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A Tale of Two Aarons

As a 6’7″, bi-racial New Yorker I didn’t need any other reasons to be a fan of Aaron Judge, but he gave me 52 more last year as he set a rookie home record for the New York Yankees. He will be the cover for this year’s edition of Play Station’s MLB The Show and is poised for another huge year with the Yankee lineup stacked to a level not seen since maybe at least the early 1960s.  But there is a story that is not being told that relates to Aaron Judge. And it involved another Aaron.

Aaron Gordon is a super-athletic forward for the Orlando Magic. He stands 6’9″ and put on one of the three best dunk competition performances of all time a couple of years ago (including the best dunk ever – though unfortunately for him – Zach LaVine is one of the two others on the list, joining the GOAT Vince Carter).  For the record here is a frame of Gordon’s historic dunk:

Aaron Gordon – by the way he was jumping over a 6.5 foot mascot while doing this

Aaron Gordon grew up in San Jose, California with his parents and siblings.  He was born in April of 1992 and his athletic genes are likely the product of his  father, Ed Gordon, who played both basketball and football at San Diego St, before a short stint in the NFL with the New England Patriots.  You may be asking, why am I reading this J-L?  Is there a point? Yes, there is. And it is this:

Aaron Gordon and Aaron Judge – notice any similarities?

Using advanced biological data and research, more commonly referred to as “my eyes,” I noticed a distinct similarity in Gordon and Judge.  But as for other data – Judge, born 3 years earlier in 1992 and adopted at birth was born in Linden, California.  Gordon was born in San Jose, CA – a distance of less than 90 miles from Linden.  Both are elite, freak athletes and that generally begins with great genetics.  We know Gordon’s lineage, but Judge’s we do not.  Both are exceptionally tall and Judge excelled at football and basketball (the sports of Ed Gordon) in high school, not just baseball.

The real figure on intrigue here is Ed Gordon. Aaron Gordon was the youngest of his three kids, so it would mean that Ed would have to have stepped out on his marriage (not unheard of for athletes, ex-athletes, men with a pulse, etc.) during the marriage to father another child in northern California.  But wouldn’t it then make sense for that child, if carried to term, to be adopted?  Rather than be a single mom, perhaps Ed Gordon’s hypothetical sidepiece said “I will give up the child for adoption, rather than abort or embarrass Ed Gordon.”  See, not everyone is just looking for Anderson Cooper to interview them about their thottery!

Now I have no direct evidence of this, except photographic resemblance and their otherworldly athletic skills, but someone had to ask the question.  And what if Ed Gordon, in a moment of guilt and tribute, decided to name his youngest child Aaron, as a tribute to the one he never met?  Or, what if I am completely wrong?

Aaron Judge – already a legend, but is he a long lost brother?

*When I came up with this blog idea months ago I never looked up to see if anyone had written on this topic, so if it has been covered I am not copying it* And if no one has yet written about this, please email me for my address for where you can send my Pulitzer.  And for another interpretation of Aaron Judge’s origin story please watch this video:

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The NYC-MTA Subway Combine

With the NFL Draft arriving soon, some inspiration from this week’s great NYC-NY Yankees themed Righteous Prick Podcast episode, and my ever increasing admiration for the lack of civility and manners on the NYC subway I have decided to reveal another combine that is testing a unique and incredible set of skills: the NYC-MTA Subway Combine.  You may be saying, “the NYC Subway has never had a great reputation,” and that is true, but it used to have character, much like its home city.  Stabbings, muggings, graffiti, etc. were horrible, but at least you knew when danger was coming.  Now, in the NYC with way too many 7-11s, where gelato crazes were replaced by cupcake crazes, which are now being replaced by burger crazes, the danger has been replaced by a three-headed monster of rudeness, nuisance and lack of self-awareness.  So, with that cheerful preamble I now present to you the talented, diverse and awful competitors showcasing their skills at making your commute and travel irritating.

 1. The 11 Foot Dash.  This is probably the single most scrutinized event of the combine.  It values several things:

  • how quickly can you get to an open seat
  • how quickly you can get to an open seat when you are waiting for the train and you have to penetrate a wall of rush hour customers trying to get off of the train (scouts really like to see that special athlete-asshole who can get to the open seat before even two people have exited the train)
  • in a part people often forget, how quickly you exit the train, making sure you are first out, even if you have nowhere to go

Asian women tend to dominate this category because of their slight and quick statute, as well as a willingness to head quickly into danger and crowds because their cultures do not value the individual.  The best time ever in this even is 0.7 seconds from train door opening to sitting by 91 year old Chinese woman Li (an athlete of her stature only goes by one name).

