Thursday, December 23, 2010

End Of The Year Thoughts

(The Hometown View returns on Monday, January 3)

Just a few random thoughts in what will be my final segment of this year as the WOBM Christmas Classic will demand all my attention next week:

I never served in the military but those upset over the “Don’t’ Ask, Don’t Tell”
law signed by President Obama Wednesday are just not thinking rationally.
If a soldier is stuck in a fox hole what he’s concerned about when it comes to the person next to him is not whether he’s gay but whether he’s a good soldier and will act accordingly. There will be bumps in the road but this was clearly the right thing to do.

How far has the men’s basketball program fallen at Monmouth University? Most of the record crowd of 3,900 at the MAC in West Long Branch last night were not there to see the Hawks but rather get an up close look at 8th ranked Villanova, who cruised to a 40-point victory. There will likely be plenty of good seats available come January unless the team shows signs of life because even students on campus
don’t pay much attention to basketball at the school.

Is it me or does it seem like many places still have a lot of Christmas trees left to sell? You can probably make a good deal today on one.

Just when it looked like Rex Ryan and the Jets had moved the needle from negative to positive comes a story involving the head coach’s wife…well maybe. A website shows videos of a woman who looks very much like Michelle Ryan displaying her toes and having an intimate chat with a man about her feet. It certainly is true….the thrill of victory is better than the agony of da-feet.

Toms River High School South will have a new football coach next fall as Bill Hill will not be coming back for a fourth year. The injury-plagued Indians did not win a game this past season for the first time in nearly five decades and a change had to be made. This is one of the shore’s tradition-rich programs and even when times are not great there is no better place for a Friday Night game than Detweiler Stadium.

Here’s hoping that you have a great holiday, including a merry Christmas and Happy New Year. If Santa Claus does not bring you exactly what you want remember that he’s got a long list and sometimes gets confused.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

UConn Women Break Win Record

It seems like many people have an opinion about the now record 89 game winning streak put together by the Connecticut women’s basketball team. Last night’s rout of Florida State allowed the Huskies to break the record set by John Wooden’s UCLA men’s teams, who won 88 in-a-row before losing to Notre Dame in 1974.
The controversy or issue comes when you try and compare the two milestones and in my opinion you simply cannot and don’t need to. What UCLA did 36 years ago and what U. Conn is doing now should stand on their own as separate and remarkable achievements. What is similar is that both teams were able to recruit many of the best players at that time and they played for extraordinary coaches….the late great Wooden and Geno Auriemma. Those who argue that Connecticut’s streak is largely due to inferior competition are not giving the Huskies their due. 30 of their 89 wins have come against nationally ranked opponents which is considerably more than UCLA had during its streak.

But again let’s stop comparing and instead celebrate both records for what they represent….dominance and greatness.

Jackson Memorial, Southern and Toms River South are not only considered the top three wrestling teams at the shore this season but they are all in the same division and their head-to-head matches will decide the Class A South title. The first of those takes place tonight when the Indians head to Manahawkin to wrestle the Rams. South is hoping to return to their glory days of the mid- 70’s when grapplers like Jeff Parker helped Hall of Fame coach John DeMarco win the first four Shore Conference Tournament titles. Ron Laycock, who wore the maroon and white for DeMarco, is now the head coach and he’ll find out how far his program has come when they lock horns with John Stout’s Rams. The winner will still have to get past Jackson later in the winter but they clearly become the top challenger to the Jaguars.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Tradition

I guess if money and time are not a problem than Christmas shopping might be something to look forward to but frankly for most of us both can make the task about as enjoyable as going to the dentist. Wait a second….trips to the dentist these days are often painless but a trip to a shopping mall can leave you suffering.
I don’t like Christmas shopping but in recent years have turned this chore into an annual pilgrimage with my daughter Alex and it’s actually become something I think we both look forward to.

It started when she was in high school when I would get her out of school early
and armed with a list we would dash through stores and malls to complete our frazzled odyssey. She is now in college and I must admit to looking forward to our foray yesterday because like all good things this too will come to an end so I want to enjoy each one of our father-daughter outings. Well a little more than six hours after we started we had completed our mission and with only an exception or two got everything we wanted. In those six hours we were in and out of the car several times, had a very enjoyable lunch, and listened to a mixture of Christmas music and Dave Matthews. I was exhausted when I got home and glad the ordeal was over but thrilled at the same time that Alex and I had the day and adventure to share.

A little side note to yesterday. We were going into a Barnes & Noble and I could not help but notice a woman walking to her car in the parking lot. While she was very attractive what made her stand out was she was getting into a car which was parked perfectly in the middle of two spots in the packed lot. It’s not unusual to see someone with a very expensive car taking up two spots and it does not bother me when they do it in the outskirts of a lot in open spaces. However this woman, who really did not have a luxury vehicle, took up two spots right in front and I was so tempted to say something but in the spirit of the holiday I did not. I wonder if she’ll notice the key scratches on the passenger side.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Miracle In The Meadowlands 2

Hopefully you are able to keep sports in its proper perspective although frankly for those of you who are either Eagles or Giants fans then what took place Sunday may have resulted in over-the-top jubilation or keep-him-away from sharp objections depression. In what’s being called “Miracle in the New Meadowlands”
or “Meltdown at the Meadowlands” the Birds rallied for 28 points in the final 7 ½ minutes to stun the G-Men and all but lock up the NFC East. On the game’s final play DeSean Jackson returned a punt that should never have come in his direction 65 yards for the winning touchdown to set off a wild celebration for the visitors from Philly while Giants fans sat in stunned silence. The Giants will now have to win road games in Green Bay and Washington to probably earn a wild-card playoff spot. To make matters worse for head coach Tom Coughlin, former Steelers coach Bill Cowher apparently is ready to return to the sidelines and the Giants are atop his list.

The first round of the 27th annual WOBM Christmas Classic at the Poland Spring Arena is complete and while there were some anxious moments Sunday for favorites, only one lower seed managed to advance into the quarterfinals. In boys action yesterday, 11th seed Wall fell behind #6 Brick Memorial 16-0 but went on to top the Mustangs by 16 points, 63-47. The Crimson Knights will next face #3 Manchester, who cruised past Toms River East as D’Andre Little scored 18pts. Top seed and defending champion Jackson Memorial got all they could handle from Ocean before winning 37-32 and will play Lacey in the quarterfinals as the Lions ripped Barnegat behind Deon Smith’s 24 points. 2nd seed Point Boro was tested from Brick before pulling away in the 4th quarter for an 11-point win and the Panthers will have to play better when they next meet Central, who squeaked by Toms River South 38-35. The other boy’s quarterfinal next Monday will find St. Rose taking on Toms River North. The Purple Roses turned in the day’s most impressive performance as they crushed Southern while the Mariners needed overtime to get past Monroe 65-61.

In Saturday’s girl’s opening round all the higher seeds won and advanced into the quarterfinals this Sunday (Dec. 26). For the schedule and details visit

Friday, December 17, 2010

The WOBM Christmas Classic Begins

It’s the opening weekend of the high school basketball season and it features some interesting matchups tonight and the first round of the WOBM Christmas Classic this weekend. Tonight’s boys schedule is highlighted by a matchup between Neptune and Lakewood at the Piner Palace. The two perennial shore powers return just about everyone from last year and certainly should be among the top five teams with both expected to challenge for division, shore and state titles.
Lakewood has one of the top players around in Jarod Davis and this is a tremendous season opener. Among tonight’s other openers, Point Boro visits Manchester, Monsignor Donovan hosts Central, Jackson Memorial battles Jackson Liberty, and Eric Fierro makes his debut as Southern Regional head coach when the Rams head to Lacey. The Girls schedule is pretty much just a reversal of home courts and the top game find Manchester at Point Boro with the Panthers a team to watch this season after winning 23 games and the South Jersey Group 3 title with a very young nucleus last winter.

Many of the girl’s teams playing tonight will have to recover quickly because they take to the court tomorrow on the opening day of the 27th annual WOBM Christmas Classic. There will be eight first-round games played in both the Poland Spring Arena and the Toms River North gym and most of the day two games will be going on at the same time right across the hall from one another. It starts with Toms River East playing Shore at 1pm:

Manchester vs. Wall (1:30)
Point Boro vs. Barnegat (2:45)
T.R. North vs. Ocean (3:15)
Donovan vs. T.R. South (4:30)
Southern vs. Old Bridge (5pm)
Jackson Mem. vs. Raritan (6:15)
Rumson vs. Lacey (6:45)

On Sunday it will be the boy’s first-round with the action again beginning at 1pm
when Brick Memorial plays Wall and a half an hour later Southern will tip off against St. Rose. Jackson Memorial and Point Boro are the top two seeds and the complete schedule is available on our web site,
The WOBM Christmas Classic resumes on December 26th with eight games every day until the 30th when the finals will be held.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Home For The Holidays

I’m sure some of you have or will be making a trip to pick up children who are away at college and returning home for the holiday break. Often this is something you only have to do when they are freshman because in most cases they don’t have a car and there are loads of laundry and other stuff making its way back into your house. The reason there was no Hometown View yesterday was because this was the position my wife and I were in with our daughter, who of course couldn’t make this a routine pick up and bring home trip.

