Saturday, July 31, 2010


The theater had a rat problem.
It was during the monumental Big Dig in Boston, and as construction workers tunnelled through downtown, they would stir up huge pockets of rats. Boston already had a rat problem. Walking through the Common at night you would see dark blurs the size of small cats scurrying around. Every building downtown had either rats or mice. You prayed for mice. A hundred years ago when they were filling in the swamp that became the Back Bay, they had to halt construction for days just to slaughter rats.
The rats won.
To this day, the alleys of Back Bay swarm with rats at night. The Big Dig had kicked this problem into overdrive, and the theater was no exception. As the giant tunnel diggers churned through earth a couple blocks away, the rat sightings exploded. There is nothing rats like more than big bags of grain, and the theater had hundreds of pounds of popcorn kernels stored in the back rooms at any given time. The rats were getting bolder and bolder too, coming out during daylight hours to feast on leftovers and garbage.
Customer complaints began to explode also. There were daily, and sometimes hourly, reports of rats in specific theaters. One customer reported hearing a sliding noise during the movie, only to look down and see a rat backing up, pulling a carboard tray of half-eaten chicken down the aisle with him. Another customer reached down to get some popcorn from their bucket on the ground, only the see a rat standing on it's hind legs with it's head in the bucket helping himself to a snack. People regularily reported rats running across their feet while they watched the latest piece of shit Hollywood blockbuster.
I like rats. I had a pet rat as a kid, and he was friendly and affectionate and smart. But even I was super creeped out by these sightings. These were filthy city rats, and I felt bad for the customers. For once, the customer was actually right. No amount of free child size sodas or even complimentary movie passes could make up for that horrible experience. During the height of the Big Dig, going to work became a real drag. Every customer that walked up to Guest Services was probably going to complain about a rat sighting. The exterminators were useless. They would come a couple of times a week, empty a trap or two, tell us we had a rat problem, and then hand us the bill. Thanks, guys. They didn't give a rat's ass about nailing rats asses.
The complaints became so frequent and predictable that we began playing little games just to break up the horrifying monotony of the situation. Sometimes, when somebody would complain about a rat sighting, I would say:
"You didn't make eye contact with the rat did you? Don't make eye contact! In their culture that is disrespectful and it sends them into a rage. Please tell me you didn't make eye contact...."
One time I told a lady that the rats were left over from the big world premiere of Willard that we hosted, but not to worry, they were trained Hollywood stunt rats and wouldn't harm anybody. She laughed, thank god. That could have easily ended with me sitting in my boss's office with a complaint letter in his hands. The joke was definitely worth the risk though.
One night I was closing up, and the night cleaning crew was just starting. Hilario was the best worker on the night crew. He was a really likable guy from El Salvador, and his wife worked with him sometimes when she wasn't watching their kids. Hilario was about 5' 2", but he was deceptively strong. I'd seen him scamper up a 30 foot ladder to change a light bulb, and I'd seen him haul 50 pound bags of popcorn two at a time.
On this night I was talking to him about a carpet cleaning project. Hilario didn't speak a word of English, but we could communicate with tone of voice and hand pantomime. Plus, I knew a little Spanish. While I was talking to him in the main lobby, something caught his eye, and he froze with slightly hunched shoulders. He then made a beeline for the escalators. When he got to the escalators, he made a sharp right and ran betwwen the up and down escalators. When he appeared on the other side he was still running full steam as he headed towards the vending machines. I couldn't tell what the hell was going on until I saw the blur come out from behind the soda machine. It was heading towards the first floor concession stand and Hilario was in hot pursuit. Just as the blur got to the floor board by the popcorn bin, Hilario dove head first through the air. It was like some shit out of Die Hard. Hilario hit the floor sliding, and grabbed something in the corner. I ran over and saw that he had ahold of something in the crack between the wall and the concession stand. He forcibly pulled on it, and slowly the huge haunches of the nastiest rat I had ever seen began to emerge. Hilario had it by the tail, and it was frantacily clawing and screeching as Hilario extracted him from the tiny crevice.
When the rat was about halfway out, Hilario reached into his pocket with his free hand and pulled out a switchblade. I'm not talking a pocket knife or even a Leatherman. I'm talking full out switchblade. The same knife that every drug dealer in every movie has used to test the kilo of coke during a drug deal. You know the one I'm talking about. Real Jets vs. Sharks shit. Old school. Hilario flicked the blade open and slowly and precisely gutted the rat up the middle. The rat died quickly, and Hilario pulled the carcass out of it's last hiding place.
The rat was huge. It's body was bigger than Hilario's forearm, and it's tail ran all the way up to his shoulder. The rat was almost hairless, like it had mange or something, and it's front teeth stuck way out of it's mouth. It was the ugliest beast I had ever seen. Hilario chucked it into an empty garbage bag he pulled from his back pocket, tied the bag off, and threw it on a pile of garbage by the storeroom. He wiped some blood off of his hands (I couldn't tell if it was his or the rat's) and resumed asking me where the extra carpet cleaning solution was.
I stood there staring at Hilario with my mouth agape. The whole incident didn't phase him at all. It was probably a nightly occurence and Hilario lived in Chelsea, so he probably had to use his switchblade regularily to protect himself. Business as usual in the big city.
Eventually the Big Dig moved on and we hired a new exterminator and got the rat problem under control. I'll never forget that night though. I wondered if I had witnessed the hunting and killing of a legendary Cupacabra, the mythical livestock killer native to Hilario's homeland. It's dull red eyes and hairless snarl are burned into my memory forever. It could have definitely won one of those "World's Ugliest Dog" contests, but it might have been too big to enter.
I'll tell you one thing, I had a newfound respect for Hilario. I'd always liked him and gave him whatever he needed, but after that night, I made sure to never cross him. I didn't want to end up in a garbage bag on a pile of trash in Chelsea.

