Monday, September 25, 2006

The weekend at Middlebury.......

Well, game one is under the belt, and I lived to tell about it. The game itself was good, a 10-7 Middlebury in which the Panthers scored back to back safeties in the first quarter. Now that is something we won't see for a long time.

Broadcast wise, it went far better than I thought it would. I was a wee bit nervous and snippy before the game due to a technical problem, but I threw in the backup plan and it went without a hitch.

Well, one hitch. I had one of the legends of Middlebury football, Mickey Heinecken as a guest on the halftime show and for some unknown reason, and unknown until today called him Mickey Gilcrest. Why I did that, who the fark knows? Chalk that one up to not writing notes down when the trusty SID gives me my guest.

Game two at Colby this weekend, the other games I have are Milton at Colchester and Lake City at Vermont in the EFL playoffs. I will hopefully get to that game around the second quarter, but everyone will be in the capable hands of Larry Richards until then. Airtimes for the weekend are 6:45 on WCAT for the Milton/Colchester game; 12:30 for the Colby/Middlebury game (WFAD) and 7:15 for Lake City at Vermont. (WCAT)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bumper sticker

My dear mother sent me the text of a bumper sticker she saw on her way home........

Democrats are sexy...Have you EVER heard of a great piece of elephant?

I love it!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Are we ready for some football?

This weekend, the college football scene in Vermont gets into full swing as Middlebury College opens up their 2006 season against Wesleyan University.

This should be a good game, and one of interest for those in Chittenden County. Former Essex High School star Zack Librizzi makes his return to Vermont as the Wesleyan quarterback. Librizzi was a first team all NESCAC selection last year, and lead the conference in passing yardage and total offense. The Middlebury defense, lead by Scott Secor, will have their hands full. Despite the fact Wesleyan was 0-8 in the NESCAC, this should be a good game between two teams with strong football and academic histories.

The Panthers come into Saturday's game after going 3-5 last season. The Panthers lost their first three, but then came back to win three of their last five. Senior quarterback Tiger Lyon is back and will get the start under center. Lyon has a young offensive line to work with, but has Second Team All-NESCAC running back Stefan Hrdina behind him. Hrdina lead the team in rushing last year, and was second on the team in receptions. Hrdina looks like he hasn't missed a beat from last year, as he had a 64 yard romp in the annual Blue/White scrimmage. Lyon has a good arm, good instincts, and can run the ball when he needs to. On defense, the Tigers are strong with Secor, along with linebacker Alex Buggy. Buggy hits hard and gets his defense riled up with his intense style of play and his leadership.

This should be a good one. Catch the action on ESPN 1490 starting with the pre-game at 12:30; Alan O'Donnel and I will have the call of the game with kickoff time set for 1:00. If you can't catch the game on the radio, go to

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Six days to go

Six days and counting. Yup, six days is what I have before the opening of my first official football play-by-play gig as the voice of Middlebury College. (Division III) Am I nervous? Are you nuts? If I wasn't nervous there would be something seriously wrong with me.

Now, I know football, and have been doing quite a bit of warming up as the color voice of the Vermont Ice Storm, and doing high school football on Friday nights. I have sat in front of the tube and filled the DVR with college and pro football games and done mock play-by-play. On my way to Middlebury, I do the play-by-play of a cop pulling over a trucker. Yes, I am obsessed but ready to get the first game out of the way.

As I have learned, and the approach I will use is to picture describing the game to someone who has never listened to a single down of football. I am not one for "Lyon is going to run a 32 slot A go nuts zip 42 on six". It will be more of, "Lyon is in the shotgun, one back to his left, two receivers to the near side, one to the far side with Colby putting defensive backs right up on the Panther receivers." That is more friendly to listeners and will keep my brain from exploding.

Will I mess things up? Of course I will. Believe it or not, announcers are human and mess things up a bit. We can prepare and prepare, but then when game time hits and we can't hit the rewind button on the DVR, things are different. We may see something we actually didn't, call the wrong guy carrying the ball, or miss a tackle or three. The game moves fast, and three hours feels like three minutes. Am I looking forward to this? Does a baby go goo?

