Tag Archives: postaday2011

The RANGERS matter a lot in Dallas Tonight

28 Oct

As someone who spent the majority of his life in Dallas and grew up enamoured with our professional sports franchises, tonight means a lot.  The Texas Rangers are in the World Series again and they actually have a chance to win it.  Granted, it doesn’t look great after the meltdown last night, but they have a chance and that’s all we can ask for.

The thing is if the Rangers win, that gives us TWO of the THREE major championships this year and puts extra pressure on the Cowboys to complete the Trifecta.  The Mavericks shocked and delighted the world when Dirk led them to a Championship this summer over LeBron and the Dream Team in Miami.  And that’s why tonight’s game is important.  I’m not a Rangers fan and I really don’t care if the Rangers lose tonight.  I followed the “professional” franchises we had in Dallas when I was growing up and by that I mean the Cowboys and, occasionally, the Mavericks.  The Rangers eventually got a beautiful ballpark which meant that I went to plenty of games, but I never really cared if they won or lost.  Neither did most of the crowd.  We went for the atmosphere, the food, and the homeruns.  Oh, and to see Rusty Greer make a play.

Every season as July rolls around, those that are even remotely curious about the Rangers, change their focus to the behemoth that is the Cowboys.  They are our team.  The Rangers so rarely mattered past July 1st and the Cowboys were in training camp, that we had better things to do.  Like last night.  I had better things to do.  I was playing a new video game and flipped over to watch an inning here or there between matches.  I was hoping for a win and Josh Hamilton sure made it interesting in the 10th, but it was only because I’m passionate about the Cowboys.

If the Rangers win tonight, the heat is on the Cowboys.  Jerry Jones puts pressure on the ‘Boys daily.  That Star on the helmet puts pressure on the team daily.  The fans are always ready to apply pressure and worship winners, but the pressure to win from all sides is going to increase exponentially if the lowly Texas Rangers bring a Championship home to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.  If the Mavericks and Rangers both have 2011 rings and the Cowboys finish the 2011-2012 season without one, Jerry and the Team will hear the chanting loud and clear.  They’re the supposed Championship Team in town.  They have the pedigree.  They last won a Championship in 1996.  That’s 15 freaking years ago.  It’s about time for a turnaround.

That’s why this Rangers’ win couldn’t come at a better time.  A World Series Banner may just give the Cowboys the extra shot in the arm they need as they head to Philadelphia this weekend.  The Iggles.  Our rivals.  Nevermind all that national crap about the Cowboys and Redskins, it’s the Cowboys and the Iggles.  No other rivalry even comes close.  It’s not in the Win-Loss column as Dallas has a slight advantage there (56-44 according to Wikipedia).  It’s not the Championships between the two teams (Dallas with FIVE and I think Philly has a number north of Negative One).  It’s the attitude and the animosity.

It is strange that we have Buddy Ryan’s kid on the Cowboys sideline now.  Buddy’s defenses were scary good and we still hold a grudges for the Bounty Bowls.  It really is the defense that stands out when I think of the Eagles.  Sure, whoever is running the ball for the green always seems to get loose against the Cowboys, but their defense ended Michael Irvin’s career and certainly shortened Troy Aikman’s.  Great feeling is that now, like the early to mid-nineties, the Cowboys defense is better than the Iggles and intimidates opponents more.

Reflecting on recent Cowboys-Iggles History, I’m reminded of the ending to the 2009-2010 season.  The back to back Eagles losses that ended McNabb’s days in Philly.  I’m looking forward to DeMarcus Ware introducing himself to Michael Vick’s fragile and frail figure a few times Sunday night.  Perhaps a brutal body slam or two by the beast known as Anthony Spencer.  Those two alone should have Vick sleeping restless tonight.  Plus with Sean Lee roving the middle and a Secondary that’s finally healthy, Rob Ryan could bring pressure for almost anywhere.

I guess I could devote time to Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Miles Austin, and our possible emerging star in DeMarco Murray, but none of them really strike fear in the hearts of Iggles’ fans.  You know Romo can light it up, but he can also toss horrible interceptions.  Witten is a thorn in the side of any defense, but he rarely breaks a game open.  Miles Austin is a threat at any time to post a big score, but this season has not seen the kind of results we expect from the Pro Bowl receiver.  Murray could be a one hit wonder.  His game versus the Rams last week was brilliant, but it was the Rams.  No, the one guy that deserves a mention from the offense is Dez Bryant.  He is deserving of the honor of wearing 88 in Dallas.  He’s kind of like that little annoying receiver the Iggles have.