Friday, July 30, 2010


This is where I walk almost every day. I'm begginning to think the state motto might be right.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Remember zines?
That's what blogs were called before blogs existed. Back in those dark ages before the internet, people with something to say would paste up sheets at home, take them to kinko's to be copied, then fold, staple, and sell them at indy record stores, bookstores, and hipster thrift shops all over the country. Most of the zines were music oriented, but there were a few that travelled off the beaten path. One particularly good zine was Murder Can Be Fun, which introduced me to some greusome serial killers, Mormon blood atonement, and the great Boston Molasses flood of 1919.
My hands down favorite zine though was Dishwasher. Pete "Dishwasherpete" Jordan wrote about his experiences working as a dishwasher all over the place. He reviewed books and movies that included dishwashers, he pondered line cooks' devotion to classic rock, and described the leftover foods he salvaged out of bus tubs. Through it all, he maintained the honesty and value of washing dishes in a society drunk with ambition and materialism. Occassionally Dishwasherpete was drunk too, but usually it was from shift beers and whatever half finished drinks the waitstaff would smuggle to him.
One of the greatest themes in the zine was Pete's refusal to be promoted to cook. He was a professional dishwasher, and wanted to remain so. Once the kitchen managers and owners figured out that he was a competent, intelligent person, they would invariably try to promote him to cook. They could never understand why anyone would want to stay a dishwasher. At this point, Pete would usually drop his apron and split, heading to the next job wherever that might be.
Eventually, Dishwasherpete set a goal to wash dishes in all 50 states, and that's the basis of the book Dishwasher. He tells his story in a linear narrative, unlike his zine which jumped all over the place. There are stories from a taquieria in Boston, a ski resort in Colorado, and a salmon cannery in Alaska, along with many others. Pete writes with a devilish wit and the eye of a keen observer. The book is a lot of fun to read, especially if you've ever spent any time in the dish pit. Like all good bohemian writers, Pete is now repairing bicycles in Europe, but I'm glad he took the time first to compile the story of his great American quest.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Here's another installment of my ongoing series of stories from my time served as a manager at a minimum security movie theater. This episode: The Gold Teeth.

