Posted tagged ‘sports’

Water Polo?

June 3, 2021

swim startI made the East Haven High School swimming team in my junior year.  I was on the short side, a little scrawny and my coach said I had a Red Cross freestyle (NOT a compliment).  Our school didn’t have a pool so we bused to the local YMCA for practices.  I worked hard and swam in a variety of events, including the 100 fly, the 200 individual medley and the relays.   I wasn’t the fastest guy in any event but I was versatile and worked hard to improve.  The summer after my junior year I worked as a lifeguard at a local lake, swimming laps during all my time off duty.  I also hit a growth spurt and returned 6 inches taller with … hello … muscles.   When my coach saw me, he said, What happened to you?  He was even more pleased when he saw my times. (more…)

Soccer and Me

June 1, 2021

aaronamyHere they call it Soccer.   In most of the world it is Football or Futbal.  Here it is a relatively minor sport.  In most of the world it is THE sport.  At 36 years old, I knew nothing of the sport except that the athletic fields around our home in Yorba Linda, CA, were filled every Saturday with boys and girls chasing a ball around and parents cheering like it was the Oympics.  Soccer was THE sport for kids and my son wanted to play.   He joined a team coached by the Mom of one of his friends (who played the game) and I agreed to be the assistant coach.  Thus began my my roughly 15 years association with youth soccer.   I would coach my son, Aaron’s team, up until high school and my daughter, Amy’s team until she retired from the game in 6th grade.   I served on the league board and as the President of the high school booster club.  As a coach, I was known to stress sportsmanship over winning, but my teams won a lot, too.  I think I probably took it too seriously and I know I stayed at the fair too long with my son, coaching after he was ready for me to step aside.  That didn’t end well and left me with a bad taste for the game.  A few years later, I took on a girls team without a child of mine on it for two years which rehabilitated my love of Futbol. (more…)

The Old Guy Triathlon

February 27, 2020

triathleteIn the 1980s, I went through what I would call my athletic phase.  My place of work had a locker room and shower, ideal for running at lunch, and was within a few miles of a public Olympic sized pool for lap swimming.   I began running regularly with a group of guys that did 7 miles through the hills every day.   It was a good natured, easy run until we were a mile from the office, at which point one of our gazelles would take off and the rest of us would try to keep up.   One thing led to another and before long, several of us were training on the weekends to do the Long Beach Marathon.   At the pool, I found a similarly serious group of guys that were training for a triathlon.   As a swimmer in high school, it seemed a natural progression from running.   I bought a racing bike and before long I was swimming four miles, running 30 miles and biking 100 miles a week.  Writing that now, it seems impossible that this old body was once capable of such feats.   I ran 13 Ironmanmarathons and a dozen or so triathlons.   Now when you say triathlon to most people, the think of the Ironman Triathlon held annually in Hawaii, a 2.4 mile ocean swim, followed by a 100 mile bike ride and a 26,2 mile run.   I’m not talking about that one.  Typically the races I ran consisted of a 1500 meter ocean swim, a 25 mile bike ride and a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) run.  I was in the best shape of my life. (more…)

#KobeToo

January 29, 2020

question

After I posted Kobe and Me, about the sorrow I felt at the passing of Kobe Bryant, I found an article titled The worst way to handle the Kobe Bryant rape case by Molly Roberts in the Washington Post. It wondered why the entirety of the Kobe Bryant legacy wasn’t being discussed, in particular the rape accusations that occurred in Colorado in 2003. I followed a link to an old description of the accuser’s … and Bryant’s … statements at the time and came away feeling uneasy with what I’d written. I don’t want to drag out the details here while many of us are mourning him, but the accusers statements AND Kobe’s were extremely disturbing, as was the physical evidence. The accuser eventually decided not to testify (likely because of the attack tactics of Kobe’s defense team), and the case was dropped. Kobe issued what can only be described as a half apology, admitting to the event and stating that he understood she didn’t see it as consensual. He also paid an estimated $2,5 million to the accuser to settle the civil case.

My assertion that the incident took the glow off one of my favorite athletes was inappropriately dismissive. Even reading the details today (which you can find here) , I was disgusted. I wondered: Can a man who is accused of rape with a preponderance of evidence pointing to guilt be, as Alicia Keys called him at the Grammys, a hero?

(more…)

Kobe and Me

January 27, 2020

kobe too

Somewhere in the midst of the morning Sunday, we received a text from my son-in-law that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash near LA. I checked several of the news sites on my tablet … and it was true. As a life long Laker fan, particularly during the Kobe years, I was shocked. I turned on NBA TV, which was not showing. scheduled games, instead featuring the passing of Kobe Bryant, and as it turned out, his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, who was travelling with him. As the tributes from other players and celebrities rolled in, I found myself crying. As a person who prides himself in not getting caught up in celebrity worship, that was a surprise. I’d seen athletes come and go but I’d never mourned one as if I knew him.

