What An Opportunity

The boy who knew too much

In Sports on February 6, 2015 at 12:14 am

There’s something about being from Buffalo, New York. There’s something about being obsessed with a football team that has not made the playoffs since 1999. There’s something about knowing chicken wings only come from one…er, two places. There’s something about a bar with a wall of televisions that refers to more than just our area code. I think our city has a passion, that can border on obnoxious, but comes from unconditional love. I think our city is proud of our roots and what we can give to others. I think our city is coming back from an economic downturn and striving to be a draw again. There’s something else I know about being from Buffalo, New York: I’m pretty sure we all hate the New England Patriots.

See, the Buffalo Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999 and that streak has shared a majority of its time with the emergence of a certain 6th-round pick turned first-ballot Hall of Famer. The Bills have only beat the Patriots twice since 2005 including once this past season. On the other hand, the Patriots have won 4 Super Bowls in 14 seasons including one last Sunday. Also in the last 14 years, the Patriots have appeared in the Super Bowl 6 times, completed a regular season undefeated, and made the playoffs every season but one year. I can understand why we don’t like the Patriots, they kick our butt. Every year. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why we hate the players.

I will not repeat the terms and jokes I have heard about Tom Brady and his sexuality, fashion, and night-time regimens. I’m pretty sure every Patriots player takes food from poor, hungry children in soup kitchens. Should I even mention where Bill Belichick can go?

But why do we hate these players? They are paid to play a sport for a franchise. They are men from a variety of backgrounds and stories. There is something…pure about not like players because they play for a certain franchise. It speaks to fanhood, support for your hometown, and camaraderie in disliking other people. For me, it took a certain amount of naivete to just assume people are bad because I don’t like how their football-related decisions affect my football team. But isn’t it harder to hate players nowadays? I mean, I don’t why you would throw the ball, but is there a cooler story than Malcolm Butler right now?

Malcolm Butler is a nickel corner from the Patriots who made the game-winning play in the Super Bowl this past weekend. He played at a small university and his chances of making the NFL were bleak at best. Heck, on the last pass play before his interception, he was the victim of a catch that would make Newton reconsider the tenets of physics. His rags-to-riches story cuts through the tribal B.S. that can sometimes constitute fandom. He isn’t just some player on those awful Patriots. He is Malcolm Butler. We know too much.

Even the most faithful Patriots fan can’t be too happy about this playoff run. The Patriots have been accused of cheating in the AFC Championship; a game they won handily 38-7. This is not the first time the Patriots have been accused of cheating and the NFL has opened an investigation. Some fans will inevitably bunker down and hold up the Lombardi trophy as a testament to “Us Against The World”. However, I think some fans have to consider how many of their wins can be attributed to cheating. We know too much.

This whole “knowing too much” isn’t just with football. Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, recently did a piece for ESPN the Magazine touching on the NBA’s openness to legalizing sports betting in the entire United States. As a naive fan, it blew my mind that a top-tier professional sports league would actually concede to legalizing sports betting. I put this topic to my GoS brethren and Aaron provided a question to my question that was spectacular: Would you rather have $500,000 in cash of $10 million in crack?

The analogy is on point. The amount of money bet on the NBA is double the annual profit of the NBA. If the NBA could tax betting organizations for official NBA Stats & Information, they could make enough money to buy a country.  Further, regulation of sports betting could make betting safer for consumers with more transparency throughout the process. This sports betting story is not even considering the new TV contract set to come to fruition in the upcoming years that will push NBA profits to unprecedented heights. So much for naivete.

Does the little boy in me know too much? Probably. Have I lost that sense of wonder with sports? I don’t know. But I know I lost my voice last Sunday. See for some reason, as I watched the Patriots win another Super Bowl, I couldn’t stop myself from yelling, WHO THROWS THE BALL?!

 

The times

In Life on February 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Could have sworn I would do anything to see you smile again

(Still do I suppose, considering I think you smiled at that)

Wandering through the city with eyes of wonder

Hope you haven’t lost that wonder in your eyes

Thought that finding a path would make me whole

Turns out it’s just a part of what makes us fulfilled

Filling our lives with the dreams of our 9 yr. old selves

And we wonder why we aren’t getting any sleep

 

Somebody somewhere said something about being born as an elderly person and living life backwards (chronologically) so we would have the energy to compensate for mistakes we made and chances we missed earlier in life. Makes sense. Life is funny that way.

 

Never know what people are going through though. Nobody has it figured out. We’re all just…living. Somebody somewhere said something about live-laugh-love. Makes sense. I like love-laugh-repeat.

 

I don’t know much outside of that. love. laugh. repeat. love. laugh. repeat.

 

The times…they are a changin…

Shooting star

In Life on July 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm

 

Like to think that, before the books were written, we really thought the sky was falling

Counting each trailing comet as another sign of the end

We know better now

But what if that sky really was coming down? Where would we be?

 

We could be pouring ourselves into others

We could be trading miles for memories

We could be love we never saw in the distance

We could be the beginning of all things new

We could be the regrets that strain the spirit

We could be the tears on the pillow

We could be the gleam in her eyes

We could be the shoulders for him to stand on

We could be the path back to our Father

 

We could be seeing the world: a collection of memories, laughs, and dreams interwoven within borders of time and space to structure a life fulfilled in service,  the warmth of kind words, and quality of purpose.

 

For me, I want to see the world the way I see a world with you

One perfect shooting star after another

 

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