Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

SKOL ! ! !

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

After 48 years of frustration and agonizing defeats, I sat and watched for what I swore to myself would be the last time, as my Minnesota Vikings were seconds away from yet another heartbreaking loss….

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There are few great playoff come from behind wins in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings, MY ( I feel I have the right to stake claim to a small part after this long) Minnesota Vikings, have no such victories during their many playoff appearances. But as of this past Sunday, all the old excruciating losses can now be put in the rear view mirror, because we finally broke the curse.

Image result for diggs touchdown pic

Diggs Minnesota Miracle catch

In a span of ten seconds, my thoughts of leaving behind my Purple Passion for this team vanished almost as quickly as the thought set place in my mind. In those ten seconds, what will forever be called the Minnesota Miracle, made me and millions of fans remember just why we bleed Purple and Gold.

I remember just one other time in my life, when such an event took place and I had similar thoughts of walking away from my favorite baseball team. Down to one strike and a World Series on the line, the New York Mets drew another breath, when all seemed impossible and a series loss looked inevitable. Then too did I swear I would never again put myself through a season of joy only to sit in despair when my team went through one more ugly loss when it mattered most. But just like this past weekend, they pulled it out in “Amazin” fashion and made me a believer once more.

I have been a Viking fan since my dad told me they were called the Purple People Eaters way back in January of 1970, when they appeared in their first of four Super Bowls. Since that memorable first impression I have watched (although almost impossibly back then without streaming) as many games as I could. I listen now to Minnesota sports talk radio on a regular basis ( thanks you IHeartradio) and can’t help but enjoy the always entertaining Paul Allen, who does the Viking broadcasts and like so many of us, is a diehard  rube.

Over the years I have watched some great Viking teams and dozens of Hall of Fame players perform at a high level and set seasonal records but never get that Super Bowl title. There are three very bad losses we sat and watched in the NFC championship round, all of which we were favored to win. This week we finally got one back from the New Orleans Saints who robbed us of a Super Bowl visit back in 2009, when Brett Favre threw up an interception that cost us the game.

This week like last, we’ll be favored to beat the Philadelphia Eagles but like most Viking fans , we don’t believe any game will ever be easy or sure thing. So I’ll sit back in my chair one more time, stress over the chances we won’t have something crazy go against us, and for those last few seconds of the game, pray we finish off the birds. No more drama and last minute Hail Mary passes (which phrase was coined after a loss by us to Dallas in 1975) but maybe a good old fashioned hard played win to get us into a home game Super Bowl. That in itself would help erase years of frustration..GO VIKES!!!

The Super Bowl..one players thoughts

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Great take on the game itself..thought I should share this in case you missed it

Editor’s note: Minnesota Vikings punter, Tripping Icarus bass guitarist, video game aficionado and Twitter icon (@ChrisWarcraft) Chris Kluwe offers his take on the Super Bowl for the Pioneer Press.

The Super Bowl. It is the culmination of an entire year’s worth of work for 106 players and their coaches. It is the gladiatorial spectacle writ large, an entire nation the stage, hundreds of millions of spectators enthralled by 60 minutes of savagery, a chance for three hours to be part of something greater than an individual life. It is the chance for an obscure name to clamber atop the pedestal of greatness or for a celebrated veteran to ruin a career with one ill-timed drop or errant pass. It is the opportunity to rise above the mundane and the petty and achieve immortality. It is everything.

The Super Bowl. It is nothing. It is the overindulged watching the overcompensated while marketing companies rub their well-manicured hands with glee. It is the definition of materialistic consumption as million-dollar advertisements vie with one another to see which can blare the loudest, bedazzled peacocks and sequined foxes strutting their wares for an insatiable audience drunk off emotion and liquor and too many mini hotdogs such a steal at only $3 a box and, no, don’t ask what’s in them.

The Super Bowl. It is a celebration of life. It is the child who grew up with a blind father and almost had to quit playing football to support his family never having to worry about money again. It is the receiver who, despite all odds, was able to fill in at cornerback and make a key play to keep his team in the game. It is the fan who found the strength to rise above the miserable conditions at home, inspired by his favorite team, now a doctor or teacher or mentor and cheering that team on from the stands. It is that penultimate story of the quarterback no one thought would amount to anything, now living the Hollywood dream with a supermodel wife and widely regarded as the best player at his position and, boy, if you tried to pitch that as a movie script, would you be laughed out of the room.

