Synopsis: Former high school ballplayer Brett Mandel yearned to experience a year in the minor leagues, so he convinced the Ogden (Utah) Raptors, about to embark on their maiden season, to let him chronicle that season from the perspective of a uniformed player. They agreed. The resulting saga describes the long bus rides, the bad food, the frustrations, and hopes that are all a part of baseball dreaming with affectionate good humor. The book’s true life, though, steps up in the poignancy with which Mandel draws his teammates, young men destined for the most part to fall short of their great desire. As a player, Mandel went 0 for 5 on the year, proving that the pen, long deemed mightier than the sword, can be mightier than the bat, as well.
Joe’s Remarks: What a wonderful book! I picked this one up, and it stayed in my stack of books to read for about 6 months. That was a mistake – I should have read it first. This is a great book if you’re a fan of baseball, particularly if you’re a fan of minor league baseball. This tells the story of Brett’s year with the Ogden Raptors in 1994 from the start to the end of the season. Brett’s writing style is very easy to read. I tend to do most of my reading before going to bed at night, which usually means I can take several sessions to actually finish a book, as I did with this one. Most books suffer from when you pick them up again, it’s not that easy to jump right in where you left off. This one does not have that. For me, it lent itself great to reading it in chunks. Brett was on the Raptors for a whole year, and this book is his recollection of the travels, details, and behind the scenes things most people will never hear about. Check this out – this book has nothing to do with the Texas Rangers, but it’s a great GREAT baseball book!
As an added bonus, I met the author during the summer of 2000 when Lynn & I went to Baltimore to see the Rangers play there. Brett and some friends were coming back from Cooperstown for the HOF induction ceremony, and were in Baltimore to see the Orioles play. He himself told me about the book, and we had a few moments talking about the Phillies, as we’re both from there. I wish I would have already read the book at this point, but Brett was a great guy to meet in person, too!
Drinking Game v1.0 by Joe Siegler
With that out of the way, I’d like to offer my “Who Wants to be a Millionaire Drinking Game”. In sitting around one night watching this show, I realized that this show was ripe for a drinking game, as there’s several things that repeat themselves. I took a look around the net, and I couldn’t find one, so I figured I’d construct one of my own. It took me about a month to put this all together. I didn’t want to just slap something together, I wanted this to be well put together. I could have very easily picked a few things that happen all the time and you’d be drunk in two seconds flat, like anytime Regis says “Final Answer”, or any time those lights from the ceiling swoop down, and the “dramatic music” is played. Nah, I wanted some stuff that’s a bit more original than that, so without further adieu, here’s the game:
I’ve broken this down into a few sections. The first section are things that Regis does, the second section is things that aren’t Regis related (which are mostly player things), and the third are what I call “big things”.
Section One: Regis things
- Regis points into camera (x2 if he uses both hands)
- Regis drinks water (x2 if contestant drinks with him)
- Says “They’re all here” during explaining lifelines
- Regis holds up one of those fake checks for the camera to see (x2 if the contestant is holding it)
- Regis holds up some “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” crap for you to buy (game, shirt, etc).
- Regis asks the contestant’s audience friend a question, and then gives his fakey “That’s nice” answer. (x2 if it’s to the phone a friend)
- Regis asks “final” for any question under $1000 (x2 if person gets it wrong anyway)
Section Two: Non-Regis things
- If one of the announced contestants is from your home town.
- The audience is wrong on the poll the audience lifeline.
- Contestant complains that the 50-50 didn’t help them.
- The Phone a friend has absolutely no idea at all (x2 if they don’t even hazard a guess).
- If contestant uses two lifelines on one question (x2 if they use all three on a single question)
- Contestant walks away from game with less than $32,000.
- If one player hogs over half the episode by themselves. (x2 if they mention it on the air)
Section Three: “Big Things”
- Contestant’s final prize money is zero (x2)
- Your phone happens to ring at the same moment they’re calling the phone a friend (x3)
- You personally know one of the contestants (x4)
- Contestant wins $1 million! (x5)
That’s about it for the game – as I said, I didn’t do this easily, I could have very well come up with a bunch more things that happen all the time, but I wanted some things in here that happen a lot, but don’t happen every 5 minutes. A few notes – #3 in section 1 was the first one I ever came up with – I realize it’s kinda lame, but quite frankly, that makes me laugh for some reason.
Also, whenever one of these things happen, I yell “Veneer” when taking a drink. Why? If anyone watches Frasier, they had an episode this past season where Frasier, Niles, & Martin were all watching the Antiques Roadshow, and they had a drinking game for that – they had picked the word Veneer to drink to whenever someone said it. My wife and I thought that was insanely funny, so we just started saying Veneer for the Millionaire Drinking Game.
I hope this at least brought a smile to your face – then it was worth it. If you have any feedback or suggestions, drop me a line. (Thought about inserting some bad lifeline joke there, but naaah). Here’s some Millionaire links, as well as some drinking game links:
- Official Millionaire Site on ABC.com
- Buy the Millionaire Board Game
- Buy the Millionaire Book
- Yahoo’s List of Drinking Game Links