Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

04 May 2006

Patriotism, Baroid, and The Sopranos

Now that I'm a year older…and wiser (allegedly), I figured it was time to make my post turning 30 blog. *Sigh*.

First up, Patriotism. Hey, I'm a Patriot. I love my country. I support my President/Regime even if I don't always (or lately usually) agree with them. I served my country by doing 6 years in the Air Force (and my job included front line Army support, so while I never saw real combat unfortunately, I have had as much Combat Training as other ground pounding Army Pukes). I love the flag and follow the rules of its usage. I REFUSE to put those goddamn magnetic ribbons on my car. I support my country and especially the troops, but I don't need to make some slack-jawed yokel getting rich off an idea to exploit the troops and the war. I love my National Anthem. And yes, that means the "Star Spangled Banner" and not the horrendous "God Bless America" (more on this in a moment). Having served my country, I loved putting on that uniform every day. The first time I heard the "Star Spangled Banner" after joining up, the meaning of the song changed and it gave me even more pride in my country. I love hearing our National Anthem at the start of our sporting events (except Soccer because lets face it, Soccer is about as Communist as Lenin or Marx). Despite my feelings, Patriotism can be over done. Case in point, the 7th inning stretch in baseball games. Before the timeless American Classic "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" is played, we are treated to our secondary anthem "God Bless America". Right after 9/11, I was down for this. We as a whole in America take a lot of things for granted. Things that include our lifestyle, our freedoms, our ability to do any number of things. Sometimes it takes a horrific terrorist attack to remind us of this. In the troubled times following 9/11 I was all about "GBA" being played in the 7th inning. It gives the fans and more importantly the people another reminder of how great our country is, how great we as a people are. However, 5 years down the road, we have been reminded. Americans for the most part have gone back to being American and are taking things for granted and a song is not going to prevent that. While Football might be king, Baseball is truly America's National Pastime. It’s a game that has no time limit, yet lasts just long enough for fans to be content (or for my buddy Mark - http://beercraft.blogspot.com ) to throw down about 8 beers. It has traditions like the 7th inning stretch that no other sport has. And when its time to stretch for the 7th inning and sing along to "Take Me Out To The Ball Game", I should not have to remove my hat first for "GBA". Guess what…we already had the National Anthem at the begging of the game. Enough is enough. Lets all continue to be proud of who we are, our country, and games, but lets not have an overkill on Patriotism at our sporting events. I go to a baseball game to forget about life for awhile. To eat and drink and converse with good people. To watch a majestic game take place on the greenest grass in the area manicured perfectly (except for the lines leading from the on deck circle to the batters box here in Crapchester…it looks like M-M-M-Michael J. Fox carved them out). In the middle of all of this, I don't want a reality check. I'll get that soon enough on the way to the parking lot. Give me my game back the way it should be. 1 national Anthem, 1 classic baseball song in the 7th, and good fun in-between and after.

If you thought you were going to get off with only having to listen to one topic. Wrong Pal. I'm feeling froggy today so I'm a go ahead and jump.

Baroid Bonds. In the sports world, I cannot envision a player who needs an ass whippin' more than this one man beef-roid injection POS. By now, most baseball fans (thankfully) hate this guy as they should. Baseball Fans have done every thing we can to ignore this guy and not watch it, however, every time we turn around Bariodi s right there. Who is to blame? The obvious answer is the Media, but more specifically ESPN and Bud Selig/MLB as a whole. Lets face it, good or bad news Baroid generates a lot of attention. Because of this, ESPN is turning into all Baroid TV. Sportscenter and Baseball Tonight cover everything this asshole does from putting his socks on to every at bat. Fuck, you think they would have been able to catch him shooting some beef-roids into is ass at least a few times then! Then we have the Bonds on Bonds TV Show. I absolutely refuse to watch this just out of principle. I know a few people who hate Baroid but watch it because they think he is interesting. Really? I think he is an asshole. I won't watch. With Baroid approaching Babe Ruth's 714 home runs, now ESPN will cut over to his every at bat. Really? I think I will never put on ESPN again for the rest of the year. I can watch the Mets on Sportsnet NY and I would rather BUY the MLB package to see other games that support ESPN as long as they are going to ride the miniscule jock of a roid popping disgrace. Smarten up ESPN. There is a reason why some Giants Fan used his own money to buy a billboard outside their yard saying "TRADE BARRY". MLB's top sponsors want nothing to do with any celebrations for him should he break the HR record, Hank Aaron won't be a part of anything. What does that tell you? And of course if Bud "Red" Selig had actually been concerned with the Steroid problem back when it was first becoming known, maybe we would be having this discussion. Maybe Baroid would have already tested positive, or been found guilty and all his "accomplishments" could be wiped off the record books. I know Baroid isn't the only one who has cheated, but he is the biggest name putting up the most inflated numbers. If I could have one baseball wish, I would like to see a fireballer launch a 100mph heater that somehow ends up hitting Baroid's "bad" knee exploding it so he can't walk again much less take another at bat. If anyone has it coming, its this guy.

The Sopranos. Is there a better show on T.V.? Nope. Well, watching a baseball game is great, The Sopranos get the edge because they only make like 4 episodes a year or something. So far in the 6th Season, I have to say that each Sunday night I anxiously await 9pm so I can get my dose of Tony, Christopher, Paulie, Bobby Bacala, Artie Buco's wife and other things. As one with any shred of common sense would gather, I am a Mafia Aficionado. I have forgotten more information about the Mafia than most parents know about their kids. Whether that’s good or bad is still up in the air. Because I'm a diehard (note, not wannabe as I do not roll around acting like I have a family backing me up), I have to say that this show does a fairly good job at showing Mafia activities and also shows an oft forgotten element in the home lives of the Mafiosi as well. That being said, a lot of the plots for the Season 6 episodes can be found in current or recently passed Mafia headlines. With all the material they have to work with, its amazing that they want to end the show next year. Anyway, I'm digressing all over the place here. Back to Season 6. Like I said, each episode has kept me wanting more. A very good sign, however The Sopranos is suffering from one problem right now…too much is going on! They have way too many story lines going on all at once. Lets recap a few. Big Vito is proven to be a finok and makes a break for it when the Soprano Mamalukes go looking for him. The next week, there is barely a mention of Vito. Johnny Sac in jail has only been shown in bit pieces and last we saw he was crying as the US Marshalls dragged his ass back to jail. Acting Boss Phil Leatardo was talking shit about him and the subsequent 2 episodes haven't shown Johnny anywhere! One episode revolves around Artie. One episode shows Paulie fucking up the younger Barone's legs and demanding a 4 grand a month kick up to him and he better not tell Tony either. That was the last of that. After a week hiatus, Vito was back on the TV picking up a gay biker dude in his small New Hampshire hideout errrrr town. The last scene they were is looked like an out take of "Brokeback Mountain". Next week the previews show a confrontation between Bacala and Paulie. Hey, where the fuck have those buys been? In seasons 1 through 5 everything was blended perfectly. The side stories were all getting a fair amount of time and rarely did a week go by where an ongoing storyline was completely left off the radar. Don't get me wrong, I'm down with season 6. I am taping all the episodes to watch over again until they all get released on DVD. But all the bouncing around and weeks between key storylines is putting a damper on the shows greatness. Come on David, get it together. We all love The Sopranos, but we want everything to flow as it did the first 5 seasons…...