Thursday, October 20, 2011

Giving him da bizness: As if sports weren't confusing enough

I don't know about for you, but for me, it's hard enough learning the day-to-day penalties from the and even rare ones when I'm watching football on Sundays. But seriously, how am I ever supposed to keep up when now I have to learn penalties that are so obscure that the commentators think it's made up and just sayin' it outloud makes the ref sound like he stepped right outta da hood?? (And for the record, if MY DAD doesn't know that this is real, how am I ever gonna keep up????)

Monday, October 17, 2011

A sports fan dichotomy

Sometimes, I am just the quintessential sports fan - I was hanging out with the boyfriend and some of his friends over the weekend and we started talking about the baseball playoffs and while his (male) friend watched, the boyfriend and I got into an excited, animated discussion about teams, players, stats, et cetera.

Yesterday, while he and I were cleaning the apartment, we got into an almost philosophical conversation about televised football versus soccer and the role commercial breaks play in not only the game but in our enjoyment of the game.

I can more than hold my own in a sports conversation, is what I'm saying.

But sometimes, I am just the quintessential girl.

When we were watching the New York Giants play the Buffalo Bills yesterday, I had to ask the boyfriend what a "pass interference" penalty meant, and he was good about explaining how a defender can legally or illegally cover the receiver, and even pointed out when it happened again. I also had to ask why some fouls warrant a 10-yard penalty and others put the ball at the site of the foul. I watch this game all the time and I still don't know all those little details. My brain just can't hold onto those tiny facts for some reason. I will probably be asking him to explain it again to me next week.

And the ultimate girl move - we were both hoping there was some way in which the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots could both lose to each other, but whereas his dislike of both teams has more of a rational sports basis, when he asked me why I don't like Tony Romo or Tom Brady, I had to tell him it's basically because I think both guys are douches. Also, Brady looked like a dirty hobo before he cut his hair. I have my sports basis-dislike as well - Romo is (or at least was) overrated and Brady sits on the field and pouts when things don't go his way. I'm a sports fan, definitely, but I'm first and foremost a girl - being a douche is enough of a reason for me to root against you. If some girls root for Brady because he's cute (and he is and they do), then I think it's only fair.

Jets game tonight - after two New York losses last week, hoping for two New York wins this week!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Salvation comes from within...

This is the top terrible idea of all terrible ideas - I was reading a short story by Drew Silva on here where he notes that David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, who is now a free agent, would be open to joining the New York Yankees next year. All I have to say is: no, no, no, no, NO. And not because he's been on the BoSox for years.

The Yankees, over the last 10 years or so, have fallen into the terrible habit of collecting aging, fading former superstars with exhorbitant price tags in an effort to recapture World Series glory. They've traded away young, promising players, stopped nurturing the young guys in their farm system, forgetting that in their 1990s hey day, it was guys like Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, young guys with the potential to be future superstars, who made it all possible. The Yankees got greedy and decided they needed a championship every year - they couldn't wait to patiently groom young players to take over those important future leadership roles. But I have two words to prove that the system works - Robinson Cano. The Yankees are doing it right with this guy - they waited for him to outgrow his green, lazy, sloppy days, they trained and taught him and pushed him and rewarded him, and now he is a phenomenal player with both talent AND heart, a rarity in the game, especially if you ask my boyfriend, who could be the team's leader in a few years when Jeter and Rivera and Posada are gone. That's the way it should be done. That's what the Yankees should be doing with other players, not just Cano. Ortiz has few good years left, and he's not even as good as he used to be.

Don't be tempted, Brian Cashman - he's not worth the few extra home runs he might get the team. I was watching The Shawshank Redemption last night and there are words of wisdom that apply to this situation perfectly: Salvation comes from within. Fading former superstars, no! Farm system, yes!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Two snaps to women athletes...

...on a day when all the headlines are about the MLB playoffs and the NBA lockout, the U.S. women's gymnastics team won a world title, taking first place over Russia and China at the world championships in Japan. For most of us, gymnastics is something we only watch and enjoy every four years at the summer Olympics, but these girls and women are training and competing all year round. And as someone who can barely walk across a balance beam without falling off and cracking my skull open and is so claustrophobic I can barely manage a somersault, I'm always amazed at the things these gals can do on the beam and the vault and the parallel and uneven bars and just the flipping and flopping all over the floor. If that's not athleticism, I don't know what is. Congratulations to every one who won and competed, and good luck to Alicia Sacramone in her recovery!

