Wow, That Was Quick

Thank goodness that’s over. I didn’t see the comment, but I sure am glad Rush is off NFL Countdown. I love the show, but seeing his face on the show every sunday made me ill. He added nothing to the show, and was constantly interrupting with his stupid blowhard comments and ruined the genial raucousness of the show that I loved. That show only has room for one blowhard, and his name’s Berman. Berman’s got the experience and the good nature to pull it off and make it funny instead of galling. Rush is just a bore. Good riddance.

Los Betos Rides Again

The Los Betos Mascot

Fantasy Football was supposed to start this weekend, but we couldn’t get twelve dependable dorks to register for the league in time. So, attampt two drafts on Wednesday. It’s quite a luxury to be able to see your prospective players in action the first week before you have to draft them. My team, as it has been the last three years is Los Betos named after my favorite greasy Mexican place in Tucson. It’s also funny to me because it either means “The Beasts” or “The Dummies”.

My sinus infection sucks… And in an effort to take my mind off the sucking of my sinuses and the accompanying pain, I decided that Saturday night would be a good time to dye my hair. I don’t have a good picture of it yet, or I would have posted it along with this. The last time I did this (I think it was spring of last year), I went ultra-blond, which isn’t too big a departure from my normal color. Having already done the “one shade off” thing, I decided it was time for something a little more adventurous and Saturday morning picked out “Auburn”, which is a slightly less than ultra-red. I thought my hair would come out a little redder than it did… Right now, I have coppery colored locks (ok, lock? I just got it cut so it’s mighty short). Jen loves it, and I’m pretty happy with it. It’s totally different without being a “crazy teenager” color like purple or blue – not that I won’t go purple someday, I just might.

I would tell you more, but my face is going to pop any second – CAT Scan’s on Thursday.

UPDATE: Since Dawson asked so nicely, I posted a shot from the Sidekick’s crappy camera to my TypePad Mopho Gallery. It really doesn’t do the absolute coppery happiness of my hair justice, but it’s the best I got.

He Van Rundy Off

Good call, Jeff. Let’s see, coach the Rockets or the Wizards. One of them has a good nucleus, a history of success, a decent chance of being competetive next year. The other has no hope, no superstar, no will, an owner older than Moses and an organization in turmoil who’s chewed up and spit out four coaches in the last five seasons. I’m sure that was a hard decision to make.

I like Jeff Van Gundy. He was great as the Knicks coach. He, Mike Fratello and Marv Albert were a good TV crew for TNT this year. He’ll be a great coach for the Rockets. Would he have been successful with the Wizards? Maybe, but he has a lot more tools in Houston. He has a team that looked good at times last year, and just needs a little maturity. The Wizards have several holes, players who gave up on their coach last year, and the shadow of Michael Jordan looming over them. Maybe now that Jordan’s gone, things will be better for the Wizards, but I doubt it.

Why am I writing about this? I don’t even know. I don’t like the Wizards. I’ve still not given up my allegience to my two west coast teams (Utah and Phoenix, although now that Malone’s probably gone and Stockton’s retired, not sure what’s keeping me rooting for Utah other than Mr. Sloan). DC will always be the Redskins’ town anyway, unless the Wizards are really good, and who can honestly say they see that coming?

The Wake

Jen wrote this one…

Waaaaaaaahhhh! Arizona lost! Arizona lost! Boohoo. They started out so flat, so sloppy, just plain horrible! It would have been Lute’s 500th career win at Arizona. Twenty years ago today he signed on with Az. How great would a win have been? To end a season by playing so poorly is frustrating, almost as bad as a first round NCAA tournament loss (which Az has done.) Even though Az won big, Thursday’s game against Notre Dame did more harm than good, due to the lack of defense. When Kevin heard that Az had lost, his face fell and he said “oh, I am so sorry. are you ok?” He acted like my pet had just died. I was exuberant when Az beat Gonzaga, but my mood didn’t swing the other way for this loss. So I assured him that I was fine. But then again, this is my first ranting blog in almost 6 months. I am glad that Kevin is sensitive enough to inquire about my feelings, even about such a trivial matter as a basketball game. (When Princess Diana died, I called my aunt and asked if she was ok, so I understand Kevin’s motivation.) It did give me the opportunity to talk about my favorite Az moments: the first final four appearance, the national championship a few years ago. One of my favorite game of all time was the loss in the championship game 2 years ago. It was the year Lute’s wife Bobbi died after fighting breast cancer. Lute had taken a leave of absence from coaching during the season to be with Bobbi, but came back after her passing. He had mentioned that the pain of her passing was least felt while the team was on the court. Taking that to heart, the team played and played and played. Going further than any would have thought possible, they lost only in the last round of the tournament when there was not another game waiting to be played. As for the rest of the tournament, I may continue to watch, but only to root for a loss for both Texas and Oklahoma (so that no number one seed makes it to the Final Four. Kentucky lost today too.) It may sound spiteful, but I need a reason to watch, don’t I? In happier news, Lute is engaged to be married in October. How great is that?! Statistically, widowers who were happily married are more likely to remarry than the unhappily married widowers. Interesting thought, huh?

