Monday, June 28, 2021

Famous Ithaca College Alumni

Gavin MacLeod, best known for playing Captain Stubing on The Love Boat as well as being a regular cast member on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and McHale's Navy passed away in May. If you're over 45 or 50, he's probably the best-known Ithaca College graduate. This got me thinking about a blog post I wrote a decade ago listing the most famous Ithaca College alumni. I think now is a perfect time to update the list. 

Please note that this is in no particular order. It's very possible that I missed several notable graduates, so please contact me if there's someone that should be here. I also only included graduates. Therefore, even though actress/TV host Ricki Lake, singer Gavin DeGraw, and Emmy-award winning actor Jharrel Jerome all attended Ithaca College, they didn't make the list.

David Muir - Anchor of ABC World News Tonight.

David Boreanaz - Actor on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Bones, and Seal Team.

CCH Pounder - Actress on The Shield, ER, and NCIS: New Orleans.

Bob Iger - Former CEO of The Walt Disney Company

Jessica Savitch - One of the first national female anchors (and her story helped inspire Anchorman).

Mark Romanek - Film director of One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go and Grammy and MTV Video Award winning video director. I highly recommend going down the rabbit hole of seeing how he works as a director and then watching some of the videos he directed. He's responsible for some of the most iconic videos of all time.

Karl Ravech - ESPN journalist.

Kevin Connors - ESPN journalist (and fellow member of the class of '97).

Aaron Tveit - Tony-nominated actor for Moulin Rouge who is likely going to be a Tony-winning actor for Moulin Rouge though it's still not a guarantee

Barbara Gaines - Former executive producer of The Late Show with David Letterman.

Time to take a look at Ithaca College graduates in the Pittsburgh sports community:

Lanny Frattare - Former Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster.
Jenna Harner - Sports anchor on WPXI.
Josh Getzoff - Pittsburgh Penguins broadcaster.

John Ross Bowie - Actor best known as Kripke on The Big Bang Theory and Jimmy DiMeo on the gone-to-soon show Speechless.

Ben Feldman - Mad Men and Superstore actor.

Jeremy Jordan - Tony-nominated actor also known for his TV work on Smash and Supergirl.

Robert (Bob) Marella - National Wrestling Hall of Famer better known as Gorilla Monsoon. 

Eileen Filler-Corn - Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates and first woman to serve in this position.

Meghan Musnicki - Gold medal winning rower at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

Tim Locastro - Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder.

The Birthday Boys - 6 of the 7 members of this sketch comedy group are IC graduates, and they had a show on IFC with some guy named Bob Odenkirk. 

Dane Fischer - William & Mary's men's basketball coach (and
someone I interviewed!)

Zach Spiker - Drexel's men's basketball coach.

Ryan Bamford - UMass athletic director.

Liz Tigelaar - Executive Producer for Little Fires Everywhere, The Morning Show, and Nashville.

Ithaca has also produced these sports broadcasters:

Brandon Burke - Television play-by-play announcer for the New York Islanders.
Ed Cohen - Radio voice of the New York Knicks.
Drew Goodman - Television play-by-play broadcaster for the Colorado Rockies.
Nick Nickson - Los Angeles Kings' broadcaster.

Andrew (Andy) Daly - Seemingly the busiest actors in Hollywood. You might not know his name, but as soon as you see his picture, you know him (from Review, Modern Family, and even CarMax commercials).

Larry Teng - Television director and producer of Nancy Drew, Ed, and Medium.

Q Smith - Broadway actress in Mary Poppins and in the original cast of the incredible musical Come From Away.

Jan Singer - Former CEO of J. Crew and Victoria's Secret.

Bill D'Elia - Executive producer of Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, and How To Get Away with Murder.

Ed Glazer - Co-owner and co-chairman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Finally, Giorgio Tsoukalos. Who? This guy!

