Sunday, July 31, 2011


I'm about half way through ESPN's book that came out recently. Enjoying it although the connecting the dots along the timeline sometimes get lost a bit. The other day while reading they got to the part where they hired the advertising firm that gave them the parody ads with athletes and their own personalities.

Some classic ones and some I've never seen before:

Pedroia (my Boston influence)



Bill Bradley

defense wins championships

Grant Hill - classic





Richard Simmons


Friday, July 29, 2011

Spectator Booing in Sports

A blogger (Peter) I know posted yesterday a self analysis piece on whether booing athletes is a good/decent thing to do after hearing of Hideki Irabu's suicide. Peter wondered out loud whether, in the smallest of ways, his booing of Irabu while with the Yankees could have contributed to his ultimate demise.

I don't believe a fan should ever feel guilty of "casual booing" in fact I believe it is part of the sport and athlete/fan relationship, certainly at the professional level. Don't get me wrong, if you boo college kids, high school etc. then the line may be crossed. After all, they are not profiting from playing (yet).

I believe there are at least a few types of booing.

1) Booing your own team, this is out of frustration, whether it be a multi millionaire not performing up to snuff or the team in total struggling it is a necessary boo to let management and players know that the seats might not always be full. I willingly partake in this one.

2) Booing every single opposing player no matter the situation. Often these types are either drunk or are such negative people in life that they would think they hit the lottery if they were walking behind you and you drop a $20 bill on the ground and they pick it up and keep it rather than return it to you. I cannot remember doing this ever, although I would have if older at the time shortly after a big brawl between the Sox and Yankees in 1976 when Nettles and the Yankees retaliated ( 1976 brawl ) to some lip service Bill Lee had been providing with a physical (and cheap) beat down.

3) Booing only particular players on the other team. This one is easily the most popular. Visiting players, whether good or bad, get it from fans. This differs from #2 in that there is room left for respect of the opposing players if deserved. I would never boo Derek Jeter but when A-Rod comes up to bat, watch out. I obviously partake in this version.

Unless you take it (way) too far and have altercations with a player outside of the field of play, as long as it is kept within limits, booing is a good part of competitive sports and fan viewing. Professional athletes are entertainers and make obscene amounts of money. The tickets and secondary costs of going to an event or game are real and significant to fans. If the booing were ever regulated/forced out of that relationship you might as well have an empty stadium and have it only televised with no live viewing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Patriots go for it and Mr. Ellsbury

Attention, if you haven't heard yet, the New England Patriots are going for gold. Having acquired Albert Haynesworth in the morning they went out and stole Chad Ochocinco from the Bengals for two draft picks over the next two years. Everybody is writing/saying that both of these will be just like Corey Dillan/Randy Moss pickups for the Pats. Both will be expected to contribute and keep their attitudes in check (at least for a while) and help the team win a SuperBowl.

Who knows what the new look NFL will be like with salary basements (minimums teams have to spend) and all the player movement still going on. What I would guess though is that if they stay reasonably healthy the Patriots have a good shot at getting very deep in the playoffs.

Switching to the Baseball side of things, Jacoby Ellsbury was written off by many in the media and fanbase last year for being "soft". He suffered through rib injuries all season after colliding with now departed Mike Cameron. Many questioned Ellsbury's toughness. I don't think there is anything you can challenge with a professional athlete that would upset them more. With the arrival of Carl Crawford over the winter, further speculation was that the Sox would deal Ellsbury. Everybody should be glad they didn't. In a few days he will be named AL player of the month (write it down). He is playing as well as anybody in the game including his teammate Dustin Pedroia. Ellsbury has hit .325 so far with 17 homeruns and 60 RBI to go with 29 stolen bases. For July? Just .413, 8 hr, 20 rbi. You'll notice in the banner above on my site I have a picture of Ellsbury. All the pictures in the banner are things I like. I never gave up on Ellsbury, I saw the injuries for what they were, unfortunate. Kind of like every time Mike Greenwell used to get run into by the human injury creator, Ellis Burks. Remember Ellsbury's steal of home against Andy Pettitte and the Yankees a couple years ago? Awesome.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Ever get tired of rushing around?

