Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:09 am
Edited on: December 13, 2010 10:13 am

Third Annual Old-Man Football

In the Third Annual Old-Man Holiday Flag Football game, the goal remained the same ... have fun and don't get hurt.

I wish we could say we accomplished both.

As it was most our final game before turning 40-years old next year, it might have been a sign that the morning before our game one of my friends, Daryl, texted me saying he hurt his shoulder last night.

Then out at the field on the first play of the game, somebody got hurt. First play!

Bang! Two players hurt after one play, including one at home.

My friend Andy, who is a local police officer, went across the middle for a pass and ended injuring something. Knee, shoulder, ankle? The only thing I remember is him on the ground saying he was hurt and the rest of us laughing "First play! We couldn't even make it one play without getting hurt?"

Aren't we such good friends?

But Andy bucked up and finished out the day. Poor guy got hurt again, diving for a catch and landing on his shoulder. There was no laughing this time around as we thought he might have separated it.

But after a few minutes on the ground Andy got up and said "It's just stinger." Thankfully he was fine, because our orginal eight players was already down two players. That's right another guy, Chris, pulled his hamstring in the first game of the day.

Yes, we are getting old, but nothing beats tossing the ball around with friends of 20+ years. It wasn't pretty, there were plenty of missed coverages, dropped passes and bumps and bruises, but it was great to get out to the park and chuck the ball around.

After three quick games to 22 (score three touchdowns and go for a 2-point coversion at least once. If you miss it, you must score a fourth TD) it was time to bring all the kids out and that was quite comical.

There is even talk of playing another game before the Super Bowl! I think we could all use the month of rest to heal the injuries.

Game 1
Team Red: Scott, Darst, Jose
Team Blue: Chris P., Chris, Andy
All-Time Offense: Troy

Final: Red 22, Blue 7
RED -- Troy 30 pass from Darst (EP taken)
RED -- Scott 20 pass from Troy (EP taken)
BLUE -- Andy 20 pass from Chris P. (EP taken)
RED -- Jose 20 pass from Scott (Scott run)

Game 2
Team Red: Jose, Darst, Andy
Team Blue: Chris P., Scott, Troy

Final: Blue 26, Red 14
BLUE -- Chris P. 30 pass from Scott (EP taken)
BLUE -- Chris P. 25 interception return (EP taken)
RED -- Darst 15 run (EP taken)
BLUE -- Chris P. 30 pass from Scott (pass failed)
RED -- Andy 1 pass from Darst (EP taken)
BLUE -- Troy 45 pass from Scott (not needed)

Game 3
Team Red: Jose, Darst, Troy
Team Blue: Scott, Chris P., Andy

Final: Red 22, Blue 7
RED -- Troy 40 pass from Darst (EP taken)
RED -- Troy 30 pass from Darst (EP taken)
BLUE -- Chris 30 pass from Scott (EP taken)
RED -- Jose 3 pass from Darst (Darst pass from Jose) -- Note: Troy INT return set up game-winning TD

Category: General
Posted on: April 22, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:53 pm

Taking my daughter to work

Today is a huge day.

But if you've come to my blog looking to see another mock draft for tonight's NFL Draft or my pick for the guy I think will have the biggest impact in the NFL (it's C.J. Spiller), you've come to the wrong place.

Sure, I'm working tonight for the first round, but this afternoon was all about "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work" day.

By the way, who made the decision to schedule two huge events on the same day? Actually, make that three.

Today is also Earth Day. It's easy to blame the government or the organizations, but it's more fun to blame ESPN for moving the draft to tonight.

But I digress. Since my daughter is closing in on 4-years old, I thought it was time for her to get a real taste of what daddy does at on a daily basis. But then I thought ... maybe teaching her to watch TV, argue with collegues about Boise State, and writing features with Dennis Dodd wasn't the best thing to teach a kid in pre-K. had a nice setup for all the kids today, so Samantha got to do some coloring, work on the computer, shoot some video with host Lauren Shehadi and her favorite ... draw on the dry-erase board with markers.