Friday, June 25, 2021

2021-2022 Sheffield Wednesday Schedule

I've mentioned several times that I'm a fan of Sheffield Wednesday. I went to a game at Hillsborough Stadium when I spent the summer in England in 2000. Although the team had just been relegated from the Premier League to the English Football League Championship, I had a great time at the game. I didn't really follow Wednesday again until about 7-8 years ago, so even though the team went down to League One (the third division of English football/soccer) since my visit to Sheffield, I've only really known them in the championship division. Therefore, I'm sharing the 2021-2022 Sheffield Wednesday schedule with some notes about their opponents in League One. And by sharing notes, I'm really writing about my thoughts on the team names. My apologies in advance to any of the cities, towns, and clubs I write about below because I know nothing about them (as you will see very quickly).

First, here is your 2021-2022 Wednesday schedule:

So I could write about Wednesday having a busy February with 6 matches in three weeks or the team starting and finishing the season with 3 of 5 games on the road, but I want to focus on Wednesday's opponents. Enjoy!

* This was a LearnedLeague question and I got wrong this season: 

What is the surname shared by soccer legends named Jack and Bobby, who played for two decades from the 1950s to the 1970s for Leeds United and Manchester United (respectively), and were among the starting eleven on England's World Cup-winning team in 1966? The name is also that of an area of southeast London that has been home to a Premier League club as recently as 2007 (currently in League One).

The answer is Charlton. If not for this question, I would have figured that the team was named after former member of the Cincinnati Reds' Nasty Boys, Norm Charlton.

* Current Sheffield Wednesday Darren Moore manager served as the Doncaster Rovers' manager until March 1st. There might be some familiarity between Moore and Doncaster. Should be fun!

* Fleetwood Town is clearly a town dedicated to all things Fleetwood Mac. I hope to visit this magical place I hope, no, I expect that the team plays Fleetwood Mac songs non-stop before, during, and after games. The team is probably going to look at Darren Moore like Stevie Nicks stares at Lindsey Buckingham beginning around the 3:30 mark of this Silver Springs video.

* It will be nice to see familiar teams Rotherham United and Wycombe Wanderers who got relegated with Wednesday last season.

* I have no idea what a Morecambe is or how to pronounce it. Give me some credit for learning how to say Wycombe last season.

* Plymouth Argyle is clearly known for their socks.

* Wigan Athletic spelled their team name incorrectly.

* Oxford and Cambridge are likely the best known universities in England and arguably two of the most prestigious in the world. I don't really have anything else to add here except that it would be fun to go to away matches in these cities. Oh, I also visited Cambridge University when I did my summer abroad program. Just wanted to share that.

* I find it fascinating that there is a Wycombe Wanderers AND a Bolton Wanderers. That's a lot of wandering! As for Bolton, you never know what to expect. They could be a soft and cuddly team like Michael Bolton (why are he and Zooey Deschanel doing some type of celebrity dating game?) or evil like Ramsay Bolton of Game of Thrones.

* MK Dons is clearly named after the Jersey City, New Jersey musical group that was big in the early 90s.

* I attended the Wimbledon tennis tournament in 2000 and know that Wimbledon is a residential area of London. Still, I picture soccer matches being played on the grounds with passes going from court to court.

* Gillingham is clearly an homage to the X-Files actress who also recently played Margaret Thatcher on The Crown.

* Someone clearly made up the team Accrington Stanley just to see if we're paying attention. That's not a real thing.

There are other teams like Portsmouth, Sunderland, Crewe Alexandra that I didn't mention because I have nothing witty to share. I'm sure that they as well as Burton Albion (probably a nice guy), Lincoln City, Ipswich Town, and Cheltenham Town are all nice, quaint places to visit. 


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Random Ramblings: June 2021 Edition

* Luigi (the three year old) goes to sleep after 10:00 regularly lately. He sleeps until 8:00, so 10 hours of sleep seems normal, but I'd prefer if it was 9:00-7:00 or 9:30-7:30. He also hasn't had a nap since the pandemic started.

* How does Dollar Tree make money? All of the products are $1, and they have to pay rent for the building, utilities, and employee salaries. Are they really making 50 cents for each bag of $1 Werther's candy bag? How much did they make on the 2-pack of playing cards that I purchased for $1?

