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Life Lessons from My Dad and Reliving Bachelorhood for 58 hours…32 hours left

(There are good life lessons from my Dad at the end of this semi-satirical post)

So I’m a bachelor today (Sunday) and for most of the day tomorrow while my wife, Tracy and our sons are in Arkansas. In case you’re concerned and wondering if I’ll be able to survive I’ll be keeping myself busy in this manner:

Cigar 
Breakfast 
Cigar
Finish cigar review blog post
Cigar
Reading of my favorite “heretical” authors (NT Wright, Rollins, etc)
Cigar
Finish “Rapture” blog post 
Cigar
Clean desk
Cigar 
Organize garage workshop
Cigar
Lunch
Cigar 
Pick up dog poop in yard
Cigar 
Head to Outlaw Cigar for Chiefs game
Cigar
Watch Chiefs game 
Cigar 
Beer
Cigar
Bourbon
Cigar
Dinner of my special-totally-unhealthy kicked up fettuccine Alfredo 
Cigar
Launder clothes that smell like cigar
Cigar 
Find way to get rid of cigar smell in the house
Cigar
Welcome wife and sons home 
Sneak out back for a cigar 

Life Lesson 1) All that is said tongue in cheek because I’m making humor in being able to get some things accomplished but in all seriousness, one of the many things my Dad has taught me is to remember to celebrate the victories in life and business, big or small. We need to be able to recognize the accomplishments we have achieved and keep progressing to be able to do more…not in a workaholic manner, but just in a way to make ourselves better by pushing our normal boundaries and limits. 

Life Lesson 2) I love my Dad so much, and as season ticket holders to KU football we’ve been through the bad years (Terry Allen), the awesome years (Mark Mangino, packed stadium every game, bowl games and winning the Orange Bowl), back to the horrible with Turner Gill and Charlie Weis); we have faith in Beaty but don’t believe he’ll stick around very long after he gets the program turned around. Along with celebrating my victories, he also taught me how we always stay for the entire game to show respect for the college players no matter how hot, wet (KU vs Northwestern deluge 2003), or cold it is at all the sporting events we go to including: KU football, KU basketball (as an 11 year old and each year after my Dad would take me to Late Night at KU just to watch KU practice and that was when the practice actually started at midnight and I loved doing it). The same holds true with KC Royals, and KC Chiefs games, but we have no problem booing them because they’re paid well and it’s their job, but thankfully things have been pretty good recently (past 7 years alone) with our teams:

  • KU Football: Orange Bowl (BCS) Champions 2008!
  • KU Basketball: Conference Champions – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; Final Fours – 2008 & 2012; National Champions 2008!
  • Kansas City Royals: ALDS Champions – 2014 & 2015; ALCS Champions – 2014 & 2015; World Series Champions 2015!
  • Sporting KC: US Open Cup Champions 2012 & 2015; MLS Cup Champions 2013!
  • ….and then there’s the Chiefs…ummm…in 2010 they won the Division…oh well. 😉

Happy Sunday! Be well!…time for a cigar! 🙂

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My Dad and I at yesterday’s game, KU vs. West Virginia

Game 2 of the ALCS, KC vs. Toronto

Game 2 of the ALCS, KC vs. Toronto

"Popsicles with Grandpa" has always been a Blaylock tradition. I love seeing my sons spend time with my Dad. Dad with Greer.

“Popsicles with Grandpa” has always been a Blaylock tradition. I love seeing my sons spend time with my Dad. Dad with Greer.

My Dad with my youngest son, Henry

My Dad with my youngest son, Henry

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Royals game vs. San Francisco with my Dad and my Son, 2014

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KU football game vs…can’t remember, 2014

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Campanile on The Hill at KU, taken yesterday at KU/West Virginia

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in community, culture, sports

 

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R.S.S.D. Is An Embarrassing Disorder And It Could Be Effecting Millions of People

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3 generations of Royals fans (front to rear): Greer (my son), Me, My Dad in an awesome 1985 Royals World Series Champions hat.

Ebola and EV-D68 are serious viruses. What I’m about to explain to you is not serious but could be embarrassing for a bit.

If you see me wearing shorts in November, yes AR weather normally will allow for shorts in November, this is because I’m suffering from a disorder that will soon be listed in the JAMA as an official disorder: RSSD – Royals Seasonal Shorts Disorder.

The cause of this disorder is because from 1990-2013 the Royals seasons were in essence over in May. May as we all know is the height of shorts season. So for the next couple months I might be a little confused about proper attire and being that I live in mild weather perpetuity I’m glad I won’t catch frost-bite. But I pray for my Royals-fans-friends who live in Kansas & Missouri where it actually gets cold.

