I grew up just outside of New York City.  I was a Yankees fan, a Knicks fan, a Rangers fan, a Giants fan.  And, as a loyal New Yorker, I have spent much of my life rooting against teams from Boston — the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins (the Patriots too, but they haven’t really been the Boston Patriots since I was a little kid).

On the other hand, I lived for several years in Providence and all of my siblings lived for at least some time in the Boston area.  So, while I grew up hating Boston’s teams, I have always loved the city of Boston.  When it came time to set my Thieftaker books in a Colonial era city, Boston seemed the logical choice.

The terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon venue left me stunned and grieving, not only for the victims most affected by the bombings, but for the entire city.  I still recall my sense of outrage, of violation when my beloved New York was attacked in 2001.  I know what the people of Boston are feeling.

Thieftaker120And so, it is with deepest sympathy and love and solidarity that transcends lifelong sporting rivalries that I embark on a fundraiser and giveaway to do my small part in helping Boston get back on its feet.  Through a website called First Giving, I am hosting a fundraising event the goal of which is to raise $5,000.00 by July 2 (the release date for THIEVES’ QUARRY, and for the paperback reprint of THIEFTAKER) for the Boston Foundation and the One Fund of Boston.  If you will help me raise the funds, I’ll make it interesting for you.  Here’s how it works:

For each fundraising milestone we reach, I will be giving away prizes to lucky donors.

– When we reach $1000 raised, I will give away one signed uncorrected manuscript of THIEFTAKER. This is a collector’s item — a copy of the manuscript that was sent out to other authors who were asked to blurb the book before its release in 2012.
ThieftakerT-Shirt600When we reach $2000, I will give away one Boston Thieftaker’s Guild t-shirt in whatever size the winner wants. The t-shirt can be signed if the winner would like it to be.
— When we reach $3000, I will give away one signed paperback edition of THIEFTAKER. (This book comes out on July 2, so the giveaway will happen then.)
— When we reach $4000, I will give away one signed hardcover edition of THIEVES’ QUARRY. (This book will also be available on July 2 and will be given away then.)
Quarry120– When we reach $5000, I will give away a second signed paperback of THIEFTAKER and a second signed hardcover of THIEVES’ QUARRY to one lucky donor. (Also to be given away on July 2.)

The donation site can be found here:  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/DBJacksonThieftaker/thieftakergiveaway

I hope you will join me in reaching out to the people of Boston, and doing our part to speed the healing process.  And I hope that you’re one of the luck winners.

Thank you.

Giants 20, SF 17

January 22, 2012

In overtime.  In a game they really had no business winning.  Wow.  Just wow.

Turns out the entire team showed up.  Nice game, guys.

Watching the Giants

January 8, 2012

So the Giants are playing the Falcons for the right to play Green Bay at Lambeau Field.  In January.  And this is supposed to motivate them?  The defense looks good so far; the offense is showing few signs of waking up.  More later.

I’m an agnostic.  Let me say that right up front.  I don’t believe in God, and even if I did, I would hope that he or she had more important things to do than watch a football game.

But if the Pittsburgh Steelers win this Super Bowl, that will be the final piece of evidence I need to conclude that there is no just and loving God in the heavens.

I know, there are lots of Steelers fans out there.  Forgive me.  I know as well that football teams are big — 53 men on a roster.  This game isn’t about just one person.  Except that it is.  Super Bowls almost always wind up being about the quarterbacks and once again the Steelers are led by Ben Roethlisberger.  Roethlisberger, for those of you who don’t know, missed the first four games of the season due to a league suspension for personal misconduct.  It seems Big Ben, as he is sometimes known (I assume much to the chagrin of British citizens everywhere), doesn’t really understand that when a woman says “no,” this isn’t some code meaning she actually wants to be sexually assaulted.

Twice Roethlisberger has been implicated in sexual assaults, once in 2008 and once in 2010.  In neither case were charges actually fined, but the 2010 accusations were compelling enough to make the NFL bench one of its star players even without legal action — a telling indictment.  Already there is talk in the media of how this game gives Big Ben a chance to redeem himself, and that’s enough to make me want to throw up.  In what way does a Steeler win offer redemption to the women Roethlisberger has brutalized?  If a season that began with Roethlisberger sitting out games because of his repulsive behavior and ends with him holding the Lombardi Trophy, it will simply reinforce the notion that, in America, if you’re rich enough and famous enough and good enough at those things our culture values, like throwing a football, it doesn’t matter what other crap you do in your spare time.

Playing Luke Skywalker to Roethlisberger’s Darth Vader is Green Bay Packers star QB, Aaron Rogers.  Rogers, I’m sure, is no saint.  But he is, from all appearances, a decent guy, one who doesn’t hurt people in his spare time.  It would be nice to see him win the game, if for no other reason than because it would mean that Roethlisberger had lost.

