It Can Wait

I am drinking coffee and writing on this Sunday morning. I have a turquoise, soft cover Moleskine journal that I love and ball point pen that writes just right. It’s a beautiful, sunny, January day. My phone is downstairs.  In the time it has taken me to write these four and a half lines, I’ve had the urge/impulse/itch to check/use/scratch(?) my phone four times. #1- I wanted to use the timer for what was initially going to be a timed writing exercise [No Tracy, you can use the clock]. #2 – What’s today’s date? It’s right there on my phone’s home screen [Uh Tracy, use your brain].  #3 – I wanted to check the weather app to include the actual temperature when describing this lovely day [It’s January, Tracy…It’s cold]. #4 – I wonder if I’ve heard back from my friend Jamie. Hmm. I could do a Lumosity “workout.” And see what’s up on Twitter. I love Twitter.  [No, no, noooo! IT CAN WAIT! IT CAN ALLLL WAIT. Write your damn journal entry] Jeez, no wonder I have trouble with follow through.  We are living in a distractible world, and I am a distractible girl [Madonna invocation: You know that we are liiiiving in a distractible world and I am a distractible girl].

At work last year I was part of a project team that moved a manufacturing plant from Minnesota to NC. We up-fit an 80,000 Sq. Ft facility here on a very tight time line to accommodate the plant. I was the Project Manager. Our team was rock solid, we all worked crazy hours, and lives were at stake. Ok, lives weren’t at stake – but SOCIAL lives definitely suffered. In the end, we were successful and it was extremely rewarding.  Throughout the project, my boss constantly said, “What can we check off the list today? I’m big on checking things off the list.” He preferred to make a good choice and move, versus making the perfect choice (which, obviously doesn’t exist). It may sound simple, but that stuck with me. It has become this perfectionist’s New Year’s resolution. Like most of us, I have a lot of lists. Being distractible and a perfectionist can be a paralyzing combo, especially creatively. Daily I think of ideas for a blog post, joke, sketch, business idea, etc. But I convince myself that I’ll get to them when I have more time (…to make them “perfect” before sharing them with the world, I suppose). And most of the time my (probably genius) creative musings and (probably million dollar) Shark Tank ideas lie dormant, never to be recalled. It’s a bad feeling. This blog post is a case in point. I started it yesterday morning but did not finish it in one sitting. It would be so easy to let it die away like so many others, unfinished. But damn it, I’m checking things off the list. And this year, writing is an important item on my list. Writing, and then letting it go of what I’ve written. It’s not perfect and that’s ok. Don’t over edit. Don’t let doubt keep you from doing what you want to do: just write. And for God’s sake, don’t check Facebook. [Fade out: Li-ving in a distractible world…DISTRACTIBLE!… Li-ving in a distractible world…….]

IRIS Sports Archive – Keeping Up with Your Sports Fan

Originally posted 1/5/2013….

You’re here so you can keep up with the sports fan in your life…boss, coworkers, or yo’ man (sure ok, maybe yo’ lady). Or, maybe you’re here ‘cause you’re my friend (thanks). Either way, here are this week’s top five (and a half) chat worthy sports happenings…

