Thursday, November 1, 2012

Suicide Silence Frontman Passes Away

Sad news to report for us metalheads. Mitch Lucker, vocalist for Riverside, CA death-metal act Suicide Silence passed away. He was 28.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Lucker lost control of his Harley and struck a pole. His motorcycle then struck another car. The driver was unharmed.

Suicide Silence helped pioneer the "deathcore" and is arguably the most popular band in that scene. The vocals of Lucker featured guttural growls, followed by ear-piercing shrieks. The band was one of the heaviest bands in the metal scene today. They planned to play the California Metalfest, which features As I Lay Dying and Killswitch Engage.

Suicide Silence formed in the peak of my love for attending shows. Between 2003-2007, I attended hundreds of concerts and saw Suicide Silence perform a few times. The lyrics were violent, anti-religious and often disturbing. All reasons why they were great. The band's performances were fully of energy and were extremely intense.

Lucker is about the same age as I am, so it kind of hits home for me. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but the band seemed passionate about their craft. Their last album "The Black Crown" debuted at #29 on the Billboard charts, selling over 14,000 copies in its first week of release.

One will wonder what the future will hold for the band, but they do have an important place in metal in the 2000's. RIP Mitch.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Random Thoughts: Confidence

Confidence is a funny thing. Some people have an abundance of it -- they can assert themselves into any situation and feel comfortable, even thrive. It is probably the number one trait that I admire in others, as I never have ever had much of it. In most facets of my life anyway.

I have longed to be that cocky asshole we all hate. The douchebag who uses too much hair gel, dresses like a dope, yet can walk up to any girl at a party and talk to her like he has known her all his life. I watch this guy from afar with his insincere pickup lines, his stale sense of humor. I wonder how any girl would fall for this idiot who thinks he is smooth. At the end of the night he lives with the hottest chick in the room and I leave alone.

In unfamiliar situations, I like to observe. I focus on the body language of others and how the people assemble themselves into a click. It is really applicable to any situation. Personally, I like myself. I think I am a valuable human being and I have traits that any person should be attracted to -- be it as a friend, acquaintance, romantic partner, or just another human being. I have yet to master the art of conveying that to others.

Part of the reason I decided to seek treatment was to build up some sort of confidence. Perhaps I can make others see the things I like in myself. Confidence is something I have never had, except for my writing.

I love to write and quite frankly, I am probably better at it then you. I am funny, I am witty and I am fucking entertaining. Don't believe me? Close the browser. I firmly believe that I am better than many who get paid to write professionally. In fact, why the hell am I not making a living as a writer?

I like the feeling I get from writing. It makes me feel better about myself. There has to be a way to apply that cockiness to my daily life. Sure, instead of coming across as a laid-back, nice guy, some might view as an asshole. At the end of the day, is that such a bad thing?

It seems like I just need to find a middle ground. I am hoping the ensuing weeks help me find the answers that I am looking for.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Joy Of Pillz

If you have been following this blog over the last month, I have been pretty open about my battle with various anxiety issues. Cognitive therapy starts in November, but until then the good doctors have put me on Celexa, a drug designed for people with anxiety issues.

The pills are supposed to take about 4-6 weeks to work, and so far I really haven't noticed a significant difference. I have noticed that my outlook has changed on life a bit, but I am not sure if that is my own doing. I don't feel the daily anxiety subsiding at all, so it is really hard to figure out where my improved optimism is coming from.

Perhaps one change is the weight that I have lost. About three months ago, I looked at myself in various pictures, and it kind of disgusted me. I never really considered myself "fat," but I had packed on some pounds. I weighted myself at the beginning of July, and I tipped the scales at 230 lbs. I am pretty sure it is the heaviest that I have ever been. I felt gross. So I started dieting and exercising a little bit. 3 months later, I am down about 30 lbs. I may need to buy new pants, but I suppose that is a good problem to have. Plus, I probably moved up a few levels with the ladies I could potentially pursue. Progress.

However, there have been some pretty gnarly side effects from these pills. The first, and most obvious, is the lack of sex drive. Granted, I am single, and have not made any effort to pursue the opposite sex. Before I used to break my neck to check out any half-breathing female that I crossed paths with. Now, I don't give most women a second look. I noticed that I don't have much of an interest in pursuing the opposite sex either. I am no social dynamo, but I really do not feel like being anywhere near a potential romantic relationship.

I have found that I have also been having some vivid, gut-wrenching dreams. I honestly cannot remember details about them, but I woke up feeling like shit, and the dreams put me in a terrible mood all day. A few I vaguely remembered involved my recent ex-girlfriend. Some involved some kind of death or terrible situation. I thought about keeping a pen and a notebook next to my bed to jot down the details, but I haven't gone that far. Vivid, realistic dreams are a side effect. So are suicidal thoughts and actions. I'll be sure to post when I slit my wrists.

I am trying to be more optimistic and I think it is working. I am naturally a pretty negative person. I expect the worst out of people and any situation. I am a nice person, and I always treat everyone I come across with respect, but I always have doubt in the back of my mind. Perhaps it some sort of defense mechanism? Just more fodder for a doctor, I suppose.

At the last doctor's office, he asked me if I had any questions. I asked how will I know when the medication actually starts working, or how does the medication actually work? He gave me some scientific explanation that went over my head. I guess I will know when I do not feel as paranoid in certain situations. The fun has just begun.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The NHL Is Fucking The Pooch!

The NHL has never meant much to me. Perhaps it is because I am a San Diego kid. People here do not play  hockey, and I honestly cannot say I have ever met a native San Diegan who loved the sport. Since we cannot play it shirtless, or in flip-flops, we push it to the wayside.

Last year, I attended a Bruins/Kings game at Staples Center. Everyone has always told me that one must see hockey in person to truly appreciate the sport. They were right.

My birthday was about as epic as they come last year: I saw a Clippers vs. Grizzles game in the afternoon, followed by a hockey nightcap. I honestly think I had more fun at the Kings game -- this coming from a guy who has a raging hard-on for Blake Griffin. There were big hits, exciting action, and the game actually kept my interest. I missed two goals when I was picking my nose and scoping out the babes. I had a blast.

My interest in the NHL has never been higher. I was hoping to check out a few Ducks games this year, and perhaps adopt a team to call my own. I watched much of the Stanley Cup Finals on television, and I found it to be intense. I do not understand all the nuances of the game, but I feel like I could learn, and fall in love with the sport.

However, the dips that run the NHL are in danger of losing another season, due to greed. Interest in the NHL has never been higher. The Winter Classic has been a boon for the league, and the NHL has no choice but to pimp the sport, since they lost the rights to the MLB and NBA. It seems that the NHL and NBC sports need each other.

Ratings were pretty solid last year for the playoff games, and the West Coast actually got involved with the success of the Kings. If the Kings become a power in the NHL, it will only benefit the league. However, the league has committed a series of boners that make a novice fan like me scratch my head.

First, why the hell has the league expanded into so many weird towns? Nashville, Columbus, Raleigh, Tampa Bay. I do not think hockey when I think of these towns. Hell, the Atlanta Thrashers failed and moved to Winnipeg. Too many damn teams in the league.

The owners got over on the last labor dispute. The salary cap was reduced by 24% and salaries were dramatically reduced. The newest rejected proposal had the players and owners disagreeing to a 50/50 split. Some sources say that the owners would still have 57% of the revenue, and it would gradually decrease over a five-year period.

Hockey cannot afford another black eye in my opinion. The sport is growing, and has a huge following in many East Coast towns. A California native like myself is interested in the sport. A missed season would likely make me apathetic. The sport needs new fans in order to continue to grow.

The NHL is missing a golden opportunity to keep the momentum they built in the playoffs last year. Another missed season could kill the sport for good.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Aftermath

I decided to wait a few days before posting my thoughts on the latest Chargers debacle. This is not a Chargers blog, but the situation is just too ridiculous to not post my two cents. I actually attended this game(the first Chargers game I went to since 2005) and I can compare my journey to the experiences of a heroin addict.

Naturally, I was stoked before the game. I got up, ate some breakfast, did the 3 S's(shit, shower, shave), threw on my Philip Rivers and I was ready to go. I hooked up with my best friend and his uncle(both Broncos fans) and did all the things that you do when you prepare to attend an NFL game.

We got some sandwiches, beer, water, and took the 10 mile pilgrimage to dilapidated Qualcomm Stadium. The parking lot was filling up, and it was quite the site. Hot chicks, the smell of food, beer and a ton of trash everywhere. There were several guys collecting cans and bottles, in order to recycle them for money to buy their own liquor. The circle of life. Hell, as soon as you finished that last drop of Bud Light, Rufus was in your face snatching that empty bottle. I contemplated throwing several bottles in their direction, in hopes of them fighting over it. I relented.

