Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Holy Crap, it's the ESPY's!

Wow, it's the ESPY's! One of the most exciting sports nights on TV.

Think of the most exciting sports highlight from the entire year... then think of the second... the third... the fourth... etc...

Now, imagine that you're watching and re-living all of those on one night, including footage of sports legends that precede us into glory, and audio of the umpire that revoked a perfect game ("I just missed the damned call, and I took a perfect game away from that kid... and there's no one that feels worse about that than I do")...
Remember Usain Bolt, Donovan's goal, Braden's Grandmother, Michelson's wife, Rochette's mother and Earnhardt's father. Forget the miracle on ice, see the destiny. Watch Duke, Spain, UConn, Serena, Mario, The Tide, Stanley in Chi-town, and Lombardi in the Big Easy.
Add some Seth Meyer's humor ("The New Orleans Saint's prove that an underdog team can win a championship... unless of course that underdog team is playing the Laker's, the Yankee's, or Duke"; "Cheer up Cleveland, you don't need Lebron James to win a championship. Literally every single team that's ever won a championship has done it without Lebron James", and referencing the locker room atmosphere after the Laker's championship win, "Kobe went crazy, Gasol went crazy, Ron Artest stayed crazy"; and commenting that before Isner's recent match, no one has spent that much time on grass since Cheech and Chong") and a helluva soundtrack (most recently they tore through some Creedence) and you have yourself an exciting evening.

I haven't even finished it yet... that's the great thing about DVR... I keep rewinding and re-watching it.

It's exciting enough to make me almost forget about last night's American League fail... though my brother might say that the ESPY's only add to the excitement of the National League's display.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting exited about TV

If you want to know how to really get excited while watching TV... I have a few recommendations.

First, you can tune into Showtime after 10pm - though your mother might not be happy about that one.
Second, watch any sporting event where the score is tied and a ticket to the playoffs is on the line. Overtime is a plus (see Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers; Game 163).
Third, watch the TopGear episode in which James May drives a Bugatti Veyron.

The Veyron is the fastest production car ever made. It's top speed is 253 miles per hour.

The Veyron uses 270 horsepower to reach 155 miles per hour. For reference, states that the 2007 Nissan Altima has 270 horsepower. But, the Veyron can do more.

In order to reach 253 mph the veyron requires another 730 horsepower. That's a total of 1,001 horsepower! Have you ever seen a comma in the horsepower stat?

But, where do you test something like that? According to TopGear, they were at the Volkswagen testing facility in Germany. It was built during the Cold War close enough to the East German border that it was in a no-fly-zone. It has 60 miles of private track, including a 5.5 mile straight-away.
The host states that you can't see the opposite end because of the curvature of the earth.

But - you say - what about the speed?!
Even with five-and-a-half miles, the driver couldn't start at the beginning of the straight-a-way. He entered through a banking turn already going 120 mph. It took him 9.4 seconds to get from there to 186 mph.
And then, he reached the incredible speed mentioned earlier... and stated that he was covering a full futbol pitch every second.
The car was taking in enough air every second, for a human to breath for 4 days.

Of course, the dramatic music didn't hurt, but it certainly is very exciting.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'd trade all my tomorrow's...

Whoever said "I'd trade all my tomorrow's for one single yesterday" didn't have kids.

Some of you may think it was Janice Joplin, but Kris Kristofferson wrote those words... and I don't know if he had kids when he wrote those words (though Wikipedia's cryptic biography indicates that he did), but I would never say that those words are true.

I would give up every band practice (marching, not rock). I would ignore the memories of camp outs, and I would lose what I remember about every fraternity party I've ever been to. I would forget about the nights I spent playing pool or drinking beer with my buddies. I would let John Wayne and Clint Eastwood become names that I only know from the History Channel... all of that just to think about what my girls will be doing tomorrow.

...and tomorrow isn't important to many people. Of course, tomorrow is Friday, so that's big. But, my girls won't be Easter egg hunting, or blowing out birthday candles. They won't be dating (giving me grey hair) or crying over boys. They won't be graduating or getting married, and they won't be smiling over my grandchildren.

Tomorrow will simply be a beautiful Friday in which my girls will be laughing or playing (or throwing tantrums). They'll be asking to go to the park, or asking to ride their bicycles. They'll be coloring, or running, or jumping, or pretending to feed their imaginary puppy dogs.
What's important about tomorrow, is that it is greater than any yesterday.

When I got married, I became second on my priority list. When I had children, I moved to third and then fourth. It's an amazing feeling to be fourth on a priority list and to be happier than I've ever been when I was the most important person in my life.

So Kris, my thoughts for you and for Bobbi McGee are that you realize that yesterday has past, and today holds the excitement and anticipation of tomorrow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My man-crush on Rick Reilly

I never liked reading Sports Illustrated. My brother and I had a subscription when I was a kid and I could never get into the articles. They didn't seem to be about sports, they seemed to be about athletes... and their mothers... and their dogs... and their mortgages, troubles, achievements, and hair-styles.
But, I loved the last page. It was always worth reading.

Some years ago I got a subscription to The Mag. I loved it, but it was always missing something and I let my subscription lapse.

About a year ago my brother gave me a subscription for some note-worthy gift giving event and I was excited when I finished reading the magazine and noticed that the article on the last page was a Rick Reilly article! A month later, there it was again! ESPN had stolen Rick Reilly from SI (though, I admit I have no knowledge of the details surrounding the transfer of power).

Rick Reilly never really "writes" articles, and I never really "read" them. It always seems like Rick is just chatting with a bunch of friends over a beer and I have a seat at that table.

