Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A new approach to fantasy football...

Tonight is my first fantasy football draft ever. So last night, J and I spent a lot of time talking about which players I should choose. Well...to be accurate...J spent a lot of time talking about stats and predictions and injuries and I spent a lot of time with my eyes glazing over with boredom. I hate stats...they are boring.

So instead of paying attention to J's very calculated and researched draft strategy, I decided to come up with my own method. It's not more scientific...but it's definitely more entertaining.

The draft is not until tonight, so I don't want to give away too many of my choice picks...but I will reveal the multi-step method by which I chose my players...

OK...before I considered who I did like...I crossed Michael Vick off the list. He may be a great quarterback, but he's also a douche...and a dog killer...and I just can't get past that. So he's out.

With that out of the way I moved on to the first consideration which was...are you a Manning? I know some people hate them, but I'm a fan of the Manning brothers...and of Peyton especially. So if you are a Manning, you go to the top of the list.

The second consideration is, of course, hotness. The hotter the player, the higher up they go on the list. Hello, Tony Romo...and Mark Sanchez. But not Tom Brady...because something about that guy just rubs me the wrong way.

Third is first names. The more unique the first name, the more I like you. My current favorite name is Santonio, but I also like BenJarvus.

Fourth...equal credit is given to players who have been involved in a good scandal and players who have been contestants on Dancing With The Stars. If you've been arrested in a stolen car with a prostitute or if you can dance a mean foxtrot, you are on my favorites list.

And lastly...you make the list if you've dated a Kardashian.

I've also decided to award bonus points to one player. During Monday's Jets-Giants pre-season game...Brandon Jacobs walked up to someone on the Jets and punched the guy in the face...while the guy was still wearing his helmet. It takes a special kind of stupid to punch someone in the face while they are wearing a helmet. And that is exactly the kind of stupidity that will keep me entertained throughout football season.

When I told J about this new method of selecting players to draft, he just shook his head and rolled his eyes and told me that with that kind of thinking I was sure to lose. I'm sure he's right...but I will be very entertained in the process.

Anyone else have an interesting method for drafting players?

A peek into The Surfer Household during a professional surfing contest

For the past week I have heard shrieks, howls and too many, "You have GOT to come and watch this!" from both my husband The Surfer and my son The Ace.

What is it that could possibly enthrall my main squeeze guys more than ME? For crying out loud, I mean really. Ahh, yes. The ASP World Tour. The Billabong Pro that was held in Tahiti's Teahupo'o.

That would be a part of the World Tour of Surfing, folks. You know that sport where ridiculously hot guys wear board shorts and ride waves?

Now I have your attention, thank you very much. Let me enlighten you about The Tour and then I shall reward you with pictures of hot Surfers.

ASP stands for Association of Surfing Professionals. Apparently, not just any guy riding his fish can get in on these contests. You have to be kind of a big deal and look super hot while doing it. The ASP Tour happens every year in (now) 11 fancy locations where you can be sure to find hot ladies in their G-Strings that I want to throat punch.

Sooooo, for the past week the contest has been in Tahiti with mind boggling sized waves. Every 6 minutes I'd hear "Holy Shit!! Someone is going to DIE! This is amazing, come watch!" Apparently, the waves were so big that they had to like shut down the contest one day and they --for fun-- towed guys out to the waves and watched them Hail Mary their way down these waves. I found video for you. Warning: It scares my butt. Don't say I didn't warn you:

This particular event, or contest, in Tahiti finally ended today with my childhood favorite coming out as the winner. Throughout the 11 events that take place all year long, there is a running total of points each surfer gets based on his place finish for that event. In other words, event results are converted to points and count towards the ASP World Title Race and the ultimate prize of being called the ASP World Tour Champion after all events have been completed.

The same guy that was plastered all over my wall with Wet N Wild gloss marks smeared all his face, the same guy who is now in the lead for the World Title, the same guy who has won the Title TEN times is indeed, the same guy who won today's Tahiti event.

The actual poster of Kelly Slater on my wall circa 1992:

Kelly Slater now. A little different. Something's missing. Can't take my eyes off of his abs to figure it out though:

Another fun hot Surfer, Bruce Irons:

And of course, his brother Andy Irons, RIP:

**I'd like to thank Google for supplying me with these visions of hotness monsters to show you, as well as a thanks to You Tube for the epic video and of course the ASP World Tour for bringing all these men together in one spot so many times a year.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bringing You Championships, One City at a Time

In 2004, I joked about breaking sports curses based on the cities I lived in/near. I had just watched the Red Sox win their first World Series, ever, while attending UMass. I sat in Boston Billiards around the corner from Fenway during Game 3 of the ALCS, drinking beer and nodding in agreement with almost everyone in the bar, the Sox were done. Only they went on to win 8 straight, defying experts and fans alike. Previously, Cuse won their first national basketball title my Senior year.

Still one of my Top moments as a sports fan!

Clearly, I'm not the reason either team won, right? Pure coincidence.


What's occurred since has made me question my entire existence. OK, not really, but let's look at the facts:

1. The 49ers won their first Super Bowl the year I was born. They won 4 more, all while I lived in Sacramento.

2. Cuse basketball

3. Boston Red Sox

4. I worked for a company based out of St. Louis in 2006. During one of the trips, I took a tour of the new stadium and sat in their dugout. They won their first World Series in 24 years.

5. I lived in NJ/NYC after grad school and worked at a restaurant Eli Manning regularly visited.  What happens? The NY Giants win the Super Bowl (with the help of a Cuse grad, although the guy's revealed what a douche he really is lately and I don't like claiming him).  I'm guessing most Manning fans will hate me now.

6. I moved back to Sacramento and 2 seasons later a curse plaguing the Giants since their move to San Francisco is broken. I loved every moment of the crazy ride!

7. After attending training for work in Dallas this past March, meeting AuntBT, the Mavericks win their first Championship.

Eerie, huh?

I'm trying to decide who needs me more...Chicago or San Diego?  They both are right on the water with amazing restaurants. Chicago wins the crappy weather battle, but they at least have Da Bears.  I'm waiting to hear the offers from both cities before making a decision.  I'd be more than happy to entertain other proposals as well.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Do the new NFL rules go far enough for player protection?

Everyone is all over the football thing.  Including me, not gonna lie.  With the late CBA and the threat of shortened or NO season *gasp*, it was on everyone's mind fo' sho. 

And with this anticipation of would we or wouldn't we have a season, was also the anticipation of the NEW rules.  Most of the focus I've found has been on the kickoff ball placement thing... that it's at the 35 and not the 30, and that players can't line up more than 5 yards behind the ball, this being to limit the "run up" the players can get, thereby decreasing the chance of serious injury.

My thoughts on this one.  Kinda lame.
I mean, the moving the ball in my opinion just will produce more touch backs.  This gets done what, I guess, they wanted to be done, because you will have less running and therefore hitting.

