Sixteen hours after this photo was taken the Red Sox finished their first game of the 2010 season. They came from behind to beat the New York Yankees in what was one of the best opening day games ever (they led, we caught up, they led again, we surpassed them for good).
Petey threw out the first pitch, Joshua Sacco recreated his “Miracle” speech, and Neil Diamond sang Sweet Caroline live in the middle of the 8th inning. I wasn’t there, but I could feel the excitement 3000 miles away. I hope this is just a taste of what the season holds for us. So like Johnny Pesky roared tonight – play ball!
Following on the heels of my participation in sfgirlbybay’s Blog It Forward project I was contacted by Ignite Social Media and asked to enter Intel’s Access Your Core contest. They’d seen my entry for the Microsoft Winter Games Blogging Contest and had read my blog. One more of these and I won’t be surprised if Ed McMahon comes back from the dead and shows up on my doorstep!
So here it goes… I’ll be hitting y’all up for votes once again. Voting has begun and lasts through March 17th! The best part is that when you vote you’re automatically entered to win an Intel powered laptop! They’re giving one away each week. So check out my entry and VOTE!
If I win I’ll receive a new Intel powered laptop and between $3K and $7K. Seed money for a new venture… a trip to Spain… a 40th birthday party weekend with friends… a new camera lens… oh, the possibilities are endless. Help me dream and dream big!
Inspiration. If we’re lucky we encounter it every day, many times a day. It can appear in the most unlikely places and also feel like home. It serves as both the spark and the breath of creativity. It’s both subtle and powerful, sudden and prolonged.
I’m honored to be one of 300 creative souls taking part in sfgirlbybay’sblog it forwardproject where we will each answer the question – what inspires us? I’ve taken the baton from Sycamore Street Press and will pass it on to tam.me. tomorrow. We are part of just one of several chains of inspiration that are in motion this month. The full list can be found here. Enjoy! And be inspired!
Ahhh, the list could go on…. But what inspires you?
It should come as no surprise that I’m involved in a cut throat competition with super high stakes – a winner take all, reputations on the line, battle for sports fan supremacy. Yes, I’m competing against my co-workers to see who can emerge with the best record of NFL picks.
I started off poorly – no doubt about it. I was traveling during the first few weeks of the season so didn’t get all my picks in. Not an auspicious start, but lately I’ve picked up steam. Lately I’ve beat my fellow competitors for three weeks running. Will I make it four? All I know for sure is you gotta respect the streak.
A few of my favorite streaks
New England Patriots – Two longest NFL winning streaks with 18 games in 2003-04 and 21 games in 2006-2008
1991 Indianapolis Colts – Twenty-one consecutive quarters without a touchdown
Joe DiMaggio – Even though I’m not a Yankees fan you have to love a 56-game hitting streak
Boston Red Sox – Eighty-six years without a World Series (the streak itself was horrible, but breaking it was oh so sweet!)
Boston Celtics – Eight straight NBA titles
Lance Armstrong – Seven Tour de France wins, ’nuff said.
December 7th update – the streak is still alive! I beat the boys for the fifth week in a row (that’s five, count ’em). This week was touch and go, but I pulled it out in the end.
December 13th update – it’s sad, but true. The has streak ended with a loss to the fighting turducken. However, I still hold the record for most weekly wins.
Every four years I do this. Every four years I start reading news articles and opinion pieces about athletes who will compete in the upcoming Olympic games. It’s my way of getting prepared. It’s my dry land training regimen.
Usually I wait until after the holidays, but this year the Winter Olympics have been on my mind a bit earlier in the season. I wonder why?!
My method is not scientific. My process is haphazard at best. My choices are guided by instinct (see below*). But having a list of a dozen or so athletes to follow during the games makes the viewing and rooting experience so much richer. So here is a preliminary list of athletes I’ll follow in 2010 and why…
Tony Benshoof (luge) – hates airline travel, loves to listen to the radio, loves road trips, has to push through pain to do what he loves. I can identify with all of those, plus I just love saying “luge”.
Sara Studebaker (biathalon) – loves the camp-like atmosphere of training camps, likes going to new places. Add to that the biathalon always reminds me of snowy chukkar hunts in the hills above the Deschutes River with close friends.
Steve Mesler (bobsled) – childhood friend of dave’s (one of my closest friends from boston), he recently gave up his spot (temporarily) to Stephen Colbert during a “training” run in Lake Placid. A friend of Dave’s is always a friend of mine!
Kaylin Richardson (skiing) – trains in Chile, talks about respecting the process. I started this blog after following a friend’s blog who was teaching in Chile, and you have to cheer for someone who loves the process. The process is as much a part of a writer/photographer’s life as it is part of an athlete’s life.
Apolo Ohno (speed skating) – from the Pacific Northwest, will become the most decorated American Winter Olympian with one more medal in Vancouver, the way he wears his bandana reminds me of Rafael Nadal. He’s from the Northwest and he reminds me of Nadal – ’nuff said.
*Yes, I root for the Oregon Ducks – it’s only right since I have two degrees from the University of Oregon. I also passionately follow the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots – a natural legacy from my years living in Boston. But people often look at me funny when I mention that I’m pulling for the Texas Longhorns. I’ve never lived in Texas, I haven’t even visited. So why do I root for Texas? It’s simple: a love of design (their kick-ass logo combined with their sweet school colors) + a love of sports = a soft spot for the University of Texas. Like I said, it’s not scientific.
The Red Sox may be done for the season, but the Ducks sure aren’t. They beat USC 47 to 20 during a night game at Autzen Stadium under a nearly full moon. Though both teams had nearly equal possession time, the Ducks had 613 yards to the Trojans’ 327. Oregon had five touchdowns and four field goals to So Cal’s two touchdowns and two field goals. USC didn’t score a single point during the 4th quarter in “their worst loss since 1997”. Go Ducks! I’m starting to smell the roses!
The World Series extending into November… spring training AND the the Super Bowl in February… tennis played every month except December… football in August?! This is messed up! Maybe not as bad as the financial markets, but professional sports need some oversight. Just like President Obama appointed a pay czar, he needs to appoint a sports czar. And yes, I’m putting my name forward as a candidate with vision.
Sports are seasonal. Baseball is summer. Football is fall. Basketball is winter into spring. It’s perfectly fine to have the playoffs extend to the first month of the next season, but not beyond that. Extended seasons dilute the sport and overlapping seasons don’t allow for fans to be as engaged. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard – baseball in November?! WTF?!
So I’m modeling my new calendar after the wisdom of the seasonal food movement where we eat blueberries in summer, apples in fall, citrus in winter. Through that model we look forward to those foods. They aren’t passed over, but celebrated. Sports should be similarly focused upon and celebrated.
I’m beginning with some changes to my four favorite sports: • Baseball – mid-April to mid-September with the world series in early to mid-October • Football – September to December with playoffs in January • Basketball – January to April with playoffs in May and June • Tennis – February to November
Mr. President – I’m awaiting your call! (hee hee!)