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More proof about this disorder: Never in the past 2 decades have the Royals been in contention to warrant carving a “Royals Pumpkin”, but here’s my amateur attempt…come to think of it…are there professional pumpkin carving attempts?

But for now I’ll spend some time relaxing before college football and college basketball get started in a few months…wait…KU basketball has a game on Monday?! Well this is just freaking awesome!

On a more serious note (ummm, that sounds way too serious) when the fog of the Game 7 loss lifts (things are seeming better day by day – I’m down to 3 bottles of bourbon per day to help numb the pain) I will have a blog post covering my family’s trip to Kauffman stadium this past July (the first picture in this post is from that trip), and in that same post I’ll some other final thoughts on this magical season. What an amazing season!

Go Royals!

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in sports, Uncategorized

 

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Don’t Let The Terrorists Win. #BeRoyal and Go Royals!!

Don’t Let The Terrorists Win. #BeRoyal and Go Royals!!
photo credit Shane Keyser, The Kansas City Star

photo credit Shane Keyser, The Kansas City Star

Go Royals!!

Go Royals!!

The time to not let the terrorists win has never been more important than now!! We must be responsible!!

How can you do your part for the betterment of…the Royals?!

Don’t drink beer from San Francisco!

If you drink one of these beers from San Francisco then the terrorists win…ok, I’ll stop with the exaggerated hyperbole (department of the redundancy department) but semi-seriously ———- during this awesome World Series – that we haven’t been to in 29 years(let alone the playoffs) it’s super important for us to be responsible with the beer choices we make!

What you drink matters. Stay thirsty my friends but be sure to drink a Kansas City beer! Boulevard is my beer of choice.

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Go Royals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in sports

 

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If You’re A Red-Blooded American You WILL NOT Drink Any of These Beers on Tuesday

If You’re A Red-Blooded American You WILL NOT Drink Any of These Beers on Tuesday

 

 

 

 

…Because without beer, things do not seem to go as well.

– Brother Epp in 1902 (Kansan)

 

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. 

– falsely attributed to Benjamin Franklin

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Two of the above five beers are safe to consume during the USMNT game on Tuesday, three are not. In this post I will explain why, and why not.

Ok, so who is excited?! The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) will continue on in the knock-out stage this Tuesday, July 1st, at 3:00pm (CST)! That’s awesome! This is the first time the USMNT has ever advanced to the knock-out stages in two consecutive World Cups. This is huge! The USMNT has a good team…not as good as I believe it could be…but remember, we are over that now and we are moving on.

We have all kinds of celebrities urging us on…like Will Ferrell (this video was before the Portugal game and pays homage to Luis Suarez)

And Hulk Hogan! I mean, does it get any bigger than Hulk Hogan?!

All kinds of watch parties are happening across the nation – Chicago, Brooklyn, Kansas City,

and even more cities. Even in my own background Dugan’s Pub will be hosting a block party…although I will be with my good friends at Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge. Michael has graciously agreed to open a little early for us soccer nuts.

This country is absolutely nuts for the World Cup and I can’t wait until tomorrow!

But I have important news for those of us who support the red, white, and blue – if you consider yourself a red-blooded American and want to truly support the USMNT you should do your part and NOT drink any of the beers listed below that are Belgium or Belgium owned.

Here are my qualifications for beers that made my “thou shalt not buy” list:

– Beers owned by Belgian companies – such as AB InBev

– beers owned by Belgian companies but still brewed in the USA – such as Budweiser

– beers that have the word “Belgium” in their name or the style in which they brew their beer – such as New Belgium Brewery

Now, this sucks, big time. Boulevard is one of my favorite breweries and I passed on their beer this weekend when I made my beer run…on Saturday night because I can not buy beer on Sunday here in Arkansas…it’s so asinine and actually bad theology…but that’s for another post some time later.

Beers Thou Shalt Not Buy…until after Tuesday

Boulevard – owned by Duvel

Hoegaarden

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Chimay

Duvel

Goose island

New Belgium Brewery

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Corona

Spaten

Labatt

Modelo

Leffe

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Anheuser-Busch InBev

Budweiser

Bud Light

Stella Artois

Michelob Ultra

Bass

Becks

Amber Bock

Landshark Lager

Hoegaarden White Ale

Busch

Shock Top

Rolling Rock

O’Doul’s

Kirin Ichiban

Lowenbrau

Bud Ice

Bud Ice Light

Budweiser Select

Budweiser Chelada

Budweiser Select 55

Budweiser American Ale

Bud Light Chelada

Bud Light Lime

Bud Light Golden Wheat

Bud Dry

Natural Light

Busch

Busch Light

Busch Ice

Natural Ice

Michelob

Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus

Michelob Ultra Amber

Michelob Light

Michelob Seasonal

Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry

Ultra Light

King Cobra

Hurricane

High Gravity

Beck’s Premier Light

Beck’s Dark

Beck’s Oktoberfest

Hurricane Malt Liquor

Kokanee Glacier Pilsner

O’Doul’s Amber NA

Anheuser-Busch Seasonal

Ziegenbock Amber

Bacardi Silver Strawberry

Bacardi Silver Lemonade

Bacardi Silver Raz

Bacardi Silver Mojito

Boddington’s Pub Cream Ale

 

