Because I am essentially a great dad, I offered up This Space — MY space — to a 36-year-old whippersnapper I know.
Did you just say whippersnapper, Doc?
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He uses this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk of his love for the Yankees and the Steelers, for god’s sake, proving that parenting is an imperfect exercise. He furthers his insolence by telling youse I eat expired food. The whole universe now knows I’m still enjoying Christmas cookies as Easter approaches.
As if there’s something odd about that.
That I let this (novel-length) Hemingway effort roam free Here speaks to my benevolence. Without further ado, my (pretty) cool son, Kelly. . .
Morning, mobsters. TML Jr. reporting live from the Brooklyn field office. How youse doin’?
I have pondered doing one of these guest spots for a while, but worried at the same time that it might be a disservice to the Mob, seeing as how I don’t have my finger on the Cincinnati pulse. It has been 15 years since I lived in Cincinnati, 12 since I lived in Ohio.
You come here for the OG’s hot takes on local brews and Xavier basketball. I cannot provide the same. But I can provide some general ramblings, and while I will not stick to sports entirely, I will not even dip a toe into the political waters. Deal? Besides, the old man likes to cruise later in the week, and I think he has some golf carts to wash or something. I am just here to pick up the slack.
I AM AN ADMITTED DEGENERATE. . . I would like to start claiming my gambling wagers as charitable donations. I made a donation to FanDuel Tuesday night in the 5th inning of the World Baseball Classic, $10 that said our boys would come back and beat Japan. That didn’t work out, nor did my 6-leg NCAA parlay last Sunday. Or my 5-leg parlay on the UFC the day before.
Mobile sports betting went legal here in January 2022, and since then I have essentially broken even on the money, but my betting record looks like the Bengals in the 90s. Why do I keep going back? In large part it is because I always think I’m smarter than I actually am. But when I put down a 6-leg parlay with +850 odds, in my mind I am already spending the winnings. Never placed a bet I didn’t think I would win, despite all the evidence to the contrary. You may say that’s indicative of a problem. You may call me a degenerate like my dad does. The same dad who texted me (fie) on College of Charleston for not covering 5.5 points. Apple: tree.
You might be right, but to keep it fun, I go thinwallet on the wagers. Nothing above $10. That way if I hit, the winnings are enough to make it worth it and if I don’t, I only lost $10. I lose probably 7 out of every 10 bets, but with $10 wagers it only takes 1 parlay win at +700 to make the money back (gamblers brain in action). The way I look at it is my $10 donations to FanDuel buy me a reason to watch the Hornets play the Bulls on a Wednesday night. They buy me a one-day pass to be a diehard fan of the Detroit Lions, but only if they win by 3 or more. Did you know you can bet on Australian rugby? $10 says the Melbourne Storm dominate the Brisbane Broncos. What time does that come on over here?
I only have one hard rule with gambling: I do not bet against my teams. Speaking of which…
SO MANY THINGS I LOVE ARE ALMOST UNIVERSALLY HATED.
Brace yourself, Mobsters, I am about to run down my list of favorite teams: Buckeyes, Yankees, Steelers. Now before you unsubscribe from TML in protest, just hear me out. With a lot of things in life – including my love for these three teams – I will defend the thing itself to the death, but I will not defend the scene around it. The Yankees are the best example of that.
I became a Yankees fan about 4 years after moving to Brooklyn. My thought was this: If I am going to suffer through the bad parts of NYC living (rent prices, unsavory characters, crowded trains, rat sightings, tourists), then I am going to root for the best thing we have going here. I need an everyday baseball team, and I want to be geographically close to said team.
I waited until Jeter and Co. were gone to adopt the Yankees because I didn’t feel like I had a right to root for that iteration of the team. I came in with Aaron Judge, we both got the call at the same time. I head to the Bronx about 7-10 times a season to catch a game, and when I am not there in person I am watching on my balcony at home. For day games, I put WFAN on the headphones and ride my bike through Bushwick, into Fort Greene, through Park Slope and over to Prospect Park, where I find a spot in the grass and hang with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. I love the Yankees like I love the city. But…
I hate (most) Yankee fans. (This is where I start saying “they,” thereby separating myself as a refined, educated Yankees fan). They are the dumbest, most obnoxious fans I have ever encountered in any sport.
