Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The NBA - is it back?

Well, the NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement. A handshake was all that they required. The numbers are almost split 50-50 for what the owners and players will be receiving in royalties, etc.

For weeks the owners were throwing numbers at the players trying to reach a settlement. The players kept rejecting all the numbers. These numbers are on top of their salaries they already receive.

I'm officially sad for the NBA. Each side is money hungry. There is no question about it. It's the business and it's expected. However, it's gotten worse than ever. The owners were actually trying to spread the wealth  (somewhat) and make the smaller market teams more profitable . . . . you know, so they don't go bankrupt - because they are in jeopardy of it. The players? They are just trying to make more money. None of them are going bankrupt. For once, I'm siding with the owners. Never thought I'd say that.

I love the pace of the NBA, I love the excitement and the athleticism it brings to the court. I love that I grew up watching one team and it's still my favorite team to cheer for. I love that my team finally won the championship.

I'm sad that the players have just let their greed go wild. I'm sad that the owners were trying to keep the league going with the smaller markets, so that the league becomes less of one team always winning and more of a balanced market (think of the Yankees and baseball - they're trying to not be baseball and I respect that). They want good players to be in every city. Right now, the smaller markets can't afford the big paychecks people like Kobe require, so they tried to change the system to let the smaller markets get these bigger names. The players just couldn't let that happen. They wanted even bigger paychecks.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I'm dissapointed in the players. I'm dissapointed the owners got shut down. I'm dissapointed that it's come down to this. Sadly? I'm still excited for the season to start.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I said Good Day!

That's right Ndamukong Suh, I said good day


Take your childish antics and leave. 

I've no doubt that all of you reading were watching the Packer/Lions game on Thursday. Ok fine. Maybe some of you were preparing your turkey and stuffing. Maybe some of you aren't even Packer fans (gasp!). I can forgive you. (No I can't). Either way, I'm sure you've at least heard about what Suh did. Here's a still from the moment before Suh stomps on Evan Dietrich-Smith's arm with his cleats.


Um, hi? This isn't the kindergarten playground. You can't just go around stomping on people. You are a grown-assed man and you can control your temper. Didn't you read our post about sportsmanship? Suh has been suspended three times already. And another suspension is expected to be dished out today. At what point does someone say "hey, this guy is a terrible employee and needs to be fired"? If this were any other job he would have been let go a long time ago.

But, this is the NFL. And apparently bullies are still allowed to make millions.

What do you think about this? Should players who deliberatly hurt other players be fined? Suspended? Released from the team?

Should you be allowed to kick another guy in the balls and get away with it? What has happened to sportsmanship?

UPDATE: Suh suspended for 2 games without pay.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Am I Biased as a Cuse Alum?

I had a whole post ready to go from my immature side, relating "That's what she said" and football commentary. However, with what's going on at Syracuse, I feel as an alum (or is it alumna/i, I always get confused and Google was of no help), I need to say my peace and save the immaturity for next week.

First and foremost, as of right now, the situation at Syracuse and Penn State are completely different.  Call me naive, but I supported Boeheim when he defended his friend. I truly don't think he believes the accusations. He's not Paterno. He didn't hear eye-witness reports of abuse from his grad assistant, report it to some authority and then sit back and do nothing while the abuse continued.  The allegations have been investigated twice. Yes, TWO times.  Once by the University and a second time by ESPN.  In both instances, the evidence could not be corroborated.  If I were in Boeheim's shoes I don't think I would have been anywhere near as restrained. But he's far more mature than me (or, more likely, being helped by a PR team) and issued what I think to be a great apology/reaction to the actions taken last night:

“The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling. I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged. I believe the university took the appropriate step tonight. What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found. I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse.”

If the University fires Boeheim for defending his friend, they will probably lose me as a fan (still upset with the Big East departure), unless they can prove he had knowledge of the abuse. Boeheim is loved for his passion and dedication to the program and the team.  He should not be fired for it.  The University has handled the situation extremely well, so far.  Hopefully, they continue to do so.

As for what came out last night between the 3rd accuser and Fine's wife, I'm still not totally convinced. I know, I know! It looks bad, horrible even. But here's the thing. The original accuser had an affair with the wife. At 18.  That whole situation is beyond weird, between asking Fine for money to pay off loans and the phone call recording. Which, why is ESPN waiting until now to release this tape? As for the 3rd accuser, he's got his own sexual assault charges from April AND his dad is vehemently denying everything he's said about Fine.  Call me crazy, but in my experience, from watching criminal law shows, the 3rd accuser is not coming off as all that credible.

I'm honestly torn. If the accusations are true, I will feel horrible for not believing. Am I biased solely because I graduated from Cuse the year we won the national championship, having a special tie to the program and Boeheim? Would I still be suspicious of the timing if I hadn't?  People were quick to attack me and the program when the original accusations came out (what I have to do with the situation, I'm still trying to figure out), but were they biased by their own dislike/jealousy/school pride that they wanted to see the bad?  How would they react if the situations were reversed?  How would I?

I was asked when the Penn State accusations/firings happened what I would do if it were Cuse (I can't remember who asked, but I need to find out and get their predictions on my future), I said it would be completely devastating.  At least I know that to be the truth.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


If you've noticed that the men in your area are looking a little scruffier than usual - there's most likely a very good reason for it:

Welcome to MOVEMBER!

I know what you're thinking, but no, Movember is not a month-long tribute to the Gays (but how awesome would that be? Glitter and feather boas for EVERYBODY!) - it is a month-long moustache growing competition to raise money for the fight against prostate cancer.

I am a big supporter of "the cause", and I think this is a great fundraising idea that brings attention to another sensitive area. It allows guys to raise some cash to save their man-parts and it also gives them a chance to grow an ironic 'stache without much teasing.