Double OT Is Killing My Wife

Arizona, you guys better win it in double OT, or my wife is going to kill you or me.

Watching sports with my wife is a contact sport, especially Arizona Basketball. She yells at the TV, slaps the couch, and my legs, or whatever other body parts are in reach. She’s what they call an avid fan. I love it. The things that come out of her mouth during a game make me laugh like nothing else. Now, Arizona and Gonzaga are going into Double OT, and I’m not sure she can handle the pressure. Please, Wildcats, go on a 15-0 run or something. She and my legs would appreciate it.

UPDATE: Arizona wins!! Arizona wins!! It was by one point. After that last second shot by Gonzaga missed, Jen exulted with my double-armed pumping, “Arizona won!!!! Arizona won!! Arizona won!!!! Holy crap, Arizona won!!!” I thought for sure, I could get clocked by “friendly fire”, but Jen assured me her arms where going straight up and down, not side to side. It was a relief, to be sure.

John Never Said It Would Be This Fun!

Since I bought my PlayStation 2, I’ve bought just one game, Jak and Daxter. I’ve rented half a dozen now, and have found what will probably be the next member of my permanent collection: Madden 2003. Other than some unfortunate choice of music with profanity in it in the menus, the game is great. The franchise mode is still there (I’ve been playing the Madden series since Madden 1995 on my old 486), only improved greatly with trickier trades. My favorite part though is the improved play designer. It’s way too much fun. I created a formation yesterday with five wide receivers, lined up two to the strong side, and three to the right. The options are amazing, and you can practice the play with any offensive and defensive unit you want. It’s great, totally worth the purchase price. I think next I’ll create a whole playbook of I formation plays with four wideouts. Yes, indeed, the fun never ends.

Monday Night Recap

I’m sure you’ve read all about it already, but I was there. Ok, I wasn’t there there, but I was in the stadium. Yes, we made it to Monday Night Football last night. It took us two hours to get there, a mile of walking past tailgaters, port-a-potties and up four stadium levels of ramps to get to our seats on the upper-deck. That said, we had a surprisingly good view of the field and play.

Ok, the game sucked. It sucked so bad that we knew it was over after the Eagles’ second drive. We were surrounded by a bunch of Eagles fans (four right in front of us, one next to me), and there were a surprising number in the stadium. As the game wore on, and the outcome became more inevitable, it became less and less comfortable to be there. The exodus began shortly after the second half began. As the third quarter drudged towards the 0:00, every Redskins screw up started a stream of Redskins fans headed for the exit and the awaiting traffic jam. That left the hardcore drunkards rooting for both teams, which led to the pepper spray incident I linked to above. When the referee said, “A foreign substance has been sprayed on the Eagle’s bench,” we decided we’d had enough and headed for the ramps.

That’s when we saw the dark side of pro football games – the drunk bastards. See, the police used pepper spray to stop a fight. When we got to the first ramp, it was shut down, and we saw half a dozen fans being sequestered against the rail, surrounded by cops and two or three state police directing us to another ramp because they had closed the ramp to clean up the mess.

On our way to ramp number two, we walked past a small group of Eagles and Redskins fans in a shouting match. As we walked past, the words were heated and slurred and bodies were inching closer to each other, chests thrust out. Yeah, I narced on them.

We escaped the drunken yells of “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!” and got the car, where we waited about twenty minutes to get out of the parking lot. Surprisingly, traffic was light on the beltway headed home, and we made it home a little before two.

It was fun, but Jen and I both agreed we don’t need to do it again. I like Pro Football best when I can watch it on TV, with my bathroom handy, my snack food (that doesn’t cost 4 times what it should), and I can flip to other games, and turn off the TV if the game gets boring. It was an experience; one I’m glad I had, but not one I’m ready to repeat.

And today – root canal. YES!

Let the Pre-Fun Begin!

An A/C update… We are back to living in climate-controlled comfort. I put in a new filter, washed all of the lint out of the A/C unit outside. Cool air is blowing out of the right vents, and warm air is being sucked in the correct ones.

On to what I really brought this window up for. I’ve mentioned this before (so long ago that no one who reads my ramblings now would remember, or done well enough to inflict it on anyone): I love pre-season NFL football. Why? The games mean nothing as far as the team goes and are unrelated to standings or stats. But, the drama is there. There are 91 guys who go to training camp. 54 end up making the final team. Watching guys you’ve never heard of playing their hearts out trying to earn a spot on a team in the sport they love is just great to watch. Watching 3rd team offenses against 3rd team defense fills me with hope.

For example, the Redskins clobbered the 49er’s on Saturday night. The Redskins actually looked really good. For someone who didn’t pay attention, it would be a sign of a good season to come. If you paid attention though, the Redskin’s first team spent 90% of their time in the game playing the 49ers second team.

The other great thing about pre-season football is that every team in the NFL is full of hope (unless you happen to play for the Bengals), and everyone has a chance to reach the Super Bowl. It’s a great time of year, the end of the summer sports drought (and thank goodness for that.. if I had to watch another SportsCenter where nothing but baseball was shown, I think I would give up and start watching the Soap channel).

The season starts in less than a month. Two months later, we get the start of the NBA, and the glorious fall and winter of real sports. YES!