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Posted in Sports on February 5, 2017
If you can’t work up enough rooting interest for either the New England Patriots in their quest for yet another NFL title, nor for the Atlanta Falcons’ shot at their very first one, there’s always the enticement of tailgate-style food and beverage and the persistent distraction of lavishly produced TV commercials.
Plenty of wagering opportunities abound too! If the point spread or the over/under of total points scored don’t interest you, there exist dozens of proposition bets to take advantage of that often don’t even involve actual game elements at all. The betting opportunities seem to become more unique and fascinating each year. The over/under for running time of the national anthem, first song performed at halftime, the opening coin toss, and what flavor Gatorade dumped on the winning coach are just some of the usual prop bets available to even the most casual fan willing to drop a dime or two.
Since my alma mater has the distinction of having the most players of any other school participating in the game this year (a fifth player is on injured reserve, yielding a total of four, tied with Alabama and Stanford) I’m throwing around a few Rutgers University themed prop bets to enhance the Super Bowl LI festivities.
First consider Atlanta receiver Mohamed Sanu. He’s a versatile enough player to have a whole prop bet tip sheet devoted solely to him. He’s been known throughout his scholastic and college career to lineup at quarterback on gadget plays to throw for a touchdown as well fun or catch for one. He plays special teams at times also.
I’m not an odds maker so I’ve arbitrarily assigned point values to various outcomes loosely based on level of difficulty. Take a a drink for each one if you are so inclined, or, if not, grab a chicken wing, dip some nacho chips, cheeseburger sliders, whatever.
Scores the first TD of the game. 2 pts.
Throws a pass for a first down or a TD or 2 pt conversion 3pts.
Catches a pass for a first down or a TD or 2 pt conversion 2pts.
Runs for a first down or a TD or 2 pt conversion 2pts.
Adjust the point totals as you see fit. If Sanu has a big day and you drink a shot for each big play, you could overindulge big time.
Rutgers Defensive Players
Logan Ryan, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon all play defense for the Patriots, making for some unusual possible combination prop bets.
Two or more players each recover a turnover (fumble or interception). 3 pts.
Two or more players each score a touchdown (most likely involving a turnover). This could apply to both sides if Sanu were to score in addition to his former college teammates also scoring on defense. 3-4 pts.
Blocked punt, PAT or field goal
Touchdown or two point conversion.
QB Sack (extra bonus its if accomplished by three or four different players). 2-6 pts.
Sanu draws a pass interference penalty committed by a former college teammate covering him, or vice versa. This could interesting as I think I read that Logan Ryan and Sanu roomed together in college. 2 pts.
A Rutgers player scores the game winner. 3 pts.
A Rutgers player ends the game with the final play, i.e. game winning score, turnover, tackle/sack, exhausts the game clock running/catching the ball. 2 pts.
On-air specific mention of “Scarlet Knight(s)” or the full official name of the school, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. 1-2 pts.
Oh, and if there is either a play review or red flag challenge, you must run to the refrigerator and grab a snack, bathroom break, walk the dog/cat, etc. and make it back before the next play. 3 pts.
For the record, I think the Pats will win but I’m pulling for a Falcons upset and Mohamed Sanu MVP. But would be just as happy if one of the Scarlet Knight Patriots get MVP as well.
“For Amusement Only”
Posted in Sports on November 19, 2016
Featuring the Pete Dawkins retro bobblehead! Go Army v Morgan State! 🇺🇸
Posted in Society and Public Policy on October 25, 2016
The month of October, resplendent with the fiery colors of fall foliage amid the brisk chilly air, serves as a potent reminder to us all that yet another year has quickly come and, hence, will soon be gone. We look toward the upcoming holidays with hopeful anticipation and, to next month’s general election perhaps with nervous trepidation. But the O in October can also stand for opportunity, if we allow for it.
Below are some random photos snapped at two events I attended this month involving friends and acquaintances from the region’s very diverse disability community. The month of October is as good a time as any to find ways to enhance your life and of others in your community by becoming involved with an advocacy organization, a charity, school, neighborhood youth recreation facility, or senior citizen activity center, etc.
