A girl, her heart and Sundays in the fall…

12 09 2011

A man.

A release date.

May 20th, 2009.  Mike Vick was released from prison for his heinous acts of fighting dogs and killing them.  And also, in my mind, for helping to perpetrate the stereotype against pit bulls, though, last I checked that isn’t a legal offense (regardless of what I think).  At any rate, he was out.  He did most all the time he was sentenced to, did pretty much the rest of it under house confinement.

He made it clear he wanted to play football again.  I was incensed.  He wanted to PLAY football again.  How dare he?  Yes, he’s a football player.  That was his profession before going to jail and the argument was that he should be able to do it after.  An accountant who goes to jail for dog-fighting can come out of jail and go back to being an accountant…  a carpenter could go back to being a carpenter… but the fact that THIS man wanted to come back and play football outraged me.   
He said he was sorry and changed?  Fine, go get a job as a high school football coach or even a college assistant coach, whatever…  but don’t think you can come back on the football field as a player and have the opportunity to earn millions of dollars after what you did.  No, sir.  
I couldn’t even imagine a team that would be willing to take on the fan backlash of signing this guy.  I couldn’t think of a team that would touch him with a 10-ft-pole and risk that kind of outcry from the people who ARE the bread and butter of a franchise… the people that pay to come to the games.. buy the merchandise… and buy the concessions.  I couldn’t even imagine…
August 14th, 2009 – The day Michael Vick signed a 2 year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.  MY Philadelphia Eagles.  I will admit, I sat down and cried.  Literally.  I yelled for a few minutes.  Said some things my mother wouldn’t be proud of.  And then sat down on the couch… and cried.  How… why… I knew someone, some team would give him a chance.  But why here?  Why us?  Why MY team?  It was the “not in my back yard” mentality.  I was.. devastated.  
Looking at him in an Eagles uniform made me sick.  When I saw him, all I could see were the pictures of the ravaged dogs.   And the knowledge coming forward again and again in my mind of the countless others already buried in his backyard.  Honestly, there are times, that’s still all I can see when I look at him.
I was faced with a huge decision.  And I know non-sports people don’t get this. But for several months… most of the 2009-10 season, actually, I battled with myself.  I tried to reason with myself and I cursed myself every Sunday I found myself getting excited about the game… and held myself in contempt when game time found my butt on the couch ready to watch the players do battle..  
I was bleeding Eagles green and white long before Michael Vick got here and I will continue to long after he’s left.  I can’t change it.  I can’t hide from it.  And I won’t pretend to not be excited when he completes those amazing passes to break open a game or when he runs for 30 yards and you can visibly see the competition deflate.  
I’ve watched him for the past two years and while in my heart I KNOW he’d still be fighting dogs if he didn’t get caught.  Is probably only sorry BECAUSE he got caught.  And for all I know may do it again someday?  He’s doing the right things now.  He’s acting the right way now.  He’s leading this team in a way we haven’t seen for over a decade.  And judge me for it, if you must, but I’m glad he’s here.  I’m glad he’s turned his life around.  I’m glad to see what 18 months in prison did.  I think…  or I HOPE it gave him some perspective, showed him a little something of what matters in life and the sacrifices that come with taking the wrong road.
And it may be naive of me…  but when he thinks of what matters…  and the sacrifices made at his own hand…  I don’t think it’s dollars that come to his mind.  
I’m sure I’m being idealistic…  
but it’s hard to argue with a girl, her heart and Sundays in the Fall.




3000

11 07 2011

I don’t normally comment on current events here.  I try to steer clear of it because the opinions are so diverse and usually passionate.   I definitely leave politics alone.  That’s not to say I’m without my opinions…  because I’ve got ’em a plenty.  Boy, do I.  And they are vehement and whole-heartedly believed in.  Which is really the reason why I don’t bring them up.  I just won’t do it. 

But when it comes to sporting current events, I give myself a little more leeway to voice my opinion.   So here it is. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opinion 1.  That man is just all kinds of FINE.  F-I-N-E.  Fine.   So there’s that.  

Opinion 2 has to do with the ball he hit last night for his 3000th career hit.  Now for you un-sports knowledgey people out there I’m going to throw some names out there that you can’t help but recognize: 

Babe Ruth

Mickey Mantle

Lou Gehrig

Jackie Robinson

Reggie Jackson

Joe DiMaggio

Roger Maris

Unless you live under a rock you’ve heard of some, if not all, of these players.  All Yankees.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no Yankees fan, but Derek Jeter being a Yankee is in some pretty good company with these former players.   None of them.  NONE achieved 3000 hits.  And no, Derek Jeter’s not on the juice, so don’t go there with that.  It’s just not true.  He’s just hugely talented.