We headed up to Penn State Tuesday afternoon and arrived just after Alex finished the last of her final exams. Like many she had spent just about all of her time the last week or so in the library studying which meant she had not done any packing. and in her case there was a lot of it because she and her roommate are switching dormitories for the spring semester, moving into one that houses most of the members of their sorority. So four months after lugging everything into a dorm in the heat of summer we were now going to take everything out in frigid temperatures and move it across campus. After dinner Tuesday we loaded some stuff into the car and left Alex, her roommate Nicole and another friend to pack. We went to our hotel as I desperately needed some sleep after a long day.

We woke up yesterday morning and the first thing my wife noticed on the TV was a pretty long list of delayed school openings. Fortunatly they were to the west of State College, but we were greeted by some show flurries and showers and 17 degree temperatures. We headed over to Alex’s dorm and started loading the van with bins, boxes and more…frankly I have no idea how they fit everything in their very small room. The good news for them is their new dorm is considerably larger although I guess that means there will even more stuff to move at the end of the spring semester but I’ll worry about that later. We did manage to move everything
and pile it on her bed because it has to stay that way so the room can cleaned over vacation. We made one more trip back to the old dorm to load all her clothes which she brought back for the 3-week break and we hit the road for the trip back home at 1:30.

Of course you know what this means? We have to go back with her in a little more than three weeks so set up the new room.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We all have things are somewhat special to us and certainly for me the WOBM Christmas Classic falls into that category. Sure to most it’s just a basketball tournament that fills some time during the holiday season but for me it’s always been more than that. Starting in 1984 with eight Boys teams the tournament has grown into a 32-team Boys and Girls event that’s played over 7 days at the Poland Spring Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North. One of the annual highlights is the “Tipoff Brunch” which once again was hosted by the Quality Inn of Toms River on Monday morning. Nearly 300 players, coaches, tournament officials and guests attended the event where we announced the seeds and pairings
as the tournament gets underway this weekend.

With four starters back there was little surprise that two-time defending champion Rumson-Fair Haven would garner the top seed in the Girls Division and the Bulldogs begin their title quest Saturday night against Lacey in what will be the last of eight first-round games played that day. Led by Rutgers-bound Christa Evans, Jackson Memorial is the #2 seed and plays Raritan, Point Boro secured the #3 spot and will open with Barnegat and 4th seeded Toms River North takes on Ocean.

The boys hit the court on Sunday with defending champion Jackson Memorial the top seed and set to battle Ocean in the last game of the day. Coach Joe Fagan thinks this Jaguars team might be better than last year when as the 10th seed they won the championship. Among the teams expected to provide plenty of competition is #2 seed Point Boro, who plays Brick on Sunday. Manchester gets the #3 spot and an opening round contest with Toms River East while fourth-seeded Toms River North meets Monroe. The complete schedule is available at

At yesterday’s event we honored Professional Orthopaedic Associates of Toms River, Tinton Falls and Freehold for their longstanding support. Dr. David Gentile was on hand to accept the Jim Ruhnke Award for contributions to the tournament.
Professional Orthopaedic Associates has sponsored and helped provide Athletic Trainers in recent years to work the 52 games that will be played starting this weekend. Later this week I will talk about another aspect of the WOBM Christmas Classic which makes it a rather unique event.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday Excitment

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Hard to believe but only one more weekend before Christmas. Seems like there
were a lot of people out and about this weekend although Sunday’s rain probably didn’t help retail sales…thank goodness it was pretty warm or we might have had some white stuff. Speaking of which, did you see the video of the partial collapse of the Metrodome’s inflatable roof in Minnesota? It looked like tons of flour pouring onto the football field and of course forced the Giants game with the Vikings to be moved to Ford Field in Detroit tonight. That game will kick off at 7:20 and be televised by Fox. A Giants win would move them into a tie with the Eagles for first place in the NFC East heading into Sunday’s showdown at the Meadowlands.

I guess you can scratch Al Golden’s name off the list of possible successors when Joe Paterno finally retires at Penn State. The Colts Neck native and former Red Bank Catholic standout was named the new football coach at the University of Miami with Hurricanes fans hoping Golden can turn around their fortunes like he did at Temple. The 41-year old did a remarkable job in five seasons with the Owls and it was just a matter of time before he took a higher profile position. I was among many who thought that position might be at his alma mater in Happy Valley but Golden instead is heading to South Florida with a five-year contract and a great opportunity. Here’s hoping he makes the most of it because he’s a quality coach and individual.

Many years ago I was doing a small research project for work which forced me to look through reels and reels of microfilm at the Ocean County Library. I remember coming across an ad of some sort in the Asbury Park Press that identified Dr. John Lauria as being the first chiropractor in Ocean County.
I knew him for years because we both worked out at what was then the Toms River Racquetball and Fitness Club. The next time I saw him I mentioned the ad and we had a long conversation about what it was like when he opened up his practice in Toms River. Doc was a great guy to talk with, whether it was about skiing which he loved or baseball…his son Chris was a standout player at Toms River South and later the University of North Carolina. The last time I saw him was probably a couple of years ago and this morning I learned that Dr. John Lauria died over the weekend at age 80. He leaves behind his wife, five children, 8 grandchildren and a lot of great conversations in the sauna.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Little Of This & A Little Of That

A little of this and a little of that heading into the weekend:

It will be a busy weekend for the many volunteers who make “Kevin’s Kids” one of the truly great things about the holiday season. In its 28th year the program brings Christmas to kids and families in Manchester Township and is spearheaded by the efforts of Kevin Burger, a school district administrator and his wife Peggy.
There have been a myriad of fundraising projects going on over the last couple of months and tomorrow dozens of volunteers will go shopping to fill the wish lists of about 400 township residents. Sunday they will then wrap all the presents which will be picked up by thankful families later in the day…in most cases parents will be able to tell their little ones that Santa Claus indeed made it to their house.
There is no better example of how it’s better to give than receive then this wonderful holiday project in Manchester, fueled by the efforts of many.

NHL Hall of Fame Scott Stevens and Brick Township’s favorite son Jim Dowd will team up later today to help raise money for the Green Dragons Ice Hockey program. Stevens and Dowd were teammates on the New Jersey Devils 1995 Stanley Cup team and tonight they will put on a pair of hockey clinics at the Ocean Ice Palace with all proceeds going to pay for practice time and other items slashed from the school budget. The clinics will be split up based on age and the cost is $60 per player. Dowd of course played for legendary Green Dragon’s coach Bob Auriemma and recently ended a 17-year NHL career. Through his “Shoot for the Stars Foundation” he has raised a tremendous amount of money for many organizations and individuals in the shore area. For information on tonight’s clinics you can call the Ocean Ice Palace at (732) 477-4411.

So how good was the Lacey Township football team this season? The Lions finished 5th in the final Star Ledger Top 20 and were second among all public schools in the state. Don Bosco Prep finished atop the rankings followed by
Bergen Catholic, Cherokee, Holy Spirit and then 12-0 Lacey, who captured the South Jersey Group 3 title last weekend. #19 Freehold was the only other shore team in the top 20.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Few Things On My Mind

Just a few things on my mind to share with you this morning:

I’m been glancing at the Asbury Park Press this week and reading their coverage of what is the Pop Warner National Cheer & Dance Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It appears that the Jersey Shore area is always well-represented at this event with a large number of teams able to raise the money necessary to travel and compete for big trophies. I guess what I wonder is why nobody ever makes an issue that this event requires students to miss school right after they’ve been off for Thanksgiving and will have a long break for Christmas. Of course this is a big money maker for Disney World as thousands of kids and their families head to Florida for the cheerleading events as well as youth football games. It’s perfectly timed for the resort as it comes just before the Christmas vacation which of course is a very busy period. Bottom line is like many other events this one exists to make money and there is apparently a lot to be made.

Even if you are more Grinch than Santa Claus you have to admit houses that are decorated for Christmas add something to a street or neighborhood. There is something about driving around at night during the holiday season and seeing home after home lit up and tastefully decorated.

Sorry to say but the Monmouth University Men’s basketball program has really fallen off the radar. Despite having a tremendous facility to play in if the Hawks don’t win some games there will be plenty of seats, rows and sections available at the Multipurpose Activity Center. Worse part is that the students themselves really don’t seem to care.

Speaking of basketball…we held the seeding meeting for the 27th annual WOBM Christmas Classic last night with the 32 boys and girls coaches. The top seeds are…..sorry we don’t announce them until Monday when we hold the Tipoff Brunch at the Quality Inn in Toms River.

Has pro basketball returned to New York? After a decade of futility the Knicks are showing signs that time might be changing. They have now won 6 in-a-row and 11 of their last 12 games and are exciting to watch. Of course at the end of the day you must remember this is the NBA which most people care little about.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ocean Couny Stormwatch

It seems that about a week ago we abruptly went from fall to winter and out came heavy coats, gloves and hats. Another sign, at least for us here at WOBM has been the recent flurry of phone calls inquiring about weather-related announcements.
Yes while we are many things to many different people the one constant is that much of Ocean County will turn to us first during bad weather for storm-related information, including closings and cancellations. With winter pretty much here I am as a public service spending a moment this morning alerting you to our Stormwatch program. This is especially important for those of you who are enrolled in the program as well as those of you wanting to find out details about becoming part of it.

