Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hapless Hafner
So, what happened to Travis Hafner? I don't know. Maybe in the post-steroid era, one needs to accept the fact that bat-speed starts to go in a player's early 30s.

I shook my head every time (and they have come several times in the past few seasons) I read a story about how Hafner is going to come back, going to return to the monster he was in 2006.

When Hafner was hit in the foot on an oh-and-2 count with the bases loaded today, I breathed a sigh of relief. At least the at-bat wasn't going to end in a strikeout or double play.

He's hitting .197 with two homers and five RBIs. He is coming off another injury-plagued year, where he hit .272 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs.

He's 33 now, and he's making eight figures. He's also under contract for a few more seasons. At this point, you have to wonder if a Jake Westbrook and Hafner could have bought us one CC Sabathia, or Cliff Lee.

Yes, it's hindsight. At the time Hafner signed, I wrote positive things about the contract.

But now it looks like a big black hole. That hole might be in Hafner's swing.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Through round one
Here's what I'm thinking right now:

I remember the last time Chicago came to Cleveland for a Game 5. I remember the shot. I remember the red and black uniforms.

I also remember it was the first round.

But more than that, the Cavaliers had a really good team in the late 1980s and early '90s. But Michael Jordan and the Bulls always stood in the way.

Well, now the roles are somewhat reversed. It feels good to be a fan of the other side now.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Draft thoughts
In retrospect, I think I got a little caught up in things Wednesday night when I predicted the Steelers would trade Ben Reothlisberger. Just throw it on the pile of stupid things I've written on this blog over the last three years. It'll be big enough to create quite the bonfire.

Now to the Browns...

- Joe Haden would not have even been my third choice. The Browns need to create pressure on the quarterback to make the defensive backs mean anything. My first choice was Eric Berry, also a DB, but that was because I viewed him as a freak of nature who could make an Eric Turner-like impact.

Which is not to say Haden will be a bad pick. But I still wonder where the pressure is going to come from.

- The T.J. Ward pick didn't make much sense to me. Again, I really wanted a pass rusher (though there weren't may at that point) or a receiver. Instead, the Browns draft another DB. You have to hope this will be a strength for the Browns next year. The real reason the pick bothered me was that the Browns seemingly could have taken Ward in a later round. But after watching the experts be wrong for two days, maybe that wasn't the case.

- Monterio Hardesty is a running back with knee problems. This was confusing because the Browns traded away a few picks to get this guy. The Browns haven't exactly had good luck drafting backs since they've been back; it's probably why I am negative.

- Did anyone else see the "oh great, there goes my career" look on Colt McCoy's face when the Browns took him? I like McCoy. He's a winner, and seems to be a smart kid. But drafted QBs haven't done well here either. Remember Tim Couch, Spergon Wynn, Luke McCown, Charlie Frye and Brady Quinn?

-Not a Browns thought, but Tim Tebow going in the first round is crazy. Sometimes I wonder if Broncos coach Josh McDaniels has Eric Mangini-like power issues.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big Ben and the top 10
It's been reported the Steelers are willing to rid themselves of 28-year old, two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He can be had, so it has been said, for a top-10 pick.

The Browns don't have a top-flight quarterback, but they do own such a pick: a No. 7.

Could the Browns trade for Roethlisberger?


Should they?

God, no.

One can't doubt Roethlisberger's talent, his guts on the field, his ability to win. One also can't doubt that when it comes to judgement, Roethlisberger has about as much as a squirrel that crosses a four lane highway.

Riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Acting irresponsibly at college bars.

Having a really bad haircut.

Roethlisberger is no longer a 22-year old phenom, as he was at Miami University. He's a Super Bowl winning quarterback, a six-year veteran.

He should be a leader in the locker room and in the community. He isn't. His actions prove it.

Most teams in the top 10 would love to have a QB with the resume of Big Ben. But acquiring him for a high draft pick would be a big gamble.

What message would it send not only the fans, but the community. A player whose actions were deemed so inappropriate by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that he slapped a stronger-than-steroids ban on the guy.

A player who obviously has not matured, and who, if traded, likely will be sent a message that acting the way he did cost him only a city and a third-of-the year paycheck.

No, as a Browns fan, I don't want this guy as the face of my team.

