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March 31, 2008

From goat to hero

Do you ever stop to think how absurd it is that the Cubs haven't won a World Series in 100 years? I mean really stop and think about it, apart from the novelty of it, or what a badge of honor it is to cheer them despite this futility?

We've fought in 2 World Wars, survived the Depression, put a man on the moon, triumphed over Communism, and cloned a damn sheep! Yet no World Series title.

People often ask me if I believe in curses. And I usually tell them "Yes."

I use at least a dozen every day.

Then they say, "No, not curse words. CURSES! Like, do you think the Cubs are cursed?"

Truthfully, I'm not sure whether or not I believe in curses, and that bothers me. When formulating an opinion, I usually dissect a matter, review all the facts and all differing opinions, and then come to my own conclusion.

But there's just not enough case history here for me to study. So . . . I've created some.

I recently conducted an experiment, which I believe, will prove whether or not the Cubs are cursed. If they are, then I guarantee the Cubs will win the World Series this year, because the actions I took go right to the core of those who are believed to have cursed the team in the first place.

March 20, 2008

WGN's early wake-up call

Residents of Downers Grove were angry, this morning, when the town's tornado siren malfunctioned, and went off around 1:00 AM. I imagine when one is in a deep sleep, a tornado siren must sound like a scud missile.

While I've never been awakened by a tornado siren, I have been startled by something nearly as loud.

Her name is Cindy Munoz.

She is a floor director for our show. She is about 5'0" tall, about 100 lbs, and she's louder than an elephant.

Tony "O"(ward) winner!

espo%20pic.jpgThe Hawks welcomed back another one of their greats last night. Tony Esposito. And they did it right- personalized, with a few surprises, but nothing over the top.

It was especially neat to see Tony "O" put his old goalie mask on again, though I was waiting for Special Agent Clarice Starling to come arrest him.

As nice as the ceremony was, though, it was not perfect. Watch below to see what I mean.

March 17, 2008

I'm doing it blind-folded this year

NCAA_08_FinalFour.jpg It's that time of year again, when every man or woman with a bracket sheet and a pulse becomes Dick Vitale. Most of us have seen about 5 - 10 of the 65 NCAA Tournament teams play this season, but that won't stop us from qualifying our 12-5 upset with lines like:

"I really like their guard play."

Admit it, the best you can do is the last name of one of their guards.

And I'm with you. I'm picking #12 Villanova to beat #5 Clemson.

I know one guy on Villanova.

It's in the spirit of this shared expertise we all have, that I'm announcing our 2nd Annual WGN Morning News Office Pool. There is no prize involved, but at least if you beat me, you have evidence to qualify your argument that I know nothing about sports.

All you need to play is a Yahoo! account. Click on the link, make your picks, and we will update the standings on our blog after each round.

I look forward to taking your sports man/womanhood

March 7, 2008

"The Pat Tomasulo Show"

For some reason, it doesn't have the same ring to it as "The Carol Burnett Show" or "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be as good! Someday, I hope to have my own show . . .


There was a time long ago when my vision nearly came to fruition. And I still think the execs made a mistake.

February 25, 2008

Who owns this place?

It's been a few months since the sale of the Tribune Company was completed, and so far, not a whole lot has changed around here. My request for an ergonomic office chair still hasn't been answered, and we still have to bring our own pens to work.

But it's still an exciting time. We get e-mails from Sam Zell, himself, and they've started posting motivational signs around the building. The newest one features a quote from Ghandi. You believe that? The WGN of John Drury, Harry Caray, and Bozo is posting quotes from Ghandi!

(I'm submitting some prose from Kurt Cobain for the next round of posters).

I've learned, however, that these signs are not to be taken literally. They're merely words of "inspiration," and not "action." Watch the video below and you'll see what I mean.

Another star turning performance from Tom Skilling. He will, however, never be known as "One Take Tom."

February 18, 2008

Lou hears a who

Just a little extra for the blog today. On Sunday night's "Instant Replay" show, Lou Piniella gave WGN Sports Director Dan Roan a hint who the Cubs' closer might be. But before he did, Lou forgot to turn his cell phone to "Vibrate." An awkward moment ensued.

It was perfect for our show.


On this morning's show, we featured a piece I did with "Venom" from the TV-show American Gladiators. Her real name is Beth Horn, and her "Gladiators" outfit is way skimpier than it looks on TV.

Never before had I told an interview subject, "Just so you know, I'll be staring into your eyes for the next 2 hours, because I'm uncomfortable looking anywhere else."

Turns out, though, every other man in this building was plenty comfortable.

I've shot at least a dozen pieces in this building, and not once had someone offered to help light it. Well, no one offered this time either.

They just showed up.

Stagehand Dave and his friend, Stagehand Steve, materialized out of nowhere with lights in hand. Guys who hadn't spoken to me in weeks approached to "see what was up." The quietest men in the building transformed into Casanovas. I had more volunteers than the Red Cross.

It was all a little embarrassing, to be honest.

Not so much the part about them wanting to meet an attractive blonde- I suppose I understand that. What was really embarrassing was how little game they had. Honestly, every one of them had the same opening line.

"Do as many takes beating up Pat as you need."

I was waiting for someone to ask if her Daddy was a thief.


*to learn more about Beth, go to http://www.bethhorn.com

February 11, 2008

Where's Walton?

Play-by-play announcers have no fear of dead air when they're paired with Bill Walton. The man was saying "UNBELIEVABLE!!!" out of the womb. We spoke to him on the satellite hook-up this morning, and he was, as expected, characteristically locquacious.

As I've mentioned on this blog before, our satellite interview subjects can hear us, but not see us- same goes for any video we run. So . . . I thought it'd be fun to run a clip of comedian Frank Calieno doing his Bill Walton impersonation (which IS unbelievable), to see what Walton thought of it.

He thought it was him.

Immediately after the Caliendo clip finished, Bill launched into details about the story Caliendo told as Walton. I imagine he was so locked in to getting in his endorsement of Lunovo ThinkPad, that he wasn't really paying attention.

At least I hope so.

February 1, 2008

John Elway, Kenny Williams, and a dog fashion follow-up

In between 57 weather reports, 42 traffic updates, and a combined 26 live reports from Ana and Marcella in the driving snow, we had a little fun on today's show. There was the segment with acrobatic cats, and earlier in the show, a satellite interview with John Elway.

Elway is an NFL, and college Hall of Famer, and during his senior year at Stanford, one of his receivers was freshman Ken Williams- the same Ken Williams who's now General Manager of the White Sox.

I imagine this was long before dramatic pauses punctuated his every word.

Both were baseball and football stars, who went in opposite athletic directions- Elway towards football, Williams towards baseball. What I found strange though, in talking with both men, is that they have differing opinions of their college relationship.

**As a follow-up to my blog yesterday about dog fashion, I'd feel like a hypocrite if I didn't share with you this picture of my dog. But know that it WAS NOT ME who dressed the her.



January 31, 2008

Dogged reporting

I'm one of those people who considers my dog a part of the family, but still realizes the difference between dog, and HUMAN.

For instance, unless my dog is in some way hurt or incapcitated, I will be not carrying it- not in my arms, nor a $1200 Louis Vuitton "pet carrier."

My dog also eats dog food. Plain, dry, crunchy dog food. I don't add any sauces, and I certainly don't cook anything for her. I barely even cook for myself.

I also don't dress my dog in anything more expensive than an article of my own clothing. I already broke my rule of not dressing her, PERIOD, by getting her a jacket, but it was on sale.

People who don't follow these guidlines worry me, quite frankly. I worry they grew up someplace near a nuclear facility. Have a look at the following video, and you'll see what I mean; it's part of a Boston TV station's award-winning Super Bowl coverage.


January 21, 2008

The heat is OFF

Having toiled in small markets, working at stations smaller than my apartment, and where internet access was deemed "too expensive," there's little I'll complain about in terms of facilities and resources.

But I feel there are 3 inalienable rights I have at the workplace. Nothing fancy. I don't need a private office, or a Blackberry, or a water cooler. I don't even a need a lunch break. All I require are the following 3 things:

Electricity, running water, and heat.

Let me see, let me pee, and let me be frostbite-free!

But as I type this, a wool overcoat is draped over me, a constant reminder of my 4-week-long battle to bring climate control back to the sports office. My toes are slightly numb, and my fingertips tingle every time I strike a key.

Apparently, fixing the situation is a lot more involved than calling someone to raise the thermostat. First, you have to fill out a "maintenance request" form. Then, you have to explain yourself to the guy who walks in and declares "It's not that cold in here!"

But I think we're finally getting somewhere. A few days ago, they came in and plugged in THIS device.


It's a beauty, isn't it? Apparently, it monitors the temperature in here 24/7, and in the event of an earthquake, we'll have a pretty good read on the magnitude. It's a little blurred, but the digital thermostat reads 64 degrees, up from 63 when I first got in this morning.

Anyway, I think we're finally getting somewhere. It's one thing if my co-workers and I say it's very cold in here. It's quite another when a little box says it!


January 18, 2008

We interrupt this program . . .

As the Conference Championship Games get closer, local news affiliates are running out of stories to last them until Sunday. So when a station is faced with this crisis, what does it do?

A story on itself!

WLUK-TV in Green Bay is pulling its Saturday 5:30 PM re-run of Seinfeld, because it happens to be (Giants QB) Eli Manning's favorite show. Of course, if Eli (having a little disposable income) really wanted to watch Seinfeld, he'd probably bring the complete DVD set, instead of banking on the Green Bay Ramada to show it on WLUK.

But, that would require we suspend our common sense for a second, and not believe they're doing this so guys like me will write about it.

The General Manager of WLUK gave an interview . . . to WLUK, to talk about the decision.

And to think, the NFL takes 2 WEEKS OFF before the Super Bowl.


January 17, 2008

Playoff payoff

If there's one thing I can honestly say makes me happy about the Bears not being in the playoffs, it's this:

No Bears playoff coverage.

Now before you accuse me of being lazy (or worse, anti-Bears), allow me to clarify my statement. The actual games, the player interviews, the X's and O's, the road trips, harassing yokels at Super Bowl Media Day- GREAT FUN.

Interviewing a lady who painted her house orange and blue? Not so much.

Finding the biggest Bears cupcake in Chicagoland? Profiling the guy who grew his back hair so he looks like an actual bear? Tracking down the original Staley?

Find the rustiest nail you can, and jam it forcefully in my eye.

Only 4 media markets in the country are now churning out such high-I.Q. content. Here's a little gem from Boston, home to the New England Patriots.

*Immediately following is a little extra from today's sportscast- us having fun with the always facially expressive Shaquille O'Neal.

January 16, 2008

Bulletin "bored" material

Trash talk is a common weapon in the arsenal of today's pro athlete. Unfortunately, only a handful know its correct usage, and the proper situations for it.

For instance, any guarantee made during the regular season is garbage. Nobody cares. And while on the topic of guarantees, never qualify one. Never say, "I guarantee we'll win this game. If we rebound well, shoot well, make sure we defend, and keep Kobe under 40 points, then I guarantee we'll win."

Right, and if I was 6'2", ran a 4.2 forty and benched press 495 pounds, I'd play in the NFL.

As for trash talking, if you have even the slighest inclination of using it, ask yourself this question: "Does anyone know who I am?" If you can't think of anyone outside your locker room or extended family, then you should probably just keep quiet.

Or else you end up like Anthony Madison.

He was the guy know no one ever heard of until he guaranteed a Week 14 win against the Patriots (see, right there he already broke both of my rules). Then he got torched for 2 long scores and his team lost by 3 touchdowns. Now everyone knows who Anthony Madison is.

That putz who got burned on 2 long scoring drives and whose team lost by 3 touchdowns.

You'd think his experience would be a deterrent to other obscure, relatively unaccomplished players.

Apparently not.

January 15, 2008

Twist, lick and dunk

I've mentioned once or twice in this blog the role of satellite interviews in a morning show. Again, the arrangement with these interviews is: we get to ask them pretty much whatever we want, so long as we leave them adequate time to discuss whatever product, company or cause they're endorsing.

Typically on other news programs, you'll see an anchor try and slide the topic in rather casually, as if it follows the natural progression of the conversation. Maybe it's just me, but asking a guy about the NBA Playoffs, and following it up with a question about colon polyps just is not natural.

This morning, we had Archie Manning on the satellite (father of Peyton and Eli, college football Hall of Famer), and he was promoting something befit of football's First Family- a "second sport" that his sons were taking up; one that would allow them to use their superior twisting, licking and dunking skills. We even ran video of Peyton and Eli twisting, licking and dunking.

I've just gotten my eyesight back.

If you don't value yours, have a look.


January 14, 2008

The Crying Game

Why is it that anytime a professional athlete cries on TV (save for the times he or she actually has something worth crying about, like, say a tragedy), we all have the same initial reaction?

Belly laughter.

I don't know. Maybe there's just something about a hulking man weeping over a missed field goal, that on some level is just so . . . satisfying to shmoes like you and me.

I guess it allows us to say, "Yeah, you make more money than me. You have all sorts of hot women throwing themselves at you. Thousands of people scream for you every week. You have a pet llama. But HA HA, you cried on national TV after missing a free throw!!!"

I'm not saying it's right that we have a tinge of this sentiment, nor that it's not a bit disturbing.

But it is true.

