Tag Archives: National Football League

A disruption to my daily routine and first impressions of the Alliance of American Football

Greetings, readers. The last two mornings had weather conditions such that the Three Musketeers (Smith, Traci, and I) could not go to Panera for our now ritualistic morning coffee. Aren’t humans creatures of habit? I felt cheated that I didn’t have my time with my friends. And I know for a fact that Smith and Traci felt the same way. Smith says that she loves to get out of the apartment building at least twice a day if she can. We couldn’t go this morning because the sidewalks were a sheet of ice. Yesterday we had 4 inches of snow followed by freezing rain. Not a good combination. Schools were closed and functions around town were cancelled. It’s not very often that I stay in my apartment the entire day. I was completely lethargic and went to bed at 8:30. To my surprise I slept pretty much through the night, and had a bizarre dream about my mother. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t call her on her cell phone. I kept asking my dad for the right number. When I woke up it dawned on my why I couldn’t call her in the dream; my mother is deceased, as is my dad. As happens quite a lot in dreams, you attempt to do things or make contact with loved ones and fail. I honestly believe the reason I couldn’t contact my mom is because she was deceased. If any readers have any other plausible explanations, please do leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

On to another topic now. On YouTube, I watched parts of two footballs games, from the first week of the brand new Alliance of American Football (AAF). I watched part of the Atlanta Legends at Orlando Apollos game. The Atlanta team was not very good; they got blown out 40 – 6. Then I watched the San Diego Fleet at San Antonio Commanders game. It was not a packed house at the Alamodome, but I would say it was a good crowd for the first game of a new league. The San Antonio Commanders are the first professional football team in that city since the United States Football League’s San Antonio Gunslingers were there for one dreadful season in the early 80s.

The AAF has a few rule differences from the National Football League (NFL). One is they have no kickoffs. The ball is spotted on the 25 yard line for the team who wins the coin toss. They do, however, have punts and field goals. Another rule difference I like is that after every touchdown they have to go for a 2-point conversion.

With limited practice time and only one exhibition game per team, the offensive lines have not gelled yet. I’m sure these teams will get a lot better. One week down and nine to go in the ten week regular season. This league starts one week after the NFL’s Super Bowl and their championship game will be in late April. Just in time for folks to switch over to baseball. That’s what I like the most. I am not a fan of basketball or hockey. I don’t hate those sports, but I’ve never gotten into watching them full-time.

I shall enjoy getting to know these teams while watching them on TNT and the NFL network. In April, after their championship game, I shall give you a final review/update on this fledgling league.

There’s today’s blog entry. Everyone please pray for warmer weather. I’m tired of the cold and winter. Rebecca and I bid you a good day. Take care, and as always, happy reading.

P.S. New blog entry on Sunday. Until then …

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Who will win this year’s Super Bowl?

Greetings, readers. Three teams out of this year’s final four of the National Football League’s playoffs are, to say at the very least, surprises. Everybody and their mother’s uncle expected the New England Patriots to be there, but not many thought teams such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings or Philadelphia Eagles would be playing for their conference’s championship.

While the Vikings and Eagles are great teams, they are being led by backup quarterbacks. They are darned good ones, but backups nonetheless. Also, the Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles is a relative unknown. I would thoroughly enjoy seeing two teams such as the Vikings and the Jaguars play in this year’s Super Bowl. Another historic first would be if the Minnesota Vikings would be able to play in their own home stadium, where the Super Bowl will be played this year. In the history of the Super Bowl game, a stadium’s home team has never made it to the big game. If the Vikings beat the Eagles in the play-off game this weekend, it would lead to a truly historic event.

Just how likely is the Vikings and Jaguars matchup? Not very. It seems like the National Football League for some reason never wants to have a “home game” in the Super Bowl. Here is my prediction. Eagles to play the Patriots and the Patriots to win convincingly. You see dear readers, after many years of the New England Patriots winning championships in a plethora of ways, I just think that Tom Brady and company will find a way to pull it out of the hat once again. How boring! My two cents is that it would be wonderful for the National Football League to crown a champion that has never won a Super Bowl – the four-time losers, the Minnesota Vikings come to mind.

Lastly, on another note – and I will have a full R.I.P blog entry tomorrow – the wonderful lady camper Mrs. Jean Bennett passed away recently. She was one of my mom’s generation and it is sad to lose another Bear Spring Camper whom I knew as a child.

