Saturday, July 18, 2009

Might as well be walking on the sun

Summer has brought me busy weekends, visits with out-of-town friends and family, and the onset of the Baby Heat Factor (BHF).

This is my first full summer with a kid on tow, a fact of which my sweat glands already are keenly aware. Those of you who've procreated know what I'm talking about: The BHF adds about 15 degrees to the temperature on any summer day.

Children present a host of heat-heightening activities, such as:
  • Holding my son at barbecues while he thrusts his body to and fro like a Backstreet Boy.
  • Keeping my body completely taut while lifting him in and out of the car seat in hopes of not waking him.
  • Using one hand to hold my son, the other to feed him projectiles (sorry, that's "food" in layman's terms) and my hips to avoid said projectiles.

I can't believe I ever used to complain during the summer months, back when I could comfortably sit down with a cold Dr. Pepper and enjoy the warmth.  Now the heat is my worst enemy, a loud-mouthed fiend that deftly mixes sweat and deceit.

Oh summer, I will conquer you again — after school, at the flagpole, probably about 15 years from now. But for now the BHF rules with heavy-handed, formula-drenched authority.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Five funny things (that I can find online right now)

Because I'm a bookaphobic, strong-to-quite-strong dullard whose lone hobbies are sports and weightlifting, there's very little variety in my roster of often-visited Web sites. But among those that I frequent, here are the most funny items at the moment:

1) Newspaper Web sites seem to have made ridiculously inane homepage headlines par for the course. For example: "Doctors, cyclists recommend wearing bicycle helmets [, 09:49 a.m.]"

Be sure to catch tomorrow's front page for hard-hitting news such as, "Experts: Grass appears green in color," "Jesse Jackson speaks out on behalf of rich celebrity" and " 'Lifetime' appeals mostly to women."

2) The Seattle Times Web site's sports homepage features a story on the nuances of heckling. I'm a bit of a recovering heckler, thanks mostly to my wife's "suggestions," the presence of my 10-month-old son and my faith in God. Still, I must admit that this story's tips — including to research the opposing team's players and make sure the targets can hear you — gave me an itch that can only be scratched by informing Washington State University football players that they're quite unable to fulfill their on-field duties.

3) My checking account. 

These are only funny because I think is absolutely hysterical that many people actually get the bulk of their "news" from Yahoo. That is hilarious.

5) is reporting that "D.C.'s Marion Berry faces stalking charge." Let me be clear: Stalking is NOT funny. But you know what is? The fact that unflattering Marion Berry headlines don't even make me flinch at this point. Reading these is like eating my morning oatmeal.

I'm sure there are lots of funnier things out there in Internet Land. If you know of something in particular, please let me know.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I can't think outside the cereal box

I 'm not happy this day has arrived — the day Cheerios have become the item I handle the most.

Long ago it was my blankey. Then it was my outdoor basketball, a pad and pen (for drawing space ships, of course), my indoor basketball and finally a keyboard.  

Now it's Cheerios. Yes, I've become "that guy." You know, the poor dude who's constantly on all fours, trying to figure out why his son/daughter seems to actually be secreting these heavenly, whole-grain-oats circles.

Cheerios Guy, or CG, sprinkles them along the edge of the coffee table, hoping CG Jr. will occupy himself with this cereal buffet line long enough for Dad to grab a bathroom break.

CG carefully portions out these folic-acid-laden gems into plastic containers so he can tote them to sporting events, concerts, family barbecues and the like. CG proceeds to pick them up after CG Jr. spills them all over the [insert type of flooring or ground] at said occasions.

CG frantically offers the modified-corn-starch-rich beauties as a peace offering to his screaming offspring in moments of duress.

Now I am CG — probably retribution for years of making fun of CGs who preceded me.

But I can't help wonder whether it's possible for an particularly progressive father to buck the trend. In theory, couldn't a guy sprinkle Frosted Mini Wheats around the living room? Maybe this hypothetical father could coax his son or daughter out of a crying fit with Grape Nuts?

Imagine the possibilities.

Unfortunately, I don't have the guts to think outside the cereal box. I'm a slave to the status quo. I'm relegated to several more years of finding Cheerios in every nook and cranny known to man. 

