Cleveland Rocks

They have finally done it. 52 years of heartbreak is over for Lake Erie’s pride and joy. A parade is being held for Cleveland – Cleveland. Who would have thought it after the series was essentially over?

So Father’s Day 2016 was a welcoming time. Even at my age, getting a card for dad still means something. The funnier the better.

It was a day at the aptly named Grass Lake a few miles north of the homestead. Cooling off from 98° weather. If you don’t mind the muck and seaweed covered lake bottom (that feels suspiciously like the fish nets used to catch Nemo), then swimming here is a refreshing experience. The usual sights here are mid-size pontoon boats belonging to private citizens motoring in the middle of the lake and flocks of seagulls and geese that wade in the water. There’s a giant pavilion and tennis court that has seen badminton rackets and highly unskilled players a number of times (meaning myself and the rest of my family).

The power went out tonight just as Game 7 of the NBA finals was beginning on TV. It wasn’t just the power to our humble abode that shut off but the entire neighborhood, so it was off to Wings and Screens to catch the Warriors and Cavaliers duke it out for the title. Golden State jumped ahead early and looked poised to finally finish their magical ride, but eventually Cleveland’s inside game and strength from LeBron James overpowered them. The majority of the friendly bar and restaurant cheered every time Cleveland scored a basket or took the lead, while a few hoots and hollers were for the House that Steph Made Relevant Again. The game went down to the final minute and Golden State had one last gasp to win this game, but it was not to be. The Cavs won the game for their very first championship in franchise history and first for “The Land” in over 50 years. LJ’s mission is over: this third championship of his career is the most important. He got really emotional, putting his face to the Golden State endcourt line, knowing that he had just made history. This was more than just a win for Cleveland – it was an awakening. Professional basketball is alive and well in Northeast Ohio.

I was going to publish this story of mine yesterday from my phone but the Internet was out and my mobile’s battery died while getting Wi-Fi at the sports bar after wasting so much time formatting the pictures and text (those annoying &nbsp’s in the HTML).

And…

It is back and everything is normal once again.

Cleveland’s version of “The Return of the King” has ended the way many hoped it would, even for the ones who burned his jersey back in 2010. All of a sudden, the demand for Steph Curry gear has gone down in my mind as King James has secured his rightful place in basketball again.

Summer

44 – Golden

For the first time, I am using the mobile WordPress app to create a post. It’s actually quite easy and innovative and the Swype keyboard method makes writing quick on a phone.

Now onto this 44 word poem of mine, about spilling baskets:

Golden eyed
Splash
city
Spill
it
down
Going for magic
Can’t stop now
Ring
of
honor
Eye on the prize
Gold in sight
Gotta comeback
Don’t give it to them
Finish them now
This is your time
Storybook season
Win that hardware
Back in Cleveland

But
…obviously you failed

DVerse Poets: Spill

Healthy Lifestyles

0111 Shiny Red Apple  (2)

I’m getting to bed much earlier now, which is surely a good sign that my internal clock is getting in order. Late night shifts are fun but aren’t ideal for getting up early for an important job – if I had one. Waking with red eyes and feeling like I have a pseudo hangover is quite unbearable.

Playing basketball keeps me feeling young and fresh. My legs move freely and I think much easier. Today I did that again and find that I have developed quite a good shooting form – I can sink threes from half court with ease now and the layup is cake. Of course, the only people I have to play against up at the old court are little kids that make me feel so old and awkward (I lied to them about being 17, 7 years younger than I actually am just so I wouldn’t scare them too much) but they seem to like me so I guess I just fit in as one big kid.

In order to live a healthy lifestyle you should do these things:

  • Drink more water
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep
  • Exercise daily
  • Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Have good hygiene

Learning to take care of yourself and be healthy is the first step toward building self confidence and a feeling of importance. You are worth something and deserve to live a good life.

Healthy

The Fight for April

How many upsets will there be? That is the question.

This is March Madness 2016. Welcome to the Big Dance, folks. May you stay until the lights are turned out.

The first and second days of the annual college basketball tournament have already seen a couple of shockers (including you, Wichita St.). The cross ocean neighbors of California, Hawaii, might be a darling this year or it could be Middle Tennessee who basically fooled the seeding committee and have me looking for shirts to show off to my hated rivals.

I picked Yale over Baylor and they won, reassuring us that the upset is still possible. I have a way with picking the Ivy League teams to win (got Harvard right two years in a row and Cornell a couple years ago).

So March Madness is definitely in full swing and if anyone still has a perfect bracket I’d like to meet them. My bracket is quite busted (thanks Michigan State, but at the same time YES!) and now I’m just watching the games for fun (and to see how far Michigan can go). My championship matchup is still intact with North Carolina and Kansas, for how long that lasts.

bracket
My busted TC bracket

The road to the championship game continues on. It is always an interesting fight to the finish and isn’t always predictable, with the exception coming in 2008 with all four number ones in the Final Four, the only time that happened. Seeing those upsets is always an interesting part of the event, with unknown schools getting on the map and having their 15 minutes of glory, but it is usually the teams that were picked to win, the usual juggernauts, remaining in the end. The first few rounds are always exciting, always full of chaos, of madness, and then everything seems to settle down near the end.

