Life

Big Dance . . . Little Work . . . Random Thoughts

Posted on March 18, 2010. Filed under: Basketball, Life, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I know everyone is reading this because YOU ARE NOT WORKING. 

Don’t try to pretend like you are.  March Madness costs employers $1.8 BILLION in productivity during the first week of the tournament alone . . .  

So why swim upstream?  Everyone is doing it.  We might as well jump off the bridge too.  Here’s a few early thoughts:

‘OY WILLIAMS:  Just taking a moment to fathom how far the Tar Heels have fallen.  From National Champions of last year’s NCAA Tournament to almost getting ousted in the first round of the NIT by William & Mary.  OY.  Okay.  That’s it.  Moment’s over . . .

“Coach Dixon, how can I stop Villanova?”

ROBERT MORRIS SCARES THE WILDCAT CRAP OUT OF VILLANOVA:

Ya think Pittsburgh Panthers head coach, Jamie Dixon, gave his former assistant, now Robert Morris skipper, Mike Rice, some defensive pointers to use against Big East rival Villanova in the 2 vs. 15 seed match up this afternoon?  I do . . . 
Alas, the Colonials couldn’t hold on.  Even though they led almost the entire game during regulation, the tournament tested Villanova Wildcats hung around, and showed big time sticktoitiveness (I love that word) to win by three points in OT.  And according to my husband, it’s my fault.  Why?  I merely stated the truth.  When Villanova tied it up as the second half was winding down, I said it’s over.  If Robert Morris were to pull the upset they had to do it in regulation.  He said I jinxed them.  I said no, I’m just always right . . .  

THE LUCK ‘O THE IRISH RUNS OUT:  Notre Dame’s winning ways came to an abrupt end as Old Dominion bounced the Irish in the first round by hanging on in the waning seconds to pull the one point upset win.  That’s gotta be tough.  Mike Brey’s squad had to win their way into the big dance and barely made the cut, just to lose in an excrutiating fashion. 

The Monarchs held the second leading scorer in Notre Dame history, Luke Harangody, to just two points in his 23 minutes on the floor.  Notre Dame hardly sniffed a free throw, getting to the line only three times, and they shot a puny 23% from downtown.  When you shoot too many threes, you aren’t driving to the tin, and you’re not getting fouled.  You live by the three and die by the three.  Notre Dame just shot themselves dead . . .

More upsets and exciting finishes are happening right now!  Don’t get back to work!

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Why “Ben-A-Palooza” Says It All . . .

Posted on March 16, 2010. Filed under: Life, NFL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

BEN-A-PALOOZA?

Yeah.  That’s all you have to know about Ben Roethlisberger.  He names his club crawl excursion, BEN-A-Palooza.  It’s all about him.  What a self-righteous and conceded label for a drunken journey that keeps Mr. Ben in the spotlight.  If you had any doubts about the way Little Ben operates, this should surely put them to rest.  I’ve had defectors as close as friends and family who’ve championed Ben.  But that’s how old-school and current Pittsburghers are . . . blindly LOYAL.    It’s charming and a bit misguided at the same time. 

Each year, Ben Roethlisberger goes on a BENSCAPADE – yes, I made that up – and he hits all the bars and clubs in the area he targets.  I get it.  You’re a twenty-something millionaire and want to work it while you got it.  But Little Ben has a lot to learn about celebrity and all this says is that he is too self absorbed to realize what he is doing to his legacy.

Way too self absorbed.  He makes me sick.  Is it whatever Ben wants, Ben gets?  Not this time.  This year’s festival ended up a bit differently . . .

A word to the young, rich, single – or married, for that matter – your millions and stature do not precede you.  You are not above the law.  And as a Steeler fan, I hope Ben Roethlisberger is made an example of because this behavior defines everything that is wrong about professional athletes.

Want the latest details about Little Ben?  Click here.

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ROAD TRIP: Second Installment – Cleveland OH

Posted on September 11, 2009. Filed under: Beer, Life, MLB, NFL, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

ON THE ROAD AGAIN:  After two great days in Cincinnati – props to the Cincinnatian Hotel downtown on Vine St, especially to the bartender Natasha – and don’t you meet the most interesting people in a hotel bar?   Not to digress, but I will, we met a wonderful, loving woman who along with her other daughter, was helping her eldest battle late-stage breast cancer, and a very talkative Australian guy in his sixties, who has traveled America coast-to-coast, visiting the nooks and crannies of our beautiful country.  Something most Americans never get a chance to do . . . 

Anyway, we drove the four hour trek to Cleveland in time to check into the downtown Wyndham hotel – which was a steal of a deal at $105 bucks for the night, and then walk the two blocks to the Jake.  Progressive Field, I mean . . . although most of the fans still sported THE JAKE shirts . . .

It’s a gorgeous ballpark, and I’d have to rate it ahead of the Great American Ballpark in Cincy.  The open “floor plan” was condusive to catching the game action from almost anywhere, and the beer prices were lower.  Plus any park that has an open bar in centerfield with the game cornhole set up next to it must have been well thought out . . .

The ushers at Progressive field weren’t very pleasant, you could even say they were annoyed at you being there, shooing people away and not making eye contact when talking to, or AT you . . .

A product of not winning a championship since the Browns did it in 1964?  Before the Super Bowl era?  Probably . . .

One of my favorite moments came after the game when we walked to down the street to “Harry Buffalo”, a rustic sports bar that had $2, 23oz Miller Lites – cheers – when a young girl who couldn’t have been older than 22 and was TANKED, approached me for directions with her two tagalongs – This is how the conversation went:

DLG (Drunk Little Girl):  Heyeyeyeyey!!  (while chewing gum with her mouth wider than Angela Jolie’s legs) D’ya know where the wess end issss?

ME:  No, I’m sorry but I’m not from here.

DLG:  Wowww, where ya from then? (chew, chew, chew, snap)

ME:  Pittsburgh, we’re visiting different . . .
 
DLG:  WAIT!  D’ya saya Pisssttburgh? (no more chewing, mouth just hung open)

ME:  Yes.

DLG:  Are ya Steelers flan?

ME:  Yes.

DLG :  F*#K OFF!   (chew, chew, snap)

Then she quickly stormed down the street sideways, with her tagalongs in tow, before I gathered my thoughts to say, “okay, and I’ll take our six lombardi trophies with me.”

I think I was in shock that this young chick would say something like that to me.  I’m a 30-year old woman.  Do kids have ANY respect any more? 

Or is it just a product of not winning a championship since the Browns did it in 1964?  Before the Super Bowl era?  Probably . . .

 

An Ode to Cleveland….

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ROAD TRIP: First Installment – Cincinnati OH

Posted on September 2, 2009. Filed under: Beer, Life, MLB, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

YES!  I am voluntarily going on a road trip visiting baseball parks and the NFL Hall of Fame.  I mention my intentions for my vacation to many with an overwhelming response ” why not the beach?”  Because as my readers know, I LOVE SPORTS.  Any chance I get to enhance my sports experience, knowledge or actuality, I WILL.  Plus,  I am more into beer than I am bathing suits right now . . .

FIRST STOP:  Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati OH – Courtesy of Mo Egger, of WLW & WCKY radio in Cincy, you can check him cincinnati-ohout at http://1530homer.com/pages/mo.html, where you can enjoy the Cincinnati sports rhetoric and the insightful female  commentary to this statement “August 31st, 2009, when the Reds played the Pirates in front of maybe 1,500 people.”  My husband, Jason, and I were at the afternoon game today and there were BARELY that many people at the park and the “paid attendance” was 11,516 – I thought to myself, who in the heck are you trying to impress?   Seriously?  Besides that weird calculation, there were many fabulous, and several funny, things about our trip to Cincy this far.  Including:

WOOHOO!  You can buy beer in a coinvienence store . . .

Okay, you got me, that wasn’t the first thing I realized, but it was VERY high up on the priority list . . .

Pittsburgh 6AM – First stop 9:30AM – While you are driving from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, you don’t realize how southern you are getting.  We stopped about 30 miles outside of Cincy at a Mickey Ds (Jeffersontown?) – cause its the ONLY recognizable stop for a good 80 mile stretch – and the accent was crazy!    One of the workers was shouting over and over again- CAN WE GET FRESH EGGS WITH THAT BIG BREAKFAST? in an insane southern accent – just stop and say that to yourself several times . . . crazy.

Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park is gorgeous – the only thing I didn’t like is that you can’t see the field from the entire concourse.

As we got in the ball park after sneaking a quick chugging of a couple miller lites – you never want to take chances in visiting ball parks with drinking in public – just fyi . . . we bought a couple of beers  – 16 oz plastics at $7.50 a piece . . . so we were paying a buck fifty each beer pair more than we do at PNC PArk in Pittsburgh – but guess what?  We don’t care, we are on VACATION!!!

Then, we turn around the corner and find a BAR.  A real live bar where you can order SHOTS. Yes, shots . . . so Jason and I did some tequila.  Who wants to hear my joke?  Okay, you do . . .

Why did the husband throw his wife over the bridge? 

TEQUILA!!!  Get it?  I hope so . . .

Anyway, here are a few more observations on our trip so far:

LOVE the highlight zone with 13 flat screen TVs – although only 4 were ON while we were there . . . 

Weird, random, female fan overdosed on tanning and had an accordian skin two rows in front of us . . . gross.

Loved the Skyline Chili Dogs – got a FREE dog and just LOVED the dish . . . Big ‘n Rich weren’t lyin . . .

Met a few extra cool fans – including the newly 21 year olds, Kelly & Ben  . . . both them and their parents were FAB!

The Police Officers were also top notch, including Officers, Jodice & Brehm . . . picture coming soon!

Thanks for a great expderince, Cincinnati!

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One Of The Best Fan Signs EVER . . .

Posted on June 10, 2009. Filed under: Life, NHL, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Courtesy of my sister-in-law, I’d like to share with you a hockey sign that should go down in the hockey annals as one of the funniest, most creative expressions of fan frustration EVER . . .

Hockey

Hopefully that made you smile . . .

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That Dude . . .

Posted on May 5, 2009. Filed under: Life, MLB, NHL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You know that dude . . .

No matter what type of sports fan you are, there’s that dude . . .

The dude that seems to have your team’s number EVERY time.  You involuntarily start to dry heave when you see him on TV making an amazing play.  You actually hate him.  And if he happens to get injured, you don’t feel bad. 

You know that dude.  Or dudes . . .

At this very moment, there are two players that I want to punch in the face. 

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals:  He always answers.  It’s the match up the NHL dreamed about all season.  Sid “The Kid” Crosby versus Alexander “The (puke) Great” Ovechkin in the playoffs battling for bragging rights in a well documented hate – hate relationship.  Through two games, he has responded to every goal and has matched Crosby’s 4 goals in the series with 4 of his own.  His excessive celebrating and lack of respect for his competition makes him the NHL’s version of Terrell Owens, except he doesn’t drop the puck and is leading his team, not destroying it.  I can’t stand him.   

   
 

Matt Garza, Tampa Bay Rays:  Spitface.  It seems like every time the camera is on him, he is spitting on the mound.  In between EVERY pitch.  Annoying.  Even more annoying is the fact that the Red Sox just can’t figure him out.  His ONLY two wins this season have come against Boston.  Since his stellar Game 7 performance in the ALCS last year, which earned him MVP honors, Garza has dominated my team.  In his last start versus the Sox, he engineered a 13-0 win with 10 strikeouts, taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Jacoby Ellsbury got to him.  That clobbering made Garza 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 10 career starts against Boston.     ARGGGHHHHHH!

For now, that’s who I am hating on . . .

P.S.  Of course, you would love to have that dude on YOUR team . . . Jerks.

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It Happens In Threes . . .

Posted on April 14, 2009. Filed under: Life, MLB | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

THEY SAY . . . Bad things happen in threes.  Why does this statement always ring true?  And who are “they”?  When tragedy strikes once, the second and third instances are never far behind.  On the heels of Nick Adenhart’s senseless death, the usual time for optimism and excitement during the opening weeks of baseball season have been cast with a somber shadow twice more yesterday.

 

Harry Kalas, 1936 - 2009

Harry Kalas, 1936 - 2009

HARRY KALAS, 73 . . .

The voice.  We will all miss the voice.  Distinctive, baritone, calming.  For almost 40 years, Harry Kalas epitomized Philadelphia baseball and on Monday afternoon around 12:30pm, he was found on the floor of the broadcast booth before the Phillies game against the Washington Nationals and pronounced dead as he was rushed to the hospital.  His love for baseball began with Washington.  He always said the Senators sparked his lifelong passion for the game and his sudden passing happened the only place it could . . . in the broadcast booth in D.C.

I will always remember him as the stormy voice behind NFL Films.  He could send chills through you and emotionally take you to that exact instant in the game as you watched on the edge of your seat, hanging on every word, even though you already knew the outcome.  You will be sorely missed Harry.  Irreplaceable.   

 THE BIRD, 54 . . . Resembling Big Bird from Sesame Street with his curly coif, the animated, former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych was found dead under a 10-wheel dump truck on his farm in Massachusetts at 2:30pm on Monday.  Fidrych baffled baseball fans with his antics as he would groom the mound with his hands and

Mark The Bird Fidrych 1954 - 2009
Mark “The Bird” Fidrych 1954 – 2009

talk to the baseball incessantly, among other things.  In 1976 he threw batters into fits and won the American League Rookie of the Year Award with a record of 19-9, an ERA of 2.34, 24 complete games and a trip to the All-Star Game.  Sadly, injuries cut his career short and he only had a handful more starts, leaving the majors with a career record of 29-9.  Yesterday, his life was cut short as well, but his spirit and approach to the game will always live on.

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Why . . .

Posted on April 10, 2009. Filed under: Life, MLB | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Why does it happen? 

It’s a question we ask after tragedy strikes.  Over and over.  Even when there’s no real answer. 

Nick Adenhart 1986-2009

Nick Adenhart 1986-2009

The sudden death of 22-year old up and coming Angels pitcher, Nick Adenhart, sucker punched baseball.  A family has been robbed of a son, teammates have been robbed of friendships maybe not even cultivated yet, and the baseball world has been robbed of a promising young talent, and the opportunity to proudly watch him grow. 

All because of a hit and run car accident.  And a suspected drunk driver . . .

Someone dies from a traffic accident involving a drunk driver every 40 minutes.  Every 40 minutes, a family gets the worst news they can possibly hear, that one of their loved ones is gone. 

Without reason.  Without an answer to WHY?

I wonder how Leon Hall, who was just arrested for DUI this week is feeling.  Like he is lucky to not have had a tragic end to his misdecision?  Remorseful?  I wonder how Donte Stallworth is feeling with this news.  I wonder how anyone who takes that chance to get behind the wheel after having one too many feels. 

I know how I feel . . .

The only thing we can do is keep Nick’s family, friends and teammates in our thoughts and prayers.  As well as the other two victims that are now gone, way too soon. 

Oh, and we can make the smart choice when deciding to drive after having a few drinks.  The life you take might not be your own . . .

Nick Adenharts Agent, Scott Boras, Breaks Down During News Conference

Nick Adenhart's Agent, Scott Boras, Breaks Down During News Conference

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Time To Change The Unis . . .

Posted on April 9, 2009. Filed under: Life, NFL | Tags: , , , , , , , |

HELLO MCFLY . . . On the heels of Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver, Donte Stallworth, being charged with striking and killing a man while driving drunk, you would think people might learn a thing or two about designating a driver. 

Nope.

Leon Hall With Then Proud Head Coach Marvin Lewis.  Now?  Not So Much . . .

Leon Hall With Then Proud Head Coach Marvin Lewis. Now? Not So Much . . .

Last night, cornerback Leon Hall successfully brought the rains to the year-long arrest drought in Cincinatti Bengal land, by being charged with suspicion of DUI.  I love how it’s reported – suspicion of DUI – what more proof do you need?  The guy’s blood-alcohol level was 0.149 – almost twice Ohio’s legal limit of .08!  He was driving VERY drunk.

Now the Bengals are back in familiar territory.  Maybe they’ll play better this year . . . Since 2000, the players of that organization have had 24 run-ins with those who serve and protect.  Granted, Chris Henry lays claim to several of them, however that number is ridiculous.  What is going on with their scouting or player development?  There’s something missing in the Queen City and I’m not talking about Lombardi trophies.

IS IT THE UNIS?  Bright orange and stripes are just NOT working out for the Cincinnati Bengals anymore.  In fact,

Now They Won't Be Mistaken For Bengals Fans, Right???

Now They Won't Be Mistaken For Bengals Fans, Right???

the colors are so reminiscent of prison gear that a nearby county jail in Kentucky switched the inmates’ attire to pink.  HOT pink.  The warden doesn’t want an escapee to blend in with the fans at Paul Brown stadium . . .

I think it might be time for a new look, Cincinnati.  Hey, the Lions might do it . . .

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DeJuan Blair Declares – Selfish Pitt Fan Rant . . . Sort Of

Posted on April 7, 2009. Filed under: Basketball, Life, NBA, NCAA | Tags: , , , , , , , |

 

DeJuan Blair

DeJuan Blair

I SUPPOSE HE’LL BE OKAY . . .

I mean, I keep trying to justify the fact that I think DeJuan Blair needs to stay another year.  My rationalization?  Saying that I don’t want him to end up like Chris Taft, who ultimately just wasn’t ready for the NBA after his sophomore year.  Blair’s story will be different though, because he’s not lazy.  The bruiser  that’s 6’7″ but plays like he’s 7’2″ will make an instant impact since he’s willing to work hard in the paint, as his 12.3 rebounds per game document very nicely.  But how much better can he get if he stays another year?

Not wanting him to declare is selfish in a way, no?  What do you think? 

It’s only because I hate the thought of losing the opportunity to watch him with the Pittsburgh Panthers for one more year.  Now not only do Levance Fields, Sam Young and Tyrell Biggs leave as seniors, but the unique and powerful talent that is DeJuan Blair is following.  No “official” announcement has been made yet and according to a CBS Sports report Blair won’t be hiring an agent, however it looks like he is going to end up entering the NBA draft.

I guess that’s the price fans pay for good talent in successful programs – the risk that you may not have as much time to cheer them on and watch them develop as players.  I was ecstatic last year when I heard Sam Young was maxing out his eligibility!

Makes it a conversation about why people make the decisions they do, right?

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