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Entries tagged with "sports"

If you hadn't noticed, that Vegas post was about 18 million times longer than most of my posts on here. Go back and look. I'll wait. See? I also took two and a half weeks to get it posted. I totally missed a day while writing of it, seriously forgot Thursday. Had to send out the email to the boys to fill me in there. Yikes.

Anyways, I'm rocking the suburbs... just like Quiet Riot did (well, not really, but I am listening to that right now). You can tell from the lack of activity around here I've been a bit busy. I'm going to try and dust off the keyboard and get down to business.

Reason One.The World Cup. I'm a bit disappointed in the Cup this year. I watched every game except two (missed the Angola-Portugal game because I feel asleep midway through the first half and I missed the USA-Italy game as I was busy watching my Tigers run all over the Cubbies at Wrigley). Did I think Italy was the best team in the tournament? No way. Germany impressed me most, especially offensively. Brazil was a let down. England finished about where theyshould've considering the only brought two real strikers with them - and one was coming of a broken ankle while the other twisted his knee. Truth be told, I was rooting for the French in that final game - which made for a great betting war between my ITALIAN girlfriend and I. Ha.

Reason Two. I've been traveling basically non-stop for about a month and a half now. Finally, it's looking like I don't have anywhere to go for a couple weeks. My schedule is settling down some, I'm sure it'll pick up though as my sister's wedding approaches.

Reason Three. Work got extremely busy around here. I was pushing myself in so many different directions being on my own that I really couldn't take the time out to sit down and write a comprehensive blog post. I had a lot of work coming and going out. It was tough to find time to myself. I learned my lesson. I'm not ready to be out on my own yet. It was pure madness.

Which leads to the next bit of news. I'm now the official "web guy" at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. They offered me a job that I just couldn't resist. Expect more about that here (as well as a full site redesign at WOMMA) in the near future. Needless-to-say, I'm incredibly excited by what I've seen in the first couple weeks there and what we'll be able to accomplish. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Reason Four. There's not really a reason four but I wanted to let Eric know good luck out on the west coast. I'm going to drag Alexis out there sometime in the fall so you and Titus keep the place warm for us. Seriously, it gets cold here in the fall and we'll need a little warmth.

That does it for now. I have a few more blog posts that I still need to get to - they will be thought out though, not like these past two where it's just been typing what I'm thinking. So expect those soon. I'm off to catch a little sleep. "Goodnight inkernet.

Appearently, I'm not the only one having trouble focusing on work with the World Cup starting today. I can see my productivity rapidly decreasing during the day.

Not only will I be up at 8AM tomorrow to watch my England squad take on Paraguay, I will most likely be up at 8AM everyday for the next month. There is no doubt that this is the great sporting event in the world. Even bigger than the Olympics.

I should've been there but everyone bailed and left me sitting here in Chicago watching it from home. Ahhh well, there's always South Africa.

It's funny... There are some things in your life that you think will remain constant. To me, Ann Arbor was one of those. I spent basically 23 years of my life there. When we skipped class in high school, we'd go to Ann Arbor. I went to college there. I grew attached to it in a way I couldn't with any other city. Yet, there I was, 3am Sunday morning at NYPD, ordering a slice of pizza and telling my friends "I'm too old to be here right now."

It was Michigan-Ohio State weekend. All my friends from college were back (and even one from high school). It was supposed to be a great meet-up in between Vegas and Tampa New Years. It was a trip we'd planned since the last Michigan-Ohio State game in Ann Arbor two years ago. All the fixings were there for a great weekend. Yet, somehow, it didn't turn out that way.

We had our plan all set. Our favorite bar on Friday (Good Time Charley's) would lead to a night of drunk debauchery which would flow into Saturday morning's tailgate which would prempt a Michigan win. Well, that's how it was supposed to go but, in fact, it did not.

