We All We Got. We All We Need.

Posted: 02/04/2018 in Uncategorized

I don’t need to tell you this game on Feb. 4, 2018 means. In what has unquestionably been the best football season of my life between the Dawgs and Birds, my Eagles are standing at the precipice of greatness again. Will the third time be a charm? I’ve not been this calm about such a big game, probably ever. Nerves, of course, but ready, no doubt. All the hype videos, blogs, fanaticism, texts, positive vibes, prayers come down to this today. It’s like standing in front of a giant wall (relax 45, not that kind of wall) and not having a clue what is on the other side. As an Eagles fans we’ve seen all of our dreaded rivals win multiple SB’s and they hold it over our head every chance they have (even though Cowboys fans haven’t won a playoff game since the 90s). We’ve seen loaded teams, great coaches, game-changing players put on the green, silver and more recently black and all have fallen just a bit short.

I wasn’t raised in a crazy Philly sports house, but rather I turned our house into one. My passion and fanaticism was raw and real early on. I remember my first Phils game with my parents in 1980 (7-1 Phils over the Giants), my Aunt and Uncle taking me to see the DOCTOR operate at the Spectrum, and my first Eagles game on my 13th birthday when Mike Quick broke his leg against the Bills. My mom started writing the scores of games on my brown lunch bags in elementary school for games I couldn’t stay up for. But the Eagles and Sundays were always the sun and our activities revolved around that. Sixers-Celts games on CBS on Sunday afternoons were a regular happening. But the Eagles, man, coming home from Sunday School, hopping in my parents car and turning on Stan and Merrill on the radio because the two of them calling Eagles games made my hair stand-up and Merrill Reese is a true Philly icon.

We played street football and tackle football with the sunset serving as our 4th quarter. I remember Matt Ragan and I playing 1-on-1 tackle football in my front yard with the flood lights on at night because we loved the sport. Lev, Conman, Jeremy Cohen, all the dudes I grew up with, because that’s what we knew.

  • The 1980-81 Eagles were the first team I remember cheering for. I remember the playoff game against Dallas. I remember betting my sister a penny that the Eagles would beat the Raiders in that SB. I remember crying when they got crushed. I remember my first Eagles jersey (Wilbert Montgomery #31) and playing neighborhood football with my Eagles hat and gloves. I was 6 and I was sold.
  • The late 80s and early 90s Eagles, I remember the dominant Buddy defense, the indescribable #12, watching the Fog Bowl with Chris Krueger and not being able to see the game on TV, the black cleats, the untimely passing of Jerome, Bryce Paup’s hit on Randall’s knee, Jim McMahon and the bad ass visor, the Body Bag game, Wes, Eric Allen, Clyde, REGGIE, Seth, Dirty Waters, Golic, Pitts – I swear that defense was the best I’ve ever seen. Remember when we signed Herschel? Arkansas Fred and Calvin “the Human Fly Catcher” Williams. Ricky Watters – for who, for what? Heath Sherman, James Joseph, Siran Stacy. Michael Haddix, Keith Byars (the next big thing), JR Tautilotosi, Ray Ellis, Elbert Foules, Bernard Williams, Izell Jenkins. I remember.
  • Mid 90s: Rich Kotite, Ray Rhodes, Mike Mammula, Jon Harris, Britt Hager, Charlie Garner, Barry Gardner. Pat Ryan.
  • The Aughts: Koy Detmer, Rodney Peete, Dougie P, giving way to Donovan – a bigger, better Randall. Big Red, Trading a 2 & 5 for Hugh Douglas, watching Trot become a beast, Troy and Bobby T locking up the corners. Torrence Small and Charles Johnson, Pinkston, Na Brown, James Trash, for real? Willie T, Los, Bunkley, Chad Lewis, Jon Runyan, Tre Thomas, Shawn Andrews, Duuuuce, B-West, Correll (3-headed monster), LJ Smith, Lito, Sheldon, Michael Lewis and my goodness, my all-time favorite player B-Dawkins was like a video game player I’d never seen or heard.
  • I remember not being able to sleep the night we signed The Freak and traded for TO; then on the first pre-season play against Cincinnati 5 goes deep to 81 for the 80-yard TD bomb. Is this really happening? Then TO gets hurt, comes back and we fall a little short in 2004. The next season TO & Donovan implode and although we got back to the NFC Championship, we’d never get back to the big game.

Until today. My son won’t remember this game and my daughter knows we cheer for the green team on Sundays (and some Mondays). I however, will never forget this. Will this be the seminal moment that moves a title-starved city or will it be another page in the long book of falling short for our beloved Eagles. As Eagles fans we hope.

This game feels different, because this team feels different. We’ve lost our co-starting RB/PR/KR, our starting MLB, our back-up MLB, our All-Pro LT, our best ST player and our starting QB. Pundits, fans (myself included) and just about everyone else said we had no chance. Playoffs? No way. NFC East? Not unless everything broke in our favor. NFC Championship? You mean with this team that went 7-9 last year? SB: What are you smoking. This team believed. All they did was go 13-3, but that wasn’t good enough. They were the first #1 seed to be a home underdog. They beat the Falcons. They were a home underdog again at home against the Vikings and humiliated that team. SB underdogs? Bring it on.

The rare group of champions in Philadelphia are those that play as team. When you play sports as a kid, you are taught to buy into the team concept and this group of men is a perfect illustration of the team concept.

Eagles fans have seen a lot of highs, a lot of garbage and plenty in between. Great players, coaches, incredibly exciting moments and huge expectation have fall just a bit short of the ultimate prize. As a Philly fan – wins and losses make or break your week, but there’s no other choice. There’s no switching teams when it gets in your blood, because loyalty doesn’t work that way. Fanaticism courses through our veins and it is everything. We are now at the edge of doing the unthinkable. Is this finally the year, the moment. Can we defeat the greatest QB and possibly the greatest coach of all-time? You can bet against this team. People have been doing it all season and at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what any of us think. This team believes and because of that, I believe. We all we got. We all we need.

Fly Eagles Fly!




The Problem With the Phils – Yes Doc It’s Serious

Posted: 06/01/2014 in Uncategorized


I will preface this post by saying regardless of what is written or expressed here, I will always be a Phillies fan because as much as the annoy me, I can never imagine a day when I wouldn’t cheer or watch them. I love them, but they don’t love me back and that’s where our issues begin.

I’ve buried GM Ruben Amaro repeatedly here. You know how I feel, but its not just him. It’s the way the Phils have been run as an organization that has gotten us here.  Rube’s horrific transactional record (to name a few highlights below) hasn’t helped.

