What Was That?

by Rich on September 28, 2016

I don’t talk a lot of sport here, but sometimes something happens and I just kind of need to get it written down. My memory isn’t what it used to be and I don’t want to forget what I experienced at this year’s annual Tangle of the Tigers™ (that’s not really trade marked or copy-writed but it totally should be) between Auburn and LSU.

Something always seems to go nuts during or around this game. I don’t know if that is factually accurate, but it sure feels that way. Crazy last second plays, earthquakes, monsoons, fires, and I think there was a Sasquatch sighting one year? Anyway, it just always has a weird vibe to it. Maybe it’s the Cajun Voodoo, maybe it’s the corndogs…I honestly have no idea. Throw in a coach on one side that goes through about 9 million pieces of gum per game, and one on the other who eats grass and somehow always bends the space time continuum, and you get a game that often times is just downright bizarre.

Well, this one lived up to all of that. I’m not going to go into Xs and Os or give you a play by play run down. There are tons of places you can get that written by people infinitely smarter than I am. No, I just wanted to give you a peek into what it was like to be there.

Let’s just get this out of the way first… it was hot. I don’t mean “uncomfortably warm for late September” hot, I mean sauna hot. Steamy. Brutal. And that was with some cloud cover. “Stifling” is another descriptor that would be appropriate. Just ridiculous. And when it’s hot like that, fans from these 2 particular fan bases don’t always hydrate appropriately. As a matter of fact, they get rip roaring, throw down, stinking drunk. A night game between Auburn and LSU is played out during weekend long tailgates every bit as much as it is on the field, under the lights. It’s like both camps try to out drink each other. And let’s face it: LSU is going to win that one every day of the week and twice on Sundays. They’re like the Irish: professionals. Don’t try this at home, kids.

So, hot with drunks. But things were still mostly peaceful. Then there was the actual game.

Again…weird. Without scoring a single touchdown, it felt like Auburn was in complete control of the game. That’s an accomplishment. Not one I would shoot for, mind you, but still…

And then there was the last second of the game. Again. Auburn was going to win, then Auburn lost and LSU won. Then LSU lost and Auburn won. Did the play get off in time? was the receiver set? Was the QB behind the line of scrimmage? I’m not going to answer those questions because that’s not my point.

What is my point? Ok, confession… I have no idea. The game was surreal. When there were two minutes left in the game, I was sure that Auburn would lose. Then, once it was evident that Auburn had lost, I was equally certain that they would win. And they did. And I swear I can’t explain it. I mean, sure, the mechanics of how it happened, but not the metaphysical groove of what I was feeling through the whole thing.

I was scared to leave the stadium, fearing mean, drunk LSU fans ready to take out their anger on anyone in orange and blue. But the streets were surprisingly calm. Auburn fans feeling like they just cheated death and needed to sneak out of the room before someone caught the error, and LSU fans resigned to the fact that all hopes for a great season had just vanished, been snatched away by a cruel and uncaring God who wielded his power through a coach that wears his hats funny.

Then a German national with no connection to either team, the SEC,  football or America in general, tried to burn down The Toomer’s Oaks just because (payback?? no idea).

And then I woke up and LSU’s coach, Les Miles, was fired.

It was that kind of game. It’s Wednesday and I’m still trying to get my head around it.

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Ice Hot

by Rich on September 26, 2016

It’s late September and I really should be back at school…

…or so says Rod Stewart. And he’s cool. But judging by what Stephanie Abrams and Jim Cantore are telling me, it’s still early August and frankly, the only place I really should be is squarely in front of an A/C vent blowing full blast on a setting somewhere between “I could use a fleece” and Hoth (that’s a nerd-alert Star Wars reference). It’s still hot. And wet. And humid. And I’m tired of it.

I’ve lived in the southeast my entire life, and other than not being required to go to school from ages 6 to 18, there are very few things I LOVE about the summer. And maybe that’s why some years, when fall takes longer to get here, I find it hard to get into one of my favorite pastimes… football.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m American. I like cheese and meat and beer and I drive a Jeep for Pete’s sake. But when it’s 93° and 120% humidity, doing anything outside, or even watching other people do things outside, is nothing short of painful. I mean, I’ll do it. Like I said. America. But still…

So, hockey.

