Yakety Yak Trash

Okay, I have another project I need to get back to, so this will be yet another truncated trash talk. There is not a lot on the college bowl calendar today. Boise State and Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl looks interesting. It is apparently Chris Peterson’s last game as coach of the Huskies, and he was previously the head coach at Boise State. So there is a dynamic thing going on there that really makes it interesting. The Broncos have quietly had a very good 12-1 year and come in ranked number 19, while the Huskies are unranked and 7-5. Game is on ABC broadcast. The other fun looking game is Appalachian State and UAB in the New Orleans Bowl, which is the late game on ESPN. The Mountaineers are always fun to watch, and come in, like Boise State, with a quietly great 12-1 record and a number 20 ranking.

In the Pros, there was no Thursday Night game because there is a late season Saturday slate. First up is Houston at Tampa Bay. The Texans are clear favorites, but the Bucs have been different lately. Winston is still a one man turnover machine, but the team is playing a lot better. Bruce Arians may seem like like your friendly, even is found mouthed grandfather, but the dude can seriously coach them up. Houston better pay attention today.

Next up is Buffalo at the Pats. Brady and the boys just cannot get untracked on offense this year. Brady is finally starting to age, and other than Edelman, he does not trust his receivers. The O-Line has been okay, but not great yet. And I think people did not understand what a loss James Develin really was. The Bills are not flashy on offense but have been getting the job done all year. Both teams have excellent defenses and know how to play ill the cold. This thing is in Foxborough, but still seems like a tossup to me. The Bills have come a long way, and you have to like what they are doing. The last game of the day is Rams at Niners. The Rams have been truly flaky recently. No way to know which team will show up for them, but I will take the Niners at home.

On Sunday, Nawlins at Tennessee seems important. The Saints have clinched a solid playoff spot, the Titans are still fighting. The obvious biggest game is Dallas at Philly. The winner will likely wing the moribund NFC East and move into the playoffs, the loser likely goes home. Both teams are 7-7, and both teams can lay eggs at any given moment. I dunno, but the game is in Philly so I will give the Iggles a slight nod. That said, Dan Prescott has been arguable more consistent than Carson Went this year.

If you don’t live in either Phoenix or Seattle, you probably don’t know that the Cardinals have given the Squawks hell in Seattle, one of the toughest stadiums to play in in the league. You’d be crazy to pick against Seattle tomorrows, but Kyler Murray versus Russell Wilson could be a hell of lot of fun. Packers at Vikes is the MNF game, and that looks be be fantastic. Pack are 11-3, Vikes 10-4 and at home. For all the early grousing about him, Kirk Cousins has had a seriously good year. Aaron Rodgers a decent one….unless your name is Aaron Rodgers. This is a total tossup, and I cannot wait for it.

Okay, todays music is by Boots Randolph, and yeah, it is the famous Yakety Sax. More people may recognize this from Benny Hill and other comedy skits, but it is a real thing, and the sax work really incredible. Happy holidays to one and all.

97 replies
  1. Cathy says:

    Thank you for the sax shout out. A few hours ago we met a precursor woodwind called the serpent, part of the Rijksmuseum Music Parade (https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/whats-on/exhibitions-now-on-view/music-parade), that was supposedly replaced in the 1800s by a brass instrument, the ophicleide. Although the ophicleide is considered a precursor to modern brass instruments tuba & euphonium, the Belgian inventor of the sax apparently based it on the work he did on the ophicleide & clarinet.

    [ No apologies! Band Moms think this shit is interesting 🎷 ]

    • P J Evans says:

      I’ve seen pics of serpents, and a couple that were in a museum, but didn’t know they were kind of an ancestor of saxes.

      • Cathy says:

        This band family has wondered about the mystery of the Woodwind Made of Brass. If the brass ophicleide took the functional place of an actual woodwind (played along side oboes and bassoons in military bands) before an enterprising instrument maker took it to the next level, that explains a lot.