I see this basketball tournament as a transitional thing, something to watch to pass the time until other things come up. It will be Spring in a couple days and the first quarter of the year will be nearly over. That April A to Z challenge is coming up again though I’m not sure I will participate in it because of it being such a demanding thing (to come up with an idea for every letter).

Until then, it is on to the second round of Madness. I’ll definitely be there until the lights are turned out.

Fight

Hop on the Bandwagon

Football is a huge gathering. There is no doubt about it. The TV ratings and ticket sales do not lie, even if one is not a huge fan of it.

You know fans are crazy about the game when everyone in a sports bar cheers and claps as one organism. When everyone comes in their favorite players’ sport jerseys. That’s what happened Monday night during the Lions and Saints game. The Lions won but didn’t make it easy. Drew Brees’ squad had one last gasp to tie the game after Detroit’s kicker missed a field goal that would have sealed it. They never came remotely close to scoring but immediately shades of the Green Bay game in which Aaron Rodgers threw a Hail Mary to the tight end Richard Rodgers in the end zone with no time on the clock came to mind. Richard caught it among several Lions and won the game for Green Bay. The Packers got this extra chance after a penalty was called on the Lions for a facemask on Aaron Rodgers, but replays clearly showed that the Lions’ defender did not grab the facemask. Thankfully, that didn’t happen again and we got a break. 5-9 still but at least they are not giving up.

The Detroit Lions are one of those teams that keep the fans coming back every season, even if they keep losing and losing and breaking our hearts. The fans cling to hope that one day they will finally put a run together and have a chance to win their first championship since 1957. Even winning a playoff game would be exciting, since they haven’t done that since 1991. They were in the playoffs last year but got screwed on a controversy call that gave Dallas a recovered fumble and the game, when the replay showed that the runners’ knee was down. Calls like this have been going against our lovable losers for years, two big ones this year, one against Green Bay, the other against Seattle.

Even if the Lions are out of the playoff race once again, we will still tune into them, clinging to hope like millions of other Detroit fans. “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid”, Uncle Jack tells me, talking about how the Lions get our hopes up every year and then totally hoodwink us with a complete letdown. In 2008, they went 0-16, and my realization that being a fan of this team was going to involve a lot of heartbreak, embarrassment, and all-around stinkers was soon unearthed.

One of my dreams (and I’m sure Jack’s as well) is to go to a Super Bowl and see the final two teams battle it out for the coveted Lombardi. That would be the ultimate celebration for him. If the Lions were in it, he would be going crazy. If they were about to win, he might have a heart attack.

Every fan needs a B team. That’s definitely true for me. When your favorite local team lays an egg, switching to the alternate lightens up the mood.

In football, that team would happen to be the legendary New England Patriots. The Patriots were the first team that caught my eye back when I started to get interested in the game. The first game I remember watching was the Super Bowl between New England and Carolina, that the Brady Brunch obviously won on a field goal. I was lying on the couch near the TV under a blanket. I didn’t even know what a first down was. Now I’m highly invested in the game, watching every game every week. Fantasy football has gotten me to know most of the players better and to follow along with who ever is on my team.

I’m definitely a sports fan. I love sports. They make me happy and are a great source of entertainment. The competitiveness and camaraderie can get lots of people talking at once.

My sports life started with racing and then gradually expanded into other areas. I’ve been through my ups and downs with various teams, have witnessed championship seasons and absolutely pathetic ones. When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, I immediately started to like baseball more. When the Tigers ran to the World Series in 2006, a whole legion of fans suddenly were ecstatic, many jumping on the bandwagon. I got into basketball when the Pistons won the title in 2004 but haven’t had much to cheer for since because of them sucking so bad. The Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2008 and hockey was a newcomer to my interests. I never really got into that sport, mostly because it’s hard to follow and the teams are so evenly matched anyway that it’s hard to tell who’s good or not.

Okay, so I’m not a crazy, crazy sports fan. I wouldn’t paint my face or dress up in silly costumes at a football game. I’m a normal fan who just watches the game and enjoys it. I don’t get morbidly upset when a team loses, because there is always tomorrow. When Michigan lost to Michigan State on that botched punt, I obviously was depressed but after so many sports letdowns, just chalked it up and said “that’s life.” Sports aren’t everything after all. I used to get so upset over losing that sometimes I would flip the TV off or storm out of the house, like I did when the Tigers blew a game in the ninth inning. I vent my frustration now by focusing on the positives, not by immediately jumping off the bandwagon.

There is always going to be a couple of stormy days but eventually you will find a beautiful rainbow after the rain clears up. Optimism is what gets you through the bad times and with sports this could not be any truer. That’s the beauty of it all.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Fandom

Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.