Friday, April 24, 2015

Dee Wallace Joined General Hospital and Did Not Tell Me!

Actress Dee Wallace made her television debut on "Lucas Tanner" and her film debut in "The Stepford Wives."  She has had a lengthy and succssful career since then, including recently joining "General Hospital," but more on that later.
Wallace would be welcome at any celebrity convention.  Her many roles and fan-friendly attitude make her very popular.  Her roles in many horror films, most notably "The Howling" and "Cujo" make her a natural for horror cons.  Of course, she also starred in "E.T.," which adds another group of fans.
I just met Wallace at (Days of the Dead) Culture Shock.  We talked to her about her career and I asked for any scoops (as I always do).  Unfortunately, she did not reveal her "General Hospital" status.  That would have been cool to get that news.  Wallace played a sister of Luke and Bobbie Spencer.
Unfortunately, her stint was short-lived.  Wallace is already gone from GH.  Hopefully, this did not spoil the show for anyone, but it was a couple weeks ago.  Her character was brought on as part of a huge reveal dealing with the Spencer childhood.
Either way, it was a pleasure meeting Wallace.  Leave it to Days of the Dead to continually bring new, great celebrities to their cons.
Dee Wallace and me in Indianapolis, IN-February 2015.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Rockford IceHogs Head to the Playoffs

The AHL regular season is over and the playoffs are beginning.  The Rockford IceHogs start their series against the Texas stars on Friday.
The IceHogs finished 46-23-5, good for 2nd place in the Midwest Division of the Western Conference.  They finished one point behind the Grand Rapids Griffins.  This puts them as a 4th seed in the playoffs (behind the 3 division winners).
Texas finished at 40-22-13 for 2nd in the Western Division of the Western Conference.  It also puts them in 5th place overall in the conference and into the playoff series against the IceHogs.
Interestingly, the IceHogs had a lot of scratches and played some of the young talent.  The Griffins did the same.  During the post-game media session, Coach Dent said it was out of his hands, but he did not seem annoyed.  In talking with some of the local press and staffers, the general feeling is that the seeding at that point didn't matter much.
In any case, the series starts tomorrow in Cedar Park, TX (near Austin).  It continues on Saturday still in Texas.  The series comes back to Rockford for the rest of the series starting with Game 3 on Wednesday, April 29.  Game 4 is on Friday, May 1, if necessary and Game 5 would be on Sunday, May 2, if necessary.
I do believe the IceHogs will win the series.  The question is in how many games.  I'd like to make a prediction, but truthfully it will be more like a guess.  I see the IceHogs splitting in Texas and winning it in Game 4 in Rockford.
The fans were super in the last game of the season and really showed their appreciation for the IceHogs as the final horn sounded.  It has been a fun season and I look forward to it continuing all the way to the Calder Cup!
For more info and updates, check out IceHogs.com.  Of course, I will be covering the IceHogs right here, as well.
Ted Dent and me in Rockford, IL-April 2015.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chicago Bliss Look For Second Win

The Chicago Bliss beat the Atlanta Steam 27-24 in the Legends Football League Season Opener.  My game recap can be found at Chicago Bliss Defeat Atlanta Steam on Tru School Sports.
This Saturday, April 25, the Bliss host the Omaha Heart at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.  Omaha is coming off of an 86-0 pounding courtesy of the Steam.  The Bliss should handle the Heart easily, but I don't expect Coach Keith Hac to run up the score like Atlanta did.
Hac and his coaching staff are true professionals.  I have written about them many times and they deserve all of the publicity they get and more.
The coaches are unsung heroes.  In a league that was founded as the Lingerie Football League, the emphasis is not usually on the coaching staff.  Yet, it is the coaching staff which put the Bliss team in the position to win back-to-back LFL titles.
The Bliss coaching staff often gets criticized for having a one dimensional team.  While it is true that Coach Hac likes to run ChrisDell Harris a lot, I would hardly call the team one dimensional.  I will also say if this team is so one dimensional, why can't anyone beat them these days?  The Bliss is 11-1-1 since the start of the 2013 season.  I wish the Chicago Bears were that one dimensional.
John Witte and me in Bridgeview, IL-March 2015.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Goodbye and Good Luck Mickie Knuckles

Mickie "Moose" Knuckles is one of a kind.  As a wrestler, she can be as hardcore as they come, yet she is also capable of putting on a great wrestling match.  Despite her smashmouth reputation, Mickie is also very open to helping other wrestlers.  
Outside of the ring, she is a wonderful mother.  It is that role, which ultimately caused her to announce her retirement last week.  Prior to her retirement announcement, Mickie announced she was going to have a baby.
This is a bittersweet moment for everyone.  We all hate to see Mickie walk away from wrestling, but we are all hay that she is leaving on her own terms.  We all wish her and her family a lifetime of happiness.
My more thorough reflection on Mickie and her announcement can be found on Tru School Sports at I Love Mickie Knuckles.  The title is a play on I Hate Mickie Knuckles, a great blog by Resistance Pro co-owner Gabe Baron.  As I wrote, we all love Mickie.
Thank you for the memories, Mickie Knuckles and best wishes always!
Mickie Knuckles and me in Merrionette Park, IL-Spring 2013.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Jean Parker

A couple weeks ago, my sister Nancy celebrated her birthday.  Of course I wrote about it and what a great sister she is.  I am lucky enough to be able to write another similar post about my other sister Jean, who is celebrating her birthday today.
Like Nancy, Jean always supports me and is a great friend.  I think she worries about me more than herself.  I appreciate her more than I can ever really express.
I always know this, but after celebrating both of their birthdays within two weeks, I always really think how fortunate I am.  I have the best two sisters.  I love and appreciate them immensely.
Happy birthday Jean.  I hope you enjoy your day.  I love you!
Nancy, me and Jean in Marco Island, FL-February 2014.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Friendly Encounters: CJ Idol, KaDance Kelli and Minnie Mouse

This is a weekly series about friends who have met celebrities.