So his hit last night wasn’t just a hit.  It was a homerun.  Caught by a 23-year-old in the stands named Christian Lopez who loves the Yankees and has loved Jeter for years.  Security was on him in a second and he was taken down to the office and was asked what he wanted for the ball.  The kid said, “I just want to give it to Jeter.”  There are two firey arguments going on over this.  The one side is raking this kid over the coals.  Calling him every insulting name in the book for someone of low intellect.  The kid is in debt up to his jugular with student loans and that ball?  Easily worth a quarter mil.  But he believed last night and still today believes that Jeter is the right person to own that ball.  And he did get to give it to him.  People are FIRED UP that he didn’t sell the ball.  Even offer it to Jeter…  but as a sale, not as a gift.   The other side of the debate?  Raking the people over the coals who are raking this kid over the coals.   They think it’s a reflection of a better time, a more neighborly time… when people were more about each other and less about the almighty dollar and think what this kid did was honorable and the people freaking out over it are just showing the greed so ingrained in us now.  

Where do I fall in this debate?  Squarely in the middle.  Yes, what the kid did WAS honorable.  Absolutely.  There would have been nothing “wrong” with him keeping and selling the ball either.  Not one thing.  But to say that this kid is an idiot or stupid or an arse for giving the ball to Jeter?  Cut him some slack.  I don’t think he should be vilified for doing a good thing.  A NICE THING.  Yes, he did a nice thing for a guy that could buy and sell all of us a million times over.   A guy getting paid something like 2o mil a year to PLAY A GAME.  But still, a nice thing is a nice thing regardless of circumstance or who the giver or receiver is.   In this case, actually, maybe it’s even nicer.

I do personally hope Jeter does something for the kid.  Pays his student loans off or something.  The Yankees organization gave him box seat season tickets for the rest of the season.  Not even a whole seaseon, just half, but the kid is happy with it.  So good for him.  But I do hope Jeter tosses him something on the side. 

So for those out there just ravaging this kid…   leave him be.   And for those flipping out over those that are ravaging the kid… calm down.  There’s no right or wrong in this situation.  It is what it is and the kid did what he thought was right.  And I don’t know him, obviously, but I’m proud of him.

Atta boy, kid. Well done. It's not everyday you meet your idol.

 





If you want me on your side… shut up!

24 03 2011

Dear NFL Football Players –

I’m with you.  I feel you.  You want to keep the status quo and I’m down with that.  If my employer told me that I had to give back money to them because of financial issues…  I’d want to know why, too.  They wouldn’t show me their books…  no employer would.  But I understand where you’re coming from and I feel you completely.

But why, oh why, can’t ya’ll just keep your mouths SHUT?  You want to ingratiate yourselves to the fans by coming on sports talk radio shows and tv shows to plead your side and it doesn’t work.  At all.  You blog, you Facebook, you get all up on the Twitter.   But then?  You say something so completely asinine that it just makes the fans…  remember us?  The fans?  Without whom you wouldn’t have the privilege of arguing about a billion dollars if not for us?… go “Whaaaa?”

This morning, one of your own…  one of your own that I freakin’ ADORE because he just seems like a good, God-fearing, down to earth, kind-hearted man… made the comment, “Those millions don’t last forever.”  Ummmm…  why is that again?   Millions…  with an “s”.   Those comments, they do NOTHING to ingratiate you to us.  The lowly fans.  We make…  on average 50K a year.  That’s more than I make and I’m sure less than others make, so it’s probably a good number to go with.  50K.   No M.  No Illion.  And certainly no s.   Football players, if you make it and have a half decent career of 3 – 5 years, with the average being 4 – though I know of MANY who are in the game longer than that.  However, the player who made that statement this morning has played in the NFL for 5 years and may, God-forbid, be done.  I like his replacement…  but I love him.   However, in those 5 years he earned almost 4 million dollars.   See?  Millions…  with an s.

I truly believe what you NFL players need are a few money management courses…  second only to a healthy dose of common sense and reality.  Think I’m wrong?   Give me 1.5 million.  Not even millions…  just 1 and a half million.   And then follow along.

1.5 million.  Right off the top lets buy a nice, modest home in the suburbs.  $300000.  No mortgage.  Then, lets buy a car for the player and his…  hopefully wife.  Because he shouldn’t be buying anything as big as a car for just a girlfriend.  That would be unreasonable.  Unless it’s like a long time girlfriend who might as well be a wife…  and in that case…  man up and put a ring on it.   So two, reasonably nice vehicles.  $60000.  $30000 per car.  So where are we?  1.14 million.  So we’ve got no mortgage, no car payments and 1.14 million in the bank.

Put it in something that earns you 5% interest.  You can find financial vehicles that pay more, but let’s go on the low side…  just to prove a point.   5% interest on 1.14 million compounded monthly is $4750 a month.   So lets run with that.

$4750 – health insurance for a family of 4 $1114- auto insurance for 2 cars and 4 drivers (who drive sensibly) $300 – homeowners insurance on a $300000 home $75 – Food $1500 – Auto maintenance $200 (you won’t need that much every month…  it’s called budgeting) – Gas $600 =  $961.   $961 – TV/Phone/Internet 150 – Cell phone 160 – utilities 400 = $251.

You have my permission to use the $251 however you choose.   Oh and lest we forget, there’s still 1.14 million dollars in the bank.   With that 1.14 million you can… at age 60 start taking out $38000 per year for 30 years assuming death at 90.  Or leave it as an inheritance to your kids.  You know…  just in case they aren’t BLESSED enough (you are blessed do you realize that?) to earn millions… with an s… of dollars playing a professional sport and have to go out like the rest of us and SLAVE day in and day out to bring home our meager $50000 per year.   My God, you all must MARVEL at how we all manage to get by on such pathetic earnings.

The millions don’t last forever, Mr. NFL player??  Well why the hell not.

Especially if you don’t start with 1.5 million and you actually start with 5 or 6 or more.  Millions of dollars….  with an s.

Please don’t think that I mean that you all don’t earn what you make…  you do.  You never know when your career could just end in a heartbeat.  In a PCL tear.  You just never know.  I’m also not saying that you shouldn’t earn that much.  I think you should.   I also think the construction worker, the people who hang off of buildings, the people whose jobs ALSO put them on the line continuously… daily… for potential life changing injury deserve to make that much.  The fact remains that they don’t…  but you do…  and I think we, as fans, would like to see a little more appreciation for the position you all are in and the potential earnings you all stand to make.

When comments like “The millions don’t last.”  and “Who’s going to take care of my family if I die or have serious injury?” come out of the mouths of our favorite players while they bring home more that we can imagine in our lifetime?  It doesn’t make us like you more.  Or place our alliance on your side.  It just shows us the immense gap that divides you from us.  You entertain us, you make us feel, you make us passionate…  don’t ruin that.  Keep your comments to yourself and keep the fans on your side.

Much love to you all.  My heart beats for football from September to February.  Don’t take that from your fans.

Amy





A letter to Brett Farve –

21 12 2010

 

Then & Now - The writing on the wall has been there so long it's fading...

Dear Mr. Farve,

I have never been a Green Bay fan or a Minnesota fan, but I have watched your career from afar.  You were pretty hot back in the day and easy on the eyes, to be sure.  Thought your cameo in Something About Mary was great, by the way.  But I think I can easily say for myself and probably on behalf of many others…  the sun has set on your… time in the sun.  About two years ago.

I think the goal of every person, but especially those in the spotlight, is not to end up as a cartoon character.  The butt…  or penis… of jokes.  Unfortunately, you’ve already passed that point.  You’re sadly, not even a joke now…  you’re a cautionary tale.  A lesson in what not to do in the twilight of one’s career.  It’s actually quite sad and I feel bad for you.  Truly.

While we’re on the subject of penises…  penii?  Namely, yours…  I just want to say that I don’t hold that whole penisgate against you.  I’m sure some women do, but I don’t.  Odds are that woman was thrilled to be given attention by THE Brett Farve and she didn’t even want to come out with the story.  Some friend of hers who she told about it leaked the story.  So yeah, I can’t actually find fault with her, either.  Maybe on her choice of friends…  but people change.  Friends change.  I’ve experienced it,  so who knows what happened there.  But I don’t hold your penis pics against you.  Just so we’re clear.

I do feel bad that you apparently feel so empty about your life off the field that you feel the only place for you is on the field.  I mean I guess we see why now.  The Farve marriage does not seem to be on the most solid ground.  I don’t hold the penis pics against you…  but you sent them.  Clearly all isn’t well in the Farve household.  There would have been other options though.  Look at one of your contemporaries.  Troy Aikman, he came out of the ’89 draft and you came out of the ’91 draft, and he got out at the right time.  Before he became as much of a shadow of his former self as you have become.  He went out respected and now has a great career as a color analyst for FOX.  Given the way you’re going to go out…  I don’t even know if that’s even going to be an option for you at this point.

I know you got your bell rung again last night so you won’t be playing my Eagles on Sunday.  But I have to say, even if you were…  I wouldn’t be worried.  You’re no one to be feared anymore.  You don’t strike even an ounce of dread in your opponents anymore.  That is the sign that it’s time to go.  If you don’t make your opponent nervous, you’ve got nothing.  And that?  That was a season ago… at least.

So, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you should just go… immediately… today.  You’ve got this concussion now.   So we’re talking the last two regular season games you’ll be out.  Don’t go on injured reserve…  just go.  Go quietly.  For most of us, the ones that remember you in your full glory wearing the Green and Yellow…   you’re already gone.

