Silicon Valley Circa 1956 – A Valley That is No More

What was it like in Silicon Valley in 1956?

Back then, the Valley lay in the shadow of San Francisco. If you wanted culture, glamor, or riches, you headed to the City. If you wanted farm life, you headed to San Jose. I exaggerate, but not by much. Hard as it is to imagine today, the Valley then was still tied closely to the soil. People knew how to grow things. Things like fruit. Not just as a hobby but as way of life. Above all, they knew how to can and pack that fruit. Not as home preserves but on a large, industrial scale. Before WWII, San Jose had fewer than 100,000 people. Yet no fewer than 18 canneries and 13 packing houses could be found in the Valley. This was then the largest canning and dried fruit packing center in the world. By 1956, this farm-based culture was still largely intact. Today, it is almost entirely gone.

Those of us who have been here awhile may have caught fragments of the old life. I remember doing a summer stint as a student at the Del Monte Cannery off Auzerais Avenue, circa 1970, in which my fingers turned prune-like as I stood there for endless hours throughout each shift “guiding” grapes to the center of a conveyor belt at its drop-off point by repeatedly reaching my arms out as if doing a butterfly stroke and pulling the grapes inward as my arms would pull together. Shifting to the “dry” side later that summer, my brother and I would do the graveyard shift standing at the bottom of a massive slide and scrambling like mad to stack pallets manually with some really heavy boxes whenever the automatic pallet-stacker at the top malfunctioned and some faceless person would switch the boxes to come zinging downward non-stop and with a great force — we felt like Lucy and Ethel trying frantically to handle all the chocolates as the sheer number and frequency of the boxes would overwhelm our ability to stack them. I can assure you that whatever talent we displayed that summer went entirely unrecognized.

But back to life in 1956. Cali Mill sat at the corner of De Anza and Stevens Creek Boulevard. Monte Bello Vineyards quietly grew its grapes in the Cupertino foothills, soon about to realize great harvests that would lead it to become Ridge Vineyards. Paul Masson was even then a Valley winery that would “sell no wine before its time,” as Orson Welles would later put it. Cupertino had just incorporated as a city in 1955, becoming the 13th city in the Valley (Sunnyvale had voted to incorporate in 1912). Cupertino High was about to form in 1958. De Anza College didn’t exist. Nor did El Camino Hospital. Both were about a decade or so off. Santa Clara’s law school was around, and it graduated exactly 13 students that year. Many at the time could remember just a couple of decades earlier when it took the equivalent of a short trip through the country to get from downtown San Jose to Willow Glen. Much of Mountain View remained agricultural not only as of 1956 but even throughout most of the 1960s — during this era, there was still open space between Mountain View and Palo Alto, with row crops and orchards filling in the gap. Moffett Field with its huge hangars filled the Valley with the noise of monster-sized military planes droning continuously as they took off and landed throughout the day.

Prosperity was afoot, however, wholly apart from the agricultural sector. Santa Clara Valley had a massive postwar population explosion and chaotic growth to accompany it. By the mid-1950s, San Jose was well on its way to having over 200,000 people, more than doubling its population within the decade. Electronics companies began to flourish, spurred on initially by WWII. Prominent among these was Hewlett Packard, which in 1956 did $20 million in revenues and employed 900 people while selling test and measurement equipment. By the following year, it would go public and double the number of its employees while doing something very unusual — it gave stock grants and options to all employees with at least six months of service, an almost unheard-of practice at the time.

Shopping malls sprang up as well, even as Woolworth’s and other five-and-ten-cent stores started to falter. In the summer of 1956, one of the first and most notable, Macy’s Valley Fair, opened as a 39-store retail center. Macy’s had wanted to open in downtown San Jose but got stiffed on price. It therefore bought several acres of land along San Jose’s unincorporated Stevens Creek Road and built the center there, amidst a wide open area consisting of orchards and an Emporium department store. When it opened, it had only one floor and a roof deck that was accessible to shoppers by elevator. Macy’s planned to add a second floor. So what did it do in the interim? It did what any good promoter of a new concept would do (and as many other centers of that day did) to attract shoppers — it set up a carnival! Yes, right on the roof deck of its shopping mall, it put not just one but seven carnival rides. It had a merry-go-round and a small train and even a 40-foot ferris wheel! It also had a cafe so that parents could relax and eat as their kids enjoyed the rides. It seems that fast-shuffle types were busy long before startups came along. If it sparkles, they will come!

