Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

As a free spirited college student I vowed that my life would be different than the droves of pedestrian hominids around me. Get a desk job centered on mundane tasks? Pish! Work for the weekends? Pu-shaw! Live my life by simple routine? As-if!

As a brainwashed, one-year veteran of the working world I cling to my mindless, pay-check producing tasks, day dream about weekend trips to PetSmart and adhere to a structured routine on a recurring schedule.

What? I'm not perfect.

You probably know that the majority of our lives are framed around the events, activities and obligations we subscribe to. And when these commitments fall out of order, become jumbled or mesh together we all react differently. If you're a male, you probably shrug it off and deal with it. If you are a female, you probably react as though this singular instance not adhering to plan is as disruptive and troubling as Jesse James cheating on Sandra Bullock. "Oh no he did NOT! She's America's sweetheart! I feel for her, she's so precious. I want her to win things and be my mother and best friend. Then we could be like the Gilmore Girls! OMG!!!!"

I kid, I kid.

On the other hand, I have college roommates to thank for organizing my life. When you live with the same anally structured people for multiple years some things rub off. Yikes...that's a sentence I never want to write again.

Let's move on. Something I'll never understand (until I put in 6 minutes of time to do the research), is why television networks never seem to keep their shows on a regimented schedule. Here's what I mean:

In the normal world, we as a people expect that when a new season starts, or 'premiers', it will run until its completion, or 'finale'. What we do not expect is for the show to run new episodes for a few weeks, then take a break and go back to old episodes, then resume new ones, then show re-runs of 'Step by Step' followed by a live results show for something we don't watch, then go back to new episodes. I have a schedule to live by, networks!! Why can't you respect that?!

It's not just that, they don't even let me know the show is a re-run until I'm already tuned in and ready to go on a new episode. Take last night, for example. 'Lost', a show that causes me as much strife as it does joy, was a repeat yet I received no advanced warning. And if, say, I was a person who watched the show while at work the next morning because he watches Biggest Loser (SHUT UP!) on Tuesday nights, this would be a major inconvenience. Of course, I'd never watch TV at work because I'm aware of the negative consequences associated that action...but what if I was!?

Chuck, another show I don't watch while employed but I do watch on Hulu, took a 3 week break just cause! After one episode they got all, "...and Chuck will return in 3 weeks on April 26th!" on me. What's up with that?!

You can't just drop that on me! I have to rework my schedule! I have lunch meetings to work around! What are you doing to me NBC!?

Similarly, "The Office" (probably the best show on television and you can't tell me otherwise) is a roulette game of new episode-old episode. No one knows when NBC will decide to unleash more hilarity on its viewers or cause them to relive old equally-as-funny-but-not-quite-as-fresh comedic genius on the audience.

Look, I know there's a reason to all of this. Networks don't just cancel shows and exhibit extreme disloyalty to its employees or viewers just to make an extra buck.....right? But if you want the research done go to a real news source! No wait! Come back! I'm sorry...I didn't mean that. Stay what I have to say. Its self affirming if you do. And I promise you'll get new friends everyday and we'll put pizza in the vending machines.

Sorry, I'm all....digressy today. I think they have a pill for that.

The point is this, all these decisions need to go through me so I can choose the solutions that best fit my schedule. All television programming schedules, all Washington sport team decisions, and all suggestions for where you're taking me out to lunch. They all need my approval.

Or I'll get all college hippie kid on you and stop showering, sit in trees and play annoying obscure instruments while following you around until you cede your decision.

Don't think I wont.

Disclaimer: I am extremely pleased with my employer and do not engage in any elicit or 'frowned upon' behavior during working hours. At least when I'm not on lunch.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I hate to say it...

I feel comfortable at this point to say....."I told you the Caps were a disappointment in the playoffs!" Even if they win Game 7 and advance, how does anyone have ANY confidence in this hockey team? They don't play like a team pursuing the Cup. They don't play like a team that won the President's Cup. They don't play like the #1 ranked team in the NHL.

