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For those who do not follow SEC sports, Death Valley is what schools in the South Eastern Conference call the LSU home stadium in Baton Rouge. The reason? Louisiana State University has not lost a home game since 2008. That six year streak came to an end last evening when unranked Mississippi State beat number 8 LSU 34-29. The moral of the story is that is never pays to underestimate the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Despite his best efforts, the Vicar finds himself becoming interested in college football. :)

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Given that I still do plan to close This Fine Blog™ sometime next year…well, don’t ask me why, Denizens – but I just pruned the blogroll.

And if that  weren’t enough – and, bah Gawd (a little Jim Ross lingo, there), don’tcha think it oughta be? – I just updated to WordPress 4.0.

Guess I’m just bored.  Or maybe I don’t want to do the couple of outside chores waiting for me (given that it’s near 90 out today, with 15,000,000% humidity)…

UPDATE: On the other hand, I appear to have found a bug in WordPress 4.0…

Update the Twoth (grin):  Have rolled back to 3.92 for WordPress.  (And General – if you should happen by, that’s it for updates (unless we get hacked again or WP fixes the & # bug).  Sorry.)

To keep The Six or Seven Of You™ in the loop on this – I use “ampersand-pound sign” (or hashtag, whichever floats your particular boat) codes on this site for the purposes of blog-readability.  I was taught in “hah skrewl” (a little Rush lingo, there) to use two spaces after a period or colon, one space for everything else.

Browsers, it seems, don’t agree. This is an example – I just put two spaces after that last period, but you’re only seeing one.

Hence, I “force” a space after every sentence by using a macro in my text editor that generates a period-ampersand-pound sign-one-six-zero text string.  (For those of you in the Church of the SubTarded, that’s “. & # 160″.)  I get my readability, none of you are any the wiser.  (You SubTardians ignore that last part – that would never apply to you anyway.  “Wise” is not how I would describe any of you.)

WordPress 4.0, apparently, ignores the ampersand-pound sign codes, and displays them as straight text.  Which, if I were to stay with it, would make this entire blog, from February 2005 on, totally unreadable.  Hence, the rollback to 3.92, until such time as WP fixes that bug.

(Murphy’s IT Law suggests that WP will consider it a feature, rather than a bug.  Which means I’m probably screwed, big time. (a little Dick Cheney lingo, there))

Which probably means this is my own personal “mene mene tekel upharsin”, y’think?

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Denizens, I was going to pontificate at length (as we start this edition of the Perfect Football Weekend™) about how Roger Goodfella Goodell had gone all pussified sexist on us and hired four bimbos women to help oversee their domethtic violenthe polithies  ‘n all, and about how the witchhunt over any NFL’er who had so much as looked  crossways at a woman had begun (they’ve already arrested & suspended more players), and how all NFL employees are going to have to undergo thenthitivity “awareness” training, and so on & so forth.  And about how this is no longer the game with which I fell in love, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Then I saw this.

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was told by an NFL representative to flip his ‘Know Jesus, Know Peace’ t-shirt inside-out at a press conference over his dislocated ankle on Sunday, reportedly because it was not a Nike t-shirt.

OOOOOOHHHHH!!!!!!!!  THAT BIG BAD BOOGEYMAN, JAY-ZUSSSSS!!!!!ONE!!1!!ELEVENTY!!!!!~

Wonder if Goodfella Goodell ever paused to ponder that, if he & his minions didn’t sneer so much at The Lord Jesus Christ, there might not be so much of the shit that’s going on in the NFL right now, eh what?

Let’s get to the football.  Phil Young takes my Arlington Heights Yellow Jackets into battle at Farrington Field tonight against the Grapevine Mustangs.

Grapevine only won one game last year, has a new head coach and (from listening to local punditry) doesn’t quite have their legs under them just yet.  Gimme Heights in another squash (which, if it proves out, will mean a complete turnaround from last year’s non-district schedule, where they went 0-4 0-3).