Friday's "drunken debauchery" lead to a near fist fight between the bouncer at Charley's and a few of us. See, we had "greased" the guy a $100 for our table. This was done without most of our knowledge but we ended up paying for it. So we're nice enough to pay for A TABLE AT GOOD FREAKING TIME CHARLEY'S! Anyone who'se been to the bar realizes how inane this is. Anyways, we did it and so be it. You'd think this would get us on the bouncer's good side, right? Well no, it actually made him have a vendetta for us. After a few more friends show up, we had a nice group of maybe 15-20 people there. All drinking and having a good time catching up and reminising about the old times.

It was about this time where The Girl finally makes her appearence. I spot her outside with her friends coming over and run to the front to let said bouncer know "Hey the three of them are with us. Can they get in without waiting in this monstrous line that wrapped aroud the place?" His response "No." After calming explaining to him which table we were at, he gave me "It'll cost you another $20 for the two of them" (One of the Girl's friends had worked her way up in the line and got in.) WTF?! I paid this guys $100 for a table and he can't let two of my friends in?! I was pissed. I called the manager over, calmly explained the situation and he agreed with ME! After the manager went over and argued with this asshole (pardon the language, I'm still steamed over this) bouncer, they STILL weren't let in! So they wait, I'm complaining. But finally The Girl gets to the bouncer. After letting in the few people in front of them with no problem, this guy stops her and STARTS YELLING AT HER! Now, I didn't see this because I was talking to the manager at the time. But when she made it in an told me the story, I was PISSED. I ran over to the guy. If he wants to yell at me, fine. I'm the one asking for the favor, but you yell at her, who was completely innocent of any wrong doing in this, is just plain wrong. I went off. I'm not a fighter, but I was about 5 beers deep at this point and thought I could take on this massive black man. Luckily, The Girl pulls me away in time after some words were exchanged and we went back to our table. That was my incident. My friend Ben also had to be torn away from from punching the a-hole bouncer (complete seperate story). If this guy was out to ruin our night, congrats dude. You did it. Friday was a wash.

Saturday we awoke to new hope, hopefully a better time and some tailgating... at 6AM (thanks Scotty!). It was great. We deep fried turkeys, drank beer, threw the football around, played some games. The perfect tailgate. Everything seemed like it was set for a Michigan victory. Even the schizophrenic weather was tolerable with the sun shining and in the mid-40s! It had all the makings of a win. As we settled into our table for 6 (which, of course, we sat 10 at) at the bar, right next to a group of Ohio State freshmen, we all felt good... yelling and cheering in order to initiate these kids into the rivalry.

I won't recount it for you but somewhere around the middle of the fourth quarter I said "You know, it's good that these little freshman to lose this game. It'll make them hate us even more." I think that hexed us. Michigan went into the prevent defence - which they seemingly ran all day - and couldn't run the football to take time off the clock. The rest is history.

Walking down State Street, I was seriously concered for Vinny's well being. The boy was unhappy, bordering on suicidal. As we kept walking, it was erily quiet in the city. I've NEVER, in all my life, heard it so quiet. It was then I realized, it wasn't just Vinny that was suicidal, it was the whole city. Oh, how I hate Ohio State.

Luckily, Jeff was motovated Saturday night and we all went out to The Arena then some went to Rick's. I stayed behind and talked with a couple of my friends, closing down the Arena. This lead me to NYPD where, surrounded by drunk, loud college kids, I had my realization. I'm too old for college. It's passed me by and I didn't even know it. Oh sure, I can still find plenty of fun in Ann Arbor. But those college days are done. We've all taken Ann Arbor with us and it'll never be the same.

The Girl and I spent Sunday doing things more our speed: Cafe Marie for breakfast, catching Capote at the Michigan Theater and doing a little shopping.

And so, on November 20th, 2005, Ann Arbor has forever changed for me. All I can say is thanks.

It's officially Michigan-Ohio State week. That time of year where Columbus, Ohio residents (Columbians?) get prepared to fill up the Ohio River with their tears from another Wolverine whooping. Ahhh, college football.

