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When I learned Harrah’s Rincon was opening up a sports bar called the Sports Pit in late September, I decided to hit it. They offered lots of free food and drinks and two former NFL stars. And because I’m in a fantasy football league, I’m always looking for places that have big screens.

Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin was there. I brought an 8˝x10˝ for him to sign for a friend.

I told Irvin that my stepbrother had him on his fantasy team the year he had only two touchdowns. He said, “Tell him I’m sorry” and laughed. I said, “Isn’t it weird that people bring up fantasy football statistics to you?” He said, “Well, I recently got into it and have a team. So I know more about it now.”

I brought two Deion Sanders football cards for Sanders to sign. Because I write a column for Autograph Magazine, I figured I could get a column out of it.

Sanders was standing near the blackjack tables with a woman, so I didn’t bug him. I just said, “I bet you got a hard time from San Diegans because of those comments about Tomlinson and how he should’ve played in that playoff game even though he was hurt.” He replied sternly, “Yeah, but so what! It’s true, man. He should’ve played. It was the playoffs.”

I laughed nervously as he walked away. I thought about chasing him down and saying, “You’re the guy that never tackled anyone. You’re the guy that got injured when you were high stepping into the end zone.” I chickened out.

Later, when I approached Sanders to sign my football cards, I asked him what the weirdest thing was he’s ever been asked to autograph. He said, “Two football cards!” I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. I couldn’t figure it out. I saw Irvin sign eight items for one lady. I assumed these two players were paid handsomely to be here, yet Sanders didn’t seem to be enjoying himself.

I went and grabbed some food. One table had the type of food you’d see at a sports bar: hot wings, sliders, french fries... The other table included desserts, shrimp, and fancier things. I stuck with the sports grub.

Irvin went to a table where 8˝x10˝s were given out and signed more autographs. I never saw Sanders make it over there, but I did see him sign autographs while he and Irvin watched football on the big screen.

When Sanders went over to do the raffle, he seemed in better spirits. But, when I saw that he was leaving (about 30 minutes earlier than he was scheduled to), I grabbed one of the 8˝x10˝s they were giving away. I asked him to sign it. He started to and then said, “Man, you got your own card show going on here. Don’t be selling that stuff.” I’m sure he thought I was going to sell it, but I’m not sure he realizes that he’s not a Hall of Famer like Irvin. I’d probably get ten dollars for an autographed Sanders photo — tops.

I overheard a guy named Don talk about a person winning $4000 at a nearby slot machine. He said, “I sat there a few minutes earlier, but I cashed out.”

I started talking with him and his friend. Don said he used to like to go into bars and challenge people to arm-wrestling matches. He’d never lose. He showed me a muscle in his arm that looked like Popeye on steroids. He told me about sore losers that wanted to start fights. But Don is a black belt. One time he beat the crap out of a big biker who wanted to “step outside” because Don was sarcastically saying, “Uh-oh…I think I’m going to lose. It feels like you got me…oh, wait…” before slamming his arm to the table. The guy ended up a bloody mess and said, “Thanks, man, I really needed that.”

Don was having a birthday party the next day at Wings, Pizza N Things in Oceanside, where he hosts karaoke under the name DJ Don Juan. I decided to crash that party.

I ended up talking to Derek, the owner of the place. He talked about how he’s owned the restaurant for a year and that it’s been hard. But because he’s breaking even, he’s considering it a success.

When I mentioned something about the Eagles jersey on the wall, he said, “I’m from Philly. But I have that Chargers jersey. It’s Vencie Glenn, right next to it.” I told him I once bowled with Glenn in Mira Mesa.

Because there was a buy-one, get-one-free deal on the pizza, we ate a lot more than we should have.

I met Don’s wife, who wasn’t at the casino the night before. She was holding their twins, who were cute. One had blue eyes, the other had brown. Don said, “We had them December 15. Just in time for tax write-offs!”