2. The Create a Seat Event.  This is an event that measures strength and lack of awareness of one’s own size.  Most of the new subways fit 3-4 people in between poles, depending on which side of the pole you sit.  This event tests how well an athlete/moron fits themselves into a seat space that clearly cannot accommodate them.   This event measures hip strength and mental toughness – two things crucial to being an effective NYC Subway rider.  This event tends to have strong showings from larger black women, including Miss Stevens, a woman from the Bronx who once squeezed her 277 pounds into a seat space that officials at the MTA claimed could only have fit a malnourished 6 year old. 

3. The Rush Hour Text Exit.  This event tests dexterity of hands and rudeness of behavior.  The event usually takes place at 515 pm at either Times Square or Grand Central Station and as the train starts pulling into a station the athlete/rude tool begins to text messages (despite not having a signal) and does not look up as the train doors open to a sea of people 8 rows deep. The official measurement is how many characters without mistake can be typed before reaching the street level. This involves quick hands and fingers, ability to walk on even ground and stairs without looking up and a willful ignorance that you are making dozens if not hundreds of other commutes slower.  Manhattan’s Upper East Side is often producing athletes that crush this event, with  Alyssa Lara Gold typing over 657 characters last year to set the combine record.

4. The Backpack Swing. This event tests lower back strength and ability to inflict damage on other Subway riders.  This competition is often dominated by men, usually Caucasian men who are mysteriously in camping garb in Manhattan or by Mexican laborers who need to pack for 3 jobs each day.  A solid athlete/moron in this event simply leaves his backpack on, no matter how crowded the train and occasionally nudges and bumps other passengers.  What the scouts from the MTA look for here is the next level – the guy who swings around crushing other passengers and then gives looks in their direction like they need to watch where they are going. 

5. Ear Tolerance.  This is the event that measures how loud someone can listen to music in their headphones.  This event is often dominated by teenagers from the South Bronx and Washington Heights.  Too often their ears peak at 16 and never reach the same capacity for eardrum destruction again.  There are four different levels MTA scouts assign, with the first being least enticing and the last being most enticing:

  • Can vaguely hear music if you are sitting near the person
  • Can clearly distinguish the beat
  • Can clearly distinguish the lyrics
  • Can clearly understand the beat and lyrics even though you have never heard the song they are listening to

16 year old Debbie Sanchez is rumored to have had the entire 4 train singing along to Mumford and Sons at Mt Eden Avenue in the Bronx, despite the fact that no one had ever heard of them before she started playing her iPod that legendary day back in 2012.

6. Full Body Pole Lean.  This event is for the person who does not care if you have no where to hold on to during the ride and does not mind the feel of cold steel running up the crack of their ass.  Men of all races tend to dominate this field because their height tends to allow for near complete pole coverage.  One competitor/asshole named Michael Murphy from Park Slope once spent an entire day off from work reading a Proust collection while leaning on the F train pole for 11 hours.

7. The Loud Talk – This is a tricky event that is very unpredictable.  Past winners have ranged from intimidating black thug who is daring you to shush him, to NYU theater geek who cannot stop gushing over how funny and brilliant his Drama professor/secret coercive lover is,  to the Latin woman who is just having a normal conversation with her friend.  This requires vocal strength and a willingness to ruin everyone’s train ride.

8. Littering.  The second to last event of the combine is really almost the equivalent of the NFL’s Wonderlich Test.  The littering event tests how morally bankrupt your mind is. Athletes/sociopaths are given candy and or/cigarettes and have garbage baskets placed near them.  The person who insists on throwing garbage/wrappers on the subway tracks from the closest distance to an actual garbage can is the one who skyrockets up the MTA draft board.  In an epic performance that is combine legend, Malcolm Johnson, a 33 year old crazy person, once took a can of beer out of a garbage can and threw it on the tracks of the 1 train. He went #3 that year in the MTA draft.