Sunday, Tennessee, fresh off its humiliation at the hands of the Cowgirls, visits Andy Dalton & the Bengals of Cincy.  The Orange & Black are only a seven-point favorite at home – which seems to me to be a bit low – but maybe Vegas knows something I don’t.

TCU is off, so we’ll do four wildcard games this week:  Bowling Green State U. and #19 Wisconsin (squash alert), Iowa at UPittsburgh, #6 Texas A&M at SMUT (Schmear Schmoo) and Central Michigan in Lawrence to play Rock Chalk.  (This is Charlie Weis’ last year, you heard it here first.  I don’t care if I-State did  beat Iowa last week, CM’s gonna come in here and torch ‘em.)

We’re back Monday (hopefully) for the recap.  In the meantime…if the light truly has  come on in Cowgirlville, make sure you have Demarco Murray on your fantasy team, ’cause he’s going to gash St. Louis so much you’ll be seeing Ram bone…

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Denizens, I simply ran out of time to get the recap in like I wanted, so here’s the summary:

Arlington Heights 28, at Scots Valley (CA) 14

at TCU 30, Minnesota 7

at Duke 41, Kansas 3

at Fresno State 19, Nebraska 55

at Tennessee 10, Dallas 26

at Cincinnati 24, Atlanta 10

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >

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Denizens, this edition of the Perfect Football Weekend™ begins with NFL mafia don head honcho Roger Goodfella Goodell getting caught acting like the mafia don head honcho mafia don this scribe has always thought him to be.

Recall, if you will, how the NFL just got through suspending Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after the Ravens terminated his contract following that video of him delivering a Joe Frazier-caliber left hook to the noggin of his main squeeze.  At time time, Goodell claimed that that was the first time the NFL had seen the video.

Welllllll…not so fast there, Sparky.

A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée to an NFL executive five months ago, while league executives have insisted they didn’t see the violent images until this week.

The official played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: “You’re right. It’s terrible.”

[...]

The law enforcement official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, says he had no further communication with any NFL employee and can’t confirm anyone watched the video. He said he was unauthorized to release the video but shared it unsolicited because he wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice’s punishment.

The NFL has repeatedly said it asked for but could not obtain the video of Rice hitting Janay Palmer — who is now his wife — at an Atlantic City casino in February.

The league says it has no record of the video and that no one in the league office had seen it until it was released by TMZ on Monday. Asked about the voicemail Wednesday, NFL officials repeated their assertion that no league official had seen the video before Monday.

Soooooo…an initial slap-on-the-wrist for Rice, followed by a cover-up.  “Nuthin’ t’ see here, move ‘long, we don’ know what’cher talk’n ’bout.”

Fairly typical behavior from Roger Goodfella, hm?

Let’s get to the football.  My Arlington Heights Yellow Jackets, having conquered a couple teams that would’ve beat the crap out of them last year, now Go West, Young Men™ – in this case, out Californication way to Scots Valley to play the locals out there.

I honestly don’t know who’s going to win this one – though I’m always leery about games like this.  Gimme Heights and 50.

Gary Patterson’s TCU Horned Frogs are home again this weekend to play the UMinne-haha Golden Ferrets Gophers of the B1G (that’s “Big Ten” for the Church of the SubTarded).  Vegas has the Froggies as a 15½-point favorite at home – which sounds a bit high to me, given that TCU’s still fine-tuning its offense and  Boykin’s still at QB, but I guess we’ll see.

Sunday, Andy Dalton & the Cincy Bengals play host to Matt Ryan and the Hotlanta Falcons.  Vegas has Cincy as a five-point home favorite.

I dunno about this.  I’m not a believer any more in Matt Ryan – yet he does  tend to eat up questionable secondaries – and Cincy has Terrence “Bust” Newman back there.  This could get ugly.

For my wildcard games, we’re going to go with Nebraska at Fresno State (if McNeese nearly pulled off the upset in Lincoln, Fresno’s going to kill them), Kansas at Duke (the Devils get to pwn them in football, too) and the Dallas Cowgirls at Tennessee.  (No, I still don’t like Widdle Jakie Locker, but Dallas doesn’t have anything this year.  I seriously think the ‘Girlz may go 0-16.)

