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.

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.


I Need a New Hobby

Over the past couple of months, I have been focusing very heavily on the White Sox and their success this season.  I’ve never really followed a baseball team through an entire season before, and it’s EXHAUSTING (and by exhausting I mean looking up stats on at 3:30 in the morning to see how many regular season games the eventual World Series winner typically loses.  I know, I know.).

Not only is it exhausting, it’s also stressful! (But fun!)

For example:  Last night’s 11-inning loss to the Blue Jays.  First of all – no.  The Blue Jays are NOT good.  Second of all, the Rogers Centre was basically empty last night so Toronto fans should be ashamed of themselves.  Third of all, at least Detroit lost, somehow, to the Twins (or I SHOULD say the Twins SOMEHOW beat Detroit) – either way, our two-game lead in the AL Central remains intact.  I mean, I probably shouldn’t panic.  Hell, the Yankees just lost to the Blue Jays and they are sort of my gauge for these types of things, as much as I hate to admit that.

This isn’t college football, where teams cannot win a championship unless they lose zero times (or one time, tops, and get help from janky computer systems that make me stabby because Michigan should have played for the national championship over Florida in 2006 but whatever, I’m not bitter).

Baseball is a strange, strange game.  We swept the Rangers in June but then got swept by Detroit, which lost two of three to the Blue Jays AND Red Sox, neither of which are strong teams this year.  Anyone can win or lose at any given time, and unless you’re 30-games over .500 like the Nationals, anything can happen to the season.  By no means do we have a vice grip on our division lead and it’s ours to lose.

That being said – I need a new focus because I can’t handle this type of stress.  I should just sit back and enjoy the wins since last season was so awful but this is ME we’re talking about and we all know there is a better chance of ESPN NOT mentioning Tim Tebow for at least an hour than me calming the hell down when it comes to my teams.

My marathon training has been in ruins since it’s been so hot this summer so I’m trying to get back on track before I wind up crawling it.

Now would also be a good time to resurrect the book project.  Let’s see if I can go an entire week without obsessing about sports.  Annnnnd, GO!!

I Choose My Choice

I’ve finally made a decision.  After five years of living in Chicago, I have picked a side.

I grew up in a football family – rooting for Michigan every Saturday and the Packers every Sunday.  Then, every summer while I was quite literally submerged in every possible body of water (pool, lake, ocean), I’d start to hear rumblings of some sort of Curse.   But, I didn’t listen, or care.  Baseball?  Boring.  The Red Sox?  Whatever.

That all changed around 2004.  I know, I know, bandwagon fan, I suck, I’m not really a fan – I’ve heard it all a million times.

It was the ALCS comeback that sucked me in.  I was only a couple of months into my internship at Villanova and was rather lonely.  So, every night, I’d stay up late watching my “hometown” team claw its way back into the pennant race, never giving up.

It was cool to watch – nothing more, nothing less.  Sure, I hadn’t suffered through the 80s and 90s like everyone else, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the success.  Did I become a die-hard Red Sox fan after that?  No.  But I did, at the very least, start to appreciate baseball a lot more than I had previously.

When I first moved to Chicago, I lived a half a block from Wrigley Field.  So, you’d naturally think I’d start rooting for the Cubs.  But really, it was more about just being outside and enjoying baseball in the summer.  I’d prefer to go to Wrigley over “The Cell” because it was closer and Wrigleyville is more fun.

Then, when I started my current job in October of 2010, that all changed.  My company is owned by Jerry Reinsdorf and his limited partners – and for the first year of my job I worked in the stadium.  Actually, for the first two months of my job I was a White Sox employee, until we became our own separate entity in January 2011.

When you work with/for a team, it’s no longer just about wins and losses.  It’s about rooting for the team AND the front office – the people you know and like and respect (and who work their asses off).   I spent a year working with these people and can’t begin to tell you how hard everyone works or how much they care about this team – and one day you realize it’s just in your blood now, and that’s the way it is.  People can think I’m ridiculous or that my affections can be bought, but that wasn’t the case with Villanova and it isn’t the case now.

Of course as I wrote this, I watched them lose to the Yankees but whatever.  Can’t win ’em all, I suppose.