In honor of the trek I'll be making to Ann Arbor this weekend - where's there not a hotel within ten miles but luckily we've got two IN A2 - I thought I share a little Michigan tradition with everyone.

It's widely know throughout the free world that Michigan's uniforms are the coolest in all of sports. But where did that unique winged helmet come from?

Let's take a trip back in the old time machine to 1938 when Coach Herbert O. "Fritz" Crisler took the head coaching job in Ann Arbor. It had been four years since Michigan's last national championship. The program needed revamping. So what does he do to get a stadium named after him? He paints a unique yellow pattern on his players leather helmets. "Michigan had a plain black helmet and we wanted to dress it up a little. We added some color (maize and blue) and used the same basic helmet I had designed at Princeton." 1938 captain Fred Jahnke:

Just before the opener, the old black helmets were replaced with a wing type of today's style; form fitting wool pants allowed freer movement and the old "M" jersey became the tear away kind.

The boys with the winged helmets went out that day and beat Michigan State 14-0. They finished the season at 6-1-1. The offensive stats soared from the season before. The team was winning. The helmet stuck.

There you have it. Well, I'm ready for some football! Michigan pride I guess. Go Blue!!!

It's been awhile since the last post. I've been busy with work, traveling, and pretty much everything else. A few things happened this week that I believe require mentioning and voicing my opinion.

1. The Beta Release of IE7 which seems to solve a couple problems of IE 6- yet still basically sucks for CSS support. BUT it does look like IE7 now supports PNG's! Way to go Microsoft! (Am I the only one that feels like buying Microsoft a bus pass so they can catch up with the rest of the Internet world? Would everyone else chip in to buy one?) And it also has tabs... along with a funny little box that basically looks a lot clunky. Does Microsoft employ usability experts? Interface designers? Ugh...

2. This week marked the return of Laguna Beach on MTV. There's nothing like watching spoiled, immature high schoolers run around and create drama for themselves. When I'm watching the show, I start questioning myself. "Am I too old for this?" But I reason it out as no, I just like trash tv. Which is so true based on my obsession with the O.C. on Fox.

3. My new internet crack is Adam Curry's Daily Source Code. Ugh... this IS an addiction. I've actually gone back and downloaded earlier version of podcasts just to listen to. I'm obsessed. He puts on a good show.

4. Adit, Mike, and Corrine's (and some 4th guy who it conveniently "out of town" whenever I go out there) housewarming party was last night down in Old Town. I was surprised at the turnout. By which I really mean how much Yuengling was consumed. 1 keg, 6 cases and then some (plus shots and 2 other cases of Miller Lite). Granted there was probably 100-150 people who showed. A great night that was highlighted by the great box spring debate being finally settled, a beer pong peanut gallery of about 50 people, the tag team since The Road Warriors and 2am drunken bbqing.

5. Thursday was the "Clash of the Champions" at FedEx Field. Chelsea beat my beloved United 2-1 in a tough game (well, tough first half at least). I would've been there BUT Adit had to run off to Boston... loser. Plus it was overcast and crappy out. So I staying in the confines of 4455 and enjoyed the game at home.

6. Personalized Google Homepage, or iGoogle as I like to refer to it as, is out with RSS feeds now. A competitor to MyYahoo. Will it work? I'm not sure. Google's frontpage is simple and easy to use. People go to Google to search. That's it. Not to get news — even though Google News, has been up and running a while now — blog subscriptions, weather, stock quotes, etc. Granted it's nice to have and I have set up my iGoogle the night it was released. But it seems cluttered to me now. Too busy. Will I continue to use it instead of MyYahoo? I'm not sure. Time will tell but I'm guessing no.

So that's my week in review. Two weeks removed from Vegas, two weeks until Vegas. The halfway point. Oh by the way, the hotel situation is figured out, we are staying at the Monte Carlo which provides us with numerous advantages over the Rio, most of which I will outline in either a pre-Vegas entry or my post-Vegas wrap-up.