Beers In The Clear: (this is not a comprehensive list, just mainly the big hitters)

Miller brand

Coors brand

Schlafly

Free State

O’Fallon

Diamond Bear

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Sam Adams

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The answer to the question with the picture at the beginning of the post:

Schlafly and Coors are safe.

Boulevard (owned by Duvel, a Belgian company), Stella Artois (owned by AB InBev, a Belgian company), and Budweiser (owned by InBev, a Belgian company) are not safe.

So there you have it. Have fun on Tuesday, cheer loud, and buy American-ish beer! And you know what, if you have any doubts drink bourbon…I think most bourbon would be safe.

Cheers!! U-S-A!!

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“In Munjor, we built a small combination brewery and ice-house. We felt justified in this because without beer, things do not seem to go as well, and to ship beer into the prohibition state of Kansas would arouse public notice, to say nothing of the expenditure and other difficulties.” – excerpt from Brother Epp’s journal

Resources

http://mobile.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-25/the-plot-to-destroy-americas-beer

http://beerwarsmovie.com/2009/12/01/who-owns-what/

 

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in sports

 

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Soccer in America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup: Part II, I Like You But I Don’t Need You

Ok, so here is part II. If you missed part !, it’s here. 

Expanding the American’s Mind to “Kiss Your Sister”

I like that soccer expands the minds of the people who are curious about soccer. I can’t tell you how many people (casual fans) texted me after the US tied Portugal, asking me, “So what happens now? Are we out? Can we advance?” While I was also trying to figure out all the tiebreakers – which are confusing and again not the way we as American’s would expect.

The way baseball fans can enjoy a quality pitcher’s duel is the same way I can watch and enjoy two soccer teams match wits and end in a 0-0 tie. Now, granted some 0-0 ties are ugly as sin and the fact some games can end in a tie blows people’s minds, but that’s soccer. Quirky, but beautiful.

I understand that some of the nuances of soccer, like a game ending in a tie, goes against our win or lose mentality here in America. We like black and white bifurcations – we won, you lost, that settles it, it’s over.

In America:

Win = good

Loss = bad

Therefore there is only one thing that can be good…a win.

In Soccer:

Win = good

Loss = bad

Tie = ok.

Tie = can be good.

Tie = can actually be awesome! Like this coming Thursday; if the US/Germany game or the Ghana/Portugal game end in a tie then the US will advance to the knockout stage!

In America we’re just not sure about how ending a game in a tie can be good. It confuses the hell out of us (even though NFL games can end in a tie) so we dump soccer in the “bad” category in our brain because we don’t know how to process/reconcile a tie. A tie is like kissing your sister!

But again a tie this Thursday in the US/Germany game or Ghana/Portugal game will send the US fans into a frenzy because it will send us into the knockout stage!

Pure, Absurd Hate That Makes Me Laugh and Pity The “Haters” 

What cracks me up is the way some people are so completely vehemently AGAINST soccer. I don’t get that. Where did all this vitriol towards soccer come from? You never hear people say, “Hell, no I won’t watch tennis?! What are you crazy?! That sport is terrible!”

Most Americans won’t try to process it, they’ll normally dismiss it and this is why you have so many people that are against soccer. If it is different or we don’t understand it then we dismiss it or oppose it.photo

Why are people so against soccer? And not just against soccer, there is pure vitriol coming from people who hate soccer. But I don’t get it. You don’t hear this same kind of hate spewed towards golf, or tennis, or hockey…why soccer? Is it because soccer is so different and we (people in general) dismiss things we don’t understand? Could they maybe feel threatened or afraid?…

Whatever. Spew your hate. I’ll laugh and I’ll show you some pity and help nurture you back to feeling good about life…

…because that misplaced hate is coming from a very narrow almost closed mind. But hey, suit yourself, that’s just more beer for me at the soccer matches.

On the lighter side of things…

If you’re not pulling for the US team…shame on you…but check out this flow-chart for who to cheer for…although some teams have been eliminated already. But this is pretty dang funny.

http://m.tickld.com/x/for-any-confused-world-cup-fans-this-is-absolutely-genius

What’s In A Name?

