May 2, 2012

-image-how is this possible?

It’s all over the news here in San Diego:

Junior Seau, one of my favorite Chargers ever and one of the most universally beloved, too, just committed suicide.

His mom is only just now on the scene here in San Diego.

I cannot even take this in. I’m stunned.

Stunned and sick.

Update: Good Lord. The news just showed an aerial shot of his home on the beach with his 17-year-old son tearing up the driveway to the door, the police trying to restrain him and then letting him go. I’m in tears. This is horrible.

Seriously. The two most beloved sports figures here in SD are Tony Gwynn and …… Junior Seau.


The whole city is now at a standstill because of this.

October 17, 2010

-image-the pinkening

The pinkening of the NFL is making me sick.

Look, breast cancer is horrible. ALL cancer is horrible. It’s a plague. But is any adult alive actually unaware of breast cancer?

My BIL has oral cancer, a much more aggressive form of cancer — and it’s on the rise. It’s on the rise in the 20-50 age group mainly because of ….. sex.

So allow me to interrupt my post with an annoying and gratuitously gross PSA:

Approximately 30% of all oral cancers are caused by HPV-16, the strain of HPV that causes cervical cancers. Studies show that most adults who have more than one sexual partner in their lives WILL contract HPV — that’s how prevalent the virus itself is — but most cases will resolve on their own without the person even knowing they had it. Others will morph into oral cancer, which is generally caught at late stage with a five-year survival of 40%. Neat stuff. Some HPV infections can lay dormant for for 10-20 years before they cause cancer. Others who contract HPV and have a certain rare genetic mutation could have their HPV morph into this.

(And I am warning you, pippa, IN THE MOST SEVERE TERMS, that if you scroll down to look at those photos, they could very well make you throw up. I AM NOT KIDDING IN THE LEAST. If you saw “Grey’s Anatomy” a couple of weeks ago, you saw this. The difference is what they depicted on the show — which almost made me barf — was actually TAME compared to the reality. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.)

Is anyone aware of THAT? No. No, they’re not. You can contract HPV from French kissing, oral sex, and intercourse. Basically, all the fun stuff. But have at it willy nilly. I’m not your mom. Still, if you don’t want your teenagers sexing each other up, just show them those pictures, ‘mkay?

Well. All righty. Calm down, Trace. That was a huge tangent from what I originally intended.

Look. We are ALL aware of breast cancer, aren’t we? It invades every facet of our lives for the entire month of October, which used to be a fun month about ghosts and goblins and gorging on candy. Now it’s all about boobs and not in a fun gropey way, but in a morbid tragic way. And now October football is all about boobs too, and not in a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader way, but in an I’m a burly man in stupid pink cleats kind of way. For three Sundays now, I’ve tuned in to watch my beloved football — and my boyfriend Cocoa Bear — only to be assaulted by the sight of giant brutes in macho helmets, beefy shoulder pads, and hot pink arm bands. Oh, and pink gloves. And pink chin straps. When they’re not playing, they sit on the sidelines sporting more pink gear. Oh, look. There’s Peyton Manning in a pink baseball cap. (I’m a girl and I don’t own a pink baseball cap.) There’s Legedu Naanee wiping his face with a pink towel. There’s the bottom of the goal post itself, wrapped in hot pink padding.

There are already so many venues for breast cancer awareness. Does it really need to invade the football field now too? Can’t I just watch football and think about football and not whether my boobs or the boobs of my friends are going to fall off? Please? Can I just, uhm, enjoy the game and not feel guilty because I just want to enjoy the game?

I hate misogyny, I really do, but I also hate the way women seem to insist on invading every damn space that once was men’s. How much do we want to take away from men in the name of equality or “awareness”? How much contempt do we have for men and the things that make men men? How feminized do we want them to be? Seriously. I love men and I want men to be men and I want men to have places that are just for men because those things are part of the beautiful manliness of men. Unless women are willing to have Prostate Cancer Awareness month — which apparently is September and there’s a baby blue ribbon involved and who even knew that stuff? — in the WNBA or the LPGA, which would be a form of equality and awareness, then I say knock it off, Susan G. Komen, et al. It makes me sick that you expect men to do what you’re not willing to do. (And even if you did do it, it wouldn’t be comparable in terms of audience because, honestly, who gives a tiny rat’s bottom about the WNBA or the LPGA? Not me, that’s for sure.) Rates of prostate cancer in men are comparable to breast cancer rates in women. But is there anywhere NEAR the clamor over that that there is about breast cancer? No. No, there’s not. My dad has prostate cancer, WNBA. Where are your baby blue shoes and baby blue ribbons and baby blue basketball nets? Where?

Enough with the hypocrisy. I barf on you all.

And leave my football alone.

