Tag Archives: sports

Embrace the awesome

When you drive into downtown Joliet, there is a sign. It reads, “If it’s fun, it’s in downtown Joliet!”

For real.

Now, not to speak poorly of Joliet. It is, after all, home to the Rialto Square Theatre, where Jim and I were married. And most people say, hey, that’s where Peter Brady was married! No no no no no no no. It’s where JIM AND I were married. Peter Brady and his gameshow wife just had their reception there. Celebrities and wannabe celebrities have a way of ruining my stuff. Peter Brady took over my Rialto. Of course, the day I got married there was the same day that Entertainment Tonight covered the wedding of one Mary Kay Latourneau to her rape victim, Villi. Same exact day. Then Tom Cruise and his wife Joey Potter were rude enough to produce their weird little mini-me on the SAME day I had George. Rude rude rude.

Back to Joliet.

The sign reads that it is where the fun happens. And last week’s Joliet Jackhammers game was no exception.

Example:

Check out the main man in the sweet plaid shorts there behind Hank. He’s making rock star hands — devil fingers — you mess with the bull you get the horns — whatever you call it, he’s doing it. On purpose. In public. But that’s not even the REASON I planted young Hank on this spot to grab this photo. There’s more:

Oh. My. God. That is so AWESOME. I covered his eyes to protect his identity (not that I know him) but also to protect myself from what I can only assume will be a David Lee Roth style butt-kicking if he were to ever find himself on my blog. I envision this guy wrapping himself in “Just a Gigolo” spandex and figuring he might as well jump (JUMP!) on my face for embarrassing him. I think he even has a perm. So so sweet.

Sadly, the Jackhammers were eliminated last night in the playoffs, so we’ll have to wait until next year for the next new round of downtown Joliet fun.

At least Hank caught a grand slam — from our team even!

That is fun! See you next year Jackhammers!

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Rivalry, schmilvary

So, the Cubs and Sox are playing this weekend in the second installment of this year’s big crosstown classic. Which frankly, lost all its allure (in my opinion) when interleague play started. Back in the day, when it was just a single game that they played for the fans on an off day for both teams, that was good stuff. I had my Chicago Tribune issued poster with caricatures of Jim Frey and Tony LaRussa hanging on my closet door for much of my childhood.

Now, it’s even been named. This year, the winner gets…

wait for it…

The BP Cup!

No shit.

My brother promptly announced that while the cup itself is lovely, it leaks. He also thinks it should be handed to the loser, not the winner. Too bad, sucker, the Sox have already embarrassed the ever-living pants out of the Cubs, 4 games. You win! You win! You win! Take your BP Cup and put it in your BP case next to you BP World Series memorabilia from 2005 and celebrate with some of that nasty BP Miller Lite you drink on the South Side. It’s one championship the Cubs are happy to lose! Hoo!

Anyway, I headed to the game with the boys yesterday. Had a great time. The only real entertainment was when Carlos Zambrano had a temper tantrum in the dugout and was told to go home, you know, after giving up four runs in the first (final score 6-0 Sox). We had a pretty good view from our seats. Oh, I was so proud to be a Cubs fan at Comiskey U.S. Cellular Field. Those Ricketts kids are turning this team around!!! Thanks Omaha!

But there was one awesome highlight of the game. Check it out:

My sister Laura snapped this photo of me and the boys after the game. Sure, George looks like a total goober. But look how skinny I look! And no snide comments from those of you who are like, ummm, sure you look skinny, in you know, a total fatty type of way. Shut up, I look good!

Well worth the loss, Cubs! I’m ready for my BP Mother of the Year Award!

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Kane and able

There’s some exciting happenings here in the greater Chicagoland area this fine June day. And all thanks to a bunch of guys collectively known as the Chicago Blackhawks.

Let’s start with the obvious: I am not a hockey expert. Not even close. When I lived down in Baton Rouge, where hockey was surprisingly popular, Kayla, Nancy and I, along with other various WBRZers, would often find ourselves at a Baton Rouge Kingfish game. With no idea what was going on, but there were fights on the ice and cold beers in our hands and um, we were young and kinda hot and those were the days, you know what I mean?

