All About Rugby

Rugby is a fun game people play. Whatever rules there are (and no one knows them) change along with the phases of the moon. Sometimes, someone drops a quarter on the field and everybody scrambles to find it (see photos).

Beer plays a major role in every rugby game. The losers of the game are forced to drink a keg of beer. The winners of the game are excited to drink 2 kegs of beer. And then, everybody gets into a van and shuttles to the local hospital to count their broken bones.

What a game!

Scored a baseball game yesterday on my Android tablet. Because nothing celebrates the organic, spontaneous joy of watching a sporting event like making little numbers and squiggles in boxes and performing mathematical calculations with decimals. 

On an electronic device.

Scored a baseball game yesterday on my Android tablet. Because nothing celebrates the organic, spontaneous joy of watching a sporting event like making little numbers and squiggles in boxes and performing mathematical calculations with decimals.

On an electronic device.

Rite of Spring

Around this time every year, I post something related to the impending baseball season. I’m not sure why exactly. I haven’t enjoyed a baseball season since before I was born. And the root of the problem is this:

I became a fan of a really bad team.

Now some of you (alright, none of you—but just play along here) are probably saying, “That’s no problem. Just become a fan of a different team—a better team!” To which I reply, “I guess you are not familiar with the rules, are you?”

See, once a person turns 5 years of age (6 years in Canada, I believe. Something about the metric system), you are required to pledge your lifelong allegiance to a single baseball team. Typically, your father or older brother will try to influence your decision, often with threats of abandonment if you do not choose the same team as they.

So you pick your team. And then it is recorded by quill in a large book with parchment pages that is stored in your local church’s underground vault. Once it is transcribed (typically by a monk) it is as if it has been etched in stone. That is, it cannot be changed. In effect, you are chained to your team; in my case, like a trapped animal attempting to chew its own leg off.

What led me to pick this particular baseball club? Well, I liked their uniforms. Yes, even at the tender age of 5, I was a bon vivant. Too bad I was not a knowledgeable sports fan, however, or I would have realized that my team lost a record 175 games in only a single 162 game season.

And apparently, things were only going to go downhill from there.

Some have said my team is cursed. That the owner once made a deal with the devil in order to have a new stadium built. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) the devil floated some bad city bonds and the stadium construction was never completed. For the next two years, my team was forced to play with the Grand Central Parkway as its home field. A good day at the “ballpark” then was when one of my players didn’t get hit by a minivan doing 63 in a 55 zone (to my Canadian friends, that’s miles per hour).

I have to say, there was one season in which my team almost achieved a golden level of mediocrity. Unfortunately, it was during one of those player-strike-shortened seasons. But, still, my team did accumulate a robust 25-32 record, although I admit it was after the players walked out.

And then there was the time I went to see a game in person. I was just a kid and it was so exciting, sitting in the first row of seats right behind home plate. I vividly recall the umpire shouting, “Play Ball!” Unfortunately, it was in the 3rd inning because my team had suddenly forgotten what they were supposed to be doing.

And those childhood memories can never be taken away. Too bad.

On Imaginary Girlfriends

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. I have never been ON an imaginary girlfriend, as the title would suggest. That is not to say I haven’t dated a few. It’s just that none would even let me get to second base, let alone get on top of them.

But I digress—and in a particularly disturbing way, I might add. But in any event, it seems that some All-American foosball player from Notre Dame Cook University is involved in a scandal concerning one imaginary girlfriend. Even more amazing is the fact that this kid was a candidate to win the Heisenberg Trophy (for excellence in physics, I imagine). Which begs the question…

Why would someone like this need to invent a girlfriend?

I mean, he obviously has both the jock and nerd categories pretty much locked up.

But do you want to know what is even sadder than that? How about the fact that his imaginary girlfriend was terminally ill? Where does one go to get treatment for THAT, I ask you? And before you say an imaginary oncologist, estimate just how many such programs might exist in the entire U.S. It can’t be more than 2 or 3 at the most. She was a goner from the moment she was first diagnosed, I say.

And so the question remains: How does a physicist-athlete, with more apostrophies in his name than letters, soldier on—both in the lab and over the foosball table—without his make-believe loved one cheering from the sidelines? He’s not, that’s how. No, he will likely leave the fields of science and competitive barroom games and eke out a measly living on the royalties from his autobiography and biopic.

Another American tragedy, that is.

The Title Of This Post Has Been Artificially Increased To Twice Its Natural Size

Perhaps it is appropriate that I too weigh in on the Lance Armstrong story. After all, I used to be an avid cyclist. OK, tricyclist. But cut me some slack; I was only 2 at the time.

In any event, my long and storied history with cycling has me taking Armstrong’s admission as a personal affront. He revealed that he took performance enhancing drugs while competing. But only when riding uphill, I imagine (I mean, why would he need it for riding downhill?). Still, this is unforgivable. And now he has the audacity to say that he wants to devote the rest of his life to exposing others who have done the same?

Why, that’s like when the Romans admitted they crucified Jesus and then declared war on Japan. Or something. History is hard.

I admit, however, that I used to look up to Lance Armstrong. A cancer survivor who spent countless hours single-handedly manufacturing about a billion, yellow rubber bracelets. And yet, somehow, he found time to write a couple of books. I spent weeks reading them. Now I will have spend twice as long trying to unread them.

That is time I will never get back, Lance Armstrong!

And what will become of the disgraced, former Tour de France winner? Well, first he will be forced to return all of his championship jerseys. I do hope he washed them, though. Because otherwise, he can just keep them.

Then, he will be barred from participating in any and all competitive sports. Cycling, running, spelling bees, jacks…none of it. He MIGHT be able to participate in paper-folded-in-a-triangle tabletop football. But just not on the professional level.

And lastly, Lance likely will be sentenced to some form of community service. Like feeding the poor or babysitting Snooki’s kid. Or perhaps obtaining Human Growth Hormones (HGH) for underprivileged kids in inner-city high schools who cannot afford them.

But it doesn’t matter which of those worthwhile endeavors Lance undertakes. Because to me, he will forever be known as the Jose Canseco of cycling, although sadly, without the unintentionally hilarious Twitter feed.

Excerpt From My Recent Stint In The Broadcast Booth

  • Kip: We'd like to welcome in our guest color analyst, Dave. Nice to have you aboard.
  • Me: Nice to be aboard, Kip. It's like I always say, "Better aboard than overboard."
  • Kip: Uh, right. So Dave, let's get right to it. What are your thoughts on tonight's game?
  • Me: Well, Kip. There are a lot of people who need to play up to their potential if their team has any chance of winning.
  • Kip: I see. Care to provide us with specifics?
  • Me: Not really. I find it wiser to make overly general statements that cannot possibly be proven wrong. It's how I managed to stay in the business so long.
  • Kip: I'll keep that in mind. But since the viewers might like a little more detail, let me ask you about Alex Rodriguez.
  • Me: Like him.
  • Kip: As a hitter or fielder?
  • Me: Sexually.
  • Kip: Pardon?
  • Me: I dig 'im.
  • Kip: Oops, well would you look at that! While we were chatting, the Yankees just scored 11 runs. We'll be right back as soon as we can figure out exactly what went on here.
  • Me: The "business" I was referring to was haberdashery, Kip.
  • Kip: No surprise there, Dave.