        • P J Evans says:

          Serpents, because of their shape, were probably hard to make. All that wood had to be shaped and then glued together.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a treasure. 2019 is the 350th anniversary of Rembrandts’ death. Operation Night Watch – its restoration in public view – is only one of its special projects. Tickets seem to be at the new normal of about 20 euros, but season tickets start at 50 euros. Not to miss if you have the opportunity and the cash.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Thanks, Cathy and bmaz. That was fun. Long ago, I bought something at a craft fair that was called a sax-a-flute. Now I think they may be called pocket or mini saxes. Mine is a piece of bamboo with finger holes and a sax mouthpiece. I also have a couple of kalimbas (thumb pianos), ocarinas (small egg shaped wind instrument,) a gamelan chime set (similar to xylophone) and a few other odds and ends.

      In college, I took a class in experimental filmmaking (Super 8, OMG, so tiny and challenging to splice!!!) A couple of years ago, I updated an animated poem I made (on Powerpoint, of all things.) And I had another film transferred to DVD. They are both very short, but have music. So, my back burner project is to incorporate these into a novel (with an ancient mystery) that would be more interesting in electronic format than on paper. Or, at least, I like to imagine that it’s a back burner project…

      • Cathy says:

        Tulip Mania would make an excellent premise for murder, mayhem, and intrigue. Turkish Delight 400 years before Michael Flynn!

      • Eureka says:

        I knew we were configurational kindred spirits, SL. That sounds like the same (not literally, but, you know, ^) wacky stuff I like to do. And where old intentions meet life’s demands, you always have the option to pick them back up someday. I had something planned with broken mirrors, a hair dryer, and DNA. (It’s more in deep freeze than back-back burner, but it’s fine sitting right there for now…)

        Happy creating!

    • Eureka says:

      Query for Band Mom and others in the know:

      So is there a way to muffle the saxophone (like do they make a literal muffler or something), for someone to learn it/practice while not blasting out the nearby occupants, or working their last nerves if they are trying to concentrate?


      One who gave spouse a gift of brass to pick up in adulthood

        • Eureka says:

          Is that a thing? Then yes, I guess. Something where the player hears enough to learn (so not totally/tonally silent) but others hear not so much. Now that you mention, my childhood friend would practice clarinet pretty near silently. I just recall reed-y noises. So is there a sax-quieter?

            • Eureka says:

              Oh my goodness that is a large and funny-looking apparatus, and I am amused! [2nd link]

              I bet if you handed that to someone sans packaging and labels that there’d be quite a conversation. Perhaps someday I’ll have it. Thanks.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Speaking of Grantland, a memorial to Babe Ruth


      Game Called by darkness — let the curtain fall.
      No more remembered thunder sweeps the field.
      No more the ancient echoes hear the call
      To one who wore so well both sword and shield:
      The Big Guy’s left us with the night to face
      And there is no one who can take his place.

      Game Called — and silence settles on the plain.
      Where is the crash of ash against the sphere?
      Where is the mighty music, the refrain
      That once brought joy to every waiting ear?
      The Big Guy’s left us lonely in the dark
      Forever waiting for the flaming spark.

      Game Called — what more is there for us to say?
      How dull and drab the field looks to the eye
      For one who ruled it in a golden day
      Has waved his cap to bid us all good-bye.
      The Big Guy’s gone — by land or sea or foam
      May the Great Umpire call him “safe at home.”

    • bmaz says:

      Dear Alfred: I am one of the two original members of this blog. Not sure how your ignorant comment got through, but please feel free to go fuck yourself. If I wanted to write things for Grantland (Rice or otherwise) readers here in this space, I would. You might note that we are still here while the Grantland blog came and went, and is not around, and has not been around for over four years. Is there anything else?

      Thank you for your continued support. Oh, wait, I am informed you are a first time caller here. Well, thanks for playing through anyway.