* I feel bad for the non-Lachey members of 98 Degrees. Backstreet Boys and *NSync were huge at the beginning of the millennium and are still somewhat relevant today. For example, Backstreet Boys had a song "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" that did pretty well just a few years ago. We all know about Justin Timberlake, but the other members of *NSync still appear regularly including in a recent Progressive commercial. Nick Lachey has had a very nice career thanks to his reality show with his then wife Jessica Simpson, and he recently won the latest season of "The Masked Singer." His brother Drew Lachey won the second season of "Dancing with the Stars." However, can you name the other members of 98 Degrees and say what they are doing today? 

* Longtime readers may have seen my many different series (serieses?) over the years like Found in My Basement, and Celebrities in Pittsburgh Gear. Well, I have a brand new series that will debut next month. I'm excited for it!

* There only seem to be a few cicadas still left in my neighborhood. Well, I mean there are plenty of dead ones around, but only a few that are still alive. I feel a little bad for these stragglers. There were thousands of them around just a few weeks ago, and I feel like the remaining ones missed their chance for fun and to procreate. I definitely don't miss the noise or them flying into me, so I'm definitely okay with waiting another 17 years to see them again!

* I finished my first book since the pandemic started. I read regularly on my commute to and from work, but since I've been working from home, I just haven't had the ability to focus on reading. It embarrassingly took 2-3 months to finish M.O. Walsh's "The Big Door Prize," but I'm glad that I did. I really enjoy his writing and recommend his books. 

* Finally, I recently saw the new Disney Pixar movie "Luca." I'm trying to decide if it's a prequel or sequel of  the Academy Award winning "The Shape of Water."

Monday, June 21, 2021

Time To Join The Sports Betting World?

It's not exactly breaking news that sports betting is huge. What might be breaking news is that I think I'm going to start betting on sports. Just for some history, I placed a wager on a Pittsburgh Steelers game with a "bookie" when I was in college. (I won. Meanwhile, the bookie ended up having a fairly successful media career until last year when he abruptly did not though he seems to be working in the industry again.) I also go to the sports book whenever I visit Las Vegas, though I haven't been there in well over a decade. 

Sports betting is now easier to do than ever. It's also legal in more and more places, and it's a huge moneymaker for states. For example, Pennsylvania has a high tax rate on sports betting revenue. Since Pennsylvania legalized sports betting, they have surpassed $7 billion in total handles.  A small 2% goes to local jurisdictions while the rest goes to the state. Revenue for the Keystone State is over $500 million (this number does not include May 2021 numbers yet), and when the NFL season begins, there will be even more months of high revenues. (Even with all of this revenue, the cost to drive on the turnpike still seems staggeringly high, though that could be a topic for another blog post.)

I'll admit that I don't exactly know what all of this means other than a lot of people are making bets and casinos, websites, and states themselves are making money. Still, you see offers that are too good to pass up (though I have so far). A risk-free bet up to $1,000. Bet $1 and if an NBA team hits one 3-pointer in a game, you get $100. I'm sure there will be more of these as it gets closer to football season.

And speaking (well writing) of the upcoming football season, I imagine that we'll see an increase in revenue this season. The 2021 Super Bowl saw about half of Americans betting on the game so you could imagine how each month will be leading up to the 2022 Super Bowl. Just in case you're wondering, the Steelers' odds to win the Championship title this year are currently listed at +4000. 

Since I still haven't signed up for a site yet, is there one that you recommend? Any betting tips are also welcome!

Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Deadly Dormitory

I spent many years working in student affairs. Therefore, when I saw that there's a film coming out called "Deadly Dormitory," I wanted to see how accurate it is to the college experience. Before even going to the trailer, I learned years ago that dormitory really isn't the proper term for on-campus living. A dormitory is a place for sleep as in being dormant. A residence hall is a more inclusive name for a learning, studying, socializing, and sleeping community. Still, Deadly Dormitory is a much catchier and alliterative name than Ruthless Residence Hall, so I'll give the producers a pass.

Wow! I'm not sure if I even need to see the movie now since the entire plot and conclusion seems to be in the trailer. You're probably wondering, Sean, why are you showing me this when I've never even heard of any of the cast members? The answer is that a friend is in the movie and gave me some juicy gossip about the film. And by juicy gossip, I mean interesting facts.

