What’s Good in Tater Town

A blogger friend does a weekly gratitude post. I decided that something similar would be good practice to remind myself that even in the bad weeks I should try to find the good. So, here is the first in the possible new weekly “What’s Good in Tater Town” series.

  1. Both of my kids came home for a few hours this week. Different day than the other, but both were here.
  2. I was able to take some last-minute time off to rest after a long couple of weeks at work.
  3. I met with our new CEO on Friday and she didn’t fire me on the spot.
  4. We had some days without rain this week and I was able to mow my lawn before I  needed a tractor.
  5. The Braves clinched the NL East and are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
  6. Kentucky football beat #14 Mississippi State last night and are 4-0. 2-0 in the SEC for the first time in a very long time.
  7. My fantasy football team is 2-0.
  8. I’m on the second day of my first full weekend off in three weeks.
  9. It’s raining, but my wife still plans to pity me and go to the Ravens game with me today.
  10. Cooler, less humid weather is here.

Ten seems a good goal for each week. Hopefully, I won’t have weeks where I struggle to come up with that many.

 

 

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Tater Talks Dumb Braves Fans

This one has been knocking around in my head for a week or so, but I didn’t write it because no one cares about my sports posts. It’s still there, so it will be written. I thought today was a good day since no one really reads weekend posts either.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been a fan of the Atlanta Braves since I was a kid. When I was a kid they were one of the worst teams in baseball. When I was in college they became one of the best teams in baseball and made the playoffs every year for a while. With success came the bandwagon fans. The people who only cheer for a team when they are good. Recently, the Braves had gone through the rebuilding process. They traded away veteran players and their contracts for prospects. The plan was to rebuild with young players coming up from their farm system. This season the team was supposed to still be one year away from being competitive. Instead, in late August, they are in first place with a three game lead. You would think all of the fans would be happy. You would think wrong. Since I live in the DC area, I don’t get to watch most of the games(I miss TBS showing all of the games) so I look at scores on my phone and if I want more detail I look at Twitter. Twitter is where you find the dumb fans. The fans who probably started being fans when the Braves started winning. The following are some dumb things the dumb fans say:

The Braves should fire their manager – the team is in first place a year before they were supposed to be good. Everything I read says that the manager is well liked and respected by the team. Twitter fans want to fire him because they don’t like the way he handles the bullpen and sometimes they disagree with the batting order. They should ask the Nationals how firing a manager who was liked and respected worked out for them.

The Braves should have traded away most of the prospects in the minors to get a veteran and win now – This season is a bonus. The team was not supposed to be in first place. Many of the better prospects are still a year away from the majors. As good as the team is now, they could be better next year if these players are as good as advertised. These will be players under contract for several years. You want to throw that away for a rent a player to guarantee a playoff spot for one year? Dumb.

Most of the pitchers on the team suck – The team is in first place. I doubt they would be there is the pitching staff was as bad as the Twitter fans think. Pitchers have bad games. Pitchers have mediocre games. Most pitchers are not going to shut out the other team every time out. Demanding they cut a pitcher when he has a bad game is really dumb. Who do you think will replace him?

I’m sure there are more. It must be miserable to be this sort of fan. Your team is in first place. Your team has some exciting young players with more to come next year. Your team is fun to watch. All of this in a year when the experts said they shouldn’t be competitive. Why can’t you just relax and enjoy this?

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.

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