Look at the comical side of things…what other sport throws in an arbitrary water break (like in the US/Portugal game) 5 minutes before half-time. And, who couldn’t like a sport with crazy names: a Brazilian named Fred? Seriously, there’s a Brazilian named Fred, Hulk, Maxwell, and Oscar. What are their last names? It doesn’t matter, you will call me Hulk. And there are other great names, Nani, Mix Diskerud, Zusi, and Koke. If you want to have some real fun go to Croatia’s or Bosnia and Herzegovina’s team page and look at their names – yeah, big time tongue twisters.

I Promise I’m not a Haughty-Toddy/Snoccer Fan

Some friends and I got together at Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge to watch the US vs. Ghana game last Monday. It was a great end result with Brooks scoring the winning goal late in the game. During the game we were talking about the state of the game and it’s popularity in the United States. One friend made the comment about how much the popularity would grow if we did well in the World Cup. Well, the topic of “doing well” in and of itself is a huge topic but my initial thought about his statement was, “I don’t really care how much soccer grows in popularity in the United States”. Now, if I’m honest my thought isn’t 100% true. But at the same time I honestly don’t care too much about what other people think about soccer. I love soccer. Period. I don’t care if my neighbor is a fan or not; it doesn’t decrease my enjoyment. I’ve survived to this point in my life watching, playing, coaching, and enjoying soccer and I believe I’ll be able to do the same the remainder of my life as well with or without a new crop of fans by my side. Although I do have an adorable 16 month old son who I will try to brainwash… 😉

 

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I say all this and I don’t want to come across as haughty, but in all honesty I don’t need casual fans to enjoy one of my favorite sports.

Soccer fandom in the United States has always existed as a sort of quirky subculture in the United States. We sing dumb songs/chants, (I mean, they honestly are dumb, but when you’re doing it with 20,000 other fans it’s alot of fun!…did you actually watch this video?

…we hold scarves over our heads in 100 degree weather, and we don’t go berserk if a game ends in a tie. Yeah, I get it, we’re weird.

Now allow me to clarify something before y’all think I’m a jerk. In this post I made the comment it doesn’t decrease my enjoyment if other people are not fans…but the more fans there are watching at watch parties at all across the country, and packed in bars in Little Rock so tight the fire marshall has a coronary, that makes it all the more fun. More fans jumping on the band wagon can increase my enjoyment. Even if it is only during the World Cup.

Closing Time, Last Call

To those who will continue to post hateful comments about soccer, I want you to know I pity you and that you also make me laugh – it’s pretty funny to see people go out of their way to expend hateful energy on the world’s most popular sport. Oh, and you can also imagine my middle finger in your face too – I’ll expend that energy towards you. Love ya mean it. 🙂

To the casual fans peaking over the fence at the game of soccer, jump on over that fence, grab a beer, a scarf, and hop aboard the US Soccer Fan Train. I appreciate more people joining in on the fun. If you’re ever confused don’t feel hesitant to ask me a question. It’s a fun, beautiful game. We love that you’re with us. It’s going to be a fun ride on Thursday and hopefully beyond!

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in culture, sports

 

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Soccer In America: World Cup Fever vs. I’m Just Plain Sick of the World Cup, part I

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Soccer, Yoda, Hulk, Fred, and Marcus Smart in the Same Post? Yes, but not all today. This is a two-part (on back to back days) post. I’m not like ESPN or Yahoo! Sports, or CBS Sports that stretches it out for months. This will be short and sweet…and if we (the USA) advance to the knock-out rounds I’m sure there will be more posts. You’ve been warned! 😉

Since the World Cup began, about two weeks ago, I’ve had lots of thoughts bouncing around in my head so there are several topics in this post. Most of these topics I will just touch on lightly…I don’t go too much in to detail. If I did it would make this post super, super long instead of just super long. I hope you enjoy…and of course fire back your thoughts to me. I love civilized dialogue!

Move Along, There Is No Donovan To See Here

I believe it was a mistake for Landon Donovan to be left off of the World Cup squad. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but I was miffed about this when the squad was announced.

But we need to get over it. Sure, it’d be awesome to have him at the World Cup, especially considering the injury to Josey Altidore. I thought it’d be great that even if Donovan didn’t start we could bring him off the bench in the 60th minute to change the pace of our attack. But since he was left off of the roster he can’t play. It’s over. It’s done. He’s one helluva player and I wish he could be with us but he can’t. So we need to get over it and stop bitching about it.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

As the game on Thursday gets closer I’m getting more and more nervous thinking about the game and if the US will advance out of the group stage.

All Germany needs to do advance, and take first place in our group is draw with us on Thursday.