Most activities, most things you do, you finish and rush to the next activity. There is no smelling the roses anymore. Days are planned to the minute. Take the kid(s) for music lessons at 10:00. After they are done, rush through a drive through so you can get them home by xx:xx time.

I remember growing up in the old days and there being slow moving days. No plans, take it as it comes at you. Decide to go to the grocery store, ok, didn't already have a list completed the day before with a specific time to go there? So be it. I laugh when one of the kids claims to be bored. Yeah in your world you may be. Tired of the computer, wii, xbox, 500 channels.

I like going to the lake. I've been told that I seem more relaxed there. I'm not sure. When I'm out on the boat, skiing and having fun there is a "rush" ongoing at all times. When one person is done with their turn skiing, the next rushes to attention and gets ready.

Not sure if any of it can be stopped. Spontaneous behavior is no longer allowed. Master plans are required in advance for most of what we do in life. Texting on the phone in your pocket is another method of instant gratification. Used to be ok if you didn't talk/text somebody all day long. Now it is part of being. Expected.

I'm tired. Should go to bed. I didn't plan to go to bed this early though. Plan was to browse the web, check scores and read a little bit before bed. I haven't accomplished all of that yet. Where did the time go?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Home Field Advantage

So we've all been there, traveling for work, for vacation, oh I don't know, traveling to a funeral or wedding. If you've been away from home for a day or two you don't yet realize it. If you've been lucky or unlucky enough to be gone the better part of a week or more then you definitely yearn for "Home field Advantage". What is it, outside of the sports definition? Home field advantage is quite simply, comforts.

Since arriving back home late last night, the list of home field advantages piled up quickly:

- space to put things, no longer constricted to a small hotel room
- water to drink without paying someone $2 for a bottle
- snacks available, again, without paying gross fees
- bathroom space, having the ability to see your toothbrush in it's correct place, not living out of a toiletry bag anymore
- "your" pillow setup. Sounds insignificant but really? The most important home field advantage other than :
- soft toilet paper. enough said
- Overall space. No longer sharing a hotel room with my beloved children (we do a boys room and a girls room when on the road).
- AC that actually keeps a temperature around what you set avoiding the highs and lows of hotel air
- knowledge that every meal won't be north of $40 (even fast food meals) once we restock the pantry and fridge.

How could I forget the shower, nothing quite like a shower head that is above your head for a change. Those lousy hotel shower heads that if you are above 5'9" make you crouch down to wash your hair are awful.

Lastly, the best homefield advantage? No automatic itinerary with detailed places to go, people to meet, things to do. We'll still do things, just some of it will be played by ear. Good to be home.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Atlanta Airport Security

Hard to believe but there is an airport that has a less efficient running security area than Hartsfield, I give you...O'Hare in Chicago. Either they were training a bunch of new TSA employees or they were all alerted to some high alert and were checking every bag through the machine with their backwards and forwards couple of inches that the belt travels. Took the seven of us about 20 minutes to walk 15 feet and get through the scanners. That was after having our ID's checked and passed. Gaby got some odd pleasure out of my being picked randomly to have the full body scan. I of course asked for, but did not receive, a cigarette after the scan...

Friday, July 22, 2011


When you are confined to hotel rooms, night after night, with two of your kids, what can you do? Watch tv and post on a blog. NCIS is a show made for hotel viewing. Back to back repeats are too tempting to resist. Back to normal in the morning. My wife prefers NCIS LA, has something to do with the male characters, she doesn't get Mark Harmon. LA version is too...sorry...hollywood for me.


If you've never been to Wisconsin (or Illinois evidently) you've probably missed out on Butterburgers. What exactly is a butterburger? Fast food with a purpose. Butterburgers probably aren't healthy for you. You've probably had a Big Mac, you've probably had a Whopper and anything from any number of fast food joints, all of which are not healthy for you either. Butterburgers from Culver's has them all beat. Great tasting burger with no holding back on flavor because somebody thought they needed to cover all the bases. Good burger (meat) on a butter grilled bun makes this burger really good. Culver's has the whole frozen custard thing going for them too, especially if you have kids you are taking...which I do and did.