Rant of the day: The NBA lockout

The latest news from the professional sports world is that the first two weeks of the NBA season have been cancelled due to players and owners being unable to reach an agreement on, what else, money. Luckily for me, I stopped watching basketball years ago after the New York Knicks broke my heart over and over again in the late 1990s. I'm still recovering from that relationship.

The worst part is that whichever side ends up caving or compromising, neither of them really lose. Both the players and owners still end up with money I'll never see in my lifetime. It's everyone else who loses out, everyone else who makes it possible for those players and owners to be as rich as they are in the first place, such as the ushers, security personnel, parking lot attendants, concession workers, and restaurant employees who work in the venues in which these games are played who might end up getting their hours cut or losing their jobs and of course, THE FANS.

To which I say, THANK YOU Knicks of the 1990s for pissing me off so much that I made a clean break from the sport all together - see, there is a silver lining in everything! - and owners and players, get your houses in order. In this economy, with unemployment as high as it is, it is DISGRACEFUL that you can't reach an agreement on the limit to how many millions of dollars y'all can make.

Here endeth the rant.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Looking for the silver lining...

I listened to the demise of the New York Yankees' season as I was on the phone with my boyfriend, the ultimate fairweather Yankee fan, spoiled by the excess riches of the late 1990s. Openly he talks about the bad trades, the bloated (in salary AND body weight) superstars, the lack of a farm system, the lack of hunger or drive in aging players who have already won it all, but secretly, inside, he's still the 12-year-old boy who is just star-struck by his favorite players and really wants them to win, really really REALLY.

Well, not tonight. Tonight the Yankees couldn't even buy a run - they had to depend on the Tigers to just hand them out - and the boyfriend commented on Robinson Cano being so obviously upset by the loss - Cano IS the future of the Yankees, young and hungry and farm-grown, but unlike Posada and Rivera and Pettitte and Jeter who all came up together in the '90s, Cano is alone in his desire to win it all. At least until the old guard is gone and a new guard, hopefully young guard, comes up.

But both the boyfriend and my father, in expressing their frustration and condolences, respectively, to the Yanks' loss tonight, made me look for the silver lining in this. If the Yankees had won, if they had gotten past the FIRST FRICKING ROUND (sorry - still a little frustrated!) my whole October could've been tied up in the baseball schedule. Depending on how far they got, I would've tried to schedule work assignments and hanging out with friends and alone tv time and going to the bar tv time around when the Yankees were playing. Now, I'm not a slave to the postseason. Now, I can do what I want, when I want, with whomever I want. Now, I am only a slave to the football season schedule. (Don't ask me to do anything or see anybody on a Sunday unless it's FOOTBALL related!)

Ha ha.

On a related football note, my father was asking me today if I had a New York Jets jersey and I said I didn't, and that led into a discussion about which player to get - Ferguson or Revis or Sanchez or whoever. My dad was like, "It doesn't really matter, does it, as long as it's pink?" To which I replied, "It doesn't have to be pink, as long as it has sparkles."

I may love sports, but I'm still a girl, yo.

Yankees RIP

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This is how much I love baseball...

Tonight is a Thursday in October. October means there are new episodes of my television shows airing. Thursday means there are a bajillion shows that I love and watch coming on tonight.

So how much do I love baseball in general and the New York Yankees in particular? Tonight, right now, they are playing Game 5 of a best-of-5 series against the Detroit Tigers. My DVR is working its ass off recording said bajillion shows, none of which I am watching. Because I'm recording so many shows at once, there is no channel free on my TV to watch. So I am sitting here, in my room, in my Yanks sweats, listening to the game on the radio and watching the play-by-play on my computer.

My heart hurts. I can't take this excitement/stress.

But man, do I love it!

C'mon Cano! Go Yanks! :)

Yanks vs. Tigers: coming around again...

