Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I hate summer. It’s a visceral hot blooded hatred. There is nothing good about the Godforsaken season. It’s too hot, and I don’t even live in a hot place. Only at the rarest of times does it go over 100 degrees in Colorado, and we have zero humidity. I have no idea how I would ever survive if I were in Memphis, Tennessee or Cowbutt, Texas. (To be fair, I doubt there is a town named Cowbutt, Texas, but it looked funny when I typed it.)
I sweat, a lot, and far too easily. It’s yet another negative side effect of being fat. Mind you, I’m not “small-child pointing at me” fat, but enough that heat and I don’t get along. I don’t care for sunburns or mosquitoes, and both seem to proliferate during the June-July-August time frame.
Thank God I have an air conditioned office, or there is no way I could make it through an entire summer and resist the urge to kill. I think the reason that the murder rate spikes in the summer months (especially in hot places, i.e. the South) is that people get irrational when their internal temperature reaches a certain point. I call this the irrationally stupid hot boiling point, and when anyone hits this internal temperature they become irrationally stupid. If you put Stephen Hawking in Atlanta in July and had him simmer on the street for a few hours, he’d be doing drive-bys with his wheelchair, it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has a breaking point with the irrationally stupid hot boiling point. My ISHBP is much lower than the average person’s, which is why I have to be careful. I carry an ice tray in my back pack during July, you know, just in case.
Of course, I’m a sports fan, and while I like baseball as much as the next guy, it gets a little bare bones when baseball is the only thing on the docket. It’s so bad at the moment that I just intentionally bought four tickets to a Major League outdoor lacrosse game. Okay, so mostly I did it because they are also having fireworks afterwards, but you can see how dangerous this could become. Thankfully, the summer lasts but a few months in my part of the world, and then comes that most glorious of seasons. Autumn. Even the word is beautiful. Autumn brings with it football, and cooler temperature, and pretty leaves, and the World Series, and fantasy football, oh, and it’s not summer. Basically all good things. So as we sit here at the end of June, I am girding my loins. Yes, it is summer, but I comfort myself by knowing that fall is coming. It’s not coming quickly enough for my liking, but it will come. Hallelujah, it will come.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Better late than never, Bruce showed up ten minutes into the show and helped me break down which teams would be best served by returning to classic uniforms. (Or in the case of the Hurricanes, classic uniforms AND towns.)
We also took some time to talk about the deaths of such luminaries as Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, and Farrah Fawcett and discussed which three deaths would be the most momentous in today's world. My vote is for Obama, Mohommad Ali, and the Dalai Lama.
We also took a little time enjoying the antics of Montana Tech football coach Bob Green. This week's music recommendation was Gary Jules' "Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets." As always, you can check it out with the widget below, or download it directly at www.blogtalkradio.com/verticallystripedradio if you so choose.
Vertically Striped Radio is now also available on iTunes via a free subscription from the iTunes store.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The Philadelphia 76ers announced Tuesday that they will be going back to their roots, at least aesthetically. They are dropping the solid but unspectacular Silver, Gold, Black, Red and Blue Logo that they have used for the past decade and gloriously replacing it with the previous logo that they used from 1963 to 1998. This previous logo is a beautiful red, white, and blue and was in place when they won their two titles in 1967 and 1983. I would like to applaud the Philly NBA brain trust who realized that the best way to go with a historic team like the Sixers is to embrace the past and attempt to return to their previous glory. If you’re named after the year the Declaration of Independence was signed, you really need to embrace patriotic colors, plus the old logo is awesome.
This is a trend I can definitely support! With retro sports stuff selling so well, I can definitely see more teams ditching their modern getups for more beautiful items from their past. Prior to the Sixers making this move, we have seen glimpses of this glorious line of thought with the Giants returning to their beautiful NY logo, the Jets going back to their Namath era unis, the New York Islanders ditching the Gorton’s fisherman for their much better and classic logo, the 49ers going back to cherry red, and the Capitals ditching the weird eagle logo and going back to basics. However, this trend can go further, and here are some franchises that are practically screaming for a touch of the past…
Atlanta Falcons: I would keep the Falcons current logo in place as I like it much better than their old one, but I’d make their helmets red again like they were in the days before Jerry Glanville.