9. The Box Out.  A move by heroes like the author of this piece, where you try to do the good deed and exit the train to let people off, but have to do a reverse pivot spin move to prevent people from getting on the train before you re-enter the train.  This event favors the good hearted, but fair-minded citizens of this city.  All 19 of us.  We may not put up the big numbers as others at the combine, but we are good people to have on the MTA team.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes

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LeBron James Must Stay In Cleveland

I went to see LeBron James in person on Tuesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.  It was awesome.  As I have joked with crowds all week, “I want to see him in Cleveland before he follows me back to NY.”  In all honesty I hope LeBron does not go to New York or any other city.  He belongs in Cleveland and as much as any athlete can, he belongs to Cleveland.

The Christ-like worship of LeBron is a bit much in Cleveland, but only a bit.

The people in this city may have already crossed into disturbing hero worship, bordering on something out of the film The Man Who Would Be King (look it up), but it is clear that the Cleveland Cavalier fans have a unique and special relationship with LeBron James that has all but been lost in sports.  Derek Jeter has it with NY, but if he had merely performed well, without winning a title he would not have it.  LA Fans love Kobe, but more because of their star worship.  But LeBron is from Ohio. He has yet to win anything, but the Cleveland area loves him as if he is family.  They get angry when you suggest he may leave for NY because they don’t believe he will do that.  If he were never to win in Cleveland they’d be disappointed for him. If he were to never win a title in New York, the fans would feel bad for themselves.

Speaking of New York, LeBron should not go to NY because NY doesn’t deserve him.  Patrick Ewing was the last hoops superstar in NY (and he does not compare with LeBron’s star power), but many Knick fans (especially the corporate douchebags that flood the Garden during times of success as if they were having an auction of 20-something blond Midwestern transplants) consider Ewing a failure, a choke artist and do not recall the fact that he gave everything he had for 15 years to try and get a title to NY (literally millions of gallons of sweat) .  Utah does not treat Malone and Stockton as failures, but many Knick fans still consider Ewing a failure first, a great Knick second. 

In fact the Knicks this year have played above expectation (thanks in part to the exceptional play of David Lee – a rare white American star in the NBA – but who the Knicks have continued to portray as a scrappy hustler, in line with typical white stereotypes), but many Knick fans are waiting for next year to show their support when they get star power (seriously NY is starting to feel more like the stereotype that LA has owned for so long – the sporting event is not as important to people as the event surrounding the sport).  That is what the Yankees organization banked on when they started selling $2500 dollar tickets to Yankee Games: that New York, a city renowned for its grit and character was actually just becoming another Los Angeles (it is – if I see one more salad place open up with a one word name – “chop’t,” “toss’d,” “crisp” I am going to go postal.  These places may very well be in other cities, but they are starting to feel uncomfortably appropriate in NYC).  Well, thanks to the economy it turns out NY was not quite ready for $2500 tickets, but $1250 tickets were not so bad.  And the addition of LeBron will just further push out many Knick fans who can probably barely afford pre-LeBron ticket prices.

However, Cleveland is the real reason for LeBron to stay.  He is to Cleveland what General Motors is to Detroit.  If he starts to pack up I feel like it will devastate the city.  The pre-game theatrics at the Cavs game included incredible movies and pyrotechnics for God’s sake!  I have been to 6 NBA arenas (not yet to Mecca in Salt Lake City) and these were by far the best I have ever seen (though the Bulls’ intros in the 90s are untouchable, as far as I am concerned, for theatrical originality, culminating with the 6’6″ guard from Nooooorth Caaarolinaaa…” 

There have also been rumors that Nike, in light of Tiger Woods’ sexscapades, was encouraging LeBron to go to New York so that they could have Kobe and LeBron on the coasts and build up that campaign further to stem some of the losses that Tiger may/will incur.  It is bad enough that politicians are all owned by corporations, but now athletes are being dictated to by them as well?  I would love to have LeBron tell the owner of the Knicks and any other big market team a la Michael Corleone in Godfather Part II: “We are all part of the same hypocrisy Mr. Dolan, but don’t think that that extends to my family.”

Because Cleveland is like LeBron’s family.  In fact, Cleveland is like LeBron’s wife and children that have stood by him as he built his reputation and skills and career.  They have done everything to make him happy.  If he goes to New York it will be like he is leaving his family for the hottest of the many of the gold digging tramps that roam the clubs and high society functions of New York.  Although Bill Simmons, ESPN’s “The Sports Guy” likes to call Baron Davis Teen Wolf, for this discussion I would like to call LeBron Teen Wolf.  And he has a choice – he can date Boof, the cute, loyal and real person and be a success in life and as a person, or he can go for Pamela Wells, the blond who has emerged only after the onset of Teen Wolf’s new found success.  NYC has enough guys that would go for Pamela Wells – LeBron should do the right thing for everyone and stay with Boof.  But if he leaves, it falls on his doorstep and he will have killed one of the last real fairy tales in sports.