After she shot video she said "Daddy, I need to go finish my work." Translation = go draw with markers. So a few more pictures before we shoot on over to Mommy's office. That has to be the first time somebody drew Ariel from the Little Mermaid on our whiteboard.

Since my wife's office is close, it was time to go see what work is really like. Sorry sweetie, there is no game room or flat screen TVs at Mommy's office. And there definitely won't be any conversations like "Listen, I don't care that Virginia Tech has a great defense, they aren't winning the national championship!" or "Tim Tebow sucks!" (I swear I hear that at least eight times a week here).

Even though I'll be up past midnight working the NFL Draft tonight, and anticipating a Steelers trade with the Raiders for Ben Roethlisberger, a few hours at work with my daughter will be the highlight of the day.

So just before my wife left at 5:30, she IM'd me that our daughter said "Mommy, I'm working. I'm doing my stamps and working. This is my office, just like you."

Change that to highlight of the month.

Posted on: November 28, 2009 6:30 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2009 8:54 pm

Thanksgiving Weekend Football -- Old Man Style

It was all about not having to call 9-1-1.

And that was one goal we all reached!

With nine guys all over the age of 37, we headed out to the local park to try and pretend how thin and fast we were 20 years ago in our 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Flag Football Game and Picnic.

The wives and kids were also there, hanging out at the playground and cheering us on. At the end we brought all the kids out to the field for a little family football.

The rules are simple in old man football. First team to score 29 points wins. You can take the free extra point after a touchdown, but you must go for a 2-point conversion at least once (ball placed at the 5-yard line). If you miss it, you'll have to score a fifth touchdown. Field is 50 yards long. A first down is midfield. So basically you get the ball at your own 5 to start each drive and have three downs to get there.

I've seen enough crossing routes and quick slants and shovel passes to last a liftime. Flag football surely isn't about running the fullback dive play.

Since we had nine players this year, we had an all-time offensive player. This caused some issues earlier with all the trick plays, but it wasn't about the final score, just the ability to get out and toss the ball with friends.

Here are the results (Except for me, I used first names only to protect the old and slow):

Game 1:
Team Red (Darst, Daryl, Brad, Troy)
Team Green (Jose, Andy, Jason, Jeff)
All-Time Offense (Scott)

Final: Team Green 29, Team Red 21
RED -- Daryl 35 pass from Darst (Extra Point Taken)
GREEN -- Jose 20 pass from Scott (Extra Point Taken)
GREEN -- Jason 25 pass from Scott (Extra Point Taken)
RED -- Troy 20 pass from Scott (2-Point Pass Failed)
GREEN -- Jason 5 pass from Scott (Extra Point Taken) -- Note: Andy made an amazing falling down catch on 3rd down to set up the TD
RED -- Troy 10 pass from Scott (Darst pass from Scott)
GREEN -- Jose 20 pass from Scott (Jose pass from Scott)

MVP -- Scott -- 6 TD passes (4 for winning team)

Game 2:
Team Yellow (Darst, Troy, Jason, Jeff)
Team Blue (Scott, Jose, Brad, Andy)
All-Time Offense (Daryl)

Final: Team Yellow 29, Team Blue 21
YELLOW -- Daryl 20 pass from Darst (Extra Point Taken)
BLUE -- Jose 40 pass from Scott (Extra Point Taken)
YELLOW -- Darst 5 pass from Troy (Extra Point Taken)
BLUE -- Jose 10 pass from Scott (Extra Point Taken)
BLUE -- Brad 30 pass from Scott (Extra Point Taken)
YELLOW -- Jeff 20 pass from Troy (Extra Point Taken)
YELLOW -- Troy 35 pass from Darst (Daryl pass from Darst)

MVP -- Troy -- 2 passing TDs, game-winning TD reception

Category: General
Posted on: March 10, 2009 4:57 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2009 5:12 pm

Catching a foul ball

I finally did it.