If you have listened to this station during winter months with bad weather (like last year) than you know what it’s like…well you know some of it. For many years the only way we had to inform you of weather-related announcements was to read them over the air and this was after several of us would spend hours answering phone calls and logging the information. As the county and our list grew this was no longer a practical way to disseminate information so in recent years we have gone with a web-based program. This program has proved very valuable for both us and you and a few changes have been instituted for this winter.

For those of you already part of Ocean County Stormwatch than the big change is that you will now go to the website, to report your cancellation or delay. You should update your computer’s favorite places and your Stormwatch notes with that address. The good news is that you can still use your user name and password from last year. If you have forgotten or misplaced that information you will find a short form on the website which you can fill out…however do not wait as you should have the required information before bad weather hits. Without your user name and password you cannot log on and report your announcement. For those organizations that are not part of our program than all you need to do is visit and look for the “Ocean County Stormwatch” link. It will direct you to a form which can be filled out that’s how you get into the program.

As for you listeners there are two ways for you to get the information you need when bad weather hits. You can visit 24/7 and get the information as we receive it or you can listen to 92.7FM. Either way we’ll be there for you this winter like we have since 1968.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

For many of us there are three dates that will forever remain etched in our mind, not counting personal things like birthdays and anniversaries. Those dates are
September 11th, November 22nd and December 7th. 9/11 of course needs no explanation and if you are 50 or older you probably remember November 22nd as the day JFK was assassinated. Those of you in the younger generation may need a reminder as to the significance of today. This is the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which claimed the lives of 2,400 Americans and the next day led President Franklin Roosevelt to declare war on Japan as he proclaimed “December 7th, 1941…a day which will live in infamy.” Today is a bitter reminder for those that survived the attack on the U.S. Naval base in Hawaii and the anniversary is traditionally marked by the return of some of those survivors although sadly that number is dwindling. There will be a day not too far from now in which there are no survivors still alive but December 7th will indeed always hold historical meaning and purpose and should not be forgotten.

Unless you are my age or older you have no idea what Monday Night Football was like years ago. Before ABC began televising a weekly Monday game in 1970, pro football fans pretty much were limited to watching a couple of games on Sunday.
Monday Night games became events and the main announcing trio of Frank Gifford, Don Meredith & Howard Cosell were superstars. Meredith, a former Cowboys quarterback died over the weekend at age 72 and it’s made many of us think fondly about how special those Monday games were. Ironically one of the significant moments during one of those games took place on December 8th, 1980…..30 years ago tomorrow. In the final moments of a tight game between the Patriots and Dolphins, Cosell was the voice that informed America that John Lennon had been shot and killed in New York. For years after that Howard accepted praise for interrupting the game to deliver the sad and stunning news. However what many don’t know is during a commercial break before that he pretty much refused to make the announcement until he asked Gifford for his opinion. Frank said without question you have to let people know so Cosell reluctantly agreed and I’m sure until he died he never gave Gifford any credit.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Customer Service

Sometimes you just have to wonder what people in business are thinking.

We went out yesterday to purchase a Christmas tree and my wife is very particular in that she always gets a Douglass Fir. So we stopped in a place and were greeted by a lone employee who happened to speak very little English. My wife asked to see the section where the Douglass Firs were and he shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. We asked if they had that type of tree and he communicated to us that he had no idea. We looked around and some trees were labeled but there was no indication that what we wanted was available plus many of the trees were still tied up so it was difficult to tell. We did learn that someone else would be in later
who might be able to answer our question. We didn’t wait and drove a few miles down the road and found just what we were looking for.

Mixed weekend for the two Ocean County teams that played Saturday for state sectional football championships. Lacey capped off a perfect season with a 56-7 rout of Delsea while Brick Memorial was shut out by Sayreville 14-0 in a game played before 45,000 empty seats at Rutgers. The day also saw Shore Regional, Freehold and Rumson-Fair Haven capture titles with Rumson’s upset of Matawan considered among the biggest anyone can remember in the 36 years the playoff system has been around involving a Shore Conference team.

Monsignor Donovan senior Thomas Albanese is one of 50 national Semifinalists for high school football Rudy Awards which honors those players who bring heart if not great talent to the game. Albanese was nominated by his coach Dan Duddy for the attitude and sacrifice he brings to the program. Despite being a senior he would play in JV games to help make a contribution to the Griffins and never missed a practice. An only child, he lost his father to cancer just before entering Monsignor Donovan but never felt sorry for himself and always went out of his way for others. The winner will receive a $10,000 college scholarship with two runner-ups each receiving $5000. Named after a former Notre Dame Player, you can vote for Albanese online at Online voting will continue through December 28th.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

The high school football season will come to an end tomorrow and it could result in as many as five teams from the shore winning state sectional titles. Lacey will try and complete a perfect season and win the fourth state championship in school history when they host perennial South Jersey power Delsea in the South Jersey Group 3 final at 1pm. The Lions senior class might be the best in school history and boasts a number of outstanding players including Jarrod Molzon, Craig Cicardo, Dave Viera, Jake Dabal and Matt Uveges.

Brick Memorial plays the final game of the season as the Mustangs will battle Sayreville in the Central Jersey Group 4 Final at Rutgers tomorrow night at 7, in a game which we will broadcast on our sister station 105.7FM. The Mustangs beat the Bombers in the title game two years ago but lost in the final to Monroe last December as this is the third straight year Walt Currie has coached a team into the championship game. More so than in the past this is a balanced team with no players whose season statistics will wow you in any way. Mike DiGuilmi runs the triple option attack but this team’s success is largely based on a swarming defense, led by Will Wowkanyn.

The long day of football at Rutgers tomorrow begins with Shore playing Dunellen for the Central Group 1 title and features a Middletown South-Freehold Central Jersey Group 3 collision. Also Saturday, Matawan will aim for its second straight Central Jersey Group 2 championship when they face shore rival Rumson in a game at Kean University.

The Shore Sports Network, in conjunction with area head coaches, has selected our
“Fabulous 40”….the top 40 players from the Shore Conference. The complete list is available on our web site at
We have also selected Lacey’s Lou Vircillo and Mark Costantino of Shore as Coaches of the Year in Ocean & Monmouth counties and our Players of the Year are record-breaking running back Matt McLain of Pinelands, Manalapan running back Josh Firsker, Frehold linebacker Jazzmar Clax and Brick Memorial’s defensive hurricane Will Wowkanyn.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

When I stepped outside this morning it suddenly hit me….winter is coming. Never mind what the calendar says I just have this feeling that we are now entering that period in which cold weather will pretty much be what we face each day. I looked at the extended forecast and over the next ten days it is not expected to get out of the 40’s and obviously that means at night and early in the morning it will likely be in the 30’s on a regular basis. While for some they welcome this because it will make them feel more like Christmas, I personally don’t relish the thought that we are coming into a period in which warmth only comes when the heat is on.

I guess it bothers me because it signals what is seemingly the longest period of the year and as I get older I swear winter becomes longer and summer gets shorter.
What’s worse than getting up at 3am and having to go out and warm up your car or worse-yet….scrape ice off your windshield? Truthfully December doesn’t usually bother me all that much because we really don’t get severe winter weather in this month…that was until last year when we got crushed by a pre-Christmas blizzard.
If that were to happen again frankly I will probably just crawl up in a corner and cry because it just made for what seemed like an endless period of cold weather and snow.

What we need is a quiet December with maybe a little dusting of snow on Christmas Eve for visual effects and that’s about it. January and February are endless no matter what but if December is mild it will help speed along the process until we get to spring which right now seems more like years and not months away. As for summer….I can’t even fathom that there will be a day again in which I can sit on the beach basking in warm sunshine with a cool ocean breeze.
Man I have to snap out of this!

An unrelated program note. The season-ending edition of the Saint Barnabas Healthcare High School Football Show will air tonight on 105.7FM from 7-9pm.
Ed Sarluca, Matt Harmon and I will broadcast live from Boston’s in Toms River and preview the state football finals this weekend and also announce our All-Star teams and players and coaches of the year. The show streams live at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bouncing Around

On this first day of December I choose to bounce around a bit:

Clearly those that run college sports need lessons in geography and in simple math.

The Big Ten conference has 11 teams and next year will add another to make 12.
The Big 12 conference has 12 teams but will lose two next year and have 10. Wouldn’t it make sense for the two conferences to switch names?
The Pac 12 conference will expand to 14 next year but not change its name.

Louisiana Tech is in the Western Athletic Conference. Saint Louis is in the Atlantic Ten Conference, the University of Denver is in the Sun Belt Conference and just this week the Big East Conference announced it will add TCU as in Texas Christian University. That should make travel agents used by the schools very happy. Plus it will result in some great rivalries….nothing like a Syracuse-TCU soccer game.

I’m not sure exactly how it came to me but the other day I received an email with an attachment. The attachment was a copy of the contract offered to E.J. McGroarty to play for the Green Bay Packers during the 1944 season, along with a personal welcome letter from Packers coach Curly Lambeau. McGroarty would have his transportation paid to Green Bay, receive $35 a week during training camp and would get $150 per game. Well it appears he signed the contract but I guess he did not make the team because there’s no record of him playing for the Packers. Think of all that money he missed out on.

