Monday, February 27, 2012

Border Warring

Thoughts from Saturday's KU/Mizzou game, that will go down in history as one of (if not the best) game in Allen Fieldhouse history (it's one of the most intense rivalries in all of sports; it was the last time they'll ever play in the regular season, after 100+ years of hating each other; both teams were ranked in the top 5; and KU came back from a 19-point second half deficit to win in OT):

-- I can't believe how good Mizzou played. Visiting teams just don't come into the Fieldhouse and shoot that well and play that fearlessly. KU has won 91 of their last 92 at home-- and the one that they lost was because Thomas Robinson's mom died in the middle of the night the night before, and the whole team and coaching staff stayed up the entire night before a 2 pm game. And that's their only home loss in over five friggin' years. I remember when Mizzou went up 15 or so that I realized I had never even seen this kind of score on the scoreboard before.

-- Why do I walk downstairs to pee in the main floor bathroom at the Fieldhouse? Because you'll see at least one celebrity/athlete/former KU player every single time. At halftime on Saturday, I was at a urinal in between Gary Woodland and Clark Kellogg. I took this as a good sign for a second half comeback.

-- Normally I'm a pretty pessimistic fan, while Kyle is the upbeat one. I'll never be the first one to truly believe in a comeback; I usually climb on the bandwagon begrudgingly. But for whatever reason, we completely switched roles on this day. He was pretty much comatose during the whole comeback and overtime, not really believing what was happening, and only really celebrating once it was all over. The vast majority of my fist bumps and high fives (and even a full-on man hug in OT) had to come from the 60-year-old guy on the other side of me. I feel slightly uncomfortable about that hug now, but in that moment it just felt right. This old Adam Sandler sketch comes to mind.

-- So while Kyle had shut down and climbed into a shell of himself, I had compartmentalized the 19-point comeback into small fragments to keep my sanity along the way. Like if we could get the lead down to 12 by the 12-minute mark, and down to 10 by 8 minutes, down to 5 by 4 minutes, etc., then we'd be in good shape. So as the minutes went by and the baskets piled up and the lead narrowed, I kept going back to my mantra as my go-to chant. So there were lots of people giving me confused looks when Connor Teahan would bury a three and I'd throw my arms in the air and exclaim "4 by 2!!! 4 by 2 babyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" But it's in the crazy times that you yell the same weird things over and over again. If you're a sports fan you've been there.

-- I still have no idea how I feel about this year's KU team. I can't really convince myself that they're very good, even though there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. They have a great starting five, arguably the best 1-2 punch in the country with Tyshawn and T-Rob (I can't believe I'm talking positively about Tyshawn after this four-year roller coaster ride) but the bench is a joke. Two walk-ons, a transfer from a mid-major, and IF the 9th man gets in, he'll probably turn the ball over within the first two possessions. But yet they're 24-5, ranked #4, a bunch of wins over top-10 teams, about to win their 8th straight Big 12 title.....I don't know, man. I don't know. They might get upset as a 1-seed in the tourney again this year, but damn they've been better than I thought they would be. Again. Every time you think KU is gonna have a down year, Coach Self just refuses to let it happen. This article sums up my thoughts pretty well.

-- By the time we walked out of the Fieldhouse, it felt like we had been in there for days. Like all of us had just gone on an epic journey together. Like I was Frodo Baggins and the other 16,299 people were collectively my Samwise Gamgee. It wasn't just a game, it was a life experience.

-- And days like Saturday are the reason why I moved down here in the first place.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

He Said It

From the guy behind me in line at Target the other day, as he noticed my merchandise included a box of condoms and a Star Wars t-shirt: "THAT is not a combo that you see very often."

Hey man, Star Wars nerds get laid too.

Also, I had this life-size cardboard cutout in my bedroom/dorm room from ages 18-25. That probably doesn't help my argument though.

The funny thing (to me and hopefully at least one other person so I don't look like a dipshit) is that a lot of times when I'm buying condoms but I don't really need anything else, I intentionally buy something weird, just to mess with the cashier. Like I'll get condoms, a coloring book, and a box of crayons. Or condoms, a box of Wheat Thins, and a cheap disposable camera. This time I wasn't even trying to be creepy, and the dude behind me totally calls me out in front of everyone. Such is life, I guess.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Best Pick-Me-Uppers Of 2011

I'm a sucker for pick-me-up songs. I love them for pregaming, for early in the morning, roadtrips, etc. etc. Additionally, my roommate often gets, shall we say, *cranky* when she's at work, and I get lots of emails that say something along the lines of "Work sucks today, give me a fun song to listen to." So I'm always on the lookout for songs of the upbeat, usually cheesy variety. Here are my favorites from the last year or so. Note: as always with me and music, just because they were my faves from the year, doesn't mean they come from this year. Many don't even come from this decade.

What I Am- Will I. Am...I know it's from Sesame Street, and that it was, in effect, recommended to me by a 2-year-old....but I don't care, it's awesome.

A Love Bizarre- Sheila E: funk music is a weakness of mine, and although he's not in the youtube version, Prince and the Revolution make a cameo in the version I have on my ipod.

The Rainbow- Ween: there are many colors in the homo rainbow. Yes, that is Chef from South Park who contributes a verse at the end of the song.

Give It Up- KC & the Sunshine Band: somehow I had never heard of this song until a couple of months ago. One of those moments where you hear it playing in a bar and you're instantly smitten. Back in the day, you'd have to sprint to the jukebox and hope you could figure out what was playing before the song ended. Now you can just Soundhound it on your phone. Technology rocks, brosef.

Tom Hark- The Piranhas: NOBODY I've recommended this song to likes it very much. Most actually hate it and get pissed when I like to play it multiple times in a row. So I don't know what to think, except that it gets me super fired-up to crack a beer, drive 750 miles, punch a stripper, that kind of thing. I'm sorry, I'm not sorry.

We No Speak Americano- Yolanda Be Cool: first heard this song in a drunken haze after a Royals game last summer, and it quickly became a staple of our softball team's pre-and-post game parking lot drinking activities. Now it's showing up on commercials and stuff like that and it makes me giggle every time.

Walking on Broken Glass- Annie Lennox: this is a super gay song, which is usually the sign of a good pick-me-upper.

Joy- Apollo 100: an almost perfect song to walk down the aisle to immediately after being pronounced husband and wife, in my humble opinion. I'm pretty sure this song is on a movie during a wedding scene, but not a serious one. Like 40-Year-Old-Virgin or something.

Livin' in America- James Brown: if you saw me mowing my lawn in 2011, there is an 80% chance you saw me singing this song loudly and dancing like Apollo Creed, not really caring if anyone heard me or not. (Note: this is a terrible idea, since most of my lawn is on a pretty severe downslope. So if you ever hear about me cutting my foot off in a freak lawnmower accident, you can go ahead and blame The Godfather of Soul and Rocky IV equally.) It only takes me about 20-25 minutes to mow, so I usually just listen to this song on repeat about 4-5 times and call it good. "EYE TO EYE!!! Vision to vision!"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It's Happening

Old age is setting in.

It had been awhile since I had what I like to call a Tom Emanski Weekend (my nights of drinking, like his AAU championships, were back-to-back-to-back) and I am still struggling today. I was able to easily rally during the weekend-- cracking the first beer of each day wasn't an issue-- but that was mostly buoyed by the heroic performance from Paul, whose unexpected transformation into Paul circa 2002 was downright inspiring. A proud husband, father, and police officer drinking 40s, playing Streets of Rage, and staying up until was like watching a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, only in reverse.

However, as soon as I dropped him off at the airport on Monday, I could feel the tremendous hangover setting in, and it is still living inside me, even as I type this.

I still have almost a year to go until the big 3-0, but if moving on to my thirties feels anything like this after a good solid weekend of hitting the bottle....count me out. Game over, man. Hopefully the Mayans are right.

Friday, February 3, 2012

All Apologies

I was going to write a decent post today, but then I killed pretty much my whole lunch break making prop bets for the Super Bowl and that was that. Try not to be angry; it's probably the most fun (although definitely not the most profitable) gambling day of the year. It's a gambler's delight, between stupid prop bets and the ridiculous $1 running bets we all make during the game. (My favorite $1 moment from last year: during this Doritos commercial, when the pug was charging the glass door in slow motion, JDub bet me a buck that he would shatter the glass. I disagreed, and after collecting my dollar while everyone in the room was going nuts, shrugged my shoulders and calmly said, "He just didn't want it bad enough.")

So quickly, here my prop bets this year, $20 apiece:

National Anthem over 1 minute, 35 seconds- I always take the over during the anthem, it's one of the most fun bets on the board.

Coin toss, tails- another bet I make every year, and it seems like somehow I always lose. You'd think this bet would be a coin flip, right? (See what I did there?)

Neither team will score in the first 6 minutes.

First coaches' challenge, Giants.

First made field goal, over 33.5 yards.

Will Madonna wear fishnet stockings at halftime? No. (I have 5% confidence in this bet, which begs the question: why didn't I bet the other way? Because making smart bets is NOT what the Super Bowl is all about.)

Longest TD of game, under 49.5 yards.

Number of Phil Mickelson's birdies will be more than number of Giants' punts. Probably not a good bet, but I just wanna have my boy Phil involved somehow on this glorious day.

Ray Allen +14.5 points over number of Patriots' points. To the layperson, this means that I need Ray-Ray to be within 15 points of the Patriots. So if Jesus Shuttlesworth can go out that afternoon and drop 30, I'll be OK with that.

Wayne Rooney has more goals than Brandon Jacobs has touchdowns. Another sucker bet, but it gives me an excuse to follow the Man U game earlier that day, and I couldn't resist the +320 odds. Damn I love cross-sport prop bets. (If Schneweis' dad was here, he'd apply one of his Hall of Fame quotes to tell me, "You're being dumb right now. You're being dumb just to be dumb.")


Paul flies in this evening for what promises to be a fantastic weekend (I haven't even talked about KU at Mizzou on Saturday night yet!!!) Accordingly, this has been me since I woke up this morning: Drunk Ron Swanson.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, that is also my favorite website of 2012 so far. It brings me so much happiness. From now on, instead of saying "This is my Excited Face" like I usually do, I think I'm changing it to "This is my Drunk Ron Swanson Face."