It's terribly frustrating. Another Washington sports team failing to perform up to expectations. Do I care the Caps won the President's Cup? Not really. It's nice, but if it doesn't end up in a Stanley Cup I think its a waste.

I'll allow our minds to wander briefly, however. Lets just say the Caps win Game 7 at home against the Montreal Canadiens. They face the Philadelphia Flyers who are currently resting and watching film of how the Canadiens are dismantling my team. Since I'm a Caps loyalist, I'll believe they can get past the know, if they can beat the Canadiens. So if they beat Montreal, then somehow beat Philadelphia, we'd have to play our playoff nemesis Pittsburgh. You know, cause they're a real team who doesn't choke in the playoffs.

Here's my point, when you finish the season number one overall, you are expected to compete for a Stanley Cup, you are not expected to lose in the first round. Washington fans expected to see the Caps in the finals. Even if they didn't win the Cup, they expected them to at LEAST be in the finals.

Its embarrassing. Pathetic.

A good point was made today on the radio about that Caps. They play in the weakest division in, potentially, all of sports. No one else is their division made the playoffs and the Caps combined record against divisional opponents is something like 19-5. So maybe an inflated record led to inflated stats which led to an inflated rank. Maybe the playoffs are the great equalizer where the true nature of a team stands out.

Either way....I told you so.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I don't get it...

There are plenty of things I don't understand in life. Like, why we all brush our teeth in the morning THEN drink a cup of coffee. It's completely counter productive.

Or why Ke$ha looks like a cross between Steven Tyler and Gonzo. Or why the kids playing in the street think I'm the one getting in their way. Some things are just beyond me.

But, above everything else is, I don't get all the hate on Terrel Owens.

OK, that might be a lie but it works as an intro. Let me give you some framework. It was announced today (April 20th) that Donovan McNabb has verbalized that he would like to see TO come to Washington to play with him.

Naturally, this created a panic in Skins fans everywhere. But I'm not sure why. Think about it...

1. Our current receivers are garbage- I'm not buying into the hype of Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelley just yet. They might be good one day, but not in an elite way. Santana Moss is four inches taller than Papa Smurf and is built to be a slot guy, not a first option wideout. I love the Cooley/Fred Davis combo at tight end, but don't even begin to think we can put two TEs in passing patterns on every down. Our offensive line is garbage and we need all the help we can get in pass and run protection. TO provides an elite level wideout that McNabb can look to as his primary option, with Moss in the slot working a Wes Welker type role and Thomas/Kelley as the 2nd option. No, not either/or, they will both be the second option. We will fuse them together like an Autobot.

2. Is TO a head case?- Do I believe TO has a screw or four loose? Yes. Do I believe he will be a cancer in the locker room if he signs with the Skins? Absolutely not. Here's the thing: TO generally does very well with his teammates his first year in a new location. He tries to fit in and be liked and succeed. How do I know this? Because I watched that SuperStars show he was on and found out he's really a giant child who just wants to be liked by people. Furthermore, TO was just banished by the league to Buffalo. Talk about a punishment! I think he got the message that teams don't want to put up with his reputation and he can very easily go unsigned. Having McNabb ask for TO to come play here is a huge vote of confidence and a show of faith in the receiver. TO would view this as his shot at redemption and give us at least one good season.

3. We need blocking...- Owens is a big guy. Don't be fooled by his ridiculous smile, or the tears he hides behind giant sunglasses, he's a big dude. He can provide great down field blocking for our RB core. I just haven't seen Santana Moss create good blocks down field. Yes, he can grab onto someone's ankles and hold on, but he isn't who you want when Willie Parker breaks one loose. Yes, I realize I'm taking several liberties with this point...but in the very fat chance that one of our RBs does break loose, Owens is a guy you want leading the charge and holding off the safeties.

4. ...and Leadership- Granted, when I think leadership I don't think Terrell Owens. But remember, when TO was in the news every week he was a young buck doing anything and everything to prove himself. It was all, "Me, me, me". He's on his way out of the league and he knows it. McNabb will be the leader of this team and he'll put TO to work. At the very least, Owens will be able to teach some of these young receivers a thing or two about catching footballs in the NFL. We complain we haven't seen much out of our young receivers, but we forget how young they are. Thomas and Kelly are both 24. They have a lot to learn and there is a lot TO can teach them. I don't see that as a bad thing...not completely at least.