I have always thought that of all the sports awards given out annually the most prestigious in some ways is Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” because it’s more than just performance based. This year’s recipient is Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who led New Orleans to an improbable Super Bowl victory. He is also a terrific person whose foundation has worked hard to help rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina. A great choice!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Community Mourns

These are tough times for the small community of Ocean Gate and many residents will gather today and say goodbye to a police officer who by all accounts went above and beyond on a regular basis. By now you have heard or read about the tragic death of 32-year old Jason Marles early Thanksgiving morning just after he had worked an extra shift on patrol for drunk drivers. The 9-year police veteran was on his way home to Point Pleasant Beach when his vehicle was hit from behind on the Garden State Parkway, struck a guardrail, overturned and burst into flames. The irony is that a short time after he was looking for drunk drivers, Marles life was ended by one as a 31-year old Manchester Township man is currently in jail on charges of vehicular homicide and drunken driving.

Under any circumstances this story would be a sad one but it’s maximized by the fact that Marles was the married father of two young children, was on his way home to spend Thanksgiving with his family and was one of just 7 police officers in Ocean Gate. In the days since the tragedy there have been countless stories from residents about the positive impact in made in the community and the little things he did for people that meant so much. While the loss to his family is the greatest there is a void in Ocean Gate that will be impossible to replace. I would venture to say in just nine years he built a legacy that will never be forgotten by his fellow police officers and the community he cared so much about.

Today for me is not the day to talk about the person who allegedly is responsible for taking a life or the gutless passengers who fled the scene out of fear instead of staying to see if they could help possibly save a life. Today is when many who knew Marles and just as many who did not will flock to Carmona-Bolen Home for Funerals on Main Street in Toms River from 2-9pm to pay their final respects.

Today is when that circle of people who chose law enforcement for a career pulls together for a fellow officer and his family, especially his wife Ginny. Today is also the day in which we can show our admiration for a life-long Ocean County resident by donating to a college fund that has been set up for his children, 5-year old Taryn and 4-year old Landon. Donations by be mailed to the funeral home or to Ocean Gate PBA Local #352 at P.O. Box 562 in Island Heights.

Jay Marles short life can be summed up in his own obituary….”he wasn’t a cop, he was a peace officer.” We can only hope he will find everlasting peace.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Back From Thanksgiving

For some it was a long holiday weekend…for those in retail it was anything but a holiday. Thanksgiving has come and gone and that means we will be reminded time and time again, in many different fashions that Christmas is just around the corner. If you were fortunate you did get to spend some quality time with your family and personally having both our children home together for even a few days was truly great, Alex is back to Penn State but not for long…will be home for a longer break in just over two weeks and Brandon will return from Hoboken to spend Christmas week with us. Sure it’s like a giant buzz saw when they are around but truthfully we enjoy MOST of it.

It’s a tough time of year to get noticed among all the movies that are out but one I recommend is “The Next Three Days” starring Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks. It’s got a lot of twists and turns and while a bit slow at times and somewhat unrealistic it’s still pretty entertaining. Not great….but pretty good.

For many high school athletes it’s officially the winter sports season as practice for sports like basketball and wrestling began the day after Thanksgiving. However there’s the matter of some high school football still to be played as 7 Shore Conference teams will play for state sectional championships this coming weekend, including Lacey and Brick Memorial. The undefeated Lions host Delsea on Saturday at 1pm while Memorial takes on Sayreville Saturday night at Rutgers (7pm) in a game we will broadcast on our Shore Sports Network, including 105.7FM.

A funny thing happened to Eagles fans on Sunday….they realized that the road to the Super Bowl is not a foregone conclusion. There is certainly no shame in losing to the Bears but Philly is not a great team and actually I don’t think there is one in the NFL this season. Usually by now a couple of strong Super Bowl favorites have emerged but certainly in this season of parity it is still a tossup.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

To me it’s without question the best holiday of the year and more than ever a day we should try to enjoy and savor. Thanksgiving celebrates all things good in life while of course reminding us about the sad reality that it’s not that way everywhere and for everyone. At one time Thanksgiving was just about perfect because it was a pure holiday with little or no commercialization. If you were lucky there were some gas stations and convenience stores open but that was about it. Now unfortunately more and more retail chains have decided they can’t go a day without grabbing some cash so on a day when they should be closed their doors will be open. However for most of us tomorrow will be a day featuring four F’s….family, food, football and fun.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day for so many reasons. Loved ones travel from near and far to reunite with their families and often renew traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. For some the day will start by attending a high school football game while others might try and work up an extra appetite by throwing a football around in the backyard although the weather might not be ideal for that. Food comes at you in all directions and you try and remind yourself that this is not a sprint, but a marathon. I swear each year will be a different and I’ll go slowly with the appetizers but I know tomorrow I’ll be in full devouring mode before the turkey is even sliced. Turkey of course is the staple but many will offer a diverse menu that will include lasagna, ham and more sides then you can count. My favorite is stuffing with sausage, a real healthy offering that is part of the reason why the average American will consume about 4,500 calories tomorrow….so are you below or above average?

Eating is not done as a meal but rather in stages that take hours from beginning to end. In between there will be three NFL games on TV, including traditional ones in Detroit and Dallas and an evening one featuring the Jets at the Meadowlands.
That will be about the time some are finishing desert, cleaning up or driving home….or maybe even working on leftovers. Then of course there are those who will end this great holiday early to get ready for Black Friday.

You can have the savings…I’ll take our greatest holiday tradition. It may be harder than ever to give thanks for our blessings and we may have to search to find the good things in life but they are out there. Just look around your table tomorrow
and you’ll find there is something to be thankful for….friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New BlueClaws Manager

The Lakewood BlueClaws announced Monday that Chris Truby will be their manager in 2011 as the 36-year old former third baseman replaces Mark Parent, who has been promoted and will manage the Phillies Double-A team in Reading. Truby was the manager of the organization’s short-season team in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for each of the last two seasons and he will try and lead the BlueClaws to their third straight South Atlantic League title. A California native, Truby had a good rookie season with the Houston Astros in 2000, hitting .260 with 11 home runs in just 258 at-bats. However he would never match that success again and bounced around with several major and minor league teams until retiring in 2007.

Brick Memorial will play the final game of the 2010 Shore Conference football season as the Mustangs will meet Sayreville for the Central Jersey Group 4 championship at 7pm on Saturday, December 4th at Rutgers University. The NJSIAA announced the sites and times for the 20 sectional finals in two weeks and Memorial for the second straight year is headed to Rutgers and will play in the fourth and final game of that day. We will broadcast the game on the Shore Sports Network, including 105.7FM.
Lacey will seek the South Jersey Group 3 title on that Saturday but the Lions will get to stay home for a 1pm contest with Delsea.

Ironically both Brick Memorial and Lacey have dropped their Thanksgiving Day games this season so they are in full preparation mode for their state finals. However most high school teams have games this week, starting with Wednesday night when Jackson Liberty hosts cross-town rival Jackson Memorial.

Thanksgiving morning includes one of the state’s longest rivalries as Toms River South and Lakewood will meeting for the 91st time. In recent years it would be the Piners limping into this contest but amazingly the visitors from Lakewood have won 2 straight games under first year and legendary coach Warren Wolf. Meanwhile the Indians need a victory to avoid a winless season which is something that nobody could have imagined. Also on Thursday morning, Toms River North plays host to Toms River East, Barnegat and Pinelands play for the first time ever, Central visits Point Boro in a new Thanksgiving Day matchup and Point Beach will host a very good Shore Regional team.
What’s been the shore’s best holiday matchup in recent years finds Wall visiting Manasquan with the visiting Crimson Knights needing a victory to share the Class C Central title with the Big Blue Warriors. That game will be broadcast on WOBM AM 1160 and 1310.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Starting A Short Work Week

A little of this and a little of that as we begin what is for many a short week:

A sort of wild weekend for yours truly as I took Friday off to pick up my daughter and two of her friends at Penn State University for the Thanksgiving break. I got back to the Toms River area around 4pm and a couple of hours later was back on the road with my brother as we headed to Washington D.C. where would would meet up with my son and some of his friends for a great guys weekend. The highlight was Saturday’s game between Penn State and Indiana at FedEx Field which was supposed to be a home game for the Hoosiers but truthfully was the opposite. We had great seats on the sunny side of the field and many of us were in tee shirts for most of the game which the Nittany Lions won, although there were plenty of anxious moments. It was also nice to see that freshman linebacker Glenn Carson is a regular on special teams and the future appears bright for the former Southern Regional standout.

Lacey and Brick Memorial will play for sectional football championships after winning their semifinal games over the weekend. The Lions will host Delsea in the South Jersey Group 3 Final on Saturday, December 4th. It appears likely on that same day Memorial will face Sayreville in the Central Jersey Group 4 Championship game at Rutgers University although the NJSIAA has not yet announced the schedule. Neither team plays on Thanksgiving so they have two weeks to prepare for their final games.