It should be mentioned that a trade to a division rival is rare, but possible, as the Eagles and Redskins showed this offseason.

Roethlisberger, it has to be said, plays for one of the best run and most talented franchises in professional sports. Is he a product of their system? I don't think so. But even so, he has taken a physical pounding in recent years, and some quarterbacks start to lose it a little as they creep closer to 30.

Having said all that, I still expect a top-10 drafting team to take the bait tomorrow. We shall see.


Draft day predictions
1. The Rams will draft Sam Bradford.

2. Ben Roethlisberger will not be a Steeler by night's end.

3. The Browns will trade down.

4. Mel Kiper's hair won't move.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Random Saturday night thoughts
Despite the fact that the Cavs got lazy and let their lead drop to seven, winning is all that matters now. Chicago looked overmatched in the first game, even with Cleveland giving it every opportunity to make it interesting.

- Starting pitching will make any team competitive. The Indians have gotten great performances for three straight games. If it keeps happening, the Indians will be a contender for much of this year. If not, well, last year.

- It's nights like tonight when I wonder if the Reds will ever be good again. Francisco Cordero walks three guys and almost walks a fourth. Cincinnati loses.

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Song quote of the day
I'm an innocent bystander
and somehow I got stuck
between a rock and a hardplace
and I'm down on my luck-- Warren Zevon


Friday, April 16, 2010

Cavaliers-Bulls thoughts
The Cavaliers are not going to lose this series. Because of rust, they might come out sluggish tomorrow, and the Cavs might lose a game somewhere along the way.

But the Cavaliers are too talented for the Bulls to keep up. Everyone remembers the 1989 series with the Bulls, when the Cavaliers lost despite having a better record.

Main difference is that the Cavaliers were playing without Mark Price for much of that series. And it was best of five.

LeBron is healthy, Shaq is back, and I expect Cleveland to clean up here.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Should the Browns trade for the No. 1 pick?
No. First-round quarterbacks don't do well in Cleveland. But more than that, what was the point of signing Jake Delhomme? What was the point of trading for Seneca Wallace? OK, I know, those points are meaningless.

But more than that, do the Browns really want to pay for a No. 1 pick, even in a capless year?

I'd rather the Browns continue to draft players instead of trade picks.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Indians a week and a half in
The Good: Fausto Carmona has two starts,including an eight-inning gem Tuesday. Of course, the Indians lost. Justin Masterson and David Huff have also been pretty good. In reality, I'd say starting pitching as a whole is good.

The Bad: Travis Hafner still looks hurt. Grady is hurt. The bullpen is a mess. And the team isn't hitting.

The Ugly: The attendance tonight -- just a shade over 10,000. And the weather was good. I don't blame the fans though. They have to save their money for LeBron merchandise.


Watching the Reds...
I'll say this for Cincinnati so far this season: they find ways to make it interesting.

Up 6-1, Bronson Arroyo gives up four runs in an inning. Reds score two runs, Logan Ondrusek gives up a three-run homer.

Luckily, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips were there to bail them out.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

John May Lives, Georgie dies, and I hate being right sometimes
Talking about V to people who don't watch it is difficult. The draw of this show, for me, is not the story of spaceships and aliens, but the characters and the performances that drive them.

A week ago, I wrote that I thought that Georgie (played brilliantly by David Richmond-Peck) would die and die soon. It disappointed me, because I thought his character was the most interesting.

But Georgie's sendoff was outstanding, as he essentially gives his life to protect the resistance movement. When he asks for Father Jack, and tells Ryan it's over, it was a powerful scene.

So where does V go now?

Erika's son now has turned on her for not telling him his father may not be his father. If this meansI won't have to watch scenes with Tyler anymore, well, it's a tradeoff I'm willing to make. Nothing against Logan Huffman's perfomance; I just don't care for Tyler's character.

-Val (Lourdes Benedicto) is challenging Elizabeth Mitchell for the Queen of the Facial Expressions. She found out that Ryan was not who he said he was. Whether she knows he's a V isn't clear yet. But she does know something's up with her pregnancy, so, well, the plot thickens there.

