Monday, March 23, 2009

The death of facebook

Facebook used to be cool. I remember my introduction to the vaunted social networking site five years ago. Sitting alone at a computer signed under a friend's screen name, I sifted through the names of the members of facebook. I laughed when I saw shared interests, I cringed when I found out they liked Julia Roberts movies. Something so fresh, so simple yet so clever arroused my interests for nearly 30 minutes. Finally, I was determined to join this social phenomena. Facebook was just a neat little clubhouse of cool friends and some very hot chicks. As a new member, I was shocked to see how many friend requests were waiting for me at any given time. For instance, 18 friend requests. 18 friends? I didn't even know 18 people could stand my company. This was hot. This was new. I felt like I was on the ground floor. Then?

Facebook lost that special unique trait of being so widely accepted and loved yet celebrated by only a few special souls. The people who needed this were associated with this, cloistered and protected against the outsiders. Kind of like Mercedes drivers, this was a special club. Then, the douchebags took hold of facebook. Douchebags with their drunken profile picks, how they loved every type of music out there, and their frequent spelling errors. For example, "I handdnt red booooks in yrrrs. " Facebook had no luster to me once I discovered that the douchebags of my life, either known or unknown, had captured this once sacred land and pillaged it to the point of no return. When tragedy happens, we don't think of how to make the best of it. We inevitably think, "What could we have done to prevent this?" Hindsight being 20/20, we come up with plans on top plans. But that doesn't change the fact that things will never be the same.

I sure do hate my life. I wonder how much facebook had to do with it. Without it, I might have continued my worthless career and educational pursuits. I might have picked up a book. But, I sure did meet some neat people. People who love sports like Che and his brother. I also befriended some very hot chicks. Sports and hot chicks. Is there a better social set? I think not. But, I should have known this during my junior and senior years.

Don't ever hang out with the shadow people. Don't ever hang out in bars and expect to find true love. Nothing good ever happened in a bar and nothing good ever happened at 2 AM. I am living proof of this. In Babs' 2006 Fantasy football draft, I drafted Edgerrin James with the sixth overall pick. The location of this calamity was the old number one in Morris. I will always equate west central MN with failure and I will always equate that bar with 3 points per week from my first round pick. Wait, it wasn't the old number one. What was the name of that bar by the diamond supper club? Oh damn, this will drive me crazy.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Hey Mr. DJ.

Damn, the professional basketball team from MN sucks! I watched the wolves lose another one tonight (8 straight, by my count) to the L.A. Lakers. Watching the wolves play the lakers is somewhat disheartening considering only a few years ago, both teams met in the Western Conference Finals. The Wolves right now are talented, but is a mismatched group of talent. For example, Randy Foye is playing well of late for the wolves. But, he is 6'2 and should really by definition, play the PG position. A guy like Foye plays so well off the ball and he can rebound so well as a 2. In college, Foye was basically a 4 for Villanova when Jay Wright went to his vaunted four guard offense in 2006. Tonight, he missed the game because he collided with Brian Cardinal in practice. Brian Cardinal contributes nothing to the team other maybe getting chippy with the other team. The Chicago Bull play by play guy said it best about Cardinal when he said he played like the guy at the YMCA on a Sunday morning.

Being a broadcaster employed by a team in the middle of a shitty season has to be tough on a guy. Tom Hanneman and Jim Peterson are nice enough guys and as employees of team, you know that from time to time, it is tough to stay upbeat. For example tonight, the entire fourth quarter was a nothing more than a scrimmage devoid of all the "NBA, it's fantastic" pizzazz . Kobe, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom sat out the entire quarter and deservedly so; the outcome of the game was already decided. But something unexpected happened on the way to staples center and that was DJ Mbenga. The guy was a shot blocking monster. This journeyman, big eared lughead was suddenly unstoppable. Brian Cardinal had no chance down on the block against the guy. More inspiring about DJ was his life story. I learned so much about DJ in a somewhat meaningless, garbage-filled fourth quarter.

1. DJ Mbenga was born in Congo and had a very rough childhood and adolescent period.
2. DJ Mbenga speaks 7 languages.
3. DJ Mbenga didn't dribble a basketball until he was 17 years old.

Even a cold-hearted cynic like me loves good personal stories. I should preface that by saying I love good SPORTS stories. I couldn't care less about Joe Schmoe from Clontarf. But hearing about Hakeem Nicks and DJ Mbenga captures my attention immensely. It isn't my business to meddle in other people's affairs and I don't care for it when I am the butt of many jokes or a piece in the old gossip mill. Every night, we sports fan dream the same dream or variations of it. I sure would love to put on my football pads again and rededicate myself to that wonderful game. My football career was far from glorious but I would go back tomorrow if I could.