After 30+ years of attending baseball games in numerous cities around the country, I finally caught a foul ball.

I took the family up to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on Monday night to catch a little Marlins/Tigers spring training action. It's about an hour drive from where I live, but when you have a 2 1/2 year old you need a good place to keep them occupied.

The one thing I was really impressed with was the outfield grass area in right field. Since my daughter can't really sit still, this was a good place for her to run around in a controlled environment. Plus if she got tired (that wasn't happening), she could lie down on the blanket we brought.

The game started out great as a field usher gave my daughter a ball before the game started. She loved it, and that kept her happy for at least 10 minutes. (Sorry to the young lady sitting in front of us for my daughter throwing the ball and hitting her in the leg. Thankfully it wasn't a 99 mph, but more like a 4 mph change-up).

Getting back to the original story .... after about five innings, it was definitely time for a diaper change. I thought the bathroom might be a good place to do it, but the wife thought laying her down in the grass was fine, especially since we were among families with kids.

Celebrating with our baseballs. Before you send me hate mail -- It's the outfield grass area at a spring training game for god's sake, not The Masters!

Just so we didn't offend anybody, I got down on one knee to cover my daughter and give us some privacy.

All of a sudden -- CRACK! I hear some Detroit lefty (I think it was Clete Thomas) smack one. I look up and suddenly see the ball coming toward us. Now my first reaction was, 'He turned on this ball, so it is eventually going to curve into the next section,' but as I stand up to watch it ... it's not turning, it's coming right at me!

So after many years of baseball and softball -- and for some dumb reason I must think I have my glove on -- I get up to try and catch it. I reach up with my left hand (glove hand) and grab it while using my other hand to cradle it.

SMACK! --- Ouch that hurt. But I got the ball and raise it up in the air as the crowd celebrates. I look down and my wife is covering our daughter. "Ummm ... Cynthia, you ok?"

She was fine, she was doing her motherly duties and making sure Samantha didn't get hit with the ball.

Wife's first reaction was to cover the baby. Mine was to grab the ball. Scratch that, mine was to make sure my wife and daughter didn't get hit with a screaming line drive. (That sounds better).

So not only did my daughter get a ball in her second MLB game, but her daddy caught his first foul ball in like his 100th game.

A great night all around. And to cap it all off, this morning as I take my daughter to school she says "Daddy, I wanna go baseball game."

Now that's a memory that will last a lifetime.





Posted on: January 20, 2009 2:54 pm

Inauguration or Super Bowl?

Tickets for the Super Bowl are going for about $1,800 each and tickets for Obama's inauguration were going in the $1,000-$1,200 range, so if you had to choose one, which one would you go to?

Let's assume you aren't a fan of either team in the Super Bowl, but just a chance to witness the big game. I'm a Steelers fan and would love to be watching the game in person, but also witnessing history in D.C. with my family would be high on the list.

Which would you choose?

Posted on: October 23, 2008 11:54 am
Edited on: October 23, 2008 3:20 pm

Flag Football? This can't end well

So some friends and I were thinking about getting out to the park on Thanksgiving weekend for a little flag football action.

The question is ... Can a bunch of 35-37 year old guys, who haven't played flag football in 10 years, make it without somebody spending the day in the ER?

I mean there are probably eight of us, some who have had knee surgery, pulled hamstrings, sore backs, neck surgery and then some are just out of shape and 20 pounds heavier than we were during our "glory days".

Anybody else experience a little old-man football games during the Thanksgiving weekend? How did it go?

I leave you with our lineup...

Wes Welker and Brandon Stokley are my idols.Me, 37, I used to be a scrambling QB back in the day, but those days are over. After one surgery and the same knee feeling like it is on fire when I squat, I think I might be left to being a possession receiver. I'm the only guy playing flag football that wants to run the wishbone triple-option. Let the defense come in and run the ball. Forget passing. NFL comparison -- Used to be Steve McNair/Kordell Stewart, now I'm Brandon Stokley/Wes Welker. But I can be David Garrard if we need another QB.