Luckily, wherever there's a Labor and Delivery unit, there's a new crop of guys waiting to take the title "Cheerios Guy."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So happy I'm not an NBA rookie's father

As I'm watching the NBA Draft tonight, I'm suddenly aware of how nerve-wracking it would be to be the father of one of these young athletes tonight.

On one hand, it would be awesome to see my son presented with an opportunity to play a game and make a really, really decent living at the same time. To say I would be proud is an understatement.

But then I realize how I nervous I would be. These parents are sending their young-adult sons into the lion's den — a professional association filled with the ample temptations that stem from money and stardom. Not only that, but their offspring must navigate a subculture that — despite what many analysts say — is riddled with greed, excess and unbridled hubris.

What's more, many of these rookies-to-be have only been in college for one year, meaning if this pro basketball gig doesn't work out, there's very little or even nothing to fall back on. Some of these guys undoubtedly will end up living in their parents' basements within a few years.

It would be awesome if all these players were to become 10-year NBA contributors who save their money and set themselves up for a comfortable retirement. It would be great if they were to finish their coursework in the summers, obtaining degrees. And it would be encouraging if they all were to resist the temptations that come with incredible fame.

Unfortunately, a lot of these players are on their way to sad stories of failure. Each parent of a brand-new NBA player can only hope his or her son will cultivate a success story instead.

Monday, June 22, 2009

From the standpoint of disliking these phrases, I dislike these phrases

One thing I won't let my son become, no matter how great he is at sports, is one of these ridiculous ex-jocks who constantly spouts meaningless, needlessly wordy analyses.

Sure, I continue to listen to these blockheads on the radio every time I drive anywhere in my 1994 Park Avenue (jealous?). But does that mean I have to enjoy listening to it?

The majority of these former athletes and lifelong announcers have become comfortable with a vernacular including these painful go-to lines, among many others:

  • "From the standpoint of ..." — At some point a commentator — I'm assuming we have someone like Merril Hoge to thank — must have decided that adding "From the standpoint of [insert description of opinion) before actually stating the opinion makes people sound smarter. Now everyone does it, but NBA "expert" Jalen Rose is far and away the worst of the bunch. By the way ... from the standpoint of Jalen Rose sounding like an uneducated athlete who's trying to sound more intelligent than he is, I think Jalen Rose is an uneducated athlete who's trying to sound more intelligent than he is.
  • "When you talk about ... a guy like ... you have to talk about ..." — Maybe I'm thick in the head, but I think when analysts proclaim their points, they don't need to first tell us they're talking about it. Just get the point. Because when you talk about TV and radio personalities prolonging their sentences so they can fill more time and buy more oversized neckties that they'll proceed to tie in that weird way that forms a huge triangle for the knot, you have to talk about guys like Jalen Rose and NFL super-dud Jesse Palmer.
  • Further, it would be great to see a committee, comprising analysts and players from various sports, meet several times to decide on a list of phrases that shouls no longer be used in postgame interviews. Mainstays such as "the game of [insert sport]," "the offensive end of the [insert type of playing surface]," the defensive end of the [insert type of playing surface]," "playing our game" and "coming out and playing for four quarters" would have to go. Another caveat is that NBA-players-turned-absymal-TV-sidekicks Charles Barkley and Hubert Davis would not be allowed within 200 feet of the meeting room. That's a deal-breaker.

Of course, if my son can make a bunch of coin as a color commentator, I'll probably embrace all of these overused phrases — from the standpoint of liking something you wouldn't normally like.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'll be proud — even if he isn't a Montana

When I found out the son of one of my boyhood sports heroes had committed to play college football for my favorite team, my enthusiasm was tough to veil. But I couldn't very well jump on my desk and sob for joy at my work desk, so the professional in me took over right quick. 

But suffice it to say I am thrilled that Nick Montana will take his late-blooming frame to the University of Washington campus in 2010. Even more so, I am acutely aware of how proud I am and will be of my son, now matter what he ends up being good at (please, please, puh-leese not opera, though.). 