For nearly 20 years those associated with the Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce always found a friendly face in Betty Ann Marshall. She was officially the organizations marketing and event planner and if there was a chamber event then Betty Ann was there with a smile on her face. She retired a couple of years ago and sadly over the weekend passed away at the age of 86.
Betty Ann is survived by her husband of 64 years, Walter Isensee, two daughters and two grandchildren. She also leaves behind a great many friends who were blessed to have known and work with her. Visitation will be tomorrow morning from 11-11:30 at Anderson & Campbell in Manchester with a service to follow.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Playoff Time

Personally I have never been that big a fan of the state football playoffs here in New Jersey as they often result in matchups that do little to excite students, fans and followers. In all honestly over the last 20 years or so there have only been a handful of games that I found so compelling that they fell into the category of “can’t miss.” There are many more regular-season matchups which schools and communities find exciting on an annual basis for a variety of reasons, including geography. The other factor is we are only deciding sectional championships so when the dust settles after the first weekend of December there will be 20 high school teams in the state who can rightfully call themselves state champs.

However with all of that said to the players and coaches the playoffs and winning one of those 20 titles it’s what it’s all about and in truth their opinions count more than mine. When this weekend begins there will be a dozen Shore Conference teams who still have the dream alive with at least three of them to be eliminated in head to head matchups.

Central Jersey Group 4 could produce an All-Shore Final as tonight Brick Memorial hosts North Brunswick and Manalapan visits top-seeded Sayreville in the sectional semifinals. The Shore Sports Network will broadcast the Mustangs game with North Brunswick with kickoff at 7pm on 105.7FM. Lacey is the other Ocean County school favored to advance and the undefeated Lions figure to get tested at home Saturday against Winslow Township, just like they did last week against Timber Creek. If they do win Lacey will also host the South Jersey Group 3 finals which would likely be the only sectional final involving a local school played at a high school site. All the others would be played at either Rutgers or Kean universities.

The all-shore confrontations find Matawan hosting Manasquan and Wall visiting Freehold on Saturday and Keyport traveling to Shore tonight with the winners all moving into championship finals. In other games tonight, coming off their first-ever playoff victory Barnegat is a decided underdog at West Deptford, Middletown South will host Hamilton West and Rumson-Fair Haven is home against Carteret.

Hopefully when the weekend is over quite a few shore teams will still have that dream alive.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Myths & Truths

Myths and Truths….it is often difficult to separate the two as over time many falsehoods have managed to become almost accepted as true. This month’s Men’s Health features “The Shocking Unbelievable Truth About Everything” but I’ll leave it up to you to decide:

The Myth: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you
The Truth: It sounds good but it’s really simplistic, slightly selfish, and unreliable
In a relationship context.
The Myth: Dry Cleaning ruins clothes
The Truth: Just don’t overdo it. Suits can be done after 3 or 4 normal wearings
unless there is an immediate crisis. Don’t let stains sit and leave
removal to the pros.
The Myth: No problem is too small for your doctor
The Truth: If everyone ran to the doctor for every problem then there wouldn’t be
any appointments available for a year. Take care of what you can and
call your doctor’s office and describe the problem…they’ll know if
you need to be seen.
The Myth: It pays to buy a tuxedo
The Truth: A black suit or even midnight blue works just as well.
The Myth: Women love surprises
The Truth: They love anticipation even more so letting her know about the
weekend getaway or birthday celebration you are planning will not
ruin the moment but give her something to look forward to.
The Myth: Renting is stupid
The Truth: Unless you plan to stay a long time, owning a home is not the best
The Myth: Save big by sweating the small stuff
The Truth: If you cut out your daily triple latte you might save $1000 a year but it
will be a daily reminder that saving is a chore. Instead try calling
your car insurance company and lower your payment by increasing
your deductible.
The Myth: You can pick your own stocks.
The Truth: You can, but you shouldn’t.
The Myth: The company cares about your development.
The Truth: The company cares about its development and if you’re a valuable part you’ll know it and they’ll train you for bigger things.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From Average Joe To Pro

As I thumbed through the latest edition of Men’s Health magazine last night I came across a full-page ad for a new book called “The Impact Body Plan” and recognized the name and picture of the author. Later in the magazine there was an article titled “From Average Joe to Pro” in which that same author talked about how pretty much anyone can train like the pros. The author and fitness expert is Todd Durkin, who is one of the athletes I most enjoyed covering in the more than 30 years I have followed high school sports while at this radio station. As a matter of fact several years ago while writing a newspaper column I listed Todd on my All-Time Top 10 favorites…probably not something he has cut out and framed in his Southern California home.

Durkin was a very good athlete at Brick Township High School and followed in his brother’s footsteps as a quarterback for the Green Dragons. Through football and other sports I got to know him pretty well and while he was a good athlete, he was a much more impressive person. Smart and poised he was someone that you just knew would become a success and after leaving Brick in 1989 he headed to William & Mary where he earned a degree in Kinesiology and later got his Masters at San Diego State University.

Since then the former Green Dragon quarterback has built a fitness empire.
He is a highly-regarded and well known performance-enhancement coach, personal trainer, author and speaker. Durkin’s San Diego gym, Fitness Quest 10 was recently named one of the top 10 gyms in the county and his personal clients have included Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees as well as NFL stars LaDainian Tomlinson, Aaron Rodgers, Shawn Merriman , Kellen Winslow and many others. Todd twice has been named personal trainer of the year, he has authored 35 DVD’s on strength and conditioning and he is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council and makes appearances on their behalf.

Durkin lives in San Diego with his wife Melanie and three children and while not even I could have predicted the success he has had it’s really not a shock. I just knew he was something special as a teen-ager in Brick in the late 80’s and he’ll always have a spot on my top 10.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Generally speaking we are front runners when it comes to just about everything.
There’s no doubt in my mind that we don’t appreciate continued excellence nearly as much as stories in which people rise, fall and then rise again. I present as a perfect example one Michael Vick. Despite some questionable actions while a college player at Virginia Tech, he was the #1 overall draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2001 and quickly became a star. It wasn’t that Vick was such a great quarterback but rather his dazzling style of play that made him stand out and before long he was earning millions in endorsements from Nike, EA Sports and Coca Cola. His Falcons #7 jersey was among the top selling in all of sports and it seemed like the sky was the limit. From time to time there were black marks on his resume but he managed to survive most of them until he was implicated in an illegal dog fighting operation in 2007. Vick would later plead guilty, spend nearly two years in prison and eventually file for bankruptcy as his career and life reached rock bottom. It appeared his playing days were over until the summer of 2009 when the Eagles signed him to a one year contract.

At that time most Eagles fans were against the move and the team spent a considerable amount of time trying to convince fans that Vick was no longer the poster child for bad behavior and he deserved a second chance. It did not sit well with many who thought he would be nothing more than a distraction and would cast a negative image on the team. Another part of that was many probably didn’t feel he had any good football left and after all they were pretty content with Donovan McNabb as their quarterback.

Well you probably know what’s happened in just over a year. McNabb has been traded to Washington and Vick has become a star again who’s greatest performance came just last night in a rout of McNabb’s new team…the Redskins. In that game Vick threw for 4 touchdowns, ran for two more and simply looked like a serious candidate for the league’s MVP award. Today he is being celebrated in Philadelphia, fans are sporting his #7 jersey again and there are no protests about animal cruelty. In other words because he is playing well then most are willing to forget the bad. Bottom line….we are front-runners.

Thursday, November 4

Even people you like can tick you off at work because of the things they do and don’t do. My pet peeves are a mile long and my co-workers know what it is that sometimes puts me over the edge and it starts with those who frankly at times act like P-I-G-S….pigs. However they did not make a list of 10 surefire ways to become an annoyance to others at work as reported by a recruiting firm this week.

1. You’re Unprepared-Shows a lack of respect for your co-workers and yourself. Plus it’s a waste of time.
2. You’re Not a Team Player-You have to be able to jump in when someone else needs help as nothing frustrates co-workers more than when they are
busy running around and you are sitting around reading the newspaper.
3. You’re Not Self-Reliant- Try and solve your own problems and don’t
ask for help unless you really need it.
4. You Smell-The way you smell is especially important if you work in close
quarters with others so be considerate of your work neighbors. This is not
just body odor but smoke and even the food you eat. And don’t overdo it
with cologne or perfume.
5. You’re Loud on the Phone-This is something that can really bother those
who work next to you so keep your voice low and even. Also remember personal calls should be brief.
6. You’re Unhealthy- Ironically we just got a memo this week about this.
If you are sick, stay home and if you do come in cover your mouth, wash
your hands and avoid co-workers as much as possible.
7. You Walk Like an Elephant- Try to move around the office quietly to
avoid disturbing those around you.
8. Your Cell phone is Always On-Unless it’s part of your business or really
necessary cell phones should be turned off…at the very least keep it on silent or vibrate.
9. Your Computer Volume is Blasting-Nobody wants to hear another person’s bells and whistles while they are trying to work.
10. You Shake Hands Like a Fish and Avoid Eye Contact- The two rules of thumb should always be….”firm handshake and a friendly smile.” Those
who have their head down and offer a sweaty & wimpy handshake are
doomed to failure.

Unrelated plug….great lineup on tonight’s Saint Barnabas Healthcare High School Football Show at 7pm on 105.7FM/1310AM from Boston’s in Toms River. Guests include Coaches Steve Antonucci of Middletown South, Shane Fallon of Rumson and Jim Portela of RBC and Brick Memorial standout Will Wowkanyn.