Disability Pride Parade, Trenton, NJ, October 7th, 2016
These colors don’t run. They just keep on rollin’!
Introducing the mayor of Trenton. Check out the guy on the right with the “clean energy” backpack though!
Performers with disabilities showcased unique talents ranging from wheelchair dancing, to rock and folk, Caribbean, and country western. Even some stand up comedy!
The celebration concludes as the staff of Alliance Center For Independence of Edison, NJ takes the stage. Thank you to ACI, performers, emcees Millie and Maria, and to all involved for making this event a huge success year after year. See you again in 2017!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Incidentally, I did not actually march in the #NJDPP but did stay at the Wyndham Hotel adjacent to the festivities. This beautiful eagle table greets visitors in the hotel lobby. How ’bout those ‘Birds! “Fly Eagles, Fly!”
“Empowerment Through the Lifespan” Conference, The Lakeview School, Edison, NJ, October 22nd 2016
The Spina Bifida Resource Network, “theSBRN” of central New Jersey organized an all day Saturday conference with excellent speakers covering various topics of interest to those impacted by spina bifida. Discussions focused on medical issues, adaptive sports, and legal issues pertinent to spina bifida and other disabilities. Kudos to the staff of “theSBRN” and all presenters and participants for creating a fun and informative event that was well worth it for those braving the dreary rain and cold to take part. Plus breakfast and lunch were provided! Thank you!
Finally, if you have read all this and would like to know more about spina bifida, you might be interested in Spina Bifida Association of America‘s teal-colored #BeyondAllLimits hashtag social media campaign to promote October Spina Bifida Awareness Month.
Posted in Life and Leisure on September 21, 2016
The Phillies, their championship hopes dashed almost at the outset of the season, honored their up and coming prospects before tonight’s game. Meanwhile, our sentimental American league favorites, The Baltimore O’s saw their post season opportunity dangle by a thread after dropping another home game to the Red Sox.
The weekend start of an eleven game home stand began with high hopes and pleasant weather, however. Top picture is a room view of game day approximately ninety minutes before game time.
|Click the picture above for game clip!|
Friday’s game was a real thriller with the O’s overcoming a 4-0 deficit that concluded with the final out occurring on a relay throw from left field and tag at home plate (click bottom photo for video clip).
As for our pre-game side trip, consider Geppi’s Entertainment Museum among Baltimore’s many smaller scale museums worthy of a visit.
This very colorful museum has an impressive collection of film and music posters, vintage comic strip panels and comic super hero art and even a room devoted to vintage TVs (way before the days of cable subscription fees and smart remotes). Exhibits include a variety of materials pertaining to American cowboy films and serials. An exhibit including some of the actual toys mentioned in the wonderful holiday film A Christmas Story is particularly interesting.
It’s very close to the stadiums, and so is definitely worth a visit after some food and drink at the various eatery’s in and around Fell’s Point.
The O’s still have a shot at post-season but it remains to be seen who can step up big as their superhero!
Posted in Sports on June 29, 2016
1) Ages 9 to 90+ can play. If you understand the basics of NFL football you can learn the game. If you’re old, young, short, tall, fat, played for your school, or never suited up for real at all, you can learn the game from a actual nationwide rule book that includes virtually every element of the actual game- running, passing, kicking, defense, etc. The game is a great social equalizer yet steeped in gridiron tradition.
2) Somebody in the neighborhood has one of these from their childhood that they got as a Christmas gift or birthday present, etc. Almost everyone is familiar with these games but few of us learned out how to play it in way true to the actual “real” pro game. If you can assemble chess pieces on a board you can set up a game, set up leagues, run tournaments, etc.
3) Even if the board from your childhood is all busted up, you can build your own, or, if you are handy with tools, fix up and remodel the one you already got.
4) Maybe your favorite NFL team changed their uniforms and you hate it as much as I hate “midnight green”? With some hobby store paints you can relive the days of your favorite era. The kelly green and silver of Wilbert Montgomery, Reggie White and Randall Cunningham lives again!
