552 miles... 1 million more smiles.

My Recent "Tweets"

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mass Hysteria

I'm not sure where the rumor started, but it spread like wildfire. I heard it almost as soon as I left the house today. While I was filling out forms at the hospital (x-rays, nothing serious), the receptionist told me she'd heard that area gas stations were cutting off their gas supply at 4pm. She was worried that she wouldn't be able to fill her gas tank and that she wouldn't be able to get to work tomorrow. Everyone else in the hospital seemed to share her plight.

Some of the folks at the hospital recognized me from the tv station, and I told them it was probably a rumor, that I hadn't heard any such thing, and that if it were true, somebody at work would have told me about it. They didn't buy it.

When I left the hospital, chaos had broken out across the city. Lines at gas stations were hundreds of feet long, blocking traffic and creating havoc at nearby intersections. Gas prices, which, the night before, had been around $2.70 a gallon had shot all the way up to $3.16 a gallon at some stations. And people were still lining up. (The gas station near my apartment hadn't gotten the memo about price-gouging, and was charging a much more reasonable $2.79)

I was smart enough to fill my gas tank on Sunday, when I heard that the drilling platforms and refineries had been closed down and evacuated. I may be blonde, but I didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

Poor Cory's been sitting in the newsroom, where the phone's been ringing off the hook with people calling about the gas situation. He says it's been like watching a twilight zone episode.


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Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Really, "bleak" is the only word that comes to mind-- to describe the situation in the Gulf States, to describe my emotions.

Much like the week of September 11th, 2001, I can't stop watching the news. Since Sunday, I've been obsessed with Hurricane Katrina. I stayed up until 4:00 am watching coverage of the coming storm, slept restlessly, turned on the television at 9:00 Monday morning, and I don't feel like I've stopped watching since.

This morning, I watched CNN as I got ready for my weekly trip to Auburn. Rolling across the bottom of the screen on the ticker, it said "Lake Pontchartrain Levee suffers two breaches in New Orleans." And my heart sank. Compared to the devastation in cities like Gulfport, Biloxi, and Mobile, New Orleans had been the one bright spot in the news. Compared to the Mississippi Gulf and "LA" (Lower Alabama), it looked like the "Big Easy" had dodged a bullet.

As long as the levees held.

The rest of the morning, I flipped channels between CNN, MSNBC, and (ugh) Fox News, waiting to hear more about the levees. But there was nothing. Nothing? This was seriously big news... and nothing. Of course, the fact that there's no power, no phones, no nuthin' in New Orleans means the news cycle there is moving pretty slowly.

When I got back from Auburn, I finally saw the news. The bullet that New Orleans had dodged was actually a boomerang. The levee broke. And, at least for now, there's no fixing it.

I guess "bleak" isn't the only word I can use. "Helpless" is pretty close, too.

American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Website

Salvation Army National Headquarters Website


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Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina Update

I just talked with one of my co-workers, Al, who originally hails from New Orleans. His son and ex-wife live with his ex's new husband just outside of New Orleans, less than 50 feet from the Mississippi River. And they're not evacuating.

Quote from my co-worker: "I always knew that guy wasn't so bright."

Al's one of the most laid-back, coolest cats you'll ever meet. The type of guy who doesn't panic, doesn't let anything faze him. And he says he would have high-tailed it out Nola long ago.


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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Katrina and the Waves

This afternoon, I made sure to call Jan and say "I'm glad you got a chance to see New Orleans this year... because it may not be there tomorrow."


For my friends north of the Mason-Dixon line, you've probably seen the reports on Hurricane Katrina on the news. And you probably think it's overkill. I know I would if I didn't live down here.

Dealing with hurricanes is one of the adjustments I've had to make living in the South. Knowing when to panic, and when not to. When a new tropical storm arrives in the Atlantic, everyone even remotely close to the gulf or the ocean immediately falls into a tizzy. What if it turns into a hurricane? What if it comes straight to us? People start buying batteries for their flashlights and gas for their generators as soon as they hear about a new tropical storm in the Atlantic.

