Posts Tagged ‘Sports’
Anyone who is considering a subscription to MLB.tv I would recommend it. Especially for someone who is a fan of a team that is not located in their area. I recently purchased this service and am very pleased. It has high-definition quality and the best part is I can watch my team from Pittsburgh for almost every game despite living in the Atlanta market. This year there are 4 blackout dates due to being nationally/regionally televised. When that happens I do not get that game but some other game since I am not in the Pittsburgh market. Four dates out of 162 is not bad. It is much better than zero out of 162. I can also watch any other game that does not involve the Atlanta Braves. If I want to see the Braves they are televised in the Atlanta market on regular TV. The best part is it only costs about $10 per month. For me it is the best $10 I have spent in a long time.
In addition to watching live you can start watching the game at the beginning if you missed the first pitch and can watch any game throughout the year since they are archived. You also have the flexibility to watch across different platforms with no additional charge. The $10 per month includes watching on a smart TV, tablet, smart phone or computer. I have already spent several nights falling asleep to the sounds of Vin Scully calling a Dodger game in his most eloquent style while listening on my iPad.
So far this year it has been awesome watching the Pirates, as they play remarkably well this year. I have stuck with them since their last winning season and it would be fantastic to see them pull out of their historic nosedive and make the playoffs or at least have a winning record. Perhaps I could have purchased this product 11 years ago when it first came out and the streak would have ended then? I don’t even want to think about that.
Have a great week by catching a game involving your favorite team on MLB.tv
I enjoy watching football but my enjoyment has been diminishing as the lack of defense has become ridiculous. Much of this has been a result of rules by the league in an attempt to increase scoring and popularity of the game. This may be working but I am losing interest and someday soon may not bother to tune in on Sunday afternoons. The college game is also trending in the same direct as the pros. I can’t tell you how many games there were that were higher scoring than most college basketball games.
Football has a better grasp on the business side of the game than baseball without a doubt. As bad as the product is on the field in football, baseball is equally bad at handling the off field part of the game. The economics of baseball threatens the continued existence of baseball as we now know it. Now that the steroid era has hopefully come and gone we can begin to enjoy the game without the video game home run numbers.
I created a short list of reasons why I like baseball more than football and have them presented below for your review:
Football decided it had a need for a taunting penalty. Think about that for a minute. Millionaires who play a kids game need to have a deterrent so they will not taunt one another.
There is also an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration. Baseball has a tradition that if you have an excessive celebration after a home run the next batter will get a fastball in his ribs. There are not too many excessive celebrations after home runs and I like it that way.
Note: I have a very hard time forgiving baseball for having the Designated Hitter rule. They compounded the problem by not having it in both leagues.
The best summary of the differences between baseball and football and highlighting why baseball is a more likeable game can be found in a classic stand-up comedy routine by George Carlin. (It is also G-rated.) Read the text here.
Have a great week, baseball season is off and running!
It is that time of year again, time for March Madness. I spoke about this last year by describing a typical night at my house while the tournament was on. Read that post here. This year the Madness begins on March 19th and the finals are on April 8th in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. I live in the Atlanta area but will not on attend the event but welcome the economic impact on the metro Atlanta area. To read more about the tournament click here.
This year I am eagerly awaiting the tip-off since I will be watching the games in “glorious High Def” on my fancy new smart TV. I wonder if the high def will make my alma mater look any better or will they disappoint again? They have been a top three seed 7 times over the past ten years but have failed to close the deal. Read all about the University of Pittsburgh’s March Madness woes here.
Over the next two weeks I will be practicing my 3 point shot by tossing crumpled paper into my waste basket from 5 feet away. I hope you can begin your preparation soon as well. Have a great week working on your game.
As I write this on January 14, 2013; the NFL is just under 3 weeks from crowning its champion. This year it is Super Bowl XLVII. In case you do not know your Roman Numerals that is 47. I wonder do they still spend a day or two in third grade to go over this concept from thousands of years ago, if so, why? I wonder when I was watching Super Bowl VI if it was necessary then for me to know Roman Numerals? If it is still taught today, maybe it should be taught in history class instead of math class.
Super Bowl VI was played on January 16th 1972 at Tulane Stadium and pitted the Dallas Cowboys against the upstart Miami Dolphins. I call them the upstart Dolphins because they were an expansion team from the mid 1960’s and went on to have a perfect season by winning all seventeen of their games the following year. Dallas won Super Bowl VI by XXI points, XXIV to III. OK, I admit I am just being a little annoying but I think I proved my point.
I wonder if it is time to stop the Roman Numeral era as it relates to the NFL? Perhaps they will call it quits at L? I really can’t think of much usage for Roman Numerals other than time pieces and Led Zeppelin albums and I am pretty sure there won’t be any more of those released soon.
Have a great week. It should be; since it will be another year before you have to give much thought to Roman Numerals.
Every once In a while you get a pleasant surprise that helps motivate you and today (as I am writing this) that happened to me and of course I had to write about it. I was at a business function and the lunch speaker was very entertaining and spoke about the key to winning versus losing was the ability to recover from adversity. Another very simple thing that he said was to get up with the attitude of winning today not just treading water or holding on.
That was the one thing that really hit home for me. It made me think that if my attitude was telling me to be happy to just make it through the day then I was probably going to meet that goal. Why should I be happy with that as a goal? The fact is I should not be. If you set your sights on an achievable goal you are sure to hit it but how will that make you a winner?
The message I am sending is aim high and if you miss the mark you will be better off than treading water. This is very simple but sometimes simple things make all the difference. We all get stuck in ruts but if we can develop a habit of getting out of bed thinking like an athlete striving for a win then we will lift our performance to higher level. If we are just a fraction of a percentage better every day then over the long haul we will be far better. Going for the gold we may have to settle for silver or bronze but that is better than being happy by just being in the race.
Go out and win one today. Not for the Gipper but for yourself. Have a winning week.
A – Autumn. In Georgia the month begins with an average high in the upper 60’s and ends in the upper 50’s. It is a nice break from the heat of the summer and with the daylight savings time ending, it provides down time to recover from a long bicycle riding season.
B – Butternut squash. Add some maple syrup and it is a nice treat. Click here for a recipe
C – Cocoa, hot with marshmallow for extra creamy flavor. Cooler temperatures call for drastic measures I guess.
D – Donuts and hot apple cider, a winning combination.
E – Election day, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (it can never be November 1st). Then the ads are over!
F – Football. College football rivalry weeks are usually at the end of the month and the professionals are heading for the playoff run.
G – Golden sunsets with your sweetie nestled close to you to keep warm in the cool, crisp air.
H – Humor – see “U”
I – Ibuprofen to ease the pain of going on that bike ride for the first time in a while during a warm spell.
J – Jumping into a big pile of leaves especially when I was younger.
K – Kissing your spouse after watching a Golden Sunset.
L – Lying on the couch with the fireplace roaring after some donuts and hot apple cider.
M – Mom’s cooking (any month of the year)
N – Napping without a care in the world after turkey overload.
O – Omeprazole, the drug for acid reflux that comes in handy when you overdo the turkey and trimmings.
P – Pecan pie instead of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Pecan pie is my favorite.
Q – Quiet morning reflection as steam rises from the pond behind my house.
R – Roast turkey at 350 degrees for 2 hours and 15 minutes, less with a convection oven. Read my post about convection ovens here.
S – Saturday afternoons on my bike when a warm spell comes for a welcomed visit.
T – Turkey and Thanksgiving.
U – Uncontrollable laughing that inevitably breaks out at family gatherings from someone cracking wise.
V – Vegetables drowning in high fat gravy or butter.
W – Wispy cirrus clouds floating in the crisp blue sky which makes a perfect canvas for the remaining fall foliage (in Georgia)
X – Xylophones in marching bands during halftime of those Thanksgiving Day football games.
Z – Zebras (NFL referees) making bad calls and still blowing it after watching the replay “under the hood”. It provides comic relief.
Have a great week, a week in November.
We are just past the half way mark of summer and today begins the NFL season with the opening of training camp for returning veterans by the Arizona Cardinals. The preseason begins on August 5th at 8 PM with the kickoff of the Hall of Fame game featuring the Cardinals and the Saints. Despite almost no starters participating in most preseason games you can still expect to pay full price for the tickets. The regular football season kicks off on Wednesday September 5th with the Giants playing against the Cowboys in New York. See the first week schedule here.
