Posted on: July 10, 2010 6:36 pm

Pop quiz

From The Niagra Falls reporters, 3 years ago, this article makes sense to me.

Pop quiz: Name five things that are illegal for sale in the United States

Got your answers? Let me guess: Does your list contain drugs like marijuana, cocaine, acid, ecstasy or heroin?

Maybe you thought weaponry and came up with items like flamethrowers, Tec-9s, AK-47s and Bangalore torpedoes.

The dieters among you may have thought of Ephedra, while smoking enthusiasts might have, with a heavy heart, listed Cuban cigars.

Whatever five items your list contains, I'm willing to bet dollars to pennies that the following product wasn't one of them: Jarts.

That's right; it has been 19 years since the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the popular summer lawn game after a child was accidentally killed by being hit by an errantly thrown Jart. It's time for America to unite and bring back this thrilling game to lawns all across this great nation of ours.

Jarts, or lawn darts, is to horseshoes what Jumble is to crossword puzzles: close cousins cut from the same cloth. In Jarts, players use an underhand motion to toss their footlong lawn dart at a yellow ring some 35 feet away. Players score three points for a Jart in the circle and one point for the closest Jart to the circle. The first player to score exactly 21 points wins the game.

Although it has been some 20 years since I last tossed a Jart, I can still clearly recall the sensation of letting the big dart fly and knowing instantly that the shot leaving your hand is heading directly to the center of the yellow circle. The trajectory and looping arc of a lawn dart is almost poetic in nature. When you're in the zone, sinking ringer after ringer (to borrow from the horseshoes terminology), you feel a bit like Keats rhyming couplets or Rembrandt laying oils to canvas.

Dammit, it's a sensation I want to feel again, but must I become a criminal to do so?

Jarts, after all, are part of my heritage. Growing up in the city's North End during the 1970s, we always had a box of Jarts in the house. I can still remember the thrill of opening up a new set -- the stark white box with the cartoon-like logo and the two sets of darts, one red, one blue, each set of plastic wings resplendent in bold colors.

Many a summer day was spent playing hours and hours of Jarts. The game was a multi-generational affair in my family, as often my father, grandfather and I would all participate. We usually played in teams of two players to a side and had an additional pair of players waiting to take on the winner. The sport had a sense of congeniality about it. Players routinely oohed and ahed each other's shots and might even offer a symbolic tip of the hat for an exceptional two-ringer round.

One thing we never felt while playing a game of Jarts was danger. The game, when properly supervised, is about as benign as a nap in a summer hammock. The only danger can come from letting small children run underfoot while a game is in progress. You can plug the phrase "letting small children run underfoot" into almost any activity and the bridge to "danger" will be drawn immediately.

Three kids were killed by being hit by a Jart. Three. While the hearts of all decent folks go out to parents who have lost a child, it seems highly unfair that Americans should lose a right because of three isolated incidents.

Consider these facts from the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine Injury Prevention:

  • Injuries kill more than 142,000 Americans each year.
  • Injuries of individuals ages 1-44 cost the nation approximately $133 billion each year.
  • Accidental injury remains the leading cause of death in youth, and sports injuries constitute an important number of these.
  • The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported that as many as 5 million medically treated injuries occur in the 15 most popular sports each year.
  • Between 1983 and 1989, the CPSC documented 2.66 million injuries treated at emergency rooms due to baseball and softball. This does not include non-hospitalization physician visits and thus underestimates the number of children injured.
  • A 1981 CPSC study of sports injuries to children ages 5 to 14 found more deaths in this age group due to baseball than any other sport. From 1973 to 1983, the CPSC reported 51 baseball-related deaths in children, including 12 children hit in the head with the ball and 21 children hit in the chest.

Those facts would seem to support the argument that American kids are injury-prone in general and that a kid is six times more likely to be killed by a baseball than by a Jart.

Should we ban baseball? Of course not.

Then why do we still have a ban on lawn darts?

The ban on Jarts is so ridiculous that one cannot even sell a set on eBay. Even listings for Jart T-shirts include such phrases as "Caution: Lawn darts are highly dangerous and are illegal in the United States."

To paraphrase an old NRA chestnut: Jarts don't kill people, people kill people.

Fortunately, one group has had enough of ridiculous government over-policing. A group of renegades in Piqua, Ohio, celebrates the Fourth of July by claiming their independence of inane federal laws. The group holds a Jart tournament every Fourth at which participants party like it's 1987. In the 16 years the tournament has been held, there have been plenty of whoops and hollers, thousands of laughs and smiles and -- can you believe it -- not one death.