I doubt that will happen, though.  The Steelers are a very good team, particularly on defense.  And though I happen to think that as a player Roethlisberger is vastly overrated, the Steelers probably have enough offensive firepower to ride their defense to a win.  Which will really be too bad, because while I am an agnostic, it’s nice to wonder now and then if there might be a divine being, merciful and just, watching over us.

Off To a Rocky Start

January 2, 2011

So one goal I had for this year was to blog on a daily basis.  Took me all of 24 hours to blow that one.  But I really do intend to post more often this year — as close to daily as I can manage.  There.  I’ve said it.  Now to do it.

My thought for the day is fairly mundane, I have to admit.  I’m thinking about my effing Giants and what a bunch of losers they are.  My dream is for the ownership to fire Tom Coughlin and hire either Jeff Fisher or Brian Billick.  But yeah, it’s just a dream….

Today’s post can be found at http://www.sfnovelists.com, the group blog on speculative fiction that I maintain along with a group of over one hundred published authors of fantasy and science fiction. The post is called “What sports Can Tell Us About Writing, and What they Can’t.” I hope you enjoy it.

Under the heading of “Unclear on the Concept….”

 

James Harrison, the outstanding, but tempestuous all-pro linebacker for the Superbowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers has declared that he will not be joining his teammates when they go to the White House to be congratulated by President Barack Obama. This is not a political statement (and actually if it was, even if I disagreed with his reasoning, I’d at least respect his position) — Harrison did the same thing when the Steelers won the 2006 Superbowl, refusing to visit with then-President George W. Bush.

 

That said, Harrison’s stated reason for not going may be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard anyone say:

 

This is how I feel — if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don’t win the Super Bowl. As far as I’m concerned, [Obama] would’ve invited Arizona if they had won.

 

Well, yes, James, in all probability President Obama would have invited the Arizona Cardinals to the White House if they had won the Superbowl.  That’s how this works.  He’s not inviting you and your teammates because he wants to see the Steelers.  He’s President; picking up a spare ticket or two (or four) probably isn’t much of a problem for the guy.  This is about honoring you and your teammates for winning the game.  So go; don’t go — really, I can’t imagine why any of us should care.  But please, don’t pretend that this is anything more or less than an attention-seeking ploy by a spoiled, immature prima donna.  And don’t try to justify it by spouting spurious logic and pretending that your pride has been wounded.

A Little Kid-related Bragging

November 11, 2008

None of you who know me would ever, EVER confuse me with a football player, right?  I mean there’s just no chance of that happening.  Same with Nancy.

You ever heard of “Punt, Pass, and Kick”?  It’s a program sponsored by the National Football League.  They go into schools and have kids compete by punting, throwing, and kicking a football.  The object is to get the greatest distance and accuracy in each event.  It’s a national competition and at the end of the football season the winners in the various age and gender groups are honored at the Super Bowl.

Well, my youngest daughter, who to my knowledge had never thrown or kicked a football in her entire life, won her age group competition at her school.  This was last month, and this past Saturday Nancy and I drove her down to Chattanooga for the regional competition.  We thought it was pretty cool that she had done so well at her school, and we figured it would be a good experience for her.  We also figured that at the regional level she’d be overmatched by bigger, stronger kids whose parents had actually been working with them on these skills for the past several years.  (I should note here that my daughter and I did spend this last month occasionally throwing and kicking a football around.  It was mostly for fun, but she did her best to improve her skills, and I helped where I could.)

Long and short:  She did better than we thought she would in Chattanooga.  She did really well actually.  She came in second, and brought home a big honkin’ trophy and a medal.  We couldn’t believe it.

I have two girls, and I never played football at any level except in my yard with friends when I was a kid.  My daughters are swimmers and soccer players and we have plenty of medals and trophies.  But I never thought in a million years that we’d have a football trophy in our house.  Life is full of surprises….

Spring Training

February 12, 2008

Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow, which, for those of you unfamiliar with baseball terminology, means that spring training is about to begin.  This is usually a time of rejoicing for me; an end to a long, lonely winter of sports about which I don’t really care.  Football, basketball, hockey — usually they’re just games to read about when there are no boxscores, a way of marking time until baseball awakes from its winter hibernation.

This year was a bit different, in part because of the Giants’ unexpected success (I’m still in shock) and in part because it was such an ugly offseason for baseball.  All steroids all the time.  I feel like I’m holding my breath, waiting to see how the sport will disgrace itself next, wondering how much more of this I can take.

But spring training is a time of possibility.  The trades have been made, the ink is dry on newly signed contracts, rookies are gearing up for the exhibition season, hoping to make that magical leap from unknown to phenom.  The Mets managed to sign the best pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana.  The Yankees managed to re-sign the best everyday player in the game, A-Rod.  And the Red Sox, for the second time in the last four years, begin the season as defending world champions.  Wouldn’t it be great if the baseball world found a way to get their collective s#%t together and put together a great season?  A few pennant races in the variouis divisions, close competitions for individual honors, maybe a no-hitter or two.  It wouldn’t take much.  Those of us who love the game are looking for reasons to care about it again.  

A new season.  Hope springs eternal.

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