February 28, 2002 - No Fistful Of Euros
The next bank employee who tells me they're not able to give me Euros, after having me wait in line for ten minutes, is getting bulletproof glass lodged in their forehead. I'm not on the fence about this. They're fucking Euros. I'm not asking for Kyrgyzstani soms here; it's the currency of EUROPE. You know, that place that made your $500 underpants. No, not where they're actually made, where they're theoretically made.
They should have a competition where the children of Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong all compete to see who can make consumer goods the best. It'd be like the Beanpot, but in a "horrific poor taste" kind of way. I can't believe FOX hasn't jumped on this yet.
Speaking of FOX, from the network that brought you Glutton Bowl comes something even more stupid
I'm sorry, but if you're going to have minor celebrities boxing, the least you can do is take the male Survivor winners and put them in a ring. Course, Ethan might knock Big Gay Richard's head clean off... the one on his shoulders, Bill.
Been a big day in the world of sports. In no particular order...
Madden Jumps To Monday Night - John Madden and anyone not named Pat Summerall was going to be weird anyway, so I suppose this is for the best. I can just imagine him strangling the Gus Johnsons and Kevin Harlans of the world... now he's gets to go head-to-head with Al Michaels.
This Michaels-Madden pairing has the potential to be something spectacular, or it has the potential to go Hindenburg. The "Al Hates Miller & Fouts" storylines were hilarious all season... I kept expecting Dennis calling him "Albeeno" to end in a hail of gunfire. I will be sad to see Morons on Parade go, but hey, maybe Oxygen needs someone to call W-USA games...
Madden: Boom! He's on his back!
Michaels: Boom indeed.
D. Miller: He went down faster than a Long Island Jew on Joey Buttafuoco.
Madden: Who the hell asked you, monkey? Go wash my bus.
D. Miller: Simmer down there, Captain Video Game. Is that your telestrator, or are you just happy to see me?
Sadly, this will never happen.
Duquette Gets The Ax - I suppose we all knew this was happening, but like Dan, I'd just chosen to ignore it all offseason.
Frankly, I feel for the guy. Yeah, his time's up, he got us Jose Offerman, Craig Grebeck and Ed Sprague... but he also drafted Nomar and got the Expos to give us Pedro Martinez for a rusty Lincoln Continental and sunflower seeds.
Can you imagine what it feels like to lose your dream job? Walking out of that office for the last time, knowing that nearly every baseball fan in your region thinks you're an idiot? Maybe it's the Western Mass. ties, but I'll miss the guy. Yes, I'm standing by Dan Duquette. I'll be turning in my jersey at the door now...
And John Henry... what's up with the hat?
Giants Opening The Show - Seems the NFL season will start on a Thursday night next season, with the Giants and 49ers facing off. This will be after the Madden-Michaels duo makes it debut at the Hall of Fame Game. There, the expansion Texans play... the New York Giants.
Hi. Did any of you actually watch the Giants last season? For me, it was like watching your grandparent die slowly in a nursing home. You love them, so you keep going, but it kills you to see them like they are. Granted, the Pats cushioned the blow, but it was painful to see them go out like they did - although, if Ron Dixon had scored a touchdown on the Lambuth Special, that game would have immediately become Top 3 Greatest All-Time, just because I could have simultaneously kicked every Eagles fan in the nuts.
I'm calling it right now... the Texans beat the Giants. You heard it here first, in between my sobs.
Sox Tickets Bought - April 10, I return to the chapel. Yes, I call it the chapel. Yes, they're playing the Royals. Yes, the tickets were half price.
And oh yeah, that whole Canary Islands thing... I am going on that trip, aren't I?
February 27, 2002 - Ticket Time
"Today is an 8. Time is one of your most precious assets, so be careful with how you allocate it. Somebody who loves you needs a little more, and volunteer work can take a little less. There are lots of folks in need, but family comes first."
-- My horoscope for today, scarily accurate. It's almost enough to make me believe in astrology - now if I could only get rid of that nagging thing called "reason"...
Congratulations go out to Mario, everyone's favorite mobster, on his internship at Boeing in Los Angeles. Little does he know he's being lured to his downfall, but let's not ruin things for him just yet.
As most Agawam-ers know, Mario has a temper. Oh boy, does he have a temper, and it's triggered by stupidity. Mario once ran a guy off the road for cutting him off and driving too slow. Somehow, a body is going to end up in a river basin, and he's going to be involved. If one could gamble on things like this, I've got a $20... anyone else want in?
Award shows normally make for very bad television, as it's a party for all your least-favorite artists to get the trophies you don't think they deserve. The Grammys proved this fact pretty solidly, as hardcore music fan Vito proved with this:
"If I had a BB gun, my television would be gone."
-- Why would it be gone? Because Alicia Keys would have won that too.
Don't you people realize what you're doing? By giving her all these awards, you're encouraging MTV to foist more of their shittified musical talent on the rest of us. The only reason any of you even heard of her is because Carson "Chevy Chase Show" Daly spread her heavy on us, much like a Long Island Jew would do with lox on a matzo ball, or something.
Still the show wasn't all bad. U2 did win four awards, which is four more than the best band of the year usually gets.
Hey, let's put Alicia Keys on during halftime of the Super Bowl and see how many fucking people watch the Fear Factor with the Playmates?! But I'm not bitter!
There are certain things you would only see at the Grammys: Celine Dion giving Mary J. Blige a standing ovation, rather than a dollar to wash her windshield. Recording Academy CEO Michael Greene doing everything but humping our legs to get people to stop downloading music illegally, then tripping when he fell off his soapbox. Stevie Wonder humoring all of America with more of his blind antics. Yes, I called them blind antics.
And what about Heinz? Making plans to roll out three new ketchup colors in their continuing effort to retard the children of America. Oh wait, I mean "give kids even more say over their parents' grocery store lists."
In the same way the digital watch made a generation unable to tell time, I predict someone's going to do a survey in a few years that shows America's youth doesn't know what color tomatoes are. I keep hoping I'll be walking through the supermarket one day and hear a kid tug his Mom's arm and say, "Mommy? Where are all the teal tomatoes?"
And though it's only February, my self-imposed ban on speaking about that baseball team that plays on Yawkey Way... done.
Grapefruit League play starts tomorrow! Won't watch a game all Spring Training, but who cares, THE BOSOX ARE BACK!
February 26, 2002 - The Torch Passing
$10 is a lot of bottles, especially when you consider they sat in my closet for four months. There's something liberating about pushing around a shopping cart of empties... the thought of being perceived as homeless is always nice, until you see an actual homeless person pushing a cart of empties, then feel enormously guilty for being an asshole.
You then also try not to make eye contact with them, because if you do, they're probably going to ask for your return money. And really, I haven't been accruing empty Smirnoff Ice bottles in my closet for my health, and most certainly not for the environment.
I'm sorry, $10 is a lot of money, and it's a pain to feed 200-odd bottles into those machines one at a time, even if the sound of smashing glass is cathartic.
By the way, this all happened yesterday, but wasn't included because I wanted to give fat Derek Lowe more room to maneuver.
I really hope I can milk this "fat Derek Lowe" joke for much of the season, because there's so much potential. Can you imagine if Lowe and Rich Garces were both cut, and then joined the WWF? Fat and Fat. Jr. The possibilities are endless.
Before this season ends, there's going to be a camera shot of D. Lowe spinning to watch a home run sail in the screen, but then be knocked to the ground sheerly by the added momentum of cellulite. I need this, because never has a team won a World Series without a funny fat guy. Or is that a Super Bowl?
I'm just making this stuff up, I think.
You learn something new everyday. I've spent a good hour chewing on this situation I feel the need to write about, because when one is compiling a journal, you should write about the heavy stuff. And all I can come up with is, "You learn something new every day."
First there was shock, as though I couldn't actually believe what I was hearing. Then I thought about it some, and it started to make a little more sense. It's one of those things that would never bother me, but it's getting to the time I should know I'm a unique case in the personality department.
Basically, the personality department is understaffed, and the only guy who works there just shoots blowdarts into the neck of everyone who approaches. I call him "Angry, The Forgotten Smurf."
The blue color comes from hate... or internal bleeding.
The Onion has it so much easier: What would they say at a time like this?
"School Bully Not So Tough Since Being Molested"
-- This probably isn't it.
I mean, what can you say when you find out your friend likes to cook Pop Tarts while naked? Suppose it's all just a wash.
"Jonathan Couture is hereby dubbed 'Fanciest Cooch Ever,' 'Schnookums,' and 'Kandee, The Pretty Handwriting Queen.'
-- Around 1,100 days at the helm, and this is how I'll go down in BUCB history. Ellen, best of luck.
February 25, 2002 - The Cusp Of Mediocrity
"Like wow.... Did he eat his house in the off season?"
-- Renee, on the new and supersized Derek Lowe. The 'DL Face,' now with jowls.
Tomorrow night, I will quietly edit a line from my e-mail signature, thus ending what has been a three-year reign as Governor General of Boston University College Bowl. For the sake of telling a story, I wish I could remember the exact day I was elected, what I was wearing, what I ate... all things I would inevitably repeat in some sort of cryptic cry for help Tuesday night.
I did wear the same t-shirt to my first and last days of class at Agawam High, though it really wasn't as culturally enriching and deeply spiritual as someone fascinated by this might think. It got to within a few months of the end of the year, I realized I still had the shirt and it still fit. Fun story.
Tuesday is College Bowl election night, and it really didn't strike me until I started writing this that the end is, well, here. It's a little sad, knowing that the thing I've done here the longest is coming to a close. At the same time though, I really don't get the sense it's going to stop until the end of the year... i.e. the work will continue until I hide from everyone at my new job in Billings, Mont.
The current temparature in Billings, as I write this, is -1 degrees. I'm going to hurl.
If I was going to move to Montana, I would move to one of two places, neither of which most of America has heard of. One would be Joe, the town that annually changes its name for a day (I think) to honor Mr. "Leonard Marshall Essentially Ended My Career." The other would be Agawam, just for the comedic value. Every few years in the local paper, a new resident would end up there, take a picture of the town's "Welcome To" sign and think they were the first ones to discover it.
There's a South Boston, Virginia and a New Boston, Ohio, but you don't see me pissing myself, do you?
Anywho, I get replaced tonight. I've given it exactly six more paragraphs than it deserved to get. Though, CB brought me Meg, so any complaints I have are more than made up for. Contrary to what may be read here, I do love my girlfriend.
Boston is so lovely in the spring... though that implies there's an actual season structure at play here. I don't even know what season it is anymore, all I know is the spring jacket is out, and soon it will be time for field goal kicking at Alumni Stadium once more. That or bad golf, whichever comes first.
February 24, 2002 - Cranky Pants
Why is it I can't write a decent update from home EVER?
It has been a very strange weekend, not even including the Salt Lake Closing Ceremonies. Now, I understand I'm closed minded to culture and the arts, and that ceremonies like these are designed to be all artsy and not be understood by anyone but choreographers and theater students, but I have to say something. It's my duty.
Tonight, I saw Gloria Estefan, continuing to be unaware that, even though she is an international superstar, her popularity in America has gone the way of the Miami Sound Machine. I saw KISS, jumping around as though your average Utah Mormon has even a clue who they are. I saw Donny and Marie Osmond controlling dinosaur skeletons singing "We Are Family," and became amazed that I'd gone seventeen days of an Olympiad staged in Utah, and not seen an Osmond.
When I think about new IOC president Jacques Rogge, I have two conflicting images. One is of a man who's sitting in his stately box, thinking, "Who is this Christina Aguilera, and why is she singing now?" The other is of a man who's sitting in his stately box, having dirty thoughts about Christina Aguilera.
