The Sports Dream

by Rich on 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 despite my ineptness in most things athletic, I do enjoy sports. I enjoy the culture, the competition, the drama…from the outside. I am perfectly happy as an observer. My forays into actual athletic activities are much more private and are mostly related to getting enough exercise to make sure that Oprah doesn’t get a complex.

But what if I had been good at sports? What would my life have looked like? Where would I be right now? I ponder that sometimes. What if I had not only been blessed with natural, God-given talent, but also the drive and desire to work hard to hone those skills to their finest? It’s an interesting thought experiment, and usually goes something like this:

“Man, I was not bad at soccer. I mean, if I had stuck with it past 3rd grade, I would have made my high school varsity team. I was good enough. And that was an awesome team. guys on that team got scholarships. I would have gone to Stanford or Wake Forest. I might have even gotten a look from the English Premiere League!”

And then the person standing in my office doorway says my name for the 4th time, finally snapping me back to reality and I remember that my single greatest accomplishment in soccer was blowing a bubble with a mouth full of bubble gum while simultaneously scoring a goal. Pretty cool, huh? I was nine. That’s it. That’s the list.

So, that was never going to happen. But why can’t we have that kind of accolade (the whole sports star thing) for stuff that we’re actually good at? Sure, there is the whole hot dog eating contest, but that just makes eating look disgusting. When I watch Jordan Spieth play golf, I want to play golf. And play it like he does. When I see kobayashi shoving 63 Nathen’s Famous Coney Island wieners down his gullet, I want to puke. But what if there was an eating competition that you could enjoy watching? That made you think, “Man, that looks delicious! I should go get one of those pizzas!”

That’s what I want. Sports accolades for non-sports people. Me. I want these accolades. Let’s be clear, I don’t really care if you get them or not. Just being honest here.

So, what would those look like? Well, there is the a-fore mentioned pizza eating thing. I am great at drinking really good beer and wine. I can read a book like nobody’s business, and my movie watching skills are through the roof. I’m still working on my TV binge-watching game, but it’s coming along nicely, thank you very much. Pretty sure I’ll be ready for competition soon.

Really, I think this is such a win-win for everyone. I could get sponsors (“I want to thank the Amazon Prime Video/Duracell Battery/Orville Redenbacher Team today. It was a group effort getting through all five seasons of Taxi. They really pulled together. I’m just happy to be in there competing”), there would be commentators, networks, the whole bit!

Ok, maybe not. Well, it was nice to dream, but my manager is yelling at me about “getting some *&^%@ work done”. Maybe one day…

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Just Move, Baby! Just Move!

by Rich on April 17, 2017

So the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, and to quote a movie that (full disclosure) I have never seen, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” (sidebar: I have tried on multiple occasions to watch Gone With The Wind and can never get through more than about 20 minutes without either falling asleep or throwing something across the room in anger at all the horrible attempts at a southern accent. Back to the Raiders…)

I really don’t care about them moving and I will freely admit that this is primarily due to the fact that I have no vested emotional interest in the team. But it’s also due to the fact that I’ve been to Oakland, and, no offense to the fine people of that industrious city, I would want to move too. So I think this is a good thing and, frankly, I think there are other teams that could probably use a change of scenery as well.

Here are some of the teams that I would move.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. First of all, lets be clear…the name alone is a good enough reason to move. Literally translated, the team’s name is “The The Angels Angels of Anaheim”. Huh? Would you be a fan of a team called “The The Steelers Steelers of Pittsburgh”? Of course not. No, the Angels need to be somewhere that need a little heavenly guidance. And sure, L.A. can use all it can get, but the team has been there for years, alas to no avail. So I propose Shreveport, LA. And anyone who has been to the Poulan Weedeater Bowl knows exactly why I think this burg needs some heavenly guidance. It’s the only place I have ever been disappointed in a Waffle House meal. Discussion closed.

The Arizona Cardinals. This is a football team, named after a baseball team, playing in a domed stadium with real grass (that is NEVER in good shape, by the way) that’s named after an online, virtual university. Really? Why don’t you just make the whole team virtual and call it a day? Come on, America. We can do better than that. This move is easy. My proposal? Fargo, ND. This would require a name change, but that’s easy too. The Fargo Ice Fishers (Team Motto: We’re Not A Hockey Team!). Everyone knows that the real money in pro sports is in the TV deals and the merchandising. The Fargo Ice Fishers would dominate. I’ll see your frozen tundra and raise you a foot of snow. Who wouldn’t want to see that? And imagine the logo and branding opportunities. I love this move.

Every NBA Team. Move them all to Texas. After all, according to them, it’s a whole other country (also, if bumper stickers are to be believed, you should not mess with them. Like I’m going to pick a fight with a whole state…but I digress). First, this is a purely selfish move because I can’t stand the NBA and Mark Cuban seems to have a lot of passion on the subject. Texas is huge and could handle the entire league without batting an eye. This move would also have the added bonus of having every team confined to one geographic area. Kind of like throwing all the prisoners into a walled off New York City in “Escape From New York” (Shout out to Snake Plisken). It just makes it easier for the rest of us to keep an eye on them.

So let the Raiders move to Vegas. Next stop, Shreveport, baby, Shreveport!

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A Tradition Like…

April 10, 2017

It’s Masters weekend at Augusta National and I can’t but be glued to my TV. I know it’s cliche’, but it really is a tradition like no other…tradition (I have that part so I don’t get in trouble with Billy Payne). There are a few golf courses around the world that people recognize, even if […]

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Boxes And Bags

April 6, 2017

While it’s true that we all fear change (we do, don’t we? We all agree on that, right?), there is something exciting about new beginnings. I’m moving. Well, not really “I”. The company I work for is moving. Not far, mind you. Maybe 7 or 8 miles by car. 2 or 3 as the crow […]

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The Sports Bridge

April 3, 2017

If cave paintings and hieroglyphics are any indication, sports have been with us for a while. Not like, “Oh, you know Josie, she’s had the hots for Eustice for a while.” But more like, “There have been oceans on the planet Earth for a while.” Some experts estimate that sports have been around for over […]

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(Insert Creative Title Here)

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 […]

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A Boy Plays A Game

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 […]

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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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