The Super Bowl. It is the funeral march of despair. It is the same quarterback, slowly walking off the field after having come so close to victory only to watch it snatched away by an improbable circus catch, the width of a blade of grass the difference between perfection and an offseason of what-ifs. It is the bitter taste left in the mouth of an entire organization, one some have felt more keenly than most, to travel so far and walk away with only a consolation “Division Champion” ring that most would rather melt down than look at, so stinging are the memories. It is the knowledge that on the one day when it mattered the most, at the pinnacle of greatness, you JUST WEREN’T GOOD ENOUGH GET A JOB YOU LAZY BUM, never mind that those words will echo through your mind long after the lights are shut down and the last piece of confetti is swept away, perhaps to linger the rest of your life. It is the sickening thwack of an angry husband striking his wife, unable to articulate the pent-up frustration and rage he experiences from watching what is, after all, only a game.

The Super Bowl. It is the pathos of the stage on a scale Sophocles could only dream of, a million different story lines merging and swirling together to form one vast tapestry of drama, comedy and tragedy – a resonating stillness of chaos that brings the audience and actors alike so close to a transcendental moment that can never be captured, only experienced. It is the shining instant of perfection, but it is not guaranteed, never guaranteed, only the chance to participate, and is it any wonder that it happens on a Sunday?

The Super Bowl. It is the ultimate dichotomy, at once both a celebration of socialist equality amid the thunderous roar of a capitalistic juggernaut, a dance that any team can attend with that promiscuous belle of the ball, Advertising. It is our society, our culture, our America. It is the gloriously triumphant epitaph that will one day adorn our tombstone of decadence, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It is the Super Bowl.

I now declare myself an NFL analyst

Monday, January 16th, 2012

How often do we hear these terms pertaining to one teams predicted success against another. ” Control the ball with a good run game”, ” pressure the quarterback” and perhaps the best one, “don’t turnover the ball” . Wow!  Armed with that knowledge I could be the next John Madden.

Come on man! There’s really nothing new any of these guys can tell us that we don’t already know and yet week in and week out we hear the same “keys to the game” by every Tom, Dick and Harry analyst.

What a great career! Damn I missed my calling…

Just one man’s opinion

The Regular Guy

Cheap accomplishment for Met fans

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Jose Reyes watches from the dugout after pulling himself from the Reds game.

Jose Reyes blew it. He should have followed in the great Ted Williams footsteps .

Met fans don’t really get much to cheer about unless its every 15-20 years. The last big thing we had was 1986. Yesterday could have been a shiny moment, although not grand, but still something to cheer about after another horrible season.

Jose Reyes won the National league batting crown which for those of you not in the know, means he hit for a higher batting average than anyone else in his league. Not an easy thing to do and especially if you are a NY Met. There has never been a NY Met to win the National league crown. I believe the last Met to get close was Cleon Jones in 1969. Sounds like a pretty good accomplishment for a Met but indeed it did not come without controversy.

Jose Reyes chose to take himself out of the game after getting a bunt single in the first inning, so as to preserve his lead in the standings and make it very difficult for the next closest hitter to catch him. Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers was that hitter. He needed to go 3-4 in his final game to overtake Reyes. Knowing that , Reyes chose not to chance taking extra at bats. Bush league as some might say.

Ted Williams, when faced with the possibility of hitting .400 chose to play in both games of a double header instead of sitting out and letting his average remain at .400. That is what Reyes should have done. Earn it. Make it right and don’t cop out. Real accomplishments should be earned if they are to mean anything. Too bad for Braun, that he really never had a fair chance to go up against Reyes for at least four at bats.

Being a Met fan it only makes me feel worse. It seems that even our best players rarely do the right thing. I guess it really isn’t so bad after if I compare it to the self destruction of two of our best ballplayers, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, back in the 80’s. Those two guys really killed Met fans.

Sometimes its not what you accomplish in life, but it’s the character you show in trying, that really makes people admire you…..

Just one man’s opinion…

The Regular Guy

Where has our morality gone?

Friday, July 30th, 2010

(The following is the opinion of a guest writer and a close friend)

A few weeks back I was watching my favorite sport, Major League Baseball, on television when a foul ball was struck by the batter into the right field stands. The right fielder on my “not-so-favorite” team these days, drifted over to attempt the catch. The ball barely made it into the stands and suddenly, a fan and his son who were merely minding their own business while watching the game were thrust into controversy. It seems the man, we will later find out, was simply trying to enjoy a baseball game with his son and give him a father-and-son experience that most young boys savor when they are ten years old.

Anyway, back to the ball going into the stands…  As luck would have it the ball came closer and closer to this man and his unsuspecting son. The man looked up, as all the other fans in the ballpark did, and he noticed the ball heading directly for his 10-year-old son who was standing by his side.  As we all would do, the man tuned out the rest of the world (about forty thousand screaming fans).  He raised his arms in expectation of catching this little white prize falling out of the sky directly toward his naïve offspring.

