Archive for January, 2019

January 2019 Tygrrrr Express Hawaii speaking schedule

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Monday January 14 — Flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu to Maui.

MAUI

Monday January 14 — Charleys Restaurant/Saloon Open Mic Night 6pm

Tuesday, January 15 — Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset. 5:30pm.

KAUI

Wednesday, January 16 — Rotary Club of Kapaa at lunch.

OAHU

Wednesday, January 16 — Anna O’Brien’s Comedy U Open Mic Night in Honolulu, Hawaii at 8pm.  

Thursday, January 17 — Rotary Club of Metro Honolulu at 7am.

Thursday, January 17 — Rotary Club of Windward Oahu at lunch.

Thursday, January 17 — Rotary Club of Honolulu Sunset at 5:30pm.

Friday, January 18 — Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu at 7:15am.

BIG ISLAND

Friday, January 18 — Chabad of Kona. Evening.

Saturday January 19 — Chabad of Kona. Lunch. 

Sunday January 20 — AFC & NFC Title Games. A sportsbar somewhere.

Monday January 21 — Hilo Town Tavern Open Mic Night. 7pm.

Tuesday January 22 — Rotary Club of South Hilo at 11:30am.

Wednesday January 23 — Hilo Bay Rotary Club at 6:45am.

Wednesday January 23 — North Hawaii Rotary Club at Noon.

Wednesday January 23 — Hale Hookah Open Mic Night at 8pm.

Thursday January 24 — Rotary Club of Volcano at 7:30am.

Thursday January 24 — Big Island Brewhaus Open Mic Night. 6pm.

Friday January 25 — Something Jewish on the Big Island or Kauai.

KAUAI

Saturday January 26 — Kauai GOP. Evening.

Sunday January 27 — AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. A sportsbar somewhere.

Monday January 28 — Final sightseeing on Kauai and the Big Island. 

Monday January 28 — Redeye Flight from Kona back to Los Angeles. 

Tuesday January 29 — Arriving back in Los Angeles in the morning. 

eric

NFL 2018-2019 Divisionals Recap

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

2018-2019 Divisionals Recap

AFC (6) Indianapolis Colts at (1) Kansas City Chiefs was the Saturday afternoon game. 5 years ago the Colts overcame a 38-10 third quarter deficit to win a playoff shocker 45-44 over the Chiefs. Andrew Luck was the Colts quarterback and Walrus Lite Andy Reid was the Chiefs coach. They still are. However, that came was in the indoor domes Lucas Oil Stadium. This time it was in outdoor Arrowhead, where snow flurries came down throughout the game. The Chiefs dominated from the start. The Chiefs began at their own 10 and made it look easy. Patrick Mahomes hit Tyreeq Hill for for 11, Travis Kelce for 16 and Sammy Watkins for 34. Damian Williams ran for a 10 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Chiefs. The Chiefs got it back and soon faced 3rd and 6 at their own 34. Mahomes hit Hill for 10 yards. On 4th and 1 from the Colts 47, Andy Reid decided to go for it. Williams ran for 11 yards. On the next play Hill took an end around, veered to the middle, and outraced everyone for a 36 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Chiefs. In the second quarter the Chiefs held the ball for7 minutes and 15 plays, moving 53 yards. They settled for a 39 yard Harrison Butker field goal to make it 17-0 Chiefs. 

With 6 minutes left in the half, the Chiefs punted on 4t and 20 at their own 19. Dustin Colquitt had his punt blocked and recovered by Pascal in the end zone for a Colts touchdown to get the Colts within 17-7. The Chiefs stayed unfazed and moved 75 yards in 10 plays. Mahomes hit Kelce for 30 yards, Watkins for 5, and Hill for 14. On 3rd and 6 from the Indy 22, Mahomes hit Kelce for 7, Williams for 9 and Watkins for 4. Mahomes scrambled for the 4 yard touchdown to make it 24-7 Chiefs with 1:46 left in the half. Luck worked the 2 minute drill and moved the Colts to the 5 yard line with 8 seconds left. The Colts suffered a self-inflicted would when he threw incomplete and Frank Reich with 3 seconds left brought in ageless Adam Vinatieri. Well Vinatieri became famous by kicking a 45 yarder in a blizzard. With slight flurries, he doinked a 23 yarder off the upright no good to end the half. Luck did hit Hilton for a 29 yard touchdown with 5 1/2 minutes left, but Vinaitieri shanked the extra point no good. The Chiefs moved from their own 39 to a 4th and 3 from the Indy 38. The Chiefs punted but running into the kicker sealed the Colts fate. On 3rd and goal at the 6, Williams took it straight up the middle to put the game out of reach with 2 1/2 minutes left. In a fitting end, the Colts reached the Chiefs 4 yard line but a pass to a wide open receiver in the end zone was dropped. The clock ran out before they could score. For the first time in nearly half a century, the Chiefs will host the AFC Title Game. The winner gets the Lamar Hunt Trophy, named after the late beloved founder and owner of these same Chiefs. 31-13 Chiefs