All we need to do to advance is beat Germany or tie Germany.

Oh, one little thing though…Germany is good…damn good! Did you see the hurt they put on Portugal? The same Portugal that we tied 2-2. To be fair Ghana tied Germany 2-2 and we beat Ghana…so who knows what will happen?

Even if we lose against Germany we can still advance if Portugal and Ghana draw, but I don’t see that happening. Cristiano Ronaldo even came out recently and said he doesn’t believe they (Portugal) are a top team and by their showing in the World Cup so far I would agree. They’re old and several of their players are battered and bruised and also hot-heads who can get red-cards for the dumbest of things. I believe Ghana can beat Portugal and our goal differential with Ghana is razor thin. We are +1 and Ghana is -1. Now Portugal can still advance too, but they need a ton of goals to do so and if they start forcing the issue that can leave them exposed for counterattacks with Ghana’s high pressure defending which is excellent. Did you see how they controlled much of the second half against us. And there’s a reason for why they did, but I won’t get into the boring tactical analysis.

I’m secretly hoping there are some back-room deals going on between the US and Germany and they’ve already agreed to play the most boring game ever and in a draw; but in reality that’s not going to happen. So I am genuinely becoming more and more nervous about the game on Thursday. But as an optimist I believe I will be celebrating with a big, fat, celebratory cigar on my drive home from Northwest Arkansas on Thursday.

{If you’re still not clear on what is going on with all the tie-breakers here is how the US and all the other countries can advance, if they are not already eliminated.}

We’ve Come A Long Way

Soccer has come a long way in the United States. I can remember back to my freshman year of high school in Topeka, KS and the football team was running next to our soccer field while we were practicing and the football team was yelling homophobic slurs at all of us and then my coach feeling the need to stick up for us went over and was about to start a fight with some of the football players. We thought it was hilarious and we weren’t affected by the slurs they were yelling. I guess I should probably be in counseling for the bullying I experienced that day, but that’s for another post. The point is, is that soccer has risen above the floor of most civilized* people in the United States not necessarily understanding it completely, but at least not making fun of it.

As we were getting done with our league soccer game this past Sunday we were hearing reports of alot of restaurants being jam-packed full of people ready to watch the US vs. Portugal game. This soccer fever has been caught by a wave of people across the US and this is fun! Outside of Little Rock there are huge watch parties all across the country in Kansas City, Chicago, Houston, Brooklyn and more cities drawing tens of thousands of people at each location! I’m telling you, hearing about all of this and seeing different clips on the news, social media, and on youtube from each location…this is fun!

Floppity Flop Flop and Marcus Smart

I’ll admit that flopping in soccer is a big problem. But it’s getting much better…in most cases.

And then after a little spray from the magic spray can they’re good to go and right back in the game.

Magic Spray is Magic! – photo credit to SBNation.com

 

Yes, flopping sometimes seems unique to soccer but remember Marcus Smart?

I will also say that for the most part USA players do not flop. There will always be exceptions and incidents when it will happen, but mostly when a USA player goes down it’s because they were fouled. I’m not a soccer apologist – there are issues, just as there are issues with all sports – no sport is perfect and this is a specific example where soccer can get better.

Soccer thankfully has made a serious effort to decrease flopping by doling out yellow cards for Marcus Smart-esque flops, or at the very least letting the play to continue on without even acknowledging the flop.

That’s all for today…

In my next post ,on Wednesday, I’ll cover: kissing you sister, hate towards soccer, awesome world cup player names, and how I’m not a snobbish soccer fan but I don’t need you to like soccer.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in community, sports, Uncategorized

 

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Your Blame is Seriously Misguided

 

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First, I’m partially to blame for the loss. I jinxed us. Let me explain…as the game entered the final minute of stoppage time I turned to Tracy (my wife) and said, “It only takes 5 seconds to score a goal”. ——— 30 seconds later I was cussing at the tv.

Like Tim Howard said after tonight’s game, “Soccer is a cruel game”. So true, Tim, so true.

I’m mentally and physically exhausted from that game…and I’m also completely jacked up…but I want to clear something up.

I keep seeing people saying that if Cameron would’ve had a better clearance then Portugal wouldn’t have scored the first goal; or if Bradley scores on the open netter that was saved by a knee then we would’ve won. Well, that’s not actually factual. Soccer is a game that a simple touch, flick, or whatever that changes how the ball rolls then changes the sequence of the game from that point on. So this means the sequece of events is ever evolving. Does that make sense?

I guess some people just don’t understand alternate dimensions.

For example, in tonight’s game if Cameron gets a better clearance on the ball then the play continues on and doesn’t stop with a goal being scored – so the sequence of events would have been different than how the game actually played out.

