Monthly Archives: October 2009

Hey! Look! A cool thing!


(Photo from Stadium Journey)

Considering that it’s no longer, you know, baseball season per se here in New England, it’s understandable that you might be jonesing for some baseball-y goodness devoid of talk about A-Rod’s sudden resurgence and his subsequent role as New York’s baseball messiah. It’s also possible that the rain and wind and seriously, was that snow last week? and other insane weather may have you dreaming of warmer temperatures and longer days. Perhaps you’re even thinking of taking a baseball-centric trip next year. Or perhaps you’re just looking for the best burrito outside Landshark Stadium. In any case, Stadium Journey is worth your time.

Full disclosure: I share an apartment with one of the founders. And he is, in point of fact, a New York sports fan. But that little hiccup aside shouldn’t keep you from checking out the site. It’s actually a very cool site with reviews of professional stadiums and the surrounding areas where the writers rate everything from sight lines to value to historic importance of the stadium. Jonah and Dan’s reviews of our very own Fenway can be found here.

The eventual plan for the site will prove extremely useful for visitors to any city featuring a sports team – professional or otherwise – as they’ve got big ideas for message boards and user-generated content. Like say you’re going to Phoenix for work and you feel like taking in a Coyotes game while you’re there (provided Wayne Gretzky has his way and they keep a hockey team in the completely ridiculous location of Phoneix, Arizona), and you want to book a hotel nearby. The idea is the site will be able to help with that. And also with recommendations for good food, good bars and perhaps even a good deal on that hard-to-find Coyotes bobblehead. The SJ boys are also very open to ideas and want to hear from you. The Stadium Journey Facebook page is here. It’s entirely possible that they have a Twitter account too but I’m old and now assume that Twitter is something professional athletes use to snipe at each other with poorly constructed insults.

Semi-personal plug though it may be, we’ve got to do something to get through the winter. And the Patriots only play once a week. Might as well read about how the hot dogs in Chicago stack up to the pierogis in Pittsburgh.

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I run the marathon til the very last mile*

(Photo by Greta)

The thing is, when you finish a marathon, you get a giant silver medal with an eagle and like a globe and stuff being all hooray for you, and also America! Also? Maybe the coolest part? You get a space blanket. And a Marine gives both of those things to you. Which is pretty cool because Marines? Are fairly awesome. They’re also unfailingly polite and tireless because they worked all the water/Powerade stops along the way and always said “You’re welcome, Ma’am” when I thanked them for the water. Plus, I mean, they spent the entire day getting half-empty cups of Berry Blast Powerade tossed at them by sweaty and cranky runners. Those marines are no joke.

A bit sadistic, perhaps, as they put the last .2 miles of the course UP A HILL but at that point I was so over being in pain and being tired that I sprinted across the finish line, just to show them. Because if you think I wasn’t running across the finish line of the marathon, well, you just don’t know me at all.

And even if I’m walking like a zombie today and am seriously questioning the sanity of anyone who chooses to do this kind of thing, I wouldn’t change the experience for anything. Mostly because I raised a lot of money for a great cause that means a lot to me, and because I have the best, most supportive cheering section anyone could ask for. I mean, Harlan and Greta drew a sign with a picture of a shark chasing someone that said, “Run! Shark!” to inspire me. Perhaps you have to be me to know exactly how awesome that is, but it really was the best thing ever and even if it’s hard to run while you’re laughing, it sure helped. Not to mention my parents who provided me with champagne and a bathtub full of ice immediately following the race. Then there were my co-runners, Katherine, Kristin and Doug, all finishers and all total super stars. All people whom I could not have done this without. When we all retired to a nearby sports bar after the race to enjoy some previously-taboo alcoholic beverages and the restorative powers of buffalo wings, I couldn’t have asked for better company.

And finally, there were you guys, and all the incredibly generous donations you made to the Alzheimer’s Association. I am so proud and humbled to have such wonderful people supporting me. I initially did this as a way to honor my Memere but as I was running, I realized that I was also doing it for you guys, as a way to validate all your support. I can’t ever thank you enough. Also, even though I know Memere would be proud of me in that way that only bragging grandmothers can, she also would have asked me what was wrong with taking a car. So thank you guys, thank you for everything.

*with apologies to the Beastie Boys

(More pictures to come as they’re uploaded)

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Hooray for You!

(Picture from http://tennisnoise.wordpress.com)

Andy Roddick is telling you all how awesome you are. Do you know how awesome you are? I’ll tell you. You are $4991.24 amount of awesome. That’s a lot of awesome. A whole lot of awesome. Perhaps even a metric ton of awesome. (I know the counter says $4716.24 but there are a couple checks waiting to clear so ignore that.)