  • 2009: Trading Cliff Lee in exchange for what amounts to some eye black and big league chew
  • 2011: Trading 4 top prospects for Hunter Pence in 2011
  • 2011: Releasing Ryan Voglesong and Jason Grilli
  • 2011: Outbidding yourself to sign Jonathan Papelbon to a record deal as a closer
  • 2012: Trading Shane Victorino at the MLB deadline 2012; Not resigning Shane Victorino at the end of 2012
  • 2012: Getting the equivalent of sweat socks and a koozie in return for Pence and Victorino trade deadline deals
  • 2013: Trading for Ben Revere so that he can be your center fielder
  • Keeping John Mayberry and Michael Martinez on this roster for no logical reasons

This doesn’t include the albatross of the contract given to Ryan Howard, which at least was understandable given Howard’s production at the time. But it’s not just bad deals – its an overall suck in the way they do things. Let’s look at the draft.

Can you name the last first round Phillies draft pick to do anything with the team? How about Cole Hamels selected 12 YEARS AGO in 2002. Think about what you’ve been able to accomplish in the last 12 years and compare that to the Phils first round draft success. Granted the Phillies were winning, signing free agents, forfeiting some of their first round picks and apparently missing on many others. Can you imagine missing on something so important as the draft, which is the most basic rule of any sport in building a franchise…select players to contribute in the first round – PAGE ONE of  the “how to build a sports team” handbook. The two best players we selected in those are Travis D’Arnaud (now hitting .196 for the Mets) and JP Crawford who we selected last year.

Our farm system is bereft of talent. It’s a joke, which is not a shock since we can’t seem to draft well. Further proof we can’t draft well in the first round or beyond??? How do we have no suitable outfield solutions for our Major League Club? Ben Revere (pictured above) on his best day is a 3rd OF, but we play him in center where he makes jaw-dropping catches, and routinely takes paths to the ball that are eerily similar to my 1 1/2 year old daughter chasing our dog around the house. His arm reminds me of mine – when I was 11. John Mayberry should be using his Stanford degree to make the world a better place, not make my world miserable as our 4th OF. Dom Brown our “stud,” 5 tool prospect for the last 5 years has had 3-4 good months of MLB ball in 5 years, and is struggling to hit over 200.  Our best OF? 36 year old, formerly out of baseball, former steroid user, one-time Phillies prospect who has played on 5 teams in 2 years, Marlon Byrd. Every minor league team in the Phillies system has at least 5 full-time outfielders and you are telling me that we cannot do better that pile of steaming hot monkey crap that you see patrolling the outfield at Citizens Bank?

But there’s more. Did you know that the Phillies have a draft philosophy of taking players with the most PO-tential. Potential. Not the most talent, but potential. That is the equivalent of stacking your line-up with 8 Ryan Howard’s and wondering why you don’t lead the league in hitting. The Phils philosophy in drafting is that same stupid adage that passed them by 5 years ago – swing for the fences. Here’s a thought, your farm system is a joke. Draft some guys that have talent. Stop tying your expectations to 17 & 18-year old kids who may one day become the next President and take the college kids, who have more experience and are closer to contributing. Wow – what a novel freaking idea! You want to mix in a high school kid here and there? Cool – I like acne, skateboards and socks pulled up. Go for it, but don’t build your draft around these kids and then scratch your head as to why your team hasn’t produced any homegrown talent over the last 12 years. And if you point to Kyle Kendrick you should be fired before completing your sentence.

The Phils minor league philosophy is to not rush kids through their system and let them fail in the minors before they get to the majors. This is a well-known, documented approach, which has led scouts to leave the organization. Ken Giles throws 100 MPH, but the Phils want him to fail in the minors before bringing him up to the show. Jesse Biddle is our best pitching prospect, but he hasn’t failed enough. I’m not the smartest man in the world, but that would be akin to not allowing my daughter to go outside for fear that she may get rained on, and since I’m not sure how she will react, Summa J and I will make her stay inside until we can dump buckets of water on her head to make sure she won’t just cry. Are you out of your minds? Many kids dream about making it to the major leagues. Of those kids, a handful make it to the minors. Of those kids, a couple get a taste of the majors. Are you telling me that kids who have worked so hard to get to the majors and fail, won’t be that much more motivated to get back after having a taste of their dream? Instead, as an organization, you philosophically believe in holding kids back to see how they bounce back from failure? Ironic that many of your prospects are failing and stalling.

So while our old core of players has been remarkably healthy through the first 2 months of the season and producing, it’s going to get ugly as long as this front office and philosophy is in place. Because there are no reinforcements on the way, these long tenured aging Philly favorites with multi-year contracts are the best we got. Look at the bright side, game day tickets will be like Crazy Eddie’s falling prices — innnnsane.

Looking for a glimmer of hope? Here’s the best I can do for you.

  • The Phils have a huge TV contract with Comcast that kicks-in in 2016, which should yield a windfall of cash. However, with average Citizens Bank Park attendance hovering around 30,000 a game there’s a shortage at the gate.
  • Going to the Citizens Bank from a fan perspective, is a great experience too. The ballpark is beautiful, the product currently being showcased there….well, the fanatic is entertaining.
  • The Phillies also have the no. 7 pick in this year’s MLB draft, but given the current regime’s track record we might be better off with my aforementioned daughter making the pick.
  • We also have some assets contending teams could want (Rollins, Utley, Chooch, Byrd, Lee, Papelbon) but any of those deals would be salary dumps – where I assure you the Phils would still need to cover a portion of these players existing salaries. Maybe we get a middling prospect included, but based on previous history, again, our track record ain’t so good with targeting and nurturing talent.  Utley is the one guy I wouldn’t trade unless you get something substantial.

Will Ruben have the stones to trade these guys knowing that he’s already on the hot seat and attendance numbers are headed down? Or will he continue to add duct tape to the Hoover Damn? Will the Phils management do anything to free Rubes of his duties and gut the Phillies system? Don’t hold your breath.

We will always have 2008 and the stretch of 7-8 years when baseball was everything in Philly. Hope you enjoyed the ride and savored the memories, because if you thought the Sixers rebuilding job is taking a while, ya better find a comfy chair, sit back and find something for the pain. The Phils aren’t in need of a little touch-up or some remodeling — it’s time to get the wrecking ball out.

May Musings

Posted: 05/14/2014 in Uncategorized

Hypnotize by your rotten behavior; this week’s fashion is last year’s flavor.
I got a head full of sermons and a mouth full of spiders; the politics of the world’s greatest liar.

-Black Crowes-

Eagles draft has come and gone and another year passes without them drafting an impact safety. I recognize the lip-service of explaining their BPA (best player available) approach, but I also know that theory doesn’t hold true. Now, if they say they choose the best player available at a position of need, and a possible Chip Kelly connection, then yes, that’s accurate. You absolutely cannot tell me that Josh Huff and Tyler Hart (both of Oregon) were not the BPA’s – though I really like Huff a lot. I give the birds a B and really like the Matthews, Huff and Reynolds picks.  We also signed a FA kicker nicknamed “Murderleg.”  Pretty sure this guy will become an immediate fan favorite.  The birds also got a conditional 3/4 pick from the Bills for Bryce Brown, but they can’t get anything for 3-time Pro Bowler in his prime Desean Jackson? Yeah, so tell me more about that Bigfoot you caught, Rick Dyer.