Dez Bryant is like DeSean Jackson in that he is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.  He has the moves and the breakaway speed that make defenses and special teams worry constantly.  The biggest difference between Jackson and Bryant is that Bryant can break any tackle.  Sometimes it works against him, because he takes more hits than he needs to, but he’s the player that makes the Cowboys offense look threatening.  He’s a young player and not consistent enough yet, but he’s going to have a breakout game this season and I think this weekend just might be it.

Go Rangers and put the pressure on My Cowboys for Sunday night!  It’s gonna be fun.

Random Acts of Machismo

27 Oct

Last night en route to a little gathering, I witnessed a number of men come to the aid of another for what has the appearance of kindness, but I know is “machismo” in action.  A car stalled half a block from the gas station and was blocking one lane.  If that was all, no one would run to help the stuck man.  It’s not that people aren’t helpful, but we all know that you can call a tow truck or, if necessary, push the car a half block on your own.  Pushing a car on flat land isn’t that difficult once you get it moving.

The problem here is that the car stalled on a hill and yes, the guy was trying to push his car up said hill.  He was making it move a little, but it was a struggle.  From all points, north, south, east, and west men came running.  Six guys got behind that car and through brute strength muscled it the 250 feet up hill to the gas pump.  It was quite a feat to behold and very kind of all the men to help, but it was machismo and not their heart that moved them.

Machismo is defined as an exaggerated sense of strength or toughness and I have to say any time I know for me, if I present myself as physically strong or tough, it’s probably an exaggeration.  You couldn’t ask for a better circumstance for men to flex their muscles and prove they were MEN.  We know that we can’t get that car up the hill on our own, but with one or two other guy’s help we certainly can and in our minds, we’re doing the work.  There is a sense of teamwork that’s appealing, but I  guarantee every one of those guys relived that moment last night with some friends, family, or maybe just in their head, and celebrated their machismo.

Helping someone push a car is great for displaying a little machismo, but I find I do a little of it every day.  I have a family.  Three little women in my life.  My beloved wife and two baby girls.  It is my job to protect them and though I would lay down my life for any of the three at any moment, I don’t usually have to go to those lengths on a day-to-day basis.  Typically, I have to walk on the outside of my group of gals to put myself between any passing vehicles and my precious damsels.  I also happily respond to bumps in the night, or 2am knocks at the door, with dog at my side.  Nevermind that the dog is a girl too, we’re both displaying a little machismo.

So, when you’re wondering what you can do for the man in your life, maybe give him a chance to revel in a little machismo.  That jar just a little too tight to untwist?  We’d be happy to take care of it.  Can’t move a box full of books?  We’re on it.  Looking to vacuum under the sofa and want it lifted?  Hercules is ready to help.  Need the trash taken out?  Well, we’ll get to that later.

Traveling in the Age of the Net

26 Oct

“You don’t have to know anything anymore” exclaimed my brother this past Saturday as he asked his phone a question and quickly had a string of websites to read with correct answers.  Never mind that he knew the correct answer and without a basis of education, you will be quickly led astray on our world-wide web.  That being said, I spend a lot of my time researching on the internet and you learn quickly the language of veracity.  Some websites and authors are trustworthy, others are paid or looking for retribution for a wrong.

I absolutely love using the net for travel research.  No longer do you have to pick a destination, a hotel, a flight, a restuarant, or a particular drive on a little guesswork and that two-line review in the AAA guide.

“Yay, the hotel has a swimming pool and HBO!”

That was about the extent of the reviews available to you twenty years ago.  Now with sites like Tripadvisor I can easily find out that the pool has four slides, but the height requirement on all of them is 40″ and my two-year old couldn’t ride.  There are two pools with one heated and the other one closing annually on November 1st for the winter.  There are three restaurants across the street and I can easily read reviews on all of those places.  Plus, a major grocery store is within walking distance with a RedBox so I can cheaply rent movies while I’m there.  I can also read that the hotel is getting a remodel and when checking in, I need to ask for a renovated room so I’m guaranteed a 42″ HD TV and a DVD player.

