5-14-17: Fitzthoughts Five: The Mother’s Day Post

 

Image result for mother's day movie
Apparently Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson made a movie last year called Mother’s Day. Not like I needed an excuse to post pictures of those two, so good timing there.  Also shows how I haven’t been to the movies since Daniel Day-Lewis starred in Lincoln, but I digress.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day from central Indiana. Good time to post for the first time since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a quick Fitzthoughts Five on what’s been going on as late (or in other words what excuses have kept me from posting besides no Indiana University coaching changes):

THOUGHT ONELIBRARY LIVING: Previous posts probably had a mention or two about dealing with my old pals at Comcast. Chalk on some computer problems and yours truly had the honor of hitting of the Hamilton East Public Library to write papers and do schoolwork that was not related to this blog. (Hard to write 15 page papers for PhD programs on Verizon Wireless LG cell phones.) While the cable is now cut off with a mysterious ending credit that has not appeared as of yet, the internet set up just now got settled to where I no longer go from work to said library in order to do 2-3 hours of homework each weeknight. Though if anyone ever asks, one can get 2 1/2 to 3 hours of free log-in time at said library’s computer lab depending on who’s trying to stay awake at their front desk. Hence sometimes I needed the library card (which of course had never been used because I usually go to said library as often as local Indiana sports teams win big games) and sometimes I didn’t. But it got the job done in order to transition to….

THOUGHT TWO-PAPER PROFICIENCY: …writing the before mentioned 15 page paper for this past PhD class at good ol’ Indiana Tech. In order to that I had to take off last Saturday from work so said paper could be thrown down. I was fortunate that it was a take home exam so I got to answer multiple questions on the rights and wrongs of whether I agreed with fictional case studies on Peru mining towns and if leadership model A was the baddest #!$^$ on the planet compared to leadership model 3. After cussing outloud for five straight minutes asking why in the $@$%! I was wasting a nice Saturday to type about said stuff as opposed to daydreaming about the summer before I went to college number one when I saw the tremendous trio of Noblesville HIgh School cheerleading stars Jenny Story, Jenny Flaugher and Keri Caswell in bikinis (details here) or anything else that did not want me to hurl the computer desktop out the window. Fortunately around 4 pm I said to $!$% with it and hunkered down to get the damn thing done before the midnight deadline. It was submitted at 9:30 pm, and I ended getting the grade needed to keep said A minus (I had a 92 when I needed a 93 for the all out A, but quite frankly I didn’t give two s—ts because the class was over). But if one wants to know how to NOT spend a nice Saturday evening, there you have it.

Leads to…

THOUGHT THREE-PISSPOOR PACER PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES: as is the case every spring since my days at said Noblesville High School (aka the Sonland) when the Indiana Pacers began to lose pro basketball playoff series with regularity, I scheduled my work and school time around watching their inevitable beatdown courtesy of ESPN’s favorite son LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. As they tend to do with the routineness of Hamilton County shucking out another piece of farmland for a subdivision, the Pacers ensured to take defeat from the jaws of victory on multiple occassions in order to get swept 4 games to zilch in losing the the defending NBA champs. Couldn’t even win a game. Of course I didn’t expect them to win the series-after all, this is an organization that keeps Donnie Walsh on the payroll to apparently fall asleep during home games because ownership considers him the modern day Einstein of NBA basketball thinking-so I looked at said beatings as a way to evaluate the team and see who I would personally prefer to be on the team’s roster in 2017-18 instead of picking up inflated paychecks to underachieve against the likes of Toronto, Boston and Milwaukee. Here’s what I found:

-the hardcore fans of the Pacers Digest message board lived up to standards as multiple individuals blamed Paul George for everything from the losing sweep to the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. (Ironically one of the posters kept calling said All-Star George a baby throughout the entire year, and unironically dude’s avatar includes Democratic Party approved tyke Stewie Griffin from Fox’s Family Guy so..GTFO on that). Dude averaged 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists a game in the series. You know who didn’t, Seth McFarlane fan? Your man Monta Ellis, that’s who. (Ellis is StewieFan’s favorite player. Shocking, I know.) Your son Ellis scored 22 POINTS THE ENTIRE SERIES. He was brought in to get the team 15 to 20 points PER GAME. Dude’s done as an NBA starter unless he goes to a bad Western Conference team and gets to jack 15 to 20 shots a game. Then again I’d have no issue with it as I’d prefer to not see Ellis play another game in a Pacer uniform again. He was that bad this year. Like the idiot I am, I watched enough games to know.

Myles Turner has a long way to go before becoming the NBA All-Star the Pacers expect him to be. Turner was Tristan Thompson’s b—- the entire series. 12 points and 7 boards a game won’t cut it in big games. However there’s a half glass full/half glass empty dynamic involved. Half glass full is dude is only 21 and hasn’t reached full potential yet. Half glass empty is your NBA team is pretty s—-ty when your second best player is 21. Which means….

-….I hope to never see CJ Miles, Al Jefferson, or Lavoy Allen ever wear Indiana Pacers uniforms again.  Miles put up 29 points combined in the four playoff losses; not surprisingly some Pacers Digest board members believe Miles is bound to be in the Hall of Fame someday, so they feel losing him from the roster would be a catastrophe. News flash: said Pacers Digest people make me feel like a nuclear physicist after reading garbage like that. (Miles is the icon in waiting that Larry Bird signed in 2014 during Bird’s offseason salary battle with Lance Stephenson; as Bird had to bring back Stephenson JUST TO MAKE THE F—-ING PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR as well as to avoid having a losing regular season record, I’d rather have Pamela Anderson’s CJ Parker from Baywatch out there on the court. Which of course led to me daydreaming about Pamela Anderson for a few moments. You’re not surprised, I know.). I’ve talked about Allen’s worthlessness before so nothing’s changed there. Jefferson? Couldn’t even get on the court during the playoff series. Hence Jefferson (the big $10 million per year addition to be the bench scorer the Pacers have been searching for since George HW Bush was in the White House) was, yes, more worthless than Allen. Enough said. Could have carted out any undrafted rookie to do what he did this year at 1/10th the cost. Then again, a Donnie Walsh team is not afraid to waste money no matter how many Indianapolis sportswriters are on the team’s payroll to tell you that the Pacers are the best franchise in professional sports……which again enforces said point about wasting said money.

TLDR: no Ellis and no Jefferson in Pacer uniforms will make me happy next year. No Allen should be a given.  And the Pacers have posted records of 38-44 (no playoffs), 45-37 (losing 4 out of 7 games to Toronto in a playoff opening round) and 42-40 (losing 4 straight to Cleveland in another playoff opening round) since deciding said CJ Miles was a key member of a championship contender. CJ Miles would not be a key member of his nephew’s latest Playstation game, so….no. Miles IS good at losing NBA games, though, as he’s been doing it for 12 years now. I’d prefer the Pacers to not overpay this individual to make it a baker’s dozen. But these are the Pacers, so I’m ready for Miles to get re-signed to a $10 million annual deal and not blink twice. It’s what they do. Which means no money for….

-…Jeffrey DeMarcus Teague who supposedly will command a salary of $20 million in the open market next year. Dude actually is a competent NBA point guard on offense (top 10 in the NBA in assists, 15 points per game on the scoring front) while kind of worthless on defense (Cleveland part-time senior citizen Kyrie Irving dropped 25 points per game on Teague in the playoffs, including a 37 point effort in the second game that ensured the Pacers would get swept). Hence you could spend $20 million more usefully….like keeping Paul George in town so you could have a reason to watch the team to begin with. So Teague’s situation will be the toughest call the Pacers front office will have to make. As the front office will now be led by the man who once drafted Greg Oden over Kevin Durant and includes indiviuals who preferred George Hill over Kawhi Leonard, not real encouraging. Hence again I’m ready for that 5 year, $50 million CJ Miles contract to get inked because Pacers.

-lastly Thaddeus Charles Young is, well, Thaddeus Charles Young: an undersized power forward with an oversized contract who is underwhelming when asked to be a starter alongside a center (Turner) who prefers to shoot three pointers because Young also prefers to shoot three pointers and not really do too much to win games. Averages of 11 points and 6 rebounds a game are not iconic for an NBA starter who made $14 million this year and cost this franchise a first round pick who could have been just as productive while NOT making $14 million a year. His one good trait in my view: not being either Al Jefferson or Lavoy Allen. Yes, I’m grasping for straws on that one.