Buffalo Bills: They need to permanently embrace the royal blue uniforms with the white helmets that feature the standing buffalo. They have been sporting these on occasion of late, and they should make the change permanent or at least go back to the Jim Kelly era uniforms, as the hideous things they wear now are embarrassing.
Buffalo Sabres: Ditch the Buffaslug posthaste and go back to their beautiful crossed swords logo with the leaping buffalo above it. That is one of the most handsome unis in sports history, and it’s a shame they ever ditched it.
Carolina Hurricanes: This goes beyond just the uniform, as they need to move back to Connecticut and then quickly get back into those beautiful Whalers jerseys. That is one of my favorite uniform and logo combinations of all time.
Cincinnati Bengals: They should drop their hideous new uniforms and return to the Boomer Esiason era jerseys. It’s not that those uniforms were all that great, but the threads they sport now are an abomination.
Houston Texans: It’s not like the Texans have a whole lot of history or an exciting uniform, so I suggest they change their name to the Oilers, don the powder blue jerseys and the oil derrick. Warren Moon and Earl Campbell really made those things work, and the name Oilers is much better for Houston than the generic and stupid name of “Texans”.
Milwaukee Brewers: Duh, the wonderful ball and glove logo should again become their daily uniform, as it is vastly superior to the rather bland getup they currently wear.
New England Patriots: They must return to their Pat the Patriot helmet and those glorious red jerseys. Those uniforms are so much better than the Flying Elvis logo, I can’t even begin to express how much nicer they would look on the field. However, since they’ve won three Super Bowls in their new threads, I imagine this won’t happen.
New York Mets: The Metropolitans should really remove all traces of black from their uniform and go back to the pinstripes they were wearing in ’86 when they were one of the most interesting teams of all time.
Philadelphia Eagles: I’d do a subtle change here. Keep the current helmet pattern, but go back to their brighter green color and ditch that ugly dark brooding green.
Seattle Seahawks: I don’t hate their new uniforms as much as many people do. I feel that they should keep their current logo, but make their helmets silver again and their jerseys the beautiful bright blue and green colors from the past.
St. Louis Rams: They should definitely and immediately go back to the blue and yellow they won the Super Bowl with. Those colors were beautiful on the field.
Toronto Blue Jays: I would love them to go back to their awesome uniforms from their World Series winning days of the early nineties. Joe Carter looked great trotting around the bases after taking Mitch Williams yard to win it all.
Vancouver Canucks: They need to embrace their blue and green uniform set with the stylized C logo. Ditch the Orca already.
Washington Wizards: They should embrace their Bullets past, ditch the dumb name and go back to the basic red uniforms. (Although definitely not the weird horizontally striped ones or the crazy ones with stars everywhere, ugh)
Of course, there are also exceptions to this retro trend. One team that should never under any circumstance make a permanent return to its old uniform would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I am pleased that they are going to wear their creamsicle uniforms on November 8th against the Packers, because it serves as a reminder of one of the uglier uniforms in league history, and I have do have a soft spot in my heart for teams wearing ugly retro uniforms for a game or two (Obvious example: The Broncos Vertically Striped Socks uniform), but under no circumstances should the Bucs entertain the notion of permanently returning to the Bucco Bruce uniform set. Butterscotch pudding is very tasty, but the color makes for a lousy uniform.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I thought it was a pretty good show, despite the fact that my brother was a no-show. I think I may need to update his status to part-time show host. Oh well, it was a fun show to do, thanks for checking it out. You can download it from www.blogtalkradio.com/verticallystripedradio or you can just listen below, if you like.
