Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows Eve

Back in the mid 80's when I was in college, Halloween revolved around huge costume parties on "The Hill." This was where numerous Frat Houses would mix up the grain punch, tap the kegs, hire the bands and it would get ugly. College kids from all over road-tripped to Bethlehem, PA for the Halloween festivities.Thousands of dressed up and intoxicated undergrads letting loose in the way only costumed anonymity allows. The parties were on the Saturday night closest to the actual Holiday. You would stumble around the Hill from party to party, swill beers, dance to cover bands,get knee-walkin' hammered and crack up at the various creative and not-so-creative costumes. You saw the requisite paper-mache genetalia, the transvestites and the ghouls,the superheroes and M&M's. One year the boys and I went as "The Wanderers." The next year we did the "Temptations" complete with matching shrimp-colored ruffle front tux shirts and tuxes from a thrift store.
Once the parties on the Hill were over, we basically forgot about the scheduled Halloween trick-or-treating facet of this gig. Junior year we were sitting around the living room of our of-campus house having a few beers and the door bell rang. It was about 7:30 and some neighborhood kids from South Bethlehem were trick or treating. As a house of college age knuckleheads, we neither anticpated kids nor had any candy. The poor souls who hit our house that evening were treated to slices of white bread and cigarettes in their treat bag. The next day a few parents stopped by to complain.We sheepishly explained it was the "trick" portion of the evening and apologized.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

T-Shirts and Gaming

Do you ever watch the World Series of Poker? If so, then you have noticed some of the lamentable get-ups these players wear to the table. T-Shirts and ball caps, hooded sweatshirts,head phones and gaudy necklaces....really these players are dressed like funnel cake jockeys at a Carnival....or like they are about to clean out the garage.A conglomeration of sartorial swill. The bets in these televised games reach 7 figures as a matter of course. Perhaps the players could come to the table in a collared shirt?
Cards and table games are often on the sportsmen's menu and the poker game at the hunting club can be just as lively and entertaining as trip to a casino. However, in Atlantic City the sketchy guy next to you at the Craps table will more likely be wearing a sleeveless Molly Hatchet Tour shirt than a blazer. Gamblers leave their kids napping on benches,grind their smokes out on the carpet and practically drool on themselves as they wager away the car payment.Dumpy broads in monochromatic warm-up gear with fanny packs and bad make-up are a stark contrast to the fairly hot waitress fetching your Bourbon. When Resorts first opened in Jersey in the late '70' had to at least wear a sport coat in the evening to be admitted.This rule has seemingly deteriorated to a policy that would allow entrance to a crack head in a soiled diaper and flip flops.
Juxtaposed to the current mut-o-rama in U.S. gambling halls is the image of Bond in evening wear at the Chemin de Fer table in Monte Carlo or the players in black tie in Havana in the 50's. My Dad told me of trips to Havana in the early 50's when you took an off-white dinner jacket along with your regular black tie rig so you could alternate on different nights at different casinos. Don't the TV producers get it...what a class image they would create if the televised Poker was dressed up a bit.Don't the struggling casinos get it...they may get a better class of players with more money if they employed a modest dress code so you did not have to worry about catching a dose of crabs at the black-jack table.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A New Outfitter for Sporting Set


Yesterday I was fortunate to meet and shoot with the proprieter of Artemis Outfitters. Located in Greenville,Delaware, this shop offers fine guns, field gear and related items for anyone taking to the field or gearing up for fishing.
The owner, Grier Wakefield, and I participated in a field shoot at a farm in Berks County PA Sunday morning. Based on Grier's shooting skills, which I witnessed first hand, he is perfectly suited to own and manage a store which caters to shooting and hunting enthusiasts. His store features Brownings,Benellis and Berettas as well as Filson and Remington gear. One can also find vintage decoys,ammo,pre-owned double guns and collectible artwork.The shop is on DE route 52. I take 52 as an alternate to get to my waterfowl club when traffic is ugly on I-95 and 476 so get a chance to go by on occassion. If you are in the area and need a good field piece or waxed canvas Filson, or just want to browse for hunting collectibles....stop in and tell Grier MLS sent you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Not So Famous Sportsman

Andrew "Sandy" Irvine was an Englishman who dedicated himself to sporting pursuits. Born in 1902 he rowed crew as a boy and ended up on the Oxford crew team and competed against Cambridge in 1922 and 1923. Shortly thereafter, he caught the mountaineering bug. He climbed Spitsbergen with his University expedition and was chose by Mallory for a try at Everest.
Irvine died in his attempt at Everest in June 1924. Recent expiditions unearthed Mallory's remains and traces of where Irvine likely met his death. There is specualtion that Mallory may have summited and many theories as to why Irvine was killed in a different location.The real story may never be known. What we do know is these men attempted a potentially fatal climb with crude equipment: old fashioned oxygen gear and little more than wool and leather clothes and boots. These men clearly were in peak condition and were intrepid and perhaps foolhardy....and Irvine is a Sportsman about whom few have heard.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Indy Car Tragedy

Certain sports we follow are extremely dangerous. Some sports we engage in,such as Alpine skiing, are dangerous. Nevertheless, the particpants engage in the pursuit because they love it and accept the risk. Indy Car Racing is one sport I follow that offers the risk of death each time the driver pulls on is helmet and ventures out on the track. Yesterday, the Auto racing world lost Dan Wheldon in an incendiary twist of metal and fiberglass during the early laps of a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. You may recall I posted back in May about Dan's exciting Indy 500 victory. Sadly, this talented and handsome British native was killed while engaged in the sport he loved. He was only 33 and leaves a lovely wife and two young sons behind.Below is an excerpt from CBS News about Dan:

Dan Wheldon loved to drive fast, from the time he first took the wheel of a go-kart when he was 4 years old, but the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner had begun to have concerns about the speeds cars were reaching on the IndyCar circuit.