Most of the time, everyone's freaked out about nothing. Sometimes, it peters out before it hits land. Sometimes, everyone freaks out because it's projected to hit them... then it starts heading in a completely different direction. People stash their C-batteries away in a closet, forget where they put them, and then have to buy new batteries when the next tropical storm hits the Weather Channel.

But then again, sometimes, it gets really scary.

Katrina looks like one scary mother of a hurricane. And she's headed straight for New Orleans.

Unlike most of my friends down here, I don't know anyone who lives in Nola. The closest is Rich in Baton Rouge. But Cory and I have a lot of great memories from our trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. It's one of the cities on our "list" of places we'd like to live. I've even thought that maybe Cory and I should get married there.

It'll be really sad if I can't go back to the corner of Toulouse and Decatur because its been washed away by a stupid hurricane.


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Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Office

It may be time to seriously consider another line of work when:

1) You're the oldest non-managment person that doesn't have a family.
2) The new guy at your job graduated from high school when you were 31. And he's already amassed more respect from co-workers and friends at the office than you have in four years.
3) You have dreams that your office was moved into a stairwell. No, I'm not kidding. I actually dreamt that I was given a new office under the stairs.

Can you tell that I've been feeling a little discouraged?


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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Goin' Crazy in Curacao

Ever since I moved to Georgia nearly four years ago, Andruw Jones has been my favorite baseball player. He's quiet, modest, and swings a helluva bat.

A couple years ago, I found out that his father was a legendary baseball player in Curacao, in fact, that he was said to be the best baseball player in the nation's history. But 30 years ago, the Netherlands Antilles wasn't exactly on the radar for the average major league scout. So Andruw's father worked in a factory by day and played baseball by night. Not exactly the glamorous life of a superstar.

Last year, a Little League team from Curacao won the Little League World Series. Before the game, the announcers asked the kids who their favorite baseball player was. Every single one of them answered "Andruw Jones."

This year, a team from the very same town in Curacao is in Williamsport for the LLWS once again. Today, ESPN.com has a really nice article about that team, and about how Andruw Jones has sparked baseball fever on one small island.


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Change of Plans

I was going to post about the big sports news of the day, the Atlanta Thrashers/Ottawa Senators deal, but I just didn't have much to say about it. Dany Heatley's one of the best players in the game... but he needs to get away from Atlanta. Too many bad memories. I would be bummed that he's leaving, but the Thrashers are getting Marian Hossa and Greg DeVries in exchange, and it's not like either of them are slouches.

Then I thought of making an uplifting post about Julio Franco's 47th Birthday. The Braves' infielder/pinch hitter is the oldest active player in major league baseball. He's hit nine home runs this season. "ET" was the number one movie when he made his major league debut. Oh, and three of his current teammates weren't even born when he made his major league debut.

But then he struck out in his only plate appearance tonight. And the Braves lost 10-1. So much for that.

So instead, I'll post about stuff that isn't sports related at all.

Because it makes me laugh, I'll post about the world's custest dog, Mr. Winkle. I first discovered Mr. Winkle when Mike posted about him/her/it a few years ago.

But of course, for every yin, there is a yang. And for every Mr. Winkle, there has to be a Sam, the three-time champion of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest. Though, honestly, there was no contest.

And speaking of ugly, what's up with this freak?

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Monday, August 22, 2005

This Makes Sense

I am:
a rolodex
Somehow this perennial data organizing device never quite succumbs to the digital age.

Hmmm... the girl who refuses to own a cell phone "never quite succumbs to the digital age?" Ok. I'll buy that.

Thanks to SwagTV for the link... By the way, he's a a pirated copy of a spreadsheet program.

I think I'd rather be a Rolodex. At least it has some personality. (Sorry, Swag!)

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One Down, 264.42 to Go

Is it wrong for me to occasionally entertain suicidal thoughts? Probably... but what if I were to tell you that I entertain thoughts of death by caffeine?