Can’t we just let the NFL be the NFL instead of “A Very Special Episode of the NFL”?

October 11, 2010

-image-there’s no crying in football

On Sunday, the Chargers lost a very winnable game to our arch enemies, the Oakland Raiders. Final score 35-27.

This kid was upset about it, too.

I feel ya, dawg.

September 11, 2010

-image-mary carillo badminton flashback

Now I love Mary Carillo just in general. Her Wimdledon and US Open commentary with her childhood friend and one-time mixed doubles partner John McEnroe is priceless. They have great chemistry.

But here she is at the 2004 Athens Olympics doing a commentary on badminton. About 1:20 in, she goes off the rails. I don’t know if it’s calculated or if she’s having some sudden traumatic badminton flashback, but it’s hilarious. She’s so deadpan with that low voice. I love her and now I love her even more.

(Yeah, she does have a low voice, but the sound quality on this makes it sound even lower. I’m listening to her on TV at the Open even as I write this, and it’s not THAT low.)

“The tree is now groaning with children ……”

“Then you see Christopher Burr — and it’s always Christopher Burr — take a rollerblade ….”

The look on her face when she says “Christopher Burr” is hysterical.

I keep replaying this, and it just gets funnier to me. I really don’t think it was planned. I think she’s riffing. The YouTube page that features this says it was “taken off the air in the middle of the night.” If that’s true, why?

It’s hilarious.

March 19, 2010

-image-what else lacrosse is

At one point in the game, a kid on the other team fell to the ground and stayed there for a little too long. A coach ran out. Another coach ran out. I think his dad ran out. He just lay there. There was silence until the coach yelled, “Get the cart!” A murmur of panic went through the small crowd in the stands. They loaded the kid onto the red cart and as it passed slowly below us, you could see his lower leg bent at a very bad angle. He was not making a single peep, that kid. Shock.

Turns out, he broke his tibia. The kid quietly broke his tibia.

That’s what else lacrosse is.

March 18, 2010

-image-what lacrosse is

Lacrosse is a giant game of keep away with big sticks and little butterfly nets and a tiny frustrating ball.

That’s what it is, pippa.

Boys in long shorts and long jerseys and helmets and footwear run around a field and, get this, BEHIND the goal if they want, wielding, uh — sticks? batons? 2 x 4s? — with little nets on the end. They catch an alleged ball in these little nets, although I can’t claim to have actually seen this alleged ball from my personal vantage point with my personal myopic eyes.

So let’s change my definition:

Lacrosse is a giant game of keep away with big sticks and little butterfly nets and a tiny frustrating ball played by people who can actually see the tiny frustrating ball.

That’s all I know.

But, thank God, my dad was there to explain things to me. He doesn’t know what lacrosse is either, but he’s a dad. He explains things. That’s his job. Even now, with his full-grown daughter, he does his duty. And without fail, whether or not he actually knows things, he does his duty and explains them. He’s a dad.

“See, Tray, the guys on offense have the longer sticks.”

He placed the merest emphasis on the word longer. Knowing my dad, it was purely innocent. But I started to laugh because I’m an immature cow.

Dad kept to his duty.

“And the defenders have shorter sticks.”

Again, the slightest emphasis. I frowned.

“Ohhh. Hm. Bummer, Dad.”

His eyes widened at me in shock. Uh-oh. I was pretty sure I was seconds away from being sent to the car for the rest of the game. Then, phew, I remembered I’m a big ol’ grownup with my very own car. Still, the threat looms eternal, doesn’t it?

A split second later, though, Dad was giggling and saying “Tracey!” in a mock scolding voice.

Timeout averted.

Dad was eating a hamburger when we got there. No. Not merely eating. For 5 bucks, he got a hamburger, some chips, and a soda, and he was chowing down like a starving man at a dumpster. I tell you true: When he’s not at home, that man eats utter trash. Only if Mom can’t see, though. That’s his rebellion. Man doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, doesn’t swear, doesn’t hang at the tittywiggles. He simply eats trash whenever he’s away from home. One night a few years back, MB went to my parents’ house to talk to Dad about something and had to wait for Dad, who was on a last-minute errand. When Dad pulled up in the driveway and got out of the car, the wrappers from two Haagen Dazs bars dangled from the door opening then drifted slowly to the ground. He had a smudge of chocolate in the corner of his mouth. He’d only run this quick errand — away from mom, you see — but had made sure that part of the errand involved stuffing two Haagen Dazs bars into his mouth during the mere moments he was out of the house. Why oh why do you take these insane risks, Dad?? And caught red-handed with wrappers and chocolate?? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

MB motioned to his mouth.

“Dad, you’ve got a little chocolate there.”

He didn’t want Dad to be busted. Nope. He stood by him, stalwart in male solidarity.

