Nov 302014

Like 1972 and 1985, 2013 was an iconic Iron Bowl year because of its unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime ending.

And my team was on the wrong end of it.

I certainly was tired of watching it over and over again by the time Iron Bowl 2014 rolled around last night. I wanted Alabama to win last night because I always do, but I particularly wanted them to win so that play would no longer be the most recent recorded chapter.

You know the old bit about never fighting with a pig because you both get muddy and the pig loves it?

Well, that was quite a pig fight last night.

When I envisioned how I wanted it to go, I imagined a crushing Alabama rush defense finally shutting down Auburn at the line, forcing it into tricky coverage situations that led to missed routes and interceptions. I imagined keeping the field flipped in our favor because of wise special teams decisions and an offense playing somewhat conservatively because the defense was so lights-out.

I imagined what we’ve been calling “Alabama football” for my entire life.

55-44I am delighted Alabama won. But I never thought it’d be because Alabama said “well, all right, I guess we better start playing like this too.”

Alabama 55, Auburn 44.

Seriously? 99 points? 1,167 yards of offense?

I used to hate when my old Madden ’93 or NCAA ’94 games would look like that on the Sega Genesis, because Coach Bryant poured defense in my ear from birth. I’d get frustrated because I couldn’t turn in a performance that looked like my favorite real-life games. (If I played with 5-minute quarters, then sometimes the scores and the stats were close. But who wants to do that?)

“We haven’t played a lot of games where we give up 44 points and win. That’s not really our style.” – Nick Saban

Indeed not, Coach. But last night, “(your) style” was whatever it took to secure the win, and kudos to the entire team for finding it.

Roll Tide!

 Posted by at 9:55 am
Nov 262014

Paula Poundstone had a great bit about naps. Basically she said they were an indicator of adulthood. When you wanted one instead of resented one, you were a grown-up.

I’ll buy that.

I remember my mandated naps from childhood. I went to sleep maybe once every fifteen or twenty naps. Most of the time I read and watched the clock. I can remember thinking that an hour measured from half-past to half-past—like from 1:30 to 2:30—felt shorter than one measured from on-the-hour to on-the-hour. Don’t ask me why.

I’ve always said that if there were ever a BoCo, we’d have a designated paid nap time—like 1 to 2. You’d have a mat for your cube/office floor. You wouldn’t have to sleep, but you couldn’t schedule meetings, and you couldn’t make any noise beyond mousing and keyboarding. We’d rotate who answered the phone, and that person would be able to nap 12 to 1 or 2 to 3 if s/he wished. I just have a hunch that would be good company money spent.

 Posted by at 10:11 pm
Nov 262014

For years and years, Black Friday was enough. Not too long ago, Thanksgiving night stuck its nose under the tent. And tomorrow, several retailers will be open regular hours, or nearly so. We seem to be on the way to Thanksgiving Day being the first day of the Christmas shopping season.

And there is outrage.

We’re losing all of our most important heritage! What has become of traditional American values? Must this relentless commercialization invade even the day itself?

I sympathize. Thanksgiving is perhaps the most family-focused holiday we have, and there’s a strong case for the decay of the family driving many of our worst problems as a society. That decay doesn’t need a further nudge.

I don’t consider it the heinous affront that many seem to, however. It used to be axiomatic that one of the very most American values was minding one’s own business. We can certainly vote with our wallets, but that ought to be the extent of it. It’s not our concern when a merchant chooses to open. It’s not our concern whether said merchant’s employees choose to remain there.

If the merchant’s behavior is profitable, then so be it. Free market forces are practically demonized anymore, but this remains a relatively pure example of how well they work.

I haven’t been out on Black Friday in years, and I certainly won’t shop on Thanksgiving Day. You want to? Go for it.

 Posted by at 10:40 am
Nov 252014

It’s complete. I heard it on a radio commercial this morning.

I got a little cranky a couple of years ago over a TV commercial that came on during IndyCar races that used the phrase “kicking some ass,” but I don’t even mind that as much as saying something “sucks.” It’s just cruder than I think we ought to be as a matter of course in everyday conversation. (It doesn’t refer to sucking lemons, you know.)

The boys don’t understand how something they hear everywhere can be a word they’re not allowed to say. And this, as with linguistic bastardizations like “melty” and “ginormous,” has gotten here by brute force, which means it won’t be vanquished in my lifetime.

I shall remain locked in battle with it, however lonely that is.

 Posted by at 9:05 am
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