Category: sports

Aaron Judge and the Yankees

I don’t blog about it very often, but I am indeed a Yankee fan, despite living deep in Red Sox nation. I’m not a militant fan, of course. I’ll stick up for my team if they come under assault, but I’m not one to go around yelling about how awful the Red Sox are (even if they’re having an awful season). I also don’t watch all the games religiously, though I catch them when I can, and I enjoy rooting for the team.

So I was very relieved and happy to hear Aaron Judge had signed a 10 year contract with the Yankees. Yes, it’s $360 million. Yes, we’ll still be paying that when he’s 40, and there’s no way of knowing how he’ll be playing by then, but I was firmly in the “we need to pay him whatever it takes to keep him” camp.

My best justification for that is another player near and dear to the hearts of many of my fellow Mainers: Tom Brady.

The amount of love for Tom Brady up here would have been pretty hard to describe. People treated him about as close to a saint as you could get. The man could do no wrong, and he’d been with the Patriots from his rookie season.

Then, they let him go. He was too old. The Pats didn’t want to keep playing him, or didn’t want to pay him as much as he wanted, or something else stood in the way. He stopped being a Patriot, and he went to Tampa Bay, where he subsequently won another Super Bowl.

The Patriots, in my opinion, should have paid whatever they had to keep Brady with the team, and they should have let him keep playing as long as he wanted to. He’d taken the team to a 12-4 record his last season as a Patriot. He should have been there until he retired completely. Instead, there’s this strang sort of limbo situation where he’s been a Buccaneer for three years now. He’ll never be a 100% Patriot player, and I think that’s a shame.

Look at some of the Yankees who were Yankees from their rookie season until they retired:

  • Lou Gehrig
  • Earle Combs
  • Bill Dickey
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Phil Rizzuto
  • Whitey Ford
  • Mickey Mantle
  • Don Mattingly
  • Bernie Williams
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Derek Jeter

There are more, but that’s an impressive list. What would it have been like to let Gehrig or DiMaggio or Rivera or Jeter play out the rest of their careers on a team other than the Yankees?

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’m a big believer in team loyalty, both from a player to a team and a team to a player. If Judge had left, I wouldn’t have just criticized the Yankees for letting him go. I would have criticized Judge for leaving. To switch sports, it’s one of my beefs with college football now and the transfer portal. One of the things I really liked about college sports was players coming and sticking with their team until they graduated. More and more, it’s feeling like a free agent market out there.

Anyway. Not like many of you will care about this, and it’s a far cry from my typical blog post fodder, but it’s something I’d been thinking about for a while, and I was happy to see the resolution I was rooting for.

Go Yankees!

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this DON’T GO TO SLEEP Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

How to Fix Instant Replay in College Football

I’m a big fan of college football. I love watching games each year, and I prefer it to the NFL. I like seeing how teams have to constantly change and evolve year after year. It puts an element into the game that really appeals to me. The strategy’s great. There are tons of exciting plays to watch, and it moves along at a fairly good pace. (Up until the last few minutes of each half, of course.)

But.

While I’m a fan of instant replay, I hate hate hate the way it’s carried out in college football. Some games, it feels like all I’m doing is watching the refs watch a screen. A close play happens, and then for the next ten minutes, we’re all just waiting to see what the final ruling is. At the same time, I also don’t want to go back to the days of yore, where blatantly bad calls were allowed to stand. (Recognizing, of course, that there are still blatantly bad non-calls that stand. Such is life. It’s a part of the game.)

In my opinion, the answer is to institute a replay clock. Just like teams only have a set amount of time to make a call, the referees should have 60 seconds to make a decision one way or the other. Sure, maybe the timer doesn’t start until the ref is at the monitor and can start actually looking at the replay, but once that’s set, they need to make a call one way or the other. If they don’t say anything after 60 seconds, the call stands. The end.

Honestly, if there are calls that are so close it takes ten minutes of analysis of ultra slow motion footage to determine if it’s a fair catch or whatever, then I’m fine with those calls just staying however they were on the field. Almost always, everyone in the stadium and at home sees the replay and knows one way or the other which way the call should go.

Will there be wailing and gnashing of teeth? Sure, but it’s worth it in my book. Some games tack on an extra half hour with everyone just waiting for the refs to make a call. Imagine that. 30 minutes of time. If a million people are watching the game, that’s 347 days of wasted time between them all. Almost an entire year evaporated. You might as well go out and sit in traffic, for as much good as that time’s doing you.

There should still be a set number of times anyone can challenge a play. Just because it doesn’t take forever doesn’t mean I want each and every play to be reviewed. But with this small change, I think the games would be faster paced and ultimately even more enjoyable.

