A rule for New Year’s

When I am the benevolent dictator of the world or at least North America, I am going to make a rule that you cannot call anybody on the phone to wish them a happy new year until after sunrise on January 1. Midnight should be about popping champagne and getting and giving kisses, not stopping everything to call someone. Am I the only one who thinks this practice is cheesy?

Like every rule there is an exception. After you have gotten your new year’s kiss and had some bubbly (12:30-ish) you have my permission to call people in time zones to the west that are still in the old year and taunt them. Keep it short though.

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Waits, Waits, Don’t Tell Me & Worton wears a woo

Coming back from Philly yesterday, I stumbled on WXPN’s broadcast of the new Tom Waits album, Orphans. Since XPN is a listener-supported radio (they don’t say “public” because it is not affiliated with NPR), there were limited interuptions. It made for an enjoyable ride back from the city of brotherly love. I got to hear half of the first disc, Brawlers, most of the second disc, Bawlers, and half of the third disc, Bastards. The first disc is rock stuff, while second is ballads. The third one is just weird, even for Waits.

Also, XPN has several frequencies, including Harrisburg and the Lehigh Valley, so its reach is all of SE Pennsylvania and a good chunk of Maryland. They also have a Worton/Baltimore frequency, which prompted the questions, why and where is Worton? It turns out Worton is due east of Charm City on the other side of the Chesepeake, but I don’t know why a Philly station is trying to be a Baltimore station too. The signal lasted until about Fort Meade, though, so I have no complaints. It was also interesting to hear traffic reports from Central Jersey to Baltimore with 25% of Pennsylvania too.

Lastly, XPN has programming called “Y-Rock” which is the remnants of Philly’s Y-100. About two years ago when I headed up to the Poconos I had a great time listening to Philly radio, which was far superior to D.C.’s airwaves. Of course, that is not saying much. Anyway, I enjoyed listening Y-100, only to find out that the format changed a week later. I should have blogged about that back then.

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Backfire

Years ago, on the way to Brad’s for New Years, I heard a great year-in-review program on public radio called Backfire. The show featured Tony Hendra (Ian Faith in This is Spinal Tap), Jane Curtain and Buck Henry. I believe it is still produced, but I can never find out when. Anybody have any idea when it is/was on this year?

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Heading up I-95 north

I am off to Philly to claim my winnings for the Nats victory over the Fleas in the 2006 season series. The Ombudsman owes me a trip to Jim’s Steaks.

I will return this evening.

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The new DC Nats store is nothing special

I met up with a friend for lunch at the Black Rooster today. It is a decent place, right next to Peace Corps HQ. Anyhow, since I was in that part of the District, I walked over the Nationals Team Store at 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW. In case you were thinking of going to it, don’t bother, unless you are already nearby. The place is quite small, maybe 400 sq. ft. I am glad it is there, but there is nothing to it. If you really want to be surrounded by an officially sanctioned Nats store, head to RFK.

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Beano Watch — Bowl Edition

Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) returned to “The Show” to talk about Saturday football. He was candid about Penn State and the Big11Ten scheduling.

Neal (Philly): Beano, what are some keys for Penn State’s offense against Tennessee?

SportsNation Beano Cook: Everything depends on the QB Morelli. If he has a good game then they can pull the upset. Both teams lost to teams that have very good records in 2006. Tennessee lost to Florida, Arkansas and LSU. Penn St. lost to teams that had a combined total of 5 defeats.

In this game, Morelli appears to be the key, but it is ultimately the offensive line. Like most quarterbacks, Morelli has trouble when the protection is poor. If the line can have a solid or good outing, Penn State has a decent shot at defeating the Vols. Just about any major college QB can get the job done with a good line.

Rich (CA): Just caught up reading your comments. Big Ten doesn’t play anyone out of conference?!?! Did you not see Ohio State play Texas and not notice their upcoming out of conference games with Nebraska, Miami, and USC? Come on Beano, do some research.

SportsNation Beano Cook: That’s one game out of four.