While Cupertino lagged in seeing its first significant shopping center open, 17 of its largest landowners shortly thereafter sold out to Varian Associates, another thriving electronics firm, which (along with the Leonard, Lester, Craft and Orlando families) developed the center that took as its name an acronym composed of the first initials of each participant: Vallco Park. Vallco, however, did not open until the early 1960s. In 1956, the large tracts of land were entirely undeveloped except for agricultural purposes.

Meanwhile, we had the Dow at about 500. People made just under $5,000 per year on average and paid about $12,000 if they wanted to buy a brand new home. No sticker shock in those days for those moving in from the Midwest.

The Korean War had ended three years earlier and the McCarthy hearings a couple of years before. The shock of Sputnik was still a year away. The Cold War was in full sway, however, and was not helped by the crushing of the Hungarian uprising by Soviet tanks in 1956. Memorable among the oddities of the day were the atomic bomb drills by which school kids would attain assured safety from any nearby neutron blast by being taught to crawl under their desks (confirming that the leaders then were about like those we have today).

Eisenhower was President and Nixon Vice President, re-elected as a team for a second term. Congress adopted “In God We Trust” as the national motto, officially supplanting its unofficial predecessor, E Pluribus Unum. In one of the great ideological misfires of all time, Ike appointed William J. Brennan as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court at the time included not only Justice Brennan but also Earl Warren, Felix Frankfurter, John Harlan, Hugo Black, and William O. Douglas.

Drugs were clearly a problem in metropolitan areas but had not spread as yet to the larger society. In response, Congress held marathon hearings on the issue and passed the Narcotic Control Act of 1956. Prescription drugs and packaged food items, meanwhile, did not have safety caps or seals, and the Tylenol poisoner who brought that constant headache upon us had not yet begun to serve his just judgment of everlasting torture in the lowest of the lowest of the lowest regions of Hades specifically reserved for him, where (I hope) it is EXTRA, EXTRA HOT!

Smoking was cool, however, really cool; so too was drinking (remember the “highball”). Garbage was garbage and weather was weather, since Rachel Carson had not yet had her way. Wonder Bread made up for any nutritional deficit incurred through all that smoking and drinking, or at least that is the conclusion I would have come to as a 5-year old boy at the time had I thought about it (only weird people didn’t like Wonder Bread).

Fireworks were everywhere on the Fourth of July, and there were no forbidden zones. Many an anthill served as a proving ground for mischievous boys in training for the demolition corps. What was done with cherry bombs will be passed over in silence.

Ma Bell introduced three-slot pay phones (for nickel, dime, and quarter) that year. She would lease you a home phone as well but not sell you one. You could, however, listen in for free on someone else’s party-line conversation, and you could make crank calls at will without fear that caller ID would expose you for being the lewd person that you were.

’56 Chevys, costing about $2,000, symbolized the oligopoly (composed of GM, U.S. Steel, and a few others) that John Kenneth Galbraith assured us would forever dominate a new industrial state and crush all future competition. “Made in Japan” meant junk, and Sony took this to heart by shipping its first transistor radio to Canada that year, perhaps sensing that it might ultimately have the last laugh.

Dairy Queens proliferated, having just introduced dilly bars to complement the banana splits they had been serving up for five years, but no trace could yet be found of McDonald’s (nor of the infamously-named and now near-defunct Sambo’s Restaurant which some of us may remember while eating those awful 3:00 a.m. fries in student mode during the 1960s and 1970s).

Gas stations were full service and gas was priced at about $.22 per gallon. The road culture ala Jack Kerouac held sway. Drive-in theaters flourished as part of a nationwide phenomenon which saw them quintuple in number from 1948 until they hit their peak by 1958 even as indoor theaters shrank by one-quarter during that same period. President Eisenhower signed the Federal Highway Act that gave impetus to the federal interstate system we know so well today. Commercial flying had gone mainstream, was highly regulated and expensive, and enabled you to get a hot meal with your flight.

Kodak dominated film. Polaroid was in its third decade of existence and had managed to sell its one millionth camera that year, though the Instamatic was still well off into the future. IBM had invented the world’s first hard disk (5 MB storage) for use on mainframes. Of course, the people of that day could scarcely dream of personal computers or hand-held digital devices or email or the Internet.