But the "not more than 5 yards behind the ball bit"?  Uh, that is reaching, in my opinion.  It seems that would only be a factor when the kick was short.  How often is the kickoff going to be short?  Why would that (outside of on-sides kick) be a strategy?  And if a player is going to haul ass down a football field and level someone, he's going to make it happen.  That's all I'm saying.

The new rules *I* and most intrigued with are the ones that surround player safety and those that are designed to limit head injuries.
These are going to be so hard to regulate.  So much is so objective, so much pressure is on the ref.  I think it's all with a good intention though, and one that is very needed.
The main points that I find interesting are:
  • "...expanded rules to prevent 'defenseless' players from taking shots above their shoulders." 
  • "...reworded rules prohibit a player from launching himself off the ground and using his helmet to strike a player in the defenseless posture in the head or neck."
  • "...when a player loses his helmet, the play is immediately whistled dead."
  • "...during field goal and extra point attempts, the defense cannot position any player on the line directly across from the snapper, who's considered to be in a defenseless position."
  • Also, the inception of a standardized sideline concussion assessment protocol.  
OK, so I'm glad that the NFL is taking a step to protect "defenseless" players.  My question, aren't ALL players defenseless at one time or another in any given game?  How hard is THIS going to be to monitor?  They have a finite description of what a defenseless player is, but still, while it's a good step, it's a toughie.

No launching of oneself to strike a defenseless player in the head or neck?  Their momma's should have taught them that.

Losing your helmet = dead play.  YES!  Thank You!  Had this not been included, I would have thought for sure they weren't taking ANY of this seriously.  I mean really, you are going to allow play to go on when someone lost their helmet but claim you want to decrease head injuries?  I didn't think so.

The snapper is "defenseless" and the league recognizes this?  Long snappers everywhere are jumping up and down and belly bumpin'!  I've seen many long snappers get injured because they got run over on a snap.  They are vulnerable, and they should be protected.  I bet you see the number of made FGs and EPs go up too!  Just sayin'. 

Now my fave, the standardized sideline concussion assessment protocol.  FINALLY!!!  As an ATC at the high school level for many years, I know how valuable this can be!  And, working with some pro athletes in other sports, I can see how political the entire process can be.  And it's hard.  I mean the pro athletes I work with have the opportunity to win, like, $2500 or maybe $5000.  But NFL players have way more on the line than that.  I think a standardized protocol is a very important thing to implement.  Also, when a player has received a concussion, they have to be seen by an independent neurologist.  Again, brilliant, due to the political nature of the sport as noted above.  Sometimes the people you are supposed to trust, you just can't.  Bummer.

But - this is *my* sticking point.  If you really, seriously want to reduce head injury and concussion?


It's not that hard, people.  I did it all the time, games, practices, all the time.  It takes 2 seconds and a little pump pump of air in, Boom, you're done.

I can't even tell you how it makes my skin crawl when I see an ill-fitting helmet.  A helmet not correctly fitted can cause undue neck strain and/or injury, injuries to the face from it slipping down on, and a WORSE concussion that they would have had in the first place.

Why?  Because of the second impact forces that cause the head, and consequently the brain, to rattle around in the helmet during impact.  Those suckers are called helmets, not bonnets.  They are not to hold your hair our of your face.  They are not meant to feel like a ball cap.  They are mean to be tight.  Wear them that way, for crying out loud!

I'm talking to YOU, Mr. NFL Player!!

And?  If the helmets were properly fitted, then you wouldn't need the "play whistled dead when the helmet pops off rule".

Check out this and this.  I really had a hard time finding the info I wanted, so if anyone can point me to the official rules, not just the digest, from the source, that would be rad!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Roll Tide Bride

With less than two months until my wedding day it's easy to see why writing about sports might not come very easily to me right now. I figured I needed something sports related to talk about here and since my brain is currently jogging between football programs and my nuptials it was better to write about what I know and what I've been fixated on since May... and that's my wedding... and football.

Mike, my fiance and I got engaged on April 30th this year. The first thing people asked us was if we had set a date. I got this question less than 3 hours into my engagement, and by less than three hours I mean 30 minutes into my engagement. Mike and I didn't have a clue about a date, we knew we wanted a fall wedding but setting a date depended on one thing, and one thing only... budget. If we paid for it, we'd plan for fall of 2012, if our parents helped us then we would plan for this year. Thankfully our parents have been pulling out all the stops to make an October 22, 2011 wedding a reality.

Setting a date didn't really make much of a difference to me as far as it being October or November - I just knew I wanted a fall wedding. We originally wanted to plan it for November since our dating anniversary was in that month, but we soon found a location that was amazing and that October might be better for us weather wise since we wanted an outdoor ceremony. There was one date in October that was left open and that was the 22nd. Mike immediately wanted to reserve the hall and ceremony site. I let him take the reigns after all he was the man and they always have important things like football season in mind, right? 

Living in the South, Alabama to be exact there are two different religious times of the year. First is all year long. Every Sunday you praise the Lord and live by his teachings. While I myself am a bit more spiritual, I can respect the majority of the masses and their religious beliefs, I just don't participate as often as most. And second most religious time of year is football season. You praise God on Sundays and you praise your loyalty to either Alabama or Auburn on Saturdays. This makes for some rather busy weekends. On the upside while you're busy you always know what weekend gear you will wear. Friday you wear a nice shirt to work in your teams colors. Saturday you wear team gear and Sunday you wear your best outfit to church and then lunch with your family. This lack of having to find an outfit frees up your brain and leaves more time for hootin', hollerin' and praisin'! 

Since becoming a huge Alabama fan myself [when you move here you choose a side, even if you are a Yankee transplant], I have often worried about planning a fall wedding. I've always wanted to get married in the fall - I had my moment of wanting to get married on the beach years ago but then realized I was much better suited to enjoy cooler temps when dressed to the 9's. This girl hates to sweat, unless she's working out, or getting it on. Planning a fall wedding means one thing, competing with football. Living in an area driven by college football is twice as hard as my prior hometown where most people are only obsessed with Professional Football. Having a wedding on a Saturday means competing with all the football games that college has to offer. Being in Alabama means worrying about two different sets of fans. Auburn and Alabama. Well... it's bad enough we planned our wedding during football season, it's even worse that the day of our wedding two huge games will be played, Alabama vs. Tennessee and Auburn vs. LSU.  Yep... SEC vs. SEC. Thankfully I've only got a slight bit of ribbing for this choice of date, and that's mostly because I let Mike take the blame for choosing our date. 

We still have yet to find out the times in which the games will be played. I am hoping for early afternoon games. Our wedding will not take place until 5:30 pm, thus giving the guys plenty of time to hoot and holler at the television and for me to hopefully have time to watch the Alabama vs. Tennessee game while getting all guzzied up for the big event. I can sip champagne and holler at my boys right?