SportsNation Beano Cook: If the Big 10 would have a Championship game then eight conference games would be ok. But all I’m saying is that the Big 10, with all the resources it has, those teams should be playing nine conference games.

Ryan (cleveland): Beano, you are so mis-informed. I guess with PSU and Michigan playing ND, that’s also a cupcake game???? Honestly, it’s not like they are UF and Scheduled Coastal Carolina in November!

SportsNation Beano Cook: Number one Florida played thirteen games. Take away the easiest opponent. Count that as a scrimmage, then look at the other games. Non-conference games: Southern Miss (not easy), FSU (a big rival) and Central Florida. But Michigan and Penn State only played ND as their tough non-conference games, the other games were at home. And Michigan dosne’t want to play ND after 2011. I promise that if Michigan beats USC, Wisconsin beats Arkansas, Penn St. beats Tenn.I will be here for all you Big 10 fans to give it to me. In fact I will put my Michigan helmet on, which Lloyd Carr sent to me as a gift…but I wont sing The Victors.

The more critiquing the scheduling gets, the better. I want two quality non-conference games per year.

By the way, I don’t see the Big11Ten doing any better than 3-1 in New Year’s bowl games. I think Ohio State and Michigan both lose. I have not yet made up my mind about Penn State. If I am not mistaken, Wisconsin usually wins their bowl games. I’ll try to do a bowl preview later in the week.

Ed (Baltimore): Beano, Can Penn State go all the way next year?

SportsNation Beano Cook: Penn State will be good next year, but again it comes down to Morelli. They have big games at home, so that’s a big advantage for them.

How many times can I say it? The offensive line that is the crucial factor in Penn State’s (or any other team’s) success! C’mon Beano this is basic stuff — even a Pitt grad should understand this simple fact.

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Belated

During the Christmas season, I received many Christmas cards. Unfortunately, because I was so busy, I didn’t have time to send out any myself. So, if I could, I’d like to use this as my Christmas card to everyone who was kind enough to send one to me.

Dear Friend, or Relative, or Business Associate. Merry Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or Solstice, or Voodoo Day.

Boy, what a year it’s been – me, with my blogging, and, you doing whatever it is that you do. Thanks for the Christmas card, it was very beautiful, or humorous. I enjoyed the photo of your kid, or kids. Boy, he, or she, or they are really getting big. Have you seen our mutual friend, if we have one? Can you believe what he or she is up to? Boy, some people! Has your son, or daughter, or sister, or brother, or husband, or wife still have that drug problem? All you can do is trust in God, or, if you prefer, voodoo.

How is Granny, or Nana, or Mimi, or Yaya? So so? Hey, how about the professional sports team that we both root for? They should fire, or rehire that manager of theirs. He’s a character!

Well, gotta go. By the way, sorry about throwing up on your carpet that time, or times. I hope you receive many presents from Santa, or Hanukkah Guy, or the Voodoo Man.. and that the coming year is as good as, or better than, or nothing like the last year.

Love, William.

Stolen from Alec Baldwin. I wish this was on YouTube

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Austin Scott sent home

Bob Flounders of the Patriot-News has just posted on the blog No Cheering Aloud that Austin Scott has been sent home for “unspecified reasons.” Given that Scott has been with the program for four years and was a redshirt this past season, one has to wonder if this is the end of his Nittany Lion career.

Scott came to Happy Valley with great promise and had a solid freshman campaign, but his attitude and punctuality got him in Joe Paterno’s doghouse. With Tony Hunt emerging as a hard working, hard running tailback who could block, Scott was redshirted this year with the expection he would be the #1 in 2007. Given all that has happened, I don’t expect Scott to return.

This is yet another cautionary tale of why I don’t follow recruiting. Scott was a “can’t miss prospect” coming out of high school, yet he probably doesn’t even have 1,000 yards for his career. You just never know how an 18 year old kid is going to react to the collegiate expereince. It is too bad it has worked out this way for him. Thankfully, Hunt was up for the challenges of showing up on time, having a good attitude and possibly most importantly, blocking in the backfield.

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