Monday – The Bachelor vs. Notre Dame vs. Alabama

At long last, the new season of the Bachelor starts on Monday – starring some dude whose name I can’t bother to remember and the 25 drunk cat fighters who will vie for a Neil Lane ring that they won’t get to keep when the lucky winner and some dude inevitably break up four months after the show ends.

Oh, you thought I was going to talk about the Notre Dame vs. Alabama BCShit National Championship? Joke’s on you! Actually, no, the joke is on the geniuses at ABC for premiering their show the same night 100,000 Notre Dame fans descend to Sun Life Stadium to cheer on their precious football team. (Bitter football fan, table for one!)

Two of my friends suggested to me that I actually watch this season of the Bachelor and keep a running commentary on this blog – I just hope the episodes end up on ABC.com because I don’t have a DVR and I am going to an Alabama watch party.

I am sure the ratings for the first episode will be in the gutter as a result of this game.

As far as the game goes, well, I could not care less who wins. If Alabama winning will make SEC fans more insufferable and Notre Dame winning will make Notre Dame fans…well, actually, I am going to keep that thought to myself. I am pretty sure their alums rule the world.

 

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Here we go again

Last night, I posted this picture on Facebook and proceeded to get a world of shit for it.  More often than not, I get a ton of crap for rooting for too many teams.  First of all, allow me to ask why all these people I’m friends with who did NOT go to Notre Dame were posting “Go Irish,” but I’m not allowed to root for Michigan when my mom went there?

Second of all, if you have a problem with teams I root for, well, nothing is going to change so I suggest you invest in lots of hard alcohol to deal with it.

I root for Miami because I went there, Villanova because I worked there, the Boston pro-teams because I’m from there.  But yes, I adopted Chicago teams because I’ve lived here for five years and love this city more than I can tell you.

Do I root for too many teams?  Maybe.  Is there a point to this post?  I’m not sure.  I love sports, and I try to not be a bandwagon fan, but it’s FUN when your teams are winning, and when they’re sucking the life out of you by not being able to score and the starting pitchers unable to find the strike zone with Google Maps, it’s okay to take a break and focus on something else.

I now leave you with a Will & Grace montage.

Why I’m a “Bandwagon” Fan

I have to thank Katie for inspiring this blog post with the following text:

“Chipper Jones has been playing baseball for 18 years and only has one World Series ring.”

First thought:  Who the f is Chipper Jones?

But I figured she was going somewhere with this, so I just wrote back “holy crap.”

And then I figured I should ask, “Who does he play for now?” (AKA who is he because I follow baseball but not THAT CLOSELY?)

She responds, “Braves still…and only.  He’s retiring after this season,” and then went on to express her irritation with Braves fans for being bandwagon fans — loving the team only when they make the playoffs and not giving a shit any other time before, during, or after said season.  But the team’s one World Series title over Chipper Jones’ time there speaks to the fact that the Braves are not, say, the Yankees (Okay so they WENT to the World Series five times in the 1990s, but they only WON it once, in 1995).

The city has the largest baseball stadium in the Southeast and uses that as the excuse to why it is never sold out (despite the fact that you can buy tickets for like, a dollar).

If you put that stadium in Wrigleyville, St. Louis, or NYC, it would be sold out.  Atlanta fans love Atlanta teams ONLY when they’re winning– and if not, they’re latching on to another team.  Cubs sell out games even when they have the second worst record in all of baseball.  Before you send me hate mail, please know this is coming from multiple people who were born and raised in Atlanta.

There are several definitions of what a bandwagon fan actually is.  And it’s something I’ve been accused of being MANY a time.  Let’s explore, shall we?

According to Urban Dictionary there are three possible definitions:

1)  Anyone who claims they are a “fan” of a particular sports team, even though they had no prior support for/interest in the team until that team started winning. These types of fans only show playoff interest, have probably never watched a regular season game, don’t own any type of team merchandise, nor would they buy any.

2)  Switches support to whatever team/game/allegiance/belief happens to be successful at the time.

And my FAVORITE definition:

3)  Anyone who became a Miami Heat fan in 2010-2011 (or Notre Dame, if they didn’t go there.  Seriously, I don’t understand Notre Dame fans that did not go there and then throw a party when the fencing team wins a national title)

If you assess definitions 1 & 2, then yes, I am a bandwagon fan, but I feel can justify these decisions.

