Monday, July 6, 2015

Jupiterhill

Monday Evening Commentary

This is going to be a rant with no pictures.  As I write this, I have no scans so I needed something to write and wanted to get some things off my chest.  Not all is sports related, and some might offend people.  I'm sorry if you are offended, but these are my thoughts.

First off, let me say I am happy that the United States Women's Soccer Team won yesterday.  It sounded like almost complete dominance.  I said "sounded" because I didn't watch it.  I didn't watch any of the games, U.S. or otherwise in the tournament.  While some of it is my lack of passion for soccer, and I really have to be in the mood to watch unlike other sports, the main reason I skipped it was because I was boycotting the U.S. team. Specifically I was boycotting Hope Solo.  We may never know what really happened the night she got into a fight with her nephew, but the fact is many people let it slide so our team had a better chance to win.  As I've stated on here many times before, I view most sports as entertainment.  However I feel when competing in International competitions (World Cup, Olympics, World Baseball Classic) you should have athletes representing your country with integrity.  I've never shown Hope Solo show remorse for her actions.  In fact I've seen the opposite, she claimed to be the victim, and when evidence showed that may not have been the case, Hope and here supporters played it off as "they are trying to cash in on Hope Solo's name". 

At first I thought maybe I was being harsh.  Maybe people were right, I was bashing her because she was a woman and it gave me a chance to say "women athletes never get punished for stuff like this".  But that isn't the case.  I tend to hold grudges.  I was a fan of Larry Johnson when he was on the Chiefs.  He was a good player.  As time went on, I heard more and more stories about him.  Assaulting women, spitting on people, throwing drinks at them.  He lost my respect, and to this day I get a look of disgust on my face when I see his name.  (As a note, if you send my Chiefs cards, which I'm not asking for, just saying, please refrain from sending cards of him).  There have been others too that I've stopped collecting for what they do outside of their sports.  My point is, is that I can't separate the athlete on the field from their off the field antics.  Sure I can look past people having a bad day and yelling at a fan (unless you do it quite often), but I still think of athletes, and famous people in general as role-models.  To be honest I think all adults should be role-models.  I can't sit and root for somebody (male or female) if they do something violent or wrong that has a lasting effect on another human.

Some may ask me why I don't oppose steroids as much as others.  The truth is that ideally I think they shouldn't be in sports.  I think they cause false hopes and dreams for kids looking up to their favorite star then realize he used a banned substance to achieve their greatness.  However, I don't think it really causes a lot of harm beyond the person using that substance.  Steroids aren't always evil.  They can actually help you positively if you don't abuse it or take it for prolonged periods.  If an athlete wants to take it to recover, I have no problem at all with it.  If they take it beyond that, again, I don't think they should, but they should understand the consequences from their peers, fans, the media, but most importantly how it could affect their health.

Okay, I'll move on.  I didn't want to talk about steroids, I wanted to discuss why I abstained from the Women's World Cup.  Which is a shame because the rest of the team deserves a lot of kudos today.

A couple events I did watch this weekend many people don't consider sports.  I disagree with them, but I also find these events entertaining and that's why I watched.  First up was the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.  Sure watching 20 guys dunks hot dog buns in water then down their throats for 10 minutes is disgusting, but I think of it much like the Kentucky Derby.  Stay with me here.

Both the Kentucky Derby and the Hot Dog Contest last only a few minutes.  However, the hoopla and the excitement surrounding it builds it up so much that you can't resist.  To me, this is the best year for the Hot Dog contest in many years.  First and foremost, we have a new champion.  Joey Chestnut lost, and I was happy Matt Stonie unseated him.  I'm not much of a fan of dynasties, and I was tired of Joey winning.  I had a good feeling going into the day Stonie could win.  I follow Major League Eating somewhat and I remembered he almost won last year.  Before Saturday, Stonie had beaten Joey 6 times already in head to head competition this year (they eat more than just hot dogs).

The actual contest is somewhat of an afterthought in a way.  You also almost feel sorry for the announcers who have to build the event up ("Chestnut is one of the best dynasties in sports", they compared him to the 1990's Bulls), but maybe Paul Page deserved it.  Much like boxing where all the hoopla is sometimes better than the match, you really need to see the introductions of these competitors.  Some wear facepaint (Tim "Eater X" Janus), one wears a Viking Helmet (Erick "The Red"), one has a bio which read "he has no emotion, he broke up with his girlfriend 3 days ago and euthanized his dog to stay focused" (I hope he was joking).  They understand this is a spectacle but they also realize they can make money and gain endorsements and popularity.

Major League Eating isn't just stuffing food down your throat.  Many people think its wrong and its just a bunch of fat guys eating fast.  They are so wrong.  Most of the competitors train a variety of ways and Chestnut himself has gone over how he prepares.  You don't train by eating hot dogs, in fact most don't eat most of the food they compete in.  Oddly enough some competitors are vegan! HOW?  One competitor on Saturday runs in marathons, and if you saw the stage, only a couple were really big guys.  Some have regular jobs, one's a teacher.  They do it because they enjoy doing it.  Isn't that what sports should be about?

Another event I watched (when it finally stopped raining) was NASCAR.  People think they sit in a car and go in circles 500 times.  Again, people are crazy if they think that.  You need to be in shape to compete, many lost double digit pounds racing each week.  Some people think fans only enjoy racing to see crashes.  While some may, I don't.  Sure, I admit it catches my eye, but being a fan of a guy who never cracks the top 20 each week, you actually hope for less crashes.  NASCAR uses a lot of strategy, and timing.

Last nights race saw a few crashes (I admit I was tired and fell asleep for a while, not from boredom, but when you find a chance to sleep you take it), the biggest being the final lap.  I awoke as it was ending and I saw scores of pit crewmen rushing to a car.  Then I realized it was upside down and half of it was missing.  Then I saw his engine just lying in the grass in flames.  WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? His car hit the safety fence (which was shredded) and he flipped a few times.  Its a video worth seeing.  The amazing thing was he was okay.  It brought relief to me to see because he was driving the #3 car, the same as Dale Earnhardt, who died at that exact track 14 years ago.  The kid is the first driver to use the #3 in the series since Dale.  It isn't very fun to see crashes like this to be honest, luckily nobody died.  Some of the debris did go into the crowd and injured some fans, but I hear they are all okay.

I guess thats enough stuff to rant and rave about for now.  If nothing else it allowed me to let some stuff out and I feel a bit better.  As I am finishing this, the mail is here, and I got some stuff to write about.  I guess I need to get the scanner out and start working on future blogs.  Thanks for bearing with me for tonight, and sorry if it didn't make a lot of sense.  I hope everyone has a great night.

5 comments

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7/6/15, 6:29 PM delete

Who's your driver? We are huge Kyle Busch fans here

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Marc
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7/6/15, 6:40 PM delete

Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick fans here.

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Jupiterhill
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7/6/15, 7:13 PM delete

I root for Michael Annett. So, he made it to lap four before he was in a wreck. Then I root for Sam Hornish Jr. who was also in the wreck. From there I wait it out and see who is doing good and doesn't always win. I do root for Kyle quite often though.

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Jupiterhill
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7/6/15, 7:16 PM delete

I like both of them, but I don't root for them much. I like Harvick's ability to pick the right time to pounce and take the lead and the win.

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Matthew Scott
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7/7/15, 7:07 AM delete

I guy I worked with in college is the head race engineer for A.J. Allmendinger.

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