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Showing posts from August, 2014

A Post-Script on the Importance of Sports

I didn't intend to write about sports twice in one week, but it has been forced upon me.  I have thought for a while now that Every Day Should Be Saturday may be the best blog on the Internet.  On one level, it is a blog about college football, but on the other hand it is a Proustian reflection on the meaning of life.  The primary author/founder Spencer Hall is an unbelievably good writer, and his piece today is one of the most beautiful I have ever read.  Seriously, go read it and then come back.

I can't write like he can, but his piece triggered two thoughts about college football.  The first has to do with my father.  Some of my earliest memories of him involve Penn State football.  He loved Penn State, and he loved Joe Paterno.  More importantly, he believed in Joe Paterno, the person.  In 1987, Penn State played Miami in the National Championship Game.  Penn State were the good guys, and Miami were the bad guys.  Miami was a much, much better team, but Penn State found a …

Pop Culture Monday--Being a Sports Fan is Irrational, And That's a Good Thing

I love sports.  I always have.  My clearest early memory was going to the first ever Kickoff Classic--the opening game of the college football season--in 1983 (age 5).  I drove with my father to Giants Stadium in the swamps of the Meadowlands to see his favorite team, the Penn State Nittany Lions, begin their defense of the National Title against Nebraska.  He was excited, I was excited--it was great.  We sat right behind the goal posts.  I couldn't be happier.

Penn State lost 44 to 6 to a Nebraska team that would go on to play for the National Championship and featured eventual Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier.  Rozier ran for, I think, 800 yards or something.  In reality, it wasn't as close as 44-6 would suggest.  It was really, really ugly.  Nevertheless, it is still a fond memory.

Being a sports fan is fundamentally an irrational act.  You think about and put mental energy into something that has no idea that you exist.  You enter a season with hope, but with the understa…

Sometimes, It is the Little Things

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Hi, 'all.  I'm back from my summer blogging vacation--a few weeks off to charge the batteries and refocus.  Content should be back to original levels in the next couple of weeks.

Deep down, I am a massive geek.  I know and accept that part of myself.  In fact, I've come to embrace it--ultimately, geekdom is about imagination, and imagination is how you expand your mind and your horizons.  I will defend geekdom to the death.

There are many flavors of geekdom--video game geeks, Star War geeks, Star Trek geeks, other sci-fi geeks, anime geeks, etc.  I like many of those things, but my preferred form of geekdom is Tabletop Role-Playing Games.  The most famous Tabletop RPG, and the one that got me interested in the genre in 4th grade, is Dungeons & Dragons.  D&D, for those not familiar, was invented in the middle 70s as a way to tell fantasy stories modeled on books such as The Lord of the Rings.  In the 80s, folks thought that D&D led to Satan worship and suicide, …

Quick Hit--Rest In Peace, Robin Williams

Robin Williams died today, apparently of a suicide.  People have reacted to express their love for Williams, and rightfully so, as he was one of the most maniacally funny comedians I've ever seen.  He had a long history of struggling with addiction, and there are reports he was suffering from pouts of depression.

Among the comments when one sees when someone famous commits suicide, you usually find some version of "I cannot imagine how someone would get to the point where they would do something like that."

I can.

I've never seriously considered committing suicide.  I've never been in that place.  But I've seen that place from where I was standing.

I cannot speak to addiction, but I can speak to depression.  One of the most insidious aspects of depression is that your mind blocks out what it feels like to be in the grip of depression once it is over.  It's a defense mechanism, I am sure, but it makes every episode feel like the worst experience you have …