Ringing in the New Year with “Surf Dog” and @amandarykoff

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Before the holiday weekend was over, I figured it was my solemn duty to pay a visit to Bill Connell and let him know he won the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video – as voted on by readers of this blog.
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It was a beautiful afternoon here in Santa Barbara, so he had a long line of customers for his hot dogs. But he managed not only to give my husband a complimentary “jumbo jumbo dog,” but to let me shoot his acceptance speech and get his thoughts about the 2010 Yankees. Here he is – unplugged and unhinged.
As you can see, Bill got a nice haul of Yankees merchandise for Christmas. I wonder if his prediction about Vazquez will be as accurate as his prediction of the Yankees winning the World Series in six games. After I turned off the tape, he invited me to go with him to the Santa Anita race track next week. Do I dare? Something tells me the experience wouldn’t be dull.
But wait…there’s more. Just as I was closing out the holiday weekend, I had a visit from Amanda Rykoff, a California born/New York based Yankee fan and sports junkie whose blog is definitely worth checking out. I “met” Amanda on Twitter during baseball season. When she said she was coming to Santa Barbara to see her two-month-old nephew, I asked her to stop by and say hi. We had a great time sitting outside on my deck, talking about life and the Yankees. I was skeptical about Twitter when everybody kept telling me to sign up last year, but thanks to people like Amanda I’m a believer. Here she is waxing poetic about football and the Yanks via the She-Fan Cam.
The New Year is off to an excellent start!


  1. mattpeas

    its funny how big of an impact social netowrking had in the past decade. Its cool that you got to meet up with a twitter friend. Ive met some Pirate fans who read my blog and blog themselves. and on campus I have met up with a handful of people I have met on facebook. wonder where the internet will take us in this new decade?


  2. Jane Heller

    You’re so right, Matt. The impact has been huge, both for making new friends and for re-connecting with old ones. I just hope people will continue to see movies in theaters and buy books at bookstores, as well as download entertainment to computers and phones!

  3. Jane Heller

    Why break out the doll, Paul, when I can interview people who actually talk back?

    Tweet ups are very cool, Jeff. Just like blogger ups! I’ve enjoyed those too!

  4. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    The surf dog is still great! Loved all his Yankee gear. And Amanda is fun, I hope she comments here.
    I went to her site and saw the view from your deck Jane. Nice, very nice indeed! The sun is out here in NY State after about 3 days of on and off snow. It’s lovely, but spring will be nice also!

  5. dschaub@gpo.gov

    All good, all good…hey, that’s a great picture of you with the Surf Dog…may he rule his world of Dogz & Drinkz (and Good Yankee Vibes) for as long as he cares to!
    Also fun to “meet up” with a new personality in this strange new networking world…sounds like my wife would love to get some future advice on her football pix, as she does one of those weekly pools (won it twice this year)…
    BTW, lest I forget, many thanx to Melissa and Kathleen (and you of course, Jane), for your heartfelt condolences after our family’s loss last week. Truly appreciated. Hope that the New Year brings much happiness for all…
    And Good Luck at the Trax, She-Fan!!

  6. Jane Heller

    Surf Dog was in full form, Melissa. He had a line of people waiting for him and the sun was in his eyes, but he managed to be “on” the minute I hit “record” on the cam. LOL. Yes, I have an amazing view from my deck. I can see the water and the mountains and yesterday was just beautiful. Today? Not so much. They say we might actually have rain this week. A shocker.

    Your wife should get tips from Amanda, Dave. She knows what she’s talking about when it comes to making money on football! And Surf Dog does rule. His dogs are deeelish. As for the track, I’ll have to see if I’m called for jury duty. This could be a very action packed week.

    Santa Anita does look scenic, Emma. I’d love to go. But as I just wrote to Dave, I got a summons for jury duty for Wednesday. As you know here in CA, we have to call after 5 pm the night before to see if we have to serve. So I’ll be doing that routine and hoping they don’t need me!

  7. crzblue2

    I hope you do go to the Santa Anita race track. As you can see from the picture, it is a beautiful view from there. It is next to the Santa Anita mall where they have a Cheesecake Factory, Woodranch. Is the closest mall to my house. I am not much of a horse gambler but I’ve gone a few times and it so much nicer to go with someone that knows. Sometime ago I went to the races and I overheard this guy talking with his buddies to bet on a particular horse in ..I forget what race 4th, 5th. Anyway, I betted on that horse and won! I spent most of my winning next door at the mall :-).
    Unfortunately I can’t see the videos. It must security here at work but I love your prior interviews with Bill.

  8. Jane Heller

    Of course I know what a snuggie is, John! And I want a Yankee one! I thought of you earlier today because I called your tickets guy in Tampa and said, “I got your name from John in Connecticut.” I felt like I was dealing in something illegal. LOL. He was out of town and gave me his home number and said to leave my info on his voicemail and he’ll get back to me later in the week. I really liked that he has tix for away games, as I’ll be going to Clearwater to see Yankees-Phillies while I’m down there. Thanks again for the tip!

  9. ooaooa

    Finally got sign in to work!

    Dog man is much like me. Yankee fandom is all about the “toys” and he and I obviously have got them all. I’ve got the watch, wallet, ring and about a zillion other things. This Xmas I got several more hats and a set of Yankee Party Lights. Being as warm as it is out there, I don’t know if you know what a “snuggie” is but I now have a “Yankee Snuggie” to put on when I am watching Yankee Hot Stove or Yankeeography or Yankee Classics or Centerstage on YES on these cold nights.
    Amanda sounds like a real hoot.

  10. latinyankeerebel

    Jane, tell me when you’re going to Santa Anita Park. Not only is the best race track in California, but I know people there.. important peeps.. so email meeeee….

  11. Jane Heller

    I will, Lillie. I have a feeling you know important peeps all over the place, so I’m checking with you before I go anywhere!

    Aw, the party lights are little away jerseys, Melissa? That’s sooo cute. I think it’s hilarious that you hung them in your hotel room. I wish I had a picture of that!

  12. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    John, I have Yankee party lights as well. My are little away jerseys. Are yours the same?

    Went to a conference in November and roomed with one of my best friends, also a Yankee fan. (She gave me the lights.) I brought them along and put them up in our hotel room.

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