Thursday, November 3, 2011

Men & Cooking

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Effective Friday, November 4 the Hometown View will no longer be posted on this Blogger page. Please check for the latest Hometown View.

I have read and been told that women find men who cook attractive…even sexy.
That certainly doesn’t do me any good because as my wife will tell you I am useless in the kitchen unless you count picking up the phone and ordering take out useful. This month’s segment of “The Above-Average Guy” in Men’s Health magazine deals with men and cooking. Some results that you might find interesting.

• 82% of men say they savor their time spent cooking in the kitchen.
• 46% say a grill is their favorite cooking tool…I agree.
• 37% say even when the temperature outside is below freezing they will still cook on the grill.
• 35% of men say their cooking style is primarily “plan and simple.”
• 71% say they have no problem pouring themselves a bowl of cereal for dinner…I feel the same way about a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.
• With Thanksgiving coming up it’s interesting to note than 20% of men take over the cooking on this holiday.
• 33% of men also say they carve the turkey.
• By the way, the average guy gains between 3-5 pounds during the holiday season.
• 50% of men secretly think their moms are better cooks than their partners…I am not among them. My wife is a tremendous cook and baker.

Of course food shows have become very popular and I am among the 62% who regularly watch them. In our house the Food Network is the fallback channel to watch then there is nothing special on. Even though I don’t cook I am fascinated by shows like Iron Chef America, The Next Food Network Star, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and many others.

• 30% of guys who watch food shows say they do so for the females who do the cooking. Topping that list is Giada De Laurentis, whose Giada at Home is quite popular in part because the 41-year old is as hot as her food.

Couple of other numbers to keep in mind. Nearly half of the men surveyed say they have seduced a woman with their kitchen prowess and over 17,000 men injure themselves with kitchen gear each year. I don’t know if these last two are related in any way.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Column About Nothing

I really have nothing to offer today. I’d like to believe it’s just a one-day thing
due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is stress, burn-out and fatigue.
I live with those things (like many of you) all the time but usually am able to block them out and come up with two minutes of something here each morning. However as I sat at my computer screen this morning I just could not find anything
that was compelling enough for me to discuss, analyze or comment about.

There are a couple of somewhat interesting political items I thought about, including the mayoral races in Toms River and Berkeley. Maybe I’ll do that later in the week. I usually don’t get into world affairs because I never feel like I know enough and frankly there are plenty of others who can offer more than me. As for New Jersey “stuff”….there’s nothing really there, at least not today.

Of course I could always fall back on sports but I try and leave that for when I have a very strong opinion on something that is somewhat controversial. Most of you really have no interest in what’s going on with the Big East Conference but I can tell you the name makes no sense if schools like Boise State, Air Force and Houston are about to join. Maybe they can steal of the name of that bar in Mantoloking and call it the “Used to be Conference” as in used to be teams that actually were in the east. Nothing more exciting than a Rutgers-SMU basketball game on the schedule.

As for entertainment stuff….well I mentioned Kim Kardashian yesterday (and I guess again today) and now can’t for another couple of months because of a self-imposed limit on mentions of people who frankly have no reason to be mentioned in the first place. Are you into “Boardwalk Empire”, “Homeland”, and “The Good Wife”….the three best shows on TV? I think I did that a couple of weeks ago.

Well I’m sorry but for today you are going to have to give me a mulligan as I just have nothing. So please excuse me…I’ll try and come back tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Random Thoughts To Start The Month

Just a few random thoughts on this first day of November:

It’s always funny to me about how professional athletes downplay or even ignore the money aspect when they sign a contract. Monday CC Sabathia agreed to a new deal with the Yankees rather than opt out from his current contract and test the free agent market. I’m sure there are many Yankee fans breathing a sigh of relief that the team’s best pitcher is staying in pinstripes. When asked about remaining in New York Sabathia said “my son loves it here. All my kids love it here. My wife loves it here, obviously, and I do too. I love pitching for the Yankee fans and everything, so it was the easy choice.” What this noble 31-year old failed to make much of was the fact he had the Yankees over a barrel so they ponied up at least another $30 million to keep him. The new contract will pay him $122 million over the next five years…for that kind of money he should like New York very much.
By the way Sabathia lives in Alpine, New Jersey.

After less than three months of marriage Kim Kardashian and pro basketball player Kris Humphries are calling it quits. Actually she is calling it quits as the New Jersey Net basically had no say in the matter. Kardashian released a statement Monday saying “After careful consideration I have decided to end my marriage.”She went on to add that it was not an easy decision as she had hoped the marriage would last forever. 72 days after a $10 million wedding it’s over which is bad news for Humphries who signed a pre-nup and doesn’t even have the NBA to go back to unless the two sides settle their labor problems. By the way insiders say the marriage ended over where the couple would live….she of course wanted to be in Los Angeles while he wanted to settle down in Minnesota. Yeah right!

On a more subdued matter. The Ocean County College Athletic Hall of Fame will induct four new members at a dinner ceremony on Wednesday, November 16th in the college’s Health & Human Performance Center. The newest induction class includes former athletes Lynda Friggle and Rene Martinez and coaches Len Anen and Peggy Matthews. I will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event and for ticket information you can call (732) 255-0400 x2380.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Double Dip

So trick or treat has come and gone for some of us while for others today is the day kids and would-be kids will be out seeking goodies. Of course only in this area can costumed characters double dip and many do. Out of towners were out in full force in Toms River and surrounding towns Sunday and then today will be back in their own neighborhoods seeking more candy.

Again for those fairly new to this area Halloween itself is marked by a parade in downtown Toms River which means trick or treating is the day before. No truth to the rumor that plans are in the works for a parade on Christmas Day with all other Christmas celebrations to be now held on December 24th.

We were away visiting my daughter this weekend and did not get home until late in the afternoon but that was plenty of time for a couple of hundred trick or treaters to stop by. Most were cute, adorable and well-behaved but it only takes a few to ruin the atmosphere. There are those who run on the grass, don’t say “thank you”,
and express displeasure at the candy you are giving out. In some cases their parents witness the poor behavior and do nothing which really ticks me off. Then there are the teen-agers who can’t be bothered to dress up and just show up with a pillow cases. I really wanted to refuse to give them anything but it wasn’t worth the hassle and problems it would cause so I just made sarcastic comments and gave them their treat. However I would be in all favor of a law that restricted trick or treating to only those in costumes.

All in all most of the kids and their parents are great but it’s amazing what a couple of bad ones can do to spoil your spirit.

Meanwhile in quite a few areas of New Jersey there might be no Halloween trick or treating. That’s because many are still without power from Saturday’s storm and with the temperatures dropping into the 20’s they left their homes to stay with family and friends elsewhere. My brother ended up at a hotel in New York and might not get power back in this Morris Township home until the middle of the week.

Does this surprise storm me anything in terms of the upcoming winter? Probably not although it might make it seem even longer.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ocean Of Love Billboard Radiothon

Many of you are not aware that 92.7 WOBM is part of Townsquare Media, a large company that has 11 radio stations in New Jersey and four here in the Ocean and Monmouth County area. Our shore group of stations are not afraid to promote one another especially when it comes to events that benefit the community. A shining example of that is 105.7 The Hawk’s 11th Annual Ocean of Love Billboard Radiothon. Since 5pm on Monday on air personality Andy Chase has been living in a tent on top of a scaffold in the Lowes/Target parking lot on Hooper Avenue in Toms River.

Chase broadcasts, eats and sleeps from his temporary accommodations 30 feet off the ground. Ably assisted by the entire on-air and support staff of the Hawk, Andy is seeking to raise $105,700 for Ocean of Love, an organization that supports the daily needs of families dealing with childhood cancer. What is so wonderful about this event is that it’s a real grass-roots fundraiser in which people of all ages participate. From little kids bringing their piggy-banks, to schools raising money, to support from the business community hundreds rally behind a cause that is noble, worthy and unfortunately needed at the Jersey Shore.

With all of this said I urge you to support The Hawk and Ocean of Love. You can drop off a donation on location and say hello to Andy, go on line at or call 877-hawk-1057.

I will be away this weekend visiting my daughter at school and while I’m excited to see her I’m disappointed that I will miss Shawn & Sue’s 3rd annual Spooktacular at the Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North. This is truly a great family event and I thoroughly enjoyed attending the first two and watching all the kids in costumes. There is plenty to do from 5-8pm and admission is just $10 for the family with proceeds going to the Ocean County Cancer Coalition. Details are available at

Good luck to a pair of teams from the Beachwood Soccer Club who have advanced to the final four in the NJYS State Cup on Saturday at the Wall Soccer Complex. The Girls U13 Beachwood Dragonflies will play a team from Palmyra while the Boys U11Beachwood Pirates take on a team from Medford. The winners advance to the championship games on Sunday to complete the tournament which began in mid-September.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tournament Time

It is tournament time in the Shore Conference with the Boys & Girls Soccer Tournaments and the Field Hockey tournament all reaching the semifinal round.

However only when it comes to Boys Soccer does Ocean County have representation in the final four where everyone is chasing top-seed and defending champion CBA. The Colts ended Point Boro’s surprising run with a 6-2 victory
Tuesday and will next meet 4th seed Toms River North, who advanced to the semi’s with a dramatic win over Freehold Township in a penalty kick shootout.