Great to see Aaron Murray and Artie Lynch getting drafted this year. Murray joins Marcus Houston and Sanders Cummings in KC, while Artie joins Knowshon, Dannell Ellerbee and Reshard Jones.

Just six days until the most exciting thing to happen to the 76ers in the last 2 years — the NBA draft lottery. With the Sixers guaranteed of a top 4 pick in a strong draft their rebuilding continues. The big question now is would the 76ers considering trading their best player and recently named Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams for another draft pick. I would trade him for another lottery pick – and draft 18-year old phenom Dante Exum who Brett Brown coached in Australia.

Thrilled about the Flyers replacing Paul Holmgren with another former Flyer Ron Hextall. I love that Hextall has won with another organ-EYE-zation (Canadian speak) and that he isn’t blind to simply doing things the Flyers way. Because when “the Flyers way” hasn’t produced a championship in 38 years, it probably ain’t working.  That being said, good luck with the hunk of shit, long-term contracts Holmgren has left you with such as Vinny Lecavalier, Andrew MacDonald and Scotty Hartnell. Truthfully, I think the Flyers are the closest Philly team to a championship, and I like Hexy’s philosophy of developing young talent rather than trading them away. The next two seasons will cement our position as a Cup contender or a floundering, country club squad.

Sadly the Phils are the furthest Philly team from a title. They are in denial. What’s wild is that the mental mistakes the young guys AND the vets are making. Last night I watched J-roll miss an easy throw to third for an out, because he went home to stop a run, but missed that too. The Phils outfield production is atrocious – save 36 year old free agent signee Marlon Byrd. The Phils young players have been having a really rough go (Cody Ashe, Galvis, Diekman, Pettibone who is back in the minors, Dom Brown) and I often wonder if we over-inflate our prospects worth in the minors. More on this later. It was cool to be at Citizens Bank to watch Mike Trout. What’s interesting is that you hear the baseball historians talk about the different sound the ball made coming off of the bat of Ruth, Mantle, Mays, Williams, Musial. Well, Trout’s hit last night just sounded like it exploded off of his bat. If he ends up being mentioned among the greats — it was great to watch him play live.

In Other News:

  • Not sure what my life would be without sports and music, but probably a far less interesting place. I reference and listen to music multiple times a day and sports are simply a part of me. When the two come together it’s like being a kid and hearing your parents say, “not only can you eat as much of the banana split that you want, but you can also stay up as late as you want.”
  • Jack is back and 24 still kicks ass; I’m loving the new 24. It’s not often that a show can take a 3-year hiatus come back and still be fantastic, but through 2 episodes, I’ve been extremely impressed — especially after the disappointing way the series “ended” several years ago.
  • My daughter is at a really fun stage of life where she repeats and picks up everything that people around her do. I’m equal parts scared and excited to watch UGA football with her. Last year we worked on the Goooooo Dawgs cheer, so I’m looking for big things from her come September. She’s one of the most fun people to be around as she parades around the room with an arm full of jewelry and her sunglasses on, telling our dog, Comet, NO – b/c she thinks NO is actually the dog’s name.
  • I’m not sure how anyone can really be a fan of winter — especially over spring and summer. I get that people always need something to complain about but seriously, you are going to tell me about allergies and heat after I got through 139 feet of snow this year?
  • Summer J and I have gone to at least 25 games in the 5+ years we’ve been together, but last night she let me know that she thought the second baseman just stood behind the pitcher and that the infield really only needed a 1B, SS and 3B. She also freaks out when the ball is hit and it comes remotely close to us. How do I define remotely close? We were sitting between 1B and RF last night, when a foul ball went into the stands over 3B and she grabbed my arm. Yep, true story.
  • I don’t think there’s a better cheese that Smoked Gouda. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good manchego and provolone really sets my cheesesteak free, but give me smoked gouda with the brown peel.
  • Ben Harper just released a CD with his mom and that’s about the coolest thing in the world. It’s really good, kind of folksy as you might expect. I wonder how weird that would be to go on tour with your mom — especially given the fact that he is a single dude who is insanely talented and the ladies love him. Wonder if they have gouda cheese in their dressing room.
  • Speaking of music — I recently discovered Thirty Seconds to Mars, thanks to a KILLER performance of City of Angels. Six months ago I didn’t even know who Jared Leto was, but now I can join the legions of sorority girls and the angst ridden 20-something boys chasing them. I’m also taking up skateboarding and rolling my pants up so you can see my flashy socks.

“Keep on Livin…”

Posted: 03/03/2014 in Uncategorized


And with these brilliant words, the man with the extra wiz is back. For how long? Don’t ask. Why did you leave us? Because.  Do you still love us? Undeniably. Can you still stand out in the bloated world of social media madness, twitter and blogsphere? Probably not. Can I answer any more rhetorical questions….

Here I am, back, penning this directly from the City of Brotherly Love, living in a tiny city apartment with a lil’ baby girl, who still is not walking – but life is good. Unless of course, you are a Sixers fan. Guess what — they are closer to a championship than the Phils are. It’s sad but true. At least they recognize that it’s time to rebuild and boy is the wrecking ball out (PS – Jabari Parker would look great as a 76er).  The Phils are like that chick who was the prom queen in 79’ and still thinks she’s hot shit, but it’s the summer of 84’  – Don Henley is burning up the radio and she’s tossing chipwiches down her throat like they are HiHo crackers. Ruben – wake the hell up! This ain’t gonna work and it is gonna be ugly.  Ah, but Spring is the time for optimism. Everyone is undefeated and “if we have good health and a few good bounces, we will be a playoff team” is the theme resonating through every middling major league ball club. The Phils are old and getting older adding Marlon Byrd – 36, AJ Burnett – 37, Will Nieves – 36 to the oldest line-up in the majors does little to inspire any sort of confidence. I’ve questioned Rube’s moves ever since the Hunter Pence acquisition and he continues to prove me right. I love the Phils and I hope like hell this team finds a little magic in that Gatorade cooler, but I’m pretty sure Ryne Sandberg could be the second coming of Tony La Russa and it wouldn’t make a difference. Have a plan, Reubs.  I was happy to see they locked up Southern Fried Cheesesteak loyalist Chase Utley though. What up, Chase.

Speaking of locking up – what a season for the Iggles this year. Totally unexpected. I was certain that Chip would fail and fail brilliantly and boy was that wrong. I haven’t been this excited for football season in quite a while, and I like to see the Birds locking up their young talent (maybe we should talk to Ruebs about this model). Ready for this bombshell, if I were the Iggles, I’d get on the horn with Oakland, Buffalo and Tennessee and see if any of them would be willing to deal their #1 pick for D-Jax. This draft is WR loaded, DJax is 28 and there are whispers that he’s (again) unhappy with his contract. Given his slight size and his divatude, I’d deal him for a top 11 pick in a minute. And, I was thrilled to see them resign my boy J-Mac.