The Edmonton Oilers are always happy to participate with Mo's of their own, and a number of the players, staff and media are sporting (or trying to sport) some spectacularly shaggy 'stache's.

Collectively, they've raised around $5000 so far.

Its great to see the guys getting into the spirit, even if I have longer, thicker leg hair than most of these guys are sporting on the upper lips.

There's still a couple of days left if you want to get in on some of the Mo action, you can head to the Movember website to make a donation, or visit my fellow FTS contributor, Cathy at Antsy Pants - she has been auctioning off items throughout the month with all the proceeds going to the Movember cause (though, I'll give you advance warning that I will be winning her next item).

We need to do whatever we can to keep our men healthy - even if means a month of whisker burns every year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Army a Fighting Chance

A couple of weeks ago, as I was sweating it out on the elliptical and reading the closed captioning for an ESPN program, a story caught my eye. I was under the impression, until about 10 minutes ago, that it was a journalism piece about a change in the West Point Academy's policy regarding cadets going pro after graduation. But now as I try to research it further, I am beginning to suspect that I may have been watching ESPN Classic. The most recent story I can find dates back to 2007.

Regardless, we can (and do) still have opinions on cadets getting drafted after graduation (and the Army's subsequent reluctance to release them from a 3-year service contract).

To give you a bit of background, West Point cadets receive a college education, paid in full, in exchange for military service after graduation. They are also required to participate in some form of competitive athletics. The school is most well-known for their football team. Go Army! Beat Navy!

And Navy has been, since 1890, their long-standing rivalry. But not so long 2007, as a matter of fact, Army took the DoD's policy regarding cadets drafting into the NFL into their own hands. They issued a statement saying that graduates would be allowed to enter the draft and, if chosen, transfer to a duty station within the team's city. Their 3 years of active duty would be replaced with 6 years of reserve duty and they could henceforth enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Then the fit hit the they say. 

Former graduates argued that West Point is not a training ground for future professional is a system of education that results in the top gun of military leaders. If the boys want to play ball, then they should have applied to Michigan. And I have to say, I certainly understand the logic behind their argument. 

On the other hand (yes, there is always an other hand), winning football games is just as effective at boosting morale as a successful military strike. But what high school Friday night hero is going to apply to a school that will guarantee his football career ends in 4 years? The force must be strong to walk away from a chance at the pros in order to walk toward a trip to war. Army recruiters are wise and relentless...but even they would have difficulty bringing in top-notch talent. The only viable solution is a hybrid of policies, which would allow cadets the opportunity to enter the draft, in exchange for a longer service contract or an agreement to recruit for the Army after X amount of years. Can you imagine the size of a boot camp class that had just been recruited by Tim Tebow? 

I'm not sure what the right answer is. But Army hasn't found it yet. And whatever is decided, it must originate with the Department of Defense or you have Army playing by one set of rules with Navy playing by another. My personal opinion is that if a cadet is successful enough to warrant a first or second round draft pick, then let them go. They will only spend the next 3 years wishing they were on the playing field instead of the battle field. That's not the kind of Soldier I want as my husband's battle buddy. Perhaps even establish a policy that says they must take the millions they are making in the NFL and pay back their college that someone who can't throw a ball but can lead troops across Afghanistan can be a West Point grad, too.

What do you think is fair? Should West Point grads go straight to war, without passing go or collecting $200? Should Army even have a football team?

It's Thanksgiving...

It's been a little crazy in my world this week and I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to post anything today. But I made a frantic phone call to my friend SJ and, as he always does, he came through for me and helped me write a great analysis of tomorrow's games....

Thanksgiving is upon us…which is strange since we already had a blizzard here in the Northeast a month ago. One of the great traditions of Thanksgiving…aside from the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special…is that we get football…which allows us to get away from our annoying relatives that we only see once a year. Just say that you have a lot of money bet on the game or that you have several players to watch on our fantasy team…they’ll have no idea what you are talking about and they will leave you in peace to enjoy the games!

Traditionally, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys play on Thanksgiving Day…Detroit started in 1934 and Dallas in 1966. Sometimes these games are terrible…Detroit was bad for a long time resulting in a blowout and when Dallas was really good, that game would be a blowout also. However, there have been some memorable moments…here in New York, we remember Lawrence Taylor returning an interception for a 97 yard touchdown in 1982. Then there was the Leon Lett game in 1993 when he stupidly slid in the snow to touch a blocked field goal which let the Dolphins beat the Cowboys 16-13. The 1998 game between the Steelers and the Lions led to a rule change regarding the overtime calling of heads or tails…when Jerome Bettis called the toss he said “Hea-tails”, but the referee heard “heads-tails” and the ref said he called heads first which was binding. Now…the team has to call the coin before it’s tossed. Toss that piece of trivia at your relatives if any of the games to go OT…they will think you are making it up.

So…history aside…let’s look at this week’s games, which are being lauded as maybe the best lineup ever.

First up, 12:30 start, right after the parade…Packers-Lions where we have the Pack undefeated and the Lions, who are faltering a bit since their hot start, capable of handing Green Bay their first loss. They gave up a lot of points this week to Cam Newton and Carolina, but outscored them in a slugfest. They won’t have that luxury against the stingy Packer defense this week so they will need to tighten up defensively and keep Aaron Rodgers from putting up Madden video game numbers. Raise your hand if Clay Matthews has better hair than you do.

4:15 brings us the Cowboys and Miami in big D. This game didn’t look like much a few weeks ago, but Miami has taken themselves out of the Suck for Luck campaign by winning 3 in a row. Dallas has the inside track on the NFC East division crown, but this still won’t be an easy game for them with the surging Dolphins and their renewed attack on both sides of the ball. Plus, they have the Leon Lett factor to deal with. Just for fun, bet your family that they show the replay of him slipping the first time Miami lines up for a field goal.

