Tuesday, February 27, 2007


We've always been a nation that likes to use acronyms. After all we want everything fast and right now from our food that we drive through to get to the messages we send to the oatmeal we microwave, we want it instantly. Please, we don't have time to say all the words we want to say so we shorten them with acronyms. From the sports world there's NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR etc. And growing up in a military family where acronyms fly around like moths to a light bulb, TDY (temporary duty), BOQ (bachelor's officers quarters), HQ & NCO are a few that come to mind quickly.

Now, in this world of instant and text messaging the acronyms are endless: BTW, LOL, OMG, TMI (WTMI - when there's just Way too much information, because, you see, there's too much information and then there's a completely different, higher level of information that's just, well, WAY...).

In the world of triathlon there's an acronym that gives you this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach: D-N-F! DID....NOT....FINISH. My journey into the world of triathlon is really in it's infancy and I've been fortunate enough to have not experienced a DNF. I know many have for various reasons. My Brother-in-law, Trey, who is an Ironman triathlete, gave me a book entitled "Becoming an Ironman". It's a collection of stories from triathletes experiencing their first Ironman distance race (I'll be attempting my first in September in Wisconsin). After reading the forward I went directly to the chapter simply titled "DNF". Some DNFed because they were disqualified, some had bad chicken the night before and their stomachs weren't right the next day and some just did not finish in the allotted time. That, to me, is the most difficult to deal with.

Some explanation is in order. You have 17 hours to complete an Ironman race. If you finish in 17:01 you really did not finish at all but rather received a DNF! That is hard to swallow! After a year or more of planning, preparing, gutting out the miles on the road biking and running and enduring the laps in the pool at 5:30am, sacrificing the good foods you like to eat for yogurt and protein bars, going to bed at 9:30pm so you can get up @ 5a, forking over the cash for the entry fee (north of 4 Ben Franklins, BTW), all the gear required, the different kinds of food, the hotel, travel money, etc., etc., etc., only to endure the entire, grueling day and you don't finish in 17 hours.....DNF!

I know those who do it bring it on themselves. I fully acknowledge that fact. It's masochistic. But it's also why we do it because when you receive an actual time after you finish and not an acronym, it's incredibly rewarding.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Three things I want to say about the above picture...the third one is the shortest and simplest so I'll get it out of the way first. Under Armor is the new Nike.

O.K., now to the real reason for the post. The shoes above belong to my oldest, Alex. He's 14. These shoes are almost the same size. Please!? When I was 14 I think I wore a size 9. When I got married at 24 I wore a 9.5. Now that I'm pretty darn close to 20 years older than that and gravity has done it's job I wear about a 10.5 or 11 depending on the shoe! Is Alex going to be this gigantic monster in 3 to 4 years? Well, we do know this...yesterday Alex got his arm x-rayed because he fell on it playing basketball with some of his buds and it's been hurting for several days. The good news, there was no fracture according to the film. What we learned from the film was that the growth spaces in his wrist and elbow have pretty much closed. What that means is that he's pretty much done growing, at least in his right arm. The doc did say that his spine will probably continue to grow over the next couple of years. That was certainly good news to Alex because right now he's about 5'8". It's pretty tough to get to 6'1" - 6'2" if you've stopped growing at 5'8". Now there wasn't an x-ray of his foot...we can only hope the growth spaces have closed there as well! Size 16 anyone? Does anyone have the website for the shoe of the month club?

Now, for the second main reason for the post. If you'll notice these are brand-spankin' new, shiny, red, unscuffed, lightenin' fast, fresh-out-of-the-box, haven't-made-an-error-yet, baseball shoes! Baseball season is here. Pitchers and catchers reported a week ago. Positions players are rolling into camp (except for Manny Ramirez, because, you know, it's just "Manny being Manny"). The JD Babe Ruth Reds have had 2 practices.....BASEBALL SEASON IS HERE!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Until Next Time, NFL

Well, the NFL season is officially over with the playing of the annual Pro Bowl...yes, the Pro Bowl was played this past weekend. Did you miss it. I did except for the fact that my oldest, Alex, was flipping through the channels and came upon it and said, "oh, did you know the Pro Bowl was on?" We both agreed that we remembered it was on but neither of us cared. I don't think the players cared either...except maybe Drew Brees who dislocated his elbow, which is why the Pro Bowl may soon be a thing of the past.

Anyway, this post is about the end of the NFL season. Will you survive until the next kick-off in September. That depends because anymore you don't have to survive...there's always Mel Kiper, Jr. analyzing the deep snapper for Hofstra who might go late in round 7. Then there's the free agent season, mini-camps, the start of training camp and then pre-season games televised nationally in prime-time when we actually get to see that deep snapper for Hofstra perform after the first series...so exciting!

So the question I pose today (and will answer) is to what does the NFL credit for the explosion of this game in this country? Many things, but a lot of credit should go to those who play fantasy football. I'm one of them by they way. Come on, why else would you care, and watch by the way, the Buccaneers playing the Cardinals unless you had Larry Fitzgerald. Or, why else would you watch the Vikings playing the Bills unless you had Chester Taylor. O.K., not really a good example because I would watch the Vikings play anyone...I've been yoked with this team for years (see post below). And now McBrick is yoked with the Eagles (see post below), poor guy! So, many people will have to survive until next season (no alternative, really) but most are waiting with great anticipation because they can't wait to manage their fantasy football team because most are sure they're going to win it all next season and grab the glory (not to mention the cash!). They just hope they don't get the first or last pick in their draft.