Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Sports Wrap-Up

It was an interesting weekend for the discerning Sportsman. Friday evening I attended the boxing matches at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. The Card was presented by KEA boxing and featured a solid 2nd round KO by Juan"The Beast" Rodriguez. The Beast caught opponent Crabtree on the chin and dispatched the kid to the canvas...he was out cold for about 30 seconds and the fight was over. There were several other competitive and entertaining bouts on the card. Unfortunately, after the fights I fared about as well as Crabtree on the Craps table and was KO'd by the Croupier's call of "Seven Out" more times than I would like to admit.
Saturday showed Steeplechase fans a rousing victory by Twill DO in the Maryland Hunt Cup. I could not attend the races but followed closely on line. This Race meet offers only the one event so I find it hard to justify the drive down to Maryland.
The weekend culminated with Game 1 of the Flyers v. Devils in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Danny Briere scored an overtime which caused my son and I to leap from the couch cheering...nothing quite as exciting as an OT win in play off hockey.
In addition, Lehigh beat Colgate on Saturday to capture the Patriot League Championship and perhaps a bid the the big NCAA tournament.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Steeplechasing Heats Up

April finds the Spring Steepelchasing season bustling with events. Tomorrow features the Maryland Hunt Cup and over in Virginia the Foxfield races. here in Pennsylvannia, May will offer the Willowdale Steeplechase and The Radnor Hunt Races.
Monte Burke over at Forbes Magazine did a piece 2 years back that included a quotable passage:

"I tried to get to the heart of why these Mid-Atlantic aristocrats–who are otherwise sane, gainfully employed family men living full lives–would risk life and limb to run these races, which provide winners with only a few thousand dollars in prize money? (And they literally do risk it all. Some years ago, a jockey was pitched from his mount headfirst and was left a quadriplegic.)
The answer: the race provides these men with what T.S. Eliot described as “the still point in a turning world.” Charles Fenwick, Sr., a 63 year-old former racer who won the event five times, told me: “I concentrated harder during that eight and a half minutes than on anything else in my life.”

This year's Maryland Hunt cup will likely be a 2 horse duel between Bon Caddo and Private Attack, For betting purposes...this is where the short odds will be.
As a bettor, I may tip onto Professor Maxwell....I have seen him race and like his speed and stamina...or perhaps Prospector Strike....with the young Batoff aboard he has an experienced jock who knows this course.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Radnor Hunt Races-Schedule

Race #

Start Time*


Length (miles)


1:30 p.m.
The Milfern Cup
2 3/8
2:05 p.m.
Vita C. Thompson Memorial Steeplechase
2 3/8
2:55 p.m.
Radnor Hunt Cup
3 1/4
3:45 p.m.
National Hunt Cup
2 3/8
4:20 p.m.
James M. Moran Jr. Steeplechase
2 3/8
4:50 p.m.
Henry Collins Steeplechase
2 3/8

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another Club Joined

In order to further my training of the new dog, I have joined Del Bay Retriever Club. Several of the guys I hunt with are members and encouraged me to join and sign up for training sessions. My new yellow lab,Genna, and I had our first session last night at Rebel Ridge Farms. The lead trainer is very knowledgeable and runs a nice class. We will have 5 sessions working on all aspects of waterfowl retrieving and general obedience. My buddy Ned signed up with his dog, Drum, so I had company for the ride and a wing man for the class. I sense both dog and master will learn a lot from this experience.
I have trained dogs for Upland game but not waterfowl, so I need the help and experience offered by Del Bay to get Genna ready for the season. Being signed up for a class and paying for same adds another level of commitment to training. It is easy to blow off a back-yard session....but an organized class is different.
I will state that the time spent training a hunting dog is very rewarding and informative...the end result is a well mannered and well behaved dog and a faithful hunting companion. We have work to do and homework tonite on "hold" and force fetch....stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Off-Season

When the waterfowl season is closed and the guns are cleaned oiled and in the gun-safe, there is still work to do. On Friday I took the day off to perform some of this work in preparation for next season. Those few who follow this Blog may recall that I now have a new hunting dog..Genna. Part of the off season work involves getting this young lady prepared for duck hunting next season.

