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Friday, February 25, 2011

A Hazy Shade of Winter

Well, it's been some time, time, time since I posted. So, I figured you might want to see what's become of me, while I looked around for my possibilities. Winter is typically a very slow season for me in terms of sports and travel, as I usually like to avoid weather-related travel issues and stay close to home. Also, it's a good chance for me to work some extra hours and make a bit of money for all of those event tickets, airfares, and tanks of gas. So we'll make it a short post today.

Certainly the biggest sports event since I last wrote was the Super Bowl. I gathered with a group of friends to watch, as usual. Aside from the excellent company, what a disaster! My most despised team took the title, after beating my Bears at Soldier Field in a horrible NFC Championship game. At least the game was entertaining, and the outcome was in doubt until the final minute. The same cannot be said for the commercials and the halftime show. This year featured possibly the worst overall group of commercials in memory. There were a few standouts, such as the pug crashing through the door and Roseanne Barr being crushed by a log. However, there were so many times I wondered if that was all that $3 million could buy. Hmmm, fund every food bank in Ohio for six months or a year, or make an obscenely stupid commercial of a cartoon Eminem? The halftime show was even more pathetic. Let's go back to the fogey rock. At least Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and The Who didn't expose us to drivel like this, nor the horrors of Fergie trying to sing without the assistance of a computer. (Note to self: Fergie as Kilroy / Mr. Roboto in remake of the classic Styx concept album?)

In other winter sports news, nothing happened. Well, fine then. The NBA and NHL played a number of mostly meaningless regular-season games, since more than half of the teams make the playoffs anyway. College basketball is in full-swing, and no team can stay #1 for more than a week or two without being knocked off. The Big East looks to be the best conference by far. That means that I will once again pick Syracuse, Georgetown, or Villanova in my brackets and lose miserably. Sorry if I seem a bit cranky. I am looking out at the 6"-plus of new snow we got overnight and wondering when spring will arrive.

It already has, you say? Ah, if only I could be in Arizona or Florida, as Spring Training brings the promise of a long summer of baseball. One of the other great parts about this time of year for me is that I'm planning my sports travels for the spring and summer. Here's what's already on the agenda:

*** Circle City Derby Girls at Glass City Rollers (tomorrow, Feb. 26): I am anxious to watch two of my favorite teams bout, and only fifteen minutes from home! I'll be there with a great group, five adults and three kids in total. I'm very interested to see how much Circle City has improved since I saw them at the Cincinnati Gardens. I also had the pleasure of seeing a "fresh meat" mini-bout between these two leagues here in the Glass City last year. Tomorrow night should be a fun start to my derby season.

*** Wild West Showdown derby tournament in Bremerton, WA (Mar. 4-6): I'm off to the Seattle area for three days of derby and a chance to visit with a great friend from college. The big-name teams in attendance are Rat, Rose, Denver, and Philly, but I am also very interested in seeing some of the smaller leagues in the West. After all, the likelihood of me getting to see them again is pretty slim. I did all the touristy things in my last visit to the area, so I'm looking for more fun ideas.

*** Anaheim Ducks at Chicago Blackhawks (Mar. 26): I'm hoping to get a look at the Stanley Cup when I attend my first Hawks home game in three years. A picture with the Cup would look great next to my picture with the White Sox World Series Trophy. The Hawks are having a rough time with their title defense, and they would actually be out of the playoffs if the season ended today. Still, the United Center will be loud. I can't wait for the Star-Spangled Banner. If you've never seen a Hawks game in Chicago, it's worth the trip just to experience this.

*** TBA at Cincinnati Rollergirls (Apr. 9): This will be my first CRG game of the season, and I can't wait. TBA is known as a hungry, up-and-coming team, and I always love to see both the Silent Lambs and the Black Sheep skate. Of course, I'm also looking forward to spending some time with The Librarian, Miss Print, Trauma, and so many more of my favorites.

*** Columbus Clippers at Toledo Mud Hens (Apr. 14): Mud Hens Opening Day is always one of my favorite days of the year, and this year brings a doubleheader. A pre-game buffet and two baseball games from my seats ten rows behind home plate will always make me happy.

*** Cincinnati Sports Doubleheader (Apr. 30-May 1): My trademark Rollergirls-Reds weekend. Naptown at CRG on Saturday night will be followed by Marlins at Reds on Sunday. I'm hoping that by going early in the season, I'll actually get to see both games without sweating too much.

So, as I trudge through the last weeks of winter, I have hope. Soon, I'll look around, the grass will be high, and the fields will be ripe. This is truly the springtime of my life!

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