TVs were in about half of all households and had become the center of family activity, having supplanted radio and undercut the cinema. Almost all were black and white, as color sets did not catch on until the early ’60s. It took a U.S Supreme Court decision in 1955 to pave the way, but TV quiz shows were held not to constitute illegal gambling and so the $64,000 Question was eagerly watched to see if contestants could win individual prizes of as much as $100. Also eagerly watched were Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, who premiered their hugely popular Huntley-Brinkley Report on NBC in October, 1956, bumping Douglas Edwards of CBS from the top spot in ratings for television news. TV poured forth a wealth of wholesome family entertainment, with Father Knows Best, the Danny Thomas Show, the Phil Silvers Show, the Loretta Young Show, Playhouse 90, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Caesar’s Hour coming to mind as standouts among the offerings. No VHS to record any of it with, however, and no TiVo either.

Hollywood released Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, with its nearly 4-hour runtime, whose very ponderousness is rumored to have prompted a prominent Jewish wag of the time to stand up in the middle of the screening and cry out, “Cecil, let my people go.” While it no doubt went unnoticed here in the Valley, Ed Wood also produced what is reputed to be the worst movie ever made, Plan 9 from Outer Space, whose star (Bela Lugosi), having died after only four days of shooting, was represented by a double through most of the movie! More likely to be found at the local Odeon were Bus Stop (Marilyn Monroe), Picnic (William Holden), The Searchers (John Wayne), Giant (Rock Hudson), Moby Dick (Gregory Peck), The Solid Gold Cadillac (Judy Holliday), Forbidden Planet (Walter Pidgeon), Anastasia (Ingrid Bergman), Friendly Persuasion (Gary Cooper), Around the World in 80 Days (David Niven and about 100,000 other stars in cameo appearances), Patterns (Van Heflin), and (my favorite) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kevin McCarthy). All in all, an OK but not a great year for Hollywood, as the great stars of the 1930s and 1940s had either retired or were past their prime and as the film noir fashion had pretty much reached the end of its tether, yielding place, on the one hand, to Doris Day fluff films and, on the other, to hothouse films of the William Faulkner variety featuring sweaty male leads and ever sultry and much abused ladies. Arghhh! No wonder the cinema was in decline.

The “beat” movement was in full swing, Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, and the movie “Rock Around the Clock” was released, causing rock-and-roll riots, of all things, throughout much of Europe. The vinyl LP had been around just shy of a decade and was hugely popular. Hugh Hefner had begun his mischief, and Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando each were promoting their own versions of sex appeal. Grace Kelly caused the nation to swoon with her marriage to Prince Rainier in Monaco. And Pete Seeger protested and sang folk songs. Kids played Monopoly and rode Schwinn bikes. The Yankees won the World Series, beating the Dodgers (the Brooklyn Dodgers, that is), with Don Larsen pitching a perfect game and with such stalwarts as Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson, and Pee Wee Reese gracing the field. Professional basketball remained largely segregated, though amazing players did some incredible things in what were then known as the Negro Colleges and a certain Bill Russell had led the University of San Francisco to the NCAA championships that year for the second time running; today the ratio of white to black players in the NBA has shifted, to put it mildly. Martin Luther King’s Montgomery bus boycotts had just come to a successful conclusion, spurred by a post-Brown v. Board of Education decision of the U.S. Supreme Court brought about by a legal team led by Thurgood Marshall.

Schools had discipline, and prayer. Knuckle-rapping with rulers was OK. Girls were of the marrying kind or of the “other” kind. Boys were the same drips then as they are today. Latin was still taught as a required language, though Greek had been routed by well-meaning but thoroughly befuddled language latitudinarians. Grade inflation had not yet taken hold, and the dread of flunking out remained very real for those who didn’t meet standards.

Perhaps the greatest news of 1956 came with the discovery of a vaccine for the prevention of polio — one of the great medical breakthroughs ever. The Valley, and the nation, gave a huge sigh of relief.

