THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- SEPTEMBER 16, 2017
Well kidlings, it's time for another round of "You Can't Make Up This Stuff," the game based on my brother Big Rob's theory that reality is stranger than any fiction. As usual, when we play this game we begin with an item from Big Rob's stomping grounds of Flint.
It seems that Flint City Councilman Eric Mays is in a bit of hot water. Originally he was charged with allegedly pawning his city-owned laptop, but now there are allegations that he did so not just once but nine times (in the course of two years). “He pawned equipment that was purchased by the taxpayers of the City of Flint that had sensitive information on it because we get emails from various departments about various issues, and to have that at the pawn shop is just not ethically right," said fellow councilman Scott Kincaid.
In a bit of good you-can't-make-it-up news for Mays, Election Day is on November 7. The Prosecutor's Office agreed to not let this case interfere with his run for re-election. (http://www.abc12.com/content/news/Warrant-issued-for-Flint-Councilman-Eric-Mays-441516373.html)
Councilman Mays is not the only one with legal problems. As reported by the Cadillac News earlier in the week, a Polish rock and roll band may be facing time in the hoosgow. “The Polish death metal band Decapitated was arrested Saturday in Santa Ana, California and charged with first-degree kidnapping stemming from an incident that took place in Spokane, Washington.”
Here's the deal. It's a death metal band named Decapitated and they are playing shows on their Double Homicide tour. Their songs include such ditties as: “The Decapitated Chicken,” “Death Violation,” and “Blood Mantra.” The tee shirts and sweatshirts they sell feature words like violence, hate, and destroy. So, when they come to your town who could possibly predict anything could go haywire, right? Sometimes stuff just happens out of the blue with no warning signs.
(http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/death-metal-band-decapitated-arrested-on-kidnapping-charges-w502139 and https://my.spokanecity.org/police/news/2017/09/09/la-county-sheriffs-office-assist-spd-in-arrests-in-santa-ana-ca/)
Still in the legal realm, some Michigan residents may want to keep an eye on lawsuits and laws relating to auto insurance. As most of us know, Michigan has some of the highest auto premiums in the country. What you may not know is that it is worse for women.
“A group defending Michigan's auto insurance system says it has uncovered instances of insurers illegally selling more expensive policies to women and widowed drivers.” Two companies “...charge women in Detroit with perfect driving records as much as 33 percent and 38 percent more than men with the same record. Vehicle and address despite evidence that women are safer drivers.”
Add this to the discussion. Michigan ranks 44th of the 50 states in the wage gap between men and women. “On average, a woman in Michigan who works a full-time, year-round job is paid 74 cents for every dollar paid to a man.” So to sum it up, women are paid less, are safer drivers, but have to pay more for auto insurance. It's a head-scratcher, eh? (https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/michigan/articles/2017-09-09/study-auto-insurers-illegally-charge-women-more-in-michigan and http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/04/pay_discrimination_in_michigan.html)
Well, if those Detroit women are paying more for auto insurance at least if they get hungry they can drive to some of the top pizza places in the country. That's because Detroit has been rated as the best city for pizza lovers in America. Detroit has 1,050 pizza places, about 15.5 pizza places for every 10,000 residents.
SmartAssets “...analyzed data on total number of pizza places, average quality of pizza places, the percent of pizza places which are highly rated, the number of pizza places per 10,000 residents and the local cost of living.” The top ten cities are: Detroit (MI), Buffalo (NY), New York (NY), Vancouver (WA), Pittsburgh (PA), Peoria (AZ), Providence (RI), Mesa (AZ), Toledo (OH) and Columbus (OH).
According to the USDA, one in eight Americans consume pizza on any given day, one in four if you limit it to men. Detroit may have problems but access to pepperoni is not one of them. (https://smartasset.com/credit-cards/the-best-cities-for-pizza-lovers-2017-edition)
All that pizza needs to be accompanied by a frosty beverage, so a new invention may be just the thing. The Pry.Me bottle opener is pretty cool addition for your keychain. “There’s a new bottle opener that’s so small, you may just forget it's there: the Pry.Me Bottle Opener. Coming in at the size of a penny, the Pry.Me is the world’s smallest bottle opener. It fits conveniently on your keychain without taking up any excess space. It’s made from sandstone-finished Grade 5 titanium and can hold up to 164,000 times its own weight.” This one item replaces the 37 openers that are supposed to be in your junk drawer but never are. See it at: https://www.prymebottleopener.com/shop and https://youtu.be/DMuguHuZajA.
Finally, what goes better with pizza and beverages than watching football. You may be interested to know that the Canadian Football League is heading into week 13 of its 20 game season which will culminate with the Grey Cup on November 26. Right now it looks like the Calgary Stampeders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the leading the pack. Are you at a fever pitch of excitement yet? (https://www.cfl.ca/)
For those of you who may not know, there are some major differences between the familiar NFL game and the CFL game. For one, a CFL field is 110 yards long and the end zones are 20 yards deep which makes the CFL field 150 yards. Also, In the NFL, the field goal posts are located at the back of the end zone, but in the CFL they are at the front.
All that extra space on the playing field accommodates more players, so the CFL has 12 per side. Unlike in the NFL where a team has four downs to make a first down, score a touchdown or kick a field goal, in the CFL, the offense only has three downs to accomplish the same.
Of course, there is an additional way to score in the CFL – a one-point rouge. This happens when: “The kicking team misses a field goal or punts the football and the receiving team catches the football and decides not to run out of their own end zone.”
The most fun comes in the punting game, though. “There is no fair-catch rule in the CFL. The punt returner must either catch the football in mid-air, catch the football after it bounces, or pick up the football and run after the ball has stopped bouncing.” If you are a CFL player in the coach's doghouse, you get assigned to return punts. All together now, sing: “Mothers don't let your sons grow up to be CFL punt returners.” (https://howtheyplay.com/team-sports/Top10-NFL-vs-CFL-Differences)
Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.