Rogge was interviewed by Bob Costas on Saturday night, and every question asked had to do with something bad: the ruling on Sale & Pelletier, the Russian threat to leave early, the Korean threat... I don't even want to think about if this doping scandal got out by then. The whole way through the interview, you could just tell that Jacques wanted to leap off the couch and sock Costas in the mouth as hard as he could, then stand over his unconscious body and swear at him in Flemish.
I really wish he had, because that, my friends, is television gold.
Olympics aside, I had one of those weekends that I never wanted to end, but managed to spend much of it bitching. Seems as much as I miss my family, as much as I love them, they find new ways to agitate me at every turn. Granted, most of the agitation probably stemmed from me being an ingrateful prick, or "cranky pants" as the "unholy bitch" calls it.
No, the 'unholy bitch' is not who you think it is. And now that I've said that, it's not your second choice either. Just stop thinking, it makes the jokes funnier.
Alcohol is generally why my dad bothers me now, which is funny, because it never got to me before. This isn't to say my father is an alcoholic... it's just that whenever he starts to drink, his perceived IQ starts to rise. Yes, my father, like 75% of the human population, can go from normal to Plato is 3.2 beers. I'm not sure how that converts to scotch and soda, but if they can make inflation calculators...
Unrelated Rant: One dollar is equal to 1.14 Euros. Take that, European Union! You know what this means? My dollar buys more, a.k.a. Gambling, with even less guilt!
As for Mom, I think her annoying me is generally because she wants to, since she knows it's as easy as finding a pickup truck at a race track. Still, when she tells me the same things multiple times, because she can't remember the first time she asked me if I packed swim trunks, it gets old. Same with her arguing with me when everyone knows I'm right... and by everyone, I mean me.
So imagine, if you will, you're watching the gold medal hockey game today. Two incredible teams, playing an incredible game. Dad thinks the U.S. is dogging it and we suck, Mom's screaming "Uh Oh!!" every time Canada scores, Matt's pulling for Wayne Gretzky and Meg (being from California) thinks we're watching skeleton. I could actually feel my blood pressure rising, which you would think would be disconcerting, but it's really not.
OK, so Meg knows a good hockey game when she sees it. But putting she was "sitting with her bankee" just didn't go with the flow of things, now did it.
For as good as the Olympics were for America the first fifteen days, damn did we choke out this weekend. Ignore the bobsled medals... we've got Oh(no) for two, Bode Miller missing a gate in the slalom, and the loss in hockey. Two more medals, and we could have officially made the rest of the world think we staged everything.
All we gotta do now is get hot dog guy on our side, and the world can be ours.
Going home, I finally got to see the tape of the Super Bowl. I gotta say, it really wasn't all that exciting. Subtract the screaming, the kicked salsa and the rioting, and all you were left with was a hell of a football game. Just wasn't the same.
February 23, 2002 - More Crap From Home
Is there anything sadder than witnessing the fat American family?
You know what I'm talking about: you're at a restaurant (it could be this one, but your mileage may vary). As you sit down to eat, a family walks in behind you. You hear them before you see them, because hey, that's how they are. There's usually five of them, because for whatever reason, there's always an extra grandmother or friend of a friend in tow. And you look at them, and you feel sad, because you realize the children are damned to be overweight forever, because their parents fed them cracklins three nights a week and sticks of butter when they cleaned their room or got good grades in algebra.
Course your father then says something like this:
"Jesus, like they're all going to fit in THAT booth."
Or maybe that's just me.
Agawam and Cooch have a strange relationship... that's what I'd say if I was one of those people who spoke in the third person. I hate those people, even though one of my best friends from high school had a habit of it. "Shawn likes chocolate." "Shawn is not smart."
This really only makes sense to me, doesn't it?
I go through this inner battle every time I'm here. Unlike most, I never had any major problems with Agawam growing up here: I did enjoy it, though I always wished that there was more to do beyond the mini golf course, the bowling alleys, the amusement park and the pool halls.
We only added sitting at the airport years later, and the stealing of signs from the Connecticut Department of Transportation... yeah, that never happened.
Honestly, I could see myself living here. I would have the nagging feeling that something was missing from my life, but I can't imagine it would consume me. I like it here. Flat out, I said it. It's the familiarity, the knowing my way around and knowing that every inch of this area I've either been to or could safely figure out because woodsy people only have so much architectural technology.
It could be I'm just getting melancholy, realizing the state I'm approaching. When Klarfeld told me I had to start looking for a job after Spring Break, it never actually clicked there would reach a point where SB was next week. The Olympics are ending. I may have seen my last game as a student at Walter Brown, with the Maine two-game series and the Hockey East first round all happening while I'm in the Canaries. The free weekends before graduation are dwindling, thanks to upcoming road trips to Chapel Hill, N.C. and Ann Arbor, Mich.
But I refuse to openly bitch, because my most important project over the next week is find Gambling For Dummies, read it and live it. When there's a casino one mile from one's room, going seems like an obligation.
February 22, 2002 - Root Nine Tea
If the IFOCE ever has a competition for eating Utz Party Mix, count me in.
Going home for the weekend. Look for much bitching about Feeding Hills to follow.
February 21, 2002 - Mayonnaise Catatonia
'Tis truly a great time to be an American!
Many may have wondered if the disgusting acts of last fall would be the beginning of the end for America; a initial blow to our role as the world's only superpower. However, if the events of today are any indication, I say, "Nay! We are strong! We are invincible! We are WOMAN... well, maybe not them. They lost today.
All around American pride gushed at every seam, as We The People suckled at the teat of success and wonder. Who would have ever dreamed the US Olympic Team would have 30 medals by this point in the Games? Thirty! You take the two highest combined totals from the past, and it only totals 26! We're skiing and slashing and skating and skeletoning... it would be skeletoning, right? I suppose they could just call it "Dumb," although that wouldn't look very good on a medal, or sound very good announced over a PA system.
* * * * *
I have the utmost respect for Jim Shea, and the whole story of his Olympic family is incredible. However, when he ever said he was starting a foundation to get young kids to skeleton, I metaphorically crapped myself. I can just hear Cooch Jr. one day, "Daddy, can I go slidey on my face?"
"Yes son. It's America.. you can do whatever you want under the Stars & Stripes. For example, I'll go warm up the car.
Last Olympic Thought: Kudos to Sarah Hughes - she gave the best performance, and got what she deserved. But can you even imagine what it must feel like to be Michelle Kwan. Getting to listen to her anthem, but again having it not be for her?
"So let me get this straight. I go over to Japan for the Olympics, act like a total bitch, play not to lose and get beaten by a barely-teen with braces. So I dig in, and America falls in love with me. I show grit, I show guts, I win World Championships watched by roughly 15 Americans. I become stronger than ever, poised to be the feel-good story, to live the American Dream. But then I blow it, again, and lose to a barely-teen, again. Geez, where do I sign up?"
Somewhere, not far off, there's an alternate universe where Michelle Kwan keeps going to Olympics until she wins a gold medal. Only she never does, and she dies on the ice at age 85. I think I want to go there.
All I'm going to say is in my world, if you fall on your ass, you do not get a 5.9, Sasha Cohen. I'm sorry.
* * * * *
The Olympics are only the start of our gushing pride; its broken into the place where the sun never shines... the government office! In the most shocking upset since Keri Russell decided to cut her hair, the trip to the Boston Passport Office went entirely without incident, and the people were, holy mother, actually nice! USA! USA!
* * * * *
I spent more time riding the subway across Boston than I did waiting in line. I was poised to have my whole update written while I was being frisked by Charlie, the lovable security guard who likes to search the pockets just a little too long, but it never happened. With my 2:00 p.m. appointment, I walked in at 1:45 and out at 2:25. The efficiency level of this office defies all logic... I can't even find the words to explain how amazed I was. It was as though the people sitting in the booths, the "agents", were actually "eager" to "help." What really got me is they were even kind to the stupid people. And we're talking stupid by every standard measurable, right down to base instincts of humanity like the Hot Or Not Newsletter:
HOT: tongue piercings, nice cologne, fresh minty breath, nice teeth, clean shaven face but a nice ol' hairy chest!
NOT: bad breath and/or teeth, guys who play mind games, no sense of humor, illiteracy, and dominators.
Illiteracy, as a turnoff.
Sometimes the jokes write themselves... unfortunately for the illiterate, they can't read them, or date girls like this.
Anyway, back to the passport office. The woman in front of me at the check-in was stupified to find out she need identification to get her passport: either a birth certificate or her expired passport. "Oh, I wish somebody had told me to bring those!"
1) The automated reservation system (also awesome) says to.
2) Why would you not bring your expired passport when getting a new passport? At one point do you think, "Gee, I won't need that. It's not like I'm getting a new passport or anything!"
Oh, it gets better. The woman behind me in line did not have any of the following identifying items: driver's license, learner's permit, expired passport, birth certificate, family member. It got to the point they were asking her if she had a high school yearbook, so she could photocopy her picture in it. I am not making this up.
Sometimes, I think I understand why everyone hates us.
* * * * *
But really, I think we all know why I'm so gung ho about America today. For on this night, an event was aired that truly showcased our power as a nation, our strength as a people. Though our contestants were defeated, the arena was ours, the night to be cherished forever. Friends, we will never forget.
Glutton Bowl.* * * * *
I honestly can't remember if I posted the stuff I found about the International Federation Of Competitive Eating a few weeks back... I must have, it was too good to pass up. See, your average American knows that every July 4th, Nathan's Hot Dogs sponsors a hot dog-eating contest on Coney Island. It is the Super Bowl of competitive eating. However, who knew there are many other disciplines, many other events, held year round? Now, all of America truly understands the power of being able to eat 54 cow brains, and how much it hurts to know a Japanese waif is the only one who can do it.
I only wish I quoted the show for the whole two hours because, well, you had to see it to believe it was actually happening. Eggs, sticks of butter, beef tongues, hot dogs, hamburgers, sushi, Rocky Mountain Oysters... it all went down in mass quantities. A female competitor who easily weighed 350 pounds came out in a sparkly shirt... a sparkly midriff-exposing shirt. Everyone had nicknames. Two of the competitors were getting married, meaning there is a first couple of competitive eating.
The fact that there was a color commentator for this would have been enough. But what he said, not the least of which was the eponymous "Mayonnaise Catatonia" - the state one enters after eating 8 pounds of mayonnaise, made it all the more memorable.
"I think that was a burp that needed to come out for him to go on."
"That is physical poetry!"
"These hamburgers are without condiments of any kind, because that would be useful as a lubricant."
"After his demolition of the mayonnaise, he's showing he's equally adept at brains."
"He is a rock star! He's gonna blow people's minds today!"
I have to stop. I'm going to cry.* * * * *
America, America, God shed His grace on thee. And crown thy good, with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!
February 20, 2002 - Walking Contradiction
Somedays, the updates right themselves by 10 in the morning.
One of may favorite parts of working in the Mail Room is those times where faculty and staff come down with requests and attempt to belittle me and bitch me out, maybe because they're having a bad day, maybe because they honestly believe I have an IQ of 40... it doesn't matter. It doesn't happen as much now as it did when I was new here, but it still happens.
Segue! Today, it happened. Smooth baby! It wasn't completely unwarranted: last week, I failed to read this person wanted their copies on card stock as opposed to regular paper, thus much panic and armageddon-type scenarios were tossed around. Today, they came in with two jobs, and to ensure proper execution of the request, went over each minute detail with me, to the point of where they were pointing out that I should "cut the copies on this line right here, ok?"
The job in question was for graduation, and was a half-page reply card. Two reply cards per page, they wanted 300 cards, so I was told to make 175 copies and cut them in half on the form.
175 x 2 = 300
The Cardinal Rule of Mockery: If you're going to bust on someone, make sure you're not giving them ammunition to bust back. This is like when you're ripping on someone online, but you can't spell three-letter words. I have no problem with this person coming down and giving me crap because I screwed up. But come on! This is the College of Engineering! Doubling 175 to make 300 isn't just a math error, it means planes crash onto bridges that have fallen into rivers full of skyscraper rubble.
Believe it or not, this diatribe ties with this:
But I suppose its a good thing that I'm doing this. Because I can do what is going to follow and not feel an ounce of regret. Not that I was going to anyway, so here goes.
I personally cherish the idea of the online journal. Or journal keeping in general actually. Its why I have two. I know that this will come as a shock to some of you, but I don't write the things I write here solely for the amusement of the reader, but more for my own purposes, as it helps me to analyze situations and to have a running record of the daily events of my life. A lot of weird stuff happens to me, and when I finally figure out that I suck at physics, I'll have plenty of fodder for screenplays.
Getting back to the point. While I like having a journal or two, updating it is not - to me - the cornerstone of my existence. There's this thing called "school" that sucks up some 100 hours of the 168 available during the week, then work, which takes another 14, then trying to settle down, another 10-20 lets say. So 168 - 14 - 15 = 39. Oh, right, sleep. Minus another 15. 24 hours left in the week, most often spent running errands, and hell, I've got to shower sometime. Also, I'd never think of actually berating someone for not writing in theirs, since its their own damn business what they do in their lives, and how they spend their spare time. Also, I'm not blind to the fact that people might read this, and as such, I wouldn't make veiled comments that are meant to stick barbs at people - rather just tell them flat out that I'm pissed off at them, or to openly trash my significant other - because he's not paying enough attention to me. BUT THAT'S JUST ME, JON!
- Jen Niedziela, 2/19/2002 It's pretty safe to say I've been dissed. And I can't really say it's uncalled for, though she's clearly taking something written in jest and turning it into a personal attack, which I'll attribute to caffeine withdrawal.
Anyone else feel like questioning my decision not to drink coffee? We move.
There are several ways I could respond to this. My first instinct is to go into "systematic dismissal" mode, where I pick and pick until all that's left looks like a pockmarked, angst-ridden teenager - my first instinct was to make a reference to yesterday's gold-medal winning female bobsledder, but some things are too cruel for even me.
I suppose I could comment on the contradictory nature of what she said, considering she blasted me for using this to air my bitterness. I could really go after her for making a comment about my relationship with Meg, when she hasn't a clue of the background I'm writing with. But, I won't. Buckle up kids, we're going sentimental.
Everyone has friends they grow apart from, whether it be due to distance or some other item that drives sand into the grooves. I remember Daryl telling me once that if you step on a rock climber's rope, it's customary to buy them a new one to replace the one you just ruined.
Stepping on it drives sand into the grooves, which will slowly wear the rope away over time until it snaps. Thus the reference.
It's by no means one of those flippy "Dawson 'n Joey" stories, but Jen and I were once pretty close friends. I took her to Atlanta when NAQT flew us down for free, she volunteered to help when BU host the 2000 ICT. She put me on her radio show at Holyoke Community, I was there to lend an ear when she proved to need one. There was even a time when... well, the ellipsis means we'll leave this part up to your imagination. Given some of your imaginations, this is probably the worst idea since giving Pauly Shore the script to Jury Duty, since this "thing" is way more innocent than any of you are thinking it is.
The something that happened was Ali, girlfriend #2, psycho girlfriend #1. The unfortunate stems from part of the Ali thing coinciding with the Jen thing. Yes, I was going to break up with Ali anyway, but no, I didn't want her to lock me out of her life forever. Blame was thrown about: me at her, her (presumably) at me. As you may have guessed, it's never been the same after that, which is my fault, because I guarantee my memory of this is more vivid and influencing than hers is.
The Ali-Jen incident is, far and away, the worst I have even handled a situation. It changed me a lot... taught me that, painful as it may be, the world does not think like me. That doesn't officially make them wrong, but it's close enough for me.
Holy crap, this sounds so bad. I kissed a girl while I was dating somebody else... it sounds like I dumped a body in a river, then lied to the cops about it. Talk about your unintentional melodrama - this needs to stop now.
I write this every day because I love to write. Out and out love. I don't have much free time either, but when you love to do something, you make time to do it. Since last May when I started this, I can think of maybe one or two days out of them all that I haven't wanted to sit down and just spew. It's cathartic. The thought that what I write is going out to people, and they're enjoying it, deriving pleasure from what I have to say, it's one of the best feelings in the world.
If I was taking a potshot at anyone about updating their websites, it's my brother, who should know by now that I'll give him shit until the day he dies. He does the same to me - it's how Coutures show affection, which is why 80% of Americans hate us. That said, I'm not the kind of person to bitch at people's faces, because I know how that makes them feel. I got the wrong order for Valentine's Day dinner at Chevy's. I didn't raise a fuss; I sat there and ate it. It was good.
Point: I love hearing about people who read this stuff and enjoy it, and in a smaller way, even from people who don't. This is my place to get stuff off my chest. Read it at your own risk, because odds are if you're close to me, and even if you're not (Puff-on-Head Girl), you're probably going to end up here eventually.
And now to the tune of Bon Jovi's "It's My Life", I say, "Goodnight Cleveland!" And Erin, you're really in the Posse today. I mean it this time.
February 19, 2002 - Think Deep
Sometimes I doubt the reality of the things I see. I wonder whether I'm actually witnessing an event, or if all that candy I ate off the sidewalk is finally getting to me.
Walking home for lunch today, I saw a girl hobbling down the street who would have been completely normal if, well, if she had stayed in bed and never crossed paths with society. On her head? A white puff, which I presume was hat, though it could have passed for an obscure Pokemon - there has to be a white puffy one, somebody back me up on this. On her face? Those black-rimmed, oblong glasses that everyone wears now, but in two years, will go back to wearing only at "dress like A. Dick" masquerade balls. On her legs? A dark brown wrap skirt, but not your normal wrap skirt. This thing was basically about 9 sizes too small, and it wasn't like this girl was fat either. On the contrary... she was very small. But this thing was restricting her to about two-inch steps. I'm not kidding. Throw in the fact that she was tripping over her flip-flops... how am I the only person who notices this stuff?
The fact that this disturbed me so much makes it worth mentioning. I hope she made it to class OK. For her sake, I hope she left her apartment about seven hours early.
Few things in this world disturb me more than teeny-bopper radio stations like Kiss 108 in Boston. It's not even so much the music that gets to me, although when I hear Pink' "Get This Party Started" seven times in three days, it gets it off the Winamp playlist pretty damn fast. No, I'm disturbed by the disc jockeys, who you know have to be pushing 50 if they didn't already kick that numeral over during the Reagan administration. The fact that these men, and yes, they are almost all men, can sit in their soundproof booths and be paid to talk all day about how hot Britney Spears is... this has to be one of the wonders of the modern world.
Other Worldly Wonders
How Michael Jackson has any skin left. You know how if you wash a pair of jeans too many times, you get that hole in the crotch where all the seams meet? Or if a paper towel gets too wet and it starts to tear apart? Shouldn't that have happened back around HIStory? Did I just miss it?
How the Devil Rays are avoiding contraction talk. I can understand MLB wanting to liquidate a team in Florida, since in order for a pro baseball team to be supported down there, the locals would have to miss bingo. One team has a World Championship on their resume and is only a few players away for being a legitimate contender - shut up. The other plays in a dome and is a few players away from starting Little Leaguers. And they want to contract the Marlins?! Hi, sanity called, he's gonna be sick today. I blame Wade Boggs for this, as I have for everything that's gone wrong in my life since he left Boston. God, I hope he gets herpes.
How stupid humanity can be. Today, I've been told I can "learn new words without time-consuming vocabulary exercises," "get a gym-quality ab workout while sitting at my desk" and "drop those unwanted pounds without ever stepping foot inside a gym." Yeah, let's move on.
How Carrot Top has molded himself a career. Go into your bathroom, and look at the toilet seat. What do you see? A resting place, or a portal through which comedic history lie only inches away? This is truly what seperates the weak from the strong, the wheat from the chaff, the fat cheerleaders from the... again, let's move.
There are other wonders out there, but they're better left mysterious and vague, like a crappy term paper. Or the science of ice dancing judging. Or why Cops must be watched if it's come across on television. Or why I keep going with this...
Or why you haven't sent me your picture yet... Meg's friend Erin did, and all it took me was a month to get it posted!
February 18, 2002 - People Really Are Dumb
The best part about my freshman year in College Bowl, and probably the reason I've stuck with it for so long, is because of how much fun it was. Things weren't anything like they were now... I wasn't the underlying force of anything getting done. I could just go to practice, sign up for tournaments, play in them and go home. It really was just that simple. My attendance was not contingent on a trip being successful, though really, given that our first tournament victory was in an event I wasn't at, that may have never been true.
I'm probably making BUCB a scapegoat though, as I usually do. What I'm trying to say is I'm sick of incompetence. I'm sick of feeling like everywhere I go, at some point I have to step in and take a leadership role in order to get things done. Granted, this probably isn't the best thing to be ranting about as I get ready for the workforce, but last I checked the only professionals who read this website aren't hiring. How'd you like to come across that job posting in the classifieds?
"Seeking professional asshole to write daily rant on society in general. Experience should include self-built website, including pictures of friends and various journalistic forays. Lack of guilt not required, but helpful. Any any moment, should be ready to mock girlfriend and/or Bill."
All I'm asking for is a trial. Hey, if Bill Simmons can make a living working on ESPN.com this way, why can't I?
Given the same topic on another day, I'd be just as likely to say I enjoy being the beacon of sanity in a sea of retards. But, with me being as tires as I've been lately, and back to being convinced I'm both going bald and going fat, as well as turning Japanese and walking like an Egyptian, everything pisses me off.
So, let's get systematic.
Broomball: If you don't know what it is, read. If you're going to have a team, and you tell people on said team to bring extras to play, you should probably not have a full team already. Because if you have two full teams playing as one, and you have to swap equipment in between shifts, it creates problems. Granted, I'm just pissed off because we lost, and the winning goal was scored while I was on the ice, but no one's talking to you. Even if they were, they wouldn't know which end was your face.
Web Journals: If you're going to have one, you should probably write in it. Seriously. This should not be difficult. Every day, things happen to you. You wake up, you eat a bowl of Frosted Flakes, read the morning paper, go to class, go to work, perhaps parade around for the majority of the day with your fly open. This is all content! If writing this every day has taught me anything, it's that I enjoy bitching. It's cathartic. And more than that, other people enjoy my bitching.
So if you have a LiveJournal or something, and you go to all the trouble of redesigning your site, you should probably put new things on it every month or so. I realize people are busy, and have lives unlike me, but I'm needy. And clingy. Entertain me!
And really, if you went ahead and bought www.retards.org , wouldn't you think you'd be posting various grunts and maybe some funny pictures? If people wanted to read comentary on the Olympics, they'd come here. Or go to the Olympic site... you make the call.
OK, I'm stopping now, not so much because I'm tired of writing, but because this seemed like a much better idea in my head. Yeah, and the fact that complaining about Meg ditching me at the paper last night is next, that had nothing to do with it... love you darling!
February 17, 2002 - NAS-CAR Racin'!
Harry Browne, least I think that is his name, ran for President on the Libertarian ticket in 2000. His platform, among other things, is that he wanted to blow up the IRS and give taxpayers little chunks of the building. I seem to remember him also wanting to increase the amount of sex being had with children, but honestly, I think I might be confusing him with this guy.
Today, I love the IRS. I love the Massachusette Department of Revenue. If they were women, I would make out with them. Even if they were that friend you have who's really nice, but not really "conventionally attractive," or even if they were that friend who you promised yourself you'd never make out with, but always end up hitting on when you're drunk... I'm confusing myself.
