On Anthony Davis

One of the perks of the sports reporting “biz” (as we like to say in the “biz”*) is getting to interact with other fabulous people like myself.  And while this may seem conceited (it is), it can be a highly satisfactory experience to have someone with similar experiences to commiserate with.

* Not really.

This goes on for all manner of people in all manner of professions, of course.  I would imagine some sanitation workers somewhere have some genuine whoppers to tell (“Frank, let me tell you what I found in the dumpster last week!”).  But I happen to particularly enjoy sports-related anecdotes and stories, so my career choice is fortunate in this sense.

One of the larger themes I often encounter in this venue is that of burnout.  The honest truth of the matter (as opposed to the dishonest truth) is that a huge chunk of us burn out.  This can take on many forms.  It can lead to career changes.  It can cause heartache or health problems. It can tear apart families.  It can even lead to premature death.  But the most common form it takes is a slow, insipid removal of a sports fan’s passion.

The not-so secret secret of sports reporting is this:

If you cover sports long enough, you usually just stop caring about sports.

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Let’s do rankings! Of Marvel movies!

So I wanted to do some rankings, partly to get back into the swing of writing again, and partly because they’re kind of fun and (in this case) most assuredly light.  One can only write on rape so much, you see.

For this entry I decided to rank the Marvel Studios movies from worst to best.  I recently saw “Guardians of the Galaxy” for the third time (meaning I’ve now seen all of these movies at least three times), so I now feel completely qualified to do this (and completely qualified to go back to living in my parents’ basement).

For this exercise, it is important to note that I’m including only the films developed by Marvel in-house, from Ironman on (so basically “The Avengers” flicks).

Also important to note is that I am right and everyone who disagrees with me is wrong.

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Black and white versus gray

Can jokes about rape be worse than a rape accusation itself?  I wouldn’t think so, but I find myself asking the question because of two other somewhat independent thoughts:

1.) Oregon players very clearly used poor judgement in making light of a rape investigation and got caught on camera doing so.

2.) I have no earthly idea what happened in Jameis Winston’s apartment.

In one case, I know what happened, and I am appalled by it.  In another, I don’t know, and I have no real way of resolving that.

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Live audio? Madness!

Just testing this out for a bit.

dgladow is on Mixlr

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On ice buckets and ALS

Cait and I took the plunge (literally – ha!) and dumped a giant bucket of ice water on our heads for charity.

(Here’s where I catch you up if you haven’t been caught up already.)

The basic premise is this: You state your intended cause (in our case, we chose to donate to Team Gleason, a charity and cause I strongly encourage people to check out — Steve Gleason is an amazing individual), though ALS research has become the cause of choice, if you will, then fill a bucket of ice and dump it over your head, all the while filming it for posterity. (This begins to eventually make sense.) The generally accepted thought process is that if you do the “challenge”, meaning taking the ice bath, you get out of donating (or at least donating the “full” amount). The trick to it doing more than simply bringing awareness to the cause is two-fold: 1.) You donate regardless of doing this silly thing. 2.) You challenge other people to do it as well.

This thing has become wildly viral and effective. ALS research has seen donations rise from $22,000 to $1.35 million over the same two-week period from last year to this year. Every where you look, people are dumping ice buckets over their heads. Many of these videos are pretty funny. I particularly enjoyed the efforts put out by Scott Fujita, Steve Gleason and Drew Brees. Team Gleason, y’all. Anyway you slice it, this is good stuff.

But some people have a problem with it.

I’m okay with this, of course, because if I weren’t, I’d be spinning my wheels in the mud full of fury — and really, that would be more silly than dumping a bucket of ice water over your head.

If it’s not your thing, that’s cool. If it’s not your cause (though the cause has and can continue to morph into whatever each individual wants it to be), that’s cool too.

Where I draw the line, I suppose, is people calling it stupid or telling people to stop doing it (like the gentleman in the link above). I just think that’s wrong-headed.

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They evacuated a hotel next to my office building this afternoon. Who “they” is is neither important nor interesting. It is vague intentionally, in the same way a sense of terror creeps over one’s society, festering in the shadows until called upon to wash over everything. Like a cold, wet washcloth over feverish skin. It is unsettling and uncomfortable, whether we want it to be or not.

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Any improvement there?

The defense has gotten better even WITHOUT suiting this guy up. Wha!?!?

Over the course of a busy fall (one that hasn’t allowed much time for random-like observations in blog format — sorry!), I have still made the time (mostly without exception) to watch the New Orleans Saints flounder their way into an overall losing record and the worst defense in the NFL. One must have priorities, you see.

In Week 1, the course of the year was laid out for me when I saw a rookie quarterback surrounded by questionable NFL talent (“questionable” is kind, I think) decimate the Saints defense to the tune of 459 total yards, 19-of-26 passing for 320 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, 22 first downs, and even a shameful fourth down conversion added in for good measure (in my view, ANY fourth down conversion surrendered is shameful … it’s the kind of wasted opportunity that generally haunts your team into a loss). For my part, I gave up on that game at 27-10, choosing to spend my time at the grocery store instead.* I don’t, as a rule, do this. But two things had changed: 1.) I’m a father now, and we (fathers) run errands when we can — every opportunity to accomplish something must be cherished. Also, 2.) The Saints were putting on a display rancid enough to qualify it for the 2007 season hall of disaster.

* I expected the grocery story to be full of people who didn’t watch Saints football. I had always, incorrectly, assumed that these people actually exist within the city limits. Wrong. Instead, I encountered a ton of people just like me — Saints fans who couldn’t bear watching the atrocity on display. I felt a rare kinship as I squeezed my tomatoes and avacados in the produce section, and I now feel a great deal of comfort in knowing that those people are there when I need them.

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Good depth vs. bad depth: K-State is thin as hell

Collin Klein at JerryWorld

Collin Klein will step on ye mere mortals.

In keeping with the blog post I ran last month, I’d like to examine whether another team relevant to yours truly has decent depth or not, and that team is of course Kansas State.

I have an irrational love for my alma mater, and I do not apologize for it.*

* If you’d like a more thorough explanation as to how this came to be, feel free to buy my book, Eyeblack Odyssey (as an added bonus, I’ll love you forever).

More importantly to anyone who isn’t a fanatical homer of the boys in purple, the Wildcats are a fascinating case in their own right, fresh off a record EIGHT wins by a touchdown or less and returning basically every important cog off of that team in 2012 (with a couple of exceptions, of course).

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On Nebraska

For the longest time, I couldn’t find this old rant about Nebraska fans I had posted on my wife’s message board … until today. I did a happy dance and decided to post it here for archival purposes. If you haven’t read it yet, enjoy. Also, if you enjoy this general mentality of hating Nebraska, it is quite evident in my book, Eyeblack Odyssey. Buy a copy if you haven’t.

(Originally written Oct. 5, 2011)

To accurately describe my hatred of Nebraska is akin to asking a person in the throes of a passionate argument to settle down for a bit and while they are at it, could they please type up a reasoned response letter to an I.R.S inquiry? This is not something easily achieved. Especially not in a quick fashion. But I shall endeavor to limit myself anyway…

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The most important of days

Today is my birthday. This was very significant. Was. As you get older, you find that it’s often just a day like any other. The realities of the world are going to interfere, whether you want them to or not. It’s a cold, hard realization when you discover that most of the world doesn’t care (you already knew this deep down, but rarely got slapped in the face by it until adulthood), and it’s up to each of us to come to terms with this. Our birthdays are just regular days, and sometimes they won’t be particularly special or wonderful. Sometimes they will be terrible. Most of us have too many of them to bat 1.000.

It wasn’t always this way for me, of course. I remember my birthday as a child as being magical and full of wonder. Getting my General Lee tricycle was a high point. As was the pool party that one year. And a bicycle another year (though that bicycle had a weird design to it that kind of made it look like a girl’s bike and I was always a little too sensitive about that in the ensuing months/years). The friends, the family, the food, the gifts. And best of all, my birthday was in the summer, which meant I never had to go to school on my birthday ever.

What more could any kid want?

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