Well, it's been a year and half since I moved from metro-Detroit. A year and half that has witnessed: the Pistons win a championship, the Tiger's sudden comeback to respectability, Lions drafting every top name college receiver. They’ve host two NBA Championships, a Ryder Cup, and now the All-Star Game. I feel like a walking Ewing Theory. Yet, here I am in DC, where they finally got their their baseball team and lo and behold, they’re in first place now. So maybe I’m not all bad luck.

Anyways, I got home last night and decided that I’d keep a running diary of the home run derby... in MY home park.

8:00 Chris Berman takes the screen doing his best Hulk Hogan impression, yelling to all four corners of the ballpark to “get up and get ready.” I fully expected him to leg drop a flag dude then scream “Whatcha gonna do?”

8:02 Why is it that now at every sports spectacle they feel the need to let an unknown rock band play some crappy song pregame... then ANOTHER on at halftime? John Lennon at Super Bowl halftime is fine. But Alter Bridge? Who? Do they really deserve this kind of recognition?

8:03 Time to make dinner. I’ll see if I finish before this song.

8:04 Johnny Damon and Mike Piazza take the stage. Was there a more awkward moment on the night? Piazza was looked like one of the parents at a wedding that think, be it because of the alcohol or the fact they don’t have to pay for their kid anymore, it’s ok to be out on the dance floor when Nelly comes on. Everyone knows it’s weird but they do it anyways. That was him. Then Damon decides nows the time to clear that hairball from his throat. Or at least I think that was the noise he was making.

8:06 It's over. Thanks god. Longest 4 minutes ever.

8:07 New format shown. World v... well, the world. Jason Bay is for Canada, eh? Ouch... Was Wayne Gretzky busy?

8:09 Pudge is out there! Pudge. Everyone get up! Ohhh man.. lackluster applaud at best. Where is the crowd? Did they not realize this started at 8?

8:10 So what is up with Andruw Jones hitting for the Netherlands? The Netherlands? When was the last time he was in the Netherlands? I'll tell you when... NEVER! That’d be like Tim Duncan playing for the USA in basketb... umm, I digress.

8:11 Oh wow... Tom Kunz missed the bus on the hand-eye coordination.

8:12 My money's on Ortiz. Although Carlos Lee is looking better and better to me.

8:15 We're back from a thrilling commercial break. Seriously, where ARE the fans?

8:17 The ivy's looking good out there finally.

8:17 Morgan picks Textiera or Ortiz. Berman picks Ortiz. I predict them both to be wrong.

8:18 Gold ball? Looks like a WNBA ball. Whoa... going to charity. I’m going to pack my things since I’m headed to hell...

8:19 Morgan's outside choice is Lee. Berman's Pudge. Joe Morgan has stolen my picks. Can I get a mic on this? I should be out there.

8:20 Abreu starts it off. Water boiling over in the kitchen. He takes the first two and hits one out. Humm... pretty good start.

8:21 Nice to see the walls plastered with ads like old Fenway. I always wondered what it would’ve looked like to watch a game in the 40’s and 50’s with those ads everywhere. Now I know. It’s FREAKING ANNOYING. Nice snag by the fan in right center.

8:23 Phew... Abreu's hitting the lights out. Wow... He's getting tired.

8:25 Watch out. This is quite impressive! PEPSI PORCH!!!! HE PEPSI PORCHED IT!!!! I've never seen a ball hit that far! Can he just start bunting for the sake of everyone involved? Get out of this round now? Is that legal for a home run derby?

8:27 Wow... Hooo... It's a good thing when I start making noises like that...


8:30 New record! impressive...

8:31 Another one... Damn... It's carrying tonight to right. He puts it up and the wind takes it out. Best tag team since the New Age Outlaws.


8:36 I don't know if (23) this is smart or dumb but I do know I’m getting tired of watching him.

8:37 First golden ball ever. And it's over... wow. 17 minute AB.

