Cubs win! …and I’m not as excited as expected

Kids change you in so many ways.

In my adult life “my” teams have never won a championship. I have always rooted for three teams: the Oakland Raiders, Iowa Hawkeyes (football and basketball) and the Chicago Cubs. The latter has and always will be my favorite. I painted the basement of my first house in Cubs colors. I painted their logo in one of the rooms. I have spent way too much money on Cubs stuff – jerseys, baseball cards, stuff.

The Raiders won in 1977, ’81 and ’84 – I was alive for two of those championships. The win in ’77 was 21 days before I was born and I don’t recall the wins in ’81 and ’84 as I was 3 and 6, respectively. The Cubs should have went to the World Series if it weren’t for Alex Gonzalez kicking the ball around the infield (no, it had nothing to do with Bartman). The Hawkeyes have never made it to the Final Four and were just in the Rose Bowl this year…and they were curb stomped by Stanford. I was a Colorado Avalanche fan when they won in 2001, but I was far from a life long fan like I am of the Raiders, Hawkeyes and Cubs.

I have always imagined I would empty my bank account on more memorabilia when/if the Raiders or the Cubs (especially the Cubs) won a championship. That ain’t happening.

I used to live and die with sports. I was way too invested in my teams. I somehow felt that if my teams lost is was a reflection of me. If they lost a big game, that was on me for some reason. And to that end I always figured that when/if the Raiders or the Cubs won a championship I would feel euphoric. I would want to scream and yell and make sure everyone knew that MY TEAM just won the championship.

I felt far from those feelings last night as I laid in bed watching the final out of the 2016 World Series.

My first born was at his first Cubs game before he was 3 months old.

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CJ was about 3 months old at old HoHoKam park for Spring Training

My third child was named after the 1987 MVP – Andre “the Hawk” Dawson.

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I guess I am trying to portray how serious my fandom is for the Cubbies on anyone who reads this. I have a “W” flag that I used to hang out after EVERY Cubs win. I had to let my neighbors know when the Cubs won, right?

I thought when the Cubs won the World Series I would jump for joy, drink a beer or three in celebration, be with other Cubs fans yelling and screaming – PARTYING.

That didn’t happen.

I have several baseball memories that I won’t forget:

  • Shawon Dunston throwing liners across the infield that you could hang clothes from.
  • Mark Grace being the only good thing the Cubs had going for them.
  • Sosa and McGwire breaking the home run record in 1998. We were at a restaurant on Arapahoe road for my mom’s birthday. My dad and I watched McGwire break the record on a TV in the bar area.
  • Kerry Wood struck out 20 Astros. I just happened to be at home in 1998 watching the game on WGN. I remember the weather and how hopeless the Astros looked.
  • Game 7 2003 NLCS – so depressing. Kerry Wood homers and the Cubs still lose. I was at a bar watching the game. Over near Park Meadows mall. Will never forget that.
  • Now I can add laying in bed, watching the 10th inning of game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Dawson had woke up crying during the rain delay and Lisa was out with friends. So I brought him into our room and laid down in bed with him on my chest. He fell back asleep. I cherish this moment more so than the Cubs winning. My last child, almost 10 months old, sleeping on my chest. These days will never happen again. Hopefully the Cubs win another one in my lifetime (I know, 108 years and all). So Dawson lay on my chest, almost snoring, as I watched Ben Zobrist drive in the winning run. I didn’t cheer. I didn’t jump up and down. I put my fist in the air and made no noise. Then went back to patting Dawson on the butt and making sure he stayed asleep.

I wouldn’t change that for anything. Not for being at a bar with other Cubs fans. Not even for being at the game in Cleveland, or at a bar in Wrigleyville. Nothing. That was perfect.

And that is the first example of how kids change your life. Rather than being at a bar with strangers and screaming, yelling and drinking, I was at home in a quiet room with the people who matter most to me.

But that isn’t the only way kids change you.

I wasn’t even all that euphoric when they won. It wasn’t a giant relief. It wasn’t like I was overcome with emotions. Not even overcome with happiness. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t even the best baseball moment that I witnessed in the past seven days.

My son CJ was playing in his last baseball game of the year the weekend prior. My first born. My son. My super smart, super caring, sports loving kid. I can’t imagine caring about anyone or anything more (other than Maggie and Dawson, of course). You don’t know true love until you have a child. Not trying to slight Lisa, my beautiful, caring, fantastic mother to my kids and loving wife, but there is something about your kids. (Don’t even get me started down the path of those dog owners out there who think their dogs are like their kids.)

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CJ and I around his first Christmas. He was almost 1 year old.

Being a typical seven year old, CJ has become a bit afraid of the baseball when batting. During practice with an adult pitching he hits the ball very good – hard hit balls all over the field. When another seven year old is throwing the baseball during a game things get a little more unpredictable and wild. He tends to step out and swing late because he is worried about getting hit.

