Tag Archives: sports

See Ya Later, Sochi

For the last two weeks, the Olympics brought Americans together in confusion as to where half of those other countries are located.

Olympic-RingsIn case you missed any of the action, don’t worry! Now that they’re done, I’ve (slightly) recapped the past two weeks and will start by saying that if they banned crying and hugging, the whole thing would take a day, day and a half tops.

And that’s just from the announcers.

Anyway, I admit that most of my viewing consisted of hockey and whatever was on at the gym while I was in the cardio room, after which time I would be so inspired by the women’s ski jumping that I would trip getting off of the treadmill and receive a .5 deduction from the Russian judge.

There’s always 2018.

But that brings me to my first point: every Olympic event should include one average person competing, just for reference. Think about it. All the competitors did something to make it to the Olympic games that 99 percent of other people on the planet can’t do—like a triple axel on skates or speeding down an icy mountain at 80 mph.

Whenever I watch I always think, “Oh my, gosh! That was amazing!” right before the announcer says, “That was the worst performance I’ve ever seen in my life.”

It’s because I have nothing to compare it to.

Now if they threw some accountant on a snowboard and forced him to try and ride down a rail and an icy jump, that would provide me some perspective—and most likely an increased interest in watching the games.

At any rate, from what I gathered there was a judging controversy with the figure skating and ice dancing, but the only thing I know about those two events is that Johnny Weir commenting on ice dancing while looking prettier than most Russian women was like a giant middle finger to Vladimir Putin.

Gold.

In terms of hockey, it was quite disappointing, and the only real miracle on ice this Olympics was that they could fit the names of the Russian players on the back of their jerseys. Also, as TJ Oshie demonstrated, a quick way to get thousands of new Twitter followers is to score the winning goal in a shootout against Russia.

Why didn’t I think of that?

But now that the Olympics are done, you can look for the medal winners to appear in a commercial for Subway, McDonalds or Coca-Cola. These companies were sponsors of the Olympics, which is like Paris Hilton sponsoring a job fair, but America always gets the gold in ironic commercialism.

And as much as I enjoy the patriotic spirit of the Olympics, I have to admit that I’m glad people on skis with guns will now be replaced with new episodes of “Ellen” and “Modern Family.”

Plus, there are only two more years until the summer games, where much like in the winter games Swiffering becomes “curling,” ping-pong will suddenly become “table tennis.”

Let the games begin.

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Go for the Gold

The winter Olympics are coming up, so I hope you’re ready to compete for national pride!

Well, maybe you’re not an Olympic athlete in the traditional sense, but I suggest we look into some new alternative events.  After all, anyone who has slipped on a fabric softener sheet and performed a double axle on the kitchen floor knows we’ve been training our lives for these moments.

“Slush Shopping Slalom”

In this event our amateur athletes at the grocery store get behind the wheels of a grocery cart and enter not a smooth and icy track like a bobsledder gets, but the slush-filled parking lot of the store.

Large amounts of stamina are required to make it to their car in less than 10 minutes. And while lower body strength is needed to propel the cart through the slush, upper body strength is necessary to try and steer the cart away from the direction the slush wants to go—most often into another parked car.

The athlete who clocks the quickest time from the automatic door of the store to their car without taking out any pedestrians is declared the wintery winner.

“Weather Update Biathlon”

While the biathlon usually includes cross country skiing with random stops to shoot things with a rifle, this event requires the athlete to check the weather report by running to the window to see if it’s started/stopped snowing yet, checking other sources of information—Internet, TV, radio—and then shooting off updates to anyone who will listen.

Competitors who can do this the most number of times in an hour will be annoying, but also declared the winner. Extra points are given for checking more than one source simultaneously.

“Digging the Car Out of the Snow Sprint”

In this event, the athlete is given a shovel, an ice scraper, a parked car and two feet of snow. The first team to get their car out of the driveway and get to work on time wins.

Using your arms to push the snow off the hood of the car and/or the automatic car starter for the front windshield is legal, as is using various forms of profanity. However, bribing the neighbor kid to help by stealing their sled is grounds for immediate disqualification.

Bonus points are given to the competitor who can open up the driver’s side door without any snow falling onto the driver’s side seat.

“Outdoor Freestyle Photography”

Here competitors are given a digital camera and 30 minutes to go outside and take pictures of how much snow has fallen, often using things like rulers stuck in the snow for comparison and captions like, “What happened to global warming?” and “Can you believe how much snow that we got?”

After the time is up, each athlete is required to submit their top images to the judges who will decide a winner based on technical merit, required elements, presentation and number of “likes” on Facebook.

“Refuse Relay”

Athletes are timed as they put on multiple layers of clothes and run from the warmth of their house to the trash bins stationed outside, deposit the bag of trash, wheel the bin down to the curb and then sprint back into the house, all before a) the trash collector comes and b) they freeze their ass off.

This event is usually frantically done in the early morning hours on the day of trash collection, and bonus style points are given to the competitor who can take off their winter boots without losing a sock in the process.


So as you can see, this will obviously require massive amounts of carb loading and couchgating on my end. Lucky for me, unlike skiing or luge—this is an activity I’ve been training for my whole life.

Go for the gold!

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Couchgating 101

Unless you’re new here, you know that I love sports. If you’re new here, you should know that I love sports.

I watch them on TV. I listen to sports talk radio 95 percent of the time. If someone approaches me for an intelligent discussion about baseball or anything/anyone on ESPN, it’s like flipping a switch. You instantly have my attention.

Sports get me. I get sports.

But I have to confess that as much as I love watching and talking about the games, I don’t always enjoy watching the games at the games. Overpriced parking, $5 bottles of water and expensive tickets just to sit in a cramped seat next to a drunken fool who spends the whole game screaming obscenities through a bullhorn? No thanks. 

I know, I know. Nothing can replace the atmosphere of attending an event live and I do enjoy going once in awhile, but with few extreme exceptions, the only thing I’m parking is my ass on the couch.

couch3

My couch gets me. I get my couch.

So what do you get when you combine sports and the couch? Couchgating*, the underrated yet superior alternative to traditional tailgating and game viewing. Unlike the rigid rules associated with attending an event—parking passes, assigned seats, having to wear pants—couchgating is much more relaxed, greatly improving the game day experience.

If you want to wear your favorite jersey, paint your face and ring a cowbell—looking at you mom—you can do so without judgment or death threats (depending on your neighbors, of course.)

And if you’re going more casual, you can even wear a cat hair-covered robe and judge every missed call like a much poorer, sports obsessed Judge Judy without anyone giving you “the look.”

“The look” can also be seen—and appropriately given—when stuck behind people on the concourse walking ridiculously slow who won’t let you pass as you try and make your way up to the concession stand.

Once there, said people will scour the limited menu as if deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, delaying your ability to secure an overpriced water bottle that will send you to the germ-infested toilet or claustrophobia-inducing Petri dish known as a Porto-Potty multiple times.

At home, there are no concession concessions (see what I did there?) needed, and the option to use a working toilet instead of climbing through rows of disgruntled fans to secure a spot in a 20 minute line to evacuate your bladder of the $5 water pretty much seals the deal for me. (In case you’re new here and haven’t left yet, I have a bladder the size of a Cheerio.)

I also overshare.

Anyway, the only “obstructed view seats” at home are when the cat does her rendition of “Riverdance”  in front of the TV to get my attention/catnip, the Wave can be done on your schedule without the pressure of waiting for your turn to stand and if the game sucks, you can just change the channel.

So while I admit that going to games can be fun, at the end of the game day for me, you know where I’ll probably be.

Couchgating gets me. I get couchgating.

*Note: In warmer weather, couchgating is replaced with deckgating, which is similar in structure but necessitates a lawn chair on the deck and a radio.

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Numbers Don’t Lie

Despite the fact that I have the attention span of an ADD gnat on speed, I can (and do) watch, listen and talk about sports—namely baseball and hockey—with alarming interest and insight.

great-baseball-hitters-succeed-sports-ecard-someecards

But even I can admit to the ridiculousness at which sports are analyzed. Games that won’t be played for weeks are broken down and predicted based on nothing more than some windbag’s opinion and a bunch of irrelevant statistics:

“No coach that picked his nose with his left pinky on a Wednesday has ever won this.”

“The last time this pitcher ate 67 ranch-flavored sunflower seeds 20 minutes before the game, he went out there and threw a no-hitter.”

When the sun shines at a 56 degree angle and the manager hasn’t changed his ‘lucky’ socks in a week, the team goes on to win 74 percent of the time.”

For some reason, people put stock into the fact that a certain event went a certain way under certain conditions in the past. It’s not just sports either, as we like to know that “nine out of 10 dentists think toothpaste is awesome” and that “Lysol kills 99 percent of germs.”

But stats can be fun, so I decided to compile a few from my own “research” to share with you today. Keep in mind they’re subject to change and variation 79 percent of the time.

  • Jillian Michaels says, “Get some!” 63 times in the Level 3 “Ripped in 30” workout alone.
  • If you make a hot beverage or meal, there is an 84 percent chance of someone interrupting you to ask you a completely irrelevant question.
  • Despite advances in technology, 92 percent of office printers still can’t cancel a job before printing it and 73 percent of employees can’t transfer a call or use the fax machine.
  • A watched pot never boils, but turn your head for five seconds and it will overflow 82 percent of the time.
  • Around 59 percent of people only workout so that they can post on a social media site that they worked out.
  • If you buy a seedless watermelon, there is a 98 percent chance of choking on a watermelon seed while eating it.
  • 68 percent of yoga pants will never actually be worn for yoga.
  • The average person spends 4.3 years of their life watching the time tick down on the microwave while waiting for food to heat up.
  • 100 percent of people that complain about taking the skins off chickpeas are white women between the ages of 21 and 34.
  • If you are waiting for a telephone call and leave for 60 seconds, it will come through 99 percent of the time.
  • After eating one kernel of popcorn, there is a 59 percent chance of that kernel being stuck in your teeth for a minimum of two days.
  • 92 percent of people only use a synonym because they can’t spell the word that they wanted to use.
  • If you go to the store after the gym with no makeup and sweaty clothes, there is an 87 percent chance you will run into at least three people you know.
  • If you to the store after getting your hair styled, there is a 102 percent chance you will run into absolutely no one you know.
  • People who read this blog have a 100 percent chance of being inducted into the Hall of Awesomeness, which will be constructed upon sufficient sponsorships.
  • There is zero percent chance of that happening.

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Jose Can You See

While Thursday is generally just the day in between people annoying me with “It’s Hump Day!” and “TGIF!” it’s actually a really important day for me this week.

It’s Opening Day.

leylandgnome

And yes, we have a Detroit Tiger gnome named Leyland.

If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, first of all, thank you and you deserve a medal of honor and possibly a psychological examination. But you also are aware that baseball has always played a huge role in my life and quite frankly, in my happiness.

Because the Tigers open up their regular season on Thursday, I felt like I needed to write a post about it. Then I realized that the post I was trying to write had already been written—last year, by me.

It’s tacky to refer you back to old posts, but if you have even one tiny cell of fandom or like reading about my 89-year-old grandma explaining the rules of the game to her deaf friends at the nursing home, please go back and read these two posts.

Opening Day Senior Moments

My Perfect Game

They’re important to me, as I’m grateful to have another Opening Day to celebrate with the old woman and another season to enjoy. I’m taking Thursday afternoon off and once again, the three of us will gather around the TV and belt out the National Anthem off-key before my grandma simultaneously yells about a bad call or how the popcorn tastes like shit.

But another reason I love baseball is that after star players retire, they can still entertain us with their talents. No, I’m not talking about starting charities or becoming insightful game analysts, although those are commendable endeavors.