Unexpectedly, a big baseball glove entered his field of vision and hence the controversy began. It seems the competitive right fielder decided to reach into the stands to try to catch the ball. Nothing wrong with that you say?  Well on the surface I tend to agree, except for what ensued after the catch was attempted.

As you may have already guessed the right fielder and the man collided in their attempts to capture the soaring white object.

This is where the story takes an ugly turn. It seems the right fielder was so dismayed about not being able to complete his gallant effort that a bit of anger bubbled up. He looked at the man and one can only surmise that he didn’t notice the young boy next to him. Let’s give the player the benefit of the doubt and say he did NOT observe the father-son team. The player, in venting his frustration at having not caught the ball, suddenly let a (no pun intended) foul expletive fly.

“Get the F_ _ _ out of the way,” exclaimed the right fielder, directing his anger at the perplexed dad.

What happened next is rather disconcerting to say the least. The player walked away in disgust, shaking his head in frustration. The dad threw his arms up in embarrassment, and the son sat down, looking as if he wished he could hide, he was so obviously embarrassed.

Now the crowd started to get into the act. Many people started booing the poor man and jeering at him and his son.

Let’s forget the fact that this play had no immediate effect on the game and would not affect the eventual outcome either. Of course there was no way for the right fielder and the ignorant fans to know that at the time, so many decided to chastise a poor man who was just trying to have a nice outing with his son.

Let’s try and forget the ignorant fans for a moment. They have the right to act like immature and ignorant idiots, correct? After all they paid for their tickets and certainly have the right to act any way they like.

Let’s concentrate on the right fielder and examine his moral obligation as a professional athlete. Ok, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he lost his temper in the heat of a competitive moment. Once this happened though, does he have an obligation to offer an apology?

Consider who may have been affected by his deplorable action! Obviously the man involved was made to feel like less of a man in the eyes of his son and to the fans around him. Possibly other children heard the expletive and were affected as well.

Does this player have any values or morals? Did he return to the man and his boy and offer them an apology or a peace offering, like an offer to sign a ball and present it to the young boy to make things right?

I would suggest that this player isn’t really a professional at all nor does he appear to be much of a man. Actually, to this observer, the player appears to be an immature jerk. Is he so caught up in his own career aspirations and professional frustrations that he chooses to ignore societal norms?  Where’s the public outcry to demand that this player “right his wrong” and offer an apology to the fans in general?

In my humble opinion he is not only obligated to offer an apology, he should also sensor himself with some sort of self-imposed penalty.  Maybe contact the father and son and offer them tickets to be his guest at a future game. Show the world that he takes his professional career and child role-model status seriously.

And what about those fans who thought it either funny or serious to chastise the father?

Most of us have done stupid things we’d take back in a minute after having the time to ponder them. Personally, when that’s happened for me, I’ve learned that I owe an apology to those I’ve affected. I’m not one to preach, I’m simply one that has learned from my own mistakes and understands the damage one’s actions can have.

I think the behavior this baseball player and many fans demonstrated during this incident has become all too common in our world today. Could some good old fashioned values and morals be revisited, even promoted, as a way to fix what has become wrong in our lives today?

As a side note to this story, the man was contacted by a popular local radio sports talk show to be interviewed because this story had become a national media event. It was explained by the talk show host that in conversation with the man before doing the live interview, he learned the dad was somewhat shy and didn’t really feel comfortable with all the media attention and scrutiny, but despite this had agreed to do the interview anyway.  The man was clearly humbled by the experience. He went on to explain that as a season ticket holder, he was upset that this event would impact future games that he and his son would attend and possibly feel strange around other season ticket holders in his section.

Is this fair? Again doesn’t the ball player have some obligation to right this wrong? For that matter doesn’t the team have a sense of obligation to appreciate this innocent fan? Shouldn’t the team feel a desire to talk to the player, even if strictly from a public relations view, no less a moral one? Have we really lost a sense of what is right and wrong in our lives when we simply let this eruptive behavior pass without any sort of reckoning for those who present it?

From this writer–   I have lost complete respect for this player and the team for which he plays.

Kornheiser Kiboshed!!!!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

We live in an over sensitive society. Peoples feelings get hurt by some of the silliest things. We have all heard the term “politically correct”, have we not.  It is so important that we do not offend our neighbor.