* The movie was filmed at The University of Oklahoma and though the fictional college is Oldbridge University, Oklahoma didn't allow the film to use the OU logo.

* According to my friend, the cast was incredibly nice. That's disappointing since I really wanted to hear that one of the stars was an Oklahoma State University fan and brawls broke out on the set. Maybe there could have been bedlam!

* The lit up "dorm room" on the top floor in the picture is a converted lounge since they couldn't get all of the film equipment in an actual room. 

* The filming occurred over winter break and the movie struggled to find extras with students away. My friend brought 4 outfits to be 4 different potential characters.

* Congrats to my friend Brian (pictured as a waiter on the left side of this picture) for making his film debut and thanks to him for giving me some blog content today!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Friday Video: Olivia Rodrigo

By now, most people are familiar with singer Olivia Rodrigo or at least one of her songs. This is my Olivia Rodrigo experience. I heard the song "Driver's License" and thought the song about teenage love and loss was fine. I'm definitely not the target audience on this song. Then, I heard "Deja Vu," and really liked the Billy Joel references. A kid who appreciates Billy Joel? I approve. Then, I heard "good 4 u," and decided I am all in even though I would prefer the title to be Good For You. I love the song. The lyrics are great. The music is great. It's like a 2021 version of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know," and I definitely did not expect the NSFW word at the 1:20ish mark of the video below. It works though. Like a damn sociopath!

Before writing this blog post, I had no idea what Rodrigo looked like or anything about her. It seems like she writes most of her songs which makes me appreciate her more and think that she's going to be a household name like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, or Taylor Swift soon. 

This is a video of Rodrigo appearing on Saturday Night Live in case you want to see a live version of the song without the inappropriate word in the official video.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Cicada Rap

I've written about the Brood X cicadas several times over the last month or so and included pictures and even a video. They really are amazing. They emerge from underground every 17 years for about 2 months and then just go away. The amazing part wears off quickly though if you're living through it. They are everywhere, and they're loud. While the cicadas are harmless, it's still unpleasant when they land on you. 

The Fairfax County government shared this cicada rap by MC Bugg-Z. While I expected it to be terrible like Pennsylvania's G-Hog rap (Go G-Hog! Go G-Hog!), this is actually pretty good. 

Friday, June 04, 2021

My Life In Pictures

I thought I would share some pictures from the last month or so. I'm not sure if I mentioned this earlier, but The Moose and Pedro Tulo have been back to in-person school four days a week for about two months now. Therefore, it's just me and Luigi (and Ziggy) at home between the time we drop the older kids off at school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. While he probably gets more screen time than he should because I have work to do during the day (and I continue to do work in the evenings too), we regularly spend significant time outside. These are from a playground in our neighborhood (and the view from the playground). I don't think the tree should be leaning in this direction.

We also took a trip to Frying Pan Park. We saw this peacock and while they also had cows, sheep, and chickens, the cat might have been Luigi's favorite animal.

On a recent walk, we saw this blanket(?) from a neighbor's window. A little freaky.

Speaking of freaky, let's talk about cicadas. It rained much of last weekend and temperatures were only in the 40s and 50s. I thought that the cold weather might have killed off some of the cicadas, but they just went quiet and hunkered down instead. With temperatures back in the 70s and 80s this week, they're out in full force. While I'm not sure if the video below really gives the complete cicada experience, they were really loud the other day.

To celebrate my birthday a few weeks ago, The Moose made me a card and was nice enough to remind me to sign him up for baseball this fall.

Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship recently and as he walked to and then at the 18th hole, seemingly the entire crowd walked with him. If anyone with my neighborhood golf course ever stops me while walking on the course, I'm just going to show them this picture and say that it was fine for people to walk on the course at Kiawah, so I'm okay walking ON THE CART PATH here!  

I really needed to go through my clothes, and I finally did last weekend. I ended up donating two bags worth of shirts, jeans, and more. (Well, I'm going to donate them soon.) I think the oldest item was an XL Ohio State University Welcome Week T-shirt from 2000. The XL shirt was probably too big even then, and I don't think I've worn the shirt out of the house in a decade. It was time to go.

Finally, here's Ziggy sleeping on my bed.