LeBron in NYC. The lesson from Teen Wolf - stay with Boof, stay in Cleveland.
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My Ten Favorite Things From 2009

No movies made this list (but I have already given you my Top Ten of the Year, so they don’t really need another platform anyway).  Not everything is from this year, but they were read, viewed, worn or observed by me this year.

10. Fred Armisen.  In a year that had some ups and downs, he represented both.  He gave what is the least funny impression ever on Saturday Night Live and he did it week after week.  To quote Forrest Whitaker’s character from The Shield, “It’s like he is pissing in my mouth!”  But the bright side of that is that one year in there is still a void for a decent Obama impression.  If ever there was hope for me in 2010…

You give me hope Fred Armisen.  Hope that SNL will change who does Obama.
You give me hope Fred Armisen. Hope that SNL will change who does Obama.

9. Arrested Development – I know this show is older, but I watched the first three seasons on Netflix this year and it is the funniest multi-season show I have ever seen (important distinction hint hint).  If you have not seen it, you should.

8. Laid Off/Full Time Comedian

According to my biopic script:

I walked out from the law firm that had crushed my soul with a defiant stride knowing that although I was taking a risk pursuing comedy full time I had the confidence of knowing that I would follow my dream and in the end be a success.  I was also touched by the slow clap I received from all my co-workers as I left on my last day.

According to reality:

I planned on going to do comedy full time in 2009 at some point, but given the economic climate and the generally good feeling of a swollen bank account (from a pretty nice place to work as law firms go) I probably needed the push, or shove, of being laid off to pursue comedy full time.  Now my dream still feels attainable, but is starting to resemble a bad acid trip as much as it does a dream on its way to fulfillment.

7. Steeler Super Bowl – This was cool because it was a great game and washed away memories of the only Super Bowl the Steelers had won in my lifetime – Super Bowl XL (40), which was the worst Super Bowl ever played.  I also cannot put the Yankees title on here, because although I like many of the players, something about that victory felt like cheering Goldman Sachs’ bankers when they date rape your daughter and your pension fund.  Of course the Steelers did not help themselves with their “ni-ger” shouting fans this season, but perhaps a poor season will be their punishment for having racist fans.

6. Obama’s Inauguration/Nixonland – Such a cool moment when Obama was inaugurated.  Even cooler was being able to predict how half of America would turn on him as soon as they could and how his young supporters would realize that politics is work and detail and compromise and not a pop culture reality show called For The Love of Obama on VH1.  I always bet on old people in the long term in politics and in 2010 the book Nixonland will prove quite prescient when the Republicans break through the 60 voting block in the Senate and win about 30 seats back in the House.  If you like politics or just want to predict the 2010 election read Nixonland.  But January 20, 2009 was still a great day.  The country was divided on September 10, 2001 and after 9/11 the country rallied around Bush (91% approval, after being dismally low before).  Do you think if the same happened today the country would rally around its President?  I am guessing not.

5. The West Wing – Watched the entire seven seasons on DVD in 5 weeks.  The greatest dramatic series I have ever watched not named The Wire.  Sorry The Sopranos I think you’re great as well, but the detail and the writing of The West Wing was intimidating in its brilliance.

4. New York’s Funniest Comedian – I am still waiting for an e-mail response(to a very politely and respectfully worded e-mail) from a certain comedy club as to why I never got a call back, despite being promised a spot in a showcase and simultaneously being denied a chance to audition because it was unnecessary.  This moment was a low point in my comedy naivete, but also a wake up call that was invaluable.  That is not to say that 40 years from now when I am sitting a lone in a mansion, miserably counting my money in the dark, that I won’t assault, with a bowling pin, some booker or manager or assistant sycophant who shows up to my home.  That reminds me, I think my next CD will be entitled “I’m Finished!”

Sure I will do your show.  But first you have to tell me that bringers and cattle calls are bullsh*t and that you have made false promises.
Sure I will do your show. But first you have to tell me that bringers and cattle calls are bullsh*t and that you have made false promises.

3. The Bonfire of the Vanities – The most enjoyable piece of fiction I have ever read.  Did for novel writing what The West Wing did for me in terms of television.  As Salieri said of Mozart’s music in Amadeus, “Remove one note and there would be diminishment.” That is how I felt about every sentence of this 600+ page novel, which is just as relevant today as it was 22 years ago.  Just don’t see the movie before or after reading it. 