On the way to his last game I told him to just have fun during his last game. Nothing else. Just have fun. Stay in the box and swing and get a good hit and have fun. After about six months of baseball you could tell the boys on his team were losing interest and I wanted him to end on a positive note with a positive feeling for baseball.

Enter his first at bat and with two strikes he hits a ball over the third baseman’s head and into the grass in the outfield for a solid double. By far his best hit of the season during a game. His team mates were cheering for him and the smile on his face…that is by far the best baseball moment for me this week. Hell, best baseball moment this summer…year, even. Better than any of the Cubs three straight wins to win the World Series. That hit, that smile, easily the best baseball moment for me this year. Easily.

So, as I hung out the “W” flag this morning – a solid five hours after the game was over – I felt good, but not what I expected. I wasn’t running up and down the street with it at 11pm last night after the final out. I didn’t wear it to bed as a blanket. And I haven’t even looked at what sort of memorabilia I could purchase (I did almost buy a USA Today this morning). Instead I hope I get to celebrate another World Series win with my children in coming years.

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I hope I get to see CJ play baseball for many more years. I hope I get to coach Maggie next summer in tee ball and help her develop a love for the game. I can’t wait to do the same with Dawson.

Cubs break the “curse” (aka being owned by a faceless owner for far too many years). They are built for years to come. Hopefully many more titles to follow. At the very least many more World Series appearances. And, God willing, many more games spent watching the Cubs win with my children.

Hip Hop lost a great one today

This is a fitness/exerciser/CrossFit blog, I know. But today Hip Hop lost Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest. ATCQ was the music I grew up on. I typically could care less when a celebrity dies, but in this case it kind of hits home.

Malik Isaac Taylor has been playing in my ears since I was in the 9th grade – about 25 years. He was only 45 years old. Only six years older than I am. Diabetes can be a mother fucker.

There had been some rumors that Tribe was going to reunite and maybe have a summer concert tour or something. I was hoping for the rumors to be true. While that isn’t happening, I will surely be playing Tribe all day today. If I coach tonight (supposed to, but this blizzard in Denver today is no joke..) you can bet the class will be listening to Tribe all night.

My top 10 Tribe songs:

  1. Scenario – and not the remix. I have had internet usernames “wow how now wow how now brown cow”
  2. 1nce Again – spent many days/nights at Best Buy blasting this after hours in the mid to late 90’s.
  3. Electric Relaxation
  4. Can I Kick It
  5. Jazz
  6. Bonita Applebum
  7. Check the Rhime
  8. I Left My Wallet in El Segundo
  9. Award Tour
  10. Find a Way
  11. Stressed Out
  12. Oh My God
  13. Push it Along
  14. Lucien
  15. Excursions
  16. Phony Rappers
  17. Butter
  18. Hot Sex on a Platter
  19. Skypager

No way I could only list 10.

RIP Phife – you brought me many years of joy.

Finally, probably my favorite Phife verse – I drink a lot of soda so they call me Dr Pepper…

Yo, microphone check one, two, what is this?
The five foot assassin with the roughneck business
I float like gravity, never had a cavity
Got more rhymes than the Winans got family
No need to sweat Arsenio to gain some type of fame
No shame in my game cause I’ll always be the same
Styles upon styles upon styles is what I have
You wanna diss the Phifer but you still don’t know the half
I sport New Balance sneakers to avoid a narrow path
Mess around with this you catch a size eight up your {​ass}​
I never half step cause I’m not a half stepper
Drink a lot of soda so they call me Dr. Pepper
Refuse to compete with BS competition
Your name ain’t Special Ed so won’t you seckle with the mission
I never walk the street thinking it’s all about me
Even though deep in my heart, it really could be
I just try my best to like go all out
Some might even say yo shorty black you’re buggin’ out

Starbucks Doubleshot Protein drink

I just saw a commercial on TV for a can of Starbucks coffee and the commercial boasts that it has 20 grams of protein. My first thought? “I wonder how much crap and sugar are in that can?”

I tried searching the internet for the ingredients in a can of this stuff, but in my quick search I couldn’t find anything other than the basic nutritional information.

But my search did find this: NY Daily News article.

I couldn’t say it better than this article, so I’ll stop while I am ahead.

I do wonder what the author of this article thinks the average American needs in daily protein? I take in well over 200 grams a day. Closer to 250 a day. Then again, I lift my share of iron.

I am getting sick of my son’s school trying to be “healthy”

I received an email notifying me that next week is bike or walk to school day. Great idea! Within the email was a link to sign up to help or bring things. Here is that list:

Capture

Bagels? Cream cheese (how many “light” or “low fat” tubs of cream cheese will be available….full of chemicals and crap?) and DONUTS?!