So as seeing how much we all enjoy the spectacle (nearly as much as the action on the field or court), I propose they build a Hall of Fame for it. And I've already picked the first class for induction.

Dick Vermeil- the famous football coach would cry over a generous pre-game spread.

John Elway- the first man to snort during a retirement speech (a true pioneer)

Mark Messier- the hockey great bawled when he was picked first in the draft . . . in BANTAMS!

If I'm leaving anyone out, let me know. Some have already suggested Terrell Owens, after his post-game breakdown yesterday. What struck me so much about this episode is 1) Terrell is a first time crier, and 2) his history suggests he wouldn't care so much about his quarterback.

Watch below to see what I mean.

owens crying.jpg

January 10, 2008

The Simms

Growing up in New Jersey, the Giants were my football team as a kid, and Phil Simms was the guy. There are few quarterbacks in history who've give defensive players pause.

But Phill Simms was one of them.


He didn't give them a TON of pause. After all, he did miss some games because of injuries. But his whole attitude said "don't mess with me" (except use a more descriptive word for "mess").

Fully aware of this, I poked a little fun at one my childhood favorites anyway. We had him on the satellite hookup this morning, as he was announcing the finalists for the FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year. I couldn't resist playing video of one of the finer moments of his career. A portion of the interview is available for your viewing.

Naturally, it is devoid of any NFL-copyrighted video.

January 8, 2008

Pat's new addition

As you know, everyone and their sister on this show has had a baby recently- Ana, Val, Larry's wife. A number of others on our staff are expecting- all of whom will remain nameless, lest I incorrectly identify one of them.

I've seen the joy brought into all their lives by these new additions, and it spurred me to act. So today, I am very happy and proud to announce . . . .


Yep, I'm about 12 weeks along, and I'm feeling great so far- no morning sickness, but my ankles are a bit swollen, and I'm craving butterscotch morsels. The farting can get a little out of control at times, but at least I haven't begun to show yet. Usually you don't show this early until your second pregnancy.

I'm sorry. I can't lie. I'm not really pregnant.

But I sure know a lot about pregnancy, right? That's because during the last 10 months I've heard about every one of the symptoms mentioned above, exactly as they're written. And frankly . . . I'm scarred for life.

I went nearly 30 years thinking women don't pass gas.

I think children are great, but I also think we need to put a moratorium on people here having them. I'm not sure my psyche can handle it, especially with the emergence of a new topic of conversation.


January 4, 2008

Youtube is OUR tube

There is some exciting new content now available on Youtube, none of which will be featured in an upcoming Presidential debate.

WGN now has its very own Youtube channel.


So now, amongst all the webcam karaokes, bad acting demos, people taking shots to the groin, and amateur extreme sports stunts, you'll find us. I don't guarantee that anything we post will bring more value to your life, or make you a better person in some way, but at least you'll know the people posting it.

(Or at least you'll know them better than some 16-year old in Montana who can jump five trash cans on his BMX).

Basically, we're posting moments from the show- some of the stuff you can find on our WGN website, as well as additional materials.

I'm going to open up the request line now, for which I'll probably get into trouble, especially if the requests far exceed our manpower. But who cares!! Let us know if there's anything imparticular you'd like to see on there, even if it's from years ago. This show's been on the air over a decade. Certainly, there have been 1 or 2 moments you've enjoyed.

In the meantime, you can visit our Youtube channel, by clicking on this link:


January 2, 2008


Today, for the first time in over 3 months, our entire 7-person Morning News team was together for the show- Larry, Robin, Paul, Val, Dean, Anna and me- local TV's equivalent of a "Jerry Springer" guest list.


It felt good.

As you know, Val and Anna started all the disruption by going off and getting knocked up.
Then, once they came back, Robin and Larry were each off on the kinds of winter breaks normally reserved for college students.

We should thank everyone who came off the bench to eat up some valuable minutes during this time- Erin Mendez, Marcella Raymond, Tom Negovan, etc. Gentlemen, I'm not sure when Erin will next appear on our show, so please stop with the letters.

It was nice having different combinations of people to work with. For instance, when Val and Marcella co-anchored the show together, I enjoyed a little break. Those two can talk so much that I barely had to say a word all 4 hours. I felt like a cast-member of "The View."

But as much fun as that was, it's good to have the original team back. Plus, I know Tom wanted to be back on his normal shift, and Marcella was nervous she'd miss out on the season's first "Wind Chill Advisory" live shot (made it back just in time!).

Everybody wins now.

December 21, 2007

My Girl

Because I'm the only unmarried man on our show, I'm often asked if I have a girlfriend. Apparently, some of you find a man in makeup cracking wise attractive.

This is hard for me to fathom. You see, most of my time spent in front of a mirror is at 1:45 AM, or in the elevator of my building after taking my dog for a walk. To me, sweatpants, rubber boots, 3 jackets and snot frozen to my upper lip just isn't sexy.

But to my credit, I do think I have a helluva knack for picking fashionable ties.

Anyway, for those of you who've inquired, I already have a lady friend. I'm sorry.

Especially if you're hot.

Or a gymnast.

If you didn't see the show this morning, we played a very special video of me and my sweetheart on a date.

carol duncan.jpgNorthwestern**On a totally unrelated note, I LOVE Northwestern Women's Basketball, espcially Assistant Coach CAROL DUNCAN. I go to as many of their fun-filled games as possible, and am espcially looking forward to the January 13th game against Ohio State.

For more information, log onto http://nusports.cstv.com/promotions/nw-public-promotions.html#w-baskbl

December 20, 2007

Kasper the friendly Go . . to guy for Cubs insight

Our friend (Cubs play-by-play man) Len Kasper stopped by the show today, to talk about the 2nd Annual Len and Bob's Bash. This is a concert hosted by Len and broadcasting partner Bob Brenly.

Last year, Len and Bob teamed up to do a few cover songs (Bob on guitar, Len on vocals), and Len has promised a repeat performance. They brought the house down with their version of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues."

There will be actual professional musicians performing, as well.

The event is January 17th at the House of Blues, and it will benefit Cubs Charities. Visit http://www.hob.com for more information.

As seeing that Len was already here, and it wouldn't cost us anything, we decided to ask him some baseball questions too.

December 14, 2007

Sweater meat

That's what my torso looks like when stuffed in these Christmas sweaters you people are sending me. I'm like a great big sausage stuffed in yarn and bells. Apparently, the only people mailing in these sweaters are 9-year old boys and 110 lb women.

I had to CUT the last sweater off of me with a pair of scissors.

There are less than 2 weeks left until Christmas, so time is running out for you to make me look ridiculous. After next Friday, I'm done!

I've included a little montage of some of the more tasteful sweaters that have already been sent.

December 11, 2007

Terrell Owens- pitchman

The satellite interview is a staple of most morning news shows. This is where we interview, from the studio, an athlete or celebrity who's at another location. You may not have known this, but even though you and I can see them, they can't see us.

(It's great. You can make all sorts of obscene gestures without them knowing).

You may also notice that every time we do one of these interviews, the athlete ends up pimping some product or service- Peyton Manning for Campbells Soup, Joe Theismann for enlarged prostates, etc.

They get paid to endorse something, a PR firm offers them up for interviews, and we agree to let them talk up whatever they're endorsing, so long as we get to ask questions about other stuff. Usually it's about 80% what we want to talk about, and 20% what they want.

Depending on how invested the athlete is.

For instance, when Terrell Owens appeared on today's show to pimp his new line of home fitness exercise bands, the percentage was 50-50 at best. But I wasn't mad. I was impressed. It was like watching Chuck Norris in one of those "Total Gym" infomercials.

He was a completely polished pitchman.

November 30, 2007


Of all pro athletes, I think hockey players are my favorite. Any guy who gets oral surgery at intermission and still plays the other 2 periods is my kind of guy. Not to mention, the word "hoser" is part of their vernacular.

Adopt A HawkAnd becoming a pro hockey player is the loneliest journey in sports. Baseball players can lament about riding buses to small-town ballparks, but at least most of them were grown men when they did this.

Hockey players leave home at 15 for junior leagues! Imagine being a hockey prodigy from New York City, who has to go live with a Canadian foster family so he can play for the Onion Lake Winterhawks of the Northeastern Alberta Junior League!

(Nothing against Canadian foster families. I'm sure they're very lovely).

Point is, hockey players have to grow up fast. But some of them are so gifted they still reach the NHL before they do. That's why the Hawks have established their "Adopt-a-Hawk" program.

November 29, 2007

Larussa is Bill't to last!

As many of you know, legendary Chicago anchorman Bill Kurtis appeared on the show today (along with his former partner, Walter Jacobsen). Bill was Channel 2's Walter Cronkite back in the 70's, but left local TV news in order to avoid being infected by it (I imagine).
These days, he provides A&E and Court TV with 95% of their programming.

As head of Kurtis Productions, Bill and his staff churn out shows like "Cold Case Files" and "Investigative Reports." He's lent his so-smooth-it-will-melt-your-heart voice to "Biography," "American Justice," and even "Anchorman!"

My point is this: Bill Kurtis knows TV.

So I became intrigued when Bill suggested to me this morning that perhaps he and I should pursue a joint venture: "America's Funniest CELEBRITY Field Sobriety Test Videos!" We came up with the idea after watching video of Cardinals' manager Tony Larussa sashay his way through a test.

November 27, 2007


MooseMuhsin Muhammad stopped by the show today. I've included the airable portion of the interview below. Naturally, it is devoid of any copyright-protected NFL video.

This was the second time Moose had been on. His first appearance was last season, and we playfully referred to a quirky Q & A segment I did with him as "Moose Droppings." That was cute, but the accompanying graphic which showed actual moose droppings was not.

He was a very good sport about it, though I believe he was also a little disturbed. His first question for me when he arrived today was: "So what does Pat have up his sleeve today?" That's one way to make sure people remember you -- using their nickname in a crude, borderline offensive animation.

Anyway, I did have a little something up my sleeve, and Moose was the consummate pro.

November 21, 2007

'Tis The Season

The Lite 93.9Last week I called Melissa Forman over at Lite FM. She is the very popular host of the station's morning show, and a staunch supporter of their all-holiday music format, which began on November 2nd. I told her I wanted to stop by and talk to her about this.

I did not tell her I would be dressed as Uncle Sam.

But enough about that. I really don't have an opinion about holiday music starting so early, but some people hate it. I don't understand this. It's like our show- if you don't like it, change the channel.

OR . . . pick up a hobby instead of calling or writing to complain. Perhaps help an old lady cross the street? It would even take less time.

My only issue here is one of equal airtime. Television shows must give equal time to politcians. The same should apply for the holidays. Why should Christmas receive special treatment, especially when it doesn't even have the best music!?!?



November 20, 2007


IdonijeOne of our camera guys always confuses the Bears' Brendan Ayanbadejo and Israel Idonije, often combining their last names to form Idoni-badejo, the Voltron of last names. One half of Idonibadejo stopped by the show today.

Israel Idonije is one of the most down-to-Earth guys in the NFL. I'd say unassuming but the man is 6'4"- there's nothing unassuming about a fellow that large. This was the second time we had him on the show, and he's a guy that we like talking to off camera even more than we do on.

He was here to talk about some community stuff he had going on today, and to let fans know about his newly re-launched Myspace page, where you can see when else he'll be out in the community

Anyway, below is a stripped down version of Israel's interview on today's show. Due to NFL copyright rules, we're not allowed to show ANY football video. But we are allowed to show actual football players, so we still win.

November 8, 2007

The legendary PAT Hughes

Harry Caray - Voice of the FansCubs radio man Pat Hughes stopped by today to pub his new book/audio book about Harry Caray. Not a bad tribute to a guy he worked with for only 2 years. Can you think of ANY co-worker you'd write a book about, let alone one you worked with for only 2 years???

I've worked with these clowns here for just OVER 2 years and I'm not sure I could fill a small pocket notebook.

"Paul is really funny. He invited me over his house for Thanksgiving once. He smells a little like vinegar."

Pat and Harry
"Robin lives on Diet Coke and whatever's in slot F15 on the vending machine. She loves Peoria. I think she grew up on the South Side."

"Larry enjoys webcam karaoke. His daughter's middle name is 'Youtube.'"

But Pat Hughes not only wrote a book about Harry, he poured through hours of old broadcasts to compile some of his best moments for the audio book.

All by himself.

I can assure you- not many people in my line of work are that motivated. On top of that, Pat might be one of the top 5 nicest people I've met in my life. I knew there was a reason I liked him so much.

Now if he could only rid himself of that bad influence Ron Santo!!!

*to get a copy of Pat Hughes' book, "Harry Caray: Voice of the Fans," click here:


November 2, 2007

Crazy Train(er)

KayThis young firecracker pictured here is my trainer at Bally's, Kay Yasin. I'm not trying to turn my blog into a Maxim column here. Rather, I need you to have a visual of something . . . the kind of glamour photos she wants ME to get!

That's right! Halter top, stretchy pants, a come-hither pose. Me!!!

She says I should get professional pictures done to capture all of the hard work I've put in the last 6 months, something I can look back on in 10 years and be proud of. Why? Does she plan on not training me 10 years from now? Is she dumping me?

I hope not. I'll get like Marky Mark in "Fear." I'll show up outside her house at two in the morning with a jump rope and a Bosu ball!