The Flyers had a phenomenal weekend. Huge back-to-back wins over division rivals the Rangers and Caps. Yesterday’s Caps game was something amazing to watch as I thought they had no chance being down 4-2 in the 3rd, but something wouldn’t let me turn the TV off (maybe b/c it was entertaining my daughter). Unbelievable comeback which was sparked by a total cheap shot on Brayden Schenn. That was the fastest I’ve ever seen his brother (yes, his older brother is also on the team) move this year. It’s great to have such a good goalie but our defense is still a sieve.

Crazy to see Allen Iverson’s number retired this weekend. AI truly epitomized Philly. He was a raw, walking dichotomy. It was mostly love/and a little bit of hate. Sometimes it was ugly but it was also beautiful to watch him compete. It was never easy, but it was an entertaining ride. He played his ass off and we embraced that. He was flawed, which is why it worked so well and why it ended awkwardly. It was very much a triumphant and tragic love story, but he will always be one of my favorite Philly hoopers behind (Dr. J and Andrew Toney).

In Other News

  • 3/3 will always be a very special day to me
  • Being away from a city makes me feel like a bigger fan; You have no idea how much I miss Georgia (unless we are real life friends, then you know) or UGA; I swear I follow the Dawgs more than I did when we lived in GA; However, the passion for sports in Philly is real, it is deep, it is in your face and it’s freaking awesome
  • Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Counting Crows, Outkast, U2 all with new music planned for this year – phenomenal news for me
  • I’ve been disappointed by the two Coldplay songs I heard and with  their most recent album (Mylo Xyloto) sounding like dreck, I’m wondering they still have it, or if they just got bored. Greatness is hard y’all – don’t judge
  • How is 4D possible — not sure my mind is evolved enough to comprehend this
  • Anyone wonder why legacy kids don’t ever live up to their parents? On paper it makes no sense – good genes, money to hire the best trainers, knowledge from parents – I’m just curious why there are more Sean Lennon’s and less Peyton/Eli Manning’s
  • I’ve never had a sunny side up egg, but I struggle to see the appeal; how can anyone not go scrambled or omelet if given the choice; and if you prefer hard boiled – please don’t ever read this again
  • Summa J just schooled me that Jared Leto was in a band previous to being an actor; in other news, they sell bottled water now
  • If you haven’t seen Dallas Buyers Club – see it, and tell me Matthew McConaughey wouldn’t play a spot-on Richard Petty; Spot-feaking-on
  • Speaking of which, watching the Oscars (I think Ellen was great, by the way) Summa J called McConaughey a modern day Clark Gable, which I’m pretty sure is code for “that man is slightly better looking than the guy I married” (now that I think about it, Jared Leto probably falls into this category as well)
  • Ever sit in a meeting and hear someone yammer on about nothing and you start to hear the Sanford & Son theme song in your head; Warning: your meetings will never be the same

A Letter to Sweet Baby J

Posted: 07/15/2012 in Uncategorized

Sitting here in the serenity of a Sunday morning, I can’t help but think in a few short months my life is going to change courtesy of a growing bundle of joy on the way for Summer and me. So this is simply an open letter to my baby girl to be…

Dear Baby J,

You may wonder why your daddy is writing you an open letter. You will learn your daddy is a very sentimental kat, so I really just wanted to write something down that you (and I) could re-visit one day and see how exciting this moment is to your mom and me (because this is how people used to do things in the 2010s). Lets face it, the internet will live forever! As much as I have prepared myself for the moment you enter the world, I know that it will be exactly like I thought and yet, nothing like I could imagine. People regularly remind me how much my sleep patterns and life will never be the same and to the best of my ability I understand and embrace this. I’ve seen many of my friends (future “uncles” and “aunts” to you) go through this and often your mom and I will be required to push our own limits to do the same. You and your mom are everything to me, so if that means some tired days/nights are in my future – I will take that on.

I know it’s hard to conceive how you can love someone you haven’t met, or really hasn’t been fully formed, but its the little things you do that leave us craving more. The fact that you have dance parties in your mom’s belly at random times throughout the day and night or when she turns a certain way you let her know that “doesn’t quite work for you.” Or when you pretend to be listening to me when I talk to you — a trait I’m sure will be common for years to come. When I felt you kick for the first time on Father’s Day. When you waved to us on the ultrasound at 12 weeks, then flashed us at 16 weeks (by the way, don’t ever do that again. ever. ever). Baby J, it’s abundantly clear that you are developing quite the personality and we love you to pieces.

I pray every day for you health, wellness, safety and happiness. You don’t have to be the best ballerina or soccer player (can we go for second best soccer player?) I don’t care if you are the smartest, prettiest or best dressed girl (pretty sure you will be all of these things, of course). I ask only that you approach life with love, optimism and persistence. I really believe these three elements are keys to the foundation of life.

Without hesitation I know that you will be showered with love from family and  friends near and far, past and present. While I wish you could have met your pop-pop, just know that he will be loving you from up above. Much of who your daddy is, is due to pop-pop (so blame him, haha). Also know that on top of your parents, your grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends are going to spoil you girl. Within 1 week of your birth, I’m pretty sure you will have more clothes than me (many of them Philadelphia and University of Georgia themed – don’t worry, I’ll teach you ALL about that). There’s also a dog that you will probably torture, who will want to cover you with kisses — even if you pull her ears or whiskers. No wonder you are having such big dance parties. I’d be fired up about all of this too.

The sweetest moment of this experience happened the other night. I was fast asleep and your mother decided to snuggle up with your dad (I’m kind of irresistible like that). All of a sudden I felt a light tapping on my lower back – I looked over and your mom was fast asleep – but it was clear to me that you were not and you wanted to let me know.

In closing, my parents always told me that they hoped I would have a better life than theirs. For years I could never understand why they would say that. Today that notion couldn’t be more clear.

I love you, Baby J. Keep dancing, sweet pea – that’s what the world needs.

Back in A Flash

Posted: 05/02/2012 in Uncategorized

Awesome feedback from cheesesteak heads far and wide. Special cheesesteak wit goes out to EC, the DA, Micah, Chronic, and the legendary SIL (sis-in-law).