Scott, 37. The only TRUE quarterback we have out there. Don't let him fool you, he says he's got "game speed", but we all know what that means. Likes to go out for some passes too, but mostly is going to end up playing QB with the strongest throwing arm. NFL comparison: Eli Manning/Brett Favre. He'll throw a few picks, but throws lots of touchdowns too.

Steve, 37. Wide receiver and cornerback. No major injuries and probably weighs the same as he did in high school. One of the taller players out there, deceptive speed. Not much a deep threat, but will kill you all day with curl routes. Also long arms for big catches. NFL comparison -- Reggie Wayne/Muhsin Muhammad

Daryl, 37. Probably the fastest guy in the group and most likely the only one that is in better shape than he was 10 years ago. Small, quick, can run the ball and catch small passes and turn them into big gains. Just watch out for that hamstring, because if it pops, it's all over. NFL comparison: Reggie Bush/Darren Sproles.

Brad, 37. The tallest player on the field at 6-foot-2. Used to be fast, probably has lost a step, but being the tallest guy will be a big target for the quarterback. Can catch out patters and deep patters. You dont want him anywhere near the quarterback position. NFL comparison: Calvin Johnson/Muhsin Muhammad

Jeff, 35. Was one of the fastest guys in the past, but not so sure now. Although, he still plays basketball and tennis, so he can probably run circles around us. Probably has the ability to be the biggest deep threat because the rest of us might not be able to keep up anymore. NFL comparison: Greg Jennings/Santonio Holmes

Jose, 35. The big rumbling tight end. Might be the slowest guy on the field, unless we need my wife to play. But he will catch his share of passes in the middle of the field. Just watch out for that shoulder to the neck when he is covering you. NFL comparison: Owen Daniels/Chris Cooley

Troy, 35. Wide receiver and cornerback. Doesn't drop many passes (I mean who really does in a pickup game?). After knee surgery to replace an ACL, MCL and PCL probably doesn't have much speed anymore. Still, he does demand the ball and will catch lots of passes. NFL comparison -- Anquan Boldin/Hines Ward

Last, but not least -- Larry, 37. Won't be able to play because of a neck injury, but was the Mike Alstott in the old days. He could play a little fullback and tight end and would catch some small passes out of the backfield. I guess you are still like Alstott, retired.

Category: General
Posted on: June 19, 2008 8:57 am
Edited on: June 19, 2008 8:59 pm

Bowling for ... SWEEPS!

We were on FIRE last night and it couldn't have come at a better time. We played one of the best teams in the league, which came into the match at 16-2. Assuming we won Week 2 -- and we should have -- (I love the rule, if you miss a week, you have two days to make up the match or they use your averages, but because the team that missed is buddy-buddy with everybody that works at the bowling alley, they've gotten a little "extra time") -- we came in at either 9-9 or 11-7.

Excessive celebration penalty coming up!Now at first glance we thought, we can take this team; the average age is like 70! We can't lose to a bunch of people who eat dinner at 4 p.m. and drive 40 mph in the left-hand lane with their blinkers on! We can't let it happen!

So the lineup was as follows -- me, Roland Liwag, Eric Kay and Ron Davis. We knew if we scored at least 900 (with handicaps) we could win.

The goal is win Game 1, set the tone, because for some bizarre reason, this old team gets stronger as the night progresses. Most old people wear down, but the past two weeks, they've gotten better. Must be the Chinese Buffet really kicking in around 9 p.m. giving them that extra energy.

We came out fired up! Or at least I did. I bowled five strikes in the first game for a 177. Best game I've ever bowled. I was pumping my fists, pointing to the sky, doing little dances. I easily had at least three excessive celebrations, but who cares, I never had a game like that before. I was afraid the old ladies were going to tell me that wasn't good sportsmanship, but they could tell I was having fun. (Isn't that what's it all about kids?)