If you'd like to reach me about the radio show, you can email me at email@example.com I'd love your feedback!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Now, Brandon Marshall is holding out from mandatory team activities, and reports are buzzing that he is also demanding a trade. Apart from being the most exciting player on the Broncos roster as it is currently constructed, Marshall is also the subject of the above photo in which he was wearing the home version of the retro uniform. (Minus the Brown helmet with his number on it, which I happen to think is one of the best parts of these throwbacks.)
These two events are leading me to believe that there is either a curse placed upon these uniforms which cause players to immediately want out of town the instant that they see their names applied to the back of one of these jerseys, or else the players find them so reprehensible that they instant they see one which has been constructed for them they instantaneously demand a trade. Either way, it's not a good sign.
The Broncos were a miserable 4-9-1 their first year wearing these duds in 1960 and then finished 3-11 the next year for a lifetime record of 7-20-1 in the vertically striped socks. Obviously, I tend to like these goofy uniforms in a "so ugly they're beautiful" kind of way, but I am beginning to wonder if there is a jinx upon them. They were definitely not popular in Denver the first go around as the socks were burned in a bonfire at the conclusion of the 1961 season, and perhaps part of the reason they were so vilified was that in addition to being somewhat ugly, they were also cursed.
The curse would help explain this horrendous off season in which the best coach in franchise history was summarily dismissed, then a young whipper-snapper was named head coach and he promptly ran off the franchise quarterback in exchange for Kyle Orton and some assorted picks, and now it appears that one of the more exciting wide receivers in team history is looking to get dealt out of town as well. I still love the vertically striped socks, but I also have to wonder if all this doesn't go down if they don't announce the retro plan. If there was a reset button for the off season in the same way that you can press it if this were a PlayStation game, I'd like to press it now.
This hasn't been the greatest summer in Broncos history, and I continue to wonder if it's possible that a head coach could get fired before ever coaching a game. Josh McDaniels has the
Here is my hope. Brandon Marshall comes to his senses and comes back to the Broncos, McDaniels really is the genius that he thinks he is, Kyle Orton really is the overachieving hard worker everyone says he is (rather than the subpar quarterback I expect that he is.) and the Broncos put together a solid season with promise for the future. My expectations are so low that I would consider an 8-8 season to be a rousing success at this point.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Episode 4 of Vertically Striped Radio is in the can! On this weeks episode, we took some time to revel in the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup, and more importantly, the Red Wings NOT winning the Stanley Cup. We broke down the news including one of the weirdest news stories of all time, and a story about a dog with a hankering for the Marijuana.
We also broke down the NBA Finals, and did a scientific breakdown of which Finals team was the more likable, with unsurprising results... The hour flew by, and it was a ton of fun. I highly recommend checking it out! You can download the file as always at www.blogtalkradio.com/verticallystripedradio, or you can listen straight from my blog with the widget that is posted below. Hope you enjoy the Vertically Striped Radio, and thanks for listening!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
“What’s the Denver Broncos Fan Fair?” you may ask. Well, it’s an opportunity for people who love wearing obnoxious orange and blue clothing to do so at a time when common sense says that one shouldn’t. (I’m exempt from this rule, due to the fact that I apparently have no common sense and enjoy wearing obnoxious blue and orange clothing year round.) The Fair is held at Invesco Field at Mile High (Still one of the dumber official names for a stadium ever, but I’ve gotten used to it.) every summer, and the organization really does it up right.
Bruce is posing underneath the name of his favorite Bronco of all time...Craig Morton.
This year apparently all of the Broncos were there, although I the only active players I saw were Elvis Dumervil and a bunch of scrubs in the couple of hours that I was there. I also saw an old time Favorite of mine, Karl Mecklenberg. The fair is really more of an event for people who are unable to get actual Bronco tickets, so this is their opportunity to get into the stadium, get on the field (if you’re 14 years old or younger or perhaps just very short) and see what Invesco Field is really like. Plus there are vendors everywhere hawking Broncos goods, many of the concession stands are open, and there are all sorts of other crazy things to do.