What do you think?

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this DON’T GO TO SLEEP Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

All Hail Daniela, the Victorious

I’ve been running March Madness tournaments for a good long while. I usually keep three going: one for my blog, one for my extended family, and one for my church group. There’s some overlap between those different groups, as family and church friends participate on the blog bracket, and Denisa and the kids usually participate in all of them.

However, I don’t ever recall one person winning all three. There’s usually enough variety that someone might do well in one, but someone else inevitably aces them out with a better bracket.

That is, until this year, when Daniela managed to win all three brackets, though it was tight in some. She won the blog bracket by 490 points, the family bracket by 150, and the church bracket by a mere 30 points. Overall, she came in #153,410 out of about 17 million players on ESPN.

Of course, the funny thing is that when I sat with her to make her picks, I kept thinking to myself she didn’t have a shot of winning. She was picking a lot of upsets at the beginning, and then more mainstream choices toward the end, and I just didn’t think it was going to shake out like that. This proves what a nincompoop I am.

In any event, I’m committed to putting Daniela’s name in my acknowledgements, which would actually be a downgrade, since I dedicated my last book to her. But fair is fair. Also, I will note that she’s better than me, which kind of goes without saying. I’ll also see if I can’t give her some sort of an opportunity to name a character (or appear as one) in the book.

Well done, Daniela, and thanks to everyone who played!

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

March Madness 2022 Edition!

How could I stay away during March Madness? Actually, I’m hoping I’ll be able to post more regularly for the next while, as I’m through many of the time intensive things that were filling up my plate. But for today, I’m just going to ease into it with a simple invitation to come join my blog bracket challenge. Last year, the lucky winner got the chance to name one of the main characters in my book (Don’t Go to Sleep, coming out in August!) So when you meet Enzo, you can thank Rachel Cundick for choosing a name so much better than Jake. (Not that Jake’s a bad name, mind you.)

This year, the book I’m working on is much more historically based, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to name a character for you. I will, however, put your name in the acknowledgements, along with a note that you’re better than I am. How’s that for commitment?

To enter (by Thursday at noon!), go to this link. Group name and password are below.

Group: Bryce’s Ramblings
Password: vodnik

I hope to see some of you there!

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

A Superb Super Bowl

I realize the Super Bowl isn’t for everyone. And honestly, I am far from a raging NFL fan. Often, the Super Bowl is the only game I watch each year. (I’m a much bigger college football fan, although even then, I typically just watch BYU games and leave the rest alone–even the national championship and bowl games.) But I do watch the Super Bowl each year, mainly because of all the trappings around it. I enjoy seeing what commercials they come up with, I like critiquing the half time show, and I cross my fingers that the game is actually a good one.

Last night’s was fun from the beginning to the end, despite the fact that I literally didn’t care who won, so long as it was a close game. (That meant that I was largely rooting for Cincinnati the whole time, because underdog.) The game itself was really compelling, with the outcome in question all the way to the end of the fourth quarter. (Well, almost.) There were some great plays, some questionable calls, and more than enough to really keep me watching the whole time.

It helped that the halftime show was really well done. The last one I really remember is Lady Gaga’s performance in 2017, and if I can’t remember the halftime show, then in my book it pretty much failed. The Weeknd? Shakira? Maroon 5? Timberlake? They’re all generally a blur to me. Yes, this could be due to the fact that I’m not as squarely in the age demographic for those artists, but I’m also not a huge rap-o-phile. Yet I recognized most of the songs, and it was full of spectacle.

The ads were also entertaining. It’s interesting to me how many of them end of getting very different reactions from people. For example, I thought the Dolly Parton ad was disappointing. She so often speaks out for important causes, to have her instead participate in a spoof of those causes was a bad match for me. But the floating QR code was right up my alley. Memorable, and it even got me to immediately do something in response to it. (I don’t remember ever watching an ad and then suddenly going to buy some Pringles, for example.) $15 in free money? Sure, I’m game, even if it meant I had to sign up for a service.

Other ads I liked included the Disney+ goats, the Uber Eats “don’t eat diapers and other stuff” ad, the Toyota ad that featured the skiing brothers (though random that it was about Toyota), and the Alexa mindreader ad.

On the other hand, I didn’t care for the Google camera ad (the pictures they showed that were bad were mostly poorly lit, while the improved pictures all had wonderful lighting, so I felt it didn’t really show anything) and the Schwarzenegger Zeud ad (no.) But those were the only ones that really stood out to me as bad (other than the Dolly one).

So all-in-all, I was entertained for the whole time last night. What about you–what did you think?

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

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