      • ernesto1581 says:

        oh my, oh my. too funny to read that exchange this morning.

        I’ll see your Boots Randolph and raise you a Sam Butera.
        (The look on Keely Smith’s face is priceless — ‘course that was part of the act.)

        Adolphe Sax (from whom, etc etc) had a truly remarkable childhood.
        “Hardly able to stand, Antoine-Joseph fell from a height of three floors, seriously bumping his head against a stone: he was believed dead. At the age of three, he swallowed a bowl of vitriolized water, and then a pin. Later, he was seriously burned in a gunpowder explosion; he fell onto a cast iron frying pan and burned himself on one side. Three times he escaped poisoning and asphyxiation in his bedroom, where varnished items were lying about during the night. Another time, he was hit on the head by a cobblestone; he fell into a river and was saved by the skin of his teeth.

        “‘He’s a child condemned to misfortune; he won’t live,’ his mother said. In the district, they called him ‘little Sax, the ghost’.”

        My favorite of his many invented instruments: the Six-
        Piston Trombone, which looks like two three-valve trombonists met at a street corner and couldn’t agree on which way to go next. I used to believe that he had been engaged to develop musical weapons for the Prussian army, notably a musical bomb, but that may simply have been a delightful fever dream.

        Broncos so close last night…wonderful first half.

    • Pete says:

      I was going to be the first to respond, but figured I’d just wait for the ass whuppin’. It didn’t disappoint.

      Go Pack, and Bills, and – I don’t really dislike the Niners – but go Rams.

      Oh look the Pats head rub and tugger is on pre-game TV. The cause is admirable though.

  2. Arj says:

    Wow, Benny Hill! Never expected him to pop up here. A real institution in the UK when I was growing up, and forever associated with this music.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    Winter Meeting Blues

    “The Boras Corporation has 137 employees, 70 based in Newport Beach, the rest in scouting and development spread out across the country, plus Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. A 35-member research staff has been crunching statistics and financial data to prepare Boras and the crew who made the trip to San Diego.” — M. Silverman, Boston Globe.

    I’m wondering of old Scotty has ruined baseball with his razz-a-ma-tazz deals. Long term contracts, while lucrative for the players, can devastate the team.
    The Sox are working with an austere budget……..
    Very quiet winter……………..

    • BobCon says:

      The big noise in winter baseball land is the effort by MLB to go all McKinsey and Bain Capital on the minor leagues.

      I’ve seen numbers floating around that the net benefit to each club is about the salary of a single starter, with the cost of wiping out a bunch of minor league clubs, and the resulting shuttering of parks in smaller cities across the country.

      The argument has something to do with greater efficiency for the big league clubs yada yada, but it’s the typical short term thinking that prizes the measurable over judgment.

  4. scribe says:

    The thing is, while Boras (and his competitors) may be getting richer deals for some of their clients, the rest of the ballplayers are not sharing in that wealth. Buried in the ESPN crawl this morning was the tidbit that, for the second straight year, the average salary in major league baseball has declined. This year’s decline was a bit over 1 percent. IIRC, the last time there was a consecutive-year decline in average salary was during the owners’ collusion days of the late 1980s.
    This should come as no surprise. A quick look around the league shows the owners moving like a school of sardines to not sign veteran free-agent players, leaving them hanging out there. Consider Dallas Keuchel, who was not signed until after the draft. There were a couple more good pitchers left similarly out in the cold. In the same vein, owners look to lock up young talent before they become arbitration-eligible with deals they sell as friendly but which really serve to both cheat the young players and game the arbitration system for those who make it that far by depressing the average price players can use as a benchmark in arbitration.
    Are the owners colluding? Of course. And all the while, they’re jacking ticket prices and monetizing everything within reach, gleefully cashing checks but not building better teams. That ‘official” cap priced at $40 or so in the store gets off the boat valued at about $2. Seriously. The price difference develops through several transactions along the way, and it’s all about the IP in the logo.
    So, while Boras and friends get the blame, it’s really the owners’ fault for milking the game for every penny.