2. Paul Millsap Jersey – I received this gift Christmas 2008, but I did not wear it until this hoops season.  If it’s the thought that counts, then I have never received a better gift in my life.  And I seem to be the only person outside of Utah to possess one, which makes it even more exceptional if you consider things in Utah fashionable. 

The jersey may look ugly to you, but when I got it as a present it made me very happy.
The jersey may look ugly to you, but when I got it as a present it made me very happy.

1. Eastbound and Down – So this is the answer to the question what could be better than great literature, historic national elections, pursuing your dream or seeing your team win a title?  That’s right – a fu-king redneck.  If Eastbound and Down ended after only these 6 episodes it would be like Guns N Roses dying after releasing Appetite For Destruction – a perfect debut to live on forever.  So apologies to my girlfriend, Barack Obama, Tom Wolfe, Jason Bateman, The Steelers, stand up comedy, and everything else that went on this year, but my favorite thing this year was a foul mouthed racist pitcher form Shelby, North Carolina – Mr. Kenny Powers.

And feel free to support Kenny Powers with a Kenny Powers jersey: Kenny Powers Jersey

2009 was your motherfu-kin' year Kenny Powers.
2009 was your motherfu-kin' year Kenny Powers.

Have a Happy New Year readers and fans.  All 6 of you.

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Dear Bronx, The Yankees Just Aren’t That Into You

The New York Times had a couple of interesting comparisons to the Yankees in today’s edition.  One article, in the sports section, compared the Yankees to Goldman Sachs, in that they seem to produce unparalleled wealth and success while seeming to luxuriate in the feelings of unfairness they foster.  The other article, was about today’s parade, which will take place on Wall Street, which according to the article, really needs a good moment like this to help provide some good vibes for the emotionally beleaguered financial district (and the city overall of course).

Does anyone think it might make sense for Manhattan to stop reaping the benefits of the Bronx Bombers at the expense of the Bronx?  Just as the financial collapse was helped along by large firms manipulating and taking advantage of poor and middle class Americans, so too will Manhattan, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the Yankees get to parade around Manhattan without a care in the world about the community they’ve left behind.  Again.

Meanwhile local vendors of Yankee Stadium have complained of lost profits this year, due to both the change of foot traffic patterns created by the new Stadium as well as the more gaudy and extensive merchandise opportunities within the House That Greed Built.  Furthermore, children still do not have a completed park to replace the enormous one that was shoved aside by the new Stadium.  It is as if the Yankees have treated the local community with the same cold-hearted competitiveness with which they dispatch rivals when pursuing free agents: we’re richer; we’re bigger; deal with it.

Why would the Grand Concourse not be a fitting place for a parade?  They are still called the Bronx Bombers, but everything about them should be the Madison Avenue Maulers or the Wall Street Warriors.  They are corporate in every way, from the legions of fair-weather fans that follow them (plenty of diehards, but look no further than the New York Knicks to see how much loyalty New York fans provide their teams in time of need), to the parade that will honor them.

The Madison Avenue Maulers?  The Wall Street Warriors?  One thing's for sure - they are not The Bronx Bombers anymore.
The Madison Avenue Maulers? The Wall Street Warriors? One thing's for sure - they are not The Bronx Bombers anymore.

I worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx for 3 ½ years.  I remember each year when it was time to select a venue for our individual bureau holiday party, venues in the Bronx were not even discussed.  We were serving the Bronx daily as law enforcement officials, but most of the ADA’s, like many young New Yorkers who would rather have two or three roommates and live in Manhattan than have more space, but (gasp!) live in an outer borough (especially the dreaded Bronx), ever dreamed of setting foot inside a Bronx establishment for a party, as if they all feared that after hours they too could become the next Sherman McCoy.  To District Attorney Robert Johnson’s credit, the annual holiday for the entire office was (and still is) always held at the Marina Del Ray in the Bronx.

Last century the Grand Concourse was just that, grand.  But various things, including racism, helped set in motion the image of the Bronx that still prevails over the collective consciousness of New York City, regardless of whether or not it is actually reality.  Many issues hurt the Bronx, not the least of it was the racism of white flight, which led to The Bonfire of The Vanities mindset that seems to still prevail today on off days or road games for the Yankees more urbane fans.  And because of that sad perception, combined with the corporate mentality of the Yankees and their fans (at this point the demands of Yankee fans, of which I must admit I am one, seem more like the impatient ranting of shareholders, than the charming loyalty of fans) the parade goes on today downtown. 