So, she came along for the trip and we worked on water retrieves from our Club's water blinds. She did well and had a ball getting muddy and swimming. We also worked on field retrieves and marking downed birds in the tall brush. Again, she did well and responded to commands and whistles. She was very steady and perhaps most importantly did not leave my side despite being off leash on an 800 acre farm....she stayed at heel or within a few yards at all times. She also did well riding in the backseat of the truck without being in her crate.

Then it was time to work on the duck hunting boat. I had tubes put in both of the trailer tires and re-stenciled the registration numbers. Next, I sanded and re-painted the transom, lubed the trailer bearings and made sure the lights and wiring were in good order. The lights really take a beating being immersed in brackish water when launching the boat.

After the work was complete it was time for dinner. There is a local joint in Liepsic Delaware, about 4 miles from our Club, that is legendary for Crabs. The place sits on the Liepsic river and gets fresh Delaware Bay seafood right from the boats as they come in off the Bay. What they do not get locally they import and they do this fresh seafood perfectly as well.

This joint, Sambo's, is old school waterfront crab house though and through. They have an off-season and close from late October thru early April, so I was excited to get back there shortly after they re-opened. We waded into piles of steamers, shrimp, and crabs and washed it down with pitchers of ice cold beer. The cole slaw is tremendous, the crab fries delicious and the crab bisque is insane.

A side note...the name of this establishment is perhaps not politically correct and raises an eyebrow from some visitors. Legend has it that the NAACP actually sued the owners to compel a name change. The owners won the suit because Sambo is actually the name of the proprietor.
When NASCAR is racing at Dover this place is packed with racers and teams and the walls are crowded with autographs and racing paraphernalia. If you ever get down that yourself a favor and stop in for a couple dozen and a pitcher or two. The jukebox is great, they have a pool table for your wait, and the staff is exceptional.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ring Nostalgia

Prize fighting written into an easily consumed form. I wish I could find more of these...pretty good prose and engaging stories of fights and fighters. " The Lady Likes Blood"....really?
These days it is hard to find even a terse wire service blurb in your city's daily about boxing. "Ring" magazine still waves the flag and there are a few decent websites...but nothing like these publications are to be found at the news stand.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More Hockey and Crosby Bashing

One of my buddies,a rabid Flyers fan, sent me this picture. This photo literally made me laugh out loud in my office.
I will freely admit that Crosby is a sensational hockey player in technical aspects of the game. He is no Gretzky. He is also an insufferable whiner and on ice candy-ass.
We will be glued to the TV tonite for game four of this exciting series.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Play-Off Hockey

I have stated it before: There is no better spectator sport than the NHL Stanley Cup Play-Offs. Here in the Quaker City, home of the Broad Street Bullies ( a moniker completely at odds with Quaker tenets)we have a dazzling series going on. Our Flyers have a 3 game lead and the games have featured spectacular come from behind wins, overtime wins and a unusually busy penalty box. The play-offs rarely have this level of pugilism and bad blood. However, this inter-Penna. series has shown some really ugly fights, cheap shots and mayhem.

Perhaps the most conspicuous incident was no-talent Aran Asham cross checking Schenn in the throat and then punching him when Schenn fell to the ice. We should see fines/suspensions from the league for that little episode of sleazy goonism. Certainly over the years the Flyers have been accused of goonish tactics...hence the Bully tag.... but generally things tone down in the play-offs and the focus is on end-to-end play and winning...not chippy play leading to power plays and blown leads.
The series resumes tomorrow night here in Philly and I ardently hope the Flyers win and send the cross state rivals, and their talented but whiny captain back to Steel Town to clean out their lockers.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Young Hero


More than two dozen horses are alive thanks in part to the efforts of a courageous 15-year-old who sprang into action when she saw flames in the stables.

"I started off by just putting their halters on and pulling them out by twos, but then the fire started getting quicker so I just started wrapping their ropes around their necks and just tying them around my arms and pulling them out," Madison Wallraf recalled.

The Wednesday evening fire at the M&R Overlook Farms in suburban McHenry, Ill., raged for about two hours. With no hydrants, water had to be trucked in to fight the blaze that consumed the 25,000 square-foot metal barn.