NFC (4) Dallas Cowboys at (2) Los Angeles Rams is the Saturday night game. After a touchback to start the game, Jared Goff hit Tyler Higbee for 19 yards. Dallas jumped offsides as Todd Gurley ran for gains of 3, 4 and 9. Yet on 3rd and 3 from the Dallas 7, Goff under heavy pressure threw incomplete. Greg Zuerlein hit the 25 yard field goal to make it 3-0 Rams. The Cowboys took over at their own 29 and soon faced 4th and 1 at the Dallas 49. Jason Garrett went for it and Ezekiel Elliott gained 5 yards with another 15 tacked on for a very questionable personal foul tacked on. On the next play Dat Prescott hit Amari Cooper, who split the seams for a 29 yard touchdown to make it 7-3 Cowboys. The Rams soon faced 3rd and 4 at their own 31. Goff hit Woods for 5 yards. On 4th and 1 from their own 45, now it was Sean McVay who’d decided to go for it. Goff gained 3 yards. From the Dallas 43, CJ Anderson rumbled 15 yards. The second quarter began with the Rams facing 3rd and 2 at the Dallas 20. Anderson gained another 11 yards. From the 9, Goff hit Brandon Cooks for what appeared to be a touchdown. His knee and elbow came down inbounds. Yet on further review the calls as reversed. Officials ruled Cooks juggled the ball. The Rams settled for a 23 yard Zuerlein field goal. Despite moving the ball at will, the Rams trailed 7-6.

The Rams got the ball back at their own 24 and this time they would not be denied. From their 28, Goff hit Cooks for 20 yards, Woods for 16 more, and Higbee for another 11. From the Dallas 15, Anderson ran fro 14 and then got the last yard to make it 13-7 Rams. The Rams got the ball back at their own 36 and Anderson ran for gains of 6 and 7. On 3rd and 14 from their own 45, Goff threw incomplete but a defensive penalty for illegal use of hands gave the Rams new life. From midfield, Goff hit Cooks for 15 yards. Gurley then raced for a 35 yard touchdown to make it 20-7 Rams with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half. The Cowboys moved from their own 19 to a 3rd and 7 at the Rams 36 with 52 seconds left in the half. Prescott went back to pass, somehow escaped a couple defenders, and was ruled in the grasp by the officials. He was actually in the grasp of his own tackle, who held on to him to protect him. It was a bizarre sequence of events that resulted in an 8 yard loss to push the Cowboys out of field goal range. The closes thing to a break for Dallas came when the Rams failed to extend the lead. Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein missed a 63 yard field goal at the gun. The Rams had 170 yards rushing by halftime and topped 200 early in the third quarter.

In the third quarter the Rams moved from their 26 to a 3rd and 3 at the Dallas 22. A shotgun snap on a fake handoff led to a fumble that Goff fell on. Zuerlein drilled the 44 yard field goal to make it 23-7 Rams, but they did not fully close the door. The Cowboys faced 2nd and 12 from their own 23. Prescott hit Michael Gallup for 27 yards to midfield. On 4th and 1 from the Rams 41, Jason Garrett again decided to go for it. Prescott went with the option and pitched it to Elliott, who gained 5 yards. On 1st and 20 from the Rams 46, Prescott went deep to Gallup for a 44 yard gain. From the 2, Elliott gained one and then got the other yard for the score. The 2 point conversion try succeeded. After giving up 20 unanswered points, the Cowboys were back in it down 23-15 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. After a touchback the Rams soon faced 4th and 2 at their own 47. After failing to draw the Cowboys offsides, with 3 minutes left in the third quarter the Rams punted for the first time all game. A short 29 yard punt had the Cowboys at their own 23. The fourth quarter began with the Cowboys facing 4th and 1 at the Rams 35. For the third time, Jason Garrett went for it. The entire football world knew Elliott was getting the football and it took the whole Rams defense to stop him. Michelin Man Wade Phillips celebrated his defense’s inspired stand. 

The Rams then embarked on a time consuming drive that took 12 plays and 7 1/2 minutes off the clock. From the Rams 35, Woods gained 9 and Anderson ran for 3, 7 and 9. Goff hit Woods for gains of 18 and 7. On 3rd and 2 from the Dallas 11, Cooks took an end around 5 yards. Midway through the fourth quarter, on 4th and goal at the one, Sean McVay decided to go for it even though a field goal would make it a 2 score game. Failing to convert would give Dallas a long field but a chance to tie it. McVay went for it all and Anderson crashed through the middle and into the end zone. McVay pumped his fist as the Rams led 30-15. With 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Rams took their final timeout on defense as the Cowboys had to go for it on 4th and 1 for the 4th time in the game. Prescott rolled out and ran for it himself, gaining 2 yards. With just under 3 minutes left, the Cowboys faced 4th and 3 at the Rams 17. Prescott under heavy pressure threw a prayer incomplete. However, defensive pass interference on Aqib Talib in the end zone put the ball on the one. Prescott got in himself as the Cowboys were within 8 points with 2:11 to play. The Cowboys had all 3 timeouts and the 2 minute warning. Jason Garrett decided to kick it deep and pray that his defense could get a stop. At the 2 minute warning, it came down to 3rd and 7 from the Rams 28. Obviously you have to run the ball in this situation. Goff rolled out and looked like he was going to pass. Then he raced upfield and gained 11 yards and a critical first down. Anderson got one more first down to send the Rams to the NFC Title Game. They rushed for an NFL playoff record 275 yards. 30-22 Rams

AFC (5) Los Angeles Chargers at (2) New England Patriots was the Sunday morning game. The Patriots began with a time consuming drive of over 7 minutes that took 14 plays and moved the ball 83 yards. On 3rd and 3 from their own 24, Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman for 6 yards. On 3rd and 2 from their own 38, Brady hit White for 10 yards and then for 17 more. Michel ran for gains of 11 and 5. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 9, Brady threw incomplete. However, defensive pass interference put the ball on the one. Michel got the yard to make it 7-0 Patriots. The Chargers took over and soon faced 3rd and 15 at their own 28. Philip Rivers went to Williams for 18 yards and then went bombs away to a wide open Keenan Allen for a 43 yard touchdown. The game was tied 7-7, but after that the Patriots exploded.

