April 23rd, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I owned an Air Supply album, vinyl. More than one. The duo from Australia with their fluffy hair and big collared, unbuttoned, white blouse like shirts. Aahhhyaah! I can practically see them in that fuzzed out edge shot with the dreamy, glow lighting. Singing gently, tenderly … really, crying love songs in that range to which only pre-pubescent boys and eunuchs could ascend. These dudes were barely dudes. Really, only technically. Pretty. They were pretty dudes. And all they sang about was love. “All out of love” “Lost in Love” “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”. And I ate it up. Even now, thirty years removed, I can still sing a line or two, or three. NnooOOOOO!
I wish I can say that Air Supply was the worst mistake I’ve made in life. The ugliest thing I’ve done. It’s not. There have been worse mistakes, greater failures. Some I’ve made as a husband, as a father. Something your kids need to hear from you is this: I was wrong. I am sorry. The beauty of kids is that they believe what you tell them – directly or indirectly. They believe what your actions say about them. When something hurts, feels bad, they don’t go to, “Hmm … I think my Dad is wrong here.” No, they usually conclude, often subconsciously, that you must be right. This is really how it is. By confessing your mistakes, wrongs, transgressions you can shatter this “purveyor of reality” picture your kids have of you. If left to realize it on their own, and they will, that Dad made some mistakes, the effects of your ways will have put well worn grooves in their hearts and minds.
Considering how fallible we are, as a whole, fathers seldom say sorry. We find it hard to say, I was wrong when I said that … or did that … or acted like such and such, I was wrong, I am sorry. Sit them down, look into their eyes and say it. Say it often.
And in this spirit, I’d like to say to you all, being into Air Supply … I was wrong; I am so very sorry.
April 20th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Creature of Habit
Before I write anything, I gotta tell you, I’m a creature of habit. Every morning, I pour myself a cup of coffee and go sit in the same chair. The other day, my youngest asked, “Daddy, why do you always sit in that chair?” Thinking to answer her question, it struck me that I don’t always sit in that chair. In fact, I only sit in that particular chair in the mornings. That’s pretty much it. What she really meant to ask was why every morning, I was in that same chair. And to that question, I didn’t really have an answer. I just am. It’s a habit. And it’s not likely to change any time soon.
I’ve drafted in four fantasy drafts. Each have gone about the same. Running back in the first round. The best available RB or WR in the second round. Go back and forth with a slight tilt toward the RB position til about the 5th when I start looking for a bargain QB. I don’t like TEs until the 9th and D/ST and Kickers until the last four picks.
Even in the short span of the past five years, things have changed in the NFL. The most prominent change is passing is at a premium. That one shift affects everybody, QBs on down. That ought to affect draft strategy, right? You would think. It’s not going to change mine. Like I said, I’m a creature of habit. And taking an elite RB in the first, despite all the challenges of actually landing one these days is to me like that feeling of dropping my ass onto the familiar contours of a comfortable, well worn seat.
Here is a list of QBs that makes taking one in the first two rounds difficult to justify:
Tier 1: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees
Tier 2: Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford
Tier 3: Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Tony Romo
April 10th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
We’re sitting in the line up this morning, “line up” is surf lingo for the area just off shore where the wave breaks. And my brother turns to me and says, “We invested in a buff juicer.” Now, there’s nothing delicate about my brother. From his overall appearance to the way he drives, he is the very antithesis of refined. Growing up, he was the brawler. The dude shovels his food and throws back his beer.
“You bought a what?”
“One of those industrial strength juicers. Hey man, it’s nice. You should get one.”
After trying to take in this picture of my bro getting all vegetable, I ask, “What that set you back?”
He tells me what he and his wife ponied up for this juicer. As I get to taking a mental inventory of all the things I’d rather buy with that kind of coin, like a Scotty Cam Putter for instance, our buddy sitting next to him, whose only slightly more refined – to give you an idea, lately some of our friends have taken to calling this guy “the Gorilla” – turns to me and says, “Hey, you should get the ____. It’s rated higher than mine or the one your bro got.”
I’m thinking, “You got a juicer too.”
And then they go on and on about all the stuff they put in their juicers.