1)     Villanova – I didn’t go there, but I interned there, so the school is a part of me.  For nine months I spent seven days a week (at least it felt like it) in the athletic department.  I got to know the coaches, athletes, and staff.  That year, the basketball team made it to the Sweet 16.  The atmosphere was electric.  It all sunk in and stayed with me.  I cried, LITERALLY CRIED, when we made the Final Four in 2009.  I cried, LITERALLY CRIED, when we were eliminated in the second round the year after, because I wanted to see Scottie Reynolds cue up another deep run, but oh well.  The team is not going to be good this year.  They’re just not.  So, while I am not going to masochistically follow each and every game, I am not going to adopt a new team to root for just because Villanova is bad this year.  Rest assured, I will continue to hate Duke, UNC, and Ohio State.

2)     Chicago White Sox – Technically, I am part of the White Sox family.  I worked out of the stadium for a year.  Sure, last season I didn’t follow the team as closely as I am this year because they were really bad, but I have FINALLY picked my Chicago baseball team, because you can’t be both.  Plus, now we have Youk, which is awesome.  Before this year, I always rooted for the Sox of a different color, but that team is in the gutter right now.  So yeah, fine, bandwagon, I get it.  But baseball is a soul-crushing, 162-game season.  Might as well have a team to root for that’s fun to watch with a manager who’s not a complete psycho.

3)     Chicago Bulls – I’ve never cared about the NBA before, but Ed Pinckney, who was an assistant coach at ‘Nova while I was there is now an assistant for the Bulls – so not only does the team also fall under Jerry Reinsdorf’s ownership, but Ed and I go way back to 2004.  Good dude.

4)     Miami Hurricanes – This is probably where I am the most bandwagon-y – when the team is losing, I shift my attention elsewhere (Michigan, Illinois, anyone who plays OSU, etc).  So I have focused my attention elsewhere since 2005, minus September of 2010 when I spent over $1,000 to go to fucking COLUMBUS, OHIO to see us get our asses kicked by the team I hate the most in the world, so that was awful, because Columbus sucks and OSU fans are wretched people (with the exception of like, two) and the only coach I hate more than Jim Tressel is PROBABLY Urban Meyer, so that’s awesome that he’s at OSU now and Miami blows and is going to be put on major probation soon and WHY WHY WHY?

 At least when I’m not rooting for my core teams, I pick a team to root for that I have SOME connection to (I went to Illinois, my mom went to Michigan, etc).  The people that drive me crazy are the ones who choose to root for Duke just because, even though they could not find Durham on a map, or the people who choose to root for Notre Dame because it’s an elite school that usually has good teams, for the most part, even though it’s mostly Olympic sports, but they somehow manage to have a rabid fan base, which drives me crazy, so no, I don’t root for Notre Dame, but thanks for asking.

And then there’s the people who root for Tim Tebow – contrary to popular belief, he is NOT, in fact, God’s gift to Florida, women, or football.  I’m sure he’s a nice guy, I don’t buy the virginity act, and rooting for him does not make you holier than thou, so unless he’s playing for your actual team, cut the shit.

So, when you think about it, I could be WAY worse of a fan than I am.  Watching sports and rooting for teams is supposed to be fun, not stressful.

The Hawk Harrelson Drinking Game (Or Hawk Bingo)!

Thanks to Twitter, I learned that today is White Sox play-by-play announcer Hawk Harrelson’s birthday.  At the game last night (that was a win, thank GOD), Melissa, Matt and I were talking about Hawk Bingo and this morning I also decided to “establish” (i.e. Google to see if one already existed and then modify to my liking) a Hawk Harrelson Drinking Game.

I feel like there is no middle ground with Hawk – you either love him or hate him.  But if nothing else, you can safely know that you will get MANY Hawk-isms per game.

Actually, this is one of those games that could turn dangerous quickly, so please make sure to hydrate with some water in-between innings!

(Most of these are coming from the following two sources:  A Game of Inches and Ball four base hit).

Drink every time Hawk says the following:

  • He gone!
  • Stretch!
  • Get on back there!
  • He goes back, looks up, you can put it on the boarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd, yes!
  • We got a man there.
  • And that’s a can o’corn
  • Chopper two hopper
  • Don’t stop now boys!
  • Mercy!
  • Yes! (Hell Yes! also counts – see Dayan Viciedo’s homer to beat the Yankees earlier in the summer)
  • When he says good guys (us)/bad guys (them)
  • When he complains that the opposing  pitcher is getting a strike zone much larger than the current White Sox hurler.
  • I think a new one is also “Sully’s happy, and Mully’s happy.”  I think this is in reference to Gordon Beckham’s mom and the dude from the Score because he only says this when Beckham homers or makes a clutch play (RBI, etc).  He definitely said it last night when Gordo hit his two-run bomb.
  • And then of course there’s always the chance of a rant against an umpire for a call against the Sox that he doesn’t agree with.

