Being Nice, Chili Spice and Olympic Advice

Justin August 14, 2012 2

I have a lot of friends. Way more than you do. That’s not a reflection on you. It’s just that I’m funnier and smarter and more pleasant to be around than other people. It’s nobody’s fault.

Because I’m such a pleasure to be around, these friends like to call me and invite me to spend time with them. It happens all the time. And I go. And, invariably, I have a great time.  In the last five days I’ve had dinner at a friends house, gone out with King Ing, Bshrek and few other guys for meatballs and beer, gone to see SCP’s house band, Matt Sucich, with John from 200 miles from the Citi and Dave in Brighton/Ann Arbor/LA/Jersey City and, last night, went to a Yankee game. And, like I said, I had a great time each night.

So why does this happen?

No matter who calls me or when they call me or what activity they are proposing, my first reaction is always to try to think of a reason not to go. It starts too late; It happens too far away; I think I might get a headache in a couple of hours and I would rather be home when that happens; I need to study up on the proper use of semi-colons.

For the most part, I’ve learned to suppress the urge to give in to my first instinct. I say, “YES, I would enjoy spending time with you doing that activity. I am looking forward to our social interaction.”

And then my second instinct kicks in. How early can I leave without everyone calling me a puss?  Can I skip out after dinner, but before we go to the bar? Can I go after just 1 beer? Is there anyway I’ll get home by 10?  But, again, I usually suck it up and go with the flow of the evening and have A GREAT TIME.

So, I’ll ask again.  WHY? Why am I so resistant to fun?  I think I have figured out the answer.

Doing nothing is my favorite thing in the entire world. Sitting on the couch and kind of looking at TV without really paying attention is the apex of my personal experience. There is not a thing on the planet that tops it for me. Not a nice dinner, not a night of drinking, not a baseball game, not a strip club. It all pales in comparison to a night full of quietly wasted time.

There isn’t anything I like more than nothing and there’s nothing I can do about that.

Sports Illustrated: August 13th, 2012



Let’s get this out of the way. Sports Illustrated has now made it impossible to see anything online that appears in the current issue of the magazine, including the cover. I had to get the picture from google images. That means I can no longer block quote from the articles I’m referencing. Which is too bad, since I’m about to reference a very specific writing choice made by Joe Sheehan in his “Inside Baseball” column. I’ve been critical of Sheehan for sucking all the soul and personality out of baseball and replacing it with naked stats. Well, this time I’m going to give him credit for actually trying to add a little bit of spirit into his writing. In discussing Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, Sheehan references Cincinnati’s famous chili, which is more tangy than spicy. He says the city no longer needs spicy chili because Chapman’s fastball provides all the heat that’s necessary.  It’s not a great metaphor by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if someone else had written it, I would probably rip them for forcing a comparison. But, for Sheehan, I think it’s a nice effort. Baby steps.


It’s another week of nothing but Olympics articles. Once again, I didn’t read them. But, now that the Summer Games are over I think I might as well share my observations.


-The London Games seem to have been a rousing success. Aside from the usual whining about tv tape delays, I don’t think anyone had any real criticisms of the Olympics. And those TV decisions are not the fault of the organizers in London. So, nice job, London.

-Maybe I’m not remembering the past correctly, but I feel like the Olympics were a lot more omnipresent this year than they were in the past. Its possible the reason for this is a lack of one true breakout star. Last time, it was all Michael Phelps all the time, so all the coverage was centered on him.  This time, there was Ryan Lochte and Phelps and Gabby Douglass and Oscar Pistorius and Usain Bolt and that rowing guy with the boner and Aly Raissman’s bored face internet meme and any number of other characters.  That’s a lot more stories for the media to cover. Maybe that’s why it felt so ubiquitous.

– I was able to come up with that list off the top of my head without ever having sat down to watch the nightly coverage.

-The track and field events didn’t get as much attention as they have in past years.

-At one point during the first week of coverage, I did put on NBC for a few minutes. I saw 17 year old Missy Franklin receive her gold medal. She was singing along to the national anthem with tears in her eyes.  It got me.

-I did watch a lot of the basketball. The main thing I took away from that is that Doug Collins is a GREAT broadcaster. He’s a decent coach. He is a GREAT broadcaster. Was it weird for him to do games featuring Andre Iguadola, one of his players with the 76ers? Was it even weirder to call the gold medal game after Iguadola had been traded?

-Coach K says he’s done as coach of the US Men’s basketball team. This morning, Dan Patrick threw Collins’ name out there as a possible successor. I like that idea. Collins is obviously a good coach, he’s dealt with egos his whole career (he coached Michael Jordan as a rookie and then again as an old washed up Washington Wizard) and, most importantly, Collins was robbed of a gold medal in 1972. It would be a cool bookend for his basketball career.



  1. Elaine Ewing August 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm -

    You’d have watched more if they’d have shown the shark and T-Rex events!

  2. Portugal Chiropractic August 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm -

    I’m actually built the same way. My knee jerk reaction to an invite, is to think of ways to get out of it. A lot of people worry about spending the night in, but a real quiet day is a gift for me. Speaking of Michael Phelps, I wonder if this is really his last Olympic games?

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