Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sportsman's Weekend



This is going to be a great Sportsman's weekend. We have the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals Saturday night...which features our beloved Flyers....followed by the Indy 500 on Sunday...the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
My wife is taking my daughters down to Florida to see her Mom and visit the new Harry Potter Disney creation. My son will be in Baltimore for the NCAA Lacrosse Finals and I will be home alone with the dogs and my Samsung HD T.V. Sports look absolutely amazing on the HD channels on this box.
I will sneak in some Skeet shooting on Saturday as it will not be too hot and then maybe some Squash or Tennis at the Club in late afternoon...and hope to do some Deep Sea fishing on Monday morning. So, some of my Bachelor buddies over for steaks and hockey Saturday night. Perhaps household projects will be neglected...
Parentetically, the Flyers playoff ride has been astonishing and I cannot believe they did it....now 4 more wins and a Parade down Broad street...we can hope!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Indianapolis 500






With Memorial day weekend coming up...I am fixated on the greatest spectacle in racing: The annual running of the Indy 500. As a sportsman, I am intrigued by the physical and mental stamina exhibited by the drivers. They drive 200 Laps at speeds in excess of 210 m.p.h. in serious traffic..they have to engage in strategy regarding pit stops, fuel,tires and lap position...and perhaps more than anything...they have to deal with the fact that their chosen sport could easily take their lives...a nasty death in a twisted flaming spiral of racing gas and sheared metal.
In 1989 I went to my first Indy 500 with 10 of my Lehigh buddies. 2 guys flew out on Thursday before race day and rented a huge R.V. and 2 minivans. They secured a spot in a field along the outside of the track which would be our campsite and headquarters for a tremendous guy's weekend of beer swilling buffoonery and serious racing.
The advance team also purchased a Weber Grill, a ping pong table ( for marathon beer pong games..the real kind..not this candy-assed Beruit ball tossing nonense)and chairs, tarps, charcoal, Wiffle Ball gear,about 40 cases of beer, ice, coolers,four 1/2 gallons of bourbon and enough burgers, buns, PB&J and related items to feed a bunch of beer soaked knuckleheads from Friday night thru race day.
The rest of the crew arrived Friday night and with shuttle trips in the minivans to get everyone from the AIRPORT..we were ready for action. Generally, Friday involved a trip to the Speedway, Indiana ballet for some cultural activity involving one dollar bills and morally casual brass pole artistes.One year a few of the Lehigh guys that were kicking ass on Wall Street brought several huge,fresh, bank wrapped stacks of 1000 singles and slapped them down on the bar...it created a feeding frenzy amongst the G-Stringed performance artists in residence and pissed off the local mullet and cut off T-shirt crowd as they received ZERO attention for the balance of the evening.
Saturday featured beer and burgers for breakfast..perhaps the odd funnel cake or turky leg from the Midway vendors. Then we played beer pong and wiffle ball until mid afternoon when we would go to the Indy Museum at the track and after the tour go to the Georgetown Rd. intersection that served as a Commodity market for race day tickets. Once we had secured our tickets it was back to the R.V. for more beer swilling,Bourbon Shots, poker, beer-pong and a bonfire. The party atmosphere in this giant field of race fans was captivating and hilarious. As the poker and beer pong wore down, we would get set for a group stroll down the midway along Georgetown road. Here were the locals cruising, liquored up wenches raising their shirts at the request of nearly every Skoal chomping, Old Milwaukee slurping Corn-Belt half wit on the sidewalk , hucksters selling everything from Indy car coolers to Indy Undies for the ladies in a nifty spark plug shaped carton,the ubiquitous corn dogs and lemonade stands. Beer was toted along in a 40 gallon trash can with ice bungee corded to a Radio Flyer wagon...procured for that purpose by the advance team.
Then Sunday...Race Day!!...a huge progression of nearly 400,000 fans stream into the track for an exciting day of motor sports and more Herculean beer consumption. With the Jet Fly-overs and the singing of Back Home Again in Indiana and the flags and anthems and tributes to our Armed Services...it is and was a truly stirring American event.
After we had enjoyed the race..we returned to the RV, packed up and headed to Indianapolis proper to drop off the rented vehicle and seek showers and civilized comforts in a down-town Hotel. We would all meet up for a bit of fine dining and then watch the race on T.V. when the recorded broadcast was shown that evening. Incidentally, every year we would auction off ,burn, or give away the grill and Ping Pong table and lawn chairs. Somewhere in 2 bedroom ranchers in Speedway, Indiana backyards near the track there are Families cooking on our old Weber and sitting on our chairs telling stories about the crazy drunken College boys who gave them this stuff after the Race.
Monday..off to the Airport to fly home in time for back yard cook-outs and the like.
We did this same routine until 1996 when the CART/IRL split screwed up the race and when the boys started to get married and have kids. The stories are legion and legend and too numerous and tawdry for this post or my typing stamina. There are highlights like when Teddy G. drove a race-team golf cart right off of gasoline alley..out of the track and back to our camp. There was even a cold six pack on board. Or the time Wighty left the boarding line at the Airport and went to the E.R. for treatment of the colossal and debiltating hangover caused by 3 days of drinking...legend has it they hung 4 bags of saline on him before declaring that he was no longer dehydrated. Our lexicon now includes gradations of hangovers such as "a 4 bagger"
Or the time Jimmy H. went missing for a while Saturday night... until he was spotted on the Bed of a 2 story high Monster truck with his shorts at 1/2 mast, a beer in each hand... and loudly inquiring of any girl in the crowd of thousands...whether they would apply certain oral ministrations...the excrement in Derek's hat or Kipper with the under- seat inflatable Mae West style Flotation device from the plane around his neck all weekend...I could go on and on...but these guys now have respectable jobs and kids who may read this....
So...this coming Sunday..Start your engines.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Visitors




