Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's Now Officially Football Season

It's been many years since I had any baseball interest this deep in October. In fact it's been many years since I hadn't released my very tenuous hold on the game in July or so. But the resilient Orioles ran through a magical 2012 campaign and made baseball fun. But that, sadly, is over. As much as I hate having them lose to the Yankees it was hard for me to be very upset. They showed a lot of heart (and the need for a few more bats) and they looked like they were having fun.

Best news is that next season the Orioles will be coming to Houston every season! Not many Astros fans are happy about the league switch but I'm really grateful for the chance to see them without taking a road trip to Dallas/Fort Worth. But that's next year. Right now my focus turns to football, at least in my day-to-day rooting interests. I'll still be blogging baseball stuff here among other things. Lately, with the O's so much in the forefront this blog has been more 'Oriole-centric' than I intended it to be. Time for some diversity.

Although I was born in Baltimore and lived in Brooklyn and on Long Island I did most of my growing up in Nutley, New Jersey. Great little town not too far from New York City but what seemed like a whole different universe to me while I was growing up.

There were lots of kids up and down the blocks surrounding my home and, living on a dead-end street, we played a lot of sports right out there on my block. Street football took up a lot of our time in the fall. We would play with usually three or four kids on a side, telephone poles marked the first downs and two man hole covers were our goal lines.

I fancied myself a quarterback and tried my best to be Johnny Unitas. I had a buddy who usually played on my team and the two of us had a set play we called the 'Tommy McDonald'. It involved a pump fake long and him then cutting sharply towards the curb. I'd have the ball already on it's way to where he was going to meet it and, with him being tall, it was pretty much unstoppable. The play was named for the 50's/60's receiver and Hall of Famer Tommy McDonald who played mainly for the Eagles and Rams and was famous for being the last NFL player to not wear a face-mask on his helmet.

They pay me to catch footballs (SBS)
The '63 Topps McDonald card I posted was one of my very first eBay purchases. McDonald is one of a handful of non-Baltimore Colt players I collect. I had his book way back when and I'm tempted to pick it up again on Amazon for a couple of bucks.