5) A grown man can still wear his favorite football jersey even if he’s not going to a real game. Heck, if you’re a fiftysomething Cincinnati Bengals fan you can wear an Ickey Woods jersey and it’s OK. No millennial would dare ask who or even what an Ickey Woods is.
6) You don’t need cable subscription, or the latest Xbox, Playstation, Sega Genesis console.
7) No commercials. No Joe Buck either. Heck, if someone brings a decent enough sound system to wherever basement or upstairs bar lounge is hosting the thing there’s bound to be people there who think they can do a better job than him (and they might be right).
8) Did I say no cable subscription? But again, if someone comes equipped with a modern enough flat screen TV, some “cabling” cables and camcorder or cellphone cam you’re good to go. Put the highlights on YouTube. Highlights yes, but no video reviews of controversial calls are necessary because all players “freeze” to a full stop in their molded plastic bases at the end of every play.
9) No personal seat license fees required. Whether someone caters, brings their own or not, etc. food and beverage prices are way better that those at the stadium. No parking passes either, unless a tournament is going on at the Waldorf, where you have to tip valet parking?
10) No need to search for a league commissioner with a gajillion dollar $alary to arbitrate on PEDs, unauthorized OTAs, deflated balls, etc. Someone with a great looking board, a case full of beautifully painted players and social skills pertinent to effective event planning a must. Much better off without Roger Goodell.
11) The sport is the real deal and is trending. ESPN even hired an award winning filmmaker to do a short documentary about a neighborhood group who formed their own organized league. You can watch it HERE:
Posted in Sports on June 18, 2016
It’s one tier below Major League, but Coca-Cola Park in Allentown PA is one of the greatest places in North America to take in some baseball on a warm summer day. It is the home field of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA affiliate of our Philadelphia Phillies. The team’s colorful name, stadium signage, and sometimes wacky uniform logos reflect the heritage of the area’s steel and iron and coal mining industries.
The stadium seats slightly under 10,000 spectators and affords a reasonably priced opportunity to see players possibly destined for careers in MLB. Shown upper, left, is shortstop J. P. Crawford on the scoreboard. The home team went on to win big 16-1 v the Durham NC Bulls. However, things got a bit more tense as the night wore on with Crawford getting brushed back by a ball thrown tight inside, resulting in the pitcher’s ejection from the game, upper, right. After the game’s on-field fireworks, fans stayed around for a nice display of colorful, aerial summer night pyrotechnics, lower, left. The next day saw the IronPigs drop a Sunday afternoon game to the Bulls. Shown, lower, right, is outfielder Cedric Hunter just before hitting a home run during the game.
And, yes, that is a strip of bacon painted on the field behind home plate! In fact, the food vendors at this ballpark serve some of the best comfort food in all of baseball. Obviously bacon is served up in various varieties, along with roasted corn on the cob and very fresh soft pretzels. The sausage and pepper and bratwurst come with thick soft rolls sliced right in the middle so that your sandwich filling doesn’t squirt out the end of a squishy long roll. I hate when that happens! The gyros are absolutely delicious.
It is worthwhile to stay in nearby Bethlehem where you can explore the town’s historical areas and eating establishments between baseball outings. Happy Summer ’16!
Posted in Life and Leisure on June 17, 2016
Our last college baseball road trip of the year took us to the White Plains area of New York State. No matter what the score, the Renaissance Hotel bar and restaurant there does not disappoint. I started out with a buffalo cauliflower appetizer and later an un-vegan sirloin salad over crispy flatbreads and mixed greens in a tangy vinaigrette, both outstanding.
Beverage choice was an Australian blended red (mostly shiraz). As I’ve previously mentioned, delicious wines are even more fun when presented with a fun, funny, funky label.
I have to admit, though, that I was part way through my second (Ok, maybe third glass) before it suddenly dawned on me that what I thought was minimalist no frills labeling is actually meant to resemble a doctor’s office eye chart. Pretty clever.
Returning from NY state to Doylestown PA for the home field Sunday doubleheader.
The hotel is located close to Yonkers Raceway, so we most likely will return to this area for harness racing and fine wining and dining.