    And BMAz needs to stop relying on auto-correct.

    • BobCon says:

      Teams like the Orioles aren’t even faking what they’re doing. They’re not rebuilding when they trash their rosters, they’re just pulling a Toys R Us, except they’re counting on TV contracts and municipal bailouts to keep them going in the long run.

    • Peterr says:

      “Colluding” is such an ugly word. The owners prefer “operating jointly for The Good of The Game.”

      /MLB VP for Media Corrections

  5. Bay State Librul says:

    Brady is on his game. I think Edelman has a concussion. In the Red Zone, must score. Excellent game

      • bmaz says:

        Foxborough in late December is a tall order though. I like the Bills, they are really solid. Kind of impressive, even if they did not pull off the upset.

      • pizza says:

        Our Bills are coming back to glory and doing it the right way. 30 years of loyal fandom and 20 years of painful suffering for me is about to pay off BIG TIME! They’re doing something very, very special in Buffalo right now. They’ll be winning a lot of games and winning a lot of hearts for being so respectable in the process.

        The Thanksgiving intro by Jim Kelly brought some new Bills fans into the fold, I’m sure. That was really special. I’ve never been so proud to be a die-hard Bills fan.

        (maybe I should change my handle to “wings” eh?)

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I am as flabbergasted as others on the internet at the Poynter Institute’s announcement of Chuck Todd as its “Media personality of the year.” Poynter added to its crimes by describing Chuck’s Meet the Press, as “the gold standard of Sunday morning news shows,” an accolade it extends to the weekday afternoon version.

    [W]henever there’s breaking political news, he’s the network’s go-to voice on the “NBC Nightly News.” His excellent interview skills of the top newsmakers and his accessible delivery make him THE voice when it comes to news in these politically divided times.


    The suits at NBC and CNN who lobbied for that must regret having left their happier gig selling cigarettes on a lung cancer ward. How Poynter bypassed Joy Reid and others is as mysterious as the fate of Edwin Drood. The flabbergasted internet at least has the balm of observing that Poynter’s judgment is as flawed as its writing: “[Chuck’s] excellent interview skills of the top newsmakers,” could use a capable editor.


  7. Eureka says:

    Eddie Murphy is hosting SNL tonight (now): first time I’m watching in awhile, looked forward to it even! We’ll see.

    • Eureka says:

      eh, what bits I saw reminded me of episodes decades ago where friends would all wonder why we bothered to watch SNL. some funny spots tho.


    • vvv says:

      Some bits were funny but it wasn’t, eh, the second coming. That said, the intro incl. Chapelle with the cigarette, the cold open with Kate as both Liz and Nancy, Gumby, Xmas dinner skit, and I finally got to see what Lizzo is about … wish they used Kenan more.

      • Eureka says:

        Yeah I entirely missed e.g. that Christmas Dinner skit the first pass, noticed a bunch I hadn’t seen before hitting that delete button, so will give the rest a shot (also recalling the typical peaks and valleys of even a good SNL ep, you kind of have to watch it whole, in order). But still don’t expect the pre-airing excitement to match what follows watching.

  8. Bay State Librul says:

    Code Name Lazarus?
    Edelman has more head fakes than shifty Bruins wingman Brad Marchand.
    The greatest hoax in Patriot’s history took place in yesterday’s third period when Jules collided with Jordan.
    It looked like a legitimate crash up to me.
    Not so. No Watson TD.
    Flag dropped and Edelman was banished to the tent.
    Shouts of “Bring out your dead” echoed from Gillette in the 4th period.
    Hell, Lazarus was in the tomb for four days before Jesus’s miracle.
    It only took Edelman one quarter before he resurrected the failing Patriots.
    Brady to Edelman for a thirty yard gain, and New England secured the Holy Grail.
    Monty Python would be proud

      • Bay State Librul says:

        As a kid, along with Baylor, they were my favorite team, simply due to their gold Helmet and blue jerseys.
        College football was never crazy, as in the south.