With Larry Bird deciding to take a lesser role (read: not be the main man in charge of personnel mdecision making while keeping his hopes alive of owning an NBA team by being involved with said Indiana NBA team to possibly own one day) while Kevin Pritchard (the man who picked Oden over Durant when he was the main front office dude with Portland) takes over the lead role, the Pacers front office at least acted like they are attempting to make changes to compete and not be a mediocre POS team like they’ve been the last three seasons. But if Ellis and Jefferson are still on the roster next year doing jack s–t, then I’m not going to expect too much out of Pritchard until both those dudes are long gone. Perhaps Turner will be the next great NBA legend. Perhaps this blog will be the inspiration for an Academy Award winning movie with New York Times approved actress Meryl Streep in the lead. Hence I’m not counting on an NBA championship parade in Indianapolis next summer. Nor should I, really. 40 years of losing countless NBA games that matter will do that.

Good luck, Mr. Pritchard. If you read this you know my expectations are low, but you also know that my stupid a– will watch your team next year anyway. Win win for all involved.

Oh yeah, other points….

THOUGHT FOUR: WEEKEND WALKING– growing up in Noblesville (aka Sonland City) meant riding your bike around streets with potholes and having limited options of things to do. You had a skating rink (now torn down), a Pizza Hut (now relocated), a McDonald’s (now remodeled) and emphasis on going to high school football and basketball games (the latter in which would lead me to being your dude who sat with two clipboards keeping stats for the school teams as mentioned verbatum during senior year…which at least kept me out of having to work weekends at Shoe Carnival, so there’s that). I never figured that the adult version of me would see Noblesville not have pothole plagued streets, much less look respectable to walk around in. However tax money aplenty and modernization have led to the city actually being a place that I can handle; it also has led to a place that I don’t mind walking around in for some sort of exercise or just to stay calm during weekends where one needs a break from routines like writing 15 page papers that make you want to throw furniture or throw down a fifth of the nearest available beverage.

Hence at least once a weekend I try to go for a 30 minute walk around the area. I’ve had back to back Sundays where I got to stroll through downtown into Forest Park (which was once a place with a couple bad shelters, a baseball field, a pool and a broken down minature golf course) and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I also had no problem dining downtown at the local Subway or even going by foot to McDonald’s. It leads to memories good (like the time I won the North Elementary “Hoop Shoot” basketball contest for my grade by hitting the most layup baskets in 30 seconds, which incidentally was the most I ever got to shoot in elementary school but that’s another story) and not so good (getting hit by a car one time while riding said bike). It also leads to a kind of important memory, which will be….

THOUGHT FIVE: THE PROM DATE. I’ve only babbled about this every single time I’ve posted since starting this blog last year, but I’ve talked about wanting to recap the prom because 1) it was what inspired me to start the @fitzthoughts account on Instagram while 2) then helping me to start said fitzthoughtsblog as well as 3) being influencial in what I knew I had to do to fully improve myself with my time at the Sonland ending and my time at college number one (Transylvania University of Lexington, Kentucky, aka Transy to alums and Lexington 40508 to me) beginning.  Last week (May 11, to be exact) was the anniversary of said prom. Whether eating at a Ruby Tuesday’s in Anderson and seeing Anderson area youth decked out at said restaurant for their proms (which was a few years ago) or dealing with job training stuff (which was this year) I always seem to remember that particular date. While said Prom Date in question-one Sarah Jane Fox-probably has little concern on whether I am breathing, paying taxes or losing fantasy football playoff games on an annual basis, nonetheless it was kind of important. Considering I was a 5 foot 4, 200 pound freshman and felt like I had an uphill battle just to try to look like anything resembling a normal dude in high school (see here for examples) just going to the damn prom was a big deal to begin with, and to go with a beautiful girl made it even better.  As if the avatar photo for the blog and (as of this typing) the Instagram account isn’t subtle enough, right?

Like I said, it was pretty important. Now it’s time for me to get off my a– and write a litte about why it was important.  Or as the case tends to me, a lot.

Time to write that post then. After all, beats homework. (Plus next assignment’s not due Wednesday. Management of time in full effect.)

Thanks to any and all who read this and again Happy Mother’s Day.

Jeff

@fitzthoughts on Instagram

@fitzthoughtsblog on Tumblr

fitzthoughtsblog.wordpress.com

 

 

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12-25-16: Christmas with Diamond Jim and the Dysfunctional Duo: The First Post of December

9:57 am on a Central Indiana Christmas morning as I type this sentence. As always a nice gap between posts thanks due to school (final stuff wrapped up last weekend) and doing 10 hour days here and there on the work front. With a four day weekend given due to Christmas falling on a Sunday, yours truly worked 7 am to 2 pm on Friday (the office was closed but the department was there to do extra stuff) and then began holiday shopping at 2:01 pm of said Friday. Learned a valuable lesson: lots of people do the same thing. The result was me doing the vast majority of said shopping in and around semi-scenic downtown Noblesville (known to those who may read this blog as Sonland City)  with a 1 am trip on Christmas Eve to the local Kohl’s. Line was the longest I’d ever seen when I went at 3 pm. That was not the case at 1 am as I took advantage of the store being open 24 hours. Family holiday stuff was taken care of last night, and here I am typing in the midst of doing laundry while enjoying some peace and quiet (and most importantly no $!$%#@ school work) before debating if I stay at said school or decide to go elsewhere. (More on that later because, well, holidays. Forget I mentioned it.)

But as the post title notes there was something to do before said holiday functions: attempt to watch the local professional football franchise-Diamond Jim Irsay’s Indianapolis Colts by way of Baltimore in 1984– try to keep their small as f— playoff chances alive by trying to defeat an Oakland Raiders team that on paper was every bit superior both on the field and in the coaching ranks when compared to Irsay’s approved boys of head coach/University of Miami supporter Ground Chuck Pagano and front office savant/general manager/ex-Eagles super scout ‘Big Grig’ Ryan Grigson. I had expected a loss where the locals would find a way to lose close by screwing around via bad Pagano decisions and the inability to get defensive stops when it mattered most. Not like I am winning the lottery by proclaiming it, but I was right. The Colts allowed a backup quarterback by the name of Matt McGloin to make two critical first downs to keep them from having a shot at tying the game and forcing overtime. The last one came over the outstretched arms of Grigson approved acquisition Vontae Davis as Raider fan favorite and media man Amari Cooper sealed the game with a third down catch that made me say ‘well, of course our best defensive player will get beat when the season is on the line.’ So I got to see the man holding the ball below show why the Colts defense deserved its cruddy ranking of 27th out of 32 teams in the National Football League:

…and I in turn then had to face the prospect of not worrying too much about watching NFL football after next Sunday nor buying any additional overpriced Colts related merchandise to go into Diamond Jim’s pockets. For the second straight year a Colts team with what should be the best quarterback by far in its AFC South Division– one Andrew Austen Luck-will be sitting at home while a Houston Texans team that has been quarterbacked by the likes of Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage will have won the division crown. While an actual win next week would put the Colts’ record at my personal preseason prediction of 8 wins and 8 losses, nonetheless it is not always fun to dedicate 3 to 3 1/2 hours of your week to watch a team that simply is going to have mediocrity as its ceiling. Making the same mistakes over and over again doesn’t help either. Like being unprepared for games. Or having special teams related f–k–s like the botched fake field goal in the first quarter when you have a future Hall of Fame kicker (multimillionaire  Adam Matthew Vinatieri) to kick said field goals. Or having your coach challenge catches that were actual catches and losing time outs that would eventually cost you when trying to make a comeback after giving up 26 STRAIGHT POINTS. In short it was the usual bag of manure Colts fans have witnessed during these 2015 and 2016 regular seasons: s—–y play early against a quality team, try to make comeback against quality team, fall short against quality team. Add to that the inability to beat the division rival Houston Texans (the Colts are 1-3 against them the last two seasons) and the Paul Tagliabue approved Jacksonville Jaguars (the Colts are 1-2 against Jacksonville during the past two seasons with said Jacksonville in town a week from today) and those 11-5 regular season records that come from feasting on AFC South opponents like Jacksonville, Houston and Tennessee quickly turn into records of 8-8. Which basically sticks you in NFL purgatory and makes people look for excuses in saying WE BE ONE PLAY AWAY towards getting the world title as opposed to being 8-8.

Which in turn leads me to quit babbling and cut through the s–t to the main point: Diamond Jim’s sons are at the crossroads, and his financial commitment (four year contracts through 2019) and adoration for the Dysfunctional Duo of Ground Chuck and The Big Grig (particularly Grigson, whose player acquisition efforts via both free agency and the annual college draft are both not really inspiring) has me at the crossroads of whether the team is going to be worth the time, effort and financial commitment to fully support as long as said Ground Chuck and Big Grig are underachieving in a division that is regularly considered among the worst in professional sports.