I gotta get something off of my chest. I’m watching the Phils battle the Braves and I’m pretty sure one of the Braves announcers said Chipper Jones is the best they’ve seen at barehanding groundballs. Really? Chipper Jones, who doesn’t even go by the name his momma and daddy gave him? The owner of 0 gold gloves. Zilcho. Unless you’ve had your head up your ass, there are two names associated with fielding excellence at third base. The great Brooks Robinson and the incompable, #20 Michael Jack Schmidt. You know you are a legend when the world knows your middle name (and they take a picture of your crotch, or you are Brett Favre and well, nevermind…) . I’m not taking anything away from Larrrry – he has had a helluva career and been a great Brave, but he couldn’t hold Schmidty’s jock (never more clear than in the attached picture). Larry, where do you keep your gold gloves? Oh, you don’t have any. You know the number you wear on your uniform??? #10, yeah – that’s how many gold gloves Schmidty has. Oh, and he hit 548 homers in 2 less seasons than Chipper played. This lesson is over. It’s not even a discussion.

To everyone STILL panicking about the Phils — we are playing horrible baseball, yet we are just 2.5 games out of first and missing our #3 and #4 hitters. Not to mention our hitters have really crapped the bed. It appears that business is starting to pick-up and that’s good. Our pitching has been excellent, which has helped us play .500 ball (somehow). If either the Senators, Braves (yeah, I’ll throw in the Mets for C-dog) don’t run away with this division soon they will be sorry.

I really loved the Eagles draft this past year, which is kind of rare. Yeah, I thought they should have taken a safety since Kurt Coleman is special teams ace on his best day, but I’m thrilled w/our picks. I’ve seen some of these guys play and read about the others. I really like Cox, Kendricks, Curry, Boykin (more on that in a minute) and McNutt and the O-lineman from Miami. I also love the RB Poe that we signed as a free agent. A lot of people are down on the Nic Foles pick, but I have a really good feeling about him too. He’s huge (like Big Ben huge, minus the dickishness) and he can throw. He’s about as mobile as my coffee table, but after years of McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Mike McMahon, Vince Young and Michael Vick, it will be interesting to see how Big Red does with Foles. That is if Big Red is around to see it. Just so you know, I have been tweet-stalking my “friend” former UGA Bulldog and Philadelphia Eagle  Brandon Boykin — I will let you know when he starts reading my blog.

I love this Flyers team. I could see them going deep into the playoffs. Although the series is 1-1, I think we beat the Devils. Before the series I said we win in 5, so I’ll stick with it. The mix of young and old players is really fun to watch and if Claude Giroux isn’t the best player in the world, I’d love to know who is.  Our defense needs to stand the hell up b/c G-d only knows what planet Bryz will be on (and his planetary perspective can change from minute to minute).

I don’t love the Sixers, but I do respect how hard they play. I want Jrue Holiday to become a star. I want Evan Turner to become Fat Lever reincarnate. I want Thad Young to start, but the simple fact is that this team has no one, outside of the inconsistent Jodie Meeks, who can consistently hit a jumper. So if they ain’t runnin, they ain’t winning. Even with D-Rose’s devastating injury, I still think we will lose a hard fought series in 6 games. Is first round of NBA playoffs best of 7?

In Other News:

  • It should be illegal for a money sucking company or anyone to write “urgent” on the front of the envelope.
  • I am so pumped for the Avengers movie. I swear there was once a real life super heroes show in the early 80s on ABC, and maybe it was a one-time special, but it was the Justice League. Sadly no one remembers this but me.
  • Speaking of Summer J, she’s funny; she’s definitely more into sports now since I met her.  She actually starting to talk some smack about how I should be thankful that she “educates” me on Philly sports. The problem is that she asks me questions during key moments of games — then gets mad that I don’t pay her attention. Is this is a mean joke she’s pulling on me or have a I created a monster. Her new name in our house = superfan.
  • You know what’s funny about a rival in sports? You hate everything about them — their fans, their team, their mascots, their fans, their hot dogs, their announcers, their fans.
  • Going to see Counting Crows on Friday night; My favorite band and the world’s laziest band; Seriously 3 studio albums since 2000? That’s insane! But I started thinking top 3 bands I haven’t seen live (that still tour — this eliminates Pink Floyd). They are: Foo Fighters (September), Coldplay (July) and Prince (Vegas, anyone)?
  • I think lists kind of suck. They usually come from having a couple good semi-related ideas with no real way to connect them. So next thing you do is come up with a list and start spouting off shit that really doesn’t belong, but you want to make your list whole. Lots of pressure. Southern Fried Cheesesteak – where you don’t get lists, only meat.
  • Really sad news today about Junior Seau. Football and maybe sports certainly have an issue on their hands. Seau, Andre Waters, Mike Webster, Dave Duerson, Chris Henry all dealt with known depression issues and all were killed (most of these guys did themselves in). Quite a few hockey players this summer also suffered the same fate. I’m not sure how to fix the issue, but I’m glad the NFL has changed its policy on concussions. Maybe a backside airbag in the back of helmets that cushions on impact? Just throwing it out there for someone smarter than I am, so they can take that to market and make the world a better place.
  • Summer J and I are having a baby, and its the most amazing experience I’ve ever been a part of. More on that at a later time and date. Baby J warrants an entire entry and I plan to write one. I’m so grateful and excited. I can tell you that Baby J won’t be playing football, will know everything about Mike Schmidt, won’t be making lists, and I will love it beyond description.

Just a Step…

Posted: 04/11/2012 in Uncategorized

The great news about being a completely irregular blogger is that you have people telling you how much they miss your blog. Or maybe that’s just what they say when they run out of stuff to say. Either way, I’m feeling brilliantly inspired tonight.

Maybe it’s the slow start of my beloved Phils. We kinda of feared this and some maybe expected it. Listen, its great having Doc, Cliff, Cole, Vanimal and Steady B in the rotation, but those guys can’t swing the bats too. The bats will come around, but Hunter Pence isn’t a 4-hitter, JRoll aint a 3 and Ty Wiggington isn’t a major league starter. Heck, I’m not sure Freddy Galvis and Juan Pierre are either, but that’s the best we got right now. Chase and The Big Piece return in June. That will help, but it won’t solve everything. Don’t hit the panic button. Baseball is such a long season and pennants are not won in April. Our staff is great. Our pen is okay and our bats will come around. (Do I sound like the pilot from Airplane who tells everyone that everything is okay as the plane is headed down??).

Now the Sixers, that’s a steaming hot pile of monkey crap. They had the second best record in the Eastern Conference and now they are barely holding on to the 8th seed. Barely. They would be better off missing the playoffs and getting in the lottery Anthony Davis sweepstakes, since this is shaping up to be a really good draft.

Holy shit am I excited about the Flyers-Pens series. Everyone is predicting a Flyers series upset, which makes me a little nervous, but this should be an exciting series. These two teams hate each other. Playoff series can be physical, but rarely do they have fights. This one could break the mold. One more day. My official prediction…. The young Flyers in 6. Why? This team is so young, they don’t know they shouldn’t be this good yet and I really love Peter Laviolette as our coach. Getting Briere and Grossman back will be HUGE. Nobody plays better in the playoffs than #48, and Grossman has been a monster since we traded for him. You think Bryz’s streak was just coincidence? Hell no, Grossman is an animal. LavyI will have these guys frothing at the mouth.