From their own 33, Michel ran for 12. Brady hit Edelman for 14 and again for 28 more. Michel then ran for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 14-7 Patriots. The Patriots got it back at their own 42 in the second quarter and made it look easy. Brady hit Edelman for gains of 11 and 17, to Philip Dorsett for 11, and to Chris Hogan for 5. On 3rd and 6 from the Chargers 15, Brady hit Dorsett for the touchdown and a 21-7 Patriots lead. The Patriots got it back at their own 13 and kept rolling. Brady hit James White for 28 yards. On 3rd and 2 from their own 46, Brady threw incomplete but defensive holding kept the drive going. Michel then ran for a 40 yard gain and Burkhead ran for 3 and then the 6 yard touchdown as the Patriots were winning a 28-7 laugher. With 3 1/2 minutes left in the half, the Chargers finally forced the Patriots to punt on 4th and 7 from their own 24. The Chargers fumbled the punt and the Patriots recovered at the Chargers 35 yard line. Brady quickly fired to Edelman for 19 yards. Michel ran up the gut for a 5 yard touchdown as the Chargers led 35-7 with 1:43 left in the half. At this point the Patriots had 21 first downs. The Chargers had only 20 total plays.

The closest thing the Chargers got to a break was the Patriots greed at the end of the half costing them a field goal try. In running one more play, the receiver was tackled in bounds and the clock ran out. League ruled prevented the cancellation of the second half, which was uneventful garbage time. In each quarter Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal for the Patriots. The Chargers needed to reach the end zone five times and made it there only three times. The Patriots reached the AFC Title Game for an unprecedented 8th straight year. They will be at Kansas City. As staggering as the reign of excellence has been under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the Patriots have not won a road playoff game since they beat these same Chargers in the 2006 season. To be fair, one reason for that is that so many of their playoff games have been at home. 41-28 Patriots

NFC (6) Philadelphia Eagles at (1) New Orleans Saints is the Sunday afternoon game. A few weeks ago the Saints blasted the Eagles 48-7. All they had to do was beat them again to waltz into the NFC Title Game. Cue ESPN uber-announcer Chris Berman: “THAT’S why they PLAY the games.” On the first play of the game from their own 35, Drew Brees went for the bomb and was intercepted by LeBlanc at the Philadelphia 24. On 3rd and 1 from their own 33, Nick Foles hit Zac Ertz for 11, Darren Spriles for 5 and Smallwood for 6. Foles went deep to Matthews for a 37 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Saints. The Saints went 3 and out and the Eagles got it back at their own 25. Nelson Agholor took an end around 12 yards. Foles hit Golden Tate for 12. On 3rd and 7 from the Saints 34, Foles went deep to Ashon Jeffery for a 30 yard gain. Foles got the last yard himself for a 14-0 Eagles lead in front of a stunned home crowd. The Saints then moved from their own 8 yard line to a 3rd and 8 at their own 45. Brees was sacked and fumbled. The Saints fell on it but only after a 14 yard loss.

The Eagles got it back at their 30. From their 48, Foles went deep and was intercepted by Lattimore at the Saints 21. On 3rd and 1 from their own 30, Mark Ingram got stopped cold. The Eagles had all the momentum. It shifted when Sean Payton called a  fake punt on 4th and 1 from his own 30. Payton called a surprise onside kick in the Super Bowl, and he is from the Bill Parcells “Big balls” school of coaching. Taysom Hill gained 4 yards and the Saints finally got going. On the next play Brees went deep to Thomas for 42 yards. On 3rd and 1 from the Philly 15, Alvin Kamara gained 7 yards. On 3rd and goal at the 9, Brees hit Thomas for 7 yards. Sean Payton went for it on 4th and goal at the 2. Brees threw a perfect fade pass to the corner of the end zone, and Kirkwood came down with it to cap the 12 play, 79 yard, 6 minute drive and get the Saints within 14-7. With 1:18 left in the half, the Saints took over at their own 6 yard line. Brees hit Watson for 12, Ted Ginn Jr for 21, Kamara for 23 and Thomas for 9, Ginn for 15. On 2nd and 5 from the Philly 27 with 11 seconds left, this time Sean Payton took no chances. The Saints did not have a timeout. Wil Lutz hit the 45 yard field goal as the Saints trailed 14-10 at halftime.

The Eagles went 3 and out to start the third quarter and the Saints mounted the drive of the year from their own 8 yard line. Brees hit Ginn for 8, Thomas for 11 and Kirkwood for 6. On 3rd and 3 from the Saints 45, Brees went to Hill for 9 yards. On 1st and 10 from the Philly 46, Brees went for it all but the well defended ball was batted away incomplete. Sean Payton then went to the bag of tricks and brought Hill in at quarterback. Hill went bombs away and found Kamara for the touchdown. Yet offensive holding instead meant 2nd and 20. Brees came back in and hit Thomas for 20 yards. Hill came in on a couple more runs of 5 and 3 as Kamara picked up a tough yard on 3rd and 1 from the Philly 27. On 3rd and 16 from the Philly 32, Brees hit Thomas for 20 yards. After a false start, samara gained 15 yards to the 2. Brees rifled a pass to a well-covered Thomas, who muscle for position and caught the ball for the touchdown. A mind-numbing 18 plays and 92 yards took a ridiculous 11 1/2 minutes off the clock and gave the Saints their first lead up 17-14. 