TLDR: I don’t see the local NFL team contending for a World title-much less making the $!$%@% Super Bowl– as long as Irsay allows Pagano and Grigson to be the forebearing sons of his organization. And with that, it’s going to be more difficult as a fan to be motivated to give two s–ts about the local NFL team no matter how much positive press coverage they get with a local Indianapolis media that all but wipes their proverbial buttocks after the local team s–ts on themselves week in and week out when faced with playing a team not located in Nashville. (In 2015 and 2016, the Colts are 4-0 against said Tennessee Titans squad residing in Nashville. Against the rest of the league, they are 11-16. Not the recipe for being an icon no matter how many Robert Mathis replica jerseys from 2008 are still being carted around by Indy suburbanites.)

With discussing Pagano, I’ll let his defenders simply watch this GIF from last year’s nationally televised epic fail against the NBC approved team from the Boston area:

….and when discussing Grigson, watch number 92 in a blue uniform not really do too well on this following play:

The gent wearing 92 is a former Colt first round draft pick selected by Grigson by the name of Bjorne Werner in 2013 (which was not too long ago). With no career ending injury or decision to quit the sport altogether made by this man,  said Grigson approved man Werner should be at the very worst on an NFL roster and at the very least some kind of cornerstone player for the local team to build around for its future. Turns out he’s neither. How bad was the dude? HE NO LONGER PLAYS IN THE NFL. And before the team’s current drift into mediocrity when they actually made the 2014-15 AFC Championship game against New England, Werner was a healthy scratch WHO COULD NOT MAKE THE ROSTER FOR THE BIGGEST GAME THE TEAM HAS PLAYED SINCE 2010. No NFL team has wanted him since he was finally waived this past March. Point? Blowing a first round pick that badly in today’s NFL is like throwing millions of dollars into a furnace. And unfortunately for Colts fans, Grigson -with help now from Pagano as shown by the acquisition of Pagano approved but  not ready for prime time player TJ Green of Clemson as the team’s starting safety-gets to be the son that stirs the drink when it comes to drafting and signing players. Not good.

Should people continue to defend Grigson, I’ll leave a GIF of this former first round pick (courtesy of 2012, which was also not too long ago) that was wearing number 34 who ALSO is not currently in the NFL these days:

Best to not say anything else after the words Trent Richardson. Most NFL fans know. However, as of this day Irsay has his franchise contractually obligated to THREE MORE YEARS of the Dysfunctional Duo. When one would ask ‘Why the f–k did that happen?’ I would respond with curse words. To bring a non-Dave Chappelle like response to the matter, I’ll turn to the coltfreaks.com message board for a good response from a man who knows his football by the codename of GoBigBlue88 after the team looked inept this year against Kansas City:

None of this matters unless Jim Irsay realizes that putting together a winning franchise that plays watchable football is more important than teaching heartwarming life lessons on loyalty and family. He wants this organization to be a family. Well, guess what? Pagano and Grigson are the sketchy uncles you deliberately cut out of the family, and replace with better guys who marry in.”

As for Diamond Jim, again I say take it away GoBigBlue88 (this time after barely beating a losing Chicago Bears squad earlier in the season:

“I also feel like it makes no sense to have Chuck Pagano as the head coach of a franchise with Andrew Luck at QB. Jim Irsay really messed this one up. He committed to the worst possible coach for a modern passing offense. And he committed to a GM who doesn’t invest in the pieces the head coach wants to run his awful system. The result is a complete mess that wastes Luck’s talent, amplifies a lot of shortcomings, and makes Jim Irsay the man who owes us answers.”

TLDR: The organization is at the crossroads, and it is up to the owner to decide if he really wants to risk three more weeks-much less three more years-of a Dysfunctional Duo that really doesn’t do much at all to inspire thoughts of winning the World title. Now if he wants 8-8 records each year…those are his boys, all right. However that may not work much longer in a marketplace that doesn’t really care to support mediocre pro sports teams ran by questionable ownership decisions that enable s—y front office work and s—-y coaching. (See the 2007-2011 Indiana Pacers as a good example of this. That trade for Troy Murphy didn’t sell too many tickets or win too many games. Since I went to games for THREE DOLLARS apiece back then,  humor me and take my word for it.)

My summary take on the whole thing goes to two points:

-Irsay has been a good businessman in building a brand that as of the early 2000’s were merely a blip on the local radar to year after year after year of bad teams (the Colts won only TWO playoff games from 1984 to 2002 before winning two to get to the 2003 AFC championship game and starting the onslaught of every household in central Indiana owning some type of Peyton Manning related merchandise).  As a result the tide has turned to where Irsay has gone from begging the city of Indianapolis for money while shopping his team around in the mid 1990’s (ESPN reported him to be in talks with Los Angeles to move the team, and the city in turn renovated the RCA Dome to lower the seating so Colts home games could actually sell out and be shown on local TV) to becoming one of the richest men in the world as a billionaire listed on the Forbes 1000 list. (We won’t even scratch the surface of the funding towards the current Colts home of Lucas Oil Stadium, but safe to say Irsay isn’t hurting in the pocketbook.) To keep the dollars flowing, one must have good public relations. By winning his last two games of the 2015 season, said Pagano had some good PR in effect and had the local Indianapolis media getting down with him despite some bumbling coaching moves as shown above. Good PR equals more people dropping more coin on those overpriced T-shirts and replica Colt jerseys that are sported at the local Meijer. Hence to keep the good PR going, more Pagano.

-Point two: if Irsay was going to keep Pagano for the PR, then at the end of the day it was-and is-still his football team. Hence, he needs to be happy. Hence, his son Grigson was going to be in full effect and part of the process despite seeing a preseason Super Bowl contender of 2015 get embarrassed on national TV by Pittsburgh and New England while needing missed field goal kicking to split the two games against lowly Jacksonville. And to prove that this was no year by year gimmick with the Dysfunctional Duo always having to worry if the other horseshoe was going to drop…..FOUR YEAR EXTENSIONS BAW GAWD.  In the words of the immortal Tara Lynn Walczak, “YIPPEE SKIPPEE.”

Backing up point two on the point reference and the Irsay-Grigson connection….

Photo of younger 1980s Irsay with his late father Robert:

,,,,and photo of Irsay with that man called Grigson:

Simply put, there’s a bond between the two that leads me to associate them together with the team more than players past (Manning) and present (Luck). Hence the “family” connection GoBigBlue88 referred to in his earlier message board posts. And if one wants me to settle down and give Grigson some positive remarks, read here: after Bill and Chris Polian built a roster that took the team from Super Bowl participant in 2009 to the worst team in the league in 2011 when Manning hurt his neck, Grigson was able to do two things: not be a Polian and put together a roster on the proverbial fly that was able to beat AFC South teams and thus return to playoff contention overnight. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 the Colts had a combined record of 16-2 when playing their AFC South counterparts in Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee. While the team record against the rest of the league dropped to 17-13, nevertheless it was no coincidence that the sparkling AFC South record helped get the team to three straight postseason berths via the AFC wild card in 2012 and two straight AFC South division titles in 2013 and 2014. But with the need to improve the offensive line and defensive pass rush apparent after getting drilled by New England in said 2014-15 AFC title game against said New England…..Grigson has built a roster that does neither. Hence Luck is still a candidate to be hospitalized every time he drops back to pass  and the defense will find ways to choke games like they did earlier in the year against Detroit and Houston (the latter on national TV via losing a 14 point lead in the final quarter). Hence your record of 15-16 overall with 6-5 against said AFC South teams in the past two regular NFL seasons. Being unable to beat said South sons leads to where the franchise is at again: at the crossroads with Irsay having a huge cash commitment giving leadership to the man who burned first round picks on Werner and U of Miami man Philip Dorsett as well as the coach who runs fake punts with nine men on one side of the field. As of this moment, not the most inspiring thing to sell towards getting season ticket holders to renew for 2017…or better yet to leave the house this coming Sunday and watch the Colts’ season home finale in person.

My humble opinion is that the key to the Colts’ franchise future comes down to the relationship between Irsay and Grigson. If Irsay feels that Grigson is worth keeping as his right hand man simply because they can contend for the AFC South division title with a 7-7 record in December year in and year out, then I am bracing myself for more of the same that I’ve seen the last two seasons. At the very least I’ll go out on a limb and say next week is a deja vu of last year: Pagano barely beats a division opponent in the season home finale to finish 8-8, gets the feel good gimmicks from local media men, and in turn comes back for 2017. And since the Dysfunctional Duo of Pagano and Grigson kept their gigs last year-and in turn for four more years of paydays-by being “connected to the hip” then I will thus be ready for more Grigson. Irsay in turn next week assures that said Duo are back for 2017. Wash, rinse, repeat.