Wednesday, November 3

Based on what you see, hear and read this morning you might think the big winner Tuesday was the Republican Party both locally and nationally. However I think the greatest joy this morning is shared by all of us who can now go nearly a year without having to go through another campaign season. While many commentators will spend today talking about how the system works and we the people have been heard you don’t have to be an Ivy League graduate to know that’s really not the case. Many of those who prevailed yesterday did so because they had more money and more organized efforts and you and I suffered because of it. We were the recipients of countless radio and TV ads, junk mail and worst of all…unsolicited and unwanted phone calls that made life miserable at times.

We couldn’t drive a mile in most cases without coming across intersections littered with a dozen road signs for the same two candidates and unfortunately many of those signs will still be around a few weeks from now, that is if they don’t blow away. Politics is dirty business and the quality of campaigns seems to reach new lows in negativity year in and year out. What will next November bring? Well at least we don’t have to worry for a while.

Trends come and go when it comes to politics but there is one constant and this is Ocean County is a safe haven for Republicans. Jon Runyan beat incumbent John Adler in the 3rd congressional district by about 6,000 votes because he carried Ocean County by more than 19,000 votes. With Freeholders Jack Kelly and Jim Lacey coasting to victory to keep their seats it means that a Democrat has not served on the board in 21 years and just about all the elections have been landslides. Throw in the fact that Chris Christie is Governor because of how he did here and you have one of the great GOP strongholds anywhere. While Democrats often do well in local town elections they just can’t seem to crack the Republican dominance when it comes to county politics and there is no end in sight.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back From Surgery

Well I’m back and I’d like to say better than ever but I never was any good so what’s the difference. Last Tuesday I had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee which is the same surgery I had a couple of years ago on my right knee. As he did the first time Dr. Greg Foos of Professional Orthopaedic Associates performed the operation at the Toms River Surgery Center which I can’t say enough good things about. The staff was professional and personable and it made for a great experience. I’m a bit sore and stiff and go back to Dr. Foos for a follow-up today but am glad to be back. I also want to thank my wife Jane for taking great care of me and putting up with my grunts and groans.

As some of you probably know I am among the 7 who pick the winners of high school football games each Friday in the Asbury Park Press. The other six are sportswriters for the paper and I’m sort of the guest expert although frankly I have spent most of the past two years in last place. However two weeks ago I was 22-5 to move from 7th to 4th place and this past weekend I was a perfect 16-0 in predicting the first round playoff games and have moved into a tie for 3rd place…just a game out of first. Remember, it’s not how you start the race but rather how you finish.

I have been blessed to come in contact with some impressive and interesting people over my lifetime and no doubt Bucky Walters was one of them. I had him for a teacher at Central Regional High School in the early 1970’s but really got to know him well in the summer of 1977 when I worked at the tennis courts on the bay front in Seaside Heights. Bucky would play nearly every morning and then we would spend time talking and he had plenty of stories. He was an outstanding athlete and an avid surfer well into his adult years. He was an Army Ranger who fought on the beaches of Anzio in World War II. Like many of his era Bucky was humble and rarely talked about himself but he was happy to talk about his sons Bucky Jr. and Harry, the later was a football star at Maryland and later played professionally in Canada. I tell you all of this after receiving an email Sunday that Bucky Walters had passed away. There will be no service but I for one will have great memories of an outstanding teacher and a real man’s man.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday, November 2, 2010

Based on what you see, hear and read this morning you might think the big winner Tuesday was the Republican Party both locally and nationally. However I think the greatest joy this morning is shared by all of us who can now go nearly a year without having to go through another campaign season. While many commentators will spend today talking about how the system works and we the people have been heard you don’t have to be an Ivy League graduate to know that’s really not the case. Many of those who prevailed yesterday did so because they had more money and more organized efforts and you and I suffered because of it. We were the recipients of countless radio and TV ads, junk mail and worst of all…unsolicited and unwanted phone calls that made life miserable at times. We
couldn’t drive a mile in most cases without coming across intersections littered with a dozen road signs for the same two candidates and unfortunately many of those signs will still be around a few weeks from now, that is if they don’t blow away. Politics is dirty business and the quality of campaigns seems to reach new lows in negativity year in and year out. What will next November bring? Well at least we don’t have to worry for a while.

Trends come and go when it comes to politics but there is one constant and this is Ocean County is a safe haven for Republicans. Jon Runyan beat incumbent John Adler in the 3rd congressional district by about 6,000 votes because he carried Ocean County by more than 19,000 votes. With Freeholders Jack Kelly and Jim Lacey coasting to victory to keep their seats it means that a Democrat has not served on the board in 21 years and just about all the elections have been landslides. Throw in the fact that Chris Christie is Governor because of how he did here and you have one of the great GOP strongholds anywhere. While Democrats often do well in local town elections they just can’t seem to crack the Republican dominance when it comes to county politics and there is no end in sight.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In sports there is a commonly-used expression to describe a team that’s success is often based on one ingredient. For example a baseball team that depends on hitting home runs or a football team that throws the football. The expression is “live by the home run, die by the home run or live by the pass, die by the pass.” What it means is basically if you rely on one thing to be successful it’s likely to come back and haunt you when that one thing isn’t working.

Today is Election Day and in politics you can use that line as well…“live by the party, die by the party.” If predictions are correct then on a national level Republicans are going to make big gains in the House and Senate today. Those gains are not going to be made because all their candidates are so great but rather it’s a negative reflection on the job many think President Obama and the Democrats are doing in Washington. Before you say that’s not fair remember that it was the exact opposite two years ago when Democrats took control because of the anti-Republican feelings in this country with George Bush running the show.
So really it often comes down to timing and I’m sure when this day is done many qualified elected officials who have done a good job will be looking for a new line of work because of the letter that follows their name….R or D. I for one will vote for the person and not the party but there’s a good chance I’ll be in the minority.

Many in New Jersey are urging others to simply vote out incumbents which might be the stupidest thing I have ever heard. You can’t lump every elected official into one category and they should be judged on their efforts. Plus if you’re feeling is to get rid of all those now in office does that mean their replacements should all be voted out two years from now regardless of what they do. If you are going to exercise your right to vote then at the least have an idea of why you are voting for someone. If not it’s better than you don’t vote as I have never understood those who feel we must vote. To me it’s a right rather than a responsibility and sometimes by not voting you are sending a message that there are no real choices to make. Bottom line; vote if you want to but not because you have to.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 2

With Halloween on a Sunday we figured that the number of Trick or Treaters would be greater than usual….boy were we wrong. The doorbell rang for the first time at 2:30 in the afternoon but over the next couple of hours we only had a handful of costumed characters. While it did pick up I would venture to say we had about 125 soldiers, princesses, ninjas, Buzz Lightyears, sunflowers, Cowboys & Indians and assorted bloody creatures until 9pm. That’s about half of what I expected which means there is a lot of candy left over which my wife will bring to school because it’s the last thing I need.

I am often amazed at the length of obituaries that appear in the newspaper. Some are filled with details that read more like a biography than an obituary and frankly make the person appear to be more significant than they really were. Then there are those that don’t tell nearly enough and I think that would best describe Robert LaTorre’s obit that appeared in Sunday’s Asbury Park Press. To those of us at WOBM Bob is best known for hosting a Saturday morning show on 1160 AM which highlighted local events. “Jersey Shore Weekend” allowed him to do what he liked the most…promote what is good about this area. Bob was as big a fan of Ocean County and the Jersey Shore as there was….after all he did serve as the Public Relations Director for Seaside Heights for many years. He was also a past chairman of the Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, was a board member and advocate of the Ocean County Vocational-Technical School, a supporter of the United Way of Ocean County, a longtime instructor at Ocean County College and a passionate photographer. Despite all of that he might be best known for the daily show he hosted for several years on the old Adelphia Cable Channel 8. Like many I often disagreed with the opinionated LaTorre but I never questioned his love of country, county and family. A memorial gathering will be held on Wednesday from 6-8pm at Manchester Memorial Funeral Home.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

It is rare in our business when one radio station mentions another but of course we at Millennium Radio are just one big happy (and by the way dysfunctional) family.
So I am comfortable in talking about what our sister station 105.7 The Hawk has been doing this week for the benefit of Ocean of Love, a local organization that assists families dealing with childhood cancer. Since 5pm Monday on air personality Andy Chase has been living on top of a billboard in the parking lot by
Target and Loewe’s on Hooper Avenue in Toms River. This is the first time the annual event has been held in Toms River as in the past it was done from Route 88
in Brick.

Each year the radio station has helped reached the goal of $105,700 thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors, private donations and things like “coin wars” involving local schools. I stopped over late yesterday afternoon and it’s truly gratifying to watch people of all ages bringing their donations….large and small. Going into today they are over $66,000 and as always the final 10 hours or so are frantic and I encourage anyone who can to make a donation. Ocean of Love is a tremendous organization that helps families in need during their most difficult hours with financial assistance for everything from transportation for hospital visits to paying utility bills. If you would like to support the cause you have until 5pm today to stop by the billboard location on Hooper Avenue, call Ocean of Love at (732) 270-3500. For more information you can also visit Good luck to Andy in his final hours of living on the billboard.

Sam Hammer is a well known name is surfing circles around New Jersey in addition to the fact that his family owns the Crabs Claw Inn. The former Point Pleasant Beach High School wrestler sought to defend his title in the Smith Optics Garden State Grudge Match which features the top surfers in the state. However Sam came up just short Thursday in the ocean off Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, losing to Zach Humphreys of Margate in the finals. Hammer, a 3-time Grudge Match champion had beaten Humphreys in last year’s semifinals but this time around the 21-year year old topped the veteran and collected first prize of $3500
and the championship belt.

