Good day friends, it’s your buddy BeefLoaf, continuing the 108’s 12 days of Christmas…..I really love the movie “My Blue Heaven”, starring Steve Martin and Rick Moranis. I think in a prior 108 blog post or two we called this a “baseball movie” as it has a lot of baseball related story lines built around a high profile witness in the witness protection program. Much like calling the 108 blog a “baseball” blog, this is a reasonable assessment, if not being entirely 100% dead on accurate. Anyway, in the movie, in the final stanza, the main character, Vincent Antonelli aka Todd Wilkinson (played by the very talent Steve Martin) is running away from his former organized crime associates who are trying to run him down to keep him from testifying when he embarks on an anecdote about disappointment, truthfully, it is about a disappointing Christmas, which is where I’d like to start……
I was 7, no 8 and this was Christmas Day 1986……Yes, the Bears were king, but little did we know that they would be bowing out of the playoffs early that year to the Redskins at home…..anywho, the presents had been opened that fine day already and Chorizy-E and I were no doubting enjoying playing with our He-Man characters or WWF wrestling figures or whatever other awesome stuff we got for Christmas………..
SIDE NOTE – As I’ve proclaimed before and as you can tell here, I don’t have fond present memories, although I do remember one year we got Castle Grayskull which was integral to playing with He-Man and that was pretty fucking boss! Regardless, MadMex and MamaMex came through on the usual with A++ gifts, its just that you tend to remember the times more than the actual gifts, which is why I tend to like Thanksgiving > Xmas, but YMMV….back to the story.
…….this was the time we got ready for the Xmas meal (let us say around 11am), and in fact this year we were going to my Grandparents’ house. Now this might sound like a deal, but we lived in a coach (NOT DA COACH) house in back of my Grandfather’s 3 flat, so it was about 100 steps (including flights of stairs) up to their place. Now, as much fun as Grandma and Grandpa’s house is when you are 8 years old (believe me, it was A LOT of fucking fun, Grandma loved candy and ice cream more than Buddy the Elf and they also used to get those big bottles of pop delivered to them weekly, which had a bunch of different flavors, cola, cream soda, orange, etc, fucking sick when you are a kid…….I still remember going to see my grandma daily on summer mornings when school was out, she’d make us Farina with tons of sugar, buttered toast and coffee with cream and also with enough sugar to make the spoon stand up. That was good times!! We’d watch the Price is Right, back when good ole Bob Barker was getting down with the Barker’s Beauties, long before he was being awesome in terrible Adam Sandler films, but I digress….)…….but as much fun as Grandma and Grandpa’s house was for all that, it was TERRIBLE for hosting a holiday meal. This was your basic 4 room apartment with 1 bath, the two main rooms, which were the living room and kitchen and both were too small to functionally hold the 7 people total in attendance (and remember, I’m 8 and Chorizy is 6….yes, it was that bad). Also, I just enjoyed my mom’s cooking A LOT more for these types of events. I liked my Grandma better for making me a Black Cow (ghetto Black Cow, right Sal the Balls Out Guy? GFY!) or some shit like that, but the actual cooking of a big meal, Mom >>> Grandma.
Now as I remember this, the food was probably okay, as I don’t remember anything disagreeable besides the seating arrangement, since that was done, it was time to pick up PART TWO of the get together, which was going to be the part that I was really looking forward to. You see, the folks here at the 108 are HUGE (both in fandom and waistband) White Sox fans, but you have to remember that at this time, the Bears were actually KING, coming off of a Super Bowl victory earlier in that calendar year, the vaunted “Monsters of the Midway” had all the characters and superstar players that a young sports fan could desire……..but this young sports fan was really interested in a different team.
The Chicago Bulls…..now, I know what you are saying, oh yea, the Jordan Bulls, that’s a tough team to put your fandom behind BeefLoaf. Look, this wasn’t the Championship Bulls that you are thinking about, yea, they had Michael Jordan, but the team had done basically nothing since his arrival other than get the #8 playoff seed in the East and get crushed by the mid-80’s Celtics (which in hindsight, as much as I hated those Celtics, were a fucking joy to watch play ball). There was only one other member of those championship teams even on the roster and that was John Paxson. This team was shedding itself of the Orlando Woolridges and Quintin Daileys of the world. It was still littered with terrible players though, Granville Waiters (or as the Great Terry Boers would call him, Granville Waivers), Gene Banks, Steve Colter, Brad Sellers and Dave Corzine, whom we’ll get to later. Also, this was a BIG DEAL for the Bulls to be playing on Xmas day. Now in more recent years it became common place, but they usually let good teams play on Xmas day. Not this time, they let the Bulls go to Madison Square Garden and face off with the Patrick Ewing led Knicks.
The game plodded along, as 80’s NBA sometimes did when you had two bad teams (which our Bulls and the New York Knicks both were). Just looking at this box score you could tell how 80’s this was, the two teams combined for 3, yes, 3, 3pt field goal ATTEMPTS. Jordan poured in 30 pts, but it took like a million shots, he was probably out drinking and gambling all night in Atlantic City before it was popular. Anyway, the game is coming down the line, when our unlikely hero to be Dave Corzine, scores a put back, a 3 pt play (the old school 3 pt play). Dave Corzine was the first in a long line of big white oafs to play for these Bulls. He would never get the sheckels of the later ones who would play for the title teams, like Bill Wennington, Luc Longley and everyone’s favorite Ed Nealy. Nope Corzine was wrong time wrong place to get any of those accolades. According to legend (as I was too young to experience this myself), Corzine was a star at DePaul and the Demons were 27-3 his senior year. Regardless, it was Xmas Day and he was going to be the hero!! I had jumped up and down to his put back and was pretty damn excited!! The rest of the room, probably packed with malaise and cigarette smoke, likely didn’t give a shit. I thought, all the Bulls need to do is fade 6 seconds and they’d win this baby. Well it was all for naught, that mutherfucker Patrick Ewing (aka Patrick Chewing) would use his big sweaty, greazy hands to pluck a ripe rebound and score his own putback as time expired to beat the Bull.
A disappointing Christmas on many levels……..