When I went in to apply for a job at the theater, I was specifically looking to get out of the restaurant business, which I had worked in for 15 years. When the GM met me in the upstairs lobby for my interview he said "I see you have a lot of kitchen experience...."
Yeah, so? I was there to get away from kitchens, and that's why I applied to a place that couldn't possibly have one.
He then took me on a tour of the theater's two kitchens.
Ahhhh, just when I thought I was getting out, they sucked me back in. I was hired on the spot and spent the first four months in the kitchen, working my way up from grunt to manager.
The kitchen was a joke. Everything was portioned out, so nobody could screw things up. The fryers were even automated. You just pressed the button with a picture of fries, and the basket would lower into the grease, and then rise up when the timer went off. Somehow, a few of the Rhodes Scholars who worked in the kitchen still managed to screw that up. My dream was to train a crew of chimpanzees to operate the kitchen. I'd put beanies on them and have them roller skate around bringing food out to the customers. Now that would be an entertaining draw!
About three months into my tenure at the theater, I was in the kitchen as usual when a new employee came up to me and said:
"Are you Ernest?"
"Can I see your gold teeth?"
I was in the middle of having my teeth fixed after over a decade of neglect, and I had gotten a gold crown on one of my teeth the week before. It was on my upper right molar (#2 for those aspiring dentists out there keeping score at home) and I couldn't figure out how she could have known about it since it is completely hidden.
"What?" I said.
"Mr. Rob said you had gold teeth."
I only had one, and how the hell did Rob know I had a gold tooth? I hadn't told anybody about it....
"Ahh, ok, I guess" I said as I pulled my cheek way back and let her peer into my mouth.
"Oh yeah." she said, sounding a little disappointed.
I showed her what to do in the kitchen, but the mystery of how Rob knew about my dental work plagued me the whole shift. After work we all met up in the bar next to the theater. I asked Rob how he knew I had a gold tooth.
"What the fuck are you talking about?" was his confused response.
"Latonya said that you told her I had a gold tooth. When you sent her into the kitchen, she wanted to see it."
Rob looked puzzled for a minute, then burst out laughing.
"I told her to go find Ernest in the kitchen. I told her you were a big guy with a goatee."

Next episode: El Chupacabra.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Writing is hard.
Anyone who has had to crank out a five page report on Catcher in the Rye knows that. And that's writing when you're almost trying to be boring and predictable. Entertaining fiction is a whole 'nuther ball of wax. I've tried just about every artistic endeavor. Yeah, I'm one of those types. I've played music, painted, acted, and done unintentional drunken performance pieces in bars all over the country, but writing is the toughest. I think movies are the greatest art form, because they combine all other artistic disciplines, but the writing is the toughest component. Notice that I'm not one of those pretentious fucks who insists on calling them films. Film is what you shoot the movie on. Film is what the hygienist scrapes off of your teeth at the dentist office. Movie is an endearing word which encompasses the entire experience.
Great art is a soul exposed. (And that is a registered trademark phrase, so if you use it, make sure you send me a royalty check or I'll have my phalanx of lawyers descend on your ass). What better way to expose your soul than alone in a room with a keyboard? Writing has the power to change lives, change attitudes, and even change history. We've all read those books that changed our lives, or at least the way we look at things. On the Road, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and Lolita are just a few of the books that have done that for me. They profoundly altered the way I thought about emotion, society, the psyche, and the way words are used.
But who knew that the process of writing could be enjoyable? I tend to picture tortured souls locked in a room writing these masterpieces with a fountain pen using their own blood as ink. That may be the case sometimes, and writing is a lonely pastime by nature, but I'm discovering that slapping words together is fun in and of itself. I'm going through a phase of self discovery and verbal experimentation that is very exciting and rewarding, and hopefully becoming a slightly better writer along the way.
Maybe I'm just going through a honeymoon period, but for now, writing can be fun.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I recently started a series of fan art. They are characters from the show The Venture Brothers. If you haven't seen the show, what the hell are you waiting for??? It is a hilarious and cool beautifully animated show. Go check it out on Adult Swim......

Please forgive the quality of the photos. They were taken with a digital camera the size of a thermos, with duct tape holding the batteries in. They don't really do justice to the brilliant, vibrant, genius of these wonderful paintings. (cough cough)

R.I.P Henchman #24: 1969-2008

Dr. Killinger...............and his magic murder bag

Dr. Girlfriend (AKA Dr. Mrs. The Monarch)

Henchman #21

Master Billy Quizboy

h.E.L.P.e.R. Goes to a Sears Portrait Studio

To be continued.......???

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


No, not those black sox. This is another installment from my series of stories from the movie theater where I did a tour of duty. This episode: THE BLACK SOCKS.