While I'm sure that many people living here locally think it's a sin against The Bear to have a wedding on Alabama game day - I can assure you I'm not the only bride to do this and I won't be the last either.

Love this concept - Alabama Shakers & Rice ROLL TIDE • via google
Hopefully our wedding reception won't be happening during the game, otherwise this will be needed...
via google
Now that is dedication - Alabama Inspired Bridal Cake • via Google

So there you have it - this Yankee girl is slowly becoming a Southern Belle, and is planning her wedding on the day of the Big Alabama Vs. Tennessee game. There will be no orange flowers worn by anyone, only used in the reception area. And there will only be hollers of "ROLL TIDE ROLL", and hopefully they will be louder than the retort being chanted "WAR EAGLE" back to us by other guests at the party. There won't be a grooms cake made of houndstooth, but there will be a garter with this pattern. The team vibe will be there in spirit and hopefully lots of celebration will be made after big wins by both Alabama teams! Most importantly I've already been told by my future Father-in-Law that he isn't worried about the game, our wedding is more important to him. That was the final seal of approval I needed to not feel guilty celebrating our big day on game day.

P.S. To all my Northern friends and family... when you come for the big day be sure to bring your passport, you're going to need it down here. To all my Southern friends this isn't meant as a form of disrespect it's just to prepare them for all they are about to witness - LET'S DO THIS!

P.S.S. Next weekend is opening game in Tuscaloosa, AL I'm so happy I could shit twinkies! ROLL TIDE ROLL!!! I hope we will make it to the tailgating fest - more on that if we do!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Is the NFL to blame for crazed fans?

So much went wrong at the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders Pre-Season game this past weekend. A few people were hospitalized from being beaten and from gun shot wounds; some were beaten until unconsciousness. What's strange is that most of the fights were between 49ers fans, as in, the fans were hurting their own. But this isn't the only assault that's happened in the past few years. A Cleveland Browns fan went after a child in a New York Jets jersey . . . attacked a CHILD. A woman and her teenage daughter had a sign showing love to Tom Brady at a New England Patriots and New York Jets game, Jets fans attacked the woman. A couple of guys who love the Philadelphia Eagles attacked a woman wearing a Tony Romo jersey (in Philly). Just to name a few.

Now, many people believe that what happened at the 49ers homestead (Candlestick Park), was more or less related to gangs. Apparently this type of situation occurred a few years ago in the same manner at Candlestick. There are two gangs that are in the area, so it makes sense. If that's the case, I don't think the NFL has any ability to change what happened. Bad people will do bad things. We can just hope they leave everyone else alone.

However, what about the fights that weren't potentially gang related? Two women were cat fighting in the middle of the game, apparently someone had a derogatory t-shirt on about the opposing team. Obviously it didn't go over well. What causes people to beat on children in opposing jerseys? Yup, alcohol is guaranteed the main cause. And yes, I'm well aware that the 49ers fans are known to be the meanest fans to the visiting team. Every league has their worst, NFL's happens to be San Fran fans, doesn't mean the team itself is evil or that every fan is evil.

So many people are blaming the NFL and saying they don't do enough. However, is it the NFL's fault? No, I don't believe it is, however, the league is going to have to take responsibility to save face. That's what it's all come down to, we can't take responsibility for our peers, so we blame the league. I get it. I want to be safe at games, so the governing board should keep my safety number one. But, is it the league or is it the stadium itself? Maybe both.

The question becomes - how will they change it? Take away all alcohol? No, people come to the games to get wasted. It's their goal. I don't know why it's their goal, since it's more difficult to pay attention and enjoy the game, but it is. It's a huge revenue source for the team (alcohol sponsorships) and for the stadium (many stadiums are owned by a 3rd party, and not the team themselves). Limit amount served to each person? Logistically this could be a nightmare, unless an advanced technological system was in place to keep track of each alcoholic beverage purchased per seat. Doubt this will happen any time soon. Make the league move the games to earlier in the day, so people have less time to party beforehand? Yeah, right. Viewership and ticket sales would go down. People like night games.

One of my suggestions? Make it the stadiums issue, and quit letting people tailgate. Yes, tailgating is fun, but it's all about drinking. I have enjoyed every tailgate I've been a part of, but I'm also not getting plastered every time. I've also seen first hand how people get too rowdy and obnoxious because of alcohol. It's a shame. It's suppose to be a fun time; families should be able to take their kids to the game and not worry about the trash talking and cussing that will occur.

But, I don't believe getting rid of tailgating would cure any problem. I believe it could only help the alcohol consumption decrease. It may be a small step in a very long process. The problem is, there are only a few games each season, compared to all other sports where they play so many more games. NFL fans have a very limited season to express their love of the team. They get so wrapped up in it all, they can't contain themselves. We've let this happen, as football is king in America. Just look at how soccer fans react in other countries. It's the same here, we just don't want to admit it. Would extending the season help? Maybe. That way there are more games, and it lessens the amount that each game counts. If a NBA team loses one game, it's upsetting, but not a huge loss because it's only one out of 20 that month alone. If a NFL team loses one game, it's huge because it's one out of 3 or 4 that month. Each game counts more. Each fan feels this, and gets hungry for a win. Maybe making the teams play every other team in the league is the answer. Yes, more injuries could occur, but maybe it's a better system. More game would give everyone more playing time (you could actually rest your starting quarterback!), and you wouldn't have near as many crazy fans.

Would it work? Maybe. Would no more tailgating work? Maybe. But, I'm just not sure if the NFL is to blame, I just know it has to take the blame.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Milwaukee Brewers - Maybe you've heard of them?

I'm a Twins fan. I'll never forget the year Kirby Puckett came to my elementary school. I mean, whoa! Kirby Puckett!! Back in the day that was big time. What small kid wouldn't love a baseball star showing up at their school?!

These days the Twins have a cool new stadium (even though it should have a retractable roof, it's still pretty nice), but that Mauer kid seems to be crapping out on us. As it so happens my husband is a Brewers fan, which gives me rights to cheer for them. And who wouldn't want to cheer for a team that's making their first legitimate run in 30 years?

The Brewers are playing phenomenal ball right now. They're up 8.5 games in the NL Central. They've won 22 of their last 25 games. They're 4 in ESPN's power rankings. That's pretty much where my baseball knowledge ends, but I know that means they're good. Really good.

And they're fun to watch.

Prince Fielder is basically a big teddy bear.

Nyjer Morgan has an alter ego named Tony Plush

John "Axman" Axford is the closer. He likes to have a good time and sport interesting facial hair.
Source: Fox Sports

I like to scalp tickets to the club level and eat nachos in comfort while watching the game.

What I'm saying is, the Brewers are good, they're having fun and the fans are out of their heads with excitement. For a state that's still coming down from a we-won-the-superbowl high, this is like an extra helping of dessert. Now, if we could just get those Coasties to realize that great baseball is being played here in the Midwest it might make things even sweeter.