Someone nearby told me about a couple that recently had twins, and one child was black and the other was white. I asked, “Was his name Michael Jackson?”

We saw a basketball-shooting game. My girlfriend joked that she could beat me, so we played. I smoked her.

I then noticed that if I beat the high score of 51, I could win a free pizza. I told her I probably could if she handed me the basketballs (instead of me reaching down for them). As we were trying to win, I missed my first few shots. She started giving me crap, and I said, “Hey, these balls aren’t regulation. They’re tiny.” I ended up with a score of 47.

I jokingly complained to Derek, who said, “I’ll give you free pizza. Don’t worry about it.”

The birthday cake was being cut, and I said, “I probably won’t like it. So many cakes have that whipped-cream frosting. I like butter cream.” He said, “Yeah, I’m with ya on that.”

As we were leaving, my girlfriend and I talked about coming back to watch the Super Bowl. I said, “We’ll have to see if we get invites to Super Bowl parties first.”

Just then, we saw guys standing around a trophy that was about six feet tall. We asked them about it. They were a group of pool players that meets there, and they’d won a tournament. They started to tell us all about it.

As they began telling an elaborate story about a difficult shot, I was thinking about saying, I’ll bet you that trophy that I know a guy in there that can beat any one of you at arm-wrestling.

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pete78 Jan. 29, 2009 @ 6:02 p.m.

It just wouldn't be a crasher column without talking to black guys, playing basketball, and eating cake.


Josh Board Jan. 30, 2009 @ 12:48 a.m.

Well pete...stay tuned for next week. I talk to a black woman. She played high school basketball, but I left that out of the column!


towelheadedcameljockey Jan. 31, 2009 @ 10:28 a.m.

I see sweat stains...must have been some hot wings.


rickeysays Jan. 31, 2009 @ 10:59 a.m.

Do you ever actually have to pay for a meal?


Josh Board Feb. 2, 2009 @ 12:15 a.m.

Wow...I never noticed those sweat stains. I would've taken another photo. The amount of times I've been at a party, and a handful of women want to see the pictures and they complain about this or that, they look to fat, one of them blinked, or whatever...I'm just so relieved when guys are cool with the shot.

And rickey...I do pay for meals sometimes, although it's a nice perk going to parties and eating for free.

I went to two Super Bowl parties today, and I brought Super Bowl cakes to each one. So, sometimes I'll bring booze or desserts.


towelsnappingcameltoe Feb. 4, 2009 @ 2:27 a.m.

Ok.. For the love of GOD will someone please explain why the most boring man on the face of the earth writes this article about NOTHING every week? I certainly hope he doesn't get paid for this.

This whole article should be summed up in one paragraph, that way anyone who stumbles across it won't have to suffer through so much blabbering for a punch line which never comes: "I went to a sports bar, I like fantasy football, and big screen TVs, and beer. Two NFL stars were there... this didn't have anything to do with ME, although I did bother them both to sign an unnecessary number of autographs. Then I harassed the lesser famous of the two for being less famous... Then on a different day I went to a totally different party, ate some cake someone gave me and talked about how I much I didn't like it."


bluenwhitegokart Feb. 4, 2009 @ 2:40 a.m.

Jealousy can be such an ugly thing, towlie. Like Underdog, Josh is humble, yet lovable.


towelsnappingcameltoe Feb. 4, 2009 @ 3:18 a.m.

I don't know "Josh" personally, but I'll take your word for it that in real life he's humble, he certainly doesn't come across that way in his writing.

Or did you mean "humble" in response to my asking if he gets paid to write this crap? As in, he gets paid, but not much. So ok, sorry, that was a little below the belt.

You're probably right that its Josh's jealousy of Deion Sanders rearing its ugly head which makes this installment of Crasher particularly lame.


Fred Williams Feb. 4, 2009 @ 6:37 a.m.

Camel, I can assure you that in person Josh is a very personable guy, easy to talk to, friendly, and bright. How and what he writes explains why you may disagree with him or find his material alternatively boring or outrageous.