Let's tip our hats and salute this young lady....this story resonates as my 16 year old daughter is a serious equestrian and I can see her disregarding her own safety to rescue horses at the Barn where she rides and works.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Did He Put the "Man" in Mani-Pedi?

Perhaps by now you have seen a TMZ news item "outing" Quarterback Tim Teebow for having a pedicure. Is this scandalous? Is it suspect? I have never given much thought to the pedicure. I know my wife gets them....the girls afternoon out for the mani-pedi is a phrase I hear in passing while I am in the garage or in my poker room cleaning the shotguns. I never considered getting one myself. I have heard one of my prior partners at the Jazz Club snuck off to have them. There is a manicure joint near my office at street level with big windows and a row of Lazy-Boy like thrones which are always full of women. Now and then I have seen a man in there having his toes sand blasted or whatever,and I must admit as I walked by I said to myself..."Wadda candy-ass."
Now I read that certain professional athletes often subject themselves to this curious set of procedures involving a masked girl hacking and rubbing and soaking and picking and buffing. According to these athletes, the pedicure is seen as a training procedure "as much medical as cosmetic" according to Health Today. This may be accurate....I just picture myself trying to use this information as justification and being drowned out by the guffaws and jeers of the guys at the Hunting Club if I showed up with little slippers and cotton batting betwixt my toes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter With Hunting Dogs

Happy Easter....Enjoy the ham and the Masters....the chocolate bunny butt and first weekend of baseball....the delicious Lamb and the mild weather.
Unless Passover is your gig...then enjoy the matzoh and the beautiful ritual of Seder...along with select items from the above list.

Digging Deep

The game of lacrosse is played with a team of 10 players on the field. 3 Midfielders,3 Attack,3 defense and a Goalie. My son is starting JV attack for his High School team and had a game on Wed. during Spring Break. The varsity is in Florida for training and a few other kids were out of town. As a result, the JV team could only field the minimum 10 players. That's right, for an entire game the team had no second or third Middie back up goalie,no substitutions at all. For those of you who have played this know just how exhausting and brutal it can be to have no subs for the Midfield.
Nevertheless,these kids played hard. They dug deep and managed a 7-7 tie against a West Chester team of 26 kids....They did not complain or make excuses. They perservered and burned their reserves. My son had one goal and an assist...I was damn proud of him and his team mates.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Joey's Opponent For Saturday

Assuming this over-grown adolescent can make it to the weigh-in on time, Joey is going to fight Daniel Martz on Saturday. After the dressing down I gave this kid last week...I do not think he will be tardy. Indeed, He plans on arriving tonite for the Friday weigh in. It's funny, if I talked to this 6'4" 240 lbs kid on the street the way I did on the phone last Friday, he would probably knock the snot out of me and I would be spitting bloody Chicklets. However, since I am his manager I can bust his chops and berate him with near impunity. He needs to learn the ropes both literally and figuratively.
So, this weekend will feature his 3rd pro fight and hopefully a "W" with KO. I will also be watching golf...the one time of the year I do call myself a spectator where Golf is concerned. There is just something magical about the Masters that will hold me in front of the TV and keep me interested. is here.......PLAY BALL.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Boxing Is Your Job

It is your job and you cannot be late for work. The weigh in was slated for 4 P.M. Friday afternoon. My heavyweight was at home in Virginia Beach and instructed to leave no later than 8 A.M. At 5:30 P.M. he was just coming out of the tunnel near Baltimore. The New jersey Commission scratched his fight and I scratched my head....right after it nearly exploded. The New jersey Commission is notoriously tough and most State Boxing Admins would have made an accommodation. So, Joey did not fight and I sent him back to Virginia with my sharp words and disgust still ringing in his ears.
I went to the fights anyway. It was a decent card with a few good bouts, some mediocre bouts, and one terrible bout.
We are looking forward to Pittsburgh next Saturday and Resort's Casino on April 27th. Stay tuned.In the meantime, anyone want a part time job babysitting a 23 year old 6'4" Italian-American Heavyweight...please apply.