Nah, she'd never be able break up with me. We have a training marriage made in nut-ball heaven. She's the only person I know in the world who's more neurotic about her workouts than me.

I wouldn't have it any other way. Six months ago, she got me down from 187 pounds, to my sophomore year of college weight of 165 (which we soon discovered what not an appropriate weight for Pat Tomasulo at his current age). SO, we bulked up to a comfortable fighting weight of 173, and now I am an ultimate fitness machine.

Anyway, I told her for me to even ENTERTAIN the idea of having pictures taken, she'd need to let me publish hers to my web masses (hence the pic).

Now while I've never had professional pictures taken, I have had snapshots of my progress taken.


Correction department

Whenever a newspaper makes a mistake, they tend to run its correction a few days later in a section of the paper completely unrelated to the one in which the original story ran. It's usually about 2 sentences long and under an advertisement for an auto mall or a"massage therapist."

KobePaxsonAs for TV people? We're even worse.

"I think you just said an earthquake hit Indianapolis, instead of India."

"Oh, I'm sure nobody noticed. I said it so quickly"

But not me! When I make a factual error, I'm man enough to admit it!

Most of the time.

Truth is, when you wake up at 1:15 AM, complete brain functionality doesn't occur until about 6:45. So, anything that happens before then is fairly clouded. But if I can REMEMBER making a mistake, I'll admit it.

October 30, 2007

Roberto Gigante

Roberto Garza

Bears lineman Roberto Garza was on the show today. He drove himself here, and arrived an hour early . . . alone.

I liked him immediately.

Usually when one of the Bears comes on, it's either in conjunction with a Bears community event, or it's at our invitation and we . . excuse me, I, have to arrange for a car to pick them up. It was nice not to bother with that, and to have a little time to talk to Roberto, one-on-one, before we went on.

Listen, I have no problem AT ALL with guys wanting a ride here. Shoot, that and a free breakfast in the old Cafe Nueve is all they get for stopping by. If I played for the Bears, forget about a Towncar picking me up- I'd demand 6 guys dressed up like Roman Gladiators carry me here on a loveseat!

Roberto is a pretty humble guy. He grew up in a southern Texas border town of 1,600 people, and he's a legend there. There's a "Roberto Garza Day" every year (scheduled inconveniently right in the middle of football season), and the town even re-named the street his parents live on: "Roberto Garza Drive."

I believe my mother has proposed a similar resolution in my hometown, but it's pretty much stalled in the town council.

October 26, 2007

I fell into a ring of Fire

Chicago FireNot a week goes by where a viewer doesn't complain to me about the amount of coverage their favorite team is getting. Listen, I understand and respect that the Kane County Cougars are comprised of some talented and special players, but unless Alex Rodriguez decides to opt out of his Yankees contract and play for them instead, they're not getting more time on our show than the Bears.

Like awkward adolescence and college debt, it's just a simple fact of life.

I don't know if everyone realizes this, but we usually only have three and a half minutes per sportscast. Under normal circumstances, I couldn't describe my breakfast in 3:30! BUT, somehow every morning, I'm able to give what I feel is a thorough, entertaining recap of the previous night's games.

No. It's NOT like I'm re-inventing cold fission here. But it's close!

It's no easy task condensing a variety of important stories into such a short amount of time. YOU try choosing between an extra, dynamic sound bite from Brian Urlacher, or one of Nikolai Khabibulin's 11 saves in a game. It's hard.

But this isn't to say I don't occasionally have a lapse in judgment. Hard as it may be to believe (for me), sometimes I do make mistakes. Recently, I made a big one concerning the Chicago Fire, and I addressed it on this morning's show.

October 17, 2007

Tipped off

Roy WilliamsLions receiver Roy WIlliams recently admitted that he doesn't tip the pizza delivery man. He made the remark after a pizza guy told him he usually gets between $3 - $7 dollars gratuity per pizza. That sounds about right . . . for a $30 pizza!

But Williams is a Pizza Hut guy, where a large 3-topping pie goes for $11.99.

I'm calling B.S. on the $7 tip statement.

This doesn't excuse Williams from not tipping, though. You're a millionaire, Roy. Throw the kid a couple of bucks! But because you're a millionaire, don't feel pressure to over tip. Tip generously, but remember to use common sense. The tipee is doing a job, not public service. It's pizza delivery, not saving the manatees.

And as an introduction to tipping, here's another thing to remember: tip only when it's appropriate. That means no tip for the kid who scoops your ice cream, nor your "sandwich artist" at Subway. My guy at the deli down the street never even went to sandwich school and his subs are way better. No tip cup on his counter!

Thankfully, Williams seems to have learned his lesson. He is now a born-again tipper, thanks in large part to a Pizza Hut executive.

October 16, 2007

London calling

Lombardi TrophyIt's been quite a while since I've last blogged, and for that I apologize. I was out of town a little bit, then the Cubs kept me busy with producing content for the actual show. Now that that's over, I can get back to the important stuff- posting random, irrelevant tidbits to this webpage.

Roger GoodellSo the NFL is thinking of playing a Super Bowl overseas, particularly in London. Commissioner Roger Goodell says there's great interest overseas in football. Yeah? Well there's also a lot of interest in it here!

He's trying to broaden the league's appeal and expand its popularity. I get that. It's OK to play a regular season game there. Premier League soccer clubs play friendly matches in the US all the time, but you'll never see Manchester United and Real Madrid playing a championship match in Dallas. And do you know why? Because no teams from America are in their league!

Don't get me wrong. I'd love the Robbie Williams halftime show and I think Sean Connery would be great for the ceremonial coin toss. But can't we just leave well enough alone? Why do we need the rest of the world to love and play football? Hasn't America provided the NFL with enough screwballs?

Plus, it's borderline Communist to move the Super Bowl out of America. What's next? The Daytona 500 in France? Maybe we import the British Open and play it in Columbus, Ohio?


October 4, 2007

Piniella on trial

Buddy LeeI guarantee that when Carlos Marmol entered the game last night, no one was throwing their shoe at the TV in disgust. Yet this morning, it's as if Lou Piniella went ahead and pinch hit for Derek Lee with Buddy Lee, the tiny dungarees mascot.

ZambranoYanking Carlos Zambrano cost the Cubs last night, but does that make it a bad decision on Piniella's part? That depends on how you judge a decision. If you judge a decision solely on its outcome, then sure, it was a bad one. But if you judge a decision on how it was reached, on the information used to make it, and on the amount of thought given to its future ramifications, then it wasn't such a bad one.

PiniellaSay Piniella left Zambrano in the game. He lasts the entire inning, but labors, throwing another 25 pitches. That's a pitch count of 110. The Cubs then lose the next 2 games and face elimination in Game 4. Well that's a must win, so you gotta ride Zambrano out. He goes 8 or 9 and throws another 125 pitches. Cubs win the series and Zambrano struggles in the NLCS. They end up losing and critics say it's because Zambrano was so overworked and Piniella didn't utilize his "great bullpen."

Don't even doubt that's what every sports column in Chicago would be charging. That's exactly what they'd be saying.Piniella and Zambrano

And I'm not saying they'd be wrong.

Point is, Piniella was damned if he took Zambrano out, and damned if he left him in. The only way any decision he makes during these playoffs is guaranteed to be a good one, is if the Cubs win the World Series. And we can't brand any decision he makes a bad one, until (or unless) the Cubs are eliminated.

What do you think?

September 24, 2007

Griese's the word

We debuted some new technology on the show this morning. Naturally, the move was met with resistance (anything beyond a typewriter just baffles Val), but our foray into instant-feedback text messaging went surprisingly well. Hopefully you're all OK with our $5-a-text messaging fee (somebody has to pay for Larry's suspenders).

We asked you: Who should be the Bears' starting quarterback? The results of our poll were not surprising.

Bears Quarterback Poll

Brian Griese 59%
Kyle Orton 23 %
Rex Grossman 17%

The most popular guy in Chicago is almost always the backup quarterback. He was 2 years ago when Rex Grossman sat behind Kyle Orton, and so he is now with Brian Griese backing up Grossman.

I have been the staunchest advocate for not making a switch. It would have been a terrible mistake to bench Grossman last season, especially after 7 - 8 stellar games in basically his second full season. All that was needed was another off-season of work, and Rex would fix his mechanics and learn to better utilize his tremendous talents. Benching him would have stunted that growth.

But this is different now.

Rex hasn't shown any improvement. He's making the same mistakes, minus any of the spectacular throws from last season, and there's no reason to believe it will get any better. It didn't a year ago.

There's a reason Lovie Smith has resisted making a switch. It's not because he's personally vested in Grossman. It's because Rex is so overwhelmingly more talented than Griese or Orton. It's like a high school basketball coach having a clumsy 7-footer on his roster- if his next tallest guy is 6'2", he's gonna try and ride out the big man.

But the Bears don't have that luxury now, and guys have won Super Bowls working with far less than what Grossman has (Trent Dilfer anyone?). Could Brian Griese or Kyle Orton get the Bears back to the Super Bowl?

I'm not sure they can.

Griese is a 10-year veteran who lost the starting job on his previous 3 teams because he never led them to the playoffs. Yet, some out there are fanatical about him starting. Be careful what you wish for.

It's at a point now where a change might have to be made just for the sake of change. But one thing is certain- the Bears are stuck with the guys they have.

There's no phenom rookie waiting for his chance, a la JaMarcus Russel in Oakland or Brady Quinn in Cleveland. This is it. That small window a team usually gets to win a Super Bowl is closing, not opening.

And if the Bears win a Super Bowl, it's gonna have to be with one of these guys.

September 14, 2007

They said NO!!!!! But I still win!

I want to thank you all for supporting my unsuccesful bid to sing the 7th Inning Stretch. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to sign my online petition. In the end, 962 of you joined the fight- that's 962 people spurned by the Cubs.

I'd like to see them sell out games now, after Frank Sanbeans and Brock Lee cancel their season tickets!

I'm sure many of you are angry about this decision, and I only wish I shared in your disappointment.

But I don't.

You see, normally I would fight a decision like this (I certainly don't feel it's the right one). However, the Cubs figured out how to quash whatever fight was left in me. It's the same way you silence any malcontent . . .

You buy them.

My price was not high. I didn't want cash, or airline tickets, or jewelry. I merely wanted what everyone in sports wants . . .

Pat Bobblehead

To be immortalized!

Final List From The Petition

September 11, 2007

I'm Embarassed

7th Inning StretchHow will I ever convince the Cubs I should sing when I can only convince 344 viewers?

I couldn't even run for student council with that many signatures!

What hurts is that it's not even viewers who've kept my dream alive. I've had to rely on dead celebrities (thank you Jimi Hendrix and Mama Cass), my television competition (I LOVED your promo CBS2) and friends of the show (you got a raw deal Danny Devito!).

I'm keeping the petition up until Thursday, at which time I will ask the Cubs for a decision by Friday. I feel that 1,000 signatures might get their attention. This is our 11th hour people!

Please don't let me embarass myself.

Sign the petition

See who's already signed the petition!

September 7, 2007

Petition Update #1

Brad, Brett & Mayor DaleyWell, I'm moderately happy with the amount of people who've signed the petition. So far, 175 people have joined my crusade — a good number in such a small amount of time, but not up to my standards. It only takes a second, and once you view the petition, you'll see that if luminaries like Brad Pitt, Mayor Daley and Brett Favre have time to sign, so should you!

But celebrities aren't going to fuel this effort. If we're to succeed, we need more people like Joey Baggadonuts, Haywood Jagetlost and Chuck Waggon- ordinary people spurring a grassroots campaign.

175 and counting . . . .

Sign the petition

View the petition

September 6, 2007


7th%20inning.gifOn September 22, one lucky Cubs fan will get to follow in the footsteps of Harry Caray (as well as figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan), and sing during the 7th Inning Stretch. It's part of the Cubs' Ultimate 7th Inning Stretch Competition (click here to see the 10 finalists).

I think it's great that the Cubs are giving away this opportunity. It will be a special experience which the winner will never forget. And I would know- I've been told that by people who've ACTUALLY SUNG. I'm still waiting for my shot. Larry, Robin, Paul, Kathy and Judy. They've all performed. Me? Still waiting, but hopefully not for long.

As I showed you all on Thursday morning, I was able to score a late audition for the contest. Thus far, I have not heard back. That's why I've started an online petition to get what's coming to me. After all, what would a 7th Inning Stretch competition be without WGN's best Eddie Vedder impersonator in the mix! Click on the link below to sign our online petition requesting YOURS TRULY as a guest conductor. Remember, sign as often as you can, using as many aliases as you can think of!

August 31, 2007

Bathroom Etiquette

Larry Craig "The distinguished gentleman from Idaho has (his hands on) the floor!"

This might be the new way to announce foot-tapping Senator Larry Craig in Congress. Whether or not Senator Craig is actually guilty of what he's being accused, he's brought universal awareness to public restroom "recreation," and the mating ritual which occurs beforehand. Who knew tapping your feet in a stall was an invitation for some "lewd conduct?"

Just one more caveat of using a public men's room.


Most of the problems I have with using them are matters of etiqutte, namely urinal etiquette. I have a handful of rules I follow, rules I wish everyone would follow.

1. If there is a row of empty urinals, pick one on the far left or the far right. Using one smack dab in the middle creates an uneven distribution of empty urinal buffer zones for the rest of us.

