PVMHS Class of 1997 Moments

In anticipation of the upcoming Peabody Veterans Memorial High School – Class of 1997’s 15-Year Reunion on November 30, ErnBlog.com is looking back on the some of the most hilarious Moments in this Class’s History.



These Moments are also available on the Class’s Facebook Reunion Invite Page.  So when you’re on ErnBlog and you that Peabody Tanners logo (above), you can be sure that another PVMHS Class of 1997 Moment is attached!  Enjoy!!

PVMHS Class of 1997 Moment – Freshman Baseball Practice (Part 1)


Oh boy, it’s time for another PVMHS Class of 1997 Moment. Now please keep in mind that these quotes, of course 18 years later, are not word-for-word. But, I’ll tell you, I’m pretty close here:It’s a warm spring day at Carroll Savage Park as the Peabody High Freshmen Baseball Team reports for another hard-nosed practice under the ominous glare of Coach Chris Collins (now NECN’s Sports Anchor). Coach Collins looked a little more displeased than usual that day, but strangely enough he wore a sarcastic smile.

“Hey, Walsh (Jason) and Quadros (Erik), why don’t you throw out the bases?” suggested Collins. At that point an element of fear/amusement touched the faces of the team. I looked at Jeff Addorisio and Bryan Tester (guys I had played with since I was 8) and saw smiles. Eddie Russell’s f…

ace, on the other hand, was expressing signs of deeper concern.See we all knew that Coach assigned 2 players at the end of each practice to “take care” of the equipment. You know, bring it home and eventually get it to the next practice or game. Collins wasn’t really interested in HOW you “took care” of the equipment, just that you DID it!

Today’s Caretakers were Jason Walsh and Erik Quadros – 2 people who could easily be entrusted with 100% of a baseball team’s assets!

It turned out that Walsh had thought Quadros had taken the equipment home the previous night, and VICE VERSA. Bryan Tester and I had learned this info from Jay Walsh at about 7:15 that morning in Mrs. Parcell’s English Class. Nothing like having all day to worry about something! Let’s just say the news spread like wildfire among the Freshmen Tanner Ballplayers that school day. We all wanted to know what was gonna happen at practice?

“Yeah, so Coach…” started Jay. “Turns out we don’t have the equipment.”

“Really?” asked Collins with that sarcastic smile. “You don’t say, WALSH?” the Coach continued in a sterner tone. “It’s funny,” Collins described, although humor was the furthest vibe sensed from his face. “I actually got a call while I was at work today, from Mr. Toltz at the Higgins. You remember him, Quadros?”

“Yeah,” answered the guys. “We know him,” said Walsh.

“You know him, huh?” Collins confirmed. I looked over at Addorisio and Tester, and they weren’t smiling anymore. Ted Slattery appeared to be looking for cars in the parking lot that he may be able to escape in.

“Yeah,” Collins elaborated, “See Toltz asked me if I had my Freshmen Baseball Team’s equipment? How do you think I answered, Walsh?”

“You probably told him, no, two of my players have it,” said Jay, who was always good at figuring out these mysteries.

“You’re right, Walsh. You got all the answers today. I should start calling you Kappotis!” Uh, oh.

“The funny thing is, Toltz told me – ‘Bullshit! Your equipment’s sitting right here, in front of me in the Higgins locker room! Some jogger saw in lying in the MIDDLE of the FIELD at CARROLL SAVAGE!’

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this Moment – The Punishment.

PVMHS Class of 1997 Moment – Freshmen Baseball Practice (Part 2)

“Hey Ern?” asked Jeff Addorisio, “How many times have we been around the field?”

“13 I think,” I answered, even though I had recorded each lap exactly. Coach Chris Collins was really, really pissed off that Jason Walsh and Erik Quadros had left all our baseball equipment in the middle of the field at Carroll Savage the previous night. I estimate that a lap around the park, which also included a Little League diamond behind ours, was a quarter-mile in length. So even though 3.25-mile runs were routine for me at Phil Sheridan’s Cross-Country practices, this was new for me in baseball!