My first Blackhawks hockey game was with my sister Laura at some point in my early 20’s. We found our seats at the United Center, somewhere around the ninth row off the ice. I turned around to put my jacket on the chair, and *WHACK* something hit my ass. I turned around and there were a few players warming up on the ice — not Hawks but I can’t remember who they were playing, maybe Tampa — who were actually laughing at me. It was a puck. My big old butt was a bulls eye. I looked around and found that puck on the ground under my seat. I think I still have it somewhere. I also dropped 40 pounds after that!

I watched my first Stanley Cup Final in 2000, while working nightside at WGNO. I do not remember who was playing or who even won (though Wikipedia tells me it was Dallas and New Jersey, and New Jersey won). I do remember that the game went into triple overtime one night… and double overtime the next game. And Al Michaels said, “If you don’t love hockey, you should.” That struck me as very funny and I thought, maybe I should watch hockey. But it wasn’t something I ever got into.

When I moved to Quad Cities, I went to several Quad City Mallards games. There’s a pattern here, in case you were wondering — people who work in television, especially in small markets, really have no issues getting free tickets to minor league games of any kind! I remember one game, when a guy was leaving the ice after a fairly nasty fight, and one of the dudes from the other team was chasing him. And we were all in the stands yelling “BEHIND YOU!!!” like it was a scary movie. That guy — the Mallard — got to the exit, waited for the guy to get close, and pulled the glass door behind him real fast so the would-be attacker just smacked himself into the glass. Hilarious. That was the last time I went to a hockey game until I met my husband in 2004.

Jim loves hockey. Loves it. Loves it so much that, knowing it was not a popular sport in these parts, did not TELL me that he loved it until after we were married. Made it sound like, sure, I’ll watch it if it’s on, but I mean, it’s no big deal. He was a big fat lying liar. He loves hockey. The day he realized I would sit and watch it with him, I think he fell in love with me in a whole new way.

Here’s Jim loving hockey as a baby:

OK, it’s a picture of a picture, so it’s cooked and not so great. But as you can see, he’s wearing a Blackhawks shirt.

Here’s Jim and his friend Eric loving hockey somewhere in the early 90’s:

No comments on the hair people. And by that I mean, no comments on the actual presence of hair. (That’s my thumb in the corner, too, I should really get a scanner.)

Just a few years ago, if you went to the United Center on hockey night, it was a ghost town. Totally dead. These days, it’s packed. Now, there are those folks (Tommy) who like to get into the issue of “true fans” versus “band wagon fans” and all that nonsense. That the “true” fans are the rough and tumble guys in the upper deck who stuck with the team even when they sucked, the same guys who couldn’t afford a playoff ticket even if they sold their alcohol-infused liver on the black market. To this, I say, bah!

First — who cares when someone became a fan? You’re not allowed to love a team because you just started loving them this year? That’s stupid.

Second — the Blackhawks just came on television last year. For years they were blacked out, because owner “Dollar Bill” Wertz wasn’t willing to put his team on television and give the product away for free. They only came on TV now because the old man kicked off and his son decided to actually let the fans WATCH what was happening. It’s asking a whole lot of people to stick with a team through and through when not only are they not winning, but you cannot even see them play unless you drive into the city, pay for parking, pay for a ticket (even a cheap one) and pay for concessions. My husband still did this — often. But there were plenty of smiling and cheering faces in the crowd this year and last year who did not. It does not, in my opinion, make them any less worthy as fans.

I asked Jim if I was one of these band wagon fans, and he quickly pointed out that I am not. That while I certainly am no expert, the team sucked balls when he first started taking me to games. And I tried, desperately, to learn the game. I get strategy and I can follow the puck (which is a feat, by the way, when you are trying to learn this sport — that stuff moves FAST) and I understand some of the calls and rules but not as many as I wish I did and I FINALLY get the line changes.