Tony Kornheiser, an ESPN show host, was suspended for two weeks, because he commented during his show, on the clothing that a co- worker, Hannah Storm, wore to a film premiere. The comment read like this: “Kornheiser described an outfit Storm was wearing at ESPN last week as “horrifying,” saying her shirt was too tight and looked “like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body.”(AP.).

I have to question why this is so bad. It isn’t like he said she looked like a two bit whore in that outfit. Today a comment like his is enough to get you suspended! You are not allowed to give your opinion on how someone is dressed. Other people get paid to comment on public figures like Hannah Storm’s attire, everyday. Just check out People magazine or the  Star. My question is this. If Kornheiser said this about his on air partner, Michael Wilbon, would he still be facing a suspension? I sincerely doubt it. Is it that we have to treat women differently than men? Is it that women are more sensitive than men? Did he really say something that bad, that he deserved to forfeit his pay and face the embarrassment of having to apologize for his comment.? Okay maybe he offended her, but it was just his opinion. It goes with freedom of speech.

My thought is that he works for the same company as she, and ESPN felt a need to set an example because everyone is so damn scared of being sued for sexual harassment. There is no way that this happens, had he commented on a fellow male co worker’s attire.

Wake up people and stop this craziness. There are far more serious things to suspend someone for. Punishing this man for stating how he felt a female co-workers  attire looked is over the top and ridiculous. The headline should have read ” Stuffed Sausage Storms in and Kiboshes Kornheiser!” At least I would have found that funny….

Just One Man’s Opinion..

The Regular Guy

High blood pressure, P90x and my path to a better me

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Heartbreak again

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

heartbreakWhat is it with being a fan of a sports team that when they lose we feel like we were there on the field with them.

Being a fan for so many years ( thirty nine to be exact) of the Minnesota Vikings has not been a good investment of my time. Thirty nine years without a Super Bowl win is not a thing to be happy about. Losing the last five Championship games isn’t fun either. I think it could possibly be worse, only because my team didn’t get to play in the Super Bowl let alone lose it.

After this weekends lose to the Saints, I swore to myself that I was done. Too many years of wasted time, energy and emotions left laying there on the floor of my living room, has made quite a mess.

It seems so odd to think that our emotions can get so drained, that we can fall into a funk of depression ( if only for a day, if you are one of the lucky ones) and then the next year be so optimistic that our team will get us to that glorious game. How can it be that being a fan of a team can become so much a part of our being as love, hate or any other long lasting emotion? Think about it. I remember the feelings I had when I lost one of my early girlfriends. It’s really not that different. Its like a part of our life is taken away and that missing piece takes time to heal and grow back. With love, its just replacing a lost love with a new one. With sports, its just replacing one team with the next. Football is over but maybe this year my baseball team will win it all .It’s how we heal.

How about all those Steeler fans. Boy do I envy those guys. How lucky are you if you happened to become a fan of the Steelers in the seventies. You have had a pretty good run haven’t you. But even with that, you still felt that heartbreak when those Steelers tanked this season after starting so well. Lucky you though. You didn’t have to go through that agonizing loss like us Viking fans did last Sunday.

So what does a guy do? Thirty nine years of futility is enough isn’t it? Isn’t it time to step away from being a fan and live a life less stressed and emotional?  Don’t we really need to find something better to invest our selves in that won’t let us down when it really counts? I for one have decided its time to try.

I have stepped back from baseball. I have found ways not to watch. As tempting as it is to read the back pages each day, I turn away. I figure it this way. Maybe if I walk away, my teams will find a way to win. Maybe they will do it without my emotional support. Maybe I can step away and if they make the playoffs, I can watch. Maybe then I won’t have so much invested in the team so that if they do lose, it won’t be so bad. After all I didn’t spend all season watching, so how bad can it be watching one game. It has to be better than watching every win or loss leading up too the big letdown.

Years ago when I was younger, it wasn’t as bad as it is today. Years of watching, reading and talking sports still doesn’t add up to the exposure we have available to us now. I can remember being lucky to watch a Vikings game on television. Usually it was a Monday night game. Living in New York, it was near impossible to see Viking games on Sundays. Today, we live in a different world. Directv has the NFL ticket. The NFL network now brings us games. Sport Center plays the tape over and over again every hour in case you missed it or want to see the replay until it makes you puke. And satellite radio, the Internet and pod-casts give us infinite ways to see or hear our teams games, even though they play in a different city then we live in.

Unless your head was buried in sand all winter, then you know that Brett Favre came to the Vikings. Because he did, I was able to watch twelve Viking games on television this year. That is ridiculous!!! I was in my glory. All because of the allure of Brett Favre to the sports writers, broadcasters and fans.

