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Off the Cuff.
November 28, 2003

by Bill Hogan



If you're anything like me, then you know how difficult it is to get any work done the day before Thanksgiving. You're mind wanders, you watch the clock, word circulates around the water cooler that the big boss has given permission to close the office early.

You're thinking about family, friends and football. Wondering how big the turkey is this year. Hoping Great Aunt Agnes is bringing her world famous corn bread and walnut stuffing (praying that it is dry as a bone, as usual). And you're still watching that clock.


Wednesday is getaway day. There's a four day weekend waiting for you when it's time to punch out and it can't come soon enough. At home, the bird is already marinating, apples are being peeled for the pie and the aroma of cinnamon cider simmering on the stove fills the air clear up to the bedroom.

Maybe you're not like me. Maybe you have the mental fortitude to concentrate on the task at hand. I find it impossible, when there is bread pudding baking in the oven, to keep my mind from drifting aimlessly in countless directions.

Do you know what bothers me lately about Everybody Loves Raymond? They're all constantly bickering. It gives me a knot in my stomach. They may all love Raymond, but it's apparent that they have it in for each other. Makes me very uncomfortable.

I don't know why newspapers and internet sites continue to fill their sports pages with news about the Kobe rape case. They should put that stuff with the rest of the depressing news I no longer have the stomach to read.

I'm curious what Steve Bartman – the guy who interfered with the foul ball in the Cubs-Marlins game – is doing for Thanksgiving. I hope, wherever he sits down for a nice turkey dinner, he can spend at least a couple of hours without someone calling him a boob.

I haven't heard too many derogatory comments about Lisa Guerrero's sideline reporting on Monday Night Football lately. I hope the worst is over for her, she looked awful spiffy in that turquoise blue outfit last week.

Is there a sane parent in America who would ever let their son or daughter have a "sleep over" with Michael Jackson? And I'm talking about before the latest allegations of sexual misconduct. If my child ever inquired about attending a slumber party at the Neverland Ranch, my immediate response would be Never-Ever.

The New York Times is part of the college football Bowl Championship Series computer rankings that help determine the BCS standings. They are so far out of whack with all the other ranking systems that it leads me to believe Jason Blair wasn't fired, just reassigned.

Now that the season finale of The Bachelor has aired, it's become big news that, while the game was on, Bachelor Bob was somewhat of a "man-whore." Let me see, a young, single man, being courted by 25 beautiful women who'll do just about anything to win his affections, dives into the pit of promiscuity. What a shock.

It really stinks that it's the end of November and I'm already looking forward to next year's NFL draft because the only good thing that's going to come out of this season for my team is a really high draft pick.

Why is Iowa State's ex-basketball coach Larry Eustachy at the top of every annual Thanksgiving "Turkey of the Year Award" list? He paid dearly for frequenting frat parties, drinking and kissing coeds. There are at least a couple of dozen sports related personalities that have done worse. Maybe if he was caught drinking Heineken instead of Natural Light they'd leave him alone.

Does anybody really want to see a Paris Hilton reality show? Isn't the internet porn video that she is currently "starring in" more than enough reality? FOX is putting her on a farm in some sort of 21st century Green Acres situation. I'll pass.

See how one's mind can turn to mashed potatoes the night before the biggest feast of the year? Pardon my random ramblings, but I'm sure you can all understand under the circumstances.

There is so much in my life that I am thankful for. My family, my friends, and their continued health and happiness. I hope you have plenty to be thankful for too. I'm pretty sure it's still politically correct to say Happy Thanksgiving.


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