For most of the summer, the Tugboat Captain and I had been meaning to check out this bowling center in Union, N.J., called Hy-Way Bowl. After a few false starts, we finally went there on Saturday afternoon.
Hy-Way’s roadside sign has seen better days, but it’s still pretty spectacular. Imagine how it must have looked when it was new, especially at night (for all photos, click to enlarge):
Inside, the Hy-Way is a perfectly nice semi-old-school bowling center. I say “semi” because they have electronic scoring, but it’s from the first generation of auto-scoring systems — the bowling equivalent of a Pong video game. The rest of the fixtures were really nice, and I had no complaints about the lanes.
The bowling center is attached to a bar, which used to be called Danny’s Continental Cocktail Lounge. These days it’s a titty bar called Hott 22. It wasn’t yet open for the day, but we could see a sign inside that said, among other things, “Members must not be offended by the female human form in any state of dress or total nudity.”
After bowling, we went to Rutt’s Hut, New Jersey’s (and hence the world’s) greatest spot for deep-fried hot dogs. The dogs were great, as usual, but I found myself intrigued, as I always am, but some of the pricing peculiarities on the rest of the menu:
Why are sizzling steak and sirloin steak priced at $10.05, and roast duck at $10.10? Wouldn’t it be better to make them $9.95, so you don’t crack the $10 price point? Also, why are rice pudding and bread pudding $2.25, but chocolate pudding is $2.20? What kind of cost factoring went into that nickel price difference?
There’s also the question of who the hell would order a steak or roast duck at a place that specializes in deep-fried hot dogs, but that’s another question for another day.
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Almost time for kickoff: Don’t look now, but the NFL season kicks off on Thursday night. That means it’s time for my annual NFL season preview column over on ESPN.com, which runs down all of this season’s uniform changes (including the Bengals’ 50th-season patch, shown above). Check it out here.
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By Brinke Guthrie
The NFL season opener is in a couple of days, as the defending champion Patriots take on the Chiefs. And right here, we’ve got a nifty looking vintage Pat Patriot helmet. This is the Riddell Kra-Lite model, from 1969 according to the seller. It sure would be nice if the NFL would scrap the one-shell rule so Pat could make a comeback. Until then, stick this one on your Pats souvenir shelf.
Now for the rest of this week’s picks:
• Back in the 1970s, your friendly State Farm agent had these NFL mugs to give away.
• Never seen one of these for MLB teams! This is a Collector Reflector for bicycle wheels, this one featuring the Chicago White Sox. From 1979 or so. And here’s one for the KC Chiefs.
• Straight outta the Sears boys department, we’ve got this Minnesota Vikings jacket.
• This 1970s Cowboys Soap & Wash Set has never been opened!
• How about a 1970s Houston Astros switchplate, still sealed in the original packaging.
• We’ve got your official 1970s NFL wood burning kit right here.
• Are you a jacket size 42? Then this 1960s double-breasted NFL number from Curlee is just for you.
• Here’s a 1970s St. Louis Football Cardinals helmet plaque/blanket set.
• This 1970s Steelers helmet bank has the decal on the proper side, but they added a gray outline, and that stripe is a bit too thick.
• Broncos fans will like this 1970s helmet coat rack by Hutch.
ITEM! New raffle: As most of you are probably aware by now, we recently launched a line of “I Still Call It the Civic Center” shirts aimed at Hartford Whalers fans (click to enlarge):
Now, thanks to Connecticut’s favorite hockey-rock band, the Zambonis, anyone who buys a Civic Center shirt over the next two weeks will be entered into a raffle for some cool stuff, as follows:
1. One lucky first-prize winner will score a vintage Hartford Whalers license plate, a Whalers sticker, assorted vintage Whalers cards, a CD of The Zambonis Greatest Hits, and a “Bob Marley and the Hartford Whalers” T-shirt, all of which are shown here (click to enlarge):
2. Three slightly less lucky second-prize winners will win the CD and more Whalers cards:
To enter, here’s what you do:
• When you receive your “Thank you for your order” email from Teespring, forward it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I enter you in the raffle.
3. You’re already a winner! Everyone reading this can download the Zambonis’ song “Bob Marley and the Hartford Whalers.”
That’s it! Big thanks to Dave Schneider and the rest of the Zambonis for making this happen.
Baseball News: The Mariners will wear “Los Marineros” jerseys this Saturday, and the lettering will include the country names for each of the team’s Latin-born players (from Colin O’Keefe). … D-backs P Robbie Ray is wearing a protective cap insert (from Mike Chamernik). … In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Astros have added a “Houston Strong” jersey patch. Here’s a breakdown of all the patch elements from the guy who designed it. … Twins OF Byron Buxton has the Flash on his bat knob decal (from David Fleming). … Not sure what the Frederick Keys were wearing two nights ago, but it didn’t look good. … New 10th-season logo next year for the Bowling Green Hot Rods. … Looks like Red Sox OF Jackie Bradley Jr. was wearing his undershirt backwards on Sunday night. … Our own Phil Hecken was interviewed for the latest Hall of Very Good podcast. … Interesting look yesterday for the Corpus Christi Hooks, who went grey over powder blue.