5. There is no Go-To Guy- One thing the Redskins have lacked is a go-to guy on offense. When the Steelers are in a jam, they look to Hines Ward. When the Colts need to stage a comeback Manning is going to Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne (although Peyton could do it with Stephen Hawking and a stapler). When the Skins are behind in the fourth quarter they roll over and die. Not anymore suckas!

6. We get lined up in single coverage- If you play the Redskins your defensive scheme is easy: stop the run, disrespect the pass. Defenses can line up in single coverage on the outside and get away with it because we don't have a deep threat or a tall, proven receiver. With TO out wide, teams are forced to double him up which opens up other receiving options. Its just a fact folks.

7. Think about our draft needs- If the Skins pick up TO they would have successfully filled three major holes on the team for at least one season. They've filled out the RB core, so when one gets hurt there are two more lying in wait. They've traded for a great QB who will translate immediately into increased production on offense and they would have a solid WR with TO. This way, they have no choice but to draft four offensive lineman with their four draft picks. Win-win!

8. You who say, "I'm quitting the Skins!"- When news dropped of a possible TO free agent signing, I can't tell you the number of Skins fans I saw declare, "I'm not watching the Redskins! I boycott!" First off I have to question whether you're a real Skins fan or not. Fans stick with their team through thick and thin, so I will politely say, "Get over yourself." Secondly, if you know the Skins at all you know TO would sign a 1 year deal that is incentive laced. It'll probably have clauses in it like, he gets an extra million if he accumulates 1,000 yards, or half a million for 6 TDs scored. A bunch of bonuses to get him motivated to produce. You don't believe me? Look at the fine print on Larry Johnson's and Willie Parker's deals. They don't get paid unless they produce. There ain't no dummies in the new Skins know, aside from the owner.

The point is this, our top level QB needs someone to throw the ball to. He does not have that currently. If signing TO makes you think we're taking a step back with our receiving core, you do not know much about football. Sure TO had his worst season in Buffalo....but he was IN BUFFALO! He had two of the worst QBs in the game throwing him the ball and he still had a few good games. Paired up with McNabb I see his value going way up again. If for nothing more than 1,000 yards and 8 TDs. Which is as many TDs as Moss, Thomas, Kelly and Cooley had....COMBINED.

I have put my trust in Shanahan. I am a believer. Hail to the Redskins.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's Monday...and I'm Tired. Sports edition!

I don't think there's much to get worked up about in life. You lost your job? Chances are you didn't love it to begin with. Your car got totaled? This time try not buying a Toyota. Lost your leg in a freak gasoline fight? Wooden pegs look pretty cool.

I just think we waste too much time getting worked up about simple things. I believe this is generally true...except about sports.

And because of that, I will now express my disdain for Washington sports. We'll call it a long overdue breakdown of why the sporting world should revolve around me. Or, 'It's Monday, I'm tired and you need a reason to not do work for 15 minutes.'

I consider myself a tortured sports fan. I grew up on Washington sports teams. The Redskins, Wizards, Capitals and DC United. When the Expos were relocated to Washington I adopted the aptly named Nationals to my arsenal of under-performing and inept sports regimes.

As you well know, the above teams are more or less perennial disappointments. Sure, plenty of cities have struggling sports franchises...but I don't live in them and I don't care about them. Remember, this is about the sports world revolving around me. Get your head in the game!

Its not just that Washington sports have been such a let down this decade, its that I'm too young to remember the "glory days" of Washington success. I wish I remembered the Redskins under Joe Gibbs, when they were considered a football powerhouse. Now? Even the Oakland Raiders laugh at our management. Washington is an accumulation of unmanageable players paired with incompetent front offices. The Wizards and Redskins have been "rebuilding" for the past 10 years and have nothing to show for it. Who knows? Maybe I'm being over dramatic.

