Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

Old Guys Rule!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

I am now at a time in my life when hanging out with 70 year old men is more of the norm, than hanging with 30 year old men. It happens quickly, seamlessly and more strangely, as a welcome change.

I used to joke to my wife about how old men are more friendly and approachable than old women. Men always seem happier and more apt to strike up a conversation whereas women seem to busy and preoccupied with hair and nails. Well maybe not just hair and nails but it’s something that is on their minds.  I believe it goes back to how men never really change even as they age. We actually become more like we were when we were young the older we get.

I’ve begun to seek out older guys. They always have something interesting to talk about and I always learn something from them. Old guys now have time for hobbies so many of them go back to collecting cars as  pastime. Sports are always on the table and if you are a diehard fan it doesn’t get better than to talk to a someone from the 40’s or 50’s. To hear them talk about a life we can only imagine. A simpler time when radio broadcasts were as groundbreaking an event as streaming video is today.  Their colorful recap of the past is especially amazing since they only had their ears to rely on for a picture of what was happening.

I love cars. I really love the old ones especially because they remind me of my past.  Yesterday, I took a motorcycle ride on a beautiful fall day, to seek out a 1969 Camaro that is for sale in my town. Lo and behold I found myself in a scene from one of today’s car reality shows. I arrive and as I ride down a long driveway, I am waved on by a woman who I would later meet as one of the owners of the Camaro. As I continue along, I see a huge garage, a fifty foot monster lined with doors, just behind the house I am passing, and in front is an older man directing me where to park.

In my head I am thinking that this is going to be an experience that one hears about like urban legends. As I dismount I can’t help but to laugh to myself because I am approaching a part of automobile heaven. Then I think this could go one of two ways. This man could be a really cool car guy or he could be a real pompous ass who just loves to show off his toys. Luck today, would shine as strong as the sun on me for he was a cool car guy.

Now here is why old guys rule. This gentleman and I spoke for over an hour and a half about everything from how he grew up to how he acquired the 25 or so cars and motorcycles that we toured through that day. Each car and bike had a very detailed history that he was very eager to share with me. The part that pulls me in every time is the passion you can sense when they talk about their life and how it has intertwined with their vehicles over all these years. Walking through all the cars, batteries, lifts, tools and parts you can’t help but think this man is a hoarder so we joke about all the unfinished projects that he knows will never get done. At some point I felt myself being drawn into this mans life. I envisioned spending my days off from work, helping him pull parts and shine up the cars and organize his garage which he definitely can’t do on his own any longer. Being 76 yrs old, he made it clear that he’s run out of steam and lost his motivation to see anything from start to finish. I told him he needed someone to get his juices flowing again. Not wanting to spook him, I held back volunteering to get my hands dirty after just meeting him but I will most surely return another day to drop that idea on him. Being that he has a son that doesn’t share his interest in cars, he needs someone to reignite that spark.  I couldn’t help but to tell him how cool I thought it was that he could just come out here everyday, crank his radio up and hang out in that huge man cave of a garage he has. He laughed and agreed that it was the best part of his day to just go out there and hang around in the mess he’s accumulated for some 30 years.

When I was younger, my friends and I would gather in someones garage, work on our cars  and play music, laugh and break each others chops for hours, all with out a care in the world. Now as I have reached the other end of my lifeline, I can see why men find their way back to the garage. There is something very nostalgic about old age and cars that makes it one of life’s more enjoyable moments. Men don’t change. We take breaks now and then to raise children, stress over our jobs and try to find ways to make our wives happy. But that old car guy is  in there somewhere, just waiting for his moment to go back in time and do the things he loved.  The things that helped to shape his life and made him the person he is today. Old Guys do rule!!!!

Just one man’s opinion..

The Regular Guy

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

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

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