The lovely blogger Mrs. Arscott had a gadget on her site called revolver maps...I wanted it...asked her about it and then figured out how to install it. This gadget is fairly cool in that it shows how many visitors your site has had and where the visit was from geographically. Recently I have had visitors from Bogota, Columbia...Zurich, Switzerland, Cairo, Egypt, Ho Chi Mihn City, Viet Nam...not to mention various domestic hits. Perhaps it is juvenile to be intrigued by these exotic hits...and I do not get nearly the amount of comments on my posts as some others (maybe my posts are vapid and uninteresting to the blogging masses??)but nevertheless it amuses me to know that some dude in Indo-China is possibly reading my semi-literate babblings and admiring pictures of guns,dogs ,dead birds, horses and hockey and other nonsense. Then again...maybe that is what this blogging gig is all about.

College reunion, cocktails and lacrosse this weekend...and GO FLYERS!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Explanation



Blogger/wordsmith KS Anthony referenced the poem which has the line "Hunter home from the hill" in a comment on my hunting dog post. It reminded me of a favorite old movie of the same name and I thank him for the cerebral cage rattling which led me to post these clips. I had never posted a clip before and even if the few readers who stop by think they are representative of weak old movie offal...I still learned a new blog-skill...for what it is worth.
Nevertheless, I have always loved this film and particularly liked Mitchum's character, Wade Hunnicut. He is a man's man and a true sportsman. He is however deeply flawed. To wit: he cannot seem to keep it in his pants and cats around his small town to the embarrasment of his tortured wife and naiive son. He has a bastard son who he tolerates on one level but shuns on another. All of these fairly sleazy facts help weave the fabric of this MGM melodrama and it's plot.
This movie is also notable for it's early performances by 2 Georges...Hamilton and Peppard.
"Home from the Hill" is certainly worth a slot in a Netflix line-up or an after-thought rainy Sunday afternoon grab at Blockbuster.

A Sportsman's Goose Hunt Goes Bad.