Inside, the game was electric. As much as people believe that San Diego has an apathetic fanbase, Qualcomm was mighty loud, despite the overpopulation of Donkey fans. The crowd was loud and enthusiastic. The Chargers were gifted 10 points early on, and built a 24-0 lead at halftime.

Personally, I don't believe the Chargers played well in the 1st half. They could not capitalize on a number of Denver's mistakes, and the running game never evolved. Perhaps Jared Gaither is just that good, or undrafted rookie free agent Mike Harris is just that bad.

Naturally, Charger fans were feeling pretty good. As was I -- however, I am not one to run my mouth. Nothing worse than celebrating prematurely. I will keep my smart-ass comments to myself, until the game commences. Plus, any team that has Peyton Manning is never really out of the game.

I felt myself poo a little when the Broncos marched right down the field for an easy touchdown. My initial fear was exacerbated when Philip Rivers had a fumble returned for a touchdown, and Denver pulled within 10. It was a pattern that I had seen too many times.

This Charger team cannot finish games. They could be 5-1, and the class of the AFC if they could hold a lead. They blew a 24-point lead at HOME. In fact, Elias tells us the Chargers are the first team to lead by 24 or more points, only to lose by double digits.

The team has no leaders, no identities. I love Philip Rivers, and this is the first time I have ever questioned his ability to lead a team. I know that the offensive line us beat up, but no elite quarterback turns the ball over five times in a half. The defense played gutless, uninspired football. I am no expert, but teams with great character do not allow the opposition to score 35 unanswered.

San Diego needs a leadership change. The team whacked Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season, because "he took them as far as they could go." Insert Norv Turner, who failed in two previous coaching destinations. The team has gone backwards, and frankly Norv needs to go.

After the game, I felt like I had been kicked in the crotch. It is an empty feeling when you witness one of the greatest collapses in NFL history. Denver fans pointed and laughed. What I could I say in retaliation? We had your number in the first half! Hey, at least my head coach looks like Al Gore banged Freddy Krueger! Nope, I had to take my medicine.

My Denver friends and I hit up a little 24-hour diner for a late-night meal. I hoped some chicken-fried steak, or a greasy burger would soothe my battered soul. As we walked in, the restaurant was populated with two tables full of Denver fans. They laughed at me, and slapped high-fives with my chums. Bastards. Some 10-year old kid took solace on my pathetic soul, and gave me a high-five. Thanks, kid. At the table, two hotties came over to the table and laughed at me for wearing a Rivers jersey. You would think that I would be used to having girls laugh in my face, but it did sting a little.

The Chargers are a laughingstock, and it hurts like hell. I love this team, and I just want to see them be successful. It seems that the ship has sailed. Time to clean house.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Session

Yesterday I embarked on my first "therapy" session. Although, I would not really call it a session. Essentially, it was more of an assessment. It consisted of them making sure I was not going to kill myself, or someone else. Since I am not suicidal, nor violent, it was a gameplan of coming up with ways to help me out. I'll admit, it was not really what I expected it to be.

Anytime I have a new experience, I approach it with a great deal of trepidation. I have always had a fear of the unknown. How to act in a certain station, the right things to say. Some people can always take a new situation, and make the best of it. This is not an ability that I possess.

The night before, I thought about how it would go down. I thought of that scene in "There's Something About Mary" where Ben Stiller is sitting laying on the couch, while the therapist skips out for lunch. Poor, clueless, big-eared Stiller spills his guts about the love he lost, while the smaller, more professional set of ears does not give two shits.  I thought that something similar would transpire, and that I would just be led down a road full of embarrassment. This was not the case.

The therapist wanted to gauge a background on me. I told her about the issues I was experiencing, saying that they really started in childhood, and have followed me through my evolution into adulthood. I told her that my three-year romantic relationship ending was the biggest mindfuck of my life,(I cleaned it up a little) yet, it was also the kick in the ass I needed to better myself.

I told her that I rarely drink, and I have never done any kind of illegal drugs, so substance abuse is not the issue. I am just a little nuts, and neurotic. Hell, one time I had take a shit so bad while driving, that I pulled up to a Jack in the Box, and ordered food so the employees wouldn't look at me weird for dropping a deuce in their bathroom. For some reason, I found that to be strange.

Also, the room was not what I expected. There was no couch, just office chairs. Instead of writing notes down, the therapist just typed notes out in a computer. She was pretty young too -- she could not have been much older than 30. She seemed impressed by my outlook, which I suppose is positive.

Truthfully, I cannot figure out if I am just bullshitting myself. I have always been somewhat of a pessimist, but I have really tried to change things about myself. It started with losing weight, it has continued with medication, therapy, and a new way of thinking. Things will improve, and I will emerge stronger than I ever have before.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Visit

Fuck, I hate mornings. I really despise morning people. You know, those sadists who wake up 6 a.m. because if you don't then "half the day is gone." The day is overrated, give me 21 hrs of night. Perhaps I should move to the Arctic Circle.

Anyway, I had to get up early on a day off, which is equal to hammering spikes through my feet. I made an appointment a few weeks ago to get treatment for a variety of issues relating to depression/anxiety. Finally at the age of 27, I decided to see what I can to to combat issues I have had since childhood.

I hopped in the car and took the lengthy 1.4 mile trek to my doctor's office. While showering, I thought about crawling into bed and sleeping the day away. Perhaps a few months ago I would have. Not today.

As I got dressed, I tried to give myself a pep talk, because I am sure R. Lee Emery was yelling at someone else. Since there was no one else around, I had to play a trick on my brain to get motivated. Whatever I said must of worked, because 7 minutes later I was there.

I checked in at the counter, payed my co-pay, and thought about leaving 8 times in the first 30 seconds. I sat down and took a long look around. I saw a ton of old people. I was easily the youngest person in the office. Everyone was minding there own business.

While playing around on my phone, I overheard a married couple's discussion. The wife had a theory that her husband was having heart problems because of "all that violent crap you watch at night." I suppose Walker, Texas Ranger reruns are to blame for this guys faulty ticker. The women wanted to ask her doctor "why her jaw always got sore when she ate nuts from a jar." Their conversation made me laugh, and loosing me up a bit.

I told the doctor my symptoms and she prescribed a medication called Celexa. It does have some frightening side effects, especially the "heavy menstrual periods." On the plus side, it is also used as a treatment for premature ejaculation. So I can feel better AND last longer in the sack? Sign me up, captain!

The next step is to talk to a therapist. That part of the treatment has been long overdue. I am sure the doctor will have a field day with me.

RIP John "Money" Evans

Over the last few years, I have developed "friendships" with various people online. It really started when I started this blog, at some point in July 2010. Many of them started when I called into "The Ben Maller Show' and through the subsequent social media platforms where I befriended several listeners from the show.

One of those "friends' was John "Money" Evans. Evans was a sarcastic, sometimes arrogant punk that called into show from time-to-time. Ben Maller, the host of the national radio show, often joked about how ridiculous and annoying Money's calls were. I thought they were hilarious. Probably because he reminded me of myself.

When I was 16, I too used to stay up late listening to sports radio. Hell, I probably started listening to sports-talk radio when I was in grade school. I used to always want to call, but never did until I was 23. He stayed up to all hours of the night to talk shit across 300 radio stations. The kid had balls and a great sense of humor. Evans called often, building up the Patriots and Celtics. He was a smart ass, and often had me in stitches.

I started my own sports podcast a few years ago, and Evans was one of my "regulars." He called almost every week, and actually had very good sports knowledge; more than any other kid that I can remember. The kid had a passion for sports, and I tried to talk him into pursuing journalism classes in high school and in college. He won't ever get that chance.

Young Evans died in a car crash in May, in his hometown of Fort Royal, Virginia. He was only 16. 16! I cannot even imagine losing a son, brother, or friend so young. I was lucky in that aspect. But I feel like I lost a friend today. It is kind of bizarre mourning the death of someone you never "met," but I am fighting back tears as I write this. I liked the kid.

I often wonder why and when people die. Why are some people viciously murdered, while others go in their sleep. Why terrible people lead charmed lives, and some slave away, only to be poor and miserable. Life often makes no sense to me. This is one of those times.

I cannot fathom a bright kid with so much potential passing away so young. There are no explanations, no rationalizations to fit the occasion. 16 is much too soon for someone to lose their life. RIP Johhny, hopefully someday you and I can talk sports again. John called my podcast from time-to-time, and you can listen here. RIP 'Lil Buddy, we will catch a game together someday.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The First Step

Hello, my name is Kevin and I have a problem. No, I am not an alcoholic, nor do I have a drug problem. I have a plethora of issues that I am finally going to attempt to fix. What am I talking about? Well, I'll take you on a little trip.

