Here’s The Thing – Countdowns Are Cool

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Did you know it’s 19 days until The Super Bowl? I do, because countdowns are something that I love. I am a red blooded American male and a sports fan, which by law means I love bacon, cheerleaders, steak cooked rare, beer in mass quantities, and knowing exactly how many days until my next opportunity for bacon, cheerleaders, steak cooked rare and beer in mass quantities. Plus, counting backwards is cool.

See, Here’s The Thing; I love looking forward to “the next fun thing.” I’m a happy go lucky guy most of the time (I’m also a happy go naked guy, and perhaps not coincidentally, the two often overlap), so I spend a great deal of energy having fun in the moment. However, I also know that anticipation can be a close cousin of fun, so I have numerous countdowns in the calendar of my phone. For example, it’s only 26 days until Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training, which means it’s only about 32 days until people get bored with Spring Training and start being excited that it’s only 75 days until Opening Day. It’s also 75 days until The Final Four begins, and you have to grumble about losing your office March madness pool to a lady who made her picks based on which team’s animal mascot would win in a fight. 134 days until the NBA Finals are scheduled to begin, which means about 148 days left for me to answer every sports taunt with “Cavs: NBA Champs, baybee!” (Hopefully they renew that for me) Did you know it’s only 41 days until the NFL Combine? It’s true! 41 days until middle aged and old men watch young men run around in their underwear for a week, and somehow no one thinks it’s weird and creepy and borderline NAMBLA-esque! After that, 51 days until NFL Free Agency, and 99 days until The NFL Draft, where middle aged and old men write names of young men on note cards, pass them around, and we sit glued watching it on our TV’s for three entire days. I’ll bet you didn’t know all that. I’ll bet it’s because you have a life.

Look, I could sit here and pass along countdowns all day, but it’s only five more days until I get to go home. That’s my favorite countdown.

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

HeresTheThingArt

Here’s The Thing – Gamblicus Returns

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Great Googly Moogly Morning, friends and defendants! It IS a great morning! Not only because we’re alive, not currently in captivity, and most of our test results came back negative, but because this incredible day marks the return of one of our most treasured Americans to these airwaves: Gamblicus is here for Mortal Lock Friday.

See, Here’s The Thing; The greatest gambling mind of our generation graces this air every Friday. From the wagering advisor to the Caesars, to my bloodline, an end run around Grey’s Sports Almanac and direct to you, our loyal listeners and the people trapped in their cars with them, you get the most guaranteed winners anywhere, right here. So what does Gamblicus say this week? Well … I predict Washington and Clemson both win, thereby eliminating any of the ridiculous possibilities of Michigan and Ohio State getting in over the team that won their division and their conference, or several days of debating Wisconsin and Colorado, or insane people with guns shouting on talk radio about Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. (the insane people with guns will still shout on talk radio, it’ll just be about other topics like immigration and the contentious Fruit Loops Vs Lucky Charms debate) I predict the people who will argue about Navy and Western Michigan need a girlfriend. I predict that after smartly avoiding a work stoppage, there will be a major trade in baseball that causes everyone to go ahead and award the 2017 World Series to a team that will ultimately finish 4th in their division. I predict I will utterly destroy at least two dozen chicken wings. I predict the upset of the week in the NFL happens in Jacksonville. I predict road wins for the Cowboys, Eagles, Dolphins and 49ers. I predict home losses for the Jets, Bengals and Ravens. I predict that the Browns bye week will give me a relaxing Sunday afternoon, which I will ruin by putting up the Christmas tree and lights and doing an excellent Clark Griswold impression, except with more cursing in front of the neighborhood children.

Look, Gamblicus shows up, Gamblicus gives golden predictions, Gamblicus is right. These are facts. What you do with that information is up to you, friends and countrymen. Now go forth and double your holiday gift fund.