Eagles will draft a lineman or a DB with their first pick, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them trade down. All this talk about trading up for Tanneyhill is all just that. Talk. Not gonna happen.

UGA Football – lets try to go a week without getting someone suspended, kicked off the team, getting into a moped accident, smoking dope (at least getting caught), underage drinking (same rule applies), getting into a bar fight, failing out of school, resisting arrest. Maybe I should call the Dawgs and organize a trip to the Athens Boys & Girls Club.  Somehow I fear, like many other Bulldawg faithful, that Bubba Watson’s Masters Victory is the closest the UGA program will get to a National Championship this year decade.

In Other News

  • How great is it that Ron Paul is still in the race? Persistence pays off
  • Know what does make me laugh? Primaries. These guys beat the shit out of each other (both jackasses and elephans) and then they act like we should all of sudden support their enemy? Rick Santorum, this means you dog. Should the voting public overlook all the stuff you said about Mitt now? Now, after slick Rick took him to school (woooo-Ric Flair style) he’s ready to take on Obama (aka the Rock). Its sort of like a battle royal in wrestling, where its every man for himself at the beginning, then at the end you team up, with the hopes you can eventually stab your partner in the back.
  • Don’t you love those people who never have anything to say, except, “Only two more days until Friday.” And you are guilty too because your retort is something like, “I am counting down the days.” Wouldn’t a more appropriate reaction be, “If your gonna wonder where ‘all the time has gone’ maybe your ass should stop counting down the days till Friday. Enjoy your day!”
  • I saw Bruce Springsteen the other night and his live show is tremendous. I feel like each  time he comes around and I’m a bit conflicted as to whether or not I should go see him, but after I do I’m always so happy I did. This show was unbelievable. I will never miss Bruce again, unless he pulls that accoustic Dust & Devils bullshit again. His new CD is phenomenal and the songs played extremely well. It wasn’t the same without Clarence but the way in which they honored him was fantastic, and his nephew (Jake, ironically enough) more than held his own. I went with a lucky Southern Fried Cheesesteak fan to the show. Uncle Ken, you are a worthwhile concert partner.
  • Not sure what I hate more: seafood or hipsters.
  • Why are bowling shoes so hiddeous, and why did I think it was cool to steal a pair from the bowling alley in college. You would think Nike would get in the game.
  • I’m a little over people bragging about themselves either in your face or in a discreet way. I also get really mad when I hear about people getting bullied or animals getting mistreated. It’s the humanitarian in me. However, I also laugh at people while they talk to me sometimes -not because they are saying anything funny- but I think about them doing random things, like getting shot out of a canon.
  • Special shot of love to Summa J, Mama J, the Pollacks, Wayna J, Flipper, Lev and C-dog for the blog encouragement
  • Last thought – facebook, I love w/a capital L when people like their own status. It’s the greatest thing ever. It’s a self high-five and I dig the hell out of it. “Hell yeah, I love what I just said about my slightly humorous and somewhat ambiguous facebook post and ‘zany pictures’ from Blake’s throwdow!” Hell yeah, I love this blog! Hell yeah, I’m back!

When the Lights Go Down in the City…

Posted: 11/30/2011 in Uncategorized

After 8 long months, finally the ROSS has come back to the cheesesteak! As I claim my throne among the nerd network I have three things to say:

  1. I have no clue if this will be a one and done blog or if this will re-ignite something inside.
  2. My A-D-D has gotten worse, which means these blogs might be shorter or longer. Can’t make up my mind. 
  3. The Philly sports scene needs me now more than ever.

I really couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore and watch the utter misery the Eagles have become. It’s not a question of talent, it’s a matter of  coaching and schemes that are put in place. It’s time to say ciao to Big Red. His resistance to doing conventional things like drafting a LB higher than the 82nd round, making your O-line coach your Def Coordinator or having a top 5 RB in the league and giving him just 10 carries against the all-word offense of the Patriots, gives Mr. Lurie no other choice.  Reid’s 13 year run has been impressive, frustrating, exciting and delusional. This team has been in tailspin over the last three years. We are 1-8 in our last 9 home games. Think about that, digest it and try not to vomit. It’s time for a change (it was time for a change last year). The Vick contract was a bad one (which I also said the day it was signed) but since NFL contracts are not guaranteed, I don’t get too wound up about those.

Read a rumor the Flyers were looking into bringing back local product Bobby Ryan. While I know they need help on defense w/the injury to Pronger, I would trade anything within reason to get a young star in Ryan, but the Flyers couldn’t make this happen without shedding some serious salary ($4 million-ish).

I’m so pumped for the Dawgs-LSU game this weekend. I know that no one thinks UGA has a chance, and maybe everyone is right but it doesn’t stop the little optimist in me from still thinking we could shock the world. In truth, I think we keep it close for 2-3 quarters and LSU’s talent will end up being too much for us. I think we lose by 10, but play well. However, what started out as a season to forget has turned into exactly what UGA fans expected when they looked over our schedule in September. I really have enjoyed this season and watching this team gain confidence and consistently get better. There’s a boatload of talent (young and more experienced) returning next year, and we beat Florida, Tech and Auburn this year – so things are looking up in the Classic City. Hunker Down Dawgs. One more time – hunker down!

I’m curious to see what the Phils will do at shortstop.

I’m also curious to see if people will go to NBA games. I think a lot of damage was done w/the strike.

In Other News:

  • Why don’t they have shoe stores where you take your shoes off right when you walk in. Everyone walks around in their socks — think about how convenient that would be.
  • The number of people who will not cross a street unless the walking man icon is on the crosswalk box amuses me.
  • I like Tim Tebow now that he has left Gainesville. I don’t need to hear about Jesus every 2 sentences, but I love how everyone wants and expects this kid to fail and he keeps on winning. Love his guts, desire and gumption. He plays as hard as I wish I would play.  
  • Ever stop to think if anyone at PSU did what they should have done (Paterno included), Jo Pa would still be the coach. In essence you could say the school’s horrendous missteps led to his resignation.
  • Speaking of scandals, if ESPN sat on this tape of Coach Fine’s wifes’ confession for 9 years and they didn’t do anything about it, how is that any more acceptable than Jo Pa’s negligence?
  • Technology makes people dumber. Spellcheck, GPS and cell phones allow us to completely shut off our brains and not develop those skills. I just freaked out that “spellcheck” was two words. I blame technology.
  • I think the state of music and pro wrestling are both in very sad, pathetic places. I only get excited when an older act is performing or coming out with something new. The new wrestlers and musicians are both terrible. Need proof?? Check out The Miz and Hard Shell Rae (or whatever their suck name is). No rapper or other musician is putting out anything remotely original. I blame technology.
  • My nights now hit total euphoria at 9:30 thanks to Summa J introducing me to the HUB Network and subsequently discovering Family Ties and Happy Days run back-to-back each night. Party at the J’s house — every dayum night!!!!