-No real Jack (Joel Gretsch)-and-Erika moments this week, aside from her confiding in him about the Tyler-thing. Not too much for Jack to do this week -- I think he was in the room with Ryan (Morris Chestnut) talking to John May's son, that they just wanted to make sure they gave him something else to do since he wasn't forgotten about completely.

-With Georgie gone, the top performance might go to Charles Mesure as Kyle Hobbes. Pretty cool mercenary.

Too much stuff going on to list it all. But I think this was the biggest example of a show I just didn't want to end.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

No one will be able to convince me that Phil Mickelson had it easier than Tiger Woods this weekend, or any weekend in the past year.

While Woods was dealing with sexual addiction and not playing because he didn't want to, Mickelson's family has its own problems.

Mickelson's wife is battling breast cancer. So is his mother. Every day has to have been a challenge for his family, and they likely will continue to be for some time.

Mickelson was at his best today, taking a lead about midway through Sunday's round, then making some brilliant shots and holding on for his third green jacket.

With the win, Mickelson has established himself as one of the greats of this generation. Like John Elway, Mickelson had to fight the label of never winning the big one for years, only to finally be rewarded.

I imagine Mickelson would trade all his jackets for his wife to be healthy. In the context of life and family, golf titles probably don't rate high to him right now.

Still, Mickelson is playing the best golf of his life during what has to be his most trying time. When I watched today, all I could imagine was that every golfer out on the course had a story, a pain, a stress. Everyone has some issue. But it seemed all some wanted to talk about was Tiger.

Tiger did play really well. But I fail to see why that surprised anyone. He's been the best golfer in the world for 12 years. Even with his personal issues, he wasn't going to forget how to golf.

He probably will win many big events before his career ends. On this day, though, it was Mickelson who triumphed under adversity.


LeBron going, or not going
The truth is LeBron James doesn't owe Cleveland anything. He doesn't owe the Cavaliers anything.

On that summer night in 2003 when the draft lottery took place, my friends and I went crazy. We didn't know how good James would be. We certainly didn't use the word "championship." What LeBron James meant was the transformation of a franchise.

Before LeBron, the Cavaliers had been a mess. When Mark Price, Brad Daugherty and Larry Nance left, so did many of the fans. The last five years before James were mediocre at best, wretched at worst.

But LeBron gave the Cavaliers something they hadn't had since the early 1990s -- hope.

It was James that made Gund Arena a place to go for something other than WWE. It was James who made the Cavaliers competitive, exciting and fun. It was James' presence that made Dan Gilbert buy the team. It was James who made Gilbert attack the challenge of building a contender like a long-time Cleveland fan -- not a Detroit businessman.

The Cavaliers are one of the top three contenders for the NBA title. If they win it, great. LeBron may stay, and he may go. If they lose, that might not change anything.

I just hope that should LeBron go to New York, New Jersey, Miami or Detroit, that fans don't turn on him. He's done more for the franchise than anyone, save maybe Nick Miletti.

It was pure luck that Cleveland got to have LeBron James. The fans didn't earn him or deserve him. It was just a ping-pong ball bouncing the right way.

Whatever James does this summer, I hope everyone realizes that he's already done plenty for the franchise, for the fans, for the city.

Still, I really hope he stays. I don't want to read any Mike Lupica columns about how he was destined for The Big Apple. Ugh.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Six Things I think
1. After four games, the worst Indians starter has been Jake Westbrook. That's actually a good sign.

2. My guess is that Mike Brown resting starters for the final games of the regular season won't be a positive or a negative for the postseason.

3. Marty Brennaman listing his top moments with the Reds, and including the day Jim Bowden was fired, was hilarious.

4. Him including the time Randy Savage came up to the booth was unexpected.

5. I'm not rooting for Tiger Woods this weekend, but it's not like I would have had he not had his recent issues. I always pull for the underdogs.

6. Albert Pujols is reaching Bonds-like levels of respect from pitchers.


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sometimes TV shows remind you of moments in your life. Tonight's Bones was a very good episode, especially for the last five minutes, when Booth finally told Brennan how he felt. He even kissed her.

The show often runs hot and cold for me, but tonight's show was big, because it reminded me of a time in my life when I should have taken a chance. There were plenty of reasons not to, just as there were plenty of reasons for Brennan to say no when Booth told her he wanted to date her.