Take a moment and drop your congressman a line demanding the return of Jarts to the great national landscape. It's as American as apple pie.

Category: NFL
Tags: Jarts
Posted on: April 16, 2010 10:24 am
Edited on: April 16, 2010 11:48 am

2010 Colloborative Draft,each pick broken down

1. (18)Kyle Wilson. Players  off the board were  Earl Thomas and Joe Haden, I thought about Iupati, but I gambled that Jerry would be there in round 3.  Truthfully I like Devin McCourty a shade better, but the Steelers have more interest in Wilson from what I am reading. He looked great in the Senior Bowl practices, he was like a blanket. Our starting RCB William Gay plays too far off the ball and gives up 6-7 yard completions all day long.

2. (52) Daryl Washington BPA, I really think he can play inside, talented kid who excels on ST, not looking for an immediate starter. He played inside in the crazy TCU defense, projected as a WLB. However in Mobile he played ILB and looked terrific in the game. I watched a lot of Florida games and Tim Tebow ran for a lot of positive yards and first downs. However in the Senior Bowl you could see Washington flash and he caught Tebow pretty easily.  At 6-2 230 he has room to grow, and the comments from the coaches said he shed blocks well, and covered the TE and RB out of the backfield, that is what DIck LeBeau will ask him to do. When we drafted Lawrence Timmons, he was 6-1, 230. In 2010 he will be nothing more than a ST player, people criticize me for that statement becaue most teams do not draft players in round 2 for ST. Pittsburgh is looking for depth at ILB and truthfully our ST coverrage sucks, so yes Washington will make our team better.  Troy Polamalu, Aaron Smith, LaMarr Woodley barely saw the field in their rookie year, Dick LeBeau's system is very complex and it takes time even for the most gifted player to grasp his responsibilities. Farrior is 35 and this may be his last season, Larry Foote is a solid ball player but at this point both him and Keyaron Fox are just backups and insurance, Washington is the starting LB of our near future

3. (82) John Jerry- massive OG/OT upgrade at RG and back to power football and I gambled that he would be here. Most mocks have him in this range, I am not buying it. He can play RT and OG, and absolutely pancakes people. Most players come into Mobile and do not measure up to their program. Jerry actually measured 6-6 328, he was listed as 6-5 350.  Here is something written by SteelFury, a rabid Steeler publication that I read afterwards, so my line of thinking is similar to other Steeler fans.

Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho vs John Jerry, OG, Ole Miss


Iupati: 6'5 331, 34 3/4" arm,  5.26 40yd, 7'8 lj

Jerry:   6'6 328, 34” arm,      5.15 40yd,  8'04 lj         

This one has been discussed a bit on the board over the past few months as Pro Football Weekly currently rates them as the 1<sup>st</sup> and 2<sup>nd</sup> best Guards in this draft, and both are of similar size, style, and measurables.  Many Steelers fans are now clamoring for the team to draft their 3rd Guard in the top round in just 13 seasons, nearly as many as the rest of the NFL combined.  Iupati went from relative unknown to potential top 20 pick in the past six months.  He possesses a rare combination of size, strength, and athleticism for a guard.  His counterpart John Jerry was a solid 4 year starter in the SEC.  He started games at both guard and tackle.  On a weekly basis he faced the best of the best defensive lines in the NCAA, and was a consistently dominant player, opening holes for a highly rated Ole Miss rushing attack.  Both are big men, even for the position, and move surprisingly well for their size.  Leaked wonderlic test scores also show both have intelligence hovering somewhere between a rotwieller and a special education 3rd grader. At the Senior Bowl both performed very well during practices, but Iupati struggled with quick interior pass rushers in the game and was called for holding and allowed a sack.  The limitations are similar with each player.  The questions as to whether each will handle quick inside pass rushes and complex blitzing schemes lingers, as will concerns about their ability to grasp an NFL playbook.  Iupati’s upside is limitless with his rare frame, size, athleticism, and strength.  He is still a raw prospect, whereas Jerry is pretty polished.  The team drafting Iupati does so with hopes he will blossom into something rare.  The team that takes Jerry is getting a more polished, lower ceiling player who isn’t far off of what Iupati is right now as a power run blocker.  So the question is, if you are an NFL GM shopping to fill your grocery list with the limited resources, which better fits your budget?  Do you want the 1st round $200 pair of True Religion jeans in Iupati, or are you willing to settle for a $20 pair of Wranglers in John Jerry in the middle rounds?