Gotta Love the NCAA Tournament…

Posted: 03/24/2011 in Uncategorized

Kind of a malaise in philly sports right now. The Sixers are making a playoff push. Yes, you read that right – ahead of the Melo lead Knicks in 6th place in the Conference and the Hawks are in a tailspin.  The Flyers are giving people more reason to question them. Big game tonight for Bobrovsky if he wants to be considered a reliable option come playoff time.  The Phils have a new injured player seemingly each day & the questions at second continue. Will we head north with 11 pitchers or 12? I feel like opening day has taken forever to get here.  Oh and the Eagles continue to push themselves as the “gold standard” minus the Super Bowl titles (and right now minus the NFL season).

The NCAA Tournament has been spectacular. I hope you’ve been watching. I absolutely love the parity and that carpe diem effect that comes with a one and done tourney – even if it meant my under-achieving Dawgs took an L in the opening round. To have Richmond, VCU, FSU, Marquette and Butler in the Sweet 16 is awesome. Funny how the Big East started with 11 teams and they are now down to two.  I had a dream the other night that Kansas was upset – so we’ll see how that plays out.  I wasn’t sure how the whole tourney would work out with having all the games on different networks, but I actually love it that way. I feel like I have my own little home sports bar, complete with all the Jack Daniels I want, a pretty wife asking me who she picked in this game and a dog who probably thinks I’m yelling at her. If the games are of equal interest, I purposely watch the one that Gus Johnson is doing. How could you not: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuPCL3kGFLc&feature=related

Summa J and I had dinner with our friends Cobi and Benny, and Cobi probably doesn’t get enough credit for my blog. She designed my original blog and set it up (though she probably doesn’t remember). She told me the other night that she still reads my blog, though mostly just the “in other news section.” If you ask me, that’s pretty freakin’ cool that someone who doesn’t really care about sports (save UNC basketball) reads my blog.

Speaking of knowing sports, the other day Summa J informed me that only one sports team gets to be called by their full name. Confused? You should be. Here’s an almost exact recap of our conversation.

  • Me: Why do the Georgia Bulldogs always let me down?
  • Summa J: What are you talking about?
  • Me (getting angrier): What do you think I’m talking about? Did you just hear me watch this game?
  • Summa J: Well, they aren’t the Georgia Bulldogs.
  • Me (inquisitively): What the hell are you talking about?
  • Summa J: They are the Georgia basketball team
  • Me: And therefore they are the Georgia Bulldogs basketball team
  • Summa J: No, they are the Georgia basketball team – the Bulldogs are the football team; You can’t have the same team name for each sport
  • Me: Well what about Temple?
  • Summa J: It’s the same thing. The Temple Owls play basketball and then there’s the Temple football team


In Other News

  • Butler’s Matt Howard looks like the type of guy who plays at the JCC or the YMCA and you are like, this guy sucks, I can take him anytime; even the white guys would pick him last in pick-up ball – but he ends up schooling everyone.
  • Between watching the Butler/Pitt game and the UNC/Washington game this tourney will be remembered, in part, for some of the dumbest individual basketball play I’ve seen in a long time.
  • I’m starting to think I should bet on college basketball games – I’ve watched more college hoop last weekend than I did in the previous three regular seasons combined.
  • The problem with watching taped shows from ESPN is the score ticker at the bottom. Last night I watched the 30 for 30 on the Fab Five and all these NCAA hoops scores scrolled across the bottom; I was so disheveled that I changed the channel in complete panic thinking I was missing some games.
  • Noticed a commercial for Survivor and thought – that show is still on? And who the hell watches it?
  • I saw a kid walking down the street today in gray skinny jeans, white shoes and oversized black sunglasses – nuff said.
  • If I could have any power in the world, it would be the power to heal myself; I hate being sick and I’m terrible at it.
  • Jewish people, more often than others, love to tell you someone is Jewish even if they aren’t really sure if it is true; I grew up believing Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel were both Jewish, and now I hear Liz Taylor was Jewish? How did she not make the Channuka Song?
  • Everyone is up in arms about this air traffic controller falling asleep on the job in DC. It actually makes me feel a bit better to fly knowing pilots can still land planes without needing someone who may or may not be hungover, high or asleep sitting up in a tower hoping they gave the right instructions to the right aircraft.

One Year Later – My Man Cobi…

Posted: 03/16/2011 in Uncategorized

It has been one year to the day that I lost my best buddy, my dog Cobi. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him or fondly smile with a memory or story about him. I’m not someone who necessarily likes to wallow in my own my sadness, but I also believe all of us have a right to feel what we feel.

Some people say things like, “I could never pick a favorite piece of work, it’s like picking a favorite child.” Well, I don’t have children but I do have a favorite piece of work. It was written one year ago, just hours after Cobi had passed away and it is pasted below. The picture in the blog was taken when I turned on the shower to give Cobi a bath, only to find he had opened the bathroom cabinet and was hiding out under the sink where the towels were. True story.

Summa J and I talked about this, this AM. Sometimes it feels like five years ago and sometimes it feels like yesterday. For some reason Pandora has chosen to try and torture me today with all kinds of sad songs about loss. Please no more Otis Redding – ah finally some Muse.

Whether you understand the loss of a loved one or someone/something close to you – hopefully you can follow my suggestion at the bottom of this post — Make sure that whatever it is that you love, to love it just a little bit more each day than you did the day prior; because that which we love is what keeps us alive.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the memories Cobi. Hope you are running around with all of your buddies up in the big playground in the sky. You will not be forgotten little buddy.

March 16, 2010

An Ode to You My Best Friend…

If you have never had a dog or fail to understand the love a person can have for a dog, then this will probably be lost on you. Last night at 10:47 pm (Tuesday, March 16, 2010) I received a call from my vet notifying that my 13-year old Daschsund Cobi had passed away. While I had done my best to prepare for this day/night — sometimes nothing you can do can truly ready you for reality. As I talked, cried and reminisced with Summer and my Mom, I woke up this morning with a yearning to write. It’s been a while and I planned to tell you about my Olympic experience, but the need for me to document some of what I’m feeling has hit me like a baseball bat to the gut (sorry, that’s probably the only sports reference you’ll get here). This is a raw emotional journey into my heart and soul. Real feelings, real memories, real love. With tears pouring down my cheek and going through Puffs like they are going out of style, this one is for you Cobi Jones Jacobs.

However trite it might sound, it feels like yesterday that my friend Bill and I went to a tiny daschsund farm outside of Athens to figure out which of their puppies were going to be mine. I remember having two choices. One red dog with a deformed tail (at a discounted price) or a shy black-and-tan dog who could not have been cuter. I had one simple test to determine which dog I would choose. I put them both on the ground to see what they would do. The dog with the deformed tail ran around in circles and yapped. The black and tan dog walked right up to me as if to say, “what the hell were you waiting for dad?” Driving home, my friend Bill could literally fit Cobi into the palm of his hand. I was so excited to finally have my own dog.