I knew it would all come crashing down next game, so I had to enjoy it while it lasted. So we cruised to a Game 1 victory. We scored 903 and they had like 770.

Game 2 was a different story, I came back to reality with a 116, but Roland was there to pick me up with a 144. Who says alcohol doesn't work? After a few beers in Game 1, he was awesome. Roland bowled a 177 last week in Game 2. Maybe we should just have him show up like 45 minutes late with at least two beers in his system. Eric and Ron did their usual -- 138 and 160 and we were well on our way to another victory. This time it was closer though, 907 to like 840.

We already won the match, but we wanted a SWEEP! It was in doubt early, but Eric was ready to show his MVP skills. After opening the first frame with a nine, he reeled off five strikes in a row. FIVE! That's crazy. Imagine somebody hitting five consecutive birdies at Torrey Pines? That's what it's like. He was in the freakin' zone. You could tell by the looks on our opponents faces, they knew it was over. Or maybe they just realized it was past their bedtime.

Ron wasn't going to let Eric have all the fun and he ran off a series of strikes and spares too. Isn't that the way it always goes? You have the game of your life and somebody else has to have a great game too? After Eric finished with a 201, Ron closed out strong for a 212. And that has to say "That's not even my best game." Well, thanks for that. Eric just dropped like 42 points and 7 three-pointers in a clinching Game 7 and you come along and score 46 and say "Damn, not even my best night."

So we swept, we could be sitting at 20-7! If the bowling alley every updates the site, we might actually know soon. In fact we all had monster games with our handicap:

Ron Davis and Eric Kay letting the whole world know their 200+ score.Darin -- Game 1: 177, with handicap 281.

Roland -- Game 2: 144, with handicap 248.

Eric -- Game 3: 201, with handicap 269.

Ron -- Game 3: 212, with handicap 284.

On to some more bowling observations...

-- I wasn't sure how people would react in a bowling league. So far, everybody has been very friendly and relaxed. It's definitely a million times different than men's flag football or competitive league softball. People out there think they are playing for long-term contracts or Super Bowl rings. But the bowling league has been great, very social.

-- Some guys at the bowling alley play an additional game of Bowling Alley Poker. For every strike you get, you get a card. So at the end of the game, whoever has the best poker hand wins the pot. Gambling at the bowling alley, but not gambling on your actual score. Now is bowling really a sport when you can drink beer, eat crappy food and play poker all at the same time?

-- Miss "Throw the ball like a shot put" was next to us again. I think her name was Electra, but that has to be a nickname, right? Nobody really names their daughter Electra. Either way, she was chucking that 12-pounder and I swear she made some dents in the lane this week. It really is a treat to watch, especially when she can bowl like 120 with that throwing motion. It's just not fun when you are trying to pick up a spare and she drops that bomb next to you.

-- Again with the ninth graders invading the bowling alley at 10 p.m. That's a definite sign of getting old when you are asking yourself "Don't these kids have school tomorrow? How come their parents let them out so late?" Man, 36-years old and I'm already screaming for kids to get off my lawn.

-- When you order a beer at the bar, just take it, leave a 50-cent tip and get the hell out of there. I thought bartenders are supposed to be friendly, not 65-year old ladies who are ready to rip your head off for ordering a bud light. One time I said “Excuse me…” and she yells out “I SEE YOU!” Very bizarre scene. The other bizarre scene is people who actually just sit at the bar and drink all night. I used to go out drinking with the boys and I don't ever recall saying "Hey let's hit the bowling alley bar tonight." There has to be a better atmosphere at local bars around town.

-- Best bowling alley food so far -- Nachos. I really wanted to test the limits of the stomach with popcorn chicken, but that would have really destroyed the great lunch I had from Salad Creations. So I went safe and was rewarded. Like Eric said though, you should have to eat something actually thrown in the fryer. Good point, nachos was definitely a cop-out, but my stomach thanks me for it.

Report Card so far:

Practice week -- Pizza.

