Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Weather Is Getting A Bit Nicer..

My social schedule lately has been crazy, as I haven't been able to update this in over a week. That's what happens when you are so popular and someone close to you has a cold, but it appears that things are settling down a bit.
  • The Trail Blazers continue to play up and down, with a win over Chicago last Wednesday that I saw in person, and two tough losses in Detroit and Indiana. The Trail Blazers have played well in stretches, and now they are facing the tough stretch of the season, where the games take on more meaning and it's important to remain mentally and physically tough. This team continues to overachieve in so many areas, but they also show their youth with bad passes, tough shots, and making mistakes. Right now, we seem very tired, so I would expect that the All Star Break comes at a good time, allowing us to rest some weary bodies and minds for the stretch run.
  • The NFL Pro Bowl was on today, couldn't tell you who won or if anyone even cares. So you put your all star game after the season, and then watch as most of the major stars opt out to rest. It would be tough to take a week off during the year to have something like what baseball or basketball does, but I think the NFL needs to do something to make this more meaningful. Although, a trip to Hawaii in February doesn't have enough meaning??
  • Girl and I saw Cloverfield last night, and it was everything that we expected and so much more. It's unlike anything I've ever seen put on film and the experience is something that I can't put justice to in a few words. Yes, it's a monster movie, and yes, you feel like you've been run through a roller coaster a few times in watching the shaky images, but I've never seen a thriller like this before. This movie causes you to ask so many questions, like what you do if confronted with such an experience, and would you go back for someone even if you knew it would risk your life. The special effects are amazing, and like many of JJ Abrams' works, there are more questions than answers raised when watching it, and while Cloverfield is a great movie on its own part, you could trudge through the theories and back story and get wrapped in a heck of a story. If you do go see this, I recommend preparing for a dizzying night, cause I'm still a bit nauseated the next day from seeing it. Some motion sickness pills might be good, too.
  • The Timbers season is fast approaching, and I'm happy that it's beginning to be spring. I don't mind the snow and rain, but yesterday's nice day outside got me wishing for a bit of spring fever. Around here in Oregon, you learn to do things outside or just stay inside for weeks and weeks and get a little cabin fever. That's why you dress in layers about here, but we get some greenery around here, that's for sure. But spring means soccer, and I'm excited for the 2008 campaign.
  • I've been watching with some amusement the recruiting game in college football, and the story from Nevada about Kevin Hart. In case you missed it, Kevin wanted so badly to be recruited to play college football, that he created his own press conference to announce his choice. Too bad the schools hadn't recruited him at all, which lead to him publically apologizing for his ruse. The whole recruiting game is such a mess right now, and nobody seems to care about it as long as people make money and kids get exposure. When I was in high school and kids signed, it was a small gathering at the school where kids could celebrate their accomplishments with fellow athletes, and it was kept in perspective. Now, you have websites and channels dedicating hours and hours of coverage based on the potential of where someone might go. Nothing like putting some extra pressure on a decision that for most kids is one of the first big decisions they'll decide on. Instead of adults keeping some perspective on this, they are caught up in the dollar signs and attention like everyone else. I don't blame Kevin Hart for wanting to play college football, and if we are going to blame him for trying to have his moment in the sun, we should also blame the member institutions that continue to allow outside forces (agents, boosters, third party groups) to influence the process, the coaches for not helping kids make the right decisions, and the parents for allowing the circus to happen. I understand the desire to play on the big stage, but it's important sometimes to keep things in check before cashing the checks or watching your press clippings.
  • Besides, being a sports celebrity means having people incessentantly pick over parts of your life to no end, like there is no real private life. When we think of celebrities, we think of the money, the attention, the glamour, the ability to do anything or get anything you want. The downside is the hangeroners, the press tapping into your world 24 by 7, websites posting rumours of any validity from reliable to completely madeup, the sacrifices made by family and friends during the season, the stress and wear and tear on a body and mind, and the ultimate question of what happens after the playing days are done. Not that I expect any of these answers to be easy or perfect, but in the pursuit of sports, even I tend to forget that these athletes are human and they have the same frailties that we all share. They have to do what they do in front of thousands in person and TV without a safety net or a do-over. The only thing I've ever asked of the teams I support is that they give it all they have, and if they do, I can love them no matter what. Think it's easy to be that way, try living through the Broncos Super Bowl failures or the dark days of the Trail Blazers, and see if you can truly think that. It's not easy, but at the same time, I don't follow the bandwagon like a lot of fans. It's easy to root for people on top, but try and stick with your team through the ups and downs. If you can, I can say you are a true fan.
Talk to you all soon.

No comments: