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hater_tots

Hater tots: I eat ’em; with melted cheese and ketchup.  And when my plate is empty, I’m Oliver Twist.  I can’t help it, really.  It’s a disease.  But I don’t want a cure.

Case in point: I hate the DC sports market.  I have had to suffer through more Wizards and Redskins games than I can remember.  Every. single. year, I listen to pundits ignore logic, empirical evidence and reasonable limits on hope and imagination as they insist that this is their year.  Not only has this mythical year not happened while I’ve been here (a decade), it hasn’t happened since 1991.

But they keep promising that it’s coming.  I find balance by enjoying their losses and shortcomings.  Such is the essence of hating.

Yesterday, like every Sunday this time of year, was devoted to football.  And because networks tailor their broadcasts to viewing markets, I had to watch — you guessed it — the Redskins.  But this time, it was different.  This time, it was fun.

The Redskins lost to the Detroit Lions.  The Lions hadn’t won a game yet this year.  They didn’t win a single game last year (the first team in history to lose all 16).  Actually, the Lions hadn’t won a game since 2007.

Be still, my hating heart.  It was glorious.

My first instinct was to turn to the local Redskins coverage channel, CSN.  This is what I do every time the Redskins lose.  I revel in the dismay of their fans.  After any loss, I’m guaranteed a solid hour of “How could this be?” and “Where did it all go wrong?” But on a day when the home team had lost to the worst team in sports history, fan reaction such as “we need new everything” and “worst day of my life” made this cold heart lukewarm.

The only reason it wasn’t the highlight of my hating weekend is because on Saturday night, America’s favorite golden boy, Tim Tebow — University of Florida quarterback and appointed center of the all-that-is-moral-compass — got rocked.  I mean, he got hit like a blindfolded piñata.  That’s right: a blindfolded piñata.  It was a great moment.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Reactions from all kinds of sources have been streaming in, like this one, for example:

It was the best thing since sliced bread.

spokesperson, Wonder Bread

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credit: batega

credit: batega

This is the most wonderful time of year.  Andy Williams was high.¹

Winter is a season.  The Christmas “season” is not a season.  It is a subset of a season.  Funny how we’ve got a virgin to thank for Christmas since it lasts about as long as a virgin does.²

But Fall — sweet, sweet, autumnal majesty, Fall — lasts for months.

And the best part?  Fall’s inclusivity.  To love the Christmas season, you’ve probably got to believe in one of three things: religion, commercialism, or the spirit of giving.³  If none of those appeal to you, though — and, frankly, who just likes to give anymore? — then the best the last couple weeks of December have to offer you is maybe some vacation time from work.

Fall doesn’t care what you believe.  Hell, if I were to make a wholly irrational argument, I could argue that Fall — as host to, for example, both Yom Kippur and Ramadan — holds the secret to religious freedom and peace on earth.

Oh.  And you want entertainment?  How about a little thing called the “start of the NFL season?”  Or what about premieres of TV’s new Fall lineups?  You know what happens if you wait until the Christmas season to start watching football or that new sitcom you’d heard about?  What happens is that Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas will drop your name in a song because you’ll be so 2000 and late.

Or maybe you like fashion.  I’m sure, then, that you’re super-hyped to be able to wear clothes you won’t sweat through (like you did this summer) and clothes you won’t have to cover with layer after layer of insulation (like you will this winter).

Like saving money?  Wait ’til you hear what Fall’s got for you!  A solid month of not needing either your AC or heat on.ª  Open your windows and enjoy a breeze.

Enjoy baby-havin’?  Some of the best people ever were had in the Fall — also, self; *ahem, ahem.*

And — and — it’s the season of the spoon.  No; not that thing you’ve done with the person you haven’t told your friends and family about yet.  I mean the utensil.  Fall is great timing for the best foods you can eat with a spoon — like chowder or chili.  Yeah, sure: you can eat chili on a hot dog in July while at a baseball game when it’s 100 degrees outside; or you can eat it like a champion while watching a Saturday night college football game.

And I know you’re a champion, right?  Right?

_________

¹He was not.  Please don’t sue me, keepers of the Andy Williams’ estate.

²Heyo!

³Religion and commercialism are completely valid, by the way.

ªHear that, utility companies?  That’s the sound of millions of middle fingers to you.

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When I first got to DC, there was no baseball and there were no Washington Nationals.  Actually, thanks to the wildly “successful” Redskins and Wizards, there were also football and basketball in name only.  But those are separate complaints for different days.

