Nobody asked me, but I think the 1-6 Ravens are going to come up winners in Sunday's games against the 1-6 Detroit Lions, who have scored 61 fewer points than their opponents. ... Wait. You say we're not playing the Lions? We're playing the 2-5 San Diego Chargers? Oh, well. As Emily Litella used to say: "Never mind."
Actually, the Chargers don't scare me. Double my bet, home skillet.
Nobody asked me, but it was nice to see the Ceasefire anti-crime program credited the other day with the arrests of two middle-aged and allegedly midlevel drug dealers who, police say, just didn't get the message about getting out of the game. Earlier this year, it looked like Ceasefire was going nowhere, potentially a waste of the $415,000 that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration committed to bringing it here. Ceasefire might yet provide a full return on the taxpayer investment. But note to the future mayor: Eight years ago, the Baltimore Police Department, the Baltimore state's attorney's office and the U.S. attorney's office had a similar project underway, and it was effective in reducing shootings and murders in the city. The only additional cost to taxpayers was the salary of an ex-offender who served as a mentor to others who participated in the program, and that money came from a federal grant.
Nobody asked me, but I don't see what the "conflict" would be in having Nick Mosby serve as mayor while his wife, Marilyn, continues to serve as state's attorney. I mean, what if they were both single when they came into office? What if they met at, say, a Prince concert and fell in love? What if they got engaged? Would we be calling them out for a "conflict"? Would we tell Nick to make a choice: Mayor or Marilyn? I like how The Baltimore Sun's City Hall reporter, Luke Broadwater, put it during a Roughly Speaking podcast: It's up to voters to decide if it's appropriate or wise to have a mayor who's married to the city's top prosecutor, if that's too much executive power in one household.
Nobody asked me, but I'd be surprised if Rep. Elijah Cummings announced his candidacy for Barbara Mikulski's U.S. Senate seat, especially coming off a five-star performance in defense of Hillary Clinton at the Republicans' ridiculous hearing on the Benghazi attacks. Being a senator might be cool, but it would not provide Cummings the same kind of role he's had in the House as a fierce guardian against the extremes of the GOP's tea party wing.
Nobody asked me, but ...
You should never fry bacon while naked.
You should never strain homemade chicken stock into the kitchen sink without first putting a pot under the strainer.
You should never put grated Parmesan on linguine with clam sauce.
You should never use Hendrick's gin in a gin-and-tonic — it's too good.
You should keep granola bars in the car; they're a relatively healthy snack, and a good thing to give to people who panhandle on median strips. Just keep in mind, however, the gesture might not always be appreciated. Last year, a reader told me about offering a Nutri-Grain bar to a guy at an intersection with a "homeless, hungry" sign. He refused it.
Nobody asked me, but, had that happened to me, I would have handed the guy a Magic Marker and told him to scratch "hungry" off his sign.
And that story reminds me of the panhandler encountered in Burlington, Vt., a few years ago. Attesting to the "crunchy" nature of Sen. Bernie Sanders' state, the panhandler approached my son and asked, "You got a dollar for a veggie burrito?"
Nobody asked me, but the merchants on the west side of York Road in Govans, in the block between Woodbourne Avenue and Tunbridge Road, ought to be ashamed of themselves. Your sidewalks and gutters are constantly full of trash. I know what you're going to say. You're going to say that you don't drop the trash, that it comes from your customers and various loiterers. But the trash stays there for hours. It's depressing. Do something. Take action. Other merchants do.
The trash problem just described would not be so bad if not for the high concentration of liquor stores in the area. Baltimore has about the same number of liquor establishments it had 40 years ago, when the city's population was a third larger than it is today. City Hall's push to reduce the number of those establishments should be supported and applauded.
In contrast to the Govans trash problem I mentioned, the five-block stretch of Greenmount Avenue between 25th Street and North Avenue is often so clean these days, it's shocking. This is owing to the city's new fleet of street sweepers, purchased with revenue from the widely ridiculed "rain tax." But it might also be evident of more resident pride, the law enforcement efforts against gangs, and the improving housing stock on the west side of Greenmount. Whatever it is — whoever is doing it — please, keep it up.
Dan Rodricks' column runs Wednesday and Sunday. More commentary can be found on his blog, Roughly Speaking, on baltimoresun.com.