanks are in the playoffs but get eliminated and the Pirates don’t, then, I will probably root for the Pirate. BUT, if the long shot happens, and, somehow, someway, the Yanks and the Bucs make it into the Word Series then “whoa Nelly” and “Katie bar the door” its retribution time. I might be the only one who be thinking this way but in my mind there be a reckoning coming, and, damn it, revenge and payback is due for that freaking damn “Walk-off HR” in 1960.

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4) On August 29, another Ryan Wilson piece appeared on CBSSports.com. This time the headline said “Writer: NFL return likely in 3-4 years if Hernandez beats murder charge.”

Wilson writes that Paul Solotaraff, one of the authors of a Rolling Stone piece that contends, among other things, that Patriots coach Bill Belichick knew Hernandez felt like his life was in danger, says that “…[the case] is not only beatable, [but] I think he will be back in the NFL within three or four years… I think they’ve grossly overcharged him based on the case they’re building — no direct eye witness, no murder weapon [and] no plausible motive…. His principle (problem) at this point is likely to be the five gun charges levied against him; I think they got him dead to right on most of those (and)  this is a guy with no priors. So asking a judge to sentence Hernandez to consecutive prison bids — rather than (concurrent) ones — is going to be a very hard sell for the prosecution. And if in fact he winds up doing three years behind [bars for] those gun charges — which would be a lot in this case — he’s 26, 27, with very low mileage on those legs of his and a lot of time to heal up … there will be more than one NFL team pursuing him hotly when he walks out of jail in four years.”

Now we all, at least all of us who even kinda of follow football do any way, know that Hernandez was arrested on June 26 and charged with first degree murder. And, I am not sure what is true and what is not true from what I have heard (this is why they have trials to sort all this stuff out) but the information, that I have read, leads me to believe that Hernandez did the crime. But regardless of my opinion, let’s say this Solotaraff guy is right and Hernandez only gets convicted on the gun charges and does “only three or four years”.

Now,  it appears he thinks it is credible that a guy who did a serious piece of time in the joint can walk right out and have people lining up for his services? Really?  Like, he’s gonna be in football shape without any real football program during his time in jail? He thinks that?

Hmmm… didn’t Plaxico Burress have a hard enough time coming back and he was only a little less than two years in prison. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he was a lot older than Hernandez’ is now but still he did less than the estimated “three to four” by Solotaraff  for Hernandez  and it was no picnic for Plaxico coming back if I remember correctly.

Hernandez can lift some weights and do some other stuff to stay in shape and keep his physique well toned but that isn’t practicing and playing football in a consistent and well designed program. Add in the fact that he won’t have people who have the expertise… the football expertise to guide and mold his training techniques.

So, I gotta concur with Ryan Wilson when he says that, “It seems inconceivable that Hernandez will ever play in the NFL again, and depending on the prosecution’s case, there’s the very real chance that Hernandez spends the rest of his life behind bars.”

5) Unless you have a catastrophic accident or have been a victim of some heinous act that leaves you disfigured then I think plastic surgery is pretty damn stupid. Yet, it appears in South Korea it is somewhat commonplace. Now the good old USA does tend to have over 3 million procedures a year to lead the world in cosmetic surgery to either enhance (e.g. boob jobs) or to pretend you is what you ain’t (e.g. face lift) but when population is accounted for, South Korea tops the list.

Studies, such as a 2009 survey by Trend Monitor, a market-research firm, have shown that approximately one in five women in South Korea have had some form of cosmetic surgery. Now, according to reports there is a “new” cosmetic surgery that is growing in popularity called “Smile Lipt” or “Mouth Corner Surgery.”  The procedure involves cutting the corners of the mouth and re-stitching them to provide an upturned permanent smile.

Yep, kinda like the Joker. JOKER_GIRL_

Maybe a little more subtle than Mr. Joker but the results from this so-called cosmetic surgery is essentially the same, i.e., upturned corners of the mouth. And it is being performed on a lot of folks in the service fields where a smile is needed even when you don’t feel like smiling.  I just hope none of those hotel front desk peeps or stewardesses/stewards have a change of heart and go into another line of work … say, like being a mortician?