If Cameron clears the ball we don’t know 100% how many other goals might have been scored…or whether or not a goal is even scored during the game at all. Those results are somewhere in an alternate dimension.

Consider this explanation from Michael Caine in the movie, “Mr. Destiny”. But when he says “destiny” just pretend he is saying, “the end result of the game”.

 

Soccer is not a systematic game…actually most sports are the same as well…the sequence of events are ever-changing. Every touch on the ball, tackle made or missed, fumble won or lost, 3 pointer made or missed – they all change the trajectory and sequence of events of a game.

I’m not 100% blaming Bradley…but factually, Bradley holding & losing the ball at midfield, or the defenders who were initially in position but were being lazy while watching Ronaldo cross the ball, are the only plays you can factually say that if that doesn’t happen, or something occurs differently in that sequence of events then we would win the game. This is “factual” because it happened with 10 seconds remaining in the game.

I’m sure there is an easier, better, or more articulate way of explaining all of this but like I said before I’m mentally and physically exhausted.

That is all for now.

My next post is a big middle finger and also laughing at the people who “hate on” soccer. Their narrow-minded, needle-brained, vitriol makes me laugh. And frankly, I don’t give a damn what they think about one of my favorite sports. I’ll explain soon…

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2014 in culture, sports

 

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Damn. Just Damn. Well, Bourbon Too. Damn and Bourbon.

Damn. Just Damn. Well, Bourbon Too. Damn and Bourbon.

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Tomorrow morning.

The morning after.

It sucks. It’s hard.

You wake up and your brain is in a fog, and then all the broken pieces start to come together, and you remember…we lost yesterday.

Damn.

I’m always all-in with my Jayhawks, and losses have always been hard, but in 1998 KU had a team that was so dominant they only lost 1 game in overtime all season long. I lived and died with that KU team. Coming in to the NCAA tournament they were the overwhelming favorite to win the national championship. And then along came Mike Bibby and Arizona in the Sweet 16. We lost. We finished 34-2. Ever since that loss that crushed me, I’ve learned, like so many coaches tell us fans, “to enjoy the ride”.

College basketball is a crazy, unpredictable game. Especially in today’s game with so many “one-and-done” players. Why does everyone enjoy the ncaa tournament? Well, that’s an easy answer(s) – the bracket pools (which I would never take part in because they’re illegal 😉 and the upsets that happen during the tournament. We love to cheer for the underdogs.

We love it when David beats Goliath.

That’s why it’s hard to be a Kansas basketball fan.

I’m thankful to be born into a family who are crimson and blue through and through.

We are college basketball royalty. With our history and traditionKU is and never will be the underdog.

Kansan by birth, Jayhawk by the grace of God. 

KU is a blue-blood program.

The inventor of the game James Naismith was our first coach.

University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina’s basketball arenas are named after Kansans and alumni of KU.

Adolph Rupp (University of Kentucky) and Dean Smith (University of North Carolina) both attended and played at KU under Phog Allen.

With the lofty status comes yearly expectations (strong desires) of Final 4 and nothing less. I have those expectations myself, and while that might seem a bit cocky I’m glad my school is so successful that we expect nothing less. Thus, when KU loses in the tournament we not only are depressed we also have to endure pot-shots from people who love to see Goliath go down; from those who would rather cheer for us losing than see their own team succeed.*

The NCAA tournament turns college basketball into a crazy thrill ride with ups, downs, and loopty-loops that sometimes leave us wanting more, and sometimes make us sick to our stomachs. The morning after an NCAA loss feels like the morning after a night of binge drinking…and probably similar to morning sickness (although personally I’ve never experienced the latter so I can not give a specific account of the similarity between the two). You can’t do anything about it – you just have to endure it and get through it. Unfortunately, the earlier in the tournament your team loses the harder it is to endure because the tournament lasts for 3 weeks.

If you want to enjoy a couple team sports where the long season proves who is the best team you should follow European soccer or Major League Baseball. I love both sports/leagues.

But I love the NCAA tournament and my Jayhawks even more.

This is going to be a long next two weeks.

I’m appreciative of friends who are respectful to me after a loss. And I have many friends who know how I love my Jayhawks and they are genuinely kind to me after a loss. And then I have Mizzou friends…I don’t need to belabor this point any further. (see above *)

I try hard to refrain from replying to people who are on social media solely looking to provoke a reaction.

Provoking a reaction isn’t the same thing as saying something significant. 

– Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes

KU has given me so many thrilling memories and amazing history to be part of…

  • 5 national titles
  • 14 Final 4s
  • 10 straight conference titles
  • #2 school in all-time wins
  • deep tournament runs
  • countless All-Americans
  • all of my Allen Fieldhouse memories
  • consistently a #1 or #2 seed in the NCAA tournament
  • etc

…that I’m glad I won’t have to stoop to enjoying another’s school loss moreso than what my own school, or conference, can accomplish.