Brandon Roy is a special player. Every young athlete should watch him play at least three times. The thing that gets me about Brandon Roy is how composed he is every night. The great players are always one step ahead and Brandon Roy certainly fits that category. He may not be the quickest, fastest, or flashiest guy on the court. But he has exemplary poise. Intagibles are rare in great players because for as long as they could remember, they were the best on the court by raising their level of intensity so, coupled with their exceptional talent, they were no match for their helpless opponent. Brandon Roy gets more out of himself because he is so mature and crafty. Mental toughness is always the X factor. The great ones get to the rarified air because they refuse to "leave it at that." I remember a poster in the Baltimore Ravens locker room that said those that won't are as beneficial to a collective group as those who can't. These life lessons though were realized too late for far too many in this life.

Girls are as confusing to me as watching a dog teach a cat how to speaking Chinese. They always say they want a nice guy but they never follow through on that. Being a jerk is so easy. Having class and manners is extremely difficult. As a nice guy with an amazing air of class and dignity, I am always thrown for a loop when I see a good looking gal next to a jerk. What could she possibly see in that slimeball? Even so, I try to remain as genteel as possible. People deserve to be treated with respect and I refuse to lower myself just so I can gain the dates that Joe the Jerk receives every weekend. But, love and chivarly is nearly dead to the fairer sex. I am not sure what this future holds.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cheerleading is a real sport. No really!

I recently saw the movie Fired up and quite frankly, laughed my ass off. It was a hilarious and rewarding montage of frat boy joke after joke. The rapport between the two friends is a lot like how I wish my rapport was with my friends, if I had anyway. But anywho, it sparked a curious debate. Is this movie actually a sports movie? Furthermore, is it funnier than Knocked up.

For the sake of sequence, I'll tackle the latter first. Knocked up was by far, one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Every moment was excruciating. The jokes were nothing more than recycled stoner humor mingled with awkward drama that reminded me of the worst Degrassi high episode I have ever seen. I know that I will piss off a ton of people, but Knocked up was about as funny to me as the last five minutes of There will be blood.

Fired up though, was funny. The sequencing was fantastic; every joke landed in its own special way. The supporting characters were splendid. The Queen B rival cheerleader (played so well by Anna Lynne Mccord, Elisha Cuthbert's replacement on my hottest girls of all time list) hissed and flashed her claws in such an expert, cinemitic manner. I am more than forgiving of the casting of the two male leads and their advanced age. This was a fun, highly enjoyable laughfest that yes, put Knocked up to shame.

I need to see more movies liked Fired up. Everyone right now is in such a shitty mood. Now more than ever, we need to see funny movies instead of massively soul-sucking depressing movies. For example, I followed my own expert advice in seeing Fired up. I thought about seeing Slumdog Millionaire, but figured that real life was plenty depressing and I didn't need to see Slumdog Millionaire. Seeing a movie should be pure, escapist fun sprinkled in with fantasy. I'd sure love to put my football pads on and play football with the option of going to cheerleading camp with 300 hotties. But, I digress.

If Nascar is a real sport, (and with all of the network attention to it, for better or worse, it kind of is now), then by golly, so is cheerleading. Just think about it. Cheerleaders are athletes. These lovely ladies need to be quick, yet possess the staying power of endurance; be light, yet have such wiry strength; and finally, the need to reach deep down and deliver their best even when circumstances (like their shitty team getting their ass kicked) dictate otherwise. I know a few cheerleaders but a tiny fraction of them can be designated as loyal cheerleaders. If you want to see the difference between suburban cheerleaders and cheerleaders in the sticks, then I have a mental exercise for you; Close your eyes and think of the Florida vs. Alabama SEC title game. Then, think a division 3 football game. That is the difference, the honest to god truth of it. Perception and execution-wise.

This was a fun exercise. Going over my last post, I either lied or can't do math. It wasn't 2 years since my last post, it was 3 years. Do you ever get the feeling that your life just blends together? I do. Every year after college is basically like one year to me; 2000-suckathon. I can recall sports championships and Rookie of the year awards for a single year, but when it comes to remembering when certain dates of employment begin and end of when weddings really took place, then I am just as worthless as Peter Griffin was at ..............(family guy cutaway). But seriously, I can't remember names or dates. Maybe because I am getting old. As a kid, did you think that being big would be the best thing ever? Did you just wish you could fast forward all of those (*#*%&#*& elementary school cursive lessons because being big would be super? Well, me too and I'll be honest, I would just cuss that bastard out. Everything about being older sucks. I know nothing ever works out the way we thought it would, but come on! As we as we speaking now, my foot hurts like a mother you know what and I have a hammering in my head that won't stop for a minute.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hello again!