Monday, August 22, 2011

How A Football Fan Was Born...

I spent most of my life avoiding football. I thought it was boring and I had zero interest in watching the game or learning the rules. So it seems kind of unfair that I got to go to one of the greatest Monday Night Football games ever.

Let me start at the beginning...

I started dating my boyfriend, J, back in October of 2000. We'd known each other for a while, but we'd only been out on two dates when he stopped by my desk one day (we also worked together) to ask me to go with him to the NY Jets game that night. He was taking clients and the other co-worker who was supposed to go with him had backed out. The Jets were playing the Miami Dolphins...which was apparently a big deal, although I didn't know that at the time. The two teams have been rivals since sometime in the 70s.

My first thought was "Shit!"...because I had zero interest in going to a football game...but I was really into this guy and I didn't want to say no. Reluctantly, I agreed and after work, we headed out to the game.

Oh...did I mention that it was freezing outside and I was in no way prepared to go to a football game? I was wearing a skirt and heels and a really thin trench coat. I looked nice, but I wasn't prepared to be walking a lot or sitting outside for any long period of time. But I sucked it up and off we went.

After walking three miles from the parking lot to our seats, we sat through the most boring first half and by halftime the Jets were losing 23-7. I was freezing...and bored...and J and I were both ready to leave. But the clients wanted to stay...so I slapped the smile on my face and pretended to be having a great time.

By the end of the third quarter, the Jets were losing 30-7 and half the stadium had cleared out. I thought for sure we'd leave then...I mean, there was no way for the Jets to come back...the game was over. But the clients still wanted to stay. So we stayed.

Apparently, some of the Miami players were talking smack on the sidelines and maybe the Jets heard them or something...because they started the fourth quarter like a whole new team. They scored a field goal and two touchdowns and tied the score with 4 minutes left in the game. And even though I had no clue what was going on...I knew this was pretty big...and pretty exciting. All of a sudden, I wasn't that cold anymore and my feet didn't hurt and I was up and yelling and cheering with everyone else.

The Dolphins scored again and it looked like it was pretty much over for the Jets. Then...with 42 seconds left, the Jets scored another touchdown and took the game into overtime.

I think at that point it was about midnight. I had work in the morning and I still had to go to J's to get my car and then drive home. I was still freezing and still in my high heels...but there was no way you were going to get me out of that stadium.

The Jets went on to score a field goal to win the game 40-37. It was the largest comeback from a fourth quarter deficit in NFL history and the game is now known as The Monday Night Miracle. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) The other co-worker who had bailed on the game was a huge Jets fan and still kicks himself in the ass to this day because he game me his ticket.

When we left the stadium that night I finally knew that football could be interesting and I started watching games with J. It took a few years until I could really say that I was a fan...but my fondness for football definitely started that night at the Jets game.

Oh...by the way...we aren't Jets fans. Our hearts belong to the Giants...even though they are pretty terrible.

Friday, August 19, 2011

pom-poms in hockey? seriously??

I have stood by and cheered on the Edmonton Oilers through all sorts of tough times in recent years.

They've been having a rough go of it lately, and I can understand that. The team has missed the playoffs 7 times in the last 9 years - sometimes falling just barely short of the post-season and sometimes missing it by miles.

The management has mishandled and traded away beloved players and replaced them with untested rookies, and as fans, we are asked to hold on for now. To look to the future at what the team will be once these highly sought-after draft picks turn into bonafide superstars.

It takes time to rebuild a team, and I get that. I am willing to wait for the new glory years that will hopefully rival the Oilers dynasty of the 80's/90's. As a fan, I don't expect the team to win every game, every year - I know there will be losses (sometimes many in a row) and I can be patient.

But, in the meantime, I do not need to be distracted by girls in tiny skirts shaking their pom-poms in my face.

Last year, in an effort to increase the fans' excitement at buying tickets to watch a losing team, the Oilers management decided to start a new cheer team. They auditioned some girls, tarted them up in skintight (unflattering) outfits and paraded them around to appease the masses.

The hockey club celebrated them for being the first Canadian NHL cheer team. The hockey fans rolled their eyes and scoffed at these "dancers", and used their routines as an opportunity to head to the bathroom or buy another beer.

There's a reason why no other Canadian hockey teams had cheerleaders dancing around.
Ice rinks are not conducive to dance/cheer routines. There is no big open field for the girls to shake their groove thang, or to jump and flip and twirl. Instead, there is a giant block of ice...which is kind of slippery. The entranceways to the stands, which are large enough to dance in, are set back and not within the sight lines of most fans in their seats, so this leaves the troupe confined to boogey in the seating area.

They shimmy out, in single file, to stand directly in front of a row of seats - seats with people sitting in them - and proceed to wiggle around and wave their pom-poms in the air (because the limited space doesn't allow for much more) until the commercial break is over, before they shimmy, single-file, back out of the row.


And as the hockey season progressed, when it became apparent that the crowd's attention was waning, the routines became increasingly more sexual (slutty), so the "cheer team" began to more closely resemble "lap dancers" for those in the rows they were dancing in.

Who ever thought this was a good idea?

Obviously somebody does, because they are now holding auditions for this year's "Octane" team. That's one thing about this hockey club - they can stick to a bad decision like flies to shit.

I guess that just means I'll be spending more of the TV time outs in line to buy beer.

...Maybe that's been their plan all along!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Morals Not Mugshots

As much as I relish football playing on TV while I cook, read, shower, and work...somehow, this year it's not enough. I want more pigskin. I want to be more invested in the game. I need to justify ridiculous amounts of time spent on ESPN.com. I need a fantasy football team. And fortunately, Cathy just hooked us up with 5 excellent tips for starting a team.

Our (and by our, I mean me and my twisted teal sister) 2011 Fantasy Football Team is called A Few Good Men...because instead of drafting players based on boring stats and percentages, we're choosing them based solely on morals, looks, and general intelligence.

Do you volunteer your time to the community, kiss your wife after every game, and promote the value of sport and education in a child's life? You just made the roster. Did you "accidentally" shoot another teammate, get anything tattooed on your face, or just in general forget that there is no "I" in "team"? You are not the man for us.
 Yeeeahhhh...looking at you, T.O.

Looks do figure into it as well, but they are a little more subjective. For example, I think Drew Brees has a nose that you could hang a potted plant from...but I know several people who would not kick him out of bed, even if he was chomping on Sun Chips.

It's a family moment for Brees.

Speaking of Drew, he was awarded the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year last November for the work his and his wife's organization has done for schools in the aftermath of Katrina. He is still married to his high school sweetheart and they have 2 children together (the second son's name was chosen when Brees tweeted to fans that they could help choose the name). He was All-American Academic in high school and went on to pursue a master's at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. And he has created anti-bullying PSAs. Hook nose or no, Brees may be our #1 contender for quarterback. Not to mention...I have a soft spot for The Big Easy (and their hand grenades).

