Thursday, November 30, 2006


We’ve all heard the stories; don’t go too close to the Florida swamps after dusk.” Better still; just stay the hell away from Florida swamps period, especially when partying. Why you may ask?


Flesh-eating Alligators no doubt. One of today’s top news stories drives home the point. Imagine partying on a beach, maybe over-indulging a bit, and then passing out with nobody around. You wake up as you feel yourself being pulled into the water with something knawing away on your arm. Depending on your earlier partying drug of choice you might think it’s a giant gerbil nibbling away or an alien dragging you down toward his spaceship. That is until the hallucination fades and the pain begins to settle in along with reality.

No, it isn’t a shark that's bitten or torn away a piece of flesh leaving enough of the lucky survivor alive to tell a great story to friends and media. Oh no, instead its an alligator, the animal that resembles Godzilla on all fours and unlike the shark, can attack on land or water and eats not in bites but in one bodily chomp-down. You think pit bulls have vice-like jaw strength? Wait’ll you see an alligator chomp down on an arm or leg and not wanna let loose. Marvel as it thrashes about shaking and twisting its prey into submission. Then, if you have the stomach for it, ogle away as the hungry alligator walks backward toward the swamp dragging its screaming victim down to the depths of its lair. The victim’s only chance of survival is usually to cut-off or tear away from his captured bodily limb and let the alligator have his just reward. Hopefully it’s only a limb and not the upper trunk, shudder the thought.

Well here’s a story that may just outdo what you just read above. I just can’t wait to hear the survivor’s story in his own words. And they thought people were crazy in California! Actually, when I first saw the story and heard "crack cocaine" was likely involved, I figured the alligator had swallowed the man's drug stash hidden near the swamp and the self-proclaimed crack addict foolishly tried to get his sh!t back. Maybe we should be more concerned about crack addicts in Florida than alligators, you decide.

Deputies: Man on crack when alligator attacked
Deputies rescue Polk man from jaws of alligator.

Amy L. Edwards
Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted November 30 2006, 2:52 PM EST

LAKELAND -- A man who was attacked by an alligator this morning was naked and smoking crack at the time, Polk County deputies who rescued him said today.

The alligator had the man in his jaws when deputies arrived at Lake Parker in Lakeland about 4 a.m. today. They were called by nearby residents who reported hearing a man yelling for help
The first deputy on the scene was unable to free the man, Adrian J. Apgar, from the alligator's mouth. It wasn't until 3 or 4 of them were in chest-deep water that they were able to pull him free after the tug-of-war.

Apgar, 45, of Polk City, suffered a broken arm, partially amputated left arm and trauma to his left leg. Doctors are trying to reattach the arm at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where was listed in critical condition.

"We don't know whether he'll make it or not," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

According to a news release from the Polk Sheriff's Office, "The very dark conditions and risk of injuring the victim made shooting the alligator impossible, leaving deputies to contend with their own safety after becoming exhausted in waist deep mud. All deputies made it out of the water without injury."

State fish and wildlife officials captured an 11-foot alligator that they think was the biter.

Deputy Billy Osborne first heard the man's cries for help but couldn't see him through the thick brush and dark sky.

"'I have two broken arms and an alligator's got me pinned. I can't move. Please help me,'" the Polk County deputy sheriff related at a news conference today.

As Osborne listened, he followed the voice through more than 20 yards of brush in Lake Parker's murky, chest-deep water about 4 a.m.

Then he saw them: a naked man crouched down in the jaws of an alligator amidst thick cattails in bloodied water.

Other deputies pursued, following the man's cries, Osborne's voice and the sounds of the alligator thrashing around in the water.

Osborne grabbed onto the man's arm and tried to pull him free.

"We were pretty much playing tug-of-war," Osborne, 26, said.

After about 30 seconds, the alligator released the man.

Judd said Apgar told deputies he was smoking crack-cocaine at the adjacent park, but it was unclear why he was naked or why he was attacked by the alligator.

No one answered the door of Apgar's home in rural community and neighbors knew little about him.

Link to audio of 911 alligator attack call!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Dan Brown writes well and with ease, however, this story seemed to make itself up as it went along. A terrible and unbelievable story that had so much potential in the beginning. I'm kinda hesitant to pickup his other book "The Da Vinci Code." Maybe I'll just rent the movie.

My review on this book - submitted to on 11/29/06

Thank Goodness it was a Fast Read

I really wanted to like this book. At first I cherished carrying around the thick 569 page hardcover enjoying the ease of which Dan Brown's writing can be read. But something happened midway through the story. The story that began with so much scientific intelligence and religious tradition suddenly took on a MacGyver-like air. The book started to truly test my intelligence and patience. As I pushed toward the story's conclusion I realized the best of it had already come and gone some time ago. Anti-climatic might be a word to describe this story. Or maybe I'm just out of touch with the new Video Game style of story plots in books and movies.

