Baseball Day Due to Rain

I am an Atlanta Braves fan living in the DC area. The only good thing about the Washington Nationals is that I have a chance to see the Braves play live each year. Tis year we looked at the schedule and decided to buy tickets to a Saturday night game. It was perfect. It was my weekend off from the library. My daughter got off work 2 hours before the game started. A night game meant less time sitting in the sun. A night game meant there was no place anyone had to be, so the length of the game didn’t matter. As an added bonus for my wife, it was going to be 80’s night. Everything seemed A-OK and then it started raining. And it rained. And rained. And rained. It rained so much and so earlier they postponed the game 5 hours before it was supposed to start. I appreciated that. It was nice to know before we headed in to the city. Now we had to wait to see when the game ould be played.

Normally, they probably would have just played a doubleheader the next day, but this was the beginning of the constant rain. They didn’t want to reschedule the game for the next day because of the chance of rain. It was a good move. It rained and delayed the one game they were supposed to play the next day. There was one series left with Atlanta in DC. It was a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday series. Both teams had a common day of on the Monday before, so I was hoping they would schedule a game that night so we could avoid a day game in the sun and the heat and not worry about work schedules. Unfortunately, they rescheduled the game for Tuesday afternoon at 1pm. We could have traded our ticket for one of the night games, but at least one of us works every night of the series. So, Tuesday afternoon game it is. Today is that Tuesday. Here is what that means for us:

I am taking a day of vacation in order to go to the game.

My wife is going to work in DC, leaving to go to the game, and then going back to the office.

My daughter has to be at work at 6, so we will likely have to leave before the game ends for her to be there on time.

Instead of driving down together, we are taking multiple forms of mass transit and hoping for no delays that will result in missing part of the game or my daughter being late for work.

We will be at the game in the heat of a very hot and sunny day.

There is a slight chance a thunderstorm could delay the game, further complicating our day.

I hate rain.

Advertisements

Why my Sports Teams are My Team

I was watching the Braves play the Cardinals yesterday and one of the Cardinals announcers said that he had always followed winning teams, so his fandom changed based on who was good. When Lebron signed with the Lakers yesterday I’m sure they picked up new fans who just follow wherever Lebron goes. I think the idea of changing favorite teams is weird. I can see having new interest in a team based on a new player, but not changing teams. Same with a personal move to a new city. I do have an odd collection of favorite teams. Here they are and why I’m a fan:

College Football and Basketball – University of Kentucky Wildcats – I grew up in Kentucky and attended UK for both undergrad and grad school. I watched the basketball games when I was a kid. I attended football and basketball games as a student. As a student. I had multiple classes with players from both teams. They will always be my team no matter where I live.

MLB – Atlanta Braves – I’ve always been a baseball fan. There is no team in Kentucky. I think a lot of people are fans of Cincinnati or St. Louis because they are the closest. I didn’t really have a team until TBS arrived and started airing Braves games. We started watching the Braves because all of the games were on TV. They were really bad, but we watched anyway. I was finally rewarded for my loyalty when they went through a stretch of being one of the best teams in the game. I stuck with them when they got bad again and am now enjoying a season where they are back in first place.

NFL – Baltimore Ravens – I didn’t really get invested in an NFL team as a kid. I don’t even remember watching much football. When we moved to the DC area, nothing about the Redskins made me want to change that. I didn’t start watching the Ravens when they fist came to town. It took a few years for me to start watching and then I was hooked and I’m now a season ticket owner(though I am trying to sell them)

NBA – Washington Wizards – This is the one where I can say I started watching because of a player, but at least they are local. I am a basketball fan, but never really watched the NBA. Since Calipari has been at UK there have been a lot of UK guys in the NBA. One of those is John Wall who was my favorite player on Calipari’s first team. He was drafted y our local team. It still took a while for me to become a fan of the team, but I’m there now. I have no idea if my interest will end when Wall leaves.

NHL – I just can’t get in to hockey. I don’t know why.

Those are my teams. I don’t expect it ti change. If Wall leaves Washington it’s more likely that I will watch less NBA than it is for me to pick a new team.

March Madness Has Arrived

At the end of this post I will give my upset and final four picks. Before that, though, I have some thoughts on some tweaks I would like to see made to the tournament, especially selection of teams.

  1. The play in games should not involve small conference champions. These teams have already had their play in game. It was called the conference tournament championship. They already earned their spot in the field of 64. The teams playing in the play in games should all be at-large teams. Make the last teams in play for their spot, not teams that already earned that spot.
  2. Stop rewarding mediocrity. No one should be in the field if they have a losing record in their conference. Why are teams like Oklahoma(losing conference record, lost 8 of their last 10 games) in the field while teams with better records are left out? Why are any mediocre power conference teams selected while better mid majors are left out? If you really want the tournament to be the best 68 teams then send the best teams.
  3. Understand your fans.  I know you think a matchup of big Kentucky vs little Kentucky school will add to the drama, but all that does is give us one less game to care about. We would watch and cheer for the little Kentucky team against anyone else and still watch and cheer for Kentucky. If you match them up, we will watch and complain about you messing up our chance to cheer for our underdog. Luckily, UK is not playing Murray State this year, but I’m sure if I looked I could find a matchup that has divided loyalties.
  4. Go back to the old selection show. The tweak this year didn’t work. It was terrible.

Now for the picks:

Upset specials –

Loyola-Chicago over Miami

Murray St over West Virginia

Butler over Arkansas

New Mexico St over Clemson and Auburn

Final four – Cincy, Xavier, Villanova, Michigan State

Championship – Cincy vs Villanova

Champion – Villanova.