At the very least will only have to deal with the possibility of giving the Duo TWO YEARS worth of free money away as opposed to three years should the Colts again fail to make the NFL playoffs. Financial deal on the matter, we get: after all, this is a business and Irsay is a businessman. He’s not going to want to cut checks to people not getting down on West 56th Street.

At the very most? I say Irsay’s risking the chance of causing some serious damage to the relationship between the local NFL team and its fan base. Eventually casual fan is going to say WHY WE NO GO PLAYOFFS NO MORE? and in turn say WHY ME BUY JERSEY WHEN TEAM NO GOOD? Better yet hardcore fan and corporate fan may say WHY ME DROP 100 BUCKS TO LOSE TO HOUSTON AGAIN? and in turn may not drop those few G’s a year on season tickets.

While that may not matter to the media men that now swoon to kissing the NFL’s a– because there’s a team now playing to half capacity crowds in a 95 year old building in Los Angeles, I would like to think that the latter matters to Irsay. He’s seen the team deal with fan apathy that comes from losing year after year in the past and in turn not been able to rake the scratch that he later received during the Manning era of 1998 to 2011 for him to become the billionaire he is today. For his sake, I hope his belief in Grigson being the modern day Marvin Gaye of pro football personnel men comes to fruition. If not, then I’m definitely going to be holding on to that Super Bowl Champions hoodie from a decade ago because that will probably be the only World title merch I’ll be seeing for a while.

A long while.

When it comes to 3,000 words on a Christmas Day about the Dysfunctional Duo, I’ll end it with these four: Your move, Diamond Jim.

Merry Christmas to all who may read this.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

11-13-16: Election Evaluation and Poor Pacer Play: The First Post of November

Happy Sunday to everyone. Been two plus weeks since making the time to post here as I hope any and all who read these have not gone into full scale meltdown mode after last Tuesday’s national and state elections. Yours truly will describe his take on such matters momentarily. One of these days I’ll finally get around to finishing what I started on discussing two of the main reasons why this blog was set up-to recap my high school days at the Sonland (aka Noblesville High) as well as my time away from the area where I was at college number one (as I am currently at college number six, which may or may not be a good thing). With the local NFL team having their bye week and not attempting to play any professional football this weekend, I simply could not handle the 1-2 punch of Bears-Bucs on the local Fox station to go with Broncos-Saints on CBS. So the games are turned off and here I am doing what I should be doing more of-writing on the blog I set up a few months ago.

Best thing to do is go topic by topic on what’s been going on the last couple of weeks to set the table for finishing up the discussion on senior year at the Sonland with yearbook and other classes….and eventually how I somehow ended up going to a prom with none other than The Prom Date, which was kind of important because without said evening I probably don’t decide to make a full commitment to seeing if I could make it out of central Indiana for at least six weeks. (Turned out to be six years.)

Quick thoughts and personal goings on while guzzling down a cherry vanilla Pepsi that was purchased as part of a six for $2.49 deal from the local Kroger:

-as mentioned earlier the local NFL team- Diamond Jim Irsay’s Indianapolis Colts-are off this week as they celebrate having a losing record (4 wins, 5 losses) along with keeping their quarterback (Andrew Luck) out of the hospital after he was injured last season. However despite actually winning in Green Bay last week the Sons of Irsay aren’t exactly doing themselves any favors in huge part due to a p-ss poor defense that likes to take defeat from the jaws of victory if given enough opportunity. As of this typing only five of the league’s 32 teams give up more points per game than the Colts…and three of them (Atlanta, Tampa Bay and New Orleans) are in the not-so-iconic NFC South so that probably doesn’t help me or many local NFL fans feel better about “improvement” from last season. Should the team actually want to win their division-the AFC South-and make the playoffs in order to have yet another banner put up in Lucas Oil Stadium for the boys at deadspin.com to make fun of, I suggest they either run the table by going 7-0 or go no worse than 6-1 while hoping the trigger happy division leading Houston Texans actually start losing some games. Personal prediction: the team ends up at 8-8, being in theoretical “contention” for a playoff spot until December before getting eliminated as the season draws to a close in Week 17. IOW a repeat of last season and a reason for Irsay to decide that his head coach Ground Chuck Pagano and his favorite football executive “Big Grig” Ryan Grigson deserve another shot at taking the team to the World title.  IOW yours truly won’t be happy, but then again yours truly didn’t expect to see a World title after the team jobbed to the Detroit Lions in Week 1 after seeing Theo Riddick do his 1961 Jim Brown imitation as seen here:

The Spin Boys (my name for the Democratic party approving “commentators” of said deadspin.com) had a right to ridicule the Colts defense that day. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. You more than likely aren’t winning Super Bowls after losing at home to a Detroit team that was 4-12 the previous season. And probably best to move on from there as the Colts aren’t the only losing professional sports team in the Indianapolis metropolitan area these days……

-that other losing team? A team that has not won a league championship since I was in Pampers, those Indiana Pacers.

Currently with a 4-6 record to start out this season, the Pacers are celebrating their 50th year of existence by giving out plenty of bobble head dolls to those attending games and giving out plenty of turnovers for opposing teams to score points in buckets against them. The official sign that the NBA World title was probably NOT coming to Indianapolis in the near future came this week in a “performance” of two straight games (one Wednesday night, one Friday night) against current NBA doormats the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers had not won a game all season-barring a Paul George dominating overtime on Wednesday they would have won two in a row against the NBA franchise that attempts to wheel out Thaddeus Charles Young and the un-immortal Lavoy Allen at power forward. Combined with the underachieving guard play of local son Jeffrey Demarco Teague (ask the local Indy media where he went to high school and you’ll get a ten minute lecture that equals asking someone what time it is and getting the instructions to build a wristwatch in response) and Pacer executive Larry Bird approved $44 million acquisition Monta Ellis and you have a current dumpster fire in the making that is set as follows: if Paul George plays poorly or doesn’t play at all (which was the case last night as he sat out a home loss to Boston with a sprained ankle), then get ready to see a loss. Which means there could be a lot of them on the way before the regular season ends in April. Not good for an organization that considers themselves a championship contender to say the least.

Because I can only stand to do homework so often (more on that momentarily) yours truly decided to watch both 76ers games. It was comparable to getting a root canal. You got a lot of Lavoy Allen (0 for 6 with just two points more than the man who is typing this in 34 minutes of ‘action’) looking like this when he was on the court:

..and when asked to guard the basically a rookie Joel Embiid with the game on the line Saturday, I got to see this…

…which led to this:

When you job to the worst team in the league, not good. When you make Embiid look like the modern day Wilt Chamberlain after dude had missed his first two years in the league due to injuries, even worse.

TLDR: I now only hope for a .500 record (41 wins to 41 losses) for the year, and I also hope that Lavoy Allen will not be on the team’s roster next year. Same goes for Young as he currently gives you 10 points and six rebounds a game for $14 plus million in salary this season. I’d rather have WWE commentator Renee Young for those stats. While Teague and Ellis are arguably as bad a defensive back court duo as one will see in the modern NBA era, the Allen-Young combo at power forward also ensures the team is basically playing 5 on 4 and now has to hope that Rodney Stuckey-yes, Rodney Stuckey-can be a difference maker in actually winning games on a regular basis. Again, not good.

While the season is-no pun intended-young, things do not bode well for this group in areas outside of having larger bank accounts than most rural Indiana counties. Here’s hoping they do make the effort to at least reach mediocrity before the season ends. If not, don’t expect me to be too unhappy if it’s not the case. The signs are there for a 50 loss season and several good seats to get at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 1/10th the market value come March.

-Personal takes: had three day weekend which meant 4 10 hour days at the workplace…..homework is monotonous as I am looking to transfer to another school as well as another program…..and to show how cheap I am I had no issue not running the heat last night to save money. In mid-November. After all, college costs. On the plus side, Thanksgiving in two weeks. On the negative side, I’m burned out on school. Evens out.