And how can we have a complete Fantasy Football Team without a Jags player? I nominate Aaron Kampman for defensive end.
 He's in The Teal now. And LOOK! This is not Kampman's mug shot!

With the square jaw, the boy-next-door trim, and *gasp* are those...dimples... he looks as good as he plays. Kampman, who is married with 3 children, signed with the Jags after leaving Green Bay. In true Good Guy style he said, after a particularly rough season with the Packers, "Everyone gets frustrated...you have to realize life is bigger than winning or losing. In 10 years it's not going to matter." An NFL player with a healthy perspective on life? Show him where to sign, sis!

Annnndddd...now we're stuck. If I could bring some players out of retirement, I would easily choose Kurt Warner, Jerome Bettis, and Tedy Bruschi. If I was choosing a team of angels, I would include Pat Tillman (anyone who dies for this country is #1 on my list) and Reggie White.
 Teammate. Soldier. Hero.

But we have to choose living, breathing, playing athletes who can keep the littlest player in their pants and a winning attitude about losing. So, sis and I are opening this up to you and your suggestions. Please, no one from the Vikings as they have proven repeatedly that the only team they should be playing against is Supermax Cellblock A.

And if you think Brees should be replaced by one of the Manning brothers, let us know that too. Once we have our team assembled, we'll keep you updated on the progress. If Karma plays out on the football field too, we may have one golly gosh darn heck of a season!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fantasy Football - Tips for Beginners

Rumor has it that I'm the resident Fantasy Football "guru" or "beast" or "one to be scared of". This is probably because I won our little bloggers league last year. I don't know that it really counts though, because half the managers weren't even paying attention. AHEM.

Let's make things clear, I am not a guru.

That being said, I've been playing Fantasy Football for a few years now and do have a couple trophies in my case. *pats self of back* So, I'm going to give you, my young Padawans, a few tips to get you started.

The most important tip aka #1:
Find someone who knows way more about Football than you do and pick their brain. Ask them about the rules, how scoring works, which positions to draft first, how to make trades, what a waiver is...etc.

READ. There are lots of sports writers and bloggers out there who know their shit. There are also a lot who don't know squat. The more you read, the faster you'll figure out who to listen to. The most important thing to remember here is, it often doesn't matter. Jimmy could tell you that Adrian Peterson is going to have a huge game. So you play him. And then he gets hurt. Or gets shut down. Or just sucks. And he gets you minimal points. These things happen, and no analyst or writer can predict them.

Don't take smack talk personally. So, you're in a league with a bunch of your best friends, and one of them says they're going to stuff you like they stuffed your mom last night. You tell them if they keep posting pansy-ass smack talk like that, you're going to quit and go join a real league. Smack talk can get very crass and ugly. (way uglier than talking about your mom, trust) It's all in fun. If you're easily offended don't play in any league with guys.

Watch the games! This should probably be #2 in importance. Watching is the best way to figure out the game and the players. Also, football just got way more interesting now that you're in a Fantasy league. You have players from many different teams on your team. Say you're a Lions fan (haha) but you have Brees as your QB on your Fantasy team; you now have a reason to watch the Saints game. And this is how your formerly productive Sundays turn into couch days. You want to watch every game so you know who to play in Fantasy.

Have fun. Remember, it's just a game.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Sporty Edition of Happy Hour and a Celebrity Encounter

I thought I might spice this place up a little by bringing a touch of my Happy Hour and a Celebrity Encounter to mingle with the sports talk. I was lucky enough to interview THE Sarah Colonna of Chelsea Lately, because she is super nice like that, but mostly because I have a good blackmail picture of her that I threatened to use if she didn't give me this interview.

The lovely Sarah is a die hard Angels fan and General Hospital addict. Please read on for her deep and intellectual insight on both topics.

Thank you for sitting down to do this interview with me, Sarah. You look hot. But let's start from the beginning and let's talk baseball. You're not from around these parts of California, are you? Can you let our readers know where you grew up and how you became one of those crazy baseball fanatics?

You look pretty nice, too. Thanks for reminding me your boobs are bigger than mine by wearing that shirt. I grew up in Arkansas, but my dad has lived in California most of my life. Great job starting this off by making me tell you I come from a broken home, by the way. Anyway...he was a sports editor for the Orange County Register and the LA Times. Since I visited him in the summer, we always went to Angels games since he covered them. So, I'm an almost-life long fan.

I have to commend you for not being a Dodgers fan. All of us San Diegans loathe The Dodgers and whenever @HeatherMcDonald posts a picture of herself at Dodger Stadium, it only makes me like you more. Tell us, how do you survive working in an office of Dodger and Red Sox fans? I'd probably kill myself.

Heather isn't a Dodger fan. She hates sports. She just goes, takes her kids from time to time and smiles for a nice photo op. But there are some Dodger fans around, who I just ignore. If they bug me I just remind them that their fans try to kill people. That usually brings the mood down and baseball talk stops. Kind of like what I did just now.

Have you ever made out with a MLB player? If not, I think this is the perfect venue to put the offer on the table.

I haven't. I really want to. I've always dreamed of being a baseball wife. I know that baseball players probably cheat, but I don't care. I'd sit in the stands and clap while sipping Chardonnay and figure out which of his team mates I would like to get back at him with. I don't know if any players are reading this, but if so please contact me. Let's do this.

I need to ask you an intelligent question now. See, I have this crowd of readers fooled into thinking I know anything about sports. Recently, your Angels had a pretty rad game. Ervin Santana delivered a solo no hitter for the first time in 27 years for the Angels franchise. What does this mean and convince me that it didn't make this game like THE. MOST. BORING game ever to watch.

It was so not boring. It was great. You're an asshole. Have you ever thrown a no hitter? I didn't fucking think so.

On a scale of 1-10, how drunk do you get when you attend the Angels games?

About an 11. I take the train, so no driving is involved.

Why is Los Angeles so fucking self absorbed that they had to change the Anaheim Angels (<---Way cooler) into the Los Angeles Angels (<---Lame)? Just to make us San Diegans hate them, too? Talk about a smack in the face to Mickey Mouse.

Don't get me started. Screw the Mickey Mouse crap, that was a rough patch. When they won the World Series, Eisner stood on the field with a Disney t-shirt on. I wanted to punch him. How about an Angels t-shirt, asshole? But, the whole name change thing was ridiculous. To be fair, LA was where they started. They played at Dodger stadium until they got their own. But, they were known most of their time as California Angels, from the mid 60s until your boyfriend Eisner took over. Then they changed it to Anaheim because that's where his lover Mickey Mouse lives. Are you happy? Now I'm irritated.

Let's talk about that idiotic Rally Monkey thing that went on when the ANAHEIM Angels won the world Series. Do you worship that little son of a bitch? Or would you agree he needs to get laid and calm down?

