FPW: Red Baron Pepperoni

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I told you I would be back for another week.

This time around, it’s a Red Baron Pepperoni Pizza. This should about as standard as it gets for a pizza. It’s not your high-end pie that compares to a delivery. It’s also not the cheapest thing on the shelf. On paper, this is a very adequate pizza.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

In fact, I like it that way. This is exactly a pizza that you get what you pay for. So let’s go ahead and enjoy it’s adequacy.

Read More…

FPW: The Home Run Inn Kickoff Special

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In what will hopefully be a regular feature on this site, I’m proud to bring you the first ever Frozen Pizza Wednesday review.

For those that don’t know me that well, I’ve had frozen pizza every Wednesday for years. It’s a perfect “hump day” treat to get you through the rest of the week, and it’s quick and easy when you’re exhausted.

Because of the pleasure this brings me each week, I figured I would share all of my thoughts with you, on which ones are best and worst, so that you may be able to make a more educated selection at your local grocery store.

There will be many factors considered in the determination of how good each pie is. These include: price, nutrition content, crust taste, sauce taste, cheese / toppings taste, how comforting it is, how filling it is. Finally, I will give an overall grade that may not be an actual mean, but rather a subjective score of how good I think it actually is.

So without further ado, I give you this week’s Frozen Pizza Wednesday: Home Run Inn’s Classic with Sausage & Uncured Pepperoni.

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Grumblings: Defense is all about footwork

One of my three summer jobs involves me working with kids that are, for the most part, in high school or about to be. Interacting with them is one of the more rewarding parts of the gig, and it had me thinking back on my time at Warren Township.

Much of it was good, much of it was bad. But in reminiscing about those years, a memory popped back in my head from when I was on the freshman basketball team. At that point, I had already been established as a defensive-minded guy…. but then again, you have to be when you have no offensive game of which to speak of.

One day I was on the scout team, playing center, in a drill where our starting five where supposed to beat a unique full-court press. The scheme involved me setting up at half court right in the middle.

“Zeck. Stand at half court. You’re on defense,” my coach said. Read More…

Greg’s Grumblings: An ode to cell phone usage

Hello, it’s been a while. I missed you. Kinda.

Sorry I’ve been gone, a busy spring semester was followed up with an even more time-consuming summer, but I’m back (for now). I have a little free time so I figured I’d start a new little feature called “Greg’s Grumblings”. It’s basically just me talking about things I see that make me scratch my head or nod in approval. We start with.

Highway Signs

Not too long ago, I was driving up I-75 from Fort Myers when I was passing through North Port. It had been a while since I had driven on that stretch of land; there were now miles of construction around the place I used to call home. The traffic was a pain …. when it was moving, but I came across a curious sign on the board up above. I cannot recall what it read word-for-word but it was something to the effect of:

REPORT DANGEROUS DRIVING
CALL XXX-XXXX

So much for discouraging the use cell phones while driving, or safe driving for that matter.

What’s more, I hate making calls like that to begin with. It would have been SO much easier if they just provided a number that we could text into instead.

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Blog: Is it baseball season yet?

Moneyball – the movie edition which featured Brad Pitt, who looks nothing like Billy Beane – came out on a fall Friday during my senior year of college.

I had already read the book a couple times, getting lost in the poetic phrases Michael Lewis provided, such as “Nine Scott Hattebergs are, by some measure, the best offense in baseball.”

Safe to say, I was thrilled to see the movie, which I went to see in Savoy with my friend, Pat.

The film was in the very least entertaining. I know the script had been drafted, torn apart, drafted again, put through a shredder and then re-written. For all the struggles the movie had in just being made, it turned out quite well. After all, how can you not be romantic about baseball?

Towards the end of the movie, after the declined job offer from the Red Sox Beane watches the clip of (The Blue Plate Special) Jeremy Brown hitting a home run in the video room. He then is seen driving his car. Beane slips in a CD into his stereo and its of his daughter singing. It’s the attempt to pull at the heartstrings a little bit.

Time to make fun of myself a little bit: it’s also at that point, that my eyes tend to get extremely stressed from staring at a screen for an extended period of time (we’re pushing more than two and a half hours when you factor in opening credits). My eyes dry out, and if I begin to rub them, I start to produce tears.

