Blog Archives

Tossing It Back for the Win

There’s “Toss Back Tuesday” and then there’s “Toss Back Tuesday.” 

It seems fitting to apply this specific type of throwback (I see you Thursday) by promoting an event that incorporates a literal toss back in its lexicon. And this is where college football’s “Granddaddy of them all” comes into play.

On this day last week, The Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champions) played the Washington Huskies (Pac-12 champions) in the 2019 Rose Bowl. I was fortunate to attend this grand, picturesque sporting event with my dad to cheer on the Buckeyes.

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There is just something uniquely special about this game, the preceding parade and the beautiful and historic stadium set against the San Gabriel mountains. And that special quality extended to the game played on January 1, 2019.

The game was going great, then it was concerning…then finally awesome.

These are the three stages of an Urban Meyer-coached team.

Sorry, there’s a fourth stage: Championships.

Congratulations to The Ohio State Buckeyes on winning a thrilling Rose Bowl championship that puts an exclamation point on Urban Meyer’s storied coaching career.

P.S. When Ohio State lost to Florida 41-14 in the 2007 National Championship game, there was absolutely zero hesitation by members of the media to universally deem this defeat humiliating and embarrassing for the Buckeyes and the Big Ten by extension. 

Guess what Alabama and SEC fans?

The same applies to you after getting dominated by Clemson 44-16 in the 2019 National Championship game. Last night’s game will go down as a humiliating and embarrassing loss for the Tide and the SEC by extension. 

You always chant “SEC! SEC!” when you win. Well, for at least the next year, you just might hear chants like “44-16! 44-16!” 

Have fun with that, Alabama. We all know you’re such good sports down there in the SEC 44-16. 

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Phil Can Be a Shadowy Punxster

And the winner is…

Ugh.

You saw and heard it. Famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has declared six more weeks of winter. Although, consider the fact that Phil’s forecast has not been 100% historically. Therefore, we’ll find out if he’s punking us in the coming month and change.

If so, that’s what Phil would call an ice burn.

Happy Groundhog Day…Happy Groundhog Day…Happy Groundhog Day

Do you know what day it is?

February 2, 2017.

Along with it being February 2, 2017, today is Groundhog Day. Yes, the one day each year when people (especially those who complain the most about wintry weather) pause their work and pay closest attention to…a groundhog and his shadow (or lack thereof) in Pennsylvania. This groundhog’s name is Punxsutawney Phil, of course.

And Punxsutawney Phil makes an annual prediction of whether we will (likely) endure more winter or if spring sun will rescue us a few weeks early. Remember those people mentioned above, the ones who complain about wintry weather, well…  

Sadly (my view, anyways), Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow was visible early this morning, which doesn’t spell very good news. This shadow sighting translates to six more weeks of winter. Maybe my view of a longer winter will change when I can park my car in a garage? Perhaps. Anyways, today’s tradition centered on a groundhog is one of many reminders of why it’s fun to be an American. Think about that for a second. We turn our attention to a groundhog. How wildly fun is that? Personally, this is a great yearly event. I hope it continues for decades and decades and decades. 

Another thing I hope continues for decades is our annual viewing of a B-movie classic.  

You’re welcome.

You’re welcome.

Will Qatar Shine in 2022?

There has been quite a heated debate centered on the 2022 World Cup and whether or not “the beautiful game” can still be played and enjoyed beautifully in 100 + degree Summer heat? Qatar is the host nation (thus far) and is comfortably situated in the desert sands and unrelentingly scorching sun of the Middle East.

Once again, the most obvious and asked question: Why would the World Cup, the most important soccer tournament in the world with the best nations and players, ever be held in the Middle East when soccer/football/futbol is played outside?

Answer: Money.

The answer is literally money.

The FIFA Secretary General, Frenchman Jerome Valcke, recently noted that the 2022 World Cup will be played, ”between Nov. 15 and Jan. 15 at the latest.”

Is this a good change for the sport and its most important tournament?

Important note: I have traveled to Doha, Qatar and it was wonderful to visit. The hotel was top-notch with an unforgettable indoor pool reminiscent of a palace. The city’s skyscrapers shine magnificently in the sun and the night sky as a visual portal into the future of what cities will aspire to become throughout the still young 21st century. The best word to describe the city and country now and in the future is new. The buildings are new, the hotels are new and the future to be seen and visited by the world will be new.

But soccer is old. Pubs that smell of beer, fish and chips and varying degrees of heartache and jubilation are filled with men and women, young and old, telling stories of that goal or the save to their children or grandchildren or even a perfect stranger. Framed pictures of cherished moments, colorful scarves and jerseys with legendary last names hang on walls. The pub, in and of itself, it just as much a club as the soccer club its patrons cheer so passionately for during the week and on those perfect Saturdays afternoons.

The sport is old. The love is old. The traditions are old. The stadiums are old. And the stadiums that aren’t old in appearance are old in spirit. The passion is old, but vibrant and palpable.

Walks along narrow, crooked neighborhood streets in the cold rain on the way to the game matter. Trekking up a hill or across a field in Germany to a match at sunset with fans of both nations is an incredible feeling. Walking around a historic city square with men, women and children proudly sporting their nation’s colors and singing their respective anthems matters as it sends chills down one’s spine.

Atmosphere matters. Being surrounded by history, unforgettable stories and memories is significant and something to be treasured, celebrated and honored. Culture is special and is earned with scars, suspense and success.

Make no mistake: the stadiums and amenities in Qatar will be spectacular and luxurious and the host nation will spare no expense.

Except on the things that cannot be bought.