I don’t know about you, but I am not ready to think about football until the weather gets a little cooler and the leaves turn brown. I am too interested in the baseball division races and the World Series after that. I will get mildly interested in watching the games in November, until then I am not too excited. I am in the minority though as the NFL is the most popular sport in the United States. That is fine by me, I prefer to enjoy my baseball without regard to what the “in crowd” is doing. For those of you that are in the majority, you may want to know that the Super Bowl will be played on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans. Get your party plans in high gear, it will be here sooner than you can imagine.
To make your party a hit, you need to have some good food to go with the blocking and tackling. Have no fear, I have a good recipe for you – Chipotle Pork Tacos:
I got this about 4 years go from my sister and I served it at my 2009 Super Bowl party and it went over well. I suggest you try it out this fall and tweak it as you see fit and then roll it out for the 2013 Super Bowl. She suggests to serve it with queso blanco crumbled cheese, shredded lettuce and sour cream and that works for me.
- 6 cups water
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut in 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cider vinegar, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 -(8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped and mashed with a fork
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 12-16 soft corn tortillas
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Place 6 cups water in Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pork, the sliced onion, 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and salt. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 1-1/2 hours. Remove pork with slotted spoon and cool slightly; reserve 1 cup cooking water. Shred pork with 2 forks and set aside.
- Place a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, add oil and chopped onion and cook 3 minutes; add garlic and cook 15 seconds. Add tomato sauce, chipotles, cumin, remaining 1 tablespoon of the vinegar. shredded pork and 1 cup cooking water. Cook 1 to 2 minutes to heat thoroughly. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes to absorb flavors. Place about 1/4 cup pork mixture inside a tortilla and enjoy.
Have a great week.
The summer Olympics open on July 27th this year in London. This will be the 11th summer games that I can remember beginning with the 1972 games in Munich. Oddly, the 1972 and 1976 games are the ones I remember most even though they were so long ago. It is probably because I watched so much of the coverage. In the later years I was working or had better things (in my opinion) to do.
My memories of the competition from 1972 were mostly Mark Spitz winning all that gold and Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut winning the hearts of the world. I also remember the US basket ball team losing to the soviets but only from the commentary as I did not watch the game. I was and still am not a big basketball fan. Away from the competition the games were marred by a terrorist hostage situation that led to the deaths of 11 Israeli’s. The games were halted as I recall but eventually continued to conclusion.
In 1976 my memories were of Bruce Jenner, Sugar Ray Leonard and much of the boxing team doing very well. I also recall Nadia Comaneci with her perfect 10 scores in gymnastics. After the 1976 Olympics we boycotted the 1980 games in Moscow and the Soviets and eastern bloc countries returned the favor when it was held in 1984 in Los Angeles. Why was it that I lost interest? In 1984 (and 1988) Roger Kingdom from my Alma Mater, the University of Pittsburgh, won the gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles. I also have vague memories of Carl Lewis who won gold medals from 1984 to 1996. I also remember Edwin Moses who won gold in 1976 and 1984 and a bronze in 1988 in the 400 meter hurdles at the ripe old age of 33. Moses won 107 consecutive finals form 1977-1987 that is dominating your sport if I ever hear of it. My most recent memories that come to mind are the 2008 Beijing games in which Michael Phelps managed to win 8 gold medals(presumably between hits on a bong).
Despite all the controversy and politics that surround the Olympics I will probably make a point to watch a little bit as long as there are no baseball games for me to watch. Have a great week and get ready for the London games.
The last time I wrote about a day in history it was January 24, 1935 and it was the day that beer first became available in a can. Read about that big day here. Today in history, another big beverage day occurred-“New” Coke was launched. I have highlighted some of the events below. To read the full list click here.
