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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Makin' 'Em Sweat...


"Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff"

You hear it all the time. It's a call to keeping things simple. Dealing with things in a calm and sane fashion, and properly identifying things you can and cannot control...

All in all, principles I totally agree with. That is, if you're going with the standard definition of the word "sweat"...

Now in the popular quote above, "sweat" is used in reference to nervous perspiration. As in, if things were bothering you, you would be sweating. OR maybe if you were working out to a Richard Simmons tape. You'd be sweating then, too. You should also then be questioning your sexuality, but that's neither here nor there. But especially not here...

But what if the sweat in question was caused by another form of arousal? One that wasn't necessarily negative? And I don't mean sex, just because I used the word "arousal", either, so get your head out of the gutter. But what if it were something good and/or pleasant that was making you sweat? Something interesting? Then isn't it that very "small stuff" that you should be "sweating"?..

And believe me, I know how convoluted this sounds, and the ridiculous fine line I'm attempting to walk, but I've always been fascinated in literary and grammatical quirks such as this. And as is usually the case, the urge to contemplate these things ted to hit you like a lightning bolt, and at the most awkward times. For me, I was standing in line at a Dunkin Donuts in East Providence, getting ready for my daily shot of delicious coffee...

There I was, penning another stroke of genius on my first place fantasy baseball team on my Droid (put Nick Swisher in my lineup, he had a HR and 5 RBI), and I thought "Wow, it's the little things like this that are just awesome". Being able to stand there in and line while at the same time changing my fantasy roster? How does it get any better than that? I mean, sure, I could be Scrooge McDuck'n it in a huge vault of casheesh, and that might be better, but I was thinkin' just more in the every day sense. Besides, there's no way you don't dive right into those coins and get immediately concussed, so I don't know what kind of message that show was tryin' to send. Pantless ducks and ponds made of metal? I mean is that for real? What do they think we are here, children?!?...

So then, after I accepted the fact that Duck Tales was just a cartoon, I started thinkin' about the "small stuff", that popular saying, and how in a certain game I enjoy to partake in, the word "sweat" is also used in an unusual manner. Sounded like a blog post to me! See, in poker, "to sweat" someone, is to watch them play from over their shoulder and/or to anxiously await their results. It's like putting a positive spin on the phrase "Stop sweatin' me!". And seeing as there's a certain 23 year old poker pro at the World Series of Poker right now getting more sweat than a Bill Clinton Cankle Contest, I figured it would all come together in quite the nice little intro...

Ya know. We learn a lesson, I segway into what I really wanted to talk about, and I manage to get in a shot at The Williams Brothers and a shout out to how ill I am at fantasy sports. What? You're saying I didn't mention the Williams Brothers? Ohhhh yeah, you're right. Well they were going to figure prominently into that "more sweat than..." comparison, but what I came up with originally made me insta-boot onto my person, so I decided it probably wouldn't be the best idea to unleash it on the unsuspecting populous...

Instead you get Bill Clinton's Cankle Contest, and a sick little elf that has all of Vegas shaking in their "daddy needs a new pair of" shoes...

Ha! Get some...



Now I've caught a lot of flack over the years for paying far too much attention to poker, but God help me I just find the game really interesting. Especially when it's being played at it's highest level, and especially when the players involved add even more incentive to their games by introducing ridiculous proposition bets. Granted it's a very fine line when it comes to gambling, between genius and degenerate, but watching these guys walk that fine line can often be some of the best entertainment around. Like Charles Barkley said, "If you have the money, then it's not a problem". Add to that, "Hey, it's not my money", and you can see how watching people play for millions using nothing but mind games can be quite the entertaining event...

Last week, I told you how the World Series of Poker started, and informed you of a few interesting story lines to follow. Well, one in particular has already got the strip buzzing essentially like never before, and it's that surrounding the bracelet prop bets of high stakes phenom Tom "durrr" Dwan...