8:42 In honor of Jason Bay all "abouts" will be "aboots," "color" will be "coulors," etc. He's toast... If he get even one right now, I’ll be impressed.

8:45 Verge of a 24 to 0 homerun drop... It's final. Bring on the Gatorade guy. You have to feel bad for Jason Bay. Although I don’t think he got one to the warning track.

8:53 Carlos Lee. First pitch? Got it... There you go Los.

8:54 They have ranches in Panama? He hit the flag pole? That's a shot and a half. Still waiting on the scoreboard shot. It’s only been 3 years that I’ve been hoping for this. Although, it’s about a 600 foot shot.

8:57 Wonder what the pitchers in this feel like after being taken deep 100 times in one night. And how about the catcher... those old knees don't hold up like they used to.

8:58 Los almost took off a fan's head with that homerun. Would that a good reason to call into work in the morning? “Yeah, boss? I got knocked unconscious last night from a Carlos Lee homerun. I can’t make it in today.”

9:00 Can you be robbed in a homerun derby? What if one of these 12 year old snags one?

9:01 11 by C-Lee. Would’ve be a quite impressive number if Abreu hadn't put up 24 FREAKING HOMERUNS!

9:02 Hee-Seop next. Reggie Jackson in the studio.

9:05 Goodness. Hee-Seop's not looking so hot but these announcers wouldn’t know. They’re too busy with their inside jokes and nonsensical drivel. Hey guys, there's a home run derby going on.

9:07 Hee-Seop "Abreu"ed it. put it high and let the wind take it.

9:14 Halfway done?! Yikes... I'm getting old and tired.

9:16 Pudge taking. There’s one! Alright!

9:17 2, 3, 4 alright Pudgy!

9:18 Where do the catchers toss the ball? There’s got to be some huge stash out there to the right.

9:21Pudge out with 7. Respectable to say the least. I think he’s going to round two.

9:23 Teixeira next up for the US. When did this become the Olympics?

9:25 Dale Sveum up! Can he ruin Teixeira AB now?!

9:27 What is Manny doing with his hair nowadays? Going for that Whoopi Goldberg look? North America put up a big number today, 2.

9:30 Why is Michelle Wie taking on all these men’s tournaments? Shouldn’t she dominate the women first?

9:36 Ortiz up. Tejada claiming the first base line for the Dominican Republic by planting the flag in the ground and yelling.
9:37 Big Papi taking, taking, taking, taking, taking... this is like 7 in a row. There should be an ump back there calling strikes. I like this idea. Look into it.

9:45 Ortiz is killing that ball. I still like him over Abreu.

9:46 He Pepsi Porched it. *Yawn* Old habit now. Hit the freakin’ scoreboard and I’m impressed...

9:48 Is it me... or when their playing careers are over can you see Manny, Ortiz and Tejada running around with their own reality show?

9:49 Ortiz done. 17 along with some mass huddle jump celebration.

9:52 Good God. Johnny Damon again? Are there like 6 of him? He’s been everywhere.

9:54 Jones is up. I missed the country facts about Curasao...

9:56 OHHH! That was only about 40 feet from the scoreboard. Come on Jonesy...

9:58 Hit the scoreboard on one bounce...

10:00 How have I missed the obvious jokes about Pudge’s kid being so into this? He looks like he’s going to clothesline each guy that get more than Pudge.

10:08 Round Two. Finally. Abreu up again. Let’s see how he responds. I say a solid 9 as a follow up...

10:10 A quick 2 right out of the gate for Abreu... the 9 is not looking so hot. Is there anything better than watching the little kids out there trying to field the balls in the outfield? Jumping up trying to rob them? Dropping flys? Booting grounders? Just classic.

10:14 Abreu at 3 with the gold ball out. drops one for number 4.

10:20 C-Lee up. Freaking bomb...

10:23 This second round is a bit slower as I think 10 homers total have been hit between Abreu and C-Lee. He’s tired... you can tell.

10:32 Pudge on the board. He’s got 2.