- 2011 In England, the guest list for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is released
- 1997 “Titanic,” opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater New York City
- 1996 Sotherby begins 4 day auction of Jackie Onassis things nets $34.5 million
- 1992 McDonald’s opens its 1st fast-food restaurant in China
- 1991 U.S.S.R. grants republics right to secede under certain conditions
- 1989 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar plays his last game as a Laker
- 1989 Nolan Ryan blows a no hitter in 9th inning
- 1985 Coca-Cola announced it is changing its secret flavor formula
- 1984 AIDS-virus identified, acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- 1978 Reds Joe Morgan ends record streak of 91 cons errorless games at 2nd
- 1972 Apollo 16 astronauts explores Moon surface
- 1969 Los Angeles Laker Jerry West scores 53 points
- 1962 1st U.S. satellite to reach the moon launched
- 1958 Gil Hodges hits his 300th home run and Pee Wee Reese plays in 2,000th game
- 1956 U.S. Supreme Court ends race segregation on buses
- 1954 Hammerin’ Hank Aaron hits 1st of his 755 homers
- 1950 4th NBA Championship: Minnesota Lakers beat Syracuse Nationals, 4 games to 2
- 1939 Boston Red Sox Ted Williams hits his 1st home run
- 1900 1st know occurrence of word “hillbillie” (New York Journal)
- 1896 Vitascope system of movie projection 1st demonstrated (New York City)
- 1881 Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera “Patience” produced in London
- 1867 Queen Victoria and Napoleon III turn down plans for a channel tunnel
- 1851 Canada issues its 1st postage stamps
- 1789 President-elect George Washington moves into Franklin House, New York
Granted my list is heavily loaded with sports trivia but I find it interesting that Ted Williams and Hank Aaron both hit the first home run of their respective major league careers on April 23rd though 15 years apart. Ted Williams was arguably the best hitter in baseball and Hank Aaron is the Home run king*. Between them they hit 1,276 home runs. That’s a lot of dingers!
Despite many historically significant happenings on the list, I think the most notable is the change to the secret formula of coca-cola. If not the launch of “New Coke” as most historically significant then the first known use of the word hillbillie gets my vote.
Have a great week armed with lots of valuable information from the events occurring on April 23rd in history.
*Reportedly someone else hit more home runs but I prefer to not acknowledge that cheating cheater in my baseball world.
I have some business lessons to share from two recent events that occurred in my life. Perhaps you will find some value from my misadventure. The two events are unrelated but occurred within 10 days of each other and have stuck in my craw.
On March 17th and 18th I went to 4 different McDonalds restaurants for a Shamrock shake and was unable to get one for various reasons ranging from a broken milk shake machine(this at a store less than 3 months old) , ran out of mix and never were a participant in the seasonal offering. Needless to say I was frustrated by the situation. I think we need to take note of this failure and learn from it.
First and foremost we need to be able to adequately stock our shelves so we have product to sell. I can’t imagine how a company like McDonalds could allow this type of inventory ordering gaffe to occur. Let me point out that I did not buy anything from McDonalds on those days that they were out of Shamrock shakes. Most people have already formed an opinion of McDonalds and if this happened sporadically throughout the country it probably will not hurt their image or future earnings potential. If this happens on a recurring basis it might signal a problem to people so the free pass does not exist forever – even for the Golden Arches. How much goodwill do you have built up? Do you have more than McDonalds? Do you get a free pass from your customers when you fail? My advice is to do everything in your power to not have to depend on your goodwill. Stated another way; don’t make this mistake in the first place. This failure is shocking because it is at the core of their business.
The second bad customer experience I had was with a technology/electronics company with 23 locations in 16 states. They had an offer for a coupon for $15 off any item in the store and it could be $15 off a $15 item. This sounded really good so I decided to take the trip a little out of my way and get 2 flash drives for about $16 after using the coupon I would only pay $1 and life would be good. I was a little leery of the promotion so before I started my purchase I asked an associate and he said that I did understand the coupon correctly. WRONG! I went up to the counter to pay for my 2 flash drives and was told that the item had to be $15 individually not more than 1 item adding to $15 or more. That was very inconvenient and I was in a bit of a hurry so now I had to decide what I was going to purchase that cost over $15. Of course I actually had to want or need the product for the transaction to make any sense. As I rushed around I could not believe that a store with thousands of products could have so few that I wanted that fit the constraints of the coupon. I finally ended up buying a battery charger that came with 4 AA batteries that cost 14.99 plus tax. I left the store somewhat satisfied but after I got home and had time to think about it, I really did not want or need the batteries and I did not get what I really wanted – the flash drives. The lesson to be learned in this instance is never turn a good thing into a bad thing. So many times a company will try to do something nice for its employees or customers and it backfires. This is one of the worst things that you can do because an expectation is created and then is not met. Not only is it not met but you feel worse about the company than you would have if it did nothing at all. It is a lot like a pass into the end zone being intercepted by the other team and returned 100 yards for a touchdown – very deflating. Many people call that a game changer. Watch what I am talking about here.
Yes, I finally did get my Shamrock shake but I had to go out of state to get it. Have a great week and beware of the Shamrock Shake Incident and other game changers.