Pro Football News: I’ve never seen the Seahawks logo shown on this cap. It’s not listed on SportsLogos.net’s Seahawks page, either. When I posted it on Twitter last night, someone said it’s part of a new merch program slated for Week 4 of this season, although I haven’t confirmed that (good spot by Bryan Moss.) … CFL news from Wade Heidt: On Sunday the Saskatchewan Roughriders broke out their fauxbacks for the first time this season. And the officials’ red striped jerseys, which were originally worn in Week 2 to mark Canada’s 150th birthday, were worn again this past weekend for the Labour Day Classic games.
College and High School Football News: Check out this 1992 Kentucky shot. See the “DC” on No. 59’s left sleeve? That’s for “defensive captain.” Never seen a captaincy designation quite like that before (big thanks to Michael Kinney). … Maryland was penalized for having two players with the same number on the same play. Because of the large roster sizes, college teams often have multiple players with the same number, but they’re not allowed to line up on the same side of the ball on the same play (from Tim David). … In a related item, USC had two players on the field wearing No. 46. Not sure how they got away with that (from Kristopher Terrell). … Miami players who force a turnover get to wear a big, tacky gold chain on the sidelines (from Mike Chamernik). … TCU’s new field design has “spit blood” on the goal line (from Ivor van Esch). … USC has added a meander pattern to its pants striping (from @BasikAli). … Duke now has four players wearing the captain’s “C” (from Michael Stein). … Middle Tennessee State is also using captaincy designations, but they’re using NFL-style patches). … Maryland’s roster includes a pair of twins: Elisha Daniels and Elija Daniels. Elisha was wearing a sort of modified FNOB on Saturday. Coudn’t find a shot of Elijah from that game, but here’s what he wore last year (from @colepessolano). … Purdue added a memorial decal for former coach Bob DeMoss. … Baylor has added Texas outline helmet decals with each player’s home area code. … Good piece on how LSU’s uniform has changed over the years (from Travis Quick). … Florida State has a Kidz 1st Fund helmet decal on Saturday. … Biker shorts were supposedly banned this year, but USC LB Porter Gustin didn’t get the memo. … If the colors looked a bit off during the Alabama/FSU game, it’s because the new Atlanta stadium, where the game was held, has unusual lighting (thanks, Alex). … Looks like this high school team has its team name, “Wildcats,” running running up the sides of the jerseys. Never seen that before (from Matt Newbery). … Looks like West Virginia had a player wearing an upside-down 2 instead of a 5 (from Russ Levine and David McDavid). … New alternate helmet for Air Force, with several more side decals to be unveiled this week (thanks, Phil). … Tennessee is another team going with raised neck bumper lettering (from Chad Fields). … Purdue will wear a new chrome helmet this Friday (thanks, Phil).
Hockey News: The Bloomington Thunder of the USHL are changing their name to the Central Illinois Flying Aces — that’s a mouthful, eh? (From Brian Kerhin.) … Blackhawks backup goalie Jean-Francois Bérubé’s new mask features a salute to former Hawks great Tony Esposito (from Marc-Louis Paprzyca). … Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson’s new mask has a tribute to Leonard Kropioki, who was a serious Jets fan who recently passed away (from Gord Reid). … New uniforms for Louisville. “They’re going with the university crest, rather than the athletics logo, on the front of the jersey,” notes Lucas Stoller. “As an alum, I love it.” … Here’s a good video of the Stars adding the graphics to their ice, including a new 25th-anniversary logo at center ice. … New all-star logo for the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
NBA News: Anyone have any idea why Mr. Met’s face would be hanging in a locker in the Cavaliers’ locker room? (Good spot by Jim Borwick.)
Grab Bag: Most people around the world prefer blue as their favorite color (from my pal Rob Walker). … Competitive eater Joey Chestnut was in Buffalo over the weekend for the National Buffalo Wing Festival. He was wearing his Nathan’s Famous shorts from their July 4th hot dog eating contest (from Mike McBride). … Excellent story on how Guinot, the French cosmetics firm, buys space on the shirts of long-shot tennis underdogs just prior to when they face a big-name opponent. Highly recommended (from Ed McGrogan).
A major dude: In high school I got very into Steely Dan. I bought every one of their albums, the first time I’d done that for any artist. The musical values they embody — the high-gloss studio perfectionism, the elevation of technique as an end in itself, the audiophile fetishism, the marriage of rock and jazz into something neither particularly rocking nor particularly jazzy — are all things that I now disdain, but for some reason Steely Dan still sounds good to me. The songwriting’s rich cast of miscreant characters and Donald Fagen’s bitingly cynical vocal style, both of which I love, apparently outweigh all the other, more problematic stuff. (It’s also worth noting that the Steely Dan song “Deacon Blues” hinges on a uni-related metaphor: “They got a name for the winners in the world / I want a name when I lose / They call Alabama the Crimson Tide / Call me Deacon Blues.”)
Fagen’s longtime musical partner, Walter Becker — the “other half” of Steely Dan — died on Sunday. Becker did a lot of drugs and was a fairly opaque figure, at least to me (Fagen was the more public face of the band, although they were both famously reclusive), so I don’t have a strong conception of who he was or which parts of Steely Dan were his as opposed to Fagen’s. When I think of him, I think of his 1994 solo album, 11 Tracks of Whack, which actually had 12 songs. The 12th one — the one that was non-“whacked” — is “Little Kawai,” a love song Becker wrote for his young son (here are the lyrics). It’s simple, playful, and straightforwardly charming — in other words, completely un-Steely Dan-like. I’ll always love Steely Dan, but this is the song by which I’ll remember Becker. RIP.