Apparently, it would take 265.42 cans of Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi before I kick the bucket. I'm not sure I could do that in less than a day.

Maybe I'd better switch to Red Bull. That would only take 119 cans.


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Cute? Or Ugly? Or so ugly that they're cute? Presenting: Baby Hedgehogs!


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Down the Drain

They've been replacing the sewer system at work this weekend... which in the long run, will be a very good thing. In the short term, though, it's a serious pain in the arse.

First of all, after shooting the Catfish game this afternoon in a 105-degree heat index, Cory and I stopped at Sonic to get a couple Route 44 Vanilla Diet Cokes. Yum! However, I would have opted for a less-than-44 ounce beverage had I realized that I wouldn't be able to use the bathroom at work. It took some serious willpower to keep from doing the peepee dance while anchoring the sports segment.

We also weren't allowed to run any water in the sinks. Not a good thing when you're coming back from three hours in the sun in this weather. Let's just say a little soap and water would have done me a world of good. Instead I had to make do with "wet ones" and baby powder. I smelled like a sweaty baby's bottom all afternoon. Good thing we don't have Smellovision.

The second sewer related stress relates to our already unsatisfactory parking situation at work. If you arrive in the middle of the day, as I do, then you're relegated to parking in what we affectionately call the "rape lot." It's an un-lit gravel parking lot around the corner from the station. I wouldn't mind parking in the "rape lot" if I arrived at work during daylight hours and left while it was still light out. Unfortunately, those people get to park in the normal parking lot, because they get to work first. I, on the other hand, tend to leave work during the prime rape hours.

Well, because they're digging up the sewer lines (which happen to run through our parking lot) our already-small parking lot has a grand total of about 15 useable spaces... ten of which are being used by news vans, live trucks, and other company cars. Several of us had to park in the "rape lot" tonight.

As I was leaving work, I went out the back door, cut behind the building next door to the station (because it's the lighted path to the rape lot), got to the lot, and CRAP!!! My car's not there! After standing in the "rape lot," dumbfounded in the dark, I remembered that I had moved my car at dinner time to grab one of the "good" parking spots in the regular parking lot.

(A side note, Cory sometimes is a nice guy and moves my car from the "rape lot" to the normal parking lot after the 9-to-5ers have gone home for the night. Usually he tells me. Sometimes he forgets. And the same thing happens. I walk to the "rape lot," clutching my keys tightly between my fingers like brass knuckles... just in case... only to discover that my car's been moved.)

So, I walked back to the regular parking lot, around the 50-foot trench dug for the sewer line, under the caution tape, back to my car... Feeling pretty stupid the whole time.

I have to admit, though, one great thing will come out of the new sewer line. It will be very nice to keep my on-air clothes in the powder room at work again. Several months ago, we had a nasty sewage backup in the bathrooms at work, and all of my blazers got... well... stinky. I moved as many as I could to the sports office, where they sat in a big, wadded-up pile on the chair next to my desk for several months.


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Friday, August 19, 2005

The Clock is Ticking...

Football season starts tonight... and you know what that means. A very grouchy Sportslady for the next 3 months.

Every year, I swear that I'll be out of this business... or at least that I'll have a better job... before the next football season starts. And yet here I am.

I must have done something horrible in a past life.


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Cory's been providing a day-by-day account of our vacation travels. I feel no need to do the same. However, I will elaborate on some of his notes.

Thursday night, upon returning from our trip to WallyWorld, Cory, Chris (his mom), Travis (his best friend from high school) and I returned to the Chateau O'Donnell. Travis was about to head back home, after rescuing us from the TV-won't-fit-in-the-car debacle. We're all standing in the living room, hoping that the new television set will fit in the entertainment center, when Cory points at something on the dining room ceiling.

"What's that thing on the ceiling?" he asked, though I suspect he knew exactly what it was.