In hindsight, Harry Browne would tell me I wouldn't need to get a tax refund if there was no IRS, because I would have gotten all the money the week I worked for it. Of course, I would tell him, "Yeah, that's an excellent point." Then I would steal his wallet.
Honestly, does watching NASCAR make me a redneck? It's on NBC and FOX for Christ sakes... I think now that racing has gone mainstream, it's OK. Growing up, I used to disdain NASCAR, not because it only surfaced on The Nashville Network and ESPN's SpeedWorld, but because I had more refined tastes the likes of Indy Car and Formula One.
We're talking F1 way before that Nazi Schumacher came along, back before Ayrton Senna put himself into the wall, back in the days of Prost and Nigel Mansell and Gerhard Berger and Damon Hill. There's only one other person in America who could identify all those people, and since my uncle Steve isn't likely to look here, we'll move on.
You know it's going to be a bad day when your two favorite drivers, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr., have screwed themselves within 25 laps of the start. Did that deter me from watching? No! There's still Sterling Marlin, who has the incredible ability to lose any race he enters within twenty laps of the end, after seeming dominant the entire day. Today it wasn't entirely his fault, but still, his bust in the Chokers Hall of Fame won't be getting thrown out back any time soon.
I don't know what's scarier: that I called one of the best drivers on the NASCAR circuit, and one I legitimately cheer for, a choker, or that there's a college stupid enough to call their athletic teams the Chokers.
So let's see, today's words were sex with children, Nazi and choker. It's been a good day.
Plus I got this great new job at the phone company!
February 16, 2002 - Choke On It
"Cheerleaders are dancers who have gone retarded."
-- Yes, I watched Bring It On last night, and yes it was on purpose.
We had one of the major college bowl qualifiers yesterday, hosted here. Each year for this tournament, I write a comprehensive recap of things for the team... it's a tradition that really only exists because I made it one. Anyway, I have no intention of talking about the details of things, only the guilt. You want the facts, read this. But I warn you now... anyone who bitches it's boring is getting an embarassing personal story told about them. If I don't have one, I'll make one up, like this:
"Ooh! My boobs are all squished!"
Meg, commenting on the neutralization of her "Bionic Bra" by an overtight sweater.
Coen's post about CBI would probably be better to read than mine, as he's disconnected from our team just enough to sound impartial.
I've always wanted to be a "go-to" guy, a clutch performer who could be the one to win the game in the dramatic moments. The only time it's even actually happened is in basketball: course when you took 80 shots a game, a few of them are bound to go in during the waning seconds.
College Bowl is not a sport, nor is it something often mentioned in a discussion of clutch. The only clutching most CBers do is to a sandwich, or their genitals - yeah, that was cold, but if you wanted to read bland you could stick to airline magazines.
To choke in CB is to know the answer, but not buzz in for fear you're wrong. I suppose it could also be to buzz in and forget what you were going to say, but since that doesn't fit my story, we'll ignore it like this was a term paper. Today, I choked. Hard core. It was the saddest thing I think I've ever seen, except for that time I saw the one-toothed man trying to eat the burger at Hardee's in Bishopville, South Carolina.
Maybe it was because I was tired and feeling crummy, but I doubt it. My heart was beating through my chest in all the big games, and it cost us at least twice. Had I went in on the question I knew in the finals game, we'd probably have won it, and had a much better chance at the title. This kills me even more than it usually would, not even because it's my last year and last run at it. It's because I knew we could have had it. And I let the team down.
Nothing more to say about that.
So I'm watching TV last night, and I see a preview for Death To Smoochy.
"He once was rich. He once was famous. He once was sane."
Robin Williams is the star, and really, I expect great things. Why? Because he shouldn't have to pretend.
February 15, 2002 - Slackers
Somedays, I don't feel like writing, or got too drunk at the FreeP party to remember anything cool.
Rules to Live By
1. Follow your dream! Unless it's the one where you're at work in your underwear during a fire drill.
2. Always take time to stop and smell the roses and sooner or later, you'll inhale a bee.
3. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me alone.
4. If you don't like my driving, don't call anyone. Just take another road. That's why the highway department made so many of them.
5. If a motorist cuts you off, just turn the other cheek. Nothing gets the message across like a good mooning.
6. When I'm feeling down, I like to whistle. It makes the neighbor's dog run to the end of his chain and gag himself.
7. It's always darkest before the dawn. So if you're going to steal the neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
8. A handy telephone tip: Keep a small chalkboard near the phone. That way, when a salesman calls, you can hold the receiver up to it and run your fingernails across it until he hangs up.
9. Into every life some rain must fall. Usually when your car windows are down.
10. Just remember: You gotta break some eggs to make a real mess on the neighbor's car!
12. When you find yourself getting irritated with someone, try to remember that all men are brothers and just give them a noogie or an Indian burn.
13. This morning I woke up to the unmistakable scent of pigs in a blanket. That's the price you pay for letting the relatives stay over.
14. It's a small world. So you gotta use your elbows a lot.
15. Keep your nose to the grindstone and your shoulder to the wheel. It's a lot cheaper than plastic surgery.
16. This land is your land. This land is my land. So stay on your land.
17. Love is like a roller coaster: When it's good you don't want to get off, and when it isn't, you can't wait to throw up.
Yeah, I'm getting #16 made into stationery.
February 14, 2002 - Hate Love Day
So yeah, about this Canary Islands thing...
All along, I've said Spring Break my senior year was going to be the big trip. After three years of doing nothing, this week was going to be the big blowout I spent four years not having. There was a time the thought of it excited me. course, there was a time I watched MTV more than any other channel.
Seriously, what's up with Carson Daly painting his fingernails black? I could stand him otherwise, really I could, but this puts him over the top into "Dumbass" zone. Joining him? This guy!
At some point this afternoon, there will be a link on there. But how funny is it that you all rolled your mouse over it and couldn't figure why it didn't work.
Anyway, the plan this fall was Ireland. That or Myrtle Beach - there was a definite green theme. Problem being BU seems to be the only school with SB the first week in March, meaning who could go was limited. Factor in most of them were bitches - tipified by the "It's gonna be cold!" attack of a certain Californian.
"Who goes to Harvard to play hockey? I thought only smart hippies and Indian kids went there."
-- She also said this, at the Beanpot. One less thing for her to bitch about. :)
Completely too lazy to plan anything, my plan became simply to do nothing again, cept for a College Bowl tourney out in Indiana that would allow me to see minor-league hockey and Andi in the same weekend.
Funny. On Valentine's Day, I say my ex-girlfriend's name before my current's. That whirring you hear is Meg's teeth grinding. Mmm, sounds like a beating.
Long story short... Jon Rea came along, riding a large white stallion we call "time-share." After weeks of telling everyone I wasn't going, I reversed field in roughly twenty minutes. They better have PS2 on Tenerife, or I'm killing locals. It's off the coast of Africa... which reminds me of that Simpsons where they take the boat out into international waters. Lawlessness - I'm coming home wearing a meat helmet.
All you have to know is Coast to Coast is getting a sequel, and unlike most, it's not gonna be billed "The Feel Good Hit of The Summer!"
Now, as for the days affairs, I promised myself I wouldn't just bitch about my hatred of Valentine's Day. Why else do you think I went on about past Spring Breaks, dumbass?
I hate Valentine's Day. Period. This will not change. It has waned a little this year, since I actually participated, but think about it: is there any other holdiay (maybe Christmas) that has so much attached stress with it?
Think about it. Do I buy Betsy chocolates? Do I buy her lingerie? What color? Why's she slapping me? Hasn't she seen me staring at her while she sleeps? Or what about if you have no one. I'm such a loser. Look at that guy, he doesn't have a girlfriend either! I'm starting to feel better! Hmm, I wonder if I could get one of those rainbow patches for my backpack too...
The fact is, holidays should not depress people. Far as I can tell, Valentine's depresses much more than it uplifts. Course maybe that's the fatigue and stomach full of Mexican food talking. Meg knows I love her more than anything... I just think it's unnecessary to force those with no one to dwell on this all day long.
Course given the occasion...
To all the ladies in my life, I love you all. From Worcester to Dartmouth to Bloomington to Hamilton to Boston, and everywhere in between, you all mean the world to me. Yes Mom, that means you too, but not in the grotesquely sexual fashion I meant with the others.
And guys... um, you know that thing where you shake the guy's hand and give him that half-hug, making sure you're patting him on the back as opposed to clutching? Yeah, one of those for all of you.
February 13, 2002 - Sorry!
We have no Internet access at work, which is why this is short and late. We have three computers, but no Internet access. The only thing stupider than that is this sentence:
"Two Donuts For $1! (Offer only good on specially-marked donuts.)"
Specially marked donuts.
I'm done, except to say...
COOCH IN THE CANARIES
4 Spring Breaks, 3 of the wasted, 2 months left, time for 1 mammoth trip.
Coming March 1 to March 9, 2002
February 12, 2002 - Tape Delay
You know what I wish? That people on TV allowed themselves to release the real emotions they have built up inside them, rather than "sucking it up" and "being the bigger person." You know they're pissed off, you know they want nothing more than to pitch a piece of the stage across the room or bury their skate in a forehead, but no, they have to sit there and be all "mature." I've been saying maturity is overrated for years, and you saw how prothetic I was on the " Adam Vinateri is 'Fucking Automatic' " thing, didn't you?!
Last night, I got to watch two things that had been sitting unviewed for far too long: the "Maude Flanders Dies" episode of The Simpsons I downloaded off Morpheus, and the pairs figure skating "controversy." The first was entertaining because it involved mocking of hillbillies and Ralph Wiggum.
"Be patient, son. A watched car never crashes."
-- Homer. Truer words have never been spoken.
The second was maddening, even considering it was only figure skating. There was a time in my youth when if there was figure skating on, the TV ended up there. Not as much because I was changing it there... though I am probably the only person on the BU campus who could pick Jill Trenary out of a lineup. Figure skating is my mother's favorite; I can remember the Sundays when we wouldn't tell her it was on, because if she found out, the TV would be glued to it for the remainder of the afternoon. It was like some high stakes game of hide-and-seek: you'd see it when channel surfing, then make sure to turn to the channel furthest away from it for safety's sake.
We lived a sheltered childhood in Feeding Hills. Unless you lived there, no, you don't understand.
Anyway, this whole screwjob on the Canadians Sale & Pelletier legitimately pissed me off, because it's obvious. Any slack-jawed yokel who watched the Russians and Canadians skate could tell you who won, but no, Wen Poo Cock from China can't figure it out. Oh man, I could make such a racist joke here... I'm not touching that one.
What irked me even more though was that despite the fact they clearly had been shafted, the Canadians did nothing. They were sportsmen, they offered that "stiff upper lip" Canada's been known for since, um, never, and basically blew all their credibility. This was a screw job equivelant to Bret Hart v. WWF. Who would have ever faulted them if they flipped off a judge, smashed a computer monitor or went "NHL in Nagano" on something?
It would have been trivial, yes, but they participate in a sport that's now akin to professional wrestling. Any sport that has something called a "kiss and cry" area, with easily breakable objects like chairs and flower vases in it, begs for a tantrum. Seriously, it feels like a disservice every night nothing gets busted up in there. Come on. All I'm asking for is to say in an interview, "Yeah, we got screwed." You can still be sportsmen... maybe I just have a temper, or a brain.
In the Olympic spirit, I'm glad they didn't punch anyone out or rip stuff up backstage. But in the spirit of justice, something better happen with this. Or I just might never watch figure skating again! THE HORROR!