The Eagles after a touchback picked up one first down but not another one as they had to punt the ball back to the Saints. The Saints took over one minute into the fourth quarter at their own 17. On 3rd and 5 from their 22, Brees hit Smith for 15 yards. The Saints running game had been bottled up all game but the Eagles defense was exhausted. Ingram broke off a 36 yard run. However, on 3rd and 7 from the Philly 24, a pass from Brees to Kamara only gained 3 yards. Lutz hit the 39 yard field goal. With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation, the Saints led by 6. However, despite 20 unanswered points, they did not close the door. 

The Eagles again could not move the ball, and the Saints got it back at their 25 looking to put the game away. They moved 10 plays and chewed up 5 1/2 minutes. With just over 3 minutes left, the Eagles faced 3rd and 8 at the Philly 31. Rather than line up right behind the center, Brees lined up in the shotgun. The handoff was blown up in the backfield for a 3 yard loss. With 3 minutes left, Lutz came in for a 52 yard field goal try that would put the game on ice. Lutz was no good, just barely missing wide. The Eagles defense did everything they could. The defending champs were still alive. Now it was time to see if Foles had more miracle magic left.

From their own 42, Foles hit Ertz for 16 yards. Roughing the passer on the next play had the Eagles all the way at the Saints 27 yard line at the 2 minute warning as the crowd held their hearts in their throats. Foles went to Jeffery, but the ball sailed through his hands and was intercepted by Lattimore with 1:52 to play. With one minute to play and the Eagles out of timeouts, the Saints faced 3rd and 10 at their own 33. The Eagles last hope was a stop and a punt block. Kamara gained 12 yards and that was it. Champions fight to the very end. The defending champs fought valiantly. The Philadelphia Eagles played with guts, but were knocked off. Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints, who will host the Rams in the NFC Title Game. 20-14 Saints 

The Conference Title Games are now set.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

NFC Title Game: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints at 3:00 p.m. on FOX

AFC Title Game: New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs at 6:30 p.m. on CBS

NFL 2018-2019 Divisionals Prequel

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

My birthday: 47 happy memories upon turning 47

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

My birthday: 47 Happy Memories upon turning 47

I entered this world 47 years ago today on January 9, 1972. On my 47th birthday, here are 47 happy memories.

1.) Every moment I ever spent with my grandparents. They are gone now, but I had all four of them when I graduated college and three of them when I turned 30. I am blessed.

2.) January 9, 1977 — The Oakland Raiders won the Super Bowl on my fifth birthday. I saw the logo and became a Raider for life.

3.) August 15, 1980 — Smokey and the Bandit II came out. I saw the original and the sequel and became a lifelong fan of the Bandit and the Snowman.

4.) January 22, 1984 — The Raiders won their third Super Bowl. I still remember telling the kids at school the next day one simple message. “Just win baby!”

5.) January 21, 1985 — I had my Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish passage into manhood. My Orthodox Rabbi grandfather led the ceremony.

6.) July 13, 1990 — I watched Bill Murray in quick change for the first of over 100 times. This movie is true New York, and Murray remains a national hero.

7.) August 26, 1990 — I flew from New York to Los Angeles for college. I immediately fell in love with this city and never left.

8.) September 26, 1990 — I joined the campus radio station and developed my lifelong love of radio.

9.) May 10, 1992 — I wrote my first song. 70 more would follow.

10.) January 9, 1994 — The Raiders won a playoff game over arch rival Denver on my 22nd birthday. We all had a big party to celebrate afterward at 1950s Cafe Ed Debevic’s.

11.) June 14, 1994 — The New York Rangers won the NHL Stanley Cup and ended the 54 year curse.

12.) September 13, 1994 — I passed the Series 7 stockbroker’s exam. At that moment I was now a professional.

13.) June 1, 1997 — I saw my friend doing something on a computer that seemed different. He was in a chat room. It was my first time using the Internet.

14.) July 4, 1999 — My friends and I crashed an Independence Day party on the beach and escaped moments before police busted up the party.

15.) September 23, 1999 — I finally got my driver’s license. I never needed one before.

16.) December 31, 1999 — Ringing in the Millennium in Las Vegas.

17.) March 1, 2000 — I flew from Los Angeles to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2000. I still have my Calvin and Hobbes t-shirt, “Life is short. Party naked. Mardi Gras 2000.”

18.) February 13, 2003 — I watched the movie “Old School.” I will forever thank Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell and “The Godfather” Luke Wilson for inspiring me at age 31 to finally start going to Florida for Spring Break. Years of South Beach, Miami revelry ensued at the Clevelander and Ocean’s 10. 

19.) March 14, 2003 — I flew to Singapore and Thailand and got to experience five days of beauty in each country. I met the Jewish communities of both nations.

20.) November 4, 2003 — NFL Network was born. Finally, a television channel worth watching existed. 

21.) November 2, 2004 — Enjoying the 2004 election with my closest friends.

22.) February 12, 2006 — I flew from Los Angeles to Hawaii. I met the Jewish community of Honolulu and attended my first NFL Pro Bowl. I met ESPN’s Chris Berman.

23.) April 28, 2006 — I flew from Los Angeles to New York and went to Radio City Music Hall. For the first time, I got to attend the NFL Draft and meet a bunch of great football heroes. 

