Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
2011 Rookie (Golf, 2nd Place)
Fittingly for a Massachusetts-based triathlon, we have a hockey player in the mix. An umbrella-loving, fedora-sporting, cigar-smoking, helmet-choice-challenged hockey player, who is probably like most other hockey players in all those qualities.
Eric was a rookie in 2011, but demonstrated exceptional skills on the golf course and the mountain bike (placed 7th, just five seconds slower than the 18-year-old). Eric also excelled at the prologue stage, the recovery stage, and the post-race stage.
Expectations for 2012
Based on watching other racers handle the rocks in their second triathlon, I am positive Eric’s climbing will be a major improvement over 2011. Better than Ben, Lapham, Shimp, and Otto? Not likely, but 3rd sometimes (not always) goes to the racer who best overcomes expectations. And Eric should improve on the bikes as well — 2 of the 6 people ahead of him last year won’t be eligible to medal this year and 1 will be protecting our chicken-fried freedoms in California. All Eric needs to do is ride faster than McParland and Moeling and he’s on the podium. Hoops…all depends on what his teammates bring…hopefully, for his sake, that will include shooting skills. Of course, his son played travel basketball this winter, so Eric basketball IQ is presumably higher now….
So we’re looking at a maybe rocks and biking medals, a possible 3rd in hoops, but golf is the real wildcard. Eric is likely to be in the final foursome, which will be playing behind McParland, Moeling, Heffernan, and Graf. The other Erics and Otto may not have the zen-like calmness of natural peace and patience to handle the tom-foolery happening in front of them. Eric Marshall has a legit shot at winning at golf – and winning overall, continuing the local streak and reverting back to golfers dominating the ELLT.
Pardon the hiatus. Blame it on the rain. And kid baseball. And work. And life. Without further excuses, this week’s deep smarts:
Start with coffee (and thanks to Eric S for pointing this out): “Viennese coffeehouses, or kaffeehaüser, often stay open from 6 am until midnight, welcoming customers to sit and relax for hours over a ‘wiener mélange’: coffee with steamed milk, topped with milk foam.” I know coffee in Vienna is excellent, but “wiener mélange” just sounds wrong.
Then hit the gym: “Look at the upper cut. Look at the upper cut. Look at the upper cut. Look at the upper cut.” Strongly recommend watching this when the kids aren’t around as the f-bomb drops repeatedly. But once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop (at a minimum, skip to the 2:09 mark…pure fantastic comedy).
While at the gym, catch SportsCenter and recognize how even watching sports has completely changed: “Luckily, Twitter allows us to mock the recycled plots of sports and circumvent talking meatheads. Hallelujah!” Yes, much like bacon, almost everything is better with Twitter.
After working out, reflect on how everything you think you know about sports may be wrong. For example, you know Rajon Rondo is an elite point guard, but a terrible shooter. Then you learn this: “On the other hand, almost everyone should be shocked to see Rajon Rondo in their company. He’s widely known as a woeful jump shooter, and that’s not an unfair assessment overall. But Rondo has a few sweet spots from which he is surprisingly effective, and as you can see in his bleak shot chart below, the area off the right elbow is one of those oases. In this area Rondo shot 56 percent, edging out Ty Lawson and Dirk, each at 53 percent.” Gotta have the graphic for this…
Get serious about the day and think big, important thoughts: “In a world of economic distress, where a globalized economy gradually eclipses any single country’s ability to control its own economic destiny, and when multiracial immigration tears at the cultural identity of nation states, it is utterly predictable that more atavistic strains of nationalism will emerge.”
Then have another cup of coffee and get back to what really matters – sports: “Arsenal’s Yossi Benayoun just scored his third goal in five games, putting Arsene Wenger’s tired, poor, huddled players in front of the Baggies, 1-0. Actually, that’s really robbing West Brom’s second-string keeper, Marton Fulop, of the glory. Fulop was first to a through-ball with Benayoun closing fast. Problem was the ball was just outside his area, so he couldn’t pick it up. And whatever mental gymnastics he had to perform to make that decision prevented him from saying to himself, “I should probably hoof this into outer space.” Benayoun was at the right place at the right time. I’d replace my Powerade with Knob Creek if I were Fullop.”
Wander over from sports to the local paper and read what the village idiot has to say about the Middle East. No, not this idiot, but a different idiot: “How long will this go on? I think it’s safe to say for the foreseeable future. What will happen if Christians continue to leave? As the “60 Minutes” piece pointed out, the part of the Holy Land represented by Christians will become more of a museum than a living community of where Jesus walked. But as a devout Catholic, I must ask the most important question any Christian asks when burdened: “What would Jesus do?” I believe he would say this is the Christians of the Holy Land’s cross to carry because of the lives it saves.” All the restraint I could muster to keep myself from firing off a letter to this thumb-sucker asking him if the Muslim Palestinians should also be thankful for carrying the cross of being walled in because it saves lives.
Before lunch, place your order.
After lunch, consider how much you would have enjoyed working for the Hudson Bay Company back in the day: “…sent trappers sweeping down the Columbia River watershed to exterminate all the beavers they found and harvest their valuable pelts. Without beavers to hunt, the company’s governor reasoned, the United States would have “no inducement to proceed hither.” Within 20 years, the beaver was nearly eradicated from an area the size of France.”
Go back to sports and try to answer this question: “Which cities have met in the most championships, in a single sport?” It’s not Boston and Washington, DC…
Then start the weekend…
I had the pleasure last night of meeting some folks for drinks and dinner at Boston’s Algonquin Club, one of those cool places that I would love to be a member of, if I actually lived in Boston and had a need for a place to take clients and friends and cheats and liars. I am hoping to be invited back for another event, in part so I can check out in detail the David Roberts prints behind the second floor bar. If I ever do open the Ball Bar one day, the only pictures on the wall will be Roberts prints and old Rho bandit composites (borrowed from the house, of course). And the men’s room will have the daily paper stapled to the wall above the urinals. I always stay for an extra round in a place that has the courtesy to provide you a little light reading. And speaking of light reading:
Eric Shimp’s daily walking wide-awake nightmare (and happy birthday to his oldest): Is there anything more flummoxing for the father of a daughter than attempting to help them with their hair? It seems so simplistic and yet we arrive at this position with virtually no training. Every time that I have to hurriedly do my daughter’s hair on her way out for school, she ends up looking like: a) Nick Nolte’s mugshot, or b) Every kid that has ever been shown in the background on Cops during a meth house bust. Even putting in a barrette is beyond my capabilities.
Eric Lapham’s musical nightmare: “Long gone from ol’ Kentucky, long gone, ain’t I lucky”…yeah, this song will get under your ears in a good way.
Eric Marshall’s social media nightmare (because this may suck him into Twitter): World War Two tweets from 1939…seriously, this is one of the reasons I am on Twitter, for stuff like this: Finnish children now arriving in Sweden, after being evacuated from Helsinki & other cities threatened by Soviet bombs
Speaking of Soviets and because Eric Shimp is in Geneva ushering the Soviets into the WTO: Russia, once one of the great centers of Western literature and music–the land of Turgenev and Tchaikovsky–looks increasingly like Nigeria with snow.
Eric Shimp’s basketball nightmare (that I may develop a shot like this): His step-backs hardly ever even required a fadeaway because he sold the first few steps of the drive so convincingly. The best basketball moves take on something like a personality. Hardaway’s crossover was a happy little trick. Jordan’s turnaround was imperious and taunting. Roy’s step-back combined a little of both.
Finally, an Eric-free combination of hoops and food (providing insight on being a team): you don’t just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know?