High School football tonight on the Shore Sports Network as we’ll be at Point Boro High School for the Panthers game with Raritan.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A little of this and a little of that because really I have nothing else:

Both might be considered slight underdogs tonight but if Toms River South and Toms River North manage to win their semifinal games in Neptune they will meet in the finals of the Shore Conference Boys Soccer Tournament. The 4th seeded Indians, coming off a quarterfinal win over Toms River East, face top-seeded CBA at 7pm while in the first game at 5 o’clock the 7th ranked Mariners will battle 3rd seeded Howell. Tonight’s games will be played on turf so the rain of the last couple of days will not be a problem.

We kick off the 8th weekend of the High School Football season with tonight’s edition of the Saint Barnabas Healthcare High School Football Show on 105.7 FM and beginning at 7pm. Guests include interim Point Boro coach Sean Henry, Neptune coach Don Sofilkanich, Manasquan running back Tariq Turner and longtime Shore coaching figures Al Saner and Ron Signornino.
The weekly show is broadcast live from Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar in Toms River.

The 3rd Annual Steven Sprague Memorial Run will be held on Sunday, November 21st at Toms River High School East and will include a mile fun run and a 5K run and walk. The event honors the memory of Steve Sprague who was tragically killed while doing construction work on the New Jersey Turnpike in October of 2008. All proceeds go towards a scholarship fund that was created for his young daughter Abigail. For information you can visit the events official website at

I mentioned earlier this week that I felt for some reason or reasons Halloween does not seem to be as big this year as in the past. Well I’ve discussed this with several people over the last few days and they all agree and cite the economy as the biggest reason. While the weather has been very un-Halloween like all week it does look like Sunday will be a perfect day for Trick or Treaters.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

As parents we sometimes grunt and groan over the seemingly endless tasks that come with having children. It’s not that we’re complaining but it just seems like it never ends and rarely is there time to just sit back, especially during the course of the school year. By now you have probably heard me talk about not having any children at home as our youngest is a college freshman. For the first time in
what seems to be forever this fall we did not have a back-to-school night and there’s no athletic events to watch our son or daughter compete it. This morning as I was leaving I mentioned to my wife that this will be the first Halloween in 25 years that we did not have at least one child to dress up. I thought back to when the kids were small and we dictated their costumes. My son was a mouse, Donald Duck and a waiter…my daughter was a sunflower, cowgirl and a witch. Of course as they got older the costumes tended to be more of their doing and often last-minute projects. Often we were scrambling and the house was chaotic, trying to coordinate everything to also make sure someone was home for trick or treaters.

I’ll say it again and remind those of you who insist you can’t wait until the kids are gone and so is the chaos, stress, anxiety and sense that you can never relax.
The quiet is deafening and I for one miss the noise.

Raise your hand if you were aware that the pro basketball season began last night?
I don’t see too many out there. Maybe that’s because the three games that were played did not feature any of the local teams. However the Nets, Knicks and 76ers
all play their season-openers tonight so raise your hand if you’re going to watch a game featuring at least one of them. Let’s see…there’s a hand in Toms River, one in Brick and yes I think there’s one in Lacey. So glad the NBA season is here.

Nothing new on the Fox/Cablevision dispute except inflammatory rhetoric coming from both sides. Bottom line is if you have Cablevision and want to watch the World Series which begins tonight then it’s a friend’s house or your favorite sports bar. Thank goodness it’s not the Yankees and Phillies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coach Cal

One of the things I enjoyed most about broadcasting a Point Pleasant Borough football game in recent years was talking with Panthers head coach Calvin Thompson. “Coach Cal” was indeed a unique individual and a couple of years ago several of us in the media voted him the best coach to interview because you really never knew what he was going to say. The one thing you could be sure of was he would not give you the standard answers and he often left you shaking your head or at the very least with a smile on your face. As colorful as Thompson could be he obviously knew a bit about coaching as he guided the Panthers to three Division titles, five playoff appearances, and a state sectional championship while compiling a record of 65 wins and 28 losses. However a little more than halfway into his 9th season Thompson Monday resigned for what he said are personal reasons and in the best interest of his family and the Panthers football program.
Last night the Board of Education named assistant Sean Henry interim coach for the remainder of the season. Thompson was not with the team last weekend when they beat Lakewood and there have been reports he was suspended for that game. He is not a teacher but rather has operated his own speed training and conditioning business for many years and while he won’t comment about recent developments has told others he would like to coach again.
The Panthers are currently 3-3 and battling for a spot in the state playoffs. Ironically we will broadcast their game this Friday night against Raritan at Al Saner Field on the Shore Sports Network.

I have said many times that it bothers me that so often people want to talk about men and women like they are the same because in truth we are very different.
I came across a recent survey which revealed the fears women and men have when it comes to aging and as you might expect there are differences.
The top five women’s fears were losing sex appeal, being left alone, going broke, cancer and being dependent on someone else to take care of them. As for men well #1 was sexual performance followed by losing physical strength, retirement, not being able to drive and forgetfulness or early dementia.
Time and other factors will not allow me to comment plus I forgot what I was going to say.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Random thoughts heading into the final week of October even though it feels more like the final week of September:

Sunday is Halloween but for some reason it just doesn’t feel like it’s as big this year as usual. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the economy or maybe it’s because Halloween stuff has been out since August and I’m already sick of it.

A funny thing happened on the way to a Yankees-Phillies World Series rematch…the Rangers and Giants got in the way. Instead of thousands of people in this area interested in the “Fall Classic” there are now 9 who care about Texas and San Francisco. Just think of how much more sleep you’ll get over the next couple of weeks. By the way TV ratings for the League Championship Series were nearly identical to a year ago but I would imagine the World Series might be down a bit.

If you have not watched “The Good Wife” with Julianna Margulies you are missing TV’s best drama.

Kudos to Central Regional school officials for the work they have done on their football complex, including the installation of new bleachers and a press box. Joseph J. Boyd Memorial Field has never looked better and they might have the best concession stand around. I don’t know how much credit he deserves but Superintendent Tommy Parliapanedes grew up making food at his father’s place on the Seaside boardwalk.

By now most of you have heard about Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers football player paralyzed from the neck down in a game more than a week ago. Shirts are being sold for $15 with all proceeds going to the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund. They are available at the Scarlet Fever store in New Brunswick and through the store’s website at Click on the websites t-shirt section.

What’s worse…not having coffee in the morning or getting a bad cup? It’s a toss up.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Outside of Little League baseball it seems when Toms River makes the news in a big fashion it’s always something bad. Ocean County’s largest town has survived the negative publicity surrounding the infamous Marshall murder in the 80’s, the cancer cluster after that and now a public corruption scheme involving its longtime Superintendent of Schools Michael Ritacco. I will leave it for others to pass judgement on Ritacco, someone who I’ve known for more than 25 years and consider a friend. The charges are staggering and in good time we will know the full extent of the insurance scheme. However this morning I’m going to talk about the fact that the district and the town do need to move on.

Ritacco’s sudden retirement last night officially ends his 40-year relationship with the school district and allows the Board of Education to begin picking up the pieces and move forward. At a special meeting last night they were the recipients of criticism from the public for not “minding the mint” and allowing things to occur under their watch. Board Attorney Thomas Monahan did point out the federal indictment against Ritacco cited that all activities took place without the knowledge of the Board of Education. That’s not good enough for some, who have been vocal critics for years and now have something of substance to hang on to. Again there are plenty of others who will offer their opinions on the matter and
have a field day doing so but this needs to be a time when focusing on the future is even more important than dwelling on the past.

With that said the school board did name Frank Roselli as acting superintendent and he is the right choice to lead the day-to-day operations of New Jersey’s fourth largest district. Roselli started as a school psychologist three decades ago and served as a building principal before being named an assistant superitndent in 2002.

He has the respect of administrators, teachers and support staff and I believe will be able to rally the troops during what will be a tough transition period. Roselli will stay in the position until a national search leads to the hiring of a new superintendent and likely that will be at the end of this school year. He will have challenges and among his first orders of business is to settle a contract with the district’s teachers association who have been working without one. That will probably be a lot easier to achieve than restoring public confidence which is going to take time. For the sake of 17,000 students and more than 2,000 employees the district needs to pull together starting now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bell Rung

He had his “bell rung” was a common expression to describe an athlete taking a blow to the head which often would follow with him staggering around and having to be helped off the field. If it was a football game you came to the sidelines where you might resemble someone who’s had way too much to drink. Teammates would laugh and slap you on your back and a coach might place an ammonia cap under your nose which would often stir you from a lethargic state. Usually you would return to the game a few minutes later because begging off would be a sign you were not very tough. That was 30, 40 and 50 years ago and what we didn’t know then was that athlete probably had suffered a concussion. Who knows how many of them had repeated instances of getting their “bell rung” which we now know were probably additional concussions. Some might have suffered later in life from a variety of problem that can be traced back to their teen age years.