2. That being said, when I use the urinal on the far left or far right, why would you stroll up to the one directly next to me? You have 7 others to choose from!

3. Do not speak to a stranger at ANY TIME during your urinal stay.

4. There are 2 places where lines are unnecessary for people to know you're busy there- ATM's and urinals. I know you're waiting for me to finish. Feeling your breath on my neck isn't going to make me finish sooner.

Some would consider these rules basic common sense, but my experiences indicate that a number of men are not equipped with it. Perhaps it's time for a class, before today's urinal sidler become's tomorrow's stall foot-tapper.

August 23, 2007

Just a Vicktim?

MarburyEasy now, I'm not about to examine the media's treatment of Michael Vick, nor whether or not he's been judged fairly by society (what does this look like, a "Today Show" blog?).

Rather, I'm here to make fun of Stephon Marbury for suggesting those things.

Actually, I have no problem with him saying Vick's been mistreated, just the asinine (and at the same time hilarious) logic of his argument. I suppose there are some similarities between dog fighting and deer hunting. For instance, the ecological and safety benefits of both- one prevents a 12-point buck from slamming through your windshield, the other prevents a steamer being left on your front lawn.

Marbury says dog fighting is a sport, it's just kept behind closed doors. "Behind closed doors" is one way of referring to it. The isolated backwoods of rural Southern states is another. What I believe the King of $15 Sneakers means is that dog fighting is simply a sport that's disapproved of in some circles, kind of like mixed martial arts was a few years back.

So maybe all dog fighting needs is an aggressive marketing campaign and some rule changes? Perhaps neck bites, head butts and lockjaw are allowed, but groin bites and humping are outlawed?

Oh, and weight classes!

Hey, it worked for MMA.

August 8, 2007

Down With The (Home Run) King

bonds-150px-pic.jpgBarry Bonds might be the most polarizing record-holder in all of sports. Yet, my attitude towards him is complete indifference- I honestly, truly could not care less about this new record. I have my opinions on how Bonds reached 756, but these will not change the fact that he did, so why bother sharing them?

I do, however, have strong, overwhelming feelings on the record finally being achieved. They're best summed up in one word:


No longer will I wake up every morning, turn on ESPNNEWS, and look to bottom right of the screen for: "BONDS HITS 756. YOU NOW HAVE TRIPLE THE AMOUNT OF WORK TO DO."

We'll also finally get a break from those grotesque side-by-side comparisons of Bonds' head in 1993 and now; we'll no longer require NORAD to track Bud Selig's whereabouts; and I won't have to see one more 20/20 special with a guy who once lifted weights with Bonds.

Overkill doesn't begin to describe the coverage of this guy. One more week of waiting would have elevated this story to Anna Nicole Smith heights. But at least in this story, the supporting characters are much more compelling than Howard K. Stern and Larry Birkhead.

August 6, 2007

Pleased To Meet You!

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is meeting fans of the show. It feels good to have people come up to me and say how much they enjoy my work. Of course, it feels less good when I'm on my phone, having a heated argument with my health insurance provider. Or, when I'm running to catch the one functioning elevator in my building. Or, when I'm trying to convince the traffic cop that I am indeed parked legally.

Not that I would ever brush someone off. Just understand that I might not have a witty remark after learning about a $400 hospital co-pay.

It's a funny thing when people recognize you. Most of the time they know that they know you from somewhere, even if they don't really know who you are, like the man who told me yesterday: "Rob Elgas (Ch. 5), I love your work!"

Then there are those who know who I am, but are hesitant to introduce themselves. Often, they'll whisper to a friend: "That's the sports guy from WGN." But I tend not to introduce myself, because I don't want to come off as a pompous jackass: "Yes, I AM Pat Tomasulo."

Plus, what if the one time I introduce myself to someone I think knows who I am, they really DON'T know who I am?

"Hi. Yes, I'm him. Pat Tomasulo, nice to meet you?"

"Who? I thought you looked like a guy I went to camp with. Did you spend any summers in Lake Geneva?"

I think most viewers I've met on the street would tell you I'm very much like the guy you see on TV, but much more handsome, more carved out of stone by the hand of God, and what the hell- WAY TALLER.


Special thanks to professional trumpet player Stephen Orejudos, who booked a separate gig in the 5 minutes he and I worked together. To contact Stephen, visit his website:


Also, thanks to my good friends Gator, Alex and Juan- two of whom were the menacing-looking men in the front seat of that lowrider. Turns out they only look scary- 2 of them work in law enforcement, and one is a claims adjuster for an insurance company! They run car clubs as a hobby, and often use the profits for fund-raisers. Visit their website at:


July 26, 2007

Tour de Farce

It's not a good time for the Tour de France, not when the only buzz it creates is:

"Did you see that guy crash into the dog?!?!"

The Tour is of course getting a lot of attention, but not buzz. Buzz is good, this race is drawing controversy. That's bad.

But in terms of cycling's popularity, how much of an effect are blood doping, steroids, and all that other nonsense really hurting the sport? I say very, very little, and for one simple reason:


All the cheating can have an impact on how people feel about the sport (obviously a negative one), but these guys could be cleaner than Reverend Billy Graham and nobody would watch, because IT'S BORING! If I wanted to watch people ride bikes, I'd head over to the Lake- at least some of those cyclists are wearing halter tops.

How much fun is it to watch guys with names I can't pronounce, pedal down streets no wider than my hallway? Now, you may ask:"Well what about NASCAR? Don't they just drive around in circles for 3 hours?"

Yes, they do, but there's always the potential for a spectacular crash.

"But there are crashes in the Tour de France."

Yes there are, but no one catches on fire.

For me, the Tour de France falls into the same category as televised chess matches and the Winter Olympics- sports programs I'd surf right past, even if the only alternative was "Judge Hatchett."


July 20, 2007

Can't take "NO" for an answer

media-gaggle.jpgI'm not sure I could ever be a hard news reporter. Have you ever seen video of someone (usually a defendant) walking down a street, followed by a gaggle of camera-people and question-askers, refusing to speak or stop?

"Mr. Smith, did you rob the bank?"

Mr. Smith's lawyer: "My client is not speaking today."

"Mr. Smith, WHY did you rob the bank??"

Mr. Smith's lawyer: "My client has no comment."

I don't know . . maybe I've just always been the kind of person who doesn't need to be told the same thing twice, but being rebuffed once would have been enough for me! Plus, who wants to be caught on another station's camera running down the street, sweating, looking all frazzled and frantic.

It's obviously part of the game, but know this- so is laughing at the competition when you see them on someone else's air.

"Wait, here it comes . . he's about to trip . . . wait . . here it is . . DOWN HE GOES!! "


Quality news reporters are just made up of different DNA from me. They don't think about this stuff. They're tenacious, like pitbulls!

Speaking of pitbulls . . .


July 18, 2007

I am the king of karaoke

billy-vera-and-the-beaters.jpgI sang karaoke for the first time 4 years ago. It was at "Cheers III" in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and I sang "At This Moment," by Billy Vera and the Beaters (the song from the Family Ties episode where Alex's girlfriend Ellen breaks up with him and he's left alone at the train station).

Did I rock?

Let's just say that by the end of the song I had people slow dancing! Arms around waists, heads on shoulders, swaying from one side to the other . . SLOW DANCING!

I soon became a weekly staple at Cheers III, as people were curiuous about the 25-year old sportscaster passionately singing a love song that came out when he was 6. But once I left Rhinelander, I left my karaoke days behind. That was a safe place- stories of my singing could only spread so far in a town of 7,000 people.

My love for karaoke never died, though, and on today's show I was asked last-minute to fill in for a live-band karaoke segment (Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop opted out of their live slot). With no time to give it any rational thought, I returned to the art form which made me a small-town Michael Bolton.

But this time, I rocked out to Pearl Jam and AC/DC.


July 13, 2007

Those are fighting words


Big fights always get catchy slogans.

Ali-Frazier: "The Thrilla in Manilla"

De la Hoya-Mayweather: "The World Awaits"


For the Fernando Vargas-Ricardo Mayorga "megafight" on September 8th, I suggested borrowing the nickname of boxer Erik Morales . . .

lewis-tyson.jpg"EL TERRIBLE!!!!!!"

Don King wisely hocked this fight to Showtime, rather than risk an embarrassing pay-per-view gate. But he may want to reconsider now . . .


July 12, 2007

It's a mad, mad mascot world

TCNJ-LIONS.jpgWhatever happened to traditional mascot names? When I was in elementary school, I was a Mustang; in junior high, a Warrior; in high school I was a Rocket, and in college a Lion. Years ago, team nicknames didn't have to mean anything. They were just names! I don't think anyone ever enlightened the school board with:

"You know, I've always thought our kids were very dynamic and explosive, like firecrackers."

"Or rockets."

"Yeah, like rockets! That's it! ROCKETS! We'll name them the ROCKETS!"

It was probably one guy, checking the nicknames of every other school in the county to see which had already been taken.

Tigers? Taken.

Braves? Taken.

Raiders? Taken.

Bulldogs??? DAMMIT! Taken!

What's happened today is that people want to get creative; they want to be inspiring; they want to be symbolic. And so we're left with soft, crappy nicknames like the Centenary College Gentlemen, the North Florida Ospreys, and the Geneva College Golden Tornadoes.

Ask anyone who's ever survived a tornado if they'd classify it as GOLDEN!!!!!

Colleges and universities are most often the guiltiest parties, but anytime a new pro sports league emerges, the marketing brain trust of America gets to work. How about some of these names from the WNBA, or the Arena Football League?

The Sun, the Shock, the Fever, the Mercury, the Crush, the Force, the Storm, the Blaze.

Has pluralizing words gone out of style?!?! Naming your team after a singular word is just dumb, and I don't like that because I'm the one who ends up sounding like a dope.

"The Shock is shooting very well tonight."

You see?!?!

It's not that I have a problem with schools and teams getting creative. It's that kind of initiative and individuality which has given us The Long Beach State DIRTBAGS, the UC-Santa Cruz BANANA SLUGS, and the Campbel FIGHTING CAMELS!

Basically, I have 2 simple rules for branding your team with an original name.

1) It's unique and fun

or 2) I can make fun of it.


No-limit lunacy

Chances are, Tobey Maguire's never been seen at 7-Eleven buying a Powerball ticket. So why is Spiderman in the World Series of Poker? He doesn't need the money, and his chances of winning either are about the same!

There are over 6,000 people in this year's field. If Spidey wants to play a few hands with some shmoes that badly, I can gather up some friends for a lot less than ten grand (his WSOP buy-in). We'd even let him win a few hands!

Maguire isn't the only celeb in the event. Jennifer Tilly, Jason Alexander and Shannon Elizabeth are some of the others. Elizabeth told the Associated Press: "I'm trying to be a pro player so I'm hoping people take me more seriously."

It'd be the first career people take her seriously in.

The problem is, some of these celebrities are actually pretty good, increasing their odds of snatching the $8 million top prize from you or me. Montel Williams even held the lead at one point in the early going, but some awful calls put him back near the bottom.

I suppose that's only fair. One man shouldn't win the lottery twice in his life.

If it's a hobby for these people, fine. But if they win, they better not keep that money.

Unless they're paying off legal bills


July 10, 2007

I'd rather watch a PINEWOOD derby!

Baseball's Home Run Derby was last night, and I fear we're only a year or two away from it going the way of the NBA Slam Dunk contest. Soon we'll have MLB's equivalent of Gerald Green or Fred Jones hoisting the holy homerun trophy.

Now who would that be in baseball?

Matt Holliday? Alex Rios?

Oh wait, those guys are already in the Derby!

Both are fine players, but remember when Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey all competed in the same Derby? Or when Sosa, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi all teed off together?

Granted, there have been exceptions. How in God's name Hee-Seop Choi snuck in there in 2005 still hasn't been explained to me. And I still wonder who John Jaha had naked pictures of in 1999.

The Home Run Derby used to mean something, and it needs to mean something again. Give these guys a reason to compete. Maybe the winner gets a million bucks? Or better yet, Congressional immunity!

I long for the days of the old Home Run Derby- the old black and white TV show from the '50s where stars went head-to-head, and the winner got paid! One week it'd be Mickey Mantle vs. Willie Mays, the next week Ernie Banks vs Harmon Killebrew. None of this 3 round nonsense they have now. Those guys went 9 innings! And when the other guy batted, they had to sit with the play-by-play guy!

OLD-HOMERUN-DERBY.jpg"Willie just hit 6 homeruns that inning, Mick. Can you hit 7 to win?"

"Well gee Mark, I sure will try my best. Willie's a great hitter, and 7 is an awful lot."

That was good television! Nervous, nonsensical banter from a guy wondering how he was gonna make that extra 5 grand!

Now what do we get?

"Back, back, back . . . gone!"

At least we still have Vladimir Guerrero.

July 5, 2007

Put up or throw up

Joey Chestnut
True luminaries often go by only one name.


Aristotle (not Onassis)




Joey ChestnutThe greatness of this little 165 lb. Japanese man made competitive eating impossible to ignore, and for 6 years he was impossible to beat. But Kobayashi has finally been defeated at the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. How did a new winner emerge?

By eating 33 feet worth of hot dog!


June 29, 2007

Are you Joakim?