He's pretty embarrassing. But I still root for his dumb ass every time he comes jumping up and down. Whatever gets the win.

Let's pretend for a hot second that the Angels were playing in the world Series and you had a ticket. That same night was going to be a revival of General Hospital from the 80's with Bobbie Spencer and an encore performance of Don't Talk To Strangers by Rick Springfield and you had front row. Which would you choose to attend?

Angels, definitely. Mostly because it would be possible that by the time I got to wherever Bobbie Spencer and Rick Springfield were playing, they'd both be dead.

Lastly, we all really want to know about @JoshWolfComedy and his balls. Do they really hate Josh? Are they also Red Sox fans? Why are you the only account on Twitter they follow? Are they as hairy as they like to portray themselves? Who is the bigger asshole -- Josh or his balls?

Josh's balls are weird and scary. I'm sure they're Red Sox fans, which makes them also annoying and loud with a dumb accent. They follow only me because they are stalkers. They are wrinkly and angry and I don't want to keep talking about them for I fear a new attack.


Thank you, Sarah. You were far more patient with me today than in our normal conversations, so I appreciate that. I think you only cussed at me like 6ish times. Next round is on me, girl.

You can find Sarah's website and her WWSCD Q&A HERE

You can find Sarah on Twitter @SarahColonna

You can find Sarah on Facebook HERE

And of course you can always find Sarah on Chelsea Lately on E! Stay tuned for her book Life As I Blow It to drop Feb of 2012. Go HERE to pre-order your own copy. This girl will NOT let us down. I have a feeling this will be the must read of 2012.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Soccer: The World's Pastime (minus the U.S.)

During last year's World Cup, I received variations of the following comments whenever I expressed my interest to a non-fan.

"It's so slow, nothing happens."

"Watching the grass grow on the field is more exciting."

"The U.S. and MLS sucks."

I half-agree with the last one, they're headed in the right direction, but MLS can't compete with the talent overseas...yet.  Here's the thing though, the entire world LOVES soccer. Clearly, the majority of Americans are missing something, right? I'll admit to being a late bloomer. I originally started following in 2005 due to the combination of playing as a kid (only sport I excelled in), grad school (worked on a project for US Soccer), and an ex-boyfriend (soccer players = weakness).

Can you blame me?

I've tried recruiting new female fans using the players hotness (helloooo abs) and/or gossip.  Soccer gossip is seriously the best of any sport!  Combined with celebrities I love, like Shakira and Gerard Pique, I'm immediately more interested in the game (I'll most likely be watching more Barca games because of them and I'm not ashamed to admit it).  Throw in the completely corrupt governing body of FIFA and you've got yourself a soap opera. Yet gossip is such a minor factor and alone will not attract new fans.  As with any sport, you have to understand the game and the players to even begin to find it interesting.

I'm not going to explain the game here, you can get the basics at Wikipedia, but trust me when I say, boring does not belong in the same sentence as international soccer. The athleticism of these players is absolutely insane.  I hope some of you will come around before the next World Cup and I'll be doing my part to try and make that happen.  I'm even expanding my own knowledge/interest as I attempt to follow the Premier League more regularly this season now that I have FSC. According to Grantland's Chris Ryan, I should be a fan of Bolton (because I like East Dillon over West Dillon and ER marathons).  I do love a good underdog story!  Although, Wayne Rooney's a beast (and I have a soft spot for gingers) so I might have to go for Manchester United.

Decisions, decisions.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Baseball broadcasts sometimes make my ears bleed.

Have you ever been forced to listen to a baseball game on the radio when you are so exhausted and hungry you can barely see?


Well, let me tell you.  It sucks.  Bad.

This past weekend I was at the fabulous and legendary BlogHer '11 Conference right here in sunny San Diego.  And, man, was it legendary.  The parties, the flashmobs, the swag.  It was crazy.

My carpool lovingly dropped me off at my door at about 2 PM Sunday.  The hubs was sleeping (what?) and the girls were phantom sleeping.  By this I mean they were "supposed" to be napping and weren't.  After a little dig through the swag, the hubs awakens and we take off with a small amount of prep to the pool at my sister-in-law's apartment complex.  It was hot here, after all.  I was going to be left behind to sleep in silence, but I wanted to go!  I was tired but I needed a dip, too.  And I missed my girls and guy.  We go.  We frolic.  We change and leave, deciding to get some drive thru Panda's on the way home.  The hubs drove because I was so tired, and we have that rule... the one that says, whoever drives controls the radio.

Holy Jumpin' Jehosephat.  If I could have reached through that radio and lynched Ted Leitner, I think I would have. 

Don't get me wrong.  I like baseball.  I like all the balls, really.  But I am an In Real Life kinda gal.  I like to actually BE at the game and see the subtle goings-on around the game.  It's probably the Athletic Trainer in me.  Who's icing early?  Who's adjusting what?  Who got hurt and what's wrong and where is he gonna go now?  Who got a cleat in the face?  That type of stuff.

SEE?  A 2.5 yo and a 7 mo old at a Padre's game!
 I spent so long and so many seasons in dugouts and on benches, that to watch from afar or listen to games on the radio now is just, wrong.  And for some reason, Ted Leitner's voice is like nails on a chalk board to me.  A lot of what it is, is when there is a lull in the action, the non-baseball talk or baseball related political talk or whatever that crap is called?  Drives me batty.  So pointless.  Just be quiet!  This is not meant to be a Bash Ted post, he's just he local guy (Go Padres).  When I was young, my uncles would listen to Tigers games on the radio.  We're talking Ernie Harwell, Paul Carey.  Legends.  Not to mention the occasional Harry Caray when the winds were right and you could catch the Cubbies broadcast.  It was the same skin crawling, mania inducing insanity.  Plus, at that time, I didn't get baseball.  At. All.

Let me also note, my hubs is H-core into sports.  Great, I like them too.  But I also adore cheesy 80's music and Top 40 media skewed hits.  Just as he adores ESPN 24/7 and Antiques Roadshow, I am in love with smutty reality TV and serial teledramas.  There has to be a balance, right??

And when one has been at a "conference" for three days full of disco and wine, a little silence never sounded so good. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

via google
Yes the image is old... 2005 old.. but he's leaping for joy!

When you read the title to my post I'm sure you're hearing the lovely sound of Christmas carols and joy, but that isn't how I'm intending you to read it. [Prepare for me to be bossy] I actually haven't intended for you to even think remotely positive thoughts when you read this either. I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but it's almost football season. You may be saying to yourself, "Kelly, didn't you just say how much you loved Football in your last introduction post?" And you'd be right, I did say that. What I didn't tell you is how much I loath the weeks that lead up to football season. I do count down the days like most fanatics - I've already printed out the schedules for both my beloved Steelers AND the Crimson Tide and posted them on my bulletin board at work. And I do get excited about the pre-season as well as the first official game for both Pro and College teams. This giddiness makes this time of year a happy time, it's this mid point between pre-season and the actual first games that gets me down every year. It's the time I'm suffering in right now.