But in the end, Brennan's logic won out. In my situation, logic won out as well. I didn't take the chance.

In TV, the scripts get written, the characters placed together. Booth and Brennan will be together eventually, if only because Sweeps will dictate it.

In real life, there is usually one moment, one chance to get it right. Sometimes asking for a girl's number blows up, because once a line is crossed, you can never go back.

But if you never step outside of what you perceive to be safe, you'll be left with questions, which in some ways are worse than the initial frustration of something failing.

Just to soften this up a little bit, let's go realistic with other TV shows:

The Office: Pam lets Jim leave after denying him after the kiss at the end of season 2. Jim goes on to another girl and never, ever returns to Scranton. This would have meant Jim and Pam never would have gotten together, which would have meant I'd still be watching The Office today instead of avoiding it because I can't take another "Jim and Pam are the love of the century" subplot.

Saved By The Bell: Slater refuses to ever speak to Kelly after she picks Zack for the prom. But Slater does resurface to rough up Jeff's pretty face after Zack recruits him to beat up Jeff as revenge after Kelly breaks up with him. Meanwhile, Jessie and Kelly stop talking after Jessie goes out with Slater. And Lisa finally files a restraining order on Screech.

Friends: Rachel decides she's way too attractive for Ross. Ross goes on to be boring in new and unexciting ways.

Cheers : Speaking of boring, Sam decides to fire Diane, sell the bar and become an angry doctor on a show that only gets good ratings because it's after Raymond.

Chuck: In real life, Casey'd have killed Chuck after the second episode.

Bones: After Bones broke his heart, Booth would have realized the error of his ways and gone back to ask out Buffy.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The mystery of Fausto Carmona
Fausto Carmona's talent has never been in question. His ability to harness that talent and turn it to results is less than certain.

Tonight, Carmona was good and bad. He allowed one hit. But he also had little control. I will give Indians manager Manny Acta credit for this much: he's trying to give Carmona the best possible situation to work with. He gave him one catcher -- Mike Redmond. He gave him a sure spot in the rotation. And he didn't pull Carmona early on when it looked like he was a big hit away from disaster.

The offense remains suspect, but at least Indians fans didn't have to wait a week for a win. The 5-3 victory was as much about Carmona as anything. But hey, a win's a win.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

After the pilot episode, I was hooked on V. I've never been a huge fan of sci-fi, but the performances and the characters in the ABC series got me into it.

The first four episodes were excellent, but then the show went off the air for five months.

Since the return, I've come to a few conclusions about the show:

1. After six episodes, I really think David Richmond-Peck's performance as the desperate and unstable Georgie to be the best of the series. Richmond-Peck isn't even listed as a main actor on the show's Wikipedia page, and after tonight, I'm not certain Georgie will live to see the eighth episode. Too bad.

2. Father Jack and Erika have a romantic tension that in some episodes is obvious, and in others not even hinted at. I think Joel Gretsch is very good in this role, much better than he was a villain in Burn Notice. Then again, I saw V before I saw that episode, so that's probably why I didn't like that turn. Elizabeth Mitchell has outstanding facial expressions, and the appearance of Erika's ex should provide some interesting moments with Jack. Of course, Jack being a priest would complicate any romance. But it's TV, so who cares.

3. I've met many people in my line of work who remind me of Chad Decker (Scott Wolf). When I heard the Party of Five actor was in this series, I was less than excited. But Wolf has performed his role with gusto, and it has worked. The problem of balancing your integrity with a big break is a real battle in the news-industry.

4. Some have seen some connections between the character of Anna (Morena Baccarin) and President Barack Obama. They were way more noticable in the first two episodes, and I believe there was an intention early on to satire him. Of course, I would argue than Anna has proved WAY more competent than the president, but that may just be the right-winger in me talking. And joking, of course.

5. My brother made this point to me, and I think he's right on. The character of Tyler is very much like Kim Bauer in the early seasons of 24. I see the value and importance of Tyler's (Logan Huffman's) character, but I don't care much about him.

6. Morris Chestnut represents one of the main differences between this series and the original 1983 show, and it's an important difference. In the old versions, the aliens came to earth at once, and their voices made them easy to detect. In this version, V's gradually snuck into the world, posing as humans. In this series, aren't able to tell who is a V and who is not. Chestnut's Ryan is key to this, because he, more than any other character, represents prospects for a final peace in the show. He's been very good.

