Author Archive

I am Billy Madison, high school graduate by the back-room dealings of my father.

That’s sort of how I felt – after an initial jolt of self-absorbed glee – about getting verified by Twitter on Monday.

That’s right – there’s a little checkmark to the right of my name on my profile. A quick search of the UltraNets shows that the social media site has 645.75 million users and roughly 54,000 are verified. If that doesn’t convey a level of pretend importance nothing does. (more…)

Two video streaming services seemed like one too many. So my crew recently dropped Netflix. For now. Odds are that we’ll be back, probably when it rolls out new seasons of “Orange is the New Black” or “House of Cards.”

The surviving platform: Prime Instant Video. Not because it’s better, but because it’s linked to free two-day shipping from Amazon. And I order a lot of stuff from Amazon. Billy Madison had nudie magazine day; I have Amazon shipment day – that’s when refrigerator-sized boxes (with smiley faces on the sides) arrive filled with diapers and baby wipes. It feels good to be stocked up in terms of poo extraction supplies. (more…)

If we learned anything Sunday in the NFC conference championship round it’s that football fans generally don’t like players on other teams.

How’s that for an epiphany? I mean, good luck finding insight like that anywhere else on the UltraNets.

By way of explanation, there are reasons to like all four semifinalists. The Patriots for their extended excellence and ability to get more wins from less talent; the Broncos for taking a chance on a supposedly kaput Peyton Manning and getting this far despite missing their head coach for part of the season due to health issues; the 49ers for revitalizing old-school methods – run the ball and defend like hell – in an era tilted toward the pass game; and the Seahawks for their undersized, underdog quarterback and ear-busting fans.  (more…)

By Ari Boynton 
Guest blogger

I feel no shame in saying that Seattle, my hometown, has the worst fan base in the whole country – more fair-weather backers reside right here in the Emerald City than anywhere else. For good measure, Forbes once called this America’s most miserable sports city. (more…)

Sippy cups suck

Posted: January 13, 2014 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
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For me, the title of “bane of my existence” is akin to Lays potato chips – it’s impossible to have just one.

But in the current rankings of banes of my existence, the sippy cup is No. 1 with a bullet. Actually, it’s not the cups; it’s the what happens to them after they’re filled with milk, handed to a toddler – or two, in this case – in a highchair then dropped to the kitchen floor from the highest point possible.  (more…)

By Sam Mooney
Guest blogger

My story is a tale of incredible kindness, a father-son relationship, and the Philadelphia Eagles. It starts when I was a 10-year-old boy; watching Randall Cunningham on “Monday Night Football” against the Giants. That play, that touchdown, that player sparked a lifelong fandom that would take me places I never thought I’d be. I live in a small town in South Dakota. Stories like this just don’t happen to us.

Fast forward 20-plus years to October 2012. That 10-year-old boy is now a 33-year old married man and father of four. Life, as it tends to, has happened. But I remain a devoted Eagles fan. I’ve passed on my love of the team to my oldest son. Every Sunday, come hell or high water, we sit down together and watch the Eagles game. Regardless of how busy I am at work or how busy he is at school (he’s 12) we are watching our team. (more…)

For most of my childhood, I wanted to go to Notre Dame if for no other reason than my dad and his brothers – raised Catholic by a 100-percent Irish mother – were fans of its football team. The Fighting Irish were on TV every Saturday in a time when nobody else was. And at that time they deserved the air time, too, Coach Lou Holtz leading the likes of Tim Brown, Rocket Ismail and  Tony Rice in contention for national titles.

I finally made it to South Bend for the first time last week, some 25 years later, sent to the city to cover a women’s basketball game.

It was not what I expected. (more…)

Metrodome memories

Posted: December 30, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized

On Sunday, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis hosted its last public sporting event – a Lions at Vikings game – before being dismantled and demolished. Eventually, it’ll be replaced by a sort of modern football-only model.

While hardly the nicest, the biggest or the most hallowed venue in the country, it’s been the big-time sports stadium in the region for my entire lifetime. Summer vacations and birthday parties and boys weekends – it was a destination for all of those things and more for people in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Maybe Iowa, too.

I can barely remember the names of my (many) children; Fury is Mr. Memory around here. Yet I’m able off the top of my head to think of at least a half dozen memorable experiences in the Dome – and I’ve never lived less than 200 miles from the place. (more…)

Podcast: Lottery talk

Posted: December 19, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Podcasts
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Neither TV nor Fury won the big ole Powerball this week. But they both have opinions on the matter – whether or not buying tickets and daydreaming about winning is a prudent way to spend money and time.

Here’s the link. Enjoy. (But not too much; TV increasingly is becoming anti-fun, as you can tell from the podcast.)



Date night

Posted: December 17, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
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I wore ripped jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and old tennis shoes.

We ran errands, more specifically hit the pharmacy for prescription refills, picked up medical supplies for our 3-year-old daughter, dropped off paperwork at my office and went shopping for a gift for some friends that recently had a baby.

We went to Five Guys. She ordered the little cheeseburger; I the full sized. We shared fries and a handful of peanuts. I told a rich and compelling story about Mexican Coca Cola. (more…)