As I reported via hyperlink last week, Dwan made large bets on himself, giving 3.5 to 1 odds that he would win a bracelet in this year's World Series of Poker. Well, not only did Dwan finish 2nd in a 2600+ person, $1500 buy in No Limit Hold 'Em event after entering the final table as the chip leader, but it's now been revealed/leaked that had Dwan won, or should he win one of the 25+ events remaining, that he'll take home a sum in excess of $12 million! 12 freaking million! Talk about putting your money where your mouth is, right? If all these figures are right, then durrr's put up somewhere in the neighborhood of $3-4 million on himself to do win a bracelet, something mind you he's never done. Matter of fact, while Dwan is well known as one of the best cash game players in the world, his tournament resume is fairly incomplete compared to most of his high stakes brethren. Then again, maybe that has something to do with the fact that he's only 23...

No matter his age, the fact is the Dwan's got a bunch of his peers in the midst of a nervous sweat, whilst poker fans and gaming fans alike are sweating Dwan's results in a much more enjoyable fashion. He's proving my point that just because you're sweating, doesn't mean your worried, it more or less means your nervous. And just because your nervous, doesn't mean your scared. It's all about anticipation, the nervousness leading up to something big, something important. And if you're not gonna sweat that, then you're gonna miss out on a lot of the finer things in life...

Now, in a Jim Rome is Burning kind of way, here are a few of the other topics I'm "sweatin'" this week...

Brett Ferruccio Is Sweating. Doesn't exactly have a network TV type of ring to it, does it? Matter of fact it brings to mind images I'd rather not discuss. Hank Goldberg Is Sweating, on the other hand, works on just about every freaking level, and is a show ESPN should really look into developing before that drunkard of a pone-bettor drowns in a port-a-potty at next year's Kentucky Derby...

Until then, until the headlines read "Hank Takes a Drank", getcha sweat on, pimps. Getcha sweat on...


Red Sox Update
Overall:
35-25, 4 games back in AL East

This Week: @ CLE (6/9-6/10) vs PHI (6/11-6/13) vs AZ (6/15-6/17)

I'll probably be the only one sweating the Sox for another week or so, but that's perfectly fine by me. IT's funny, too. I was actually watching the Sox game last night while the Celtics game was on, and just had the creepy feeling that I was one of the only people watching it. But whatever, I'm sure every time someone watches somethin' on network TV they feel pretty much the same way, so that's not even really worth getting in to...

The good news out of Red Sox Nation, is that not only are the Sox continuing to win and score runs (averaging 6.1 runs per game while going 8-2 through their last 10), but that the Yankees and Rays ahead of them have at least looked beatable of late, allowing the Sox to climb to within 4 games. Passing Toronto is good for the mindset, too. Just a good way to start the Summer...

It'll be interesting to see what happens when Josh Beckett comes back into the rotation, but other than that it seems to be business as usual in the Nation of the Red Friends, with the day in day out grind in full effect, and the Boys of Summer doin' their thing. Hey, sometimes I'm short on analysis and numbers, but what can I say? I'm just enjoying the good play and trying not to rock the boat...Oh an I wanna be careful not to jinx any of the pitchers before the head to the National League later this week...

Oops!

See that? Reverse jinx insurance, right there. No Chien Ming Wang career ending toe stubs on this guys watch. That, and they're playing those games in the American League. So there's always that. Just keeping you on your toes!..


Sticking with baseball, if you weren't sweating Stephen Strasburg's debut last night, then you're just not a baseball fan. I know I do that a lot, calling people's fandom into question, but in this case I really believe it to be true. Kid dazzled last night in front of a packed house in Washington (right?), striking out 14 while walking none in the best debut pitching performance that any of us have ever seen. He delivered on all the hype and then some, and could actually help lift his woeful franchise right out of the gutter. If you haven't seen him, I'm sure ESPN will showcase him soon enough, but the fact is the kid has arrived. He's real, and he's spectacular...

On the other side of the coin, the Nationals also made news this week when the took already mythic college catcher, Bryce Harper #1 in this years MLB Draft. A move that I for one, don't expect to work out nearly as flawlessly. In Harper, I see a guy like Brian Bosworth, probably minus the roids. Or maybe like a Todd Marinovich, again probably minus the roids. Actually check that, it's definitely Bosworth, or to those of you that love crappy action movies, "The Boz"...

