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What to do when your 700th post lands on the same day that you have the flu ...

... You have a contest. More on that later.

First, I want to say that Chase Utley is my favorite non-Dodger since the beginning of TIME after his performance Sunday night.

It's not just because he's an awesome player, or that he sparked the Phillies' beating of the Yankees in Game 5. It's because his hitting allowed me to avoid writing a giant, clever headline about the Yankees winning the World Series.

That makes me so happy. First of all, having to write something like that is pure torture for me. I did it in 1998, 1999 and 2000, and I was hating life then, but now the Yankees bother me even more. Secondly, I can't be clever when I am angry. When I'm angry, any creative side of me -- except exceeding sarcasm -- disappears. If my newspaper would accept a headline that said, "YANKEES BLOW," then I'd be golden. But they ain't gonna do that.

But the biggest reason I appreciate Utley's performance is now if the Yankees win, I won't be writing the headline. I am off from work both Wednesday and Thursday. So unless there is a rain/snow postponement, the Yankee fan in our sports department will be writing the headline. As it should be.

It's best that I didn't write the headline anyway. I was under the weather yesterday and still am today. My daughter came down with the flu on Halloween. Instead of trick-or-treating, she went to the doctor and they did the horrible test in which they stick a long, thin object up your nose until they scrape off a piece of brain to see if you have swine flu. The doctor said she didn't. Although I've been told by a few people since that she had some sort of subset of the swine flu.

The doctors offices and emergency rooms are packed around here, and high school and college students are coming down with the flu in crazy numbers. Sporting events have been postponed or canceled because of the flu, students with the flu are being quarantined in "flu dorms," and kids in my daughter's school had confirmed swine flu cases.

Anyway, my daughter didn't have a major case of it and she should be back in school Wednesday. As for me, my only deal is my head weighs 472 pounds, and when I cough, it feels like my brain is slamming against each side of my skull.

And in that condition, I can't be clever enough to come up with some sort of stupid celebration of my 700th post. You might say, "Night Owl, you just wrote nine paragraphs, how bad off can you be?" Well, I always write better than I feel, if that makes sense. Trust me, I feel lousy.

Post 700 is just a number, but I like to commemorate milestones in the blogging world. Blogging, for me, is a journey and therapy, and milestones help give meaning to what I do. But, for post 700, instead of being clever, I'm going to hold a quick-and-easy contest to recognize the number.

I'm not sure exactly what you're going to win, other than it will be cards. But I do know it will include these two items:

A 2006 U&H Mark Buehrle swatch card from the All-Star Game. The good thing about this card is the American League workout jerseys were the same color as the White Sox jerseys. So you can pretend it's an actual White Sox jersey of Mr. Perfecto instead of an "Authentic All-Star Workout-Used Jersey," which just sounds creepy.

And a 2008 Allen & Ginter Lisa Leslie autographed card. I pulled this almost a year ago. Everyone oohed and aahed. But my interest in basketball is zero. I do like the Olympics, but every time I looked at this card all I could think of is that other people liked it more than I did. So I'm giving it away.

Other than that? I'll pick up a dollar bag or two or three or four of cards from that dollar store that I've blogged about several times. If they have the same cards that were there the last time, it'll mostly be mid-90s to late-90s stuff.

And I'll throw in a few random cards that I hope will be related to the winner's favorite team, although some collectors have bled my card selection dry (I'm looking at the Mets, Orioles and Indians fans).

OK, on with the contest rules.

I thought about just having you leave a comment and that would be your entry into the contest, and then I'd randomize the list for the winner. But that bores me. I like to be entertained.

So, I'm going to turn it into a guessing game. (Hey, at least I'm not asking you to think here). Here is the question:

There are three friends in my childhood that were key card trading partners with me. What are their first names?

Now, one of these people I have mentioned on the blog a couple times before. So if you've been paying attention, you'll know the name. The other two I have mentioned briefly by name, so I'll give you a vague hint on those two: the second friend is a boy with a name that could also be a girl's name. And the third friend is a girl.

The person who picks the most names correctly is the winner. Name all three and I'm going to be seriously creeped out. But you'll win. If the best anyone can do is name 2-of-3 or 1-of-3, then I'll do the randomizing thing. If no one picks any of them, I'm taking back the cards. You don't deserve them.

I'll leave the contest open for a few days, and link it on the sidebar after today.

I need to lie down now.


Michael. Terry. Susan. Feel better!
Daniel Wilson said…
Congratulations on 700 posts! Jeff, Terry and Laura.
Greg,Kim and Marcia. Get well soon
Captain Canuck said…
Mark, Pat, and Tracy

take care bud.
AlbuqwirkE said…
Kukla, Fran and Ollie
deal said…
Mark, Alex, Jennifer

Not Just 700 Posts, but 700 Quality Posts!

Congrats - get well.
Anonymous said…
Feel better.
Steve Gierman said…
Congrats on 700!
Mario, Kelly and Gina.

Hope you feel better.
Hackenbush said…
Mark, Terry (my wife's name is Teri so I have to guess that for luck)and Mulva?
Hackenbush said…
I forgot to say get well. Get well. Hope you feel much better soon. And here's hoping you continue blogging for at least another 700 posts!
Mr J Mel said…
Jeff, Casey, Lily This would be amazing because it is my name, my wife, and our daughter.......
Anonymous said…
Get well soon man! Ill just guess my best friends names,
Michael, Frank, and Denise
RoofGod said…
Congrats. I'll go with Jamie, Steve and Anne.
zman40 said…
Chris, Mike, and Jenny.

Get well!
laf said…
steven, corey, jennifer
By the way, congrats on 700 highly entertaining posts.

I'm not kidding when I say my verification word is swines.
Wow, 700 posts is amazing, I think I have read about 300 of them and you never cease to awe and entertain me. I truly appreciate you posting despite the fact that your head is nearing 500 pounds in weight, that is toughness, tenacity, dedication... The flu is pretty wild down here as well, I think it is a nationwide occurence. I was gonna guess Mulva myself, but I've been beaten to the punch and I don't think Delores is the answer either, so I will leave the cards to someone who pays more attention than I do to girls with boys names and boys with girls names. I would like to say congrats once more, you are an inspirtation my friend! Here's to many more and your head returning to its normal size...Feel better and congrats!
opoohwan said…
Mario, Jessie and Gina. Feel better soon.
SpastikMooss said…
I'll go Mario, Randy, and Gina. And I too hope you feel better.
shahekee said…
Mario, Jordan, and Gina
Anthony K. said…
Jim, Jamie, Tricia.

Congrats on 700, qutie the milestone indeed.

And....GET WELL!!!

We need a healthy Owl to keep us rolling into holiday season ;)
madding said…
Jerry, Sally and Jaime
AdamE said…
Traded Yankees to Mario, Randy and Nancy
A's to David
Reds to Tanya
Royals to your neighbor Jeff
Misc to Gina
Unknown said…
Mario, Pat and Liz
Anonymous said…
David, Randy and Nancy
night owl said…
Contest is officially CLOSED. No more entries.

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