Ever since I was young, I was generally freaked out by people. I am not sure when it started, but I always tried to keep a distance. I always had friends, but was pretty much anonymous and unremarkable. I never went out of my to talk to people. Honestly, I am not sure how I made friends at all.

My parents and family attributed my lack of social skills to shyness. I always thought it was something more. When I was in 7th grade, I had a "job" in middle school, that consisted of me delivering messages to teachers during class. I begged my teacher to switch me to a different job, in this work experience-type class. I hated walking into a class with 30 sets of eyeballs looking at the weird kid interrupting their lesson on obtuse and acute angles. It seemed like their eyes were burning holes into my skin. It felt like they were analyzing the clothes I picked out that morning, or the way I did my hair. They probably weren't, but it sure felt that way.

In high school, my issues only got worse. I battled acne, which pretty much made me feel like no girl wanted to touch me. I never went on a date or a dance. I spent prom night fucking with customers at my job at McDonalds. This anxiety held me back from experiences that most kids treasure the rest of their lives. I was a prisoner, and could not bear the thought of asking a girl out.

Eventually, the problem got better. I developed relationships and thought the problem was gone. However, the simplest tasks were and still are, difficult. Sometimes I get paranoid going to the store and having to ask someone for help. Completely irrational.

I still do not have many friends. Partly by choice, and partly out of fear. I am not sure why the fear is there, but it steers the wheel. I always feel that people will judge me. That they will see the flaws that I have, instead of seeing the Kevin I see. I actually like myself, and I am sure people would too. Instead, I keep it to myself.

I have documented about the recent end of my relationship. The whole situation has really fucked with my self-perception. It has questioned my faith in people, and made my anxiety worse. If someone I let get close to me turns out to not be the person I thought they were, then what will someone I do not know do to me. After doing some research, I decided it was time to get help.

I exhibit every symptom of Social Anxiety Disorder. I realize it sounds like a bullshit disorder, but it is very real. Essentially, the person who suffers (me) from the disorder gets paranoid in social settings. They are overcome with stress, anxiety and fear. This describes the first 27 years of my life.

I made an appointment to talk with a doctor. The treatments that usually ensue are a combination of pills and therapy. Talking to some quack about my feelings is scary as hell, but its the first step. We are all doomed for history to repeat itself, if we do not make changes. If you bitch about your weight constantly, but make no effort to do anything about it, you deserve to be miserable. If I bitch about the anxiety I have, yet make no changes, I deserve any misery that comes with it. This one is all on me.

I am writing this, as I hope this is a beginning. An evolution of myself, becoming the best person I can be. A happier, more fulfilled person. Treatment may not help, or could make things worse. Who knows? But I owe it to myself to try. We need to whatever it takes to be happier. This is my first step.

2012 NFL Predictions

Oh snap, another NFL season is upon us! I don't know about the rest of you, but I have missed the NFL greatly. I have posted my NFL predictions here, and it is always fun to see how I did at the end of the season. Let's dive in and take I look at what Kevin thinks will happen this season.

AFC East
1. New England Patriots:  The Patriots might be the model franchise in the NFL. As long as Tom Brady has a pulse, this team will always be a Super Bowl contender. I like the addition of Brandon Lloyd, and the team will depend on young running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. Their defense is still very suspect. Prediction: 12-4

2. New York Jets: This team has more drama than an episode of Melrose Place. Mark Sanchez needs to turn the corner, but likely won't. Jets fans better hope that Tim Tebow does not receive regular playing time either. The defense is still tough, but it won't matter because the team is pathetic on offense. Prediction: 8-8

3. Buffalo Bills: The Bills signed Mario Williams, perhaps the best free agent available last offseason. The team has Fred Jackson, who was solid before injuries. This team just does not have enough talent to contend. Prediction: 7-9

4. Miami Dolphins: I did not see one second of Hard Knocks, but I do know that the Dolphins might be the worst team in all the land. Reggie Bush shut me up, and proved he could be a feature back. Can he do it again? Ryan Tannehill has no one to throw to. Prediction: 3-13

AFC North
1. Baltimore Ravens: The window might be closing for this team. They still have a fierce defense, and getting Courtney Upshaw in the second round of the draft was a steal. Joe Flacco needs to evolve, and the team must forget about the Billy Cundiff fiasco. Laces out, Dan. Prediction: 11-5

2. Pittsburgh Steelers: It is likely to be a two-team race in this division. Pittsburgh still is tough as ever, although they did nothing in free agency. If the team can get a game or two at home in the playoffs, a Super Bowl run is not out of the question. Prediction: 10-6

3. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals were easily the biggest surprise in the NFL. I believe most of us had them winning three games, but they made the playoffs. I love Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, but I believe the team will take a step backwards this year. Prediction: 8-8

4. Cleveland Browns: Another bad team, with a 28 year-old rookie QB. It could be a very long season in Cleveland. At least they still have Lebron, right? Oh yeah.. Prediction: 4-12

AFC South
1. Houston Texans: This team should have the division wrapped up by Week 10. Matt Schaub is back, and this team might have advanced further in the playoffs if he were healthy. Team has a great running game, and one of the best defenses in the NFL. Prediction: 13-3

2. Tennessee Titans: Hopefully Chris Johnson is primed for 2,000 yards, because I have no faith in Jake Locker. This team could be worse than this prediction. Prediction: 7-9

3. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck will lead this team back at some point. It just won't be this year. Can Donald Brown become a solid contributor? Will the defense improve? I don't see it. Prediction: 5-11

4: Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert has looked better in the preseason, according to reports, but from what I saw last year, he has no pocket presence. At least is MJD is back for fantasy owners. Prediction: 4-12

AFC West
1. Denver Broncos: The defending AFC West champs add Peyton Manning. The defense still has the ability to get after the QB. Willis McGahee and Ronnie Hillman will be the main cogs in the running game. Prediction: 10-6

2. San Diego Chargers: This team has a myriad of issues, and it would not be a surprise to me to see them finish in last. They still have Philip Rivers, and I like the changes they made on defense. The offensive line has more holes than a pair of Al Bundy's boxers. Prediction: 9-7

3. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs could make some noise in the division. With Jammal Charles and Peyton Hillis, the running game could be very good. I was not impressed with their draft, and Matt Cassel is a glorified backup. Prediction: 8-8

4. Oakland Raiders: Having a healthy Darren McFadden would be huge. Carson Palmer's best days are behind him, and the team has issues on 
defense. Prediction: 6-10

NFC East
1. New York Giants: The defending champs still have the best team in the division. As much as I hate to say it, Eli Manning is an elite quarterback. The team can still get after the quarterback, and another Super Bowl run is not out of the question. Prediction: 11-5

2. Philadelphia Eagles: Still a very talented team. Michael Vick, Lesean McCoy, and Desean Jackson. They were disappointing last year, but they should be better. Prediction: 10-6

3. Dallas Cowboys: America's team is the NFC version of the Chargers. They have put together some pretty talented squads, but have not won a thing. Tony Romo will continue to be the most scrutinized player in the NFL. Prediction: 8-8

4. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III gives this franchise hope, but it will have to wait a few years. The team does not have playmakers on offense. Prediction: 6-10

NFC North
1. Green Bay Packers: What can I say? I love Aaron Rodgers. Jordy Nelson is primed to become a top-shelf receiver, and the Packers should be in the mix for a title. The secondary got torched last year, and that has to be a concern. Prediction: 13-3

2. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford quietly put up a monster year last year. He has weapon's galore, but the team has no running game to speak of. The defense has playmakers, and the Lions could win this division. Prediction: 11-5

3. Chicago Bears: I have never liked Jay Cutler, and the Bears brought in Brandon Marshall. I like the acquisition of Michael Bush. He should provide a nice 1-2 punch with Matt Forte. Prediction: 9-7

4. Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson needs to return to form to give the Vikings a shot. Matt Kalil gives the team a good LT for years. Prediction: 5-11

NFC South
1. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan has been a solid QB, but can he elevate his game to another level? I am saying that he will. Has a good running game, and talented receivers. Prediction: 11-5

2. New Orleans Saints: I think Bountygate will have a lingering affect. It will not be that great, though, as I fully expect them to return to the playoffs. Too much talent to collapse. Prediction: 10-6

