Sunday, February 28, 2010

Seriously Chapter 75: Closing Ceremonies - All They are is Dust in the Wind

Let's get the beautiful out of the way before anybody digresses.

Beautiful: Miss Kim Yuna, Skating to the Gold for South Korea.

Thursday night's vision of perfection. If ever there were a girl put on this earth by God to be a figure skater, it's this lovely kid and I hope to have an interview with her soon, me dealing out my pigeon Korean. I actually, usually hire Korean translators for stories. I don't speak but a little. I can't tell you how much I love Kim Yuna's legs and hips and the way she spins without sounding creepy and inappropriate so let me be more like a sports ticker and move on.

Beautiful: The Sight of Bill Demong (US) Crossing the Finish Line and Winning Gold

An amazing, astonishing triumph of the spirit from Bill Demong, also on Thursday, as he won the nasty, grueling 10K Men's Nordic Combined. Talk about slobber! It was beautiful AND triumphant, a memory forever frozen in my brain, akin to the likes of what you'd see in books like The Family of Man and what-not. Just beautiful.

Beautiful: The Canadian Girls Celebrating With Stogies and Champagne on the Ice.

I thought it was beautiful, frankly. Didn't like that they beat my beloved Uncle Samettes for the Gold Medal but, what the hay? Girls, when get like that, they're great to be around. So what the hell is wrong with it? They left it all on the ice, why not party on the ice, yo? (Yeah, too old to talk like that) What in the eff is the I.O.C. looking into? Isn't NHL Comissioner Gary Bettman involved in it, even though it's women? Isn't he involved in everything right now? I think Gary Bettman's involved in my mortgage and that's beautiful.

Beautiful: Steve Holcomb Captains the US to First Four-Man Bobsled Gold in 62 Years

Nothing's more old-school than bobsledding and you know how Seriously loves his old-school events; so imagine my joy, Saturday, watching Old Glory take its first Gold Medal in the Four-Man Bobsled since St. Moritz in 1948. And then afterwards, the tears in the eyes of the coach as he tried to talk about the team's victory. That was some manly shit right there and it was beautiful.

Enough Beautiful - The Closing Ceremony, I Never Get It

Seriously's been dispatched to nine different Olympic games' in his career (Yeah, I was in Lake Placid and witnessed You-Know-What) and I've sat on my ass in a leather Barky Lounger watching every minute of those few Olympics that I didn't happen to cover. And yet - even with all those Olympic assignments, the thousands of hours of watchful analysis, the awkward wording and structure of this particular sentence - even with all that - I usually never ever watch the closing ceremonies. I get so busy putting our coverage to bed, even running the whole Olympic apparatus on my own this year, I usually miss out on the whole pomp and puffery of saying goodbye. Every now and then, a summer Olympic closing ceremony will put a grip on you because they'll have crippled people involved and that always breaks my heart, but it's usually just a mutual butt scratch. A self-congratulation festival. "Aren't we so great?! Look what we did!" At least that's what the ceremony's like behind the scenes when you're attending or covering it. Watching it on t.v., I see it as well. "Ooh, aren't we cool?"

Why Wait to the Very End to Bring Up Hockey?

Let's get it straight. I wanted Canada to lose the game because I love my country. Good for you, Canada, you happened to win this time. Take your Gold Medal, enjoy. And while we definitely want you to send our athletes back home, please make sure you don't send your health care system along with it. We don't want your Canadian-style, Socialist health care system here in America and I fear this victory by your hockey team will be seen (by some) as a vindication of your policy, what with the robustness of your athletes and all. 5 out of the 10 most livable cities in the world are in Canada, yes that's true, but I guarantee you it has nothing to do with Canada's health care system! Know this, America, because you won't read it in the "lamestream" media, trust me - I'm hearing countless stories from a variety of sources, countless stories of Canadians falling over dead in the street during these Olympics because of their national health care. Not only that, the same drugs the Socialists in Congress would have us import at cheaper rates, they're dealing out a daily dose of death to the tune of (I'm hearing) seven people per day, just in Vancouver alone! Imagine, thinking you're taking your Lipitor and you just fall over dead. It's happening all the time in Canada, you're just not hearing about it in the liberal media, and it'll happen down here if we import these deadly drugs made in the US by the likes of Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. We don't want your health care, you're longer life expectancy or your deadly drugs imported from here. We don't want it!!!!
My patient and wonderful readers; as you can tell, I'm still angry, heartbroken really, that we didn't win the hockey game. Consequently, I'm lashing out a little. For that, I apologize. I just wanted my guys to get that one last Gold.