I haven't always thought this would be the case. As I progressed through high school and college, I half-gleefully accepted the notion that I would be one of those ultra-pushy sports dads, force-feeding my son defensive slide drills and ladder sprinting drills — all in the name of a college scholarship. After all, my boy would be joining my life, not the other way around, so he would need to take on my hobbies and goals as his own? It worked for Todd Marinovich's dad, right?

Uh, bad example.

OK, buy I could pattern myself after the Williams' sisters' father, couldn't I? Let's see ... I'll take "self-serving childhood-ruiner" for $500, Alex.

Now that I'm a papa, I look at my 10-month-old son as he pulls himself up to the entertainment unit with the off-limits DVDs for the upteenth time, and I'm just so freakin' thankful that he's healthy and apparently happy (Who really knows, though, right? He could be harboring some seriously scary deep-seeded anger, and I'd have no clue.).

It would be absolute gravy if this little dude were to morph into an athletically gifted, hard-working point guard or 400-meter runner in about 15 years.

The meat and potatoes is simply getting to watch him learn and interact day after day. 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

FD wish list: seven games and doody-free evenings

Considering the tight budget at the FK(T)B household this year, I don't want much for my first Father's Day.

Besides, expensive stuff is wasted on a simpleton such as me. I order a plain cheeseburger 90 percent of the time, no matter how fancy the restaurant; I wouldn't know a fine wine from a low-end wine cooler; and impressive suits make me a nervous wreck (I'm the guy who moves like a robot when wearing sweet togs.).

Here are a few affordable things I really want:
  • A seven-game NBA Finals series. I'm not ready for the high-drama 2009 playoffs to end.
  • More moments of shared laughter with my son. When I get my 10-month-old boy cackling with my variety of juvenile-yet-effective maneuvers, I forget about everything that ails me — for example, the NBA referees.
  • Pau Gasol's nasty hair on a platter. No, I wouldn't donate it to "Locks of Love." I would bring it to local junior high schools as a personal hygiene motivator — much like all those photos of the gross lungs that people develop from smoking. Believe me, between fits of greasy-tendril-induced vomiting, the children would get the idea.
  • Coupons for poopless evenings. Hey, moms always get "free massage" IOUs from their cheapskate kids, so I don't think this request is out of line. Now that my son is downing copious amounts of formula and other foodstuffs, the value of doody-free has expanded like Charles Barkely's [insert your word here — anything from waistline to blood-alcohol content to rap sheet].
  • To see the first pick in the MLB Draft actually become a Hall of Famer. Is there a more inexact science than predicting big-league baseball performance? For once I'd like to see a super-hyped No. 1 pick actually fulfill his expectations. Is that too much to ask? B.J. Surhoff and Phil Nevin evidently think so.
  • 6-foot tall EVERYTHING. Coffee table. End tables. Couches. Stools. Desks. Entertainment unit. I mean the works. I'm so sick of moving stuff out of my paper-eating son's reach. If it were up to me, we would move to a land of giants, buy a slew of well-made ladders and call it good.
If none of these ideas are doable, I'll settle for a ghastly tie covered in pastel-colored basketballs.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hallmark does our work

With my first Father's Day fast approaching, I'm confident to quite confident I'll be receiving a card from my 9 1/2-month-old son. He's just thoughtful like that, plus he's got some spare coin from his part-time job as a toy organizer.

But do I really need another card? A few days ago one of my cousins brought up one of his pet peeves: greeting cards. He especially loathes the ultra-cheesy, poetry-laden variety. Instead, when facing situations that society says call for mushy congratulatory offerings, he prefers writing a letter or finding some other unique way to express his feelings. In his mind, why let Hallmark muck up what he's actually feeling.

That's a refreshing take on a sometimes-stale tradition. I normally write letters to my wife instead of buying cards, and it goes over very well — as far as I know. Also, if you have a particular skill, you can do something really outside the box. Graphic design experience, aptitude for photography or carpentry talent come in handy.

Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates this approach. Many wives are going to immediately assume "hand-written letter instead of same-old card" means "My husband forgot this special day and ran out of time to visit Rite-Aid."