Law practice was characterized by mostly male lawyers who never touched a typewriter and who dictated profusely, wore suits and ties, and addressed one another as Mr. or Mrs. or Miss (no Ms. at the time and no casual first-name familiarity). Typewriters abounded. Plain paper photocopying was still several years off, but law firms could still use cruder mechanisms for making copies. Lawyers will be lawyers, after all. Early fax machines existed but were few and far between and very expensive. An “express message” meant a telegram from the one company that then held a monopoly over that mode of communication. Literal cut-and-paste constituted the editing process. Manual redlining was laboriously done in larger firms but not much elsewhere. Even “large” firms were midgets compared to today’s giants (even as of the early 1960s, the then 80-year-old firm I began with in 1980, McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, had just 20 or so lawyers!). Lawyers did not advertise, and collegial relationships tended to characterize what were then true partnerships where lawyers, once established, planned to spend their entire working careers.

“Silicon Valley” did not then exist, but all that was about to change. It began quietly enough and many did not notice. In the late 1930s, a pointy-headed Englishman named Alan Turing had taken his vast knowledge of high-level mathematics, had assumed infinite resources, and had set about to develop a logical model of incredible theoretical power that he called his “universal computing machine.” He saw that a vast number of complex functions could be mimicked and processed through logical representations contained in simple “on” and “off” states. Thus was born the digital model (or at least its modern and truly effective incarnation). But a small problem remained: what to do about those “infinite resources” that higher mathematicians could take for granted in their theorems but that did not in fact exist. The analog world was one of heavy machinery, the bigger and more powerful the better. And yet, and yet . . . Maybe with the right materials, the power of electricity could be harnessed to give us real-world computers as so envisioned.

Enter William Shockley. The date: February 13, 1956. The place: 391 South San Antonio Road, Mountain View. The goal: to make the world’s first semiconductors. Yes, right at the time the Valley struggled to retain some semblance of its agricultural roots, Shockley announced the formation of Shockley Labs. While really a division of a larger enterprise, this little outfit ultimately set the model for many startups that would follow. How? Well, in spite of all-pervasive genius, it never made a dime of profit. Only red ink. A true model for the Valley!

What is more, it became a prototype of a startup that is begun, controlled, and dominated by an engineering genius who proceeds to suffocate the life out of it. Today such engineers are kept caged in a back room, carefully guarded, and periodically fed big helpings of stock options to keep them tamed. Back then people didn’t know any better. And so William Shockley ultimately destroyed the company of which he was the brainchild. And brainchild he was — the Nobel-Prize-winning inventor of the world’s first transistor, a key foundational piece upon which the digital model could be built. A man with enough stature to assemble what was perhaps the world’s most famous founding team. But it all came to naught, and Shockley took his Nobel Prize and moved to Stanford to expound upon wild racial theories.

But what a founding team he had assembled! Gordon Moore. Robert Noyce. The founders of Fairchild Semiconductor and, ultimately, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, and all the “fairchildren” that eventually came to the fore. From failure came spectacular success. Thus, the great companies of the Valley were poised to come into existence and realize the great digital vision of Alan Turing. The world of startups, venture capital, and explosive growth was about to begin. And Santa Clara Valley was never to be the same again. Silicon Valley was born.

Engagement Anxiety Dismantled – Do I Love My Fiance Enough?

They usually speak in low tones, as if they’re violating some unwritten law of an engaged person. I can hear the fear, doubt, confusion, and anxiety wrapped in each word, as well as the relief that they’ve finally found a safe place where they can discuss their real feelings. The story and subsequent questions are some version of the following (written as a woman but could just as easily be spoken by a man about his wife-to-be):

“My fiance is a great guy. He’s honest, responsible, loyal, good-looking, funny. My parents and friends love him. I’ve never felt so safe with anyone. We have the same values about kids, family, money, religion. I know I love him and he’s my best friend but… I’m not sure that I’m in love with him. Do I love him enough to marry him? How do I know that I’m not making a mistake?”