Until tomorrow, prayers go out to all the victims of the California mudslides, all who are caught in bad weather and storms, and good thoughts to all those who need it. Let’s think spring.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a wonderful day, and happy reading.

Top ten list of things gone by the wayside part 2

Greetings, readers. Today’s top ten list is a continuation of a previous entry of things gone by the wayside. It has been quite a while since the first part came out on February 1, 2013 and Rebecca and I have managed to come up with ten more. So here they are in no particular order.

10. Older aircraft. [Oh, the days of the DC3s, the Boeing 727s, and the DC10s. As most of you know, I am a flight sim buff and I’ve always enjoyed the older aircraft for their nostalgia. If I had a bucket list, one of the things I would do would be to fly on a DC3. They were manufactured in the 1940s, and according to the internet, there still are a handful of them still in service.]

9. Wholesome television shows. [When I was little, The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie were two huge hits for CBS and NBC. I always loved watching the Walton and Ingalls families go through their daily lives, whether it would be fun times or hardships. There was never really any violence in those shows and even if something bad happened, the goodness of the people in the community came to the aid of the people in need.]

8. Children’s lemonade stands. [These might not be 100% gone, but I’ve heard that in some states parents actually need to get a permit, and one poor child’s lemonade stand was shut down by the police for lack of said permit. I remember having a lemonade stand when I was 9 or 10, and later in life, if I was driving around town in my car and saw one, I would make it a point to stop and have two cups. Those kids deserved the extra quarter.]

7. Typewriters. [Oh, yes, the days of Wite-Out. I remember vividly writing my early writing career stories on a typewriter. As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite key is the backspace key; the old typewriters did not have that, hence my favorite product was Wite-Out. One college professor, I recall, did not allow Wite-Out and on one tough term paper it took me three tries to type the final page. When I was done, and I knew the term paper was just so, I threw the typewriter down the cellar steps. Mom laughed for an hour, saying, “I told you that one letter stuck, but you wouldn’t believe me.”]

6. The United States Football League – founded in ’82, ceased in ’86. [It took nearly a year to set up before playing began. The United States Football League, the spring time competition to the NFL, lasted just 3 seasons, ’83 through ’85. There were many factors to why it failed: #1, It expanded too quickly. #2. It paid humongous salaries with money it didn’t have yet. And #3. When Donald Trump, then owner of the New Jersey Generals, decided it would be a great idea to move to fall football and compete directly with the NFL, it was the beginning of the end. President Trump, you did not make the USFL great again, you killed it.]

5. Mom and Pop stores. [This one was going to be hardware stores, but Ace Hardware is still going strong so we changed to the Mom and Pop variety stores. You know the kind I mean, they sell a little bit of everything. State College had one such store, O.W. Houts & Sons, but when Wal-Mart came in, I knew it was only a matter of time before the Houts family would either sell or retire. I miss that store tremendously, it was part of my childhood. My mom shopped there every Saturday and sometimes I would go with her.]

4. Manners. [Quite recently, I was working the cash register at my job, when a mother and her two children walked up. The daughter, approximately age 10, gave me her order and said, “May I please have …” before everything she wanted. It was truly a wonderful thing to see; young children with perfect manners. I actually complimented their mom.]

3. Goodyear Blimp. [When I was a pre-teen, the Goodyear Blimp would always come to State College, Pennsylvania for one big Penn State home game. It would arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday, fly around at night advertising, and leave after the game. Over time, it began to only come the morning of the game and would be gone right afterwards. Now the Goodyear Blimp doesn’t come at all. We’ve had other blimps come and cover the games, but to me if just isn’t the same. Many an evening my mom and I would sit on the front porch in the fall and watch the blimp fly overhead and advertise their latest tire offers. Oh, if only to hear that low-pitched droning sound of its engines one more time. That sound is truly unique.]

2. Television variety shows. [Gone are the days of the Carol Burnett Show, the Sonny & Cher Show, and other such weekly variety series’. TV has evolved into mostly reality shows of a different sort now, mostly sleazy and sex related. And the one attempt at an old-fashioned variety show a couple of years ago was canceled after a few episodes. Take it from me, bigwigs of the major networks, the TV variety series is dead and gone. R.I.P.]