4. (116)Anthony "The Hammer" Dixon  a thumper, needed for short yardage, goal lines, and clock mgmt. We have a former first round pick in Rashard Mendenhall who is an every-down back, this kid does it all. When we have the need to hammer home a few tough yards, the Steelers are missing their roots and the Bus, I replace that with The Hammer.

5. (151)O'Brien Schofield- let him learn from LeBeau, let him heal, we need OLB depth, sack machine that is learning to cover in space. At the Shrine game he got an earful from Romeo Crennell, "who was supposed to cover the RB" he shouted out. Shofield said "Coach I never played LB before, I was  DE". Crennell feeling bad for the kid made sure the coaches spent extra time with this kid. The result was impressive, in the first Quarter he read the QB, jumped the route and picked off a pass. This is a kid 5 days earlier had never played LB, so he learns quick. If he is not healed, the Steelers can hide him on IR or PUP, I personally think he is a special ball player and compares to a lot of talented OLB in this draft, but with 12.5 sacks, you know he has skill playing in the big ten going against some Big OT.

5. (162) Kam Chancellor- Taylor Mays sized, but tracks the ball better, plays faster than his 4.59. Also looked at Blair White and I wanted Robert Johnson but he was off the board, I am not sure where the Jets pick fell in all of this, but I would have taken RJ over Kam because of the deep middle skills. This is a poor man's Taylor Mays, he hits like a truck, but does not always look for the hit, he also played CB at Va. Tech so his coverage skills are not as raw as some gurus calling him an in the box safety only.  The Steelers are looking for high character kids, he fits. His goal, once he signs his contract, is to buy his mom a home because she lives in a poor section of Newport News, Va.

5. (164)Joe Webb- a big target who we can develop, awesome athlete, huge upside, The Steelers are drafting this kid, just a gut. Okay he is not the next Megatron, but 6-3, 223, 11-5" broad jump, 42.5 vertical, 21 reps@225, runs a 4.44 these numbers are whacked! read his bio, the Steelers have more than a mild interest in him.  The thing I like is his production. over the last 2 seasons, he has skills running and throwing the ball, now he will add Receiving onto his resume. The word I get is that his route running, although raw, is being polished.  Heck we are just looking for a guy to develop, not an immediate starter.  Bruce Arians son, is a former UAB player and could not say enough good things about this prospect, there is your connection.

Read More:

6. (188)Clay Harbor- 6'3" 252 he can run with the ball, he can catch the ball and he can block.  Thought about Corey Peters. Last night on Path to The Draft, Mike Mayock had this kid as a small school sleeper, naturally after my selection. Laughing. Art Rooney II wants us to go back to our roots, run the football, we need a FB, this kid blocks, runs, catches and would be a good transitional piece from the Wild passing of Bruce Arians, back to the Days of Jerome Bettis and Dan Kreider.  

7. (225)Jay Ross- a 3/4 end or a NT prospect. Ekam Udofia has ankle issues, Kade Weston is not as productive. He just dropped a bunch of wieght, so maybe more of end, but he has work ethic. Also I found a mock last night on "The Football Expert" that has Ross going to SF in round 3, pick 79. . Again I found this after the fact.

7. (243) Brandon Deaderick- 3/4 end, hidden on a very talented Alabama team, compares to Jared O'Drick but will cost me nothing more than a 3 year contract.  Draft analysts will tell  you when watching the stars, look at players around them. That is how I noticed Jared Crick, by watching Suh, and the year before we stopped watching Alex Mack and were dazzled by Jahvid Best, I don't like Tepper by the way.  The thing about Deaderick, he got shot in the arm by a robber, and 5 days later is playing in a game, he was robbed by a masked man, he was not looking for trouble. The only time he missed practice is when his Grandmother died. Here is another comparison by SteelFury, I had Deaderick at #2 and moved him up to #1 on my list after reading this.

 Jared Odrick, DE, PennState vs Brandon Deadrick, DE, Alabama


Odrick 6’5 305, 5.08 40yd

Deadrick 6’5 315  5.08 40yd

Two players that both prohect best to defensive ends (five-techniques) in the 3-4 defense, one is a 1<sup>st</sup> round lock while the other is a day 3 prospect.  Odrick jumped out every game you watched him as a guy who would make a very good NFL 5 technique.  His length, strength, and mobility often earn him comparisons to Aaron Smith and Richard Seymour, the two best 5 techniques this decade.  When watching the Alabama line looking to be impressed by Terrence Cody, it was often Brandon Deadrick that was the guy to make the impressive stuff at the line.  His experience in the 3-4 defense under Nick Saban will only help transition to the NFL.  Teams missing out on the premium 5-technique in this draft in round 1 could land Deadrick from the reduced rack late in the draft and get an effective starter on the cheap.