It seems that he has a grasp on the reality of sports. He understands that sport is not about salaries, ratings, or endorsement deals. Sport is about competition. It's about the game. It's about skill, effort, and it's about the team.
I loved the metaphor in his most recent article: "[Houston Yates High School head basketball coach Greg] Wise is to sportsmanship what tsunamis are to beach chairs." (...or is that a simile?)

Rick Reilly writes how I wish I could write. He knows what I wish I could know, and he's not afraid to try something new, or admit when he doesn't know something.

I hope someday to buy that man a drink and enjoy what must be a steady commentary on sports, life, and sports-life.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Climb down from your cross!

Pat Robertson is holier than you are. If you don't believe me, just ask him.

He commented that the Caribbean earthquake was God's vengeance due to the Haitian's pact with the devil. Apparently, back in 1804 (when America was only on their third president) the Haitian locals sat on ole' Beelzebub's lap and said "Please, help us win a bloody revolution against our colonial masters across the Atlantic."

History is an evasive mistress. Giuliani forgot about the Septemebr 11th terrorist attacks ("We had no domestic attacks under Bush...") and Robertson forgot about America's own revolution.

In Robertson's defense, he may have sincerely thought that Americans negotiated their freedom over afternoon tea in Boston.

Pat Robertson reads the Old Testament and sees God's wrath, but stopped before he got to the New Testament where God shows his love for the world. If Pat Robertson didn't get to 33 A.D. he sure doesn't have time to read about 1776, 1804, or 2005.

Actually, I feel bad for Pat Robertson. He thinks that God is so vengeful that if you screw up he'll kill you. And he won't just strike you down with lightning, he'll send a force that will kill you, your family, your neighbors, a fair number of citizens in your town, 3 random tourists, a stray dog, and that plant hanging from the rafters on your porch.

I'll conclude with a page from Pat Robertson's book (don't read the whole Bible, just quote the parts that reinforce your point). Read Hosea 14:4 and Matthew 6:14.

Friday, October 9, 2009

During the BOS @ LAA game... Mid 8.

Do I hate the Angels for keeping the Rangers from the division, or do I hate the Bossox for keeping the Rangers from the wild card? Or am I just sick of being a Rangers fan? They sure as hell don't make it easy.
Any way you cut it, 163 games is a helluva season. I've been a Twins fan since about a week from the end of the season. God knows Detroit needs to see some athletes (there aren't any playing for the Lions), but Minnesota made 'em work, and the they made 'em cry.
Not only did the Twins make the Tigers worry about the end of the season... the Twins made the Tigers worry about the end of game 163. That - my friends - is why I'm a baseball fan.
...and since I like the Yankees as much as my dad likes Notre Dame (see: none). ...and since I'm upset with the Angels and the Sox for keeping the Rangers out (although that's like being upset with the cop that wrote you a ticket for speeding - which is to say that the Rangers are the reason that the Rangers are out)
...if the Twins go home, maybe I'll defect and root for the National League. My brother does, and he's pretty smart - although he is a Padres fan.
Torre defected to the National League (from the Bronx Bummers). I can get behind that. Lasorda is a baseball genius... right? Maybe I'm a Dodgers fan.

Some other thoughts...
>Watching Teixeira in a Yankees jersey is like watching your girlfriend kiss another guy. It just gives you a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.
>My only real problem with the Angels is that I keep seeing Tony Danza and the crazy scientist from Back to the Future.
>I'm glad that there's more coverage of Romo in the sports page than the entertainment page... that's not been the case in the past.
>Am I the only one who recognizes the genius of George Harrison? A guitar that weeps; and does so gently? That's phenomenal!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Great Lines

From time to time I hear quotes that I find interesting. I thought I'd include a few of them here... I didn't do much research or checking, so I can't tell you that these quotes are extremely accurate. Please, correct any errors or comment about any quotes that pique your interest.

"Only the dead have seen the end of war" - Plato. This line is quoted at the beginning of the movie Tears of the Sun with Bruce Willis. I love Bruce Willis, and I love war movies (except Hart's War). I won't go into the details of the movie except to say that the internal battle between Bruce Willis' conscience and his instinct to follow orders is as thrilling as the battle between the Navy Seals he commands and the Nigerian rebel soldiers intent on genocide.
The quote itself is pretty self explanatory (which is what makes it a good quote). I don't want to get into an argument about heaven and hell, but this quote seems to indicate that death - and subsequent existence in the heaven of your own god - is the only escape from war. Living in this plane inherently begets war; whether that war is between the north and the south, the Sunni's and the Shiites, the Indians and Pakistanis, the religious right and the ACLU, Dave and HAL, or man and nature.

"He died to make men holy; let us die to make men free." - The Battle Hymn of the Republic. I've always loved this line from The Battle Hymn. It recognizes two distinct and important roles in the world. It's obvious reference to Jesus alludes to his role as God incarnate and his death on the cross - which was the ultimate atonement of a sinless man for a guilty man-kind. He allowed all of us to be free from the law, and free for the law. The second part of the line refers to man's duty - specifically American patriots - to fight and die for the flag, the republic, and the freedom that we hold so dear. I love the contrast. We can't atone for our sins in death - only Jesus can do that - but a soldier's death can be in service of other men; and that's all Jesus asked us to do anyway (see Matthew 25:40).

I hope to have more quotes for you in the future. I try to carry a journal, so any quotes I hear I'll begin to write down and reflect on them here. Again, please, don't hesitate to comment with agreement, rebuttal, or your own reflections about quotes that make you think (though, don't be angry if it takes a day or two for me to moderate the comments so other's can read them).