We’re back Monday or so for the recap.  In the meantime, SMUT, which had June “Why Did I Leave Hawaii?” Jones just up & quit on them, is guaranteed not to lose this weekend…because (all together now)…

ENTIRE CAST & CREW OF SCBBS…THEY DON’T PLAY!!!!!

See ya Monday.

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(The following is a column which appeared on my old web site, www.spatulacitybbs.com, on September 11th, 2001.  It is re-posted now in remembrance of then.

This will very likely be the last time this ever gets posted, as I do intend to close Spatula City sometime next year.)

NOTE: This column contains some coarse language. Back out now if such language offends you, please.

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >

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0-16, anyone?

at Arlington Heights 36, Princeton 7

at #2 Alabama 41, Florida Atlantic 0 (Rain-shortened)

at #19 Nebraska 31, McNeese State 24

#20 Kansas State 32, at Iowa State 28

Cincinnati 23, at Baltimore 16

San Transexual 28, at Dall-ass 17

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >

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I wasn’t watching the game real close, and cannot give a play t by play, A couple of things which got my attention:

MSU elected to receive, and managed to score within the first 3 minutes of the game.

Saturday was the SEC channel’s first weekend and about the only glitch was really beyond their control. The Arkansas/Auburn game was on weather delay when the MIS/USM game began, and when play resumed, they cut back to Auburn/Arkansas for about 15 minutes.

The odds makers predicted MSU by 31 and we almost had that covered by halftime.

On a humorous note, on one play, the play interference was actually one of the referees. Dak Prescott threw the ball and the ref couldn’t get out of the way in time, and was caught between two potential receivers. Picture a maroon sandwich with a stripped filling. The ref was shook up, but was able to continue the game.

The only real problem with the high scoring game is that the Vicar had bought Mrs.Vicar a cowbell, and with every score that dang thing was rung, and rung loudly!

The current line on today’s game against Auburn is MSU by 28.

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Denizens, we begin this edition of the Perfect Football Weekend™…by giving one mammoth “ATTABOY!!!!!”  to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cincinnati Bengals appeared to have moved on from former second-round defensive tackle Devon Still when they cut him this preseason. Still, 25, certainly has looked like a bust to this point in his career, and his preseason play was not an indication he had come around.

However, Sitll has had much better things on his mind than football. His 4-year-old daughter, Leah, was diagnosed with stage 4 pediatric cancer back in June.

So when training camp came around, Still lost some desire to play. The Bengals had no choice but to cut him.

I can understand this.  If my son had an illness like that, fixing computers would take a backseat.

But I also see Cincy’s point of view on this.  If you’re gonna play in the NFL, there’s a commitment level there that you must  maintain.  Any less, and you’re not only cheating the team & the ownership, you’re cheating the fans who come to see you.

Cue the happy ending.

But there’s a silver lining to this story. The Bengals re-signed him to their practice squad, and the $6,300 weekly salary and medical insurance will go a long way to help Leah. Still is eminently grateful for the team’s gesture when he knows they simply could have made what NFL teams like to call “business decisions.”

“They could have washed their hands with me and said they didn’t care about what I was going through off the field,” Still said. “It’s like a blessing in disguise for me.”

As a member of the practice squad, Still will practice with the team but not travel. That means he has more time to spend by Leah’s side. Blessing in disguise indeed.

Prayers Leah’s way.

And because of this selfless act by the Bengals…not to mention the fact that they still have Andy Dalton…Cincinnati is being added to the PFW.

They are taking the place of the Dallas Cowgirlz…who (in case you didn’t see the news from the Vicar) signed Widdle Mikey “I Kissed A Man On National TV And I Liked It” Sam to the practice squad.

“It was a little longer than I expected,” said Sam, who is trying to become the first openly gay player to participate in an NFL regular-season game. “But you know what, I’m here now, and that’s all that matters.”