This is the seventh year the Broncos have done this event, but it was the first time that I ever considered attending. For the most part, I am glad I went, although I can say with some certainty that I won’t be going again any time soon. The tickets were ridiculously overpriced…it cost $20 for an adult and $10 for kids over the age of 2. They had family 5 packs for $40, but apparently you have to get them ahead of time, something that we would have liked to have known before we showed up at the box office the day of the event and were informed that what we thought would cost $40 for my Brother, his Wife, his Stepson, my Dad and my Son to attend would now cost $90. Fortunately, my portion was only $20, as my son is still under 2. My brother would have had to pay $50, but a kind person gave him a free adult ticket. Still, between all of us, we dropped $70 just to get in.
Once we got inside, it was kind of like a Bronco nerd’s paradise. There was so much cool Broncos stuff for sale, it’s a miracle that I didn’t come home broke, but I limited myself to dropping $10 on a handmade little Broncos sign with the 1960’s logo of which I am so fond. I really wanted to get another sign which featured the brown and yellow 1960 logo, but I was able to refrain, although I did walk past the table like four times and yearned.
Looking through the promotional packet, it appears that there was a lot of stuff that you could do, but I think it would have taken quite a bit of organization and desire to get around to all of it, and my family and I were traipsing around like the walking dead, totally unsure what, if anything, we would do. I was perfectly content looking at the Broncos knick-knacks, but I think I was more interested in those than anyone else. Plus the reason that we were there was to try and influence my brother’s seven year old stepson Malachi to become a Broncos fan, as he currently is debating between the Redskins (his mother’s team), the Cardinals (he has lived in Arizona his whole life), and the Broncos (his eventual choice if we get our way.)
Since we were trying to Malachi hooked on the Broncos crack, it was essential that he have a good time. He went down to the field, where only kids were allowed to get onto the grass, while we watched him from the seats in the lower bowl of Invesco. At least my Dad, Brother and Sister-in-Law did, Luke (my son) got a little bored sitting watching kids wait in line, so I decided to take him off to see more stuff while everyone else stayed watching Malachi wait in line.
Luke sitting by D.J. William's locker, Lukers is trying to push DJ to see if he can get some playing time at linebacker this fall!
This was a good decision, as Luke and I had a grand old time once it was just the two of us. There was a display set up which had a Broncos’ locker mockup set up in the hallway of Invesco, so Luke sat down in D.J. Williams locker and I took several pictures of him, while he laughed and giggled. We then went over to a bounce castle that was set up for little kids, he jumped and played on that for awhile and had fun in a way that only a toddler can have on a jump castle. It was quite fun to watch my boy having fun at an event sponsored by my favorite football team. I felt like a good father, training his boy in the way he should go. It was glorious.
There is nothing better in the world if you're a kid than a jump castle. Best. Thing. Ever.
After taking a bunch of photos, and bouncing on inflatable plastic for awhile, we started walking around the stadium some more. Luke was given a package of string cheese which pleased him greatly. (Small boys can be easily pleased.) Then he was given a Thomas the Tank Engine tattoo, which made him tremendously gleeful. He was definitely having a good time, and he was lugging around his Teddy Bear with a Broncos jersey on, and wearing his very own Broncos shirt, so he was looking very smooth.
The moment I will probably remember best a year from now is competing on the game show, “Broncos Fan on Demand.” This is a quiz show where you place your name in a hopper and they randomly pull four people’s names to compete on the game show that will be shown on Comcast On Demand here locally in Denver. I walked up at just the right moment, and asked what I had to do to get myself on the show. They apparently were having a hard time locating one of the people who had previously been drawn from the hopper to compete, so they asked me if I would like to play. I happily agreed, and before I knew it, I was standing on the little game show stage with a microphone in my face and a buzzer in my hand.
I’ve been a Broncos fan since before I can remember, and I’ve been attending games and watching them on television for twenty-five years, so one would think this competition would be right up my alley. In fact, I nailed the very first question that was asked and took the early lead, so I felt confident that I had a great chance to win. My issue wasn’t that I didn’t know the answers, I knew the correct answer for eight of the ten questions, my problem was my desire to follow the rules set out before the game began.
