Author Archives: a. plebeian

Really Joe?

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If anyone can help me figure out why the hell Joe Biden put on and removed his glasses at least two dozen times during the SOTU last night, I’ll fax you a beer.

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Free Hockey!

“And a cursory glance was thrown at the badge…I just can’t imagine the indifference it would take to let you into the press area with that thing at the Western Hemisphere’s biggest sporting event of the night.”

That sporting event just happened to be Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and the “badge” (I use the term loosely) was a 4×6 print made at CVS a couple hours before the puck dropped for 58¢. The whole thing snowballed out of a natural urge to get into a Lingerie Football League game a half year ago. Why couldn’t a no-name blogger put together a credential to shill his way into a B-List sporting event? One success there led to a few free parking trips to Citizens Bank Park, and before I knew it I had walked into the press booth to catch a few innings of baseball and gorge on the press buffet.

This was different though. This was the Stanley Cup finals. There is an expression “buy the ticket, take the ride,” but I had no intention of buying a ticket. With face value north of the $250 mark and scalpers commanding twice that, buying a ticket was out of the question. So I donned the “badge” grabbed the biggest lens I could find and grabbed an accomplice to haul a tripod. It’s amazing what one can accomplish with a bit of liquid courage and the right equipment.

Doors one and two were easy, just walked by the real media and arena staff to a corridor where the gatekeeper sat, deciding who to buzz in and who to ask for credentials. Apparently the lens and tripod were credential enough and ten seconds later there we were: in the tunnel under the Wachovia Center watching the Philadelphia Flyers prep for their biggest game in two decades. They were juggling a soccer ball in a circle.

Feeling quite underdressed and undercredentialed, to say the least, it was time to head for the elevators. It was time to take the proverbial ride, which ended in the VIP suite and media level. Giddy like a school girl is an understatement. There I was feet from Jeremy Roenick and Dan Patrick preparing to go live across the country on NBC to begin their coverage of Game 6. Good lord, the Cup is in the building and two jackasses with a tripod a camera and two home made credentials were just waltzing around the place, and nobody thought anything of it.

“Barry—Mr. Melrose, over here!” and I’ll be damned if he didn’t turn and answer. “Mr. Melrose, can I get a picture for the website?” and sure enough Mr. Hockey obliged. This was getting rediculous.

Just how far could this ship sail, I wondered. And soon found out. It didn’t take much to get to the corporate suites with the credentials, and a few pleasantries later we had befriended the MasterCard folks and were enjoying the 1st period in their suite. Somewhere in the middle of the period, the suits wheeled in what appeared to be a cake under a sheet. This was not a cake. It was the Prince of Wales trophy, making its way around the high rollers and posing for photos—don’t mind if we do!

I guess this is where we got a big cocky. Waiting for an elevator during intermission, we got got. Walkie=talkies were chirping and moments later Nurse Ratched of the NHL Media department appeared, and was less than enthusiastic to see the ‘badges’ the tripod and the huge camera. I sensed she was more concerned with the images that I may have captured of game action than she was with how we got there. Under escort we walked to security where she planned to interrogate us.

Sheer instinct takes over at times like that and I fumbled for my phone in my pocket, carefully grabbing the spare memory card as I took out the phone. I managed to swap cards and shoot a few shots in the corridors as we walked. She decided I would have to check the tripod and telephoto lens, but before doing so she demanded to see the images I’d shot. Joke’s on you Ms. Ratched, no game shots on that card, and with that she left us alone.

We wandered the suites and concourses for the rest of the game. Only when the Flyers tied the game in the third could anyone else in the building feel they had gotten what we’d been enjoying all night long—free hockey.

As I watched Lord Stanley’s Cup make it’s way to the ice and booed Gary Bettman I noticed Ms. Ratched there on the ice escorting the “real” press into position to get the shot of Toews hoisting the cup and parading around. I think I was in better position than all of them. The Blackhawks may have had the Cup, but I think we were the real winners that night. Enjoy the whole album here.


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Fox News—Ride the Wave!

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Bill Romanowski’s Rainbow

Bill Romanowski, what the hell happened? This is not the picture of a man who breaks jaws, spits on faces and made a living scaring the shit out of quarterbacks.

And seriously, who the fuck is on the phone that could be more important than your precious rainbow, your PR firm? First a powerpoint for Pat Bowlen and now an image makeover; they must be busy. They put you up to this—the rainbow, the thumbs-up, the Nolan comment.