The most disconcerting element of this Punishment was that Coach Collins refused to even glance at any of us each time we circled the backstop. Even though Erik and Jay had been disorganized with the gear, we were ONE TEAM and therefore, it was ALL OF OUR responsibility. That is a lesson I have taken with me through every step of my life.

Jeff and I, and maybe to a lesser degree Tester, were really the only guys conditioned to do this type of running. And at around Lap 20, guys were really struggling. Jeff, running beside me, said, “All right, Ern. You gonna ask if we can stop?” I thought about it for a minute and I raised my hand upon circling Collins, but when the Coach looked at Jeff and I without the slightest interest in our concern, I changed my mind.

After the 22nd Lap, Coach Collins yelled “All right!” He gave us a few minutes to catch our breath, then told us to play catch, after which he sent us to our positions on the field, both typical beginning of practice protocols, as though NOTHING had happened.


PVMHS Class of 1997 Moment – Hinton Lost at Smithsonian!

Close your eyes for a moment, and put yourself in Seventh Grade C-House. It’s the Washington DC Trip and you’re at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. What seemed like a good time is interrupted by a towering Mrs. Ogren, who is yelling at you.

See, what happened is: Robbie Hinton was your “Buddy” for the DC Trip. And apparently he had not been seen in the Museum for quite some time. Wow, I had “lost” Robbie Hinton. What were the odds?

Not to worry. There was a light at the end of the tunnel. Robbie was later discovered in the Museum Cafeteria, “dining” with his new friends – a bunch of 7th grade girls from New Jersey.

PVMHS Class of 1997 Moment – Ernie and Nicole’s Recess Petition

I’m sure most of you remember Michael Greene. Greene, a dear friend of mine, sat in front of me in Mrs. Stafford’s homeroom in 6th Grade C House. You may recall his involvement in the famous “Recess Petition” fiasco that Fall. Basically, some of the kids in C House figured out that the other 6th Grade clusters were going OUTSIDE for recess Everyday while we were using that time to devour more academic work.

So Nicole Leontakianakos (Osterfield) and I did what any 2 Burke School kids would do – Start a Petition for Recess! The last official act I took was passing this petition to Greene (one of the last required signatures) during SSR (Sustained Silent Reading). Well, apparently Greene got up to do an errand or something and the petition “inadvertently” ended up on Mrs. Stafford’s desk!

So although 6-C was ultimately awarded Outdoor Recess, it certainly did not come that day. Nicole and I had to sit through a half-hour Bill of Rights sermon from Mr. Karamas! Good times.


Sports Numbers of the Day


The last season that a Major League Baseball Player won the Triple Crown for leading his league (either American or National) in all three of the following offensive categories: Batting Average, Home Runs, and Runs- Batted-In (better known in baseball circles as RBI (ALREADY PLURAL !).

Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera is challenging Yaz’s Triple Crown from 1967.
Source: cbsnews.com


With only 13 games left in the 2012 season, Miguel Cabrera is chasing the Crown, last worn by “Captain” Carl Yastzremski of the Red Sox, who hit .326 with 44 home runs and 121 RBI in 1967.  It should be noted that “Captain” Carl did not win the Home Run Title outright.  Minnesota’s Harmon Killebrew also slugged 44 homers that season.

Cabrera currently has amassed a .333 batting average, 41 home runs, and 130 RBI in 2012.  It seems likely that his statistics will exceed those of “Yaz” from 45 years prior.  However, the Tigers All-Star third baseman trails Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers by one home run in the standings.  The last 13 games of the schedule should be thrilling not only for Cabrera’s pursuit of an individual record, but also for his entire Tigers team aspirations as Detroit trails the Chicago White Sox by only 2 games in the AL Central.


Just how dependent are the Giants on star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks?
Source: articles.nydailynews.com


The number of games (including last night’s blowout of Carolina) that the New York Giants have BOTH played and won WITHOUT star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks since they drafted him from the University of North Carolina in 2009.  While it is true that Nicks is one of my favorite players in the NFL, you can’t argue with The Numbers!  When Nicks suits up for Big Blue, the Giants only win half the time at 22-22.