So last night, as we watched Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, I reached over and checked Jim’s pulse. It was racing. Then, I checked my own, and it too was racing. Sweet Christmas, I AM a fan!!

Jim was deflated when the Flyers tied it up. And just like everyone in the world EXCEPT for Patrick Kane, we were more confused than excited when that winning goal went in the net during overtime. I’ll bet if we could turn back time and listen to the city of Chicago and the city of Philadelphia as a whole, we would hear a collective, “What the hell just happened?” PK was the ONLY person who knew that puck went in. When we watched it back in slow motion, you could pretty much hear most of my neighborhood cheer as we realized that the Stanley Cup was coming home to Chicago. Neighbors let off fireworks. Hank ran out the back door with a pot and spoon and banged away. Jim did NOT cry (ahem). Dudes… THAT.WAS.AWESOME. 49 years without a championship. It’s nice to be on this side every once in a while.

So thank you Blackhawks. Thank you for giving my husband a championship team. He loved the Hawks even when they were completely unloveable, and doesn’t care who is loving them now right with him. Mostly, thank you for giving us something to watch that is not baseball, because seriously, the Cubs and Sox blow. And thank you PK for knowing it before anyone else did. That was pretty cool.

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Dear Creepy Gymnast Girl at LA Fitness,

Hello there. Do you remember me? My name is Marney, and I am the older, fatter girl who was in the trainer room last night. You remember me, right? See, I was on the mat, alternating my reverse crunches with my swissball jackknives. Yeah, I know, it’s funny to watch that. But yes, that was me.

I don’t quite know HOW you could have missed me. There I was, getting ready to do my jackknives, which are hard as hell and yes, I occasionally fall off the ball and make quite the thundering sound when my flab smacks the mat. But I always laugh and get back on. Yet for some reason, and despite the fact that you are no bigger than 4-feet tall, you felt the need to come to that same mat, spread your legs in a T-split, and begin to bounce. ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY. You literally put your foot directly in front of me, even though my ginormous mass was only taking the spot of ONE person. Yet you were taking the place of 4 people.

Remember what I did? How I almost rolled right over your foot. That was fun for me. You kind of got the picture — you moved to the other mat, but continued to do your bizarre bouncy splits routine. Side splits. Front splits. Side splits. Front splits. Over and over. You know what? While I was back doing reverse crunches, and my butt was pointed at you, I ALMOST squeaked out a fart to get you to go away. But I didn’t. I should have, then maybe you would have stopped what I can only describe as acrobatic pornography. At one point, you began to thrust.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I too know how much fun it can be to grab the attention of the male species at the gym. I have, from time to time, realized that a young handsome meathead was staring at my vast chest, and purposely dipped just a little further over during my deadlifts. Seriously, especially when he is like, 22. Sure, maybe he has a Mommy complex, but still, it’s fun to be ogled, even though the feminist hiding in the back of my head is shouting STOP IT! I read Cosmo. I get it.

Remember when I left the mats? I went upstairs to run on the treadmill. I ran for 30 minutes. And when I was done, and I came back down the stairs, there you were, still on the mats, still in the splits. You know what? We get it. You are super flexible. You can jump from standing into a T-split. You know what? Dudes don’t dig that. Do you think they want you to stand over them and do that? You will snap their junk right off, sister! Stop it already.

Then I went into the sauna. I admit, I have no idea what the sauna is supposed to do. I just like the feeling of a good warm sweat. Also, I was the only one in there, which meant that I could sing along with the array of songs stacked on my MP3 player — Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Trisha Yearwood, all mashed together. Though I really belted it out to “Walking in Memphis,” the Marc Cohn version, not that crappy country release. I emerged 15 minutes later, and there you were. In the locker room. With one leg up on the counter in a display of flexibility. You were talking on your phone. Apparently, the person you were talking with really, really wanted to hear you sing the dance-mix version of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” which was playing over the gym’s speakers. Because you sure did sing it loud. Into your phone. While doing the splits on the makeup counter.