While you’re rebuilding your image, why not donate a truck or two of protein shakes and supplements to help the Haitians rebuild. I bet it would make a nice powerpoint slide in your case for that D-coordinator vacancy in Denver.

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Fantasy Football

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“Ye Gods!—this has to be a hoax,” I thought, when I first read about the Lingerie Football League. I proceeded to shit my pants after learning that Trenton would host two games. Then I wrote an email. With that email, and a bit of armchair photoshop, Sweet Merciful Crap scored an invite to the LFL’s pre-game press conference last Thursday. There is little one can do to prepare for a circus like the LFL, so unprepared, cameras in hand SMC rolled into Trenton for some hardcore girl-on-girl [football] action.

At Thursday’s press conference we joined our peers, not quite sure what to expect. A man was setting up a podium with what appeared to be a garter around a football. He had on fancy jeans, a sports coat and a tan that looked as if he’d spend the week in a chicken rotisserie. It was Mitch Mortaza, the brains behind the LFL, or as I like to think of it: League Pimp. For the next half hour he tried to sell us on the the league’s legitimacy.

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At least I think he did. Truth be told, I wasn’t listening. Instead, I was trying to steal a glimpse of the five women in underpants and shoulder pads (the football kind, not the 80s kind) who he had hidden behind a screen. I thought I heard him preach about how the fans included grandmothers, youngsters and families. It felt like watching Michael Steele giving a speech about minorities and gays being part of the Republican party. Eventually he stopped the charade and catered to his frat-boy fan base, whose support will either make or break his league, and called out his girls.

Like some brothel madam, he made sure the girls were smiling, holding poses and keeping the reporters’ interested. To be completely honest the whole thing reeked of milking a sure fire half-time stunt into a D-list main event. A women playing football in lingerie is not unlike a bear playing ice hockey—one does not marvel that it is done well, but that it is done at all.

The main event was Friday. The man handing out credentials before Friday’s games must have grown tired of seeing the shit-eating grins on the media folks who had drawn such a rough assignment. It was quite the spectacle with the lights, smoke and thumping music as the players took the field. Fourteen women in panties lined up and the hitting began. Simultaneously a thousand drooling men took their seats and prayed to whichever God is responsible for hair-pulling and wardrobe malfunctions.
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Mercifully the action bore no resemblance to the WNBA. The running backs must have been track stars (as well as models) with their speed and agility. More shocking still, “throws like a girl” seemed to be a foreign concept to Caliente QB Morgan McGrath and Passion QB Jackie Danico, as both threw off passes that covered at least 20 yards in the air (though not necessarily to the right team always). The action was fast paced, inspired and almost watchable as sport, but it definitely qualified as entertainment. And the hits—man—the hits were completely unexpected coming from defensive lines that combined, weigh less than Gilbert Brown.

So entertaining was the action that nobody left early. The post game photo-op had as much to do with keeping folks aorund as the crucial 4th down play with less than a minute left. In spite of their bodies being covered sweat and turf-burns fans mobbed the tables for close-ups with their favorite players. Frat-boys were everywhere and the booth selling team calendars, which sold like, well, calendars full of scantily clad models, probably took as much of the frat crowd’s money as the tickets. Shrewd marketing Mr. Mortaza!

The Passion play their second and final home game next month, and we’ll see if folks come out again now that they already have the calendar. Mike Ditka seems to think so, but we’re taking bets on how long this thing can last. Let’s hope long enough for one more media day.

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Fun with Wikipedia: Chris Christie Looks Like Fat Bastard

The title says it all. Seriously, look at the two of them at the bottom of this page and tell me I’m wrong; you can’t. This must be why it took the normally quick-to-correct folks at wikipedia fully 15 minutes to catch this gem. Enjoy:

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Chris Christie

Chris Christie

Fat Bastard

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NJ Nyets Shirts On Sale Now!

**Update: They’re Back!**

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Are you pissed about stupid Russians meddling in our affairs, like basketball? Show those Russian oligarchs they’re not welcome and make fun of New Jersey while you’re at it! Can’t Miss!

For less than 15 bucks it’s yours. Click the shirt to visit our store.

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****Update 2: The good folks over at zazzle have come through, for now. We’ll keep you posted.

**Update: Apparently the ass-clowns over at cafepress are not familiar with the notion of fair-use as it applies to parodies. We’re looking for a new supplier, so if you print t-shirts of dubious legality, please contact us.-A.P.

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