 

 

Some Random Friday Stuff

A few short random things from the week.

  • I decided to download a logic puzzle app to my phone so I have something to do when I’m home alone and don’t feel like reading. I keep messing up the puzzles, but I’m pretty sure it is less I’m no longer good at logic puzzles and more my stupid fat thumbs keep clicking the wrong box on the grid and I don’t notice until it is too late. At least I hope it’s I have fat thumbs and not I’m getting dumber.
  • I just bought my ticket to a fundraiser that is being held at a bar called Urban Axes in Philadelphia. It will take place during the PLA Conference. The ticket includes an open bar and axe throwing. Alcohol, librarians and axes. What could possibly go wrong. Now I just have to not chicken out and actually go to a strange bar with strangers and throw axes.
  • I’ve been really tired this week because I stay up too late(or sleep on the couch while trying to stay up) to watch the Olympics. I enjoy the snowboarding events, the speed skating, luge and skeleton, and some of the skiing, but the rest kind of bore me. I prefer the summer Olympics. I can watch a lot more swimming and track and field than I can skiing and I would rather watch gymnastics than figure skating. I’m ready for these games to be over so I and go back to my regularly scheduled TV viewing.
  • I was going to add some stuff about the gun control debate, but it seemed too serious compared to the rest of the post. I will say that I am annoyed by the people who are dismissing the teens from Florida as pawns being used by adults like high schoolers can’t possibly have anything important to say. I would also say that if you post anything claiming these kids are crisis actors and not real teens who went through a traumatic event I will most likely unfriend you on whatever social media it is on. I can be friends with people who disagree with me but I can’t be friends with people who post false and slanderous claims about these kids.

 

Photo Challenge: A Face in the Crowd

 

I tend to use old pictures for the weekly photo challenge instead of creating a new one because I spend my days in an office and only take pictures these days when I’m on vacation. One day maybe I will have the time to take new photos based on the weekly theme.

This week’s challenge was A Face in the Crowd. I was thinking about what I have that would fit the challenge and recalled all of the “start of the race” photos from when my son ran cross country in high school. He is in this crowd and if you know him you can find him. Many people of many different sizes, races, religions, etc. are in the group, but all united by the sport.

face

via Photo Challenge: A Face in the Crowd

The Time I Talked to Bruce Pearl

Kentucky basketball is playing Auburn tomorrow night. Auburn is really good this year. Auburn is coached by Bruce Pearl. A little Bruce Pearl background for the non-sports people. Bruce Pearl was the coach at the University of Tennessee. While he was the coach he invited a recruit and his family to a cookout at his house while the recruit was on an unofficial visit. Pearl told people at the cookout that the recruit was not supposed to be there and asked them not to tell anyone. When the NCAA investigated the incident, Pearl lied about it. He eventually acknowledged that it happened and that he lied about it. He was fired by Tennessee and due to sanctions was not a coach for a period of time. While not coaching, he was an analyst for ESPN, but also Vice President of Marketing for Knoxville wholesaler H.T. Hackney.

His position at Hackney is where I come in to the picture. My brother works for a company in Kentucky that did business with H.T. Hackney. This put him in position to meet and work with Bruce Pearl. We stay at my brother’s house when we are visiting family in Kentucky. One year around Christmas we were at his house and he took a work related phone call. After the call he told me that it was Bruce Pearl who called. I told him he should have let me talk to him since I was a huge college basketball fan and always liked Pearl. My brother called him back and said that his brother was visiting, was a UK fan but also a fan of Pearl’s and wanted to talk to him. Pearl was happy to do so and I was handed the phone.

I would like to say that I wasn’t awkward and weird on the call, but honestly, I can’t remember much of what I actually said.  Pearl asked me what I thought about UK’s team that year and for my thoughts on their upcoming game against Louisville. He actually listened to my basketball analysis even though he was the one who was paid to do that. He was very nice and friendly and I was the one who eventually said that I should let him get back to work. He did not seem to be in a hurry to stop talking to the random guy who happened to be related to a work associate. I came away from the call very impressed with him and his willingness to spend time talking to me about basketball. I will now always be a fan(unless his team is playing UK)

While My Face is Numb…

I am home after a trip to the dentist. I am still partially numb. I had some gum lasered off and a tooth filled. I am afraid of what my mouth will feel like when I am no longer numb. I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as I think.  While I am killing time watching women’s luge some random thoughts that aren’t enough for a full post:

The 2018 Youth Media Awards were announced today. Click here to see the winners. I’ve read The Hate U Give and The Long Way Down. Both excellent books. I’ve checked the Newberry and the Printz winners out and will read them soon. I’ve placed holds on several of the Alex Award winners/ This is perfect timing as I was about to finish the last book I had from the library. I’m looking forward to some good reading.

I stopped at Target on the way home today but bought nothing. I stopped to look at some products like facial wash for men, beard balm, generally things that aren’t necessary but might make me feel a little better about myself. I looked at prices and didn’t buy anything because I wasn’t sure it was worth the money. Basically, that I am not worth the money. Some day I will learn to not walk away from buying something for myself. Today was not that day.

Continuing my bad sports year. Braves were bad. Ravens were bad. Kentucky basketball is bad. Libraries on the are where the Braves play might close, possibly because they wasted so much money on a stadium when the existing stadium was fine. I can take a bad team if they are lovable losers. I loved watching the bumbling Braves of the 80’s These teams are not lovable losers. It’s not fun to watch.

Now I’m off to walk the dog and hope that my face doesn’t start hurting. Happy Monday!