The surprising 2012 Baltimore Orioles have been led by enigmatic Manager – Buck Showalter.
Source: beltwaysportsblog.com


The most impressive of Ern’s Numbers today!  15 is the number of consecutive extra-inning games that the dazzling Baltimore Orioles have won, all this season in their dynamic pursuit of the Yankees in the AL East.  With 13 games remaining, Baltimore trails New York by a single game in the standings.  The Orioles are 4.5 games ahead of Anaheim for the Wild Card, and if the season ended right now, Baltimore would play Oakland (with which they are tied) in the inaugural AL Wild Card Playoff Game.

What makes the Orioles’ 15-game extra-inning winning streak all the more remarkable is that no team has accomplished this feat since the 1949 Cleveland Indians!

For information used to produce this article, ErnBlog consulted ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”, ESPN.com, and wikipedia.org.


ErnBlog 2012 NFL Playoffs Simulation

Happy NFL Opening Day Everyone! 

Tonight at 8:30 we get a break from political conventions [well I guess it’ll still technically be going on:] as the National Football League gets back to business with the Giants looking for their second straight term as World Champions as they host Dallas.

Source: logoinspirations.com

So here is ErnBlog’s inaugural NFL Playoffs Simulation, where I’ll take the six playoff teams from each of my AFC/NFC Divisional Projections and forecast the Playoffs.  Here we go!



   #3 At Green Bay defeats #6 Detroit

   #5 Chicago defeats #4 At NY Giants


   #3 At Houston defeats #6 Baltimore

   #5 NY Jets defeat #4 At Denver



    #1 At San Francisco defeats #5 Chicago

    #2 At New Orleans defeats #3 Green Bay


    #1 At New England defeats #5 NY Jets

    #2 At Pittsburgh defeats #3 Houston



     #1 At San Francisco defeats #2 New Orleans  


     #1 At New England defeats #2 Pittsburgh 


      #1 New England defeats #1San Francisco (in Overtime)


Tom Brady celebrating the Super Bowl XXXVI Championship in New Orleans.  February 2002. (Source: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

ErnBlog 2012 Divisional Projection – The AFC West

Last, but certainly not least on the ErnBlog list of 2012 NFL Divisional Projections is the AFC West.  Last year, the Broncos won this division at 8-8, in tiebreaker fashion over San Diego.  Not this year.  ErnBlog predicts a very competitive division, where you may be surprised who I see finishing Last. 

Because of my busy schedule this week, with the shortened Holiday Week and traveling to Italy and all, I could not select the photo I really wanted for the AFC West.  But I will retread an Oldie but a Goodie.

John Elway and Peyton Manning (Source: usatoday.com)

1. Denver Broncos (10-6) (Division Champions):

 If Peyton Manning is back to his 2010 Hall of Fame form and the Denver defense (led by Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil) runs on all cylinders, it’s hard for ErnBlog to see the Broncos losing more than 6 games.  Watch out for wide receiver Demaryus Thomas (who Ern considers to really be a tight end).  When he breaks free in the open field, it’s hard to bring him down.  His sixty-plus-yard dash took down the 12-4 Pittsburgh Steelers in the First Round of the 2011 NFL Playoffs.  With Manning now dialing his number considerably, this could be big trouble for AFC defenses. 

The Broncos Big Games:

Sept. 9 – vs. Pittsburgh (NBC Sunday Night Football)

Oct. 7 – at New England

Oct. 28 – vs. New Orleans (NBC Sunday Night Football)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7):

Romeo Crennel is finally In Charge in KC.  The Chiefs defensive unit came to life in the final quarter of the 2011 season.  Several onlookers will recall their impressive stand at Arrowhead, shutting down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, ending Green Bay’s quest for Undefeated status.  Crennel and QB Matt Cassel share one common denominator – Belichick.  ErnBlog concludes that if Cassel, who led the 2008 Patriots to an 11-5 record, was not the answer in Kansas City; then he wouldn’t still be there.  The Chiefs are still one year away from being a serious contender.

3. Oakland Raiders (9-7):

With speed on offense (receivers) and on defense, the Raiders are going to be a Tough Out this season, particularly in The Black Hole.  Although often inconsistent, QB Carson Palmer should be able to stretch the field for Oakland in 2012.