Almost too calmly, I responded, "It's a bat." To be specific, it was a Little Brown Bat. But I didn't provide them with that information.

Simultaneously, Chris, Cory, and Travis all made various versions of nervious squealing noises, and all three moved hastily away from the kitchen. I just stood there staring at it.

"They're harmless." I said, trying to keep Chris from freaking out. She had already run into the back of the house. "they're cute. They're like little mice with wings."

Travis pointed out that perhaps that wasn't the best simile to use. Not everyone, apparently, finds mice to be as cute as I think they are. Seriously, though. Bats Are cute. Look at little Stellaluna-- she's adorable.

While they all nervously tried to figure out what to do, I devised a plan. I'd need a large pot or some sort of container. Chris got up the nerve to accompany me to the kitchen to find a pot, but she kept trying to give me frying pans instead. I think she thought I was going to beat it with a frying pan and kill it.

Finally, we found a big glass casserole dish, I stood on a chair, covered him with the dish, slid a lid in on top of the poor little guy, and took him outside. He was terrified. He flattened himself against the bottom of the dish and didn't want to get him out. It took a little coaxing with a tree branch but he flew away.

I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself. The Sportlady, kind to small animals. Friend to bats. Calm in a crisis. That's me.

Until tonight.

At a little after midnight, I decided I needed ice cream. I dropped several hints in hopes that Cory would go to the store for me, but to no avail. So I decided to head out to the gas station and buy a pint of the crappy ice cream they sell there. I grabbed my keys and purse, opened the front door, and was greeted by... well... I'm not sure what the hell it was.

Something flew into the apartment, though really, it just kind of dropped into the apartment. It landed on the floor with an audible thud and started making a horrible, loud buzzing sound like a mechanical wind-up toy. All this happened in about a nanosecond. I immediately started screaming, flapping my arms, and hopping up and down before I came to my senes, and ran, lungs screaming, arms flapping, to the other end of the apartment.

"What the hell is it?" Cory asked, a little freaked out by the noise, and probably even more freaked out by my behavior.

"Aaaaauuuuggghh!" I responded, still incapable of speech.

It was an insect, at least three inches long, with wings at least two inches longer than its body. It was on the floor, vibrating and buzzing, scaring the crap out of both of us.

Cory grabbed a shoe, then realized that even his size 13s would be inadequate defense against this six-legged beast. I eventually stopped cowering under the table in the dining room and together, we managed to trap it under a broom, and sweep it out the front door. Actually, that took two tries... the first time he stuck to the broom and plopped right back onto the linoleum.

I still needed ice cream... now more than ever. So I went out the back door, walked around the building, and Cory came with me. My heart was still racing. We got to our front door, shone a flashlight on the monster, and couldn't decide what to do about it.

I have a problem with killing things... especially things larger than a cockroach. This was much, much larger than a cockroach. Cory was convinced that the thing was already seriously hurt, since it wasn't moving. He decided to sneak up on it and put it out of its misery with his shoe. He gave it a whack, and suddenly it came back to life, buzzing loudly enough to wake the neighbors. Cory jumped about two feet straight up into the air, then gave it another smack and finished the job.

So in the span of one week, I've gone from Sportslady of Steel to Sportslady of Pudding. From Friend of Nature to Nature's Foe. Seriously, though, I haven't seen an insect this terrifying since my encounter with the giant black grasshopper two years ago.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Putting Butts in the Seats

Tonight, I completed my Catfish bobblehead collection with the third and final bobblehead giveaway of the season, Edwin Jackson.
For those of you not familiar with Mr. Jackson's work, you may recall my elation at his major league debut a little over two years ago.

Since then, Edwin's struggled a little, suffered a couple injuries, and has been demoted back down to Double-A. He may be on his way back up again soon, though, since he was recently named the Southern League pitcher of the week.

I love the fact that the Catfish are doing fun promotions and giveaways this year. Tomorrow is not only "Thirsty Thursday" at the ballpark ($1.00 Killian's Red), but it's also "Bald is Beautiful" night. I don't know if the promotions are putting any more butts in the seats, but I hope that they keep doing it.