        • bmaz says:

          The UCLA unis, like Baylor and the dreaded Notre Dame, and arguably even USC, were always such consistent classics. A good thing. Nike, Adidas and Under Armor have screwed much of it up. Although a couple are still fairly true.

  9. scribe says:

    Duck, duck goose?
    Like last years’ Detroit Tigers’ Rally Goose … Duck, duck gone.
    And, in the place of Interception Man Duck Hodges, we get the hard-hatted Interception Man Mason Rudolph.
    It would indeed be embarrassing to lose to the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS, but not outside the realm of possibility.
    So it goes.
    Back to baking cookies.

    • scribe says:

      When making Toll House cookies, consider mixing dark chocolate chips in as substitute for part of the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Worth it.

      • Eureka says:

        I pretty much use the dark chocolate chips exclusively. They’re good added to brownies to both kick them up and temper the sweetness, too.

        Iggles @ NYG, Stillers @ Ravs, and Wash @ Owboys all flexed to 4p+ next week, I see.

        Not sure your own QB preference, but I will say your Duck looks like he’s got something behind his eyes. Rudolph, like Gints’ Daniel Jones (and a third I forget now), has that blank gaze that folks note of both sharks and serial killers. Significance — and head hits versus individual variation — unknown.

        • scribe says:

          I want a QB who passes for more TDs than INTs. We can start there and then move up.
          Rudolph strikes me as a QB from Central Casting, Hodges as a football player.
          I’ll take the football player over the poseur anytime.

          • bmaz says:

            That sounds right to me. Even though the game is in Baltimore, with the Ravens sitting Lamar Jackson, running back Mark Ingram, safety Earl Thomas, guard Marshal Yanda and defensive end Brandon Williams, if the Steelers can get even mediocre QB play, they have a very decent chance of winning. Of course, still need the Titans to lose at Houston, but that is entirely possible.

          • Eureka says:

            scribe, I swear I could hear your tone of voice with the first line here and I laughed (with you / gallows, not at your plight, etc.) Then I get to the bottom of the thread and Things.Get.Real.

            Go Stillers, go Texans: someone on one of the Iggles blogs linked your various pathways — here’s hoping for the simplest, quickest route come Sunday. With Hodges at the helm.

  10. Bay State Librul says:

    Ode to the Off Season

    Speaking of a cookie
    I heard our man Mookie
    Is on the LA block.
    Vin Scully Avenue is a-calling
    No longer a Sox?

  11. bmaz says:

    I was genuinely sorry to see the Steelers lose playoffs are always better when the old guard teams are in them. In fairness to Scribe, they are still very much in the hunt, though hard to see how they could do much once in with their QB situation. But you never know.

    There have been a lot of really good games all weekend. That is a good thing.

  12. scribe says:

    Fly, Iggles, Fly.
    I got a twofer today, and it’s looking good. Goedert is having a hell of a game.

    Aikman calling it “a signature win for Carson Wentz”. Better than that, they beat the Owboys and the OWboys cannot have a record better than my Stillers.

    Me happy.

  13. Eureka says:

    Hell yes. I am still in enjoyment mode. Excellent time management: made the dog wait to go out (I was not missing the clock to :00), got out in time for the beautiful fireworks show: Christmas Eagles themed, with fantastic finale and the whole hood outside cheering.

    Smart rookie Sanders slid, sacrificed possible TD run to keep ball in our possession and run out clock with no funny business. Costly Peters penalty earlier cost another score (moved sticks back from ca the 17 to midfield). Jake Elliott missing more FG and PAT since he signed his contract weeks ago. Fourth and fifth stringers all over the field; more starters fall out.

    Fly Eagles Fly, baby!

    If we win two more, Djax is back.