Because he says all of these things like 97 times per game, I am not encouraging chugging or taking shots – you’ll be bombed enough as it is.

A League of Their Own – Did She Lose on Purpose?

Yesterday, Brandon and I, while waiting for the Cubs game to start, got into a debate about the ending of A League of Their Own (and if you haven’t seen it and/or don’t know what I’m talking about, drop everything you’re doing RIGHT NOW and get that shit on Netflix instant or whatever ASAP).  Brandon claims that Geena Davis’ character, Dottie, drops the ball on purpose so Kit (Lori Petty) can be the hero and win the World Series for her team.

I wholeheartedly disagree.  If Dottie was going to blow the game on purpose, why did she then call a time out to tell Ellen Sue to throw high, fast balls, which she knows Kit cannot hit or lay off?

Also, maybe it’s because I’m the little sister, but I want to believe that Kit could beat her big sister at something.  (Side note:  it’s not my sister’s fault that my mom had to write a letter to our elementary school specifically requesting they NOT assign me a certain teacher for my 6th grade year.  Not only did the woman take makeup tips from Tammy Faye Baker, but every time she saw me in the hallway she would squeal, “You’re Miriam’s sistah!”  To which I always wanted to respond, “Bitch, I have a name!”  But you can’t say that when you’re ten.)

Apparently, there is an eternal debate going on about this scene.  By the way, what did we do before the internet?  I’m able to share this clip below, but if we were debating this in 1992, I’d have to reenact the scene by drawing stick figures.  (Side note – I saw this reenacted in real life this year on July 4 when A.J. Pierzynski barreled into Mike Napoli, who subsequently dropped the ball).  Anywho.  Here’s the scene (and it’s SUCH a great scene):

I actually googled something along the lines of “ending to a league of their own” and found some old message board full of back and forth on this very debate.

Now, ignoring the fact that these were posted 12 years ago and some sexist jerks are talking about how girls can’t play sports in general, someone named Miller, posted the following:

I don’t think she dropped the ball on purpose. For one thing, it would be an absolute rat-bastard thing to do to the rest of her team mates. For another, it would communicate that her relationship with her sister was fundamentally unchanged: she’s still patronizing her little sister. “Letting” her win is the sort of thing you do with a five year old, not another grown woman. It’s almost as much of a shit move as backstabbing your team by throwing the game. I think Kit legitimately came out on top in that play. The message I take from it is that, at the end, it was Kit who was the “real” ball player – Dottie had more raw talent, but Kit had the heart for it. Dottie was just killing time until her husband came home. Kit loved the game.

I wholeheartedly agree with this – why would she quit the team only to come back to the World Series and throw it on purpose?  No, she didn’t.  She just dropped the ball because Kit knocked her over – she had enough built up rage to hit her hard enough to make her drop the ball.

So that’s my argument – Dottie would not have bothered to come back for the series in addition to trying to get her sister to strike out to lose the game if she had every intention of setting Kit up to “win” so to speak – she tried the opposite, and Kit came out on top.  No way did she drop the ball on purpose.  No way.

Analyzing My Two Fantasy Football Teams

I am participating in two fantasy football leagues this year for the first time since ever.  I tried this once in 2004 but used my first draft pick on Clinton Portis and it was all downhill from there.  I came in dead last and have avoided it ever since.  But, this year, I’ve been sucked into two different ones, both through Yahoo! (which drafted for me since I apparently cannot be trusted) so I figured I’d provide a breakdown/analysis since I’m obviously going to win both leagues (yeah, right).

Team One:  Vick in a Box

QB: Drew Brees – Woohoo!  A top-5 QB!  Second to only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady!  (wait…what?).  Threw for 5,476 yards and 46 touchdowns last season.  Just signed a bajillion dollar contract.  Seems legit!!  I couldn’t possibly lose one game with such a stud behind center.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald – Another steal!  Both Pro Football Weekly and National Football Post have him as the #2 WR in the (fantasy) league. Plus, he represents the Big East before it fell into ruins and had to beg for San Diego State to join.  Solid option!!

WR: Brandon Marshall – Were he still with the Dolphins, this would make me dry heave into a paper bag, but since the Bears have reunited him with Jay Cutler, I see a lot of receptions in his 2012 future.  It’s like Yahoo KNOWS me.

WR: Jeremy Maclin:  Never heard of him.  Played for Missouri, is with the Eagles, had six TD receptions last season.  PFW has him ranked #32.  I’d rather not.  Can I trade him for one of the Alabama WRs?  Yes, no, maybe?