Undrafted signing: Mike Kafka, QB, Northwestern. You always have a 4th arm in camp, truthfully I looked hard at Adrian Tracey, Sean Lissemore, Antonio Brown but we needed a camp arm to throw to all the WR and to rest our Starting QB' arm. Kafka's stock is up, scouts and GM's agree they predict he will be drafted, I went with value here, and Big Ben's future uncertain.  Kafka was rated 191 overall on the Steelers Big Board, this a a cumulation of 5-10 posters, and one Rouge Ravens poster who has added some good perspective to all of this and has been along for the ride since September. 
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Steelers
Posted on: December 12, 2009 4:50 pm

Quotes of the Day. Something to make you laugh

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?
When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Funny Quotes
Posted on: December 5, 2009 1:08 am

Tiger Woods Jokes

Okay Tiger is in some hot water, why not laugh at his expense?  These are typed as I am reading the NY Post.

-What does Tiger Woods and baby seals have in common?  They're both clubbed by Scandinavians.

-Apparently The Police asked Tiger's wife how many times she hit Woods with the golf club. She says I cannot be sure, but put me down for five.

-What's the Difference Between a Cadillac and a golf ball? Tiger Woods can drive a golf ball 400 yards.

- We now see that Tiger Woods drives very well in the fairway... however he does not fare well in the driveway.

- What does the Ryder Cup and Tiger Wood's House have in common?  They're both places where Tiger gets beat by Europeans.

- Today, Ping Golf announced it is signing Mrs. Woods to a multimillion endorsement deal for the new line of women's fairway woods. Their new slogan Elin Woods, the clubs you can beat Tiger with.
Category: Golf
Tags: Tiger Jokes
Posted on: March 22, 2009 7:45 pm

Make my day Mr. Oak Tree.

 Spend part of today at the range.  I joined an outdoor range because the indoor range does not allow my .44 magnum, destroys the backstop.  I wonder how much longer I can afford to buy ammo, I am looking at a reloader, at least for the pistols. Shotgun shells are still pretty cheap and I have dozens of boxes in inventory.  I also thought about turning in both my Smith's and getting a second Glock. I am looking at Model G35, it looks good for militiary style target shooting and a tactical weapon. I also like the .40 S&W much better than the 9mm, more stopping power.  Again I have to look at the price of ammo, my .357 allows me to use .38's which are pretty cheap, but hardly even jolt my hand. I mean that is the point right, stopping power, I doubt I shoot a Burglar at 50 yards.

I wonder why paintball is so popular, I mean yeah you get to shoot people but it is a just paint. I get more satisfaction with the real thing blasting holes into targets. I got a badge years ago for Trap, went 50 for 50, shooting doubles, so yeah moving targets are fun too. And I did this with my Mossberg 5500, really a field gun, however I did put in the modified skeet choke and I was using 1.25 oz of 9 shot in some high brass shells. I like to kill what I hit. At least I was smart enough to buy the magnum barrell for goose hunting LOL.


Category: World Sports
Posted on: March 8, 2009 5:27 pm

I McGivered a couch!

So the black lab likes to chew, unfortunately the litte SOB saw a loose thread on the couch. After 2 months of attempting to deter the dos with sheets, covers, and even an upside down laundry basket, he found the foam and destroyed my couch. It is a 3 pc. sectional with a sleeper, corner, and a recliner end. The part that got ruined was on the relcliner end, the spot next to the recliner  that connected to the corner, this couch seats five. So I figured chuck out the couch even though 4/5 of it was still good. With the recliner the end piece weighed a few hundred pounds and just cumbersome, I did drag it out of the house onto the deck myself. Now I am looking at the couch and the pickup truck, No way Jose am I young enough anymore to ho-ho a couch into a pickup by myslef. All my friends are at work, no neighbor is home.

