Jun 062017

We watched hockey as a family last night for the first time since…uh, well, never.

The Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the Stanley Cup Finals this year, and last night the Preds (what you call the Predators if you’re a fan-insider type) beat the Pens (” ” ” ” Penguins ” ” ” ” “) 4-1 to tie the series at two games apiece. Now it goes back to Pittsburgh, resuming Thursday.

I don’t think I ever watched any NHL before HDTV made it so pleasant, and I’m pretty sure this is the first game I’ve ever watched deliberately from beginning to end. Having been similarly drawn into the World Cup a couple of years back, and considering the inherent similarities between the games of hockey and soccer, here are my three big takeaways:

  • Hockey action is much more frenetic and exciting. When there is a genuine scoring threat, it’s 5-10 seconds of intense entertainment, and there’ll be another one along shortly. A soccer scoring threat is usually one shot, and it may be 20 minutes before you see another one.
  • Hockey players are tough. Elbow here, stick there, and it’s got to get sure enough bad before there’s a penalty. “Injured” soccer players too often collapse in heaps and whimper like little babies, which I can’t help but suspect is directly tied to…
  • …the clock. The game clock matters in hockey. As I said at some great length before, time the game or don’t, but don’t pretend to time the game, which is what happens in soccer.

Now I may have soccer apologists preparing frenzied screeds calling me out as a rube for not appreciating the subtleties of “The Beautiful Game,” or for daring to compare barbarism and elegance merely because of superficial similarities, or whatever else, and well, that’s fine. I’m not questioning your wife’s integrity or speculating on whether you’re talking to Jesus enough. I’m just a red-blooded American male sports fan, informed mostly by football and auto racing but also some by baseball and a smidge by basketball, calling it like I see it.

And as I see it, hockey is what soccer wants to be when it grows up.

 Posted by at 10:29 am
May 312017

Dad, Nathan, Aaron, and I went back to the Indianapolis 500 this year for the first time since 2013. This time I wanted to get there early enough on Saturday so we could see the museum at the track, so we left about 4:30 in the morning. That worked out fine. (It’s really a pretty painless drive.)

No free parking inside the track, with race weekend stuff going on. But the museum was a lot of fun, even though the bus tour of the track wasn’t available anyway.

(An excuse to go back on a non-race weekend, and couple it with another thing or two to do.)

I love the thrill of being at Indy. Goose bumps, even on Saturday. And they’re pretty much continuous on race day.

Saying hello to Vice President Mike Pence.

I didn’t do such a good job getting us all in the frame. It was hard to see the screen.

Weather was a threat right up to the green flag, and then we never saw any rain until over an hour after the checkered flag. Here’s our view of turn one, with Tony Kanaan leading:

It was an exciting race. Congratulations to Takuma Sato, who drove marvelously to pick up his first Indy 500 win and second IndyCar win overall. As competitive as it was, it was a shame to see so many with cars strong enough to win—Scott Dixon, Fernando Alonso, Ryan Hunter-Reay most notably—put out. (Though I imagine Dixon was pleased to walk away from his accident and call it a day.) The gentlemen behind us were huge Alonso fans, and I felt bad for them when he lost his engine.

Thanks for another marvelous time, Indy! Until next time!

 Posted by at 7:21 pm
May 292017

Dad, the boys, and I had a wonderful time attending the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend. I shall blog about it. However, I’m a little too tuckered to do it tonight. Instead, I will briefly write about the only real negative of the weekend here, in order to a) isolate it from […]

 Posted by at 7:04 pm
Mar 122017

We had our season-end, and program-end, celebration for Upward basketball and cheerleading yesterday. Kevin Davis of Kevin Davis Creations came in and did a fantastic job again for us this year. He is a funny fellow who relates well to children and loves God. He was also accommodating of our modest budget. I recommend him. […]

 Posted by at 7:54 am

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