The Wizards did assemble their "Big Three" a few years ago: Gilbert Arenas, Antwan Jamison and Caron Butler. But look where they are now! Two are in the playoffs for other teams and one is in a halfway house! That's not a Big Three! A "Big Three" is KG, Pierce and Allen. Kobe, Pau, and Odom. LeBron and two corpses.

The Redskins never got it together. We suffered through year after year of expensive past-their-prime free agents and coaching experiments. The Nationals are still the Expos...except now they're plaguing the DC area. The Wizards not only have the worst name in major professional sports, but they also have the worst jerseys and the fourth worst record in the league. Sure, DC United has had some 1999! This season they're boasting a wild 0-4 record. The Capitals have been a force in the NHL this year but they are cursed in the playoffs and have not had great success in the post season. Let's be honest, who wants to say their city's best sports teams are soccer and hockey?

Sarah Palin and that foreign kid who wears unisex jeans, thats who.

And to be frank, you have to have a pretty positive viewpoint to trust this guy to be your cities sport's savior.-->

DC is now in the "We're blowing all our teams up because nothing is working" stage. Dropping the guillotine on anyone and everyone who has an expensive contract. You know, except those guys that are head cases like Arenas and Haynesworth. Gilbert and Albert....the $100 million dollar men. This needs to be a TV sitcom. We'll call it 200 Million Reasons to Hate DC Sports. Someone make this happen.

And to top it all off the Redskins, who are trying to re-shape their image in the league by firing everyone except the water boy, have gone and done the unspeakable! Look, I get it, the 'Skins were desperate for an elite level quarterback and from a personnel standpoint the McNabb trade was excellent. But how the heck am I supposed to root for Donovan McNabb for 3-5 years? This is a guy I've been conditioned to hate for as long as I can remember! I've had to watch him run, pass, juke, roll, and hobble past the Skins defense. Now I have to cheer him on like he's a true Brave?

I get that the Redskins are making a ton of major changes and it looks like they might actually have a 'bounce-back' season. And maybe I'll be OK with this if the Skins win twice as many games as last year (which isn't a major accomplishment by any stretch of the imagination). Even still, I'm still stuck with a Wizards team void of any marketable players, a Nationals team that I honestly couldn't care less about and a Caps team that will inevitably bow out early in the playoffs leaving us with another frustratingly disappointing season.

I dunno... after all this a peg leg sounds pretty good.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion

If you know me or any of my brothers you know one thing, we are prodigious. One might say jim-dandy, even. No, its a real word, look it up. We are also slightly full of ourselves.

But that's ok! Because what we lack in humility we make up for in charm, quick wit, handsomeness and general masculinity. Did I mention we're full of ourselves?

I tell you this because often times we can get into situations that are largely slanted against us. Take my brother Jason, for instance. This is a guy who selflessly elected to travel to South Africa to spread the Good Word by playing basketball, speaking to youth and petting wild lions. Pretty humble right?

What you don't know is he also takes longer to get ready than every female in my family. He owns 27 pairs of shoes, models his hair after what is popular in Europe right now and keeps his facial hair neatly trimmed with a level 2 razor.

What can I say? We're not perfect. I mean, look at this guy!

So my brother Jason had a friend who, in an attempt to raise funds for his trip to South Africa, foolishly created a Facebook Fan Page. If anyone knows anything about anything, its that the only thing used less than a Facebook Fan Page is the Slap Chop. Naturally, the page was quickly abandoned and a grand total of 4 Lira was raised by a very confused Italian man named Frederico.

There the page lay... wasted, alone, in want of attention. Enter our villians:
For anonymity sake, we'll call the guy in the picture Libby and we'll call the chick Joe. You know, so no one knows their real names.

These two dirty devils discovered the aforementioned Fan Page and saw it as an extraordinary opportunity to challenge the McGraw name. They fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is to never get involved in a land war in Asia- but only less than that, is to never challenge the McGraw name when our pride is on the line!

They challenged my brother to get 500 fans in 30 days. If he fails, Puerto Rico will forever be tattooed on his lower back.

