Much ado about nothing (cont.)
Posted: Friday March 28, 2008 11:57AM; Updated: Friday March 28, 2008 12:20PM
You know something, I'm going to let La Flamboyante answer this one herself.
"We'd been going together about six months. I brought him, as a gift, a lasagna I had cooked. Frozen ... a 20-pound block of it ... it was hell, shlepping it on the plane. I'd gotten the recipe from an Italian chef. It had a touch of cinnamon in it. It's a trick they do in Italy. We thawed the thing out, and as soon as he tasted it he started making fun of it.
"Cinnamon in the lasagna, ha ha ha, cinnamon in the lasagna. How long did I hear that? I'm still hearing it. Now I don't take a chance with anything. I make him things I'm sure he likes. Like meat loaf."
Tom of Fairless Hills, Pa., brings up a topic I've heard discussed for almost 60 years and I'm not kidding. Ruggers vs. football players, skill in one sport as it translates to skill in the other. This piqued my curiosity as a 17-year-old freshman at Stanford. Footballers played rugby in the offseason. Great fun, you could carry the ball, thrash around, take a cheap shot here and there. Many of our good football players, such as All-American end Bill McColl, also were serious ruggers.
Years later I was one of the founders of the Old Blue RFC at Columbia in New York. We played a lot of international matches, which included a month-long tour of the UK, Ireland and Wales. I never felt that ruggers would be able to play pro football, but I did feel that a good American college football team, with about a month's training, would do very well in the British sport. But I had never really seen rugby at the very top level.
Until Red and I went to New Zealand two times and watched some Super Twelve matches, which featured many internationals. I saw a lot of guys in the 235-250 range who were serious hitters -- and faaast! With a little training I think they could convert to effective linebackers or pass rushers. And many thanks, Tom, for the nice things you wrote.
Daniel of La Paz, Baja Calif., is confused by all the NFL position coaches who played a different one during their own careers. I think this can be accomplished by a coach who knows the game itself, is willing to learn about other skills and is a good natural teacher. With one exception: kicking and punting. Many punters and kickers' heads are messed up by coaches with big egos and little inside knowledge of the skills involved.
Ian of Hamilton, Scotland, wants to know where the real blame lies in the firing of Denver GM Ted Sundquist. Looks like they made a scapegoat out of him, after the Broncs missed the playoffs two years in a row. I haven't been wild about their player acquisitions for the last few seasons, but I don't know how much of that was Shanahan's doing. Late in the season Sundquist openly criticized John Lynch in a Denver paper, Then they pulled the plug on his TV appearances. Then he was gone.
Whoops, I overlooked further mention from an earlier e-mailer, Juan of Woodbury, N.J., who mentions that he's also a wine and opera lover. Well yeah, I like wine, too, and now I'm going to tell you something about opera you're not going to believe.
In the old, and I really mean old, Metropolitan Opera days in New York, kids could do something called Suping an opera. You went down there early, lined up for possible selection as a "Super," short for supernumerary, and if you were one of the lucky few who was picked, you got to be on stage in the crowd scenes. That's right, you were actually in the thing. Seems incredible, doesn't it, that they would take a chance on some loony kid acting crazy and messing up a performance, but I never remember it happening. Which opera do I remember best? The last one I successfully Suped, Lucia di Lamermoor with Patrice Munsel.
From Wayne of Burlington, Ontario -- "Dr. Z, settle a bet for me. Who was better, Lawrence Taylor or Bruce Smith?" Smith should be in the Hall of Fame. It's a joke that he isn't. But I'd call LT the greater player. Turned more games around by himself. You ask for top five D men of all time? You're asking for too much. Much careful thought would have to go into this answer, but definitely in there is JJ of the 49ers, Jimmy Johnson, their great left cornerback.
Howard of Toronto gives me the kind of right wing analysis I don't like. Would Brady Quinn be any closer to the No. 1 job in Cleveland if he hadn't held out in camp last year? Granted, the privilege has been abused at times, but the only legitimate weapon of the working man, in any field, is the right to withhold his services. You're talking to a veteran of four newspaper strikes here, but management is always coming down hard on anybody who stays out of work, be it a football player or pipefitter or, yes, a newspaperman. Anderson is better than Quinn right now, holdout or no holdout.
To end this piece, before we part
Scottsdale's Jeff enjoyed one wine
But from the Doc it got a "Fooey,"
No care now, just scoffing. In 1991 Armand of Downingtown, Pa., stayed at a Russian Gothic Inn south of Mendocino called St. Orr's. He remembers it fondly. I remember it with clanging of gongs, shrieks of maniacal laughter and weird little things that jumped off the plate at you.
We visited the place around five years after you did, Armand. It was like the Mad Hatter's tea party. Everything was cuckoo, from the costumes they were wearing to the food they were serving. Which tasted odd. Strangest innovation of all was the redhots they put in the salad, those little cinnamon candies that gave your palate a zzzzap! with each bite. Actually the evening was so goofy it was funny. A few months later we told someone about the redhots.
"You're lucky," she said. "When we were there, we got popcorn in the salad."
Ding dong and let's hear it for Bedlam by the Sea.
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