Ranking the Non-Major Sports

7. NASCAR

I assume they’re listening to country when they drive.

I just don’t get it. I could see the EVENT being awesome, just getting hammered all day outside in the sun with 100,000 other people.

But the sport itself never made sense to me. Why are the races so long? It’s not like track where you ‘train’ for sprints vs. distance right? Are the first 200 laps NOT boring to someone gets it?

I don’t begrudge those who enjoy it, I just don’t get it at all.

6. Boxing

Unfortunately the most marketed thing in the sport right now.

I follow loosely, know the big names, and have a decent understanding of the sport, but wouldn’t go out of my way to watch a fight (though I’ll probably watch McGregor / Mayweather like all the other sheep).

Boxing has been outdone in a marketing sense by the UFC, and frankly, who knows how much longer it has in the main stream light.

5. T&F

Being at a track meet is awesome (if you’re competing), but even I understand that it’s not the greatest sport to watch on TV. In fact, if you aren’t competing / don’t follow the sport, track & field is definitely the worst on this list.

When Usain Bolt retires, which is coming soon, track and field will have close to zero mass appeal beyond the hardcore track fans. I’m not worried, because I don’t think the sport needs to be popular among normal people for it to survive, but it is a bit discouraging.

4. MMA / UFC

Dana White, head of the UFC. Who’s the head of boxing?

A sport that’s been on the rise for years. Similar to boxing, I follow loosely, know the big names, and have a decent understanding. However, it’s just more entertaining and has done a better job of marketing itself.

My only (small) issue with MMA is the sort of barbaric nature. If I was a parent, this would be one of the last sports I’d want my kid to get into.

3. Soccer

Stars

The stars are marketable and the rivalries between the teams are intense and very real. It’s the most watched sport in the world for a reason, and its popularity in America has been growing.

There will be a LOT of buzz for the 2018 World Cup in the US.

Also, if you bet the over every time, it makes every game exciting no matter what.

2. Tennis

Marry me

I’ve written about my love for Federer before, and he truly exemplifies a STAR. Him winning Wimbledon two weeks ago was the best thing that could’ve happened to Tennis. Some will say having the “big four” win almost every Major is bad, and to some extent I agree, but STARS drive ratings.

I might even give tennis a try just because of him.

1. Golf

Posting up on a Sunday afternoon watching the final round is a great way to spend a Sunday. Again, a sport that needs stars, but fortunately, it has them. Golf was most recently at its peak when Tiger was dominating.

No one is at Tiger’s level yet, but with Spieth winning his third major, Rory looking good, Dustin Johnson being a wild card stud with a smokin’ hot wife, etc. etc. there are plenty of worthy stars that make golf worth watching.

Additionally, every round of the tournament matters. A stroke on Thursday is worth the same as a stroke on Sunday. All four days of a major are worth watching which is rare for any sport.


For what it’s worth, I’d rank golf, tennis, and soccer as #3, #4, and #5 on the overall sports rankings list.

My First Pedicure

Laura took me for my first pedicure on Saturday.

I expected a relaxing 30 minute spa treatment for my feet. Apparently that’s not quite what a pedicure is though.

The face she made when she saw my feet.

Two thirds of a pedicure is tense. Nothing was “painful” but you’re sitting there watching this girl go HAM on your feet / toes. Toes are sensitive. Feet are ticklish. It’s a dangerous combo, though the massage part was obviously enjoyable.

I didn’t get my nails painted (but I considered it!) and that would be the obvious visible takeaway from a pedicure.

For $40 it’s not something I would do again but I can cross that off the bucket list. Thanks sis!

My Top 10 Linkin Park Songs

As most of you probably know, Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, committed suicide this morning. Linkin Park was my all-time #1 band for about 8 straight years. In his honor, I’m going to rank my top 10 Linkin Park songs.

10. Lying From You (Meteora)

An underrated song of theirs from Meteora. Too hard-rock-ish to get any mainstream love.