I usually know within the first fifteen minutes of a counseling session whether or not the person is making a mistake. But it often takes much longer than that for my clients to assimilate the information I offer them, work through the exercises I prescribe, and begin to dismantle their engagement anxiety so that they can transform what we think of as “cold feet” and begin to feel excited about their wedding and marriage. We typically address three key areas to facilitate this process:

1. We distinguish between red-flag relationship issues and normal engagement anxiety:

There are two kinds of fear that arise during engagements: the first is a signal that there’s a serious red-flag issue in the relationship and the second is a signal that you’re about to make the biggest commitment of your life and, yes, it’s scary. What are the red-flag issues I’m referring to? Some are very obvious: your partner has an addiction issue (alcohol, drugs, work, gambling), there are betrayal or trust issues that haven’t been healed, there are incompatibilities regarding core values like having children or religion. Other red-flag issues might be less blatant: your partner has serious control issues that he’s not willing to address, you’re young (early twenties) and aren’t ready to commit to one person, you have the feeling that your partner doesn’t really love you but is more in love with the fantasy or idea of you. There are certainly other red-flag issues, but these are the most common I encounter in my practice.

The second kind of fear is what we commonly think of as “cold feet”. Personally, I don’t like the expression cold feet because it doesn’t accurately describe what people experience during their engagement, which is a real fear. I’m not one to mince words; I call a spade a spade and when people are in transition, they’re scared. They’re scared of the unknown. They’re scared of jumping off the cliff of the familiar life and landing in new and unfamiliar territory. They’re scared of committing to one person forever. Getting married is enormously scary and to say otherwise is to avoid a basic truth about this significant life transition. So once we determine that there are no serious red-flag issues in the relationship, we work to normalize the fear and learn how to make room for it during the engagement without letting it running the show.

2. We redefine love:

Our culture has a lot of misconceptions about love, and no where do they appear more prominently than around engagements and weddings. Prior to getting engaged, my clients share that they felt positive about their partner and excited about the prospect of marrying him. But once he popped the question, suddenly she puts him, and their relationship, under a microscope and wonders: Do I love him enough? I know I love him, but am I really in love with him? And then the waterfall of buzzwords around love and marriage cascade down her brain night and day: Is he my soul mate? What if I’m settling? Do we have enough passion? Is he (my all-time favorite and the one that gets most women) the one?

Oh, dear one, if these words and phrases are causing you to question, you’re not alone! It only means it’s time to redefine what it means to love someone, to choose to marry someone, to make the conscious, daily choice to love and commit. As one of my clients astutely said: “I had to fall out of love with my fiance so I could learn about what love is and then fall in love with him all over again — this time from a healthy place. I learned that love is not a feeling but a choice.” During our bridal counseling sessions, we spend a lot of time discussing the truth about love, romance, and marriage until the fantasy is cracked open and my client is grounded in real love.

3. We explore the underlying causes of the anxiety:

The word anxiety is somewhat of a catch-all phrase that encompasses a wide spectrum of emotions from fear and terror to depression, grief and uncertainty. The crux of the Conscious Weddings Counseling Sessions – and the impetus for pioneering bridal counseling over a decade ago – is to shed light on the thoughts and feelings that typically create what we think of as wedding cold feet and engagement anxiety. These include:

o Grief about letting go of the single identity and lifestyle

o Fears about making the commitment of marrying one person

o Confusion about how to separate from family of origin

o Uncertainty about walking toward the unknown of marriage

o A recurring sense of loss about: deceased relatives, past relationships, previous transitions

In other words, oftentimes the anxiety that arises during an engagement has nothing to do with one’s partner. Once we make sure there are no red-flag issue and redefine what real love is, I help my client to remove the projection from her fiance then guide her through the underlying causes until the anxiety dissipates and she’s able to have the joyous wedding and healthy marriage of her dreams.

Interview: Elliott Kalb

Elliott Kalb is a five-time Sports Emmy winner, working for NBC Sports for 15-years, and currently for HBO Sports, TNT, and CBS-Westwood One Radio Network. Known to many as Mr. Stats, he’s written two books, posted an excellent article with us and now he sits down with me to answers some questions.

Who’s been your favorite interview so far? Most surprising?

Since I’ve been promoting my books, my favorite interview has been Hall of Famer Rick Barry, who hosts a talk show on KNBR in SF. He told me that I should have ranked him 24th all time, since that was the number he always wore. I ranked him 22nd.

Over the years, I’ve had a chance to interview (or write questions for) most great athletes of the last two decades. My favorite was talking to Pat Riley about his ability to teach and motivate. I asked him if he felt he was wasting years teaching (mainly) to 12-millionaires, rather than hundreds of young people in a classroom. Riley is a tremendous interview.

What’s the most memorable sports moment you witnessed live?