Now, I understand this causes confusion. Most of you probably think it would be hilarious for Jason to have a small US territory stamped on his tramp. But we McGraws need you to defend our honor! This isn't a question of comical inking, its a blatant challenge to the name of one of country music's biggest stars!

Its Taylor Swift McGraw, right? Whatever.

So I'm asking you to do one thing for me. Join his Fan Page. I already know you're logged into Facebook, thats how you got to this page to begin with. So give me two clicks. One here, and one where it says Become a Fan. Remember, Fan Pages just kinda disappear somewhere on your profile and you never see them again. So no harm done.

Look, I know. I'm whoring you out. I apologize in advance. I really do! We all know we hate that person that invites us to events happening 4 hours away on a Wednesday night, or to become a fan of the Feminist Movement of America, or to join a group about Chapstick. I'm giving you the power, just two clicks. It will literally take you 6 seconds. Do it. Please.

If that doesn't persuade you maybe this will.

Don't deny the Captain. You'll regret it.

In summation-
1) We McGraws are pathetic
2) I'm a scum bag asking for your help
3) Anyone who knows the conversion rate of Lira to Euros to American Dollars, could you post it in the Comments section below? Frederico needs his cash back.
4) Please join the Fan Page and consider inviting some of your friends to do the same.
5) The power is yours! Captain Planet...he's our hero...something about pollution and bad guys and zero!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Duke v. Butler

As my good friend Tommy put it, "To quote the wise sage Eric Creasman, 'Sometimes Goliath beats the [expletive] out of David.'"

I LOVE college basketball. I grew up in a basketball family, playing basketball, watching my brothers play basketball, it was great. There is no better time of year than March when the madness begins. It's like my Christmas.

I suppose I should get it out there now...I'm a Duke fan. Wait!! Let me explain. I'm not a bandwagon, evil empire loving, self-righteous Duke fan or anything, I just have an affinity for Duke basketball. It all started with a little white point guard named Steve Wojciechowski, or Wojo for the sake of spell check. He played for Duke from '94 to '98 and I loved this guy. I was about 8 years old when I began following the college game religiously. Wojo made an impression on me. Here was a short, nonathletic white guy who could command the team and distribute the ball with the best of them. (This was before I realized white guys can play in college, just not the pros). Naturally, he became an instant role model for me, up there with Steve Kerr, Pistol Pete and Inspector Gadget. I figured, "Hey, I can go on a basketball court and slap the floor chanting DEE-FENSE! Why can't I play for Duke?"

The combination of Wojo and the Duke Head Coach, Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) encompassed everything I loved about basketball. Coach K is not only a basketball guru but a stand up individual. He's a role model, father, philanthropist and teacher. Not to mention he knows a thing or two about winning basketball games, over 800 of them. Not to mention his 11 Final Four appearances, 12 ACC Tournament Championships, 12 ACC Regular Season Championships, and 4 NCAA Tournament Championships. Naturally, I admire him greatly. Naturally, most of the college basketball world despises him and his team.

It's what happens when you win a lot. People find reasons to hate you. Yankees fans understand, Patriots fans understand, Red Wings fans understand. It's what happens.

When I was 10 years old and filling out my NCAA tournament bracket you know who I took to the finals every year? Duke. Do you know how many tourney pools I lost? All of them. I just assumed since this was my favorite team and I like the way they play, and I love their coach and players that they must be contenders every year. Makes sense, right? I learned my lesson quickly.

The past 10 years I have become much more realistic in my expectations of the Blue Devils. I haven't taken them past the Sweet 16 the past couple of tourneys despite their rankings. They just weren't talented enough, didn't have the depth or the star power.

This year was different for me. They had an easy schedule to get to the Final Four, but I still didn't trust them. Is John Scheyer really that good? He looks like puberty is still trying to set in. Nolan Smith? More like Nolan Smurf. Kyle Singler? Sure he's reminiscent of Mike Dunleavey, but he can't lead the team to the finals, right?