The stars were aligned for Viking fans.  The time was now for Viking fans. All those horrible losses would be forgotten with a Super Bowl victory this year. ” The pieces are in place”was Brett Favres own words this year. KFAN radio in Minnesota, played that over and over everyday during their  sports talk radio shows. They actually gave us fans hope that this year would be different. We all know how that turned out!

So with one more broken heart I go forward into the next sports season. Pitchers and catchers report in three weeks, but this time will be different. This time I will look the other way in hopes that I will remain strong enough not to fall prey to their catchy phrases and slogans of a better year ahead. On no, you won’t fool me again! You won’t break my heart again! Today I take ESPN out of my channel guide and hope that someday, someone calls me and says ” Hey, congratulations on the Vikings Super Bowl win!” ….

The Regular Guy

Hey sports fan here!!!!

Friday, May 8th, 2009

I am a fan. I am not nor have I ever been an athlete. I was not blessed with soft hands or big hands for that matter, so I was never really cut out for organized sports. Not that I would have wanted it any other way but I wonder if I would have followed some sort of dream had I had some basic skills to play ball.So I am just …the Regular Guy.

So here I am …a fan. Not a fan-atic (fan being short for fanatic), but these days, just a fan. I have to say, my days of living and dying over my teams wins and losses, have long since passed. I began to realize about 10 years ago that I, as a fan, seemed to care more about my teams losing than my teams players did.  I remember crying as a child when Cleon Jnym1ones struck out and the Mets lost a game. I remember how sick I felt when the Mets were down to two outs, and two strikes in game six of the 1986 World Series. And then how my heart raced and my mood became elated, when the game suddenly became a win for the Mets and they were once again alive to possibly win the Series in seven. Not since those days have I cared so much about sports and my teams.

Growing up, before free agency, if your team was good, it was always good, But,if they were bad, they stayed bad. My team just happened to be bad. Make that very bad. The Mets were lovable losers. Never picked to win anything, I did, as luck would have it, enjoy  my teams  first three World Series at an age that I can still recall all of them vividly. My Mets had the great Tom Seaver. I still remember the first time I heard his name and he is the reason I became a Met fan. He was and probably still is, the single greatest Met to ever wear our uniform. It was, as any Met fan knows well, the worst day in our lives when they traded him to the Reds. You see times were different then, and Tom Seaver belonged to us. He wasn’t supposed to go anywhere. After all, not many guys moved around much back then especially a star like Tom Terrific. Who was  I going to root for now on my team. This was my first scar as a fan.

I don’t watch all the major sports but I do like to watch football. I didn’t do to well picking a football team either, w

min1hen I chose the Minnesota Vikings. In retrospect, my choice of the Vikings didn’t look so bad back in 1970. It was my grand parents anniversary and I was in Momma Leone’s in Manhattan with my family celebrating the event. This would be my first experience with the Super Bowl. Thinking back on it now, I used to think it was weird that they would choose the day of the Super Bowl to celebrate, but back then the Bowl was fairly new and it didn’t garner the attention it does today.

Being that as it may, the Purple People Eaters were playing and I just had to make them my team. What kid wouldn’t pick the Purple People Eaters for their favorite football team. The Vikings had a tremendous defense which is why they went to four Super Bowls in eight years. Unfortunately other teams had better defenses when they met the Vikings in Super Bowls. Four visits, four losses. Not a good record and to date they have never gotten back there. Yeah we had some good teams but we couldn’t get over the hump.This would be scar number two.

Being a fan, epecially for some 40 years, the scars never heal. This is where it becomes hard to be a fan. Although years pass and players change our need to heal the scars never wanes. Being a fan of a losing team only makes it harder because it never seems that we can get that win that makes us forgive and forget the past wounds. This is why it is harder on fans then it is on the players they root for. The players don’t have years and years  invested in the team they play on, but we do. While those players were in diapers we were rooting for our team. When those same players retire, we will still be rooting for our team.

I woke up. I woke up one day and decided that my teams wins and losses were no longer important in my life. I don’t watch  much baseball anymore because for one thing I am sick of the drugs, the high priced players who never stick around, and the fact that I have to pay to watch them now. I don’t stay home on Sundays anymore to watch football, because when the weather is nice its hard for me to waste a day indoors watching television…any television. Life has too much to offer me other that watching sports and I am sure that on my dying bed I won’t be thinking I should have watched more sports.

I am a fan. I am still a fan. I am a fan but now I know my limits and because of that I can appreciate sports as entertainment and nothing more. My memories of the Mets and the Vikings are still intact and the scars never do heal, but life is so much bigger than sports, and I am spending my spare time…. trying to grab a piece of it.

The Regular Guy