He and other drivers had also expressed concern about the conditions for Sunday's IndyCar series final at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It was crowded -- 34 cars -- and drivers were speeding, even by Indy standards, getting up to 225 mph. As ABC News' Josh Elliott noted, "Even the tiniest mistake can touch off wrecks like we see today."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wretching Phanatic

A friend posted this photo yesterday on her Facebook page. Pretty much sums up the sentiment of the Philly faithful down here in the Delaware Valley.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lehigh Quarterback

As a Lehigh Football fan I was pleased to see that Chris Lum received the accolades below. He is the type of scholar athlete referred to in prior posting about college football players. Well done Chris! I look forward to seeing you play in person at the Lehigh v. Lafayette game.

From the Lehigh Football Nation Blog:

Offensive Player of the Week
Chris Lum, QB, Lehigh Sr., 6-2, 205 (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion)
The Walter Payton Award candidate carried his brilliant season into Patriot League play, as Lum completed 30-of-37 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns as No. 10 Lehigh defeated Bucknell 30-6 in its League opener on Saturday. Lum put the Mountain Hawks in cruise control in the second quarter with touchdown passes to Jimmy Jefferson, Jake Drwal and Ryan Spadola, then connected with Spadola again in the third to complete the scoring. Lum has thrown for over 300 yards in all six of Lehigh's games this season and leads the country in passing yards, total offense and touchdown passes. It was his fourth game with four touchdown passes or more this season. Lum wins the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week honor for the fourth time this season, and sixth in his career all over the past 10 selections of the award.

Things That Make Me Happy and Things That Don't

Some things create a feeling of happiness in an individual. For this writer, seeing my daughter hugging one of her favorite dogs on a dock in the Adirondacks on a beautiful sunny day makes me happy. The look on her face and the setting make it hard not to feel happy.
In stark contrast, the collapse of the Phillies in the NLDS makes me sad. The team had the best record in Baseball with 102 wins and a pitching staff calculated to dominate the Post-Season. The pitchers generally delivered but the batters in Philies red and white flogged about at the plate like hapless 2nd grade T-Ballers.
The Season is over and the Fans of the Quaker City are morose.

Friday, October 7, 2011


My buddy Sandy sent me these images. Sandy is a member of our duck hunting club and a great friend. He is a Marine who saw 2 tours in Vietnam. He was wounded and went back for more. He has encyclopedic knowledge about 'Nam era weaponry and has spent hours around the fire fascinating my son with information about M-60's, grenades,mortars,AK-47 and the like. Sandy was also a Sniper for law enforcment for many years.He is the type of guy who takes your .32 cal. revolver home from the club and gives it a complete re-hab because he is gunsmith and wanted your pistol to be just right. He harvests plenty of venison and marinates a delicious back-strap for grilled appetizers.He pitches in with dishes after club dinners and always lends a hand with work at the club.He enjoys a good cigar and a cold beer.In short, he is simply a top flight guy to know and to hunt with.
Now, I confess that these photos are just a click away from being as silly as the Kitty pix nonsense that float around the Net. However, this Sniper Pup just made me laugh.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Great List From A Fellow Sportsman

Here is a link to a Blog with a list worth reading for any of you who chase game birds. This is a Blog worth checking frequently...great photos and well written.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One for the Ladies

Pictured above is Brittany of BAM Boxing. Brittany is ringside watching an evening she willed into existence. She is a Temple student who is interning with Peltz Boxing. This Friday she planned, and Promoted a full boxing card at the National Guard Armory in N.E. Philadelphia.
I attended the fights to scout Decarlo Perez. Perez is slated to be the opponent in my Welterweight's next scheduled fight.In the process, I was very impressed by the organization and execution carried out by Brittany and her people. The night seemed to go smoothly and the slate of fights was entertaining from start to finish.
Obviously it is quite rare for a woman to be a professional Fight Promoter. It is even more exceptional that this woman is a college student. I wish her continued success and hope she makes it in the field she has chosen and clearly loves. Brittany stands as an example to young women that the Sporting world has opportunity for them.

Special thanks to for the photograph she shared from Friday night.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hunting on the Maurice River

I received the call from Ranney last Wednesday. " Can you shake loose to make a Rail-bird hunt Friday at about 12:30?" When that call comes this Sportsman clears the desk and reschedules nearly anything to join in. Friday's high tide was at about 12:30 P.M. and this excursion requires launching at the high point in order to navigate over the rice "meadows."

I have posted on rail-bird hunting before. It is a challenging form of hunting which finds one precariously perched on the front of a 100 year old hand made cedar skiff. The man in back poles the skiff through the wild rice marshes that line the Maurice River near Port Elizabeth,New Jersey. As we slowly glide through the marsh, the Rails... migratory birds about the size of a large Starling....pop up and fly. The hunter on the bow hopes to shoot the bird and the Poler marks where it lands. Then the Poler reaches out with his long Cedar pole and retrieves the bird. Shooting from a boat is difficult and standing with your front foot wedged under the decking for stability takes practice. The movement of the boat on each push exerts a force that can easily topple the shooter into the water if care and balance are not exact.
The marshes in this region are quite beautiful and the weather was mild and agreeable with light winds to keep things cool and keep the bugs away. It really is a thrilling and timeless Sporting endeavor that is only available to select groups who have an "in" with the guides who pole the boats and run the hunts. To my good fortune, Ranney is one of those guys and he gets the reservation when time, tide and season intersect.