Before the game show host named Chad came out do his best Bob Barker impression, we had a stagehand type person come out to give us a lowdown on what we needed to do. One of her instructions was to not buzz in until the host had read the entire question. My fellow contestants honored that rule for about one question. (The question which I got right.) After that, they started buzzing in very early with no negative repercussions. It took me until about question six to catch on to this, and since there were only ten questions total, I was hosed. I got the chance to answer only two other questions, inconveniently the two questions to which I didn’t know the answer. Those questions were: 1. Who do the Broncos play in this season’s home opener? (I guessed the Chargers, but it was the Browns) and 2. What is Brian Dawkins nickname? (Apparently it’s Wolverine, this was the first question where I buzzed in early, and for my cheating ways I was rewarded with a question about which I was clueless.) I tried buzzing in on all the other questions, but I think my buzzer broke halfway through, as my name was never again called. I finished tied for last place in a Denver Broncos trivia game show, but I’m going to blame it on my lackluster buzzer skills (or potentially a broken buzzer) and not the fact that I was the one who knew the least. That’s my story, and I will stick to it, thank you. Although I was a bit bummed that I didn’t win, as the first place player received an official NFL football, which would have been pretty cool. I did receive a parting gift, and I thought was pretty decent of them to not make the gift be a home version of the game, but rather a Denver Broncos 50th year T-shirt size XL. It’s kind of an ugly shirt, actually, but it was a nice gesture.
Melisa enjoys some Colorado sun!
Even if I was less than impressive on the game show, it was still fun. We walked around the stadium for a while longer, and at one of the booths there was an amusement company that had set up several gaming tables. There were several foosball tables set up, and Malachi wanted to foos it up.
I was teamed up with Malachi, and Bruce teamed up with his wife, Melisa. The first game we played, I manned the defensive side of the ball masterfully, and even stroked home several long shots into the goal with my Goalie. Malachi and I won Game 1 of our seven game series handily, and I started getting cocky and talking trash to my fellow competitors after our 7-3 victory. In Game 2, it all started to fall apart, I let in several soft goals and we fell behind 6-1. Despite a furious comeback attempt, we were only able to get the score to 6-4 before Bruce slammed home the game winner, and just like that the series was tied at one. In the decisive Game 3, Malachi’s inexperience showed through. He played with lots of heart, but at only seven years of age our team was unable to overcome lack of his of experience in the offensive zone. We gamely fought to a 4-4 tie, but then we were unable to take advantage of the play in our side of the field, and with a few quick defensive breakdowns, before I knew it, the series was lost in a blur of three quick goals by Bruce.
My trash talk after game 1 now looked like a monument of foolishness, as Malachi and I hung our heads in shame. I feel like we learned a lot as a foosball team that day, though, and I feel like next season, should we get the right breaks, we’ll be right back in the championship hunt. After all, we’ll have Malachi a year older with another year of experience under his belt, I’ll only be 33 and slightly beyond my goal keeping prime, but still at the top of my game and we’ll have a great shot to bring home the title. Yup, just wait until next year!
After our loss at the foosball championships, I was pretty much an emotional wreck. I knew life would go on, but I was literally inconsolable for like six or seven seconds. When I look back on that time in my life, I’m afraid of how low I let myself get, but when you’re passionate about your craft like I am, it can get scary at times. At this point at the Broncos fair, we had eaten cheese, shopped for Broncos knick-knacks, I had won a consolation T-shirt on a game show, and my son had bounced in a jump castle. It had been a pretty full day. We considered going into the official Broncos Team Shop at the stadium, but there were so many people at the fair that there was an actual line of about thirty people waiting to get into the store. That’s right, that wasn’t a misprint, there was a line of people standing waiting to gain access to shop in the store. I’d say Denver loves their Broncos just a bit. We decided that it wasn’t worth waiting in line to shop, so we decided to call it a fair.