Fortunately times have changed and we recognize concussions for what they are…blows to the head that are never insignificant. Football accounts for about 60% of the concussions suffered by high school males with soccer second. As for girls, soccer is by far the leading sport for what is also called a mild traumatic brain injury. There has been much attention paid of concussions in recent months, especially because of the number of high-profile football players knocked out of action by these blows to the head. This includes high school athletes who now must abide by new safety rules established by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Any athlete suffering a concussion must be symptom-free for 7 consecutive days before he or she can return to action and they must pass several tests to determine if they are ready to play again. What happened in the old days will not happen again and for that every parent should be happy.

Dr. Mark Meredith of Community Medical Center said regardless of age parents should always err on the side of caution when it comes to concussions. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, memory problems and mood swings and sometimes they don’t occur until days later. However if you think your child may have suffered a concussion they should immediately stop playing and seek medical attention. What is truly scary about this type of injury is once you suffer one you become much more likely to sustain a second and there are serious long-term consequences. Dr. Meredith will be a guest on tonight’s Saint Barnabas Healthcare High School Football Show which airs from 7-9pm on 105.7FM and 1310AM.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It still may happen but all of a sudden prospects for another Yankees-Phillies World Series are not so great. The Yanks season could end today with another loss to the Rangers, who lead the American League Championship Series 3 games to 1 after last night’s 10-3 pounding. Not only has Texas won three straight games but they have dominated the series, outscoring the Yankees 30-11 and the Bronx Bombers will have to go the rest of the way without Mark Teixeira, who injured his hamstring. Meanwhile the Giants lead the Phillies 2-1 after shutting them out in San Francisco Tuesday…game #4 is tonight. Most Ocean County fans were hoping for Yanks-Phills II but as a Mets fan I’m thrilled over Giants-Rangers.

The Pioneer Hose Company in Brick will sponsor the annual EAKFEST this
Saturday from 5-10pm at the fire house on Drum Point Road. Billed as a “haunted Halloween fundraiser to fight Cystic Fibrosis” the Eak Family from Brick has been doing this for years as a Halloween party. However a few years ago they learned that their 12-year old daughter was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis so now they turned it into a large fundraiser. Last year nearly 1,000 people turned out and they raised almost $10,000. There is a Haunted Trail, Kiddie Hay Rides, carnival games, Music, Food and more and attendees are encouraged to wear costumes.
For more information visit

First it was June Cleaver and now Howard Cunningham. We have lost two of television’s most endearing parents in just a matter of days. First it was Barbara Billingsley, who played June Cleaver on “Leave it to Beaver.” She died over the weekend at age 94 and yesterday Tom Bosley passed away at the age of 83 from heart failure. He of course played Richie’s father on “Happy Days” from the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s. “Mr. C” was a very understanding guy, who never yelled at Richie and always handled being the parent of a teenager with grace and dignity.
As for Billingsley, while she is best known for playing Mrs. Cleaver who can forget her brief appearance in the 1980 movie “Airplane” in which she played “jive lady.” It was truly a classic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I just feel this morning that something that might bring a smile to your face is just what the doctor ordered so I am passing on an email I received that was titled “Ponderisms- these are quite interesting and so true.”

1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 on little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAÏVE
2. If people from Poland are called “Poles”, why aren’t people from Holland called “Holes?”
3. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
4. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren’t they just stale bread to begin with?
5. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked and dry cleaners depressed?
6. If FedEx and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
7. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
8. What hair color do they put on the drivers licenses of bald men?
9. If most mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks does that mean Chinese mothers use toothpicks?
10. Why do they put pictures of criminals in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
11. Did you ever notice that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive?
12. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
13. Did you ever notice when you put “The” and “IRS” together it spells….”THEIRS.”
14. If 4 out of 5 people suffer from Diarrhea does that mean that one enjoys it?
15. Do you think more and more people read the Bible as they get older because it’s like cramming for a final exam?

If you smiled once it was worth it…if you didn’t then you’re in for a rough day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

If you’re a regular listener of this segment you know that often I get personal and talk about things involving my family. You also might know that my wife Jane is a breast cancer survivor and for the seventh consecutive year led “Team Booberang” in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk Sunday in Point Pleasant Beach. The event and cause obviously has some special meaning to her
and I am proud to say our children as well. We knew my son was going to come home from Hoboken this weekend to walk with his mother but we got a great surprise when our daughter very unexpectedly showed up. She and her roommate took a bus from Penn State Friday, met my son in New York and then took a bus to Toms River. My wife was only expecting to pick up Brandon and was stunned to find Alex and her roommate Nicole get off the bus as well. Since the kids went out for a while they all kept it a secret from me until about 1 o’clock in the morning and to say I was surprised would be an understatement. It made for a hectic but great weekend, including a wonderful dinner Saturday at The Crabs Claw Inn where my daughter works in the summer and my son did as well. It all culminated with yesterday’s walk which was a first for me and was everything I have heard and more. What really struck me was the number of people I ran into who I never knew had a connection to breast cancer in their families. To see the amount of survivors was uplifting but it was also sad to see so many who were walking for those who did not beat this horrible disease. We can all hope that there will be a day that nobody will lose a wife, mother, sister or daughter to breast cancer.

I know there are times when we don’t want government interference but if I was a Cablevision customer I would want very much the government to intervene in their dispute with Fox which cost many in our area to miss Sunday’s Giants football game and the first two games of the NLCS involving the Phillies. On the surface you have to think Fox is the bad guy here because they will not agree to binding arbitration but nobody has any sympathy for either billion dollar conglomerate.
What I do know is sports and entertainment shows are often our escapes from reality and it’s a disgrace that they are being taken away as the two sides play hardball.

Friday, October 15, 2010

We all know that one bad kid makes more noise and sometimes news than a dozen good ones. One of the biggest complaints you hear from educators today is more time and energy is spent on those who cause trouble then the gifted, talented and those who are an asset to a school. Anyway for those who wonder where the good kids are I met three of them last night at the Toms River Student Loan Fund’s Annual Recognition Cocktail Reception at the Quality Inn of Toms River. The event had two purposes….to salute individuals while also raising money for the 73-year old organization which helps graduates of the Toms River School District with low-interest loans for college and graduate school.

One of the highlights of the evening was hearing about and then listening to a senior from each of the three high schools. Amar Shah from East, North’s Max Betten & South’s Anna DeBlasio left many of us shaking our heads in amazement over their accomplishments and goals. They truly represented the “best of the best” and all had a common theme and that was their success is largely due to the education they have received and the teachers who have influenced them. That takes me to another part of last night’s event which was to honor and salute the 20 current “Teachers of the Year” in the school district. Many of them were on hand to receive proclamations from the Township of Toms River as well as the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Presentations were made by Toms River Education Association president Kathy Egan and Toms River committee members Maria Maruca & George Whittman.

The evening’s other honoree was longtime Toms River resident Joseph Placente, who was saluted for his contributions to his town, state and country. A lifetime member of Toms River Fire Company #2, the 78-year old is best known for carrying the American flag while running in races and even along local roads.
“Joe the Barber” was truly deserving of last night’s honor with family and friends on hand to share the night with him Special thanks to the sponsors who supported last night’s fundraiser for the Toms River Student Loan Fund, including The Office Restaurant and Lounge of Toms River, Connor Strong Buckelew, the law firm of Kelaher, Garvey, Ballou, Van Dyke and Rogalski and Dave Wintrode of the Causeway Family of Dealerships.

A quick programming tonight….the Shore Sports Network’s “Friday Night Football” game will find Toms River North visiting Southern Regional with kickoff at 7pm. The game can be heard on 105.7FM and 1310AM.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Asbury Park Press is out with their annual “Readers Choice” Best of Monmouth & Ocean counties listing which truthfully is nothing more than an advertising vehicle for the newspaper. I only mention this somewhat embarrassing supplement in today’s paper because 92.7 WOBM has once again been named The Best Radio Station in Ocean County. Of course we are grateful that listeners and readers voted for us but if you see today’s special section you’ll notice we are listed as WOMB 92.7 FM. Based on me mentioning this gaffe this morning and questioning the integrity of the entire concept we might not even crack the top three in 2011. I would also like to congratulate myself for being saluted as the “Best Sportscaster/Morning Show feature broadcaster” in Ocean County who writes with his right hand but throws with his left. You might have trouble finding this one in the paper but I think it’s in there with the other couple of hundred ridiculous declarations.

Of course October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and you will find pink ribbons just about everywhere. One of the month’s biggest events is Sunday’s
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Point Pleasant Beach and I will be attending for the first time ever. The event is close to home because my wife Jane is a breast cancer survivor and every year assembles a group of family, friends and co-workers from Manchester Township High School to walk under the name “Team Booberang.” They meet early for breakfast which is donated by New York Bagels in Point Pleasant Beach. My son decided he wanted to come home from Hoboken and walk with his mother so I’m going to witness what is always an emotional day filled with hope that one day there will be no reason to walk.
I myself can’t participate as I’m having knee surgery in a few weeks but I’m looking forward to Sunday. Making Strides walks across the country last year raised some $60 million for the American Cancer Society.

Just a reminder that the Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce will host a luncheon Monday featuring 3rd District Congressional candidates John Adler and John Runyan. The event at the Ramada Inn of Toms River will allow chamber members and others to meet and hear the two candidates as I will moderate a brief question and answer session. United Water and Millennium Radio are sponsoring the lunch meeting and for information and tickets you can call the Chamber office at (732) 349-0220.