I was raised in a home with dogs and much like my parents, believed dogs were a part of the family. Not only were our dog’s the worst trained dogs in the world, but they got the best table scraps in the business. My Mom and Dad used to drive to Atlantic City with our dog Mischief, and when they crossed over the bridge they would stop at Richmond’s Ice Cream and get three ice cream cones. My Dad believed Mischief was part of the family, so why shouldn’t he get his own ice cream cone? Guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.

That being said, my parents initially were not thrilled with my idea to get a dog. “Wait until you get a house” they suggested. But this was my college graduation money and this is what I wanted to do with it. I will never forget the first time my father met my dog. Cobi was about 5 months old and at the time, my Dad didn’t believe I was capable of having a dog. He thought I made a terrible decision. When we went to visit a cousin in Augusta we all took turns sitting outside with Cobi. I’ll never forget walking out and seeing Cobi proudly sitting in my dad’s lap; my dad later admitted how proud of me he was and how surprised he was that I did such a good job raising this dog (for those of you know me, you can imagine how this felt).

Cobi was a dichotomy. From the early years of living w/Andy, Darrell, Cary, Wikoff, Wayne and others, he definitely was a protector of the home. Sweet as could be once he decided he liked you, but an ankle biter to some strangers (and a few friends). Outside of the home, he was one of those dogs people would stop to ask about. It was not uncommon for people to ask if I was planning on breeding him or if they could pet him — just looking at him prancing around made people stop and say “aw” — especially when he did it with a full-sized tennis ball in his mouth.

I have faced some obstacles and outside of my family there was ALWAYS one constant. An 11-lb daschsund ready to walk any distance required, play fetch for as long as it took, take a drive (as long as he could put down the window -yes he did that himself) or happily sit on my lap or kiss my face. I recall one difficult period when I was returning to Atlanta after some needed time away and my Mom said, “well at least you are headed back to Atlanta.” My exact response, “Thank G-d I have Cobi.” I cannot underscore the complete and utter unconditional love that I have for that dog and that I believe he had in return for me. I never really understood what that love was like, until I had it for Cobi (and then Summer “decided” it was time she walk in my life and take it to a whole new level). It’s an incredibly fulfilling feeling — yet today I mourn my best friend.

Cobi was trained to sleep in the bed, and outside of sleeping on a pile of laundry, I’m convinced there was nowhere he would rather be. Last night and this morning I could feel him sleeping next to me, however when I woke up and walked downstairs I have only the memories. And while those memories will be everlasting today a new chapter begins.

There are many memories I will take with me. I won’t ever forget the time, as a 1 year old, he jumped out of my moving Ford Explorer. A Ford Explorer — do you know how high that is? I was so sure I had ran over him or he had broken his legs. But, when I stopped the car and ran over to him he was waiting for me under a tree. I remember when Cobi met my nephew Jake for the first time nine years ago, and he covered Jake’s face with kisses while Jake laughed and pulled Cobi’s ears. The dog had a stomach of steel. If you left your food unattended it was gone. Burritos, pizza, vegetables – nothing was off limits. However, he loved peanut butter, carrots and had an unquenchable desire for mints. Not sure if this is due to my own obsession with fresh breath, but he would routinely eat packs of gum. Cobi would regularly pull my pants off the hanger and rummage through my pockets for mints and gum. One time after he thought I left, I came back into my room to find a daschsund standing on his hind legs with his head in my pants pockets still on the hanger. When I said his name, he froze as if he thought, “if I freeze, dad will never see me.” I’m left starring at this little dog on his hind legs with his head stuck in my pockets stiff as a statue.

One of my favorite memories was when Cobi had recovered from one of his illnesses (the people at his vet ALL knew him by his name as the vet incredulously said to me yesterday, he’s on his fourth record? Wow!). I was watching TV and he was standing next to a 2 1/2 foot table in front of my couch. I look over at him and on a vertical leap he jumped up onto the table. I was so startled that I laughed out loud and said, “what the hell are you doing?” I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. He just looked at me as if to say, “I ain’t done yet, Dad.” Mind you this was an 11-12 year old daschsund.

For those of you who don’t believe in anything or even the power of dogs, I present to you this final piece of evidence. As Cobi’s health descended over the last couple days, I was trying my best to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. His stomach was upset, he couldn’t control his bowels and he had labored breathing on top of his persistent coughing. I thought this could be the end. When I took him to the vet, they checked everything, gave him an ultrasound and said his organs all looked good and his heart was strong. They figured he had pneumonia (for a second time) and they would treat it by putting him in an oxygen chamber and pumping him with steroids. I felt shocked and relieved. This dog had an iron will. Around dinner time, I got a call from the vet who said that Cobi had not responded to the treatment as well as she hoped and she suggested we put him on an IV, which would cost more money that I didn’t have. The expenses were mounting and I was left with a decision that few pet owners should face, but one that is all too common. Do I continue to shell out money I don’t have for a dog who I love, though I’m unsure if he would make a full recovery, or how much longer he can go? This decision tortured me. What if he had another year or two or three? What would be enough? This dog loved to defy odds, but what if he only lived another few months and most importantly would he enjoy the same quality of life he had experienced up until now. As I talked with Summer, my Mom and my friend Danny over this decision it became tougher. I decided to hold-off on the IV’s, continue with the original treatment the vet initially recommended for the night and let nature take it’s course. I would decide on the IV’s in the morning, though my gut feeling was that nature would give me the answer I needed.

And in his final act of companionship, Cobi decided he would make the decision easy for me.

Almost 13 years to the day that I picked him up from that little daschsund farm outside of Athens, I got the call last night that he had passed away in his sleep. Want a weird twist of fate? I named Cobi after my favorite soccer player Cobi Jones who wore number 13. Cobi Jacobs lived to be 13.

I simply wanted somewhere I could document something so real and raw as it was happening. Something I could refer to from time-to-time, and eventually I will smile and laugh at these memories. I take solace in the fact that he did not suffer too much and that he’s resting somewhere up in doggie heaven (probably in a pile of my laundry, surrounded by carrots, an unlimited supply of Kroger peanut butter and a giant bag of mints).

My friend Michael Wikoff once told me that he could never love another dog the way that he loved his dog Charlotte. There will be other dogs, but none will ever be loved like the way he loved her, and more than ever I understand that feeling.

Whether it’s a parent, a child, a family member, a significant other or a pet I find death to be an ironic and sad process of life. Unfortunately, it often takes losing someone or something you love to appreciate all that you have. Make sure that whatever it is that you love, to love it just a little bit more each day than you did the day prior; because that which we love is what keeps us alive.