Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Mojo Boogie - Week 13

First of all, it’s SNOWINGGGGGG!

This is the view out the front door of the House of Bluz.

I hate snow, but I can cope with it. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cleveland, Albany NY and other spots across the Midwest. I can deal. People in Baltimore cannot. They lose their freakin’ minds at the first forecast of a couple flakes.

Schools close, people call off work, and the supermarkets are mobbed, primarily for eggs, bread and toilet paper. As if all you can do when trapped at home by a half an inch of snow is eat egg sandwiches and shit.

At least I don’t have to go out today. Well, I do, sorta… I need beer and popcorn for the Pens game tonight. I could walk to the store if I wanted, but I’ll take the opportunity to clear the snow off the car so I don’t have to do it Monday morning in my work clothes.

Before I go on to the customary frivolity, we got a sad note this week when we heard that Foge Fazio died. If you live in Pittsburgh, chances are you know all about that. If not, Foge used to coach at Pitt, Notre Dame and also with the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings. He also used to go to school with my Dad and is considered a family friend.

I only met him at once, at my Grandma’s funeral a couple years ago… the one I mentioned in this post, when I was listening to the Steelers game with an earphone wired up the back of my suit. But my dad and he kept in fairly regular touch. And I know that back when he was coaching with Pitt, he got my dad and my brother down onto the field before the game and introduced him to the team. He always had time for his buddies from Coraopolis.

By all accounts, he was a fine guy, as recounted by Ron Cook in the PG this week. He will be missed. Dad, you have anything to add?

The Mojo Boogie
This week, we have the Raiders, at home.

The first pro football game I ever saw was a Raiders/Cowboys pre-season game in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. I was probably 14, my brother was 12, and we went to the game alone.

I knowHoly crap!

It was back in 1976 (or so) and we were on a long vacation out to the west coast. Well, we were on vacation… Dad was working. Somehow he managed to come up with 2 tickets to the game. Hmmm, how to divide the tickets between 3 football fans?

So being a great Dad, he decided to give us the tickets. He drove us to the stadium, told us when he’d be back to pick us up and set us out on our own. We’d been to plenty of baseball games before, so it didn’t seem like a very big deal. We went in, found our seats and enjoyed the game. We even saw Cowboy Ray there. Didn’t know who he was at the time, but later saw him on TV at all the Cowboy games.

I must note that this was BEFORE Oakland became famous for the Black Hole and all the crazy Road Warrior dudes in the stands.

We didn’t see anything unusual, except maybe for Cowboy Ray, who probably would have been beaten with his own boots if he’d shown up there about 10 years later.

Anyway, we had a great time, saw our first football game and met up successfully with Dad after the game. No sweat.

Can you imagine dropping off a couple of young boys at a football stadium NOW? Any stadium, let alone the one where the Raiders play? Holy crap, how many child-abuse laws would that violate?

But much like all the other crazy shit we did in the 70’s, we pulled it off.

For Sunday’s game, I’m going back to the Chargers game and breaking out the black Troy Polamalu jersey and dusting off the white Steelers sweatpants I’ve worn the last couple years. I’d feel better if Troy were actually playing, but this will have to do.

Bohemian Muppetry
Now, just because I think it’s flippin’ hilarious, here’s a video that just kills me. I used to love The Muppet Show back in the 70’s (especially the Swedish Chef) and this clip is very true to the original spirit. Anyone that’s ever seen the original Queen music video will recognize most of the shots, and devotees of The Muppet Show will appreciate how the behavior of the Muppets are consistent with their character.

Note: it starts slow, so be patient. The action kicks in when the song does.

Gotta love the classics!


  1. Good, you do the Steelers mojo and I'll do Pens mojo. Crosby's groin is bothering him again (and I try so hard to be mature about these things), so they need a bit of luck, too. Step it up, Geno...

    It looks sorta like your apartment complex has a fine dusting of powdered sugar on it. But I can sympathize with the Baltimoreans (is that right?) The "Cracker" in my screen name refers to my being a 10th-generation Florida Cracker. Five years in NYC and I'm *still* adapting to snow. The bit about the groceries made me laugh real hard, though.

  2. We got about 3" in total today, heavy wet snow that we used to love to play in as kids. I was tempted to start chucking snowballs at cars.

    I usually bust out a game jersey for Saturday night Pens games. Then once the playoffs roll around, I'm just as mojo focused on them as I am for the Steelers.

    Last thing the Pens need is for Sid to go down... he's been carrying them for the last 2 weeks. You're right, it's Geno's turn now.

    I know I haven't written about the Pens much so far, but I did do one epic post that you might appreciate, shortly after they won The Cup. I wrote it with non-hockey fans in mind, so it may be a bit "elementary" for you. I was just trying to capture the spirit of those amazing kids and how overpowering the feeling was to long-time fans.

  3. Just this morning, I wrote about how the wife introduced me to hockey (and I introduced her to NASCAR) a few short years ago. It's hard to get too elementary for me! I have loved watching those boys grow into Cup-winning men, though. I'll go look--thanks!

  4. Foge was a classmate, with about 103 in our class, everyone knew everyone. I kept in touch with Foge and his coaching changes, He went to the Vikings as Defensive Coordinator and we were living in Green Bay. I saw him before a game at Lambeau on the field and he invited me to the Team Bus after the game, The Packers won and I took my Packers shirt off and went to the bus parked outside their locker room. I was asked if I wanted a beer, I agreed, and Foge hollared into the Bus to get a beer for his friend. About 7-8 beers were handed out the bus windows by the hugest men I ever saw. Glad I took off my Packer shirt. Foge was a good guy. I last saw him at our 50th class reunion. He was a class leader, class mate, and a classy guy. Dad

  5. I'm so jealous of your snow! We've barely gotten any here in MN and what we have had melted right away!

    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's difficult to lose someone.

    There are all kinds of things we could do in the 70s, even the 80s, that kids can't do today. Ahh the good ol days. lol

    Have fun at the game!

    That Muppets vid was freaking fantastic! I love the Muppets! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Thanks for visiting, Raven. I've been reading your site for a about a month now and have been enjoying it.

    For more about the things we used to be able to get away with, page back a few posts and read the 2 "Barnstorming" entries.

    I'm sure you'll get your snow soon enough... Minnesota in winter is not for the meek!

  7. I can't imagine letting my kids do half the stuff I did. We used to get dropped off at rock concerts as teens. We were even allowed to go on our own when we turned 16. That's nuts!

    Let's hope this weekend of football is better for both of our teams!!

  8. No car seats, 70 mph speed limits, smokers in the house and on airplanes, cigarette advertising rampant, kids playing outside unsupervised...

    It's a wonder we managed to grow up at all.


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