Grade: B-

Result: Two Tums

Practice week -- Chicken Wings.

Grade: D

Result: Two Pepto; Immodium AD in the middle of the night.

Week 2 -- Hamburger/Fries.

Grade: C+

Result: Two Pepto

Week 3 -- Nachos

Grade: A

Result: No stomach pain.

See you next week!


Category: General
Tags: Bowling
Posted on: June 12, 2008 10:48 am
Edited on: June 12, 2008 12:55 pm

Bowling for ... victories?

After going 2-7 the first week (I know, it's strange playing one team and going 2-7, but you play three games -- each victory is worth 2 points and if you win the best-of-7 you get three bonus points), we needed a strong showing this week ... and I think we got it.

The team we played wasn't there (something about a Pearl Jam concert), so they used their averages with a 10-pin penalty for each person. So all we had to do was beat 835. Assuming my handicap is around 100, it looks like we might have swept.

Since I wasn't there Week 1 (something about my 4th wedding anniversary and spending it with my wife, I know, lame excuse), I had to bowl this week for my handicap. Game 1 was like 835-770; Game 2 was 835-789 and Game 3 was 835-807, so if you add my handicap we crushed them and we all had our best games.

Greg Bromberg, Production Manager had a 133; Roland Liwag, formers SPiN producer and current photo editor, had a 177 one game and Ron Davis, NFL Producer had another strong showing by bowling at least 150 for three straight games. As for me, I had a 135 one game, my best of the night.

So I think we went 9-0, 7-2 at worst. That will put us right in the middle of the pack after two weeks.

More bowling observations...

-- I need to cut down the celebrating after strikes and spares. I have to be the only person in the alley that had to go home and ice his knee after bowling. And it wasn't because of my form or anything, it was my excessive celebration after nailing a strike.

Is it a good sign when your doctor tells you your meniscus in your knee is like a pair of old blue jeans? I've put so much wear and tear on it, that it could rip. Do they sell patches for your knee I could just iron on? Can you go on the 15-Day DL in bowling? So many questions.

-- I saw more 16 year old girls dressing like they worked at a strip club and a few 50+ women looking like they used to work at a strip club. Very distracting.

-- Speaking of kids. I didn't know hanging out at the bowling alley and shooting pool was still a popular hangout for high school kids. Especially on a Wednesday night. Here it is 10 p.m. and I'm heading home to go to sleep and these kids are just now piling into the alley.

-- A female next to us wasn't really bowling, she was more like throwing the ball down the lane like a shot put. She'd walk up to the line and push the ball from her chest down the lane. It had ZERO spin and it made such a loud noise when it hit the lane, you could hear it outside in the parking lot. She must be doing something right because she bowled a 100 every time.

-- This week's bowling alley food was hamburger and french fries. Not bad, but the real test comes an hour after you eat it. And that's where the problems came. It was another Pepto-Bismol night. To recap....

Practice week -- Pizza.

Grade: B- Result: Two Tums

Practice week -- Chicken Wings.

Grade: D Result: Two Pepto; Immodium AD in the middle of the night.

Week 2 -- Hamburger/Fries.

Grade: C+ Result: Two Pepto

(Note: The grade is while you are eating it, if we graded on result they would all be Fs)

I'm eyeing those popcorn chicken next week. My goal is to try every food in the place or land in the hospital with food poisoning, whichever comes first. The wife suggested going a little safer next week with nachos, but got to push the limits. God only knows how much longer I can keep this study up.

-- There are 10 teams in the league, everybody shows up with bowling balls, shoes, bags, towels, etc. Us: Nothing. As I'm ready to bowl my first game I look at all the other teams and our lane is the only one with bowling alley balls. That can't be a good sign.

-- Special thanks to the guy next to us Barry, answering all our bowling questions. He was strong, bowled a 211 one game and the last game started out with five consecutive strikes. Very nice guy.

See ya next week!



Category: General
Tags: Bowling
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or