This week starts pure chaos for me. Coaches show on Thursday, high school game in Plattsburgh, NY on Friday, Sox Show on Saturday morning, Middlebury game that afternoon. The next week, repeat, but the Middlebury game is on the road at Colby, then I have to FLY back to Vermont for the Ice Storm/Lake City rematch part II in which I will be late and start doing color in about the second quarter. Ah, the glory and fun of it all.

By the way, in the announcer game from hell, Vermont took out Lake City last night 34-27. COUNTLESS problems before the game, and we had to do the game from the bleachers. I am not going there right now as I am still infuriated with some people(Not having to do with the Ice Storm or the station.) during the pre-game. Once I calm down, I will get into some more detail.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Primary predictions

For what it is worth, here are my predictions for today's primaries:

US Senate(Republican): As much as I would like to say Rich Tarrant will lose, I just don't see it happening. Tarrant has the money, has been campaigning for much longer than Greg Parke, and the citizens of Vermont actually believe his anti-Bernie campaign ads. Parke, although he is running a much cleaner campaign, hasn't been campaigning for nearly long enough, so Vermonters don't know enough about him. The ads with his daughter are cute and all, but he should have started sooner.

Senate(Democratic): Sanders by a landslide.

Raniville vs Shepard: Rainville in this one. I actually like Martha because she is more of a moderate and has taken her shots at the Bush Administration. She seems to be very level headed, and obvioiusly has the experience in running the Vermont Guard to be able to make an impact in Washington. Yes Charity, there is a republican out there I would actually vote for.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What have we really learned?

As we all know, on this day in 2001, the United States suffered the worst attack on American soil in its history. Thousands were killed, even more injured, and countless lives were effected by this horrific act of violence. The question remains, what have we learned since then?

Since 2001, we as Americans don't trust anyone; thankfully this includes President Bush and his administration who have used 9/11 as a rallying cry to keep them in office. Republicans keep spouting off that they will make sure we are safe, and the Clinton administration failed in countless ways to prevent a tragedy such as this. But, that is not my point in all of this.

The main thing that we as Americans have learned is how to be even more ignorant towards others. Many see a Muslim walking down the street and assume they are a terrorist. Those from the Middle East are given extra pat downs at airport checkpoints because they of course could be carrying a bomb or other device. Mosques are vandalized, Arabs are discriminated against, and there is no understanding for them as individuals, nor do we even try to understand the Muslim religion, we just run away and taunt.

The reality of it is that Islam is a religion based on peace. Muslims are devout in their faith, and want peace in the world and not violence. Because of the actions of a few devout and fundamentalist believers in Islam. As is all religion, Islam is one that is subject to interpretation, and some will interpret the Koran in ways that suit their own personal agendas. This is no different from Catholocism, Judiasm, or for that matter any form of religion. I read things one way, you read them another. In the case of those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, they interpreted the Koran to preach violence and to eliminate those who do not believe the same as they do. What we have Americans have done is to condemn the religion because of the actions of a relative few and not the majority.

What can we do to heal? Learn, listen, and read. Read about the Koran and you will find verses saying Allah does not condone the senseless killing of others, he condones it. "Whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) manslaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind." (The Holy Quran 5:32) " This is a message of peace and not one that said to kill over 3,000 innocent people.

We need to learn to learn, and to persue knowledge of what happened and why. Systematically discriminating against millions because of the actions of a few will not allow us to move on; we will simply keep living in the past.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

We interrupt this bout of cynicism......

Ok, I have been a cynic of late, but I am going to stop.......But just for a minute.

I would like to thank the Vermont Ice Storm, Vermont Lake Monsters, Vermont Frost Heaves, Saint Michael's College, and the organizers of the Miss Vermont USA pageant for their TREMENDOUS generosity. On September 10th, a benefit will be held for Shane Bergeron, a nine year old kid in the Old North End who is suffering from Hodgkins Disease, and has an inoperable tumor. All I have mentioned have donated items that will be auctioned off during a silent auction at Sunday's benefit. Your generosity is very much appreciated.