...the adrenaline and stomach butterflies and excitement and dread, that is. As it turns out, the bell tolled only for the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night - every other team that was in a do-or-die situation came through, except all that did was postpone the whole white-knuckle, nail-biting scenario of your team either going home for the winter or making it to the next round.

I read somewhere online that nowadays the do-or-die, winner-takes-all scenario of actually playing every game in a series has become a rarity in the MLB postseason - I can see that, as it seems teams will usually sweep, or only give up one game. But here we are, with three out of four of the division series going to a fifth game. Talk about exciting!

So tonight I will be watching the New York Yankees play the Detroit Tigers one last time this year. On Wednesday I had on my Yankees sweatpants for good luck and I practically forced my boyfriend to give me control of the remote (yes, that happened, and it was not easy and will probably never happen again) so that I could be sure he didn't keep flipping around to see what else was on during the game. And tonight I'll do it all over again. Except I have to work rihgt up until 8, which  is when the game starts, so I will be running home to my sweats. And the boyfriend gets off from baseball duty tonight with me. Sometimes I feel bad for him. But now he knows what it's like to be the girlfriend of a sports-obsessed guy. That sounded weird. But then again, I'm cool enough that I let him take me to Hooters. I don't feel that bad for him.

If the Yankees play tonight the way they did Tuesday, like they really want it, like they're hungry for it, like they're willing to play hard, if every player is willing to fall flat on their faces and skin their knees to catch a ball the way Curtis Granderson did, TWICE, then they can win. Let's just hope the Tigers don't want it more! :)

"The League" takes a long, hard, serious look at fantasy football

Yeah right.

If you've ever dated or been married to a guy who participates in a fantasy football league, you should watch this show.

If YOU'VE ever want to or have actually participated in a fantasy football league, you should watch this show.

If you have ever met a man and been driven nuts by a man and wish there was something on television that reflected their misplaced passion and focus, their obsessions, their childish behavior and pranks, their some-time stupidity, and their complete arrested development and extended adolescence, you should watch this show.

If you think all that stuff I just listed is only somewhat annoying and actually a little funny, you should watch this show.

If you want to learn about football player names and football teams and football terminology, watch this show. I promise, even as a girl, you will love this show. It's that hilarious AND wise.

Just don't watch it tonight. Watch the Yankee game instead. DVR "The League" and watch it after the game or when there's nothing on TV tomorrow! :)

The third season of "The League" premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. on FX.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

...send not to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..."

John Donne probably wasn't talking about baseball when he wrote those words, but they are very apropros in regards to today's MLB playoff games. Three teams are on the brink of elimination, including my beloved New York Yankees - the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks are also in must-win situations. The problem with the 5-game series is the same as what makes it great. You need fewer wins to move on then in the next two rounds, which feature best-of-seven series, but you need fewer losses to get axed. And unfortunately for the Yanks, they have A.J. Burnett pitching tonight. Burnett is a great pitcher. When he's great, that is. You never know which A.J. is going to show up. And double unfortunately, whenever Burnett is on the mound, the Yankee bats seem to always, without fail, fall silent. It's like they forget how to give their pitcher run support. So Burnett could pitch a brilliant game and only give up one or two runs, but the Yankees will still lose because all the Yankee batters forgot how to score or drive in runs. So, tonight is do-or-die. Tonight we find out if our teams want to win as badly as we, just their humble, anonymous fans whose love and devotion (and ticket purchases) allow them to live their lives of fame and fortune, want them to.

Go Yanks!

Sometimes, girls really CAN do everything...

In the professional world, most of the sports glory goes to men. Diana Nyad has been getting a lot of press lately for her daring and daunting swimming attempts from Cuba to Florida, and rightly so, but most of the sports headlines are dominated by football or baseball or basketball - men's, not women's of course, even though the WBNA is in the middle of their playoffs right now.

Even high school sports are dominated by news about what the men are accomplishing on the football field, the baseball diamond, or the basketball court. So this was a nice little story by Micheline Maynard for The New York Times, picked up by here about a young woman, Brianna Amat, who has a 4.0 GPA, is involved in her student government, is the kicker on her high school's football team - that's right ladies, you can play whatever sport you want - AND just won homecoming queen.

I hope for the rest of her life that Amat believes she can do or be anything!

Go girls! :)