3. Carolina Panthers: Ron Rivera has done a great job here, and I was bummed when he wasn't given the job, when I felt Norvell should have been whacked. The question here, is: Can Cam keep it going? This team is still probably another year away. Prediction: 7-9

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The team went out and spent money in free agency, adding Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson. Doug Martin has looked good in preseason, but I am not sold on Josh Freeman. Prediction: 5-11

NFC West
1. San Francisco 49'ers: This team will be in the mix to win it all. Alex Smith showed he can manage a game, and the team is one of the toughest in the league. Wins this horrid division easily. Prediction: 13-3

2. Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks are going with Russell Wilson at QB. Sad thing is, he could end up being the best QB in this division by season's end. Prediction: 8-8

3. Arizona Cardinals: John Skeleton is the man here. Larry Fitzgerald should be requesting a trade by Week 8. Someone call Kurt Warner. Prediction: 5-11

4. St. Louis Rams: I like Jeff Fisher, and he will get the team back to respectability at some point. The team needs Sam Bradford to avoid injuries. and become a star. Me thinks he won't. Prediction: 4-12


AFC: (1) Houston, (2) New England

(3) Baltimore over (6) San Diego
(4) Denver over (5) Pittsburgh

(1) Houston over (4) Denver
(3) Baltimore over (2) New England

(3) Baltimore over (1) Houston

AFC Champs: (3) Baltimore Ravens

NFC: (1) San Francisco, (2) Green Bay

(3) New York over (6) New Orleans
(5) Detroit over (4) Atlanta

(5) Detroit over (1) San Francisco
(2) Green Bay over (3) New York
(2) Green Bay over (5) Detroit

NFC Champs: (2) Green Bay

Super Bowl: Packers over Ravens

Award Winners
MVP: Matthew Stafford: Detroit Lions
Defensive Player of the Year: Von Miller, Denver Broncos
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Morris Claiborne: Dallas Cowboys
Comeback Player of the Year: Jammal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl MVP: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Random Thoughts: Don't Hit Send!

As I wrote in a blog a few weeks ago, I had a relationship of over three years come to an end recently. That blog was all about making peace with a difficult situation. It caught me off-guard, and I started going through all of the grieving processes one does when they are dumped.

First, I felt devastated, then angry, and sad again. I had a bevy of emotions that I needed to get off my chest. When a person clearly states that they would rather be molested by a panda, as opposed to be in the same room with you, it is important to find an outlet for the complex emotions that you experience. When things go bad for me, I write. I pick up a pen, or park myself in front of a computer, and start letting the words flow. It is my outlet, and my blogging has been the main source of the things that are inside my head.

However, when this relationship ended, I did not have the closure that one needs to feel like they can move on. Unresolved emotions can be an absolute bitch, and I had enough to fit inside Petco Park. I wanted to talk to her, but I knew that being rejected was a bit more than I could take. So I wrote her a letter. It wasn't not a mean letter, or a "fuck you, I hope you get eaten by coyote's letter." I believed the letter came across as mostly classy, thanking her for all the good times that we shared, and the happiness that I did experience. You simply do not see the same person everyday for nearly three years without being happy most of the time. At least I wouldn't. 

Perhaps the whole idea of a letter was stupid in the first place. I knew the relationship was over, I knew that a reconciliation was out of the question, and I knew it was time to get on with my life. I suppose I was just looking for a way to unburden myself. So I wrote the letter, and sent it.

I never got a response back. I did not really expect to. Hell, I am not sure what I was thinking in the first place. I should have wrote the letter, and left it alone. It should been something I should have wrote and kept for my own benefit. It is something I would never share here -- way too personal.

Through a network of mutual friends, and my own ninja hacking skills(yes, I hacked an e-mail account, which is a little pathetic) I find out that not only was the letter never read by her, but that she actually forwarded it along to others. My letter, the thoughts I had in my head, and my heart, were not worth her time to read. However, it was passed around like a bong at a frat party, and the experience was pretty embarrassing.

In retrospect, her actions told me all I needed. In fact, the experience was a healing process. This action told me all I needed to know; this girl was clearly not the one, and she is not worthy of my time. The action gave me clarity, and gave me the resolution I needed. After a month of being in the shitter, I actually feel really good now. I am staying busy, losing weight, and things are looking up for me.

Looking back, I needed to write the letter, but I should not have sent it to her. Again, I am not really sure what I was looking to accomplish. I should have listened to the friends who told me I was an idiot for even wasting my time. 

If you find yourself with a broken heart, writing your thoughts done is perfectly healthy and acceptable. But do not send it to the person who did it to you. Keep it hidden, or give it to a friend. Do not give that person that satisfaction. Don't hit send!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Random Thoughts: Battle Of the Bulge

A few days ago, I decided to go on a diet, in an attempt to lose some weight. It has been something I have been thinking about for many months, but I usually drown out that voice with spaghetti and fast-food. I do not consider myself to be "fat," but I could definitely stand to lose a few pounds.

Currently, I weigh in at about 230 lbs, although I have no gut. I stand about 5'10. The numbers do not lie: I am overweight. I am pretty lazy when it comes to exercise, and I also work and go to school, so those activities are not helping me stay in shape.

Perhaps the end of my relationship triggered something in my mind. I am not sure. But like I said, I am trying to embrace change. I feel like working out and dieting will not only make me feel better, but look better too. Hey, if I am trying to attract members of the opposite sex, it will not hurt to look my best, right?

The hardest part about dieting is, well, the eating. I love eating crap. In a perfect world, every meal would consist of chicken wings, some type of pasta dish, and a nice, large soda. Honestly, I am surprised I am not bigger, with all of the shit I intake.

Vegetables and fruit just never did anything for me. The thought of eating a salad makes me ill, and aside from bananas(yes, I enjoy the gayest looking fruit), fruit is not my thing either. For me, the hardest part is finding something to eat, that is actually healthy. Grilled fish and chicken are supposed to be good, but I would prefer them with a side of loaded baked potatoes. It seems like a losing battle.

One thing I do have on my side, is that I already drink a lot of water. Diet soda is for morons, and juice is loaded with sugar, so it seems like water will be my drink of choice. Water is awesome on a hot day, but is ultimately unsatisfying while eating a meal. I love washing down a delicious meal with an ice-cold Coca-Cola. Old habits die hard.

Ultimately, I hope to get down to about 190-200, while still continuing a regular habit of exercise. I have gone on 3-4 mile walks, and I hope to work in some weight-lifting, and biking into the mix. I am 27, it is time to be a little more active.

I will be sure to keep you abreast of the situation, as I sweat off my man-breasts. I am sure it is going to be a  tireless battle.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Destruction Of Everything Is The Beginning Of Something New

The title of this blog is a reference to an album by post-hardcore band Adair. Adair was one of my favorite bands, and their only full length album, released in 2006, is worth your time. The purpose of this post is not to talk about the band, but how this title is a metaphor for my life, and the things that I am experiencing.

Recently, my 3-year romantic relationship came to an end. It was completely unexpected, and very painful. It was not something I wanted to go through, but we do not always get what we want. Life is all about dealing with adversity, and finding the positive in a very negative situation. It is finding something beautiful in an ugly portrait.

Relationships are a weird thing. Almost all are doomed to fail. Sure, people get married, but over half of marriages end in divorce. Essentially we date, get married, or part ways. That is it. Yet, many of us feel defined by our relationship status. We post it on Facebook, and for many of us, it is a constant source of conversation.

When I was in high school, I was a bit of a loner. People, and especially girls, freaked me out. If you gave me the option of dousing myself in gasoline and lighting myself on fire, or asking out the pretty girl in Algebra, then you better find a fire extinguisher to help put my pathetic ass out. As I have gotten older, I have discovered that I am worthwhile, and I actually like myself as a person.

I used to hope that I could get a girl to notice me, because I thought it was a solution to all the problems that I had. I looked around at all the happy couples around campus, and came to a conclusion that I was pathetic, because I was not attached to the hip of a female.

As I have gotten older, I have had a few relationships, all of which have failed for one reason or another. One was because of infidelity on my part,(ironic, I know) and the other was just a couple that realized that they were completely incompatible. Both relationships failed, but I learned from them, and I tried very hard not to make the same mistakes twice.

I cannot really say what happened this time. The intention of this blog is not to put that person on blast, and vent out personal information. I have a myriad of thoughts and feelings throughout this situation. Sadness. Anger. Disbelief. Optimism. It is that last one that sticks out to me.

I have never thought of myself as someone who can be optimistic, especially when it comes to own life. Everything has always been doom-and-gloom. A few years ago I would have done nothing but sulk, in between punching a hole in any wall that had the nerve to leer at me. However, I feel like I am taking a different approach.

