Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Sports was easily my favorite Huey Lewis and the News album. It far surpassed everything else they put out.

Now the old boy may be barely breathing
But the heart of rock and roll is still beating

UGA Victorious in the Land of Mullets and Jorts
So, how 'bout them Dawgs? Seriously, how great was that first touchdown? The importance of a faux-impromptu moment wasn't lost on me. Thank God the announcers told me all about what it meant and how I should feel about it. It was, however, exciting to witness. What would the final score have been if we'd not sustained about a bazillion penalty yards? Any time Florida loses, I'm happy.


When my alma mater does it, it's nothing short of brilliant.

Rocktober? Nope, Sox-tober!
How great was the series (if you weren't rooting for the Rockies or for the N.L.)?

Personally, I loved it. Finally, I'll be able to go out in public again. Unfortunately, I was a little superstitious about it all. During the ALCS, I watched a game with a buddy out at a sports bar. They won but I just couldn't concentrate on the game. Plus, I felt surrounded by the stereotypical idiots that love sports bars...emphasis on "bars." Anywho, to stop the losing skid, I had to watch the game at home. I'd break my cap out of retirement, gingerly place it atop my melon, and watch the game from the darkness of the living room. Thanks to my meticulous attention to -- and repetition of -- detail, they came back to win three in a row and, in doing so, the AL pennant. Obviously, I had to stick to my protocol during the World Series. It paid off as handsomely as it did in 2004. Sweep, baby.

I'm equally happy that I don't suffer any more awful announcing by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver and shitty game production provided by Fox. Really, could they have interrupted more of the game for useless interviews with pitching coaches? Here are some of my ideas for Fox:
  • How about this: show every at-bat during the game and put meaningless interviews in a small box on screen. You know, do a picture-in-picture sort of thing.
  • Get rid of the "Strike Zone" or whatever the hell it's called. The beauty of baseball is that balls and strikes are called, for better or worse, by fallible humans. Umps make mistakes. They blow calls. That's part of the game. If not, the Rockies wouldn't even have been in the post-season.
  • Make the announcers either shut up or say intelligent things. On Conan O'Brian, Joe Buck confessed that friends text him during broadcasts with bets that he can't work random words into the broadcast. Hell, Conan bet him a $1000 charity donation that he couldn't work "jubjub" into the broadcast. First game, Buck says "Our own little jub-jub, Chris Meyers." Nice job, Joe.
  • Sponsorship bar at the bottom the screen. Just put all the damned corporate logos at the bottom of the screen and stop inventing dumb shit like the "Levitra 'Putting a Little Wood On It' Hit Highlights." If you experience games lasting longer than 4 hours, please consult your physician.
America thanks you for the free Taco Bell® taco.
Thanks, Jacoby!

I could go on an on and on. Simply put, Fox sucks.

So, this time of year always leaves me sad. I think of it as post-baseball depression. It's like I have to say goodbye to one of my best friends until the Spring. It really makes me blue.

This morning, I had another awesome dream. Again, it was one of those where I woke up happy as hell, just grinning there in the dark until I fell asleep again. I was called up to pitch for the RedSox during the World Series. I surprised my family with a trip to Fenway and the enormous players' family suite. They had no idea I would pitch, so it was fantastic news for them. Me and my dad got really emotional when I was telling him how good a role model Tito Francona was for me. Honestly, I couldn't believe that I'd never noticed my amazing pitching talent before but was sooo thankful for the pitching scouts that saw me playing with the Sleestaks softball team. The roar of the crowd woke me up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Less Than Two Hours Until Game 1

So, without going on too much about it -- I'm superstitious -- the World Series kicks off tonight in a couple of hours. Needless to say, I'm so stinking excited for the Sox. How great was the LCS? I cannot, for the life of me, believe that J.D. cracked the grannie to help keep them alive. Although I'm sort of over ESPN's Bill Simmons, his latest column is pretty damned funny. He features a ton of reader mail in it. My favorite reader comment:

Sam P. from Stateline, Nev.: I will never be more surprised than I was when J.D. hit that grand slam. If Reese Witherspoon released a porn video with Julia Stiles and the Quaker Oats guy, I would not be more surprised than I was when J.D. Drew got that hit. Maybe Michael Moore will break the marathon record ... and I will be half as surprised as I was when J.D. went deep.
Holy crap, I love post-season baseball.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


So, it's the 3rd inning in Game 5 of the ALCS. Besides being constantly annoyed by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver and the terrible production of each game (Seriously, can you please show a pitching coach interview instead of the game? Please? How about more meaningless graphics? Thanks, FOX!), I die a little each time I see Dan Cook in those damned "actober" commercials.

Him? Spokesperson for post-season baseball? Really?

Man In the Mirror

Last weekend, I went to my buddy Jason's house-warming party. For the last year or so, he and his partner have been renovating the place. So, my wife and I went over to see them and have a look. After the guided tour from Jason, we ended up on the back patio with some friends that we'd not seen in years.

During our conversation, a stranger walked up and asked me a question.

"Do you remember me?," he said.

Honestly, that question is the one I dread the most. Actually, it might fall slightly behind something like "Are you the son of a bitch who knocked up my sister?". The point is, I feel like a deer in headlights when someone asks me that.

"Did we work together at WebTone?" I guessed.

"No. You don't recognize me?" he continued.

"Your face looks familiar but I can't remember your name," I confessed.

"I'm Darren. We went to Mexico together!"

"That's it. Hell, that was thirteen years ago. So how are you?"

We chatted for a bit about the study abroad program we did in the summer of 1995. During the trip, we took classes at La Universidad de Guadalajara and traveled around the country quite a bit. We caught up on each others lives and continued to reminisce about the trip.

I have particurlarly vivid memories from a side trip that we took to Puerta Vallarta. In-country flights were pretty cheap, so we booked a trip to the west coast and had a blast. One night, we decided to go on a "Sunset Booze Cruise."

Obviously, we left before sunset and hit the coastline. We passed the location where "Night of the Iguana" was filmed. Man, the drinks flowed freely and we tried our best not to waste a drop. I found a few photos that document the progression of the evening.


We're on a sunset cruise.

Wheere on a sumshet crooze.

No, YOU guys are awesome!

My favorite memory of the trip stems from the end of the evening. After the sun set, everyone moved inside to the dance floor and continued the party. A little later, the crew cleared everyone out to make way for a "very special guest." We moved out and wondering what was going on when all of a sudden, "Man in the Mirror" starts blaring. Then, Michael Freaking Jackson appeared out of thin air. We could not believe it! I mean, really, we knew it wasn't the real MJ but the closest damned thing you could get. Seriously, we were stunned by how much of a spitting image this guy was. Not only that, he had all of the moves down. We were as thrilled as if it were the real Michael Jackson; it was awesome.

Then, I got my photos back.

I'd prefer to be tied up in this guy's crawl space
rather than be this close to the real Michael Jackson.

Alcohol is a hell of a thing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

T-Shirt of the Day

Most mornings, I make it over to the YMCA to workout. One of the regulars that I see almost daily is an older hippie guy. He's probably in his late 60s, rail thin, and has a silver head of hear and a shaggy goatee. The other day, I overheard him having a long, detailed conversation about flying in his dreams. It seems that he's got it down to a science. He doesn't even have to flap his arms or run to take off anymore; he just leans forward and flies! I also overheard him conclude a conversation with the phrase "Far out."

This morning, I'm on the bike and he walks by wearing a priceless t-shirt. It was royal blue with large white lettering on the front that read:

Feminist chicks dig me.

Classic. It might be my second favorite shirt that I've seen recently. (Go here to read about my favorite.)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Suite Life

A few days ago, my friend, Y, emailed to say that she had her company's tickets to the Thrashers game and invited us to join her. The game would be an early birthday present for our buddy Rodney. So, Friday night we went to the Thrashers' home opener. Normally, I'm not a huge hockey fan but I am a huge sports fan. Usually, I'll jump at the chance to see a live sporting event. In part, I think I truly enjoy the camaraderie of everyone in the stands. To make things even better, the tickets were for a suite. How great is that?

Suite seats.

Man, I totally felt bourgeoisie. We walked into a private area. Then, into a more exclusive private area. Around each turn, someone would check your ticket and then welcome you as you passed; it was pretty damned cool. On the way upstairs, we shared an elevator with the Atlanta Hawks' Zaza Pachulia. Of course, we only knew that he was a ball player.

This guy takes up most of a small elevator.

After he and his entourage exited, we played the name game with the elevator operator trying to figure out who he was. I guessed "Yao Ming" but nobody seemed to think I was right. Pretty sad statement about Atlanta basketball when nobody in your city knows your name.

We greeted the other ten people in the suite, helped ourselves to "free" beer, snacks, and sandwiches, and watched a little hockey. The dilemma facing me was that I was at a hockey game while playoff baseball was on. So, after the first period, Rodney and I meandered downstairs into the main concourse and gathered with tons of other fans around an HDTV showing the Yankees/Indians game. A community of us stood there watching, pleading for the Indians to break the game open and win. Hell, even the flies in Cleveland seemed to be doing their part to defeat the Yanks.

[Insert smarmy Yankee-hater caption here.]

It was a nail-biter than went extras. By the 11th inning, the crowd around the TV had swelled and was blocking anyone from getting through or around it. In the bottom of the inning, with two outs, bases loaded, and a full count on the Indians' Travis Hafner, a Philips Arena security guard pushed through the crowd and announced that unless the crowd made room for people to pass by, she was going to turn off the television. No fewer than fifty people simultaneously muttered, "Go ahead, try it." Obviously, she had no idea of the situation with which she was threatening to interfere. Honestly, it wasn't going to happen; we would not be denied seeing the next pitch. Thankfully, the situation didn't come to a head; Hafner hit a game-winning single. The crowd around the television erupted with hoots and yells and quickly dissipated. Rodney and I returned to the suite, tuned in the Red Sox game on the televisions, and sat on the couch watching it while the Thrashers got, well, thrashed.

It was, perhaps, the most fun I've had at a hockey game.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

We Never Grow Out of It.

This past weekend, I drove to Athens for Crazy Greg's Annual Tailgate. This year, he roasted a pig. Unlike a few years back, the Athens Fire Department did not show up, wade through the sea of tents, and douse his fire. (Turns out that sawing a metal trash can in half and building a raging inferno is considered a fire hazard. Make a mental note of it, you'll thank me.) Anyway, this year went off without too much of a hitch. It was, however, one for the record books.

My photos from the day.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Since graduating and moving to Atlanta, I've been to only a handful of games. About once a year, I make it up to tailgate with everyone but rarely make it inside the stadium. The last game I attended was Spurrier's first visit to Athens with South Carolina. Anyway, it was a crisp, bright morning, perfect weather for football. As I got closer and closer to Athens, I got more and more nostalgic for my college days. Man, I was younger, had a full head of hair, and took full advantage of my ability to stay out all night with no ill-effects the following day. Now, I'm tired by 10:30 p.m. and more than three beers leaves me stunned for the following 48 hours. How I miss my youth! At one point during the drive, I actually talked myself out of blaring R.E.M. and singing at the top of my lungs. I convinced myself that driving along alone, crying and laughing while singing "King of Birds" would really be pushing into sad, old guy territory. Better to hang back as fun, nostalgia guy.

After what seemed to be an eternity, I made it downtown and looked for parking. With each vacant handicapped spot I passed, I died a little inside. As I was walking out the door that morning, my wife asked if I wanted to take the "handi-pass" she earned with her knee surgery. I declined, explaining that I feel dishonest and guilty using it when she's not there. As a result, the boy scout got to pay fifteen dollars to park downtown. As quickly as I could, I filled a trash bag with beer and ice and shoved it into my backpack. I grabbed my camp chair, slung on the pack, and commenced my hike toward Legion Field and the memories of youth.

Older and wiser.

When I walked up to the tailgate, I may as well have stepped into the early 1990s. Tons of old counselor friends were there. It really was like being back home. Everyone knows your history, knows how you are, accepts that. We laughed, drank a few beers, ate some pig, and slowly got out of hand.

Pig pickin' in Athens.

It's Not a Party Until...
So, a friend of Greg's was there with his girlfriend. At least, she probably was his girlfriend. Today, probably not so much. As an observer, she seemed like a big bowl of crazy. For nearly an hour, they argued back and forth over an innocent bystander who was literally caught between them. Certainly, their alcohol consumption didn't help matters. She seemed to be a young, attractive gal who gets crazy as hell and maybe mean when she hits the sauce. I stayed as far away as I could manage.

As game time approached, people drifted off toward the stadium. [Crazy Train]'s boyfriend had, by this point, passed out in the front of Greg's truck. That guy is nuts, I thought. Hell, it's only 1 p.m. I noted as I drained my beer and fished another from my pack. Sometime near the start of the second quarter, I think, Greg made his start for the game. Turns out that, [Crazy Train] was going to join him for the trip. About an hour and a half later, I get the following text message from Greg:
Lost [Crazy Train], tell [Drunk Boyfriend]. With [Old Female Counselor].
See you soon!
And that, my friends, was the last we saw of [Crazy Train]. As best we could, we woke [Drunk Boyfriend], told him that [Crazy Train] had gone off the reservation. He didn't seem that bothered.

[Crazy Train] makes her exit.

Always Be Prepared
Some time later, Greg arrived alone. He told us that [Old Female Counselor] would show up to meet him later. Finally, she arrived. It could've been the beer but she looked like a supermodel. Turns out it was the beer. She's an attractive woman but none of us are supermodels, you know? Anywho, Greg was officially on the hunt. The two chatted for a while and, without a word to anyone, tried to steal away for a little privacy. At this point, beer logic failed them: When two people try to hide behind something that's only four feet tall, people can still see them kissing. After enduring everyone's yells, they got wise and move farther away. Every few minutes, however, Greg would take a break and run back over to us to complain about his indigestion. Each time, I think I offered him a Pepcid that I didn't have. I'm an asshole.

Which one suffers from acid reflux?

After more time passed, the pair decided that they were going to head to a friend's house and get a little rest. As Greg sauntered over to tell me goodbye, I beckoned him over to my pack.

"Hey man, you should take this PowerBar," I say.

"What the hell are you talking about?," he asks.

"Dude, she's hypoglycemic. Remember from camp?"

"She grew out of that."

"What? No hell she didn't! You don't grow out of being hypoglycemic. Trust me, take this damned PowerBar."

"Okay. Whatever," he says while nonchalantly pocketing it.
Later, we all split up and went our separate ways. Several of us ended up at a friend's condo to sober up before heading out for a bite. We made it into a bar/restaurant downtown in time to see Auburn completely dismantle the Gators. That was a nice way to finish the evening. After dinner and more time hanging with my friends, I returned to Atlanta. My head hit my pillow at about 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. All in all, it wasn't a bad day.

Later that morning, I spoke with Greg to find out about his evening.

"It was pretty boring," he confided. "She asked me about a thousand questions. I got psychoanalyzed for about two straight hours. Finally, I told her I was going to sleep."

"Did you find [Crazy Train]?," I asked.

"She called me from jail at about midnight. Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication. Cost $1000 to get out."

"What? How damned drunk do you have to be to get a ticket on Game Day at UGA?"

"I know, man. I think she hit a cop."

"What the hell?"

"I don't know, man. She never even called her boyfriend."

"Wow. She's loco."

"Yep. Hey, guess what else happened," he said.

"No clue. Somebody got shot?," I guessed.

"This morning at three a.m., [Old Female Counselor] wakes me up. She was shaking and acting all weird. I asked her what was wrong and she said her sugar was all messed up. I thought, damn, that son of a bitch was right. Then, I walked to my truck and got that PowerBar. Good call on that one, man."

"Told you, you don't grow out of that shit."

"I guess not.