  • It’s College Football Bowl Season. Surely your sports fan (YSF) is up to his eye bowls, in college footballs (see what I did there). If YSF’s team is in a bowl game, you need to find out if they won. If YSF is yo’ man, ask him. He’ll love it. If it’s your boss, just hush up and figure it out… http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/scoreboard . It’s a great accomplishment for a team to qualify for a bowl game. Different bowls carry different levels of distinction and a team’s record determines which one they qualify for. Most of the bowls have goofy names (ex. GoDaddy.com Bowl) because we are a capitalistic society that will likely have corporations sponsoring each square of our toilet paper sometime in the near future….but I digress. My two teams (YSF may insist you can’t have two teams, but if you hold your ground on your reasoning he’ll back off… unless it’s because you like the uniforms.) So, my two teams are NCSU (hometown fan, I grew up rooting for them) and my alma mater, UGA. It’s fun being a UGA football fan. They dominated Nebraska in an exciting win, 45-31, in the Capital One Bowl. Here’s a play that sums up how the game went: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/01/georgia-nebraska-capital-one-bowl-murray_n_2393395.html . NC State did not have the same good fortune. They lost to Vanderbilt 24-38 in the Music City Bowl. Here’s a play that sums up how their game went: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8796113 . The biggest, baddest, bowl in the land is the BCS Bowl, excuse me, the Discover BCS Bowl. It will be played on January 7th and will determine which of these top ranked teams, Notre Dame or Alabama, is this year’s National Champ!
  • Men’s College basketball season is underway. My favorite! Like any collegiate sport, it’s all about the conference. I grew up in ACC country (http://www.theacc.com/) which is known for elite basketball. Our neighbor, Duke University, is currently ranked #1 the country. NCSU is 11-2 but regular conference play starts this weekend and that’s when games really matter (for the record, the two games NCSU lost were to Top 25 teams). If none of this is doing it for you, think about this…basketball games are always inside, basketball games are short, and basketball games do not consume an entire day with tailgating. In other words, consider yourself lucky if YSF is a basketball fanatic. Find YSF’s team’s record here: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/standings
  • NFL “regular season” ended last weekend. Post season games start this weekend to determine who will make it to the playoffs. This will all culminate at the Superbowl (http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/47) on February 3, 2013. Currently the two top teams (http://espn.go.com/nfl/standings/_/type/playoffs) are the Denver Broncos (my team!) as the AFC Champs, and the Atlanta Falcons as the NFC Champs. One team from each division will end playing each other on the big day. Go Broncos!
  • Seven NFL coaches were fired on January 31st (Happy New Year, Coach). One of the most controversial was Chicago Bears head coach, Lovie Smith. It must be hard to fire a guy named Lovie. Lovie wasn’t feeling the lovie (I lovie his name, btw)…ok, I’ll stop. He had a good season and the ‘da Bears only missed playoffs by one game, but that doesn’t matter. Lovie has not gotten his team to the playoffs in five of the last six seasons. So, he’s out. There’s no loyalty in the NFL. You either get wins, or get fired. There is a lot of shuffling around of coaches and players in between each season and it always feels wrong to me. I don’t want to be reminded that it’s a business; I want the romance of pulling for a team I love. It’s like switching out the actors in your favorite TV show every season. Remember when they replaced Darren on Bewitched? (I’m old) Like I said, the shuffling can be disheartening…Wait, What? The Colts released Peyton Manning? What? He’s going to Denver? Can I get a what-what!? I’m ok with that kind of shuffling.
  • If YSF loves hockey, you might actually be enjoying this NHL season. The players have been locked out; Yet another reminder that professional sports can be an ugly business. It has something to do with revenue sharing. The owners of the teams want to reduce the player’s piece of the pie. While they figure all this out, season ticket holders and little kids across USA just have to wait. When the topic comes up, just throw out the terms “lockout” and “revenue sharing,” and you’ll have instant sports-cred. The season may start sometime this month, but it’s all still up in the air.

IRIS Sports Archive – Twofer

Originally posted 2/9/12…

Everyone’s life is busy. So this week is a speed round, IRIS, two-for-one! Here are the top ten things you need know about sports from the past two weeks, IRIS style.

  • Remembering beloved Canadian freeskier Sarah Burke. She died as a result of a tragic fall in the SuperPipe in Park City last January. Sarah was only 29 years old and was the top freeskier in the world. She was an inspiration to so many, both as an athlete and as a person. Here is the ESPN’s recent tribute to beautiful Sarah…  (http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:7508480).
  • If you don’t know that the NY Giants won Super bowl XLVI last Sunday, then you’re in the right place. The Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17. It was a close game but the Patriots blew it. Afterwards, QB Tom Brady’s model wife mouthed off to some heckling fans (I would have too) and now everyone in Boston is on a witch hunt. Perspective, people.
  • The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Slam_(tennis) ) tennis tournament of the year. This year’s championship match lasted a record breaking six hours. Technically it was five hours and fifty three minutes…but six hours! In the end, Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 7-5 in the fifth set.
  • The Winter X-Games 2012 saw Shaun White get the first ever perfect score in the SuperPipe (giant half pipe with walls measuring at least 18 feet from the flat bottom to the top of the wall). He is insane! Check it out: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:7518186
  • Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, seriously injured his neck last year. He has had several surgeries and was just cleared by doctors to resume playing (he was paid $25 million not to play football last season). The big question now is, will the Colts release him or resign him? He’s a risk because he apparently has nerve damage and is having trouble throwing. Peyton has had an amazing career and I’m hoping he gets back to full strength regardless of where he plays.
  • Hockey! In the NHL, the NY Rangers are leading the Eastern Conference and my buddy Ethan’s Detroit Redwings are leading the Western Conference. The Carolina Hurricanes are the opposite of leading the Eastern conference. Yep.
  • College Basketball. Last night Duke beat Carolina at the buzzer, which is always nice. It was a super exciting finish! Check it out: http://youtu.be/3X1ewxVwhug
  • NASCAR – Danica Patrick (http://espn.go.com/racing/driver/_/id/697/danica-patrick), former IndyCar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IndyCar) driver, is guaranteed spot in the Daytona 500. Here’s all you need to say about this…”I think it’s cool that Danica Patrick will be racing in the Daytona 500. Then your boyfriend will say something about another driver trading points on her behalf, her GoDaddy sponsorship, and that it might be unfair that she got a spot. You don’t need to understand this, just response with a confident, “I still think it’s cool.” The end.
  •  Big first baseman news! Now that football is over, baseball talk begins. Albert Pujols (http://search.espn.go.com/albert-pujols/ ) (Pronounced pooh-holes…you’ll never forget that one, I know. You’re welcome.) Anyway, the awesome Albert Pujols left the St. Louis Cardinals for the Angels in Anaheim. He has been with St. Louis for all ten years of his career and has been a big contributor to this team’s success. His leaving was all about contracts and money. It seems the consensus is that it’s hard to believe the Cardinals let him go. Good luck in Anaheim as an awesome Angel, Albert! (alliteration nerd alert)
  • More first baseman news! The Detroit Lions are paying $214 million on a nine year contract for Prince Fielder (http://search.espn.go.com/prince-fielder/) (what a great baseball name). $214 million! This is the fourth biggest deal in baseball history. Now we all get to see if Prince lives up to the hype.

IRIS Sports Archive – It’s Alive!

Originally posted  1/25/12….

It’s ALIVE…ALIIIIIVE!! After a grueling three-week-on/twelve-week-off schedule, IRIS is back! The first post of 2012 is dedicated to my friends and family who lovingly harassed me about getting back to it. This week’s top five is a list, by degree-of -heckling, of my awesomely persistent friends/family and the sports that remind me of them. YAY for friends and family!

BRIGITTE/ULTIMATE FRISBEE J  I played Ultimate with Brigitte on a women’s club team for many years. We practiced long hours and paid our way to travel all over the country to play this sport we love so much. The bond you create with teammates is like none other – I can’t say enough about this. My Frisbee friends are truly great.  A relatively new sport, Ultimate Frisbee (http://www.usaultimate.org/multimedia/default.aspx) is growing every year. Still, it is widely misunderstood. No, it doesn’t involve dogs. No, it’s not the one where you throw the frisbee into a basket (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_golf). What, paintball? I play frisbee, not paintball (this actually happened to me). Brigitte is one of the many women who have inspired me in the Ultimate world. Here’s a highlight reel (cruddy quality, but a catchy tune) showing off some female badass-ness.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fguRqolq9-I 

The IRIS key to Ultimate Frisbee is just knowing that it exists, that it’s a field sport like soccer as opposed to disc golf which is like, um, golf. …and that it’s bad ass!

SANDY/NFL FOOTBALL J My sister became a huge San Diego Chargers fan when they drafted NC State quarterback Philip Rivers in 2004. I’m talkin’ Chargers chat rooms/training camp huge. She can hang with the boys when it comes to football. Is that sexist? Who cares, it’s true. The NFL season is over for most teams. Last weekend’s games determined who is going to Super bowl XLVI http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/46   (46 if you’re Roman numeral rusty like me).  It’s the New England Patriots (Tom Brady is the QB – he’s as talented as he is handsome) vs. the New York Giants (Eli Manning is the QB – he’s the younger brother of Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts. Peyton and the Colts won the Super bowl in 2007. Eli and the Giants won the following year in 2008. Can you imagine how proud their parents were?) The Super bowl is February 5, 2012. I have to mention here that I’ll be pulling for the Pats so I am not disowned by my Boston family!

DON/ESPN.COM & any other sport on the planet J My brother is a huge sports fan, former basketball stud (sorry about the “former,” D) and serious golfer. He’s partly the inspiration for IRIS Sports because he’s often my go to guy for the short version of what’s going on in the sports world.   He can usually break it down in two sentences or less. Me: “What was the deal with the NBA strike?” D: “It was mostly about salary caps for rookies.”  Me: “What’s going on with Golf right now?  D: “Everyone is getting ready for the Masters in April”  Me: “What is up with that crazy chick Courtney on the Bachelorette? D: “Um, what?”

BECKY/BEARS, BULLS, BLACKHAWKS  J  Sports alliteration! Becky is my former roommate, formidable athlete, and a diehard Chicago _____ fan. Fill in the blank with whichever Chicago team you’d like here.  We’ll go with professional hockey…the Blackhawks. They won the Stanley Cup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Cup) in 2010 and this year they are the top offensive team in the Western Conference. That’s all I got. ..but props for that! Last year the Boston Bruins won the title. This year it is still within reach for both of them.  Go Becky, Bruins, & Blackhawks!

BASS/NCSU WOLFPACK J  My friend Bass can jump high. Hang time high. It’s fun to watch. I just wanted to state that for the record. That, and he made this list at a party last Saturday with some late night heckling about da’ IRIS Sports ‘mon (He’s not Jamaican. My brain just does that sometimes).  Bass is North Carolina State alum.  The ACC (http://www.theacc.com/ ) is basketball country!  The Wolfpack, Notorious Un-Der-Dogs, are tied for first place in the ACC!  Tied with Duke and Florida State, they have a 4-1 record.  They’re not ranked nationally like Duke, Florida State or UNC but what else is new!?

IRIS questions? Shoot me a comment. Otherwise, see you next week as IRIS 2012 keeps rolling. Thank you Dad, Sandy, Brigitte, Donnie, Graham, Becky, Lucy, Bass, Peter, Nicole, Katy, and Shelly!  When you only have 12 fans, you may as well acknowledge them all by name.

IRIS Sports Archive – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Originally posted 8/28/11….

An earthquake, Gaddafi, and hurricane all walk into a bar… I wish I had a punch line for you. It’s been a crazy week in the world. If you take away the natural disasters and overthrown government, the world of sports was no different! Welcome to IRIS sports week three…The good, the bad, and the ugly.

1) The Good. Another first-time-ever happened in baseball this week. On August 25th, the New York Yankees hit three grand slams in one game. They are the first team in major league history to do this! What? It seems crazy that this has never happened before in all the history of major league baseball. A “grand slam” ain’t just an oversized dish at Denny’s, it’s hitting a homerun when the bases are loaded. The final score was Yankees 22, Oakland Athletics 9. That’s what happens when you score 12 runs with three at bats! It would have been really crazy if the same guy had hit all three grand slams. Then it would have been a hat trick of grand slams. What if he did it three games in a row? It’d be a three-peat hat trick grand slammer. What if he then repeated all of that for three years in a row? It’d be a triple crown three-peat hat trick grand slammer. Just kidding, I butchered the actual definitions (except hat trick). But seriously, considering that it happened on the same week of an earthquake, Gaddafi’s overthrow, and a hurricane…surely we can call it a Tripoli, right? There’s the punch line.

2) The Bad. The legendary University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 59. This is an issue that is close to my heart as my mom was diagnosed eight years ago at 69. Summitt has been the head coach of Tennessee since 1975 and has won eight national championships. Simply put, she is a bad ass. She is not stepping down as head coach yet & hopes to have three more years coaching. I admire her courage in sharing her diagnosis with the public (http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6888653&categoryid=3414465). I wish the best for the Summitt family (she has a son who plays basketball at UT as well) and her Tennessee team as she fights this disease.

3) The Ugly. Unfortunately there are a lot of ugly aspects of sports. The scandal at the University of Miami continues. This week Miami’s coach suspended eight football players. Now it’s the NCAA’s (National Collegiate Athletic Association http://www.ncaa.org/ ) job to determine their eligibility status. Their suspension is due to alleged involvement with booster-turned-convicted-felon Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro claims he provided gifts to players (cash, cars, sex) from 2002-2010. Yes, these talented kids should have known better than to accept these favors. But more importantly, these kids should not have been put in a position to make that decision. Possible punishment for the players could be paying back any money received (reports say some accepted ten grand), sitting out games, or both. Miami’s season starts Sept. 5th at Maryland. It’s reported that NCAA will make a decision soon.