We headed out to our cars, but Malachi was disappointed, because Bruce had promised that he would get him a Broncos hat. We decided to drive over to a sporting goods store that was just a stone’s throw from the stadium. Luke and my Dad were both exhausted, so when we got in the car, my son fell asleep almost immediately in his carseat, and his grandpa graciously agreed to stay in the air-conditioned car while we shopped. This store was a dud for Malachi, as most of the hats were overpriced and just not that good, but I found a treasure trove. There was a table of sports pennants that were very old and very cheap. The handwritten sign on the table said, “Five for a Dollar, or a Dollar each.” I was like a goofy sports crazed thirty-two year old kid in a pennant shop. Actually, I guess you could remove like from the previous sentence. I bought fifteen pennants for such random teams as the Portland Trail Blazers (a really cool pennant that featured covered wagons prominently), Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, 2 different Vancouver Canucks pennants (including a really old one that featured their ugly red and yellow skate logo from the eighties and early nineties), a Cincinnati Bengals, and several others which I cannot remember off the top of my head. I really like pennants, and the whole lot of fifteen cost me a whopping $3.23 after sales tax. I was quite pleased with my purchase.
After the store, it was officially time to end our little fan fair excursion, I had to take my Dad back to his house, and then get home in time to do the Vertically Striped Radio show. It was a fun day, even if I have to say the Broncos Fan Fair was tremendously overpriced, I had a good time. It’s not something I plan to ever to again, but a good time was had by all, which is really all you can ask for with these things. Go Broncos!!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
This is a very special woman. My wife, Jennifer. Today, I have been married to her for nine years. Jen is one of the strongest and best people I have ever known. She is a loving and faithful wife, and she puts up with all of my goofy antics, which should probably have her nominated for sainthood by now. Not only that, but she keeps on loving me even when I am not always lovable.
I met and fell in love with her when I was a worldly Junior in college, and she was an innocent and wide-eyed freshman. At first she was smart enough to know that she probably shouldn’t date me, but I was persistent, and eventually she succumbed to my charm. Poor thing hasn’t been the same since. She has been fiercely loyal the whole time I have known her, and there is no one in the world that I trust more, which is good because she knows all of my passwords and ATM codes! She stuck with me while we were dating, even when one summer half of my face stopped working. (That's a true story.) She even drove to see me almost every other weekend her final year of college when I was working three hours away from her in a little bitty town in south central Kansas.
She agreed to marry me over ten years ago, and we finally got hitched sixteen months later in June of 2000. She was amazing in that she agreed to move to the little tiny town I was working in, and didn’t even get upset when I made the decision to move us to Denver a few months after that even though it meant quitting a great job that she had just gotten two weeks prior. She keeps on sticking with me despite the fact that, due to the less than stellar economy, I seem to get a new job every time I get a new calendar. She doesn’t even seem to mind that I remember almost every important event in our lives by what was happening in the world of sports at the time. (For instance, I am able to remember the date we went on our honeymoon based on the fact that the Devils were playing the Stars in the Stanley Cup Finals at the time.)
Not only is she loving and special, but she also is an awesome mother. She loves our children so much, and is so good at taking care of them and raising them in the way they should go. I love her for how strong she is and for what a good wife and mother she is, and because she’s just a great person and a close friend. She challenges me, loves me, respects me, goofs on me, and supports me. I am a better person today because she is in my life, and as we begin our tenth year together, I just want to say to you Jen that I love you more than ever. You are my love, my rock, and my life, and I’ll love you forever and I’ll love you for always. Happy Anniversary, my love!
Monday, June 1, 2009
It's Monday, and I while don't really feel up to a full post today, I am a giver. I couldn't let you get all the way through this Monday without a little something. Therefore I thought I would give you some inspiration for these dark days, after all there's a repression going on. So I bring you Hope and Change. I don't even need to give you any details, it's strictly "Hope and Change" for my platform, and you'll eat it up! It's almost enough to make you want to get out there and vote right now, isn't it. Sadly, it's only June. Remember, for the change America needs, it's Vertically Striped Socks in 2009! Hope and Change, people.