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.

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