Being a KU fan is funny at times. We do not have to endure the similar drama of bubble teams and whether or not we will make the NCAA tournament – we haven’t missed the tournament since 1989. KU-drama is worrying about what uniforms we are going to wear in the tournament.

Tangential Sidenote – CBS should be ashamed and needs to stop showing the pictures of crying children. It happened two years ago with Hoiberg’s young son and today with a young KU fan and also a young Wichita State fan. Yes, it shows the passion of the fan-base…kindof…they’re children who believe their lives are over if they lose. But more importantly in today’s world of social media those scenes are made into tweets and posts that are like wildfire all across social media.

I have an annual tradition. After KU loses in the tournament I focus on what I have to look forward to in the future. It helps relieve the sting of the loss and bring my (in)sanity back to a level of “normal”.

It’s cathartic.

I’ve got so many great things going on and things to look forward to:

  • a great job I genuinely enjoy.
  • Springtime! Everything is blooming, things are green, and more people are enjoying the outdoors.
  • the Kansas City Royals – hope springs eternal in spring, although with David Glass as owner the hope only lasts for a couple weeks
  • Sporting Kansas City
  • the Masters on tv
  • working on lowering my handicap
  • grilling steaks, pork chops, steaks, steaks and some more steaks
  • perfecting the art of smoking meats – brisket, ribs, and pulled pork
  • enjoying cigars while outside
  • vacation to Mexico
  • vacation to Florida

…and most importantly

…my awesome Wife and my awesome Son.

I listed all the fun and important things I have to look forward to, but it also doesn’t hurt that I have a full bottle of bourbon in the pantry for tonight.

It’s also cathartic.

You might say it’s a necessary medication.

You might say I’m only kidding.

Or you might not. 😉

Maybe writing this whole post is just cathartic for me.

The sun will rise tomorrow and I’ll remember my list of things…

…starting tomorrow.

Like I mentioned, this is going to be a long next two weeks.

But tonight it stings…and you know what? That’s ok.

Pour me another glass.

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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in culture, sports

 

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A Real Decade of Dominance at KU and Bracket Musings

Here are some random musings as our minds turn to brackets in just a few short hours this evening.

A Baker’s Dozen Years of Dominance at KU:

– Most students graduate from college in 4 years…except this guy. I got one year smarter than all of you who were so eager to leave college. I stuck around increased my knowledge and graduated in 5 years.

– KU has won the Big 12 title 12 out of the past 13 years.

– Consider this: 4 years = 1 cycle: working our way backwards and including this year, there have been 3 1/4 cycles of students (13 years), at a total of 14 college institutions, that have tried to win the Big 12 regular season title.

– Only 2 schools in the past 13 years have succeeded.

– KU and Oklahoma State.

– KU won the title in 2002 and 2003.

– Oklahoma State interrupted KU’s 2-year win streak and won the Big 12 title in 2004.

– KU finished 2nd in 2004.

– 2004 was Bill Self’s first year at KU.

– In 11 seasons at KU, Bill Self has never finished worse than 2nd place in the regular season of the Big 12.

– Bill Self finished tied for 2nd in his first year (2004), and then every year after that he won the conference title.

– For those of you lacking in sufficient math skills that’s 10 years in a row Bill Self at KU.

– We give him grace for what he did in 2004.

– KU has won the title back to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back.

– All those back to backs impress these two guys.

Greer says, All We Do Is Win. Everybody’s hands go up!

Greer says, All We Do Is Win. Everybody’s hands go up!

Bracket musings:

– Depending on how the rest of the brackets and match-ups turn out, right now I’d prefer to be a 2 seed in the MidWest with Wichita State as the #1 seed in our region. I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.

– I want to avoid Michigan State and Louisville.

– Florida and Arizona State are weaker than they seem.

– No team is without some major flaws this year.

– I want to have Joel Embiid back asap.

– I think we can survive the first two rounds (technically the 2nd and 3rd rounds – oh how I wish the NCAA would wise-up and change it back – so dumb).

– Nadiir Tharpe needs to play well.

– Everybody needs to play well!

– Teams don’t advance without solid guard play. Not necessarily dominant guard play but solid guard play.

– We might have to “boat race” a few teams considering that our defense is not as dominant this year.

– This should be a March full of tons of exciting games.

– I don’t know if there will be any major upsets in the tournament this year because this year, teams outside of the top 2 seeds are all fairly similar.

– Even the teams in the 1 and 2 seeds (the top 8 teams) aren’t exactly dominant.

