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.

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.

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.”

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.

Time for Wedwand’s 4th annual Thanksgiving Eve address to the nation, or at least the nation of Wedwand supporters. I thank you.

I willingly profess Thanksgiving to be my favorite holiday. It has no pretense. It has no hype. And every year it reminds me to be thankful for what I have.

After speaking with some of you out there, I found that the actual Thanksgiving meal may have some awkward moments when seeing family and friends that you possibly only see once or twice a year, maybe by choice, maybe due to geography.

As a Public Service reminder, this week’s Wedwand, will again provide some valuable tidbits to help you through your Thanksgiving celebration dinner.

Given the current state of affairs, and to keep the peace, it is advisable to avoid certain conversation topics as religion, politics and ‘boy this turkey is really dry’.

If things get dicey, and if it doesn’t involve the diced ingredients of the stuffing, here’s an old “go to” line. “How bout those Cubs?”

Just shout it out and interrupt Uncle Bill’s tirade. For the FIRST time in 108 years this is bound to elicit positive conversation (unless of course some of the guests are from the south side of Chicago or Cleveland). If that’s the case, just humbly acknowledge their differences and act like you knew it would happen. Don’t gloat. Nobody likes a gloater, just like nobody likes a floater in their gravy.

You can add, “You know, this WAS the Year of the Reckoning in sports.”

– in 2016, Leicester City won the English Premier League Soccer Championship for the first time EVER against 5,000-1 odds.
– Ireland’s Rugby team stunned the New Zealand All Blacks 40-29 in Chicago no less on November 6, 2016 for the first win for Ireland over the All Blacks in its 111-year history.
– And just last week, the University of Kansas defeated the Texas Longhorns in football for the first time since 1938. The score was 24-21.

If that fails, you can just mutter, “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

That is bound to prompt some happy chuckles as those who remember reminisce on the 1978 “Turkey Drop” episode from the TV show WKRP. In case you missed the source of that:

Uncle Bill may interject, “Turkeys CAN fly, Goddammit.”

You kindly repond, “Yes, Uncle Bill wild turkeys CAN fly in short bursts at up to 55 MPH.“ Then subtly whisper to Aunt June, “Psst, hide the Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Uncle Bill himself is flying right now. And, Aunt June. How DID you get the turkey to come out so juicy.”

So, enjoy the relish and relish the day. And please say “thanks” once or a hundred times and reflect on ALL the things to be THANKFUL for.

Signing off with the Wedwand Thanksgiving Anthem.

In case you missed or may have forgotten the Wedwand posts from the three previous years, here they are:


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