V has surpassed Chuck as my favorite show. Maybe that's because I feel Chuck is destined to be canceled. Ah well, it's been a good run.

But if V gets axed, I'm down to Castle.


Monday, April 05, 2010

Opening Day
In the interest of being positive, I can say this year's opener wasn't as bad as last year's, in Texas.

It sure didn't look like Jake Westbrook was even close to back. Four wild pitches tied a team record. What's impressive is he wasn't in very long.

I'm not sure why people think this group of hitters will score runs. Lou Marson, Luis Valbuena, Johnny Peralta and a bunch of streak hitters won't make this group strong.

But it was one game.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

MLB Predictions
Usually my predictions are dead wrong. Probably even more so this year since I tuned out during the offseason because I was so sick of the Yankees winning and the Indians trading away their talent.

With that said:

AL East
1. Yankees
2. Rays*
3. Red Sox
4. Blue Jays
5. Orioles

AL Central
1. White Sox
2. Tigers
3. Twins
4. Indians
5. Royals

AL West
1. Angels
2. Rangers
3. Mariners
4. Athletics

NL East
1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals

NL Central
1. Cardinals
2. Cubs
3. Reds
4. Brewers
5. Astros
6. Pirates

NL West
1. Rockies
2. Dodgers*
3. Diamondbacks
4. Giants
5. Padres

* Wild Card

AL Champions: Yankees
NL Champions: Cardinals

Yankees over Cardinals in World Series


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Chris Kanyon dead
Pro wrestlers keep dying. Wellness policy or no wellness policy. Chris Kanyon's real name was Chris Klucsaritis. He was only 40, and he's dead. He apparently committed suicide.
I've seen some refer to Kanyon as a "WWE star", but he hadn't been in the big time for many years. He had a few matches for TNA, but had his biggest run in WCW in the late 1990s, teaming with Raven and the also now-deceased Bam Bam Bigelow as a member of the triad.

I remember first really seeing Chris on a WCW pay per view in 1998 against Perry Saturn. My first impression of his was that he was doing some moves that I had never seen before, and honestly, I haven't seen them since.

When WCW was going under at the turn of the century, Kanyon got something of a push as a DDP-wannabe. Vince Russo was writing then. In may of 2000, Mike Awesome (who committed suicide a few years ago) threw him off the top of a steel cage in Kansas City. The bump looked just as impressive as some that Mick Foley took that helped make him a star, but WCW didn't seem to have much interest in making him a star. Then again, maybe it did, but had no idea how to do it.

When WCW was bought by WWF in 2001, Kanyon went north and teamed with DDP, who was probably the biggest star from WCW that jumped right after the sale.

Yet despite his stature, WWE seemed intent on destroying Page, for reasons I've never completely understood. Paige and Kanyon did hold the tag belts (I think WWF, but I'm not really sure since there were 81 belts circling the promotion at the time), but were destroyed by Undertaker and Kane at Summerslam, and Kanyon (who actually held the US title at one point) never really recovered to the point where he was pushed as a star.

Of course, you could say that about most ex-WCW wrestlers that came to the WWF at that time.

With Kanyon, I can say I was a fan of his, but he never became the star I thought he would be a decade ago. But it's not like baseball. Talent doesn't always get one to the top.

He continued with his career (he wrestled as an openly gay character, then came out as gay in real life), and he was part of a lawsuit filed with Scott Levy (Raven) and Mike Sanders against WWE just recently, regarding talent being classified as independent contractors. From what I read, I thought they had a point, but it was thrown out.

Kanyon obviously had issues, and Vince McMahon and WWE may not have had anything to do with them. But at the end of the day, he's another young man who was a wrestler who died to young. He'll be added to a list that grows and grows.

It makes one sad for so many reasons. Put it this way: I like wrestling, and have been a fan for a long time. But if someone I cared about wanted to get in the business, I'd do almost anything to dissuade them.

Maybe the business is not to blame for Kanyon's death. But so many have died, and sadly, I think so many will follow.


Friday, April 02, 2010

30 years, 30 bands
Here are my favorite 30 bands/performers, in preparation for my 30th birthday. I figure if ESPN can do it, I can too.