I have allowed myself to allow the dust to settle. That relationship is over, and will not have a reconciliation. I can remember the good times that we had together, and keep those memories. The loss of someone you care about stings like hell, but so does regret. So does bitterness. Why dwell on something, when there are other things to look forward to.

For now, I am going to move on, with my head held high. I am a great person, and I feel like any lady would be lucky to have me. I can use the failures of my last relationship, to help me with any new relationship that may develop.

I revisit the title of this blog. Sometimes things have to fall apart, for something else to take its place. If you have experienced a breakup, or lost a job, just remember that something great may be on the horizon. Things fall apart, but you will always have yourself. You and I are capable of overcoming any obstacle. You and I are valuable, and failure will not define us.

I know that there is a girl out there for me, I just have not met her yet. One journey has ended on a sour note, but another is about to begin.

MLB Player Questions My Sexuality On Twitter

I do not follow many pro athletes or celebrities on Twitter, because I learned that most of them are fucking idiots. There are a select few that are entertaining, funny, smart, or actually respond to us average folk. Ian Stewart, who plays for the Cubs seems like a good dude, so I follow him. Anyway, Stewart responds to a ton of dumb, cliched questions. How is the wrist? (He is on the DL with a wrist injury). Who is your best friend on the team? Who do you think is the Cubs best player? All questions he seems to answer repeatedly. I had never tweeted him before, so I decided to ask a random question.

I figured it would get a chuckle. I am a pretty random question, I was hoping Ian would play along. Maybe he would say something like: "Rizzo, that dude is hung like a moose," or, "Starlin Castro could hit a double with that stick in his pants." Besides, if I was forced to shower with a bunch of dudes on a daily basis, I am sure I would come into contact with a penis or seven, no matter how much I tried to avoid looking. Ian's response was this: "What kind of question is that? Are you gay or something? #clownquestionbro

I went back to the Twitter page, but Ian deleted the tweet, and there went my proof. There is some evidence  of the encounter with this tweet:

It is not as funny as the initial tweet, but it is some evidence I suppose. Perhaps Ian thought that the post might have ended up on Deadspin or something, blasting him for questioning the sexuality of world-famous blogger Kevin Charity. (I can dream, can't I). The other insults Ian delivered to "haters" were still on his page, as of today.

Like I said earlier, I pride myself on being random. Ian claims to be a married Christian men, but follows a few of the porn sluts that I do. If I was an athlete, and some dope asked me about penises of pro athletes, I know I would have a little fun with. Where is the sense of humor?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

No-Trade Clauses Are Stupid!

The Major League Baseball trade deadline is fast approaching, and it is always one of my favorite times of the year. It is where the contenders and the pretenders are separated. The teams that are contending trade for that missing piece that can hurdle them into the playoffs.

Carlos Lee is one of those names that is rumored to be changing teams. The Dodgers have offered up a trade, and reports have said that both the Dodgers and Astros have tentatively agreed on a deal. The only snag in the trade being completed, is that Carlos Lee has a no-trade clause, in which he can block deals to 14 teams. The Dodgers are one of those teams.

Lee signed a ridiculous 6-year, $100 million dollar contract prior to the 2007 season. That deal expires after this year, and the Astros are in full-blown rebuilding mode. Lee has said that he will likely block any deal, because he likes to lose.

The whole idea of a no-trade clause makes little to no sense to me. I understand why players want them -- they feel it brings them security. Many players have families, and I can see the importance of living together, and allowing the children to grow up in the same town, and having some sense of stability.

On the other hand, having a no-trade clause would lead to some awkward and uncomfortable situations. Lets say I am the ace of the pitching staff. I sign a big deal with a team, and get that no-trade clause that I hope will give me that stability I so desire.

After a couple of terrible years, my club decides that they need to rebuild, and they start trading veterans. I am on that list, but I have no desire to leave my comfort zone. The team clearly does not want me around, and I am partially ruining their plans.

Essentially, I am sticking around. Walking into a place everyday where I am not wanted. I am only there because the club is contractually obligilated to sign my checks every two weeks. Perhaps this does bother athletes. They are trained to battle adversity, and succeed in a variety of situations.

I look at the situation as a normal employee of a company. I would be terribly comfortable walking into a place each day where my bosses do not want me there -- a pariah in dress slacks. I walk in every day, knowing that my bosses have no desire for me to be around. They would rather throw me to the wolves, but they cannot, because they are obligilated to cut me checks.

I just do not understand why athletes are so insistent on obtaining the clauses. For me, it would be much more important to feel wanted, to feel worthwhile. Staying on a club that is always trying to dump me, would deter me from playing to the best of my abilities. Just like any profession, players need to feel wanted. Sure, they make more in a year and most of us will in a lifetime, but they are under a ton of pressure. Millions of people live and die with their favorite team. The hopes and dreams of children rest on the backs of athletes. It sounds like an awful lot of pressure if you ask me.

Carlos Lee would be better off going to Los Angeles. He still gets his hefty salary, gets to play for a contending team, and goes to a team that actually wants him. Sounds like a win-win, if there ever was one.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Random Thoughts: White People and Chopsticks

I will be the first to admit that I am a little neurotic, and somewhat irrational when it comes to certain things. However, I do have a long list of pet peeves. I am sure I could write a book about all the things that people do that get on my nerves. One thing that bugs me, is when white people eat with chopsticks.

According to Wikipedia, which been writing papers for me since 2006, chopsticks originated in ancient China. I suppose their cultures were too refined to eat with their hands, unlike their English counterparts. I went to Medieval Times once, so there is no need to bother looking that one up. Those sloppy bastards would pick up pheasants, chickens, and probably people with their bare hands, and pop them in their mouths. The more corpulent you were, the more desirable you were. Can you imagine a society where Rosie O'Donnell is a hot piece of ass? No thanks.

Anyway, I guess stupid white people think they are getting some cultural experience when they roll up to Panda Express. They walk in, see all of the Chinese fans everywhere, with Chinese scripture that likely says "You dumb motherfuckers are eating dog." In the kitchen, some sweaty dude named Pedro works up a heaping pile of Chow Mein and "pork." Steve, and his family come here to get a little taste of culture. Steve looks at his son, and says "Steve Jr., put down that fucking spork, you little putz. We are here to be cultured Americans, and embrace our slanty-eyed pals. Pick up these here chopsticks!"

I was raised to eat with a fork. Everyone else born in this country was too. I am not racist, but it just bugs me when white people eat with chopsticks. I wonder what the thought-process is for this individuals are. Asians eat with chopsticks, this is Asian food, so I suppose I should put my fork away. I need to learn to embrace cultures.

Personally, I would like to see white folks eat with chopsticks ALL the time. If they go a Mexican joint, bust out those suckers when you chow down on some rice and beans. If you can eat chow mein with chopsticks, surely you can snare some pasta with those magical utensils. I could go on for days, but nah, whiteys just use them when they eat Chinese food.

I grabbed some Chinese cuisine the other day at a spot that I love, and sat down to eat my chicken, rice, and beef -- with a fork. I looked around at all the faces in the restaurant, and everyone with caucasian. I counted heads --7 people in all, 4 were eating with chopsticks. I was floored, and slightly annoyed, and I shook my head and continued to eat.

Perhaps I am a little intolerant, and even a little strange for having such a stupid pet peeve. It just bugs me. I really have no rational explanation. I guess it is time to seek help.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why I Hate the Draft Lottery

The Charlotte Bobcats suffered through one of the worst seasons in professional sports history. The team has a disturbing lack of talent, and desperately needs an infusion of talent. The reward, would seemingly be a unibrowed budding superstar - and a little bit of hope. In 2012, the Bobcats won 10 percent of their games, and ended the year on a 23 game losing streak.

In most sports, the Bobcats would own the #1 pick, and some much-needed optimism for a beleaguered fan base. Instead, they end up with the #2 pick, and that is actually not as bad as it could have been. The Bobcats have a 25% chance to land the 1st pick, and around a 37% to fall to the 4th pick. In actuality, the Bobcats lucked up by getting the 2nd pick.

There are a fair share of conspiracy theories - I have thrown out a few myself, and it is easy to connect the dots. The New Orleans Hornets are currently owned by the NBA, until the deal is completed with Tom Benson, who also owns the Saints. Perhaps a deal went down where Benson was promised the 1st pick, for taking the Hornets off of the league's hands. The Hornets are an unpopular franchise nationally, and reports are that they are hemorrhaging money. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski had a piece, discussing such a theory, as Stern is looking to perhaps "maximize" value for the franchise.