A permanent smile might not go over so big when discussing the funeral arrangements for mom with the bereaved family.

6) Former major league great, as well as a Met great (damn, I hated saying that but unfortunately it’s true), Tom Seaver said of an injury to the Mets’ present day and highly touted burgeoning star, Matt Harvey, that today’s pitchers are being babied.

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Seaver (he of three Cy Young Awards and 311 victories and who averaged 265 innings his first 13 years in the big leagues) said in his day he and all of his Hall of Fame pitching cohorts in the ’60s and ’70s got to Cooperstown, without incident, because they just pitched. Seaver, speaking to a NY Daily News’ reporter about Harvey’s  torn ligament in his pitching elbow, said, “Naturally, I felt terrible for him. He’s got such a bright future. But at the same time, all I could think of was how it just goes to show how all this babying of pitchers — pitch counts and innings limits — is a bunch of nonsense. You can’t predict these things, and there’s really not a whole lot you can do to prevent them other than refining your mechanics…. But one way I know (that) doesn’t do anything to prevent them is babying these kids like they do.”

Seaver added that the best pitchers in the 1960s and ’70s pitched anywhere from the mid 250’s to over 300 innings a season and had no problem with doing it. He said that, “… [Juan] Marichal, [Ferguson] Jenkins, [Warren] Spahn, what do you think made them successful? They conditioned their arms by pitching more, not less, starting from when they signed their first contract. Jenkins threw 300 or more innings half a dozen times. Same with [Jim] Palmer, [Steve] Carlton and Marichal.”

warren-spahn

 

Seaver curiously used a war analogy to validate his thoughts when he said, “These kids today, they want to be men, they want to be foxhole guys, but they’re not being allowed to do that. Imagine if these computer geeks who are running baseball now were allowed to run a war? They’d be telling our soldiers: ‘That’s enough. You’ve fired too many bullets from your rifle this week!’ ”

Now as you may have guessed from my opening sentence that Mr. Seaver is not exactly my favorite person out there.  Now I have only met him once but I have heard him, either as an announcer or being interviewed, and I always come away feeling, “Damn, that fool thinks his shit don’t stink.”

Now I get it about pro athletes, especially those like Seaver (cough, cough) who are on an elite level, and their big egos. But, in my opinion, Seaver’s ego goes way beyond palatable and acceptable boundaries.

BUT, in regards to his comments about up and coming pitchers today, I have to say he and myself are in pretty much complete agreement. Maybe more injuries are caused because these days the powers that be in MLB are babying these pitchers way too much. Maybe certain guys are just predisposed to be pitchers while other guys will always have injuries regardless what they do as far as their pitching regimens are concerned.  But I watched a lot of baseball back in those days and I saw guys have a lot of complete games and rarely if ever had arm troubles. In fact, if anyone cares to remember they changed the rules quite a bit because the pitchers were so damn dominant in them days.

Just saying maybe it ain’t the innings but the makeup of the man.

7) The other day I was just sort of surfing on the web when I saw “Watch the happiest poker player ever turn into the saddest”.  “Hmmph”, says I. So I check it out.

Well, it seems this guy named Carter Gill thought his two pair with one card to be dealt in a poker hand unbeatable so he goes to double his stack of chips in the World Series of Poker by going all-in with $372,000.  And, actually the odds were strongly in is favor … His chances of winning were 93 percent. And, if you listen to the video you can even hear him gloating that the only way he could lose is if a queen on the last card popped up. Do I really need to go any further?  Yep, that damn lady hit the table and his face went from “Mr. I can’t fucking lose to WTF just happened?”

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What’s the Kenny Rogers’ song?  “Never count your money ‘til the dealings done”? The one truth I know in life is that you keep your damn mouth shut until it’s over because instant karma (thanks Mr. Lennon) has a way of getting ya.

8) Then while I was checking out about “Mr. Poker-face” I saw another story that was trending. This guy down in Tampa was almost a shark’s version of a happy meal.