(more…)

Just Plain Stupid

November 5, 2019

pilgrim

Recently, I posted about how many black … and black and white … cats are languishing in rescues around the country. If they are lucky, they are in a no kill rescue, meaning they have a forever home, even it’s a cage. Those in shelters that euthanize cats are more likely to euthanize black cats because they are the last to be taken. Why? Because a sizeable slice of our supposedly modern society still believes the ancient superstitions that black cats are bad luck.

(more…)

Losers, Sore and Otherwise

February 10, 2016

camOn Monday, I was talking to a friend about the Super Bowl.  Talking about Denver’s victory … and more specifically the demise of Cam Newton’s miracle season … he said, I’m always glad to see a showboater get his comeuppance.  It is an old fashioned sentiment to be sure.  I haven’t heard anyone under 50 call an athlete a showboater for years, mainly because what we used to call showboating is the norm in sports these days.  And comeuppance?  Who says that anymore?  But it captured my sentiment exactly. OK, for those of you with Younger Eyes:

Showboating: One who seeks attention by ostentatious behavior; a showoff.

Comeuppance: a fate or punishment that’s deserved, like an arrogant trash-talking quarterback who fumbles the ball on the last play and loses the game for his team (Really.  That definition is right here). (more…)

Throwback Thursday – Yellow Bracelets

January 21, 2016

I posted this about three years ago.   My wife, Muri and I were talking to a realtor and she suddenly started talking about Lance Armstrong.  It mystified me until Muri pointed to my Yellow Bracelet, which I have worn for so long, I forget it’s there.  This is the (slightly updated … updates in red) post.

livestrongFor about eight years, I’ve worn a yellow plastic bracelet on my right wrist, day and night.   You’ve probably seen them around.  They have the word LiveStrong embossed on one side.  Of course, they are a signature of The Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is the largest athlete charity in history, raising $470M since 1997 to fight cancer.   I started wearing the bracelet when my friend John was fighting cancer, a battle he lost.   I’ve worn it through Muri’s semiannual mammograms and the sometimes sonograms when something showed up, all false alarms, thank God.   I wore it while my sister-in-law lost her battle and now while my friend, Bill, is fighting his.   It represents my support of charities fighting cancer and my support of anyone dealing with the disease.   It was also a favorite plaything of my favorite cat ever, Mr. P, who disappeared this year.  It’s not about Lance Armstrong. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 5/4/2015

May 4, 2015

Scenes from a weekend:

tmp_24317-20150501_203229456155580Blair Field:  It’s is the home of the Long Beach State Dirtbags.  That’s right, the LBS baseball team is known as the Dirtbags and the are playing the Rainbow Warriors from the University of Hawaii on Friday night.  I’m out for an evening with the guys, even though I have no affiliation with either university and don’t really care much for baseball.   But I’d been invited before and I need a change, so there I am, laughing as I listened to the kids in attendance (with their alumni parents) cheer, Let’s go Dirtbags.   It was a good game on a gorgeous night relaxing with friends.

(more…)

The Big Game

February 1, 2015

big  gameYep.  It’s that day.  And like 67% of American men**, I will be watching what is often referred to as The Big Game.  Because The Big Game’s real name is trademarked, doncha know?  And like 44% of American women, my wife, Muri, will be watching.  We will not be watching at a Super Bowl (er … Big Game) Party like 20 million other Americans, unless you count the two of us sitting in the family room with an assortment ofwpid-2015-02-01-13.57.02.jpg.jpeg appetizers and the two cats (Mr. P and Elvis) as a party.   Elvis will probably watch, sitting on his favorite spot on the coffee table but it’s darn near certain that Mr. P will nap.  On my lap.  Until there is an exciting play and my body English sends him scurrying upstairs.  Las Vegas has the odds that Muri will take a nap at 3 to 1, while the possibility of an Older Eyes nap are running about even.  This is the kind of game I like … I have a favorite but the preference isn’t so strong that I’ll be miserable if they lose.   The Seahawks are an exciting team and I like both their coach and quarterback.  But they knocked the team I really wanted to see in The Big Game, the Packers, out of the playoffs.  I also get tired of the Marshawn Lynch’s I-won’t-talk Beast Mode schtick, Richard Sherman’s big mouth and The Legion of Boom crap.  So I’ll root for the ball-deflating Patriots.  Once a New Englander, always a New Englander. (more…)