I paid no attention to the Nationals when they showed up in 2005.  They weren’t even really on TV for the first two seasons.  Nothing says “Watch our games!” like “You can’t watch our games even if you wanted to.”

But I’ve started paying attention because the games are now actually on TV and with those games comes commercials for those games.  And with those commercials comes my annoyance at those commercials.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

If you can’t get video at work, I’ll give you the highlights.  It’s video featuring a fan describe what he thinks is an unbelievably awesome moment in Nationals history.  Speaking of the incredible feat his favorite player pulls off with the bases loaded at the end of a game:

Does he try to be the hero?  Nope… He stands there.  Stands there!  For ball 4…  A walk can be as good as a hit.

This fan is a dirty liar.¹  He is filthy lying.²  He is using the politics of sucking and I do not appreciate it.  What he should’ve said is “We are much better hitters when we don’t swing our bats.”  But, no.  He insisted the sucking we witnessed was strategic.

Going to Nationals Park is great.  The views are amazing and the food is really good.  But watching the actual game?  Not that fun.  Calling the Nats the Bad News Bears in jest would be funny, except jokes are funniest when they include exaggeration and aren’t just synonyms.

There is so much spin about this team.  Someone has to just admit they suck.  We all know it.  As of today, they have the worst record in all of baseball and it’s been that way for a while.  The commercials should embrace this.  I respect self-deprecation.  It’s so much more entertaining.  It’s why It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is wildly better than Two and a Half Men (that show with Charlie Sheen on CBS).  The former stops taking itself seriously as soon as the opening credits are over, while the latter insists for 24 minutes every Monday night that Charlie Sheen is still a viable actor.³

And not that this is at all related, but when I think “Nats” — the nickname of the Nationals — I think “gnats” and I imagine the pesky, minuscule insects that gather in clouds that I have to fight my way through when walking down the sidewalk.  Just thought I’d share that.

_________
¹ For legal reasons: I kid.
² Also so I won’t get sued: I kid.  He lies quite cleanly.
³ Sorry, Charlie. You maxed out at Hot Shots! Part Deux.

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Hey, kids.  *unh!* How you doin’?  *unh!* I’m cool, I’m cool.  I’m just — *unh!* — writing a post over here; no worries.

Why am I grunting?  Well, I’ve been following a lot of tennis lately; watching a lot of highlights.  It’s Wimbledon time — *unh!* — and no sound is more symbolic of a tennis grand slam match than a good *unh!* after every. single. shot.  I’ve decided to grunt — *unh!* — intermittently while typing to show my affinity for the art of making guttural noises that have no place in the activity one chooses to perform.

I think Monica Seles made the after-shot grunt famous.  It’s been around for years, but this year is arguably one of the gruntiest years to date.  Just check out Portugal’s Michelle Larcher de Brito:

See what I mean?  Ridicul — *unh!* — ous.  Even the organizers of Wimbledon are mocking the grunts with this sponsored video:

Apparently, a bunch of people think there’s some sex appeal in the screaming.¹  This would go hand-in-hand with the All England Club’s admission that “physical attractiveness is taken into consideration” when determining which players are showcased on certain courts.  Seriously: the Club uses some secret formula² to gauge the hotness of a player and then uses that to determine whether to feature the player on the famed, TV-rating bonanza, centre court, or to stick the player in the shadows of some distant patch of grass that just happens to have a net and maybe some lines on it.

I get the fascination with 20-somethings in tennis skirts.  But nothing says “Ol’ Boys Club” — and gets you a phone call from Gloria Allred — like admitting they’re part of what is essentially your “summer bonus” process.

_________
¹ I know for a fact that my *unh!s* have made this post 3.7 times as sexy.
² I imagine…

old guy 1: she makes me proud to be a pill-carrying Cialis-user.
old guy 2: she can wimble my don any time she wants.

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me: day what?
senior attorney: day off.
me: *staring at Gmail: they make those?*

So the only reason I left my house yesterday was to head to Nationals Park.  Since I’d been to RFK, but never made it last season, I can say that this footstep…

… is me crossing the threshold of the Center Field Gates to Nationals Park before they were the gates to Comcast Amer-arena, or whatever corporate extension it will soon be as all sports arenas eventually become.

But now that f.B’s first steps are said and done?

I’m going to become a Nationals fan.

Say what?

Say word.

You read “the transplant episode,” right? I’m trying to fit in, here.

