Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Dos and Summer Don'ts, Summer Wills and Summer Won'ts

Summer feels like it started already in many parts of the country and with it comes a whole host of new rules and changes in lifestyle. (Fistbump to Molly for the idea on today's blog).

Sun's Out, Guns Out
Absolutely a do. I don't see a reason for guys to not let the pythons (or gardner snakes) breathe in the appropriate environment. That includes the pool, beach, field, park, lake, backyard etc. It does not include church, restaurants, funerals and the office. A corollary to that is shirts off. Again, this is fine in the right forum - by bodies of water, in the backyard, on the field/blacktop, but let's keep it civil. Also, in recent years, manscaping has become awfully popular. Hair on our arms and chest is what makes us manly. Do you have any idea how much whiskey I had to drink to get the small patch that I have? Shaving hair off your chest and arms is akin to when women get breast reductions. God gave you something wonderful, don't abandon it.

People look better with a little color on their skin than they do pasty. Back a few centuries ago, it was fashionable to be similar to the color of printer paper because that meant you were rich and worked/stayed inside all the time. It was also, in some cultures, cool to be really fat because that meant you had enough money to eat a ton of food. Neither of these things are cool anymore FYIsies. Get a little tan as early as you can in the summer and let it ride out through Week 2 or 3 of the NFL season if you can. It looks good and if done in moderation, it's healthy (not scientific, I just think so).

Play Hooky
Take a random weekday off and hang by the pool or go for a picnic. Humans weren't meant to be inside throughout the summer, so take a day and do something awesome outside. Get a tan, watch a daygame, go to the beach, take a nap on the deck, play frisbee with the dog.

Attend or host as many as possible. While all real men will grill into the winter months, this is the optimal time to fire up the gas or charcoal beast and throw some steaks, dogs, chicken breast, burgers and veggies on the open flame. Food tastes better this way and the epitome of American Summer is a BBQ. Do it often, or the commies and terrorists win.

Summer Love
Find one. Most of Nature finds it's mates in the Spring. For whatever reason, humans seemingly use the Memorial Day- Labor Day timeframe to have a hot and heavy relationship that flames out by Halloween. If you choose to go another route (or are spoken for already), this is the best time for dates. Gorgeous outside for daytrips on weekends and usually nice at night for outside patio dates.

Other things to cross of your summer bucket list every year

Get to a ballgame(s), go to a church festival, roadtrip to a lake or the ocean, get to the Derby and/or Indy 500, play kickball, join a softball league, play sand volleyball, get sunburnt, watch fireworks.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

LBJ to NYC Now at All Time High Probability

Though I don't think he's made his mind up yet like some media and fans will have you believe, I think that he is now leaning towards leaving more than ever before after last nights shellacking by the Celtics. Mike and Mike said this morning that during non-Finals NBA playoff matchups, the team that loses G5 to go down 3-2 in a series only comes back 16% of the time. Clearly LBJ is one of the 2-3 best players on the planet and is capable of throwing up a 40-15-10 to bring his team back, but can he? Thursday night, the crowd in Boston will be hostile and there is no doubt the Celts have the mo' at this point with Rondo becoming the second or third best PG in the game right now.

I have full faith in Donnie Walsh and the guy who was brought in to learn everything about LBJ and give him the greatest pitch of all time, John Gabriel (love those initials, too). Mark Messier is the only somewhat close comparison to James' current situation. An Edmonton boy, drafted and played for the Oilers for several years, ascending to one of the best hockey players in the league. Leaves for NYC and after a few years, ends a five-decade long drought, becomes a legend, owns the city and becomes one of the five greatest players of all time.

I used to believe in jinxing sports outcomes in my adolescence, but now I realize what's gonna happen will happen, regardless of what I say or think out loud. As pessimistic as I was about LBJ being the savior the Garden needs last month, I am that optimistic right now.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why the Hell do I do this to Myself? (The Lube Tube Guest Blog)

Why do people continually root for sports teams that never win? How can you follow a perennial loser, knowing the outcome well before the season is over? What the hell drives us, me especially, to dole out money for a team that honestly could care less about us? I ask myself these questions after every Reds bullpen blunder, Bengals mediocre season after mediocre season, and most recently, the Nuggets aging into oblivion. What makes me come back for more? Why do I care about sports? Why should I?

During the bad times, I have no answer to that question. I’m a 25-year-old male from Cincinnati. I was too young to remember the Bengals Super Bowl, and can barely remember the Reds World Series win. At the time, I was more concerned with Big Wheels, and staging elaborate tag games with my neighborhood friends. So at age eight when I really started getting into baseball, thanks to the monthly Beckett and baseball cards my dad and I would buy, I had no idea that I’d never see a winner again. From the strike 'till now, things have been declining steadily. What stunk the most was that the Reds were maybe the best team in baseball the year of the strike (editor's note: Cincinnati was 1st in the NL Central, but eight games behind Montreal for the best record in the league) , and after that awful strike - honestly, you really have to thank steroids for saving the sport - baseball was never the same. Teams started spending more, and more. It didn’t stop. Highlights of Reds games would be more about who we were playing (always went to a game anytime Maddux was pitching), and less about whether we were winning. No one anticipated a winner after June rolled around, and the expectations always lived up to reality.

Do I care about baseball still? Yes and no. I enjoy going to games, hate watching it on TV, and can go weeks without caring how the Reds are faring in the standings. Why? Because I know the answer. I don’t have to ask. Baseball is dead in many cities, a fact that Jesse and many other big spending/city fans don’t understand. We don’t care anymore. One of eight playoff spots, two if we’re lucky, will go to small-mid market teams this year (editor's note: clearly it's early, but right now there are three teams in playoff position with payrolls in the bottom 10). It’s been that way for a while. It’s a sport that maybe more than any other, forgot that competition is the true energizer of a sport, not juggernaut teams.

Wow that was kind of a tangent, let’s get back on track.

Most already know that the Bengals have sucked for many years, and today are not serious contenders. I haven’t seen a playoff win in my lifetime of following the team, and can remember excruciating blowouts and heartbreaking blunders more than happy car rides home. Does any of this sound like something we should pay for? The current Nuggets collapse isn’t helping either. They were my best ticket to a championship (earlier blog a year ago: fan of the Nuggets since 2003, decent fan when they got Melo, dedicated when the Iverson trade happened) and that’s gone. In 18 years of following sports, I’ve never seen a championship game involving any team I rooted for or school I attended, aside from a high school basketball championship (that we lost). Not exactly a winning pedigree. So it seems that through all these reflections of depressing memories from a collective dump of a sports fans’ career, I ponder walking away.

I never do. Three reasons. The first is jealousy- I want what many fans feel. I want that euphoric rush flowing in my veins after a G6 win, or a Super Bowl touchdown. I want to hug strangers as the buzzer sounds and my team is headed to the Final Four. The second is the joy of the little things happening right in front of your eyes. It’s jumping off your couch at 12:30 a.m. on a Tuesday when Melo throws down a dunk. It’s the buzz in the stadium after a great catch. There are certain memories that make winning seem irrelevant. It’s the “Did you just see that moments” that last longer than a trophy presentation or parade. Lastly, I stick with sports because of boredom. Honestly, what else is there to do? What else is there to watch? Even losers can help you pass the time, and give you the chance of excitement. That’s why I stick around.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Movies I'm Pumped For