-Lastly my take on Tuesday night’s election: no matter what party affiliation one favors (or doesn’t favor if they vote independent or do the write-in candidate thing) it was both comical yet unfortunate to see CBS’s Son Bob Schieffer (who will turn 80 next year) being carted out by his network to ramble on about the election while asking questions such as (paraphrasing) “if he’s got 256 votes, that means he only needs 14 more, right?” when it came to calculating the upset victory gained by Donald J. Trump over New York Times approved Hillary R. Clinton.  All the networks had talking heads that seemed dumbfounded because the polls showing Clinton to be a runaway winner were proved to be worthless; hence these individuals did not know how to react to Trump winning and the Republican party keeping Congressional control.  From a personal standpoint ABC’s George Stephanopolous was the worst in this regard, though in fairness his professional association with the Clinton family probably had the dude in full scale arrogance mode beforehand and thus calling him unbiased would be like calling the fictional Norm Peterson of Cheers fame a candidate for the Mr. America bodybuilding contest. And because I am in Picture Pages mode, here’s Norm doing what Norm did best:

…and because this amuses me, here’s Norm from that episode when they got a free kitten for every beer purchased:

Considering my disdain for how the national mainstream media covered this election to the point where many people I knew (myself included) were ready for the damn endless negative TV and radio ads to end, it was nice to see these so-called experts not have a very good night in the office. The hope here is that The New York Times and the Washington Post realize that it is no longer 1933 and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is no longer in office; if they want to send a message of the country needing “to heal” then they need to set the tone themselves. Leave the bad comedy and blogging hot takes to the Spin Boys at deadspin.com. After all, they never claimed to be journalists.

Speaking of journalists good, bad, and mediocre…I’ll need to finish up the senior yearbook stuff from the previous post sooner rather than later. Like before the next election. Think I can do that in two years…..though my own track record shows that may be pushing things.

Either way thanks to all who may read these as we continue on to the holidays and the close of 2016.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

10/27/16: Senior Year in the Sonland Part 3: Sonland Sportswriter-Take 1

Hello to all who again may read this as I finally get around to what I was hoping to do when I started this blog a few months back: talk about my senior year at semi-scenic Noblesville High (aka The Sonland) and how I was able to survive a place I absolutely hated while going on to better thiings (like NOT being at Noblesville High) afterwards. Instead I’ve had self-imposed writer’s block because I’ll start thinking about other topics and then telling myself “I’ll write about them THEN go back on schedule.” But in order to get to said other topics I need to get the job done and write about the senior year stuff first. And since I’d rather not put too much effort into watching Titans-Jaguars on NFL Network this evening (no fantasy football players on my squad are playing in said game) then I’ll see if I can get through Part 3 in order to talk about the rest of the year. Some progress is better than none…..especially if it means avoiding mediocre NFL games.

I’d already gotten through a few things like cars driven (1977 Buick), going to concerts with beautiful girls (see Lyon, Jill; Byers, Jennie; and of course Byers, Trina), and even remembering the clothes I wore and the shoes I bought from the local Foot Locker. But thanks again to the Garrisons (see last 10/23 post) I knew I needed to get this blog post written after what they had told me last Sunday after discussing the plight of our own local NFL franchise, Diamond Jim Irsay’s Indianapolis Colts. After going somewhat in-depth about the future of current Colts coach Ground Chuck Pagano and Irsay’s favorite football executive “The Big Grig” Ryan Grigson, the Garrisons concluded the conversation with this quick take: “You should think about being a sportswriter.”

Ironically enough, there was a time that I was-in theory anyway-a sportswriter: the 1990-91 NHS Shadow staff for the school yearbook.

Hence the topic for this post.

Getting the chance to be on the yearbook staff was one of the main reasons I handled senior year about as well as could be expected since I was a Coke bottle glasses wearing goof driving a 1977 Buick who (paraphrasing WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley) couldn’t get laid even if I was carrying a fistful of weekend’s passes to a women’s prison. Instead of having a study hall or taking another social studies course or basically wandering around the halls like the not-100 percent mentally there Uncle Junior did in that one episode of “The Sopranos” where he tried to hide behind a dumpster from the local authorities, I actually got to contribute and be a part of something positive while in turn earning A’s and closing out each school day (the class was the last one of the day for me) without having to deal with people I did not care for (see previous posts in August for the main examples..with one surprising difference) nor having to stress too much about women wanting to go out with me because, well, that sure as $!$^% wasn’t happening because Coke bottle glasses wearing dudes driving 1977 Buicks in central Indiana make that pretty $!$^%^@ self-explanatory.

Hence, back to discussing yearbook as you’ve figured out why I was not surprised that I earned “Most Likely to Stay Single” honors from the peers of my own Sonland class. (No in-depth following up needed to figure out if that’s still the case these days; after all I actually admitted considering watching a Titans-Jaguars game earlier. Good to try to be consistent.)

Previous posts also show the beginnings of gearing up towards yearbook in the first place. I decided before junior year that if I was going to be at a place that I considered to be the modern day equal of Alcatraz that I was going to damn well take the classes I wanted to take. Fall of junior year saw one of said classes being Newswriting with journalism teacher and sponsor of school yearbook (Shadow) and newspaper (Mill Stream) one Butch Robbins. I’ve already referenced antics from that class involving cheerleader extraordinaire Dena Horn (“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU CAME OVER TO MY HOUSE FITZPATRICK!“….me neither, Dena, but I also didn’t think I’d later be part of a college fraternity that once duct taped its own president to a ceiling) but with the exception of the ever flowing wisecracks and mullet of Doug Anderson the big thing from that class was that I found I was in fact able to be a semi-competent writer for a Sonland high school student. Along with Ali Keys I ended up getting one of the top grades in the class that was needed in order to even have a shot at being on the school yearbook or school newspaper staffs to begin with. And after being insulted for my first two years of Sonland classes to the point where sitting in a garage full of exhaust fumes seemed to be a better option then being in said classes, I now had more confidence to be able to feel like I might have a shot at saving my high school career from the full scale example of depression that I had personally allowed those first two years.

Enough self-analysis: basically I told myself “Self, time to try out for the publications staffs because why the f— not?”

So…one weeknight in spring semester junior year I put together a portfolio that said “Yes, I got an A in your newswriting class” along with “Here’s what I wrote in said class that didn’t involve Dena Horn’s perennial tan” and lastly “here’s my application that says if I want to choose which staff to join, it would be yearbook.” A couple of weeks later I would get a letter noting CONGRATULATIONS as I found out the good news-I did make the yearbook staff. As recently as one year prior that would not have been expected. So this was a positive deal that was needed as part of the countdown to GTFO since this was still the Sonland we’re talking about. Nevertheless now I got the chance to write about it and-for better or worse whether people really gave a s–t or not-put my mark on something by writing stories that some people may actually read when not looking too in-depth at the index or ads at the back of said yearbook. Or in simple terms I got to be a part of something that would help on the LOOK ME DO EXTRA STUFF SO COLLEGE PLEASE ACCEPT ME agenda….and again low stress=high grade if done properly or not asleep in said class.

The Garrison connection on said letter: the writing from Mr. Robbins saying “You’ll be working mainly on sports stories.” Fine with me. After all I didn’t see me spending multiple hours writing in-depth stories on school choir or who was guzzling the most Mountain Dew cans on the senior benches. A lifelong subscription to Sports Illustrated (hey, the swimsuit issue was a yearly highlight-just telling it like it was) may not have fully prepared me for sports journalism, yet at the same time that would definitely be my preference on what I would like to write about.

And, of course, that didn’t really end up being the case.

The setup was to originally be different departments where people would be in areas like academics, features, and of course sports. Your 1990-91 Shadow setup was to have five main people in charge……all females who were on the previous staff that were to hold all five editor/leadership positions while declaring their Fab Fivesome “The Senior Coolies.” (Their term, not mine. So we’ll roll with it.)  Your editor-in-chief was Rosie Piga (and since she would later hold the same title at IU-Bloomington as opposed to, say, IU-Calumet, safe to say she was a pretty damn good writer). Your copy editor/second in command was someone who was a prospective future relative of mine at one time, one Kyle Petersen. (Might as well give the info-my female cousin of same year at one time dated Petersen’s older brother. Put two and two together on the end result.) Your business manager (person who took care of ad sells) was soon-to-be former cheerleader Amie Gibson of whom I’d never had a full conversation with because fat Coke glasses wearing dudes usually don’t talk to cheerleaders unless s–t is getting thrown at them. Lastly noted Motley Crue enthusiast Amy Carol Craig rounded out the fearsome fivesome as your features editor. To this day I remember her telling me in Sunday School that I s—ed as an elementary football player because I scored no touchdowns one game. Considering I was the fat dude who hiked the ball to those who DID score touchdowns since I was the team’s center, I didn’t really care for the analysis at the time. Yet after dropping 60 pounds and the sport of active football from my Sonland life, I was no longer concerned about her pigskin prognosis……

….and then I almost forgot the fifth person-the sports editor: another former cheerleader, one Robin Shambora. As in the person who was to be the editor for me and junior Mike Van Dolah (who served as a class officer and played two sports; I have a good memory as I haven’t lost all my brain cells due to alcohol consumption just yet.) As in “well, this could be interesting…..but it’s better than getting s–t on like I’ve been used to.”

