Mid-Week Mailbag.

I See What They Did There.

I See What They Did There.

Can someone explain the term, “Welp,” to me?  I’m just not sure why it is suddenly so ubiquitous.  Is this a Twitter/Facebook phenomenon because you have to be clear that you’re making a joke?  Say I tweeted, “Well, the dog just drank the egg nog.”  Is, “Welp, the dog just drank the egg nog,” funnier?  Are you relieved that I’m making a joke out of it?  Is your response to the first one, “OH MY GOD IS PORK ROLL OK?”  While the second one would just get a hearty, “LOL,” or maybe even the cherished “LOLOLOL.”  See, I think the problem is, someone could be facing a grave situation and they’d take the time to tweet.  “Well, Timmy just face planted down the stairs.”  Then the next tweet is LIVE from the ER.  But, if they said “Welp,” instead we’d know that the tyke was OK, or at least the stairs were probably carpeted.  

Q:  Do you pay any attention to the name of a beer when you are going to buy it?  I appreciate all the puns, etc., but is it all just a waste of time?  Porter Stoudt, Lowell, MA.

A:  I think the novelty of the unique names has worn off a bit.  Or maybe this is just something you go through as a beer drinker.  At first you take whatever you can get.  When I started drinking beer the micro-brewery explosion was still just getting started, but even so, I wasn’t concerned about what the beer was called.  If I was, I never would have had a Piels.  And, what constitutes an exotic beer, or a tantalizing label also changes over the years.  I lived on a hall with a kid freshman year who thought Michelob was the classiest and rarest beer in the world.  I’m dead serious.  And, if I’m being truthful, I wasn’t really in a position to tell him otherwise.  But when you can finally go into a beer distributor (or six pack shop) yourself and you see all the different varieties, you realize that MAYBE there is a world beyond Michelob.  I probably went through a “name” phase, you see some Rogue or Dogfish Head label and you are lured in by their cleverness, but maybe that beer isn’t your style.  It’s TOO NUTTY.  So, I appreciate a good beer name, but if it’s a Raspberry Lambic, I’m just not going to go there.  

Q: Do you have any fears about gift pigeon-holing?  Like if you become known as the person that “likes” something that is all you will ever receive during the holiday season?  Max Flye, Myrtle Beach, SC.

A:  It’s tough to answer this question and not sound like a spoiled brat.  Thanks for the present, but could you BRANCH OUT a little?  Your lack of creativity makes me think you don’t really care.  I’m sure everyone suffers from some form of this at some point.  I’ve gotten my share of golf themed cards over the years to be sure, or maybe you are a wine drinker with 100 wine glasses and 23 bottle stoppers?  An amateur chef with four shelves of cookbooks?  The bottom line is, it’s tough giving presents.  I don’t worry about getting pigeon-holed, because at least the gift is usually something you can use, or drink?  Part of me could be like, “Another golf shirt,” but at the same time I wear golf shirts all the time and it’s always nice to deepen the rotation.  My one quibble would be, if you are going to get me something in my preordained area of interest, at least take the time to find out the specifics.  If you are like, “Here’s a box of Top Flites and a gift receipt,” I’m not going to feel TOO special.  

Q: The next Wing Bowl is right around the corner and the potential contestants have started their stunts to try to make the field.  If you had to, what food would you try to eat impressive quantities of to get into the contest?  Trey Pints, Broomall, PA.

A:  Ah, yes.  The only Bowl we get to experience here in Philadelphia.  For those unfamiliar, the Wing Bowl is a wing eating contest held the Friday before the Super Bowl that has grown into a national event.  WIP, one of two local sports stations, started the contest in a hotel lobby and they now pack thousands into the Wells Fargo Center.  To get into the amateur portion of the field you need to perform an “eating stunt.”  There are two ways to go.  You can eat something very fast, or you can eat something disgusting.  Yesterday a man volunteered to eat two Pat’s cheesesteaks in 85 seconds.  Another guy offered to eat a cow’s tongue.  So, that should give you a good idea of the range of performances.  I could never eat the disgusting food.  I’d have to be a speed guy.  So, what do I eat THE FASTEST?  I made a comment a while back about crushing grilled cheeses, but I think the real answer is ice cream.  I have real trouble pacing myself with ice cream.  I usually start to eat it before I even sit down.  Like my ass touches the chair, AND FINISHED.  Time to put the bowl back in the sink.  It’s gotten to the point where if I am by myself I will scoop an extra bite out of the carton to eat on my way back to the couch.  So, I’d probably just show up with a family truckster full of Turkey Hill and do my worst.  