The Mariners tied the game on a second-half goal by Taylor Sica and then prevailed 6-5 in PK’s to earn a date with undefeated CBA tomorrow night in Neptune. Those two teams met in the finals last year with the Colts winning 3-0.
On the other side of the bracket 7th seeded Lacey got a late goal from Chris Thompson to surprise #2 Toms River East 1-0 and move into the semifinals for the first time in ten years. The 17-2-1 Lions will meet Holmdel who ousted 3rd seed Howell in penalty kicks. Lacey will face Holmdel in tomorrow’s first semifinal at 5pm at the Summerfield School before North collides with CBA.

The latest Big East development figures to have a major impact on Rutgers who could be left on the outside looking in. Tuesday it was reported that the Big 12 has decided to add West Virginia as a replacement for Missouri when the Tigers leave the conference for the SEC. The Mountaineers departure from the Big East is a major blow as they have the conference’s best football program along with a very good basketball program. WVU also leaving could make schools like Boise State say no to head east and it’s possible the football version of the Big East could fall apart. Where would that leave Rutgers? It seems the Scarlet Knights hopes rest with an invitation to join the Big Ten or ACC and if that doesn’t happen in the near future then they could be a school that has no choice but to play in a lesser conference that will lower and not raise their program and profile.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Catching Z's

When you work the early-morning shift in radio sleep is precious and often hard to come by and after more than 32 years I still can’t figure out how to balance it all.
Most mornings I get up right around 3am although if I have to shave than I’ll set the alarm clock a few minutes earlier than that. Medical experts tell us we should get 8 hours sleep which would mean I would have to go to bed at 7pm which I have never done before. Most days I don’t get home from work until around 5pm so there is no way I’m going to bed at 7 and often I have work-related events that keep me out until after 9 o’clock or even later.

Of course I could go right to sleep at night without watching television but I’m a sports fan and there is usually something that garners my interest. I also watch about 6-10 prime-time shows on a regular basis many of which I DVR which my wife and I will watch around dinnertime and in the early evening. Our regular routine will then find her going to bed and me hitting the couch for a game or show and eventually I fall asleep on the couch. Last night I fell asleep in the 3rd inning of the World Series game and woke up at 12:45 in the morning. At that point I got off the couch and crawled in bed where I could not fall back asleep so by 1:15 I was back on the couch watching Sportscenter. Finally at 2:15 I got back into bed where I fell into a wonderful sleep….for 48 minutes.

I know most of my early-morning colleagues take a nap during the day or go to sleep earlier but unfortunately I don’t get to nap during the day although I have been known to doze off in my office or during a boring meeting. While I have no immediate plans to change I recently came across a list of some of the things caused by lack of sleep and it’s not pretty.

Chronic sleep loss is simply bad for your health and puts you at greater risk for heart disease (including heart attacks), high blood pressure, strokes and diabetes.
If that’s not enough it impairs your critical thinking, ages your skin, leads to depression, makes you forgetful, impairs judgment, makes you gain weight and last but not least may increase your risk of death.

Of course a smart person would take this into consideration but tonight I’m hosting a radio show and won’t get home until well after 9pm and I haven’t yet watched Homeland from Sunday. Oh well….there’s always the weekend.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween On The Shore

If you have just moved into the area in and around Toms River be advised that Halloween is a bit different around here. Everywhere in the United State you trick or treat on Halloween except in Toms River and some of the surrounding communities where an annual parade is bigger than the holiday itself. So while the calendar tells you that Halloween is next Monday, October 31st be prepared for trick or treaters this Sunday because that’s the day they will be out in force.
If you are not sure what exactly your town does you should contact their Borough Hall where hopefully you will get someone on the phone who knows the answer themselves. Of course maybe one day someone will actually take my suggestion seriously that the parade should always be held on a Saturday night which would make things easier for everyone. Nah…it makes too much sense.

Based on what I saw and heard you would have thought the Jets won the Super Bowl Sunday after they came from behind to beat the Chargers. Let’s face it here…San Diego is not that good and had to make the long trip East which is always difficult. It wasn’t like the Jets played this epic football game and people are going crazy over Plaxico Burress’ three touchdown catches. Really…they were 3, 4 and 3 yard receptions. I guess fans are just looking for a silver lining.

Sometimes the greatest pleasures come from the simplest things. Yesterday morning my wife needed to do something in downtown Point Pleasant Beach and rather than wait in the car I grabbed a cup of coffee at a place called Green Planet
Coffee Company on Arnold Avenue. Actually it was a vanilla latte and after getting my cup I sat outside in one of these big green Adirondack chairs they have.
Well it was at a time in the morning that the sun was right in my face and I got into this completely relaxed state in which I could have stayed there for hours. Unfortunately a half an hour later it was time to go but I have to try that again.

The death over the weekend of longtime Ocean County Undersheriff Wayne Rupert is not only a tragedy for his family and friends but a real loss to Ocean County. He was an outstanding public servant and especially valuable during weather emergencies. Rupert will be greatly missed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2010

Southern Regional High School has been playing football since 1958 and tonight they can do something that’s never happened in the more than 50 years of the program…win an outright division title. Southern is 5-1 and they are heavy favorites over a 1-4 Toms River East team that comes into Goldberger Memorial Field looking to spoil what could be a party in Manahawkin.

The Rams clinched at least a share of the Class A South title last week when they rolled over rival Toms River North and that in itself was noteworthy because you have to go back to 1972 to find when they last won even a share of a division title. Now tonight on what should be a perfect evening for football all the stars are aligned for an outright championship. Veteran coach Chuck Donohue has assembled a solid group of players led by running back T.J. Bellissimo, who scored a school-record 6 touchdowns last week with much of the credit due to a solid offensive line. Quarterback Dan Higgins, receiver and safety Alec Morris, two-way standout Matt Kelly and linebacker Kevin Fitzpatrick are all major contributors to what’s been a special season for Ram fans. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on our sister station 105.7FM (and also 1160AM) with kickoff at 7pm.

This 7th weekend of the season also features two big games in the wild Class B South Division where Central, Brick and Barnegat all have just one loss.
One of those teams will be eliminated tonight when the Bengals host the Green Dragons in Barnegat. If Brick win’s it will clinch at least a share of the division title for first-year head coach Rob Dahl. Central which has experienced a football renaissance this fall, can do no worse than tie for the championship with a win over arch-rival Lacey tomorrow afternoon. The Lions have won 21 of the previous 28 meetings between the schools including the last 8 but this time they are the underdogs against Kalyph Hardy and company.

To a non-football item….congratulations to Lavallette’s Sam Hammer, who added to his reputation as New Jersey’s premier surfer by winning the Smith Optics Garden State Grudge Match Thursday at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights. The 31-year old former Point Pleasant Beach High School wrestler scored perfect 10 rides in both the semifinals and finals to put away his last two competitors in the head to head competition. It was the 4th time Hammer claimed the championship in the nine-year history of the event. When he is not bartending at his family’s Crabs Claw Inn or running his own surf camps Hammer proved again Thursday that when it comes to New Jersey surfing…he is still on top.

This & That

Southern Regional High School has been playing football since 1958 and tonight they can do something that’s never happened in the more than 50 years of the program…win an outright division title. Southern is 5-1 and they are heavy favorites over a 1-4 Toms River East team that comes into Goldberger Memorial Field looking to spoil what could be a party in Manahawkin. The Rams clinched at least a share of the Class A South title last week when they rolled over rival Toms River North and that in itself was noteworthy because you have to go back to 1972 to find when they last won even a share of a division title. Now tonight on what should be a perfect evening for football all the stars are aligned for an outright championship. Veteran coach Chuck Donohue has assembled a solid group of players led by running back T.J. Bellissimo, who scored a school-record 6 touchdowns last week with much of the credit due to a solid offensive line. Quarterback Dan Higgins, receiver and safety Alec Morris, two-way standout Matt Kelly and linebacker Kevin Fitzpatrick are all major contributors to what’s been a special season for Ram fans. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on our sister station 105.7FM (and also 1160AM) with kickoff at 7pm.

This 7th weekend of the season also features two big games in the wild Class B South Division where Central, Brick and Barnegat all have just one loss.
One of those teams will be eliminated tonight when the Bengals host the Green Dragons in Barnegat. If Brick win’s it will clinch at least a share of the division title for first-year head coach Rob Dahl. Central which has experienced a football renaissance this fall, can do no worse than tie for the championship with a win over arch-rival Lacey tomorrow afternoon. The Lions have won 21 of the previous 28 meetings between the schools including the last 8 but this time they are the underdogs against Kalyph Hardy and company.

To a non-football item….congratulations to Lavallette’s Sam Hammer, who added to his reputation as New Jersey’s premier surfer by winning the Smith Optics Garden State Grudge Match Thursday at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights. The 31-year old former Point Pleasant Beach High School wrestler scored perfect 10 rides in both the semifinals and finals to put away his last two competitors in the head to head competition. It was the 4th time Hammer claimed the championship in the nine-year history of the event. When he is not bartending at his family’s Crabs Claw Inn or running his own surf camps Hammer proved again Thursday that when it comes to New Jersey surfing…he is still on top.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday This 'n That

Just a little of this and a little of that:

Raise your hand if you watched Game #1 of the World Series last night. Now raise your hand if you would have watched if the Yankees, Phillies or Mets were playing. That’s the problem with baseball…it’s become more of a regional game than ever before and I imagine the TV ratings will reflect that. Those in St. Louis and other parts of the Midwest along with Texas will follow the series but the rest of the country will be much more interested in their favorite prime-time TV shows.