The quickest way to move up the ladder in a McCorporate environment like a national theater chain is to be a snitch and a suck up. That's why most of the bosses are insecure sniveling rats with questionable moral fortitude. They've all schlepped their way to the middle. It's just a fact of life in fast food mentality companies. The regional and national management team of the theater did not have a lot of Wharton Business School graduates, let's just say. The bosses tended to be people that really couldn't do anything else, so they had sucked ass, ratted others out, and generally towed the company line in exchange for their souls. As a result, they were a defensive , paranoid bunch without an original thought in their heads. They would steal the credit if you did something well, and were quick to blame others to cover their own asses. I think they were all beaten badly as children and are now trying to exact their impotent revenge.
The absolute epitome of this style of management was the Northeast Regional manager at my theater. We called him the Walrus because of his jowly, stocky build. He looked like he would smell like low tide too, but instead you just got a wall of cheap Walgreen's cologne that a college freshman would wear.
I mean no disrespect to Walruses. I like them, and I'm sure that anyone of them would have done a better job than this blob of a micro-manager. When our inneffectual but much loved general manager moved on to a better job at a different chain, the Walrus stepped in and decided to exert his mighty will on us. He brought in his little pet general manager to whip our theater into shape. I think the Walrus thought of him as a pit bull, but in reality he looked like a chihuahua. All shaky and watery eyed. It didn't help the obvious comparison that he was tiny too. If he was the Taco Bell dog, he would say: "Yo quero Napoleon compleciones." But that's another story.....
During this management revolution, the Walrus was at the theater more often than his usual two visits per year. On one of his surprise visits, he spotted one of our new managers with white socks. The dress code for managers was dress shoes, black socks, dress pants, a belt, dress shirt, tie, sports jacket, clean shaven, and neat hair. I happen to agree about the black socks. White socks look ridiculous. When you see someone with dress shoes and white socks, you think "Is this guy going to try and sell me some aluminum siding, or did he just get out of prison?" It's usually one or the other. Aside from the aesthetics though, it was representative of the slavish enforcement of lengthy corporate minutiae versus results. The new manager was a great employee. He was in college, but working full time as a manager at the theater too. He was very competent and a real go-getter. He was not going to be working at the theater for the rest of his life and I think upper management resented that. He represented everything they despised: intelligence, independence, good sense of humor, and confidence. He was well-raised in an affluent family, and so even though he knew better, I think he wore white socks just to piss off the mucky-mucks.
On the day of the surprise visit, the new manager was heading up the escalator when the Walrus saw his white socks. He told the house manager to go grab him. The Walrus was beaming. He was gloating over the opportunity to exert his pathetic iron fist in the little goldfish pond he ruled. All the managers were summoned for a meeting in the lobby. The Walrus was going to make an example of the new guy.
We made awkward, meaningless small talk as we waited for the last couple of managers to show up. When the house manager finally returned with the new manager in tow, the Walrus was ready for his show. He gave us a little speech about the importance of the mission statement and following all the rules. He proceeded to give us the "it's all a matter of customer perception" speech, and then he was ready for the grand finale. He asked the new manager to lift up his pants' legs. The new guy reluctantly lifted his cuffs to socks! The Walrus' jowls hit the floor. He sputtered and turned red. We all patiently stared at him waiting for his next pearls of wisdom. Eventually he said "oh" or "ah" and then told us to carry on or something to that effect. We were all trying to keep from laughing because we were in on the joke. The new manager realized that the Walrus had spotted his socks, so he ran down the back fire escape stairwell and over to Macy's to buy some black socks and pull them on as he headed back to the lobby for our meeting. That's the kind of quick thinking and ingenuity which proved he didn't belong in McCorporateland. He went on to leave the theater a few months later to accept a coveted internship at a computer development company, and by now he's probably running a Fortune 500 business, but not before he provided us with a hilarious moment at the Walrus' expense.
It's the small victories that are sometimes the sweetest.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