Where do I begin? I produced NBC’s baseball coverage from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where the USA team defeated a heavily favored Cuba team. I was there at the 1988 World Series, when Kirk Gibson hit a miraculous homer. I was there for each of Michael Jordan’s 35 NBA Finals games. Super Bowl XXIII, when Joe Montana led a last minute comeback. The last two Super Bowls, when the Patriots narrowly defeated the Panthers and Eagles. Game 7 of the 2003 Western Conference Finals between the Kings and Lakers. Game 7 of the 2000 Western conference Finals, when the Lakers overcame a 15-point defecit to the Trailblazers. Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. Game 7’s are almost always memorable.

Who’s your all-time sports hero?

Wilt Chamberlain was my hero growing up. I’ve been chronicling the career of Shaquille since he came into the NBA, and very proud that I was the first to write that he was the best of all time.

What’s been the harshest criticism of your “Who’s Better, Who’s Best? in Basketball” book?

That I ranked Shaq first merely to sell books.

What’s your reaction to the Congressional hearings with MLB regarding steroid use?

If Congress wanted truly to help kids (as they said) they would worry about stopping the sale of alcohol at sports events. Congress found a way to look good. Bud Selig was made to look a fool. Of course, he wants a tougher steroids policy, but his hands are tied by the players association and Don Fehr.

Who do you think will be the #1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft? Why?

I follow the NFL, the NBA, and MLB very closely. I’m afraid I don’t have the time to follow college football the same way. I do know the Niners need a quarterback, and the Dolphins need a running back.

When the next group of players is picked, who do you think should be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

One of the best trios of all time left the game in 2001. Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Mark McGwire. When it is their turn, I am looking forward to that. Guys like Tony Perez or the recently retired Roberto Alomar are close, but no cigar in my opinion.

Do you think gambling hurts or helps collegiate sports? Professional sports?

I love fantasy leagues, but I think they are starting to hurt sports because anytime players and/or fans care more about individual stats than team goals, it hurts the sport. No doubt pools help interest in the NCAA tournament.

Do you miss the NHL? Do you know anyone that does?

I’m afraid I’m not much of a hockey fan. I feel for the many people who make their income off of the sport, though.

Do you think professional women’s leagues like the WNBA will succeed in the long run? Why?

The women’s leagues have created a niche. It will never rival the main sports, but I am happy for those involved and the people that enjoy them.

What do Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, Dan Marino and Chris Carter think of TheSportsCritics.com?

They all enjoy debating the issues, so I’m sure they would like the site.

When will your book signing tour make it to Southern California?

I will be in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 14.

It’s draft time and the following people make up the draft for your sports organization. Which people are FIRST ROUND picks, which are LAST ROUND picks and which go UNDRAFTED? Why?

Barry Bonds

FIRST ROUND – Greatest baseball player of all time.

Michael Jordan

FIRST ROUND – Greatest non-center to ever play in the NBA.

Pete Rose

LAST ROUND – As a manager, he bet on his own team some days, which means he bet against his team on others…that’s what I have a problem with.

Bill Parcells

FIRST ROUND – I worked with Bill and I am one of his guys. A Jersey guy. A guy he can hang with at the diner. A guy that is loyal to him, and would go through a wall for. He needles me, gets on my case, and made me work twice as hard for him as anyone else.

Jose Canseco

LAST ROUND – I wrote a better baseball book than him–an old fashioned baseball book that could have been written at any point in time…but this schmuck has the best-seller?

Kobe Bryant

LAST ROUND – I wrote in the NBA book almost two years ago, that any great perimeter player (Tracy McGrady, for instance) would have won those three titles that Kobe won. Shaq made the difference. He has proven me correct.

Bill Buckner

SECOND ROUND – I still think of him as a batting champ, an excellent hitter, and he should have been replaced for defense in the 9th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 WS.

Brett Favre

LAST ROUND – Still can’t stomach him after he let Strahan sack him intentionally for record.

Billy Martin

Very underrated manager…and as a longtime Yankees fan, he’ll always have a place in my heart.

Bobby Knight

FIRST ROUND – I like Parcells, so I like Knight. Of course. He represents so much about what is good for his sport.

Mark Cuban

FIRST ROUND – Owners I like more than him: Al Davis, the Maloof brothers. Also, although he wasn’t an owner, Pat Croce has been a friend, role model, and the real deal.