If you watched ESPN's coverage of the draft, then you know the Bulls drafted the son of former French Open champ Yannick Noah, and Miss Sweden 1978. Certainly you heard the announcers mention that once or twice? Yeah, they're special-ordering a jersey to fit all that on the back of.

The young man actually has a name- it's Joakim Noah. And he has an awful lot to say. I mean a lot to say.


Fair-weather for Mayweather

FLOYD-MAYWEATHER.jpgFinally, I've met a professional athlete whom I might look more intimidating than. Of course, he could punch the crap out of me quicker than any other athlete I've met, but who has time to argue semantics?

The pound-for-pound king of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, is in Chicago for a 3-day victory tour celebrating his May 5th win over Oscar De la Hoya. If you don't know much about Floyd, he is Apollo Creed and Don King combined- part boxer, part promoter, all brash. He's the sports biggest villain, and it's best fighter in 15 years.

That's why so many people hate him.

It's also why they buy all of his pay-per-views.

He doesn't trave lightly. His entourage included about 9 people- his business managers, PR people, two gigantic men who grunted "Hey" to me when I said hello (bodyguards?). I had met Floyd once before in Miami during Super Bowl week, and his entourage was just as large. It's a nice thing to have in case a flag football game breaks out.

Before the De la Hoya fight, Floyd announced it would be his last- he was retiring. Less than 2 months later, he told us he's ready to come back.


June 27, 2007

Ain't that a kick in the gut!

elle.jpgI don't know at which point during my life I became an animal lover, but today I might as well carry a badge ID'ing myself as one. I'm not the kind of animal lover who'll protest a quail hunt or boycott hamburger, but I will maul your dog if the mood strikes me.

I have a dog- her name is Elle. She's part German Sheppard, part Moron, and I love this dog to pieces. She is the only living thing I've allowed back in my bed after peeing it. When I look into her soulful eyes, I can't imagine how people can abuse or strike dogs, or any animal for that matter.

Without provocation, that is.

For instance, what if an animal gets out of line and strikes you? What do you do- turn the other cheek? I was always taught never to start a fight, but if someone starts one with you, it's OK to finish it. I warn every animal I meet that these are my rules. You scratch me, I'll throw you in a head lock.

Now, these rules don't apply to my dog. Would you apply them to your own son or daughter? But if we were just acquaintances, or better yet co-workers, I might do as jockey Victor Molina did.


June 22, 2007

I'll be out and proud!

. . . as in outSIDE, and proud to be REPRESENTING WGN at the Pride Parade.

Hey, I've been corrected concerning the use of a gift sent to me by two nice gentlemen from East Lakeview. The "Stratford Boys" mailed be something they felt would come in handy for this weekend's event- an item which I displayed on the show this morning (see video below).

Anyway, that change purse is gonna come in handy!

This will be my first appearance aboard the WGN float in this parade. I was out of town the last 2 years, and it's not like I can choose not to go anyway. I live in the neighborhood, so unless I can secure a helicopter, I'm not getting out! I will enjoy, though, being on one of the only moving vehicles in Lakeview.

It's supposed to be hot on Sunday, like 90 degrees. Man, would I love to be outside shirtless, getting some color. How 'bout we make a rule- everyone in the parade goes topless! Hah, just kidding! A parade isn't the proper place for that!

I'm not sure what to expect on Sunday. I understand it's a fairly long procession, and it passes by my favorite gyro place in the city (Yango's on Broadway). Other than that, I suppose there will be a few high school marching bands, a couple of Pop Warner cheerleading squads, maybe Santa Claus aboard a fire truck?

Yeah, fire trucks! I always loved seeing the big red trucks in my hometown's parades. They'd even have real firemen riding along and waving!

You think that'd fly at the Pride Parade?

Video from the Chicago Pride Parade:

June 19, 2007

Jonesing for a table dance

PACMAN-JONES.jpgChris Rock once did a bit about his friends who are "addicted to strip clubs"- you know, the kinds of guys who go there for the hot lunch buffets. If that describes you, then chances are you've stood in line behind Pacman Jones while he loaded up a plate with barbecue meatballs and potato logs.

BUFFET.jpgThis is the guy recently given a one-year suspension by the NFL after being arrested 5 different times, and questioned by police 10 times.

Number 11 is imminent.

This time the cops want to talk to Jones about a shooting outside an Atlanta strip club. You may recall, Pacman's last reported visit to a strip club was during NBA All Star Weekend in Vegas, and ended with someone being shot and paralyzed.

STRIP-CLUB.jpgI suppose going to a movie during his down time is out of the question?

Pacman even had the chance to reduce his NFL ban to 10 games if he adhered to some guidelines set forth by the Commissioner, guidelines which I can only assume included NO GOING TO STRIP CLUBS!

No big deal. Pacman's rich. He could have had his favorite spot install a webcam! But the experience just wasn't complete for him without the scent of baby powder mixed with beer, and the sound of blaring '90's club music.

That's a true addiction.


June 12, 2007

Experiencing wedding bliss!

I've been gone from the show quite a bit in the last week or two, and while there are numerous reasons for my absence (covert missions for the CIA, training for the 4th of July hot dog eating contest, penning my memoirs), mainly I was gone to attend a good friend's wedding in New Jersey. How good a friend?

I went back to New Jersey for his wedding.

I'm sure the ceremony and all the traditional wedding rites were beautiful, but the image from this weekend that's seared into my mind is that cocktail hour spread- that wonderful, beautiful, bountiful cornucopia of delicacies I never dreamed would be available to me ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

Sushi, suckling pig, and salami. Made-to-order stir fry, pasta dishes, and bruschetta. A full martini bar, a full martini bar, and a full martini bar.

That could be why I only remember cocktail hour.

This was easily the most extravagant wedding I've ever feasted at, and this from a guy who spent 3 years DJ'ing nuptials at some of the Jersey Shore's finest catering halls. As good as the stuffed shells were at the Leonardo Fire Hall, this place blew 'em away.

But as lavish as this wedding was, multiply it by 50, and that's apparently what a celebrity wedding is like.


May 30, 2007

Detector of the truth

Denver Broncos player David Kircus recently took an extreme measure to keep his job. He's facing second degree assault charges after a punch he threw landed some guy in the hospital with multiple facial fractures.

First off . . some punch!

Kircus claims he acted in self defense, and the Broncos made him an offer: take a lie detector test. Fail it, you're cut. Pass it, you keep your job regardless of the charges. Kircus passed.

This got me thinking. What if some of my past employers gave me a chance to clear my name of suspected wrongdoings? And not even for transgressions OUTSIDE of work.

"Pat, did you shake 4 bags of Cheetos from the vending machine?"


"Did you call our AM show and make up events for the 'Community Calendar' segment"?


"Did you tell the intern he had to go out and shovel snow off the satellite dishes?"


"Did you type 'Pat is a sexy man' in your co-anchor's script without her knowing?


"Did you prank call our Master Control Operator and ask him on a date, prompting him to call the police."

"No, and I'm not glad I blocked Caller ID before doing it."

I know what you're thinking:

Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!

My career may have turned out differently had that black cloud not been following me. Kircus is a lucky guy. He had the opportunity to prove his accusers wrong. I'm still known as the guy who sent 27 lucky viewers to "Brats for Breakfast."

May 29, 2007

PDA- public display of annoyance

In celebrity relationships, 5 years together is like the Golden Anniversary. But instead of sitting back in a rocker on the porch, reminiscing about your chance meeting at an ice cream social 50 years ago, you're at a patio table at The Ivy, trying to piece together the night you met at that hot club down on Sunset, which used to be a different hot club when you met there.

This is why it's so sad to hear that Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias have broken up.

Thankfully, we have enduring images of their romance to sustain us- photos which became a staple of Us Weekly.

Them making out and groping each on the beach.

On a park bench.

On a boat.

At a Lakers game.

On a bathroom sink.

They stopped just short of wearing vials of each other's blood around their necks. This was one passionate couple. But some people hate it when couples display affection for each other like that. I use a different, yet equally strong word for it.


Most people are happy if they can find someone whose presence they can stand for 5 years, let alone someone they can't keep their hands off of! Usually 5 years into a relationship, the only significance the word "Nooner" takes on is lunch!

So I mourn the end of Enrique-Kova. These two sex-crazed kids showed us that it's OK to swallow a loved one's head in public, without regard for how it might make others feel, or how our parents will think they failed in raising us.


May 28, 2007

Mr. Ashley Judd wins the Indy 500

High-profile marriages are a tricky arrangement. Inevitably, one of the spouses will become more famous than the other, and the less famous one might eventually be known simply for being married to the more famous one.

Racecar driver Dario Franchitti is in one such marriage. Even sports fans know him as "the guy who's married to Ashley Judd" (not necessarily a bad thing to be known for). And that's because we who cover sports don't let you forget about it. I'll tell you why that is.

Because most of us are men!

You've obviously seen a baseball game on TV before? The fans they show throughout the course of the game, what do most of them look like?

This is what happens when camera guys are given a 20x zoom lens and asked to find "interesting shots" during breaks. Now depending on the city, finding an attractive woman can take a lot of time and effort. But throw one in there and announce it to the crew, including where she's sitting?!?!

It's like throwing a bloody bucket of chum in a shark tank.


May 25, 2007

A lover, not a fighter.

I'm not one for picking fights, but if I was, I certainly would not pick one with a professional hockey player, especially during an actual game, WHILE he was already in the penalty box. Of course, a layer of plexiglass has made a Chuck Liddell out of many a man. Here's a look at one such man from Manchester, New Hampshire. Notice the striking resemblance to Turtle from "Entourage."


May 24, 2007

R(a)IDE(r) or Die!

Oakland Raiders fans are often portrayed as vulgar, leather-clad, spike-wearing, beer-swilling, Harley-riding deviants. And it turns out . . .

They're worse.

But the Raiders themselves perpetuate this image. Team owner Al Davis has long been known for seeking out the nastiest, dirtiest, most suspect characters in the NFL, and adding them to his collection of misfits. Jack Tatum. Lyle Alzado. Bill Romanowski. Randy Moss.

But here's the story of one member of Raider nation whom Al Davis learned about much too late.


More love for Ron Mexico!


Despite Michael Vick's recent bad press, it seems that a comment he made to an Atlanta TV station earlier this week is true.

"Everywhere I go, all around the world, people still support Mike Vick! Regardless of what I go through, people are still gonna love me!"

Vick is obviously talking about the young oprhans in Sudan, and the refugees in Lebanon who have his posters all over their walls.

But there's a young girl closer to the ATL with a soft spot in her heart for Mr. Mexico, as well.


May 22, 2007

What's a little felony amongst friends?

mike%20vick.jpgIn case you haven't read or heard, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is being investigated for possible involvement in a dog fighting ring at a property he owned. There is a mountain of evidence, but Vick says he had no idea what was happening there because he didn't live at the house- a relative did.

Exactly! It's just like in high school, when your buddy left a half-empty bottle of Jack in your car, and the Vice Principal found it and suspended you! Except . . . this wasn't a car, this was a sprawling Virginia estate. And 60 dogs, a pit ring, treadmills and kennels don't exactly roll under the passenger seat.

ron-mexico.jpgPerhaps we should have expected as much from the man who calls himself "Ron Mexico"- the details of why, I won't get into. Just google "Michael Vick" and "herpes," and it will become sickeningly/hilariously clear. Trust me.

But now, another NFL player is not only coming out in support of Vick, but of dog fighting. Redskins running back Clinton Portis knows it's a felony, but in his words, "it can't be that bad of a crime."



May 14, 2007

Which kind of napper are you?

When I used to work a normal shift, I'd often come home and lament that I was tired. And I truly was. But since beginning this shift nearly two years ago, I have come to know a level of tiredness that's borderline narcoleptic. I can truly fall asleep at just about anytime, in any place. It doesn't take long. Usually after a day's work, if I commit to a nap, I'm out in no more than 8 minutes . .. TOPS. And through all of my napping experiences, I like to think I've become a bit of an expert on the subject. I've learned that there are various types of naps- some good, some bad.

The Couch Nap
The Couch Nap
This nap is appropriately named for where it takes place. Now, I will not reference any future naps as "Bed Naps" because it's a given that sleep usually occurs on a bed. There's nothing special about sleeping on a bed. But when you sleep on a couch, there's a reason for it- you're not willing to fully commit. When I take a Couch Nap, it's usually because I have limited time. So I go commando- no blankets, no comforters, no quilts. It's just me and a throw pillow. But there's a caveat here. If the nap turns into a Drooler (see below), it will ruin one side of the pillow- they don't dry clean well. You may want to keep an old bed pillow nearby.

The DroolerThe Drooler
This term applies to ANY nap from which you awake in a pool of your own saliva. These are the greatest naps in the world- usually short in duration but very, very intense. I discovered their value during my studies as an undergraduate. It seemed every time I'd sit down to study a textbook, I'd be overcome by fatigue. So I'd rest my head on the book, and usually 10 - 15 minutes later, I'd wake up to find 8 - 10 pages of the book bound together by drool. Remnants might have also be found on my sleeve, and a permanent reminder of the nap could be always be found in the form of a crunchy spot in the textbook, usually an inch and a half in diameter, often with a ridged surface. To this day, I can't take a Drooler without memories of Biochem rushing back.