There is no connection with the Bronx for the Yankees, just as many people felt that Mike Bloomberg had no connection with many working families and just as Wall Street seems to have no connection (not to mention conscience) to the anger and plight of many working Americans.  Having the parade in the Bronx might actually help the South Bronx in a way that a stadium and a shopping mall cannot: it could help to start changing people’s perspectives, so that people could see the Bronx in the daytime and not just under those very expensive lights under which the Yankees play at night.  The Bronx clearly loves the Yankees, but I’m not sure the feeling is mutual.

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Yankee To Philly

Last night was a perfect storm of comedy, sports and the the thing that those two forms of entertainment have served me steadily over the years, disappointment.

At 7 pm I was on stage at Comix as the warm up comedian for 12 Angry Mascots, a fun show that features stand up, sketch comedy and interviews with comedians and local pro athletes.  Last night featured the New York Jets’ Darrelle Revis and the Duke Alum/NY Knicks’ Chris Duhon.  Of course my Jets fan friends (including one who wears a Revis jersey every Sunday), my Duke alum friends and NY Knicks fan friends did not make the show, which moves them ever  closer to my prognostication  that my friends will one day accept an invitation to be gang raped if the only other option left to them is to attend one of my shows (noted for my Michael Jordan-esque Emmy acceptance speech sometime in the next decade).  Sh*theads.

Possibly the only way left for me to get certain friends to a show.
Possibly the only way left for me to get certain friends to a show.

When I went backstage before the show I saw something that was bizarre at the backstage of a  comedy show, attractive women.  Like attractive flies to athletic sh*t, nice looking women just find out where athletes are, even if it takes them to, yikes, comedy clubs.  It dawned on me that for pro athletes like Revis and Duhon, they probably have to actively decide NOT to get laid when they go out for a night.  You know, the way a comic has to decide whether to buy a chocolate milk and walk home from an open mic or save the money for Metro card money and have a pleasant bus ride home.  Same sort of thing.

So I did my set to warm up the crowd.  I have not emceed a real show in a while and I had forgotten how cold a crowd can be when you get out there.  Material went over well – my targets were LeBron James’ oldness (Morgan Freeman going to play him as a high school senior in a biopic), racism in baseball and President Obama (per usual).  I was pretty happy with it, but there was no time to gloat or see if I could hang with Revis because it was off to Philadelphia for a show at the world famous comedy venue, JD McGillicuddys.

If he's not busy playing my dad in my biopic he could probably play LeBron James as a high school senior.
If he's not busy playing my dad in my biopic he could probably play LeBron James as a high school senior.

As I got on my Amtrak I saw that AJ Burnett had staked a 4-0 lead to the Angels.  I furiously munched peanut M&Ms and listen to the angriest Jordin Sparks song I could find on my iPod in response. 

I arrived at JD McGillicuddys in plenty of time before my set so I enjoyed some ice waters and watched the Yankees make an awesome 7th inning comeback.  Fortunately, before I lost my semi-depressed delivery the Yanks gave the lead back to the Angels.  Showtime.

Did about 25 minutes where almost everything worked (including some new bits about yelling at people in elevators and the first prison rapist), but I have never blindsided a crowd more than with a new bit that is simply called “The Terminator.”  Might need some tweaking, but it sort of veers from Greg Giraldo (my favorite comedian and the type I hope to be some day, minus the stint in rehab) into more Jim Norton (comic I really like, but who is a little to the dirty/blue side of me, but who sort of inspired me to take some darker chances with my material).   Then after the set I watched Nick Swisher pop out with the bases loaded I binge drank two beers.

The night ended with the comics crashing at Luke Cunningham’s mother’s house (because comedy, once again, is not rock and roll or professional athletics, which did not stop me from trashing the guest room).  I thought about sleeping in the train station for the night, just so I could truthfully include a The Pursuit of Happyness moment in my biopic, but opted against it.  We all got a solid 4 hours sleep before catching the 7:07 am SEPTA/NJ Transit train from Philly to NY, also known as the “My fu-king spouse insists we live in Philly, even though I work in New York” express.

All in all a very fun trip.  And it was a reminder that I could turn more of a profit if I were a homeless man who alowed frat guys to kick him in the nuts for $20 a pop.