Harper's already been labeled the "Chosen One" by Sports Illustrated, a moniker they also gave LeBron, but unlike LeBron and more directly Strasburg, Harper already has a few questionable marks on his resume. Like how about the fact he was ejected and suspended for 3 games in the last ever collegiate game he'll ever play for yelling profanities into the opposing dugout? Yeah, cuz that's a good sign. And I don't even wanna hear about how the numerous ejections hes received or barbs he's drawn are more a product of other player's jealousy, either. As we see time and time again, people wired to be that competitive often have trouble reigning it in, and when it comes to an 18 year old kid that's being handed the world on a platter and having the people around him encourage that chip on his shoulder, that can make for a very dangerous combination...

Here's a prediction. Bryce Harper ends up in one of two places before Stephen Strasburg wins his first Cy Young Award. Prison, or A Ball. Either way, I'm sure 60 Minutes, Outside the Lines, HBO's Gumbel to Gumbel and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew will be all over it. Although I'm willing to bet by that time Dr. Drew has an entire show dedicated to rehabbing athletes, so he'd probably just end up being on that. Tom Sizemore would still be for some reason, too...

Just gonna be one of those "two much, too fast" things, I'm tellin' ya. And while I'd love to be wrong, being right has some hilarious side effects, so I'd rather be right. And hey, maybe he can turn out like Josh Hamilton, and then we all win! Whoa! His last name starts in H, too! Big H and Little H! That's freakin' gold, right there. And in the opening credits they can have cartoon images of the two of them riding on a white horse. It'll be great!..

Ohh, Heroin. Next to meth, my favorite drug to joke about...


Quick check on the NBA Finals before I head on out the door, and I really only have two observations...

1) The refs in the NBA re just God awful. I know I've ripped them thoroughly in the past, but yet again their dreadful performance makes it worth mentioning. It's no wonder people think these guys are on the take! IT's all we can think to justify their pathetic performances night in and night out...

Then again, maybe we should give them a break. Most of them are pretty old, and these late night games are probably putting them way past their Earl Grey and fuzzy slippers time...

2) What's with the weird smack talk in this series? First Gasol calls out Garnett, which just didn't seem necessary. And then Pierce says the Celtics won't be coming back to LA? Huh? Did he not watch the first two games? I know you're the mans 'n them, Truth, but if not for 20 3's from Ray Allen you guys get sent home to Boston with your tails tucked between your collective over padded legs. And Pau, why call out a guy you've been thoroughly dominating? What good could possibly come of that?!...

I know smack talk, and all the post game press conference and locker room stuff, is what makes the NBA appealing to a lot of people, but if this is what passes for viable smack these days then that's yet another area in which I think the league needs to improve. Oh and Paul, just one more thing. You might wanna be a little more careful in the future that you're smack talk doesn't have a dreaded double meaning. You know, like "sweat"? Because now, you might not be going back to LA, after all, but not at all for the reasons you so boldly predicted...

The NBA. I don't know, man. Seems kind of pathetic. But that's just me. And I still have the Lakers in 6, in case you were wondering...


I'd be remiss if I didn't comment on the passing of legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, this week at the age of 99. Wooden helped shape college basketball into what it is today, and will always be remembered as one of basketball's all time greatest teachers and all time greatest people. Never heard a bad word said about the man, and I don't expect them to start comin' now. John Wooden. RIP. You had a great run, sir, and you will be sorely missed...

Now before I go, I'd like to congratulate my sister for narrowly avoiding Joran Van der Sloot on her recent trip to South America, and thank God that the dangerous man with the hysterical name is finally going to get what's coming to him. Sloot or no Sloot, nobody gets a free pass to kill young women, no matter how comically useful their last name might be...


And there you have it, boys and girls. All the news that's fit to sweat. I hope, as usual, that I was able to open your mind a little and maybe even provide you with a chuckle or two along the way, but if not, I won't sweat it. Or maybe I will, I haven't made up my mind. Well no matter how I decided to read into it, I'll be back next week with another exciting installment, so keep your web browsers at an arm's reach...

Have a great week, everybody!


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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