Friday, January 26, 2007
It's winter, so that means time for my own personal terrible tradition. That's right. The Winter X Games.
For some reason, I have watched these things every year since coming to college. I could not begin to tell you why. I think at first they happened to be on at times that I wasn't in class, and then I just kept on watching them out of morbid fascination and a distinct lack of baseball or whatever.
It's at the point where I recognize the names now, despite the fact that I know next to nothing about any of these sports. For instance, I think Tanner Hall's new beard looks stupid. I wonder why they got rid of the Moto-X events? And I was concerned enough about the absence of Mike Metzger (before I realized that no Moto-X events were happening) to look him up and make sure he's OK (in short, he is not... he broke his back trying to do a jump from one barge to another [gosh, I wonder what might go wrong with THAT], although it looks like he won't be paralyzed). I appreciate the female snowboarders who get good amplitude out of the pipe, because I realize that they don't usually get near as high as the guys do (and none of them as high as the skiiers).
I get a dorky kick out of Sal Masakela and that reporter with the terrible Boston accent.
I HAVE A WINTER X GAMES PROBLEM OK.
The damn things are only 11 years old, and every year there's new stuff. All these sports are actively evolving. One year, people are doing single flips, the year after someone throws down a double, and the year after that everyone has to be doing doubles just to make it to the finals. If I'm remembering correctly, nobody was throwing 1080s when this stuff started, but you see them now (and, shit, Simon Dumont just rolled a 1260 in the ski pipe). It's not like baseball or football, where there's innovation and new superstars come up, but nothing similar to this current year-to-year growth. It's like watching Darwin's finches. Only, you know, colder, and with more bad music.
The analysts use the word "gnarly" in a relatively earnest way.
At least half the people competing are younger than me, which is simultaneously awesome and extremely depressing.
Mostly, it's just fun. It's fast and bright and loud and requires exactly no thinking power to watch and enjoy. I guess you might call it the perfect ESPN-sponsored event.
Labels: obsession, Winter X Games, X Games
Friday, January 19, 2007
Trot's an... Indian?
I have to admit that this completely blindsided me. Maybe if you're in Massachusetts you've seen it coming, because there's been coverage of some sort or another, but I honestly had no idea. On some intellectual level I knew the likelihood of the ol' Trotter being back was slim, but.... he's TROT NIXON. The concept of him in anything other than a Red Sox uniform is so utterly foreign that I can't even process it. And although I KNEW he had to go somewhere else, if he wasn't going to play here, I guess I didn't believe it.
So when I fired up Rotoworld this morning, fully prepared to just skim through a bunch of short-term transactions with utterly unimpressive middle relievers on National League teams, I saw Trot's name and my brain just kind of... stopped. Nixon agrees to deal with Cleveland? What? WHAT?
I had to head up to the studios, then, to work on some paintings, and that was where I started trying to think this through. Trot Nixon, an Indian. Trot Nixon, playing AGAINST the Red Sox. Trot Nixon, regularly patrolling a right field without the specifically sadistic contours of right field in Fenway.
Trot Nixon with a filthy Chief Wahoo on his head (oh jeeeeeez) instead of a filthy Boston B.
Like so many moves in baseball, this is easy to understand from a logical perspective, and almost impossible to understand from an emotional one. Trotter's older, he's VERY injury-prone, and that's a tendency that's only going to get worse with time. It makes all the baseball sense in the world for the Red Sox to move on and go with someone younger, someone fleeter of foot and less wonky of knee.
But this is TROT NIXON. The ORIGINAL Dirt Dog, the guy who's been there through.... hell, through everything. One of the few Sox who came up through the system from day one onwards, and that's terribly rare in MLB, even more so with the Red Sox... although, with Theo at the helm and the minor leagues improving, I expect that'll start becoming at least a little more common sooner rather than later. But Trot did it in a time when the Red Sox were not at their most developmental best, and he stuck with the team through thick and (very) thin.
The entire length of my active baseball consciousness, Trot Nixon has been a member of the Boston Red Sox. It's about the same for anyone around my age. The Red Sox are not Trot Nixon, but Trot is the Red Sox, if that distinction makes any sense.
I was going to Photoshop Trotter into an Indians uniform, but I can't bring myself to do it. It's too utterly weird, too incredibly wrong. I don't want to picture it, and I'm going to try avoiding a mental image of it until the season starts and I'm forced to see it.
It is, of course, impossible wish him anything but the best of luck in Cleveland (even though, as a Tigers fan, I wish his team overall falls somewhat short). And he had bloody well better get the standing ovation of his lifetime when the Indians first come to Fenway this season.
Trot Nixon playing for the Cleveland Indians.
Still can't quite believe it.
Labels: baseball, goodbye, Indians, MLB, Red Sox, Trot Nixon
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Man, I know it's been a while here. But I kind of wanted to wait for all of college football to be done so I could have some closure on the season before writing about it.
SUCK A DEAD DOG, OHIO STATE!
There are many opinions around here, the two most obvious camps being the "I feel incredibly filthy but was rooting for Ohio State because it makes Michigan and the Big 10 look better" people, and the "I don't give a flying fruitbat now that Michigan's out of it, and under no circumstances can I make myself root for those foul Ohioan cretins" people. I am one of the latter group. I spared it a thought, before the game, but really? The thought of Buckeyes celebrating wildly in confetti makes me sick to my stomach, almost literally. I did not care how weak an OSU loss would make the Big 10 look; I did not want to see happy Buckeyes. Not ever.
I've suffered enough of that.
So, yeah, the Rose Bowl stunk. A lot. I am really growing to loathe USC in new and gloriously passionate ways. Also, the Trojan is too close to the Spartan for mental comfort (team hate by mascot association? It's the new black!). But today I am relatively happy, because the Buckeyes were horribly embarrassed in front of a national audience, God, and Tostitos. And that's A-OK.
As an odd side effect of this, the amount of Florida pride showing up around campus today is unusually high. Not many people have actual Florida apparel, but even at this relatively early hour I have already seen a ton of Miami Dolphins gear out and about. Hilarious, and definitely not coincidental. My friend Travis showed up (to the art school!) today wearing a truly amazing Dolphins jacket from the early '90s.
I don't want to talk about the Lions. Talk about a pointless win. Talk about not mattering where they are in the draft because they're going to screw it up regardless. Talk about a bloody hopeless mess of an organization.
Labels: BCS, Buckeyes, football, Michigan, NCAA, OSU, Wolverines