My DVR Problem

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Some backstory first: It is always hard to convince my wife to upgrade to newer technology. I think she still misses her government issued Blackberry. It took some time to convince her that upgrading to HD TV was a good idea, especially for people who watch a lot of sports. The sane was true for moving from a VCR to a DVR. She didn’t see the point. The VCR still worked fine. We had plenty of tapes to use for recording. What was the point of the upgrade? It took some time, but I think what finally convinced her was the fact that she could pause live TV. This was the deciding factor because she loves Kentucky basketball and now she could pause the game if she needed to do something.

Now the problem

With the DVR, I rarely watch live TV. Even if I want to watch a show when it is on, I will wait to start it so I can skip the commercials. I have two exceptions for this: reality shows like Survivor and Amazing Race and live sports. I specifically want to watch Kentucky basketball live for various reasons. If I don’t watch live I have to avoid all social media until I watch the game. That’s hard for me. Especially when I am bored waiting for her to be ready to watch the game. I also like to look at Twitter during the games for insight and on site information from the people covering the game. Unfortunately, with the DVR it is easy for my wife to not be ready to watch the game on time. Sometimes it is because she is at work and doesn’t want to leave to get on an earlier train. Sometimes, like yesterday, she us shopping and will take her time because she knows I will record the game and wait for her. She has no problem watching everything on delay. She sees no problem with it and doesn’t get why I’m irritated with it.

I’ve created a monster.

A Defense of Distraction

We are just a few days removed from the anniversary of 9/11. Someone mentioned on Facebook how all the TV networks covered the aftermath 24/7 and cable networks went dark, I remember the days of television being 24/7 coverage of the recovery efforts and stories of the day. I remember for a time it was necessary. I also remember a point where I voiced the opinion on a listserv that I thought it was time for the 24/7 coverage to stop and for entertainment television to return. I also remember someone writing back an angry response calling me insensitive. I still stand by my thought at the time that it was better for people to have the distraction of random television shows if they so chose.

We are now in the middle of a pandemic. There are massive fires out west. There is social unrest. In the midst of this we also have NBA basketball, NFL football, MLB baseball and the US Open. There was a article in the paper recently where the columnist implied that no one really cared about sports these days and that it was all just background noise. He is probably right that many people don’t care about sports. Many people didn’t care about sports before the pandemic and they wasn’t start now. There are some people who probably used to care about sports who now don’t. There are some like me who do care if their team wins and loves having sports back. Even if it is just background noise isn’t that important as well?

When we were in lockdown and I was working from home all day I would have the news on in the background. It didn’t take ling for me to realize that this was not healthy for me. I switched over to game shows and once the NBA started I had that on in the background while I worked. I needed a break from the stress of the news. I’ve binged shows on Netflix. We are catching up on shows we had on the DVR. I’m watching and caring about sports. I still read the newspaper every morning and I watch the morning news. I check my state’s Covid numbers every day. I’m not ignoring the news. I just find things to take my mind off the stress of all of the bad news.

Distraction isn’t insensitive. It’s a vital mental health need.

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Some Normal

If you are like me, you are very tired of living in unprecedented times and would like a little bit of normal in your life. It was an odd Labor Day weekend with a late Kentucky Derby. My daughter is back at school. but still taking online classes. My job is still very different than it was before. It’s all very stressful and depressing. Luckily, I’ve had something recently that feels somewhat normal: fantasy football.

I sent out the email recently about getting our league set up for the new season. At the last minute, two people decided that they did not want to play this year. One cited “the state of professional sports” I’m not sure why the are out. I just know that I need this to feel like something is normal. We scrambled and found two new people to join, so the league will continue.

This means that I have spent the weekend transferring teams to the new players and getting things ready for our draft tonight. Part of that is the usual harassing of the slow people who have not told me who their keeper players are yet. There has also been a string of text messages from people regarding the league and other random things. The draft is tonight, so I will spend time today making sure everything is set up for that to happen and then at 9 I will be online drafting a team and chatting with the other players.

The NFL season starts Thursday night. I’m really looking forward to watching football again. I’m looking forward to looking at the stats to see how my fantasy tam is doing. I’m looking forward to a Sunday afternoon watching my Ravens play. I’m looking forward to something that is somewhat normal. I need it.

On a different topic – I decided to claim my blog on Bloglivin, so here is the required link to to so. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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An Odd Derby Day

The Kentucky Derby is a big event at our house. Well, at least for two of us. I don’t think my son cares and my wife refuses to watch horse racing because she’s afraid something bad will happen to a horse.