Goodbye, Vancouver

I'm sure the closing ceremony was a moving experience, an enduring message of peace, and you obviously did a fine job of hosting the Winter Olympics on the whole. A lot of my friends in the industry are packing for home as we speak and they tell me they're impressed with the great show Vancouver put on. "Kudos to some nice people" is what they're saying. However - and my ma will scold me for saying this because she has a Canadian cousin - if I never hear O Canada ever again, it'll be way too damn soon. I'm normally more crude, far more crude than that; but my ma, I know, will be reading this.

Baseball and the NFL scouting combine are coming up so stay tuned and watch as I'll be handing out information and dealing with a big bunch of problems.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Seriously Chapter 74: Yes, Drink the Water In Vancouver

I've been loving these Olympics from the first moment, even with the roller coaster that was the first couple days. Yeah, Gretzky got hung out to dry when the arm wouldn't come up, but look how he ran outside and lit that other torch. Then the Canadian kid won the moguls, which took the monkey off the back of the host country, they could relax. But the kid from Georgia died, and that made me cry, especially that look on his face while they were trying to save him. I've seen that look before.

Uber-Uncle Sam

Seriously gets hyper-nationalistic and is a flag waving S.O.B. when it comes to these Winter Olympics (forever loving Hannah Kearney, getting us our first Gold,) particularly in a year like this when I'm on my leather lounger, eating low calorie meals and not covering the games as a journalist. I'm just a fan and glory be to that. I got no time for other countries. USA, all the way, baby! Yeah, our hockey team beat China 12-1. So f-ing what? Take it to the uglies, get them medals, kick some snow ass! Is that unappealing enough? Can you guess that I'm mostly watching the Olympics by myself? Here's the bottom line on wanting to jam the U.S. flag pole up as many foreign rears as possible. My own psychology and horrific personal/emotional baggage aside, it's the fact that it's cold out, they're wearing lots of gear and you don't see as many faces (as you would in, say, the Summer O's, though I can be a bastard on those, too.) The anonymity factor allows reactionary-types like myself to defy that which is the very spirit of these games. But it's all grand and wonderful, this "human drama of athletic competition."

Bones of Contention

I zone out when I'm watching the Winter Olympics. Or I'll get distracted on the phone with family, agency business or the morons who are my friends, calling me when they're loaded, fully aware of my predicament. Or sometimes I'll even doze quite a bit when I'm watching and let me tell you why. It's because of all these new-fangled events they have now and the way they seem to want to cover them, all MTV-style. (I'm making that last part up.) I know they want to hook in the young crowd but I'm actually not young, dang it, and I'll have to let these Olympic officials know through my purchases and choices. All this snowboarding crap? And the kid who looks like Carrot Top. What am I, an asshole? The winner of Shawn White's event should receive my old Laker bong and that's about it. Yeah, I got a little hitch in my throat when Lindsey J. got DQ'd on her event but, please. If it's not an old school Winter Olympic event, I'm really not that interested.
I'm also extremely saddened by the US men's skaters, how they all seem to move like women on the ice. Be a man out there and 86 the feathers, for the love of Pete. The girls, however, are perfect. I'm thrilled with what they're doing.

Thank You For Putting It To Bed

Thank God Lindsey Vonn's shin went the way of Dwight Freeney's ankle and she won the Gold. I was sick of it. She's a great kid, though, and it's obvious the man upstairs wanted her to win, the weather knocking the schedule around and what-not. As soon as I get back to the office I'm gonna to get that young lady on the blower. I know her and I know her agent, but she's hotter than the Olsen Twins in lingerie, right now, so I can't guarantee an interview, but I promise to do what I can.
These games from Vancouver have been a grand celebration to witness and stand as a testament to the best we have to offer in the world of amateur sport. Granted, the two Koreans taking each other out and slamming into the wall, allowing Apollo to snatch that Silver Medal, that was my biggest thrill so far. But that's just mean old me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Seriously Chapter 73: NBA All-Star Game Report