24.) August 4, 2006 — I flew from Los Angeles to Ohio and drove to Canton. I visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, saw the induction ceremony featuring John Madden, and attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

25.) March 11, 2007 — I Started a blog called the Tygrrrr Express. That column somehow turned into five books and a national speaking career.

26.) September 11, 2007 — On the sixth anniversary of the attacks, I flew from Los Angeles to New York and then drove to Great Adventure in New Jersey. I attended Sean Hannity’s Feedom Concert and saw New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani light up the crowd.

27.) October 17, 2007 — I joined Facebook. Between that and Twitter, I have met many good people, increased book sales, and built my business.

28.) February 2, 2008 — I flew from Los Angeles to Phoenix and attended my first Super Bowl. The New York Giants shocked the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.

29.) March 30, 2008 — My friend adopted a child from Guatemala. On this day “the boy” turned one. Being “Unca Eric” is the best job in the world.

30.) May 13, 2008 — I flew from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. I attended the Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership Conference and met Dr. Charles Krauthammer.

31.) August 6, 2008 — I flew from Los Angeles to Israel and spent a week in the Holy Land.

32.) August 30, 2008 — I flew from Los Angeles to Minneapolis for my first Republican Convention. For a week, friends and I slept in a sports bar. It was like being Norm Peterson from “Cheers.”

33.) April 5, 2009 — My first book “Ideological Bigotry” was published.

34.) September 1, 2009 — I left Wall Street after 15 years and began my career as a full-time professional speaker.

35.) November 11, 2009 — I flew from Los Angeles to Galveston and spoke at the Texas Federation of Republican Women Convention. I made TFRW and other lifelong friends in the Lone Star State.

36.) March 11, 2010 — I flew from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City to speak at the National Federation of Republican Women Spring Conference. That launched me nationally since the NFRW run the world.

37.) May 1, 2011 — In Aiken, South Carolina, I saw the news that Osama bin Laden was killed. That night I told my very best political joke. “Osama bin Laden is now burning underground with 72 Helen Thomases.” It was the bookend to my very first political joke. “Never rely on a Palestinian GPS tracker. I took one wrong turn, ended up at a cemetery, and a sinister voice said, ‘You have reached your final destination!’ I got so angry I threw the thing out the window, which was good because 5 seconds later it exploded.”

38.) February 9, 2013 — I met Vice President Dick Cheney and spoke in front of him at a dinner.

39.) September 25, 2013 — I spoke to a Tea Party group in Hays, Kansas. At that moment, I had officially spoken in all 50 states.

40.) November 4, 2014 — I spoke at an election night party in New Jersey.

41.) March 20, 2015 — After writing four political comedy books, I finished my first religious comedy book “Jewish Lunacy.” This allowed me to move beyond political speaking into religious speaking.

42.) May 12, 2015 — I met President George W. Bush and shook his hand.

43.) November 8, 2016 — Enjoyed a raucous election night party in Raleigh, North Carolina.

44.) December 31, 2016 — New Year’s Eve with the friends who matter most to me.

45.) Any woman whoever let me play with her yummy bouncies or at least was nice enough to send me pictures of them.

46.) January 9, 2018 — On my 46th birthday, the return of Chucky as Jon Gruden returns to the Black Hole to rejoin the Raiders. Like me, Gruden has unfinished business.

47.) November 9, 2018 — I met Angela Lansbury in Beverly Hills and got my picture taken with her. She remains one of the most talented people in the history of entertainment.

I would like to thank my parents for raising me right and Angela Lansbury’s JB Fletcher of “Murder, She Wrote” for catching murderers and making the world safer.

Anything I could possibly wish for has already been granted.

eric @ Tygrrrr Express

NFL 2018-2019 Wildcard Recap

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

AFC (6) Indianapolis Colts at (3) Houston Texans was the Saturday afternoon game.The teams split the regular season, but this game was all Colts from the start. On 3rd and 12 from their own 23, Andrew Luck hit TY Hilton for just enough. On 3rd and 7 from their own 38, the defense jumped offsides. on 3rd and 2, Luck hit Hilton for 13 yards. Luck then went deep to Hilton for a 38 yard gain, splitting triple coverage. Luck capped the drive with a 6 yard touchdown pass to Eric Ebron to make it 7-0 Colts. The Colts got it back at their own 26 and Marlin Mack ran for a 25 yard gain. From the Houston 24, Luck hit Rogers for 16 and Mack for 6. Mack ran for the 2 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Colts after the first quarter. In the second quarter the Colts took over at their own 35. From their 46, Luck hit Dontrelle Inman for 21, Ebron for 15, and Inman for the 18 yard touchdown to make it 21-0 Colts. The Colts defense did the rest. The Texans had 4th and 1 at the 9. Bill O’Brien went for it and Deshaun Watson threw incomplete. Houston finally reached the end zone with 11 minutes left in regulation, but no more. On 2nd and 10 from the Indy 24, Watson threw 3 incompletions. Frank Reich has seen his team now go 10-1 in their last 11 games as they travel to Kansas City for the divisional round. 21-7 Colts

