img_3046It started off simply enough. I was on my way to a Super Bowl party and called the host to see if they needed anything.

“Glad you called. Turns out we got a bunch of cheese, but no crackers.”

“I’m on it,” I replied. “I’ll bring some crackers.”

Simple enough it seemed. There were two minor hitches it turned out.

First, the entire town was at the local grocery store picking up last minute items, wings, pizza, chips and beer, lots and lots of beer.

Second, there was nearly an entire aisle of the store devoted to crackers. See cover photo. Who knew?
There were more than just Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Ritz and good old fashioned Saltines.

There were toasted crackers, water crackers, baked crackers, wheat crackers, wheat free crackers, rice crackers, matzo crackers, ground pepper crackers, whole grain crackers, no grain crackers, pretzel crackers and pita crackers.

Then the aberration crackers, Chikin in a basket, Cheeze its, Cheese Nips, Goldfish Crackers, Animal Crackers, Oyster Crackers and Graham Crackers.

I quickly ruled out the Graham family of crackers but my mind was boggled at the selection.

I called the host. “Hey, uh, I’m having trouble finding the crackers,” I lied.

“Not to worry,” he replied. “Just pick up some brew. Billy Bob bopped by with a big box of crackers. That’s what he does. He was just late. Cracker Billy is always good for the crackers on Super Bowl Sunday. “

Now, “Cracker Billy” was a term of endearment for our southern friend. He took the nickname as a source of pride for his long time roots in the Georgia south.

Indeed, before the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965, the minor league baseball team of the Southern Association was actually called the Atlanta Crackers. The Negro League team was likewise known as the Atlanta Black Crackers. (This is not to be confused with the Chiropractic Society of Atlanta known as the Atlanta Back Crackers. OK, I made that one up. The other names are entirely true.)

In any event, the term “Cracker” as applied to a group of people is tricky. Some, like Billy Bob find it OK. Others find the term offensive. Polly may wanna cracker, but Polly don’t want you to call her a cracker if you get my drift. So, it’s wise to stay away from the term.

So, I was looking in the craft beer aisle which was JUST as mind boggling as the cracker aisle. And there I saw it. Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale.

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Crackers and beer all in a can. Doesn’t get any better. Billy Bob loved it.

img_3027Wedwand comes alive again tonight.

OK I’m totally freaked at four things.

ONE: It’s 2017. I have things in my refrigerator with an expiration date marked “0417Beelzebubgobad” and I’m thinking “well that mustard is good for a few more years” when BANG it hits me. It IS 2017! I gotta be eating more hot dogs and brats cause damn, its 2017! That mustard’s going bad.

TWO: Groundhog Day is this week. Thursday as a matter of fact. I haven’t done ANY shopping at all yet.

THREE: Going into this year’s baseball season, the Chicago Cubs are the defending World Champions! Hell yeah they are. Never gets old.

FOUR: The President of America is a former Game Show host. Now I don’t exactly recollect how Alex Trebek got to this office, but it’s a fair assumption that the electorate prefers responses in the form of a question than actual answers.

That said. There’s required homework to continue further. Back to a simpler time. 1968.

You must watch this video. Tommy Boyce. Bobby Hart. “I wonder what she’s doing tonight.”

Great song, obvious lip synch. Odd ruffled sleeves. Orange and Green velvet suits. The tambourine gets dropped unceremoniously at 20 seconds. Not a trumpet to be seen in the brass interlude.

Simpler times. Yet struggles existed. Maybe they weren’t so simple. 1968 was a rough year. Maybe ruffled sleeves weren’t the answer.

The past seems simpler since we lived through it and survived. But it wasn’t all that simple when it was “going down”. Stop children what’s that sound.

These days we perceive as harder times, yet struggles still exist, not unlike struggles survived in the past. I wonder what we’re doing tonight. Whatever it is …

We will survive.

IMG_1583
Big weekend a comin’ in college football. Many conference championship games will be played.

Between all the excitement of a Chicago Cubs World Series title and that election thing, I have not been watching too much football of late. But I did catch a few games over the weekend.

Now I’m sure it’s hard being a football broadcaster, calling the plays, describing the action and making it interesting for the folks in TV-land during a fast paced game. It can be a challenge. But sometimes, they lapse into announcer clichés that don’t make sense.

Here’s two examples:

Lou: Freshman Johnny Feenom has now gained 100 yards rushing the football.
Vince: Johnny’s having a great game here today, Lou. And he’s only a freshman.
Lou: He’s got a great future ahead of him.
STOP

Just wondering. Where else would Johnny’s future be except for ahead of him?

The term “future” inherently infers that whatever comes next is in fact ahead of him. Yes, he may have a great future but to say that future is ahead of him is obviously redundant and superfluous.

This is Johnny Feenom, not Marty McFly. If you ever saw the movie, you know that it turned out that McFly’s future was indeed behind him. However all other futures are ahead of you.

I checked the sidelines. No DeLorean. No Doc Brown. No Marty McFly. So the announcer was saying essentially that Johnny has a great future future because in the absence of the DeLorean, everybody’s future lies ahead.

Cliché Example two:

Lou: Johnny Feenom breaks a tackle and is brought down at the 30 yard line.
Vince: He got that extra five yards because he’s got “quick feet.”
STOP

Quick feet? Oh some announcers DO say that.

Johnny is just FAST. His whole body is fast. But some announcers attribute it to “quick feet.” If that was the case, here’s how this narrative would go:

Lou: And Johnny Feenom is brought down at the 30 yard line.
Vince: Lou, look at his feet. His feet are all the way to the 40 yard line but his body is 10 yards behind. Man that guy’s feet are fast!
Lou: Kinda weird watching his feet hopping up and down ten yards ahead of his body.
Lou: And he’s only a freshman, His future is ahead of him, just like his feet.

If you think I am making this up and you happen to be watching football this weekend, then buy yourself a bottle of Jim Beam and take a shot every time you hear about: 1) A future ahead of some young player or 2) A player with “quick feet.”

I recommend a B vitamin and Gatorade for the morning after if you play the game.

FOOTNOTE: In case you missed it, here’s another post with the infamous announcers, Vince and Lou around Olympic time if you can remember back that far.
https://wedwand.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/rio-life-olympics/

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