Another note on the Ice Storm: I asked if I could place a donation jar at the entrance so donations could be collected. Well, that wasn't good enough. Volunteers went through the stands collecting donations. Through the pass of the hat, and the folks from the Miss Vermont USA pageant donating two baskets that were raffled off, $500.46 was raised for Shane's care. All proceeds will go to the family to help with medical and other costs. Thanks everyone for helping out.

If there is anyone out in the blogosphere who would like to donate anything, just drop me a line through here.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Part Two.......

Well, it is about 7:00 in the morning, I have writer's block for some promo spots I need to write, so here goes my cynicism part two......

I kinda like my country, in fact I love my country. Even with this love of the good old US of A, I have a problem with a couple of things. First of all, why do we even say the Pledge of Allegiance when there is one key line that isn't even true? "One nation, under God(Which shouldn't be there anyway due to separation of church and state), with liberty and justice for all." We all know, THAT sure isn't true.

We are a country that believes in, and practices discrimination against blacks, hispanics, women, and of course homosexuals. President Bush wants a constitutional ammendment banning marriage between same sex couples, and not allowing them to have certain rights when it comes to home ownership, medical decisions, etc. This is a policy that Bush has out in the open, and yes, it is discriminatory. If it wasn't for religion, this would not be a problem. We use the Bible, and some warped belief system that says we can discriminate against others because the Bible says so. When it comes to "Liberty and justice for all", this does not apply with same sex couples. (Oh yeah, we also turn away when their rights are violated because they are different.)

Look at the civil rights movement and to go back even farther, the Civil War. The concept of liberty and justice did not apply for African Americans; we held them as slaves against their will!!! African Americans were servants who didn't have any rights at all. They were beaten, tortured, and executed for the color of their skin. When it came to the 60's, blacks couldn't even sit in the front of a bus, and had to drink out of different water fountains!! There wasn't the concept of equality there, and nor does there seem to be much in this day and age. We still assume a black man is guilty of a crime before trial, while the white man seems to be the innocent victim of everything. Nope, no liberty and justice for all, just the white man.

If you are not a WASP in this country, you do not have the same right to liberty and justice as I do. We will find a way to kick you off of your land(Native Americans), openly discriminate against and take away rights(Homosexuals and blacks), and in the even more modern context, hold you in prison without the right to a trial. ("Enemy Combatants") Laws change to suit our own purposes, and President Bush is one of the ringleaders of this. When it comes to the post 9/11 era, we break our own laws, and violate our own principals because it suits us. Why in the world should some suffer in prison without being charged with a crime, no evidence that they have committed a crime, and hold them until we feel like releasing them? (Look at the Rolling Stone article from two weeks ago about the KID being held in Cuba, that is just chilling.)

No, we do not believe in liberty and justice for all. We should either ditch the pledge of allegiance, or at least rewrite the thing so it is accurate. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My own cynicism--Part One

Ok, I will admit, I have become more and more of a cynic as time has gone on. When I was young, I would take everything at face value, but not anymore.

Somehow, and for the life of me, I don't know how this happened, but on my Saturday show on WFAD in Middlebury, I got into the topic of the obese. As we all know, this society is starting to explode. More and more, I see these massive people raiding the grocery stores of chips, dip, and anything that says "HIGH in fat!!!" Why is it that these lazy people feel they must clog their arteries, cause potholes from walking, and deplete the financial resources of insurance companies? Yes piggies, your fat costs us money. Things like diabetes, heart disease, blown knees, (Hey, I am a skinny former athlete, so we can't go there with my blown wheel.) and every other disease we can attribute to being fat costs us money!! Now, why are we like this? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm......

1) We are a society who thinks we should be catered to, and we can do what we want. We can now order pizza from our remote controls, there are recliners that have refrigerators, and the thought of actually walking to the store makes us want another donut. We are lazy slobs!!!!! Walk to the stinking fridge or if you need to go two blocks to the store to get Twinkies, WALK!!! I see so many people who will get in their cars for that two block trip, drive around for a parking spot for 20 minutes, and then get a motorized cart to wheel themselves around the store because walking may actually get some blood flowing. Give me a break......

