Go Ask Daddy About Prehistoric Throwbacks, Swoony Celebs and Good Guys on Teams We Love to Hate

Conquering the BGR daily special in Gaithersburg, Md. – EJP

The good old days – amirite?

GAD GRAPHICI might act curmudgeonly at times, but really, I can roll with the punches. I finally got a smartphone, remember? I fully embraced Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and gave Fuller House a puncher’s chance (Hi Kimmy.) Agile, that’s what I am.

Still, there’s stuff I miss. Stuff I wish I could bring back.

Like, Summer Sanders. Toys in the bottom of cereal boxes. Ice cream in baseball caps at the ballpark that don’t set you back $8. Cookie Monster, in his full glory. The original Electric Company. The Gameboy. Trading football cards with Tandy Dillen at lunch.

Blockbuster on a Friday night. Belinda Carlisle. Woody Woodpecker. Maddie Hayes, on Moonlighting. Walking home from school. Making shadows on the screen when the movie ended in class. Plotting your walk to class to cross paths with a crush.

Trapper Keepers and O-pee-chee folders. Abuela’s tortillas. Yearbook day. My sunglasses collection. Atari games. Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Talking on the phone all night when your parents had no clue. Clue, the movie and the game. Operation. Congress doing stuff.

Everything shaped like a dinosaur, from soap to toys to cookie cutters. Playing football in the street, in the cold, at night, under the lights, and pretending we were Ken Anderson, Reggie Rucker and Dwight Clark. Moving in slow motion like we were on NFL Films.

I wish I could bring back the 60 minutes I spent reveling in yesterday to start this post!

1. Are they still cloning a mammoth?

photo credit: TylerIngram via photopin cc

Kind of, according to LiveScience.com.

Scientists broke down the ice-age beast’s genome, the whole gene set, on the mammoth, the Pleistocene giant and close cousin to the modern elephant. They found traits to help the prehistoric pachyderms survive sub-zero climes.

It’s not exactly mad science. First, a hybrid of the mammoth and African elephant is on the docket. They’ll give him lots of fur, that slopey back and other signature features, like heat-trapping fur, which could come in handy when you live in North Florida and consider 65 a cold snap.

We could do it, girls, in your lifetime. Should we? Selfishly, I’m imagining a ground-chuck mammoth burger on a Kaiser with Havarti cheese and a touch of soy sauce.

2. If cigarettes are bad for you, why are they made?

gad 8 5 cigarettes
photo credit: Ashtrays at the Belmont Hotel via photopin (license)

When we were kids, I thought government saw everything.

I imagined a surveillance center near the earth’s core that would document all bad behavior, from twerking to smoking pot to booing Hopey Solo. God could run it, with a few of the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses in leadership positions, reporting to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Smoking, undoubtedly, causes cancer. It rips slowly and steadily at our health. It strains the world of health insurance and makes your hair really stinky if you stand next to someone who does it (imagine what it does to their mouth).

The government should not at all prohibit its manufacture.

To smoke remains a free choice. Not so free, with skyrocketing taxes on cigs. But it’s a right, just as you’ve a right to eat saturated fat or root for the raiders. Neither God nor country should take that away.

I can hope, however, for fewer smokers in each generation. Eventually, it’ll go to the mammoth. Without a chance of cloning.

3. Do you have a crush on Sofia Vergara?

That goofy grin on my face during her hair-product commercial – is that what brought it on? No doubt Sofia, a Columbian-American actress known for her role in Modern Family qualifies as crush worthy, she doesn’t currently rank on the Coach Daddy Top 25 poll.

I might have been reminiscing about my pizza lunch or the Denver Broncos’ run through both the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots to a Super Bowl title. Heck I could have been thinking about disc golf or Havarti cheese on mammoth burgers.

Oh, that poll? Well …

  1. Goalkeeper Hope Solo
  2. Reality TV star, Christina, from Broken Skull Ranch
  3. Basketball star Sue Bird
  4. NPR reporter Lauren Frayer
  5. NFL Network analyst Stacey Dales
  6. Meteorologist Kaitlyn Cody
  7. LFL star Bryn Renda
  8. LFL quarterback Dakota Hughes
  9. Singer Madilyn Brady
  10. Golfer Paula Creamer
  11. Singer Ingrid Michaelson
  12. The Queen of Hearts
  13. Actress Laura Linney
  14. Tennis star Martina Hingis
  15. Political pundit Dana Perino
  16. Capital Hill correspondent Kelly O’Donnell
  17. Radio host Brittney Cason
  18. Swimmer Rebecca Soni
  19. Meteorologist Heather Waldman
  20. Anchor Heather Hegedus
  21. Sports reporter Jessica Kleinschmidt
  22. Meteorologist Sarah Fortner
  23. Education manager Ariel Zych
  24. Recipe developer Liz Harris
  25. Actress Alison Brie

ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Developer Amy Gori, TV host Cassidy Gard, Forbes writer Clare O’Connor, girlboss Kimberly Novosel, researcher Heather McIntosh, actress Malin Akerman, writer Cheryl Strayed … wait, has this become weird?

4. Why does a fire pit pop?


The pop’s in the wood.

It’s a chemical reaction between oxygen and a fuel source, such as wood or a Detroit Police squad car after the red wings win a championship (boy, it’s been a while.) Every burnable substance has an ignition temperature. When that’s reached, you get combustion – about 300 degrees for wood.

