Reggie Bush Bear and Beary Fitzgerald are at the bar! #yesiamafootballdork

Posted on January 16, 2010. Filed under: Football, General, Random | Tags: , , , , , |

I’ve been to two NFL games in the past four years: Saints v. Panthers at the Superdome on December 31, 2006 and Cardinals v. Seahawks at University of Phoenix in November 2009. At each of the games, I purchased a stuffed bear representing the team’s top playmaker. It so happens that the two teams played each other in the divisional playoffs on Saturday.

So of course Reggie Bush Bear and Larry “Beary” Fitzgerald came to the bar with me.

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Playlist of Awesome: California Road Trip 2010

Posted on January 8, 2010. Filed under: Random, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Thanks to the miracle of satellite radio (included in my rental car), I became reacquainted with some great songs during my recent trip up and down the coast of California. Many of the tunes were ones I had either completely forgotten about or never knew the titles and/or artists. But thanks to satellite, which gives the title and artist for every song, that is no longer a problem. (Note to iPhone users: I know Shazam does provide that information, but sometimes Shazam isn’t practical. Or you just don’t hear the songs. Ever.)

Special props go out to the Sirius First Wave channel, which has shows hosted by Richard Blade and Swedish Egil, two awesome DJs who specialize in the 80’s. This channel is essentially a recreation of LA-based KROQ 106.7 in the 80’s which for better or worse, was the soundtrack that I grew up with in LA.

Richard Blade's Flashback Favorites are AWESOME

Every time a new song came on the radio, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was like listening to junior high and high school all over again. In other words, it was awesome. I wonder if anyone on Highway 101 saw a brunette rocking out in a white Hyundai Elantra and thought, “That chick is crazy!” And you know what? I don’t care.

The songs on the California Road Trip Playlist below are inspired or rediscovered thanks to the magic of satellite radio.  I also threw in a few favorites for old times’ sake. And don’t worry, it’s not entirely 80’s. There is some stuff from post-2000. I believe the 90’s are entirely absent. And rightfully so.

If you like any of them, they’re all available at iTunes. I should know, since I dropped at least $20 downloading most of them.

1. Take Your Mama – Scissor Sisters

2. Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone) – Glass Tiger

3. Kiss Me – Stephen Tin Tin Duffy

4. State Farm – Yaz

5. Shy Boy – Bananarama

6. New Song – Howard Jones

7. Sowing the Seeds of Love – Tears for Fears

8. Fields of Fire (400 Miles) – Big Country

9. Feel the Love – Cut Copy

10. Pacific Coast Party – Smash Mouth

11. Strip – Adam Ant

12. Pata Pata – Miriam Makeba

13. Filthy/Gorgeous – Scissor Sisters

14. Sausalito Summer Nights – Diesel

15. King for a Day – Thompson Twins

16. New Direction – Echo & the Bunnymen

17. Kiss Me – Robbie Williams (excellent cover of the Tin Tin song #3 above)

18. What Do All the People Know – The Munroes

19. I Hear the Bells – Mike Doughty

20. 1234 – Feist

21. Buildings & Mountains – Republic Tigers

22. Big Mess – Devo

23. Shattered (Turn the Car Around) – O.A.R.

24. Just Another Day – Oingo Boingo

25. Lovers in the Backseat – Scissor Sisters

26. It’s the End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.

27. Laid – James

28. Life is Long – David Byrne & Brian Eno

29. Forever Young – Alphaville

30. Six Months In a Leaky Boat – Split Enz

If you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to listening to my awesome new playlist. Again.

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How Many Logos Can You Get? (with Answer Key!)

Posted on December 16, 2009. Filed under: Random | Tags: , , |

Earlier today I tweeted about this very cool ABC’s of branding poster. My brother Eli e-mailed it to me and turned it into an awesome quiz.

How many logos can you get? I got 22/26 (which should have been 24/26, since missing B and C were pretty inexcusable). L and P proved to be the toughest by far.

How many logos can you guess?

Do you want the answers? If so, here they are.

A = ABC Television

B = Budweiser

C = Coca Cola

D = Disney

E = Enron

F = Ford (or Friendly’s – they have the EXACT same F)

G = General Electric

H = Honda


J = Johnson & Johnson

K = Kellogg

L = Eli Lilly and Co.

M = McDonald’s

N = NY Times

O = Target

P = Paramount

Q = Quicktime

R = Ray Ban

S = Superman

T = Texaco

U = United Airlines

V = Volkswagen

X = Xerox

Y = Yahoo!

Z = Zenith

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25 Random Things About Me (not that you wanted or needed to know)

Posted on December 1, 2009. Filed under: Friends, Random, Social Media | Tags: , |

I’m moving some of my Facebook notes over to the blog, since Facebook, is, well, so Facebook-y.

This was a great Facebook meme earlier this year. I wrote my 25 things on February 10, 2009.

