Reporting Tim Baffoe
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By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) So I became an uncle Friday for the first time. At least that’s what Facebook told me.
I expect it to be awesome. The way I see it, it’s all the benefits of being a father without any of the hard work. I’ll get to watch the kid grow and learn, take in his sporting events… or ballet recitals or interpretive art shows—Uncle Tim is cool with that. I’ll buy him gifts, maybe he’ll draw me some awful pictures for my fridge. But I don’t have to deal with his tantrums or potty training or teenage angst or juvenile delinquency (which I may contribute to, actually) on a daily basis.
He’ll never hate me because I’m not his judge, jury, and executioner. “Can we have peanut butter and ice cream for dinner, Uncle Tim?” You’re [expletive] right we can, little man! You know why? Because your mom and dad left you with me, and we’re playing by my rules, and my rules are awesome and usually involve eating terribly, bitching about The Man, and watching Point Break.
I get to introduce him to great music (my brother listens to Country, unfortunately) and great books that his stupid teachers probably think are too corruptive. He’ll be a great chick magnet until he’s about five and starts looking like a Baffoe. “Why can’t we go to the park anymore, Uncle Tim?” Because you have the family face now, fugly boy. Indoors with you.
I’m going to be the greatest terrible influence on a child anyone has ever seen. Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for having my nephew. Suckers.
On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.
just curious – what is your favorite @Viennabeef hot dog stand in chicago? #TFMB #chicagostyle—@ViennaBeef
Absolutely Fat Johnnie’s on 72nd and Western Ave. It’s a decrepit little shack in a not-so-great neighborhood. There is no “dine-in” per se, but there are a couple of sticky outdoor picnic tables off to the side. The owner and his two or three employees are greasy and surly, and they don’t have time for your stupidity (think a slightly-less-tense Soup Nazi sort of thing). Working in the service industry myself, I greatly appreciate their blunt attitudes and impatience, especially with people who stand at the window and stare at the menu, mouth agape, with “Uhhhhhhhhhmmmmmm…” leaking out of their mouths. Know what you’re ordering when you get to the front of the line, idiots! (there’s always a line) People entering a restaurant (or in this case standing on a sidewalk in front of a shanty) immediately lose 50 IQ points for some reason, and I don’t know why. The fine folks at Fat Johnnie’s have no sympathy for the stupid, and that makes them great.
The dogs are fantastic (Vienna beef, of course), but they also serve outstanding Polishes and tamales. There are no fries, but you can manage with chips. People worship their Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law (not the people, the menu items), but I’m partial to getting one or two Fat Ones and a Chili Fat One when I stop by.
If you were a plant, what kind of plant would you be? #TFMB—@HuskyCaucasian
A weed. Not “weed” like marijuana, but a dandelion. It’s easy to hate me, but if you’re not careful you might just actually find me sort of beautiful. Also, when you think I’ve gone away, I pop back up.
Thanks, you’ve made me sound like Jose Canseco…
thoughts on the draft for bears?—Jim, Elmwood Park
I really can’t be definitive on the Bears first round pick Shea McClellin out of Boise State. He wasn’t very heralded pre-draft as far as in the Chicago media, so when his name was announced Thursday night I had the same jaw drop I was used to in the Jerry Angelo days.
There were scouting reports that weren’t exactly kind to him, and some credible ones had him as a fourth or fifth round talent. His stock shot up mightily in the days leading up to the draft, I guess, because there were mocks that had him going in the late first round, possibly to the Packers or Patriots.
I felt a little better about the pick when GM Phil Emery said the team plans to use him at end opposite Julius Peppers. McClellin’s speed hopefully serves him well in one-on-one matchups as o-lines focus on Peppers, and if he can show that he’s a handful for tackles in solo matchups, that will greatly benefit the Bears d-line as a whole, particularly Peppers. There was also talk once the Bears picked McClellin that there was no way he’d get past Green Bay, so if Dom Capers likes him that much (even in a 3-4 and not a 4-3), that’s comforting, as is taking away a guy from a division opponent.
The pick may have been a bit of a reach, but I’m not ready to judge McClellin until I see him in action. I’ve heard enough positives on the guy since the pick that I’m not overly worried. Nothing, of course, is guaranteed, though.
He supposedly used to milk goats on a farm in Idaho and nurse skunks back to health, so the only thing I’m pretty sure of is that he smells bad.
Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.
Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to email@example.com or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.