One of the great joys of living in the same neighborhood for over a decade is that you start to build genuine relationships with the people around you.
I love that the Dry Cleaner knows my name when I walk in. I like that the guy at the “Discount Depot,” remembers what I bought last time. I like waving hello to the owners of the frame shop and the nail salon on the ground floor of my building.
I’m a little iffy on the lady at the Italian Restaurant recognizing my voice when I call to place an order, referring to me as the Snapple Man (obviously because I order Snapple every time, not because I am a male version of the Snapple Lady) and telling me she was expecting my call. That makes me feel like a fatty boombalattie.
But, for some reason, the one dude that really bothers me is the guy at Banana Republic. First of all, it’s a chain store. There should be no neighborhood feel there. It’s faceless and anonymous. Secondly, I don’t go there all that much, maybe once a month. And finally, I’ve never actually interacted with this guy in any way beyond, “Can I help you with something?” “No, I’m just looking.”
So, I found it very odd that the last time I was in the store, he came over to introduce himself again, told me a story about how he had been sick over the holidays (Maybe lead with that BEFORE you shake my hand, guy,) then decided to walk me through every new item they’ve gotten since the last time I was in the store. I said thanks and tried to walk away, but he kept following and showing me new stuff. I just wanted to kill a few minutes by looking around the store but now I’m getting song and verse about the fall collection. I found the whole thing very uncomfortable. So, I left. And I don’t think I ever want to go back in there.
Looks like I’m gonna become a J Crew guy from here on out.
Up until this week, I had never heard of former Arizona Cardinals Fullback Reagan Maui’a. Then, on Wednesday, he came out and said he had met Manti Te’o's imaginary dead girlfriend in person. Later, I picked up Sports Illustrated and found Maui’a quoted in a story about Junior Seau, saying he used to imagine he was the Hall of Fame linebacker. So, he knew the imaginary person in real life and imagined the real one.
I like what Sports Illustrated did with it’s NHL preview this year. A shortened season deserves a shortened preview and that’s what it gets. SI provides answers to some key questions and identifies players expected to have big years. They got in, they got out. Nice, clean and easy.
OK, Now We Get It by Austin Murphy
Here’s your profile of Colin Kaepernick. Seems like a nice kid.
The Games of His Life by Peter King
It’s interesting that King writes this profile of Flacco, while the responsibility for predicting the results of the championship games is left to Ben Reiter. Does it have something to do with the fact that, last week, King predicted the Packers would beat the Broncos in the Superbowl?
Too Big To Succeed by Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy
I had some trouble reading this article. I mean that literally. The prospect of an article about the Red Sox falling apart forced all the blood out of my head and into my nether regions. But, once I recovered, I think I enjoyed it. Would I read this book? Would I want to give money to Dan Shaughnessy? I’m not sure.
The Old Man And The Tee by Justin Heckert
Sometimes, the best articles in Sports Illustrated are the ones that are only tangentially related to sports. This profile of wanna be college kicker Nathan Noble is one of them. I’m not sure if the military veteran is on the Wyoming roster or just wants to be. It doesn’t matter. Instead, its an article about what it’s like for vets returning home to a world that hasn’t changed.
Should We Believe In Melo? by Chris Ballard
This is a great article by Chris Ballard because it asks the exact question that every Knick fan has asked themselves all season. Will Bad Melo return? When will that happen? There is no answer.
Point After by Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor writes about the Royce White situation in Houston. And he made me look at the controversy in a whole new way. So, that was great. Nice job, Phil Taylor.