Last, but definitely not least at 8:20, 49’ers at Ravens. First one to 3 points wins. They will make too much about the first time brothers are coaching against each other in the NFL. Get past that and enjoy the game. San Fran could be playing for the #1 seed, depending on what happens in the early game with Green Bay, and both defenses are great at stopping the run, so get set for a grind it out defensive struggle. Frank Gore, if healthy, and Ray Rice are 2 of the best backs in the league, so whichever offensive line allows them to run better will probably win the game.

So there you have it, a quick and dirty analysis of the turkey day games to impress or bore your relatives…depending on how much tryptophan they have consumed…or, if you are Italian, how much lasagna. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shocker: The Chargers break my heart. Again.

Ok, look. I have very little to say right now. To be honest, I am actually surprised I am even putting out a blog post for you. I intended to just go dark and let you all just think I died.

I know what you're thinking. "Buck Up, SurferWife. What's got you so blue?"

Funny you say blue. Because it's something blue and gold that's making me want to hurl myself off a cliff.

Really? Five consecutive losses? Last place in the AFC West? 17 interceptions, Rivs? My stomach hurts, so I am going to leave you with this: Try not to choke on it:

It must feel good to be a Raiders fan.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

View from our seats at the Niners game yesterday after the rain stopped...

Hope you all have a save and Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't wait for the Harbaugh Bowl!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Race for the Championship - What If?

While living in the South I've learned a few things about the culture and way of life here in Alabama and surrounding Southern states. The biggest lesson I've learned is that football isn't just a sport, it's a second religion, to most residence maybe even a first, but don't tell Jesus that. Men and women, children and even pets get in on the action. Our dog, June sports her Alabama houndstooth collar and bandana every Saturday while Mike and I sport our Team colors in one fashion or another on Friday for work and for game day on Saturday. Like I said, it's a religion/way of life.

This time of year becomes the most exciting. We are down to 3 or less games per team in the division and the stakes are high. Highest currently for teams like Alabama and LSU. LSU is undefeated and they are looking sharp, and I'm really sad we weren't able to take them in our house two weeks ago. "Our House" meaning Tuscaloosa, I don't live in the stadium, but you know what I mean, right? This time of year is exciting because EVERY team that is in the top of there division is in the hung not only for Bowl games but more importantly Division Championship runs AND most importantly National Championship runs.

This years National Championship is being played in New Orleans. Talk about one hell of an electric town to have something like this go down, especially if there is an SEC team involved - even more so if that team is LSU. Can you imagine the buzz going down on Bourbon Street if this happens? And I'm not talking about the buzz from the frozen drinks as large as your head either.

I'm still a bit bitter that we lost to LSU, and I'd love a rematch! And apparently 2 SEC teams have never gone head to head at the National Championships so it would be even more exciting!

My husband, Mike and I have had a pact since the beginning of the season. When we learned the Championship game would be held in New Orleans we said come hell or high water... bad choice of words, Sorry New Orleans, we love you! We would make it to NOLA for the game if Alabama made it to the National Championship game. His younger brother was in for the trip as well. Now granted, hotels are booked, and over the top expensive and this would probably require us to not only sleep in our Jeep but also forego showers but we don't care. It's Alabama football, its 48 hours and there are frozen drinks to be had and fun to be made. Win or lose we would be there for the night. And no we won't be purchasing tickets to the game but instead watching them from the comfort of a bar stool somewhere in the French Quarter.

Our hopes were extremely high at the beginning of the season. The boys looked great, and still do... well minus our kicker that seems to be having some issues and a few other moments here and there but for the most part we still have a winning team with a great looking defense. LSU just really let us have it for sure. I felt like we may not have showed up as well as we could have but that being said I don't play football, I can't play and I have no right to tell those boys how to do it better. That's Saban's job.

In the past weeks there has been a lot of buzz about who might go to the National Championships - of course everyone here is now hoping for a rematch with LSU vs. AL. And I would be happy about that for sure, but I'm still hanging on to a hope that Oklahoma State University and Alabama might reach New Orleans together for match up. My feeling in this is a little selfish. Mike's sister is OSU alumni and made the comment she would definitely try to make it to the game from Colorado if her beloved Cowboys made it to the big dance. SO you see Mike + Me + His Sister + His Brother = ONE HELL OF A GREAT TIME!!!

The buzz around here is there everyone has started with the "WHAT IF'S" and "ALL WE NEED IS" and "IF THEY LOSE THEN THIS HAPPENS" going on around here. Every morning while at work I hear this from my co-workers talking football around the coffee maker. When I get home, or on the weekends I hear the same from Mike. And while watching Game Day on Saturday morning I hear it a lot too. Mike and I also have taken to watching ESPN in the morning while getting ready for work too [always loved sports, but never thought I'd be that girl]. Little by little I hear more and more about the what ifs...

I wanted to share a typical exchange of how this all goes down, written by my husband for those of you SEC outsiders that may or may not do this in your divisions when it gets down to the boiling point for the end of the season.

So here goes, predictions/what ifs/maybes/only if this/then it will happen: By Mike!
[my comments in pink]

"Here’s what can happen. The most likely conclusion is LSU vs Okie State in the National Championship Game. But, if Okie State loses any of its final games, then Bama could move up to its spot to face LSU, which would be not only the first time that two teams from the same conference would face each other in the National Championship Game, but also from the same division. The coolness factor of the rematch? LSU beat Bama in over-time by three points in Tuscaloosa. The rematch would happen in New Orleans. [Home field advantage is sometimes scary for the opposing team! YIKES! Super Dome Crowd mostly for LSU, that's some scurry shit!] LSU still has to play a very good Arkansas team [Hogs are my 2nd favorite in the SEC division]. So, if Arkansas beats LSU, then we have a three way tie for SEC West Division Champs. So, who would go to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game? Alabama. They would be higher in the BCS rankings. If they make it through Georgia Southern and Auburn.

