I Wouldn’t Say Fair-weather Johnson

I’ve grown up watching the NFL like lots of folks. My own Dad was not a big fan, but my Grandpa and Uncle were. I’m from Ohio so early on I dealt with The Bengals and Browns a lot. In fact my Aunt and Uncle kept me in Cleveland Browns memorabilia, especially since my Uncle was from Cleveland.

When I started being old enough to decide my own likes, I attached myself to the Pittsburgh Steelers, I caught on to them from my local barber shop. The shop my parents took me to had a huge photo of Terry Bradshaw and it wasn’t a Steelers photo, it was an ad for some kinda hair product. Which was kinda odd because Bradshaw didn’t have much hair. I just remember asking who that was and most of the guys were all about the Mighty Mighty Steelers of Pittsburgh.

When I liked the Steelers they totally sucked. They were way past the 70s Super Bowls, way past. I had a Louis Lipps jersey I got for Christmas. I loved Merrill Hoge and Bubby Brister. My Uncle wasn’t too threatened by my Steelers love because his Browns were dominating the AFC half of the NFL at that time. However, no matter how great Cleveland was, they could not get past The Denver Broncos. After what became known as “The Drive” and the amazing fourth quarter comeback led by John Elway, I was a Broncos fan. I had John Elway’s Quarterback for the he 8 bit Nintendo. I had all the Broncos Starting Lineup figures. It was ok they got embarrassed in the Elementary School era Super Bowls.

I would stay with the Broncos for the longest. I even made it to a game against my more local Cincinnati Bengals. I’d ordered a Terrell Davis Jersey online to wear to the game. It was a size too big and felt like a moomoo but I wore it anyway. The Bengals were the worst team in the league but they beat the Broncos. In fact running back Corey Dillon broke the single game rushing record.

Our end zone seats became pretty rowdy and a drunk Bengals fan spat on me. He was quickly removed but it was still kinda crappy. Plus I paid a hundred bucks in 2000 to get spit on. Went back to that staidum with kick ass free tickets later on though and kinda rooted for the Bengals to beat the Texans. Tickets were 50 yard line. It was a much better experience.

I grew to hate the Steelers, super Fair Weather Johnson team. I’m not a fan of bandwagons. My NFL love cooled over the last ten years or so. Last Super Bowl I watched was Payton Manning and the Broncos get brutally beaten by the Seahawks. It was at a Buffalo Wild Wings so at least the food was good.

Suddenly after a few years away, I started to miss the NFL. Maybe it was President Trump’s constant attacks that made me want to revisit what I’d once loved so much in my youth. Most of the names I’d last watched were gone. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and a few others were still around. Still hated the Steelers and the Broncos did nothing for me. The Buffalo Bills had changed uniforms and those looked cool, kinda had that old school AFL vibe. I caught Bills living legend Jim Kelly on the ESPY’s back in the spring and his story and courage battling cancer really hit me.

A few days of checking up on Kelly led to stories of the Bills first round draft pick Josh Allen and his journey from California, to Wyoming, to the NFL. At a family birthday party my wife and oldest daughter we’re making tie dye shirts and when asked what colors I wanted I went with Bills colors.

Then I caught the Bills and Bengals on a preseason game. Then just like that the Buffalo Bills became my team. They we’re blew out in week one by the Ravens, but I’ve always liked an underdog.

Follow Mid-American-Culture on Twitter and keep up with us for fresh perspectives on all sorts of stuff. Happy weekend!

Nostalgia Trip with Baked Good Friends

Hey everyone, randomly things from my childhood pop in my mind and today it’s the Hostess Bakery Characters. Designed by Don Duga, famous for Mr. Magoo and Frosty the Snowman. I loved all these guys when I was a kid and they were everywhere from cartoon commercials to almost all the comics that were on the spinner rack. They even featured into stories with Hostess Cakes helping Batman and Robin or whomever solving a tasty case.

Everyone most likely knows of the most well known of the Hostess gang, Twinkie the Kid.

