The past couple years, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done a weekly post with some NFL thoughts and observations, mostly about the experience of watching such an Americana-driven sport. However, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not really a football guy, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve found that I often simply donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a whole lot to say about the sport itself, especially on weeks when I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get to watch many games. As such, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d still like to give this a go this year, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to expand it to whateverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on my mind. Expect it anywhere between Monday and Wednesday.
Before the hurricane hit the New York area on Saturday, I hauled out to Long Island on Friday night for the annual draft of my main fantasy football league. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty hardcore: 14 teams, an archaic and esoteric scoring system, two keepers, and it started 16 years ago when the majority of the league owners were in high school together. (IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve participated for 10.)
I probably would have driven through the hurricane itself to get there since for the first time since I joined my co-owner in the league, we won the whole thing, resulting in an $1,100 payday. We were powered by a well-balanced team and the shrewd first-week waiver-wire pickup of Michael Vick, which I commemorated by wearing his jersey to the draft, to the chagrin of everyone.
I honestly didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d ever see Oliver Perez pitch again. But last Saturday night in Harrisburg, I found myself watching him warm up about 30 yards from Bryce Harper, ships passing in the night.
Besides the red jersey, Ollie looked just as I remembered him. It was like when you run into a long-lost friend you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen for a while; thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that moment where you instinctively take inventory to see what, if anything, has changed.
I noticed that every sixth or seventh warmup toss would glance off his glove. Ollie would run after it, pick it up from wherever it landed, and start playing catch again from wherever he ended up. I was told later this is something he does by design to get some running in at the same time he does his long-toss. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s legitimate, but Ollie has always had his quirks.
Though to me, it pretty much just looked like a guy chasing after a baseball.
As I stood under the stars a day after my 32nd birthday last week in Pittsburgh, watching A Perfect Circle in the shadow of Heinz Field and the Allegheny Mountains, it was almost an out of body experience.
I found myself very in touch with the music, which has meant much to me over the years, dating back to college. But more than that, I was taken back 10 years to a day experienced by an iteration of me that seems like someone else at this point.
And to think, I heard some people complain about the set list.
I think the best way to ponder our own inevitable passage into physical decline is to watch it happen to those who would seem invincible to such mortal constraints Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and observe how they handle it.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let me get this straight,Ã¢â‚¬Â my fiancÃƒÂ© said to me back in June as I sat enrapt with NBA TVÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s airing of the 2003 NBA Draft. Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re really into this, watching old drafts?Ã¢â‚¬Â
She lasted until around when Chris Bosh went at No. 4 before she bailed to the other room and turned on some reality show with Lamar Odom and whichever Kardashian he married.
Honestly, I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really blame her, but thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just something about the NBA Draft IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always loved, dating way back to high school.