Last year, the Cavaliers got the 1st pick, after making a trade with the Clippers. That pick, only had a 1.7% chance of becoming the #1 pick. Payback for Cleveland losing Lebron? Unlikely, but interesting nonetheless. The Bulls got Derrick Rose a few years ago, despite long odds. A potential superstar going to a large market? Perhaps it raises some eyebrows among the paranoid fan.

No, I am not here to feed into conspiracies, I am here to discuss the Bobcats, and their ability to suck like no team ever has before. As a fan of some pretty terrible teams, I have seen my team pick #1 on a few occasions: The Chargers in 2001, and the Chargers AND Padres in 2004(2004 really sucked). The only solace I could take in a miserable year, was that my team had a chance to get the best amateur player around. It worked out for the Chargers: they traded the picks both years, and ended up with Ladainian Tomlinson in 2001, and Philip Rivers in 2004. Those moves got me pumped and energized to weather the storm of being a fan of a crappy team. Sure, the Bobcats could still get a stud at #2, but is like having the Hornets sloppy seconds. In a year where nothing went right, the Bobcats deserve that first pick.

Every other sport has the worst team pick first. It is how it should be. The fate of one's team offseason, and beyond, should not be determined by ping-pong balls. The Bobcats can lose without even stepping foot in an arena. I am sure Michael Jordan and Bobcats GM Rich Cho will cry themselves to sleep tonight.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Former Classmate Brant Rustich Retires from Baseball

I was looking up minor league stats today, and I did not realize that Mets prospect Brant Rustich retired, at age 27. Brant and I attended the same high school, and crossed paths a few times. He always seemed like a pretty good dude, and I was hoping he would crack the Mets roster at some point.

During my senior year, I played in a P.E. softball game with Brant. I was playing left field, he 3rd base. A pop-up was hit to left, I ran in, he ran back. His 6'6, 240lb frame of muscle collided with my 200lb of McDonald's and Twinkies, and the result was not pretty. He popped up like nothing, and I laid on the ground, looking for the Buick that just hit me. The crowd around us laughed in amusement, and I got up, trying to save face in front of all the babes. I couldn't walk right for a week.

Rustich went to UCLA, and was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft, by the Mets. He featured a min-90's fastball, and his overall makeup was supposed to give him a quick path to the big leagues.

Rustich though, had a series of injuries, and a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome ruined his career. In an interview with a Mets blog, Rustich described the injury as "my nerves and artery were compressed in my thoracic outlet, just before my shoulder."

The condition caused numbness in his fingers, and he even had a rib removed. Ultimately, the condition was too much, and he decided to call it quits, after not throwing a pitch in 2011.

He went to UCLA, and seemed like a smart dude, so I am sure he will be successful in a "normal life." But I cannot help but feel bad for the guy.

The guy worked his ass off for years, got just a few steps away from his dream, and could not fulfill his potential, due to some freak condition that was completely out of his control. It really goes to show how talented, and lucky you have to be to reach the big leagues. A tough break for a good dude.

Where Do the Clippers Go in 2013?

The Clippers grabbed headlines at the beginning of the abbreviated NBA season, snagging Chris Paul, after a deal to the Lakers was nixed by David Stern. The Clippers then added Chauncey Billups, after the Knicks used the amnesty clause. It seemed like the Clippers were poised for big things, but ultimately they were swept out of the playoffs by a deeper, better team in the San Antonio Spurs.

The Clippers have many question marks going into the 2012-13 season: Will Chris Paul sign an extension? Will Blake Griffin accept a maximum contract extension, if offered? What will the roster look around those two players? This offseason will be critical to ensure the Clips return to the playoffs. Here are the players that can leave as free agents after this season.

Clippers free agents: Nick Young, Randy Foye, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, Reggie Evans, Bobby Simmons. The Clippers have a ton of free agents, and it is safe to say that Nick Young will probably bolt. He was a nice addition for the Clippers, averaging around 10 points a game after being acquired around the deadline. He should be able to command a contract out of the Clippers price range. Randy Foye had an up-and-down year, I could see him back-if the price is right. Foye played very well, when the Clippers had a late-season surge, scoring near 16 PPG, when the Clippers won 13 of 16 late in the year. Foye disappeared in the playoffs, but is a decent piece of the bench.

Billups is a guy the Clippers should attempt to bring back. Billups was solid at the #2, until he tore his ACL. He provides stability, and would give the Clippers another clutch performer late in games. The question with Billups will be cost, and what his market value will be coming off of a serious injury. Martin was ok as a backup, but he seemed to take far too many jumpers. If the Clippers can sign him for the $2.5 million they paid him in 2012, it would be a wise investment.

Who doesn't love Reggie Evans? While watching him play offensive can be painful at times, he played well against the Grizzles in the first round, and is still a prolific rebounder. The Clippers should attempt to being him back in a reserve role. Bobby Simmons is bench filler, and is easily replaced.

Options: Mo Williams(player), Trey Thompkins(team), Travis Leslie(team): Mo Williams was solid in his sixth man role, but he could decline the option, is search of more playing time. However, it may be difficult for Williams to find a better deal, so he may hang around as a capable sixth man. Thompkins and Leslie were both 2nd round picks, who could fill out the roster. Neither made a large impact last season.

The Clippers already have $57 million committed to the roster next year, with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, Deandre Jordan, Ryan Gomes, and Eric Bledsoe under contract. The Clippers will need some depth. Here are a few intriguing names that the Clippers could target.

Marco Belinelli, SG, New Orleans: The Clippers need shooters, and Belinelli is decent from outside, connecting on 38% of his threes. The cost should not be prohibitive, and he would be a decent option coming off of the bench.

Lamar Odom, PF, Dallas: Dallas still holds the rights to him, but it would not cost much to pry away Odom. His contract would be an obstacle, as he is due nearly $9 million in 2012-13, but he would be an intriguing fit. If Lamar is right, he would be an interesting reserve, capable of playing the 3 and the 4. Perhaps a trade to Los Angeles would revitalize him, and give the Clippers a solid reserve.

Jamal Crawford, PG/SG, Portland: He has a player option of $5 million, but he would be a great fit for the Clippers. The Clippers did not have enough shooters this year, and were too dependent on Chris Paul, the Clippers desperately need guys that can hit the outside shot.

Draft: Don't expect any help here, the Clippers have only one pick, currently #53 overall. Likely training camp filler at that spot.

The Clippers had an amazing season, and feature two superstars on their roster. However, they have much work to do before they can bump chests with the big boys of the NBA. The Clippers must get better, not only to win games, but to ultimately keep Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the fold.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Does Rob Dibble Keep Getting Work?

I was pretty bummed when Fox Sports Radio decided to part ways with Tony Bruno. Bruno made a slightly racist comment, and Bruno moved back to Philly. In his place, they put in Mike North, who has the vocabulary and speech skills of a 6th grader, as well as Rob Dibble. Dibble, was a former MLB relief pitcher, and has steadily found work as a broadcaster ever since he retired.

For those of you who have been reading my work since I started this blog, I took shots at JT the Brick, who's shtick on the national airwaves had grown stale. Rob Dibble makes JT the Brick look like a Rhodes scholar. Dibble has that tough-guy look: unkempt facial hair, homosexual-looking tribal tats, and brings zero personality or humor to the airwaves.

I remember Dibble as the color analyst of the Nationals. He was the absolute worst announcer I have ever heard in my life. Every time a National got a hit, Dibble would cheer like that annoying drunk guy we have all sat next to. He was eventually fired after making comments, questioning the toughness of Nats ace Stephen Strasburg.

Dibble also drew the ire of Nats fans today, after Nationals manager Davey Johnson suggested that Stephen Strasburg got Icy-Hot on his nutsack accidentally. It does make sense, as it seems that would be the only way the Padres could pound Strasburg. Dibble suggested that Strasburg should wipe down his ballsack with a tampon. Strasburg was not even the party that made the excuse-it was his manager Davey Johnson. Dibble clearly has a sort of personal vendetta against the talented right-hander.

Dibble's radio show is as exciting as a funeral. He is monotone, and I laugh when he tries to talk anything other than baseball. I cannot fathom how he has a show on Fox Sports Radio. He is barely fit for local radio, and should be shit-canned. Go away, Dibble, and take JT with you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Random Thoughts: Celebrity Deaths

It has been a really sad, and busy week for celebrity deaths. Here in San Diego, Junior Seau took his own life, and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys passed away as well, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Both are tragic, in very different ways. Hell, if you think that celebrity deaths come in three's, Goober from Andy Griffith died as well(I am too lazy to google his real name.) 