4. San Diego Chargers (7-9):

Norv Turner is still in San Diego, unfortunately with his hands mostly tied.  The Chargers are an aging team and ErnBlog doesn’t think that QB Philip Rivers has the required weapons on offense.  I think this is the year that the Chargers fall behind the rest of the Western Pack.            


ErnBlog 2012 Divisional Projections – The NFC South

Drew Brees (REUTERS photo by Sean Gardner)

1. New Orleans Saints (12-4) (Division Champions):

Yeah, they put out bounties on other players.  Yeah, linebacker Jonathan Vilma is most likely out for the season.  Yeah, Head Coach – Sean Payton is out for the season.  Yeah, even Defensive Coordinator – Joe Vitt has to sit out the first six games.  In case you’re wondering (because I just was), Offensive Line Coach – Aaron Kromer will coach the Saints for the first six games of 2012.

But amidst the dust of The Bounty Scandal, one Saint emerges as vividly as white smoke from the Sistene Chapel.  (Yeah, I’ll be at The Vatican a week from today.)  QB Drew Brees is playing the best football in the NFL.  He threw for over 5,400 yards in 2011 – an NFL record.  And like in the darkest Sumatran coffee they can make in the Starbucks clover machine on a Monday morning, the cream always rises to the top.  Drew Brees is the lead conductor of a highly-synchronized Scoring Symphony in New Orleans.  And whatever level of defensive precision and strategy (49ers?, Packers?, Giants?, Bears?) that is necessary to stop this harmony does not exist in the NFC South.  

The big games for the defending NFC South Champs:

 9/16: at Carolina (Always fun when the Best of the Present (Brees) collides with

                             the Best of the Future (Cam Newton)

9/30: at Green Bay (These 2 kicked off the 2011 season in a thriller – the Packers stuffed  

                                 the Saints on the goalline as time expired.)

10/28: at Denver (NBC Sunday Night Football) (Brees vs. Peyton Manning.  Jen, don’t

                             make any plans for us that night!)

12/9: at the Giants (Who’s the best in the NFC?  The winner of this game might give us a

                               good idea.)

2. Atlanta Falcons (8-8):

The Falcons open their 2012 season with 3 straight interconference games against the AFC West (the last division to be projected by ErnBlog over the next few days).  Fifth QB Matt Ryan (from Boston College) and fifth year Head Coach Mike Smith have led Atlanta to the postseason in 3 of their first 4 seasons together.  The past two playoff appearances have produced disappointing results for Falcon fans – both embarrassing losses to the eventual Super Bowl Champions. 

It appears that the Carolina Panthers may have closed the gap on Atlanta in 2012.  With the powerful Saints also in the division, the Falcons are projected to only go 3-3 in the South.  With a difficult remaining schedule including games against the Giants and Detroit, ErnBlog sees the Falcons taking 2 steps back from 10-6 in 2011.   

3. Carolina Panthers (8-8):

While ErnBlog sees Atlanta taking 2 steps back, it projects the Carolina Panthers to leap 2 steps forward in the NFC South.  Second-year QB Cam Newton is a versatile weapon on offense, blessed with both a powerful arm and the ability to run.  Head Coach – Ron Rivera (a defensive specialist) will have a second go around in Charlotte and ErnBlog predicts a productive journey for the Panthers in 2012.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12):

Rookie Head Coach – Greg Schiano left a cushy situation at Rutgers University (which, despite its private-sounding name, is the New Jersey state university, by the way) to head south to the Gulf Coast to save a sinking Pirate Ship.  Owner Malcolm Glazer (also owner of a British soccer squad you may have heard of – Manchester United) showed thin patience for previous Head Coach – Raheem Morris (at one point, the youngest head coach in the league).  Despite a promising 10-6 non-Playoff-qualifying finish in 2010, the Bucs fell back to Earth, and to 4-12 in 2011.  That’s when Glazer pulled the plug on Morris and summoned the proven college resume of Schiano. 

QB Josh Freeman, who ran for his life for much of 2011, needs protection from the Buccaneers offensive line.  Unfortunately for Gulf Coast NFL fans, Schiano will need a season to rebuild and redesign a disorganized situation in Tampa.  The ending result in 2012 should be more of the same.