So, then Alabama goes on to the SEC Champ game, beats Georgia. Then, who do they face in the National Championship Game? If Okie State holds on, and doesn’t lose, then it would be them. If they were to lose, I would suspect Bama would play Oregon, [UGH, SO. OVER. THE DUCKS!] or Oklahoma. Which is funny, because both of those teams were projected early on to play each other in the National. Champ. Game.

Personally, I’m hoping on Bama and Okie State. Bama’s smothering defense vs Okie State’s high octane offense." [I'm hoping for the same, and speaking of Octane... I'll drink a 190 Octane from Fat Tuesday's to that!].

So you see folks, this is what I hear day in and day out around here.... You know I'm a happy camper regardless of who makes it to the National Championships so long as it's ALABAMA! But I will have to wait and see, continue listening to the "IF WE DO THIS'S" and hope for the best! For now we have Georgia Southern to work on and then the game of all games every year is the IRON BOWL when we take on our biggest rivals, the Tigers of Auburn University. We have big fish to fry before we can make it anywhere near New Orleans or Atlanta.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Caught up in the Excitement

I'm a Texas girl, born and raised. However, I'm not a Cowboys fan. I solely base this on the owner, and yes I let that cloud my vision for liking players and teams. I'm completely okay with this fact. Some owners have driven me to like teams more than I normally would. One of the reasons that I really like the Green Bay Packers is that they are owned by the people. Something about that makes me think they are doing it right. Okay, back to my original thought. I don't like the Cowboys. However, I have to deal with this team on occasion.

Luckily, it's the good ol' boys for the most part (aka players from the 70's), and they are all stellar people. I was lucky enough to go to the game with coworkers, as we were gifted seats from a former Cowboy. Needless to say, the seats were amazing. It was my first time at JerryWorld, and I was surprisingly impressed. I expected to be disgusted with the stadium. I mean, we call it the DeathStar here. It was however, much more massive than I expected. I don't know how all those people fit in there. It's really a feat of engineering and architecture. So, with my usual sneer already dissipating with the stadium impressing me, my guard started breaking down.

The Boys played great, in fact they scored more than they had in 4 years, breaking their game high score in 2007.  And I started cheering . . . for the Cowboys. It was the strangest thing. I got excited. It was fun watching these rookies run the ball so well. I still made jokes and laughed at Romo, but that was never going to change. I stood up and cheered at touchdowns and interceptions. Who was I?

One of my coworkers did the same. She blamed the atmosphere. It was a interesting concept. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I was enjoying cheering the Cowboys on. Maybe it was the atmosphere. There was so much excitement and love for the Cowboys. It was like you couldn't not become a part of it.

I don't really like the NFL, I really love college football, but there was something about being in that stadium. Cheering on a team I don't like. Excitement really is contagious. If it weren't for the owner, I probably would be a Cowboys fan now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And then she went crazy.

I've been so caught up in my Movember auction that I haven't had a chance to think about what I wanted to write this week.

So I asked my husband. He suggested writing about the Wisconsin domination over Minnesota this past weekend. In college football the Badgers won and will keep the Paul Bunyan Axe. In hockey, they split the series, which is considerable because the Gophers are ranked #1. In the NFL....well, obviously the Packers won, that's what we do.

He suggested I talk about Joe Frazier. Yes, his death is major news in the sports world, but not anything I am qualified to talk about. Then he mentioned how some UFC guy who wasn't supposed to lose a match for 2 years almost lost...or something. I don't even know what he was thinking, talking to me about boxing.

Moving along. Penn state? No, I'll keep my anger inside my own head. NBA lockout? Is anyone even aware that the season hasn't started? NCAA basketball....I'll wait until April. Don't want to get the March Madness started too early.

Hmm...Well, we are a site dedicated to sports, fandom and fitness so maybe I should talk about my fitness goals. That's all I've been talking about on my personal blog lately so why not spill it over here too. I signed up for a half marathon! This is exciting and scary. As of right now I can run about 4 miles.

Yep. A half is 13.1 miles. I said I can do 4. I am well aware that I have The Crazy right now. Good news is, the race isn't until May so I have all winter to train. Bad news is I live in the frozen tundra that is Minnesota so running outside is pretty much impossible for the next 4 to 5 months. Training for a half on the treadmill probably isn't ideal, but I'll work with what I got.

Also, yes, this is me blatantly asking you for encouragement. I CAN ONLY RUN 4 MILES RIGHT NOW! Tell me I will be able to make it through this training and I will not die on the Door County peninsula. The other day my husband told me he had never seen someone so determined to do something they were so bad at. I decided to take it as a compliment. Finally! My stubbornness is coming in handy!

I am very sorry for the randomness of this post. But like I said, the auction is taking up all my brain space.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

With so much going on this weekend, I couldn't focus on one specific area. Instead, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the Weekend in sports.

The Good:

  • The Niners are 8-1. Eight AND One. 8 wins, 1 loss. Yes, I have to repeat it just to believe it.  I loved when ESPN ranked them #2 the last two weeks, but I'm not sure I really believed until now.
  • Eli Manning with 2 pick 6's (or is it 2 picks 6?), and couldn't finish the job. We all know SurferWife is happy!
  • Apparently the NFC West didn't like all the shit talked about how bad they are and took it out on those East coast teams. Heh. (As a Niners fan I shouldn't want this, but I can't help but defend the league)
  • Mike Matheny takes over for LaRussa as the STL Cardinals manager. I LOVE Matheny and couldn't be happier for him. Good Luck!