I'm a graphic designer and I work at a printing company. Each year around this time I start pulling 10+ hour days at work, often 6 days a week. I'm up before the sun and that's just depressing. Why are we so busy? It's football season, or better yet PRE-Football season. Our company churns out 8 high school football programs a year, as well as one local university's football programs as well. Thats 8-9 different programs all of which are at least 100 pages each. No big deal right? WRONG! Someone has to organize all of that information, design all those pages and make sure every single child with the oddest name on earth has his or her named spelled correctly. Please don't name your kid something that looks like Vagina, and say it's pronounced VAG-EE-NA... it's VAGINA!!! That never really happened but every time I have to type a name like Blaketon, or Ashlee, or even Meekel I get a bit annoyed on the inside. Seriously? Whatever happened to classic baby names? Hellooooo, my name is spelled K-E-L-L-Y... not I-E, not E-Y not just I...Y! And that's CLASSIC! Sorry, I'm all for originality, but it's rough to spell unique names correctly. AnyChastyln, this process makes for long days staring at football jerseys, pom poms and clip art of Indians, Trojans and Tigers, OH MY! By the time the first pre-game is played for the pros I'm so over staring at footballs that I could vomit. This really makes me upset because I long for football season... up until the first email comes in from football mom's telling me that Danyelle wants a full page ad. 

I'm in the middle of week one of designing my first book. My eye is twitching as I type this, my hair feels like it's going to fall out and if I have to send my boss one more image to correct tones on I might pass out. I wish I was making this up, but I'm not. It's stressful, and I think my ears might be bleeding. Have you ever envisioned your head actually exploding all over the place? I have... twice today. On top of my normal work load I have to make at least 50+ Momma's happy while constantly typing "We are so proud of you! We Love You!" Over and over and over until I want to poke my eyes out with a pen. We get it, you're proud of your kids, for once I'd like to type.. "We are so proud of you. You are a Senior now. Thankfully you didn't break your leg like we predicted you would. Hehe you're so accident prone."  See what this does to me? It's awful!

With all this you can see why I'm only mildly excited about football the pre-season starting this week! My Steelers meet up with my favorite home team The Redskins. I really wish I was back home in Maryland to catch this game LIVE it would be SO fun. I might be lucky to catch it on TV here locally [ESPN don't let me down]. While I will be wearing my favorite Steelers t-shirt on Friday [Ritual] in celebration of the start of the season my enthusiasm for the game won't start until probably 3 games into the actual season. Scratch that... I'll be amped for game 1 Steelers vs. Ravens, but probably still pissy just the same.

I hate that I get so mentally worn out, so down and so sick of football before it even starts. This has been a cycle for the past 4 years. Mike [my fiance] mentioned going to the Opening Game for Alabama and I didn't get that huge flitter of love in my heart. I'm just too tired and worn down, already. We went to opening game last year and it was AWESOMEEEE! With all that Tuscaloosa, AL has been through since the horrible tornadoes in April of this year, we both know the opening game will be one of hope and benefit to the community. I have no doubt the opening ceremony will be moving for everyone watching. I don't want to miss out on this, but getting overly excited is going to take me some time.

I'm lucky I have 10 minutes to type this up, and then maybe 10 more tomorrow morning to proof read this before I dive back into my book and start making sure that Brytany has the best picture that her mom chose for her ad. And I better be sure I type "PawPaw" instead of Papaw... I can't get those confused. Seriously, what ever happened to Grandpa? Bless my heart... I'm in for along day, ya'll!

So here I am... days away from Pre-Season for the NFL and all I can do is bitch and complain. Sorry to be such a downer... if you need me I'll be at the beach trying to rid myself of all the football induced sand in my VAG-EE-NA!

Signed: Kelly's Disgruntled in Alabama
Roll Tide & Go Steelers!

"I'll have what they're having!"
via nfl.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lockout - NFL and NBA - What does it actually mean?

The NFL lockout was considered a joke by most sports writers. They knew the teams would never miss training camp or preseason games. The NBA lockout is going to do some damage. They're predicting there might not even be a season. (Yes, this would mean the Dallas Mavericks are Champs for 2 years.)

Well, so what does it all mean? What’s the point? Here’s my abridged version.

The NFL teams have never been losing money, they still on average, make almost $10 MM a year. That’s why the NFL lockout was a joke. In the NBA, some teams are actually losing money. That’s why this lockout means something. The main focus in each of these lockouts has been salary cap. Salary cap is the maximum dollar amount each team within the league is allowed to pay out, for all players combined. So, if the salary cap is $50MM for each team, then what each player makes per year added together cannot be more than $50MM. For the NBA, if it goes over $50MM the owners pay a hefty fine (aka luxury tax) to the league for each dollar amount over.  The NBA owners are trying to pass a rule for a “hard cap”. This means that they wouldn’t be able to go over the cap at all. (This is actually how the NFL is currently; the NFL doesn’t let teams go over their caps. The NFL lockout was to increase the hard cap – that’s it; the NBA is trying to emulate the NFL in this regard.) The NBA players also want more money from “basketball related income”; basically they want the money that their name and face are bringing to each team. The owners don’t want them to get it all (they already share some of it, players want more, owners want to give them less). The spread of what each side wants is fairly large, and an agreement will be difficult.

The NBA also wants to be able to opt out of players if they’re not holding their own weight. Football and baseball players can be dropped or not receive pay if they are under performing. NBA doesn’t have this option, and the league wants it. The players don’t want it, for good reason. If they are under performing, they can get cut or go broke; however, it could keep the players from sitting on the bench making millions and doing nothing for the team. Look at Yao Ming, the tall Chinese guy for the Houston Rockets (now retired). He sat on the bench for two years making millions. He was affecting the salary cap for Houston, and hurting the team in the long run. See both sides to the argument yet?

You hear a lot of talk about the Collective Bargaining Agreement, it’s basically the agreement they’ve been running under the past few years. It’s where all the pay percentages and cap dollars are discussed. So, because that agreement expired and they hadn’t come to terms with a new one, the lockout occurred.

Now, both sides are being greedy. The players and the owners both want more money. Both sides are wrong, but both sides are right. The thing is, (in my opinion) the owners are working toward a better goal, of helping those teams without the higher revenue streams (teams like Minnesota Timberwolves – smaller market, smaller revenue stream; they could be losing money with how the agreement currently is and would lose more with how the players want to change it; if the owners get their way, it could put them in a money making situation). I know that each side is greedy; each side needs to quit making these unholy amounts of money. Especially the players, but I understand their side too. They are the reason the teams are making money, so they should get more of a share. It makes sense, but it’s ridiculous. However, if they can get it to where other teams are in a better place and can make money, instead of losing it (not their fault they are in smaller markets), then I’m okay with it.