9. Shadow of the Day (Minutes to Midnight)

Probably a surprise to make my top 10 but I’m actually a fan of this one.

8. In the End (Hybrid Theory)

The first real hit. I’ve heard it so many times that I actually prefer The Untitled instead, but a must-have.

7. Breaking the Habit (Meteora)

This won best music video at some stupid awards show in like 2004. I remember being on the computer voting for it over and over again.

6. A Place for my Head (Hybrid Theory)

I always think of Ben and Alex at the “You, try to take the best of me.” part. A rager.

5. Pushing Me Away (Hybrid Theory)

Last song on the first album. On the softer side for them and I like this live version.

4. Waiting for the End (A Thousand Suns)

This was stuck in my head the first time I broke 16:00 in the 5k. It was at Frank Colden, I ran 15:55.33 and Jatin ran 15:55.30. The only real song of their “later” stuff that I like a lot.

3. Don’t Stay (Meteora)

A totally underrated song of their’s to lead off the second album and they rock the fuck out of it.

2. One Step Closer (Hybrid Theory)

An absolute fucking RAGER! The original GO HAM song for me.

1. Papercut (Hybrid Theory)

The first song of the first album. Set the tone for their entire career. A masterpiece.

 

Honorable Mention: Bleed it Out, Numb, Crawling, High Voltage, Faint

My Ranking of the Four Major Sports

4. NHL

Hockey is NOT the worst of these four sports. Brookes will cringe at this, but baseball is the worst in my opinion. Hockey is like a combo of soccer and basketball. You have the every-goal-counts asset combined with the up-tempo pace of basketball which is great.

The simple reason that hockey is #4 is exposure. Kids play soccer, basketball, baseball, etc. all the time, but very few play hockey. Its unfamiliarity in the States is why it will always be sort of a niche sport. I never played hockey and therefore don’t identify with the sport and don’t know all of the rules, but I don’t doubt that if I played, I’d be a die hard Flyers fan.

3. MLB

Laura and I went the Phillies game a few Sunday’s ago and it was great. Going down to the ball park for a beer and hot dog is a pretty good way to spend a Sunday afternoon in July.

However, here are four problems with baseball:

  • It’s too slow. It’s why it has the oldest average fan of all the four major sports.
  • It lacks star power. If the Phillies added Bryce Harper before the season started, they’d still have 0% chance at the playoffs. Lebron turns whatever team he’s on into a playoff team. Some may say this is a good thing, but stars drive ratings.
  • There are too many games. Whoop-dee-do, we went 20-0 to start the season. Only 140 more games to go!
  • The unwritten rules are STUPID. You can’t bat flip, you can’t jog too slow when you hit a home run, you have to hit a guy with a 95mph fast ball for something he did 5 years ago. The baseball snobs will say “That’s just how the game is played” and that casual fans don’t get it. Newsflash, dumb shit like this is driving people away from your sport.

The sport is fading in popularity. I don’t know how to save it, but as the target market, I can’t think of much that would make me want to watch.

2. NFL

The NFL literally owns a day of the week for half the year. I see two things that set the NFL apart:

  • Every. Game. Matters. It cannot be understated how important this is. EVERY Sunday matters in Philadelphia. Even when your team is  3-7, there’s a chance you go on a run and sneak into the playoffs.
  • Fantasy Sports. Obviously fantasy isn’t exclusive to football, but it’s way more manageable than the other sports. Casual fans can play since there’s only one set of games a week. NBA / MLB fantasy get overwhelming for the casual fan.

From September – February I, along with millions of others, am basically keeping up to date with every single thing that’s going on in the NFL.

My only real issue with the NFL / football is A) I don’t understand the Xs and Os well enough and B) the concussions / health stuff is a real issue and could have a big impact in the coming decades.

1. NBA

The NBA is #1 for me because I played basketball growing up. I can understand everything much better than football. I’m not an NBA analyst by any means, but I can actually see the game in a way that I can’t with the other sports.

Other reasons include:

The NBA has STARS; These people are larger than life in their cities in a way that football players aren’t. Free agency makes it easier for stars to move around. It has swag, meaning kids idolize these players differently than other athletes. The games are high energy, and the athleticism you see on a night-to-night basis is unreal.

I cannot understate how excited I am for this upcoming Sixers season. Even when the Sixers sucked I still followed the NBA very closely, but basketball is finally back in Philadelphia and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Game of Thrones – My Thoughts So Far

  • The chick who shows her boobs a lot can talk to dragons. They’re either her best friends or her lovers, I still haven’t figured that out yet.
  • King Joff

    Everyone knew King Joffrey was going to die but it happened way later than expected. Personally I had no idea it was coming.

  • No one knows if John Snow is dead or alive. He also could be gay. Who knows. It’s all going to be revealed this season. Maybe he’s the one who killed Joffrey?
  • The little person was stuck in jail for a while. I think it’s the same actor who plays Mickey in Seinfeld. Patrick Dinkleman or something is his real name?
  • They cast the real life strongest man in Sweden to play the little man’s father. I don’t get why he’s capable of talking to animals though, that part never made sense to me.
  • Cheater!

    The one woman cheated on someone and had to walk through the town naked while people egged her. I thought they were going to kill her, but I’m pretty sure I saw her on the ad for this new season, so she may still be okay.

  • It was fall for a while and everyone was enjoying themselves, but now winter is coming, and it’s time to go inside.

If you can’t tell, I’m PUMPED for season 4 to start.

8 Years Later, I’ve PR’d in the Mile

The Race

It was like 85 and sunny which wasn’t ideal. I knew there’d be a few in the 4:30s but didn’t want to wait if it went out slow.

Lap 1

I was in lane 1 and in the lead around the first turn but had company. Good. I was taking hand splits like a noob but had no other option. We hit 409 in 68.5. Not too bad.

Lap 2

I pushed cause I thought the pace was too slow, and it was. My mouth was also completely dry at this point. We hit 809 in 2:17.3 (68.8). A little slow, but still okay.

Lap 3

I started gapping the field a little on the third lap which was ultimately bad because we all slowed too much. We hit 1209 in 3:26.5 (69.2). Shit, this PR might not happen.

Lap 4

I knew I had something left and started going right at 400. With 200 left I had company, and could feel the guy right behind me. We kicked it in hard and finished in 4:30.90 to 4:30.99 (64.4). He says he didn’t let me win but I actually think he did and that he felt bad that I led the whole thing.

Thoughts?

I’m absolutely pumped. First REAL PR in 5 years. Experience / racing this a few times also made a huge difference.

If it was 65 degrees, overcast, and we had a pack going through in ~2:14, I genuinely think I could run close to 4:25.

“Nice race, Sam.”

I also think this has implications on my 5k potential now. I’m running more mileage than last year and am ~5-10 seconds faster in the mile. If I ran 15:44 last year, I really think I could go (well?) under 15:30. I just need a race to do it in.

Consistency pays is all I can say. I’m not doing anything drastically different other than a bit more mileage and getting to the track on a regular basis.

Hopefully there’s more to come here.

Two Milestones May Go Down in This Mile

I’m racing a mile today at GA. I ran 4:15 in the 1500 there two weeks ago while negative splitting and thinking I could run faster.

There are two milestones that I’m going for:

  • A PR – 4:33.5 from high school.
  • The Stortz Family Record – Jeff ran 4:32.x in high school and STILL has the fastest mile PR of us all.

I don’t know if there will be competition, but the weather looks okay (80 and cloudy) and I’m confident I’ll race smarter my third time around.

This guy holds my current PR.

The plan is:

  • 68.0 @ 409
  • 2:16.0 @ 809
  • 3:23 – 3:24 @ 1209
  • Go HAM.