I did however learn what an Ambigram is:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Oh SHoop, A New Offensive Coordinator

The Raiders sure work in mysterious ways. Three-quarters through this dismal season of offensive ineptitude they decide on a "New" offensive coordinator. John Shoop, tight-ends coach, has been named the OC for the remainder of the 2006 season replacing Tom Walsh. Most fans will probably give a prayer of thanks tonight. We true fans of the silver and black endure. Hopefully Shoop will bring some creativity and spark to our offense. Maybe Shoop is our early xmas gift from uncle Al. We'll see.

Thanks Tom Walsh for giving it the ole college try and damn near sinking the ship. Welcome aboard John Shoop and may the remainder of this season prove you capable of the task at hand.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Chargers 21 Raiders 14

What helped the Chargers defeat the Raiders?

Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2

“It is a Forward Pass if: (a) the ball initially moves forward (to a point nearer the opponent's goal line) after leaving the passer's hands; or

(b) the ball first strikes the ground, a player, an official, or anything else at a point that is nearer the opponent's goal line than the point at which the ball leaves the passer's hand ...

Note 4: A fumble or muff going forward is disregarded as to its direction, unless the act is ruled intentional. In such cases, the fumble is a forward pass.

Rule 8, Section 1, Article 1, Supplemental Note 5

“An intentional fumble is a forward pass.”
From 2006 Official Playing Rules of the NFL

Here's an article straight from a San Diego newspaper (Union Tribune)that pretty much flaunts the fact that the Chargers got away with one. "Jackson's Action Ends In Satisfaction."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Raiders Defense Delays Denver Victory

The Oakland Raiders Defense gave us fans plenty to cheer about today at the Coliseum. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Offense as the Denver Broncos squeaked by with a 17-13 win.

Thanks to the Oakland Defense, which is playing in-synch with one another, the Broncos trailed most of the game and were outplayed the entire first half by sparks of Raiders offense and a barrage of Raiders defensive plays.

The Raiders Defense plays both the pass and run with a cohesive agressive team effort. From the D-Line to the Line-Backing core to the D-Backs, all are on the same page in executing Buddy Ryan's, I mean Rob Ryan's defensive schemes. For years we've been asking Santa for a Defense by Christmas and damned if our pleas haven't finally been answered this season.

So I guess prayers should begin going out for an offense. If Tampa Bay and Baltimore can win superbowls with little offense then why not the Oakland Raiders? With each game our Defense improves. They're still going through growing pangs but other NFL teams realize they're a force to be reckoned with on Sunday.

So on a Autumn Sunday full of disappointment for the Raider Nation, there's a ray of hope shining through that makes waiting for Christmas a joy again.

So come on Santa, get off your fat funky azz and deliver those Offensive gifts to Oakland soon. Or you may find your sley and reindeer stripped and left shivering on the corner of E14th and 66thStreet come December. brrrrr!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What It Means to be a Football Fan

"The essence of tradition lies in the hearts of the people who protect and perpetuate that storied history that was handed down to them. And they carefully pass that legacy down to generations yet to come." —From the Foreword by Bo Schembechler

The book is titled "What It Means To Be A Wolverine". This quote from former coach Bo Schembechler pretty much sums up why any fan remains loyal to his team. If you are a true fan of any team, you must honor, respect and pass on the traditions of that team.

Because I'm sporting a gift Michigan Wolverine Jersey this season I figured I'd better brush up on their history. Wow, they've got a history that makes a Raiders fan jealous. Their stadium "The Big House" seats 111,000 fans and has been sold out since 1975. Not only that but this season they're currently ranked No. 2 in the country and have a good shot at playing for the National Championship.

Wearing my Michigan jersey I'm constantly hearing "Go Blue" shouts from obvious Michigan fans. I found the UMGOBLUE.COM site and will continue to follow the team through the rest of the season.

But check out some incredible writeups about the Michigan Wolverine Football Tradition:

Michigan football is all about tradition. Michigan has not has a losing season since 1967, the longest streak in college football. In fact, they have had only had 14 losing seasons in their 126 year history. They will be playing in their 31st consecutive bowl game. Also the longest streak in college football which would also be about 8 years longer were it not for the Big Ten conferences ridiculous rule that only one team could go to a bowl game up until 1975. Michigan lost only three regular season games from 1970 to 1974 yet only went to one bowl game.

The University of Michigan began playing football in 1879 and hasn’t slowed up yet. The Michigan Wolverines have an All-time record of 849-280-36. The Wolverines’ 849 victories is the most in NCAA history and their .744 winning percentage is also the best of all-time. The Michigan Wolverines have won more Big Ten Championships, forty-two, than anyone, won 18 bowl games, captured three National Championships and have had four Heisman Trophy winners.