Still, this was my team. When the NCAA Bracketologists decides to give you the easiest conference in the tourney you know anything is possible. And as each #1 seed dropped off I really began to believe.

Before I knew it, they were in the Finals against the upstart Butler Bulldogs. Butler was the world's underdogs. The rags to riches story of college basketball. They got by on great defense, passion and teamwork. Their coach is 32 years old and was working at Applebee's in 2000. Yet, on Monday night they had to face off against the juggernaut of college basketball. The Communist Regime, the Russians, the Empire, the Duke Blue Devils.

For the first time in my sports fandom I was rooting for the over budgeted, over hyped Goliath and against the lowly underdogs trying to chase history. I couldn't have been happier.

Butler is a great story. I'm so glad they made it to the finals and they have had a tremendous impact on college basketball. But this Duke team impressed me so much.

As a kid I rooted for the Duke teams that were loaded with first round draft picks to be. They enjoyed nearly undefeated seasons and trounced anyone in their path. This was the first Duke team that wasn't bloated with talent and star power. They were hard working, dedicated, grunt work players who did everything to get it done. Senior leadership led the way.

Sure. I get it. You still think I'm a bandwagoner. You still think I'm a phony and that Duke is worse than a Yankees/Voldemort sandwich. That's fine, I get it.

But Monday night was torture for me. Duke was supposed to blow Butler out, win by 20 and call it a day. Butler just kept hanging around. They made Duke work for every basket, and gave them no open looks. They fought hard on offense and got points from their bench. They just wouldn't go away!

At 10:09pm, when the game broke for halftime, I planned to go to bed (No, not cause I'm on a bandwagon but because I wake up at 5am). I laid down for 20 minutes trying to sleep. I couldn't do it. It was only a 1 point game! Butler could still pull it off! I couldn't sleep. I sat back up in bed and figured I'd watch a little more until Duke pulls away and when the game is firmly in hand I'll go to bed. That moment never came. When Gordon Haywood missed his baseline fall-away jumper to give Butler the lead I almost pooped the bed. Then with a two point lead Zoubek intentionally misses his last free throw and Haywood again heaves one from half court that hits the square on the backboard, bounces straight down in the front of rim then ricochets out, I couldn't believe it. Duke actually did it. This wasn't an Elite Eight game...this was the title match-up. It took a minute to set in.

Nothing, not even Jack Bauer on the Lost island hanging with Jim and Dwight, could keep me up all night like this game did. I was nervously awaiting each shot, each moment, each opportunity. I knew Butler wasn't going to give up, Duke had to earn it. They did. Call me bandwagon, whatever.
Duke has returned to college basketball royalty and taken the throne for another year. I couldn't be happier.

Unless the Redskins traded for a hated rival quarterback and said, "This is your future for the next 3-5 years. Suck it."

Friday, April 2, 2010

In response...

Some things are better left unsaid, this isn't one of those things. I'd be remiss if I failed to offer more in-depth support of my previous thesis. So, if you anger easily, are irrational and have been brainwashed to love baseball, keep reading and feel free to respond!

A good friend of mine is what I describe as a "baseball homer". One of those lifetime fans who grew up around baseball and loves it more than anything. I know right? Doesn't make sense to me either. Anyway, his fiancée decided that for April Fools Day she would tell him that one of his heroes used steroids. He bought it. No questions asked. Hook, line, sinker. He was demoralized. I love this because it serves to prove my point. And because I gained a small amount of joy from it.

If the ESPN headline tomorrow read, "Albert Pujols Admits to Steroid Use", you know who would be shocked? NO ONE! When every one of your star player's reputations can be utterly decimated overnight with no one blinking an eye in surprise, you have a problem with your sport. Sure we'd all be upset that the most recent baseball legend had fallen from grace, but would most of the nation be surprised? I know people who believe Ken Griffey Jr- the ballplayer next door, everyone's favorite guy- used steroids. They just assume ballplayer is synonymous with steroid user. The game has lost all credibility, deservedly or not. It's like someone saying that John Wayne is un-American, you just can't believe anything that person says anymore.

