2011 Season

Edition No. 19

September 26, 2011







With only three days remaining in the season, the Chiefs hold what appears to be an insurmountable lead over the Bums (256.9 points), Tribe (337.8 points) and the Cubs (339.7 points), and are prepared to break out the firewater to begin celebrating an historic 2011 Championship campaign.


Although a Gene Mauchian collapse is not statistically impossible, it would appear that our beloved B.T. can safely relax and let his guard down a bit as his team coasts to the championship, unlike 2009 when Shamu’s Cubs clawed their way into the lead with only one hour remaining in the season.  (If you have forgotten that pennant race, think Nikita Khrushchev angrily whacking his Eastern-Bloc dress shoe against the table.) 


Things weren’t quite as comfortable just nine days ago, on the day of the Huskers-Huskies football game in Lincoln, when B.T. was caught in the middle of a Bums’ offensive firestorm, chopping his once laughable lead to about a hundred and a quarter, leading B.T. to question whether he should pull the plug on his Eagle’s Nest/Laramie, WYO adventure with the A-Train.  Happily, this did not prove necessary, and the Chiefs’ pilot was able to steer his little dingy through the stormy waters of September 2011. 


Best of all, we can all look forward to some outstanding championship gear come January, when B.T. proudly hands out the Spandex bodysuits littered with his Native American logo, or crushed velvet smoking jackets, or whatever B.T.’s creative genius comes up with. 


Meanwhile, I’m over here engaged in hand-to-hand combat with one James “Fightin’ Jimmy” Buser for 12th place.  There hasn’t been a blood feud battle like this since the Hatfields and the McCoys, as the pride of PHEB is on the line.  I thought my recent onslaught of Probable Pitcher call-ups would cut Tirebiter off at the knees, but apparently he dealt with that severing blow a score of years ago or more.  He reminds me of the scene in Monty Python where Sir Lancelot lops off one arm of his armored opponent, who then taunts him to keep battling because it was only “a flesh wound,” only to have all four of his limbs severed, and then to utter, “Come back and fight like a man, you pussy!”  Doesn’t Tirebiter realize that once your team lands in last place near the end of the season, it is fine to make a brief token effort to recover and move out of the cellar, but eventually he is supposed to simply accept his fate and stop with all of the last-minute management of his team?  Pesky little booger, anyway. 


So here you have the standings through games of Sunday, September 25, 2011. 








Da Bums




Lincoln Tribe




West Des Moines Cubs








Kansas City Blues








Millard Monarchs








Bronx Bombers








Omaha Senators









2012:  THE TRIP



After a flurry of email activity last week, it appears that there is a clear consensus that we should travel to Miami during April of 2012 for our next annual Hot Stove League trip.  So far, everyone has weighed in on their preferences except for Underbelly (shockingly), SloPay (gasp!), and B.T. (yawn).  Oh, and Big Guy.  And Tricko.  Of the first responders, all but three can make it to Miami for the weekend series against the Astros on April 13-15, and all but one can make it to the series against the Dbacks on April 27-29.  Possum prefers to go in July or August, when the heat and humidity and bugs in South Florida will be at their apex.  Good call. 


Anyway, this will serve as an update on our plans for 2012, and as a shout-out to the slugs who have not yet responded, requesting that they weigh in on the dates that have been proposed.  Come on, y’all, let us know where you stand. 





Although I will grant you that it ain’t baseball, I have enjoyed immensely watching high school football this fall with both Joe and Will playing for the Mount Michael Knights gridiron club.  This is Joe’s first year of playing football for the Knights, and he is having a blast, starting at defensive end on defense and at wide receiver on offense.  Turns out the kid has pretty fair speed and a pretty decent set of hands.  He caught his first pass a couple of weeks ago against Skutt, about a 30-yarder, which was one of the only offensive bright spots of the night, and then reeled in several more last weekend in a painful pummeling by South Sioux City. 


His younger brother Will, a sophomore, starts at tight end and defensive end for the JV, but has also been suiting up for the varsity, and got his number 18 called for the first time in a game against Blair, substituting for the other Ernst at defensive end.  In his very first varsity snap, good ol’ Will made the tackle and got to hear his name announced on the P.A. system, a proud moment in Ernst family sports history, to be sure. 


Sadly, the Knights are winless this season, and will likely remain winless, given the quality of their upcoming opponents.  Because of their numbers, it is almost impossible for Mount Michael to compete in Class B football, but winless though they are and may be, the experience is priceless. 


BOOK REVIEW:  Counselor:  A Life at the Edge of History


Finally, let me commend to you heartily a wonderful book written by Lincoln native Ted Sorensen, entitled Counselor:  A Life at the Edge of History.  This marvelous book details some of the high and low points of Sorensen’s career in politics and law, including being “in the loop” for such historic events as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis, the launching of the space program to beat the Ruskies to the moon, and the establishment of the Peace Corps. 


I did not know that Sorensen’s father was once the Attorney General for the state of Nebraska, and a reported shoo-in for a federal judgeship in Lincoln, until partisan politics intervened.  I also did not know that his mother was of Jewish lineage, and a nut case.  I probably knew at one time but had forgotten that Jimmy Carter nominated Ted Sorensen to lead the CIA, until he found out that his vetters had missed the fact that Sorensen was a conscientious objector, ultimately leading to Sorensen’s painful withdrawal from the Senate confirmation process.  It was quite clear from the book that Sorensen has little respect for the former peanut farmer from Georgia, or for Senator Joe Biden, who turned his back on Sorensen during the CIA confirmation fiasco. 


My favorite quote from the book was about the CIA after agency heads persuaded JFK to approve of the Bay of Pigs mission.  The CIA:  “Often wrong, but never in doubt.”  Sounds like somebody in this league that we all know very well. 


My second favorite quote in the book is from Harry Truman, whom Sorensen cited for the famous “If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog” line after his support to be the director of the CIA collapsed like a house of cards. 


In any event, you will do yourself a favor if you choose to read this great book.  If you want to borrow my copy, let me know. 


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Enjoy these last few days of the season, B.T. and all!