4) Back to Good. It’s still NFL preseason which means teams are still tweaking rosters and figuring out who will be their starting quarterback. Meanwhile, just like politics, the analysts (and probably your coworkers and boyfriends) are already trying to predict who will go to the Superbowl. That always cracks me up. So much can happen between now and the end of the season. But even though preseason doesn’t really matter, it’s still fun when your team wins. Yesterday one of my teams won. The Denver Broncos (shout out to Crested Butte!) beat the Seahawks 23-20. Is this what you meant when you said I should talk about Tebow, Hensley? J (full disclosure: Hensley is a buddy and HUGE Seahawks fan. Plus, he doesn’t like it when girls talk about football)

5) The Best. This weekend is the 18th annual Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic which raises money for cancer research. Celebrities like Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neil made the journey into hurricane territory for this good cause. Jim Valvano was the NC State basketball coach from 1980-1990 and lost a battle to cancer in 1993. He’s known for winning an against-all-odds National Championship in 1983 (as well as running around the court looking for someone to hug at the buzzer…legendary clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l5N2eKdvL4). However his real legacy is his Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research and the uplifting speech he gave at the ESPY awards in 1993 just eight weeks before he died. It’s long but so worth the watch, sports fan or not. Take the time! Don’t forget your Kleenex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E

Thanks for reading IRIS, aka “I Read It Somewhere” sports this week!

IRIS Sports Archive – Week Two

Originally posted 8/17/11…

Here’s your IRIS Sports week-two-water-cooler talk…

1) American Cinderella story in the Golf world. Keegan Bradley, 25, won the PGA Golf Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club last Sunday. He edged out fellow American Jason Dufner – and by edged out, I mean they tied and then played 3 extra tiebreaker holes. This was Keegan’s first attempt at a major championship (there are only 4 a year: Masters, British Open, US Open, & the “player’s championship,” the PGA Championship) so to win it is huge! He came into the weekend ranked 108th in the world and finished ranked 29th. Also cool is the fact that 2 Americans were duking it out for 1st place. It had been a while since an American won a major (Mickelson won Masters in 2010) so taking 1st and 2nd is good to see. “Tracking Tiger” (wink): Tiger did not make the cut in this tournament – some he says he’s just rusty, some say he’s fallen from grace – either way, I’m sure he’ll be back fighting soon enough.

2) So much scandal in the college football world! The hot topic right now is the University of Miami. Referred to as “The U,” the school is under NCAA investigation as one of their biggest boosters, Nevin Shapiro, has made claims of illegally recruiting players (think extravagant gifts, prostitutes, and cash) for 8 years (2002-2010). This is all coming out now because Shapiro has been convicted (and sentenced to 20 years) for executing a $930 million Ponzi scheme (winner!). If true, this mess may affect coaches who have moved on to other schools, players who have moved on to the NFL, not to mention current Miami players. The NCAA is still investigating – fingers crossed that this is just the ramblings of a convicted felon. Sadly, that’s unlikely. There is a long list of schools that have been investigated or sanctioned over the past year and a half (Ohio State, Auburn, Southern Cal, and North Carolina to name a few). It’s disappointing when the people who are supposed to know better lose perspective on what collegiate sports should be about – the kids & their personal development. U can Use this “The U” talk at the water cooler with Ur friends.

3) Baseball often reminds me of the playground days. Here are 2 examples why…

*Check out this wild double play by the Toronto Blue Jays. The announcer calls it a “run down,” I prefer pickle ‘cause that’s what we called it on the playground (plus it’s more fun to say): http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18015477&topic_id=&c_id=mlb&tcid=vpp_copy_18015477&v=3

*Watch Chicago Cubs second baseman make an uggla-y catch. Dan Uggla, that is. Uggla plays for the Atlanta Braves and had a 33-game hitting streak going until Darwin Barney ended it with this crazy catch: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18015099&topic_id=&c_id=mlb&tcid=vpp_copy_18015099&v=3  Both the hitting streak and the catch are impressive.

IRIS tip: You can whip out your phone at the water cooler and impress your co-workers by showing them these videos (Just kidding. Play it cool, man.)

4) The inspirational Serena Williams is on her way back up. After a bizarre foot injury last year caused by stepping on glass in a restaurant in Germany followed by 2 foot surgeries and a scare caused by blot clots in her lungs, she was out for 49 weeks. She is now 8 weeks into her comeback and won 2 tournaments (Bank of the West Classic in Stanford in July and the Roger’s Cup in Toronto last Sunday). Although she’s still struggling with her foot injury, she’s prepping for the US Open coming up August 29th -September 11th. There is apparently a struggle with how to rank her for the Open because she is a better player than her rank indicates. Guess we’ll find out at the end of the month.