Here's the real point, there is a MAJOR difference between steroids and gun possession (or any of the many other off the field embarrassments that plague major league sports). Using steroids is cheating. Bringing guns to the locker room or a strip club does not give an athlete a competitive advantage over the rest of the league. Yes its a disgrace, an abomination and proves that athletes are not necessarily role models, but it isn't cheating. There is no competitive edge gained by shooting a hooker. Not that I know of. Comparing steroids to gun use is an egregious error in judgement. One affects on field performance and the other shows the pathetic character of a man. You want a solution? Make all the violators watch the Padres play the Indians, they won't want to suffer through that torture again.

The length of the season has nothing to do with how close the standings are when you finally decide to end the madness. It has everything to do with the dilution of a product that already isn't all that enticing. Halfway through last season Texas was only a game and a half behind the Angels. It's still a race, why do we have to suffer for 80 more games? Don't think I'm just bashing baseball, I also think the NBA season is way too long. 82 games? There isn't enough incentive to make all these games valuable. It's just painful. Especially when you're a Wizards and Nationals fan. I can't honestly be expected to watch JaVale McGee 70 times a season, right?

Here's another thing, the money companies invest in the NFL provides an important representation of the nation at the time. People cling to football games, they obsess over them, each one can determine the success or failure of the season or their fantasy teams. Ad revenue gained directly correlates to the value the nation places on it. You don't see companies paying $3 million dollars for a 30 second spot for a mid-season Pirates v. Nationals game do you? I'm pretty sure the only ads they play for those games are for LifeAlert and Depends.

As for the 7th Inning Stretch, this is the only break in sports that is for the fans. The athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, need a break at halftime, periods or quarters to rest and recover. It keeps the quality of competition on the field high at all times. Baseball involves so much inactivity that the fans are given the opportunity to stand up, stretch, yawn, and grab a hot dog. Look up any history about the 7th inning stretch it says nothing about the players. HOW DOES THIS SPORT MAKE ANY SENSE?!

You can explain OPS all you want, but it still means nothing to me. Naturally all sports keep stats and data sets on record, but baseball goes overboard. We're talking hundreds, if not thousands, of statistical categories. CATEGORIES! QB passer rating? Sure its a little absurd and doesn't give the most accurate representation of the value of a QB, but what are BABIP, BsR, DIPS, EQA, FBV, LIPS, PECOTA, PERA, PW/BFW, VORP, wOBA, Pythagorean expectation, Range Factor, and Super Linear weights doing for you? You can't justify the level of obsession baseball degenerates go to in order to justify and explain their sport. It's outlandish, preposterous, bonkers, I say!

One more thing, the luxury tax does nothing to solve the wide disparity of financial value of teams. The tax incurred if teams spend over the limit isn't distributed to smaller teams to promote competitive balance, it goes into an "Industry Growth Fund" that is used for player benefits and marketing purposes to promote baseball. The money that is provided to smaller market teams comes from the MLB's revenue sharing program which is an entirely separate entity from the luxury tax. If this bores you, try to figure out this picture while the baseball nerds read and understand the next paragraph.

Rich teams (yanks, sox, etc) already have enough dough to cover the luxury tax, making it largely ineffective. Read this: The Blue Ribbon Panel explained it this way: "It is generally agreed that the luxury tax fell short of its intended goal because the tax threshold (which was calculated as the mid-point between the fifth and six highest payroll clubs) was allowed to adjust upward in response to club behavior. The flaw in the "floating threshold" was obvious: the more the high payroll clubs spent on players, the higher the tax threshold and the less restraint on payroll escalation."

In layman's terms, teams with more money can spend more and push the luxury tax limit higher and higher effectively nullifying its purpose.

Look, baseball is a widely popular sport, people love it, I get it. All I'm doing is pointing out blatantly obvious flaws and proving to you its allure is expired like old milk. Here's an open challenge to make me appreciate baseball- take me to a game with you (your treat) and let me know what it's all about. I'm willing to change, even if baseball isn't.

And hey, at least no one took issue with my barber.