I noticed at this point that you caught my eye. I’m sorry, you were right. I was staring at you. More specifically, I was trying to will you to shut the hell up and leave. It didn’t work.

Well, creepy gymnast girl at LA Fitness, I hope you are feeling good and limber this morning, I don’t really know how you could feel anything else. You sure are stretchy. But I do hope that I don’t have to deal with your flexing and thrusting again anytime soon. My husband was not there with me, but he would have told you to move your skinny ass out of his space. For some reason, he’s not shy at the gym. I just hope I get skinny and awesomely buff soon, because I’m not sure I can take that shit ever again.

Thanks for your time,

Marney

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5 awesome things about this decade

Now that we are officially just hours from 2010, I thought I’d take a moment to recall the five most awesome things about the past 10 years. These are not necessarily the top 5 things just for me (because that would be so boring — a picture of Kayla and Nancy, a picture of my parents and siblings, a picture of Jim, a picture of Hank, and a picture of George — yawn). Just things that I think we should all be able to seriously appreciate. Good, good stuff.

#5 – New Orleans

If you don’t love the city of New Orleans, then you have never been there. If you have been there and you still don’t love it, you are a fool (sorry to any fools who read this, but seriously, wake up, you are a fool). New Orleans is awesome. Let’s make a list:

  • French Quarter
  • Mississippi River
  • Street Car
  • French Market
  • Lake Ponchartrain
  • Coffee & Chicory
  • Boobie flashing for cheap beads
  • Big Ass Beers
  • Daquiris to Go
  • Drinking in the street
  • Insanely good Cajun food
  • Brass bands
  • Zydeco
  • Gator on a Stick
  • Ernst’s Cafe
  • Kermit Ruffins
  • LeMadeline
  • Superior Grill
  • Audubon Zoo
  • Shopping on Royal Street
  • St. Louis Cathedral & Jackson Square
  • Awesome trannys partying in the street
  • LaFitte’s Landing
  • Adult shops next to antique shops
  • Strip bars galore
  • Mardi Gras

Yeah, if you cannot find even ONE thing on that list (which is seriously lacking, by the way, it’s a fraction of what’s available), then you suck. If you weren’t heartsick when Katrina hit, and full of hope when the city started to come back, then you suck even more. If you don’t take time to visit New Orleans at some point in your life, you will have died lacking in a major life experience. And that’s just a fact. 

#4 – Tony Romo cries

That’s just entertainment. You know at that moment, as Tony was bawling his beautiful, hunky eyes out, Nick Lachey was thinking, “Thank GOD Jessica and I broke up!” Seriously, that’s more embarrassing than being a member of 98 Degrees, and Nick Lachey knows it.

#3 – Justin Timberlake

Speaking of boy bands — oh Justin Timberlake, you’ve touched us all in so many ways these past ten years. From curly-haired N’Sync heartthrob (just typing that put the song “I want it that way” in my head, and that’s not even N’Sync, that’s the Backstreet Boys! Look at Justin’s powers!) to the guy who outed Britney as not really being a virgin (like we didn’t know) to the man who wardrobe-malfunctioned Janet Jackson’s boobie all over national TV to the man who proved that the best gift of all is a di*k in a box, Justin really did bring sexy back. Keep it up dude. Just one piece of advice though — drop Jessica Biel. She’s lame.When the highlights of your weak career include playing the virginal daughter Mary on “7th Heaven” and complaining that you are “too beautiful” to get good roles, you are not good enough for Justin Timberlake.

#2 – Stepbrothers

Ok, now, I can see how this movie might not appeal to everyone. After all, I don’t think I loved it the first time I saw it. But now that it appears on Starz about 15 times a week, I can say, it’s freaking hysterical. And the more we watch it, the more we notice things we didn’t notice earlier. And while we know the comedy is completely juvenile, that’s kind of the point. I mean, who decided that at a certain age we should cast aside fart jokes and instead embrace more sophisticated humor? Because that person is a major douche.