It’s a rock and a hard place for sure.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Training Camp: Green Bay

Please forgive me if this post makes no sense. I've just returned from a week long vacation in Da Yoop (that's the U.P. [Michigan's Upper Peninsula]). My brain is still in slow-mo. Before heading up to the in-laws cabin I made a pit-stop in Green Bay for the 2nd annual Packers 5K and the first day of Training Camp.


Football is here!

My view from the sidelines. (c'mon! I couldn't pass that up!)

The Packers practiced outside at Ray Nitschke Field, next to the Don Hutson Center. Both are across the street from Lambeau Field. I feel like I need to draw a map. Practice started at 7pm, but those in the know got there when the gates opened at 5:30.

It was insanely sunny

But I had a mini Clay head to shield my eyes

Nothing could shield my eyes from this horror, though
Just because you're a kid doesn't mean you don't know better.
As we all know, there are no greater fans than Packer fans (except for that kid above. I don't know what his deal is). There's a limited number of seats at the practice field, but that doesn't stop people from watching the action. Fans were lined up along this fence throughout the entire practice.

I sat on a hard bleacher for 3 hours with a raging headache just to watch my team practice. So, what did I see in those 3 hours??

I saw:
Ryan Grant. It was so great to see him out there. He looked very quick and ready to go.
rookie Randall Cobb. He looks good. Made some smooth catches.
rookie Alex Green. He looked way fast.
Jermichael Finley. Limited in first few practices.
Charles Woodson. Looked good. No sign of his collarbone injury.
Offensive Line. A couple rough plays, as expected, until they get in the groove.
OLB'S. Looked big and ready.
Donald Driver. Does it get any better than seeing DoubleD on the field?

Overall, everyone looked excited to be there. From what I've heard the players who were injured last year are hungry. Very hungry.

I realize the practice I watched was over a week ago, and a lot has happened since then, but this is my account of what I saw. As a fan, there's something so invigorating about watching the first practice. It's like the first day of school, you're excited and nervous and bound to get lost in the hall at least once, but it doesn't matter. You're back with your friends and you're going to have the best year ever!

And before I forget, I sucked it up big time at the 5k, but who cares! 

Please ignore the fake cheerleaders.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Biased Opinion on the East Coast Bias

Growing up I never quite understood the East Coast Bias.  The Niners were busy winning 5 rings. The Giants had my favorite player in Will Clark, and when I reached an appropriate "crushing" age they brought me JT Snow.  The Kings were at least entertaining when they weren't being screwed over by refs paid off by the Lakers (or the league, still can't decide where the monies came from on that one).  Basically, I spent my childhood enjoying the sports around me and focusing on the local outlets, completely unaware of any national media.

With the evolution of the internet, ESPN and other cable sports outlets the bias became more evident, especially during my 6 years on the east coast.  The 2002 World Series received little coverage outside of Yankees fans who just wanted to see the Angels lose (the only time I respected their opinions, sadly, neither of us got our wish, damn Rally Monkey).  If I didn't take basic science in elementary school, I would have thought the earth revolved around NYC, not the sun.

Now back on the best coast, my frustration with the bias only grows, especially in relation to Major League Baseball.  During the Giants World Series run last season, game times were based on what worked best for east coast coverage.  Home games started at 4 PM, the league clearly NOT taking into account the home team fans.  I understand when the Giants play on the east coast, 7 PM works best.  Living in California, we know we're 3 hours behind and accept we might be working during away games.  When our Giants play at home, however, we expect to be able to watch the games.  There's no excuse for the league setting game times based on away team fans.  I don't care if they have to stay up until midnight, or later. I managed just fine.

As for coverage, I do understand the majority of the teams are on the east coast. I also know games are still being played as most sport writers living in the center of the universe want to be catching their Z's. But guess what?  If you're working for a national sports media outlet, your job is to cover NATIONAL sports.  Especially, when the previous year's World Series Champs reside on the west coast.  We are more than just a Freak, The Beard and an injured catcher (tear).  Oh wait, they're playing the Phillies in San Francisco? Now we get to see all the coverage of an east coast team!

I doubt the bias will ever go away, but it doesn't really matter because Flags Fly Forever! No bias can change that.

Friday, August 5, 2011

a painful confession

Remember how I told you last week that there is always something hockey-related going on in Edmonton to talk about? Apparently that's not exactly true because there is absolutely nothing going on for me to talk about this week.

So I have decided to take this opportunity to confess something to you all...

This is something that I have hidden from the rest of the world, and only my Husband, Wilzie, knows the truth*.

I LOVE the New York Yankees!


I also REALLY like the Boston Red Sox.

Blasphemy, right?!

I know it should be impossible to like (and yes, cheer for) both of these teams. I know their histories, I am well aware of the rivalry and hatred between the two teams and their fans - and yet, here I stand, declaring my dual citizenship in both Yankee and Red Sox nation.

I blame it on the fact that we have no real baseball in the Canadian prairies, so the only baseball we ever got see on TV was of the one Canadian team in the major league - the Toronto Blue Jays**. If the Blue Jays weren't playing, and the sports channels had a hole in their programming, they would televise a ball game from one of the "major" US clubs - usually the Yankees, or the Red Sox.

Being one of the few baseball fans in the city, I watched these games with great devotion, and I started to develop feelings for *insert gasp of shock and disbelief* both teams.

I knew it was wrong. I knew it went against everything that society held dear, and that I would be a labelled a traitor if anyone ever found out. So I kept my shameful, little secret, while my love for each team grew***.

When the two teams faced off in the 2004 ALCS, my heart broke. I may have even teared up when the Sox trounced the Yankees - though I couldn't say if it was in sadness that my mighty Yankees were defeated, or that my scrappy Red Sox seemed (and ultimately were) unbeatable.

Wilzie and I have travelled to both cities, and attended games in both (all 3, if you count both old and new Yankee Stadium) teams' ball parks - and I loved every single minute of each game.

I am a proud member of the cult of adoration for Derek Jeter. I own a t-shirt with Jason Veritek's name and number on it. I felt no bitterness when Johnny Damon left the Red Sox for the Yankees - for me it was a win-win situation: I still got to watch and cheer for him, plus he had a handsome new hair cut!

Don't get me wrong - I get the rivalry (we have our own up here that I will be documenting once hockey season starts). Maybe its just because I am so far removed that I can see the good in both teams without being clouded by territorial posturing? Or maybe I am just a better person than most sports fans?

Maybe I am SO going to get my ass kicked for this...

*and sometimes, at night, I can feel his shame.

**FYI - the rest of Canada feels about Toronto the way that...well, the way that Red Sox fans feel about Yankees fans

***if pressed to choose, I would say that I prefer the Yankees, but that the Red Sox game I saw at Fenway Park was probably one of the best experiences of my life.