1. Handwritten letters. [This one holds a special place in my heart, for not that many years ago, I would write letters, and more importantly, Christmas cards. Yes, you can still buy Christmas cards and send them, but I’ve heard from retailers that sales decline every year. And why shouldn’t they, you can go on the internet and send any kind of e-card that you want for free on most websites. The fancier ones might only cost ninety-nine cents. That is still a much cheaper option then driving to Hallmark, finding that pretty card, bringing it home, putting a stamp on it, and taking it to the mailbox. I don’t know if writing letters will ever come back and replace email; I highly doubt it. I know it won’t for me. I have a dear friend in Romania and relatives in Holland, how easy and convenient it is to type an email, have the program spellcheck it for me, and after I hit send, the email the is half-way around the world within a minute. A letter would take a week or more.]

Well, there you have it, part 2 of things gone by the wayside. Tomorrow will be a personal day for me, and I’ve asked Rebecca to put up a blog entry for me. I’m sure she will do her usual good job. So until next Wednesday when we both return, I bid you a good week, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite Super Bowls

Greetings, readers. I’ve decided to compile a list of my favorite Super Bowls. This list might not contain the best Super Bowls ever, but it will contain the games that I loved to watch when they were played, and still enjoy seeing on the recap shows with the on-demand feature of my TV cable or on the NFL network. The games were originally titled using Roman numerals, but I am just using the numbers because it is easier for me. So here we go.

#10. Super Bowl #34, on January 30, 2000. At the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. The St. Louis Rams scored 23 points, the Tennessee Titans scored 16. [Titans were stopped on the one yard line on the last play of the game. Poor Titans.]

#9. Super Bowl 32, January 25, 1998. Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Denver Broncos 31, Green Bay Packers 24. [The Broncos’ first win, with the owner’s famous quote, “This one is for John.” John Elway was the quarterback who suffered three Super Bowl defeats.]

#8. Super Bowl 37, February 3, 2013. Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31. [Long delay because of a power outage. Some thought that it shifted the momentum of the game.]

#7. Super Bowl 41, February 4, 2007. Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida. Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 17. [Payton Manning’s first Super Bowl win.]

#6. Super Bowl 7, January 14, 1973. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Miami Dolphins 14, Washington Redskins 7. [Garo Yepremian’s muffed field goal pass gave Washington their only score.]

#5. Super Bowl 9, January 12, 1975. Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6. [The Steelers’ first Super Bowl win and the Vikings’ third loss.]

#4. Super Bowl 13, January 21, 1979. Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31. [Dallas Cowboys’ back-up tight end Jackie Smith dropped a sure touch down pass that would have won the game.]

#3. Super Bowl 31, January 26, 1997. Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Green Bay Packers 35, New England Patriots 21. [The Packers’ return to prominence after winning the first two Super Bowls.]

#2. Super Bowl 25, January 27, 1991. Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida. New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19. [Bill’s place kicker Scott Norwood missed the game winning field goal with 3 seconds left. It was the ultimate wide right.]

#1. Super Bowl 3, January 12, 1969. Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7. [Conspiracy theories run rampant claiming that the Colts threw the game to give the American Football League’s New York Jets the American Football League’s first Super Bowl win right before the AFL-NFL merger. I prefer to think that the Jets won the game on their own.]

Well, there you have them. That’s my list. I know that 40 Super Bowls did not make this list; I could only choose 10. If you disagree with me or want to share your list, please leave it in the comment section or a post on Facebook.

Until next time, have a good day, take care, and happy reading.

Off to a slow start today because of bookkeeping

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I spent the first half of our workday today trying to get our bookkeeping up to date at a local store, to see how many of my books sold there. Out of the twelve copies left there last April, only eleven were on the shelves. We either have one sold or none. You would think that would be easy to check for, but no. The store bookkeeper wasn’t there at the time, and the report that the store manager pulled up showed a payment to me that we don’t have in our records. So a trip to the bank will have to be made today or Tuesday to check on the possible deposit and to ask a question on another topic.

So here it is 1:30 pm and we are just now getting to work. Before going to Panera for coffee at 11:00 this morning, I tried desperately to get my ailing computer working to check emails. Something is amiss in my machine, for when Rebecca and I got back over here, we had difficulties. That is another reason why we are off to a slow start. Once I finish dictating the rest of this blog entry and we edit it, I’m still hoping to have enough time to do a writing exercise of some kind.

