Posted: Thursday July 14, 2005 12:09PM; Updated: Monday July 18, 2005 11:39AM
I found it on ABE Book Search (abebooks.com) for a buck, and the notation read, "all pages clean." Filthy pages are a lot more expensive, as we well know.
Next bookish query. Tom Giants (honest, he lists himself that way) wants to know how he can get a copy of my Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football. If you want the original one, published in 1970, or the 1971 revision, prices on abebooks start at $1 for an "unknown binding," or $1.62 for "a wonderful copy." Both are overpriced, if you ask me. But, should you want the last revision, the 1984 New Thinking Man's Guide, then it'll cost you dearly. You'll find only five copies listed, starting at an inflated $15.30, ending at, get this now, $137.35 from some dealer in Britain who must be a bit daft or something.
And that's it for the Public Library phase of this presentation.
Craig of North Massapequa, N.Y., knows the identity of Skylab, one of the odd characters I mentioned as part of the Hank Stram entourage, and a fellow I didn't identify because of the chemical enhancements he carried in his attache case. Craig reminds me that Skylab was "quite a character, but he was also passionate about his football." You're absolutely right, Craig, and I feel no guilt in kibitzing him a little because I was always nice to Skylab and always treated him with respect. For the last seven years, Skylab has been drawing up his game plans along the distant shore. That's right, he is no longer with us.
Jesco of Hamburg, Germany (before we get into this, tell me, please, Jes, old pal, how I can get to see the film, The Hamburg Cell.) is a Ravens fan and wants to know why they keep fortifying their defense, when it's the offense that's the problem. Well, I like what they got on offense better than on defense. KeydrickVincent's a pretty good guard. Derrick Mason is a terrific wideout. On the other side of the ball, Samari Rolle replaces Gary Baxter, a big guy who was pretty decent in their scheme, even if he wasn't the speediest person around.
Rolle was a fine player at one time, but he's missed eight starts in the last two seasons. He was a Pro Bowler five years ago. You mention Deion. One of the two greatest corners I've ever seen (the 49ers' Jimmy Johnson is the other), but it's time to get off the Deion kick, don't you agree? He'll be 38 next month and he was through five seasons ago. Now you move into another area -- why do supposed saviors like John Lynch and Champ Bailey in Denver or PhilipBuchanon and Charles Woodson in Oakland "tend to get beat every friggin time?" Lynch is old. Bailey was a target for deep passes. The two Raiders were up and downers, with not many ups for Buchanon. Make your judgments, please, on what your eyes tell you, not on the hype you read.
I've just been knighted. Sgt. First Class Charles, nicknamed "Safety," from Camp Henry, South Korea, ends his missive with, "THANKS SIR!" That's all right, sergeant. Stand at ease, and let's round up those strays trying to bug out on that R&U detail. Sir. Oh, brother. After two years I came out almost as clean as I went in ... Pvt. E-3. And just before I rotated out they had me scheduled for a night KP, except that there was this mysterious phone call ... nah, you don't want to hear all that.
Sgt. Charles, oh, hell, let's go with the last name ... it's Ryan. Sergeant Ryan, hence the nickname, get it?, would like to see Andy Reid and Mike Holmgren trade headaches, namely Terrell Owens and Shaun Alexander, and see how the two holdouts would like it at another venue. I blame the clubs for this mishmosh. The Hawks should have wrapped up Alexander, who was one yard off the NFL rushing lead, longterm, a few years ago, so it wouldn't have come to this. Reid knew exactly what he was getting when he signed T.O. last season, a royal pain in the ass. But he traded any prospective problems for a Super Bowl shot, and the Eagles never would have made it without T.O., who had a terrific season. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.