Saturday looks like an ideal day for motorcycle enthusiasts to take a Ride for Hope and help children with cancer. It’s a 60-mile poker run through central and south Jersey with registration from 9-11am at Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza on Route 70 in Brick. The cost to participate is $25 with all proceeds to benefit the Ashley Lauren Foundation, an organization that helps New Jersey children and their families facing pediatric cancer. For tickets and more information visit and look under “events.”

For those of you who enjoy and appreciate the talents of high school bands then Saturday evenings “Music Under the Stars” is for you. Sponsored by the Manchester Marching Hawks it’s a battle of the marching bands featuring those from Central Regional, Freehold, Jackson Liberty, Jackson Memorial, Lakewood, Long Branch, Monmouth Regional, Shore Regional, Toms River East and host Manchester. The event will take place on the football field at Manchester Township High School beginning at 5pm. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors.

Tonight’s Barnabas Health High School Football Show on our sister station 105.7FM will feature first-year Brick Green Dragon coach Rob Dahl and his outstanding senior linebacker Tom Winters. Also appearing at Boston’s in Toms River during the live broadcast from 7-9pm will be Monsignor Donovan quarterback R.J. D ‘Anton and assistant coach Paul Barna.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Good" Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship or lack thereof has been in the spotlight this week in the wake of a rather bizarre incident that occurred after last Sunday’s hotly-contested NFL game in which the visiting San Francisco 49ers handed the Detroit Lions their first loss of the season. Normally after a game the two head coaches meet around midfield, shake hands and exchange in brief pleasantries under the heading of “good game coach.” Obviously if the two have a relationship the meeting can last longer and appear friendly and genuine. That was not the case Sunday when rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers sprinted across the field in obvious jubilation, vigorously shook the hand of Detroit’s Jim Schwartz, backslapped him and then took off to continue the celebration. That exchange which may have included an obscenity did not sit well with Schwartz who ran after and confronted Harbaugh, bumping him a few times before being separated by players and others.

That incident between two young, cocky and even arrogant coaches has brought up the issue of sportsmanship and like everything else it will spill down to the younger ranks. Football is the only major pro sport in which not only coaches but players shake hands after a game. When a baseball game ends everyone heads back to their dugout. In hockey they only shake after the final game of a playoff series and when there is an NBA there is no formal post-game greeting. However football, the most violent and amped-up game ends with coaches shaking hands and often features opposing players joining one another in prayer.

In recent years high school athletics has routinely featured post-game handshakes although last year in a weird and to me unnecessary act the NJSIAA mandated during the basketball playoffs that teams shake hands before and not after the game. That was designed to avoid what occurred in a 2010 game in which a brawl broke out in the post-game handshake line when a female basketball player attacked another. I’m actually surprised there’s not more of that because I can tell you from experience that the losing team does not really want to shake hands with the team that just beat them and that often starts with the coaches. Heck can you imagine if opposing parents had to shake hands after a youth or high school sporting event? That would be entertaining…the local police department would be on speed dial.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Random Thoughts

Just a few random thoughts to share with you:

I know many want to portray this “Occupation Wall Street” movement as just a bunch of unemployed weirdo’s with nothing better to do. Yes there probably are some who just joined-in because it seemed like a cool way to kill some time but the majority appears to be rational thinking men and women who are motivated by frustration and desperation. It’s a sure sign that the masses are starting to give up hope that our elected officials will find a way to get us out of this mess and that is a scary fact. Don’t expect the protests to end any time soon….as a matter of fact they might continue to grow.

“Boardwalk Empire” is not for everyone but it’s clearly one of the best done shows on TV which is no surprise because HBO knows how to produce a show. The characters are gritty, raw, flawed and brilliantly portrayed by a cast headed up by Steve Buscemi and Michael Shannon, who often steals the show as Agent Nelson Van Alden. What makes “Boardwalk Empire” so great is that it takes you back to the days of prohibition in Atlantic City and as a viewer you really feel part of that period.

No surprise that the TV ratings for baseball’s League Championship Series were down 20 and 43% from last year. Milwaukee, St. Louis and Detroit are not New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco so the paltry numbers are not really a surprise. The World Series begins tomorrow night with the Texas Rangers solid favorites to beat the St. Louis Cardinals…the question is will anyone be watching.

Forget about coaching….Southern Regional’s Chuck Donohue is one of the most gracious gentlemen you will ever meet. Last week’s win over Toms River North allowed the visiting Rams to clinch at least a share of their first football divisional title since 1972. We broadcast that game on the Shore Sports Network and long after it was over Donohue came over where we breaking down our equipment to seek out sideline reporter Ed Sarluca. He told Ed that when we broadcast games in his early years as Southern coach it would bother him that it was always the other coach featured in the post-game interview because that team had won. He vowed that one day Sarluca would seek him out because it was the Rams who would prevail and indeed that has occurred more and more in recent years. We’ll be in Manahawkin Friday night where a victory over Toms River East would give Southern its first-ever outright championship.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

The numbers from yesterday’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Point Pleasant Beach were simply overwhelming. A record 17,000 walkers helped the American Cancer Society raise more than $1.1 million in the battle against the disease with the money used to help people stay well, get well and fight back as well as ongoing research. However what makes the event so great is that it’s really hundreds of smaller groups who are all walking for a reason. Some are there as a tribute to a loved one or friend lost, others walk for survivors and many walk in the hope that one day breast cancer will become old news. The groups are as small as a couple to as large as The Brady Bunch, who had so many that they waited a half an hour after the start to begin their trek.

As most of you probably know by now my wife Jane is a breast cancer survivor and since 2004 she has organized a group of family, friends and co-workers from Manchester Township High School. As they usually do “Team Booberang” gathered early in the parking lot at Arnold and Ocean Avenues that is used as the staging point for the walk and had bagels, muffins and mimosas. Then their group, which included young, old and even a dog hit the streets. I stayed behind and found a good vantage point to watch the massive start…it actually took more than half an hour for everyone to get past the starting point. It is an awesome sight as are some of the outfits with pink the color of the day and many shirts featuring inspiring messages. Many companies had teams, including Bank of America who lost a co-worker to breast cancer just a few weeks ago. Schools were represented with soccer and field hockey teams walking in groups and there were even cheerleaders to greet the participants as they finished. On what was a perfect day for such a journey everyone who took part had a reason to be proud that they contributed to an overwhelming success not just because they helped raise a lot of money but because they raised just as much hope.

There were more than 800 survivors among Sunday’s walkers….we can only hope that number will continue to increase each and every year.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Sunday looks like a perfect day for the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Point Pleasant Beach. Registration begins at 8am at the corner of Arnold & Ocean Avenues and some 10,000 walkers are expected to begin their journey at 10am. I will be on hand to show my support for “Team Booberang” which will be a couple of dozen strong. Organized by my wife Jane who is a breast cancer survivor, the group features family, friends and co-workers from Manchester Township High School.

Longtime Manchester school administrator Kevin Burger and his wife Peggy were among those honored by the Ocean County Women’s Connection during their 4th Annual Banquet last night at the Holiday Inn of Toms River. The Burgers are the founders, organizers and heart and soul of “Kevin’s Kids,” a unique holiday drive that brings Christmas to needy kids and families in Manchester. It started as a small effort to help a few students and now it’s grown to a monumental one which last year saw more than 400 children benefit from the kindness and generosity of teachers, school staff, volunteers and members of the community. Kevin Burger is the Director of Student and Administrative Services in the school district while Peggy retired a couple of years ago after more than 30 years as a teacher and educator.
Also honored at last night’s dinner were Mary Jane Flammer, who serves in the US Air Force Reserves and is active with the USO…realtor Ann Schuld who has donated time and effort to the Relay for Life among other things and Louise Zuber, who describes herself as an ordinary woman but has shown an extraordinary heart and compassion for others. Congratulations to all the honorees.

If you read the sports section of the Asbury Park Press please notice today’s “Pick Six +1” which features the high school football predictions of six Press sports writers and yours truly. While I may be listed last I have been coming on in recent weeks and am just a game behind Penn State alum Rob Ziegler for the most correct picks this season. This weekend I have predicted several upsets, including Monsignor Donovan over Point Boro and Brick to top Ocean. In the biggest game of the weekend I called for Southern to beat Toms River North although last night on our weekly high school football show I went with the Mariners. In other words I think it’s a toss-up. Either way you can hear the Rams battle the Mariners tonight on our Shore Sports Network as a Southern win would give them at least a share of a division title for the first time since 1972.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Jersey Hall Of Fame Nominees

I guess there was some buzz earlier this week over the announcement of the 50 nominees for the 2012 class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. I for one just can’t get excited over the Hall of Fame which was probably created so we could show the rest of the country that they have the wrong image and perception of New Jersey.

The first four induction ceremonies certainly featured plenty of prominent individuals including Yogi Berra, Malcolm Forbes, Thomas Edison, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Walt Whitman, Count Basie and many others. Unfortunately some of the bigger names were no-shows at the spring induction ceremony which I guess we should have expected since more people seem to leave the state then come here. The list of nominees for the fifth class is quite impressive even though many you don’t associate with New Jersey including actor Michael Douglas who I figured was singled out because he once drove the Garden State Parkway. Actually I learned he was born in New Brunswick which I guess met the criteria.

Thank goodness there are still enough quality candidates that Snooki and her low-life friends have not yet been included but there will probably be a day when the Jersey Shore cast gets to walk the red carpet.

Truthfully the Hall of Fame is a pretty good idea…I’m just upset I haven’t been asked to MC the induction ceremony. If you would like to vote on this year’s class you can do so at

I know most of you have little or no interest in high school football but for those who do tonight and every Thursday night I host The Barnabas Health High School Football Show from 7-9pm on The Shore Sports Network. Along with Ed Sarluca and Matt Harmon we do the show live from Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar in Toms River from 7-9pm. Tonight’s on-site guests will be coach Chip LaBarca Jr. and quarterback Scott Buxbaum from Toms River North and first-year Point Pleasant Beach coach John Wagner and senior Mark Jurkowski. Also appearing on the show will be Rumson coach Shane Fallon, Monmouth University coach Kevin Callahan, Asbury Park Press football writer Steve Falk and Scott Stump, who provides stories and more for our web site… The show airs live on our sister station 105.7 FM.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Golden Years

We like to lump just about everything into categories and that includes people.
Whether it be by sex, race, religion, profession…you name it and we put them into this one large group. Age is no different, especially when it comes to the young and the old as some will say “teen-agers” or “senior citizens” like they are ALL the same and usually do so in the negative.

Yesterday our sister station WOBM-AM (Bob & Marianne ) hosted an expo at the Quality Inn of Toms River which was attended largely by Senior Citizens. By the way for the record a senior citizen is usually someone over the age of 65 although some places refer to 60 as the age at which you become a “senior.” Either way it’s likely that a senior citizen is someone retired or hopefully heading into their “golden years.”

Anyway there were a lot of them in attendance at this event and as I usually do when it’s over I realize that seniors are often as different as night and day. Yes quite a few are thrifty or even cheap which is somewhat understandable because they grew up during the depression era and know what it’s like to get by with little.
Of course many of them (like others of all ages) are struggling to get by each day and regardless of age are worried about what the next day will bring. There are those who complain about everything and even though yesterday’s event was free and featured plenty of giveaways and perks wanted more and were not afraid to tell you that. I learned that saying “while supplies last” means nothing….as a matter of fact I was told that it was our obligation to get more supplies.

However I found just as many who were charming, fun-loving, understanding, appreciative, generous and more. Many asked about my family, saying they have been listening to me for years and have basically watched my children grow up while listening to stories on the radio. They enjoyed the event, were happy if they won something and just plain fun to be around.

Bottom line is that seniors and no different than teen-agers in that the age does not necessarily define them. There are 17-year olds who are very different and it’s the same with 70-year olds. So let’s not put them all into the same category although one thing is for sure….if we live long enough we’ll all be senior citizens one day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life's Unanswered Questions

Every once in a while I go back into the archives for a radio version of a re-run and today is one of those. Feeling a desire and need to bring a smile to your face…at least I hope so here are some things to ponder:

1. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
2. If people from Poland are called “Poles,” why aren’t those from Holland called “Holes?
3. Ever wonder about those who spend $2.00 on a little bottle of Evian water?
Do you know what you get when you spell Evian backwards? NAÏVE.
4. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren’t they just stale bread to begin with?
5. If FedEx and UPS were to merge would they called it Fed Up?
6. If the commercial is right and 4 out of 5 people suffer from Diarrhea does that mean one person actually enjoys it?
7. Do those who work for Lipton Tea take coffee breaks?
8. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
9. What hair color do they put on the drivers licenses of bald men?
10. Did you ever notice when you put “The” and “IRS” together it spells…”THEIRS?”
11. 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?
12. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be de-lighted, musicians de-noted, cowboys de-ranged, models de-posed, tree surgeons de-barked and dry cleaners de-pressed?
13. If most mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks does that mean Chinese mothers use toothpicks?
14. Did you ever notice that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive?
15. Do you think more and more people read the Bible as they get older because it’s like cramming for a final exam?

I hope you smiled at least once….if not then you are in for a rough day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Summer's Return

A little of this and a little of that after the most sensational October weekend I can ever remember at the shore.

As a matter of fact it was so nice I had to get my wife’s beach chair out of storage so she could go yesterday to the beach in Seaside Park. I had other things to do but Jane went with a couple of friends and said it was hot and crowded and the water was incredibly warm. The mild weather was a real boost to the Columbus weekend festivities in Seaside Heights as the traffic at times looked like a summer weekend. The October “heat wave” will break tomorrow and in a few days we’ll be pretty much in the 60’s which is more like it. The warm weather has been a dilemma for those who put away all their summer clothes but yours truly was not caught off guard…I have shorts on today.

Some 150 people were on hand Saturday night for a “Retirement Roast” of Denny D’Andrea at the Brick PAL building. D’Andrea recently retired from teaching at Brick Memorial High School and during much of his career he was a highly successful head and assistant wrestling coach. The tight-knit wrestling community was on to hand to pay tribute to him Saturday including many of his former wrestlers, among them state champs Bob Martin of Brick Memorial and Cary Broad of Manalapan. The diminutive D’Andrea was head coach at Freehold Boro for 5 years and then 5 at Manalapan before spending two decades at Memorial.
While no longer coaching he remains involved in the sport and is a goodwill ambassador. The retirement roast was organized by former Memorial head coach Tony Caravella.

I’ve broadcast a lot of high school football games over the years but few can match the excitement of Central’s dramatic come-from-behind 21-20 victory over Manchester Friday night which we carried on our Shore Sports Network. The visiting Hawks jumped out to a 20-0 lead behind the play of running back Joe Johnson and quarterback Tim Rogers and it looked like they would spoil Hall of Fame night at Joseph J. Boyd Field. However that was when Kalyph Hardy took over and put on a show few there will forget. He scored three touchdowns, including the game-winner from 8-yards out with 32 seconds left. Hardy, who might be the best athlete in the shore finished with 222 yards rushing…ten more than Johnson. The two met at midfield after the game and exchanged handshakes knowing that while the scoreboard didn’t say so…both were winners.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Friday, October 8

The High School Football weekend got off to an early start as last night Toms River North improved to 4-1 with a 35-28 win over visiting Colts Neck. Senior quarter Scott Buxbaum ran for 103 yards and a touchdown and threw a pair of touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Joey Fields in the 4th quarter.
Mariner senior Jesse Tate scored touchdowns on a pass reception and fumble return. In what would have to be considered a surprise, Middletown North knocked off Howell 21-13 last night while the shore’s top-ranked team Red Bank Catholic ran all over Freehold 45-0 and Wall just got past Ocean 14-7.

Tonight the Shore Sports Network will be at Central Regional where the Golden Eagles host a banged-up Manchester team in a key Class B South matchup featuring two of the shore’s too players in running backs Kalyph Hardy and Joe Johnson. A win tonight could put Central in position to win its first division title since 1994. Hardy has already topped the 1,000 yard rushing mark after just four games and is coming off a 415-yard rushing performance against Brick a week ago. The game will be broadcast on 105.7FM and 1160AM with kickoff at 7pm.

The Toms River Student Loan Fund honored Superintendent of Schools Frank Roselli along with 19 teachers at last night’s annual recognition dinner at the Quality Inn of Toms River. Roselli was saluted for his lifetime of commitment to the district and its students and praised the staff and community for their support.
The dinner also paid tribute to the reigning teachers of the year in the 19 schools who were joined by family and friends. I had the pleasure of serving as Master of Ceremonies and am a trustee of the student loan fund which assists Toms River High School graduates. Special thanks to the Quality Inn for their usual outstanding job.

Speaking of outstanding, kudos to everyone at Klee’s Bar & Grill who hosted their 20th fundraising golf outing this week at Gambler Ridge for Ocean of Love. The incredibly well-run event raised around $17,000 and as always featured plenty of sunshine and smiling faces, especially from the winning foursome of Ted Schelmay, Bill Frank, Mike Citta and Charlie Frazier. With the support of owners Sue Brosnan and Butch Anderson and under the direction of Glenn McCarthy and Joe Cary the staff at Klee’s has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Ocean of Love, who assists families dealing with childhood cancer. Well done!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: 1955 - 2011

On the surface I would seem to be the last guy to pay tribute to Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple and former CEO who died Wednesday at age 56 some seven years after first being diagnosed with cancer. I’m technically-challenged and at this point have never owned an iPhone or iPad….I do have an iPod but frankly I don’t know how to operate it very well and it keeps playing the same Dave Matthews songs. However Jobs’ genius to me is summed up in the 2005 commencement address he gave at Stanford University of which I have a copy which I keep in my office. It chronicled his ups and downs, from being born to a young, unwed college graduate student who put him up for adoption. He blew much of his parent’s savings before dropping out of Reed College but he didn’t leave the school. Instead he started taking classes at the same school in subjects that interested him, including calligraphy which ironically helped him a decade later during the resign of the first Macintosh computer. But let me go back a bit because at this time he didn’t have a dorm room because he really wasn’t enrolled in college. Jobs slept on the floor of some friend’s rooms and returned Coke bottles to get some money for food and every Sunday walked 7 miles across town for a free meal at a Hare Krishna temple. And in his speech he told the Stanford grads that while they may not sound great…he was happy because he was doing what he wanted to do.

He also went on to recount the story that at age 30 he lost a battle with the co-founder of Apple and was out of a job when the Board of Directors sided with the other guy. But he went on to start another company which eventually was bought out by Apple who then returned Jobs to the top position. It was during this time that he met the love of his life and while it was not easy to accept Jobs shared with the graduates that his original firing was actually the best thing that could have happened.

