Nick's Knacks Nick's Knacks

  • Old Time Baseball

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Scotty V’s e-mail about the Vintage Baseball Association and Wisconsin’s teams made me think of one of Conan O’Brien’s best moments of his late night career.  For some reason, Conan's brand never took in "The Tonight Show" slot.  My theory is simple: Jay Leno is not funny.  Therefore, the audience that tunes in for his brand of comedy will fail to be amused by genuine humor and creativity.  

    Embedding capabilities for the video have been removed, so just click HERE to check it out on YouTube.


  • Fun With Captions

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Maino hung with Kid Rock over the weekend at Rock USA.  Tommy Fox from WIXX snuck in the photo at the last minute.  There's only one thing left to do...caption this baby for a major award:

  • Hello, Nebraska! What's Goin' On?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Allegedly, this video shows the Big Ten Mascots singing Carly Rae’s “Call Me Maybe.”  I don’t know.  Looks like a Nebraska recruiting video to me.  Solid work, Cornhuskers:

    By the way, Penn State: regarding the rebuilding of your image thing…you might want to start with that weak mascot.

  • Commercial Relief

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    State Farm’s “discount double-check” promotion continues to be the impetus behind some brilliant commercials.  Thank goodness for this spot, for if one more Ray Romano “Stand Up To Cancer” Mastercard ad played last night, I might have jumped.  Don’t get me wrong, standing up to cancer is a good thing, and the commercial is good…scratch that, was good…LAST OCTOBER!  This thing has been shoved down our throats during every sporting event since the 2011 MLB post-season.  Mastercard, please, find a new celeb to shoot something.  I hope that table of women is getting paid per spot run, and didn’t accept a Cosmo Kramer one-time payment.

  • Tony La Russa Drinking Again?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Photo: Creative Commons

    I hope, immediately after Tony La Russa’s post-All Star Game presser, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig ushered the retired St. Louis manager into a private viewing room at Kauffman Stadium and made the green light sleepin’ lush watch every game of every World Series played since 2003.  And I really hope Allan H. spent extra time, slow-motion style, going through games 6 and 7 of the 2011 Fall Classic.

    How quickly Tony La Russa forgets.

    Since the MLB All Star game has “counted,” its winner has gone on to capture the World Series title in 6 of 9 attempts.  That is to say, two-thirds of the time, home field advantage has meant something.  How much?  How little?  That’s debatable, but the results are pretty impressive.  It certainly suggests a powerful benefit to the All Star winner.  Or it’s not that big of a deal.  Just ask Tony:

    Q. We talk about the home field advantage element, and you really lived it last year; can you talk about what that could mean for whatever NL team gets to that point?

    TONY La RUSSA: Well, the commissioner probably is not going to like this answer a whole lot. If you get to the playoffs, we didn't have home field against Philadelphia and Milwaukee, and that was a big disadvantage against two very good clubs.

    If you are an October team, you can overcome that. So it's a nice edge. I'm sure the National League would rather play their home games there. But if you don't have it, you can still win. I mean, it's not a magic bullet; it's just a nice edge.

    In one sentence, La Russa speaks to the “big disadvantage” of playing on the road for the NLDS and NLCS, then casually labels the benefit of home field advantage in the biggest of series as “just a nice edge.”

    IT’S A TREMENDOUS EDGE, and La Russa, of all managers, ought to know that after he schooled Ron Washington in the idiosyncrasies of the National League in games 6 and 7 of last year’s World Series.  Evidently, La Booza has forgotten that the rules are different in each league.

    He’s correct, it’s not a magic bullet, but when it comes to pitchers hitting and double-switches and all the things that complicate skipping a game in a NL park, it’s a lot more than “just a nice edge” for the Senior Circuit. 

  • Another Winner?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Watching the Home Run Derby last night, it was impossible not to get fired up over Taco Bell’s latest creation: Lorena Garcia’s Cantina Bowl.  Now I realize that a commercial is going to pitch the product in an appetizing way.  The purpose is to create in me, the viewer, the feeling that I must have this item.  No one goes to the ad drawing board with a goal of: “Let’s make ‘em say, ‘Yeah, that sounds all right, I guess.’”  That being said, I think we’ve got another T-Bell winner on our hands.  Come to think of it, I cannot recall the last time the Bell had an unforced error, can you?

    Here’s the general make-up of the Cantina Bowl: citrus-herb marinated chicken, black beans, guacamole, roasted corn and pepper salsa, cilantro dressing, and pico de gallo, all served on a bed of cilantro rice.  We’re dealing with a lot of “bleep” here, but at least it’s a lot of stuff that sounds delicious, unlike the assemblage of a lesser known taco chain, Taco Town:

  • We’re Up to 5 Blades Now?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Few things in life are as detestable to me as shaving.  It’s not a time thing nor a technique issue nor a tactile/sensory aversion …it’s a simple matter of blood loss, self-preservation, if you will.  If you’ve ever seen me out and about, rockin’ a bit of the two or even three-day growth, it’s not in tribute to Justin Timberlake (though that fella is quite the entertainer).