$4991.24!

Either you people are the greatest thing since Cocoa Puffs and you love to support a good cause or you want to see me suffer for several miles. Either way, the end result is the same. Lots of moola for Alzheimer’s research. Either way, you’re all my heroes.

So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of you who’ve donated. When I set the goal of $5,000 months and months ago, I thought perhaps it was too ambitious. I should know better than to ever doubt you guys. You’ve never let me down before.

Now, there’s still time to donate, should you want to, and no one says I can’t surpass my goal. But I wanted to make sure I took the time to update and thank you all. Sunday’s marathon won’t be easy, but I figure that at every mile marker, I’ll just tell myself, “There’s another $190.84 for Alzheimer’s research from my ass-kicking people” and then I’ll just…keep…going. Spurned on, of course, by my world-class cheering section. And also possibly by some Marines. (I’m only human, people).

But really, thank you all for all your support in this. It takes special people to listen to what I want to do and not be all, “Girl, you crazy,” so for that, I am supremely grateful. Now, on to DC!

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All Smiles


(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

I’m with these charming gentlemen above, it’s all smiles in New England after that game. Something about the early snow and the throwback uniforms (which I had not previously been in favor of because there’s really no need for nostalgia about an era in which the Patriots were known around the league as the “Patsies” despite the enduring awesomeness of the Pat Patriot logo), made it seem like, I don’t know, Christmas or something. Randy Moss and Tom Brady certainly seemed to think so. And the elfin Wes Welker even got in on the fun.

Of course, since it’s nigh impossible to just enjoy a football game nowadays if you’re a Patriots fan without someone telling you that your team is a bunch of running up the score assholes who feast on babies and puppies at halftime, allow me to state that I too, wished Brady had been removed just a smidge earlier because I’ve no desire to relive what it’s like to play a season without my star quarterback. But that said, they did take him out in favor of his backup and I don’t think you sit your starter before halftime despite your lead. Especially if said starter lost in overtime last week because he still couldn’t manage to get on the same page as his receivers. I mean, you work out the kinks where you can. And if that’s at the expense of the Titans (erm, Oilers?), then so be it. If they can’t stop the Patriots backup quarterback who is, I don’t mind telling you, a gentleman I’m fairly certain was invented this very day, from waltzing into the end zone, well, that’s not our problem. If Vince Young wants to throw for negative two yards? I mean, what are they supposed to do, hand back the interception all, “I believe you dropped this?” I don’t think so. Also, I think you DO go for it on fourth down when you’re up by a gazillion points because if you just kick it, then you’re padding your points total. And if you go for it, at least you’re giving the opposition a chance to stop you. Of course, since Tennessee is apparently made of marzipan and baking soda, stopping a Pop Warner team from Billerica probably wasn’t going to happen but even still.

People disagree with me, but that’s how I see it.

Phew. It felt good to get that off my chest.

Anyway, welcome back, Tom Brady! Good to see you, sir. Been a while. About halfway through the game, my brother sent me a text message that read, “I hope you enjoy my time machine. I like 2007.” And since I seem to remember a football team of mine that could score points at will, I enjoyed that. And if one more person says the word “hubris” to me, I’m going to destroy a small village. Because it’s not like anyone in New England is UNAWARE of what happened the last time they were scoring all these points, but damn, people, we can’t enjoy a win? Seriously? Leave us alone for a few minutes, jeez.

Instead, I will just say – as we do it in New England – FLEA FLICKA! That? Was a thing of beauty.

At one point, after that beautiful play before which we’d seen Brady and Randy chatting on the sidelines, I speculated to Chrissy what that conversation must have been like.

Me: “Do you think Randy was all, ‘Hey remember when we scored like twelve thousand points a game?’ and Brady was all ‘vaguely,’ and Randy said, ‘that was fun, let’s do that again,’ and Brady said, ‘Cool. Flea flicker?’ and Randy was like, ‘Word.”

Chrissy: “You missed a few ‘muthafuckas’ I think but otherwise, I’d say that’s a faithful transcription.”

I mean, probably that is exactly what happened, right?

I guess what I’m saying is, 59-0? Word.

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A Day to Forget


(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

The great thing about being on a plane for yesterday’s sporting events, is I can pretend that none of them happened.

So…how was your weekend?