This is my oldest PR in the book, set in May 2009. If this falls, I have to believe I’m in PR shape for the 3200, 5k, and 8k.

If I fail, I’ll delete this post.

LEGGOOO!

Heaven’s Gate Cult – Wat

A little light reading for your Sunday night.

In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate Cult committed suicide in a house in San Diego.

I watched the 45 minute documentary on Youtube and it’s pretty bonkers.

A summary:

Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles founded Heaven’s Gate, a sci-fi religious group, claiming there was a level above human, ‘heaven’ more or less, and joining the cult could take you to that level.

Marshall Applewhite

The group was super weird. They were entirely celibate, some going as far as castrating themselves, and often used enemas to “cleanse” themselves.

In 1997, the Comet Hale-Bopp passed the earth as millions watched. Applewhite took that as the sign that the group was ready to move to the “next level”.

39 members killed themselves shortly after. The group documented goodbye messages. Here’s some of what the members said prior to the suicides:

“I couldn’t have had a better life then I’ve had in these 21 years, and if it’s good here I know it’s going to be twice as good when I get up there.”

“This isn’t a troubling circumstance, don’t take it as that, it’s just a gateway.”

“What we’re doing is we’re going home. We’re going home to those individuals who sent us here to do this task. and this is the happiest and joyous thing that you can possibly imagine. We’re going home!”

The question posted in the documentary – if these 39 people all lived and died believing this and doing exactly what they wanted, is it really a wasted life?

Things like this fascinate me for some reason.

I Haven’t Brushed My Teeth in 4 Days

I left my booth brush in D.C. this weekend so I haven’t brushed my teeth since Saturday afternoon (it’s Wednesday night), though I’ve been flossing and using mouth wash.

Most people would go out and buy a toothbrush the next day.* Tasks like this are arguably my biggest flaw. I don’t know why, but I could’ve told you it would take me days to get a tooth brush.

This is what happens if you don’t brush your teeth for 11 years.

How do people hold themselves accountable for this shit?! I’m still using the personal scrum but it’s not perfect. For example, I still have “hang poster in room” which has been there for three months.

Is this just part of getting older and being more mature? Does this disappear when I hit 30?

*I just went to CVS and bought one, but wanted to write this BEFORE I brushed.

Predicting the Sixers ’17 – ’18 Season

Health

This, more than anything, will determine the success of the Sixers this year. If Embiid can play 60+ games, and Simmons / Saric / Covington / Redick have no major injuries, this team has a lot of potential in the East.

Additions

JJ Redick – A 1 year, $23 million deal is a major overpay, but for a team with a ton of cap space and in desperate need of a shooter, this is a good move.

Markelle Fultz – Looked good in his Summer League Debut and should be a much needed reliable scoring option.

Vegas / the Eastern Conference

With most major free agents going to the West, the Sixers odds of making the playoffs / winning a playoff series increased dramatically.

Vegas ranks the East in the following order:

  • Cleveland (100% ahead of the Sixers IMO)
  • Boston (100% ahead of the Sixers)
  • Washington (80-90% ahead of the Sixers)
  • Milwaukee (60-70% ahead of the Sixers)
  • Toronto (60-70% ahead of the Sixers)
  • Philadelphia

My Prediction

Assuming this team is healthy, I’d put the O/U at 44 wins.

The East is so bad that a genuine ‘bold‘ prediction would be “The Sixers host a playoff series”. You could make that statement and people wouldn’t look at you like you were crazy.

As a slightly biased observer, my predictions are:

  • 46 – 36
  • #5 seed
  • Ben Simmons is voted Rookie of the Year
  • Joel Embiid makes the All Star Team
  • Brett Brown is a Coach of the Year Finalist

Book it. Here’s some Joel Embiid for those who live under a rock.

Deadass thought I took a dribble but it doesn’t matter.. They say “Travels” are not called in the league… #TheProcess

A post shared by Joel “The Process” Embiid (@joelembiid) on