I re-read the blog entry on the helmet logos from the other day and thought to myself, wow if I had a big house and lots of money I would purchase, one or two helmets at a time, as many NFL helmets as I wanted and would then proudly display them. Ha-ha, quit dreaming. First of all, even though I am grateful for it, I live in an apartment slightly bigger than a shoebox. And the three mini-helmets I do have from the USFL haven’t been dusted in quite a while. Long story short, there’s no room.

If one day I would be lucky enough to win the mega-millions lotto, I would find the biggest house that was for sale, buy it, and have money left over to purchase all the little knickknacks that I ever dreamed of having. One room would be just for football mini helmets proudly displayed, the garage would be filled with classic cars, and the attic would be chock-full of Christmas ornaments and an elaborate manger scene. I would go crazy at the holiday season.

That of course is fantasy land. To re-iterate, I am happy for the home I have here at Addison Court apartments, but who doesn’t like to dream once in a while. And if you are going to dream, dream big.

Well, have a good weekend, stay warm, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite football helmet logos

Greetings, readers. Since the NFL playoffs are in full swing and the Superbowl will soon be upon us, I thought it would be a good time to come up with the top ten list of my favorite helmet logos. So here they are, plus two. The first two are from the old United States Football League. We used a website called Collectible Supplies to confirm what the NFL helmets look like.

#10. The Pittsburgh Maulers from the United States Football League: An ironworker with a hardhat swinging a mallet.

#9. The Washington Federals from the USFL: A white helmet with a bird-shape, probably an eagle, with a white star in the bird’s neck, and three green strips flowing behind.

#8. The Houston Oilers from the National Football League: A white helmet with a tall dark blue oil well in a red outline.

#7. The Kansas City Chiefs from the NFL: A white arrowhead with the letters KC in red.

#6. Cincinnati Bengals from the NFL, the throwback design from the 60s and 70s: An orange helmet with words Bengals on both sides. [It was simple but it worked.]

#5. The Los Angeles Rams from the NFL, the throwbacks: Dark blue helmet with the lighter yellow or orange stripe depicting a ram’s horn. [Today’s version the ram’s horn is a darker mustard yellow.]

#4. The Miami Dolphins from the NFL, the new helmet brought out for the 2013 season: A white helmet with a big teal dolphin in an “S” shape in an orange ring, with no helmet on the dolphin’s head.

#3. The Minnesota Vikings from the NFL, any version: A purple helmet with a white plume to depict the horn on a viking’s hat.

#2. The New England Patriots from the NFL, the throwback: A white helmet with a minute man in red uniform in position to snap the football.

#1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers from the NFL, the throwback: A white helmet with a creamsicle-orange pirate, with a sword in his mouth; his name was Buckle Bruce.

And two honorable mentions:

#2. The Philadelphia Eagles from the NFL, the throwback: The rare white helmet with the green eagle wing. [I wish they would change back; hint, hint.]

#1. The Pittsburgh Steelers from the NFL; Black helmet with a yellow stripe, and on the side of the helmet it says “Steelers” in black letters with three diamonds in yellow, red, and blue (signifying the three rivers coming together into one).

Well, there you go, hope we did an adequate job of describing them to you, if you didn’t follow the link yourself. Let the debates begin in the comments, and please feel free to share your top ten if you wish.

Until next time, take care, enjoy your day and happy reading.

On the NFL, writing, and watching television

Greetings, readers. I am flat on my back with another one of my lovely back spasms. Thank goodness for Rebecca and her ten typing fingers. Today I am going to get you up to date on what was going on with me since Friday. This past weekend I watched most of all of the post-season playoff games on Wild Card weekend of the National Football League. None of my four teams won. First, the Chiefs blew a 28 point lead over the Colts. I was throwing things. Then the Pennsylvania representative, the Philadelphia Eagles, lost to New Orleans in the final seconds. On Sunday, I watched the Chargers win over Cincinnati, and the 49ers defeat Green Bay at Lambeau field. I don’t think there has been a weekend in quite a while when at least one of my teams didn’t win. So now I can officially say I no longer care about the NFL until next September.

