The New York Times travel section sometimes publishes stories called “36 hours in..” Well, this past weekend, I did my own version of that. I spent 40 hours in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Going in, I thought “That’s a long flight for a short trip.” And now that it’s done, I can confirm that. It is definitely a long flight for such a short trip. It screwed with my head a little. I woke up at 6am on Friday in New York, caught a flight at around 10 and landed in Arizona at about 12:30 Pacific time. Throughout the day Friday, every time I looked at the clock, I automatically added three hours to determine what time it “really was.” At the end of a long night, when I was in a cab on the way home from a club*, I saw that it was 3am. Up until that moment, I felt alright. I was tired, but not exhausted. But, once again, I looked at the clock and added three hours.
“Well, I’ve been up for a solid 24 hours and I’ve had a bit too much to drink,” said my brain to my body. And, just like that, I was really tired. And so I slept pretty well that night. I woke up the next morning at 9:30, but again, thought to myself,”Get out of bed! It’s 12:30. you’re going to waste the whole day.” That instinct finally started to wear out in the middle of the afternoon, while we were sitting in the stands of an Angels-Brewers spring training game. After the game came a couple of hours by the pool then dinner at a nice steakhouse before the day ended with a late night trip to the casino. By that time, my thinking had shifted. Every time I looked at the clock, I didn’t add 3 hours. Instead, I started subtracting.
“Uh-oh, I have to wake up in 3 hours to go the airport.”
40 hours is not a lot of time to squeeze in a vacation.
*A note on Clubs:
You are not wrong to find it odd to read that I was in a club. It is not the sort of place where I usually find myself. But, I went on this trip with my brother and his friends and this was something they wanted to do, so I went in without complaint.
I usually skip right through the pictures in SI’s “Leading Off” section every week, but the magazine did something cool this time out. Each picture is a fringe major leaguer trying to make it back to the big leagues. And each caption tells the players story. I liked it a lot. I also hope, if Micah Owings doesn’t make it with the Nats, that maybe the Yankees give him a look. He’s got to be better than Juan Rivera.
Bracket Racket by Kelli Anderson
Anderson puts out her bracket and her explanations as to why she picked each game. She got 10 wrong in the first round. That’s about average.
Raising Junior by Tim Layden
A strange profile of Indiana star Victor Oladipo. Oladipo’s father essentially withholds all love and praise from his son in order to keep the son hungry. And, though it seems to work, the father must realize that it’s not a socially acceptable way to parent. Layden seems to catch him in a lie about attending games without letting his son know he was there. And the man’s wife is the one who calls him on the lie. Strange.
5 Minute Guide by Luke Winn
CHARTS AND LISTS!
Special Forces by Kelli Anderson
I read a four page article about the “glue” players on the top women’s teams in the country. Yet, there is zero chance that I will watch even a second of the women’s tournament. So, why did I read it?
The Hell of Fame by Seth Davis
A profile of referee Ted Davis, who was once a young, brash official who acted like a dick. Sounds like he’s now an old, brash official who acts like a dick.
Seen Benny? Have Him Give Me A Call by L. Jon Wertheim
This was my favorite SI article in months. Wertheim sets out to find Benny Anderson, the other guy on the great Phi Slamma Jamma teams at the University of Houston. The fact that he ultimately fails in his mission makes this story all the more interesting.
Cliff’s Edge by Lee Jenkins
I did not need to know about Chris Paul’s problems with canker sores. Otherwise, this profile of the Clippers point guard is pretty boiler plate.
Art of the Deal Gone Wrong by S.L. Price
The one thing you learn from this profile of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and team President David Samson is that everyone hates them and is rooting for them to fail. Is there any other city in the country where the Mayor can come out and say, “every time our major league team loses, I win?”
Point After by Phil Taylor
As usual, I agree with the point Taylor is making, that Derrick Rose should come back when he thinks he’s ready, not when fans and team officials decide it’s time. But, as usual, I wish Taylor would just make his point without spending the first half of the column making giant generalities about the way “sports fans” think. It always sounds like he’s questioning his readers’ intelligence.