NFC (5) Seattle Seahawks at (4) Dallas Cowboys was the Saturday night game. The first 28 minutes was a brutal slog that saw Cowboys receiver Allen Hurns get carted off with a gruesome leg injury. Brett Maher hit a 39 yard field goal for the Cowboys in the first quarter. In the second quarter Sebastian Janikowski hit from 27 to tie the game. After Maher missed from 58, Sebass hit from 42 to make it 6-3 Seahawks with 1:47 left in the half. On 3rd and 1 from their own 34, Ezekiel Elliott ran for a 44 yard gain. Prescott hit Michael Gallup for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 10-6 Seahawks with 24 seconds left in the half. Tyler Lockett returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the Dallas 49. On the last play of the half, Seabass missed from 57 and crumpled to the ground with an apparent hamstring injury. In the third quarter a punt pinned the Cowboys at their own 2 yard line. Seattle got it back at the Dallas 44. On 4th and 5 from the Dallas 39, a 57 yard field goal was out of the question with Seabass injured. Pete Carroll decided to go for it and Wilson delivered a perfect sideline pass to Doug Baldwin for a 22 yard gain. On 3rd and 5 from the 12, Wilson faked a handoff and kept it himself for a 7 yard gain. Wilson did that again for a 4 yard touchdown. An injured Seabass forced Pete Carroll to go for 2 rather than kick extra points. Davis punched it up the gut for a 14-10 Seahawks lead after three quarters. 

This time Dallas came back quickly. On 3rd and 1 from their own 42, Prescott hit Brown for 6 yards. From midfield, Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a 34 yard gain. Elliot gained 6 and Prescott gained 9 to set up 1st and goal inches short of the goal line. Elliott banged it in to put the Cowboys up 17-14 with 13 minutes left in regulation. Dallas had a chance to put the game away when Tavon Austin returned a punt 51 yards to the Seattle 38. Prescott went to Cooper for 27 yards. Prescott went to the end zone to Noah Brown and KJ Wright made an acrobatic interception in the end zone for a touchback. 

Dallas took over again midway through the third quarter at their own 37. A pair of defensive penalties killed the Seahawks. With 2 1/2 minutes left, an offensive penalty set up 3rd and 14 from the Seattle 16. With everything on the line, Prescott took a delayed draw up the middle, leapt up in the air, and gained 15 yards down to the one. With 2:14 left the Seahawks were forced to take their final timeout. Prescott snuck it in to give the Cowboys the 24-14 lead. After a touchback and needing 2 scores, Wilson hit Lockett deep for a 53 yard gain. On 4th and 4 from the Dallas 7 with 1:18 left, Pete Carroll again had to go for it with no kicker. Chris Carson ran it in to get the Cowboys within 2. Jerry Jones was prepared to fire everyone if the Cowboys lost and blow up his stadium for the insurance money. Punter Dickson had to try drop kicking an onside kick. It floated up in the air and was easily fielded as  Jason Garrett and the rest of the staff got to stay employed with the hard fought win. 24-22 Cowboys

AFC (5) Los Angeles Chargers at (4) Baltimore Ravens is the Sunday morning game. Ray Lewis fired up the crowd before the game, but it was the Chargers defense that dominated the first half. Baltimore fumbled on 3 of their first 8 offensive plays. The third fumble set up the Chargers at the Baltimore 15. However, on 3rd and goal at the one, a run up the gut was blown up in the backfield for a loss. Lamar Jackson was constantly under pressure and had one pass intercepted. Mike Badgley made field goals of 21 and 53 in the first quarter and from 40 and 34 in the second quarter as the Chargers took a 12-0 lead to the locker rooms. King returned the second half kickoff 73 yards to the Baltimore 27. Badgley’s 5th field goal try from 41 yards out was blocked. The Ravens got a second break when they forced a fumble and took over at the Chargers 21 yard line. They settled for a 33 yard Justin Tucker field goal to trail 12-3. The Ravens got a third break when they blocked a punt and took over at the Chargers 39 yard line. Yet Tucker missed a 50 yard field goal.  

The Chargers took over at their own 40. From the Baltimore 43, Philip Rivers hit Williams for 28. Melvin Gordon ran for 14 yards to set up 1st and goal at the one. First Gordon lost a yard. Then a pass to a wide open Watt in the flat was under thrown. Watt caught it and rolled over into the end zone. However, he was ruled short of the goal line. Then on 3rd and goal on the first play of the fourth quarter, chaos ensued. Gordon got the carry, stretched for the goal line, fumbled, and saw the defense pick it up and race 103 yards the other way. The Ravens thought they had a touchdown and a 12-10 ballgame. Officials ruled a Chargers touchdown instead. John Harbaugh challenged the call, and it was reversed. Neither team had a touchdown. Gordon was ruled down. On 4th and goal from inches away, Anthony Lynn decided to go for it. Gordon went up the gut and this time broke through for the score. Anthony Lynn then decided to go for the 2 point conversion. A defensive breakdown let Rivers loft a pass to a wide open Williams for a 20-3 Chargers lead. After 3 quarters, Jackson was 3 of 9 for 25 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 1 lost fumble. He entered to heavy boos as Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco stayed on the sideline. Badgley hit his 5th field goal from 46 with 9 minutes left to make it 23-3 Chargers. At this point the Ravens had negative 2 passing yards. 

