Mid-Week Mailbag.


Peyton Manning buh-bye press conference today at noon*.  It can’t be a great time to sit up in front of the media with the guy who’s about to cut you loose.  Especially when he’s going to patronize you with a bunch of sunny compliments before telling you to take a walk.  The real question is, who’s going to cry?  Peyton?  This is like Gretzky leaving Edmonton.  He cried like a baby that day.  I think Irsay might squirt a few too.  It’s going to be something, shame the Oscars have already been handed out.  To cheer you up, I’m talking specifically to loyal reader Peyton Manning here, how about a mailbag?

*I got sidetracked writing this up.  I know it’s over. Pretend like it’s not.

Q:  Text-driving officially becomes illegal in Pennsylvania on Thursday.  It’s hard to believe this is legal in any state, but be honest–will you ever get pulled over for this infraction?  Anne Droid, King of Prussia, PA.  

A:  Texting while operating a motor carriage will eventually be illegal in all states, but you’ve got to give the legislators time to work their magic.  How long has texting been around, 8-10 years?  Patience, my friend.  Obviously you don’t remember the film strip you were shown in 4th grade on how a bill becomes a law.  It’s a PROCESS.  It involves animated pieces of paper.  That kind of synergy doesn’t happen overnight.  By the way, I assume film strips don’t exist anymore?  There was nothing more EXHILARATING than seeing the film strip projector getting wheeled out from its dungeon.  Sweet, a film strip.  We don’t have to do anything for the next 1/2 hour.  There was always fierce competition over who got to pull down the shades on the windows.  Getting back to the texting ban, I will not be getting pulled over for this.  I rarely get pulled over.  I’m a show-off in that regard.  Only one career moving violation.  I have texted while driving, though, can’t lie there.  I’ll have to remind myself, or just go back to using the bag phone in the car.  

Q:  I saw a Little Caesar’s Pizza commercial the other day, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a Little Caesars location.  Their new promotion is they have $5 dollar pizzas there waiting for you, which sounds great if you don’t like pizza.  Brutus and Cassius, Rome, NY.

A: Little Caesars is terrible.  Is that the question?  I agree.  They aren’t even trying anymore. The guy who owns Little Caesar’s is Mike Ilitch, who owns the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.  His net-worth is estimated at 2 billion dollars, so there must still be plenty of Little Caesars around.  Let me check their website (franchise opportunities available)…apparently Little Caesars has been stricken from the suburbs.  Several locations in Philadelphia, which seems odd, because there’s probably a pizza place on every single street that is better than Little Caesars, but you can’t compete with their bottom dollar pricing.  Sh*t’s cheap.  That’s their strategy.  I remember fondly the “Pizza, Pizza!” days when it was impossible to order one pizza.  You had to at least get two and then if you ordered two, you might get four.  Cray-zee. I liked Little Caesars because they cut their pizza into tiny slices and this way I felt like I was really getting a MEAL.  I had 17 slices!  I was a young Kobayashi when it came to Little Caesars.  Eventually, we all realized the pizza was terrible, or the location in Paoli closed (not sure which came 1st) and I’ve never had the pizza since.  That was approximately 1991.  I’ve seen the commercials you speak of, but I’ve already had my, “Oh my god, Little Caesars is still in business” epiphany, so it wasn’t as shocking.  

Q:  I saw a picture of LeBron on Sunday and he was carrying around this, I’m not going to use the word purse, but it looked like a miniature duffel bag.  Would you ever carry around anything like that?  And, what the hell is in there?  Note he’s also wearing a backpack.  

A:  LeBron loves his clothes and accessories.  It could be his favorite thing about being a multi-millionaire, getting to wear all his fancy jackets and whatnot.  Would I ever carry a purse?  It’s hard to put yourself into the frame of mind of one of the most famous athletes on the planet.  Sometimes these guys do things just because they can, see: Tom Brady riding around on his razor scooter.  If Tom Brady was a car dealer in Fresno, there’s no way he’d ever ride a razor, there’s no way he’d rock the ponytail, but seeing as he’s Tom Brady, QUARTERBACK, he thinks, WTF?  I feel like scootering around today.  And, same with LeBron and his little satchel.  I don’t like carrying anything, so I imagine even if I signed a nine-figure contract tomorrow I’d probably stay away from the murse.  I have no idea what’s in that thing.  Like you said, Bron’s got his backpack (probably Louis, my killa).  That’s a safe home for all pads, tabs, a pair Weezy’s million dollar headphones, etc.  I think it’s equally likely the bag is empty, or contains something you don’t even know about…like a baby pygmy hippo.  Those are my guesses.  Nothing or hippo.  

Q:  Grantland is running a “bracket” on who was the best character on The Wire.  I wanted to ask how ridiculous is it that Mike Missanelli thinks he “invented” the field of 64 concept for things other than NCAA basketball, but the Wire is just too good.  Who’s your favorite character?  Personally, I’m a Lester Freamon, guy.  Clark Peeters, Baltimore, MD.  