When the temperature hits 500 degrees, the split hits the fan on a molecular level. Pockets of sap and water in the wood boil. It’s like a pot on the stove with a lid, though. The steam has nowhere to go. The popping you hear comes from the wood splitting open to release steam into the fire.

Toss a wet log on the fire and get ready for the fireworks.*

*-I’m easily amused.

5. Doesn’t Hines Ward play for the Steelers?

gad 8 5 hines ward
photo credit: MRR_0033.JPG via photopin (license)

He used to. And because Pittsburgh hasn’t been much of a nuisance to my Broncos since, oh, probably the Terry Bradshaw days, that’s all right.

Allow me to speak well of the man who played for that silly team with stickers on only one side of their helmets. Hines Ward, a Georgia alumnus, played old-school football. Hard-hitting, hard-working. He could have played for the Broncos with that kind of moxie.

Hines works with charities and as a studio analyst for NFL games. Class act. In fact, I want to share a link to his charity here. I don’t like the steelers. At all. The best part of a hate-hate relationship with a rival? Next to beating them on the way to the Super Bowl, it’s acknowledging them for the good they do.

ward quote


  1. John Holton says:

    I’m not familiar with any of the crushworthy women on your list, but that’s all right. Sofia Vergara isn’t just gorgeous, she’s funny and seems intelligent.

    I learned all about rooting for guys on teams you don’t like growing up in Chicago. I was a White Sox fan, but these were the days when Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams were playing for the Cubs. Even though Sox fans hate the Cubs and vice versa, everyone was an Ernie Banks fan, especially when he was getting close to his 500th home run. I was at Wrigley Field with the altar boys from my parish the day BEFORE he hit #500…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m not familiar with the fact that most blog guys don’t have an AP Top 25-style list of celeb crushes, John! You’re spot on about Sofia, I believe.

      I think that emotion that powers a hate for your rival is the same juice that powers your love for a game.

      Even more so with a cross-town rival. Ernie Banks seemed like one of those rare athletes that could bridge those divides, like David Robinson, Ray Bourque and Drew Brees.

      So close to history, you were, mate! It’s enough to say we got to see a legend play. For me, I’m proud to say I saw Larry Bird, Joe Montana, and Greg Maddux play in person.

  2. As you know, I grew up on a farm. My parents and both sets of my grandparents grew and sold tobacco on their farms, yet not a single one of them ever smoked. I always thought that was pretty remarkable, especially for those two generations.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I do remember your upbringing, Deb. Tobacco was an industry, and one that thrived and died very close to where I live now.

      Their ability to abstain is remarkable – in a time we didn’t consider smoking at all dangerous.

  3. ksbeth says:

    a lot of great crushes there and i miss my trapper keeper too.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      glad you like the list beth – they’re all so swoony. i wonder what a trapper keeper on ebay would set us back. i could use one for work and blog and coach stuff.

  4. stomperdad says:

    Now now… be nice to my Steelers. They’re an either love ’em or hate ’em kinda team, though. At least I’m not a Ravens or Skins fan. Donuts are bad for you too. I hope they don’t stop making those! Great lessons here!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That *was* nice, Eric. My Broncos are more lovable than the steelers, ravens or redskins (although people here in Carolina would argue against it.) Amen to the donuts! The day the government starts to manage pastries is the day I’ll start my own donut lobby.

  5. I remember nearly everything you listed. I had a Trapper Keeper, in middle school I always tried to figure out some way to bump into my crush, I miss the toys at the bottom of cereal boxes too, why did they discontinue that? Times sure have changed and this world our kids are growing up in is so different from when we were kids.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Someone from my era, Cascia! Life was so good then. I know for a while they discontinued the toys in cereal because maybe they thought we’d eat through the Froot Loops in a flash just to get the baking-soda-powered submarine out (remember those?) I wish my kids to know the patience and pleasure of working diligently through your Frosted Flakes for the reward.

  6. Lulu says:

    Wait… wait… WAIT! Are you trying to tell me that they no longer put toys in the bottom of cereal boxes?! It’s been awhile since Honey Nut Cheerios and Reese’s Puffs w’er a staple of my diet. Tell me it isn’t so! I’ll have to console myself with ’90s nostalgia (http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/lisa-frank-is-releasing-an-adult-coloring-book-w211734). Also, I love your Hines Ward quote. He’s always been one of my faves, along with Jerome Bettis. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They stopped for a while, Lulu – I thought they must still not. They felt it encouraged kids too much to binge eat, perhaps. Only if they hid Pokemon or an iPhone in the box.

      My sister had Lisa Frank stuff! I’ll be just as happy with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles adult coloring book.

      1. Lulu says:

        I’m surprised nobody has published one yet!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Maybe that’s my calling – and even a He-Man one while I’m at it.

      3. Lulu says:

        Thought of you when I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday. I saw a Star Wars coloring book!

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        That would be rad, Lulu. I’d do my best to stay in the lines, even.

  7. mocadeaux says:

    Quite the comprehensive and well thought out list of celebrity crushes. I agree with Lulu. Jerome Bettis has to be on the list of Steelers to love, even if you don’t love their team. Of course, I might be a tiny bit biased towards my fellow ND alum.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Embarrassingly comprehensive, Mo, but I feel as if I should update the Crush List weekly now. See, I’ve even capitalized it.

      Notre Dame bias is understood. Every once in a while a guy will wind up on a rival’s roster and you say to yourself, “he’s good and classy enough to be a Bronco/Rockie/Av/Nugget.”

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