So Croak isn’t really a sports book. The only mentions of sports in the book is when they discuss which New York baseball team the main character follows and when there is a death at a baseball game. Croak is getting mention here because the author, Gina Damico, is a friend of the site and the woman who, for some unknown reason, agreed to marry me. Croak hits shelves today and has now been released upon the world.
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
1) Football – The NFL Combine was last week and QB mega-prospect Robert Griffin III (RG3) was in Indy tearing up the competition. He was the fastest QB in the pack (at 4.41 seconds) in the 40-yard dash. I was timed a few years ago running the 40. That year my time of 5.60 would have been the slowest at the combine, but this year there are three 325+ pound offensive linemen that had a slightly slower time. I’ll consider that a win in my book.
2) Boston College – I’d be remiss in discussing the combine and not bringing up the top tackler in the nation and only BC invitee, Luke Kuechly. He out-performed expectations and looks to be drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round — Probably to Arizona or Philadelphia, but there’s a chance he could end up in my home state on the New Jersey Jets.
Valley Fever is a fungal disease that affects the lungs and has similar symptoms as the flu or a cold. It can sometimes cause a rash. It can also sometimes be deadly to someone with a weak or compromised immune system, spreading from the lungs to other parts of the body. It is most common in “dry desert areas of the southwestern United States, central California, and Mexico.”
What Ike probably needs is just some rest and to eat his green vegetables. My I suggest a delicious green bean infused sandwich called the Chacarero: A Chacarero is a traditional Chilean sandwich. It begins with homemade bread. The main ingredient is either tender grilled steak or chicken (or both). Then with your main ingredient, add steamed green beans, which gives it that authentic Chilean touch, Muenster cheese and fresh tomatoes. After that, add an avocado spread, salt, pepper & a secret hot sauce recipe to complete the sandwich.
4) Basketball – Linsplotation of the linsanity craze is still going strong. Check out this bar poster for Ginasanity:
5) Hockey – The Bruins are having some terrible luck at the moment with missed calls by the refs and what seems like half the team out with an injury. It’s mostly just sad watching these games, so make sure you have a nice pint of Ben & Jerry’s if you plan to watch any of their upcoming games.
6) Faux Serpico – If you hadn’t noticed, this post wasn’t by the world renown Serpico. It was done to show how nice it would be to have him sharing his Boston, Boston College, and sandwich love with the world again.
I decided to find all the spare electronic parts that I could find around my apartment and build a baseball projections robot. Some of the things I found include: an alarm clock, TI-83, a broken toaster, a VCR, an Apple IIe, a PlayStation, a watch with a calculator on it, and a car phone (with carrying case). Armed with my trusty soldering iron and a wondering imagination, I put together ProjectoTron 3000.
Last night, I put in all the current MLB statistics that were available at the time (stats through 4/2/08) and let it start calculating. I went to work in the morning and it was still calculating. Finally when I got home this evening I was able to see it starting to spit out some odd projections for the season. There are a few that I think I should share with you.
Since I’m a no-good, unimaginative hack, I am going to take the same questions Serpico answered, and answer them myself. This isn’t the first time I’ve done something like this. But before I get into the letters, I have to get something off of my chest.
The New York Football Giants are a terrible football team. Ever since Serpico was a wee lad, the giants have been terrible. Remember in 1995 when the Patriots were terrible. They were a 6-10 team, but the Giants were worse — 5-11. Or how about 1997 when both the Patriots and the Giants won their respective divisions. The Giants were worse due to losing in the wild card round.
All I’m saying is that Serpico doesn’t like terrible teams — He actually stopped caring about baseball when the Yankees didn’t have the best record in baseball this year. How can I prove it? He had to email me on the deadline to fix his fantasy baseball lineup for a playoffs week. So I have an answer for Serpico: Follow the Patriots. You are a fair weather fan and we all know it. Just find the biggest band wagon, grab your instrument, and hop on.
I can’t help but feel like Col. Kurtz, having journeyed these final 17 games into the dreadful jungle, the gnarled heart of darkness, only to find the inescapable truth that there is no prize, no joy, indeed nothing but horror in the end. Here, horror that a team filled with promise should implode so thoroughly; horror that a cadre of players in a superstitious sport would…not…shut…up; horror that the season is truly, completely, and chillingly over on October 1.
I don’t think I have anything particularly clever or meaningful to add to the conversation surrounding the 2007 Mets’ unseemly demise, but neither did the localtabloids. Nobody could, really, because this kind of collective numbed silence invites only further silence. Pictures of dejected fans, splashy oh-cruel-world headlines, and calls for the head of Willie Randolph are just so much noise in the ether. The silence is blistering.
X-Treme Baseball! Seriously, it’s like Calvinball without the whimsy or imaginary tiger and paper hats. Their website’s as much of a wretched abomination as their concept of sport, and oh, that poor guy holding the makeshift back/side-stop. Just watch the video: