No Pod Races Allowed

by Rich on June 19, 2017

It’s Father’s Day weekend and I should be writing a column about how sports brings fathers and sons together, or Phil Mickelson dropping out of the U.S. Open to be at his daughter’s graduation, or coaches being father figures, or dads who volunteer to coach their kids, or a hundred other time-honored topics surrounding this particular afterthought of a holiday. And let’s all be honest with ourselves…it’s an afterthought.

“Oh wait…mom gets one? Well, I guess to be fair…”, that’s how I see the marketing meeting going down at the greeting card company home office.

So, I could write one of those columns, but you’ll see a ton of them this weekend, almost all better written and more insightful than anything I could attempt. That’s why I’m going in a different direction. Hey, if you can’t be good, at least be original, right?

Because I’m a dad, and on this weekend we are allowed a certain amount of leeway when it comes to chores, jobs and general expectations, I have decided that for my Father’s Day gift, I’m having a Star Wars marathon.

I’ll give you a second to read that again.

Why Star Wars? And why would I write about it in the sports pages of this esteemed newspaper? Simple. I want to. And it’s Father’s Day and I get to do want I want. It happens once a year, this day where “have to” takes a break and “want to” takes over. And I intend to take full advantage.

My 17 year old son and I are going to hunker down with pizza and popcorn and Twizzlers and root beer (for him) and beer (for me) and we are going to do the dang thing. All four (maybe five. “Rogue One” is still up for discussion) movies. Episodes IV through VII. Those are the only ones that I will recognize. Those other abominations are not to be spoken of. I will go to the mattresses over this (sidebar: next year The Son will be old enough for a Godfather marathon and I DO recognize all three of those films and I’m already excited about it).  If I could find the theatrical release versions of the original three Star Wars films, that’s what I would watch. But George Lucas lives in a land where every day is Father’s Day and he doesn’t want me to see those, so I won’t. I’ll put up with Han stepping on Jabba’s tail in the hanger, I’ll deal with Greedo shooting first, I’ll grit my teeth as CG beasts are inserted and I won’t hurl anything at the TV when Hayden Christensen shows up at next to Yoda and Obi Wan at the end of “Return of the Jedi”.

I will endure all of those little paper cuts, because sitting next to me in the room will be my son, whose hand I will not cut off in a failed attempt to have him join me in ruling the universe. No, he and I will sit and stuff ourselves with deliciously horrible food and discuss the depth of characters, the quality of special effects, and what the hell happened in the cave (“The cave! Remember your failure in the cave!” WHAT FAILURE? HE KILLED HIS DARK SIDE, RIGHT?).

And it won’t have anything to do with the million sports things that you’ll read and see and hear about today regarding fathers and their children. It will have to do with the connection I have with my son, the connection we share.

And THAT is what this day is about.

Happy Father’s Day.



What About Bob (Stoops)?

by Rich on June 12, 2017

Poor Bob Stoops. I feel for the guy. Out of work. Man, no matter how it happens, it’s just the worst. I should know. I’ve quit more jobs than a cheap printer. It’s never easy. Sure, the guy has made eleventy-billion dollars over the last 18 years as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners (next to “Hoosiers”, this may be the worst team name in the history of sport. Seriously, I Googled “sooners in the wild” and I don’t even think it’s a real animal, y’all), and he has a net worth of probably half that, but still. It stings.

I don’t know why Bob Stoops retired (read: quit). I’m sure he had his reasons. And when you have that kind of “Forget You, Boss Man!” money, I would imagine the temptation to walk away would be even greater than it is for the rest of us. Let’s face it…most of us have quit when we probably shouldn’t have, financially speaking.

I once quit a job because one of my coworkers was a former “exotic dancer” and filed a formal complaint against me (she asked if she could borrow $20 and I told her that she could, but I only had it in $1s. She took umbrage to that. I honestly didn’t mean anything by it. It was all I had). Management sided with her version of events and I decided management would be better served without my services. I had $42 in the bank and the afore mentioned $20 in my pocket. So having the cabbage to cover the rent and gas money like Bob has makes it easier. He doesn’t have to worry about money. And, as Forrest Gump said, “…that’s good. One less thing.”

But what will poor Bob do with all that free time? No more film study. No more booster club speeches. No more recruiting visits. No more truck commercials and contractually obligated radio shows. No more dodging the NCAA.  I hope his relationship with his wife Carol is good, because Bob just walked away from one of the best ever “get out of the house” excuse producing jobs ever created by humankind. So what will he do?

Well, speaking of his lovely wife Carol, he could team up with her in her Mary Kay Cosmetics business (it’s a real thing. Look it up). Who wouldn’t want a Mary Kay party with Bob Stoops pulling up in the Pink Caddy? I mean, I’m secure in my masculinity. I’d buy some apricot facial scrub from the guy. DON’T JUDGE ME THE MAN WENT 190-48 AND I DON’T CARE IF IT WAS AN UNDER-PERFORMING BIG12 AND I NEED TO EXFOLIATE! I’m just saying there would be a market.

Maybe he starts out on some completely new venture. That’s my hope. I have a couple of ideas for him…

Bob’s Stoops: A contracting firm that works exclusively in the building of entrance stairways for city dwellers. This would probably require a move to Baltimore, Boston, San Fransisco or New York. But hey… sometimes you go where the work is.

Stoops’ Bobs: A fishing lure company that makes, you guessed it, bobs for fishing line.

Stoops’ Undercoating: “We ‘stoop’ lower to make sure you’re covered!” The commercials alone guarantee this would take off.

Really, the possibilities are endless. Sure, he could sit around binge-watching Netflix, drinking really good craft beers and listening to his butler (Phelps) tell him how awesome he is. I mean, that’s what I would do. But maybe he needs more.

He can always be a co-host on my radio show, but I doubt he would stoop to that level.



Broken Windows

June 5, 2017

News came out this week that three former administrators from Penn State are getting jail time for their involvement in the Sandusky scandal. That horrid affair seems like ancient history to many Americans, thanks to our ADD raddled news cycle, but the main trial began almost exactly 5 years ago. My son was 12, but […]

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Will Power

May 29, 2017

Let me tell you a story… I once knew a guy named Will (not his real name.) He was a pretty amazing guy. Will came from a large family. He had 3 brothers and 3 sisters, and was the middle child. They lived in a small town in Kansas, and were a very average family. […]

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Chin Music

May 22, 2017

We are full on into baseball/softball season, and viewers and listeners across the fruited plain are being inundated with time-tested, well worn terms and phrases unique to the diamond. And since the game has been around since the early Paleozoic Era, there are plenty of them. Sure, football, basketball and hockey have their own particular […]

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The OG Soccer Mom.

May 14, 2017

It’s Mother’s Day, and since almost everyone has a mother or at least knows someone who does, I think it appropriate to take a moment to talk about them. What is the deal with moms? Seriously? Have you seen these people? They are completely insane! Especially the so called “Soccer Moms”. Ok, Ok, I kid. […]

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Birthdays And Shotguns

May 12, 2017

My son is awesome. Let’s just start there. I like to think of him as a younger version of myself, but honestly, that’s short changing him. He’s so much smarter and mature than I was at his age. This is the story of his 17th birthday and how blessed I am to be his dad. […]

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Life: Unplugged

May 8, 2017

I love technology. Really, I do. I love the fact that I can watch a baseball game, live, on my phone, from almost anywhere (results may vary depending on your provider). I love that with a touch of my thumb on a screen the size of a deck of cards, I can instantly find out […]

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May 1, 2017

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s diabolical (or genius) Plan For Global Domination (PFGD) continued this past week and weekend with the 192 hour (exaggeration), wall to wall, gavel to gavel coverage of the National Football League’s Three Ring Circus and Ouija Board Séance known as the 2017 NFL Draft. As PFGDs go, Goodell’s is pretty all-encompassing. […]

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The Sports Dream

April 24, 2017

I’ve noted here before (much to the surprise of you, the reader, I suspect), that I actually did attempt to play sports when I was young. I throw in the “attempt” qualifier, because, well, I just wasn’t very good at them. I’m still not. Just ask anyone who plays around of golf with me. But […]

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