video

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hunting Dogs 2






The Flyers go up 2 games to nil over the hated Habs. This is a wonderful development. Sadly, in this corner of the Sporting World there is a a development that is not so wonderful.
My hunting buddy Ned lost his Black Lab recently. Puddy was one fine waterfowl dog and damn fine in field pursuits as well. After a recent trip to the Vet, Ned was advised that Puddy was terminally ill. Puddy was pictured in one of my early posts about hunting dogs and the special bond we hunters form with these loving, good natured and skillful companions. Puddy is pictured above in his camo vest in a snowy field at our Hunting Club. That is how I remember the "Pudster" as I called him. I hunted over this chap many times...and while my sorrow is exponentially less then Ned's, I still empathize and feel the loss.
I have posted 2 pictures of my hunting dog Archie. One is when he is on point during a pheasant hunt and another is Archie posing with the days bag from a hunt in the following season. Archie is a tremendous bird dog possesed of a great nose and an artful point, a great household pet and a stalwart companion to this writer...he is already 10 years old and the loss of Ned's dog is a harbringer of the inevitable loss I will experience some bleak and sorrowful day hence.
The other shot is of a beautiful Irish Setter owned by another hunting buddy. The last shot is a print of a Lab on the porch of a duck hunter's cabin. The dog seems eminently sad at being outside and seperated from his master. I hope Puddy,wherever his canine soul may reside, does not feel as the Lab in the painting. Here's to you Puddy...hunt 'em up.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Radnor Hunt Races






This Saturday will find the Steeplechase afficianados tailgating in Willistown Township PA for the 80th running of The Radnor Hunt Races.This Meet raises money for the Brandywine Conservancy which preserves open space in verdant southern Chester County hunt country and beyond....a very well run and successful organization. The Radnor course...named after W. Burling Cocks, was redesigned a few years ago and is one of the best in the Country. The vantage points from all over the course afford great views and the Jumbotron picks up what the binoculars cannot.
There are 2 major races in this Meet: The National Hunt Cup and The Radnor Hunt Cup.

For the National Hunt Cup my money will be placed on Nationbuilder. This 6 year old Gelding won The Queens Cup in NC last month and while I am not really familiar with the Jockey...I think this big boned Timber Jumper has the speed and stamina to win on this demanding course. Left Unsaid,ridden by Ross Geraghty, will likely be another favorite and it will be interesting to see how the Punters make odds for this leg of The Sport of Kings Series. With a $ 50,000.00 Purse, be sure none of the Jockeys will be leaving anything in the tank.
Next, in The Radnor Hunt Cup,I have to again look to South Monarch. This horse was featured in a prior post and did win at Winterthur and also bested a class field at My Lady's Manor in Maryland. With the experienced and talented Jody Petty on board, I see this as a lock. This pick will not make money with bets at the Punter's easel...but you could sweep a nice pot at a tailgate betting pool.
Friday evening before the races, my wife and I will be attending the Wildflower Ball. This Black Tie Hunt Ball is held at the Radnor Hunt Clubhouse and is always a splendid night. Attended by major fundraiser/sponsors,trainers, Stable owners, and Club Members,it is a great equestrian group...the food, band and free flowing booze do not suck either. The real trick at this function is to maintain composure and not on-load too much in the way of Spirits...else the pounding head and booze-malaise can be vexatious during the following day of tailgating and racing.
When the races are over, those favored with an invite can watch the Preakness at a party under the Stewards Tower on the course finish line. This gig offers yet another open bar...yeah like I'll need it after 5 hours of Tailgating. Nevertheless, we always manage to persevere and knock back a few last drinks in honor of the events at Pimlico.
The photos in this post are courtesy of Jim Graham Photography...but I did sneak in a shot of one of my Daughter's horse shows.
Sunday will find me back at the helm of my Lacrosse team...coaching the kids in a late afternoon game against Radnor. Cheers and Jockeys up....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Playoff Hockey





Incredible come-back by The Flyers. Last night offered a very exciting game...playoff hockey at its best. For my money, playoff hockey if one of the most engaging,exciting, edge-of your seat events in the sports world. Indeed, last night's game even featured a penalty shot...a rarity.
This has been a wonderful series to watch....Flyers were down 3-0 and have now forced a game 7. I ardently hope we can scratch out one more win to eliminate the Bruins and move on to the Conference Finals. GO FLYERS.
Stay tuned for the Sportsman's pick for this weekend's Radnor Hunt races in a post to follow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Word Verification





I was just leaving a comment on a blog I have been following: To the Legions of the Lost Ones. The author is a great writer with tremendous style and tone and a great sarcastic bent.
The word verification came up...the word was: "Forskin." I was shocked...and amused...I assume these words are randomly generated by some encryption program...and as we all know they are usually just gibberish. But when it is an actual word...albeit improperly spelled...what are the odds that it would be that particular word.
Certainly, most of the male readers lost theirs shortly after being born...screeching and screaming ,blue-faced and naked on a stainless steel table while some 2nd team surgeon came in the room weilding a scalpel...or perhaps if one is Jewish, they got clipped by a bearded gent in a Yarmulke and a shawl while relatives munched bagels,lox and whitefish and commented on the size of the lads unit or how the cost of a Bris is skyrocketing.
Either way...an odd word and a pre-cognizant buried memory of discarded flesh.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Base Behavior...or You Can Dress 'Em Up But Ya Can't Take 'Em Out