My daughter and I always watch. Even when we are in different places we watch while texting. We watch the horses walk out and pick our winner based on how they look on the walk. We refuse pick the favorite because that’s too easy. We would love to pick the actual winner, but the real goal is for my horse to beat her horse. We do the same for the Preakness and Belmont.

It’s already odd that the Belmont has ready happened. It’s odd that Derby day is bringing the end of summer when it is usually one of the harbingers of summers return. It will be odd not to see all of the people in their hats.

It’s odd, but I’m looking forward to it for the same reason I hope football can happen. I need normal. The rest of my life is not normal and may not be for a long time. The Derby, football and fantasy football will help get a little normal in my life.

A High School Rex Chapman Story

A long time ago, before Rex Chapman was a Twitter star, he was a basketball player. He played for Charlotte, Washington, Miami and Phoenix. After he retired he was a scout and then Director of Basketball Operations for Phoenix. He was also the vice president of player personnel with the Denver Nuggets. He was basketball famous long before he was Twitter famous. Long before all of that, Rex was a high school basketball player in Owensboro, Kentucky. Owensboro is about 30 miles north of Beaver Dam, Kentucky, my hometown.

Rex was a basketball phenom when he was in high school. He was recruited by the major college basketball programs and signed with the University of Kentucky. Signing with UK made him an even bigger deal in the state of Kentucky. My high school did not have that star power on our boy’s basketball team. We had sparse attendance at most games. I will admit that I didn’t go to a lot of them, but I did attend when I could. Then Rex came to town.

Rex’s Apollo High team was scheduled to play our Eagles at our gym. Suddenly, the Ohio County High School gym was the place to be. Everyone wanted tickets to the game to see Rex play. Some students at the school were not happy at the hero’s welcome he was going to get and decided to give him a different kind of welcome. I’m old and forgetful and can’t tell you many details of the reception. I know there were likely signs and taunting. I’m petty sure I remember someone asking for his autograph and then chewing it up and spitting it out. Needless to say, we were not nice to him, but it pales in comparison to things you hear about today. I feel like it was just our way to show everyone that we were there to support our guys, not cheer on the famous enemy.

The principal of our school did not agree. I have a memory of having to write an essay on sportsmanship after the game. I don’t know if it was the entire school or if one teacher made us do it. I just remember writing something about how we shouldn’t be expected to give someone the key to the city because he was playing against us in basketball.

Of course, one Rex was at UK I was a big fan and followed his career in the NBA. I am happy to see that he has overcome his addiction issues and seems to be doing well. I was following him on Twitter long before he was Twitter famous and am amazed when I see so many celebrities retweetng him.

I still think he got what he deserved when he played against our team in high school.

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My Saturday on ESPN

I spent my morning off in College Park with the College Gameday crew and my daughter. We got there about 45 minutes before the doors opened assuming there would be a crowd. We were the first in line in the non-student line. This meant we had seats that basically put us on TV for the majority of the show. It was a fun experience. A lot of excitement around the program this year. Here are some shots from before the show and from the recording from TV.

Cheaters

selective focus grayscale photography of baseball
Photo by Rachel Xiao on Pexels.com

Every day I see more reaction to the Houston Astros heating to win the World Series. I’m in agreement with those who think more should have been done. At the very least, the win should be vacated and the record books should show no champion for that year. I disagree with the commissioner’s assessment that it is just a piece of metal. I also think that if he feels this way he should probably not be in charge of the league. It’s depressing to me that the start of the baseball season is marred by another cheating scandal. Depressing but not surprising. It seems that cheating is the norm these days.

We’ve had the Patriots deflating footballs and filming opponents illegally.

We have an FBI investigation into shoe companies paying players to go to certain schools and basketball coaches colluding with them to do so.

We have wealthy parents bribing their kids into the top schools(See my GIF summary of that here)

We have a long tradition of politicians cheating their way to power.

We have a long tradition of athletes using drugs to enhance performance.

We have an epidemic of flopping in soccer and basketball. Not really cheating, but deception to gain an advantage, so, in my eyes, cheating.

People cheat on their significant others.

People cheat on their taxes.

People cheat on tests in school.

Is it really a surprise that the news is full of stories about cheating?

Baseball is not our national pastime, cheating is.