It's a sad world when a controversial ending to a figure skating event:
1) that happened a day ago and
2) didn't directly involve any Americans
gets me this fired up, but my ability to reason is rapidly decreasingly. It's official: the Free Press is physically killing me. Paramedics and police officers walked into the office last night, and for at least a brief moment, I wondered if they were for me. Man is not meant to live for weeks on end averaging five hours of sleep... and if man is, Cooch certainly isn't.
I love barbeque rib sandwiches from the convenience store. If that doesn't qualify me for seperate mention, I don't know what would.
Something has got to change about my lifestyle this semester, because the checkbook isn't balancing. I'm taking three classes, as opposed to the normal four, and I have less free to sleep, sit on Instant Messenger and play PS2 than I've ever had before. If I had four classes, there's at least a 20% chance I would be dead right now. I actually believe this... I haven't touched a Dual Shock 2 in weeks.
Tonight, I sat in the DFP office from 10:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. I did nothing. I would have gladly done some work, had there been any computers available, or any work to be done. Why do I go in then? To see my friends, to spend time with Meg, any number of reasons... but it has to stop. I can't keep doing this to myself, because the next time I have to hear about how tired I look or how I should nap, my head is going to explode.
Thursday is Valentine's Day. I hate Valentine's Day, to levels mortal men can't even understand. For twenty years, I've been spared because I've been single on February 14th. Barring a blowout of mythic proportions, the streak will end this year, on a night I could have spent playing basketball and gorging myself for free in the dining hall.
So why do we do it? Why does a man allow himself to miss inept three-point shooting and free catfish? Because every so often, you come home from the newspaper, and there's a little message blinking on your computer screen... just so when you came home, you could read someone saying they love you.
In my waning collegiate days, I wouldn't trade that for anything.
February 11, 2002 - B(eanpot) U.
This is written the morning after, thus the "last night"s and such. Sitting down to write it at 2:30, it struck me as one of those events better worded after some time passed.
At about 2 a.m., it finally hit me. Coming out of the Fleet, going for food, hiking to the train, chatting with the FreeP reporters, I had been completely wired. I don't know what triggered it... possibly just the ceasing of all the activities listed above. Sitting on the couch, it drilled me like John Sabo up under your chin.
Fatigue. Whole body-crumpling fatigue, as though I'd actually been on the ice - putting my level of conditioning relative to the players, of course. I'm told I actually fell asleep on that dirty couch at the Free Press, and really, I wouldn't doubt it. I was exhausted.
And all I did was watch the game.
An AP brief or box score could tell you the banal details:
"Freshman Justin Maiser's second goal of the night, with just 1:12 left in the third period, propelled Boston University to the 2002 Beanpot championship with a 5-3 win over Northeastern University in front of 15,565 fans at Boston's FleetCenter."
But really, a paragraph could tell you the details of a lot of events:
"Powered by a strong performance on the beaches of Normandy and repeated campet bombing of Berlin, the Allied Forces defeated Nazi Germany in the Second World War last night in front of the rest of the world."
It might be a little extreme to say last night's Beanpot final was a war. It would be extreme to say it was a conflict of worldly consequences, but as it was going on, it felt that way. The thought of BU losing this game, on this night, in front of these fans... it seemed the darkest thing in the world. It eliminates the need to talk about the club seats, the $9 calzone and fries, the post-game trip to Hooters, the watching of curling in Hooters, the sickness felt after eating at Hooters... this game carries itself.
But we didn't. We won. BU won, continuing a month of sports fandom which has just left me wondering when the shit is going to hit the fan.
My guess? Round October, when a certain team blows a certain trip to a certain series. If it even gets that far.
The hockey posse and friends arrived at the Fleet midway through the second period of BC's violation of Harvard. The Crimson won the national title in 1989. Now, they've won one Beanpot game in the past four years. If there were a way to finish 5th in a four-team tournament, I think they'd find a way.
On to the title game. I'll be honest - I picked Northeastern. They've won 8 of their last 10 games, they hate us with a bloody passion, haven't won a Pot since 1988 and things have been going way too well lately. Sitting, as last week, in the heart of the opposition, the game began with nerves higher than on Super Bowl Sunday.
Being the favorite sucks sometimes.
It's not an exaggeration to say it could have been 5-0 BU after one period, but as it ended up, our only goal was on a a weak shot from inside the faceoff circle. Fourteen shots, at least twelve of which were legitimate scoring chances. Robbed twice, two trickled within inches of the post, several others needing little more than a subtle redirection. For a freshman, Keni Gibson was amazing. He's the only reason this game was even close... and anyone who tells you otherwise is on dope.
The Terriers looked as sharp as I've seen them in a long time, if not their best this season. They looked so good, I bet they could have scored on a power play.
Perenially, the team plays like shit in the second period. I don't know what it is, maybe that's when all the pre-gaming hits them. But as usual, their second period play almost cost them the game. They did make it 2-0 on a pretty goal by Whitney - holding, holding, holding, picking his spot, depositing it high - but there was just this nagging feeling the Huskies were going to rise. I attribute the feeling to two things:
1) My nagging suspicion, after years of living in New England, that my team must always lose.
2) The quintet of eight-year-olds behind us being egged on to give us shit.
Yes Virginia, we argued with pre-teens. And that is why we fell behind - karma.
In a span of about eight minutes, BU picked up four minor penalties and NU scored thrice. 3-2 Huskies at the break, with a power play waiting for them after intermission.
To understand how sudden this shift was, you had to be sitting where we were, with children screaming behind you and collegians chanting above. The whole building just arose from this slumber, and it became indelibly clear that everyone hates us. We really are, as Rea put it, "the Yankees of the Beanpot." Which fits a little too well with Justin's whole "America's Team" sphiel.
So just like last week, the third period would decide it. Had the Huskies scored on that initial power play, I have no doubt BU would have folded like an Arena Football team. 4-2 would be too big a swing to fly back from, so that penalty kill was huge. Pandolfo stuffing home a shot off the boards to tie the game was huger, as it thus allowed the six of us to swear at the little kids telling us to "sit down and shut up."
In two weeks, kids in elementary school have told me I go to a "safety school" and that I should "sit down and shut up." Repeatedly, in both cases. Perhaps, should our paths cross again, I should guide them towards religion.
So it's 3-3, and their momentum has been squashed. 16:06 left. At this point, the sports fan realizes that the team that scores next is going to win this game. And that next score wasn't coming for a long, long time.
The clock ticked down to 12 minutes... to 8 minutes... and still nothing. Both teams had chances: we'd have a scrum around the net, they'd have one. At one point, Fields came out to clear a puck beyond the faceoff circles. The rush knocked him down.
They missed the net.
6 minutes became 4, became 3. Even as the zeros came close, the game didn't have an overtime feel. You just knew someone was going to score and win it now.
And Maiser did.
It may have been off a faceoff, I can't really remember. All I know is the puck got sent out front, NU's netminder went to the ice and Maiser hammered it top shelf. There was some debate whether it actually went in or hit the post, but given the ref was right on top of it and pointed immediately, I don't want to hear about it from any of you.
We were sitting in the left corner of the BU end, so this goal was scored right on top of us. Seeing that puck hit the twine sparked a celebration previously rivaled by only Bartlett's goal in '99. In no particular order:
Leapt around, picked up Justin, kissed Meg, hugged Jon Rea, high-fived Allyson, high-fived Hypho, high-fived an old lady, hugged the quiet eight year-old (who was wearing a BU hat the whole time), and proceeded to tell every NU fan in the building where they could shove their commuter school and Marino Center.
There's more to the story, as the game wasn't over til the empty netter sealed it. But I don't have much else to say. Outside of this:
NEVER EAT AT THE HOOTERS IN BOSTON. EVER.
February 10, 2002 - One Week
[Lonnie, the girl who my family believes is destined to be my wife someday, has reworked her site enough to make it warrant mentioning. Improvements include many more photos of her in tropical climates (a.k.a. "half naked") and a direct plea to yours truly featuring that hideous picture on the left.
It should also be noted that in the time it took me to write this sentence, my mother has married me off (in her mind) thirteen times to seven people from Agawam, three for the Midwest, two from Europe and an alien named "CX13T-8" from Krebulon, a planet yet undiscovered by humans. She's good like that.]
Cross-country skiing, long thought of as a nice low-impact aerobic exercise, looks like the most excruicating thing in the world to me. Guys, you know that feeling you get that when you see another man get drilled in the nuts? That involuntary scrunch-up of your legs, that grimace on your face, that urge to turn away and cower? I don't know why, but I was feeling that as I watched the Nordic Combined this afternoon.
Why was I watching the Nordic Combined, and thus, cross-country skiing? Because it was on, it was the Olympics and because the alternative was to write a paper. Question answered.
Just watching these guys in their stupid sunglasses with their spandex suits and consonant-filled names, it made me hurt. You could just tell this activity is taxing on every muscle in the body, and just the thought of that sort of physical activity makes me realize how utterly inadequate I am as a human being. Well, that and the balding, which really hasn't been getting much pixel lately beacuse I thought it had stopped. Then in the shower, I found a hair in my mouth, and since I highly doubt it fell upwards from my sub-chest, I assume it came from my head. Or a brown-haired spider.
A Medal Stand Of Reasons Cooch Will Never Win An Olympic Medal
Gold) Because all the things I'm good enough at (golf, cynicism, chugging Smirnoff Ice) will never become Olympic sports, solely because IOC President Jacques Rogge knows I'm a fan of former president Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Silver) Because my athletic prowess in legitimate sports is limited to Free Press football, my driveway when it had a basketball hoop and video games.
Bronze) Because I have neither the charm of Georg Hackl, the looks of a Bulgarian weightlifter or the sack to deal with pressure like that Swiss kid who won the ski jump. Ammann or something.
Also worthy of note is even though I look vaguely like Bob Costas, he doesn't get any medals for what he does in Salt Lake City. All he gets is the satisfaction of knowing every night, round about 10 p.m., he gets to sit down in front of a fake fireplace and service Jim McKay.
Seriously, Bob Costas is my sportscasting idol. Jim McKay... the voice of Wide World of Sports, voice of the Olympics, a legend. To hear the two of them fawn over each other nightly makes me believe that, one of these nights, the lights are gonna go low, Marvin Gaye is going to start playing and the microphones are coming off. Fade to black stuff. And it's really too bad, because I would give anything to be Bob Costas. And the shame in that is if I was Bob Costas, I would be tasting 917-year old Jim McKay.
And that's just disgusting.
Makes me wonder what I was doing at this time last Sunday. Oh yeah, now I remember, rioting.
Thirty-eight weeks from now, there's going to be a lot of babies born that get named Tom, Adam or Troy. Go to your bookie and put some cash down on this one... trust me.
February 9, 2002 - More Winnin!
Memo to Greta Van Susteren, FOX News Channel: I'm sorry, but you still look hideous.
Being a member of the BU College Bowl team these past four years has put me in contact with numerous people from numerous schools I'd never otherwise come in contact with. As I'm not a superlative quiz player by any means, this is perhaps the best part about my involvement with the club - outside the my illusions that I hold legitimate power over people, of course. That said, I've come to a hypothesis.
The Ivy League mystique is a bunch of crap.
This is not to say that there aren't good people who go to Ivy League schools, that there aren't good things going on at these schools. What I'm saying is people who allow themselves to get caught up in all the hype of how great these places are need a bit of a slapping around.
And no, this is not bitterness stemming from my brother getting waitlisted at Brown. This is bitterness stemming from my brother getting waitlisted at Brown:
Harvard President: "Nasty business, that zero. Naturally, Harvard's doors are now closed to you, but I'll pass your file along to [snickers] Brown."
Principal Skinner: "Mmmm, Brown. Heckuva school. Weren't you at Brown, Otto?"
Otto: "Yeah. Almost got tenure too."
Lisa Simpson: "[gasps in horror] No, not Brown, Brown, Brown ..."