Amy





Thirteen things I love about the Phillies…

7 10 2010

1. ROY HALLADAY

2. Roy Oswalt

3. Cole Hamels

4. Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz – Especially Chooch.  I don’t know what the hell you’re sayin’, baby.  But I love ya!!

5. Ryan Howard

6. Chase Utley

7. Jimmy Rollins

8. Placido Polanco

9. Jayson Werth

10. Shane Victorino

11. Raul Ibanez

12. Wilson Valdez

13. Charlie Manuel





Respect given = respect received.

5 10 2010

I know this post is not going to appeal to a lot of my regular readers, but dammit, I’m irritated. 

I’m sick of how Philadelphia fans are viewed in relation to Donovan McNabb.  Especially a friend of mine who is a Redskins fan who is THRILLED at having McNabb and I guess he should be.  What was their record last year?  4 – 12 and placed 4th in the division…  out of…  four?  I guess Redskins fans WOULD be thrilled.   However, just because you’re thrilled doesn’t mean that the Philadelphia fans don’t have some insight into the world that is, Donovan McNabb – Quarterback.   This friend of mine comes back at me with every valid point I make about McNabb.   Today I just wanted to ask him if he was a Yankees or Mets fan and he responded with “Neither, but I am a Redskins fan.”  With a smiley face. (We hadn’t spoken yet about Sunday’s skirmish).   Oh, I might add that he thinks I’m under the illusion that the Eagles are going to make it to the post-season.  Yeah…  I’m a realist.  Don’t belittle my sports knowledge.  Although looking around the NFL…  who knows… half the teams out there are 2 -2, so maybe there’s a chance, but the fact is that I’m not some silly girl Eagles fan that thinks my team is going to win no matter what.  Hell, we don’t even know who our quarterback is.  And no…  for what we want to do, we should NOT have kept Donovan McNabb. 

At any rate below, is my email response to my friend’s one sentence email.   I’m sure it was more than he was expecting.  Oh and he’s also one of these that is still harping on the Eagles fans booing Santa and cheering Michael Irvin’s career ending injury.  Neither of those are true, but I’ll save them for another day. 

So without further delay…  here is my reply.  And everyone out there who just doesn’t get it???  Listen the hell up.  And if you’re still a Philadelphia fan hater…  you can suck it.  With sauce and whiz. 

I know you are (a Redskins fan…  remember what I said his email said?).  I made the decision to not discuss the game with you because everything I would have to say, you would disagree with and I’ve been in your shoes.  I’ve seen the wins come that have very little to do with the prowess of the quarterback and I’ve, of course, seen the losses come that – more often than not – have everything to do with the prowess of the quarterback.  I’ve been there and defended McNabb and stood up for him and put on my grand armor of plausible deniability and gone to battle with those who would have bad-mouthed him.  And it lasted.  For a while.  It lasted about 2 years from 2005 – 2007 (the Superbowl broke me down and the Terrell Owens debacle finished off the job…  we could have won the next year if our “leader” had acted like a leader and not like a 4-year-old who wants all the attention)  and then I just couldn’t do it anymore.  So I know that talking with you about the new ‘Skins quarterback is fruitless, because I’ve heard your arguments.  They sound a lot like mine used to.  And no one could have told me differently either.   So I’m not going to try.   Bottom line…  the guy is done.  Shanahan is terrified to let him throw the ball.   It couldn’t have been clearer of they’d said so in skywriting during the game.

Do you know what ELSE I saw that day?  Philadelphia fans being classy upon introduction of McNabb and welcoming back the best quarterback since Bednarik, to play for our city.   When he came out for his opening drive they booed.  But not at introduction.  In fact, I believe he got a standing ovation that lasted more than a couple minutes.   He would have enjoyed his time here a lot more had he taken two minutes to understand the fans here.  We’ve had other players take the time.  And to this day they love us.  Westbrook, Dawkins, Ike Reese, Hugh Douglas… they all bothered to get to know us and they love us.  He never bothered.  He never took the time.  He had a chip on his shoulder the whole time he was here.  He wasn’t booed at the draft ELEVEN YEARS AGO…  the CHOICE was.  People wanted Ricky Williams.  That’s who it seemed like they were taking, that’s who we’d all been lead to believe they were taking.  People were EXCITED about it and a big group of Ricky Williams fans went up to the draft and when they announced that it was Donovan that crew was shocked and dismayed and they booed.  They booed the CHOICE, not the MAN.  And that’s something he never bothered to understand and he kept his panties in a bunch over it for the entire 11 years.   We didn’t like him because he didn’t even pretend to like us.   Not because he couldn’t play.  That’s only been the reason the last few years.  We wanted to love him.  He did great things while he was here.  No one denies that.  But he didn’t care about us.  He didn’t respect us.  And therefore… the feeling was mutual. 

Hamlet’s Mistress