Saturday, June 16, 2007

10 THINGS I'LL DO WHILE WAITING ON TRAINING CAMP


I’ve taken to calling the days between the last day of Ravens’ OTA’s to the first day of summer camp as the “Dead Zone.” It’s a bit of a shame that it has to be that way.

For some of you youngsters out there, believe it or not there was a day when the Orioles were actually in the thick of a pennant race nearly every season. Transistor radios would be dialed into WBAL or WFBR and serve as the background “noise’ at summer picnics or evenings under those colorful plastic cone-like lights that hung from awnings and clothes lines and porches. The radio broadcast of an Orioles game was as much a part of the summer evening landscape in Baltimore backyards as a pesky mosquito.

Today most Baltimoreans opt for music while enjoying the ambience of their outdoor decks because right about this time for nearly each of the past 10 years, the Orioles are long gone from the pennant race when the Ravens take up their summer siesta. This year is no different.

So during the Dead Zone, here are a few things that I plan on doing to occupy and enjoy my summertime:

1. BUY A SOPRANOS BOX SET: I want to see Tony alive and gamefully whacking those that have it coming. I’m not digging him as a whackee. He’s better as a whacker so I’ll take a stroll down Jersey City lane and try to ignore all these theories about fading to black and Steve Perry. In fact I’ll take Perry’s advice and I won’t stop believing that Tony is alive and that a movie will surface in about three years to help tie up some lose ends.

2. BICYCLE, BICYCLE. I want to ride my bicycle...Hey gas prices are off the charts and the exercise is good for you right? I call that a win-win. Of course if I’m far from home and I get a flat, that’s not a win-win. Then the bowling alley words will fly from my mouth like, well The Sopranos.

3. GONE FISHIN’: I’m not much of a fishing or hunting guy. I always say that I’d like to take a little fishing trip but seldom do I follow through. Check that, never do I follow through. This year I’ll stop talking and start fishing. I’ve even booked it – July 6. Pictures to follow and for some reason the Gilligan's Island theme song just popped into my head.

4. DOWNY OCEAN: I’m a native Baltimorean and Ocean City is like a home away from home for me. I know it’s overpriced, I know it’s congested, I know the traffic heading down can make you crazy, but it is as big a part of the summer landscape in The Land of Pleasant Living as hot steamed crabs. And to this day, I still enjoy those lazy days at Fish Tales and Seacrets accompanied of course by adult libations and that fat juicy rib-eye at The Blue Ox. Last summer I made the mistake of riding my bike from 123 rd Street to Fish Tales (21st Street). Getting there wasn’t a problem. Going back – big problem. For $2 you can ride the bus all day. “Thank you driver for getting me here…too much, magic bus.”

5. KEY WEST: If you could take Fells Point, expand it and then give it a Caribbean feel with all the seaside festivities and activities, you’d have Key West. Some call it a destination in the State of Florida. I call it a state of mind. I’ll be there a week in June and a week in July and if you find me down there you’ll know why. I’m the guy who’ll be wearing some t-shirt from some pub in Baltimore or Ocean City just to spark a conversation with some strangers in the same “state” I plan to be in. Long live The Conch Republic!

6. HALL OF FAME: Remember that little thing we started to help restore Baltimore’s football heritage. We’re up to about 28,000 signatures. Well I’ve called the HOF twice and left messages. I’ll call again and if they still don’t return the call, I’m thinking certified letter. Then if nothing comes of it, we’ll do a press release and get everyone fired up again that they are ignoring the pleas of 28,000 potential visitors to their museum and one of the game’s immortals. You know who I’m talking about…And hey if you haven’t heard of our petition, go to ColtsHeritage.com and sign it….please?

7. ON THE RADIO: Let’s have some fun on GAMETIME (AM 1300 Sundays 11am to 1pm). When the season starts we will be focused 24x7 (pun intended) on all Ravens insight. But during the Dead Zone, let’s take a look back and have some fun. Last week we broke out The Sopranos talk. This week, let’s talk about your Pop and what he’s meant in your life. Next week, I’ll leave that up to Shan Shariff who’s sitting in for me. I’ll call in and tell him a Key West story. Do you have one?

8. THANKS CAL: I graduated from high school the same year as Cal. Cal was drafted along with my teammate at Archbishop Curley, Tim Norris. I met Cal at Tim’s wedding and my first thought was, “This dude is bigger than I thought!” Little did I know then that Cal would go on to be bigger than life here in Baltimore. This summer he goes into the MLB Hall of Fame. Thanks for the memories and for being Baltimore to the core. Oh and here’s a little plug for my friend Tony Sciuto. On his site TonySciuto.com you can purchase a great tribute song to Cal written and performed by Tony call Legend in the Sun. Well worth the small price…

9. STAY FIT, STAY OUT OF TROUBLE: I’ll listen to Coach Billick and try. I hope the Ravens’ players try even harder. These players can’t live in plastic bubbles yet I hope they at least give it a shot. Speaking of shots, Dawan Landry’s brother LaRon was recently shot while playing paintball and word is footage of that shot inspires any man to reach and cover his, uh…private parts. He had to be excused from practice. Hey Ravens, stick to Playstation 3 but be careful not to overwork those thumbs. And watch out for the power cord.

10. PREPARING FOR CAMP: At this writing there are only 44 days left until camp. This promises to be a great season and a fun, spirited and competitive training camp. So on my list is an early reservation at Baugher’s up in Westminster so I can find a parking spot within a $5 cab fare from McDaniel College. It's going to be crowded up there this summer.

To all Orioles fans (I’m one) especially the diehards, I’m sorry. But as my daughter would say, “Cry me a river. Build a bridge and GET OVER IT!”

The sounds of football silence will end soon enough but until then have a safe, fun and happy summer!

2 comments :

Beach Bum said...

TL, Tony is dead. Take your daughter's advice when you finish crying a Sopranos' river...build a bridge and get over it!

I'd like to add something to your list. Take the family to a minor league game in Aberdeen, Bowie, Frederick or Salisbury. Feels like you step back in time and you will get a first hand look at some of the players that will become tomorrow's Nick Markakises. Assuming of course we don't trade them away for the next Glen Davis.

Sam Perlozzo said...

Work in the garden and enjoy the summer off.