10:35 Pudge at 4 with 6 outs. Needs one more to get into the 2 spot. That’s 5! He’s in the 2 spot. One more Pudge. THERE IT IS!! He’s hit that onto the walkway! One more and he’s finals bound.

10:37 He’s in!!! First Tiger in I don’t know how long... ummm, never sounds about right?

10:41 Hey, congrats dude that just won the Mastercard car. Doesn’t Andruw Jones get anything for hitting it there?

10.44 Ortiz out there... can he get through? And if he does, that means two guys that brought their bp coaches are in. Wonder if that means something...

10:49 Ortiz not looking so hot right now (just as he hits number 3)... could it be my two picks are out before the finals?!

10:51 And that’s it. Pudge v Abreu in the finals... you know where my heart is here.

10:56 Going on 3 hours now. Pudge looks to be psyching out Abreu. A classic staredown.

11:00 Abreu brought his bp pitch too. Hummm... thinking there’s something to be said there.

11:02 Abreu with 3 now. He’s heating up. 4 now.

11:04 He’s balls are skied up there and just carry. Unreal.

11:08 11 in the finals. Just incredible. What a show. 41 homeruns.

11:15 You never hear Detroit described as “from beautiful downtown detroit.” I wonder why that is...

11:16 Alright let’s do it up Pudge... that’s one swing, one homerun! 2 for 2!!

11:17 2-3. 2-4. 2-5.

11:19 2-6. 2-7.2-8.

11:20 3-9. 3-10.

11:21 3-11. 4-11. 4-12.

11:22 5-12.

11:23 5-13. Pudge finishes second. Makes sense. Abreu hit 41 tonight. And I’m going to bed. Goodnight...

It's funny. Last night, I started, but never finished, a post to congratulate London for winning the modern "War of the Worlds" beating out Paris, Moscow and New York to hold the 2012 Olympics. Today, it's a complete 180.

I'm not sure how I heard about it. In my morning haze, I think my TV had alerted me around 7.45. I have my bedroom telley set to power on at 7.30 as sort of a second alarm clock to my real "beep-beep-beep" one. As soon as I had time to comprehend what the news reports were saying (last night I must've fallen asleep to Jimmy Kimmel or something), I quickly sat up in bed. I put the pieces together then texted The Girl with the news of what happened. I sat there in bed until 8.40 this morning, watching TV, stunned. The initial reports said 2 casualties. That rose to 37 as the day progressed. I went threw my morning routine but I always went back to the Londoners.

I set my Criag's List widget to the London Rants & Raves section this morning to gauge reaction from actual Londoners but my naivety won out, as only Americans wishing hopes and prayers to Londoners were posting. As should've been the case, I know the first thing I did September 11th wasn't jump on the internet and post to a public forum.

I'm not going to get political here. In fact, I stray away from politics in most conversations. But I do know this isn't right... this world that we live in right now. The world I will raise my children in one day. Something is wrong. And the course we're going right now doesn't seem to be correct way to fix it.

I'm still amazed that with these 7 explosions, only 37 people died. It probably should've been worse. I realize 37 is more than 0 but it's also a lot less than 700, the number of wounded. It amazes me that on a busy commuter train at morning rush hour, only 37 died. It's quite amazing. As I read more and more though, it's not really a surprise. London has gone through this before and will come through again, like Madrid before them.

I copy over this post I found on Craig's List:

"Did anyone want to give in? Were we down-hearted? The lights went out and the bombs came down. But every man, woman and child in the country had no thought of quitting the struggle. London can take it. So we came back after long months from the jaws of death, out of the mouth of hell, while all the world wondered. When shall the reputation and faith of this generation of English men and women fail? I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we've done and they will say "do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need be-unconquered." Now we have emerged from one deadly struggle-a terrible foe has been cast on the ground and awaits our judgment and our mercy."

Through all this rambling, basically England, I'm going to throw on some Embrace, put my kettle on and enjoy a nice, hot cup of tea in honor of you...