I really could get a Simpsons reference on here every day if I tried. But anyway, let's talk about the Ivies. [Deep Breath]
Harvard inflates their grades to ensure even the panhandlers who live in the Square graduate with honors, and you can't actually park a car in Harvard Yard, so the next time you come up to me and say that in a think, fake Boston accent, I'm hitting you in the teeth. Yale's most famous graduate is C. Montgomery Burns, and spends all its time wishing it was Harvard. The rest of us spend all our time the rest of New Haven would just eat it. Columbia created the Society of Professional Journalists, another group on campus I feel like I should be a part of, but instead just feel guilty for not. After today, I realize they have sluts for sorority girls just like everybody else. Dartmouth, while inhabited by many nice people, is located in Hanover, N.H. For those unfamiliar, Hanover is exactly three miles southwest of Greenland. Penn is located in West Philadelphia, which is about as far from the nice part of Philly as I am right now. Oh wait, there is no nice part of Philly. It should not take a half-hour walk to buy beer anywhere in America - we won the Civil War. Princeton is in New Jersey, and though I've never been there, that's as much a reason for suckitude as any I've ever heard. And as for Cornell, well, I've never been there and a friend from the past goes there now, but everyone else I know from there is an asshole.
This is in no way meant to diminish how cool it was when Princeton beat UCLA in the 1996 NCAA tournament. Seeing that final back-door cut knock off the defending champs was sweet. The defending champs being from Los Angeles? Made it that much sweeter... sorry babe, but I hate UCLA athletics with a passion.
The reason this has all come up is because of today's trip to Dartmouth for NAQT Sectionals. Normally, I would keep the quiz bowl talk brief, because there's not much to talk about. But today, Boston University's 'A' Team went 12-0 and won their division.
Let me repeat that. BU won. We won. As in nobody beat us all day. As in we qualified a team for Nationals. As in sit down, call your Grandma, make her proud, gold star on the refridgerator, get drunk and do kegstands, because we are the champions. We are the champions. No time for losers, like you, cuz we are the champions, like us.
You have to have been a member of BUCB or close to the team for a period to understand how amazing this is. The team has been in existence since the Fall of 1990, though the exact date of establishment is debatable. That's twelve years. In that time, we have won exactly one academic tournament - in the Fall of 1999 at Yale. In twelve years, a team of BU undergradautes has never gone undefeated and won a tournament outright. Not in academics, not on pop culture, not in a boat eating green eggs and ham, not ever.
Today was fun for me beyond just excitement over our victory. For the first time this academic year, I actually got to play in a quiz tournament. Meg backed out at the last minute, so it left a slot open on our "B" team - one I was more than happy to fill. Playing alongside two guys whose abilities were essentially equal to mine, we all excelled. We only finished 5-7, fourth in out field of seven, but it was right where we deserved to finish talentwise. Personally though, I had my highest individual scoring performance for a tourney ever - a shade over 22 points per game. This is a number that will only mean something to quiz bowlers, but know that in four years of trying, this is the first time I've cleared 20 ppg on academic questions for a whole day.
It's on a day like this that I remember how much fun it is to feel like you're smart.
This has gone on long enough, but I can't end without telling this story:
Playing for the Yale Division 2 team today was a kid who, from a distance, was a dead ringer for yours truly. Brown hair, glasses, red shirt, jeans... the whole nine yards. From what I can gather, his behavior mirrored mine in a lof of ways... though he didn't look like the kind of kid who would carry a football around all day. His name? Kyrill [KEER ull]
As the Sports Guy would say:
"There's comedy, there's high comedy, then there's naming your kid Kyrill and sending him to Yale."
February 8, 2002 - Olympisized
Off to Dartmouth for the day, but I leave you with this:
If you didn't get goosebumps when you saw Mike Eruzione and the 1980 USA Hockey team light the torch, I think you need to leave. Now.
Mark Coen's February 9th post on the Olympic opening ceremonies completely killed any motivation I had to do a write-up. That said, I would like to say I still want to be Bob Costas when I grow up.
February 7, 2002 - 1 Hundred Daze
Meg told me today that my graduation is now 100 days away. A lot of people told me a lot of things today. A professor in COM told me I was going to tape a segment for CNN's Talkback Live, then after it got taped, they pre-empted the show. My mind told me, "Gee, a chicken parmesan sandwich would be a good thing to eat for lunch." It wasn't.
Despite these setbacks, I don't feel like counting to 100. She better be right.
This strikes me as one of those anniversaries that should be accompanied by something. "Something" would include:
A meeting with class officers, to discuss graduation specifics.
A dance or social, where networking with rich associates in cushy positions can be done.
Though really, this is BU. I'd expect: The first call from the alumni office looking for donations.
But nothing. So I'm left to reminisce, all by myself, which I'm told is the most entertaining thing I do daily (not counting the random, "Fuck off, [insert name here]"s that pop up every now and then. Course, I'm also told 'Ataba is the most popular song in Palestine, when everyone knows the Zaghareet is far more loved.
Some people are just out to get you...
I remember my first night here: August 31, 1998. We got in early afternoon, with my roommate already there unloading his stuff. I was very panicked until we got all my things put away, at which point my family left and I started to calm down. Left to chat about life and getting to know each other with Jet (James, who I still see now and again), we went outside to commune with our fellow freshmen. Someone asked me what school (as in COM) I was in. I told them Agawam High School.
Making friends was difficult.
I also remember I had this ritual of kissing my ex-girlfriend Karen's picture every night. Now THAT'S funny.
Once when I was a kid, we were coming out of Food Mart. It was raining, muddy, a real New England-style day. Being a rambunctious child, I ran out toward the car, because beating the shopping cart there was something very important to me at that moment. I remember slipping on the muck and gravel, sliding into the street and almost getting run over by a Cadillac. Almost being within 10 feet, not almost like I had to push the bumper off me.
I have no idea why this story strikes me as significant right now.
I suppose there are more stories I could tell, but then what would I have left for Senior Week?
It still seems a million years away: big red gown, walk on field, reception of parchment, assimilation to reality. It's exactly like high school was: by the time I realized I was having a good time, the damn show was already past its last commercial break. And really, is there any feeling worse than knowing the show you love to watch is almost over?
I suppose there is one thing worse: that feeling that you have to burp, but you can't make yourself, so you just sit there in pain until you inexplicably release this obnoxious belch. That feeling is horrible. It's the male answer to childbirth. That or taking one of those craps that makes you think there's drywall screws in your stool... wait, how the hell did I get to be talking about this?!
It's hard to say what my emotional reation to this news about the 100 days is. I found out in class, so I can't say as I really cared... I was trying to finish my chicken parm sandwich before I had to take any notes. Later, I was depressed by it, thinking that this life of mocking Bill's sexual practices and buying booze for underage children is what I want to live for the rest of my life. Then, I had two Guinness at the paper, and went back to a tired complacency. Guinness does that... you feel fine, then all of a sudden, it's like your sobriety got kicked in the nuts.
At no point do I remember being excited, which was a prevailing feeling for a small portion of the high school grad lead-up. We're talking like an hour, but nevertheless it was still there.
I remember the moment I decided I didn't want to be in high school anymore. I went to one of the lunches, and in the post-lunch, pre-next class period, somebody started a mosh pit in the cafeteria lobby. Dozens of white kids, moshing. It was the saddest thing... I felt about 50 years old.
Course all this happened when I was a sophomore in college, so I guess that's the saddest thing of all.
February 6, 2002 - A Lesson
There's a large piece of this society we live with who don't understand their place in the grand scheme of things. I'd like to think I comprehend mine - one who derives his pleasures from the happiness of others, often at his own expense. To do this, I use self-depricating humor, witticism, comic timing and, on occasion, mood-altering narcotics. These traits are not something everyone has: some can't be funny, some can't be witty and some can't get their hands on enough narcotics to hide the fact they can't be funny or witty.
Which brings me to the case of mLife.
Somwhere, in a major metropolitan ad agency, is the person behind the mLife advertising campaign. We'll say 'he,' not because it's a male ad exec, but because it's the human "we" as taught by Jonathan Klarfeld. He's a good man, a fair man... perhaps he's a single digit handicapper on the links. He gives change to the homeless man out in front of the convenience store every day. Some days, he gives him dollar bills, or leftover pancakes from his breakfast.
One day, he woke up with this revelation for an ad campaign. Tease them, his dream said. Tell them, but don't show them. Give then the key, but don't put it in the lock.
He went to work excited. Perhaps he fired off a memo, perhaps he shared it with colleagues at the water cooler. Who knows, he might have charged right into the boss' office with it. It doesn't matter.
He and his creative team molded a foolproof plan... let them know they need it, but don't tell them what it is. Put ads on cabs, ads on billboards, commercials during the Super Bowl. Hit print, hit online, hit radio, hit it all. Make them want it, make them crave it... make mLife part of their daily routine without them even knowing what it is.
It was brilliant, dare I say superb. It may cleared initial expectations... it may have blown them away. It may have made them forget Britney, Clara, even 1984. He might have gotten a raise, a company car, a key to the executive washroom... all this for his mLife campaign.
I have but one thing to say to him... What in the fuck were you thinking making an ad campaign that doesn't tell you what the product is?!
It's wireless bullshit, I think. I went to the website and I still don't know what the crap it is. First Crossroads, now this...
February 5, 2002 - Bob Kraft Dance Party
OK, I'll admit it. I grossly underestimated how happy I would be if the Patriots won the Super Bowl. There is no comparing the reaction to Sunday's result vs. what would have happened had the Giants knocked off the Ravens last year... I'm a New Englander through and through. There's only one thing that could possibly make me happier in the sporting pantheon, and if you have to ask what that is, you haven't been paying attention up to now.
That said, today's citywide parade that drew 1.25 million people sucked. There, I said it. It was a letdown, it was a disappointment, it was nothing compared to the celebrations of Sunday night in Kenmore Square - where no cars were flipped, thank you very much.
Maybe sucked is too strong a word. I did enjoy myself, did enjoy spending the majority of the day with Justin, Bridget and more Patriots memorabilia than I've even seen. I will look at the confetti I snagged from the air with a longing sigh in years to come, as though I was cueing-up a flashback scene on The Young and The Restless. But to say it was the most amazing thing to happen since the Patriots did the completely unthinkable, that would be an out-and-out lie... nothing like the petty exaggerations I use for humor on a daily basis.
"Well, I'm sure that ripped a hole in the time-space continuum."
-- Muttered under my breath when my boss told me he had to close the office for 15 minutes because I skipped work.
I did honestly plan to go to work today, for at least a couple hours. Though when you factor in:
1) I left the post-Beanpot Free Press at 2:30 a.m. because Sports wasn't going to be done until close to 4, meaning the issue wasn't posted overnight.
2) I was meeting up with Amit & his friends at BC around 10:30, so I found out at about 10.
3) There were 80,000 people in City Hall Plaza... at eight a.m.
I think I can absolve myself of guilt. The odds of me being fired are so insanely low that only my dream of a "Boston title grand slam" has a lower chance of happening.
Boston may be euphoric over this newfound thing we call "winning," but if somehow the Celtics and Bruins found a way to win theit respective titles, there's not a person in this city who dosen't still think the baseball team would blow it. Myself included. To even think about the Olde Towne Team winning a title makes me feel queasy... this city would collapse into the sea. It would be the greatest day in history, if only because no one dares dream it could happen.
In hindsight, we should have gotten a spot on the parade route and watched the team go by, because that was the highlight of the day from what I can gather. Seeing the team standing tall in duck boats would have made for a much better day. But thinking the ceremony on the plaza would be the highlight, we waded through the crowds. And I do mean waded - attempting to get over to the Haymarket bus station (and Bridget), we lost Amit, the BC crew and a good deal of my anal virginity.