Back on land, changing in the parking lot to get off to work, and we’re still talking juicers. It occurs to me, “This has nothing to do with refinement; nothing to do with lifestyle.” Aha! It’s middle-aged man talk. The frivolities of youth give way to the ambitions of life. The ambitions of life, released with a sigh give way to talk of kids, colonoscopies, and yeah, juicers. “Damn, you guys know how to party. Listen to us, ‘Hey, man, come over. 6 AM. You bring the oranges, and you bring the carrots, and I’ll have all the green stuff. And don’t ring the bell when you get here; do not wake up my wife.”
You better believe I’m gonna take a look at some juicers. Hell yeah!
In life think it’s important to closely carry with us the reality that none of us is here for long.
April 6th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It’s business; it’s not personal
Isn’t this what mob dudes say when they get an old friend, a paisan to whack a life long pal? “Hey, Vinny, I know you grew up wit da guy. I know. Believe me. And it’s a rotten thing, but it’s business; it’s not personal.” When anyone puts a slug in your head, it’s personal. All the more when that person in question celebrated holidays with you. Cosa Nostra – Our Thing. Family. In that split second of clarity before the Pop! of the 32 behind the ear, the parting thought is, “Awe, Vinny. Not you.”
Last month, the Free Agency period kicked off, unleashing as it does every year a bevy of “brow raising” activity. It’s a treacherous season of personal relationships jettisoned for the demands of the all mighty $. Teams need to get better – need to bleed the aging financial drag. Players need to get paid, for most the one big pay day of a short lived career. Days are coming when talk of team, talk of “All being in it together” will be renewed. Right now, guys like Brian Urlacher is getting “hung out to dry.” Yo, every man for himself.
You can’t tell Urlacher that it’s not personal. You can’t tell Greg Jennings it’s not personal. Oh, it’s personal alright. When Welker signed for 2 mil more with Denver, it was personal. Welker is a Patriot. He’s bought into the Patriot way. He’s more Belichickian in press conferences than Tom Brady. They signed Gronk and Hernandez, the new kids, the young kids. Welker was left to dangle. When they offered a last minute two-year, ten mil, as much as he wanted to end his career in New England, Welker couldn’t sign. It was a personal affront. He had no choice.
It’s business; it’s not personal is a load. They should stop saying it to excuse what everyone knows is brutal. Nobody believes it … well, maybe nobody outside the Mafia and the NFL.
On a fantasy note: I heard a crazy stat, that I have neither the time nor the energy to verify – you’re on your own on this. It came from a nationally syndicated sports radio guy. Something like 60+ Pro Bowl Wide Receivers have changed teams through free agency in the past ten years, less than 10% have made it back to another Pro Bowl. Something to think about as you assess the value of Welker, Jennings, Harvin, and Wallace.
Separated at birth. According to the ambiguous, unreliable stat, Toby Maguire has a better shot at returning to his Spidermanesque Hollywood leading man status than Welker to the ProBowl.
April 2nd, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Bite your tongue
“Honey, does this dress make me look …?”
Okay, remain calm. There’s a way out. Nobody has to get hurt. First, listen to that voice in your head, etched in there from those countless Saturday mornings wasted in front of the TV, listen to uncle Elmer, “Be vewy, vewy, quiet.” Now, to get everyone out alive, you’ll have to know what to say. More importantly, what not to say. It’s critical. One word out of place, and Kaboom!
No matter what, do not say the first thing that comes to mind. Start with, “Ah…hmm….” Put your chin in your hand, and give her a good, “Let me see” look. That should buy you a few seconds. With those precious few seconds, don’t make the most common mistake: Do not tell yourself, “I have to tell her the truth.” Not because you ought not tell her the truth. Of course you tell the truth, but because when we think truth, we think, “… the truth, the whole truth …” Instead of keeping your wits about you, you’ll let false guilt and your rights to free speech nudge you into … well, something like this, “Makes you look … uh, a little bit … Kaboom!
We feel like we need to say something. Don’t we? All kinds of reasons, everything from telling the whole truth to having to be right. Bite your tongue. You can overlook some things. Trust me; let it go. You can thank me later.