1. The Beatles
2. Bob Dylan
3. Van Morrison
4. The Rolling Stones
5. The Band
7. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
8. The Beach Boys
9. Led Zepplin
10. Patsy Cline
11. Eric Clapton
12. Bruce Springsteen
13. Marvin Gaye
14. David Bowie
15. Elvis
16. Prince
17. The Who
18. Peter Gabriel
19. The Four Tops
20. Jim Croce
21. Warren Zevon
22. John Denver
23. The Temptations
24. Bee Gees
25. Steve Winwood
26. Grateful Dead
27. Stevie Ray Vaughan
28. Garth Brooks
29. Clint Black
30. Grass Roots

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Indians preview thing
(Warning: This is really negative.)

The Indians spent all of $2.8 million dollars this offseason on free agents. That mainly brought them Russell Branyan, the only guy hurt enough to think signing with the Indians was a good idea.

Then again, maybe that was a smart move on his part, since he hasn't so much as taken an at-bat with the big club in Spring Training. Better to have a job and be hurt than have an injury with no checks coming in.

Honestly, I'm not sure why the Indians signed Branyan when they could have brought back Ryan Garko, who is younger, a right-handed bat (which the left-handed heavy Tribe needs) and most of all, cheaper.

But regardless, let's assume Branyan won't play anytime soon. The defense looks like this...

Catcher: A question mark. Mike Redmond and Lou Marson, who may be slightly less talented than a broken wrench, are likely the two with the big club.

First base: Matt LaPorta and Andy Marte. Apparently LaPorta is too hurt to play first base every day. Yeah, first base, which was DH in the American League until 1973. I like what Marte did in limited time last year, but it's not like he's gonna get much of a shot.

Second base: Luis Valbuena has had a poor spring, but it's not like playing poorly has ever stopped the Indians from sticking guys in the lineup before. Unless your Josh Barfield.

Shortstop: Asdrubal Cabrera. Imagine where the Indians would have been had they made the move of Cabrera to short at the beginning of last year. Probably the same place, but at least we wouldn't have had to watch Jhonny Peralta at short. Footage of that has been shown to audiences at Accidently on Purpose tapings, because after watching Jhonny play, ANYTHING would seem entertaining, even that show.

Third base: Jhonny Peralta. Goes good year/bad year. In theory, this would be a good year. Of course, we said that about Eric Wedge's managing, and look where he is now.

Left field: Michael Brantley. He's so talented the Phillies are already assembling four useless prospects to trade for him in two years.

Center field: Grady Sizemore. No longer contractually obligated to leadoff and possibly healthy, Sizemore begins his season-and-a-half farewell tour with the Indians organization.

Right field: Shin Soo Choo. Great player, but the Indians are trying to sign him to an extension. That means he'll either walk, or sign and his shoulder will fall off three weeks later.

DH: Travis "he's coming around" Hafner. He's coming around, they tell me. Everyone says he will be back in form before too long.

2007: "When will he come around?"
"Before too long."

Jake Westbrook (hurt), Fausto Carmona (hasn't had a good game in three years), David Huff (won 11 games last year. Or so I'm told.), Justin Masterson (they figure he won't be quite as bad as a starter) and Mitch Talbot (Indians got him for Kelly Shoppach, so he can't be good).

Kerry Wood is hurt; Chris Perez is the closer. It's not like they're going to have many leads late anyway.

Manager: Manny Acta. He's not Wedge. Really. He's not Wedge.

Final prediction: Indians go 72-90. The Indians draw what a Loverboy concert would most nights. People start talking about LeBron leaving by the third inning of opening day.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Earliest April Fools memory
When I was a little kid, I had blond hair. More than that, I was proud of my blond hair. Loved that it was light, and if my mother had let me, I would have bleached it to get it lighter.

My father was aware of this. And so came April 1, 1985.

"Zach!," he said in a shocked and serious tone that would have pleased any acting coach, "your hair is jet black!"

I was petrified, and took off for the bathroom to look in the mirror. When I saw my hair was as blond as before, I was relieved, if confused.

"April Fools!," my dad said, laughing.

And thus, I was had. Since then, I have hated April Fools day.