Q: Are you surprised that more people don’t get hit with golf balls at golf tournaments, or even in regular play?  I mean, if golfers are famous for anything, it’s being oblivious and hitting the ball all over the place.  Red Titleist, Green Bay, WI.

A:  Fair point.  I am surprised more people don’t get hit at golf tournaments.  I’ve been to a few and I got in the general neighborhood of being hit just once at the U.S. Senior Open.  Some old-timer sent a screamer my way, but it was already bouncing by the time it raced by–no real danger.  You’d think Tiger would hit someone almost every round, and yet I assume he doesn’t, because every time he does the story leads Sportscenter.  They show the guy getting carted off, but insist that it’s all OK, because Tiger gave him a signed glove.  FAIR TRADE.  The pros are good enough that they can hit through those chutes of people and that’s where your basic amateur player would turn into a butcher.  How many times have you had a huge gap between two trees only to square one of them up?  Well, if you were on Tour, that would be someone’s face.  Chicklets EVERYWHERE.  As you may remember I’ve hit two people in my life.  First one was totally blind, the second time I air-mailed a par-3, the ball hit some hardpan and squared up a guy’s thigh on the next tee box.  Wasn’t my fault.  I hit it TOO GOOD.  Considering I’ve probably played golf a few hundred times, two “incidents” isn’t that bad.  And, the truth is, amateur players are pretty good at getting out of the way.  Everyone knows the difference between a courtesy “fore,” and the panicked “FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFORE!”

Q: Don Mattingly recently said that high expectations, or a World Series or bust mentality is not fair to the players on these teams with enormous payrolls.  Thoughts?  Bill Yonair, Anaheim, CA.

A:  Sounds like Donny Baseball is already playing defense.  There seems to be an awareness in sports these days about liking your chances too much.  Remember when the Phillies re-signed Cliff Lee?  World Series conceded.  Or, when the Red Sox went on their Gonzalez/Crawford spree, everyone assumed they would be the best team in the AL.  You could even point to the failed Eagles, “Dream Team.”  Players, managers, front office people are terrified of announcing themselves as favorites.  It’s a constant battle to manage expectations.  But, when you spend over 200 million in payroll (looking at you, Dodgers) what other expectations could you possibly have?  As far as it not being fair to the players?  I think that’s a pile of horse bleep.  What are the players own expectations?  To get paid?  Hey, let’s not put too much pressure on these guys.  We have to back into a World Series under the cloak of darkness.  Shhhh.  It’s long been my belief that any player worth a damn is going to have higher expectations for himself than even the most rabid fans, so I don’t see the problem setting the bar high.  I’ve got no sympathy for Mattingly, or anyone associated with this LA spending spree.  

Q:  What’s the better gift for a Christmas party, cookies or a bottle of the drink?  M. T. Handed, Dallas, TX. 

A:  I think it depends on a few things.  First, are the cookies good?  If you made them 10 days ago for your own party and you are rolling over with a plate of extras?  That’s a borderline violation. That’s like getting the Godfather trilogy as a gift and then re-gifting part III to your friends.  On the other hand, cookies are a safe play if you know what you are doing.  They can easily be PUT OUT, you can never have too many, and they make for decent leftovers.  They’re better than some obscure dip that was threatening to “turn” on the drive over.  If they are homemade, it also shows a bit more effort than a bottle of liquor.  As far as the alcohol goes, it’s the quick, safe play.  Chances are it’ll be set aside and your hosts will actually be the ones to enjoy it rather than the whole party taking part.  The key is, you’ve got to be able to afford what your friends drink.  If they are white wine experts and you show up with a bottle of $4 Chardonawful, maybe that money is better spent on sweets and treats.  Of course, this is putting aside the fact that anyone who is anyone is showing up to parties with boutique olive oil these days.  I mean, get a clue.  

Thursday NFL Pick:

JCK, 40-29-1

  1. Cincinnati (-4) over Philadelphia

Big Dub, 39-29-2

Cincinnati (-4) over Philadelphia.  Let’s be honest: Foles should have been picked off on that final drive. Imagine if that dang DB comes up with an easy interception. Everyone would be down on the Eagles and this line climbs up near 7. On the other side you have a Bengals team coming off a bad loss yet another for the line to drop. I’m going with the good value theory in this one.




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