Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

A letter from Auggie
Dear Red Sox Nation,

First, a belated congratulations on vanquishing your 86 year curse back in the 04 season. That had to feel good. And then validating that championship with another one in 07 was a splendid touch. Well done. I’m sorry to hear about the unfortunate side effect of winning multiple championships; the one where you went from lovable losers that everyone rooted for, to hated elitists whose failure is cheered. It’s a bit disconcerting to occupy the alcove of public opinion normally reserved for axe murderers and Justin Bieber, but hey, that’s what happens when you are at the top and then you try to buy championships every year. Just look at your evil neighbors to the southwest, they had a monopoly (pun intended) on that vitriol for many years, and deservedly so I might add. So why am I writing to you now? It’s to offer my condolences on the new era you are about to enter – the Bobby Valentine era. I’m not sure if there is a new curse to blame, but this valentine was obviously sent by Cupid’s evil twin, the one with the poisonous arrows in the quiver. Your owners obviously don’t watch much baseball. Sure, you can expect an entertaining year but if you want to regain the World Series feeling you might need to break out that championship DVD you purchased in your post-curse euphoria (it's probably on your shelf right next to ABBA’s greatest hits). But really, this hire does make sense; the Sox clubhouse resembled a circus at the end of this last season so it’s only fitting that they bring in a clown. Happy rooting.


P.S. The accompanying picture was not doctored. That’s your new manager upon sneaking back to the dugout with a fake mustache disguise after being ejected from a game. Good times

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hockey Anyone?

Contributed by Auggie
Former fan of the NBA

Is anyone out there upset by the absence of NBA games due to the lockout? Has anyone out there noticed the absence of NBA games due to the lockout?

Even as a long-time NBA fan I find myself hoping they cancel the entire season. The NBA financial model is clearly flawed and needs to change. There is enough blame to share among the owners and players, and as usual greed is at the root of the problem. On the one hand, I don’t think the players realize how good they have it. When mediocre players can land a guaranteed multi-million dollar contracts and not even live up to their own mediocre standards then something is wrong. And on the other hand, who is giving out those ridiculous contracts? The owners clearly need a system to protect themselves from themselves.

But the financial absurdities are not the sole reason for my attitude. In many ways, this is not your father’s NBA. Maybe the rules haven’t changed much over the years but the culture certainly has. Today’s NBA is an alpha-dog, in-your-face, I’m-the-man, don’t-[mess]-with-me culture. (Note: “mess” wasn’t the first word that popped into my mind but this is a family blog). The “joy of winning” has given way to “defending your turf”. This is just not appealing to the traditional fan base, or at least to me.

So what are the owners and players really fighting about? Well everyone knows that revenue sharing is a big part of the impasse, but did you know about these other issues that are yet to be ironed out?

Tattoos: Players want a minimum of 27 tattoos per player or 18% of body area. Owners want to cap it at 15 tattoos/10% body area, but of course players already in the league would be grandfathered.

Guns allowed in locker room: Owners want zero. Players want one per player, but two if you’ve been disrespected.

The Scowl: The player’s position is that smiling or other expressions of joy are strictly prohibited, especially if you’ve done something good. The owners are fine with this point, especially Mark Cuban.

Quick tangent: I saw a photo of David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals after hitting the game winning homer in game six. As he was approaching the mob of teammates at home plate he was smiling like Lyle Lovett after inexplicably landing Julia Roberts. This expression would NEVER happen in the modern NBA. It’s a good thing David can hit a slider because basketball wouldn’t be an option. Ok, back to the blog.

Commissioner’s request: The Lakers will be required to reserve 1200 seats for B-list celebrities who want to look cool and enhance their reputation by attending Laker games, even if they think a “traveling violation” is when you have to fly coach.

While they are working out these issues, we can watch NBA classics on ESPN and reminisce about the good old days.