On to writing news, on Sunday evening I began a short story which could possibly be an entry for a third camp book. I at least wanted to have something for Rebecca to edit today. It was frustrating after hours of thinking, and typing as best I could, I only completed one page. But I most admit it felt good to give it the effort. As far as me making a career of this … let’s just say when I get back from camp this August, I will probably have to get a job and truly have writing be my hobby. We’ll see.

I thought I would have to find another place to get my nails done. Due to my cerebral palsy, my left hand does not work well enough to control scissors or clippers and I can’t take care of my nails myself; thus they get long and jagged if I don’t have them professionally done. I have a place near where I live that is convenient and in my budget. I thought they might be closing up shop and was looking for a replacement place, but now it seems the shop is in different hands, getting a new paint job, and still doing nails. That solves that problem.

Lastly, in my Futurama marathon watching, I finally got to the season which was picked up originally by Comedy Central channel. I know that for certain because the writers went so far as to make a joke about it in the opening scene. I will admit after having now watched at least half of the series, I am no longer laughing out loud at the show’s humor. I suppose I’ve learned how the writing team writes and, although it is still well-done, I can kind of see what is coming next. Liking Futurama as much as I do is almost enough to make me want to give The Simpsons another try. I watched a few episodes of The Family Guy and one episode of The Cleveland Show. The Family Guy might be my next show to invest my time in, but I must say I just didn’t find The Cleveland Show funny at all. With the ultra cold weather that we have been experiencing, staying inside and watching TV is certainly a good past-time.

Until next time, take care, stay warm, and happy reading.

My view on the possible Redskins name change

Greetings, readers. Dominating the sports news the last few days has been the discussion about whether the Washington Redskins should change their nickname, as some view Redskins as offensive to Native Americans. Rebecca and I have just finished doing research on other people’s views on this topic and on other team names; such as the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs, and Chicago Blackhawks. So, we will tiptoe through this blog entry and hopefully not offend anyone.

Our main source of information today was from an article on CNN.com from October 8, 2013 by Alison Harding titled “Tribe seeks to force NFL Redskins name change”. The article, and videos on the same page, use interviews and quotes from people attending recent events in Washington, as well as older interviews. Included are statements from the Washington Redskins team owner Dan Snyder, from President Barack Obama, and from the Oneida Indian Nation representative Roy Halbritter. Other views: One gentleman made the point that a lot of pee-wee and high school teams across the county use the name Redskins. If they were forced to change the name as well, imagine how much money that would cost. Another person said that many fans don’t mind the name, and continue to purchase tickets and merchandise with the Redskins logo on it. Until that stops, the name change probably won’t happen.

In my research I have learned that the Washington Redskins have been an NFL franchise since 1933 and before that they were in Boston. According to this article, the franchise began in Boston and if I understand the article correctly, the team was already called the Redskins. If this is not correct, I apologize.

An easy fix would be this. In the early 80s, Washington had a United States Football League team called the Washington Federals. Why don’t the Redskins just buy the rights and call themselves the Federals? I’m sure something could be worked out. Even though that team was only in existence for two seasons in the failed USFL I never heard anyone complain about the name or the logo.

Over the years the Redskins name change has bubbled to the surface only to dissipate. Recently, President Barack Obama said that if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name if it offended other people. However, Redskins owner Dan Snyder said he would never change the name and in an interview last spring he told a reporter that you can put ‘never’ in CAPS. Roy Halbritter, representing the Oneida Indian Nation, said that Redskins is a racial slur that hurts the self-image of Native American children.

My personal view is this; Being the wishy-washy person I am, I can see both sides of the coin. The Redskins name has been around since at least 1933, if not longer. But that is really no excuse for continuing to offend Native Americans. Sure it would be easy to change the name to the Federals or the Congressmen, or even the Deficits (haha), but just like the Indianapolis Colts, formerly of Baltimore, and the St. Louis Rams, formerly of L.A., it would take generations of fans to get used to the new name. The bottom line, however, is this: The name is offensive. In a video clip to the above linked article, the name Redskin is a racial slur according to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

Ok, now that I have Washington off my chest, let’s talk about other teams. Names like Braves, Chiefs, Blackhawks, and Seminoles do not seem to have any racial slur attached to them. This is why I think that the Redskins are being singled out. I’ve learned that the Florida State College Football team actually got permission from the Seminole tribe to use their name. Kudos to them.