They feel entitled to every big name free agen and want to fire the entire front office if they don’t get them. They want Aaron Boone fired perpetually (Hicks went 0-3? Fire Boone! IKF is starting at shortstop today? Fire Boone! $9 for water? Fire Boone!). They start fights with each other in the bleachers. They provoked Myles Straw into climbing the left field wall and they threw trash at him when he got back on the field.
I will defend the Yankees, I will never defend the actions of classless Yankee fans. The same is true for that breed of Steelers and Buckeyes fan.
Full disclosure: I myself used to be a bad fan. I have always rooted for the Steelers despite growing up in Cincinnati. My mom is from Pittsburgh and she and my grandparents were always Steelers fans, and my dad was a Redskins fan, so the choice was fairly easy.
But in my younger days, I was just as obnoxious as those idiots in the left field bleachers at Yankee Stadium. One season, my mom and I went to Steelers vs. Bengals on a Monday night in Cincinnati. Clad in our Steelers gear, we made the climb to our seats and as we walked up, I waved my Terrible Towel in the face of an entire section of Bengals fans. One person yelled at us to sit down, so I gave the finger indiscriminately to everyone in view.
As the game got uglier for the Bengals (which in those days, it always got ugly for the Bengals), I got louder and my towel spun more ferociously. It’s truly a miracle that we made it out unscathed. Nowadays, I would at least expect a pint of Moerlein dumped over my head. But maybe not at $15 a pop.
I look back on that era of my fandom and just… shudder. What a jerk. Holding onto that kind of hatred for another team, or boastfulness about your team, just reeks of insecurity. Get a life, dude. I don’t hate the Bengals, I love Joe Burrow. I don’t hate the Red Sox, I love their history and their park. I do, however, hate Michigan football. That one is tough to let go.
This extends to music. My favorite band is Phish, another thing I love and another scene I will not defend. I have been to my fair share of Phish shows and the performance itself is always incredible. But the fans? My god, is that patchouli or have you just not showered for a week? Is this a séance or a drum circle?
Either way, count me out. Phish’s music is unlike anything else I listen to, but it taps into almost every other kind of music I love. They cover all the bases: blues, rock, funk, R&B, jazz, all jumbled together and reconstituted in real time.
It is an acquired taste, like Guinness or good cigars. I love the freedom and unpredictable nature of their music. I love Trey Anastasio’s guitar tone. He is the reason I picked up a guitar myself. I do not, however, love grilled cheese sandwiches out of the back of a van.
I cannot defend the “dancing,” which is essentially rolling your head back and extending your arms while making a sort of limp noodle motion, like those things outside of a used car lot that flap in the wind.
I won’t defend patchwork pants, Birkenstock sandals, or white guys with dreadlocks. For me, it’s just about the music, maaaan. Things are largely judged on the scenes around them. Whether its Star Wars or microbrew IPAs, you immediately have an image in your head of the guy who is into that thing. But my goal is to separate the guy from the thing. I will never throw an empty beer bottle at Myles Straw. But I will watch every Yankees game in 2023.
SHIFTING GEARS. . .
Any podcast fans out there? I got into podcasts about 10 years ago when I discovered how Bill Burr could make my morning commute a bit less miserable. Since then, I have settled in with a group of podcasts hosted by comedians that I listen to religiously. One of my favorites is We Might Be Drunk, hosted by NYC comedians Mark Normand and Sam Morril. They have a weekly segment on the pod called “Peeves and Recs.” I thought I would steal that idea and bring to the TML faithful. Without further ado…
This one is always controversial, but a major peeve of mine is anyone who leans their seat back on an airplane. I’m already working with a shoebox-amount of space, now you want to cut into that so you can comfortably take a nap? This is coach, nobody gets to be comfortable, you stay rigid and upright like the rest of us. If the person in front of me leans back, I periodically bump their seat with my knee. Every 7 minutes or so, just when they might be drifting off to sleep. Think you’re going to nap? Think again, buddy.
Another peeve of mine is men who wear sandals when they aren’t at the beach or pool. Guys, nobody wants to see your disgusting, hairy big toe and its too-think, yellowed nail. Be an adult, put on some shoes.
