Friday, April 28, 2006

Draft Day Delight

Oh boy it’s the NFL draft tomorrow. Do I watch? Do I sit on the couch and watch all the young, entitled kids get millions of dollars to play football while my wife works with spoiled brats for a pittance? I probably will. I’m a sucker like that.Who are my beloved Cowboys going to draft? Well, I am hoping that they get either Santonio Holmes or Jim Williams. Those two guys would really fill a serious need that we have and are the only guys who really feel like first round talent to me. And I watched all four hours of the college combine on the NFL Network.
That was a great afternoon, watching guys run and jump and do the shuttle run. That is the best part, actually. Big guys, three hundred pounders, doing the shuttle run around cones set ten yards apart, is amazing. It’s amazing that guys that big are that fast and that agile. It’s scary. I remember when my friend Jim, who is 6’4” and about three hundred pounds himself, got a try out with the Eagles and told me about the guys he was going against. He said these guys were freaks, fast and strong and mean. And I thought how scary that would be to get run down by someone like that.
I think my favorite draft was in 1976 when the Cowboys somehow made the trade that got them the first pick and they took Tony Dorsett. That was the steal of the century. The only one better was the year that the Lakers won the coin toss for Magic Johnson. Tony Dorsett came in and ran like the great back he was in college. He was tough, fast and consistent. That was great.
So here we go again. Hope springs eternal, right. There will be some great picks and some of the guys from Alcorn State and W. Kentucky Tech will be the big surprise. My favorite will be the guys like Ryan Leaf and Tony Mandarich, guys with huge reps and big egos who fall flat and never make it. You know, how we hate when our friends become successful? I just like it when the guys like Mel Kiper get it wrong; except when they play for the Cowboys. Those guys all better be amazing or I’m going to be pissed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Going, going, gone...

My therapist tells me that I moved twenty-five hundred miles from home to get away from my parents. That may be but unintentionally I also moved a continent away from beloved Pittsburgh Pirates and I think that may be the reason why they have sucked for over a decade.
The relationship with my folks has flourished these past fifteen years. We talk all the time now, get along great and I am actually helping them find a place close to me for next winter. Alas, my relationship with the Buccos has not faired so well.
Things got better with my folks with open conversation and trust. We developed faith by saying what we meant and meaning what we say. Our relationship is built on love, understanding and faith. For the Bucs and me? Well that is an entirely different story. There is faith on my end, but no longer trust. And I have no idea where they’re coming form these days.
In the 1970’s you could always count on the Pirates to field a team that challenged right down to the wire and often times came out champions. They even had two players, Roberto and Willie, who were good enough to be mentioned by only their first names. The rest of the cast: Bob Robertson, Bob Veale, Steve Blass, Manny Sanguillen, Ed Ott, Frank Taveras, John Candelaria, Phil Garner, and Jim Rooker: you could go on and on with the supporting cast of guys that helped the black and gold to two World Series titles in the decade.
Even when Dale Berra was turning Three Rivers Stadium into a stop on the Columbian coke train you believed that this organization was committed to winning and sure enough they brought us Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke, Bobby Bonilla and three years in the early nineties.
But then it just fell apart. And I just can’t help but blame myself. This was no Jason Thompson, Joe Orsulak, Johnny Ray transition. This has been a complete and utter failure on all levels. The management, the coaches and the players have all conspired to lose 1135 games since 1994. That’s an average record of 76 – 86 for the past thirteen years. That is pathetic. That is expansion numbers.
And I just have to blame myself. I went away and took my trust and faith across the country. I really thought that this would be the year. They signed Jeremy Burnitz, stealing him from Baltimore, the got Joe Randa, they had some young players that could hit, like Jack Wilson and Jason Bay, and Zach Duke was the hottest pitcher in the league the end of last year.
But alas, the faith and trust, they do not work. They do not keep this team from finding itself and 5 and 17, the worst record at this point since 1957. They are batting .225 with runners on base and giving up runs in the first inning in 14 of 22 games. 24 first inning runs to the other guy. But it’s the bonehead plays: the missed cut-offs and bad base-running that hurt the most.
Last night Jeremy Burnitz, with two outs and a man on first, went against one hundred years of baseball wisdom and instead of keeping the ball in front of him on a single, dove for the catch and it squirted away and went for a triple that drove in a run. Instead of two outs and two on and a force at every bag, it’s another run and a man on third. That’s what I’m talking about.
So the faith of the man who wanted to believe is slowly dying. I think of the games I’ve gone to in my life and remember the thought that my team would win like I remember when it felt like the world like Americans. My beloved Bucs are striking out and I am too far away to make a difference. I guess it’s only a matter of time until football.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Down in the Dumps

Just down in the dumps today. Feeling really crappy about me and my posibilites. Don't know what to do and where to go. All of this shit around me. And then oil is 70 dollars a barrel and my gas cost me three bucks and what the fuck is going on? How are we supposed to live in this country? The rich keep getting more and more breaks. The Middle Class is moving to India and China and those that are left think they're rich and want to give rich people a break like they are somehow worthy. And the poor just get angrier and angrier. Who's the first to the guillotine? I guess that we have to just sit here and let the corporations run away with our money and our future and out lives. See, that's why I am feeling so crappy today...