Here goes, in no particular order:

1. My full name is Amanda Elaine Rykoff.  Each of my names has 6 letters.  Other “6-6-6” compatriots include Ronald Wilson Reagan and Dwight Eugene Gooden.  [UPDATE: And the newest addition is my adorable nephew Samuel Harris Rykoff, born October 16, 2009]. And no, I am not the devil.

2. I was born with blonde hair and blue eyes.  And had those blue eyes until I was almost two years old.  Really.

3.  I suffer from crippling TiVo stress.

4.  In 1993, I had a letter to the editor published in Sports Illustrated about SportsCenter (and my obsession with it). 15 years later, I started working at ESPN.

5.  Though I am not particularly observant, I have three friends who are Rabbis.

6.  A boy in kindergarten expressed his crush by naming his new puppy after me.

7.  I could listen to “Laid” by James over and over and over and never, ever get tired of it.

8.  In July 2001, I made it to the “hot seat” on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and crapped out on the $32k question.  Let’s just say that I’ll never forget when the president used to take office.

9.  When listening to music on my iPod on the subway or bus, I can’t help but tap my feet (and usually lip-synch).  Sorry.

10.  “Supposably” does NOT mean the same thing as “Supposedly”.

11.  If I ever meet Manny Nosowsky in person, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.

12.   I’m allergic to just about everything.  Especially bee stings.  And [shivers] cockroaches.

13.  I was the fastest typist in my high school typing class. Yeah, that’s right, I’m so old we took typing in high school.

14.   Man do I love french fries.

15.  My favorite pen of all time is the Uniball Vision Elite with blue/black ink.  Trust me.  And yes, I’m aware that having a favorite pen makes me an uber-dork.  Thanks.

16.  I once flew across the Atlantic for a second date.

17.  I hated Caddyshack.  There, I said it.

18.  While attending a Penn-Temple game at the old Spectrum, I talked my way into tickets to the 1993 Final Four by impressing a perfect stranger with my basketball knowledge.

19.  My father and I were actually born in the same hospital in Los Angeles.  34 years apart.

20. I will never forget the look on my grandmother’s face when I came out on stage in a full nun’s habit, complete with a huge cross, as the Reverend Mother in the Sound of Music during my senior year of high school.

21.  I had my last cup of coffee on the second day of the New York bar exam in 2000.  I’m “naturally caffeinated”.

22.  I am a sucker for a good handbag with lots of compartments.  And a key fob.  Ah, the key fob.

23.  I have freakishly fat thumbs.  When asked, I used to tell kids that they were run over by a steamroller.  And they believed me.

24.  Really bad concerts for which I have paid good money in my lifetime include A-ha and Huey Lewis and the News.

25.  It may sound cliche, but Facebook Twitter social media has literally (yes, literally) changed my life.

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Why would you do this to a perfectly innocent VW bug?

Posted on November 26, 2009. Filed under: Random, Rants and Whines |

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Ode to a Chevy Lumina (or Why Your Rental Car Should Not Inspire Memories of 1996)

Posted on November 17, 2009. Filed under: Comedy, Random, Rants and Whines, Travel | Tags: , , , , , |

It’s not often that I’m prompted to write about a rental car. But then again, it’s not often that I rent a car as full of unintentional comedy and fail as the gem I rented for this trip to Phoenix.

The Rental Car Saga Begins

Let’s start at the beginning, which is both logical and necessary. One thing I didn’t know about Phoenix is that it’s next to impossible to rent a car here during the peak months of October-March. And if you do find one, it will cost at least $500 for a multi-day rental. One of the main culprits behind the extremely high rates is the insane (dare I say usurious?) airport tax that’s assessed on every car rented at the airport.

Would you care to mortgage your home for a rental car in Phoenix?

Given my recent change of career plans (i.e., lack of income), I could not spend that kind of money on a rental car, so I looked for alternatives. And I found one. From the good people at Phoenix Rental Car.  When I called them last week to book a car, they were happy to help and quoted me $287 for 5 days. And as a bonus, no airport tax, since they are located about 2 miles from the airport. Great! Sign me up. I didn’t ask what kind of car it was, feeling relieved and lucky to get one for a fairly decent rate.

I was delighted when the rental car place sent Bruce to pick me up at the airport. When we arrived at the lot, it was a random storefront on some industrial street and there were a lot of pretty beat-up looking cars in the lot. No problem, I thought, I’m sure I’ll get a car that’s clean, runs and has an AUX cable for my iPod.

You Get What You Pay For: A Chevy Lumina

Bruce showed me to the car. A dirty white Chevy Lumina. I tried not to hide my surprise at the fact that not only was this car old, but it was dirty. At least wash it so it looks better. But I digress. This was a good one, Bruce said. It drives great, he assured me. So I got in, started it up and drove off the lot.

Yes, that 1996 Chevy Lumina is my rental car

Just how old was this car? I’ve confirmed that it is a 1996 Chevy Lumina. How did I confirm this? Because my friend Tyler (with whom I’m staying) actually owned this car years ago.

Yes, I rented a car in 2009 that has been on the road for 13 years. To put this in perspective, let’s take a look back at the year 1996 in sports:


  • The Orioles and Rangers both made the playoffs
  • Derek Jeter was Rookie of the Year
  • Ken Caminiti and Juan Gonzalez named NL and AL MVPs
  • The Yankees won their first World Series since 1978


  • Browns moved from Cleveland to Baltimore and became the Ravens
  • Tony Dungy replaced Sam Wyche as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach (I’ll let that sink in. Sam Wyche was coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
  • Jimmy Johnson became the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins
  • Barry Sanders led the league in rushing
  • Steve Young led the league in passing
  • Not-yet-retired-and-unretired Brett Favre and the Packers beat the Patriots to win the Super Bowl (those were the days)


  • Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls went 72-10, en route to another NBA championship

    Jordan and Pippen celebrated an NBA title in 1996

  • Magic Johnson came out of retirement only to retire again
  • Boston Celtics played their first game at the Fleet Center
  • The Knicks were competitive

Not to mention that the city of Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996. That was a long time ago. So, what I’m trying to say is this: this is one old car.

The Fun Begins

For starters, the gear shift was on the steering wheel. What? I’m not sure I’ve ever driven a car with that set-up. But ok. Then when I turned for the first time, I noted that the steering wheel squeaked and creaked in a way reserved solely for the doors of haunted houses. Not to mention that it may have once had power steering, but that damn thing was hard to turn. But wait – there’s more!

I wanted to put on the radio to listen to some music. I don’t need to tell you that there was no AUX input to be found. But there was a cassette deck. A cassette deck, ladies and gentlemen! And to top if off? THERE WAS AN ACTUAL CASSETTE TAPE STUCK IN THE CASSETTE DECK! I can’t even imagine how long that damn thing has been stuck in there.

I wish I knew what cassette it was. Just a couple of guesses for fun: The Macarena? Alanis Morissette? Perhaps some classic Celine Dion or Whitney Houston?

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that every time I turned on the radio, the stupid stereo would try to play the cassette tape. Which was stuck in the cassette deck. So I had to press eject every time to convince the stereo that I wanted to listen to the radio instead of the tape. Good times.


Was this 1996 hit in the cassette deck?

Let’s Talk Performance (or lack thereof)

If you’ve ever been to Phoenix, you know that you can’t survive without a car. Which means you drive everywhere. And spend a lot of time in the car. So this is not based on a small sample size. I’ve been in this car a lot since Thursday and two things about it have become the source of frustration (and amusement).

First is the turning radius (or lack thereof). This thing handles like a freakin’ boat. 3 point turns become 5 point turns. Think you can turn into that parking spot? Think again. Want to make a U turn in one motion? Good luck. I’ve taken to parking facing out if at all possible, it’s that bad. And no, this is not about me being a New Yorker who’s not used to driving. I grew up in Los Angeles. I know how to drive. And over the past year and a half with ESPN, I drove frequently to Bristol, logging many hours in the car.

And how about highway driving? No need for the Phoenix PD or highway patrol to worry about catching me speeding. The car actually starts to shake when it hits 65 MPH. Seriously. The last time I drove a car that shook when it hit 65 MPH was my 1984 Honda Accord (RIP).

It’s Been a Good Run

I know that I’m lucky to have a car at all so I really shouldn’t complain. But after four full days with this baby, I just had to write about the entertainment value it’s provided me during my visit. And how many rental cars can do that?

Now watch – it will break down on my way to the airport tomorrow.

P.S. It didn’t break down. But with the 18.55% tax, the car cost me $391 for 5 days. A 1996 Lumina.

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Hello Phoenix Airport. I heart you.

Posted on November 12, 2009. Filed under: Food, Random | Tags: , |

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Is THIS the greatest Google logo ever?

Posted on November 5, 2009. Filed under: General, Random | Tags: , , |

This one might actually be better than yesterday’s Big Bird. In any case, loving the Sesame Street birthday celebrations this week.

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How Did I Get Here?

Posted on October 16, 2009. Filed under: Random | Tags: , , , |

Surprise! Well, actually, no surprise at all. It was inevitable. But I came at it a little backwards. Facebook started it back in 2007 and I became obsessed with status updates. So of course the next step was Twitter, since it’s like status updates on crystal meth. And then some. But then I had a revelation. I love the quick snippets of Twitter (and have become quite good at them if I do say so myself – follow me here). But what if I have something to say in more than 140 characters? What then? A blog, of course. I looked into it a little more, and well, here I am. And here it is – my first official blog post.

I wanted a home for my random thoughts, observations and photos. Sports. Yankees. TiVo. Pop Culture. Food. Beer. My nephew Sam. And who knows what else? Feel free to subscribe to find out.

This should be fun. Thanks for stopping by.


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  • That’s me!

    Just your typical snarky Yankees-loving sports fanatic TiVo junkie.

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