The interesting thing about the deaths themselves, are the reactions that they get from individuals. Some people are genuinely sad, some make cruel jokes, and others are just apathetic. Depending on the celebrity, I have displayed all three of the aforementioned emotions at different points in time. When Seau killed himself, I awoke to a couple of cruel jokes on my Twitter page, from a couple of non-Charger fans. A couple of days later, the same assholes were crying over the loss of the Beastie Boy.

For me personally, the Seau death obviously had a larger impact. I don't want to go into details, since I wrote a post about it, but the death of Adam Yauch didn't impact me personally. I have always hated the Beastie Boys, I cannot stand most hip-hop, and the Beastie Boys have always annoyed the shit out of me. Still, anytime a person dies of cancer at a young age, it is awful. I never felt compelled to make jokes of a death that is beyond one's control.

In the past, I have made cracks about celebrity deaths. When former Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley passed, I poked fun, as he overdosed on drugs. The Kung-Fu guy that killed himself with autoerotic asphyxia? Yes, I piled on him, as did many others. There are some famous folks that have impacted my life, but I cannot say it has felt even remotely close to losing someone I actually know.

In America, he have a peculiar, perhaps unhealthy obsession with our favorite stars. We want to know who goes to what clubs, who is banging whom, and who has gotten fat over the years. If you go to any grocery store in America, there is a tabloid magazine waiting to be purchased. I suppose celebrities live the lives we wish we had, and we put them on a pedestal. When they die, we feel the need to grieve. If it is a celeb that we hated, we pretend we are comedians at the Laugh House. 

Is one celebrity's death more tragic than the other? I suppose that in the examples I have given, Yauch's death is sadder, as he succumbed to a terrible disease. Seau's death was very much premeditated, as he made the decision to pull the trigger on that fateful morning.

When all the smoke clears, two lives were lost, lives that impacted society. They are both tragic and unfortuante, and both parties deserved to be treated with respect in their demise. RIP. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

John Travolta is Gay??? Ah Jeez!

John Travolta has been in the news lately, and is not because we are getting a sequel of 'The General's Daughter.' No kids, Travolta is involved in a gay sex scandal, as two masseuses claim that Travolta came onto them sexually. One of the gentlemen claims that Johnnie tried to give him a handie.

One of the masseuses is suing Travolta for $2 million, for pain and suffering, which is understandable, as the lawsuit claims that Travolta has "unkempt" pubic hair. Travolta also claimed that Hollywood is run by gay Jewish men who expect sexual favors in return. The lawsuit also claims that Travolta also enjoys the taste of semen, and has an eight-inch dong.

This is not the first time Travolta has been accused of being gay, and there are a few things that do not quite add up in this lawsuit. First, the plaintiff(the masseuse) claims that Travolta does in fact have an eight-incher. If some fat, past his prime actor put his dick in my face, I would not have the time to add the inches. I would probably run out of the room, and into the nearest door. Also, where do they come up with $2 million? I suppose it is to extort as much money as possible from a millionaire, but is $2 million a fair price?

Look at the facts. Travolta ASKED the guy to jerk him, and according to the statement, apologized for his behavior. Travolta did not try and rape him, and stopped before an assault took place. I would say it was a weird, minor incident. If Travolta did this to me, I would probably be cool with a few thousand, and Season 1 of 'Welcome Back Kotter' on DVD. Second, Travolta also offered to let the masseuse bang his wife, the still delightful Kelly Preston. Travolta allegedly told the guy that 'his wife wanted to be double-penetrated. Shit, a chance to bang the star of 'Twins?' Sign me up, as long as we do not cross swords. I mean, how many people can say they participated in a threeway with a couple of movie stars?

So, Travolta likes a little dick on the side? It is no reason for him to get sued. He tried to make everything right in my opinion. However, how much dick did Travolta have to suck to get a green light on 'Battlefield Earth?' I am sure it would make Jenna Jameson blush.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Junior Seau Dead at 43

I woke up from my slumber at noon today, and learned that former Charger great Junior Seau died at 43. What was even more stunning to me, is that the reports indicated that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Seau is one of the greatest athletes in San Diego history, and is an icon in this community.

The news was stunning-- I turned on the television and saw hundreds of people gathering in front of Seau's home, crying, and wondering what the hell went wrong. On the surface, Seau seemed to have it all: money, a God-like status in this city, and a person who had the respect and admiration of millions. Someone with Seau;s creditials would surely never feel the sadness and despair it takes for one to end their lives.

Seau's death also put a few things in perspective for me. First, from an NFL standpoint, I can see why the NFL is making such a large effort to protect players from head injuries. I saw much of Seau's career in San Diego, and I do remember concussions every being an issue for him. Of course, during his career, there was not much of an emphasis placed on the perils of concussions--unless it was a quarterback. Now I finally realize the toll that head injuries can have, and how they can impact a person's life. Too many players are killing themselves, in their post-NFL careers. It is a problem that clearly needs to be addressed, even if it impacts the quality of play on Sunday's.

Second, it seems like Seau had many of the same demons that we all face. There have been reports that he dabbled in drugs, and accusations that he assaulted his girlfriend in 2010. Eventually, the charges were dropped. Then Seau drove his car off of a cliff, and walked away unscathed. He claimed he fell asleep at the wheel, and everyone went back to their lives. Perhaps was the first sign that Seau was sick--and the disease was depression. All the interviews with all of the people who admired Seau said that no one saw it coming. Of course they didn't.

I can relate to what Seau must of felt, albeit under very different circumstances. When I was a teenager, I was extremely depressed. For a while, I just did not want to be alive. Perhaps it was just teenage angst, but I felt like the world would be better if I was not around. In order to avoid any attention, I just went about my business. I went to school, I hung out with the few friends that I had, and did everything to let those around me see that everything was fine. It wasn't. No one suspected anything, and eventually things got better. I thought about killing myself every day, but the only thing that stopped me, was knowing that it would destroy those who did actually care about me. I grew up, moved on, and have not gone back into the darkness. Clearly, Seau did not care enough about his children or family to get help.

I have often heard that you get an idea of the kind of person someone is, or was when they die. Seau did great things, helped many people, and entertained millions. By all accounts, he was a great person, and impacted countless lives. He also committed the most selfish act that a person can commit.

This post is not to disgrace the man, or the memory of Seau. I am indebted to Seau, as he is responsible for some of the best moments of my life. I will never forget his interception of John Elway, that sealed the Chargers first win in 1994. That win was the start of a magical season, that led to the Chargers only Super Bowl appearance. Seau was the main attraction for some terrible Chargers football after that year.

Ultimately, Seau's problems were too much for him to overcome. He is gone, at peace, or whatever you believe. His children will have scars that will never heal. They will never know why one of the baddest dudes to play in the NFL, could not keep fighting for them. His children will never be the same. His mother had a breakdown on television, and cannot understand why her child decided to take his own life. It is hard for me to have sympathy for someone who could do this to the people that love him.

I hope that Seau has the peace that he desires. I hope his family can heal, and eventually understand what transpired. Thank you, Junior for giving me some of the greatest moments of my life. Let your death be a lesson for those battling depression. Please, do something about it. Fight for your life, get help, talk to someone. You are important, and meaningful to someone. His death was untimely, and completely unnecessary. Please do not let yourself have the same ending.

RIP Junior, I hope your peace is worth the pain you left behind.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reasons Why I Cannot Get Into Hockey

I have written almost 300 posts, and this is the first time that I have acknowledged that hockey exists. I attended a Los Angeles Kings v. Boston Bruins game back in March, and actually had a blast. It was way more fun then I expected it to be. The arena was packed, and the atmosphere was pretty intense. Now, I am not a full-fledged member of the hockey brotherhood. If you put a gun to my head right now, I do not think I could name more than 20 active NHL'ers. That being said, hockey isn't all that bad, but there are certain aspects that bother me. Here are a few.

Goalies get wins: This is absoultely baffling to me. Why do goalies get wins? I mean, in baseball it makes sense that pitchers get wins. NHL teams do not use a rotation of goalies, nor do they have relief goalies. For instance, Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick started 69 games. NHL teams play 82 games. Can you imagine if Roy Halladay started 130 games? With that being said, if a goalie is pulled with his team leading, does the new goalie get the win, or does he get a save? Are there holds in hockey? It makes no sense to me.

Where's the damn puck?: I watch hockey on television, and it seems that I lose track of the puck within 30 seconds. It flies up or the goalie has it covered up under their 70 pounds of padding. It makes following the action difficult. FOX tried to address this, when they had the "glowing puck," but that innovation was short-lived, as avid hockey purists considered this blasphemous. I suppose the game does not translate to television, because I was able to see the puck watching live, despite sitting at the top of Staples Center.