The Bad:
  • I think there might be a new obnoxious fan base rivaling Duke and Ohio St...Oregon!  Every time I see "OOOOOO" written out all I can think of is Office Space. And could sportscasters/writers be anymore up the Duck's ass? I don't really care about the Pac-10/12 teams, but now we're going to be hearing even more about Oregon. I might have to move again.
  • The Ravens and Cowboys are battling it out for most bipolar team in the NFL. I wish the Cowboys would just stick with depression. Who needs the high?
  • What is up with the kidnappings in Venezuela? I'm so glad Ramos is alive and well, but it's treated like no big deal because it happens so much. Um, pretty sure kidnapping is a big deal. Maybe that's just me.

The Ugly:
  • During the down years of my Niners fandom I started watching the Bears. I graduated HS with Lance Briggs so I've followed his career since. His hit against Johnson made me sad.  The whole game just felt dirty, and not the good dirty. More like Raiders or Steelers dirty.
  • Shana already covered the horrible Penn State scandal, but what has come out since makes me nauseous. Apparently there's even more that has yet to be released. At this point I'm not sure I want to know. 

To not end on a sour note, here's part of the NFL's tribute to honor our Veterans:

Friday, November 11, 2011

everyone needs a little personal attention

Happy Remembrance/Veterans Day to everyone. Take this day to be thankful for the sacrifice that our soldiers and their families make every day to keep the rest of us safe.

I was all prepared to write about how great the Edmonton Oilers are looking so far this season. They are playing great, scoring goals and winning games - 3 things that have been sorely lacking in the last few years. The young kids are stepping up to the plate to make a difference and the old favourites are showing they still have some tricks up their sleeves.

But that will have to wait, because I have something very important to talk to you about. Consider it a public service announcement without the famous face and the "The More You Know" shooting star across your screen.

You need a personal trainer.

Don't take offence - I think you look fantastic, I just think that everyone can benefit from the knowledge and skills of a personal trainer.

Now, I know what you're thinking - I do just fine on my own. I get Fitness magazine and I have a gym membership, so what do I need a trainer for? I have no interest in having someone scream at me and tell me I'm disgusting to motivate me. No, thank you, I'll stick to my Fitness magazine.

I know that, because I used to think the exact same thing.

Until I started working out with a personal trainer!

So I have compiled a list of reasons why everybody who cares even remotely about their health should see a personal trainer:

  • a good personal trainer can design a work out just for you - You want to bulk up? Slim down? Run longer? Faster? Harder? You want 6-pack abs but hate doing crunches? No problem; a good personal trainer can assess your strengths and needs, and help you achieve your goals.

  • a good personal trainer makes sure you doing shit right - I don't know how many squats I have done in my lifetime - MANY - and before I started working with a personal trainer, do you know how many I was doing correctly? ZERO! A good trainer can help you isolate the muscles that should be working and give you tips and tricks to help you along the way.

  • a good personal training will keep it interesting - I used to go to the gym, pop in my iPod and go through the motions of my usual routine. Now I go to the gym, I chat and laugh with my trainer and learn new and interesting things about how and why my body works the way it does.

  • a good personal trainer will test your boundaries but will recognize when you're at your limit - When I worked out on my own, it was easy for me to give up because something was hard, or I would be stubborn and push myself too much until I hurt myself. A trainer will challenge you, nudge you to the brink of your comfort zone, but can recognize when you've had enough.

  • a good personal trainer will never berate you, insult you, yell at you, judge you, or otherwise make you feel bad about yourself - I can be having the absolute, edge-of-sanity, worst day imaginable, but about 5 minutes into my workout with my trainer, it is all gone and I feel motivated and energized and happy.

  • a good personal trainer will support you - I'm not talking about emotional support, like "You're doing awesome, keep up the good work" (though they will do that too), I am talking about actually physically supporting you so that you don't fall over...which happens to me more often than you would think.

One other piece of advice: Don't settle for someone you don't feel comfortable with or you don't enjoy working out with. Play the field until you find the trainer that is just right for you.

And if you are so lucky to find a personal trainer who is also a trained massage therapist (like mine is) - hold on to that unicorn and never let them go because that is a magical creature that has a unique expertise to know what is going on in your body and exactly how to get it working at its best.

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? What's stopping you?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finding the Sweet Spot Again

When you grow up in Central Kentucky, you are introduced to 2 sports at a very young age, and one distilled spirit sometime later (but still well before that legal milestone). Basketball, horse racing, and bourbon. Although the bourbon can certainly come in the form of Rebecca Ruth's lip-smacking, ass-expanding recipe for bourbon balls...which one starts eating around the age of 5.

I don't remember my parents ever taking me to the track as a WeeAlly, but then they hardly go now. Keeneland meets for 4 weeks in the spring and 4 weeks in the fall and Churchill Downs opens as soon as Keeneland closes. Although we drive past thoroughbred farms like most people drive past McDonald's (as in, there is one on every block), I didn't actively attend the horse races until my sophomore year in college. But once I started, just like with any wicked addiction, I couldn't stop.

There is a savvy (and somewhat snarky) article on by Charles Pierce that explores the decline of horse racing. His argument is that in a world of Snookies and 20-minute marriages between models and baseball players, there is simply no more room for the sport. Ironically, the fastest 2 minutes in sports can't keep up. The sport is archaic. Even the recent Breeders' Cup, which took place last Saturday at our very own Churchill Downs, was overshadowed by the "Battle Between the Exes"...meaning the over-hyped engagement between 2 well-established jockeys that lasted about 5 minutes. The story of Mike Smith and Chantal Sutherland (who is an accomplished jockey in her own right and needs to stop seeking her 15 minutes of fame by mounting anything with less than 4 legs) hijacked most of the Breeders' Cup coverage, with the exception of Amazombie's win in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Amazombie...the horse that the breeder "threw in" with the purchase of another horse.