    Meantime, I hope we see more Rob Davis on the outside, and successful, next week. He is fast and big, ~ an Alshon Jeffery replacement.

  14. Molly Pitcher says:

    How ’bout them Cards, bmaz !! And in Seattle no less !!

    Can’t wait for the Niners game up there.

  15. pizza says:

    Very late getting in on this one but I have to give a shout out to my Buffalo Bills. They damn near won this one with an extremely vanilla game plan on both sides of the ball. The D was so plain I nearly fell asleep. No exotic blitzes or anything.

    Josh Allen finally got it going against a Bill B defense and the results were very encouraging. Once Allen gets the fire going like that, there’s no looking back. He’s figured out something. The confidence is all he needs. He is truly dangerous once he gets his mojo going and there’s no doubt it got going, finally, against New England. The tide has shifted, win or not this time. Brady and Co. are on their way out and the Bills are on their way in. The Bills are finally building a winning team and doing it the right way. We won’t be cheating our way to Super Bowl victories. Guys who play in B’lo right now want to stay and be a part of what they’re doing because they know how special it is. Should be some interesting seasons coming for Bills fans. FINALLY!

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Congrats, The Bills are no longer one of the “tomato cans” of the AFC East.
      The Jets and Miami being the other weak compadres in the Division.
      It looks like Buffalo will be the Number #5 seed.
      Enjoy the playoffs with a can of top-of-the-stove tomato soup with grilled cheese.

    • Eureka says:

      Congrats on the Pack clinch.

      I could hear the cheers coming from chez cactus with that Jones TD ca 11p (the clinch within the clinch).

        • Eureka says:

          [This has nothing to do with football/topic swerve] What did you end up doing with your Thanksgiving salmon? The Christmas holiday reminded me that I’d meant to inquire as to your recipe. I have some salmon I could make into maybe salmon burgers, but no established recipe for that. The best way I’ve had it just baked was with a kind of avocado sauce, but I don’t have any avocados on hand.

          • P J Evans says:

            I put it on sandwiches. With mayo. Salmon salad would have worked, but no pickle relish. (What I’d prefer is a fillet, baked, but oh well.)

            • Eureka says:

              Yeah the baked fillets just taste better, but I have some canned. For whatever reason, just adding mayo (and citrus juice +/- a relish) makes it seem like something to choke down for me — it’s not pleasant (tho I like tuna that way). So I think I’ll try to make (a) burger(s) out of it, maybe it’s partly a temp issue.

  16. P J Evans says:

    Two minutes left in the third quarter, and the Pack is ahead, 17-10. (I think they got a 2-point conversion.)

  17. Pete T says:

    I was fretting down to the game clock striking 0:00 in the Pack-Vikes game. Just the way this season has been – always a bit uneasy even at 12-3. I just knew the Vikes would ruin it with a comeback after the missed PAT. Held the Vikes to 7 first downs – least in a decade or more. And at MN. And have a shot at the 1 seed, but I assume that means Pack must win and SF loses in Squawksville (but BeastMode is back).

  18. bmaz says:

    A rested and ready Beast Mode and Turbin is not the worst thing for the Squawks. Heck, it might even turn out awesome for them. Lynch did not forget how to run over people, he just hasn’t done it for a bit. Not sure what to make of Seattle, but they could be scary the rest of the way. Or not!

    Things are starting to get fun. That the Cheese are still up for best record in the league is insane, it has really looked like an off year for Rodgers and their offense. Again, fun!

  19. Pete T says:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Holidays, whatever to Marcy, Bmaz, Rayne, Jim, Ed, and all the contributors here – human and non human family members. Let’s hope for a more sane New Year.

  20. Eureka says:

    Parts of a series — “Hunger Games” — on food insecurity in high school athletes:

    Sports fueled Philly athletes Dajah Horsey and Malika Douglas in their fight against food insecurity

    ‘Survival mode.’ The excruciating challenge of being a high school athlete without enough to eat

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