This shouldn’t be too hard. I mean, the team is dreadful. But I went to GW. And just how much winning goes on there?

Besides the field is gorgeous. See?

A little more…

There were only two downers.

1) We sat high.

Hey: neither of us were fans going in.  Actually, once Barack pulled out from throwing the first pitch, I considered missing the game altogether.  So we sat high to see if it was worth it at all.  It wasn’t that bad.  We weren’t in nose-bleeds and the view from behind first base was cool.

But every time they set off fireworks, ashes of fire sprinkled down upon us.  Not cool, kids.  Not cool.  MB literally brushed embers off of my shoulders.  And if I have to refresh the instructions for “stop, drop and roll” while at the game, something has to change.

2) The loud asshat behind us yelling nonsense.

There were AARP jokes, because the Phillies’ pitcher, Jamie Moyer, is 46 (though, the dude yelling was easily late 60s; so quick new rule: you cannot yell AARP jokes if you could be an AARP spokesperson).  Then there was the yelling at a 9 year old child from Philly and something about Teddy Pendergrass.

I wanted to get this guy a first class ticket on the…

That’s right: the Straight Talk Express.  Apparently bad dreams never die and this other guy was sporting the jacket at the game, in April 2009.  But I figured once I got the asshat on the Express, I could finally give him some straight talk about mentioning Teddy Pendergrass.  Yell at the kiddies if you want.  But keep Teddy’s name out your mouth, son.

Anyway, the asshat wrapped it all up with this gem between him and his seemingly unwilling companion:

him: can you feel it?
her: it’s damp. I can smell it.

MB: *starting to turn around*
me: *placing hand on her knee, pleading with eyes, shaking head “no, for the love of god, no”*

But all in all, better than being at work.

Let my fandom begin.

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img_0816

Yeah, so he’s 65.  And he uses a walking stick.  So what?  I took it straight to the abs and didn’t blink.  Now, if he had been in his prime and meant to do anything more than just play around, I probably would’ve been broken clean in half.  But it wasn’t 1971, it was yesterday.

I had an event to attend at the Omni Shoreham last night.  It was for a great cause: the annual fundraising gala for Keely’s District Boxing and Youth Center.

Yadda, yadda, yadda…

I ended up escorting Joe the ten or so minutes from his room to the ballroom where the event was being held.  I’m not the awestruck-by-celebrity type, which is why this was so cool.  He was just a normal guy who, at one point, knocked down Muhammad Ali.

Oh, right.  And Larry Holmes was there, too.

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Bradley’s First Game

So this was my first Division I college football game: BC at Maryland.

GW football doesn’t exist (despite what the t-shirts at the bookstore say). There are many rumors as to why. Some say it was contractual, to guarantee the building of the Smith Center. Others say it’s because Georgetown was upset that we’d finally have a chance at being better than it at something, and so we caved in to protect the “natural order of things,” — Georgetown’s actual words — when it threatened to put us on its basketball schedule.

Yet others say football teams add school spirit, and building classes of kids who care, about anything, certainly their school, would hurt GW’s image and hence its recruiting with the “I’m too sexy for my Uggs – juicy-assed – collar-poppin'” Lawn Guyland apathetics crowd.

But after a night like tonight, where we sat right behind the end zone, knee-deep in student pride for a slow, dull-witted creature, it hit me: I can’t feel my toes.

It was really, really cold. And I was soaking wet because some genius had spilled his entire Pepsi on my back and legs. The whole thing. It was like the dude behind the counter had put me directly under the soda fountain rather than a cup. He might as well have thrown ice in my eye. I looked like I had been in the trenches, with shin-deep soda stains on my jeans from wading through a caffeine river. He tried to help dry me off, but at that moment, it was the kind of help that doesn’t stop you from wanting to punch him in the face. And through it all, there was this sopping bag o’ douche a few rows ahead, who just could not let it go. Whether it was 2nd and 4, or 3rd and 19, he was screaming, “Gimme five [yards].” He yelled during timeouts. He yelled at halftime. He embarrassed his wife. He made me sad for his kids. He smelled like hobbit feet.

And it’s that kind of “god, this sucks,” “I should be anywhere but here” mentality that we are sorely missing. Because we would lose. We would lose hard. And we would lose interest if GW didn’t put the game out of reach in 15 minutes or less. But we could be one in our failure. We could be nothing, together.

GW, the ball’s in your hands.

Give us something new to complain about.

Sent via iPhone.

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