This is not to say that each nationally covered horse race doesn't have a story, because it does. The 70-year old jockey that finally made it to the big leagues...the horse that no one wanted, who went on to win a major race and make his owners obnoxiously rich...the race that broke a million hearts. There is always a story, but when we create drama around any relationship that didn't work out (whether it's between jockeys or a jockey and an owner or even a horse and an owner), it stoops to the level of reality television and there is certainly no place for that in horse racing. Perhaps that explains the decline in the sport. We, as a country, have become conditioned to a level of entertainment in which horse racing will always fall short. But maybe it's a call to be better than the trash we've been collecting from the airwaves.

I have one single rule when I attend the horse races. No denim. Fancy, floppy hat or not, I refuse to wear denim. It's like dressing for the theater or even for church on Sunday morning. It's a standard that I have set for myself based on the history and expectations of the location. The thoroughbred industry (especially in Kentucky) is trapped in an antiquated period of time. But does that necessarily make it obsolete? Legislators can't figure out a way to pass a law which would allow the installation of slot machines at the tracks. Track officials argue they need the revenue that slot machines bring in to keep the tracks open. Why does it have to be that way? Where are the people who love the sport of horse racing and with what are they replacing that love? I'm not so sure that chasing the wants and whims of the public is the answer for horse racing. My darkest day would be walking into Keeneland, only to find bars with strippers next to slot machines next to a jockey freak show. I would never go back.

I am the first to admit that not everyone loves sports (my husband would rather watch HGTV than Sunday afternoon football. This doesn't make him gay, it simply makes him incredibly handy), but I've established a new goal for myself. I will share my unbridled passion for horse racing with everyone who watches a race with me. When that pack makes the turn from the back stretch and thunders toward the finish line, jockeys hovering over completely extended thoroughbreds, they will be yelling just as loudly as me: Go, Baby, Go!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Did Joe Paterno do the right thing???

I’m sure by now everyone’s heard about the child sex abuse scandal going on at Penn State and the involvement of their football coach, Joe Paterno. Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator, was allegedly abusing little boys…with one incident taking place in the Penn State locker room. The incident was reported to Joe Paterno and Joe, in turn, reported it to the university administrators. Nothing was done, it wasn’t reported to the authorities and the abuse continued.

This morning, it was announced that Joe Paterno would step down as head coach at the end of this season. Some people are calling for his immediate resignation while others would like to see him remain as head coach.

I understand why people would want him to stay…why they don’t want to believe he did anything wrong. The man is a legend. He’s the oldest and most winning coach in college football. He’s an institution…and now his legacy and his 46 year career as head coach will forever be tarnished by this scandal. It’s really unfortunate.

However, what happened to those kids was tragic. If the allegations are true, those children’s lives were changed forever at the hands of Jerry Sandusky.

Now, I wasn’t there. I don’t know exactly what happened. But it seems that that people knew about what was happening…they could have stopped it, but they chose to do nothing. It seems as though they chose the reputation of their school and their football team over the well being of those kids. And that is completely unacceptable.

If Joe Paterno was one of those people…one of the ones who knew and did nothing to stop it, then he deserves whatever happens…and he should step down now.

What do you think? Did Joe know what was going on? Should he have done more? Or is he just caught up in an unfortunate scandal?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's a Manning Dynasty Encounter

Both Hutch and I feel it is important that you take a gander at this celebrity encounter she had.  This article aired on my blog in September of 2010.  THIS IS HUTCH'S ENCOUNTER.  You will find my angry jibberish in purple.  Please keep in mind that this was already featured over at Surferwife.


After interning at MLB (where you think celebrity/athlete encounters would be everywhere, they were not, boo), I went to work at a restaurant in the lovely town of Hoboken, NJ. Quite a few of the NY athletes lived in the area (Giants, Jets, and Nets play in NJ) and The Restaurant was the place to be. I mean, really, who wouldn't want to stop by the place I worked? <---Right?

Once a week, I had the pleasure of greeting Eli Manning<---What?! *BARF* Gag, gag *BARF* HUTCH! His name should never appear on my blog*Upchuck* as he took his place at the end of the bar. Very quiet and polite,<---Polite my San Diegan ass he would either watch Sports Center or read the paper. Every so often he brought in his now wife, a drop-dead-gorgeous-super-nice-makes-me-hate-my-life-blonde,<---She's stupid. Just for marrying such a piece of crap for dinner. Not that exciting, right? Don't worry, it gets better.<---I hope so because I am betraying America's Finest City by letting you talk about the assinine who was too good to play for the Chargers. What? I'm not bitter nor do I hold a grudge. Unless it's about snot nosed Eli. Ew. Ok, sorry. Continue.

Shortly after the '05-'06 season ended for the Colts and Giants, I was standing at the bar on a slow lunch day, working on my sudoko from AM New York.<---If I were a man I would totally crush on you. A smart, sporty girl? Nothing better. The door opens and I see 4 ridiculously tall men walk in. Picking my jaw up off the floor, I realized I was standing in the presence of greatness...all 3 Manning brothers and Archie! I'm not even sure what I said. "Welcome to The Restaurant" most likely came out as "kjasdfljdfjdfhgoiuerncvoi." If you can understand that, points for you!<---Get your shit together, Hutch.