For some reason, my eyes were extremely dry at the end of the movie, and I was rubbing them a lot.

Instead of thinking of something clever to say to Pat about why I was tearing up – like that I was just so upset Jonah Hill was cast to play ‘Peter Brandt’ – I explained to Pat that “it’s just my eyes! I swear!”

I like that the film tried to get your emotions going. But it tried to do too much. It wanted to establish a relationship between Beane and his daughter that made you care. It wanted to introduce math into the game. It wanted to remind you how beautiful a game that baseball can be.

Nothing compares to how special a moment is to actually living in it. Every re-creation will ultimately fail.

Just look at this past World Series between the Royals and Giants. You couldn’t have asked for much more as a fan.

How can you not be romantic about baseball?

After watching Moneyball again today, I already miss watching games. Thank goodness these next couple months are intriguing.

We’ve already had an interesting offseason with Joe Maddon departing the Rays for the pastures as green as the Wrigley Field ivy on a July afternoon. [An aside: if Maddon was going to leave the Rays for any team, I’m glad it was for the team I grew up watching.] We have a ton of free agent pitchers that are salivating to get paid. We have excitement in markets that haven’t had any in so long (except you, Mets fans – sorry to admit it, but it’s true).

Best of all, we just a few more months until pitchers and catchers report to see it all come to fruition.

And even if we do get disappointed, there’s always next year, and I can’t wait.

 

I have a big week this week. I don’t want to dish out all the details, but baseball is involved once again. How do you say thank you to something that has given you so much already? Stay tuned….

Just take me back

Photo via @Illinois1867 Instagram feed

I breathe in deep and the cold, 65-degree air begins to fill my lungs. On a good day, my nose and cheeks turn a rosy red. On a bad day, they would have either remained peachy or started to look like beets.

Then I exhale and the can hear the wind rushing out of my mouth.

There’s a constant rustle in the background. It is not an inconvenience at all, but rather a welcome sight.

This. This is what I live for.

I am not there, but for a brief moment, I am. Read More…

Blog: Our society needs a look in the mirror regarding domestic violence.

A little over a year ago, I was told a story about domestic violence. I only heard this secondhand from the person that was in the room when the information was revealed.

It involved an athlete – I believe it was a football player but cannot remember for certain; based on the time of year, it would have made more sense had it been basketball instead.

The player was going through a mock interview of what sort of questions would be asked during a draft combine / at some point before a pro draft.

“Would you ever hit a woman,” I was told the interviewer asked.

“Yeah,” the athlete responded. “Bitch deserved it.”

The story, which was told to me by a female, was meant to be humorous – nobody would be that stupid to actually tell a potential employer that you hit women, right? Yes, the answer was ridiculous. But I remember at the time feeling uneasy about what I had heard.

If I knew the identity of the athlete, trust me, I further action would have been taken immediately.

Instead that player was corrected that an answer such as that would not be looked too favorably by a team. To the best of my knowledge, he was not instructed that what he had done was morally wrong and criminal.

When I saw the video of the Ray Rice incident this morning, the uneasy feelings I had felt a year ago now felt a general sickness to my stomach. To actually see a man strike a woman really put things in perspective. It’s something I had never seen besides in a movie, but to know that actual pain was suffered by a human being – to see it – it got my blood boiling a little bit.

As I cooled off to begin a very exhaustive day, I began to think: why, because you wear a jersey, are some violent actions against women not only brushed aside, but the clearance celebrated?

Look just weeks ago at the Ray Rice situation. A two-game suspension was arbitrarily tossed in by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. It was only because of backlash that Goodell instead later on announced violators of domestic violence would be subject to a six-game ban instead. When Rice showed up to training camp, he was cheered by Baltimore fans.

Why? Because he can run with a catch a football.

While I’m understandably upset at these athletes, countless others that we have heard about, and the many more we haven’t, I’m just as upset as us as a society.

We have let women down.

It’s time we all take a step back and reflect about what this Rice situation has brought us. We can, and I believe we are, making great strides to see how egregious this really is. Now let’s do something about it.

The next time this happens – and it will happen – we need to show our character and tell the perpetrator that violence against a woman is not OK.  Maybe after extensive rehabilitation we can begin to accept once again, but anything else besides championing the victim is, quite simply, a failure.

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