To fight, or not to fight: Fighting is a key component of hockey. Teams employ guys who can mix it up on the ice, and give their team that key intimidation factor. However, it appears to me, that the NHL sends mixed signals about fighting. On one hand, it is seemingly encouraged. I have even read articles where players were encouraged to mix it up. The officials often try to attempt and stop the fighting, but it seems pointless. Fighting is a great way to bring in the casual fan. If there is one thing that I have learned about sports, is that advertisers and networks value the eyeballs of those who do not usually watch a particular sport. NBC knows all you motherpuckers are going to watch regardless, but they want people like me, to tune in.

Lack of Dental Plan: This is the single most baffling thing about the NHL, in my opinion. Hockey is a brutal, violent sport, and it seems fairly common that guys get their teeth knocked out. These players also do not seem to get their teeth fixed. Is losing your teeth in the battle for the Stanley Cup a badge of honor? You would think guys drawing large salaries would be in a rush to get a couple of veneers. Hell, losing my teeth is one of my biggest fears. I suppose too many checks to the head makes people think that looking like the lead hillbilly from 'Deliverance' is a good look.

This post is not designed to bash hockey; in fact, I kinda dig it. There are just some things that make no sense to me. Enjoy your hockey, folks!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tales From My Youth: F*ck Tha Police

I am going to regale you, my loyal readers from tales of my youth from time-to-time. My youth was relatively boring, but there are some interesting, funny stories. This is one of them.

I got my license a few weeks before I graduated high school, and bought a 2001 Toyota Echo(which I still drive) shortly after. I saved money for about two years, working at McDonald's(more about that in future posts) and was pretty proud of my vehicle, if it was kind of a chick car.

The coolest part about getting my car, is that my friends and I could actually go somewhere without having to depend on transportation, or walking for a few miles. A few months after I got my license, my friends and I piled in the Echo, and went to see Korn and Adema rip it up at the San Diego Sports Arena.

I wasn't really a big Korn fan, but my friends were, and the show was amazing. There were people everywhere, and I must have fallen on my ass ten times throughout the show. I was getting elbowed, pushed, and hit, and it was fun! If you have never been in a circle pit, then you are missing out.

After we got out of the show, I felt severely dehydrated, and proceed to chug a bunch of water, and I pounded 4 cans of Mountain Dew, all within the span of 5 minutes. Mountain Dew is generally gross, but when you are thirsty, you take what you can get.

After driving around, making fart and dick jokes, and eating Mexican food, I was ready to call it a night. I had to drive my friends home, then hit the hay, to go to work the next morning. The night was particularly foggy, and it was a cold December night. (cold by Southern California standards). I switched lanes, and didn't bother to look over my shoulder, cause it was 2am, and I figured I was clear. Well, I was not clear.

Turns out, a police officer from the El Cajon police department was in the other lane, and I cut him off. Yes, I cut off a police officer. Who the hell does that? Well, apparently 18 year-old does that. Naturally, he pulled me over, and was pretty pissed. I suppose I would have been too.

He starts with the standard line of "license and registration, please" and I was trying to not shit my pants. He also asked if I was drinking. Not really a surprising question, as it was 2am on a Friday night, and we were a car full of teenagers. I did not drink, and I told the officer that I did not have a drop. The officer shined his light in my face, and asked if I was on Ecstasy.

I was completely dumbfounded. Ecstasy? Did I have my penis exposed? Was I rubbing my fingers through my buddies hair, or trying to stick my dick in the cigarette lighter? The question completely through me off, and I all I could muster was a simple, "

Officer Dickhead asked me to get out of my car and do all the necessary drunk tests. He did not make me take a breathalyzer test, which in retrospect was a bit odd. He then advised me that he was calling in backup, including an "expert" who could determine, just by looking at me, if I was on drugs. I sat on the curb, in forty degree weather, shaking from the cold, and the fear of being taken to jail, where I would likely be sodomized.

After about ten minutes, our expert came in, and made his assessment that I was high off my ass. The cops then cornered me, and started to bully me, and get a confession, I guess. I have never done any kind of drugs in my life, so they would never get me to admit to a thing. It is one thing to accuse me of being drunk, or under the influence of pot, but Ecstasy? Did this guy even know what Ecstasy was?

I explained to the cop that I have a lazy eye, (I really do) and that was the reason my eyes were weird. I also voluntarily offered to take a blood test, cause I was innocent. Ultimately, they let me go, with just the ticket that I deserved.

That night was one of the weirdest nights of my life, and I am sure I will never forget the events of that evening. I don't trust police officers, and the event was scary, although I can laugh about it now. Ecstasy is a hell of a drug.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Random Thoughts: Blogs

Blogs are an interesting phenomena. Thanks to the Internet, anyone can become a writer. All you really need is an Internet connection, and fingers. Brains are often optional. I remember when I was in High School, roughly ten years ago, and my ultimate aspiration was to get paid to write about sports.

I figured the route I would take to achieve my goal would involve enrolling at a college, studying journalism, and slowly pay my dues. Well, the newspaper industry is dying a slow, painful death, and everyone blogs these days. In fact, according to statistics with Google, there are roughly 200 million blogs floating around cyberspace.

There are blogs out there for everyone, sports, fashion, porn. There is no shortage of material out there. I started this blog, in part because I felt that I had something interesting to say, and I hoped that maybe, just maybe I could make a little cash. Well, I have been blogging for 2 years, and I have yet to make a dime from it, but it has been a positive experience.

However, I wonder how people cut their teeth in this industry. I see people get all kinds of opportunities, and personally I think that they suck. Now, I know that I am no Pulitzer Prize writer, but I like to think that I bring a unique perspective to the blog community.

I look at major sites, and see laziness, lack of research, and biased reporting. I also see a shitton of spelling and punctuation errors (*cough, San Diego Union-Tribune, *cough), yet these people are getting paid a decent living to cover professional sports.

I look around, and see other bloggers gain large followings, without bringing a whole lot to the table. Right now, this blog is just a hobby, but at some point, I would like to make it into something more. Perhaps I need to learn how to kiss a little more ass, or get the right supporter behind me. These methods seem like the way to separate from the other 200 million blogs.

Blogs are a lot like the music industry these days. There is so much saturation and there are quite simply too many artists, in relation to the amount of entertainment dollars one is looking to spend. The key is not being the most talented, it is about seizing opportunity. I must find out how to do this in order to be successful in my endeavors.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2012 MLB Preview: Kansas City Royals

The Royals have been touted as having one of the deepest farm systems in all of baseball. Last year, we caught a glimpse of what that system has to offer, with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. I think the Royals are going to be the surprise of the American League, although their starting pitching is not good enough.

The Royals, however, should have no issues scoring runs. Alex Gordon finally became the player many expected him to be in 2011, and should continue his success in 2012. The name to watch for the Royals is Eric Hosmer. Hosmer hit .293 with 19 bombs as a rookie, and 25-30 HR's is not out of the question. Billy Butler is one of the most consistent hitters in the game, usually hitting around .290 with 90 RBI's. The Royals will turn over CF to Lorenzo Cain, who was acquired in the Zack Grienke deal. He showed some pop in AAA last year, but is more known for his speed. The Royals are also going with a Chris Getz, Yunikesky Betancourt platoon at second. Yikes! The Royals will be without young catcher Salvador Perez early on, and Brayan Pena should get most of the starts behind the plate. Here is the Royals projected lineup:

LF: Alex Gordon
CF: Lorenzo Cain
1B: Eric Hosmer
DH: Billy Butler
RF: Jeff Francoeur
3B: Mike Moustakas
 C:  Brayan Pena
2B: Chris Getz/Yuni Betancourt
SS: Alcides Escobar

The Royals are going to go with journeyman Bruce Chen to lead their rotation. Chen is nothing special, but he has been decent for Kansas City the last 2 seasons. Former #1 overall pick Luke Hochevar is next in line, and the Royals will need him to step up his game. Jonathan Sanchez could be a difference maker in the rotation, but he will need to stay healthy.

The bullpen was dealt a devastating blow, with Joakim Soria needing Tommy John surgery. He will miss all of 2012. In his place, the Royals do have Jonathan Broxton, as well as Greg Holland to step in to the closers role. Here is how I project the Royals rotation.

SP: Bruce Chen
SP: Luke Hochevar
SP: Jonathan Sanchez
SP: Luis Mendoza
SP: Danny Duffy

The Royals are probably another year away from being a serious contender. That being said, I do expect big things from some of their young players. The Royals will not make the playoffs in 2012, but they will be a fun team to watch.

My prediction: 83-79, 2nd in AL Central.