East - 141 West - 139 - A High-Flying Nail-Biter to the End

Much like this year's NFL Pro Bowl in Miami, sobriety, life and sanity did not allow Seriously to make it, or get to shake it, at this year's NBA All-Star game in Dallas. Yearly one of the world's great weekends. Parties and parties and funnin' with the honey's. Seriamente!
Seriously had a great time himself, back here in Quake Town. With Harmless Keith holding down the fort at the agency, I was home-bound, watching the game while connected to family via Skype. How wonderful it is just being a fan watching Lebron, Kevin Durant, Chris Bosh, Kobe being Kobe. And I was particularly thrilled with the NBA coming-out party the Clipper's Chris Kaman threw for himself with a cool and deadly, 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist.
The big story coming out of Dallas isn't the re-affirmation of Deron William's greatness, we all know D and his talent, but let's admit we go to sleep on him, him being in Utah and all. The big story coming out of the All-Star game is how uninspiring, bordering on boring, the Slam Dunk contest was. As a witnesseth (??) I can attest to the fact that this once grand competition is in dire need of fresh creativity. Nate Robinson from the Knicks only won it because he's a little guy, getting way up there, and it is awesome, that's why he'd won twice before, but there's a need for new blood. The games great high-flyers avoid the contest for fear of injury and detriment to their teams and guys who are willing to participate were bringing dunks sorely lacking in the electricity of imagination. There was no Superman jumping over a phone booth, no vaulting of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Nobody blew the roof off the joint, nezz pa? And that's what you need for an All-Star game. Shannon Brown and his no-help-helper, Kobe Bryant, looked like they didn't even want to be bothered with it. With the All-Star NBA Slam Dunk contest in bad need of a makeover and a recharge, I hit the phones today, even though it's an off day, and got word to my guy in Commissioner Stern's office. We're not going to let this great slam dunk contest be diminished. It's a critical component to the NBA's All-Star weekend and it's an important event for the American people.

Stay tuned for baseball.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Seriously Chapter 72: Yours, Mine and Ours

Super Bowl Aftermath & Falling on the Grenade

While the Super Bowl did not disappoint, the football season on the whole surely did which is entirely my fault, for those of you who get your news here. Please accept our serious, Toyota-level apology for the way we at Sports Seriously handled our NFL Playoff coverage as an agency. Me, Seriously, I was a slouch with the agency's NFL coverage, the NFL Playoffs being so closely tied to a couple of personal demons I'm currently at war with. Drinking and gambling. It hurt me as a journalist to have to step back and not be out there on the story, slapping the backs of all the guys, (though I heard it was cold as hell out there this year.) And I know every inch of Miami so the Super Bowl would have been great. And on the other facet of what I do, I love my work as a prognosticator, the business of telling everybody which way the games are going to go. I've emerged from this football season, F.Y.I., with a certified, career playoff-winning- percentage of 82.3% via the MGM Grand spreads.
It's all something I love, the NFL Playoffs, and it's put a lot of money in my pocket. And yet I had to step back from it professionally. I couldn't really cover the games and I couldn't help you guys pick them, either. It was for the sake of personal sanity, even beyond my sobriety. But let me report to you the following - Watching the games, just as a fan, for the first time in decades was a joyous and joyful experience. It was like a big, fat continuous exhale. And the big game? Oh, my God. Just being an asshole in a recliner with some O'Doul's and a bowl of hot wings. I felt refreshed and reborn. Just watching two great teams. Watching the guys play. It reminded me of why I fell in love with the pro game in the first place. And then "Undercover Boss" came on right after the game which really made cry. Just being able to be a normal person, not running around like Mt. Vesuvius working the phones, not yelling at people, not getting yelled at. Being able to enjoy my family, even though it had to be via Skype for legal reasons I cannot discuss.
Super Bowl Sunday was great and I'm having a heck of a good time putting one foot in front of the other.

Stay tuned for Seriously's upcoming NBA Mid-Season Report, my interview with NBA Hall-of-Famer Darryl Dawkins and a link to probably the world's most unusual dunking contest.

Don't forget, also, next week means

Pitchers and Catchers