After a two year hiatus, I am back. I sure wish I could tell you something brilliant or make up an insane excuse for why I didn't write for 2 years other than that I forgot how to read and write. But I am back to write on this blog for 2 reasons:

1) I have no friends
2) I know of very few people who know sports like I do.

That being said, I am going to talk about more stuff other than sports on this blog. Why? Well, why the hell not. After 25 years, I have discovered that there is more to life than sports. I mean, not a whole heck of a lot is more important than sporting events but a few things qualify. I hope to share something on a subject every single day other than sports. But to be honest, I associate so much of life with sports. So much in fact, that it pisses people off. For example, the last time I saw my buddy Chris was at homecoming. After watching the UMM football team get pasted, I watched real college football with my buddy. As the hours went on and the Illinois vs. Michigan game bled into the Miami vs. Florida State swampfest and that in turn, into the Vanderbilit vs. Auburn game, my buddy was talking about a fat chick he knew. Feeling the urge to contribute, I said, "Hey, I really don't buy all that shit about Fat Pat's weight (Pat Williams for all of you not in the know). There is no **((*(( way he is 319 lbs." Everyone in the room chuckled and my buddy said, "Jesus, you take this stuff way too seriously."

I really am a compulsive sports fan. That is right, a fan. It still is cool to be a fan in my mind. Compared to many people my age, I am an anomaly. I don't drink while watching a game with people. I don't gossip with anyone during a game. I am dedicated to one thing; the game. Always have been, always will be.

As a college student, I was what one might call a bleeding heart liberal. For a very short period of time, I turned myself away from the selection sundays, the opening ceremonies, and the pregame festivities. Instead, I watched shitty foreign films, ate crusty foccacia bread, and was highly opinionated in the "world of literature." It took a new group of friends to reignite my sports obsession. In life, we all make mistakes. So, I probably shouldn't be so hard on myself for my brief backslide. But to be honest, I fucking hate the guy that I was.

The other night, I had a devil of a time trying to get to sleep. I went to the gym for a while. Came back, still nothing. Watched a few infomercials and great movies on TBS and TNT. Still wide awake. Finally, I cracked about a sports almanac and memorized every single Heisman trophy winner dating back to 1935. It took me about 30 minutes, but I had every one down from Jay Berwanger to Sam Bradford.

Watching movies on TNT late at night on the weekends is somewhat of a drag. These networks put movies on 1 AM that are generally revolting to any decent human being. For example, how many times can you see Richard Greio getting pissed when Chris Kattan/Will Ferrell ask if Johnny Depp is coming to the nightclub? For me, it is a wonderful scene. I love movies like Tropic Thunder and Jay and Silent Bob strike back that capture the average celebrity being a total douchebag. It is the closest thing that can make me feel like a Hollywood insider.

BTW, I hate Will Ferrell. The only movies that I can actually watch with him in it are coincidentally, Night and the Roxbury and Jay and silent bob strike back. I don't hate him in such a way that provokes me to punch him in the face. It is just that his shtick usually isn't that funny. I used to feel that he was the worst at comedic acting and that there would be no way that I could feel otherwise. That is, until I saw Owen Wilson.

On the topic of cable movies, the Citizen Kane of cable movies has to be XXX: State of the union. Many people who know me probably thought, "Jesus, he is going to say Varsity Blues here." But actually, I really like Varsity Blues as a sports movie. It is just good ol' fashioned fun. The football scenes are so realistic and emotionally charged that it can make even the stringiest of a string-bean benchwarmers feel like they are part of the action. But I digress. XXX: State of the union is pure, unabashedly, crap. Most movies try to make a statement or have you going with a little suspense before dropping the satire card into the movie, making everything feel suddenly as akward as the time your Uncle Saul dropped a big fart into the middle of the easter egg planning conversation. But XXX: State of the Union has Samuel L. Jackson overacting in such a decadent way that you can actually feel his prescence when he is not on screen. During the ridiculous scene where Xzhibit and Ice Cube plan a way to break into the white house and foil Willem Defoe's plan for world wide domination, I was still laughing inside because of Samuel shouting, "YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD HAVE KILLED THAT BITCH." Best line ever in a movie, hands down.

Do you ever wonder what happened to certain people? I am not talking about your prom date or your freshman RA. I mean, people like Alex Winter, Chris Kattan, Dana Carvey, and Greg Kelser. They might be bitter because they aren't famous like their buddies but we will never know because I am not sure if they still exist.

In closing, thanks for reading this. Even if you didn't read all of it because you thought that reading it would be an intense waste of time, thanks. I know you all have questions like, "What happened to Elisa Donovan?" and "Why didn't the Vikings sign Jeff Garcia?" Quite frankly, those are all great questions but I to paraphrase the great James Van Der Beek in Varsity Blues, "I am only one man. "