One of our guilty pleasures has become even more pleasurable knowing there's a Philly connection. Each Friday we like to turn to A.J. Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker column in Deadspin, the sports blog that is to ESPN what The Man Show is to The Mike Douglas Show.
In that space, he riffs about the important events of our day, often making the connections to the more anodyne moments of his own life. For instance, a critical alliance of sports and the performing arts, (the heavy metal band Motorhead is sponsoring a British youth soccer team) stirred this memory:
Growing up, my Little League team was sponsored by either a local dry cleaning service, a pizzeria or a plump, mustached realtor. The best of that lot, obviously, was the pizzeria, Giuseppes, which would be very generous come playoff time and let us drain their soda fountain in trying to concoct the perfect Suicide -- Sunkist, A&W and Welch's Grape ... Crazy!
It's heartening to learn that the New York-based writer - with serious alt-journalism credentials that involve the late Black Table and Ironminds - was writing about our own northern suburbs. (I would have figured this out earlier had I been watching the till. His "Christmas in Philly" post, which ran October 6, showered enough hate on Phillies-rejecter J.D. Drew that it could only have come from someone whose emotions were formed as a boy at the Vet. The post is worth it if only for the classification of Eagles fans who still wear Mike Zordich jerseys.)
His roots were further exposed over the weekend in his latest post, written on holiday, back at his parents' Horsham townhouse-by-the-country-club:
Leftover turkey sandwiches are like crack. At 11 a.m. this morning, I'd already had three. I'm wearing sweatpants. I'm on my parents' couch. I'm flipping between Jerry Springer and that local township station playing Christmas music and announcing School Board meetings and the Hatboro Horsham junior high basketball schedule. After a few turkey sandwiches, that channel becomes as riveting as Memento. Time for the Leyland Smoke in about two minutes.
After pausing to figure out what a Leyland Smoke is - turns out the Tigers' skipper once described the post-Thanksgiving dinner cigarette as the finest moment of the year - I came upon the thesis of his latest piece. It was a speculative column on which pro athlete was most likely to star in the next celebrity sex tape to surface. He posits a few likely winners. (My money's on Smarty Jones.)
School: Council Rock H.S. LaSalle U. Class of 1996. Major: communications.
Current abode: Astoria, Queens.
Worst job: Kentucky Fried Chicken counter boy. "You don't want to be anywhere near that place on Super Bowl Sunday."
Best job: freelance writer, in particular, the Maxim Magazine Top 100 list. Great pay, cushy work. "All I had to do was look at pictures and write 450 words about, say, the hot chick from "Lost."
On his turntable: Nothing. He doesn't have an iPod either. "I own four Cds, three of which are Pearl Jam. Maybe one Raconteurs."
Under his bed: "Five socks, three books. I know that because I was looking for my watch. One of the wooden planks from the bed itself - it's an Ikea bed - and lots of stray pony-tail holders."
On his nightstand: "Three glasses, an ashtray and I think a Playboy."
In his fridge: "Pony tail holders, and Pearl Jam Cds."
What A.J. stands for: Antawn Jamison. "Mom's a Tar Heel."
Next: "I have been in discussions with a very popular Philadelphia blogger to do stuff with him." Hmm.
(Top Photo from this Knot Magazine journey through time.)