2) We love being slobs. Food is a symbol of something in this society. Just listen to the ads on ESPN Radio. There is one ad that focuses on salty food and hot dogs as a reason to enjoy a football game. Oh yeah, that is why I watch football, it is an excuse to eat!! Forget the game, forget hanging out with people, it is for the pretzles, pizza, burgers and beer. GAG!!!!!!!!

Lay off the freaking donuts and go for a walk dammit!!! It may hurt for awhile, but it is good for you!! Exercise off those balls of gooey fat, but don't eat chips while doing it. It KILLS me that I can't exercise as much as I used to because of my darn knee. I love walking with my wife, playing softball, and getting out. I go insane because the best I can do are knee bends for physical therapy without feeling like my knee will explode like an atom bomb. Exercise is good!! My cholesterol is a buck 65, resting heartrate is 58, and I will be like the rest of the family and live to be 95. Yes, I eat Burger King before I do play by play or color for a game, but it is my ritual, I do it once a week, but to serve my penance, I park at the OPPOSITE end of the parking lot and walk to the field. Oh yeah, I also do a lap around the field when the knee lets me.

Can you tell I am sick of fat people? They make me gag, vomit, etc. It is so bad nowadays that there is a woman in Florida who sued a hospital because after she had her stomach stapled, she raided the fridge in the nurses station. She sued because they did not lock the fridge and could therefore eat to her heart's content. Oh yeah, her staples broke. THE CHIPS MADE ME DO IT!!!! THEY CALLED ME!!!!! IT IS THE HOSPITAL'S FAULT I HAVE NO &#%ING SELF CONTROL!!! My point is, these people can't even blame themselves for being fat slobs, they have to blame others.

I am going back to my couch, game, and ice bag now. I walked around the fair yesterday for four hours and the knee is telling me how much of a moron I am. Why did I do it? I am stubborn, stupid, and needed the exercise. The latter of the three was a good thing though. Fresh air is always a beautiful thing. As a side note, someone at the fair saw me dragging the knee from hell around and offered me a wheelchair. I wouldn't take it and started laughing because I saw a 500 pound thing in a wheelchair because they were so fat. The conversation I overheard was "I'm hungry, I need a blooming onion."........

Friday, September 01, 2006

What used to be my pet project......

As some of you know, I have been involved with the ALS Association of Northern New England for the last couple of years. My involvment came following the diagnosis of, and subsequent death of my Uncle Hal. Last year, we raised over $35,000 for patient services and research, but this year there has been NOTHING!! Nada, zip, zilch, and squat. This is an organization right now that is a total and complete disaster.

It all started when our development director Tonia Zampieri left. Tonia was dedicated, talented, and simply amazing. Since her departure, the state of Vermont has been neglected and ignored. From November until May, we did not have a development director. The office moved to New Hampshire, and no one was notified of the change. Many of us made phone calls trying to get the walk efforts started, and no one could be bothered to tell us what was going on with the office, and no one could be bothered to even return our phone calls.

When the new development director came on, we thought there would be progress; well, there wasn't. This was not Karen's fault. She came in to the job six months behind in development, had a mountain to over come, and did everything in her power to try to get something going. Well, because the organization wouldn't even kick out $200.00 for a walk kickoff, wouldn't help with publicizing the event, and seemed to be sitting on their hands wishing the state would seceed and become part of Canada, she resigned. Karen did everything she could to work towards getting a Burlington walk going, but she received no help, no information, and no support from her administration.

When Karen told us(the volunteers) what was going on, I sent an e-mail along to Executive Director Joanne Saint Pierre, and other members of the board of directors. Four days ago she finally bothered to get back to one of the volunteers and claimed she e-mailed the rest of us. Well, none of us received the e-mail. Either she doesn't know how to use the computer, or she is lying. From what I have seen and heard, I believe the latter of the two.

There is horrendous mis-management going on in this organization, and those who suffer from ALS are suffering for it. There isn't a cent being raised in this state for patient services and no one seems to care. I sent a rather nasty e-mail back to Joanne and expect to hear from her again in six months. This is not the way a non-profit should be run, and I would do backflips if something changed within the organization. Until it does, I will not do a thing in support of the ALS Association. I am also investigating to see what else is really going on there. This is a mission of mine since my uncle was very near and dear to me, and my family. These people are learning one thing, don't make me mad.