A couple of my best friends were among the men who created Rotisserie League Baseball back in the early 80s. Long story short, they never cashed in on their invention and what’s now known as “fantasy” sports is said to be a $4 billion business in the U.S. To be honest, I don’t know anything about fantasy sports. It would be fair to call me a “hater.” While I know not every fantasy player claims to be an expert when it comes to sports reality, enough of them have rubbed me the wrong way to help me form a strong opinion. That said, today I have officially entered the fray, having entered a Major League Soccer fantasy league that kicks off at 3 p.m. I’m sure I don’t have the passion necessary to excel at a game based on number-crunching, but I’m in. I’m calling myself the 50-year old virgin.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it 1,000 times. “You’ve got to re-invent yourself.” And so I’m trying, though I’m convinced it’s just a sales pitch. It’s not that I don’t realize times have changed, and many of us who once earned a living as journalists, are now being forced into different roles. It’s just that I don’t think enough people realize that we journalists spend most days re-inventing ourselves. It’s part of the job. Here’s a subject and here’s a deadline. Acquaint yourself with it and write confidently about it in the next hour. Every day is a new class complete with research, analysis, fact-finding, and then communicating. I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone lately, trying to explain to people why I’m equipped to do a job that’s not on my resume. They say, “So you’re trying to re-invent yourself.” And I say, “Always.”
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I wonder how many others there are, out there like me? How many others ashamed to admit they've kept a secret? Afraid to admit that, for a long time, they were homophobic? I don't even know if "homophobic" is the right word, honestly. "Dumbass" is more like it. Good news is I believe I'm a changed man. At least, less ignorant. Because, as more gay people have stepped out and told me who they are, I've learned that I've had gay friends even when I didn't know it. That I've gotten incredible advice from gay co-workers. That, while I've had bad experiences with gay people, I've had far more bad experiences with straight people, which means their sexuality had nothing to do with it. So, I’m ashamed of my past – and embarrassed – but want to thank those who've come out and slapped a little sense into this dumbass.
Monday, March 3, 2014
On my brother Bob's 56th birthday I will write 150 words about what it's like to be his little brother. No one believes me, but I was just as nervous when his Princeton teams played as when his Fire, MetroStars, Chivas, U.S. and Egypt teams played. I can remember, in the early 90s, stopping in the middle of games I was covering to call the Princeton hotline for scores. The feeling of relief when they'd slipped past Cornell or Hartwick. The feeling of despair when they lost. Sometimes I hate being his brother. Like when nut jobs assaulted me on Twitter after the U.S. lost to Mexico in the 2011 Gold Cup. But on the rare occasions in the last 32 years when he hasn't had a team to coach, I've always felt a void. He loves to coach. I love to be the brother of a coach. Happy Birthday.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Happy Birthday, a day late. It was an honor to stand and cheer for the teams you coached. An honor to be a student at the school you represented so proudly. Even though I was never allowed inside a huddle or a team meeting, you were my coach. As you taught your players to respect each other and to respect the opponents, you coached those same ideals into everyone at Carolina. Sure, it may have been frustrating to not wave our arms and jump up and down when opponents shot free throws at Carmichael, because everyone else was doing it. But you didn't care what everyone else was doing. You coached us exactly the way you coached your players. And looking back now, and seeing how things have changed in sports and society in general, I want to tell you how grateful I am to have been coached by you.