"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Back in Action

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(I believe this is what heaven looks like)

I have returned from traversing the wilds of New England in a beat up Subaru Forster with Amy by my side and cheesy music blaring from the CD player. Thanks to the good folks at Strafford Tire, the car was not screeching along. Though, when given the choice between Ashlee Simpson and a loose timing belt, it’s a tough decision.

I did my damndest to try and refrain from talking about sports the entire weekend. A few comments as to the aesthetic merits of our new bullpener or a get well kiss tossed in the direction of Tedy’s North Attleboro home were acceptable. But for the most part, I stuck to other issues. Except for dinner with my parents on Friday night which derailed into a five-hour session of “Why People Who Have Dinner With This Family Don’t Come Back” in which my dad and I got into an “I can yell louder than you” conversation about an old Houston Oilers hat I found in his closet and took to wearing 50 Cent style at the dinner table.

But on Saturday morning Amy and I set out for Portland and I discovered that, despite all evidence to the contrary, I am in fact capable of talking about things other than sports. Of course, three days without Sportscenter or internet connectivity left me feeling a bit, shall we say, adrift. A rundown of what I missed.

  • The NHL season was cancelled. Then it was uncancelled. Then it was cancelled again. Gary Bettman got snippy with the players. The players got snippy with Gary Bettman and now everyone is giving everyone else the silent treatment. Excellent, this is how adults handle things. Ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Idiots. Also, America still doesn’t care. Sigh.
  • It’s the 25th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. *pops over to Netflix and adds “Miracle” to top of queue.* This, of all things, should make people care about hockey. It does not. Everyone is watching spring training reports. Sigh. Miracle on Ice, people? Big deal? Good vs. Evil? Surely you’ve heard of this. Argh.
  • The NBA held it’s All Star Weekend in Denver. I watched the skills competition in a crowded Portland bar on Saturday night wherein Amy and I decided that, as Mer pointed out on her blog, Kyle Korver is clearly Ashton Kutcher’s evil twin (or perhaps it’s the other way around), Steve Nash deserves a share of Amare Stoudemire’s props for making the Slam Dunk finals (and dude surely played soccer in a past life to be able to head a ball off the backboard like that). Likewise, Kenyon Martin who did not so much as flinch when Josh Smith jumped OVER him to clinch the winning dunk. I argue with the best of ‘em that the NBA is played too much above the rim and watching a game feels like watching a skills competition. But when you’re actually watching the skills competition, well, it’s kind of fun.
  • The Eastern Conference won the All-Star Game besting the West, 125-115. Allen Iverson won the MVP award. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that since during said game, I was eating what appeared to be crack-laced pizza in Rhode Island. Either that or there was a serious case of Highway Hijinks happening as Amy and I were cracked. Completely cracked.
  • Outside the Newport Creamery where we ventured for ice cream, a newspaper box for the Providence Journal was featuring this fetching picture on their front page. Amy was on the phone with Erik when I started squealing and jumping around.

Erik: The hell?
Amy: Oh, nothing, Kristen’s about to get her tongue stuck to a newspaper dispenser.
Erik: Oh, right.

  • Position players reported for Spring Training. David Ortiz was hilarious. Bro-Yo was adorably huggable. Apparently everyone hates A-Rod and has stopped just short of threatening his mother. Jason Varitek wore some hideous sunglasses. I developed a crush on Matt Mantei.
  • My dad and I went on a bizarre tangent involving strange things that happen at baseball games. Eventually, this prompted me to find links to Izzy Alcantara’s karate kick fiasco and Randy Johnson’s exploding seagull caper to erase the confused looks from my Mom and Amy’s faces.
  • My mom put her feet on the commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated, eliciting much squeaking in protest from me. She actually apologized to the magazine and said, “I’m so sorry, Thomas,” before setting it lovingly aside. Now you people know where I get it from.
  • I asked a charming fellow in a bar in Portland if he was a Yankees fan. Said boy had eight heart attacks and I spent the next twenty minutes calming him and assuring him that I only asked because I make it a rule never to indulge Yankees fans in conversation and I sure as hell wouldn’t allow one to taunt me. I ended up showing him the piece of championship parade confetti I keep in my wallet to calm him down. And no, that’s not a euphemism.
  • I purchased a Celtics hat and a Pats Championship sweatshirt in North Conway for half price. I very nearly bought a Richard Seymour jersey too but it was white and I want blue. I called my dad (not an NBA fan) to inform him of the Celtics hat purchase.
Dad: You know what Corey Dillon says.
Me: What does Corey Dillon say, dad?
Dad: Not in my house!
Me: My head is cold. It’s between football and baseball seasons. What do you want me to do?
Dad: Wear a Bruins hat.
Me: How about I wear the Celtics hat and you wear that butt-ugly Oilers hat?
Dad: Ouch.

  • The Patriots are prepared to slap the franchise tag on Adam Vinatieri. While I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing from Vinatieri’s perspective, I assume it will help them retain him. Which they need to do. Now.
  • Did I mention spring training started in earnest?

Did I miss anything?