As a Daugherty, I could go on with peeves all day, but I will offer just one more: people who wear gear to a game that isn’t for either team playing. Let alone not even the same sport.
“I’m going to the Yankees vs Orioles game, where’s my Larry Fitzgerald jersey?” Its like they just think “Sports” and assume everything related to that will work.
Going a step further, wearing both a jersey and a hat to a game. Pick one or the other. If I have a shirt with my team’s logo, there will be no other team logo anywhere on my person. Ditto with a hat. One item, that’s all. Jersey and hat? What, do you think you’re going to get called into the game? Get this man a glove, we need a shortstop!
And now, Recs:
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Sagamore Spirit Rye. Figured I would kill two booze birds with one stone. I am somewhat of a microbrew guy, not as much as I used to be because I can’t handle the ABV like I did 10 years ago.
Sierra Nevada calls itself a craft beer, and while that could be debated based on the size and scope of their operation, I would call it the finest beer available on the mass market. 5.6% ABV, full flavor, doesn’t bloat like Bud, doesn’t pull the covers over after one like some of the IPAs I used to like.
The pale ale, minus the India part, is my favorite kind of beer, and Sierra Nevada is the standard. Sagamore Spirit is a rye that I had never heard of until my cousin, Sean, got me a bottle for being a groomsman in his wedding. Typically, I am not much of a rye guy, I prefer Kentucky straight bourbon above all. But this was exceptional, very smooth, not too much bite, and flavor changed as the ice melted. 10/10 recommend.
Second rec, doing things by yourself. This, too, should come as no surprise, given you are all familiar with the main OG’s tendency towards introversion. That was certainly passed down. Sometime around age 30, I got over the perceived stigma of doing things by myself, and my life is better for it.
My wife, a middle school teacher in Brooklyn, cannot go to a Wednesday night baseball game on a whim, seeing as how she wakes up at 5 AM. The guy friends I made in the city have all moved away to greener (cheaper) pastures. So, what is a guy to do, just stay home?
I mentioned before that I go to 7-10 Yankees games a year. All of them are solo, and all of them are fantastic. I also have been to several Phish concerts alone, mostly because everyone I know hates Phish.
Saw them at Madison Square Garden alone, saw them at Fenway Park alone, saw them on Randall’s Island alone. Had a blast every time. I am on my own schedule, I can go to the restroom or get a beer whenever I please. There is no coordinating of times and schedules and preferences. There’s no “we will meet at this station at this time,” knowing full well someone will be late and we will miss first pitch. There is no “well wine is only available in this area of the stadium, so lets miss 2 innings of the game to go get it.”
I have always been a bit of a loner, but for years I bought into the idea that doing things like that by yourself is somehow lame or sad. I can tell you it is neither. Best conversations I have are with myself.
One final word before I sign off: the expired food debate.
My dad likes to mischaracterize what he is doing as some sort of planet-saving, anti-waste campaign. He’s right up there with Greta Thunberg. What he doesn’t tell you is that his behavior goes far beyond saving the planet.
He was eating Christmas cookies on a Facetime with my wife and me just last week. Take a moment to think about that. Christmas cookies that my mom made a week before Christmas. He was eating them in mid-March. Not to mention he rescued them from the trash not once, but twice, so he could continue eating what I can only imagine tasted like an Amazon delivery box.
And he washed it down with, no lie, expired heavy cream. It’s like he is trying to prove a point, but what point exactly? Nobody is impressed by this. The earth can absorb some old Christmas cookies. And don’t even get me started on the carrots from the Florida condo. As Greta would say, “Shame on you!”
That is about all for today. A bit disjointed, but I hope youse enjoyed it. Next time I will write a better outline.
TUNE OF THE DAY
I am a recent fan of these guys, a comedian I follow on Instagram, Joe DeRosa, recommended them so I dove in. Great fuzzy guitar stuff, all rockers and no ballads. This one has been on rotation for at least a week.
Cheers, morning mob. Thanks for reading.
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Got to this late so I can't add to what's already been said but I can't leave without acknowledging a great Hemingway effort. Nicely done and hope to hear more in the future. Refreshing.
Well done! Glad you appreciate the improvisational surprises that Phish deliver every time they play. Truly creating new music every performance. A great band!