My copy of Lost Vegas arrived a couple of days ago. I hadn't eagerly anticipated receiving something in the mail that much since I waited for my ill-fated pslyocibin mushroom grow kit in college. Lost Vegas is the first book from Paul "Dr. Pauly" McGuire. It is a memoir of his years reporting on the World Series of Poker in Vegas. It covers the years of the poker boom, which has come and gone, and the blogosphere boom, which continues unabated. It is a must read for fans of Dr. Pauly's many entertaining blogs, but it would also appeal to people interested in the poker industry in general, and the WSOP in particular. It is not a gossipy, sordid tell-all. It is instead an unflinchingly honest story of one man's trip through the internet, media, and poker worlds.
Mr. McGuire carries on Hunter S. Thompson's proud legacy of gonzo journalism, debauchery, and pill-popping. It is no coincidence that they were both drawn to write about the same city. Mr. McGuire has a unique style of not simply describing things, but actually generating a visceral feel that you are there with him. You can almost smell the stripper perfume.
Like all great books, Lost Vegas is about people, not places or events. Some of the most endearing parts of the book are the stories of the wacky cast of characters that Mr. McGuire has met and befriended over the years. The stories of odd prop bets, random encounters, and bonding in the poker media trenches are humorous and revealing.
Lost Vegas also reminds me of one of my favorite books, Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell. Both books are autobiographical journeys exposing the seemy underside of outwardly glamorous places. In Orwell's case, it is the fine eating establishments of Paris, and in Mr. McGuire's case it is the fine gambling establishments of Las Vegas. Both books offer heartfelt, insightful looks at what lurks below the surface. Lost Vegas particularly reminded me of Down and Out in the passages about the Redneck Riviera, the ultra sketchy, low rent motel Mr. McGuire lived in during his first summer in Vegas, which were my favorite parts of Lost Vegas.
Fans of the Tao of Poker, Mr. McGuire's poker blog, will recognize some of the stories in Lost Vegas, but the tales have a better flow and more of a permanence when read in a well designed book that you can actually hold in your hands. Call me old school I guess. Lost Vegas is self-published and available exclusively on The books are printed per order, and Lulu seems like a great site that helps continue the democratization of the publishing world, and puts control and hopefully the lions share of profits where they belong: in the writer's hands.
Not exactly a love letter from Mr. McGuire to Sin City, Lost Vegas is more of a Dear John letter, but you come away with the feeling that they're going to get back together. In a way, it is also similar to a letter that an addict in a twelve step program has to write to their drug of choice. Sometimes it sounds like Mr. McGuire is trying to convince himself why he doesn't want to do Vegas anymore. But you just know he's going to relapse.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I worked at a movie theater for a few years, and it was a blast. I don't want to name it here, so let's just say that it's in Boston and it's name rhymes with Roews Loston Gommon. I met some great friends there and learned a lot. After awhile the grind of constant turnover and angry-customer service in basically a glorified fast-food, corporate environment got to be a drag, so I quit after four years or so. It was one of the funniest places I've ever worked, and I had a few celebrity meetings, minor adventures, and some stories to tell. This episode: JUNKY SPOON.