If you're going to scrap the card route, you best be certain it's going to land.

As for me, I certainly see my cousin's point, but seeing as how my son can't talk yet, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt this time around. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Televised births instill terror

When a good friend of mine, whose wife is with child, recently asked me whether child-birth classes are fruitful, I wholeheartedly told him "yes."

What I failed to mention — and what made me frantically call him back a few days later, hoping I wasn't to0 late — was that he should at all costs avoid the requisite video of a live birth.

Please understand that I fully appreciate the beautiful, amazing process of pregnancy and labor. It's unbelievable to see it all unfold — when it's your wife.

When it's not your wife, it's by far the worst thing on television — yes, even worse than "E's" truly laughable roster of reality shows.

Has watching a stranger deliver her baby in agonizing fashion ever helped a prospective dad? It's highly doubtful. Has it ever caused a guy to run for the hills, destined for a life of hermithood? I assume so.

This is the type of advice fathers everywhere need to be sharing with their potential brethren. It's more common to hear general nuggets of truth such as "Your life will never be the same" and "You can't even imagine how much you'll love that tiny bundle of joy." But what men really need is practical information such as "Don't look directly at the placenta" and "Soak in every minute of those first couple days, when you have all the time in the world to just stare at the baby for hours on end."

Fathers, this is a call to action: Our stories must be told. We owe it to those waiting in the wings.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

10 reasons spring treats rabid fan/new dad well

Being both a rabid sports fans and a brand-new dad is much easier this time of year, I'm finding. Here are the top 10 reasons:

10. I don't have to juggle college basketball games, college football games and NFL games at the same time. Recording roundball contests that started at 9 p.m., then watching them from midnight to 1:15 a.m. — even with incessant fastforwarding — was getting a bit old.

9.  The absence of snow means I no longer have to drive 0.000078 miles per hour in an effort to keep my son safe. Now I'm back to my apparently grandfather-esque habit of driving — shudder, gasp, egad — a couples MPHs over the speed limit. How dare I!

8. I have the lull of lopsided baseball games to gently rock me to sleep. It's like a combination of warm milk, rum, a babbling brook and Kevin Costner movies.

7. My kid can focus more of his attention on learning to make fun of TNT basketball commentator/human cheeseburger vacuum Charles Barkley for being such a moron. Like father, like son.

6. I can applaud all those who take part in "fun runs" and marathons, while at the same time realizing why my decision to quit running after I graduated from high school was so brilliant. I've tried to start up again several times, but the sane person who lives inside my brain always scissor-kicks the masochist in me.

5. With less time spent watching games on TV, I can pour much more effort into living vicariously through my son. Tomorrow's lesson: Blasting through a tough screen at the top of the key instead of switching every time. I hope he doesn't bruise easily.

4. The absence of football simply augments my healthy sports blog addiction. There's always a silver lining — unless you recently were drafted by the Detroit Lions. Somewhere in the distance, quarterback Matthew Stafford is sobbing over a "mail-order offensive linemen" catalog.

3. Everyone has stopped snickering at my University of Washington garb for a while — apparently forgetting that they're supposed to constantly mock my favorite college football team's 0-12 season. I don't get as many "poor kid" looks — until August rolls around.

2. Colin Cowherd's radio show has been moved back an hour in the Mountain Time Zone, meaning I no longer am subjected to his mindless, wishy-washy drivel on my way to work each day.

1. Going on walks with my son on a breezy spring day is just about as good as it gets — better than seeing the Seahawks get to the Super Bowl, Shawn Kemp give the Bulls fits in the 1995-96 NBA Finals and Ken Griffey Jr. round third base like a gazelle in 1995.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Season tickets don't warrant charity efforts

Even a wildly devoted Huskies fan such as I should have trouble justifying the University of Washington's latest money-making campaign — a scheme that shows little to no sensitivity for the current financial plight of many Americans.

The school recently rolled out a plan, called "Dawgs Supporting Dawgs," that asks fans to donate money so those who cannot afford to renew their 2009 football season tickets won't have to miss out.

At first glance this seems like simply a creative way for the Athletics Department to stay afloat amid turbulent economic conditions.