The best minor league baseball promotion this year, though, isn't at Golden Park here in C-Town. Nope. It's in Woodbridge, Virginia, home of the Potomac Nationals. Next Thursday is "Hairiest Back at the Ballpark" night. The most hirsute fan wins $2,500 in laser hair removal.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Back in Business

After five days of being "off the grid," Cory and I are back in town. To be honest, it was kind of nice not having any computer access. Between working, blogging, and ebay, I spend waaayy too much time at the computer.

A full report on vacation activities is forthcoming. Probably.


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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Trend Setter

If you've been an observant blog reader, you've probably noticed the growing list of other groovy blogs in the left-hand column of this page. All of a sudden, there's been a blogger boom in our fair little hamlet, especially among its media types. (I should note that Burkard's Blog of Columbus, Georgia has been around as long as this blog... but for some reason I kept forgetting to link to it.)

A few months ago, I stumbled across Basil's Blog... and after reading several posts, was stunned to realize that I actually know the infamous Basil (His actual identity is a closely guarded secret. I could tell you who he really is... but then I'd have to kill you). I should note that Basil is not a media type.

In the last month or so, all of a sudden, we've had a blogsplosion. Suddenly Kaos and Swag have their own little pieces of the blog pie. That's ok... even if they do work at that other TV station in town, they're pretty cool guys. Then TarHeelTV started. Then it was TVwannabe. Not to mention our rambling pal in East Alabama. Oh... and another former media-type is Hoppin'Thoughts alongside her husband, Wedge. I've never actually met either of them, but they love hockey, so they're OK by me!

I might add, though I wasn't the first (Cory was... though I'm the one that encouraged him to start blogging), I take full credit. Unless they start pissing people off. Then it's all Cory's fault.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

The End of an Era

Last night, I had planned on writing about Peter Jennings when I got home from work. I found out that he died right before I left the station. Today, I watched ABC World News Tonight, and found myself tearing up while they did a tribute to him. I always admired Jennings.... he was a journalist, not just an anchor, and those are a dying breed. Plus, that Canadian accent always made me feel at home.

It seems weird that the three top news anchors of my generation have now moved on-- Tom Brokaw handing over the reins quietly, Dan Rather under a dark cloud of suspicion, and Jennings, of course, leaving too soon.

I don't really know if anyone out there can fill any of their shoes. To be honest, I don't watch the CBS Evening News-- I understand that Bob Schieffer has been filling in since Rather left, but I can't see him taking the gig full-time.

I like Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News, and I think he holds a lot of promise. He seems kind of young, but then again, Jennings was only 27 when he started anchoring at ABC. That's young. Williams manages to convey intelligence and trust without seeming uptight or pretentious, and that isn't an easy line to walk. NBC also did the right thing, by naming Williams as the heir to Brokaw's post years before Brokaw's retirement. It gave people time to adjust, time to get used to him.

I don't know what ABC will do. I don't think Elizabeth Vargas is ready, and though I love Charlie Gibson, he's been shuffled around from show to show so much by the network that I don't know if people would ever accept him as a permanent replacement for Peter. I just hope that they don't give the job to Sam Donaldson. Yeeesh.

By the way, tonight, the title of the show was still "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings." While that's a nice tribute, it also seemed just a little morbid. I hope they drop his name from the title before it gets too weird.

But I digress, as usual. To me, it's really the end of an era. Yeah, I remember Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and John Chancellor. When they left, it seemed strange, too. But the news business is changing so much more now. Personalities are the only things that keep people watching the networks.

After all, thanks to CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and others, we can catch the headlines 24 hours a day. We don't need to wait until 6:30, like we used to in Cronkite's day. But people kept watching the networks because they trusted the anchors that they'd grown up watching.

