I haven’t vented in a while so here we go.
When I was a kid growing up in Steubenville, Ohio, back in the 50’s the 4th of July was a day we went to Mount Calvary Cemetery and paid respects to our fallen relatives. We all wore as much red white and blue as we could and had little flags.
There was a small parade with the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) marching and then it was back home.
Once home we usually had my dad’s mom Ann Saber and his brother Bill come up from Carnegie, Pa., for our little “weenie” roast and marshmallows on a stick.
We would just sit around and listen to the Pirates on the radio. When it got dark we all had a sparkler to burn and run around with. That was the extent of our patriotic celebration and I have very fond memories. As for the cost, well the weenies were most likely around $2, the buns probably a buck and the marshmallows 50 cents.
The Pirate game on the radio was free.
On July 5 my brother Tom was taking our dog Sgt. Dino to the VA as we think he is suffering from PTSD from the fireworks this past Saturday. It was like a war zone up to 1 a.m. It’s ridiculous and has to stop.
I am as patriotic as most and even more but this entire Fourth has gotten out of hand. According to Forbes over 600 million was spent on fireworks this year. Two thirds of that was spent on backyard fireworks and that is where the big problem comes from.
There was $341 million spent on beer, which was more than people spent on burgers and dogs. There was $167.5 million spent on watermelon. That’s OK with me, I love a good watermelon. However, there are few things worse than a drunk with fireworks in the middle of the street or at midnight in his or her backyard.
The bottom line is a very high percentage of these parties are just an excuse to have one and have nothing to do with why we are celebrating. If you went to one of these parties there would be no red white and blue, just a group of people wasting their money.
I am all for a local fireworks show that starts at 8 p.m. and lasts around 30 to 45 minutes and that is it. I say ban all those backyard street fireworks that drive our pets nuts. Most of these that last late into the night and early morning must stop.
Do you hear me Mayor!
Sgt. Dino hasn’t eaten in two days. His ears must still be ringing. That is my vent for the week.
We head into the All Star break after this week of baseball. It’s huge for the aforementioned Pirates who, going into Monday, were still 6 games behind the Cardinals. St. Louis started a three game set with the Cubs and then goes to the “burgh” for the huge four game series with the Pirates.
Pittsburgh must set the tone for the second half of the season and win three of the four games. If they are not able to pull off the series win, then they will be battling the Cubs for the wild card as they will not be able to make up the necessary ground on the Cards.
There have been some good streaks in baseball this year as always but the biggest so far has come in the form of a total. The Tigers going into Monday’s game with the Mariners have played OVER the total in 16 straight games. That’s a big streak.
A big high five for our ladies soccer team as they just crushed Japan to win the World Cup. That brings me to another pet peeve of mine – booking the game.
I know we live in corporate bookmaking now in Las Vegas and the times have changed since I was behind the counter at the Stardust, Luxor and Excalibur. I would have hated to put this game on the board and taken action on it.
If I did I would have made sure the house went in needing the USA, but if some legal bookie did that on his or her own that person would be gone. I would have never wanted to be rooting for Japan.
Think about this: You are taking bets and someone comes in and wagers $10k on the USA. Along with all the other small action taken (parlays, 50’s and 100’s) you need Japan for the house big time. What a horrible spot to be in!
It is impossible in today’s market place for a book to actually decide what side they want to go in with. So the books lose, but USA wins. That’s ok with me since I laid the -150 and saw it rise to -160 plus all those parlays.
I hope everyone along with their beloved animals survived this past Saturday. I will have an update on Sgt. Dino next week.
Football and parlay cards are right around the corner, so get out and make a bet. We need cash for the football season as you could be walking around lucky and not even know it.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].