So…..before school ends that junior year there’s a meeting after school for the new staff. People roll in to the newswriting/journalism classroom, including people I’ve never seen before. In the irony that I referenced earlier, none other than one of the original Eight Sons was in there…one Andy Heiskell– he was going to be a photographer. To my surprise he did not start insulting me on cue like he had for all of frosh and sophomore year. In fairness the Alfred E. Newman lookalike Jeff Nee was not at Heiskell’s side, so there was a positive. And because it was the Sonland, I took that as a victory because quite frankly I was not in the mood to dread this upcoming class; I hated being in the school to begin with. Didn’t need anymore s–t after a pretty decent junior year for my standards (which were low enough to begin with). TLDR: The Eight Sons were not going to be an issue and shall not be mentioned yet again on said post. Always a good thing.

Back to said meeting….a couple of people did not recognize me because I had in fact lost said 60 pounds, and as mentioned before there were people (including Gibson) who would not have known me from the dude who played “Mac” on the NBC comedy classic Night Court. Which would be interesting in itself as here’s said Charles Robinson who played said Mac:

Yeah, must have been the sweater.

For your meeting, I remember the five female editors (the “Coolies”) save Piga sitting together, being vocal, and setting the tone that it was in fact THEIR yearbook and that we needed to be a good staff as Piga had ideas to make it a better book than the year before. I also got the impression that it was kind of a requirement to go for a week of yearbook camp that summer at DePauw University (alma mater of @jen.s.alexander.92) if one wanted to be the best that they could be for said yearbook. While I was not one to stir s–t and figured I could take a week to enjoy the fun filled college town of Greencastle, hence I planned on going to said camp. After all, it was Greencastle…which meant it wasn’t Noblesville. Enough for me as my standards were as low then as they are now.

Your obligatory DePauw photo:

..and so I planned on said camp…..

….and then when it’s time for camp, maybe one third of the staff goes. So much for required. With, of course, me being the only dude going. (Since Van Dolah and I were the only dudes on staff who were not photographers, I should have seen that coming. Then again I had enough trouble seeing since I was blind as a bat without said Coke bottle specs, hence not too surprising.) And I would find out that there were at most THREE dudes at the entire camp…….which, well, I didn’t exactly argue about.

Will look to post some photos from said camp down the road when I’m not as technologically inept, but my main memories of said camp include:

-driving down on a Sunday morning to Greencastle. The excitement is self-explanatory.

-rooming with a dude named Chris in one of the ancient dorms. Chris apparently also played hoops at his school so Chris was like seven feet tall or so. And enjoyed Led Zeppelin. Helped in dealing with my future fraternity bro and college roommate who was also taller than me and liked Zeppelin. Again, consistency.

Of course dude had Zeppelin IV on cassette, and I remember listening to it on the walkman before hitting the proverbial hay on weeknights. Again, Greencastle. I wasn’t going to be dropping too much acid.

-taking photos of people who had scowls on their faces. Scowls were probably due to me being bored and taking their photo.

-a blonde girl from Kokomo who was editor of said Kokomo High yearbook was in the same ‘workshops’ and looked like she would rather be stuck in traffic on the L.A. freeway during rush hour. That girl would later move to the Sonland that fall and be on said staff….none other than gal pal of @trina.byers13 one Christy Clausman. No complaints on that addition come fall time.

-eating Domino’s pizza because apparently that was the only place in the area that delivered pizza.

-lastly as mentioned previously I was now down to 140 pounds….and I enjoyed getting my photo taken showing that I was in fact now 140 pounds. I even smiled in all the photos. Couldn’t say the same in years prior.

And that’s a good place to stop…for now.

Still have to get this done sooner rather than later but probably best I get those photos and finish this up, then talk about the other classes before finally getting to the REAL good stories of that year. And there are actually good ones. Like “Mrs. Hess, Fitz is on novacaine.” And “Officer, I don’t have a license….but HE’S MY COUSIN and here’s my permit.” And of course “Fitz, WHERE IS HAGUE ROAD?”

The answer to the last one: we’re ON Hague Road, dude.

Thanks again for reading as I look to finish the yearbook stuff after I get my next round of homework done this weekend. As long as the Colts continue to be mediocre, I may actually make that goal for once.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

10-23-16: Reds Zone Strikes Out: Cubs World Series Bound

To any and all who may read this, happy Sunday and thanks as always for reading. It’s 9:53 am on an autumn Sunday morning as I write this and actually make this two posts in one month (which for me is sadly good work because I keep finding other things to do besides write on here) while realizing that classes will start back this week after a week off. (How I did in last PhD program-ended up completing a 15 page paper the final week and got an A on it-result was an A in the class. Hooray for me.)

This bit of written thought comes from the world of major league baseball. The Garrisons who attend the same chapel service that I do are big Chicago Cubs fans. As this is the day after a pretty historic day for said Cubs fanbase, I figure it’s a good topic to write about. So here goes……..

—-as a Cincinnati Reds fan I have little confidence that the Reds are ever going to make the World Series anytime soon. The minor league player development system is atrocious, the current pitching staff is bush league, the managing work of Bryan Price is the worst the franchise has seen in my lifetime and lastly the front office work of Walt Jockety is the equal of starting with a dollar, making a few trades and ending up with five pennies. In short those boys are the worst team in their five team division (the National League Central) and are in pretty bad shape. Nevertheless this substandard plan of attack seems to be of approval to the dozen or so aspiring comic geniuses who regularly pollute the Reds Zone message board with the seeming sole concept of crowing about first baseman Joey Votto’s statistics because if you criticize Votto, they get out of shape and throw temper tantrums. Because I am technically inept, I’ll just go refer to this webpage listed below for examples:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?112035-Marty-on-Votto-quot-He-was-probably-daydreaming-about-on-base-percentage-quot

Premise of this rant: yes, there are good and bad posters everywhere on message boards in terms of agenda, quality, lack of drinking out of the bathroom toilet, etc., as said Reds Zone board has an individual from West Virginia who has correctly called out the issues from Price and the front office while not making it a habit to tell others that Votto is the only reason for life on the universe (and yes, if you read the link, that seems to be the impression I get as some of these Reds fans would rather blame THE TEAM’S ANNOUNCERS than the players, managers and front office for the s–t show that the team has regressed to). Yet this Reds Zone board has sadly also had the HAHACUBSALWAYSSUCK gimmick because said Chicago Cubs (also in the same division as the Reds and hence a Reds opponent for 20 or so games each year out of a 162 game schedule) had not been in the World Series since the Truman administration nor had WON a World Series since former media favorite Theodore R. Roosevelt was getting down in the White House. They even had a thread called “We are not mocking the Cubs enough” as part of their day to day operations. But with all due respect to individuals who use Dr. Suess characters for their avatars, they need to take the advice of that fictional Ari Gold fellow from the Entourage TV show that I have not been afraid to watch a decade after the fact because, well, I spent more time watching sh–ty Reds baseball than anything else from April to October of each year (and warning: curse word in effect):

You see boys, your main man Votto isn’t going to the World Series anytime soon. Nor is your main man pitcher Homer Bailey who is set to make $60 million or so for the next three years despite winning just two more games in the past two entire seasons than the unmighty keyboard warrior typing this sentence. (Incidentally, the team let a pitcher by the name of Johnny Cueto go because the money that SHOULD have gone to him went to Your Boy Bailey. Cueto won the World Series with Kansas City last year. Your Boy Bailey won ZERO games last year as he pitched in two of your 162 season games before getting hurt. TWO. Injuries happen. However bad baseball decisions tend to haunt you…like for the next three years at a $60 million pay rate. Not encouraging.

But enough of that because the main point is that after last night, the Cubs are World Series bound. Not Your Reds. Not your apparent man crush Votto. The Cubs.