Mr. Erik Norrie survived a vicious shark attack back on July 29 and says he owes his survival to his strong faith in God.  Now I don’t know whether God did, or did not, have anything to do with his chain of events that led him to be in the hospital waiting for some serious surgery and skin grafts but I will say that he is one lucky SOB and he just might be a real life version of Al Capp’s cartoon character, Joe Btfsplk. Btfsplk is always portrayed with a dark cloud over his head, and, although he just wants to be your pal he is the world’s worst jinx and just being near him is tantamount to inviting calamity.

But back to Norrie, and here is what happened: Norrie went snorkeling and spear fishing for grouper and had just snagged one and was swimming back to his boat. He suddenly feels some pressure on his leg and when he looked back to see what it was he says he saw “(The shark) was just finishing his bite and ripping and swimming off, and you could see a piece of my leg in his mouth.”

Norrie was losing blood, and fast.

His wife, Spryng, and their four daughters, witnessed the horrific scene. One daughter got on the radio, and put out an SOS that her dad had just been attacked by a shark. Norrie, by this time, somehow had the presence of mind to take some large rubber bands from his spear and then wrap them around his leg to cut off the blood flow to the lower half of his leg.

Now, it seems, unlike Joe Btfsplk, Norrie got lucky as a  doctor, vacationing from San Diego, just happened to be within three minutes of them and helped get Norrie to shore and to a medical facility, and then to Jackson Hospital in Miami.

The family said that their prayers got them through the worst part of this ordeal and they are certain their strong faith will take them to whatever the next challenge ahead is. Which probably won’t be too far off considering that Norrie has also been struck by lightning, had his right leg bitten by a rattlesnake and been punched by monkeys twice.

Yeah, he might be very lucky and all that, but, if I see him heading my way I am definitely moving to the other side of the boulevard.

9) August 31 was “International Bacon Day”.

“What’s that?” you say?

Yep, it was “Bacon Day.”

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Aw, you missed it? Well too bad because it would have been the perfect excuse to go get some chocolate bacon gold and then go to an all bacon restaurant.

No seriously both things are real.

For those who are obsessed with bacon and just need some snackable treats to be gilded with a bit of edible gold there is “23k Gold Chocolate Bacon”. For $39.99 you get Nueske’s (a purveyor of smoked meats) cherrywood-smoked bacon, Guittard (I’m guessing this is top notch stuff) semisweet dark chocolate and 23-karat edible gold flakes.

chocolate bacon gold

But if ya’ll are in Chicago, you can get on down to Chef David Burke’s “Burke’s Bacon Bar”. The eatery is dedicated to primarily nine sandwiches built around bacon. Well one is a veggie sandwich but bacon can be added for a buck.

“Get me ticket for an airplane. I got no time for a fast train.” (Thank you “Box Tops”)

Now, as fascinated as it appears we all are with bacon, guess what? The price of bacon hit an all-time high in July. We are talking pork bellies here! Not sirloin pork chops or pork roast or even baby back ribs!  Sorry, but I am not paying $5.99 a pound for bacon! (Wal-Mart price last week.)

10) In NYC a potential major cat-astrophe was avoided on August 29 in the city’s subways. It was on that day that there were two kittens who were rescued by a pair of cops and an MTA worker in Brooklyn after their spine tingling adventure of hide and seek near the subway’s electrified third rail.

Transit workers spotted the furry duo, along the B and Q lines, at 11 a.m. and called officials who cut power to the tracks. However, when a transit supervisor tried to get the little furry critters they were just a tad too fast for him..  (Should have sent a worker and not a desk jockey if you ask me.)

Subway kittens 2

So while the kitties continued to play “Hide n Seek” service was resumed at about 12:45 p.m. with full service back at 1:09 p.m.  And, yes, the kittens still huddled along the third rail of the middle track. Train crews were instructed to “proceed through the area with caution.”