For example:

“Your voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.”

“Suppose Nancy sees me coming out of the shower and decides to come on to me. I’m looking good, got a luscious v of hair going through my chest pubes down to my ball fro. She takes one look at me and goes ” Oh my god, I’ve had the old bull now I want the young calf” and she grabs me by the weiner…”

“I swear, I’m so pissed off at my mom. As soon as she’s of age, I’m putting her in a home.”

“Hey Derek, you know what’s good for shoulder pain? If you lick my butt hole.”

I’m sorry, that is all funny. Every last childish piece of it.

The real scene stealer I think though is Mary Steenburgen. She isn’t just funny, she’s gorgeous. Seriously, see this movie. Without children in the room, preferably, or they will quote the most inappropriate parts back to you.

#1 – Lady Gaga:

Dude, do I really need to expalin this one? Oh Lady Gaga! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Actually, there’s just two of them, “The Fame,” and “The Fame Monster,” her only two albums. But I love them LOTS!

On Christmas Eve, I sat next to my father and handed him a small package, then tried to hide my pure glee as he ripped it open to discover “The Fame Monster” sitting inside. For some reason, many family members thought it was bizarre that I would give my father a Lady Gaga CD. I ask, why the hell would they think that? I only gush about the woman like she’s the second coming of Mozart. Why would I not want to share that with my Pops?

Dad, I say that when they questioned me, it was really an insult aimed at YOU, like you are too old and cranky to enjoy the musical genius that is Lady Gaga. PROVE THEM WRONG! Pop that CD in the player of your extremely youthful Chrysler Seabring and TURN IT UP! Even better, make sure you do it in the summer time with the top down while cruising through the senior living community. That’s making a statement!

So, there you go, 5 awesome things about this decade. I realize that not all of you will agree with me. If that’s the story for you, well, it’s not my fault you’re wrong. I tried.

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!

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Karma

Keeping with my juvenile theme, I am beginning to wonder two things: 1) How is it that I managed to find a husband who is such a good fit for me, and 2) When are we going to hell, because we are so going there.

Tonight I went to the gym for a little weight lifting and high intensity intervals, though you would never guess it from the size of my rear and my extra cushiony spare tire. In my defense, this is Illinois, and it gets cold here in the winter, so I really need the extra blubber. It’s a survival mechanism.

Anyway, I usually go with Jim to the gym. Just to go off topic for a moment, I love that Jim and gym are homonyms, and I play it up often. I call his gym bag his “you bag.” I say, “I need to go to the ‘you’ and exercise” and “I need a new pair of ‘you’ shoes.” God forbid he ask me where his gym bag is, because the answer is, “All your bags are Jim bags.” Being 35 is no excuse to stop being immature.

ANYWAY, I usually go with Jim to the gym. But tonight I had to go alone. And in my solitude, I realized that I enjoy working out with him for many reasons, not the least of which is because it is far easier to make fun of people with him than it is alone.

For example, when we are there together, we notice other couples. There is the couple where the man is a lot younger and better looking than the woman who we assume is his wife. Naturally, they are “Disproportionate Couple.” There’s the trainer who himself is quite portly, AKA, “Fun Fat Trainer.” There’s the racquetball guy who wears what appears to be professional racquetball attire, or, as we call him, “Professional Pants Guy.” His partner looks at me a lot (I had Jim check him out checking me out to make sure I wasn’t just seeing things. He said for sure he was checking me out. He likes a little meat on his ladies, it appears). Unfortunately, he has kind of a skeevy vibe, hence his nickname, “Serial Killer.”

There’s the guy who looks like the character of John Locke from “Lost.” We just call him “John Locke.”

Our favorite is the couple who come in matching outfits. They are outrageously good-looking, bodies to envy, dazzling looks, great hair even while sweating. Once, when he smiled, I swear his teeth twinkled. Like us, they freely give the evil eye to pretty much everyone who walks past. Unlike us, they don’t even make an attempt to hide it. They are the best looking people there, and they know it. So naturally, we call them, “A Couple of A-Holes.”

