Saturday was a day of two distinct halves, split by a two-hour nap and a handful of Advil.

Part one: Yinz Bowl.

The day dawned crisp and cool, an ideal canvass for the gridiron warriors who would battle that day…

OK, that’s enough. We had a slightly smaller group of participants for Yinz Bowl II — offset by actual spectators this time around — and we didn’t get any of the ladies to play this year, as Mrs. Crappy was at work, AAA and CPG were both not yet home from Thanksgiving travel and Mindbling had something mindblingy to take care of.

Thus, “Flackle” drifted away from “Flag” and a little more towards “Tackle,” meaning the protocal seemed to be to tackle the ballcarrier and then pull his flag. That’s not a bad thing, but it definitely meant I was suffering more at the end of the game than I might have been otherwise. It also served to perhaps underscore the age differential between me and everyone else (although Scott and Woy are closer than they might like to admit). Rob shot the second half of the game — you can see his Flickr gallery here — and a couple of the pics illustrate the difference pretty clearly.


Anyway. I had a few receptions, one carry, a couple tackles and a pulled groin. And I apparently dinged Shireman, catching him on the chin with a shoulder while I turned around after making a catch. Next year, Jim, I suggest hitting me somewhere where there is more padding.

I also served as chief trainer for the group, administering medicine — as captured by Abby — to those who needed it afterwards.

Like, say, me.

It’s three days later, and I’m mostly recovered. I’m walking without a limp and the pain in my shoulder is gone; my ribs are still a little achy when I cough, though.

Part two: Make Room for Kids at Las Velas.

Our friend Ginny kicked off her effort to raise $10,000 to install a game room at Children’s Hospital on Saturday night with a benefit party at Las Velas, her husband’s restaurant. I don’t really need an excuse to avail myself of a Las Velas margarita or 12, but this seemed like a good opportunity to have some fun and help out a cause we wanted to get behind.

There were a few Yinz Bowl players limping around the restaurant — and then there was TV’s Jim Lokay, who shook off whatever aches and pains he was experiencing to engage in a Mariachi and margarita-fueled dance-off with Tall Cathy. I promised Jim I wouldn’t post the video I shot, but one little picture couldn’t hurt, right?

Even without the Dance of the Pittsburgh Broadcasting Stars, the night was fabulous. After circulating and sucking down some tequila, we — Mrs. Crappy and me, Redpenmama, AAA and Chachi, who were joined after a while by the Shiremans — set up at a table and grazed our way through an excellent dinner — and more tequila. We all were able to set aside whatever pressures we regularly face and relax, and we laughed our way through the evening. I regularly have fun with all you people, but I’m having a hard time remembering a night that seemed quite as good as that one. I hope we can do it again soon.

And we — meaning everyone who showed up at Las Velas on Saturday — did good. Ginny said the restaurant’s donation to the Make Room for Kids drive is upwards of $500. If you didn’t get a chance to come out on Saturday, you can still donate via the PayPal link at Ginny’s site.


Football that didn’t kill me. Drinks and dinner with great friends to benefit a great cause. I need to figure out a way to do this every Saturday.


  1. It sounds like an all-around great day. I wish I could have made it Saturday night. Damned parenting and all its obligations! Er…I mean…I love my kids!


  2. I’m still bitter I didn’t make it to either event. Bah!

    Also, WTH? Why didn’t any women play? Were you men scared of getting your asses kicked by some chicks?


  3. BB: To answer your final question: Yes. But you’d have to ask the ladies why they didn’t play.

    RPM: I think Kate’s fast enough that she could do some damage.


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