Friday, April 05, 2019

Uncle P Needs a Vacation

     I need a vacation. And no, Dorene, not a working vacation out in God’s country knee deep in chicken poop and paw paws.  I love you sweetie, but not that much. I need a real vacation.
     A week or two or three or more just lazing my black ass somewhere and having people coddle and pamper me.
      I’d love to go back to some of the liberty ports I hit in the Nav back in the day. Between two different deployments and various at-sea periods, I hit 16 different places. Some, like Monaco; Perth, Australia, and Hong Kong were very cool. Some like Diego Garcia, Casablanca, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast were meh, and Karachi, Pakistan scared the hell out of me. And the statute of limitations hasn’t run out on The shenanigans I got up to in Olongapo City Philippines.  What happens in Olongapo, definitely stays in Olongapo!!
       All those places had one thing in common though, I didn’t spend nearly enough time in any of them. Although in the case of Karachi, one day on the beach there was more than enough for me. 
       The phrase “Join the Navy and see the world” is apropos, but you only spend enough time in a liberty port to say you were there.  You don’t spend enough time in the places you hit to really see or do anything. And I wasn’t the stereotypical squid who saw these places thru the bottom of a beer bottle.
       There’s only so much you can do when your ship pulls into a port for three days, and you only get a day and a half to get around. I’d love to spend a week or two in Australia just checking out the Aussie life in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. I’d love to trek up and down Japan, or Hong Kong or venture beyond the velvet ropes and play a few hands of baccarat at Monte Carlo, or have a real Singapore Sling at Raffles. I want to go back to Pearl Harbor and toss a Dixie Cup in the water at the Arizona Memorial to honor the fallen.
      But unless a rich uncle that I didn’t know about died and left me a steamer trunk full of greenbacks, I can only go as far as McKeesporch. I need a vacation. Real bad...

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Adios, AAF

      RIP Alliance of American Football.  They had potential, and started out hot, but any league that needed a $250 million infusion of cash after its first week of play was skating on thin ice from the jump.
      The league had a few innovations that the NFL in its infinite wisdom (and I use that term lightly) should take a look at implementing. Or like Trump, they'll implement them and claim they invented them.  Among other things, eliminating kickoffs, not putting skirts on quarterbacks and conversion kicks. Also miking the refs during penalty discussions were especially noteworthy.
     But like the XFL Version 1.0, USFL, the World Football League, NFL Europe, and other attempts at creating an alternative to the NFL, football fans who are used to watching the best players in the world aren't gonna settle for watching a bunch of guys who rode the pine on an NFL team's bench or had a cup of coffee in an  NFL training camp. 
     Which is sad because while the AAF didn't directly go after players seeking an alternative route to the pros other than college, I really want to see college football get out of the business of being the developmental system for the NFL by admitting players who's sole purpose for being on a college campus is to play football and take bullshit classes to do so. But you know the saying about free milk and a cow.
       In the end, it all comes down to the green stuff. Everybody's making money off that racket except for the poor bastards who put themselves through the meat grinder for a 'scholarship'.  But I digress. 
       Too bad the AAF went belly up. They had some quality former players who bought in on the management side, notably for yinzers, two of the classier players to play for the Stillers, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu. You'd think that those two would not hitch their wagon to a bum horse. (Though Hines should probably stop trying to play the restaurant game.  It ain't working for him. The best way to make a million in the restaurant business is to start out with two million.) 
     I hope their reputations don't take a hit from this demise.  But knowing Ward and Polamalu, they'll land on their feet and won't need a bake sale held on their behalf anytime soon. Oh well, them's the breaks. You buy into a promising venture only to see it flop. Plenty of people with Hah-vahd MBA's do it every day.
      The AAF seemed like it had quality people who knew something about football running it, One hopes that Vince McMahon took notes on where the AAF went wrong when rolling out version 2.0  of the XFL, but it's hard to persuade people who are used to drinking bourbon-barrel imperial stouts to go back to quaffing 'Dilly, Dilly.' Just sayin'