“Oh! Oh! Thanks!” Dad said, wiping his mouth and stuffing the telltale wrappers into his jogging suit pockets.

You see, venue and furtiveness are the keys to my dad’s junk eating. He sticks to one unspoken principle about these indulgences: location, location, location. A car, a camping trip, a lacrosse game. It is always away from home, and because he was away from home last night, he was allowed to commence his gleeful junk eating. He doesn’t hide it from his kids, just Mom, and we’re all willing enablers in this because he’s skinny and that’s irksome. Drat him, anyway. Eat another burger, Dad.

So, yeah, MB and I caught Dad redhanded last night with his half-eaten greasy ballpark burger.

“Wow, Dad. That’s quite a burger,” I said.

“Yep!” He just smiled and munched away, no guilt, happy as a little boy.

Location, location, location.

We found some seats. The game started. Dad further explained things he knew nothing of in his role as dad and I questioned his knowledge of things I knew nothing of in my role as kid. And in this way, we communicated. About what, I don’t know, but that’s not the point.

Turns out, Elder Nephew was some kind of a defender, tall and menacing, whacking dudes with his stick because they were whacking him with their sticks first. That’s how it seemed me anyway, as his loving aunt. I mean, what’s a kid to do? Beat or be beaten. And that’s the game. An organized gang beating with sticks interrupted by the occasional flinging of a tiny frustrating ball at someone’s head.

During half-time, Elder Nephew sauntered over to the giant Gatorade cooler, all casual and no biggie about the gang beatings, and took a giant swig. He was facing us, but we were way up in the giant concrete slab of the bleachers. We began to wave at him like loons. On purpose. Wave, wave, peace sign, we’re cool, wave, wave, wave. And that kid would just not give it up. Pretended not to see us. Would NOT acknowledge us. Well, really, we knew he wouldn’t because, duh, it was hideous what we were doing, very uncool, but did we stop? No. We just became more and more entranced with our hideousness.

At one point, during the lunatic waving, MB said, “I think we should all start yelling at him: ‘NEPHHHHHEW! IT’S UNCLE BELOVED!! AND TEE TEEEEEEE!!! AND POP-POPPPPPPPPPPP!!!'”

With each name, each increasingly ridiculous name, MB’s voice got higher. And higher. My dad fell apart at the insane whine MB achieved on “POP-POPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!” The three of us were howling. Crying. Dad shrieked, “Do it. Do it! Yell at him! Do it!!” He was shaking, laughing, fortified from his dinner of grease and high fructose corn syrup. The man was clearly high.

But we didn’t do that to Elder Nephew. We couldn’t. We wanted to, oh so desperately. But we do love the kid and we want him to still love us. Or maybe, you know, start to love us at some point in the future, fingers crossed. So we just kept it to ourselves, there in the concrete of the bleachers, Dad and I repeatedly begging MB, “Do it again! Do it again!! DO IT AGAINNN!!”

You know, just three manic children, watching a bunch of boys beat each other with sticks.

Oh, Elder Nephew’s team won 7 stick beatings to a measly 5.

And that’s what lacrosse is.

March 17, 2010

-image-a big sporting event

So I’m going to Elder Nephew’s lacrosse game in a few hours.

Uhm ….. what’s lacrosse??

January 17, 2010

-image-uhm, you didn’t pray hard enough

UGH! The perpetual angst of being a Chargers’ fan! We win — what? — 11 in a row and then in our first playoff game, we play our WORST game of the season.

Our field goal kicker, one of the most consistent legs in the game, missed 3 field goals. We get personal foul after personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct and whatnot. Stuff we NEVER get. Crazy. Stupid.

Final score: NY Jets 17, SD Chargers 14.

Coulda used those 3 field goals, couldn’t we?

We always choke in the post-season.


And now we will not speak of the Chargers for the next 9 months.

-image-big game today

So MB is at the coffeehouse this morning, picking up goodies for us, and as he’s leaving, a vaguely homeless looking man in a Chargers’ t-shirt approaches him on the sidewalk. Out of the blue, the man says, “Dude! Pray for the Chargers, man!!”

MB, a good sport, looked at him and said, “Oh, I will, man. I will.”

Oh, yes. Pray for the Chargers, man.


January 10, 2010

-image-oh, i hate that “jared” from subway

I mean, he was on the post-game show just now with Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason and Bill Cowher — actual famous people who’ve done actual stuff — standing stage left behind a dinky table loaded with Subway sandwiches.

Demonstrating how to use them, I guess.

It suddenly gave me flashbacks to my glorious shopping channel hosting days when I had to “demonstrate” how to use a pillowcase.

I am totally serious.

Fleghh. Go away, Jared. Get fat again and go away.

Please. Do it for me. I will give you a pillowcase and show you how to use it.

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