It's his job.

He's paid to write something people will read and respond to.

Did you read it? Yes.

Did you respond to it? Yes.

So Josh earned his paycheck. From experience we know that a lot of parties are actually quite mundane...especially if you're not joining in the drinking and are a stranger. Josh reflects this in his writing.

It would be irritating to read Burl Stiffish puffery, where every event is the most marvelous in all the world's history, all the women are gorgeous, all the men distinguished, and all the food scrumptious. I prefer reading about parties that seem a lot like parties I attend...just normal people having a laugh, talking, meeting each other.

In addition to his crashing, Josh writes about current events, sports, entertainment, and whatever else pops into his blogging mind. When I disagree with what he says, we engage in commenting back and forth. We even call each other names.

For all his faults, Josh puts out a lot of copy, day after day, and a lot of it hits the mark by entertaining or provoking readers. This brings in eyeballs and page hits as well as comments, and in the internet world that means revenue.

The Reader is fortunate to have him on the staff.


joelbmartin Feb. 4, 2009 @ 10:10 a.m.

You making friends again there Josh.?.? Oh : Happy New Year belatedly, btw. (Really.. ;-)

Just thought I'd check in on the Crasher's evolvement (-- or devolvement..)

Wow -- a lesson in "editorial professionalism" from Mr. Williams. Very nice. :-]

Too bad only Mr. Board's colleagues come to his defense, huh?


Fred Williams Feb. 4, 2009 @ 10:50 a.m.

Joel, it's time to fess up...

Josh pays me to write nice things about him.

It's true.

Last week he gave me a crumpled five dollar bill and the dregs of his slurpee. I used the five bucks to get a half pint of vodka, mixed it all together -- got a good buzz.

Josh's generous financial support provides a needed boost to my income, and helps me keep warm during these cold Balboa Park evenings.

Every time I smoke my crack pipe, I give a little wave of my lighter to Josh Board.

Now that's "editorial professionalism".


Fred "Ya Got Change?" Williams c/o 3rd tree to the left, 163 Canyon Trail Balboa Park San Diego, CA 92101


towelsnappingcameltoe Feb. 4, 2009 @ 11:32 a.m.

I understand the concept of 'Crasher', and maybe that's what makes me so disappointed every time I read it.

The idea sounds hilarious: Sh*t talking observer crashes not-so-happening social events in San Diego. Its just never as funny or interesting as I'm expecting it to be. Kudos to Josh for coming up with the idea, maybe he ought to pass the torch to someone who could do more with it.

As far as comments, for the most part they seem to all be from friends of Josh, or fellow party goers that he has pissed off. It would be nice if the article entertained and/or provoked a few more readers who were not directly involved.


towelsnappingcameltoe Feb. 4, 2009 @ 11:42 a.m.

Too bad he doesn't pay you to write Crasher for him instead. The column is extremely lacking in wit or intelligence.

Oh wait...


yeah, better.


Duhbya Feb. 4, 2009 @ 12:32 p.m.

Fred_Williams typed: "....It would be irritating to read Burl Stiffish puffery...." Having been witness to many of Mr. Stiff's clever verbal asides at various soirees, and considering the vastly divergent milieus, I'm guessing Josh would have the harder time of it if they were to swap columns for a month or so. No slight intended.


joelbmartin Feb. 4, 2009 @ 12:59 p.m.

Bush 43 typed : "No slight intended."

Well I certainly didn't perceive any, for one..


Mr. Williams :

Sounds like an equitable arrangement. Keep that crisp while you can.

Although, I don't know how you keep yourself lucid enough to write that published "proxy Crasher" article : http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs... under those living arrangements. Must be youth or good genes. Hope for the latter.

Hmm, I'm sorry to say, sort of, I enjoyed "proxy Crasher" more (especially the disconnection between Hedgecock and his guest; that fxxxxx dude couldn't receive enough criticism. )

What a digression.. Pardon me..