Road trips are no longer a mystery either.  I remember taking family trips where we ventured randomly from one city to the next on no particular route, just seeking out each specific destination.  It was fun and rewarding, but all you really had was word of mouth reviews on where to go and what route to take.

I had my first significant road trip a few years ago with a drive to Lake Tahoe.  I tried asking around and seeking friends and strangers’ advice on whether to take the 395 or the 5 up from San Diego.  Generally with mixed reviews, most were in favor of taking the 5 and not getting stuck on the 395 with our newborn.

Thank God for the Road Trip America forum.  With the conversations and information in the forum, I chose the more difficult route up the 395 with suggestions for a great places to stop plus advice from hundreds of parents on tips for traveling with little ones.  Although the ride up the 5 was faster, the ride up the 395 in April, just as the snow on the mountain tops melted, meant that not only was the route unbelievably gorgeous, we had rushing rapids right next to the highway for several hours during our last leg of the drive.  It was beautiful and a great road trip, because I went into it prepared.

I think, in the end, that’s my favorite thing about the internet and travel.  I can go prepared.  There’s still adventure in trying new things and new places and I don’t seek out reviews and research on every place we stop, but gathering info on at least 50% of our activities ensures an enjoyable trip.

Right now I’m planning and preparing for a trip to Las Vegas with two little girls.  Most people would think that a waste of time and money, but with a little research you find out which places to avoid (the Bellagio pretty much hates strollers and may bar you from entering), there’s beautiful places for day trips and hiking (Red Rock West, and oh yeah, The Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam), and where the best playgrounds are in the city.  I’m going to go prepared and it’s all because I have the wealth of knowledge and experience at my fingertips.  I love living and traveling in the age of the net.

The CNN.com Comment Section and My Addiction

25 Oct

Hi, my name is Ryan and I have a problem.  I cannot stop reading the comments at the end of any article I find on CNN.com.  I don’t know why I do it or exactly what my sick obsession is, but I believe it has something to do with keeping myself aware of how disturbed and sad people behave at times.

The two things that stand out the most in the comments are one, their political affiliation so overwhelms their life that a story on any random news event solicits an “It’s all Obama’s fault” reaction or “Bush created this mess!”  The second is the complete disregard for human decency.    That’s the biggest one.

After reading some of the horrific things people post, I’m struggle with wondering if there is such a thing as human decency.  You’ll read an unbelievably sad story about a kid that’s been kept in a cage all his life and died without ceremony because of a lack of personal contact and food, and the first comment says he probably deserved everything he got.  CNN.com will lead with stories of abduction and people show absolutely no regard for any of the family members as they put forth their dark ideas of what probably happen to the child.  It’s sickening.

And yet I still read the comments.

Maybe I’m searching for material to write about.  Perhaps I examine the sick comments in the hopes that I’ll find the deep, thoughtful, and genuinely insightful analysis that the article was lacking.  I have to believe that for all the demented people out there that post sick and disturbed thoughts in the Comments section, there are plenty that are kind and caring individuals who don’t want to post.

The good news, for me, is that I trust that though people explore their darker side on the internet, they are still good at heart.   Even if their words and actions show otherwise, I have to trust that a person, at their core, is good.  There are certainly exceptions to every rule, but even a villain is the hero of their own story and believes they are doing right through whatever flawed logic they are embracing.  So are they demented people in this world posting on the internet?  Yes.  Do I think most of them are as dark and disturbed as their words suggest?  Nope.

They do, however, give me plenty of ideas for my next short story, screenplay, or novel.

ESPN on the Xbox Doesn’t Make Any Sense

24 Oct

I get that Microsoft is trying to make the Xbox 360 and whatever the Next Generation Console will be, the center to our entertainment, but ESPN on the Xbox simply doesn’t make any sense.  The most glaring and obvious problem is that most people who have the ESPN feature activated on their Xbox already have ESPN via cable.  I have ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, and ESPNU, so do I really need more ESPN?

Secondly, though I know there are people out there without cable or satellite who just use Hulu, Netflix, and media streaming boxes like the Xbox for their video entertainment, but even there I think it fails.  Though I find the lack of 5.1 audio on the HD videos a real problem for Hulu Plus and Netflix, the Xbox is a worthwhile delivery system for that content.  Comparitively, the ESPN tool definitely ranks below Netflix and has about the same crappy level of interface that Hulu Plus does with significantly less content.

