(Insert Creative Title Here)

by Rich on March 30, 2017

I think it’s hard to be creative. Most of us probably don’t ever consider it, or if we do, we just assume that someone is creative in the same manner that they happen to be tall, or have brown eyes. Creativity is often considered to be some innate trait that pours out of people, like hair that just grows (or doesn’t, as the case may be). And while it’s true that, like most things in life, we all fall somewhere along the creativity spectrum, all of us have the ability to be creative. And while it may come more naturally to some that others, even to those on the far “plus” side of that spectrum must have to work at it.

I’m sitting here in my living room, surrounded by paintings that my father painted as a young man. You can see the heavy influence of the Impressionists in his work. And I as sit here, hand over keyboard, wondering what to write, I wonder… did he ever have the same experience? Did he sit down in front of the canvas with his brush, hovered over his pallet, wondering what was going to happen next? Afraid that everything had already been painted? Worried that his next piece would look too much like one he had already completed? Do musicians sit in front of a piano, wondering what will come next? Knowing that the ability is there, but not so sure where to direct it?

The more I write, the more I am convinced that this is somewhat universal, and that what separates those who are considered “good” or “successful”, are the ones that work at it. You see it everywhere, too. Not just art. Look at athletes. How many times have you seen a golfer attempt a shot that was not just difficult, but described as “imaginative”. Or a pitcher who comes up with a different pitch? Those things don’t just happen. I mean, they do, but only after innumerable hours, working, honing. It happens with the great chefs, who try and try and try until the get it just the way they want it.

Those things don’t just happen. Sure, there is natural, God given talent and ability, and creativity is certainly a part of that, but there is also just a lot of pure old “doing it”. Over and over and over. Hoping and praying that you can paint what’s in your head, or turn that emotion in your heart into some kind of music, or get that ball to do that one thing you think will get it past even the best batter. That’s not easy. It takes persistence. And work. And imagination. And creativity.

And creativity is hard, no matter who you are.

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A Boy Plays A Game

by Rich on March 27, 2017

For the record, I have never met Tim Tebow. I know basically what most casual sports fans know about the man. He played football at the University of Florida, won a Heisman Trophy. Almost won two more. Won a national championship. Almost won another one. He had sporadic and unsustainable success in the NFL. He was home schooled. He is convicted in his faith. He is unapologetic about who he is and what he believes.

And for the most part people either love him or hate him.

Since his departure from the NFL, Tebow has been a mainstay in the world of college football broadcasting, nailing a gig on the SEC Network and occasionally pitching in on ESPN. And why wouldn’t he be? He’s engaging, attractive and intelligent, if not the most eloquent of talking heads. Let’s face it, a lot of networks could (and do) do worse. And now he’s back in the public eye again, but for a different reason.

Tim Tebow wants to play baseball. Oh the horror.

It’s amazing the reaction this desire has had. From all corners of the country, there is both cheering and hand wringing. Not to mention flat out melt downs. People are legitimately going nuts! And for the life of me I can’t really figure out why.

Let’s see… an incredibly gifted, natural athlete, wants the opportunity to play a sport. GASP! Hide the women and children! Seriously? What’s the big deal? Do these naysayers realize that the guy might have gotten drafted out of high school (probably by the Dodgers) if he had played baseball his senior year (he didn’t, because, you know… he was pretty good at the football sport)? And is it that big of a stretch to think that an athlete who excelled in an unconventional manner in one sport might be able to take that natural athletic ability and adapt it to another sport? Guess what? I bet Tim Tebow could play soccer if he decided he wanted to. Maybe not at Premier League level, but sure. I bet he could do it. Hockey? Who knows? Lacross? I wouldn’t put it past him. The guy has what you need to have to be successful in sports: strength, speed, agility, coordination, smarts and an oversized drive to win. Does anyone really debate that he can check all of those boxes?

Look, the guy isn’t demanding the clean up spot in the batting order on opening day for the Yankees, for Pete’s sake. He just wants a shot. Teams have open try outs all the time. Remember The Rookie? How about Invincible? Both stories about how regular guys with talent and desire made it to the highest level through open tryouts. And it’s not like he’s stealing someone’s spot on the roster. If you can help a team win games, you play. If you can’t, you don’t. It’s that simple. The ultimate meritocracy.

And if you’re a team owner with a struggling franchise, why WOULDN’T you give him a shot? Where is the downside? Too much press? Too many advertisers? Too many people wanting to put eyeballs on your team? Even if it’s just to see Tebow fail? And who wouldn’t want a guy like Tim Tebow in your dugout? Hmmm….character, competitor, work ethic…yeah, you’re right. Who needs all of that messing up your game plan.

Look, I’ve never met Tim Tebow, but you know what? I’m pulling for him. You do you, Timmy. Hit ’em where they ain’t.

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Of Chefs And Choices

March 23, 2017

Pardon me if this gets a little philosophical, but I watched one hell of a food documentary, so… No, seriously. I watched a documentary about a chef today and it made me question who I am and why I’m here and the meaning of life and it was all very existential. I’ll wait for you […]

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Love and Basketball (Not The Movie)

March 20, 2017

I’ve mentioned it here before, but there is no love lost between me and the sport of basketball. Maybe it’s because I’m on the short end of average. Maybe it’s because the game today bares little resemblance to the sport I played for one pathetic season in the 3rd grade. Or 4th. I can’t remember. […]

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Amateur Night

March 16, 2017

St. Patrick’s Day is here and it’s time for my annual warning and tips for how to protect yourself during this dangerous holiday. But before I do that, I want to remind everyone that St. Patrick’s Day is, like, a REAL day. It’s not made up by greeting card companies or bank employees angling for […]

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Driving and Driving

March 13, 2017

Last weekend, while flipping through the eleventy-billion channels my local cable provider offers for the cost of a small car, I paused on a couple of sporting events, golf and NASCAR. I’m not sure why I paused there, when there were so many much more engaging options available, like the lava lamp channel or the […]

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Kitchen Keepers

March 9, 2017

Things I’ve learned when equipping a kitchen (in no particular order): Quality knives are worth the investment. You don’t need a ton of them, but make them good, heavy knives. And take care of them. Hand wash. Get a sharpener. Nothing ruins a party more than bleeding into the guacamole because you almost took a […]

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Playtime

March 6, 2017

We love sports in this country. And we’re not alone. Sports are huge globally. Every where you turn, there is a network or a league or something that points to sports. Heck, you’re reading this in a section of the newspaper dedicated to nothing but sports. And why is that? Sports fill a lot of […]

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Truth And Beauty

March 2, 2017

It’s funny how life can be. One minute you’re wondering who will post bail for you when you actually  do physical harm to that one coworker who insists on eating tuna fish out of the can and leaving it on the counter in the break room, and the next minute you’re finding a box of […]

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Hey, Coach!

February 27, 2017

When I was in high school, I had a football coach named Coach Connerly. Yes, I played football. One glorious year. There’s a picture around here somewhere to prove it. Coach Connerly also coached wrestling. Another sport that I competed in while in high school. Maybe “competed” is too strong a word, but I wore […]

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