The Mini-Coma
This is a condensed version of the often debilitating Coma Nap (explained in detail later). This is when you plan ahead for a nap- duration, setting, wake-up measures- only to launch countermeasures mid-nap (shutting off the alarm). These types of naps end up lasting anywhere from 90 - 120 minutes, and can be difficult to recover from, because you weren't mentally prepared for a long slumber (for more on the psychological effects napping has, see Dr. Iris Shatzenberger's "The Nap Flap: Everything you need to know about naps you DIDN'T learn in kindergarten).

The Coma Nap
Coma Naps are the most damaging for me during the winter months. That's when I go down for a nap during daylight, and wake up in the darkness of night (approximately 4 - 5 hours later). My first reaction after a Coma Nap is: "Oh s**t, I overslept for work!" I usually say that really loud, and once I even picked up the phone and dialed the station to let them know I was running late. Naturally, the morning sports producer was at home eating dinner with his wife and son, so when I called the office (at 4:15 PM) asking for him, you can imagine the bewilderment of the person on the other end.

The Coma"Hey John, what are you doing there? Is Nick around? I need to talk to him!"

"No." (John is a man of few words)

"He's not there either! Is he coming in? Are you producing?!?!

"No." (again, he's very succinct).

"Wait, what time is it . . . . . ? " (John let me figure it out on my own)

I've never been in a real coma, but I have to imagine waking up from one of these naps is pretty similar. For one, it takes a little while to regain all of your motor skills. Imagine a baby taking its first steps- now tack 175 pounds onto that frame. Also, when you wake up from one of these naps, you don't know your own name, let alone anyone else's. It's important, if you ever encounter someone emerging from a Coma Nap, to keep a cool head and just let them re-acclimate themselves.

The Subway NapThe Public Nap
These naps are rarely (if ever) planned. They most commonly occur in subway cars, doctor's office waiting rooms, bus stops and barbershop chairs (the most dangerous setting). The Public Nap can occasionally be beneficial, but it's often misleading. The quick spike in energy is often short-lived, and the hangover is lethal. Plus, there's the embarassment of lying unconscious in a public setting, head, arms and legs appearing as if they're independent of the body.

The Airport Nap
(see Public Nap, except it's in an airport)

The Perfect Nap
Like a no-hitter, a hole-in-one, an undefeated season, or a 300 game, a Perfect Nap is what every pro hopes to achieve. And like the aforementioned milestones, they are often very rare, and you can't set out to accomplish one- it just needs to happen naturally. These naps are no longer than 50 minutes, and are marked by a rapid descent into sleep, followed by a first-alarm response. Right up, a splash of water to the face, a swig of mouthwash, and it's out the door. I happen to be the Nolan Ryan of Perfect Naps (7 so far in my career).

May 4, 2007

Underwhelmed by Under Armour

tinker-evers-chance.jpgWrigley Field is vaunted because of its timeless charm, its intimate nature, its resistance to commercial change. So it's interesting to see ads for Under Armour gracing the ivy-coated outfield walls. Somehow, I can't imagine Tinker, Evers and Chance turning 2 while wearing long-sleeve "grippy shirts" to stay warm.

But hey, at least they're not serving fish tacos at Wrigley.

This is what baseball has become in the 21st Century. Bat Day, sundaes in miniature helmets and doubleheaders have been replaced by I-pod Holder Day, gelatto and "business getaway" start times. The Yankees are even tearing down Yankee Stadium to build an exact replica, except with extra luxury suites. Really, how much extra revenue is needed by a team that RUNS ITS OWN TELEVISION STATION!?!

fish-tacos.jpgCompared to the rampant commercialism throughout the rest of baseball, I suppose a couple of tasteful signs in the outfield aren't so bad. At least Wrigley is keeping its name. I don't think I could bring myself to attend a game at "Vienna Beef Park."

"Hey fellas, what time should we meet for the game?"

"Let's meet at THE BEEF at 7:00!"

Plus, years ago ballparks were covered in ads. Think of this as a resurgence- the ballparks just took the '70's and '80's off. Product endorsements are woven into every thread of baseball. I assume you've listened to a radio broadcast in your life?

"I'll tell you, Bill, this team is really scoring a lot of runs."

"Yes they are, Jim, and if YOU'VE got the runs, be sure to try the new Pepto Bismol 12-hour relief chewtabs. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, try the new 12-hour relief chewtabs . . and discover what a relief it really is!"

But Chicagoans treasure Wrigley Field more than fans in any other Major League city, so I understand there could be some debate as to whether or not these Under Armour ads are a good thing. That's why I set out to understand both sides of this argument, just a bit more clearly.


April 26, 2007

My pride and joy

Sometimes unplanned pregnancy can be one of life's greatest blessings. I would know this first-hand.

Eight years ago someone who wasn't planning one, left a child on my door step.

Later, I found out this baby girl was the love child of Joan Rivers and Eugene Levy. But after many unsuccesful attempts to reunite little "Estella" with her biological parents, I decided to raise her all on my own. She was my visitor on "Take your child to work Day," and even helped her Daddy with his sportscasting.

People say we look alike. I don't see it.


April 25, 2007

myspace is your space

MYSPACE.jpgI mentioned on the show last week that I had a myspace page, and quickly came to the conclusion that so does everyone else on the planet, and they're all checking them as soon as they arrive at work. No sooner had I returned to my desk from the studio, than my inbox was deluged with bulletins from myspace:

"Just A Tad would like to be added to your MySpace friends list!"

"Lisa says...WAY TO GO MARK BUEHRLE!!! would like to be added to your MySpace friends list!"

"Renowned Psychic Medium would like to be added to your MySpace friends list!"

Not only did I have 35 people requesting my friendship, but many of them left messages for me. Nearly half of those messages began with a disclaimer:

terrence knox.jpg"OK, just so you know, I'm totally not a stalker, just a big fan!"

It's been my experience in life that people who make it a point of telling you they're not a stalker, are usually STALKERS!

But I understand people not wanting to be seen as desparate or strange. When I was a kid, I wrote a letter to the guy who played "Sarge" on the obscure 80's Vietnam War TV show "Tour of Duty." I felt a little weird about writing to such a big star, but I'll tell you what, when that glossy 8x10 signed by Sarge himself arrived in the mail a week later, I didn't stop playing "Tour of Duty" make-believe for a week.

*As for those writing me, please don't request a glossy 8x10. We're not issued them anymore. Don't ask.

Myspace is quite the phenomenon. I'll admit, it can be addictive. I'm currently involved in a campaign to make sure I occupy the #1 spot on all of your Friends lists. But there are some annoyances with the system, like the "Match.com" ads with the co-eds who catch you checking them out in the gym mirror. I've done a lot of staring in my life, and believe me, not once have I been told it's OK.

beer-nuts.jpgOtherwise, the ads for Beer Nuts and wholesale candy really don't bother me at all.


April 3, 2007

SlickRick76 is the champion!

Slick-not-Rick.jpgCongratulations are in order to "SlickRick76," for he is the champion of the WGN Morning News Bracket Challenge. His Slickness won the championship by just 4 points, edging out "GregOdenIs30," "redgoof'," and "U Got Owned By an 8th Grader" (which I apparently did, finishing 27th out of 185).

SlickRick76 guaranteed his victory weeks ago, writing to me on Myspace:

"Looking forward to taking this tournament home," and
"You're going down." Apollo Creed

He was absolutely right, and for his achievements, he gets . . . nothing more than 2 mentions on the show, and his name in print here.



Smalls man, large presence

Very rarely does just a geographic portion of a city require its own Board of Tourism, but few areas are as dynamic and unique as the South Side of Chicago. Finally, the region has set up an agency to accomodate the thousands of vacationers and international tourists who flock to the area yearly.

Heading up the brand new "South Side Chicago Board of Tourism" is Tourism Director Brett Smalls. You may recognize him from the Board's public service spots on TV. These commercials are being produced by the Chicago White Sox, who have partnered with TSSCBOT to further draw awareness to the South Side.

I recently had a chance to sit down with Smalls, and he educated me on all things South Side



March 27, 2007

PAT'S Picture of the Day

OK, technically, it's the picture of yesterday, but never before has a picture so accurately depicted the effect I have on women.

Going on Striker

Mascots have always held a special place in my heart (somewhere between the right ventricle and the tricuspid valve), so it was a near-fantasy when I recently got the chance to play "Striker," the mascot for the Chicago Storm. First, let me thank the team for staking its reputation on me, and allowing me to wander its arena and harass its fans. I imagine a request to play Benny the Bull would not have been so generously granted.

I'm also thankful because in one half of a soccer game as Striker, I dropped those pesky 12 pounds I've been meaning to lose. I haven't sweat that much since donning a rubber suit and riding a stationary bike the night before my final high school wrestling match. But don't feel bad for me. Feel bad for the guy who had to play Striker in the second half. He actually thought a can of Febreeze would conquer that stench.

It's difficult for me to describe what wearing that suit felt like- actually, imagine having your body ensconsed in shag carpet. Every inch of my being was covered in fur, save for my head- that was disguised by a 37-pound helmet, which didn't rest quite properly on my neck. Anytime I walked forward, the helmet rocked back, and vice versa. I'm currently seeing an accupuncturist for it.

keyframe217_250.jpgBut the pain was worth it, because everyone loves a mascot. I learned that at no other time in life are people friendlier to a stranger, than when he's wearing a mascot costume. I had people offering me their children, women grabbing me, grown men allowing me to sit in their laps. For all these people knew, I could have been Son of Sam under that mask! I must have taken 2 dozen pictures with somebody's kid in a headlock.

On the other hand, there were some children I would have killed to slap a headlock on, maybe follow it up with a German suplex (the two moves transition nicely). Some kids think it's cool (and their parents cute) to mess with the mascot- pull his tail, smack his head, call him names and run. First off, had I been able to run in those damn fur slip-ons, I may have given chase. But ultimately, I'm sure my better judgement would have prevailed.

A mascot is held to a higher standard.


March 26, 2007

Top 5 here I come!

ohio-state.jpgI will not win the WGN Morning News Bracket Challenge. It's a guarantee, and I am at peace with it.

I understand that certain unforseen variables can factor into a contest like this, and thus, skew the results. So as long as I make a respectable showing, I will be content. And if Ohio State beats Florida in the National Championship game, I will finish fifth. FIFTH! Not bad for a guy in 96th place after Round 1!

Of course, from my current perch of 21st place, if neither Florida nor Ohio State even reaches the title game, I can finish in 111th.

Here are the top 5 (6 really) teams.

caesar 99 111
Zion 110
Donnie B 108
Rerucha 108
uhhhh... I don't care 106
Jen Berry 106


March 19, 2007

Where's my parachute?

free-fall.jpgI am in a complete free-fall right now, arms and legs all flailing as I plummet down the standings of our pool. I speak metaphorically, of course, though if I ever find myself in such a descent, I assure you I will not try and latch onto anyone or anything associated with the Universities of Wisconsin, Nevada, Texas or Virginia.

I thought I'd picked some winners, when the truth is . . .

I can't even pick my nose correctly.

Right I'm in 91st place, though technically, I'm only 10 points behind our leader . . but have ZERO chance of catching him/her. We have the same Final Four and the same national Champion (obviously "Zion" heard me give my Final Four, yet wisely ignored every other one of my picks).

nose-picker.jpgHere are the top 5:

Zion 54
Caseman 52
Donnie B 52
dagreatwall 52


March 16, 2007

Nobody's perfect

old-dominion.jpgThere are 185 people in this pool, and not one person correctly picked every game of day one. My friends, we have certainly defied the odds on this one. I've been in pools where picks are based on how cute the point guard is (my brother has no clue), and at least SOMEBODY was perfect after 16 games. I mean, I was preoccupied with an impending eyebrow-threading appointment I had the day I made my picks, so I have an excuse. But what's yours?!?!

Among my first round slip-ups would be Old Dominion, which also counts as one of my second-round slip-ups, considering I picked them to go to the Sweet 16. But that's nothing compared to the first round had so far by "Haventaclue," who lived up to his/her nickname by picking Duke and Gonzaga to face each other in the Elite 8.

Here are the 5 people tied for first place. They all luckily . . CORRECTLY picked 15 of the 16 games on day one.

Straight Outta Schaumpton
uhhhh... I don't care

To check the rest of the picks click on this link


I am taking the advice of one our leaders, and I am going to get busy on dominating day 2. Except I am a man . . . and not a boy.

P.S. If you'd like proof of my predicting prowess, visit page 100 of today's edition of the newspaper in town that's not the Tribune. I'm working on getting them a bigger picture.


March 14, 2007

The field is growing

ncaa-championship.jpgAs of press time, the Tomasulo selection committee has extended 75 invitations to the "WGN Morning News Bracket Challenge." Again, participation is unlimited, because the last thing we want is for all you Drexel's and Syracuse's to go on ESPN and complain. You will be swiftly eliminated anyhow.

Brackets don't go public until the start of the tournament tomorrow morning- that way, none of my picks can be copied. Though if you were to look under the hood of this handicapping machine, you might spot a manifold made by Oral Roberts, and an engine built on Oregon.

If I had to rate the "Challenge" field, I'd say "Pat Tomasulo's Understudy" is a lock for the Final Four. That's a team loaded with talent, good looks, and a clear goal- to be like Pat Tomasulo.