However, when the kittens’ plight spread on the Internet the MTA again suspended service around 5:45 p.m. along the middle of the subways three tracks. At this point, a plainclothes officer and a uniformed officer jumped down on the tracks. When NY’s finest were also unsuccessful at snagging the kitties, an MTA worker, first, rerouted an oncoming train, and, then joined them.

Finally one of the cops who had on an insulated glove scooped the fur balls out from underneath the third rail and the adventure was over for all concerned.  The estimated 8-week-old kittens were placed in carrying crates at about 6 p.m. and shipped off to the Brooklyn Animal Care Shelter on Linden Blvd, where a spokesperson said they will get medical evaluations. For now, the two are safe. Rescuers even gave the pair names, Arthur and August.

But this cats’ tale does not end here. Nope. Turns out NYC is having a primary for the mayor’s job and all the candidates were asked about what they would have done in the kitten situation. And, Joe Lhota one of the candidates on the Republican’s side said he would not have shut down the subway service.

Of course the NY Daily News never one to let an attention grabbing  headline lay fallow printed on its next day’s front page: “DIE, KITTIES, DIE! Joe Lhota, ex-MTA chief, says he would let the trains keep rolling instead of causing delay to rescue kittens from getting electrified by third rail

Lhota, a former MTA chairman, said he would’ve saved straphangers from agitation before he saved the kittens from danger.  Luckily for the kittens Lhota ain’t the mayor yet. And, even if he were, the decision still would not have been his but the MTA’s officials to make.

Now, I sort of understand where Lhota might be coming from. I mean considering the expense and the inconvenience to the straphangers and all  but a city as hard as nails as NY still got a heart and to save the kittens’ keisters just seemed to be the right thing to do, if you ask me. Besides can you imagine if one of them damn kitties got squished or fried? Think of the headlines then.

And this week I am adding a special extra  WTF:

10A) Back on August 29 a story was posted on the internet that was credited to Matt Musil / KHOU 11 Sports in Houston. The post begins: “It’s the story of two young boys brought together by their love of the Houston Texans and an act of kindness that melted hearts across the city. It all started when one of them asked, ‘What would J.J. Watt do?’”

So what is this all about? Well, it appears a youngster by the name of Kanye Ortiz, 9, who is a QB for his youth football team, the South Houston Wildcats, went to watch the Houston Texans at an open practice. Kanye also was hoping he could get Texans defensive end J. J. Watt to sing a football he had brought with him to the practice. However Kanye was not alone in his quest as many of the thousands who went to the practice were also clamoring and crowding around waiting for J. J. with the same goal: J. J.’s autograph on anything they could put in front of his face… a football, a jersey, a scrap of paper… whatever.  After what seemed to Kanye to be a wait that was “forever” J.J. finally “came around” and Kanye got what he had wanted (according to his mom) “forever”: J. J.’s name signed on his football.

But as Kanye and his family were walking back to their car, someone caught his eye.

Kanye says “…and then I saw a boy in a wheelchair who was trying really hard to get it (J.J.’s autograph), and he couldn’t.”  The young boy then made a decision that stunned his family.  Kanye said “Mom, I want to give this to the boy in the wheelchair.”

His mom took a picture for the family scrapbook as Kanye approached the wheelchair bound kid and then presented his J. J.-signed football to one 15-year-old Zuriel Sanchez, who suffers from spina bifida.

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Several weeks later, through KHOU 11 Sports, the two young fans got back together and Zuriel, who now has his coveted J.J. Watt ball in a plastic display case said “You know, when I was going home, Kanye came up to me and told me he wanted to give me his football, and I felt excited because no one had ever, like, done that to me.”

Kanye’s reply when asked why he did it: “If you do something nice for someone — it will, it will help you later on, and it will help you later on in life…if you be nice and generous, God will bless you for that.”

Then KHOU 11 Sports spoke with J.J.’s mom and told her that J. J.’s foundation found out about Kanye’s kindness, and said Kanye will be receiving “something special” from J.J. in the very near future.

Each act of kindness is its own reward but sometimes even when you don’t expect anything in return that kindness will grow and came back to you a hundredfold.

Kanye’s act of unselfishness, of kindness, proved that to be so.

 

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