Look. I saw some woman emerging from a bush she'd just relieved herself behind. I'm a little scarred, OK?
If you look at photos of the rally, there were two main areas you could watch things from: near the stage, or by the T station where there was a Jumbotron showing the scene.
I suppose it would help to know the layout of City Hall Plaza to understand this stuff. So, go nuts. The stage was around the left corner of the building and the T station is essentially where you're standing. In the photo, stupid. Not literally where you're standing.
After watching a Super Bowl rebroadcast during the street parade, and sensing the sound system sucked, I led a move to get us over within view of the stage. Mistake #1
You know how as soon as you switch lanes on the highway, the one you move into instantly becomes the slow lane? This has other applications.
Long story short, at most we saw the backs of cheerleader's heads, as every 94.5 FM listening thug thought it a good idea to push us from behind. This thing had the potential to go "trampling death" in about 3.6 seconds - all it would have taken was one person to fall over and they were done. This little alleyway we were in was like a Tokyo subway - just without the trippy techno music and Sarin nerve gas.
I enpected more than a 20-minute stage performance. I expected Drew Bledsoe to be in attendance, so we could properly say goodbye to a man who didn't deserve the fate he's gotten. I expected more hijinks. Basically, I expected a celebration that would get me fired up like Sunday.
Just goes to show you nothing can compare to a joyous riot. And as for you dipshits up at UMass who decided to bust up a dining hall, good for you. Stereotypes do need to be reinforced every now and then for freshness.
Think about this for a minute. Imagine Mo Lewis pulls up in teh second game of the season, and Drew never gets injured. Tom Brady never passes anything more than peas at the dinner table. Do the Pats even make the playoffs, never mind win the trophy? Hell, do they even see .500 all season? As much as I find it mind-boggling, Tom Brady really is this team's MVP. Whatever he did, bottle it up, and pray it wasn't Nick Esasky "one-hit wonder" style.
February 4, 2002 - Ceberlate Good Times, C'mon!
Entirely lost in the surreality of the Patriots Super Bowl victory has been the Beanpot. Now, if you say the word Beanpot to, say, a Southern Californian, they're likely to look at you funny, utter an interrogative "Dude?" and start quoting Blink 182 lyrics. Research backs me up on this, I promise. Hell, if you say it to a certain portion of the Western Mass. population, you're just as likely to get some half-assed rant on how Jane Swift's forgotten her roots as anything else. And yes, research will support this claim too.
However, everyone in Boston knows that the Pot is The Event in Boston college hockey. In some ways, it's even bigger than the NCAA's because of the sheer bragging rights involved. Back when BU hockey was, what's the word I'm looking for..., dominant, "Where's your Beanpot?" was chanted just as often as "19-49!"
For the seven of you reading and not affiliated with any Boston school, up until Boston College won the 2001 national championship, their last title had come in 1949. We frequently enjoyed reminding them this, along with our 23 Beanpot titles dwarfing their 12.
Tonight was the first round, and the long and the short of it is we're back in the finals and BC's Pot reign has seen its end. But there's just so much more than that to say, because I love the sound of my own typing.
When the hockey posse made their way down to the public ticket sale in December, I don't think we even realized what we were getting ourselves into. Ending up second in line, we landed ourselves club seats in the Fleet. Now, what exactly does a club seat entitle one too? Were she here, I'm sure Gail would tell you.
Gail was our waitress, and when I say our waitress, I mean Gail came to our seats and asked us if we'd like anything from our special menus. And when I say special menus, I mean more than the pretzels and the nachos... there were the chicken tenderloins, the southwestern chicken wrap, the imported beers, the pulled pork sandwich... and the pretzels and the nachos.
Let's say we didn't want to bother Gail. Well, we could have gone to Banners, the Fleet's "Fine Dining Restaurant." There, we could have sat at tables overlooking the ice while we ate our overpriced food.
There's just something about sitting in a padded seat with a cup holder, lording over all but the executive boxes, that makes one not care they're paying $8.25 for a chicken wrap. I call it "conjunctivitis," that or "I sat with rich people syndrome." I don't remember which.
I'll save the other stories of mingling in the skyboxes and the carpeted concourse til later... after all, they did actually play a hockey game tonight.
But before we talk about the hockey, let's talk about Bridget. I never see Bridget, ever, given that she's more driven to work than anyone I've ever met. It boggles my mind, along with things like how this film made it off of somebody's desk. Tonight the first time I've seen her for any extended period in months, and that made me very happy.
I really have nothing else to add to this. I'm thinking very abruptly today.
Now, the hockey.
Northeastern/Harvard: Came in with it 1-0 Huskies, and despite Harvard tying the score, we all knew they didn't have a chance. Other than the Terriers, I think winning the Beanpot means the most to Northeastern, just because they're constantly clawing for respect after not winning a Beanpot before 1980 and since 1988. They ran Harvard ragged in the last two periods, and won going away 5-2. They watch, they wait... for us.
BU/BC: We sat in a section of BC alumni, in the BC corner, beneath the BC student body. Yet there we four sat, with my Dr. Seuss hat proudly scarlet and white.
A kid who couldn't have been older than seven started screaming "Safety School! Safety School!" at me on the councourse. I couldn't decide whether to laugh at him or punt him into the balcony. We were clearly not messing around.
First Period to BC. Our power play again proved to be completely hapless, leading me to bury my head in my hands every time we got the extra skater. We managed to lead in scoring opportunities, but could not crack one home. Fields looks distracted, and the BC fans behind us (who we recognize from line) and jawing. 0-1
Second Period to BU. Justin's fave Jackie Baker gives us hope a minute in. Being the only fans cheering in a whole quadrant of the arena (basically) is a damn lot of fun. The teams traded shorthanded goals, and we went into the third tied in shots, and on the board. 2-2
Third Period to BU. Sean Fields plays when he has to, and it's infectious. Sabo was amazing. Whitney was too. Three goals to one, and we're in the final. But it wasn't over until the empty netter with :10 to go... BC always gives it a fight. 5-3
One million people will converge on Boston tomorrow to celebrate the Patriots' Super Bowl title with a parade. A parade sixteen years in the making. I will be among those million, though I should be pretty quiet after blowing out my voice on two consecutive nights.
Don't worry... you'll hear all about it.
Epilogue To A Championship
9:56 a.m. - 2/4/02 - What can you say? Honestly, what is there to say after a game like that? I am just watching the cursor blink... I have never been happier I keep this thing than as I read the running commentary of last night. As great a thing it was to look at before I went to sleep, I can only imagine what it will feel like to read it weeks, months, years in the future.
The shock of what happened last night is still reverberating through the sports world. There was a debate before tonight on which was the greatest Super Bowl ever: #3 with Namath's guarantee, #22 with Montana's drive against Cincy, #25 with 'Wide Right,' #34 with the Titans falling one yard shy... there is no debate now. Ignore the fact that I am a New Englander, and accept that what we saw last night was the greatest Super Bowl ever played.
No one outside of New England thought this could actually happen. I fully believe that with all my heart. Any pundit who picked the Patriots to win this game did so because wrong picks are quickly forgotten by most. If you look at the stats, look at the teams on paper, the Rams should have been favored by 28, never mind 14. Yet never in the pre-game hype did I believe the Patriots would lose. I never honestly thought, "Oh my God. They're going to be destroyed." I don't know what I thought would happen, just that they had a hell of an opportunity.
This title means so much more to me than if the Giants would have beaten the Ravens last year. I still consider myself a Giants fan above all else, but even Super Bowl 25 pales in comparison to this Patriots championship. Just those words: Patriots Championship. It doesn't seem real.
At final count, there were 20 of us in this apartment last night. If I could have had 30, I would have loved to. Between this game and the Oakland game, for a room full of legitimate football fans to watch the Pats rip two out of the clutches of defeat was incredible. I now understand how Yankees fans feel every year.
Really though, I don't think I do understand how Yankee fans feel. This was so much more than what they must feel, because New England has waited 15 years for this. For anything.
When Willie McGinest's holding took 23-3 off the board, you could literally feel the collective heart rate of New Englanders jump about 20 beats a minute. When the game went 17-17, there's not a native New Englander alive who didn't feel like the game was lost. Like it was happening again. But it didn't happen again, and that's what is most mind boggling of all.
Somehow, we didn't blow it. We won the big game, the game we've been losing since the Celtics in '86.
We all stood after Troy Brown's catch put the Pats in field goal range. As the pass to Wiggins and the incompletion set up Adam "Fucking Automatic" Vinatieri. Before the game, I said I wondered if Kurt Warner knew his God was wearing a Pats jersey tonight. When that ball left his foot, we all knew he was.
I remember seeing the ball go through the uprights, seeing the clock read :00 and then the leaping and the hugging and the screaming. The only person not in hysterics was Justin, who was a Rams fan for the night because he wanted his Eagles to have lost to the champions.
Crap got kicked everywhere, just like on the aborted fumble return. I didn't care. For the first time all year, I let food stay on the carpet for longer than thirty seconds. Now that's saying something.
I never saw any of the post game, because within five minutes, we were out on the streets, on the way to Kenmore Sqaure to celebrate. We ended up on Lansdowne, then back to Kenmore, down Brookline Ave. to B.B. Wolf's, back to Kenmore... it was 12:40 before we finally packed it in.
Every sports fan should, at least once in their lives, get to experience the championship riot. People were taking pictures, video cameras were out, I'm writing about it... nothing can even describe the overwhelming joy let out on the streets of Boston last night. It was the most cathartic experience ever. Exact numbers will never be known, and it probably wasn't more than 1,000 people... but it felt like 5,000. People were on cell phones saying it was 10,000... it doesn't matter. It felt that way.
Everywhere you looked, people were happy. No one cared about anything other than Boston was finally on top again. White, black, rich, poor, for once it really didn't matter at all. People rocked cars, climbed on traffic poles, jumped up and down on buses, hugged complete strangers, high-fived passing drivers, chanted everything under the sun... I don't even know where to begin.
The police were incredible - anyone who says an ill word about them deserves to be knocked out. Boston Police, the BUPD and the MBTA Police let us celebrate and did their best to reroute traffic, only stepping in to calm if things got out of hand (such as when someone ripped the "Don't Walk" sign off a traffic light.) I didn't see them arrest one person, and anyone who says they used tear gas is mistaken - there was a lot of smoke because drivers were burning rubber.
I have only three regrets from last night:
1. That Amit, quite possibly the biggest Patriots fan I know, wasn't here to watch the game and celebrate with us. He stayed down at BC, and was very disappointed to hear of the Kenmore scene. Also, I wish Matt could have stayed up for the party. He would have loved it.
2. That I didn't hear Gil Santos' (Pats radio man) call of the game-winning field goal. WBCN usually archives the previous week's game audio, and I hope they stick to that for this game. He and the booth have been with the team so long, they get very excited.
3. That Meg got lost in the shuffle of celebration in Kenmore. She and some of the other girls stayed on the sidewalks fearing the crush, and by the time I thought to go back for her, they'd gone back to my apartment. I really wish she'd been there, though come to think of it, she probably wouldn't have appreciated it when the guys were screaming for girls to flash their breasts.
Alright, I admit it. I was screaming for it too. You know me... I'll follow a mob anywhere.
February 3, 2002 - Super Sunday
Because of the magnitude of this day in Boston and surrounding communties, a running diary:
5:34 p.m. - So far today, I have slept til noon, said goodbye to my family, been to Costco in Waltham for party supplies, eaten Kentucky Fried Chicken (as every college student in the Allston area ordered wings for their parties), updated the FreeP website and slowly let the nerves take over. Before the Costco trip, Justin asked me if I was nervous. Since that moment, it's been building. The aching has officially begun, though that may just be the KFC coming back to haunt me.
I now must go clean the toilet. I'm not lying about this.