I attended a Phillie's game this Saturday afternoon with my wife and another couple. We had good seats, it was a sunny day and all seemed right in the world.
As I went to fetch beers for the group I noticed a wedding party down on the sidewalk outside The Park. I stopped to watch as they took pictures...doesn't every guy stop to take a gander at the Bride?
I wish I had not. The wedding party was large...8 Bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen. They all wore Black. It was about 4:15 in the afternoon and the men were wearing Dinner Jackets...Evening Clothes are NOT to be worn in the daytime according to all conventional rules of etiquette.But let us forgo that criticism for the moment. Furthermore, whatever rental outfit had dressed these poor guys should be should be shuttered and fined. There was not a proper sleeve or trouser length among the men.We're not talking just a bit off...we're talking it looked like a crew of 2nd grade kids wearing their Dad's Tuxedos.
What was really apalling came as the men assembled for a picture. When the Photographer had them all posed just so...one of these boorish louts turned his head and launched a 2 quart gob of spit into the bushes. Not to be upstaged, another of the elegant groomsmen reared back, and with a Herculean effort, expectorated an equally vile volume of snot and saliva...this time onto the pavement. Several people were watching this display and were all similarly repulsed. One can scarcely imagine what substances came shooting out of these guys once they got to the reception and started boozing.It just goes to show you.....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Willowdale Steeplechase





We are in the heart of the Spring Steeplechase season and this weekend brings enthusiasts the Willowdale meet. This is a great course which is in a natural bowl and affords great views of nearly the entire race. These races have only been run since 1993...so it is a relatively new event. The races take place every year on Mother's day...and the week before the Radnor Hunt Cup and The Preakness. Hopefully Moms and Wives in your orbit are,like mine, OK with an afternoon tailgate as part of the day's homage to Mom.
The day also features vintage cars along with the elaborate tailgating so one can see some really nice arrangements like the one above.
This year I like Vinnie's Boy to win the main race. He is trained by Blythe Miller Davies. Blythe had a great career of her own as a Steeplechase Jockey and I saw her ride many times. Indeed, her brother Chip Miller heard the call "Jockeys Up" more than a few times and their father was an owner and trainer as well....so Steeplechasing is encoded in this girl's DNA and this portends a win. However, the odds on this pick should be very short as Vinnie's Boy will surely be "the chalk."
So, as an alternate I would bet Prospector's Strike.
To compliment the sporting weekend I am going to see the Flyers tomorrow nite...can they dig out of a 3-0 hole? I doubt it...but there is nothing like playoff hockey.
Saturday is another day of coaching Lacrosse. The boys are now 4-1 and having a fun season so far....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fighting Future


After last Friday's victory by my guy Butler...2 more promoters have called me and we have already locked in 2 more fights. Butler will go 6 rounds on June 25th and another 6 rounds on July 30th. The July 30th card features Derek "Poo" Ennis fighting for the USBA 154 lbs Title. Hence, this will be a very good night to be in the line-up and the fights will hopefully get TV coverage.
As manager, I am working with the Trainer to have Butler's record in double digit wins by year end...then we can get some top flight Promoters interested in signing and continue moving up to the big time purses.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Butler Wins!!





My Boxer Ardrick Butler won on Friday evening. Below is a report from Fightnews.com on the bout. Suffice it to say, as his manager I am thrilled. Stay tuned for update on the next bout...this kid is moving up and The MLS is taking him there.

Butler overwhelms Allen

Ardrick “The Hitman” Butler, of Philadelphia wasted no time in the junior middleweight co-feature. He battered Norman Allen, of Laurel, MD from the opening bell, pinning him along the ropes and unleashing a series of right hands and left hooks. When the ropes appeared to hold Allen up, referee Shawn Clark ruled it a knockdown.

When the round continued, Butler landed a left hook-right hand combination that buckled Allen’s knees, and ref Clark stopped the bout at the :44 second mark.