He’s been on just about everything from t-shirts and skateboards to recently a Funko Pop figure exclusive to Target Stores. Usually seem with his hat and trusty lasso, he’s the golden sponge cake the rest of the gang looked to when the chips were down.

There was also King Ding Dong, a royal pastry set to help draw attention away from rival Drake’s Ring Dings. It was a true cake eat cake world. Also according to a 1971 commercial, only kids can see him.

Then there was Happy Ho Ho, a Robin Hood type character. I didn’t really see much of Happy. I think my family must have preferred Swiss Rolls.

While Twinkies are the most universally known Hostess Cake, I think the chocolate cupcakes are the most universally loved. Their mascot was Captain Cupcake.

Fruit Pie the Magician was a favorite of mine, my Grandpa and I had a thing for the fruit pies and my Grandma always made sure we had some.

While there were a few more characters, my list wraps up with Chief Big Wheel. I did not remember him as a kid and when I did some research Chief Big Wheel was only used in areas where Ding Dongs competed with the before mentioned Ring Dings by Drake’s. So a Big Wheel is a Ding Dong but sometimes had orange frosting.

Youtube is full of the old commercials in case you’ve enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me. Please keep checking back daily for fresh content from Mid-American-Culture and have a great weekend.

Take a Break With Frost

Hi everyone, how about a Saturday afternoon break with maybe a cup of coffee and a piece of that cake. Robert Frost is my favorite poet of all time and a break from the grind with a great poem is often a nice respite from long day. Maybe even a your own mental cliff dwelling. Have a nice weekend everyone and keep looking out for fresh content daily from Mid-American-Culture.

A Cliff Dwelling

There sandy seems the golden sky
And golden seems the sandy plain.
No habitation meets the eye
Unless in the horizon rim,
Some halfway up the limestone wall,
That spot of black is not a stain
Or shadow, but a cavern hole,
Where someone used to climb and crawl
To rest from his besetting fears.
I see the callus on his soul
The disappearing last of him
And of his race starvation slim,
Oh years ago – ten thousand years.

by Robert Frost

Currently Reading and Enjoying….Damage!

So DC Comcs launched a new set of comics following their last big crossover event called Dark Metal. Well it was Batman driven and I’m not a big fan of the Dark Knight, but a new initiative introducing new characters and their various series spun out of it. My favorite of these is Damage.

The story and gimmick of Damage is a super soldier turned monster. I know it’s borrowed heavy from Captain America and the Incredible Hulk. The series throws a gimmick that Ethan Avery, the soldier that became Damage, can only become him for one hour every 24 hours. As the action unfolds through the comic we get a counter in panel.

Avery and Damage are portrayed as two separate consciousnesses that can communicate with each other. The dynamic has unfolded since issue one and develops more each issue. The action in the series really sets it apart from everything else. The action and pacing is fantastic and a big drawl. In just 7 issues Damage has taken down the Suicide Squad, fought Wonder Woman and had a huge fight in New Orleans with Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing.

The hero initiative began by DC Comics back in the early Spring of this year hasn’t fared particularly well sales numbers wise. The Immortal Men has already been marked for cancellation. I don’t feel DC has particularly advertised the line very well and has lacked overall support. Damage sold 17,000 plus copies in June, not setting the world on fire but the ax hasn’t swung yet. Hopefully positive word of mouth will get more people to give the series a try, I really like it. It’s the only series I’m up to date on at this point.

Well have a great weekend and stick with Mid American Culture for fresh content daily.

10 Outstanding Facts About Ted Williams

Good morning all, I watched this week’s PBS American Masters: Ted Williams and it was terrific. He was always one of my favorite ballplayers, but the documentary kicked my love into a new level. Here’s 10 facts about Ted Williams, and I highly recommend that epsiode.

Continue reading “10 Outstanding Facts About Ted Williams”

The Dying of the Light

Good morning, today I’ll share with you another of my favorite poems, Do Not Go Gentle into that Goodnight By Dylan Thomas.