It had been a long night.
From customers bitching about no parking and not liking their $9 chicken tenders, to employees drinking in the storage room, I was fed up. We had closed out the day, and were just waiting for the last few movies to end. As I came out of the managers office, I saw some movement down in the cafe, which was closed. I walked along the concession stand, and as I got near the cafe, somebody came hurriedly walking around the corner acting weird. Everything about him was weird. He was rail thin, had stained jeans, and pseudo dreads. He smelled bad even from 15 feet away. There is a large homeless shelter around the corner from the theater, so I was used to throwing drunk homeless guys out all day. I was really happy when CVS came out with a generic orange flavored mouthwash. The hardcore drunks smelled a lot better when I would escort them on their circuitous drunken stumble to the front doors. It was a long walk and I preferred the citrus smell to cool mint. But they usually weren't around after sundown. The shelter closes it's doors at 9pm and all that.
Back to the story. When I got to the cafe, the ice cream case was open and the butter pecan top was off. I turned and headed after my scruffy friend who was making a beeline for one of the theater entrances. It looked like he was trying to covertly hide something very unsuccessfully. I yelled for him to stop. He sped up. I yelled again in my bouncer voice and this time he stopped by the condiment station. He still had his back to me. I asked him what he had there, and he clearly shoved something down the front of his pants and quickly turned around and flourished his hands like he was David fucking Copperfield doing a trick. I asked him what he shoved down his pants. Nothing. Of course it was nothing. I told him to cut the bullshit or I would call the detail cop. Begrudgingly, he slowly pulled out an uncovered, dripping paper cup of ice cream from his crotch.
Butter Pecan I presumed.
I couldn't believe it. I told him to throw it out. As he stepped towards the garbage can he pulled out a spoon and started furiously trying to eat as much as he could. Fortunately for him, I was standing behind the Guest Services desk. The annoyances of the day had taken their toll. I began to scream furiously for him to throw the fucking ice cream away. As he finally dropped the half empty cup in the garbage, he also dropped his spoon on the lobby floor. It clattered around a little and I got a good look at it. The handle was completely bent and the spoon itself was charred black. Hmmh. That's a familiar configuration. It still had a few remnants of Butter Pecan on it. The picture was starting to get clearer. That's why there hadn't been a scoop in the ice cream case.... he brought his own utensils.
I started to lose it for real at this point. Luckily, the other manager Willie had come out of the office by now and was holding me back.
Get the fuck out of here, I blistered.
Why? he has the nerve to ask.
Because I have to throw out a three gallon container of ice cream you lowlife.
Why? he has the gall to ask again.
It was clean! he says in a plaintive voice, as if I had offended his sensibilities by insinuating that he would be carrying a dirty junky spoon.
That's when I started laughing.
It was all too absurd. He was genuinely insulted that I had disparaged his works, and that cracked me the hell up. The whole day had built to the point where I needed a good laugh, and this clown certainly provided it. The people who had made their way out of the theaters after their movies had ended seemed to find it pretty amusing too.
The closing usher was notorious for eating left over popcorn and half eaten candy when he cleaned the theaters. As I handed him the barely touched but unsellable container of Bryer's Butter Pecan I thought: at least this job has perks. Free laughs and sometimes free ice cream.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Free agency has destroyed sports for the fans. Remember the good old days when a team pretty much owned a player outright? I guess it's nice that Curt Flood and Catfish Hunter broke through the unfair contracts in baseball, but we're not talking about coal miners who work in incredibly dangerous conditions for criminal wages, we're talking about spoiled athletes who were lucky enough to be blessed with a unique (but otherwise useless) talent, and play a game for a living. They're not teachers, or scientists, or cops, or any of the people who actually contribute to society.
And that brings us to 2010 and the all too typical case of LeBron James. Here's a kid from Ohio who grew up to see all his dreams come true. He's the best player in the NBA, and he plays for his hometown team. What could be better? Well, I guess the lure of South Beach could be better. If LeBron had stayed in Cleveland, he probably would have won a championship eventually, but more importantly, he could have become one of those rare modern athletes who plays his whole career for one team. And his hometown team to boot! Now that's a legacy! But instead, LeBron chose to make it all about him. As if winning a championship would legitimize that he is a great basketball player? He chose to break the hearts of all the fans in his home state. For what? A little more money? He already has more money than God. All his real money comes from endorsements, so it doesn't matter where he plays. He chose to go play second fiddle to Dwayne Wade, because if the Heat do win a championship, it will always be Wade's team. He chose glamorous Miami over hard working Cleveland crying all the way that no NBA players wanted to play there. I guess LeBron isn't such a draw for his peers after all. Since apparently winning a championship is everything, I guess all those players were casting a vote of no confidence in LeBron's ability to ever win a title. Maybe "King James'" head has gotten too swollen for the crown to ever fit. How can he stand at that press conference and say with a straight face that "Miami has a welcoming organization, and it's all about family for me?" Ask a kid in Akron if he believes that. What a self-centered hypocrite.
The sad truth is that it would have been more shocking if LeBron had stayed in Cleveland. These days all that matters is money, media attention, and merchandising. Tell that to all the broken hearted Cav fans as they look at the millions of dusty #23 jerseys in their closets years from now. I hope they have a big bonfire and burn 'em all. Hasn't Cleveland suffered enough? They were already the victims of one of the most heartless betrayals in sports history when Art Moddell moved the Browns to Baltimore because the Cleveland taxpayers wouldn't cough up $100 million to build him a new stadium. All they ever did was sell out every home game and rabidly cheer for one of the worst franchise's in football. Is there no decency and loyalty left in sports?
My favorite modern sports moment came when the Patriots chose to be announced as a team before the Super Bowl. It was a small gesture that still gives me goosebumps to this day. And this year, Joe Mauer could have left the Twins and played anywhere else for a boatload of money. Instead, he chose to re-sign with his hometown Twins, and continue his path to the Hall of Fame proudly wearing a Minnesota jersey. I love the Twins not only because I'm loyal to my state, but because they are the scrappy underdogs, who make the playoffs even though they are a small market team with a minuscule payroll. They are the antithesis to teams like the Yankees and Red Sox who just throw money at championships. The Twins succeed because of good coaching, team play, and a solid farm system. That is a rarity in these days.
I hope Lebron goes on to great unsuccesses. I hope he never gets his championship. I hope the Miami fans eventually feel as cheated as the Cleveland fans. As much of a sports fan as I am, I realize that it's just a business, and things like loyalty and pride are outdated notions.
I guess Jerry Seinfeld was right: we're just rooting for a bunch of laundry.