Finally things are looking up for me - I used to be a comedian.
Finally things are looking up for me - I used to be a comedian.

Next week I will have a big show in NYC Tuesday or Wednesday (unknown yet) and then I am in Boston October 30-31st headlining Tommy’s Comedy Lounge – hope you can make it.

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Weekend Recommendations

It’s been a slow week for me writing, but I have some recommendations for you this weekend:

Read A-Rod.  It’s a 2 day read and very entertaining.  Tall, tan, attention-craving, insecure, talented and an attraction to older women.  Replace strippers with movies, steroids with donuts and baseball with comedy and you have as close to an unauthorized biography of my life as may ever be printed.  Sports and gossip fans will enjoy the book and hopefully feel bad for the both of us after reading it.  But probably not.

If I was not a baseball star I'd be doing comedy.
If I was not a baseball star I'd be doing comedy.

Watch Star Trek.  This is not a great movie, but it is a really good Summer movie (fun, sexual suggestiveness, explosions).  It updates the franchise and makes it fun while not being disrespectful or spoofing the original.  Furthermore it features Tyler Perry, which for racists and/or people with a modicum of artistic sense will mark their first experience seeing a Tyler Perry movie.  So let me be the first to re-name the movie Tyler Perry’s Star Trek. 

Tyler Perry's Live Long and Prosper
Tyler Perry's Live Long and Prosper

Magooby’s.  If you are in Baltimore or nearby come see me feature this weekend at Magooby’s Joke House.   9 pm tonight, 8 and 1015 tomorrow night.   The Yankees are also in Baltimore this weekend for A-rod’s first game of the season.  Coincidence?   Well, if we end up at the same swingers club tonight I will be pissed.

You are welcome for a fun weekend in advance.

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Wolverine and A-Rod Must Pull a “McGreevey” To Save…

In case gay men were still fuming (flaming?) over Proposition 8 in California they were just dealt two more blows (can the unintentional gay puns ever stop?) in the form of Wolverine and Alex Rodriguez’s latest scandals.

Although I have already blasted it on Facebook – if you can help it do not go see Wolverine.  I am more guilty than most with going to see blockbusters.  After Batman Forever I swore that I would not see another Batman (the new franchise does not count), but there I was a couple of years later watching Batman and Robin, one of the 10 worst films I have ever seen.

Well last night, since I did not have to be up until 4 pm today for work, I went to see a midnight show of Wolverine.  This is a really really bad movie.  So many cliche moments (did he really just scream up at the sky at the death of someone?, is he really walking with CGI fire behind him? – what a badass!), such bad acting and writing have not been crammed into one film since Sophia Coppola starred in a re-make of Castaway (not true, but wanted to show how easy it is to write Family Guy-style jokes).  Now Hugh Jackman shows up jacked as ever (I question the legality of his training methods at this point), but this steroided up Rupert Everett is not enough to carry the movie beyond a rating or “piece of crap,” which is the only rating before “a Paul Blart.”

Sure the movie sucked, but wasn't I fierce?
Sure the movie sucked, but wasn't I fierce?

And faster than you can say gay man on steroids, here comes repressed Alex Rodriguez back into the news, with more revelations about his “doth protest too much” womanizing and his playing the Matt Damon to Derek Jeter’s Jude law in his baseball version of The Talented Mr. Ripley (does that make Joba Chamberlain the Phillip Seymour Hoffman of the Yankees?).  I have defended A-Rod, not because I think his womanizing or cheating or annoyingly overdone PR image are good, but because I am starting to think this guy is really repressing something.  I mean the guy is a pretty, tan, well-groomed Latin guy from South Beach with a taste for muscular pop singers – I am not sure if Perez Hilton is that gay?  Throw in his alleged obsession with Derek Jeter and his alleged cheesy pick up lines and you might as well not as look at his iPod because I am sure Freedom by George Michael is playing on repeat.

 

Man or woman?  Doesn't matter - if you have sex with this you are attracted to men.
Man or woman? Doesn't matter - if you have sex with this you are attracted to men.

 

So I have the same advice for both Hugh Jackman and Alex Rodriguez to stem the criticism for atrocious behavior (making a bad movie, cheating on everything, respectively).  Pull a McGreevey.  This move, named after former New jersey governor and truck stop enthusiast Jim McGreevey, is when you make a shocking announcement about your sexuality to distract from terrible professional activities. 