Walking them to their table, my hands (and probably my whole body) shook with each menu I gave out. THEN, they started asking me questions. "Where are you from?" "How did you get all the way out here?" They wanted to know about ME. Some nobody from a small town in California, who happened to be the luckiest person alive at that very moment. I somehow managed to pull it together and even had an actual conversation with Peyton about Dwight Freeney (he was drafted by the Colts my junior year at Cuse).

Hearing the southern accent turned me into complete mush! If not for the manager coming over and rudely interrupting me, they would have pulled up a chair and asked me to join them. I'm sure of this. Instead, I watched from afar while they ate and laughed.

Cooper, my pick as the hottest of the 3, mocked Eli and Peyton for their playoff losses<---I like this Cooper. I tend to mock the Mannings as well as I found myself daydreaming about what it would be like to grow up in the Manning fam, or perhaps even marry into it, hmmm.<----Bite your tongue.

Peyton jarred me out of fantasyland by flashing a smile and saying, "Thanks Hutch. it was great to meet you, my life will never be the same"<---While he IS a COLT (Boo!) I do kinda dig the guy. He has a sense of humor and I loooooove that, so I will accept your offer as maid of honor when you two marry as they walked out. Ok, that's a bit of a fabrication, but he did say thanks! Of course my inability to formulate a coherent sentence kicked back in and I'm sure I mumbled something while turning bright red (damn the Irish heritage!).

And that was it, they were gone. By the Fall of 2006, I was fully engulfed in the corporate world and would never see Eli or his family again.<---No loss on the lack of Eli sightings. Gag*Ralph*Gag

Even though my incredible wit let me down during a crucial moment in my life, nothing will ever top the 90 minutes I spent with the Manning Dynasty. Sadly, we weren't allowed to take pics with "celebrities" while working. Lame, I know, but the mental pics will last a lifetime, or at least until the senility sets in.


Thanks Hutch! How awesome for you to meet Archie, Cooper and Peyton Manning!! I would probably be all star struck, too. And my condolences on having to share oxygen with the snot nosed little douchemask Eli.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Solution for NBA Fans

Dear NBA Fans,

Word on the street is your season might not happen...AT ALL.  I've heard many of you whine and moan about what to do in the meantime. You're at a loss on how to fill the giant void in your life the lack of NBA basketball has left. No longer will you have superstar athletes, who make the game all about them, to watch.


Fret not, I have a solution.

There's a game with such a fast pace it makes watching the NBA feel like you're actually watching golf. The players of this game even work together to win. Yes, a TEAM sport!  The same game has a playoff system college football envies, but can't figure out how to replicate. With this game you can dedicate an entire month to drinking, brackets and all around Madness (combines very well with St. Patrick's Day instead of conflicting with family holidays, like, say, Christmas?).

I think you can guess where I'm going.

Now is the perfect time to try out college basketball. If you don't have a team to follow, Syracuse will gladly take the bandwagon fans, going in to the season ranked #5, we're not a bad bet (I don't care what Grantland says, I will always refer to my teams as "we").  Or try a local team. Big East, SEC, ACC, PAC-12...I'm sure you can find a team to love.

You've had time to complain (and I do get how upsetting losing a season can be), but now it's time to stop pouting and do something about it. Unless you're directly involved in the negotiations I think college basketball is the best solution you will find. You never know, you might actually enjoy it.


Hutch, a former NBA fan

P.S. I have a bet with Ally on our teams (U of Kentucky and Cuse). Whoever's teams goes further in the season is the winner, and the loser buys the other dinner.  I still need to pick a Sacramento restaurant, surprisingly enough there's a lot to choose from here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Football Stress, Ball of Stress?

Who's that girl with a weddin' band on her hand? It's me... it's me! So I'm married now. [I wish I could insert a great image of me and my husband waving our Alabama shakers on the dance floor but I haven't seen the proofs yet]. I hitched myself to the man of my dreams on October 22nd, survived a Tropical Storm on my honeymoon in Mexico and now that all I have left to do is #1 be an amazing wife and #2 put away all those awesome gifts we got!

Now that the wedding is all said and done, I'm not sad - I'm actually anxious to sit down and enjoy my weekends to the fullest and have them all to myself, well and my hubby as well. Since the beginning of football season our weekends have been a non-stop event of either appointments, crafts, research or shopping and I for one am totally over that now. I'm not a girlie girl so the spoils of being a bride might have been wasted on me a bit. Tanning was a chore, getting hair, make-up and nails done cut into my time relaxing, sleeping and watching trash tv. The weekends have been officially reclaimed as FOOTBALL CENTRAL as they always rightfully are this time of year, in our household. Saturdays belong to College Game Day, specifically SEC Football - following the Crimson Tide and all other teams in our division to see who's doing well, who's not doing so well and rooting against our least favorite team in our division... if you're from Alabama, or an SEC fan you know who I mean. But trust me when I say we aren't d*ckhead Alabama fans, we're actually cool ones you'd want to share a tailgate space with - unless you shame our team... then you're on your own.  

Sundays then are reserved for NFL Game Day! Mike is content with watching just about any football game all weekend long. He was never like this before. When we first dated I watched many a Steelers game by myself in the living room while he did other things around the house. Something changed in him at about year 3, he started to get into watching the Steelers play [I was so excited], and then I in turn started to watch more and more Alabama and college football. He's so into it now that on Sunday I have to ask him NOT to turn on football. Maybe if I did Fantasy Football I'd be excited, but I don't and by 4:00 pm on Sunday, if the Steelers have already played, I'm footballed out and I need to watch something more "home improvement" or "foodie" oriented to get realigned with my inner Kelly. 