Now it was desperation time after a touchback. The Ravens faced 4th and 11 at their own 40. One more stop would end it. Jackson went deep to Willie Snead for 29 yards and then threw a 31 yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree. With 6 1/2 minutes left the Ravens were within 23-10. The onside kick failed but the Ravens got the ball back at their own 20 with 4:45 left. On 3rd and long from midfield, Jackson was flushed out, rolled all the way to his right, through across his body to the middle of the field, and somehow hit Ed Dickson who had nothing in front of him but green. He was caught from behind at the Chargers 11 after a 39 yard gain. On 4th and 8 from the Chargers 9, one stop would end it. Jackson fired to Crabtree for the touchdown. At the 2 minute warning, the Ravens were within 6 points. They still had 2 timeouts. Everything came down to the Chargers facing 3rd and 6 from their own 26 and the Ravens out of timeouts. Anthony Lynn played it safe and ran the ball. Gordon got around the end for the first down as the Chargers celebrated. However, offensive holding negated the play. On 3rd and 16, the Chargers played it very risky and Rivers threw a pass. it was caught for 8 yards as the Chargers set up to punt with 54 seconds left. With 54 seconds left, the Ravens took over at their own 34 yard line. With 30 seconds left from the Baltimore 47, Jackson had the ball knocked from his hand. The fourth fumble of the day was the second one recovered by the defense. Melvin Ingram fell on it and the Chargers were off to New England. 23-17 Chargers

NFC (6) Philadelphia Eagles at (3) Chicago Bears was the Sunday afternoon game.Dick Butkus and Brian Urlacher fired up the crowd pregame. The first half had Buddy Ryan and George Halas smiling in heaven. Nick Foles was intercepted twice, including once in the end zone for a touchback. Jake Elliott hit a 43 yard field goal in the first quarter for the Eagles. In the second Cody Parkey hit a 36 yarder and then a 29 yarder to end the half with the Bears up 6-3. Tremendous confusion of whether one play was a fumble or an incompletion was exacerbated when nobody recovered the ball and left it sitting there. Al Michaels commented that “The Dead Sea Scrolls are easier to dissect than the (NFL) rulebook.” In the third quarter the Eagles faced 3rd and 6 at their own 21. Foles threw incomplete but unnecessary roughness gave the Eagles 14 yards. On 3rd and 5 from their own 40, Foles hit Golden Tate for 9 yards. From the Chicago 43, defensive pass interference on Prince Amukamara meant a 33 yard gain. Foles threw a 10 yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert to make it 10-6 Eagles. Less than one minute into the fourth quarter, Parkey hit from 34 to get the Bears within 10-9. The Bears got it back and soon faced 3rd and 11 at their own 19. Mitchell Trubsky hit Taylor Gabriel for 19, Jay Bellamy for 34, and Robinson for the 22 yard touchdown. The 2 point try failed but the Bears led 15-10 with 9 minutes left in regulation. 

A short Bears punt of only 36 yards had the Eagles taking over at their own 40 with 4:48 to play. Foles hit Alshon Jeffery for 15 yards, Goedert for 10, Nelson Agholor for 8, Zac Ertz for 13 as the clock hit the 2 minute warning. With 1:55 left the Eagles faced 3rd and 9 at the Chicago 13. Foles hit Jeffery for 11 yards and for some bizarre reason, Matt Nagy decided not to take a timeout on defense. 40 seconds ticked off the clock before the Eagles ran another play. Twice Darren Sproles got the carry and twice he was stopped. Foles then threw incomplete. With 1:05 left, it all came down to 4th and goal at the 2. Foles fired to the front corner of the end zone and Tate caught it. The Eagles led by a point and Doug Pederson went for the 2 point conversion. Sproles got the carry and tried to leap over the top. He had the ball knocked out for a fumble. The Eagles insisted Sproles broke the plane, but replay appeared to show that he lost the ball just shy of the plane. The Bears got a major break when Tarik Cohen returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards to the Chicago 42. Trubisky hit Robinson for gains of 25 and 8 yards. With 10 seconds left, Parkey came in for a 43 yard field goal to win it. The kick was dead center but Doug Pederson called a timeout. Now it was time for the real kick. Earlier this year Parkey doinked 4 kicks off the upright no good in one game. In Minnesota, he did it once. In this came the ball bounced off the upright, then hit the crossbar, and with the world watching, fell toward the field of play no good. To quote Paul Maguire, “I hate kickers. They should be paid $50 a game.” As for the Eagles, champions do not go down without a fight. The Eagles are off to New Orleans, who walloped them 48-7 a few weeks ago. Until proven otherwise, they are still champs. 16-15 Eagles

The Divisional playoff games are now set.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

4:30 p.m. AFC (6) Indianapolis Colts at (1) Kansas City Chiefs on NBC

8:00 p.m. NFC (4) Dallas Cowboys at (2) Los Angeles Rams on CBS

Sunday, January 13

1:00 p.m. AFC (5) Los Angeles Chargers at (2) New England Patriots on FOX

4:30 p.m. NFC (6) Philadelphia Eagles at (1) New Orleans Saints on FOX

NFL 2018-2019 Wildcard Prequel

Saturday, January 5th, 2019

NFL 2019 Coaching Carousel Predictions

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

2019: We…can…do…this

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

2019: We…can…do…this

What the heck is that beeping sound?

(Knocks the phone off the hook, keeps banging the snooze alarm)

A voice tells me it’s my pager. My pager is black, so finding it in the dark is the needle in the haystack equivalent. A lucky smack knocks it against the wall, where it may or may not have shattered. The beeping continues. Why does anyone need a pager anymore anyway?

Who the heck is texting me at this ungodly hour of…(either 7 a.m., 1 p.m., or 1 a.m. …it looks blurry)?

Oh, no. It is 5 a.m., and my first radio interview of the New Year is with the morning man of an East Coast station. Time to pretend to sound coherent and go back to sleep. Oh no, wait, that radio interview was five years ago.