RB: Arian Foster – BOO-YA!  #1 baby

RB: Adrian Peterson – This would hurt less if he didn’t play for the Vikings.  Gag.

TE: Antonio Gates – Okay, maybe I’m starting to see why I should not be allowed to draft.  With the exception of Marshall, I would not have picked any of these guys, and the more “research I do” (as in, looking at their rankings and nothing else) the more I realize this is a GREAT team.  AND  I didn’t even pre-rank players before the draft.  How do you like THEM apples?

PK: Mason Crosby- Another top 5/6 player.

DEF: Baltimore (Alternate: Seattle)

Bench:  Kenny Britt (WR), Michael Vick (QB and WEIRD given the team name), Frank Gore (RB and representing DA U), Vincent Jackson (WR), Brandon Pettigrew (TE)

Team Two:  Brady Gaga

QB: Matt Stafford – I guess.  I told one of my colleagues I was less than thrilled with this and he was all, “are you kidding?”  I guess I was??  I think it’s just because I don’t like the Lions or Ndakiaijqeakmfasd BeatsEveryoneUp.

WR: Roddy White

WR: Hakeem Nicks

–Here I’ve been blessed with two top-10 WRs even though Hakeem Nicks DOES play for the Giants, a team that IS my arch-nemesis for what they’ve done to the Patriots (TWICE) in the Super Bowl.

WR: Miles Austin – I suppose the odds were nearly impossible for me to NOT get a football player who hasn’t slept with Kim Kardashian.

RB: LeSean McCoy – Rushed for 17 TDs last season.  I can dig it.

RB: Ryan Mathews – Fine

TE: Fred Davis – Fine

W/R/T: Maurice Jones-Drew – Fine

PK: Mason Crosby – wait, really?  Again??  Where’s the variety, YAHOO!???

DEF: Pittsburgh (Alternate: Seattle)

Bench: Kenny Britt (AGAIN? WR), Michel Vick (QB and wait, is this a JOKE???), Roy Helu (RB), Robert Meachem (WR), Sidney Rice (WR), Owen Daniels (TE)

In conclusion, the developers at Yahoo! built a much better system for drafting than I ever could.  Should be interesting to see how my teams do.  Expect weekly updates!  (not really)

 

Assuming the White Sox are Going to Make the Playoffs at This Point is Like…

“Planning the wedding for a guy you’ve been dating for two months. Things are looking good, but it’s still way too early to plan.” So says my friend Melissa, and I had to share her brilliant analogy. Although, wait, you’re not supposed to plan a wedding after you’ve been dating someone for two months? This is news to me! (Kidding, people. I’m kidding).

Anyway. Melissa has a point, only because even though the White Sox are leading the AL Central, almost everyone is still conceding the division to those pesky Tigers.

Also, Mel suggested that I write a whole book about why baseball is like dating but I don’t think I know enough about, as Hawk would call them, “the good ole’ fundamentals” (beyond the obvious and overused strike-out/home-run analogies) to do so.

I could give it a shot though.

Why Baseball is Like Dating:

  • The strike zone will change depending on who you ask — I’ve seen umpires magically change their strike zones (no I am NOT implying favoritism, how dare you) and the same can be said for dating prospects – depending on who you’re with, one date might knock it out of the park while the next one might ricochet the ball off his/her foot and have to go on the disabled list.  Wait, I went from talking about the strike zone to hitting foul balls?  See how I’m proving my earlier point (reference: fundamentals, I know nothing about)
  • Everything is going great until it’s not…or something — You know how you can be on a really great date (or up 9-0 in a baseball game) and then you blink and it’s three weeks later and you haven’t heard from the person (or wound up losing 15-9)?  Yeah.
  • It’s important to be able to close — I don’t need to elaborate on this one, do I?
  • You have to be in control – one thing I’m learning is that pitchers need to have command of their pitch location, i.e. control (I think, bear with me people).  When Philip Humber is off on his pitch location, Detroit will hit four HRs off him in an inning.  It’s also important to exercise and maintain control in the early stages of dating.  And I don’t mean control as in controlling the other person, I mean more along the lines of the self-control option (like refraining from rushing home after a first date and calling to leave a VM including the top 10 things that happened on that date while simultaneously friend requesting them on Facebook.  Take a step back and wonder how that will affect whether or not you get a second date).
  • When times get tough, don’t give up!  (This specifically pertains to last night’s scrappy yet much-needed 9-6 victory over the Yankees).
  • I have now given up on coming up with additional analogies.