"Back to you, Fred."




joelbmartin Feb. 4, 2009 @ 1:01 p.m.

Mr. Board :

Hey there.

Though I'm the first to agree to the notion that San Diego needs more personalized, frank commentary at the public level, I believe while it's on it's training wheels, if you will, let's not loose ourselves in the willingness to express "personal, honest reality" for the sake of "good copy". There are already far too many Ron Burgundy's in our fair city.

my 2¢.

I think you might be thinking from time to time : "For this, I went to College?" Well, I hope for your sake the interviews along Avenue of the Americas have gone well for you. That environment might service you a bit better towards what I surmise your personal, professional desires to actually be : international distribution of the credit "By Josh Board".

[Fade in Soul Coughing / Mike Doughty lyric : "... five feet long... and luminous"]

Josh Board : "I don't know how to put this, but -- I'm kind of a big deal." {Thank you Judd Apatow, Adam McKay}

Now, I'm NOT saying "Leave town!" because, as I more or less already said, I believe SD needs even more "personalized, frank". My suggestions, comments, and criticism are more about an attempt to add "classy, pertinent, and simple" to what you already possess as a writer.

Ask yourself this question, before you bow down to a shrine of yourself in your bedroom or in the dark screening room in the back your mind : Who enjoys self-important puffery? (Unless it's direct comedy..) And I'm not addressing the Crasher's current target market, who clearly lack a brain in the first place..

Cheers to my aloof puffery, I suppose..



PS - I will write a "Crasher" for you to peruse at your leisure at some point. Of course, it would be first person. I'd enjoy your comments at that time since I know you likely wouldn't publish an article I would write. Nor would I blame you for such in advance.


towelheadedcameljockey Feb. 4, 2009 @ 2:27 p.m.

It's nice to see that Joel still reads the article, logs on the website and has even brought a new friend along for some comment fun. Or, maybe that friend is who brought him back.

Hm, when's the last time we saw Joel? Ah yes, that party write up from September of 08. You know, the one where he was upset that it was written for public eyes that only 8 people were at the party he was at, instead of the 20 he swore were there. That 12 person difference, sucked the Eau de cool right off of him that he had been working on for so long.

At least not being able to let go, also means bringing on another reader for the weekly.


towelheadedcameljockey Feb. 4, 2009 @ 2:39 p.m.

Also, I don't think Josh needs you submitting your own version of this article to him. Since this column has been around for several years and he's the one who is invited to these many parties, by people who read it, obviously something is working. Why don't you do your job of crying and whining to those who will listen and leave the writing of this, or any other column to the person who is hired for it.


towelsnappingcameltoe Feb. 4, 2009 @ 6:24 p.m.

Josh is invited to these events? That's not exactly 'crashing' then... am I right?


rickeysays Feb. 6, 2009 @ 11:31 a.m.

Deion always was an idiot. Just check out his reality show if you need more confirmation on that.


joelbmartin Feb. 6, 2009 @ 12:46 p.m.

rickeysays : Deion always was an idiot. Just check out his reality show if you need more confirmation on that.

Yeah..?. So it's ok to gloat a bit? I don't think so..

Personally, I'm first the advocate forgetting about the NFL on Sundays and Mondays during fall and winter -- which puts me in somewhat odds with most of my fellow American male acquaintances.. However, a) he is a member of the NFL or a former Dallas Cowboy {which means : he's not famous because he an erudite elder statesman or a genius actor celebrity. Sanders is famous because he was/is excellent at playing an young man's game}. b) People in Sander's position don't get famous unless a market exists to grant these people the funds or wherewithall to mass market their persona in the first place.

Could that market be -- US ?.?.

"Fxxx Yeah!!" for capitalism at it's worst.. maybe..

Besides, who elected Bush 43 in 2000..? Sanders? Not that what his politics are at all.

"...but I'll fight to the death their right to do so..."

Blah, blah..




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