Dealing with work problems - just say "I am a gay American" and they magically go away.  Side effects may include horrible personal problems.
Dealing with work problems - just say "I am a gay American" and they magically go away. Side effects may include horrible personal problems.

So my solution for them is that they both should come out and announce that they are gay Americans in the next week.  Sure, Hugh Jackman is not American, he’s Australian, but no one will be listening after he says gay.  And A-Rod could spice it up (Latin pun) and say he is a gay Latino-American thus adding an extra layer of minority protection to his announcement.  I think this is the only thing that can save their respective credibility.  My guess is that the entire cast of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek will have to announce that they are a gay star fleet next week.

Blog

The New Yankee Stadium

If you thought the American Pastime needed more meatpacking district influence – here’s your baseball stadium.

A couple of days ago I received an amazing investment opportunity in the mail.  If I invest the GDP of a small country I can receive some entertaining sports surrounded by all the bells and whistles of a Manhattan club delivered in the form of a product that has had diminishing returns over the last decade.  That’s right I received my Yankees prospectus a/k/a ticket information and fan guide in the mail.

Like General Motors the Yankees have cost the American taxpayer more while providing less over the last several years.  There are several problems I have which were only augmented by the mailing I received.

To quote Notorious B.I.G - "Gimme the loot"
To quote Notorious B.I.G - "Gimme the loot"

The Prices

The Yankees, my second favorite team in all of sports, belong up there with the executives who received bonuses from AIG.  The ticket prices are absurd – it literally feels like what a night out to a Broadway play was before Broadway had to sell out to get seats filled in the theaters.  Baseball was not supposed to be high society  – it was supposed to be a day or night for families and working class folks who could enjoy entertainment with superstars without a bank loan or a blow job being involved.  There are now six (that’s six) special tiers of tickets for which the prospectus does not even list prices.   Presumably because they are so special and elite that only people with American Express black cards can even hear the prices without going deaf.

The Bronx

The Stadium was completely unnecessary and with the economy as it is , completely irresponsible.  What’s worse is that with the hollow promises brokered by the Yankees and the city and in part by former Bronx Borough President Adolpho Carrion, the Yankees got a subsidized stadium and in the process destroyed a massive, well-attended park with no equivalent replacement in waiting.  In one of the poorest communities in America, do you think destroying a quality outlet like a park with softball/baseball/soccer fields, a track and all sorts of other amenities is a wise decision?

The other promises that are often made – pumping money into the community, a school structured for high school students interested in sports management, etc.  seem to not be panning out.  Even worse is that all the restaurants (NYY Steak, Hard Rock Cafe) will actually probably take from the local businesses that thrived with the extra customers coming in for games.  Why would a tourist try local fare when they can go to the more familiar and ethnically-cleansed Hard Rock Cafe.

I would also love to know if Bronx residents were given priority for jobs created by the stadium and all its surrounding new businesses.  The Bronx has the highest unemployment rate in the city and this could have been an opportunity to make a small dent in it (very small, but at least meaningful as a step that says the Yankees will give something back – even if it is only salaries earned).

The Stadium

This thing looks beautiful.  Plush lounges, high end suites, a sports bar in centerfield, numerous quality food retailers at the stations in the stadium are just a few of the upgrades.  Hell, there’s so much at the Stadium that if they have a store producing Latino people they could render the Bronx completely obsolete.  However, isn’t this a fu-king baseball game?

Will there be a cover charge on top of tickets and techno blaring as you enter the stadium and some giant black dude frisks you and some sleazy grown-up prep school kid asks you if you party?  The American pastime should not be so slick and corporate looking.  People used to go to baseball games for the game – but now it seems that Manhattan spirit of needing to be seen has officially immersed itself in the Bronx, even if that immersion does not spread 20 feet outside the Stadium.  Now you can say “I have tickets to the Yankees” and it can mean more than “I like baseball and the Yankees.”  Now it can mean “I like status symbols and high fives.”  It won’t be long until Yankee fans become, due to financial restrictions and character depletion, like an LA Dodgers Crowd – famous for arriving in the 3rd inning and leaving in the 7th inning.

Isn't there a baseball game going on?
Isn't there a baseball game going on?

The old stadium used to be called The House That Ruth Built.  This one seems to be destined for The Club That Douchebags Inhabit.  Or maybe in the spirit of its apparent inspiration, just call it Stadium.  Or Douche.

I have my tickets for May 18th.