Tools at this point come in handy, so I figured if I took the sawzall and cut the sucker in half, I could lift each piece into the truck and head to the dump. Upon further examination, the one destroyed section was connected to the recliner section with some oak boards, tacks, fabric, and some screws. So I sawed the sucker in half with the sawzall, but did not destroy the half with the recliner. It looked okay and the other section was obviously destroyed and I started unscrewing it and pulling the fabric off to make it lighter. Now I am thinking, what if I don't saw the half with the recliner up, but attach some fabric onto the bare plywood frame on the side. So I got the staple gun out and fired up the air copressor. Bingo, easy job. Now it looks okay but is missing balance, It has two out of four legs, so it tilts to one side. So I grab the legs off the broken part, unscrew the brackets and then make a side frame them affix the legs onto the other end of the recliner. Then I took the corner unit, about 100 lbs. and move it to the basement. I put the busted up pcs. into the truck and the recliner back into the house. It fits perfectly to the sleeper end, now I have a 3 person couch that has a sleeper and a recliner, and nobody can tell unless I pont it out to them. Smile

Category: NFL
Tags: Genius
Posted on: May 8, 2008 10:44 am

Why I hate Hillary, the highway, and the store

I wish their was a candiate I could trust in the White House for the next 4 years, one thing for certain, Hillary Clinton is the absolute worse choice. Not only does she lie and deceive, she is physically very annoying to me. He smile is a phony as a three dollar bill, her voice is close to the AFLAC duck. (stole that one from Bigbenslady08). I hated her when she was the first lady, now I hate her even more. She waffles on every GD issue and then instead of having insight into a resolution, she attacks her opponents. Hillary is what is wrong with this country, she is the queen of the sour punch that is poisoning America.

Every day people get nastier and nastier, nobody holds open doors for me, when I sneeze, almost nobody ever blesses me. I try to sneeze in church, that way I have blanket coverage and don't have to rely on strangers. Our highways are filled with inconsiderate losers who are either too rich,too poor, or just plain obnoxiously inconsiderate to care about me and the people they share the road with. Our stores are filled with people who would push past you to gain a lousy minute in the checkout line.

On Sunday I had this old b!tch cut ahead of me in the Express ailse. FIrst off she had 20 items easily and was very slow to put them on the belt. Then she watches the scanned groceries pile up, never thinking to help bag any of them, and then whips out a food stamp card. She screws up the PIN number, not once but twice, both times the head cashier had to come over with a key.  Maybe I should feel sorry for her that she had a food stamp card and was obvioulsy elderly. However, since she was a total assh0le to begin with, no sympathy from me. My mom is in her 70's, worked hard all her life, she pays cash at the counter and tries to help make her transactions go expediotiously as to not impeed the progress of those behind her. I feel the same way, when my transaction is held up, I apologize to the person(s) behind me in line, and it is not even my fault the cashier messed up, I just feel bad that I was somewhat repsonsible for adding to their wait. I won't change, I still let the person behind me go ahead of me if they have a significant amount of items than I do, but I have altered my approach. I tell them if they are paying cash they can go ahead of me, because I am also in a hurry. I refuse to let them screw me over because if they are using an ATM card for a loaf of bread, they just ain't worth my time.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:10 am

Why I hate my State

I live in Taxetticut, (CT),where everyone either hates us, or thinks we are rich........ Well I can be likeable,  provided you are not a homer Patriot fan trying to get me to root for your team....  Gas prices just went up, AGAIN... It cost me 850 dollars to fill my oil tank on Monday, talk about BS, man I cannot wait until I put a wood stove in. I actually split some firewood yesterday for the fireplace, kinda enjoyed being outside with nature doing man stuff. My wife is the greatest, she actually asked about the wood stove and how easy it would be to maintain. Hallalujah, at least she is willing to chuck a few logs in while I am at work.

Also, I definitely be getting a good chain saw, I have a lot of trees in my property that are hardwood. I am thinking the Husqvarna Rancher, good H.P. 20" bar. I have a 16" Husky now, but it is more for trimming and small jobs, I want a MAN SAW. Not sure if I want to spend all my free time splitting wood, I can earn the cost of a cord of wood working at my part-time job on Saturday. But then again, how much free time do I have to spend doing what I need to, enjoying life. All I do is work, that is all I know, lately though this posting has gotten me off-track, but that is only because the weather is crappy. I still do one project a day, even if it is as simple as intstalling light bulbs or fixing a door knob.

With that said, when will winter be over. I hate snow to begin with, plus cold weather limits your outdoor fun unless you are a skier or go ice fishing. My days of riding a tobagan down a slippery hill are over. Heck, one bad crash on a sled and I am out of a job, it's funny how as you get older and your Bills become bigger, you take less risk. I guess that is what comes with age, wisdom and a huge mortgage.

Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or