Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saturday Grab Bag of Sports Cliches

FOOTBALL! My wife and I, like any set of parents to multiple small children, are accustomed to making a lot of game-time decisions with regards to socializing. We make plans with people, but we never really now until the appointed meet-up time is imminent whether or not all three of our offspring are going to be physically healthy enough to bring around other people, or compliant enough to make it worth the aggravation of packing up and getting out of the house, and any number of other considerations. Tomorrow we will get to make a literal game-time decision in regards to attending my buddy Clutch's Super Bowl party. Both my wife and I want to attend, and have been looking forward to it, but we were also planning on leaving at halftime in the best-case scenario, since that will be more than far enough past all of our kids' usual bedtimes to compel us to hustle them home. The baby has been sleeping moderately well at night, but a disaster tonight could very well have us reconsidering the wisdom of deviating from his normal bedtime routine at all on Sunday night. Only time will tell.

I really don't get why the Super Bowl is played in the evening. It's on a Sunday, just like the vast majority of regular season NFL games, and the vast majority of those are played at either 1 p.m. Eastern of 4 p.m. Eastern. Why can't the Super Bowl be at 1 p.m.? It's not as though the game is played on a weeknight, and they're waiting for everyone on the east coast to get home from work. Nor is it played on a Saturday, affording everyone the option of sleeping in the next day. Sunday night seems perversely inconvenient.

I've long advocated for the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday to be a national holiday. This year in particular it struck me that one reason I feel this would be such a great boon to our society is precisely because the Super Bowl is not technically a holiday occasion. We get the day after Thanksgiving off at my company, but Thanksgiving is a holiday intended to be spent with family, which I happily look forward to every year. The same applies to Christmas. Most holidays are inseparable from family gatherings (or obligations, depending on your attitude, I suppose). But the Super Bowl is a set event every year that I very deliberately plan to spend with my friends. And I think there's value in that, too.

Anyway, we'll see what happens tomorrow. We just gotta give it 100% and execute!


OLYMPICS! (part 1) With the baby being all iffy and twitchy about going to sleep and staying asleep, one thing that has been tricky to balance is the fact that several of the shows my wife and I consider appointment television come on at 8 p.m. (looking at you, here, HIMYM and Community) Don't get me wrong, our priorities are in the right place and television remains something we can reward ourselves by unwinding with when and only when all of our kids are snugly tucked in and a-slumber in their beds. In theory, given the pains we've taken to routinize every minute of every step that gets them from the dinner table to the bathtub to under the covers, we should be able to have them all bedded down by 8. But it can also be thrown off, often by the tiniest stupid little things.

So despite the fact that I've been enjoying the Thursday night offerings on NBC (well, the first hour thereof), instead of being annoyed that they're about to be pre-empted by three weeks of Olympics coverage I'm actually somewhat relieved that the pressure is off until the end of February. One less thing to even spare a thought to, and hopefully enough time to get over whatever unfathomable baby-brain-splosion phase our youngest is currently going through.

We just have to make some adjustments and bring our A-game!


OLYMPICS! (part 2) In most regards I could take or leave the Winter Games, but I have to admit I got sucked into a news story the other day about how the US speed skating team is going to be wearing futuristic bodysuits designed by Lockheed Martin (which is not the defense contractor I work for, but still, the inside-industry angle is part of what caught my attention) - bodysuits so advanced and so Top Secret that they didn't even let the athletes use them in the Olympic trials, because that might have allowed competitors to try to mimic the design before the Olympics. I mean, on the one hand, a speed skating arms race strikes me as a tiny bit excessive, but on the other hand, I love excess. So I may very well have to tune in to the speed skating events at some point. (As long as they're on after 8 p.m.)

In the end we'll see if it comes down to the technology or the physicality of the athletes!


BASEBALL! Hey, pitchers and catchers report to spring training in about two weeks, it's not too early to start looking ahead.

Speaking of pitchers, one of the biggest deals of off-season acquisitions went down last week as the Yankees won the bidding war for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. You may be wondering, since that transpired a little over a week ago, if my wife and I have yet found it coming up in conversation, specifically in the context of our intramarital AL East rivalry. Seriously, are you legitimately wondering? Or do you just more-or-less assume it has in fact come up? As in, specifically, my wife informing me out of nowhere "I hate you and I hate your stupid team" within about a day or so of the announcement. I, of course, knew exactly what she was referring to.

This year could be one for the ages!

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