I also like "Find your inner Celine Dion." I have found mine, and it's brought harmony to my life.

"U Got Owned By An 8th Grader" also looks tough. This is a team that has no regard for spelling or proper grammar- only tough, hard-nosed predictions.

I can also tell you a few teams that have no chance. "I've fallen and I can't get up" will enjoy an early exit. Anyone who so easily accepts a crippling injury doesn't have the fortitude to last in this field. "BetterThanTomasulo" is guaranteed a first round loss for obvious reasons. And I also don't like "Chi-Texan." Which one are you? If you can't make a decision about that, how can you make a decision about a college basketball game?

Don't forget your brackets must be completed by tomorrow morning, before the first round. I don't want you leaving any picks blank, because the last thing I need is an advantage.

*To play, this is what you need to do.

- First, you must have a Yahoo! account. If you don't, it will take you 2 seconds to set one up.
- Second, click on the link below, and then click on "Join a Group."

- Next, enter "102001" for the league I.D., and "wgn" for the password
- Lastly, make your picks

All you need to do is make your picks, and the website will update the standings. I will update the pool on the blog and on the show.


March 12, 2007

Why are you bustin' my brackets?

Every now and again, the station gets an e-mail stating how little I know about sports.

An example . . .

"Note to WGN: get rid of Pat Tamasulo on your morning sports. That guy is an idiot and has no business being on the air."

I don't mind a little criticism, but at least spell my name right, because letters like this only besmirch the name of Pat "Tamasulo," and he works very hard down there in the cafeteria.

Anyway, for those of you who think I know nothing, here's your chance to prove it. We're conducting our first-ever Morning Show office pool, which, naturally, is open to anyone outside our office. I challenge you all to match powers of prognostication with me. My method of picking winners is foolproof (whichever team has more underclassmen on their cheering squad will win!).

*To play, this is what you need to do.

- First, you must have a Yahoo! account. If you don't, it will take you 2 seconds to set one up.
- Second, click on the link below, and then click on "Join a Group."

- Next, enter "102001" for the league I.D., and "wgn" for the password
- Lastly, make your picks

All you need to do is make your picks, and the website will update the standings. I will update the pool on the blog and on the show. Remember, you must make your picks by Wednesday night.

Good luck to all of you. You will need it, because I am out to dominate.


February 21, 2007

Daytona Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Patty

NASCAR fans can be a contradictory bunch. Only at a racetrack will you see a person raise a Confederate flag, cradle a 12-pack of Bud under their arm, and head off to chapel! This is also the only sport where fans can buy tickets to view the event from the infield of the venue, yet those who do often watch it on a TV they brought from home.

budweiser.jpgThese observations, however, are only applicable to a small percentage of the NASCAR fan base, and all too often detractors use such examples to tear down the sport, and stereotype its supporters. I will not do that.

However . . . .

I will share with you some other things I saw while in Daytona . . . just to re-create the experience.

ta-tas.jpgFor one, I have never seen so many "Show us your ta-tas" signs in my life! One beautifully artistic version featured the slogan scrawled on a piece of cardboard, with two letter "U"s, underlined by 2 dots, drawn to represent said ta-tas.

One group of fans in the infield didn't have an RV to stand atop of, so they camped out in an old school bus, and constructed a plywood deck on its roof. The deck required even weight distribution anytime it was in use, but thankfully the gentlemen brought some plastic wildlife busts along, and those were serviceable fill-ins anytime someone had to use the bathroom.

Speaking of bathrooms, there were lavatories and showers located in the infield . . .

You could have eaten off the floors.

I assume (or at least hope) most people just used the facilities on their RV's. There were some real marvels of modern technology in that infield, some were liked condominiums on wheels! So why would you decorate your condo with flags for "Hellmans Mayonnaise Racing?"

wing-house.jpgThe neat thing about the infield is, you can leave and come back while the race is in progress. After 60 laps of the "500," we got a little hungry and took off for "The Wing House." Why pay $2.00 a wing at the track when you can get 50 for $29.95 a half mile away??? We made it back with 100 laps to go, which I suppose, says about as much for track access, as it does for the length of these races.

Gandhi01.jpgRaces are long. I mean LOOOONG, like you can watch "Gandhi" once and a half long. But that's just another example of how grueling the sport is. These guys get to the track on Wednesday, practice, qualify and practice up until race day. Then it's 4 hours of racing on Sunday, followed by a trip home for a day and half, and back on the road for 5 more days.

And that's just for the drivers! The guys who drive the haulers (the big trailers than transport the cars and tools to the next track) are on the road nearly 7 days a week. The guys in the pit crew work 18-hour days during race week. None of them make even a sniff of the money a driver does, but as I found out, it's far from a thankless job.


February 10, 2007

Prince, Outhouses and Super Bowl Parties

Turns out my plans for Super Bowl coverage on the web were actually delusions of grandeur. I envisioned daily blog entries, and taped bits shot exclusively for their accompaniment. But after daily work shifts of 4 AM - 10 PM, I couldn't write a letter to Santa, let alone witty commentary on the day's events. So I feel it's my obligation now to offer you a recap of my Super Bowl week.

GIRLS GONE WILD.jpgFirst off, congratulations to Ted Parra. Ted was my cameraman down in Miami, and with the overtime I earned him, he's been able to pay off those delinquent "Girls Gone Wild" bills. 16 - 18 hour workdays didn't afford us much time for entertainment, unless the entertainment occurred while we were working, like on Thursday.

PRINCE WITH TWINS.jpgThis was the day Prince performed a 3-song set for the media, in lieu of a press conference. Truthfully, I imagine many of the middle-aged newspaper curmudgeons would have preferred asking The Artist about Indy's 2-back offense, rather than hearing him belt out a cover of "Johnny Be Good." The best moment came when Prince told the roughly 600-member audience to get on its feet, and one-by-one they did, moving their bodies to the rhythm as if they were experiencing back spasms. Then, as if they obliged him out of charity, most of the audience members sat back down. The only talk afterwards was about Prince's background dancers- a set of identical twins bronzed to matching perfection, and wearing little more than nightgowns and high heels.

It says a lot that I remember these women in such detail, because as you probably were made aware in every Super Bowl report you read, there is a bounty of beautiful women in Miami. It'd be nice if they smiled, however. They all walk around with this perpetual pout, and interpret questions like, "Excuse me, which way is Lincoln Street?" as "Do you have any Italian in you? Would you like some?"

CONSTRUCTION WORKERS.jpgI suppose I understand them being so guarded, though. The men in South Beach take gawking and cat-calling to levels that New York City construction workers couldn't match. But you can't blame them for thinking they have a chance. Nowhere in America are there more older men with inappropriately younger women on their arms. This is a phenomenon I just don't understand. Sure, he can buy you shoes with all the money he's got, but if his face is that wrinkly, I have to imagine so is everything else. Manolo Blahniks are worth that tradeoff?!?! MANOLOS.jpg

It's all posturing, I suppose. Everybody wants to get close to someone who's somebody, and with thousands of celebrities and athletes in town, it reached epidemic levels. They were everywhere. Jim Belushi brushed by me on Ocean Drive, moving at a pace reserved for paramedics and Ricky Henderson, as autograph seekers trailed him. I ran into boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a Foot Locker store. It was hard to miss him with platinum boxing gloves hanging from his neck, and a 9-man entourage enveloping him. I stood about 20 feet from Fergie as she belted out "Fergalicious."

Her concert was part of the Ocean Drive Super Bowl Party, a $1500 a ticket slobberfest I managed to score 2 complimentary tickets to. The invitation told us to dress "Beach Chic" (whatever the hell that is), so me and Ted headed down to the party at 8:10, as doors were opening at 8:00. When we arrived, a line had already formed. Apparently, the party was not yet open to the "public." Normally, I only wait in lines under 2 circumstances- if I'm living under a communist regime and it's "bread day," or if I'm at the DMV. I never envisioned waiting in line for the woman who penned "My Humps," but for $1500 a pop, I figured I'd be assigned my own personal servant boy upon entry, so I toughed it out.

GASTINEAU GIRLS.jpgWe lit up the "imported" cigars we'd bought a day earlier, grabbed some drinks, and headed toward the stage. There, we met 2 nice young ladies from Miami. Turns out, though, one was young, and the other was her mother. Melissa had just turned 18, and was in her senior year of high school, while Mom declined to give her age, only offering that her husband "was around somewhere." It was easy to be confused, though, as it was a 21-and-over event, and Miss Spring Fling was sucking down Vodka cranberries like Kool-Aid.

I kept a good 6 feet away from the Gastineau Girls as we listened to the sounds of DJ AM, whose mixing skills should earn him more acclaim than being Nicole Ritchie's ex-boyfriend. The guy is pretty unbelievable. Then, we were treated to a hype session from Swizz Beats, the mastermind behind various hits from artists like Jay Z and DMX. He debuted his brand new single, a track that's certain to embed itself in the social consciousness: "It's Me B***es!" For a song so new, the audience quickly picked up all 3 words of it, and chanted along with Swizz. Young and old, man and woman, mother and daughter, they all sang along . . "IT'S MEEEEE . . . B****ES!!!!" Soon after, Fergie took the stage for 2 songs, and towered over us like an Amazon Woman. With heels on, she's about 6'2". Hard to believe people forked over $1500 for this mini-concert, mini sliders and Absolut cocktails. I imagine whoever threw this party once hustled timeshares in the Poconos.

PORT A POTTY 2.jpgEveryone seemed to be dried out by Super Bowl Sunday, only to be drenched by an unrelenting rain storm. My accommodations kept me dry, as I watched the game on a big screen TV, under a tent, OUTSIDE of the stadium. This was the type of setting I envisioned, though I assumed we'd have the advantage of indoor plumbing. Had you have partaken a bit too much of the free buffet, your only outlet for relief would be the Port-A-Johns located just outside the tent, Port-A-Johns that had been sitting there for 9 days. Remember that line in "Shawshank Redemption?"

SHAWSHANK.jpg"Andy crawled to freedom through five-hundred yards of s**t smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to."

The outhouse smelled something like that.

The game itself left me with a feeling similar to the one I felt in that Port-A-John: the biggest football game on the planet reduced to the atmosphere of a Week 5 game at Soldier Field. I can only hope the Bears reach the Super Bowl again next year in Arizona, where the most dangerous weather condition is a dry heat. I'm already mapping out my party strategy, and the best places to harass Glendale's senior citizen population.


February 2, 2007

Radio Row

radio-row.jpgThere's simply no overstating the crush of media in Miami for Super Bowl week, and next to Media Day, it's at it's most frenzied and absurd at Radio Row. This is where every radio station in America gets a glamorous setup of a 5x7 folding table and a phone line to broadcast its programming. They make it sound big time, though, don't they? "Liiiiiiiive from the SUPER BOWL IN MIAMI!! This is 'T-Bone Sanders' of 10-20-84 AM, THE SPORTSASAURUS!!"
They're literally lumped one on top of one another, one radio show bleeding into the next. I got to wondering how this would work if it was "TV Row?" Imagine if Hosea Sanders stepped on Larry's Cook County budget lead-in? Could the walls withstand the sheer volume of Robin and Tamron Hall combined?

shot-girls.jpgI visited radio row just to witness the spectacle of it, but after spotting some Pro Bowlers wading through the masses, I decided (against my better judgement) to try and get some Super Bowl predictions. But at Radio Row you can't just approach a guy without having interference run on you by one of his handlers. We had the agents, the agents in training- the young Ari Gold wannabes dressed in a suits they ate peanut butter sandwiches for a month so they could afford. I take a mocking tone because you would too, if some clown interrupted your interview request with a wagging finger as he negotiated a new Mid-East peace plan on his Bluetooth wireless.

And there are plenty of people with a product or service to push. The PR reps approach you like shot girls at a business convention happy hour: "This is the new T120 portable hard drive from Magnitech. Here . . wear a sticker!" Oh, the old sticker sales pitch. Nothing makes me want to buy a product quite like it's sales rep trying to make me look like I'm 9 years old.

And if you' re gonna give me a sticker, at least make it a scratch-and-sniff.


January 30, 2007

Once is Enough

retinal-scan.jpgWent to Super Bowl Media Day this morning- what a blast! The only security screenings missing at this thing now are retinal scans and bite impression comparisons.

The journey began at our designated parking space, which was strategically distanced from the stadium. Miles of chain-link fence carve out a path towards security, with guards directing you, lest you lose your way and walk into said fence.
The first security station resembles the waiting area for a ride at Disneyland- barrier rails stacked next to each other, creating a winding line where you continually pass the same people. You smile and say “Hello” during the first pass, shrug your shoulders and smirk during the second, nod your head agreeably during the third, pretend like your looking somewhere else during the fourth, and by the fifth you’re completely ignoring each other.

Inside the next security station, an army of frenzied security workers descend, directed by a guy who really . . . really . . . really likes ordering them around. With metal detectors in hand, they wand anything that moves. Bomb-sniffing dogs are unleashed. And the security guru shouts: “Come on people! Let’s work hard!”

What?!?!?! I started to imagine arriving at a live remote dressed in a suit and wearing makeup, and then ordering the large, glove-wearing, cable-pulling truck operators to “work hard.” I then imagined them opening a camera tripod in my . . . .

Once inside Dolphins Stadium, we descended on the field like ants on a popsicle. And I’ve chronicled that experience for you in this video.


January 29, 2007

Company Time, Company Dime

Anytime I venture out on the road for this job, I try to embed myself in the city I’m in and experience it as if I’m a native son. You have to ask yourself: “When am I going to be in this city again?” and “When am I going to be in this city again with a no spending limit credit card given to me by a multi-billion dollarcorporation?” To not enjoy the city I’m in without care or concern for monetary implications would not only be tragic, but I’d be cheating you, the viewer, out of vicariously living through me.

So with that in mind, I selflessly hit Miami this past weekend. Saturday night I hit the clubs. It seems most of the places I tried getting into down here were “Guys Only” establishments. I don’t mean that they’re designed for men trying to meet other men who share . . . . “similar interests.” But they were like a place for guys to hang out. Yeah, at every place I went, they’d have a nice security man come over and escort me to this line (usually behind a velvet rope). There’d be large groups of other guys, and we’d hang out and talk. Occasionally, large groups of women went straight to the front doors and then just disappeared. I imagine the doorperson just directed them to another club. Anyway, every 20 minutes or so, one or two of the guys in line would be asked to come inside. I was not of them.

On Sunday, I had a hankering for some authentic Cuban food (I’ve actually never had Cuban food, but I’d heard good things about it), so my cameraman Ted and I ventured to “Little Havana.” As we cruised down Calle Ocho (or 8th Street), we passed café after restaurant after café, finally settling on “Café Panza.” Mmmmhhh! It wasn’t until we got inside that I discovered I’d chosen the only SPANISH restaurant in the most popular CUBAN neighborhood in America. It was too late to leave, as I’d already polished off 2 baskets of bread, and I have terrible memories of my father doing that kind of stuff when I was a kid. He had a system for it and everything. He’d make us get up and leave one at a time- he, of course, was the first to leave. Anyway, the meal was still good and there was a cigar shop next door for me to buy authentic Cuban cigars. Naturally, the woman who owned the place was from


January 26, 2007

The Miami Human Sound Machine

This is going to be one of my shorter entries, as seeing that I'll be fleeing the building before the brass changes its mind about sending 10 people to Miami for 10 days. I'm the only one who hasn't agreed to fish (literally) for my meals down there, so if they cut costs anywhere, guess who's stuck here??

This promises to be the trip of a lifetime. Everyone keeps telling me how much fun Miami is- the water, the weather, the women. Forget that, I'm just looking forward to no post-show meetings for 11 days!

I will be keeping everyone updated on our trip with live reports on the show, of course. But I will also be blogging every day, and included with each entry will be video from my very own personal "Super Bowl Diary." I'll show you where we're staying, visit with the hotel staff, share with you the seashell collection I hope to build. So check the blog every day (2 or 3 times if you're not busy), and we will share this Super adventure together!!!!


January 12, 2007

Pat Tomasulo + Fu Man Chu = X-rated????

keyframe306.jpgI'm usually not a big fan of the look-a-like comparisons our viewers send in. Mainly, because they're not very good. But I need to commend those who sent in the comparisons of Fu Man Chu Tomasulo to Ben Stiller from Dodgeball, and D-Day from Animal House.

I take offense, however, to those who compared my look to a porn star. Do I have a perm? Is my chest matted with hair? Do I wear a hoop in one ear? This is what I've been told the men in those types of movies look like, anyway.

Yet, I have noticed that since I shaved the 'stache, people are treating me differently.


January 8, 2007

FU MANCHU!! Gesundheit!

fu-manchu--hulkster.jpgSomewhere out there, a skinny 16-year old is holed up in a bedroom adorned with girlie posters and littered with "PC Monthly" magazines. He's feeling proud because he just learned how to hack into the "Technophobes Anonymous" chat room, and he's telling everyone his mom's new blender can parallel park a car. And at some point last night, whether it was before he uncovered the body armor cheat code for Halo 2, or after he consolidated his 12 e-mail accounts, this young punk did it.

fu-manchu--ming.jpgHe got the best of old Tomasulo.

This is my only explanation for the way my facial hair online vote went down. Certainly, no self-respecting Tomasulo-ite would cast his or her vote for "The Freddie Mercury." There are only two types of people who should be wearing Fu Manchu mustaches- large men who ride Harley Davidson's . . and porn stars who hit their pique in 1973.
So Mr. Cyber-knickers, you did it. You somehow compromised the voting results and made sure "The Freddie Mercury" won. I'm not sure how exactly you did it, nor do I have proof. But that doesn't matter. I'm a man of my word. You thought you could make me look silly, but you can't.

fu-manchu--spurlock.jpgI will rock the Fu Manchu . . . and I will look good.


**See Pat have his face shaved LIVE during the WGN Morning News on Tuesday, January 9!

"The Freddie Mercury" (113 responses)

"The Maverick" (100 responses)

"The Passion of the Tomasulo" (88 responses)

"The Jim Rome" (44 responses)

"The American Idol" (27 responses)

"The Tom Selleck" (21 responses)

"The Phil Jackson" (12 responses)

405 total responses

January 2, 2007

To shave or not to shave?

You know what I've noticed since I stopped shaving? People equate the growing of facial hair with anger. It's been 10 days since I last put razor to face, and the overwhelming assumption from people is that I'm upset with the station. I can't quite understand why that is. Then again, I suppose nothing does say "Screw you" quite like growing a beard.

"What's that? You're cutting my salary? I'm only getting one minute for sports now? Did you just kick my dog?? Well guess what buddy . . I'm growing a BEARD!!! Yeah, that's right!! How do you like me now b#@&*es?!? . . A BEARD!!"

People want to know why I'm letting my facial hair grow. I don't know, why did you wear black shoes today? Because you felt like it!

And another thing- and this one is for all you stand-up comedians out there, all of my buddies who see me on TV and think of this really clever line to use when they see me in person, a line they've been perfecting in their head all day. "Did you lose your razor?" does not qualify as a witty remark. Neither does "Forget to shave?" Ditto for "Someone overslept today!"

I can't tell if these hucksters are simply trying to prove their comedic mettle, or if they genuinely dislike my facial hair. Reaction has so far been mixed, though it weighs a little more heavily on the favorable side. When people make fun of the look, I usually join in. But just once I'd love to shock someone with a biting retort. "What's that Jane, you don't like the beard? Well I don't like your short haircut, haven't for some time. I think it makes you look like a man."

But it does matter to me what viewers think of the new look. That's why I want you to decide my next move. Do I keep the beard? Do I shape it? Do I buzz my initials into my chin? There are 7 facial hair choices. Click here to vote for the one you like the best, and on Monday, January 8th, I will be sporting that look!

**Disclaimer- Contrary to what these photos of me might suggest, I have NOT had chin implants.


December 20, 2006

Santa's Little Street Corner Helper

alice_springs_chicken.jpgMy brother and and his wife went to the mall last week to get pictures of their kids with Santa, but after perusing the prices, they decided to have dinner at the Outback instead. When exactly did an 8x10 and four wallet-sized start costing as much as an order of Kookaburra Wings, 2 Alice Springs Chickens
and a Brisbane Caesar?!? Let me tell you what else you can get for the prices they want- a nice bottle of cologne (good stuff, like JOOP! or Obsession), 7 Starbucks lattes, or even Wrestlemania on pay-per-view.

blockbuster mgr.jpgI'm no cheap-skate, but I got a big problem with overpaying. Have you even seen the highly-skilled visionaries they have taking these pictures? I have. They're the same people who sold you a Halloween costume 2 months ago in that very mall. Get a Herb Ritts-type in there and I'll pay $49.95! These people give us Herb Fritz, nighttime manager at Blockbuster.

Comes in at 7 AM after a new movie Tuesday, eyes all bloodshot, offering everyone a free trial of his store's new online renting program.

young santa.jpgAnd the Santa's? You'll never have the same guy 2 years in a row. They out price themselves. My cousin's kid actually had the same guy 2 years in a row ONCE. The next Christmas, he asked for a 75 cent bump, got canned. Yeah, they went with some young kid who'd been working the pharmacy and general store circuit.
Did they fit him with a new Santa suit? Of course not. Had on the same Santa beard that'd been snotted and drooled on for the last 10 years. They hemmed his pants with a stapler!

keyframe218_140.jpg I'm disgusted by the current state of Santa photography, and I decided to do something about it. Someday, when your grandkid is visiting the local "Street Corner Santa," (Watch the Video)you'll tell them that when you were younger, you went to the MALL to have your picture taken. An incredulous smile will creep across their face. A "No way!" will escape from their mouth. And you will feel old.


December 18, 2006

A Revealing Portrait

simpson sisters.jpgI've long been a fan of those personality profiles you see on such fine news magazine shows like "60 Minutes," "A&E's Biography," and "E! True Hollywood Story." They're often provocative, inspiring and poignant works, where artists and news-makers share their life experiences, their philosophies, their essence. Just last week I saw MTV's "Diary of Ashlee Simpson." Did you know that she and Jessica (Simpson. Yes, they're sisters!) go out to Mr. Chow's in Beverly Hills once a month for dim sum??? That's where Ashlee first heard about the Great Wall of China!

pat obrien.jpgCelebrities always talk about the moment they knew they "made it." Comedians often say they knew after their first appearance on Carson. Musicians say it was the first time they heard their song on the radio. You ask me, what says "You've made it," more than a 2-hour sit-down with Mary Hart and "Entertainment Tonight?" Besides a 3-HOUR tete-a-tete with Pat O'Brien and "The Insider" crew? . . . . NOTHING.

keyframe18_140.jpgWith that said, it's really an honor for me to announce that I've been featured as a "Vivacious Personality" on a new television show called "A Revealing Portrait." It airs on "Biographeeeeee Channel," which is an off-shoot of the correctly spelled network. They're skewing younger with this one. It will air on December 28th at 3:27 AM on DIRECTV Channel 735.

The producers have sent me what we in the business call a "teaser." It's just a little snippet of the 15 minutes the interviewer spent with me (I think his name was John . . or Ramon. I wasn't paying attention). Why don't you take a look, and please make sure you watch on the 28th. I'm so proud of this!


December 5, 2006

Proud to be an American!

green grocer.jpg Last week I called on all of you to lift your voices, to come together as patriots and pedal the wheels of democracy, and vote Johnny Lerro as the "Sexiest Local TV Personality" in Chicago. Big government (Redeye) tried to muzzle us. They tried to keep Johnny's sexiness locked away in a secret military prison (their meeting room).

But they couldn't.

They closed the voting early. Or, maybe it closed on time and I didn't bother to learn that beforehand. But in just 3 days . . 3 DAYS . . we managed to garner Johnny enough write-in votes to be listed in the final results. Do you know what that means?

nader.jpgJohnny Lerro is the Ralph Nader of Sexy Chicago TV Personalities.

Congratulations are in order to Larry Potash, as well. He made a valiant run at Johnny, finishing right behind him in the write-in category. But like Mr. Nader, Johnny is a member of the Green Party (hence, the fingernails), and once it mobilized for this popular vote, Larry didn't stand a chance.

potash.bmp I'm so proud of all of you who raised your torches of liberty, and waved them as symbols of Johnny's hotness. Now the next time an apathetic friend tells you they're not voting, because "one vote doesn't matter" . . . I want you to drop kick them.

There's no room in this country for people without conviction.

But as they lay on the ground, dazed, gasping for air, I want you to share this story with them. I want you to tell them about Johnny Lerro- a man who lived the American Dream- and how you helped him pursue his own dream . . . of life, liberty, and the pursuit of the sexiest fruits and vegetables.


November 29, 2006

Show your support for the Green . . . I mean . . SEXY Grocer.

Too many mornings to count, I've woken up for work at 1:30 AM, "adjusted" my sleepwear, bounced off a couple of walls into my kitchen, blindly tossed a few handfuls of cereal in my mouth, let out a full-body yawn, and thought to myself . . . "DAMN, am I sexy!" But I'm only one cog in the sexy machine that is the WGN Morning News. Paul Konrad, Val Warner, Audio Bob- people follow us around with buckets, just to collect the sexiness dripping off. So tell me, why are none of us candidates for Redeye's "Sexiest Chicago TV Personality?"

sexy chicago.jpg

It's part of Redeye's "Sexy Chicago" poll. Anna Davlantes, Rob Johnson, Mark Giangreco, Tamron Hall- each an attractive personality. But none possesses the raw animal magnetism of our #1 sex symbol . . . Johnny Lerro. You know him by his adult film star name . . . "The Green Grocer." You've seen him massage an avocado. Ladies, imagine those hands massaging your back.

green grocer.jpg

Now just because "The Green" (that's what we call him around here) isn't one of Redeye's candidates, that doesn't mean he can't be their winner. That's why we're organizing a a write-in campaign for him. I've included a link to Redeye's webpage poll. What you need to do is find the question pertaining to "Local TV Personality," click on write-in, and type in "Johnny Lerro."

I call on all of our loyal viewers. If you care about our show, if you care about us, you will help right this terrible sexy wrong.

November 8, 2006

**Tomasulo Advisory**

You know it's the day after an election, when Paul is not only visiting the cafeteria, but WRITING ABOUT IT. Forget the skim milik you Austrian Adonis, I have a half of bottle of Chianti left over from a cooking segment last week. Come on back to the sports office and we'll polish it off- it'll be the most either of us have done all day.

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