So that’s it.  I’m done with Dallas – for good, this time.  The Cowgirlz now become a PFW “Anti-Team” – meaning they’re now this scribe’s least-favorite team, more disliked than even the Warshington Foreskins or the San Transexual Fairy Whiners.

Which, speaking of them and getting on to the actual football around these parts, is coming to the Death Star Sunday to play the Cowgirls.  We’ll make this a wildcard game and pick the Whiners to win.

Cincy, meanwhile, travels to Baltimore to take on Flacco & the Ravens.  Balt’s defense isn’t what it used to be, not even with Elvis Dumberass Dumervil toiling for them, so I like the Bengals here.

Friday, Phil Young & my Arlington Heights Yellow Jackets are in Princeton, TX, to take on the Panthers in their season opener.  Princeton isn’t bad, and I expect Heights to have its hands full.

TCU is off this week, so for wildcard games we’ll go with Florida Atlantic visiting #2 Alabama, McNeese State headed to Lincoln to get squashed by #19 Nebraska, and #20 Kansas State to go up to Ames to smack around Iowa State.  (This is gonna be a long year for the Cyclones – if they can’t beat Division II N. Dakota State at home, who are  they gonna beat this year? (And no, smart asses – it ain’t gonna be TCU, so don’t even  go there.))

We’ll come back Monday or so with the recap.  In the meantime, my Vicar is cordially invited to write anything about any Mississippi team he chooses…

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Michael Sam is now a Dallas Cowboy.

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A portent of things to come, most likely.

Arlington Heights 29, at Brewer 14

at TCU 48, Samford 14

at #22 Nebraska 55, Florida Atlantic 7

at #2 Alabama 33, W. Virginia 23

at #12 Georgia 45, #16 Clemson 21

at #18 Ole Miss 35, Boise St. 13

at Dallas 3, Denver 27

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >

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Mississippi State was favored over Southern Mississippi by 31 points. If we can keep Southern from scoring, we have the spread covered.

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ZERO!

34 years ago today,Miss Leighann Moore and I were joined in the union of Holy Matrimony. In that ceremony standing before our Lord and our friends we committed to a lifetime of loving, honouring and cherishing each other, through good and bad. We have had both good and bad times, we have made good choices and we have made bad choices, but through it all my amazing wife has stuck with me, and has been faithful to the commitment she made at our wedding. This even though I have been the king of bad choices!

Happy Anniversary my Love, and thank you for a wonderful life together!

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ONE!

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All hands on deck.

MERLIN:  Ready, m’liege.

OZY McCOOL:  Engineering reports full power to engines, Admiral.

KORRIOTH:  We’re not going anywhere, Ozy.

OZY McCOOL:  The Admiral demands operational readiness at all times, General.

KORRIOTH:  Point.

K’HADIBAK’H:  Tactical ready, m’lord.

RAYEGUN:  Southern Command ready as requested, y’old geezer.

THE GENERALETTE (smacking Rayegun, Gibbs-style):  You be nice.

RAYEGUN:  Yes, dear.

T-BONE McMANX:  Communications ready, sir.

THE SPATULAGODDESS:  Didn’t we do something like this a couple of years ago, hon?

MRS. VENOMOUS (with cast-iron skillet):  HON?!?!?!  (waves iron skillet around menacingly)

VENOMOUS:  Put a cork in it, babe.  She’s entitled.

MRS. VENOMOUS (with cast-iron skillet):  And why am I not the SpatulaGoddess?!?!?!

VENOMOUS:  Because you’re Mrs. Venomous, and you don’t look like Eva Longoria.

MRS. VENOMOUS (with cast-iron skillet):  GRRRRRRRR!!!

VENOMOUS:  Shut it, woman.  I have a post to write.

MRS. VENOMOUS (dejected, with cast-iron skillet):  Yes, honey.

VENOMOUS:  I’ll make it up to you, sweetheart…say, with Rafain’s?

MRS. VENOMOUS (with cast-iron skillet & ears perked up):  Ooooooh!!!

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >

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