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

HeresTheThingArt

Here’s The Larry King’s Things

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Good day to you, friends and neighbors, and here’s hoping this 24 hour rotation of the planet bring you joy, laughter and artificially generated endorphins. As I write this, I’ve been away from home for two weeks, with one more to go. I realize that’s not a terribly long time, but being separated from my family always makes a little crazy. OK, craziER. Shut up, you.
See, Here’s The Thing; I’ve always been accused of being a bit weird and off-kilter, and I take it as a compliment. My Life Coaching philosophy has always been “Normal People Suck,” so I wear being called crazy like a Boy Scout Merit Badge. To that end, let’s go Larry King style today and just run off a pile of random, unconnected “crazy” thoughts on sports … and maybe a few other topics. The AP Poll in college football is a quaint relic of a bygone era that’s no longer useful or necessary, like a home phone, local TV news or Charo. Tom Brady and Drew Brees might collect an NFL paycheck and a Social Security check at the same time. BALTIMORE MARYLAND! YOU’RE ON THE AIR! The Warriors trading Klay Thompson is about as likely as me winning the Sexiest Man Alive contest … or coming in third … or receiving a single vote. Episodes and Review: With Forrest MacNeil are the two funniest shows on TV that you’re probably not watching. FLAGSTAFF ARIZONA! YOU’RE ON THE AIR! Overcooked yellow squash has the same gooey consistency as undercooked bread pudding, both of which I hate like Hitler. The Browns have the worst record in the NFL, but are not the worst team. This may be the first MLB offseason where owners actually stick to their claim they won’t spend like newly divorced guys in Vegas. People protesting to overturn the results of a democratic election are incredibly stupid. People painting swastikas on things and telling immigrants & minorities to “get out” are even stupider. My current Top 4 is Alabama, Ohio State, Louisville and Clemson, and at least two are in serious danger of missing the playoff. How’s THAT for crazy?

Look, you may not agree with what I’ve said today, and that’s OK. It just means you’re normal. Now, refer back to what I said about normal people, then ponder if you want to change your mind. VALENCIA CALIFORNIA! YOU’RE ON THE AIR!

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

HeresTheThingArt

Here’s The Thing – After The Election…

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Well hello there everyone, nice to talk to you today! Wait … it is today, isn’t it? The sun came up? OK good, I was worried because everyone told me the world would end today. It’s so great that we live in a country where the sun rises nearly every day, bacon is plentiful, and most importantly we can spend hours upon hours of our short existence on this planet calling anyone who roots for a different sports team than us creatively vulgar names!

See, Here’s The Thing; No matter how you feel or what you think about the Presidential Election – and I TRULY DO NOT CARE, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO YOUR OPINION WHATEVER IT IS, YOU DO YOU, SUNSHINE – the fact that we live in a country where 240 years of peaceful transition of power allows us the freedom to shout at each other about sports is pretty amazing, and I am forever grateful for it. After the election, we we still have the freedom to debate whether Dak or Romo should start at QB for the Cowboys. After the election, we still have the freedom to decide who’s going to win the NBA Championship and sneer down our noses at anyone who disagrees, even though it’s November and all of our opinions are ludicrous. After the election, we still have the freedom to argue about the Top 4 of the College Football Playoff (It’s Alabama, Michigan, Clemson & Washington, and if you disagree you’re stupid). After the election, we still have the freedom to do NFL Mock Drafts and act like we have any Earthly clue what the hell we’re talking about while we do them. After the election, we’re all still Americans with the freedom to get up and go to work, or stay home on the couch, wiping Cheeto dust on the pajama pants we’ve been wearing since yesterday, and dive into the comments section on an internet column where Skip Bayless claims LeBron James is not only not a great player, he should simply be taken out and shot. After the election: We’re all still here.

Look, I’m sorry if your side lost, and I’m happy if your side won. More important than anything though, can we all agree that the only people who should leave the country are the ones saying the Indians should trade Andrew Miller? I love this country.

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

HeresTheThingArt

Here’s The Thing – Gamblicus = Bacon

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Hell there, friends and inmates! We’re back after a long sports weekend, and we’re going to take a look at what we learned the past few days. Obviously we learned that Gamblicus is never to be doubted, what with the Bears upset pick and the 3-2 Cleveland lead predictions coming through, I should be hailed and carried around on your shoulders and fed grapes by comely lasses. Other than that though, let’s look at what happened, and what it might mean for the coming weeks.

See, Here’s The Thing; Looking back and learning from the past is a worthwhile daily endeavor in any part of your life. It’s even more worthwhile today in sports, and not only because it proves that I, Gamblicus am not only better than mere mortals, I’m the bacon of sports handicapping, if you think about it. No, learning today will also tell us what might happen as the sports world spins forward. For example, the Bears victory eliminates all but two teams from contention for the #1 overall pick in 2017 NFL Draft; if you think the Browns are getting to two victories, you’re nuttier than a Snickers. Another lesson learned: the only team that can realistically beat Alabama is Alabama, and the other three currently undefeated teams at the top of the polls are hoping against hope that Nick Saban is eaten by Tribbles or becomes patient zero in the Zombie Apocalypse or something. Another lesson learned, that should have become apparent to everyone by now: Don’t make Tom Brady angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. Lesson: Not all 31 year olds are created equal, and by that I mean LeBron’s 31 is not your 31. LeBron’s 31 runs and dunks and sees through walls. Your 31 runs only when being chased or if you really have to pee, remembers when you could almost dunk, and starts numerous sentences with “Man, I just can’t drink like that anymore.” Final lesson: Gamblicus said “Indians in 6.” I’m just going to leave that one there, and you do with it what you will.

Look, the past explains the present, which tells us about the future. It really is that simple, you just have to know where to look. Pay attention this week, I bet we’ll learn more.

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

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Here’s The Thing – GAMBLICUS RETURNS! (Mortal Lock Friday)

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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With the weather beginning to turn colder and the skies becoming darker across the country, you may be unsure of what to do on the weekends. Before you do something crazy and dangerous that includes some sort of physical activity, I want you to take a deep breath, sit back, and let Gamblicus put your mind at ease with sports wagering tips that include nearly endless hours of couch time. That’s right, it’s Mortal Lock Friday.

See, Here’s The Thing; We all know Mortal Lock Friday is the greatest sports handicapping show in the history of ever and time, having never missed on a pick – EVER! – except for the ones we’ve gotten wrong. (That’s documented – look it up) Now, let’s get to the picks so you can win enough money to send your boss an email that includes a shot of your junk! I predict that despite the media proclaiming The World Series over after Game 2, they’ll go ahead and play more games – and after this weekend it will be 3-2 Cleveland. I predict Clemson, Nebraska, Florida and Boise State all go down, West Virginia keeps winning, and the College Football Playoff picture becomes murkier than the connections between Trump and the Clintons. I predict Michigan State could block 9 punts this year and still not beat Michigan. I predict that ten years from now, when the Northwestern graduates are bosses to the Ohio State graduates, they’ll remember the horrific beating the Buckeyes give them this weekend, and regularly carry out revengeful plans around the office. I predict the NFL games of the week will be Colts-Chiefs and Chargers-Broncos, with Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers continuing their recent hot streaks through one more victory. I predict a pregame fight is the only thing the Bills might win this weekend. I predict the upset of the week comes on Monday night – yes, I’m picking the Bears. Finally, I predict that with three weeks on the road looming, my couch time and chicken wing intake will approach First Ballot Hall Of Fame levels.

Look, Gamblicus has spoken, and if my gambling genius bloodline was good enough for the Caesars to heed, it’s good enough for you. Go forth and gamble, my loyal subjects! Unrelated: Can I borrow $50?

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

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Here’s The Thing – Cleveland: The Times, They Are A-Changin’

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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So it happened. Yes, it happened, and it happened so perfectly that I’m still not sure I believe it happened. What happened? Well, I’ll tell you what happened: for one night, Cleveland was the center of the sports universe. Not only that, Cleveland WON. Both games. This simply doesn’t happen. Not in my lifetime, anyway.

See, Here’s The Thing; My fellow Cleveland fans, if this keeps up we’re going to have to find another sports identity, because “Mistake By The Lake” and “Crap, What’s Going To Go Wrong NOW?” will no longer be even remotely applicable. Let me preface this by saying it’s only one championship, and the Indians only won one World Series game, so it could all easily come crashing down like a lake effect snow squall in May, but for one night, it was just about perfect. For one night, we weren’t the laughingstock of the sports world. For one night, Cleveland – CLEVELAND – stood head and shoulders above every other sports town on the planet, and not a single rational person could argue that we weren’t Lords Of The Manor, Kings Of The Castle and the Biggest Baddest Badasses In All Of BadassTown. The Cavaliers raised the first Championship Banner in Cleveland since 1964, then went out and dismantled the Knicks like they were … well, like they were the Knicks. A few hundred yards away, the Indians hosted their first World Series game in twenty years, their first World Series Game 1 ever, and we watched Corey Kluber mow down the incredible Cubs lineup like … well, like they were the Knicks. If this keeps up, we on the North Shore are going to have to start acting like sports badasses. We’re going to have to become obnoxious, start sneering at other fans like they’re the glue eating kid in Kindergarten, and strut around with a “Yeah, we’re going to win and if this was prison your team would be wearing a dress” attitude. I know it seems weird and foreign, but just look at your friends who are New York fans and do what they do, except without the funny accent or random punching of strangers.

