Archive for ‘sports’ category

I Have Joined a Dodgeball League

I type this as the lactic acid is starting to set in. I have joined a dodgeball league, sponsored by a local YMCA here on the North Shore of Boston. Dodgeball? Yes, that game. I write this post to encourage others that may have similar leagues starting in their areas. It is extremely fun.

Having no idea what to expect, naturally the greatest worry is the equipment. Will it sting? But an official dodgeball is much like a small, Nerf (the leader in foam ball construction) ball that’s been dipped in thin, rubbery plastic. This means it can be thrown with incredible velocity, yet cannot inflict any pain. The lightness of the ball lends itself to be thrown in corkscrew or curve paths toward the opponent, making it difficult to either catch it, or duck out of the way. Strategies quickly emerge from elementary school memories buried deep. As one teammate said, it’s a mental game. Heh.

Surprisingly, this dodgeball league is nicely organized, with strict rules and fast game times. It’s non-stop running around, throwing and jumping. Great excercise — and something I need after sitting in front of a computer screen all day. What do you do to blow off steam?

Pigs Are Flying

Like every other New Englander, I’m in a state of shock this (early) morning. Disbelief. Did it really happen? Did it really take 86 years? 86 years. My god that really is a long time. After a partial night’s sleep, I guess it’ll start to sink in.
1918 - 2004Here’s to an amazing team, that pulled off the impossible. To those who never got to see it happen in their lifetime. And it’s more than just a baseball game we’re talking about here. The memories of buying cases of baseball cards with my brother, hoping that they were all filled with Wade Boggs, Jim Rice and yes… Bill Buckner. Going to Fenway with my family all those years, and continually going back to soak up the history. It didn’t matter that they never won it all — heck, it’s fun to root for the underdog. But this year, it all seemed like it was the right time for Boston to win. An unforgettable eight consecutive victories.
Now what do we do? First: sleep.

A Pile of Pennies

Two co-workers of my wife had made a bet before Wednesday night’s amazing game. The bet was $5, and it was paid from one Yankee fan to one Red Sox fan promptly on Thursday morning… in pennies. Not rolled, mind you — but in a large pile. If that doesn’t sum up the severity of this rivalry, I don’t know what does.
It’s been two days, yet I still can’t believe that the Red Sox will be facing the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. Here it is, getting cold up here in Boston — and I have to admit it doesn’t feel right that baseball is still being played. Like other fans, I attribute this to a “biological baseball clock” that, for my entire 30-year life (save 1986), has been trained to shut down regarding anything Red Sox related by mid-October. This year, it just feels odd. We’ve beaten the Yankees, and after that gigantic victory, there’s still four more games to be won. And it won’t be easy.
For now, it’s all about savouring the moment. Reversing the memories of last year, when the World Series logo had to be removed from behind home plate at Fenway after it had been prematurely painted before Game 7. And hearing about how the carts of champagne were wheeled down the hall to the Red Sox clubhouse, only to be turned around and wheeled to the Yankees clubhouse after the lead was squaundered in the 8th inning. This year, it’s all different.
I’ll close with a question regarding Pedro Martinez going into Game 7 on Wednesday in the 7th inning. Did this have anything to do with retribution for last year? Here is the guy that was on the mound in the same situation when the game was essentially lost. He had to have wanted to be out there for the rematch. It unfortunately gave the Yankees and fans their only momentum of the game — but I have to wonder if part of him going out there had anything to do with last year.

What If?

Today is a good a day as any to post an entry in honor of our beloved Red Sox. I’ve been afraid to mention it here up until this point. And here we go again: Game 7. In NY. World Series on the line. It just doesn’t get any better than this, and it’s safe to say that SimpleBits headquarters has been entirely consumed by all of this for the past week.

sox capLike any Sox fan, I relate the greatest comeback in baseball history directly to what I was wearing on those game days, the spot on the couch I was sitting, the brand of beer, and so on. We all know that these factors mean something. We can only hope that the ghost of Babe Ruth is tired tonight — tired of spoiling his former team’s 86 year-old goal.

Regardless of the outcome of tonights game, it’s been an incredble ride — one that few will forget that follow American baseball. Go Sox.

Update: Holy crap! Absolutely amazing.

Lance Fever

I’ll admit it. I’ve caught the bug. Le Tour de France bug that is. My wife has been into cycling for years, even competing in triathlons. And now, I’m finally addicted, soaking up all the details on Lance Armstrong’s bid to win 6 straight.

I don’t even have a bike. Well, I have a mountain bike–but I might as well be pedaling with cinder blocks dragging behind. And even the knobby-tired beast hasn’t seen the top of the basement stairs yet this year.

Next year. I’ll get a real bike. One with curvy handlebars and pedals that you can only use with special shoes. I’ll wear lycra from head to toe, and I’ll carry liquid protein in a pack that sits on my lower back while I power through miles of self-propelled movement. I went straight from BMX to Mountain, skipping the lighter, faster Road bike all these years.

Last year, and now this year, watching Lance in amazement–hearing the commentators refer to cyclists going on an “attack” (I love this… attacking on a bike!)–the strategy and preparation that’s involved to win a bicycle race is fascinating. And I’m beginning to realize that part of the fascination with the Tour (cool people call it this), is the time difference here in the states. Wondering whether you’ll catch a live stage, a wrap-up or just read about it online. The damn thing is so long. There is endless coverage, but yet it’s not always that easy to know exactly what’s happening or who’s winning right now.

Yes, next year I’ll get a real bike.

Update: Lance has won, and as suggested in the comments–next year is too far away. A road bike has been purchased. More on this to come.

Twice in Three Years

Champions

OK, now I’ve forgotten all about the Red Sox of last October. Winning the Super Bowl twice in three years? This sort of stuff just doesn’t happen to New England sports fans. Or I guess it does now.

Carolina played a great game — the best we’ve seen all year, but seeing Adam Vinatieri’s field goal go through the uprights with 4 seconds left was unimaginable. It happened again.

The big news of course though, was Janet Jackson’s bare-breasting, which happened so fast, that I missed it. Evidence and careful investigation suggests that Miss Jackson and Timberlake knew exactly what they were doing.

Back to the Patriots though. I would say “Go Pats”! — but they’re already gone. An unbelievable team.