This speech was only about a year after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at which time his doctor told him he would last only six months. He kept waiting to die during this period but things actually got better and he thought he had beaten the disease. But it didn’t matter because he learned during this time that Death is very likely the single best invention of Life as it clears out the old to make way for the new. He told the students that right now they are the new but they would gradually become the old. He added “your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In A Hurry

In most cases I think you can break drivers into two main categories….those in a hurry and those who are not. I know that’s rather simple but I really believe when you look closely at those behind the wheel it comes down to that and can in some cases be the root cause of road rage.

I admit that most times I fall into the category of being in a hurry as it always seems like I am racing against the clock to get somewhere. Most of the time it’s my fault as I did not leave enough time to get from point A to point B. Often though outside factors like traffic put you behind and then result in sometimes desperate measures to make up that time and get to where you need to be. That is when you seem to run into the driver who seems to be out for a joy ride and is in no rush to go anywhere. You get behind him or her and your blood pressure starts building as they are cruising or limping along at 5 or 10 miles below the speed limit. Let’s face it they are not doing anything wrong but you (or me) start screaming at them to pull over or get off the road as you keep looking at the clock and realize there is simply no way you are getting to your destination on time.

Of course this can lead to a full-blown road rage incident and sometimes does because you are now blaming the slower driver for what’s really your problem. It’s not as bad as when you get cut off or have to jam on your breaks because the driver in front of you does not use a turn signal but there is no question the slower driver at the very least causes stress in others. Listen this really comes down to the fact that most of us are time-challenged and if it takes 20 minutes to get somewhere we plan on 20…or maybe even 18. So when you get behind that slow driver in a non-passing area you quickly make them out to be the bad guy or even bad driver. In truth even if they are doing the speed limit we want them off the road for people like us who have places to go and things to do. I would imagine that is much more prevalent in an area like ours where there are so many elderly drivers on the road….many of whom should no longer be behind the wheel. However as long as they are we need to co-exist and maybe at the end of the day the simple solution is respect and courtesy. Of course I could make a case that’s the solution to most of our problems but I’ll leave that for another day.

With a somewhat hurried Hometown View, I’m Kevin Williams.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homeland Fills The 24 Void

Maybe it’s because it seems like there’s so much bad news and we need laughs but it looks like the TV comedy is back. Sitcoms of course were the rage for years but prime-time TV has been dominated by reality shows and dramas in recent times.
However early returns have been favorable for programs like “Two And A Half Men”, “2 Broke Girls,” “Modern Family,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory” which have all been ranked in the Nielsen ratings top ten. Among the new shows the early indications are that “The Playboy Club” and “Charlie’s Angels” are in trouble and could be the first ones to be cancelled. We DVR so many shows during the week I didn’t think I could commit to another but yesterday a co-worker implored me to watch a new drama on Showtime starring Claire Danes. So I did and “Homeland” is very good and I’m hooked…it’s a little bit like “24” and if you liked that show I think you’ll get into this one very quickly.

During the past baseball season you might have heard promos on this radio station for a program called “Home Runs for Heroes” which is a partnership between OceanFirst Foundation, the Lakewood BlueClaws and WOBM FM/AM. Basically the way it worked is that the OceanFirst Foundation gave $1000 to a military-based charity each time a BlueClaws player hit a home run during a home game. The charities were randomly tied to innings and the results are in with a total of $26,000 awarded to nine local charities that serve members of the military and their families. The big winner was VetGroup which received $7000 followed by the New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council which was awarded $4000. All nine of the charities received at least $1000 and over the three years the OceanFirst Foundation has given $80,000 to these outstanding organizations…now that’s a grand slam.

Hawaii is about to become the first state in the nation to make Surfing an official high school sport. Of course Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing so it being the first to take this step is not a great surprise. State officials believe by making surfing a school sport it will open doors for kids to represent their school just like those who play football, basketball and other sports. Hawaii has the only statewide public school district in the country which makes this a bit easier to launch as every school will have to offer surfing to its student-athletes. Championships will be awarded to boys and girls as well as teams, similar to golf.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Andy Rooney Signs Off 60 Minutes

Andy Rooney said goodbye last night….sort of in his 1,097th weekly commentary that aired on “60 Minutes.” The 92-year old admitted curmudgeon has had the last word on the hit CBS newsmagazine show for 33 years and dreaded the day when it would come to an end….Sunday was that day. Rooney said “I wish I could do this forever. I can’t though.” He insisted he was not retiring because he’s a writer and a writer never stops being a writer. If you watched last night you learned that he grew up in Albany, New York and began writing while in the Army during World War II for Stars and Stripes. Shortly after that he joined CBS where he wrote for Arthur Godfrey’s Radio & TV Show and later he was the writer and producer for newsman Harry Reasoner. Rooney’s now-famous closing piece on “60 Minutes” actually began as a summer replacement but proved to be some popular it was a regular feature by the fall of 1978. He made a career out of talking about things that bothered him and most of us but he never liked the limelight and as you might have learned last night refuses to give autographs, rarely answers fan mail and hates it when people shout his name. But he admitted to living a lucky life and was appreciative that so many enjoyed his commentaries. In what was a fitting conclusion to his swan-song Rooney said if you see him in a restaurant, “please, just let me eat my dinner.”

Honestly the best compliments I have ever received while doing this segment are those that have compared me to Rooney. There are many differences though, even more so than fame and fortune. He only had to do one piece a week and the 1,097 he aired pales in comparison to the approximate 3,150 ‘Hometown Views” I have broadcast over some 14 plus years. Plus, I trim my eyebrows when necessary and if you see me in a restaurant I’ll gladly talk to you if you pick up the tab.

For the most part the sports teams I root for have not had great success in recent years…or decades. So that means much of my energy often comes rooting against those I don’t like. With that said yesterday was a great day….the Giants win and the Eagles, Jets, Cowboys, Yankees and Phillies all lose. It won’t last long but for one day I felt like a winner.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Will He Or Won't He?

Will he or won’t he run for President? That is the million dollar question that just everyone is asking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who continues to say he is not seeking occupancy in the White House but rather trying to cure the problems in Trenton. It seems that the more Christie insists he is not throwing his hat into the ring the more political followers say he may be still be testing the waters. We are at the point where commentators are trying to find subtle hints in his speeches or reading his body language to determine if the governor has indeed closed the door on a 2012 Presidential bid. It does seem that what Christie is likely doing is building a base for a run in 2016 when the race will probably be wide open, assuming President Obama is re-elected. By then his stature…pardon the pun, as a state leader and national figure will have grown and so might a war-chest of cash to make a real run at the biggest office in the land.

Of course what also has to weigh-in (again pardon the pun) is whether or not Christie can win because losers often become old news very quickly. He is portrayed by some as the man who could save the Republican Party from the religious zealots who have tried to take over. Of course one does wonder if a Republican could emerge victorious without the support of those who have made religion such a big issue. Certainly Christie is a far cry from many of the current Republicans seeking the Oval Office who are just as likely to talk about what’s in the bible then President Obama’s health care reform. Christie may not play well in the traditional bible-belt states where he will be portrayed as another one of those brash and big-talkers from the northeast which many seem to despise. Even if he could get past Romney, Perry and the other candidates to earn his party’s nomination beating a sitting President would be no walk in the park. Of course if things continue as they are by next year Obama could be very weak but even then winning…which is what this is all about…will be difficult.

Like him or not our Governor is an interesting figure and it would be entertaining to see how he would do on a national stage. In a state that now has strict guidelines against bullying in our schools; he is to some the ultimate bully and I would love to see how his act played in Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and all across the nation. My guess is we’ll have to wait four years to find out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Toms River Standouts

Count me among the few who made it through last night’s 13 inning Mets game which I watched only because Toms River’s Todd Frazier played the entire game
for the visiting Reds, who finally prevailed 5-4 at Citifield. The Cincinnati rookie struck out his first two at-bats before finishing 1-6 with his lone hit a 12th inning single. Frazier did make a sensational play at third base in the 6th inning as he robbed David Wright of what probably would have been a double. That play merited a crowd shot of the Frazier family and entourage on SNY. Todd, who was promoted to the majors in July, has appeared in 41 games and belted 6 home runs while showing he can play several positions. Hopefully it’s just the beginning of things to come for the 25-year old Toms River High School South graduate.

The Monmouth University football team was not expected to challenge for the Northeast Conference title this season but after a 24-12 win over pre-season favorite Central Connecticut State last Saturday it appears the Hawks might be better than most experts expected. Monmouth got a big boost from former Toms River North standout Steve Barroso, who was named NEC Defensive Player of the Week for his play against the Blue Devils as the sophomore linebacker made a career-high 12 tackles. Barroso and the rest of the Hawks will take on defending NEC Champion Robert Morris on Saturday at noon which will also mark my return as PA Announcer at Kessler Field.

The Monsignor Donovan Boys & Girls Varsity Soccer teams will hold a pair of memorial soccer games over the next two weeks. The boys’ team will host Barnegat this coming Monday (Oct 3) in the 4th Annual Evelyn Gere Memorial Game which is in honor of the late wife of school Principal Dr. Edward Gere. Evelyn lost her battle with pancreatic cancer 3 ½ years ago and proceeds from the game will benefit the Robert Fine Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. On Wednesday, October 12th the Griffins Girls squad will host Wall in the 5th Annual Lori Long Memorial Game which is held in memory of the former Donovan player killed in an auto accident in 1988 during her senior year. The money raised from that game will go towards an annual scholarship in her name given to a Mon Don senior.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

You will be hearing and reading a lot these next few weeks about breast cancer as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This may or may not mean much to you although it’s likely that just everyone at least knows of someone who has been diagnosed with a disease that claims a life somewhere in the world every 69 seconds. It has special significance in our family as my wife Jane is a breast cancer survivor and each year she assembles a team of family, friends and co-workers to walk in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraiser in Point Pleasant Beach with this year’s event set for Sunday, October 16th.

Our son Brandon (pictured above) was a high school senior when his mother underwent major surgery and he witnessed first-hand her recuperation. Last year both he and our daughter Alex surprised us by showing up to walk with their mother but when the opportunity came to do even more he jumped at it. Brandon works for Edelman, a world-wide public relations firm, in their New York office. Months ago the company announced they were looking for employees to represent them in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure in Washington DC, a three-day 60 mile walk which is one of 14 held nationally during the year. Brandon had to write an essay about why he should be among those selected and he of course talked about his mother and how this would be a tribute to her. He was chosen along with 23 others from several Edelman offices, including New York, Washington and Atlanta. Next was fundraising and he met his quota by reaching out to family and friends as well as collecting tips as a special bartender at a place in Hoboken that is owned by a friend.

Anyway the walk took place this past weekend and it began Friday morning in a torrential downpour which never really let up. He managed just fine although quite of few of the 2500 walkers who started never made it past that first day. Jane and I headed down to Washington to show our support and we spent several hours’ right by the Washington Monument on Sunday watching walkers finish…many in tears as their journey was a tribute to someone who did not beat the disease. Around 3pm Brandon and his Edelman crew crossed the line in their pink shirts and Jane could not wait to hug him. During an emotional closing ceremony we would learn that the Washington 3-Day raised $7 million and later found out that Edelman’s $88,000 was the largest of any single group. He had some great stories to tell and wants to do another “3 Day” in the future in a different city. Wherever he goes his mother will be at the finish line and that my friends is the moral of this story.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away

The second week of the 2010 high school football season was disrupted by rain with many games postponed a day or even two. One year later it’s the third week of the season during which Mother Nature has decided to wreak havoc. The forecast calls for plenty of rain, especially today with a flood watch in effect until 6pm Saturday. The forecast alone resulted in officials moving tonight’s game between Manchester and Brick to Saturday night at the home of the Green Dragons. That could be the first of many changes in the schedule but the problem is the entire weekend looks wet as we might not even see a trace of the sun until Monday. Of course purists like yours truly believe that football should be played in all conditions as long as the safety of the players is not in jeopardy. Others believe that for the sake of fans and groups like the marching band school officials should postpone games and seek the best possible conditions. I’ll leave that up to others to decide but there is one factor tonight that could make it easy when it comes to a decision and that is lightning. State Athletic rules call for games to be halted for at least 30 minutes each time a bolt of lightning is visible.

The Shore Sports Network is scheduled to broadcast tonight’s Point Boro and Jackson Liberty contest with kickoff scheduled for 7pm from the home of the Lions. Ironically we were supposed to do a game from Jackson Liberty in week two last Fall that was postponed. Other games that hopefully will be played tonight find Jackson Memorial at Toms River North, Barnegat at Central, Manasquan at Monsignor Donovan, Lakewood at Wall and Lacey at Pinelands. All those games will be played on grass or should I say muddy fields with the exception of the Jaguars-Mariners game at high school north.

The weather is going to be a problem for my son Brandon, who is among the many walking this weekend in Washington DC as part of the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure. They began the 60-mile walk at 5:30 this morning which is scheduled to end Sunday afternoon near the Washington Monument. Camping out at night sure will be a challenge as rain is expected all day today and tomorrow in the DC area.
Brandon works for the world-wide public relations firm Edelman and was chosen with others to represent their New York office in the walk. He did a great job raising money and we are hoping to be there when he finishes Sunday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Citizen Of The Year

In the 27 years I have lived in Beachwood I have probably attended only a half dozen council meetings and that includes last night. Truthfully I wasn’t quite sure why I invited to the meeting by councilwoman Bev Clayton but it had something to do with being honored along with former Mayor Hal Morris for our work on the committee that puts on the 4th of July Fireworks each year. I really wasn’t looking forward to going but figured our little part would be in the beginning of the meeting and I could then leave before important borough business was discussed.
What should have told me something was “up” was when my wife Jane said she would go with me and then we could grab something to eat.

So we arrived at the William Hornidge Municipal Complex a couple of minutes before 7pm and after seeing a lot of familiar faces we sat down and the meeting began with the hiring of a new police officer and the promotion of another. Nice stuff and plenty of family and friends on hand for that good news. At that point longtime Borough Clerk Bette Mastropasqua said it was time to announce Beachwood’s “Citizen of the Year” and she would do so by reading this little “ditty” that would provide clues. About a minute or two it I realized she was talking about me or someone who has done a great job mimicking my career.

Well sure enough as eyes glanced in my direction I realized that I had been hoodwinked, fooled, deceived, shocked, surprised and frankly embarrassed.
My wife had somehow kept it from me with her biggest concerning being that at the last minute I would change my mind and not even attend the meeting.

I of course was asked to make some comments and was presented with some borough goodies from Bev Clayton and a woman we affectionally have called “Mama Mashedpotato” for years. Never at a loss for words I admitted to being humbled by the honor and expressed concern that Beachwood was running out of candidates for the award to the point they had to lower themselves and honor yours truly. However it is a great honor and I truly love the little town I call home and the great neighbors I have and friends we have made. I’ve enjoyed being involved in the Beachwood Soccer Club, Municipal Alliance and Fireworks Committee.

So thank you to the Mayor and Council and especially Bette & Bev…this almost hometown boy truly appreciates it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pet Peeves

We all have pet peeves and it doesn’t matter whether they are big or small because they just get under our skin and tick us off. Like…..

• You are in a hurry at a food or department store and you get behind someone
checking out who has no place to go. Not only do they engage the clerk in
conversation but they don’t have their money ready to pay and they insist on
digging through their purse for exact change.

• Just as bad is the clerk who engages the customer in conversation and suddenly stops ringing up items to tell a story, which by the way is sometimes personal and not for anyone else to hear.

• Why do people with complicated transactions insist on using the drive-thru
at a bank and why doesn’t the teller inform that person they must come inside so they don’t hold up those waiting for a simple deposit or withdrawal? You know you are in trouble when they canister keeps going back and forth and the customer is asking questions.

• Is there anything more frustrating when you are behind someone at a Dunkin Donuts’ ordering coolatta’s and iced lattes and then they decide to get a dozen donuts and turn to others in their car for input? All you want is a cup of coffee and they are ordering one donut at a time and taking their time.

• I’ll tell you what’s worse. The person who gets to the menu board at a drive-thru and when they are asked for their order says, “Give me a minute.”
For what…to review today’s specials because there aren’t any…it’s the same menu that was there yesterday, the week before, the month before.
Know what you want or get out of the car and go inside.

• Oh and I have another one. Does anyone understand what “lightly butter”
means? Do we have an overabundance of butter in this country because it
sure seems like they spread and pack it on bagels and rolls like there is no tomorrow. Of course you could wipe some of it off later but they
never give you a napkin…have I told you that’s another pet peeve?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The College Football Shuffle

The future of Rutgers Athletics will find the Scarlet Knights competing in the Big East…or the ACC…or the Big Ten….or a newly-established conference that does not even exist today. The college sports landscape is changing on an hour-by-hour basis and the state university of New Jersey is one of the schools that really does not know where they will end up.

For those that don’t follow this stuff there has been a lot of movement the last year or so as schools align themselves with conferences based on one thing and one thing only…money. Much of that will come in the form of TV revenue as conferences with bigger TV markets result in member schools getting more cash as well. While we may think of college basketball as a big-time sport the recent moves and others being talked about really evolve around football which is the sport that drives revenue.

This all hit the fan over the weekend when out of nowhere Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced they were leaving the Big East for the ACC. Syracuse was one of the founding Big East members and Pitt came along just a few years later.
Before you point a finger at athletic officials for lack of loyalty you need to know that it’s college presidents who are often the villains and liars. They are the ones, along with trustees who are making moves that are not necessarily beneficial to their coaches, student-athletes, alumni or fans but rather will help the bottom-line which is their biggest concern. In today’s world a college president is not an educator but a CEO and fundraiser and the bigger the school the bigger the money involved.

Now back to Rutgers. Their main concern is finding an option that is best for their football program and it just might be following Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC where they would join the likes of North Carolina, Maryland, Duke, Boston College and Virginia Tech. Actually the Scarlet Knights would be very interested in hooking up with the Big Ten and schools like Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. Or they could stay in a Big East conference that would merge with Big 12 leftovers like Kansas and Missouri because it appears Texas and Oklahoma are on their way to the Pac 12. Remember when geography played a part in your conference….not any more. Oh and what about the Big East schools that don’t play football including Seton Hall, St. John’s and Georgetown? Good luck, you’re on your own!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Drama

A little of this and a little of that following the final weekend of summer:

Count me among those who bounced back and forth last night between the Eagles-Falcons game and the Emmy Awards and both provided some drama. The Eagles could not hold a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter and lost to the Falcons in Michael Vick’s much talked about return to Atlanta. He suffered a concussion in the 3rd quarter when he was knocked into a teammate and did not return.