Reasons of note for the babble: from a central Indiana standpoint, growing up the Reds should have had the Indianapolis metro area as a consistent part of their fan base in part due to having their main minor league team (the Triple A affliate Indianapolis Indians) being in the Reds organization and also because the team used to be good (do a search engine inquiry for Big Red Machine for more in-depth explanation). But by being cheap and having individuals like Dick Wagner in the front office, the team went to s–t in the early to mid 1980s (they lost 101 games in 1982, which means you’ve got a manure stain of a baseball team unless you like losing baseball as this Wagner seemed to). The Reds helped give up the Indy metro marketplace to the Cubs by being a bad baseball team that didn’t televise their games in the area….leaving the Indians’ affiliation after the 1983 season (the Indiana were with the Montreal Expos from 1984 to 1992 before a merry-go-round that led to the Reds now having their Triple A team in Louisville and the Indians now associated with the Pittsburgh Pirates)…and in the meantime the Cubs did the opposite by televising seemingly all their games on WGN-TV (Channel 9 for our cable box) and winning (they won National League East division titles in 1984 and 1989 and were generally competitive while the Reds did NOT win a division title in the 1980’s). One team-said Cubs was around the area, in the paper and on the TV sets. Harry Carey was a constant in central Indiana. Wagner’s field managers John McNamara and Russ Nixon on the other hand were not. And thus the Reds as of this day IMO don’t really have much of a fan base in these parts…which means people will go to Wrigley Field to watch baseball more often than not then Great American Ball Park to see said Cubs…and if they can’t get tickets then they’ll go to Great American to Cubs-Reds games TO ROOT FOR THE CUBS as they usually do in huge numbers like they did in below 2007 photos to see the Cubs clinch the 2007 National League Central Division title by beating said Reds at said Reds’ own Great American Ball Park:

Not what you would like to see if you want your team to actually produce a quality product, but then again the Reds’ management and ownership don’t really seem to give a damn so this scene tends to happen with regularity. And quite frankly the majority of that Reds Zone message board seems to be willing to drink that proverbial Kool-Aid to the point that there were posters who were seemingly OKAY WITH THE DECISION that Price-a manager with an average record of 66-96 these past two season-was coming back AGAIN for 2017. Head to the middle of this link for examples:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?112694-Price-back-for-2017/page3

Not really sending a bold message to your fan base that you’d like to win anytime soon…but then again I’m just a fan and not an expert major league baseball executive or billionaire owner, so my point is moot until they finally figure out this Price probably isn’t the modern day Casey Stengel. 

Then again, when your new top executive-Dick Williams-is related to part of the ownership group, perhaps Price is their view of the best in major league baseball managers.

Let’s just say I disagree with the majority of those Reds Zone individuals on that assessment. Let’s also say I expect the Reds to finish in last place in 2017..just as they did in 2016…and in 2015. And that means I also expect a lot of emails for $5 tickets to get people to come see what has now become a clown show of a major league baseball team.

As for the Cubs…I don’t think they’re going to have any trouble getting people to go to their games anytime soon. Especially this month.

Congrats to the Cubs. And congrats to me for actually posting here.

The Reds? I’ll probably be watching them again next April. They may be a clown show now, but they are the clown show I grew up with so I’m in for the ride in the same funny car with what I assume could very well be some of these Reds Zone posters:

Opening Day is April 3. Plenty of time for Reds fans to hope for some change…and to be operated like a true major league baseball contender. Like, yes, the Cubs.

Best wishes and thanks to all who read this rant as I now get ready to see another circus of an organization-the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts-try to actually win a game outside Lucas Oil Stadium this season. Not too sure if that’s going to happen today, but I’ll put off homework till tomorrow night to find out. Of course I will.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

10-9-16: Same Photo, Different Month: The First Post in October

Again hello to anyone and everyone who reads these via the link on my Instagram account or via cyberspace. If the local NFL team struggles today like they usually do this 2016 NFL season, then I may write another post before the day ends. School is the number one excuse (more on that in a moment) but basically instead of writing on here every night about what went on with me in handling senior year of Sonland High (aka Noblesville High School) or my first college or other life and times yours truly will have writer’s block in saying “I don’t want to write tonight on this…maybe tomorrow” and tomorrow becomes two weeks and maybe even three or four. At least the Instagram account gets updated regularly-quite frankly it is one of my favorite hobbies and has helped me during a time that I do not want to turn on the TV to see local stations talk about stuff I don’t want to deal with or hear about. Happens to many of us in my view-we want to stay positive and thus want to stay away from quote on quote negative s–t. And ironically enough my soon to be next Sonland related writing topic-my government class senior year-had one individual who I associate with negativity to this day that in turn makes me say ME NO WANT WRITE SO DO SOMETHING ELSE. Which in turn leads to THAT TWELVE PAGE PAPER BE SOMETHING ELSE and there you go.

TLDR: you write a lot of papers as a PhD student and in turn you may not want to do much writing elsewhere. Which leads to longer bits between blog posts.

To get a few thoughts out of the way quick takes on what’s been going on as of late:

-still have an A in current class.Current class has a 12 to 15 page paper due this Saturday at 5 pm. You now know what I will be doing most of this week.

-should he ever read his name on said cyberspace a shout out to Dr. Joe Forgey, my childhood dentist and fellow member of First Christian Church here in said hometown.  He and I usually attend the 8 am chapel service, and I admittedly usually after that do not do as many church related activities after said service like I should. Today was an exception. As I was leaving Dr. Forgey noted the CMF’s Men’s Breakfast (aka older dudes cooking food to eat in Fellowship Hall) was going on. I in turn went, dropped an extra dollar for contribution for said food and ate said breakfast while talking Colts football and Butler basketball. Dr. Forgey has been there as a positive influence through both thick and thin of my entire life. Hence I note him now as someone that deserves recognition because it is individuals like him that more than make up for the actions of individuals like I have previously wrote about in the past. (Go down to the August posts with the picture of me in a 1990 ski sweater and teal lighting background for more. Rest will probably be self-explanatory.)

Bottom line- good way to start the week. And he knows his college basketball.

-as for said local NFL franchise, I am going to give them a shot via watching NFL RedZone this afternoon and hoping they can actually win another regular season game this year. In the past twenty regular season games they’ve lost more than they won (9 wins and 11 losses via a record of 8-8 in 2015 and a current record of 1-3 in this subpar season).  Usually you see a lot of this in the current season…..

…and hence you have a record of 1-3.

You also get people who seemingly contribute more on Facebook than they do on the field. Witness the example of one of Colt general manager Ryan Grigson‘s main sons from Philly, one Trent Cole. Cole was brought in last year to be the pass rushing icon in the 3-4 (three linemen, four linebackers) defensive scheme that head coach Chuck Pagano got down with when strutting down the sidelines with the media beloved Baltimore Ravens. Well, if your team is 1-3, loses to the usually not-too-good Jacksonville Jaguars twice in a row (they got blown out at Jacksonville last season) and has one of the worst defenses in the NFL every single year, eventually even our local sports talk show hosts who like to lecture about helping homeless individuals in Las Vegas more than critique actual pro sports team ineptness  will have to say WHY WE NO WIN? WHERE PEYTON? WHERE MARVIN? NO WIN SUPER BOWL? as they see that it will be yet another year without winning the followup Super Bowl title many (myself included) expected to happen after the Colts actually won said Super Bowl in February 2007. Cole’s main job is to gain quarterback sacks while helping said team win games to actually think about making said Super Bowl. As of now said Cole has as many quarterback sacks as the not-so-athletic keyboard warrior who is typing this very sentence. Combine that with three sacks for all of 2015…..no, this is not one of Grigson’s better moves. And coincidentally you saw that losing record earlier that has been gathered since the team decided to build their defense around Cole and the now not too effective Robert Mathis.

Where am I going with this? Read on. Also be happy I have just scratched the surface towards how badly this Colts team has been ran in the past year and a half.

Former Colts receiver and Super Bowl winner Reggie Wayne was asked candidly a few days ago on the NFL Network about what the f— was wrong with said Colts. Wayne answered the question as such (credit to Yahoo Sports):

“I honestly think Andrew Luck is playing pretty good despite some of the O-line woes that they’re having. A lot of people are wanting to criticize Andrew Luck instead of what I think the big problem is,” Wayne said. “I think that big problem is a lot of their front-office decisions. It’s draft picks, or it’s free agent pickups. They’ve missed on a lot of guys.”

The former wideout went on to list players the Colts have missed on, such as LaRon Landry and Arthur Jones. He also mentioned Trent Cole, who Wayne says “hasn’t given [the Colts] anything.” Adding overall, “They’ve used their money to get guys who didn’t do anything.”

So what did dude with as many quarterback sacks as my Aunt Marlene say? See response via (because it is 2016 after all) Facebook:

I don’t respond to media, but I can’t stand people who think they know what’s going on like he is in the building amongst us, playing beside me and know what some players going through. Put your drink down, quit smoking cigars, watch the damn game and look at playing time of different players and stats! The film don’t lie. So don’t use my name ever again because if you do, these things you will take back them words of time I was playing.

I stay in my lane, because I’m here for my team. This goes for everybody and certainly Reggie Wayne. Reggie I have all respect for you, you will always be a Colt for life. I know you are mad about what you are seeing, but this is not the way to talk about the team who gave you opportunity!