But here's what it really means: UW is pleading for ardent sports fans to give their precious money to a completely superflous cause — money that very easily could be used to help those in REAL need. 

I'm sorry, but having to watch a handful of games on one's 32-inch TV at home rather than in person at Husky Stadium doesn't qualify as a charity-worthy condition. Talk to single mothers, recently laid-off workers and hungry children about "need."

Have we really reached the point where tickets to a sporting event are important enough to warrant aid work?

I sure hope not. And coming from a guy who considers "watching sports" his lone hobby, that's saying plenty.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm wiped

My List of "people/things that really annoy me" has changed in the past nine months. Check out my new top 3:
  • "Army Wives" commercials on Lifetime (I ONLY watch this channel because of the back-to-back "Frasier" reruns that are on every weeknight. Honestly. No, seriously, it's important that you believe me.)
  • ESPN radio talk-show host Colin Cowherd
  • Baby wipes
Yes, baby wipes. They may seem nonthreatening, but in reality these weapons of mass frustration are capable of sending normally sane fathers into significant hysteria.

First, the packages they're sold in are ridiculous. Unless you have the finger size of an elf, it's impossible to pull out one without grabbing five of its cohorts. Many of my diaper-changing experiences have ended with me chucking the demonic package against the wall -- all the while maintaining a smile, so as not to upset my little one.

Another drawback is that you can't visually tell where one ends another begins. The edge of those things is like some sort of black hole. If a million dollars were riding on whether I could determine how many of those I'm holding at any given time, I'd never get the cash.

Further, I have a big-time aversion to wet paper products. Maybe that makes me a wimp. Regardless, I don't consider holding copious amounts of odd-smelling, soaked napkins a "good time." 

Does all this complaining make me a bad dad? Maybe.

Should the CEO of the Scott company watch his back? Absolutely.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mayo learned it from watching you, CWebb

Sports fans are more and more often being taught a lesson I certainly don't want my son to learn: Superstars aren't held accountable for their actions.

When USC basketball coach Tim Floyd last week was accused of giving a "handler" money to get current NBA rookie O.J. Mayo to choose the school, analysts immediately began predicting the sort of penalties that might subsequently be inflicted on the program and the coach. That's fine, as such issues need to be addressed.

What's not fine is the complete lack of focus on one of the major players in this case: the player himself.

If the story is true, it should be assumed Mayo knew exactly what was going on. Even worse, Mayo has been accused of accepting about $30,000 in cash and other benefits during high school and his one year of college, according to

So why isn't anyone talking about the possible failings of Mayo, as well as what those missteps could mean for his former university? Maybe Chris Webber can answer that question.

Webber, who starred as a forward in both college and the NBA, is the perfect example of a great player whose mistakes have gone practically unnoticed. First Webber took an undisclosed amount of money from University of Michigan booster Ed Martin, whose lawyer said the amount was at least $280,000. Then Webber admittedly paid some of the money back after becoming a pro player — I guess that's one admirable action.

Then, after years of lying to the public and even a grand jury, he admitted to taking the money — but only as a prospective prison sentence loomed.

As a result of this large-scale, multi-player scandal in which Webber was embroiled, UM was forced to self-impose these penalties, according to
  • A 2003 postseason ban.
  • The forfeiture of 112 regular-season and tournament victories and its victory in the 1992 NCAA Tournament semifinal game.
  • The return of $450,000 to the NCAA for money earned at the tournament
  • Two years of probation.
  • The removal of four banners from Crisler Arena: the 1992 and 1993 Final Four, the 1997 NIT title and the 1998 Big Ten Tournament title.
Webber's ramifications were, uh, a bit more subdued. While some columnists took him to task, he didn't really suffer. He continued to receive millions of dollars to play a game. Now he's a burgeoning commentator on the TNT broadcast team.

One of his TV partners is no stranger to ridiculous mistakes: former All-Star Charles Barkley is back in his usual spot behind the desk after a brief hiatus. The reason for the break? Barkley had been arrested for DUI, which he admitted occurred while he was on his way to have sex with someone other than his wife.