". . . how can anyone come close to the tradition in Ann Arbor where games have been played since 1879? "More victories than any school anywhere in the country . . . around 111,000 fans for each game at the Big House . . . the most distinct helmet in the country . . . the greatest fight song in the history of college sports . . . with Ohio State, the most celebrated rivalry in all of sports . . . New Year’s Day bowl games . . . Big Ten championships . . . the tunnel . . . the Little Brown Jug . . . the marching band . . . the tailgate parties. ". . . The history is alive and endless.

Go Blue!

Friday, November 03, 2006

What The "Hell" is up with the Evangelical Church?

Thought you heard it all didn't you. 5 year olds selling drugs, grandmothers running credit card scams, Mayors smoking crack cocaine. But this one, if completely true just rubs my hide.

Evangelist Admits Meth, Massage, No Sex

The "President" of the National Association of Evangelicals, a 30-million member association, resigned his holy post after "ADMITTING" he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a gay prostitute. However, he denies having sex with said prostitute. The 49-year old male prostitute, that's right, a road with lots of wear, claims their relationship was much more than a one-time fling and..............has the Holy Ghost on tape to prove it. Oh My!

Here's one excerpt from the voicemail recording of his excellence:

"Hi Mike, this is Art," one call began, according to the station. "Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply."

Here's a second excerpt:

A second message, left a few hours later, began: "Hi Mike, this is Art, I am here in Denver and sorry that I missed you. But as I said, if you want to go ahead and get the stuff, then that would be great. And I'll get it sometime next week or the week after or whenever."

The shame of it all is that this Evangelical Leader has been leading the way on a state amendment bill to ban same-sex marriage which is on Tuesday’s voting ballot in Colorado.

Imagine any member of any religious group wearing the cloth stating the words; "Yes I purchased methamphetamine and a massage from a 49-year old male prostitute, but I didn't have sex."

Why that's right up there with Bill Clinton's, "I tried marijuana once, but I didn't inhale" and "I did not have sexual relations with THAT WOMAN." Had Monica not opened her mouth after the dirty deed was done and allowed the "spunk" to leak out all over her dress, Bill's claim might still ring true. But as the old saying goes, "loose lips sink ships."

Of course most of the Evangelical leaders 14,000 church members are crying political assassination since the news hit right before the elections. But the fact is that he ADMITS to some of the accusations and heard on tape making arrangements.

So will somebody, anybody please tell me............did the horns of Armageddon blow signifying the end of the world and I was just too damn busy watching sports?

And I thought I would be sent to "Hell" in a gasoline suit. Hell is when you do something bad and everything about you, along with your picture, is posted on Wikipedia, the new world sourcebook. Welcome to Hell Ted Haggard.

See: Ted Haggard

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Passing of Legends

When Buck O'neil, the baseball ambassador who helped uncover the glory of Negro League Baseball, passed away in early October at the age of 86, I was saddened. I felt that baseball had lost a part of its history they'd only recently rediscovered.

Then I was saddened this week when Red Auerbach, coach of eight consecutive Boston Celtic NBA Championship teams, passed away at 89. The game of Basketball had lost a man considered the Greatest Coach in the History of the game.

Today I'm saddened yet again by the loss of a sports figure. I'm saddened because I and the rest of the sporting world only recently discovered the man considered the oldest living professional baseball player of today. His name was Silas Simmons and he died yesterday at the ripe old age of 111.

The St. Petersberg Times discovered Silas "Si" Simmons off a tip from Genealogist David Lambert the other year and have written him up a few times in their daily paper. Here's a link to one of the recent write-ups by staff writer Dave Scheiber: Baseball Legend Turns 111

I think of the history this man has lived through and the stories he could tell if only we'd known. Imagine watching a baseball game with someone who saw Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and many great baseball players both black and white play. Imagine, if you're as much a history buff as I am, asking someone to compare Barry Bonds to other great sluggers of the post WWII era. Heck, "Si" was alive when the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series back in 1910. He was around when the 1917 Boston Red Sox won it and I'm sure he remembered the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Though "Si" was not allowed to play against the white professional teams of his day due to the MLB segregation rules, it didn't stop him from going to the games and seeing the white players play baseball. His memories of the great black professional baseball players actually predates the negro leagues of Buck Oneil's time.

One article stated that he was born just 30 years after the assination of Abraham Lincoln. That alone makes the historian in me curious about this man. You figure he grew up around folks talking about the "War between the States." He was a young boy growing up in Philadelphia when the Philadelphia A's (now Oakland A's) team was first organized in 1900. And again, he probably remembers the days when the Chicago Cubs were a MLB powerhouse with the infamous infield of Tinker, Evers and Chance.

Silas "Si" Simmons may not have been one of the greats who played the game of baseball, but he's been a great fan of the game longer than anyone I've ever known. And that is something I'll miss having the chance to hear about; the fans view of games and players past.

Silas "Si" Simmons, a lover of baseball and life.

Early Picture of Homestead Grays (Silas was a pitcher and outfielder)