I first met CJ Idol at POWW (Purely Obsessed Wrestling World).  CJ was part of Threat Level Black, a fun tag team.  Mikey Wild was his partner.
I really enjoyed TLB.  They put on excellent matches, really working well together.  Unfortunately, Mikey got injured and missed some time.  Upon his return, he eventually turned on CJ, who had formed a new team with Vinnie Riot.
It was also at POWW where I first saw KaDance Kelli.  I am not sure if CJ knew Kelli prior to her appearances at POWW, but I know they got much closer.  In fact, they got engaged.
I am very happy for CJ and Kelli.  They seem so very happy.  Aaaahhhh young love.  I want to take this time to wish them a lifetime of happiness.  I will avoid throwing out some hackneyed wrestling reference and just leave it at best wishes always.
CJ Idol, Minnie Mouse and KaDance Kelli in Orlando, FL-August 2014.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Celebrity Jersey Cards #217 Chris O'Donnell & Channing Tatum

Athletes get trading cards.  Why not celebrities?  At least celebrities wearing athletic jerseys should get cards.  I am doing my best to create cards for jersey-clad celebs.  Baseball season is underway and I am saluting the teams from Chicago!

Actor Chris O'Donnell is a native of Winnetka, IL, a suburb north of Chicago.  Somehow, the White Sox got O'Donnell to appear at the south side US Cellular Field.  I would understand a Dodgers uniform, as he starred in NCIS: Los Angeles.  Another thing odd is his #6.  The last #6 was Ricky Seilheimer and the most notable was probably Jorge Orta or Al Weis.  I don't think Manager Ventura would want O'Donnell anyway.  The team isn't big enough for another Robin.
 Actor Channing Tatum is a native of Alabama, but there is not a Major League Baseball team there.  Would the Braves be the closest?  Tatum appeared in a Cubs uniform as he passed through Wrigley Field, like so many celebrities do.

Friday, April 17, 2015

On the Beat with Val Capone of the Windy City Rollers

The regular season is over for the Windy City Rollers.  Hell's Belles took home the WCR championship and the Ivy King Cup be beating the Fury a couple weeks ago.
This was another great night of roller derby action.  The first game pitted the Manic Attackers against the Double Crossers.  The Manic Attackers lead 139-115 at half-time.  The Double Crossers kept fighting and eventually nipped the Manic Attackers 220-218 for the win and third place.  Lucy Wreckardo was named Player of the Game.  Despite not being for the Ivy King Cup, this game was a fierce battle.
The championship game was not as close, but it was played with just as much intensity.  The Fury lead Hell’s Belles 89-80 at halftime.  Hell’s Belles came roaring back in the second half to win 245-151.  Phoebe Fi Fo Fum was named Player of the Game.
A more thorough recap of the night and the origin of the Ivy King Cup can be found on Tru School Sports at Hell's Belles Win the Ivy King Cup.  That article is already one of the top ten most viewed articles in TSS history.
Prior to the championship game, we talked to Val Capone, an old favorite of ours.  Capone talked about being an original at WCR, the significance of her number, Elvis and other fun topics.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cards That Never Were:Charlie Sands 1973 Topps

Cards That Never Were is a recurring series in which I attempt to rectify trading card omissions which bothered me over the years.  It is a concept I have borrowed from many others, but generally speaking, I fill in the gaps for lesser known players.
Everyone knows I am a fan of backup catchers.  Along with Cuzz Gekas, I created the Backup Catcher Hall of Fame.  When Topps skipped deserving backup catchers in their baseball card sets, it was especially bothersome.
Today, I have featuring a 1973 Topps card I created of Charlie Sands.  From 1967 through 1975, Sands played parts of six seasons with the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels and Oakland A's.  He appeared in 93 games, hitting .214 with 6 home runs.
For his efforts, he received a Topps card in 1972 (Pirates), 1974 and 1975 (both with the Angels).
He did not have a card in 1968, after appearing in only one game for the 1967 Yankees.  He did not receive a card in 1973, after appearing in one game for the 1971 Pirates.  He did not receive a card in the 1976 Topps set after appearing in three games for the 1975 A's.
Because I love backup catchers, I would have created cards for Sands for all three missing years, if I could have found good pictures.  Instead, I only found a workable picture of Sands with the Pirates, which I made into a 1973 Topps card.
Of course, I was a fan of his in the 70's.  Despite that, I must admit that he still falls just a little short of being a candidate for the BCHOF.  That doesn't mean he should not have had more cards.  Now at least he has one more card (and I am still on the lookout for the other two possibilities).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Looking Ahead to C2E2

The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo is coming and I can't wait.  Held at McCormick Place each spring, C2E2 is a huge event.
I have met a ton of celebrities at C2E2 and have done many interviews.  Those interviews can be found at the Johngy's Beat C2E2 playlist on YouTube.  This year will be no different.  I will meet and interview celebs of all sorts.
C2E2 is a huge convention, but it is still completely fan-friendly and manageable.  It has not gotten out of control and it shows no signs of that happening.
You don't have to be a fan of anything specific to enjoy C2E2.  Their guests cover a vast array of genres.  The vendors sell everything possible in pop culture.  The fans come in very creative costumes.  Some people just come to hang out and soak in the fun.  Either way, you can't walk away from C2E2 without having a good time.
I hope to see many of you out there.  For more information, please check out C2E2.com.
Matt Parker and me in Chicago, IL-April 2014.