Yes, I said it. Hockey. I know, I know… you are correctly remembering that I just told you that I was born and raised in the south. Sure, Atlanta for a few years when they had the Flames, but really, does that count as “Hockey Country”? I would submit that it does not (I could go into a whole other rant about Atlanta and it’s love/hate relationship with professional sports, but, yeah… I’ll just hold on to that one for now).

Let me be the first to admit… I know virtually nothing about hockey, other than it is about eleventy bajallion times more fun to watch live than on TV. But so help me I enjoy it! Don’t get me wrong. I don’t love it. I go to hockey games under the following conditions: someone else is paying; a group of people with whom I would like to engage in questionable behavior with are going; Sidney Crosby’s girlfriend Kathy Leutner calls me and begs me to come (disclaimer: I had to look up famous hockey players for that joke).

But I do like it for a couple of reasons. First, like soccer, it has it’s own subculture. Hockey people are HOCKEY PEOPLE. And they are passionate in their love for all things hockey and will gladly go their graves extolling the virtues of the sport that make it superior to all other sports. Second, have you ever tried ice skating? I have. Once. I made it across the rink without killing myself or anyone else, but I still have scars. We’ll leave it at that. What hockey players do on skates? I’m not saying it’s walking on water, but…

And third, it’s cool. Not hip, but physically cold. They don’t wear hockey jerseys. They wear sweaters. And not that ugly thing your Aunt Adelaide gave you for Christmas when you were 12. So when I watch, I kind of feel cold. Like when I watched the Iron Bowl in 2000. Remember? Sleet? Ice? Field goals? Cold!

I’m thinking about all this because Tuesday I stumbled across something called World Cup Hockey which is a thing that exists. And for an hour I cranked the A/C, cracked a beer, and pretended I was in North Dakota. It was glorious. And I don’t even know, or care, who won.

But man… it was cool! I mean, not Rod Stewart cool, but still.

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EXTRA! EXTRA!

September 25, 2016

Man it’s been a buster of a year. Just so much going on, at least for me personally. Good, bad…all over the place. Some of what’s happened this year has been challenging. Some of it has been life-changing. Some of it has just been plain cool. And that’s what I want to talk about. Starting […]

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The Real World (Before You Get To The Real World)

September 15, 2016

I hear it all the time… “I just want to have fun before I get to the real world (while I’m in college; while I’m young; before I get married; before I get old; before whatever…)”, and I always think the same thing when I hear it…YOU’RE ALREADY IN THE REAL WORLD! Sorry, didn’t mean […]

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(Almost) New Tech, Same (basic) Problems

September 14, 2016

It’s amazing how computers have changed our lives. I hesitate to say “improved”, but, yeah, they have. It’s just hard to keep up. And it always has been! Think about it. I remember when email was the newest thing! You could send someone a message without a stamp! And they got it instantly! That was […]

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15 Years

September 11, 2016

I was born in 1969, the year Man first walked on the moon. I was 15 in 1984. At 15, Man walking on the moon seemed like ancient history. I bring this up because today is September 11, 2016. 15 years ago, a few guys with box cutters and a twisted sense of morality changed […]

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Just For The Run Of It

September 8, 2016

I run. I try not to make a big deal about it, but I do. And, truth be told, I’m kinda proud of myself for doing it. I tell myself and everyone else that I run because I want to be healthy, but.. can we talk? I run because I am vain and my love […]

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About Last Night…

September 5, 2016

Listen, I know it was a little crazy last night, and things got a little out of hand. But really, I had a good time, and I think maybe we should see each other again. Sure, you were kinda nuts. The whole three QBs and an H-Back taking snaps, sometimes in the same series…not gonna […]

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New Blog. Who Dis?

August 24, 2016

So, it’s been about 8 months since my last post, and frankly, that’s just damn embarrassing. It took reading a friend’s blog to shame me into posting something, ANYTHING, to this little idea catch-all. I mean, I’ve wanted to. I have had every intention of writing. But, well…sometimes you can’t write about what you want […]

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“…Aaaaaaand We’re Baaaaaack!!!”

December 23, 2015

If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it’s that we, as a species, hate change. Oh sure, there are a few outliers who “claim” to love it, but we all know the truth. Deep down we hate change. Fear it. Loath it. Despise it. We get comfortable and in a rhythm […]

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