    Since my dad first taught me the technique back in 8th grade, I have succeeded in slicing far fewer whiskers than skin cells.  I chalked up early carnage to lack of practice and the Bic Twin Select razor.  I always felt “I’d get the hang of it,” a learning curve certain to be straightened by the upgrade to a brand of razor less synonymous with writing utensils. 

    But it didn’t matter. 

    From Gillette Sensor Excel to Schick Tracer FX to Mach 3, and every gel and cream and oil and pre-treat and after shave option out there, I emerged from the bathroom with more TP on my face and neck than an unpopular high school kid’s maple tree.  The paper sometimes works, usually doesn’t, and fails in all ways to address the redness and burning.  The styptic pencil produces similar results, with added white residue that once washed off, often reopens the wound.    

    The end result has been a transition to electric.  I’m not disappointed.  I really like the electric razor and find it significantly less hazardous to my sensitive skin.  But it can take a little longer to get all the little buggers, and sometimes it can leave a less-than-blade smooth result.  So, like a doofus, I allowed myself to be sucked in by the siren song of 5 blades, primarily because I had a coupon for a free Schick Hydro 5, but also the promise of more blades translating to less irritation.  Right.  Or just greater opportunity to carve up the old money-maker.  OK, that’s going a bit too far now.  Everybody knows that if a dude’s face is a money maker, he’s on TV.

    First of all, this thing is Edward Scissorhands intimidating.  It took me a while to muster up enough courage to proceed, and once I did, I immediately regretted it.  Though fewer total cuts, I still took three decent chunks out of my neck, and produced one tiny, but impossible to close, cut on the corner of my mouth.  It just cracked open (again), prompting me to write this blog.   

    I have no excuse.  I had a good system going with my Norelco electric.  But I’m just curious, does anyone out there use the Hydro 5, and have you mastered it?  Perhaps my greatest error was, in a breach of shaving etiquette, proceeding immediately to 5 blades when the Schick Quattro was the logical progression from the Mach 3. 

  • This is Your Time

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Playin’ around on the internet is like picking the brain of a doctor – you can feel good about your general grasp of the whole concept, and even pat your back with your expertise in some areas, but in the end, there’s a lot more stuff up in that over there than you’ve got time or energy to explore.

    In terms of our health – that’s why we go to doctors.

    In terms of the internet – that’s why we’ve got friends.

    This kid, Joshua Sacco (mini Herb Brooks), made the rounds back in 2009 after his YouTube video went viral.  Somehow I missed the video as well as all of his subsequent television appearances.  He absolutely nails Herb Brooks’ speech from ‘Miracle,’ – from the outfit, to the note cards, to the opening double-pat on the shoulder (or air hockey table).  Too bad the kid probably thinks team USA was actually coached by Kurt Russell!

    Here’s Wyatt Earp’s movie version:

    Thanks for the hook-up, Brad.

  • Nob Gets “Cheesy”

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    By request this morning, here are the oft referenced YouTube offerings by listener Nob.  Bathe in their simplistic genius:


    And the follow-up:


  • AJ Hawk Ready to Play

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Who knew charity golf events could be so dangerous?  Check out AJ Hawk poppin’ this fella in little funsy game of 2-on-2 with Troy Smith as all-time QB:

    It’s clear the dude made a football move, so it’s definitely a legal hit.  I’m just wondering…where is the goal line, and who is the Ace Young lookin’ dude on the far left?

    Ace Young Photo: dbking on Flickr via Creative Commons

  • Not So Fast

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    I nearly took to this blog just now to administer a personal flogging (no, not a T.O.-style cyber flogging) for inexcusably overlooking what many are calling “Back to the Future Day.”  I returned from an afternoon meeting to find multiple e-mails with the following attachment:


    How could I have missed this today?  How could I have let down my TV and movie pal Michael J. Fox?  This should have occupied at least one segment of today’s show.  Maybe then everyone who complained that we talked sports too much would have been satisfied with this morning’s program.  Darn this burden!

    But upon further review, hold your hoverboards and flying cars and self tying high-tops… ya’ll have been duped.  Here’s the actual video from “Back to the Future II:”

    Thank goodness we have a few years to get all that hovering around business worked out.

  • Putting a Bow on Rodgers With the Crew

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    The final two Rodgers with the Crew spots have surfaced, and it’s a great bow on the present that is having a pair of MVPs in uniform for our state.  The Milwaukee Brewers have made a habit of churning out outstanding marketing campaigns.  It’s too bad our fellas can’t play ball as well as these folks can write: