Tagged: Football

Malarchuk, Theismann and McCarthy: A Humbling Triumvirate of Danger

One and a half times.  That is how many times I have been able to watch the Brandon McCarthy play where a darting Eric Aybar comebacker destroys the Oakland A’s pitcher’s skull.  Holy mother of invisible friends, that hurts.

The first time I saw it my stomach dropped and I got real dizzy.  When the replay was shown again — this time in slow-motion — I anticipated the skull crushing but still wasn’t able to get through it.  I thought I was going to be sick.

I was sick the first time I saw Clint Malarchuk get his neck sliced by a Steve Tuttle’s skate back in Buffalo too.  In fact, I remember asking my dad if it was even real, hoping that the spewing, rhythmical blood staining the ice might be some cute Hollywood trick designed to draw in more fans.  Sadly, the situation was quite real.

As was Joe Theismann’s career ending leg snap, courtesy of Lawrence Taylor.  Even Homer Simpson had a hard time stomaching that!

The truth is, as much as we enjoy our professional sports, they do carry with them an incalculable element of danger.  Even with all that open space in Oakland, a ball can still easily find one’s head.  It found Brandon McCarthy’s, and it will find someone else’s too someday.  It’s all a part of the game.

Which reminds us that these people we watch and cheer and boo, they’re real people.  They bleed too, just like us.  And while they may have more zeroes in their bank accounts, they are putting themselves in danger for our enjoyment.  I think it’s important to remember that.

A baseball, a skate, a weakside linebacker, they can all become deadly weapons, at any time.

Get well soon, Brandon.  And here’s to hoping you get that threesome someday.

Peace,

Jeff

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Andy Williams had it all wrong.  I’m sorry, but I’ll take September’s non-stop MLB pennant chasing + NFL + Notre Dame losing to Michigan combination over cold and snow and fake Santas any day.  In fact, since it’s an election year, we get even more drama to go with our Irish-trouncing, and if you wait until the end of this post, you’ll even see that the Republicans have JOKES!

But first thing’s first: TUNE IN TO BASEBALL.  My lord, between the AL Central showdown, the A’s/Angels wild card battle and the AL East title three-way, I can’t imagine a more exciting scenario (except maybe a non-baseball related three-way, but that’s for a different blog).  Consider the NL wild card race and the fact that one of the three AL East teams could also nab the last AL West wild card spot and now allow your mind to be blown (again, maybe better for another blog).

And I haven’t even mentioned the myriad story lines decorating the start to the NFL and college football seasons!

The fact is, for dudes like Mr. Krause and I, it really doesn’t get much better than this.  Unless you want to throw in some flaccid punchline deliveries (ZING!)…

Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Some Happy for Yer Friday

As we enter the beginning of the most exciting time of year (baseball playoffs and football season and an election, oh my!), I think it’s important that we keep in perspective that which brings us the most joy.  Sure, hosting a Guinness keg party while dressed in my Yadier Molina jersey flanked by the Shannon twins is pretty much the happiest day of my life (that hasn’t happened yet but might), I still know that even if all that other stuff falls through, I will always have baseball.

And sometimes, within the game of baseball, we can find something much simpler that pushes the happy button.  I know a lot of folks have been wrapped up in the admirable and impressive play of Mike Trout.  People are just as infatuated with his grace and dominance as I was am infatuated with Stephen Strasburg and all things Strasmas.  It’s the little injections of youthful awesomesauce that often remind us why we love baseball so much.  It is a kid’s game after all.

But sometimes waiting for the next big thing isn’t necessary.  I have found that out this year by following Coco Crisp very closely.  My history with Crisp has been one of hilarity, peppered with some dazzle.  And while his offensive numbers may not hypnotize scouts, enough can never be said about how he plays the game.

He plays hard.  He plays to win.  He’s in on every pitch and he goes balls-to-the-wall.  In fact, I have gotten to the point where I’m watching replays of his relay throws and conducting frame-by-frame analysis on his routes to fly balls.

If I could get to Oakland, I’d rather watch Crisp long-toss than Cesepedes take BP.

Okay, so maybe I’m lyin’ a little bit in that last sentence, but one thing is for certain: Coco Crisp’s defensive play is worth focusing on and if you focus long enough, you’re probably going to see something that puts a smile on your face.  Maybe even an afro.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The NFL and NBA Remind Us That Baseball Still Reigns Supreme

January is a difficult month for me.  Gone are the holidays that distracted me from my baseball-less existence.  The cold and dark days serve only as a reminder that the 162 game grind is still far away.  And key free agents still don’t have a home!

I enjoy football.  I really do.  Nothing gets me through the winter quite like watching grown men beat the hell out of each other over an oblong pigskin.  But three of the four playoff games this past weekend were over before the fourth quarter even started!

And yes, Derek Rose and the Chicago Bulls certainly know how to take me HIGH-UH; but on Saturday night — when I really needed them to get me through the weekend — the game was over before the second half.

Where art thou, Evan Longoria?  Robert AndinoDavid Freese?

THERE IS NO CLOCK IN BASEBALL.

And where there is no clock, there is only the potential for glory.  In baseball, there is no garbage time.

Hate me.  Fine.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Yearbook: 1997

I was going to write something clever about the Army/Rutgers football game that took place at Yankee Stadium yesterday before I realized: no one cares about Army or Rutgers football and unless the Yankees are playing, no one cares about Yankee Stadium stadium either.  So instead, I would like to turn back the clock and shed some light on my lugubrious and oft mysterious colleague, Mr. Allen Krause.

As has been mentioned before, Mr. Krause and I met as freshmen in college — a time when long standing family values give way to good old fashioned drunken curiosity and late night emergency room visits take the place of family game night.  Lucky for you, the RSBS interns were able to scrounge up some old footage of us playing dizzy bat.  Clearly, I am the one spinning and Mr. Krause, well, he’s the one who saves his beer, despite some painful circumstances.


It may be 14 years later, but his priorities haven’t changed; and that is something that deserves applause.  Good job, Mr. Krause!

Hate me ‘cuz I drudge up the past, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

A Non-Rhotic Entertainment Experiment

I’m not much of television watcher.  Outside of sporting events and the occasional Survivor Man episode, I just can’t get into something week after week.

I blame The Wire.  After blowing through all five seasons in just a few short weeks a couple years ago, everything else just seemed like Jersey Shore: a bunch of self-obsessed lame-ohs screaming and yelling while adding nothing positive to the universe.

And then there was this…


Hate me ‘cuz I helped put some nasty images in your head, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Saturday!

Jeff

Don’t Give Me That Sanctity Crap!

I’ve never understood the religious conservatives’ fascination with what goes on in the bedroom.  It took until 2003 for the Supreme Court to strike down a Texas law prohibiting sodomy and even today, despite the overturning of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and multiple polls showing that a majority of Americans now support a homosexual couples’ right to marry, these same religious conservatives continue to use people’s private lives as a wedge to drive us apart.

So, what’s truly going on here?  Do they really feel so strongly about what goes where behind closed doors or is there something more to it?

Sadly, it seems to be the latter even though it has also become cliche.  Take the story of Roberto Arango, for instance.  The nadir of this sordid tale isn’t so much the part where the guy who opposes gay adoption rights posts naked pictures of himself spreading his cheeks on the internet.  No, it’s the excuse that follows: “You know I’ve been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I’ve been taking pictures.”

But there’s always an excuse, isn’t there?  There’s an excuse for how the gay porn shot ended up on a site called Grindr just like there’s an excuse for why people’s private lives should be legislated.  If you left it up to people like Rick Santorum and Tim Tebow, everyone would wait until they were married to have sex (heterosexual, of course) and even then, it would only be missionary and with the lights off.  Yes, this is the same Tim Tebow who kissed a guy full on the lips after the biggest (and only) victory of his NFL career.

It’s the height of hypocrisy because the same guys who tell you what you can and can’t do in the privacy of your bedroom will get full up in your face if you question why they feel the need to flaunt their faith in front of everyone on the field and millions of TV viewers.  They call it their “testimony” but I call it hypocrisy and it’s that hypocrisy that makes the “Tebowing” phenomenon so hilarious.  It’s what makes me laugh whenever I see a replay of Stephen Tulloch sacking Tebow then dropping to a knee to “Tebow” right next to him.  It’s also what makes me crazy when people start going off on Tulloch and calling him “un-Christian” because of the move.  Get out of our bedrooms and get off of Tulloch’s case.

Ultimately, the Republicans and especially the religious zealots of the party would be better served if they took a moment and listened to Clint Eastwood.  When asked about gay marriage by GQ, he responded,  “We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of.”

Now that, my friends, is a true patriot.  Too bad no one actually listens to him.  Not like they do Tebow, at least.  On the bright side, though, if Tebow continues to play the way he did against the Lions, the only testimony he’ll provide is how quickly a QB can get bounced out of the NFL.

-A