This weekend, is a big deal, we had originally planned to high tail it to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama vs. LSU game but have since decided a weekend at home, without travel might be just the ticket. We've been running as a couple on wide open for over 2 weeks now. So instead of being belly up to the bar in downtown T-Town we'll probably be either belly up to the bar in our favorite watering hole here or comfortably yelling on our couch drinking left over wedding booze.

This weekend is big, HUGE for Alabama and for LSU. #1 vs. #2!!! I hope I have the sense NOT to bite my nails since I've worked so hard to make them NOT look like a construction workers hands but yet more like that of a lady. I can't make promises though because after the dust settles at Alabama's house then the rumble will come on Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens take on my Steelers in Pittsburgh. The first game of the season was one that made me hang my head in shame. The Ravens whooped us, in fact I don't feel like the Steelers truly showed up for that game. I was PISSED. I have NO idea what the Steelers were thinking. I mean really guys, when have the Ravens EVER backed down or not tore us a new one, or at least tired in all the years we've gone head to head? Ummm, that would be never. All I can say is the Steel Curtain better get in the game and be prepared. I can't take the stress.

I always joke that football season gives me a stress induced ulcer. I might not have an actual ulcer but I have gotten headaches from the freak outs during a game. I have an issue with holding my breathe when the ball hangs in the air, and usually if the play goes bad the exhale is usually full of the S-word or even the F-word. And usually louder than needed. Yeah, I'm one of those people. Not pretty. Note to all: Don't bring your kids to my house for a football game, unless you want them to learn a new colorful word to share with their grandparents.

If there is anything I hate more than stress from a game, is hecklers. I believe in good sportsmanship and I will never be ugly to a fan, at a game or in my home. Even during the Iron Bowl, and even if Alabama is down by 7, or more against Auburn - I'm not going to be mean to an Auburn fan... unlesssssss they are mean to them then it's game over. In the long run it just causes stress... stress I don't need.

I used to think it was strange when people would get SO upset when their teams lost. I can remember guys I was friends with in high school coming to class on Monday just bummed or pissed their team lost. I never got that... until recently. I'd be lying if I said that often times after a Steelers loss, Mike has to pat my back and tell me it will all be OK. I get grumpy, angry and bitter. Thankfully this lasts about an hour and I truly feel I only get that way because it opens me up to getting the heckles on Facebook from all my Raven Fan friends back home in Maryland. And no one wants to see their facebook wall covered in trash talk, do they? Especially after a loss.

This weekend will be full of football stress for me, but I'd much rather have that than any planning of event stress that I have dealt with, while it was minimal, I still would much rather stress over the score, and the BCS standings than stress about napkin colors or how to wear my hair.

So tell me, are you a calm cool and collected fan, or do you stress to the point your hair might fall out?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What do you do when your local team just doesn't do well?

Are you a joiner or a lifer? A joiner is jumping on the bandwagon; when your local team does well, you become a super fan. A lifer is one who rides the lows and the highs; loving the team no matter what.

Which are you? I'm a joiner with MLB, I don't follow all year long. But come playoffs, I'm all about it. NBA? I'm a lifer. Live and breath. College football? I'm a lifer. NFL? I could actually care less.

Since I don't have any NBA to watch any time soon, I'm stuck with all football. College and NFL. Well, college is still very exciting, but the NFL is really starting to drag. At least in these parts.

Here's my question, what does a city do when it's top billing teams are either not playing at all due to a lockout, or are technically playing, but really still not playing at all? Yes, Cowboys, I'm talking about you. Deal with it.  The Dallas Mavericks just won the NBA Championship. Now that's all well and good that the Mavs are looking at a two season Championship without actually having to do anything, but what is it doing to fans and the city itself? People aren't buying merchandise because the excitement is gone. The arena isn't making its money because it's not full, which means all those people are basically out of jobs (most are hourly wages), and it just trickles down from there.

Well, even thought the NFL is playing, the Cowboys are just not playing well. And Dallas is known to be a joiner/bandwagon city, so that means the crowds will diminish at JerryWorld. Which means less revenue, and on and on and on.

So, not only are people's ideas of sports and good feelings toward the city and teams going downhill, the economy is potentially too. Am I putting too much stalk in this? Maybe. But it's worth a thought.

So, what do you do? Do you just become a lifer and support and spend the money anyways? Can that happen if the passion isn't there? How does the team survive if the fans go away?

I don't have a clue, but it's worth a thought.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's Movember already?!

Movember? With an M?

Yes! M for Moustache.

I can talk about the 'stache. Why? Because my dad wears one.

 Because my Great Great Grandfather totally rocked one.

Because I get my upper lip waxed on the regular. What? I'm hairy.

Moving on.

It's Movember!

What the heck is Movember? According to their website it's a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health. Men start with a clean shave Nov 1 and grow their 'staches all month. They raise money and awareness for cancers that affect men, like prostate and testicular. Sometimes they get their lady friends involved (like me). Women are known as a MoSistas while the men are MoBros.

Because I'm an overachiever I came up with some fun money raising ideas. Throughout Movember I'll be auctioning off some handmade items over on my personal blog. Lovely things made by fellow bloggers you know and love. There'll be things for men and women and maybe even babies, who knows! I know a lot of crafty bloggers and guarantee you'll want what they have to offer; if not for yourself then for Christmas presents!

I'll explain the details over at Antsy Pants within the next few days. Right now, you just need to now that it's Movember. And things are gonna start happening.  You don't want to miss a minute of the action...or any of those fun handmade things I was talking about. There may even be a giveaway. If you donate. Details soon.

Why am I talking about this on a sports blog? Because we just spent a whole month talking about Breast Cancer, now it's time to show the men some love!

Head over to my Mo' page and take a look around the Movember site.
The Dirt Reynolds for the win!