Category Archives: Survivor

That Time I Almost Won Season 1 of Survivor

Possibly me…

Every year when the new Survivor season starts I always wonder, “what if…”  What if that was me winning #Survivor?

Let’s take a little trip in the way back machine. It was September of 1999. The internet was so new that I was still getting a newspaper made out of actual paper! I’ve always been an avid sports fan and in the fall the first thing I’d do when I got my Sunday paper was to check the box scores from the Saturday college football games.

On page 2 of the sports section, I found a small classified ad looking for people to volunteer/apply to be part of a filmed game show where contestants would spend a month on a remote island competing for ONE MILLION DOLLARS! 

This is how my inner monologue went:I grew up camping in tents with my family every summer. I’m outdoorsy! I can’t eat pickles or mustard, but I’ve got no problem eating anything else. I know how to fish, so I can feed myself. I’m a young-ish man in decent shape. I spent a few years in college taking broadcasting classes, so I’m comfortable on camera. I can do this!  This is a no brainer. For a million bucks I can outlast a group of dolts on an island and parlay my new found stardom into a successful show biz career!”

Survivor Season 1 cast. Look at those dolts! I could have easily won.

With my inner voice cheering me on I began typing that email to the casting director at CBS, all but certain that I was on the road to riches and stardom. And then I talked to my wife…

How many men reading this know how that conversation went?

This is not me or my wife.

Her reply, which was justified, was “you’re not going to leave me home alone for a month with three young kids.” That was a fair response. I couldn’t argue with that.

Don’t we all have those “what if” moments in your life where you look back and wonder how your life might be different? #Survivor is low on my list, but… what if?  Do you have any of those moments or memories where you wonder how the direction of your life might have changed had you done something different?

Have a great Tuesday and think of me when you’re watching Survivor tomorrow! ~Phil

Jon and Kate Plus Hate

In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”-Andy Warhol

In any bar, on any night, in any town in America, if a 40 year old, doughy, hair thinning, married guy walks in, what are the chances he walks out with a single, 23 year old school teacher and goes back to her place to get jiggy with it? Pretty slim usually….unless you’re a reality t.v. star!

Aaaaaah…reality t.v.! How could we live without it? I was nearly a reality t.v. star once upon a time. “What’s that you say Phil? We could have known you as someone besides the brilliant and funny blog writer you are?” That’s right kids. Sit down and I’ll tell you the story:

Many moons ago, about 6 months before the first season of Survivor, I came across a tiny ad in small print on page 2 of my local newspapers sports section. It seems some network was looking for people to volunteer to live on a deserted island for a month as part of some new game show. The winner would get a million dollars. I thought, “Hell, I can do that. I’m not afraid to eat bugs and sleep outside.” I was serious. So I proposed the idea to Mrs. Phil. Her reaction was, “No way. You’re not going away for a month and leaving me here with the kids.” “But honey, it’s for a million dollars!” “NO” That was the end of that discussion and the end of my shot at immediate fame and fortune. I have forever held a grudge against Survivor and have not watched a single episode.

Now it seems we have reality t.v. overkill, even without me being a part of it. There are shows about families, shows about fat people, short people, people cooking, people selling their houses, people looking for their houses, people having surgery, people building motorcycles, people sleeping, people having babies, getting married and just about anything else. I made up the one about people sleeping just to see if you’re paying attention.

Survivor: Yeah, we get it already. A bunch of self-centered, arrogant, model-type a-holes bicker endlessly in a tropical location. Like E.R. I think this show has overstayed its welcome in our living rooms.

Big Brother: A bunch of self-centered, arrogant, model type, a-holes bicker endlessly in a house. If I wanted to watch a bunch of drunk, immature, 20 somethings stab each other in the back and make every little perceived slight into a volcano of petty drama I’d go back to college.

The Bachelor/Bachelorette: A bunch of self-centered, arrogant, model-type, a-holes bicker endlessly about who gets to marry a self-centered, arrogant model-type a-hole.

Would somebody out there just go back to writing sit-coms? All I want when I sit down at night is to empty my brain and fill it with 22 minutes of insipid one liners that require no thought at all to absorb. Maybe a sit-com about the life of a funny blogger would be good. The Phil Factor could be a very catchy title. Hollywood, are you listening?