So there I was tonight, longing for my husband’s companionship. Why? Well, tonight I was graced with the trifecta: Shaved Legs Guy in front of me, Velour Pants Guy next to him, and next to me, Steam Engine Guy. I call him that because the weights he lifts are outrageously heavy, and when he exhales, he goes “ppfffffftttt” like a steam engine. His last rep usually has an unbelievably long “pppfffffffffffffffffffftttttttttttttt,” as if he’s just pulled into the station and stopped. It’s everything I have to not start singing the theme from “Thomas the Tank Engine.”

It makes me wonder — how exactly will this come around for me? Because we know that’s where this is headed. You cannot possibly snicker about this many strangers without karma, or fate, or kismet, or whatever you call it, biting you in the rear. The rather large rear, as it is these days. I wonder what these people call me. “Stretch Pants Girl” or “Big Boobs” or “Twisted Nipples” (they are always pointed in different directions, and the gym lights really highlight it) or “Ass Sweat Girl” (wiping off the mat can be embarrassing).

Whatever it is, I totally deserve it. And it won’t stop me from coming up with nick names, especially when “Stupid Bandana Girl” and “Talks on Her Cell Phone” are on bikes RIGHT NEXT to each other. Oh yes, my uppance shall come. I can’t wait.

UPDATE – No sooner had I posted this than did Jim walk through the door. He went to workout later than I did since we couldn’t go together tonight. He looked at me and said, “Well, A Couple of A-Holes were there. So was Do-Rag Guy. And Blue Jeans and Flip Flops Guy was on the stairclimber!”

We are so going to hell.

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My husband and my sister: The Affair

My husband and my sister are having an affair. That’s right, you read that correctly. My HUSBAND. And my SISTER. AN AFFAIR. And they’re all about rubbing it in my face. For theirs is an affair that I can only peek into, hard as I try to drive a wedge between them. Seems my husband and my sister are having an affair — over sports.

“Your sister sent me an e-mail,” he says to me. “She wants to come over Saturday to watch the Notre Dame game.”

“Ok,” I say.

A few hours later:

“Your sister will be here at 11 on Saturday.”

“But the game is at, like, 2:30,” I say.

“Yeah… but the Hawks are on at 11,” he says.

College football and hockey? I cannot compete with that.

While they were off in their affair-world, I went all Magnum PI on them and snapped this piece of photographic evidence:

100_1441

Can you even believe the nerve of them, right there on my fine Value City Furniture sectional? Oh, the humanity! To make matters worse, I, for some reason, created a whole delicious snack tray for them to enjoy on their date:

100_1436

Look at that! Fresh veggies chopped and sliced by my own little arthritic fingers. And yes, that’s pita chips AND pita bread. The fact that my homemade black bean humus actually looks like a soft-serve poop didn’t stop them from enjoying every little bite either. What did I do? It’s like I’m part of the problem. And if that wasn’t enough, they had to watch baseball, despite the fact that both their teams had been eliminated weeks ago.

There were rattled off stats and names of people I will never remember. There were memories of wins and losses gone by. There were discussions of the upcoming hockey season and the nonstop badmouthing of Blackhawk goalie Cristobal Huet, and all I could add to the conversation was “what a funny first name he has!” I don’t think they even heard my enormously funny wisecrack! If I’m not wrong, there were a handful of fistbumps.

It’s not just the games either. They send eachother text messages ALL THE FREAKING TIME about whatever team is playing whatever game at whatever time. And it’s not like I’m some sports novice. I pay attention. I can follow a baseball or football game better than a whole lot of other women I know. Hockey — meh, no one is perfect. But am I good enough? No. He has to go searching for companionship elsewhere… but he sticks to my own family tree. Like, two limbs over.

What do I do? How do I stop this?

I know this much. Kayla is no longer invited to my house during college football season. I cannot handle making another trayful of snacks so my husband can enter a three-way with my sister and one of my closest friends.

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