In 1997 Barkley was fined and forced into community service after being arresting for hurling a bar patron through a glass window.

Everyone makes mistakes. But it would be awesome if everyone, even incredible athletes, had to actually answer for what they've done.

And here's a piece of advice for TNT: There are hundreds of upstanding ex-players who would be more than willing to fill the role of "guy who says extremely obvious stuff about basketball while wearing an incredibly overpriced suit." You don't need Webber and Barkley on your staff.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Point, procreator

My son thinks he's big stuff now, but he's got a lot to learn about the feistiness of a dad who's loyally defended dozens of horrible Seahawk, Mariner and Husky teams during the past 20 years.

A few nights ago K started standing up in his crib in the middle of the night. He never made the leap for freedom, but you could just tell he was mulling the use of the Fosbury Flop. 

Not so fast, son. If you're gonna bring it against Big Papa, you best bring it strong and without hesitation. Yesterday, during K's Rotary Club meeting, my wife and I lowered the crib as far as it would go. Now, unless he's capable of pulling a Brent Barry — circa 1996 — K is relegated to the friendly confines of his wooden palace/jail.

Point, procreator.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Talk about reaching

My son is now reaching for and grabbing everything in sight, which means I basically spend my spare time moving paper, dishes, etc., from new location to new location to new location.

When I fail to do this, I find half-chewed bits of paper stuck to his leg. Nice.

As much as I love seeing my son improve his "physicality" — to use a now-popular sports term — this reaching phase is really frustrating. But it's still far less annoying than the reaching Roger Clemens is doing amid the release of the new book detailing his alleged steroid use.

C'mon, Roger. You need to just hole up in your house, relax, stick your arm into some rice — that's how you got "country strong," right? — and hope no one finds hard evidence that you lied to Congress. It's not the time for you to go on "Mike and Mike in the Morning" and say foolish things.

In all fairness, Clemens wasn't awful in his interview this morning. He said several things that there coherent and difficult to prove wrong.

But most of his points were vague and off point. And some were just plain stupid.  For example, he said he would have been crazy to take steroids because of his family history of heart problems, which he said includes his stepfather. Uh, okay. I'm not sure what would be worse: Clemens being so stupid that he doesn't know why that doesn't make sense or him knowing yet thinking the American public is dumb enough to not pick up on it.

Either way, Clemens is the current King of Reaching. My son will have to settle for the paper-eating throne.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rockets and my wife impress

Two things I already knew were made even more clear today: Always count on the sports jinx and never forget how much work it is to be a mother.

Brooks and done
When ESPN Radio's Freddie Coleman, the tapioca pudding of sports talk-show hosts, and his "expert" guest informed the nation this morning that Ron Artest is the only Houston Rockets player besides the injured Yao Ming who is capable of scoring 25 points in a game, I should have immediately placed money on the game. 

Everyone knows about the certainty of sports jinxes, right? If not, here's a tutorial: Anyone who says a team has no chance of winning is actually guaranteeing the opposite. Trust me.

Beyond the jinx factor, these commentators' remarks were just plain ignorant. Anyone who's seen this team play knows Aaron Brooks, Luis Scola and Von Wafer are all capable of prolific scoring in the right situation — and with Shane Battier busting threes on everyone's mugs, even he could probably pour in 25 points.

This afternoon, in game four of the Rockets' series against the L.A. Lakers, the sports jinx came through in a big way. Brooks scorched the nets for 34 points on a mixture of 3-pointers and strong drives to the rack. Battier hit five trifectas on his way to 23 points. And, most importantly, the combination of Houston's incredible ball movement and the Lakers' awful defensive rotation gave the Rockets open shots after wide open shots after wide, wide open shots.

Plus, don't discount what lots of analysts have been pointing out all season: The Rockets have great depth. In fact, their depth might be as good as the Lakers'.  Who else in the league can lose its two best players and still bring the likes of Kyle Lowry, Carl Landry and Wafer off the bench? Impressive.

But the moral of the story? Houston coaches, players and fans owe Coleman and [insert name of nondescript NBA blogger who ESPN calls an expert] a steak dinner.