Now, the networks risk losing their audience. We don't know Elizabeth Vargas any better than we know CNN's Aaron Brown. I honestly don't know what will happen to the network newcasts, but I think in a few years, there will be some major changes, not only in the shows, but also in their audiences.

Here's to Peter Jennings... the end of a life, the end of an era.

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Friday, August 05, 2005

EEEW, Eeew, eeew!!!
(This post is rated "R" for adult situations)

I just had, quite possibly, one of the most disturbing things happen to me in my entire life.

First, a little backstory. We live in a townhouse, and we share a roof and half of a shed/laundry room with one other townhouse. Our attic is a shared space, but there's a divider made of wood and chickenwire between our space and theirs. Our shed (attached to our patio) is seperated by a brick wall between our half and theirs. The wall is about 7 feet high, but there's a small gap (about 4") between the top of the wall and the ceiling of the shed. The ceiling is an exposed-beam ceiling, so the gap actually looks like a little cubby-hole. You wouldn't even know the gap was there, except for the fact that you can hear into the other side. So if they're in their shed, and we're in our shed, we can hear them, but there's no possible way to be able to see them. I should add that we've never exchanged more than a "hello" with these neighbors.

(One quick, funny, story... one day, Cory was doing the laundry out in the shed and he could hear someone in the other half of the shed, and could also hear what sounded like a goat. I asked him, "what did the goat sound like?" and he tried to replicate the sound for me. After a moment, I asked, "Ummm, do you think it might have been their baby???")

Ok, so back to what just happened. In our storage/laundry shed, I have a laundry sorter, which is essentially three tall baskets. Today, I went out there to do laundry. I'd finished a load, was about to sort some more laundry, and I see something sitting in the bottom of the laundry sorter. It looks kind of like a purse.

That's weird, I thought... but since we use that room for storage, I'm thinking to myself, maybe it's some crap of Cory's that his mom shoved in an old purse just to keep it all together. You know, maybe it's some golf tees and golf balls and old spikes or something.

So, I look inside. There's a silky scarf inside. So now, I'm intrigued. What the hell is this thing? Then I realize that the scarf is wrapped around a large pink dildo.

"Holy Sh*t!" I shouted, now completely freaked out by the entire experience (and in my opinion, understandably so). How the hell did this thing get in my laundry basket?

I ponder the possibilities:
  1. It's Cory's. I choose not to believe that.
  2. I'm an amnesiac sex addict who can't remember where she hid her vibrator.
  3. One of us left the laundry room unlocked one night, and some stranger, needing a place to hide her "friend," just happens to wander onto our fenced-in patio, just happens to open the door to our shed, and just happens to decide to hide it in my laundry basket. Pretty unlikely.

Then, I look up. The gap in the wall is directly above the sorting basket. I'm thinking that our neighbor wanted to hide her personal item, thought she was sticking it into a cubby-hole, and inadvertantly dropped it right into our half of the shed, right into my laundry sorter.

So, what did I do? Walk over to my neighbor's apartment, ring the doorbell, and ask if she's lost anything? Nope. Throw it in the dumpster and pretend the whole disgusting ordeal never happened? No way.

Shove it right back through the cubbyhole until I heard the satisfying "thump" of the bag-o-nasty hitting the floor in their shed?

You betcha.

Then I washed my hands. Repeatedly.


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Losing Sleep

I know you've been lying awake every night, pondering this very question:

What on earth are people wearing in Helsinki right now?

Wonder no more.

Now if only I knew what people were wearing in Iceland. Then I could finally get some rest.


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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

He's baaaaack....

I have been bursting at the seams all day, waiting for my first opportunity to post something to my blog.

Stevie Yzerman is back, baby!!!

I'm still a little disappointed that Darren McCarty and Derian Hatcher have been shown the door... but I suppose if it means one more season for Stevie Y, I can learn to live with it.

Unfortunately, the station has tightened the ol' purse strings this year, and we no longer have DSS in the sports office. That means no Fox Sports Detroit for the Sportslady any more. I'll try to survive.


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