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Back on Top


(Photo from Boston.com)

You’ll forgive me if I don’t have much to say about the whole Terrell Suggs business or Jared Gaither’s injury (which sounds terrible and, of course, I wish him a speedy recovery) because, you see, I didn’t get back home until about halfway through the second quarter as I was laboring over a 22-mile training run and hating everything that came after mile 15. And the thing about 22 mile training runs is that they take a long time. And so you’re probably not going to be able to be home in time to watch the start of the Patriots game like you’d planned. Which is maybe actually a good thing because the bloodcurdling screams you’re sure to unleash when someone heads in the direction of your quarterback’s knees are probably enough to get the neighbors to file a complaint.

So what I’m saying is, I’m glad I missed any controversy in that arena.

What I did see, however, when HJ was kind enough to drive me to the bar (so he could watch his Jets and I could get buffalo wings because I am that distinct kind of creature who fuels marathon training not with Gatorade and PowerBars but with buffalo wings and onion rings), is the Patriots fight off a very determined – and I think very good – Baltimore Ravens team. Were it not for a critical case of cement hands by Mark Clayton, the Patriots do not win this game. HJ and I have talked about how everyone has been saying for years that Baltimore is going to be really dangerous when they get themselves an offense. And we just might be living it now.

Greta, because she is from Baltimore and because she is also my best friend, knows that we do not speak during Patriots/Ravens games but she was quick to tell me afterwards that she went out and bought an Ed Reed jersey, which thing I am actually quite proud of because the girl did not grow up watching football and she credits me with making her a fan. Which could either be good or bad, depending on how many times she gets her heart broken. But then, as soon as the game was official and I told her that I really am impressed with her quarterback and his Unibrow of Doom, we went on to hating Rex Ryan and rooting for the demise of the Jets together. But quietly, of course, because HJ did get me those much-needed buffalo wings after all.

All in all, I am glad to see the offense figuring things out. Week 4 seems late in the season for the first Tom Brady to Randy Moss touchdown but we knew they’d get around to it eventually. Likewise, the return of Wes Welker was fantastic to see, if for no other reason than opposing fans HATE the slant route to Welker because no one can seem to figure out how to defend against it. When really I think it’s just that they can’t commit to defending against it because on any given play, the Pats could go slant to Welker, hand off to Taylor (or Maroney or Faulk or Morris) or long bomb to Moss. Or even Ben Watson who is becoming a personal favorite. They have a lot of weapons, is what I’m saying, and it’s hard to defend against them when you don’t know which one they’re going to employ.

I suppose that’s true of every half-decent football team but the fact remains.

As for the Jets, I’ve been pissy these past few weeks because everyone was fawning all over them and had all but handed Rex Ryan the Lombardi trophy while ignoring the fact that a) they were not the only 3-0 team in the NFL and b) I think there are actually other, better teams out there (like perhaps New Orleans or those aforementioned Ravens). So it was nice to see them humbled by New Orleans. As HJ was quick to point out, the point differential actually falls squarely on the shoulders of one Mr. Mark Sanchez and the Jets defense should be proud of their performance but I did find it interesting that you could pinpoint the exact moment the national media turned against Mark Sanchez. It was after the fumble that led to a recovery by the Saints and subsequent touchdown. That’s when the network played their hastily edited video I’ve decided to call “Mark Has the Dropsies” which included all of his fumbles thus far. You know, in his three previous NFL games.

“Wow,” said Dan, watching with us at the bar, “that was quick.”

“Do you think they have some intern feverishly editing together two reels, one of Sanchez’s good plays and one of his boneheaded plays and they wait to see if he’ll be awesome or if he’ll suck and then they just have a reel ready to air?”

“Yup,” he said, “I think that’s exactly what happens.”

I shudder to think “poor Mark Sanchez” because, you know, enemies and all, but the fall from grace can be quick and the landing, I have heard, is not soft.

Perhaps Keith Olbermann said it best on the Sunday Night Football pregame show as he wrapped the Jets/Saints highlights. “So the Jets lost which means tomorrow New York papers will call for Ryan to be fired, Sanchez to be benched, the team to be moved to Canada and football to be declared illegal in the United States.” Sounds about right. And having been forced to listen to a goodly amount of WFAN (the travails of dating a New York sports fan, you see), I think that’s probably exactly what’s happening right now.

So, at the end of the day, the Patriots sit at 3-1 with a matchup against Denver looming next weekend. 3-1 is not a bad place to be and given the finesse that’ll need to be worked out in re: Brady and his receivers over the subsequent weeks, it’s as good a place as any.

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Now you’ve done it

(Photo from Boston.com)

See? Now you’ve made daddy angry. You wouldn’t like daddy when he’s angry. He’s liable to trade you or make Other daddy keep you off the playoff roster.

And you know what that means? No goggles and Riverdancing for you.

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