I don't have what it takes
After further review, I don't have what it takes to be a mother.

Today is the first Mother's Day since my first child was born, so I tried hard to do some very nice things for my wife. Along the way, I paid particular attention to her day-to-day activities, realizing how much she does for me and Kellen.

From constantly washing cloth diapers to serving as a 24-hour buffet, her work to provide a healthful, good life for my son is incredible.

I may not always fully appreciate her efforts. In fact, I know I don't. But I will strive to rectify my lack of gratitude in the future. It's the least I can do for such a clutch performer.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Alston, meet Ventura

Congratulations, Robin Ventura. You have more company.

Orlando Magic gurad Rafter Alston's schoolgirl slap to the back of Eddie House's head earlier this week reminded me of something an old lady would do after having her handbag swiped. It also joined Ventura's noogie-laden defeat at the hands of senior citizen Nolan Ryan as one of the most embarrassing confrontations in sports history.

You may think I'm exaggerating, but think again. There is nothing more embarrassing than hitting someone:
A) From behind
B) Extremely softly
C) In the form of a slap, not a punch

Is Eddie House annoying? Yes? Is he the most outrageously arrogant one-dimensional role player in the NBA? Sure? Did you deserve to be knocked upside the head with a weak, open-handed slap? No. All House did was drain a three in Alston's mug.

And all Alston did in return was bust out a move Pippi Longstocking would have been envious of.

What's next?
My son pulled him self up the other day. Now that I know what he's capable of, his days of being coddled are numbered. If you can go from sitting to standing in mere seconds, there's no plausible excuse for refusing to do defensive slide drills.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sports teach my son bad habits — like how to whine

The NBA playoffs are not helping the development of my eight-month-old son.

If you think about the amount of whining, pampering, passive aggressive behavior, hitting and lying that goes on in professional basketball, you have to wonder why I'm even letting my him watch the games. I might as well hand him a beer and some cupcakes and sit him down in front of "Saw." 

Take whining, for example. It's amazing to me the amount of "explanations" NBA players seek from officials. You know what I'm talking about. [Insert name of player here] pounds a guy in the stomach with both hands, is whistled for a reach, screams "What!?" looks puzzled, sort of laughs, walks over to the referee during the free throws, mimes what he thinks he did, then listens to the official explain the rule.

Is it just me, or shouldn't you know the definition of a foul after playing hundreds and hundreds of organized basketball games? If Lakers guard Derek Fisher, 34 years old, doesn't recognize that he's hacking the crap out of people, he's never going to figure it out. Or maybe, just maybe, he knows he's doing it. Yeah, that sounds right.

Regardless, this rampant behavior isn't helping my son. Just the other day he pooped, threw his hands up in disgust, started crying, then cussed me out up one side and down the other. In other words, he pulled a Fisher. 

In other news ...

— If you really need final proof that Pistons forward Kwame Brown, a former No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, is a complete bust, look no further than his uniform number: 38. When a team gives you the number 38, you might as well set up a hammock on the sidelines. 

Watching him stumble through a playoff game against real post players last week, I was reminded why "upside" means nothing. He may be big and athletic, but he doesn't have any skills to speak of. The proof? 7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game thus far in his lackluster career.

— I've tried and tried, But I still have yet to teach my son how to raise the right elbow with the right knee for layups. Perhaps it's too early in his life to worry about such things. Yes, perhaps ...

— You can bank on this quote from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell next April: "With the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select (pause here) The Speed of Light."

I can just picture gargoyle-esque Raiders owner Al Davis' quote: "Sure, the Speed of Light can't tackle, catch, block, throw or kick — but it's really fast."

When the Raiders picked wildly inconsistent yet blazing-fast wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh pick in Saturday's draft — even with thoroughbreds Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin still on the board — they once again proved Al Davis shouldn't be allowed to operate a motor vehicle.

— Thankfully, my boy seems to be doing OK in the quiet aftermath of his first NCAA basketball tournament. This is usually about the time of year — with college basketball done, football in the distant future and the monotony of baseball settling in — when I cry myself to sleep every night. But my son seems to be resting comfortably, so I'm hoping he's is a better man than me.