I’m talking about Twitter, and specifically, Jose Canseco on Twitter. The following stream of tweets last week have nothing to do with baseball, but quite honestly, they’re just as entertaining. And now I want Jose Canseco to send me a virtual hug.

Enjoy.*

Jose Can You See

how do we stop global warming

reduce reuse recycle morons class in session i complete you of to practice for my playboy celebrity golf tournament

clowns if you dont stop your mass consumption we will have no polar bears soon need to recycle or else no more bears

1 more stop global warming tip .turn your home heat all off at nite .saves $ an energy and lowers your body temp so u will live 20% longer

flanel pajamas morons share body heat like the pioneers did even in snow

hole families used to sleep in one big bed and produce no waste how did we go from their to killing polar bears in 100 years

al gore was a head of his time .i miss him rest in peace buddy hug for u

sorry al you need to make some more noise .Keep fighting for us i believe in your and i am with you

what did you clowns learn yesterday other than gore is not deed?

Had no idea @algore had a tv station. What a coincidence he is all over news today about firing people. Hug for u al

we need to consume less and protect enviroment for future generation nobody has no regard for the earth anymore. lets do our part

His last solution?

how about a sitcom where I play a gym teacher and wear those old skool nuthugger shorts coaches used to wear with those high tube socks

*I did not edit any of these, as the horrific nature of grammatical structure simply adds to the charm.

Home run.

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My Perfect Game

This won’t mean a lot to most of you out there, but this weekend the Detroit Tigers clinched their first division title since 1987, and their first American League Central title ever.

mlb_u_tigers_celebrate_b1_300

It’s kind of a big deal.

But don’t worry. This post isn’t going to be filled with statistics and names of men being (over)paid to play a boy’s sport or ridiculous metaphors about the game that I’ve loved all my life. If you don’t love baseball, you certainly won’t love my explanation of why I do. If you do love baseball, you don’t need it. 

But for me, it’s more than a game.

It’s remembering summers by games that were played and the sensory clues I still find—the crack of the bat, the stitch on a ball, the smell of the grass in the field. It’s looking forward to spring training in the dead of winter when every other joy seems frozen beneath layers of ice and of snow.

It’s being able to identify players by their batting stance or jersey number and feeling an instant connection with a complete stranger when I see them wearing a shirt with the old English “D.”

tigers

It’s a simple game—a bat and a ball—but it can unite a city, a state, a family—with one swing of that bat or one pitch of that ball. It can make grown men cry, and sometimes, even a 30-year-old woman who usually one cries for road kill and good food spilled on the floor.

For me, it’s my escape.

Sports in general afford me the opportunity to forget about the mundane concerns of everyday life for a while and to spend an unpredictable amount of time with others who take pleasure in enjoying a similar break. It’s a reminder that I can still feel excited about something when a lot of the time I’m just numb.

For me,  it’s family.

It’s a 90-year-old woman who can’t always remember who I am, but will tell me about a game in 1948 with a clarity time hasn’t stolen quite yet.

Some days the games are all foreign to her and she couldn’t care less if one’s on. Some days watching the game with her takes me right back to being sprawled on her living room floor as a kid, watching each game on mute while Ernie Harwell came through on the radio (but not lying underneath the ceiling fan, as I was warned the goddamn thing would inevitably fall on me and crush me to death. Fuzzy memories.)

Because while I joke about her and there are still good times, the bad days outnumber the good by a lot. But on those good days, baseball bridges a gap as we talk of the games and the team. It’s tradition and memories tied up with box scores and hopefulness mixed in with stats.

copo

From this year’s Opening Day to where we are now, this season has felt somewhat special. And despite my promise not to wax eloquently with corny language, I guess I can’t help it. Sure, it’s a “pastime,” but it’s my favorite way to pass that time.

For me, it’s more than a game.

It’s my perfect game.

I have baseball and sports, but what’s your “thing,” so to speak? What are you unapologetically passionate about and have never grown tired of?