Dylan Thomas was born in Whales in 1914. He was an average student who dropped out of school at age 16. He sought work as a journalist and would eventually work for the BBC. He would rise to literary notoriety in 1934 with the publication of his work, Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines. Thomas married Caitlin Macnamara in 1937. The family would struggle financially as Dylan worked as a writer. He would take on reading tours to supplement income. His marriage to Caitlin was fairly destructive and they both drank heavily. Dylan would also become a pretty big fan of American candy bars while he toured the U.S. and would add to his unhealthy lifestyle. During his fourth trip to the U.S. he fell gravely ill and would pass away at the young age of 39. It was the time in America that would give Dylan Thomas his popularity and following in literary history. I first encountered him in High School where my literature teacher had a framed photo of him hanging off the chalk board. Here’s my favorite Thomas poem.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas, 19141953

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

.

Here is Sir Anthony Hopkins doing a brilliant reading. Have a great weekend and keep checking in with Mid-American-Culture as we bring fresh content daily.

Posthumously Discovering the Sound.

I inherited all my Mom’s Beatles records when I was a kid. I’d spin the 45’s all day long with my Michael Jackson Thriller singles. I’d spend the weekends often with my cousin, and I’d get up early with my Aunt and we’d watch the Beatles cartoon while I nibbled on a Little Debbie cake and she had her coffee. John was my favorite Beatle. My Aunt liked Paul. It was probably 1983 or 1985. I’d see Paul McCartney doing Wings stuff, plus he had a duet with Michael Jackson, The Girl is Mine, eventually I’d ask my mom and Dad about John Lennon and what he was doing now, I knew the Beatles were from before my time. I knew Ringo was in movies, my parents had rented Caveman. Not sure about George Harrison, unaware of where he fell in my elementary school mind. However it would be answered soon in the form of his massive hit I Got My Mind Set on You.

My parents would tell me that John Lennon had been dead for a few years. Since 1980 actually. 3 years after I was born. He was shot to death outside his New York home by a fan who had sought an autograph earlier. This broke my little heart. John! The funny one from Hard Days Night. He sang my 2 favorite songs, Twist and Shout and Revolution. It was just sad and strange that someone I’d spent do much time listening to and watching was gone, and I didn’t even know it.

Of course this happens all the time. Kids are growing up listening to Kurt Cobain, Biggie and Tupac, and of course Michael Jackson just to name a few. What made me think of this was the passing of Frightened Rabbits lead singer Scott Hutchinson. Earlier in the week I’d seen he was trending on Twitter as his friends and fans put out a plea to look out for him and hoping for his safe return after he’d walked away from his hotel room in Scotland on Wednesday. I’d assumed the guy perhaps simply needed a break and took a walk. Apparently however he struggled with depression issues most of his life.

On Friday it was announced that Scott Hutchinson had passed away. Devastated fans posted pics and song lyrics. He’d taken the time to write fans back and they now were lamenting his loss along side pictures of hand written letters. He seemed like an incredibly geniune person. He had tweeted a few times after he’d gone missing just to remind people to love and care for each other.

I had never listened to the band Frightened Rabbits knowingly. I’ve done some Snow Patrol radio on Pandora and some of their songs seemed to ring a bell Friday as I played their music on Spotify. I was blown away and instantly fell in love with the sound. I worked all day listening to The Wood Pile, Get Out, and Keep Yourself Warm. I’d learned the band was originally formed in 2004 and began playing local pubs around Glasgow, before recording their first album in 2006.

So here I was sad about the loss of this talented and lovely gentleman, but also thouroughly enjoying this new catalog of music. I guess the thing to take away here is to enjoy life and keep a look out for others who may rotate into your atmosphere. Sadness and Depression can affect all of us from time to time. However for some it’s harder to shake off the shakles of despair. Be an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on. There are hotlines available for professional help. The suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255 use it if you need it, pass it on if you know someone else that might. Have a good week people. Look after each other. Thanks for reading and checking out Mid-American-Culture and I’m gonna leave you with some Frightened Rabbits. Peace.