Pedro Martinez

FIRST ROUND – One of the greatest of all time. I ranked him 29th all time, and he’ll be better than Koufax if he does anything in the back end of his career.

Terrell Owens

Who’s Better, Who’s Best? I’ll take Randy Moss and Teri Hatcher over T.O. and Nicolette Sheridan.

Gringo, Dingo, Bingo, Ringo, and Ca’Chingo

Okay so, do you like the title of my article there? I thought you might, I had fun thinking it up the other day while driving, but I want to tell the story behind it. You see, our local Indian reservation, and let me tell you these folks live much better than most middle class Americans have a huge casino along the Freeway; I-10 in California. It’s a huge draw for the area and so everyone is very happy, especially the wealthy American Indians here.

Now then, they have slot machines, limited gambling, and Bingo too. They bus in people from all over for the great shows, fine dining, and just to have fun – it’s all good right? Now then, the other day, I was listening to the radio while tootling around town and one of the Indian Casinos nearby was announcing a new restaurant opening in their casino named Ca’Chin-go! That is very creative indeed, and it would lend itself well to branding and advertising campaigns.

Think about it? What’s in a name? Well, everything if you do it right, and it hardly matters what type of business you are in, it needs to be fun, descriptive, and energizing – just like Ca’Chin-go is, so “Don’t be a Dingo, Come on Over to Ca’Chin-go!” or “You Don’t Have to Sing Like Ringo, to Enjoy Yourself a Ca’Chingo!” Think of all the possibilities for jingles and advertising.

Let this be a lesson to all entrepreneurs – think about what you are doing, and plan a good brand-able name, one you can live with, one which will get headlines, and one which draws people in. Please consider all this.

Bet on the KY Win for Life – It Might Ensure Your Financial Future

What would you do if you had an extra $1,000 a week to spend? Would you take out a loan on a new car? Have your house refurbished? Buy a new TV? Take a vacation? Or do all of them, why not? If you would like to try your luck at winning $1,000 a week for the rest of your life, you can join the KY Win for Life lottery game. If you win the grand prize, you’ll receive a quarterly check of $13,000 (less the applicable taxes) for the rest of your life. And betting costs only $1.00 per game.

How do you play the KY Win for Life game? All you have to do is pick six numbers from one to forty-two in one of the play areas of the Win for Life playslip (each playslip has five play areas). Or you can ask the computer to pick six numbers for you using the Quick Pick option. The official Kentucky Lottery site also has a lucky number cruncher application for all of its lotto games that you can use to pick numbers to bet. After you’ve picked your numbers, mark how many draws you would like to play on the playslip; you can play up to 16 consecutive drawings using the same numbers. Or you can play single draws and then use your non-winning ticket to bet the same number for the next draw by presenting it to the retailer and asking to “play it again”.

During the draws, which are held every Wednesday and Saturday, six numbers will be drawn for the winning combination. Then a seventh, Free Ball number will be drawn. If your ticket matches all six numbers in the winning combination, you’ve won the grand prize. However, if you’ve only gotten five numbers plus the Free Ball number, then you’ve won $1,000 a week for a year or a total cash prize of $52,000. There are also consolation prizes you can win if you match four up to three numbers, and the prizes will be bigger if one of the numbers you match is the Free Ball number.

To find out if you’ve won, you can watch the live draws held at 11 pm Eastern Time/10 pm standard time on Kentucky Lottery network stations such as WKRP Cincinnati, Louisville the CW and Lexington the CW KYT. You can also listen to draws on participating local radio stations, look for the results in local newspapers and posted at Kentucky Win for Life outlets, or you can visit the Kentucky Lottery website where you can search the site for specific numbers and dates to see if you’ve won in the past.

Once you’ve won, make sure to sign the back of the ticket as proof of ownership and to make sure that no one else can claim your prize in case you lose it. Winning tickets can be validated the morning after the winning draw. You can claim major prizes at the Kentucky Lottery Headquarters in Louisville, KY while smaller prizes $25.000 and below can be claimed at regional offices, prizes $5,000 and below at authorized cashing agents and prizes $600 and below at Win for Life outlets. Note that all prizes must be claimed within six months (180 days) from the winning draw date.