I get it. Many people have different views on what is healthy and what is not. While we all know that bagels are just a less sweet version of a donut, some people might still be living in a world where a blueberry bagel with light cream cheese is a good option for breakfast. So, whatever.

But donuts?! There is NOTHING healthy about a donut. And don’t link me to Deadlifts and Donuts. If we are trying to teach young minds what is healthy then we do not give them donuts. Ever. And especially on a day in which we are trying to teach them what is healthy.

Hey – for an award for walking a few blocks to school, have a donut! It is sort of like the vending machine at my kids gymnastics school – it is full of absolute shit. There isn’t one thing in that snack machine that any young aspiring athlete of any kind should eat. And giving a 2nd grader donuts just because they rode their bike to school is stupid.

And where is the protein? I know it’s expensive, but can someone hard boil and egg or 100?

At least there is fruit as an option.

And I guarantee there will be kids eating donuts that didn’t even ride a bike or walk to school.

We wonder why our kids are fat. Donuts on bike to school day and pizza twice a week in the cafeteria. I can tell you where to start looking if you wonder why your kid is fat.

Finally watched a GRID match

I had some free space on one of my monitors at work and saw that GRID put the entire San Francisco Fire versus Phoenix Rise match on Youtube. I like Sam Dancer and I like most of the athletes on Phoenix because most are OPT followers, so why not give it a watch?

Here are my thoughts as I watch it (EDIT – and after I posted this I realized this was a match from last year. Are the crowds better this year? That also nullifies my point about LaChance below, too.)

  • This feels more like a high school athletic event than any sort of professional “sport”. Outside of the impressive field of play and the rig, they keep showing the teams bench (or I assume that is their “bench” area) and with the visible doors to the gym behind them it feels like this is happening in a high school gym. I am having flash backs to going to basketball games in high school.
  • Speaking of high school, I have seen bigger crowds at girls high school volleyball games. (I must admin, I never have attended a high school volleyball match, but I did attend a division two volleyball match when I was going to UNC many years ago.) I wonder how many people would be in the stands if family and significant others from the athletes were not in the crowd?
  • They just showed a fan with a Phoenix Rise t-shirt…people are buying league paraphernalia. I’m fairly shocked.
  • The coaches attire is ridiculous. Someone get these guys a stylist. Suits too big, silly hats and they look like gym rats trying to dress up. I guess that makes sense since that it what they are. They probably haven’t worn a business suit in years, if ever, and it is showing.
  • Sandbag to bar, eh? I guess they have to keep coming up with some sort of silly movement to test these athletes, right?
  • Speaking of movement, I hope some poor person who might have an interest in CrossFit doesn’t see this and decide not to give CrossFit a try based on the movement seen here. I understand that moving very quickly will cost you some points in technique, but man my back started to hurt watching some of the athletes speed through snatches.
  • I obviously don’t know or understand the rules around substitutions or who you can use from your roster, so take this next one with a grain of salt. I see Alexandra LaChance just standing on the sideline for the Phoenix Rise. After this last CrossFit Games season LaChance left OPT for another coach. I have no idea why, I just happened to notice that since I follow her on Instagram. The majority of athletes on the Phoenix Rise are OPT athletes. Many competed on their team that made the Games or are individual competitors that represent OPT. I feel like LaChance would be a better athlete at some of this than some of the other girls competing, yet she has not seen the floor during this match. I wonder if there was some sort of fallout between LaChance and OPT and if it has carried over to GRID. If there is another season…if…I wonder if she would still be on the Rise?
  • Speaking of season: how long was the season? Each team played like three or four matches? I found the standings and all teams played four matches except the Brawlers and Rise…they played five? Is that because those are the two teams that played for the Championship? What kind of season did they have?? Is it really a championship if you only play a few matches or games before the championship?
  • I wish I knew the politics behind this. Why aren’t the really big CrossFit names competing? Are there any GRID athletes on the CrossFit seminar staff? I’m guessing the answer is “no”. Is there someone at CrossFit keeping their buddies and pals from competing in hopes to kill GRID? In just watching this I don’t think it will take much to kill this. I love watching CrossFit videos, but this clearly isn’t the same and it isn’t nearly as entertaining. I think it is because they break it up so much. Why let athletes like this break up 40 reps of any particular movement between several team members? Make one person do it and show some semblance of fitness.
  • I think they need to shorten the time caps. I haven’t seen a team get close to not completing the work under a cap yet.
  • Limit the number of athletes per “race”. Limit the number of substitutions. Lower the time cap.
  • In the final race Courtney Walker was doing pistols on one leg and she was CLEARLY not getting full hip/knee extension at the top. Back to the standard of movements…there are none.

I can see why this hasn’t taken off. Again, as a CrossFit fanatic I can’t get into it. If they can’t capture CrossFit fans who will watch?