The big Emmys winner was “Modern Family” which took home the award for best comedy series and also produced winners in Supporting Actor Ty Burrell and Supporting Actress Julie Bowen who play husband and wife on the show. As expected “Mad Men” was named Best Drama series again but Kyle Chandler was a surprise winner for Best Actor in a Drama for his portrayal of Coach Taylor in “Friday Night Lights.” Some had to be nervous when Charlie Sheen took the stage but he actually took the high road with nothing but nice words to say about his old show “Two and a Half Men” before presenting an award.

FirstEnergy Park is best known as the home of the Lakewood BlueClaws but the facility has hosted numerous other events including boat shows, expos, concerts and even yard sales. However a first took place over the weekend when BlueClaws fans Aimee and Frank Mitchell of Point Pleasant got married on the field. With more than 100 family members and friends on hand Saturday the couple exchanged vows right behind home plate on the BlueClaws logo as guests sat in the stadium seats. They didn’t have too far to travel for the reception as it was held on the concourse with a cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner. Aimee and Frank and their guests then danced the night away on a dance floor brought in for the occasion with music playing over the PA system. The Mitchells have a 15-game ticket plan and not only did they get married in the ballpark but they had the rehearsal dinner in the Upstairs Bar on Friday night. All the food was prepared by BlueClaws Executive Chef Sandy Cohen and from all accounts the weekend was a home run. No truth to the rumor Aimee and Frank were headed to Philadelphia for their honeymoon.

Who would have thought that after two weeks of the high school football season that Central and Manchester would be 2-0 and Lacey and Middletown South would be 0-2?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Night Lights

Just a few years ago it would seem unthinkable to call a football game between Manchester and Barnegat a big one but no doubt tonight’s Class B South meeting is among the biggest games of this second weekend of the season. The Hawks are coming off a 2010 season in which they earned just their second appearance in the NJSIAA Playoffs and last week opened with a 35-14 victory over South Brunswick. In his fifth season Manchester’s head coach Gerard O’Donnell has a team led by all-everything running back Joe Johnson and quarterback Tim Rogers. Johnson has garnered interest from many schools, including Monmouth University who has already extended a scholarship offer.

Barnegat is only in its sixth season of varsity football and last year’s 6-5 record, included a first-ever playoff victory. Gone is quarterback Nick SanGiacomo but back is Purdue-bound tight end Ryan Morris and running back Davis Smithman, who last week ran for 193 yards as the Bengals nearly stunned highly-ranked Rumson. Barnegat led 16-6 in the 4th quarter before turnovers did them in as they fell 21-16 in a non-division game.

Tonight the Hawks head south to take on the Bengals in a game we will broadcast on the Shore Sports Network, including 105.7FM and 1160AM. The winner figures to emerge as the top threat to defending champion Lacey, who will host Brick on Saturday in another key Class B South matchup.

Another game to watch this weekend will take place tomorrow night when defending Class A South champion Brick Memorial hosts Jackson Memorial. Both teams won their openers last week but this is the first division matchup of the season for both the Mustangs and Jaguars.

I don’t know how long it’s been since Central started a season 2-0 but I know it’s been a while. The Golden Eagles stunned Red Bank last week and tonight at Joseph J. Boyd Field will come in as a heavy favorite against a young Pinelands team. Central led by running back Kalyph Hardy, who could put up big numbers in their home opener. Likewise Monsignor Donovan could be headed for a 2-0 start but the Griffins can’t take visiting Lakewood for granted when the teams meet tonight in Toms River. Mon Don put 56 points on the board in their opener but the Piners allowed only 7, despite losing last week against Holmdel.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Swimming At Your Own Risk

Call it ironic, a coincidence or maybe a strange premonition but yesterday we ran a news story about those who swim in the ocean at this time of year even though there are no lifeguards on duty and signs warn them to stay out of the water. Well at basically the same time that story was on the air a 27-year old man was being pulled out of the ocean after drowning near the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights.

Over the past couple of weeks there have been several rescues on Ocean County beaches without working lifeguards and in all of those cases lives were saved…unfortunately that was not the case Wednesday. The unidentified man, who was with other friends at the time, got caught in a rip-tide even though he was only in waist-deep water. Eventually he was pulled under the pier and by the time emergency personnel got to him it was too late.

This will once again raise a question that does not have a simple answer. Since we know people are going to ignore signs like “swim at your own risk” and even ones alerting them to dangerous conditions do towns have a greater responsibility? We talk about how September is often the nicest month of the year as the water is warm and like the last few days the weather makes for great beach days. Should towns like Seaside Heights, knowing there will be plenty of beach-goers, find a way to have lifeguards on duty? There are two problems with one being the cost and the other being finding lifeguards to work. Most are students back in school or teachers and others back to work. Plus you could never protect all the beaches and forcing swimmers to just use a couple of blocks to swim won’t work. As we heard in the news story yesterday people will always take risks plus when it comes to swimming many think they are good at it when in truth the best they can do is float in a pool. As we also know even adequate and good swimmers are no match for ocean rip-tides and yesterday a young man learned that lesson…the hard way.

However my good friend Joe Gomulka, the captain of the Seaside Park Patrol brought up a good point last night when we talked. He said swimmers ignore you when you tell them that conditions are rough and dangerous but if anyone mentions the work “shark” they bolt out of the water. Gomulka says maybe after Labor Day they should post signs that read “shark-infested waters.” Not a bad idea but don’t let the mayor of Amity Island see them.

PS- That was the fictional town in the movie “Jaws.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Toms River Student Loan Fund

The Toms River Student Loan Fund was established in 1937 by a group of local business officials as a way to help graduates of what was then Toms River High School further their education. 74 years later there are three high schools in the district and this unique organization still exists with the same purpose and pretty much the same mission statement. Thousands of students from South, North and East have borrowed money to help with their undergraduate and graduate studies and then paid their loans which was in turn used to provide new loans….it’s a never-ending cycle or at least we hope so. I say “we” because I’m among the 19 trustees who donate their time to the cause as the Toms River Student Loan Fund is made up strictly of volunteers. While loan repayment is our primary source of income we also receive donations and trusts and each year hold one major event and that is coming up on Thursday, October 6th at the Quality Inn of Toms River.

On that evening the Toms River Student Loan Fund will honor Superintendent of Schools Frank Roselli and 19 teachers from the school district. Roselli has dedicated his career to students and education and has helped unify the district through some trying times. He would be the first to tell you that teachers are the strength of what is New Jersey’s fourth-largest school district and the October 6th recognition dinner will salute those who have been chosen by their peers as Teachers of the Year in the three high schools, three intermediate schools and 13 elementary schools.

Tickets for the annual recognition reception and dinner are $50 and available through Tom Totaro at (732) 341-1773.

On a totally unrelated note…..

If February 16th is your birthday or anniversary and you play the New Jersey Lottery’s Pick 3 game there’s a pretty good chance you are smiling today.
That’s because 2-1-6 was the winning number in both Monday & Tuesday night’s drawings…can you imagine if it hit again today? Of course the odds of 2-1-6 coming in today are the exact same as any other three digit number…1 in 1000.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Little Of This 'n That

Just a little of this and a little of that for no apparent reason:

Major League Baseball really struck out for not allowing the Mets to wear special hats on Sunday to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Like they did ten years ago the Mets wanted to wear hats of first responders like the NYPD and FDNY on Sunday. They did in batting practice and during a pre-game ceremony but at the urging of management wore their regular hats when the game began. MLB officials had told the Mets they must adhere to the uniform policy in place which is this case was simply dumb. I will tell you that the same policy was in place ten years ago but that group of players ignored it and wore the hats. These guys should have as well.

Certainly nobody with decent eye sight would call Jets coach Rex Ryan handsome but in comparison to his twin brother Rex is a hunk. Rob, a Cowboys assistant coach simply looks like a slob in need of a good cleaning. His first name is actually Remus and it fits.

The first of what are my regular fall TV shows returns tonight with the third season premiere of “Parenthood” on NBC. I will have to spend some time this week programming the DVR and make decisions on what new shows are worth taping.
Actually I guess “taping” is the wrong word.

Congratulations to Walt Krystopik of Jackson Memorial and Jay Price of Manasquan for collecting victories in their head coaching debuts with their alma maters on the opening weekend of the high school football season. John Wagner’s debut at Point Beach also went well with the Garnett Gulls rolling to victory.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sports and 9/11

We often say that SPORTS should be kept in its proper perspective but in truth we only say that after something happens which forces us to take a closer look at things. However if ever there was a day that we needed to realize how true that statement is then yesterday was it…the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our nation and way of life. It seems ironic that the anniversary should come on the opening Sunday of the National Football League because pro football can be the sport that brings out the worst in us….on and off the field. Sunday though the NFL and the rest of the sports world handled things in a truly exemplary fashion
as we paid tribute to the lives that were lost and the family members who live with the horror of 9/11 every day.

On a day in which I found myself wiping tears on a regular basis there was no more touching tribute then what took place before a meaningless baseball game between the Cubs and Mets at Citifield. You might remember that the first professional sporting event played in New York after the attacks was a baseball game between the Mets and Braves on September 21, 2001. I remember that game like it was yesterday and will never forget when Mike Piazza hit an 8th inning home run which was the game-winning hit. Shea Stadium went wild and for a brief moment it was like 9/11 never happened. Piazza last night fought a losing battle with tears as he talked about that night and then took part in a pre-game ceremony which featured the families of many who died in the Twin Towers.
One of his comments really struck me and that was then every time he hears bag pipes he thinks of that horrible day in New York. How many funerals, especially those of firemen and police officers did we watch in the days after with bag pipers prominently featured? Obviously the answer is way too many.