5) More baseball! This one is important, and will especially impress your stat-crazy boyfriend or your super-jock coworkers. Jim Thome (pronounced Toe-may…not “some” with a lisp) of the Minnesota Twins hit his 599th and 600th home runs Monday night in Detroit. He is a well-liked 40 year old family man who started his career 20 years ago with the Cleveland Indians. It’s always fun to see the good guys succeed. The 600-homerun club is a small one. He’s only the 8th player in history to accomplish this, joining the ranks of Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Sammy Sosa. Go Jim!

IRIS Sports Archive – First Post!

Originally posted 8/9/11…

Let’s face it, most guys are measuring loyalties and memorizing team stats by the age of five. I grew up playing sports, I have three older brothers, and I was a complete tomboy. Yet I still have no desire to know what David Ortiz’s batting average is or the QB rating for Aaron Rodgers. I’m not implying that these are the most significant things that happened in the past week, just a few things to talk about…

  • Adam Scott wins the WGC – Bridgestone golf tournament. First off all, who doesn’t love a guy with two first names? Second, this is a big deal is because Adam Scott’s caddie is Steve Williams, the guy Tiger Woods abruptly fired last month. Also a big deal is the fact that this tournament was Tiger Woods’ return to golf after a long break. End result: Tiger sucked (for Tiger), Steve Williams coached Adam Scott to a win, and now everyone is mad because the media focused on the Tiger/Williams caddie drama rather than how Aussie Adam Scott actually played & won. Sidebar: There is a section on ESPN.com called “Tracking Tiger” – insert eyeball roll.
  • Football season is gearing up. NFL Pre-season games start soon & the real-deal games start Sept 8th.  There was a lockout this summer as team owners & players couldn’t agree on…something. Something important that has to do with lots of money. And fans. It’s confusing but I swear, if you mention anything about the NFL Lockout to your man, you’re golden…any guy will be impressed that you know this. Specific point of interest NFL-land: Chad “OchoCinco” (yes, he legally changed his last name to “Eighty-five” in Spanish in 2008) is now playing for the New England Patriots. He’s exciting to watch & will be scoring lots of runs. Just kidding – it’s touchdowns. Pay attention!
  •  Skateboarders are insane, in the best way. I’m going back a few weeks to the Summer X-Games 2012 (July 28-31). You’ve simply got to watch this 16 year old kid Nyjah Huston win the “Skateboard Street” finals. If you don’t find this impressive, then I challenge you to stand on a skateboard in a parking lot. That’s all. Just stand on it. Then, jump. Yep, only using your feet. Yep, make the wheels leave the ground while your feet are still on the deck (that’s shop talk for the wooden part of the skateboard). You get the idea. I can’t do it either. So now check out this amazing, disciplined 16 year old kid:  http://espn.go.com/action/xgames/summer/2011/story/_/id/6819385/huston-heads-street-league-championship-roll
  •  The Red Sox beat the NY Yankees 3-2 Sunday night. Exciting! Why? Because this is a classic rivalry, because this means the Red Sox are now leading the “AL East” (get to that later), because BOSTON IS AWESOME. Ok, so I may have some (a lot) of family in Boston. My folks are from Boston. I heart Boston. I pull for the Red Sox because my Mom used to go to the games with her girlfriend Priscilla when Ted Williams played. Because I’ve sat in the front row on the Green Monster with Peter Gammons behind me. Because Fenway Park is the oldest baseball park currently in use. This is how it goes with sports. I couldn’t tell you any stats about the teams this year other than they’re doing well, but gosh darn it, I’m a Red Sox fan.
  •  And finally, a cool & crazy international story. There is a professional soccer team, Real Madrid, who just signed a 7 year old kid. As in, signed a contract. What in the bend-it-like-beckham is going on? What if the kid doesn’t deliver? He’s a super cute and apparently has been pulled out of poverty for this so that’s good. But man, talk about pressure for a little guy. This is a prime example of how little we Americans (ok, how little I know) know about soccer (I mean futbol). Apparently signing kids to soccer teams isn’t a big deal in Europe. He is joining their youth academy. Happens all the time. He was even being pursued by another team – jeez! Impressive…I think?

Remember, when your dude wants to know where you got all these extremely intelligent & valuable facts, your answer is, “I Read it Somewhere…” (Because he will likely think this column is douchey).