A: Sure, Lester.  He was natural Po-lice.  He also spent the vast majority of time making doll house furniture which he sold at obscene markups, so you’ve got to respect that.  I think it’s endearing that Mikey Miss thinks he deserves credit for something like that.  It’s a little bit like trying to patent putting bacon on a cheeseburger.  Good luck with that, Sir.  Grantland does have a history of stealing ideas, though.  Let’s not forget that.  Cough, DA Fantasy Football, Cough.  It’s very hard to pick a favorite character in The Wire.  Were you on the side of the Po-lice, or were you always pulling for the guys in the game?  My favorite dealer was probably Bodie.  On the other side I was fond of Jay Landsman for some reason.  It’s not easy to pull off a 58-inch waist on TV and he did it gracefully.  Landsman was under the radar, though, my top-5 would probably be:

  1. Bunk
  2. Bodie
  3. Omar
  4. Levy
  5. Lester

Q:  I was at a movie theater the other day and saw a preview for American Pie Reunion.  I’ve lost track of the American Pie movies, but this one is reuniting the original cast.  I imagine this wasn’t difficult to do, considering they all (with the exception of flute girl) need the work.  That’s not the point, though.  Is there a movie out there that you’d actually like to see a sequel to?  Geno Levy, East Lansing, MI

A:  You know who really needs the work?  The short kid that played Tara Reid’s boyfriend.  He hasn’t been in anything. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote the damn script for this one.  He was easily the most boring party movie character of all-time and that just has to eat him up.  Everyone in that movie, even the “Shermanator,” got some other roles.  He’s just radio silence.  Very embarrassing.  I’ve seen the preview for American Reunion.  Jim’s dad takes a run at Stiffler’s mom, it’ll all feel very nostalgic, I imagine.  The question is, will kids go see it, or will it be all 30 year olds who remember the original fondly.  I have a recently formed opinion that any movie that’s really worthwhile doesn’t require a sequel.  How about telling the whole story the FIRST TIME around.  Let me think for a second here.  Shawshank Redemption 2?  Andy and Red running all “Ocean’s 11” style all over Mexico?  I’d probably watch that.  Lost in Translation 2?  Still Lost in Translation?  I’d watch Bill Murray interact with Japanese people all day.  But the lesson, as always, no sequels.  

Q:  Is there something people overestimate more than their control over their own pets?  Every time I go to the park, I’m like 20 yards away from a dog and it’ll come flying in my direction, only to have the owner calling after it, “Hot Pocket!  Hot Pocket, No! Hot Pocket, Come here!”  Of course, the dog runs all the way over to me, and then I have to stand there and wait for it to be re-leashed.  I don’t care about the dogs coming over to me, but it’s fairly well documented that most dogs DON’T listen.  Yet, everyone thinks THEIR dog does.  Jack O’Beadyance, Exton, PA.

A:  I was jogging a few weeks back and from about 100 yards away I spotted a Sheltie.  She was off-leash and when she saw me running, she took off in my direction.  Full-speed.  There’s nothing particularly intimidating about a Sheltie and I knew exactly what it was going to do–start circling me.  It flew by me at about 100 mph, then doubled back, and started circling, as expected.  The dog’s owner appeared–rumpled and overwhelmed.  “I need to give her to someone with a farm,” the lady said.  “She doesn’t get enough exercise.”  Oh, great choice on the Sheltie there, lady.  A sheepdog that’s high engery?  Get the F8ck Out!  Anyway, the point of this story is that a lot of people get dogs and they expect them to be like they are on TV.  Perfectly behaved, masters of various tricks.  This lady obviously fell into that category, because she thinks there are actual farms that take energetic dogs off your hands.  That’s what sit-com kids were told in the 60s.  Oh, Sparky went to a farm where he can run and play.  Get a clue.  But, what else do people overestimate?  A lot of things.  To tie this into last week, perhaps the attractiveness of their kids?  Their own intelligence?  But the all-time leader in the clubhouse?  Sense of humor.  There’s not a person alive that doesn’t think they are HILARIOUS.  

Q: What moment from your childhood would have produced the best YouTube video?  I mean, was there something you did that could generate a few million views?  Webb Traffic, Sacramento, CA.

A: I think my sledding crash would probably be up there.  I think I wrote an anecdote about it once, but basically I completely crash/face-planted, and tore the nonsense out of my face on icy snow.  So, on top of “EPIC SLEDDING FAIL” for a title, you’d also have blood, which brings in some viewers.  With the right cinematography, it could have been huge.  There was also a time when I was out shooting baskets with a friend of mine.  The first backboard I ever had disintegrated. I have no idea what it was made of, but it needed replacing.  Well, when we got the new backboard, the attachment was different, so it could only go as high as 8.5, maybe 9 feet off the ground.  Hello, Dunking!  So, I’m out there with my buddy and we’re both taking shots, just goofing around.  At one point a rebound gets away from me and bounces about 35-40 feet away.  I chase it down and then just turn and chuck it, buzzer beater style toward the basket.  My friend had taken the break in the action as a chance to go up for a dunk, or attempted dunk.  Well, my ball slammed off the backboard, Iguodala style, and as my friend was rising up it deflected and hit him square in the FACE.  You couldn’t have scripted it.  If you were filming from the right angle, and slowed down the footage?  Guaranteed 5 million hits.