Look, as I said there’s a long way to go in The World Series and the NBA regular season is meaningless, but for one night, Cleveland shined as the brightest light in the sports universe, so lets embrace the new world order. Go Cavs. Go Tribe. (The Browns don’t count)

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

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Here’s The Thing – Cleveland Tonight, Dinosaur Meteor Tomorrow

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Well, it’s finally here. The biggest day in Cleveland sports history. No, the Browns aren’t being arrested for crimes against humanity and forced to repay me 25 years of season ticket money (although I wouldn’t oppose that), it’s the day the Cavaliers hoist their NBA Championship banner on the same night the Indians host Game 1 of The World Series. Obviously, tomorrow is the day the dinosaur meteor returns.

See, Here’s The Thing; Growing up a Cleveland sports fan in the 70’s & 80’s, a day like today seemed about as realistic the movies from back then, where the hottest girl on campus ended up in love with the fat guy who smelled like burnt cheese. The Browns were competitive and on the brink of Super Bowl appearances, while the Cavaliers barely existed and the Indians were so bad that Hollywood made a freaking movie about it. To think that one day, that script would be completely reversed would have been unimaginable, yet here we are. In case you missed it because you were in a coma, or some sort of hostage situation or localized zombie attack, the Cavaliers won Cleveland’s first Championship in 52 years back in June. Since that day, the Indians have been in first place, then swept Boston and routed Toronto on the way to their first World Series appearance since I was still young enough to have some hope that life would work out. That hope is long extinguished, but tonight, within about 500 yards of each other in downtown Cleveland, a banner goes up and a World Series gets underway. This night reminds me that anything can happen, even though if Cleveland wins I’ll be about 98% convinced that I died on June 18 and this is all a Jacob’s Ladder style hallucination. No matter what, if I time travelled back to 1986 and told my younger self that the Browns are now a laughingstock while the Tribe and Cavs are Championship franchises, 1986 me wouldn’t believe it – not even if I had Gray’s Sports Almanac to prove it.

Look, I know the Cubs are the big story in the media, but I don’t care. This night is about my beloved Cleveland. We’ve waited for this. We’ve earned it. We’re going to enjoy it. Oh, and Indians in 6.

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

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Here’s The Thing – Cleveland Winning: More Frightening Than Halloween

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Well hello there, groupies and stalkers! It’s October, so there are scary things afoot. Ghost and goblins are around every corner, interactive zombie experiences are at amusement parks and hayfields across the country, and most terrifying of all – Cleveland is winning again in the playoffs. AAAAAAAAAAAH!

See, Here’s The Thing; As a lifelong fan of all Cleveland sports, the winning since June is frightening on a level I can’t describe. Not frightening in a good way like the joy of having a kid, that’s paired with you being scared and clueless and lying awake at night hoping they get a college scholarship or that at least you’re not raising a serial killer. Not THAT kind of scary. I’m talking the kind of scary like when you were 16, coming home three hours after your curfew, and seeing your parents bedroom light was on; the brand of fear where you KNOW this could be the end of life as you know it. Like marriage, only worse. (KIDDING! There’s nothing scarier than marriage) Since 1964, Cleveland fans knew that whatever happened in the world, we could count on our sports teams blowing it in the end, usually in excruciating fashion. Hey, we’re the only town that has losses so uniquely impossible, they have names – I mean come on, our baseball team was so bad, Hollywood made a movie about it. Then on June 19, the Cavaliers won the NBA Championship. It was fun. It was great. It was weird. We moved on. Last night, the Indians swept Boston out of the playoffs after holding on during 8th and 9th inning rallies that for 50 years we KNEW the Sox would have completed, probably on a wacky, wind-blown popup or horrible call that made the announcers say “40 years in baseball and I’ve never seen THAT before!” But they didn’t. They won. Like a real team or something. It was glorious. It was majestic. It was most likely the Seventh Sign, and now the entire human race is in jeopardy. (Oh, and thank God the Browns still stink. At least SOMETHING still makes sense)

Look, I’m not saying we’re all going to die. Yet. Just consider this: Cleveland is winning, and either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be President. That Haunted Hayride by your house isn’t 1/100th as scary as that.

Find my Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, comedy schedule and buy my CD all on my website at MiddleAgedMarriedGuy.com. For Project Shanks, I’m Stephen Thomas, and that was The Thing.

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Here’s The Thing – I Hate Mondays (Mortal Lock Friday Review)

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Here’s The Thing – Not From Cleveland? You Can’t Understand. (And That’s Good)

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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Here’s The Thing – Slow Down, Ferris

By Stephen Thomas (@15Stephen15)
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I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

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