If you think about it yesterday pretty much summed up the American way of life, good or bad. We paid solemn tribute to those no longer with us and did so with tears in our eyes and lumps in our throats. And then, whether in stadium seats or our favorite lay-z-boys we cheered guys in uniforms with numbers and names on their backs. Many gave us thrills but the real heroes of this day were those who have and do wear a different uniform. The names and in some cases numbers are on the front and it’s their contributions that allow us to enjoy sports. Let’s try and keep that in mind because sports are an outlet….not life and death and we should all know that by now.

Friday, September 9, 2011

High School Football Begins A New Season

The High School Football season kicks off this weekend with 26 games involving Shore Conference schools and the biggest turnover in head coaches anyone can remember. Twelve of the shore’s 43 schools have guys calling the shots for the first time or in a new place and you can be sure they along with many others did not sleep too well last night.

Rob Dahl is just the third coach in Brick High School history and tonight he’ll make his debut at Keller Memorial Field. It’s a place he is familiar with having played there and later serving as an assistant under the legendary Warren Wolf.
Dahl has embraced the Green Dragons tradition and will probably have a lump in his throat when he runs onto the field and then watches as Wolf takes care of the pre-game coin toss. Brick hosts their cross-town rivals from Brick Memorial…a school that has become one of the elite programs in the shore under Walt Currie.
We will broadcast the game on the Shore Sports Network, including 105.7FM and 1160AM.

Ron Signorino Jr. knows all about the tradition of Toms River South because it was his father who built “Indian Nation” into a powerhouse during the 60’s. Junior learned a lot when he coached under his father during a second tenure at South and now the two have switched roles with the elder serving as an assistant when the Indians begin a new era tonight at Toms River East. South is coming off a disastrous 0-10 season but there is excitement and some optimism in the air and while wins won’t come easy it appears the pride just may be back.

One of the big games of the opening weekend finds Manasquan visiting Point Boro where last year at this time both head coaches were assistants. Jay Price takes over at Squan where Pete Cahill is now a school administrator but don’t expect much to change as he has a veteran staff and of course is a former Warrior player. Same at the Boro where Sean Henry replaced Calvin Thompson on an interim basis at mid-season but is now the man in charge at his alma mater.

Also making their head coaching debuts this weekend will be Walt Krystopik at Jackson Memorial and LJ Clark at Lakewood with both former assistants assuming the top spots at their alma maters.

For predictions on this weekend’s games go to, click on daily features at the top and then Forecast Friday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Law

Most people would agree that bullying in public schools is a problem but it’s questionable whether that problem was big enough here in New Jersey that we needed what’s being called the most stringent anti-bullying law in the country.
As the new school year begins schools and students have the deal with the new law which requires that all public schools adopt strict policies and guidelines. On the surface it seems like a good thing but as is usually the case this one might go a bit overboard and lead adults to take action in cases that are just part of growing up.

Of course laws like this are usually motivated by a tragedy and you only have to look at what happened just a year ago when an 18-year old Rutgers student committed suicide after being harassed by two students because he was gay. This new law, signed by Governor Christie in January, is at least partly a reaction or should I say overreaction to that and related incidents. Clearly bullying is a problem in public schools, even though there was a law already on the books which I guessed was not enforced enough. As for the new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights well let’s take a look.

Every school must appoint an anti-bullying specialist which sounds worse than having lunch duty. This lucky individual must investigate every complaint and do so within 24 hours of the alleged incident. The school Principal then must turn in a report to State Education officials in Trenton who will actually post grades on their web site as to how each school handles matters. This all sounds noble but the law requires and forces schools to report anything that vaguely resembles bullying, even instances that most would agree is just part of childhood. So if a teacher is walking in the hallway and hears one student say to the other, “If you don’t give me back the notes I gave you for the test I’m going to smack you in the head” I guess that would require the teacher to report what most could consider a harmless matter. Worst yet if the teacher does not they could be in hot water even if they truly believe it’s not a case of bullying.

Oh and how about this. As part of the law the Department of Education must create a special fund to pay for training sessions but nobody knows where the money is coming from. So in true New Jersey and political fashion we have created a law which ultimately could cause more problems than it solves. No truth to the rumor that when the Governor was asked about that he replied, “if you don’t like it I’ll kick your…….”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back To Work

Some random notes and thoughts the day after Labor Day which marks the unofficial end to summer. Let’s start there because as I walked off the 2nd Avenue Beach in Seaside Park Sunday I realized it was probably the last time I would do that for quite a while. With the exception of a bad August stretch this was a great summer for the beach with many picture-perfect days. The water seemed to warm-up early and was pretty much clear and calm for most of July & August. Of course there is no reason why many can’t enjoy a few more weeks of great beach conditions but for this lover its goodbye for the most part because football season is here and weekends are now occupied.

Speaking of which it all starts this week on our Shore Sports Network with a jam packed first week of the high school football season starting with the season premiere of The Barnabas Health High School Football Show Thursday night and then a weekend doubleheader with Brick Memorial at Brick Friday night and then Howell at Toms River North on Saturday. More to come on this later in the week.

Do you remember the Oliver Stone movie “Any Given Sunday” that starred Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx? One of the things that struck me was the hideous uniforms they used for the football teams portrayed in the film. I found something just as ugly last night when I turned on the Maryland-Miami game. Have you seen Maryland’s new uniforms which were designed by Under Armour? They might have set a new standard for ugly, especially the helmets which were black and gold on one side and red and white on the other. The uni’s are modeled after the state flag which now that I know what it looks like should probably be burned. All kidding aside, you can have Maryland’s uniform….I’ll take Penn State.

So Rolling Stone last week asked its readers to vote for the worst song of the 90’s and the results are on with the winner or loser being “Barbie Girl” which was written and recorded by that well-known Danish group Aqua. Who can forget those great lyrics, “I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie World?” Second on the worst list was “Macarena” which did spent 14 weeks at #1, sparked a nauseating dance craze and its still played at every wedding, #3 on the list and a major candidate for the top spot was Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” which is just an awful song for any decade. Others that deserved to be on the list included Hanson’s” MMM Bop”, “Who Let the Dogs Out” and “I’m Too Sexy.” However “Ice Ice Baby” should have made it…people just never understood the great talent that Vanilla Ice was or is.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer's Over

For many this really is the final weekend of summer even though the calendar says there will be two more before autumn arrives. We of course know that September is truly the nicest month of the year and if you are retired or just plain fortunate then you can take advantage of wide open beaches, plenty of parking and warm water. However for the masses this is just about it as once the kids go back to school the routine changes dramatically. Weekends can be dominated by activities that are more likely to find you at a football or soccer field then on the white sands. For that reason many will try and squeeze a day or two at the beach this weekend even if the weather forecast does not call for perfect conditions.

I will have to try and spend a little bit of time preparing for next Tuesday’s LFL Fantasy Football Draft. As many women know, some of us guys love playing in fantasy football leagues and the draft is the highlight of the season as we load up our rosters and potato skins. Our league is named after founder and longtime commissioner Ed “Luch” Sarluca, who has given up the leadership position but is still a franchise owner. He needs more time to prepare for the high school football season where he is a valued member of the Shore Sports Network broadcast team.

It was nice to see Rutgers open its college football season with an easy victory over North Carolina Central last night with Jackson Township freshman Savon Huggins scoring a pair of touchdowns in his much-anticipated debut. We’ll find out a little more about the Scarlet Knights in their next game at the University of North Carolina. My beloved Penn State Nittany Lions open the season tomorrow at home against Indiana State at noon. Former Southern Regional standout Glenn Carson will be the starting middle linebacker and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Have you heard about Tropical Storm Katia? Nah, why talk about this storm in the Atlantic Ocean when there are still people without power from Irene.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back To School

A welcome back this morning to those that might not have been with us for the last ten weeks or so. Yes school is back, at least for teachers and other staff members as many have professional days today in preparation for the start of another school year. Most public school students return to the classroom on Tuesday, September 6th so they have a few more days left of summer vacation.

It seems only fair that after losing last weekend to Hurricane Irene we should at least get a spectacular Labor Day weekend but it does not appear that’s going to be the case. Today will be the fourth straight beautiful day since Irene left us and tomorrow and Saturday should make it 6 in-a-row before clouds and showers take over Sunday & Monday. You also have to wonder if storm-related problems throughout New Jersey will result in many less travelers to the shore than usual over what is the final holiday weekend of the summer. Local businesses could really use a big weekend after getting shut out for the most part last week.

One of the few good things about September is the return of your favorite TV shows and some new ones look very interesting as well. I did enjoy a few summer shows the best of which I thought was Combat Hospital. The show is about a military hospital in a war zone of Southern Afghanistan and is based on a real-life Canadian-led NATO hospital. The final episode will air next Tuesday.

Did you ever get a phone call and tell the caller that you will look into something and then call them right back? I did that yesterday but can’t remember who the person is I’m supposed to call back. Starting to get a bit scary.

Rutgers opens its college football season tonight against North Carolina Central at their newly-named High Point Solutions Stadium. Many are picking the Scarlet Knights to finish at the bottom of the Big East standings which is where they were last year. One reason to be optimistic is freshman running back Savon Huggins of Jackson who played his high school football at St. Peter’s Prep and might be the biggest recruit Rutgers has landed. Huggins could even start tonight in his first game as a true freshman.