The other big question then becomes, should all sports franchises using Native American nicknames, be forced to change their nickname? I say no. With the Redskins nickname being an obvious racial slur, that is the one to go if any should.

Until next week, enjoy your day, take care and happy reading.

What is new in Joe’s world

Greetings, readers. I have a few things to discuss today. None of overwhelming importance, but I did want to put up the usual Wednesday post. Last night my buddy and I were discussing the National Football League’s Washington Redskins team, and the ever-increasing pressure to change the team name. I’m going to be putting a separate blog post up later this week or the next about sports franchises whose team names deal with Native Americans. I’m going to wait a few days so that I can do adequate research. But unlike Obama vs. Romney, this blog entry will come out.

So, let’s see. What’s on my mind. Apparently we still have no government to speak of. Republicans fighting with Democrats and vise versa. Who gets kicked in the teeth you ask? We do, that’s who. The American public. I say it is time for a bona fide strong third party. It would wake up the status quo and shake it to its core. If I had the money and experience I would start it myself.

This past Saturday night one of the most exciting Penn State football games in recent years took place, as the Nittany Lions upset the Michigan Wolverines. It was our homecoming game, and in recent years our luck at winning homecoming games has not been that stellar. I got home just in time to watch three of the four overtime periods. That game is sure to be an ESPN instant classic.

Darling kitty cat Keekee is sitting next to us as we are typing, saying Feed Me Now, Daddy. Yes, Keekee has me very well-trained. We get to work and it is d-i-n-n-e-r time. I suppose that was my fault, because a number of weeks back, I tried to train her to wait until a certain time of day for her moist food. I think I am going to re-train her to wait until the end of the day, or at the very least not during work hours.

With last week’s more-hectic-than-usual week out of the way, I can once again get down to my normal routine. I’ll be taking a look at a friend of mine’s work later this afternoon, and if I understand him correctly, he wants me to edit it. As long as the work isn’t too technical, I might be up to the task. However, around 5:00, I must get along with my own note-taking for the upcoming writing project.

Lastly, I met up with an old friend of mine at Panera. It was good to get caught up. We sat at Panera for a couple of hours rehashing old times and finding out what was news. She was showing me her new tablet complete with touchscreen, and boy was that a sharp-looking machine. She took such pride in showing me the drawings she had done. My friend Becky is an amazing artist.

Well, I’m off to feed Keekee now. I swear this cat understands English. Until soonest, take care, have a good day and happy reading.

Top ten list of things gone by the wayside

Greetings, readers. I was thinking the other day of things from my childhood, and before, that are no longer around. This is a top ten list, again in no particular order.

#10. Electric trolley cars. [I’m not certain if every major city has done away with these or not, I just know I have not seen one since I was a little boy in Pittsburgh.]

#9. Small, fast-moving lines at major airports. [9/11 saw to that.]

#8. Big American cars. [When I was entering my early teenage years, the big boats, as they were called, were just going out of style.]

#7. Not needing a passport on cruise ships to visit places such as the Caribbean.

#6. Most cookie cutter stadiums. [The three examples that come to mind are Three River Stadium in Pittsburgh, Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia, and Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.]

#5. Penny arcades. Or in my era, quarter arcades. [Oh, the day of going to the arcades and playing games like Galaga and Air Hockey.]

#4. Antiquated gaming systems. [Atari and Nintendo have given way to Sony’s PS3 and the Xbox 360, but in their day the original home gaming systems very effectively put the quarter arcades out of business.]

#3. Movie rental places. [The convenience of watch-at-home options, such as Netflix or Blockbuster.com, ended the days of going to the video store, hoping that the title you wanted to watch was still on the shelf.]

#2. Cheap gas. [Gone forever are the days when gas was 25 cents per gallon. Even a dollar a gallon would be welcomed.]

#1. Smaller sports leagues. [Both the National Football League and Major League Baseball in particular, have expanded to too many teams, and the talent got stretched. And yes, that is the technical term. Players who should be playing at a minor league level are now playing at the major league level. The overall product suffers.]

Next week, we’ll get back to you with more entertaining blog entries. Until then, have a great weekend, stay safe and warm, and happy reading.