The interface is a big problem.  It’s so clunky and appears completely disorganized, that even if there is good content there, I haven’t found it.  I think that’s the biggest issue.  We have a desire to watch movies and tv shows on a larger screen than our laptop and to share the experience with family or friends.  Sports highlight, which is what it appears 99% of the content on ESPN on Xbox is, isn’t something I really need to share with anyone else or watch on my 50″ TV.  Besides, if you stream that “HD” content, you’ll possibly become nauseated by the jittery delivery of the video.  If I want to share it, I’m probably going to find the highlights online and post the link to Facebook or Twitter and therein lies the largest problem.

Sure, most of us have ESPN, but even if we don’t, we have the internet for seeking out highlights, scores, and news in a much more efficient manner that yields far better results.  GOOGLE beats my Xbox every time when trying to find something, unless it’s playing the video games loaded on the hard drive.

The day that ESPN starts streaming live games via the Xbox (maybe they already do, but I’ve never found any) and then gets the picture quality to look better than plugging my laptop into my TV, I’ll be interested.  Until then, I’ll stick with cable, my laptop, and my cell phone for my sports updates.  Thanks for trying though.

Revis Situation About Ego and Not Substance

22 Oct

Darrelle Revis, the Jets shutdown corner, is all the rage this week in New York for ending an interview.  Sports Talk Host Mike Francesca on WFAN pestered Revis continuously about his 100 yard interception return this past weekend and whether or not he was guilty of interference on the play.

You can read elsewhere about what happened in the interview in detail, but essentially, the host (Francesca) was enjoying getting Revis riled up and eventually the Jets PR man directed Revis to hang up.  Not surprisingly, Francesca doesn’t have a great relationship with the Jets, but his fan base was loving it.  Francesca knows that and kept pushing the agitated player to try to get more emotion out of him.

The problem, in my mind, with this is that Francesca was just feeding his ego and not pursuing substance.  As a radio producer and a host in my previous life, this is one of the types of circumstances that would most annoy me.  As entertained for the moment or the day Francesca’s fans were by the exchange, so much more could have come from a different approach.  Allowing Revis a more comfortable, non-combative environment, could provide an opportunity for him to share more about his insight on the upcoming game for the Jets and even better, a chance he could join the show again later in the season.

Granted most player and coach interviews don’t amount to anything and even some of the guys that give you their cell number and say, “call anytime” don’t really pan out, you always have the chance of developing a rapport with a player, coach, PR person, or other team insider that may give you more (on or off the record) than you could ever expect to get otherwise.  Or you could go for the moment of entertainment like Francesca did.

Yeah, I’ve made that choice too.  Anyone who knows my history knows that I personally killed any chance that Rick Sutcliffe will ever join Scott & BR again on XX 1090 in San Diego.  That being said, I hope I’ve learned some lessons over the years and though entertaining hosts are nice, I prefer mine to provide a little substance too and when you operate from all ego it’s hard to really give your listeners the information I think they really want.  Really want if they’re really fans of a particular team.  If they’re just listening for the entertainment, then you’re serving your clientele properly by focusing on the shallow end of the pool, but you probably won’t catch me tuning in anytime soon.

Political Poetry and The Trail to Fail

21 Oct

SIGNS OF THE TRAIL TO FAIL

 

Footfalls precede arrival

Jogging around my ‘hood

Bumper flags show such gall

Battling the collective good

 

Tea Parties For Lil’ Girls

One Blasts at Passer Bys

Gays are Ending The World

The next to advertise

 

The ring of dissent grows

Our nation pulled in two

Grand collection of foes

Enemies we must choose.

 

The government stands still

Entrapped in nothingness

Fights for “the people’s will”

And keeps us in this mess.

 

Few await one lone voice

Clear, without partisan

Saying, “this ain’t a choice”

To better our great land.

 

Big government is wrong

But small has its limit

There has to be a bond

No sole claim “I did it.”

 

Both sides work together

And meet in the middle

Now light as a feather

This is not a riddle!

 

Once our informed leaders

View opponents as friends

Part of a theater

Seeking a kindred end.

 

I trust they will inspire

and stop the one way rail

Finish the verbal fire

Divert our trail to fail.

 

– Ryan Schulze 10-21-11