– Enjoy March Madness!

– Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!

Relax and enjoy the ride!

Relax and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2014 in sports

 

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Random Reminiscing and Reflecting Before Today’s MLS Cup Championship

From:

Kansas City Wiz

 

To today:

Sporting KC

  • I attended the very first Kansas City Wiz game in 1996.

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  • I always thought it was funny when the Kansas City Wiz played the Dallas Burn.
  • It was a favorite game of urologists.
  • The Wiz were forced to change their name to the Wizards in 1997.
  • The Urologist union had nothing to do with forcing the name change.
  • A computer company in Baltimore was actually the reason they had to change their name.
  • “Nobody Beats the Wiz” is evidently true.
  • The Wiz and Wizards played all their games in cavernous Arrowhead Stadium.
  • Arrowhead Stadium seats 79,451.

Arrowhead Stadium

  • The Kanas City Wizards normally averaged around 10,000-15,000 people per game.
  • When you put 15,000 people in Arrowhead it seems like a drop in the proverbial bucket.
  • The largest crowds to watch the Wizards would always be when they brought in Michael W. Smith to play a concert after the Wizards game.
  • Those crowds would top out around 30,000; which is alot for a soccer game in the United States.
  • Arrowhead still seemed cavernous with 30,000 people in attendance
  • The noise factor for the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead wasn’t a big factor because the noise drifted skyward.
  • …Back to Christians and soccer fans.
  • Talk about two worlds (subcultures) colliding at Arrowhead- Christians and soccer players.
  • I’m not saying soccer players aren’t Christians.
  • I’m both a soccer player and a Christ follower.
  • What I am saying is soccer players tend to be a bit more experimental towards…well, everything; and soccer players come from all walks of life and ethnicities. Christians, while they also come from all ethnicities, are still very segregated when they all come together.
  • Roll a ball out and all soccer players no matter the ethnicity joining in will start playing.
  • Throw a bible in the middle of “Christians” and Christians will spend time sharing what they disagree with.
  • I am not a fan of Michael W Smith’s music.
  • Cheesy Christian music is not my thing.
  • But when I stuck around one time to listen to one of his concerts after a Kansas City Wizards game, I laughed hard at his self-deprecating humor towards one of his hit songs, “Friends are Friends Forever”, during the concert.
  • He made the comment that he was absolutely sick of the song but knew he would be booed if he didn’t play it.
  • Fast forward to the year 2000.
  • I sat in a bar in Overland Park (Kansas City suburb) watching the the Kansas City Wizards win the MLS Cup championship.
  • After I cheered for them winning the Cup, the guy sitting next to me said, “Soccer? Who cares?”
  • I actually prefer the name Wizards over Sporting KC.
  • But I prefer the ownership and organization of Sporting KC over the previous ownership group.
  • The Hunt family was a fantastic ownership group that brought soccer to Kansas City but Robb Heineman has been even better.
  • Considering how successful Robb Heineman has been with the club he could call the club “the one legged pink flamingos” and it would still be cool.
  • No offense meant towards one legged pink flamingos.
  • The ownership of Sporting KC flat out gets it. 
  • Sporting Park (where Sporting KC plays) is flat out awesome!

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  • I guess I like saying “flat out”. I presume it’s because I’m from Kansas and everyone thinks Kansas is flat.
  • If you believe that is true for every inch of Kansas you’ve obviously have never been to Kansas.
  • Sporting Park is not cavernous, but it is VERY loud.
  • In fact, Sporting Park is perfect.
  • It seats 18,467 very loud fans.
  • At most games there are 19,000+ fans in attendance.
  • Don’t tell the fire marshall.
  • More sports venues might be trending towards smaller stadiums/arenas, etc with TV/home becoming a more popular (read cost effective) venue for watching games.
  • I can’t believe how far soccer in America and the MLS has come.
  • I remember training as a freshman in high school and our soccer team being called homophobic slurs by the football team…because we play soccer.
  • I also remember my first high school coach having to be restrained from going after a high school football player (twice his size) because the football player was making the homophobic slurs towards us.
  • I am looking forward to seeing how far our society can progress towards a less phobic attitude towards things that are different or things we don’t understand.
  • We need to have tough conversations about a lot of things to make our society better.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • But it was a pretty good empire after people worked on it a bit.
  • Give us some time.
  • For today…let’s bring the Cup home to Kansas City!
  • Sidenote: My attempt to show my Kansas City Wizards Tony Meola and Preki bobble head doll, which is being kept in the attic, was thwarted due to the ice in my driveway which prevented me from pulling the cars out to get into the attic.
 
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Posted by on December 7, 2013 in community, culture, sports

 

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