5:40 - Justin becomes the first arrival. I announce to him I have to go clean the toilet, he immediately declines to be a part of it. I hit up the whole bathroom with scrubbing bubbles, while he becomes moved by the pre-game show's tribute to America.
I decide the dishes need to be done. But not before I chastise Ronald Reagan for not stepping out with the other former presidents. If Muhammad Ali can do it, so can you Ronnie!
5:48 - Meg and Josh arrive. Meg's got her JO357 obituary in tow, and wants me to edit it. Work and sports... it's like oil and water.
5:52 - Scott, FreeP Associate Editor, rolls in with chips in tow. We both started at the FreeP in the Fall of '99. He's second-in-command now; I cut-and-paste the stories onto the Internet. Time to cry!
5:53 - Jeff Cormier and his girlfriend Sara come in. His being here is a direct result of my apartment being named the official "FreeP" party headquarters for the Super Bowl. I'm not sure how I feel about this, though the lack of alcohol in the apartment means if the cops want to join me, they're damn well welcome to.
6:03 - Bill makes his first Jew joke of the evening, in Brooks' direction. He once left Scott a one-minute message where he called him a Jew 21 times. Don't worry, I will be keeping track.
6:07 - A whole mass of people walk in: most of the paper's braintrust is now in my apartment. Soon, John Silber's snipers will be here to eliminate the criminal threat.
6:13 - All chairs are now taken, and the game hasn't started yet. The nerves, having dissipated during the clean-and-greet, are now back.
6:16 - The FOX graphics and Pat & John hit the screen. The shit is on.
"Look at how big Madden's head is!"
6:22 - Atkinson makes first racist joke, during player introductions. Please note we're all white, and yes, we're all scared. Kurt Warner is also mocked for "religiousness." Not to say we're all athiests, but hey, it is my apartment.
6:25 - The Pats coming out as a team seals that they must win this game. Good vs. evil.
I wonder if Kurt Warner knows God is wearing a Patriots jersey?
6:29 - Meg comes back. The room goes silent. I have no idea if these events are related. Well I do, but she's looking over my shoulder.
"Even since she had her breakdown, she totally can't sing anymore."
-- Lisa, on Mariah Carey signing the anthem. Note, I did nor use the word 'singing,' only one similar to it.
6:39 - Patriots lose the toss. Memory reminds me the Giants lost the toss to start SB25. The comparisons between these games will go on well past the point when they're proper.
6:43 - KICKOFF
6:48 - Pats hold. I feel better already. Wait, the punt just went out within the 10. Check that.
"Hey, it's a monkey in a money suit!"
-- E*Trade Ad. It's no substitute for Bud Bowl though.
6:51 - The Tom Brady offense is back in business. We've gained more yards than the Rams. Spirits are high.
"That was a good pass."
-- Caroline, commenting on the Patriots' punt. And she was serious.
The room then goes silent for the first Britney Pepsi commercial. It's roundly denounced after her breasts go off the screen.
"You can cook together. That's what my parents do."
-- Bethany, on my future with Meg. In the past five minutes, I've been married off.
7:04 - Rams go up 3-0. I smelled trickery, but they kick it anyway. Meg announces the Pats are "going to lose." She'll be beaten at the half.
7:09 - Monster.com declares they have "great jobs for great Americans." As John Stossel would say, "Give me a break!"
7:13 - As of now, there are 15 people not named Cooch in this apartment. Houston, we've set a record.
7:16 - Warner sacks for the first time, by Richard Hamilton. It should not have taken a whole quarter for this to happen. STL 3, NE 0 after one.
7:18 - mLife finally spends enough money to get us to pull up their website at the party. Their servers can't handle it. Nice work, losers!
7:25 - Wilkins misses from 52 yards, Rams lead stays 3-0. Party has now hit 17 people not named Cooch. Guinness is on hold. I announce that I would take anything under a 10-point deficit at halftime.
7:33 - Pats continue to show inability to move the ball past midfield. I start to rationalize, "Well, no team has ever been shut out in a Super Bowl before..."
7:37 - TY LAW INTERCEPTS FOR A NE TOUCHDOWN! 7-3 Pats. High-fives for everyone, and Meg comments I said "dude." Fact that Warner got face masked on the play? Conveniently ignored.
7:47 - We begin discussing the merits of Troy Brown taking Isaac Bruce in the "Game Within The Game," when the guys played NFL Gameday before the Super Bowl. Consensus? Good sign.
7:49 - Pats running down the clock on the ground. Giants football at its best!
7:52 - As the Patriots prepare to punt, we stand at the two-minute warning. The Patriots are in the lead. Never have I been happier on my decision not to bet on this game - you know I would have jinxed it.
"You know, I read The Stupids books, and they completely weren't loyal to them in the movie at all."
-- In response to a Tom Arnold promo for 'Best Damn Sports Show Period.'
7:58 - Ernie Conwell fumbles after Pats secondary finishes fucking him up. They got it over midfield now!
8:02 - After Kevin Faulk's big first down on 3rd & 2, I can see the headlines being written: They said a Faulk would affect the Super Bowl's outcome, but this isn't what they had in mind."
8:04 - PATS GO UP 14-3 ON BRADY-TO-PATTEN TD PASS! Insane catch. The review sombers the room, but we knew it was a TD all the fucking way. I love how everyone becomes an analyst on replay calls. It makes me feel like I belong.
8:06 - Pat Summerall calls the game "Shock Bowl 36." That same moment, my ears inexplicably start to bleed.
8:08 - Marshall Faulk steps out of bounds when he could have let the kickoff go out of bounds. The mental errors have begun. NE 14, STL 3 at the half.
8:11 - Outside for halftime street football. Priorities remain in order.
8:20 - Football game abruptly ends when BUPD informs us they've received a complaint of "glass breaking." As they have guns and handcuffs, we relent even thought the charges are bullshit. U2's on... they're U2. Say no more.
8:26 - U2's Halftime Show is the first thing that silences the room since before the game started. Their performance only solidifies that I need to see them in concert NOW. The floor-to-ceiling screen with the running names of the 9/11 victims... no one could even speak after the commercials came back on. Fortunately, the FOX NFL crew singing along with Paul McCartney broke the pall.
8:38 - Game's back on. Rea announces he wants to see a Patriots blowout. Bill announces it would make Kurt Warner renounce God. I want this - not on Pay-Per-View, network TV.
8:44 - Beer number two. Rest of room: 1.
8:46 - Rams turning it back on. Brooks says the Pats need to go "Geoghan on his ass." Preist commits rape, the journalists turn it into a verb.
8:49 - 40 Days and 40 Nights is a movie where the main character (Josh Hartnett) is faced with the challenge of not having sex... for 40 days. I'm not even going to get started on this one... Bill also cracks his first racist joke, putting him up to two ethnic groups offended in three hours. He's off his game.
8:51 - Bill asks Kurt Warner, "Where's your God now?" He's up to three!
8:54 - We discuss whether the FieldTurf on Nickerson Field would burn in a riot. Consensus is we'd ruin it, but it would probably survive the affair. We have reached the point where no matter the result, a riot will ensue in Boston. God Bless America.
8:57 - Summerall jinxes the Pats with the "no team has ever come back from this far..." quote. The Pats, above all else, are a Boston sports team. I wish the press would realize this is the town of Bill Buckner, the Curse of the Bambino and the New England Revolution.
9:01 - Rea makes the first mention of victory cigars. The butterflies inexplicably return as Faulk catches a first down.
9:02 - Blockbuster's ad with a guinea pig and rabbit dancing voted "Best Ad So Far." Meg adds, "There was a guinea pig dancing! And a bunny!"
9:08 - Otis Smith picks off Warner, runs it to Rams 35. Is it actually possible?
9:11 - Two trick plays out of three. Bill Belichick is workin' his mojo.
9:12 - Vinatieri hits a 37-yarder to put Pats up 17-3. The girls comment Tom Brady looks like Matt Damon. I don't know which, being I was trying to ignore it was happening.
"Angels don't win championships. DEFENSE wins championships."
-- Josh, clearly not buying into Warner's Christianity.
9:16 - After three quarters, NE 17, STL 3. The potential for disaster is too high right now. This game has the ability to "go Boston-style" way too fast for me to not be worried.
9:18 - Pat and John start talking about "their last quarter together." It is somewhat forgotten in this that the greatest broadcast team of all time is splitting at the final gun. Let's hope they're celebrating a Pats victory - this quarter can't end fast enough.
9:20 - Warner evades a sure sack. I'm panicking.
9:24 - Rams, on their first red zone possession, faced with 4th & Goal from the three. They burn their last time-out. This could be big! I vote they go for it.
9:26 - The game turner. McGinest holds on a fumble recovery for a touchdown. 97-yard return... gone. 24-3... gone. This could be the play we remember for the ages. From leaping and knocking over bowls of salsa, to larger butterflies.
9:31 - The room is now silent for the second time since the game began. Crushing... the penalty could be that play that turns the whole game. Suddenly, 24-17 Rams doesn't seem so far away.
9:33 - Warner QB sneaks in to make it 17-10 Pats. Don't tell me it's not a 14-point swing.
9:35 - Hank Aaron / Barry Bonds takes over the "Best Commercial" title. Yet my stomach still hurts. This game could be 24-3... I'm going to cry.
9:38 - Pats go three-and-out. The tide has officially turned.
9:43 - I officially start having trouble breathing. I am not making this up. This title would mean so much to this region.
9:44 - Pats fail to sack Warner, but they draw blood. I'd rather have the sack.
9:46 - Five minutes left in the Super Bowl, and the Patriots are up by 7. Holy shit.
9:47 - McGinest finally sacks Warner. Four minutes left, 3rd & 25.
9:49 - 3rd & 20. Play broken up. Rams punt. 3:44 left.
9:52 - I'm starting to believe. Three-and-out for the Pats leaves two minutes left. I've had to piss for about a half-hour, but there's NO WAY I'm getting out of this chair. The commercials have become officially irrelevant.
9:56 - Ken Walter's only bad punt of the night comes right now. Oh my God.
9:59 - Warner-to-Proehl. 17-17. Justin gets vocal for the first time tonight. One minute, thirty seconds.
10:02 - On their own 30. 41 seconds left. Adam?
10:03 - Heart beating through chest.
10:05 - Seven seconds. Adam Vinatieri. Super Bowl 25? The plot can shift now.
Satan just called for his overcoat.
An epilogue to all this will be written tomorrow morning. I will now go to sleep, with just one thought resonating in my brain:
The New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions.
February 2, 2002 - Buzz Before The Storm
On the day before what could be the last ever in New England, the nerds lay siege to the city. As self-proclaimed "King of Northeast Quizbowl," I felt it only right I shower them with breakfast foods, valentine cards and flan.
Now, let us never speak of it again, other than to say:
People said the questions sucked.
Thanks to all those who came to help out, including the whole Couture family.
It was my last collegiate tournament in charge. I didn't feel sad for a moment.
The AeroBed is among the greatest inventions of the human race.
Understand that though I love Bennigan's, their burger with the full fried cheese wheel on it will never appeal to me. Matt, you can have it.
The next time N'Star lies about shutting off my power, I'm going to beat up their fat street workers.
If you're wondering why the updates have been so brief and sparse this weekend, even considering my family's been up to visit, please escort yourself out of the country.
New England 24, St. Louis 20
-- At my core, I'm nothing if not a homer. Hey, if any event can blot out the Beanpot until the day before the first game, it's a New England title appearance!
Let New England's title drought end this weekend!
February 1, 2002 - Cheap Way Out
-- The BUCB Braintrust: Cooch looking laced, Elmer looking goofy, Ellen looking drunk and Robin pounding Harp. And you thought nerds had no fun!
2001:  -  -  -  -  -  -  -