Great, happy wishes for the new year. Thanks. Whoever you are, it is too early to talk to you.

One year the person on the telephone insisted it was 1 p.m. After explaining to them that they were on the East Coast, and that 1 p.m. EST is 10 a.m. in Los Angeles, they grew impatient. They knew how to tell time, and that it was 4 p.m. EST, hence 1 p.m. my time.

Sure, getting up and writing my column is an option. It’s a new year, and starting the year off with a flurry of brilliance might be helpful. Forget it. This column is recycled from years ago. It’s also hours late. That is what happens when people get no sleep because of stressful December 30 football games followed by New Year’s Eve revelry.

Election 2020? The first person to talk politics gets blistered in my column … tomorrow.

Bowl games? There is DVR. Besides, does anybody care who wins the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl, the Lack of Insight.com Bowl, the Fishbowl, the RU486 Morning After Bowl, The California Metrosexual Pride Bowl, or any other game that may or may not be made up?

Speaking of the morning after, does anybody remember the David Byrne Talking Heads song from the movie “Less than Zero? (which the temperature feels like right now in some parts of the country. No wonder I live in this insane city of LA)” The song is called “Once In A Lifetime.”

“This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. What have I done? How did I get here?”

It then occurs to me that the beeping sounds are the voices in my head telling me I am too old, even at 46, to stay out this late. Even without alcohol, exhaustion has set in. 

Get out of bed? Work calls in (whenever) hours. Better rest up before my tyrant of a boss complains. Such is the life of the self-employed.

Get up now? Somehow stagger to the shower, get dressed, make it out of my condo to go … where?

The stores are closed. Maybe they are open. Too tired to find out.

My birthday is in just over a week. Time to pace myself.

Work on my website? All that takes is staggering to my couch. Oh, no. My IT guy has not finished it yet. Oh, wait, he did years ago. I clicked on the wrong site.

Go on Jdate and search for women? Not a bad idea, except it is too tiring to check their Adams Apples. This is not the year for a boyfriend, and am not sure that my eyes can tell the difference right now. Besides, Jdate is so 2014. Now it is Tinder, JSwipe and JCrush.

Shop on Ebay? No. bad idea. Buying stuff when not at full capacity is problematic. Who needs another mountain goat? Dang creature gets his horns in my hide. Not a comfy way to wake up. Calm down boy, you’ll get some straw to graze on upon my waking up.

Work on my record album? Although again, world, just because my hair is long, that does not mean my band exists. The best instrument is the triangle, because that tells me lunch is ready. Oh wait, my hair is not even that long anymore. I could work on that, although I didn’t do much. I sat. It grew.

Ahh, yes, lunch. Get up and eat something. My microwave is slow, and a five minute microwave dinner takes almost 15 minutes. Read the paper? It is cold outside my building where the stand is, and it only takes coins. Reading the paper online is tiring, and my printer is not working. At least the lifestyle section makes a great placemat for eating. Oh, wait. That stand does not exist anymore. Reading the paper online it is. 

Staying in bed for only a couple more hours until (whatever the big and little hands say) would allow me to stay up all night and be totally exhausted for work tomorrow. Again, my boss is a tyrant.

Running errands … not gonna happen.

Every morning, a four word prayer starts my day. My elbows are used to try and leverage them against my bed to prop me up. Placing my alarm clock on the other side of the room failed, since ripping the cord out of the wall solved that problem.

As for the Jewish brunette who stole the covers, her voice was not a problem last night, although if she opens her trap today she will receive a more caustic reception than usual.

Oh wait, she already left. Here is a note. “Tried to wake you, but that was a losing battle. By the way, you have nothing but soda in your fridge. Talk to you soon.” oh, wait, I think that happened over a decade ago. This is 2019, not 2005.

She is a liar. There are potato chips in my fridge as well. Why they are there remains a mystery, but it saves having to remember which cabinet they are in. One-stop shopping  is the way to go.

Besides, combing my hair for her was enough. Not doing it this morning, proud “retrosexual” that is me.

At least having the decency to say some morning prayers would be appropriate.

“Hey God…those people I pray for every night…yeah those people, the same ones…look after them again.”

Back to sleep, despite every attempt to wake up. The home phone is turned off, the cell is off as well, and the pager is still shattered, in addition to being disconnected years ago.

There may have been a car crash outside my building followed by 911 calls and sirens, but telling everybody to “keep it down,” solved that problem. A brief nightmare of me being late for work was averted when I realized my location to me was known if necessary.

Four televisions in the living room, and none in the bedroom. Who thought that up? Oh yeah, a television in the bedroom would promote laziness. Besides, trying to figure out which remote to use would cause me to break them all as if they were my pager.

Ok, here it is. Come on, elbows, do your stuff. Rise, young lad, rise! Awaken thy exhausted tired eyes!

Why is God shouting? Oh wait, that is my over-dramatization of God.

Time to set the alarm now to avoid missing work tomorrow. Where was it thrown? Threw it? Oh, screw it.

Ok, time for my four word prayer. It has gotten me this incredibly terribly far. Time to contemplate getting out of bed.

“We…can…do…this.”

Happy 2019 all. Except for the person who woke me up earlier. Whoever you are, I still can’t stand you, even though you are doing me a favor.

Ten hours and 16 bowl games later, there is only one thing left to do.

Time for a nap. Happy 2019.

Zzzzz.

eric