Cheating is to the point that it is hard for an honest person to succeed. It’s hard to explain to kids why cheating is bad Cheating has become the norm and as long as the people in charge let people get away with it with a slap on the wrist it will stay the norm.

It’s time to get tough on cheating. People need to see there are consequences for their actions. Let’s make America honest again.

The One Where Tater Talks About the Super Bowl After Everyone is Done Talking About the Super Bowl

I didn’t have time to write anything yesterday so my Super Bowl post is late and after everyone is finished talking about the Super Bowl. I’ve always been a little slow.

Pre-Game – Demi Lovato did a great job with the National Anthem. I’ve liked her since my kids watched her on Disney. I’m glad she seems to be doing well now. I thought the NFL 100 commercial followed by the kid running into the stadium live to deliver the ball was very good. I loved the NFL 100 video with all of the legends on the field. A great celebration of the sport’s past. All of the pre-game was very good.

The Game – My daughter texted me before the game to ask me who I wanted to win. I told her Kansas City, but I wasn’t completely invested in it and my opinion might change. She decided to cheer for them as well since it has been 50 years since they were in the Super Bowl. As the game went on I realized that I really was cheering for KC and will admit that I counted them out when the score was 20-10. I really thought the 49er defense was too good for the typical KC comeback. I was happy that the Mahomes magic was still alive and just needed a 10 point deficit before it activated. A couple of people have said they thought the game was boring until the end, but I don’t agree. I thought it was a good game and seemed to move quickly. I hope next year my team is there and I actually care about the results.

Halftime Show –  A lot of people are clutching their pearls over the halftime show. Oh dear, those ladies aren’t wearing enough clothes! Don’t look Ethel! Why isn’t the show more family-friendly? Maybe next year we can get The Wiggles. That will be fun. I thought the show was very good. They are both very talented and a bilingual show in Miami was perfect. I felt old because I didn’t know who the rappers were, but overall I relly enjoyed it.

Commercials – Here is my definitive list of top 10 commerials:

  1. Jeep – Groundhog Day – Loved the movie. Perfect commercial for the day
  2. Tide – Charlie Day commercials – Maybe I just like Charlie Day, but I thought these were very good
  3. Google – Loretta – I usually only pick the funny ones, but this one came close to making me cry. Very well done.
  4. Rocket Mortgage – Jason Mamoa – I thought this was very funny. Insightful commentary, huh?
  5. Bud Light – Post Malone – Loved the end when he asked for pretzels.
  6. Doritos – Old Town Road – Loved the horse shaking its head no
  7. Amazon – Before Alexa – loved all of the other Alexas
  8. Mountain Dew – Bryan Cranston – Good Shining spoof
  9. Snickers – FIx the World – Loved the end when the people fell in
  10. Little Caesars – Sliced Bread – I probably remember this one more because I like Rainn Wilson, but it was good,

And now we are on the road to March Madness..

 

Some Baseball Stuff

I’ve been watching the Braves playoff series against the Cardinals. I would love to also watch the Braves play in the next round of the playoffs, but I have a bad feeling about today’s game. I don’t see it going our way. During the series, there were complaints about the play of Ronald Acuna, Jr. The Braves people were upset that he didn’t hustle out of the box and a possible double became a single. The Cardinals people were mad about his reaction to his two-run home run later in the game. I have some thoughts:

On the hustle – yes, he would have had a double if he had not assumed it was a home run and watched it for a second. Yes, he has had a couple of hustle issues during the season. He needs to work on that. But, he’s also hitting .500 in the series and in the last loss he had a double and a triple and the “play the right way” guys behind him kept striking out and he didn’t score. I would love to have had a couple more Acunas at bat in the inning and then we wouldn’t be playing another game.

I also think the Cardinals should just shut up. I’m tired of “the Cardinal way” and the unwritten rules of baseball. We should be OK with players celebrating big hits, flipping the bat and just enjoying playing the game of baseball. Why do we hate fun?

I also have problems with other “unwritten rules” like not stealing when you are up big late in the game. In the days of the home run, no lead is safe. You should always be playing hard and if stealing a base will help hold even a big lead go for it. You should also steal bases when down big for the same reason. Why is it OK to stop playing hard because you are losing?

I also disagree with the no bunting to break up a no-hitter. As the batter, it is your job to get on base, not help the opposing pitcher feel good. If you can get a hit with a bunt, bunt. Getting on base is your job. Do your job.

I’m generally tire of old guys clutching their pearls over young guys who are different than them. Just let them play the game their way. It’s more fun that way.