What happens when it's 12.35 in the A-M and you've lost two championships in the past 5 hours? Throw in 6 Sam Adams' and you have this post.

Losing our softball game was a bad omen. As I talked to Plumb on the way back to my car, I distintly remember saying "Let's hope this isn't a bad omen." See, not even an hour earlier Inphonic lost their second game of the season. First loss in over 2 months. But this time it was in the playoffs. To the team we've pubicly called a "C U Next Tuesday" to their faces (that's for you Love!), which lead to a bench clearing battle. We lost. And bad. A mercy. 17-4. I'll probably remember that score forever. It was the worst lost I've ever been a part of. We got beat in every sense of the word. Disappointing is the only way to describe it. Afterwarrds, I figured "What the hell? We're still got the Pistons?"

Well, Adit and I met Plumb, Craig and Alian at the bar (J Paul's to be exact) and witnessed the second half of my "Oh. For. Two." today. All around a piss poor night. And there's still Friday to look forward to. My one silver lining, Plumb is here... in DC. And I'm drunk. Enjoy your Friday!

(Oh yeah, and Titus is back in Michigan today. Where am I? Here in DC... Eric, Coté, and Howell... GET THAT KID DRUNK! Heather's orders...)

As I lay here in bed, on the eve of game 7, I started thinking about all the crazy things sports fans do for their teams to win. Some successful, some... not... so... successful.

I'm not superstitious about anything. I don't believe in psychics, ghosts or lucky rabbit's feet. I have stepped on cracks and my mother's back hasn't broken yet. I've walked under ladders, let black cats pass in front of me and have never wished on a shooting star. But when it comes to sports, I'm as superstitious as they come. I HAVE sat in uncomfortable positions for upwards of 2 hours because my team was playing well. I've stood in crowded bars, in the middle of the busy thoroughfare, because my team was winning. I've worn the same shirt every game day. I've grown beards. I've shaved. I've not showered. I don't watch if they play well when I'm not looking. And when I played... yes, I didn't wash my underwear because we were winning. I'd do anything for a victory.

It started young. I can remember being in the fourth grade, the 1990 Michigan-Michigan State football game was the first time I ever prayed during a sporting event. I sat in the same position for the entire second half — knees up to my chin, back arm resting on the pillow cushion — waiting for Michigan to pull away. My prayers went unanswered. Desmond Howard was tripped in the end zone, the most obvious no call that's I've ever seen (and which the Big Ten apologized the NEXT DAY to Michigan for blowing the call... but I'm not bitter), on the two-point conversion that would've tied the game. I can still remember that day as clear as anything I've ever done.

A couple years ago on a return trip to Ann Arbor for the Michigan-Ohio State game, we were crowded around the tv watching, when Scotty got up to go get more beer out on the porch. As he was pumping the keg, Michigan intercepted a pass. Scotty walked into the room and Michigan gave up a sack. So we did what any real group of sports fans would do... kicked Scotty out. Lo and behold, Michigan scored 2 touchdowns in the next 5 minutes and put the game away. Scotty completely understood and even volunteered to sit out in the freezing Michigan November weather, risking frostbite, for a Michigan win.

What is it about sports that does this to grown men? Is it the reward? The comrade? The fact that this team who you've rooted for for 162/82/16 regular season games is finally able to be the best? For me, I believe it's the last. It's a sense of pride that my boys are the best in the world. My team. My players. My city. You wake up for the next week with a spring in your step, a grin on your face and a pocketful of pride. You're boys are the best. And that's something no one can take from you.

Just look to Boston this past fall. No city has gone through what those fans did. You have hopes; you pride yourself on the success of, not your city, but your teams. You live and die with them. You go through all the ups and downs of the season and grow to know these guys. You feel like these players are your closest friends. You grow with the team, yet you know nothing about these guys. It's a weird phenomenon but one I go through every year.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have one night to figure out what'll make my Pistons win tomorrow night...


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