For time’s sake (and my own sanity) I’m going to leave it at this:

You are a losing team right now. You have lost consistently since said team decided they were going to build and coach their weakest team aspect-pass rushing and pressuring the quarterback-around you. In these past two seasons you have three more sacks that former President William Howard Taft. Said Taft has been dead for 86 years now. And now that you are on injured reserve with a back issue, you probably aren’t going to increase on that amount anytime soon. In fact most of the time fans of what you call “my team” usually don’t remember you’re on “my team” because you’re not out there too much to begin with. Hence (word of the day) not to sure if social media sniping is going to work here.

Just my two cents. And for what it’s worth, said Cole was two years old when I went to see what he referenced as “my team” win their first regular season game in said new location of what he referenced as “my team” (see older posts for that info-look for a Tara Walczak reference beforehand).

For Cole’s sake…and his man Grigson’s…and Pagano’s….and everyone involved with said Colts organizations, let us hope that Cole’s sons, or as he calls them “my team” actually wins today when they host the Chicago Bears at home. If they lose that one, safe to assume that Cole won’t be participating in any postseason games as a Colt come January and/or February. As for Grigson and Pagano, well, should a 1-4 start and mediocre to s–t play since upsetting Denver in the playoffs a couple seasons ago merit that it’s in fact time for personnel changes….that’s up to the team ownership led by one Jim Irsay to decide. We as fans can only speculate and then hope for the best. Which probably is not a 1-4 record unless you like having a top five pick in the NFL draft every spring, but that’s a probably good point to stop before any Robert Montgomery Knight circa 1985 antics take place in the household. And yes, I tend to struggle when I watch bad football…yet I am a dumb— and watch it anyway (witness me watching Cardinals-49ers till the end of the game this past Thursday) so best to leave it at that.

In fact, it’s probably a good place to wrap up as kickoff is an hour from now. Thanks to any and all who read these as we see if Andrew Luck can stay out of a body bag for at least one more week.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog

9-26-16:The First Post in Three Weeks

Hello to anyone and everyone who reads these. I am admittedly not too disciplined on writing here every day or every week like I was hoping to. No excuses on my part-basically what tends to happen is me getting up at 7 am, being at work 8 am to 5 pm, eating dinner and then doing homework or planning on when to do homework for upcoming school papers (with watching football in between). The result is the title of said blog post. Plan for now is to just note some random bits and pieces from the past three weeks and then look to finish this Senior Year of Sonland (aka Noblesville H.S.) series I started a few weeks back. So here goes on what’s been going on:

-enjoying the job. Earned productivity bonus last week. It is nice to go in and actually enjoy what I’m doing. Save for my night gig from earlier in the year when I’d sit by people who would reenact the bathroom scene from the 1987 semi-classic Mark Harmon/Kirstie Alley movie Summer School  (line of the movie: “The guy in the bathroom got a 91”) I have been much better professionally in the past several months in part because I actually like the work. Kind of important. Down the road I’ll be glad to mention mistakes I made when I was a lot younger after graduating from college number one, but for now safe to say I enjoy working near my hometown and not dealing with a two hour plus round trip or unneeded stress. Life’s too short to deal with that s–t.

As for said movie poster from said movie, of course I’ll post it:

One of those movies I did not mind renting from the local video store back in the day. Just let out a sigh remembering that I in fact DO remember video stores. Sonland City (aka Noblesville) had a few, plus the option of renting films at a couple of supermarkets. (Preference was the Kroger that sprouted up during the end of the Sonland High/beginning of college number one for me. For your additional trivia of the night, the defunct store that was in a plaza which currently houses a Donato’s and a laundromat is the last place I saw one nationally semi-renown fitness trainer Tracy Anderson (then Richardson) of @tracyandersonmethod fame. I’m sure that made a similar dent in her memory bank as well. And if you believe that, then you believe the Cleveland Browns are Super Bowl bound this year too.

TLDR: when you’re fat and 14 years old in late 80’s central Indiana, you rent a lot of movies. Helps when you have that extra pizza to eat. Not piece of pizza, pizza in full. Personal preference was you could get two small pizzas for $7 at the Little Caesar’s that was in the plaza that currently hosts the local Domino’s. Take it from me and my then 47 inch waist, that place got my business back in the day.

-as for school, currently have an A in the class with an 11 page paper completed a couple weeks ago….another 6 page paper completed this past Saturday….another 6-10 page paper due a week from tonight (college football will get cut out this weekend to get it done since I won’t be able to work on it more than 4-5 hours tops said Monday night)…and then after a semi-week off of just discussion board work it’s WRITE THAT FINAL PROJECT with a 12-15 page paper to conclude things. That might explain why I’m not writing much on this blog, but I already came clean in the first paragraph on lack of blog posting so those excuses are for naught.  Main thing to take out of said babble: I write a lot of papers. Which would lead to a reply of NO S–T from both my 14 year old and semi-middle aged self.

We’ll see if I can keep the A. Top comment of said paper writing: I get a lot of practice for writing the dissertation that will be coming sooner rather than later. Would be nice to have “PhD” to throw on some future applications…at the very least because it would achieve a goal I set and that’s the kind of $!$^# that one needs from time to time. Or at least it helps me out since I took over a decade off from school when I should have just gotten the $!^%$! over with to begin with back when the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Cowboys were both perennial championship contenders. (Lots of sports references today, as it sets up the next paragraph).

-Fall means fantasy football as well as watching college football and pro football when I am not writing papers on weekends. Currently fourth place out of ten in my league….there’s four undefeated teams (with me as one of them) and four teams that are without wins. I expect things to even out as it’s a competitive league….ten teams with best eight making the postseason and the tournament playing 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, etc. in first round with the semi-final winners looking to get $300 if they win the tournament. I’ve been runner-up the past two years, hence I haven’t won the $300. (Instead it’s $100 for runner-up). Will see if this is the year I break through. History says good luck with that, but I shall keep hope alive. And hope Cam Newton doesn’t have too many games like he did yesterday.

-the local NFL franchise has been a struggle to deal with. Lucky to have won yesterday to go to 1-2 instead of 0-3. Doing a job to the Detroit Lions to open the year up did no favors.

-as one of the few followers outside of the Bloomington area for Indiana University football, I struggled on Saturday and said “enough” at halftime. Wise decision as they lost 33-28 to Wake Forest. If you lose to Wake Forest, you’re not winning too many national titles. For your sidenote part deux, a previous Instagram post subject (hint: she’s been referenced a few times) attended said game. Considering the IU running game looked like they were running in cement shoes, they probably could have used her speed in the backfield. Figure she’d have SOME eligibility left. And it couldn’t get any worse because, well, it’s IU football. Expectations aren’t too great for a program that hasn’t been to the Rose Bowl since Lyndon B. Johnson was in the White House.

-getting big help by going Thursday nights and Sunday mornings to previously mentioned First Christian Church on Herriman Boulevard in the hometown. Helps me in realizing that I am not alone….and that’s something I need to remember day in and day out no matter what the situation may be. After taking over two decades off due to laziness and bad excuses, I feel better just typing about that. Not sure if anyone there can be suitable replacements for the current group of Colts linebackers and offensive linemen (at least with the chapel service) but then again I should not have world championship expectations to begin with when it comes to said Colts anyway. Need to remember the big picture…and not necessarily the one that sports the likes of Jon Gruden and Cris Collinsworth doing color commentary on NFL broadcasts.

-as always, I am in need of a haircut. Will need to break out the Supercuts coupons soon. Like as in two weeks ago. Which leads me to remember the one and only Frank Mitchell at the barber shop I used to go to with fraternity dudes back at college number one. Dude was a strong University of Kentucky hoops supporter as well as Lexington’s number one barber. Since dude had a plaque on the wall saying TO FRANK MITCHELL LEXINGTON’S NUMBER ONE BARBER we never argued the particulars with dude, we just got our hair cut. If I ever get the green light to make a movie based on my time at college number one, I believe Frank’s place will in fact, yes, make the cut. (Too easy to pass up.)

-to end things up, with a week off from classes next month the plan will be to get things revved up and start selling again on eBay. If there’s a time to do it, it’s holiday time. That helped finance my first semester of Ivy Tech when I went back to school a few years ago, so there are positives with that. And with PhD programs being JUST a bit more expensive than community college, yours truly will need to get motivated and do a better job then what I’ve been doing on said blog writing. Hope to meet the challenge.

With it being 9:37 pm, good place to stop as not surprisingly I’m worried about Falcons-Saints on ESPN -my fantasy football game is on the line thanks to one Mark Ingram being in the lineup for said Saints. Not often I root for said team that beat the Colts to win the Super Bowl a few years ago, but I make an exception tonight. We’ll see what happens.

Thanks to any and all for reading as I hope to get back to the senior year series sooner rather than later. Best wishes to all for a good week.

Jeff

@fitzthoughtsblog