Category Archives: Sports

For Mike, the Jets Fan – When Beer & Chocolate Can Make Things Better

When I tried out a new recipe yesterday, a carryover from St. Patrick’s Day, I had no way of knowing that it could be medicinal for my poor husband.  Mike, lifelong and diehard Jets fan, enjoyed one piece last night and may very well feel like demolishing the rest of it tonight.

The recipe is for Chocolate Guinness Cake (see my Food post from today, NYINNJ – Food ).  The original occasion was St. Patrick’s Day but we went out to eat that night instead, so our leftover St. Patrick’s Day dinner was last night.   I don’t make corned beef or cabbage myself, ever, but it’s the traditional dinner and we’re traditional people.  Thank goodness, the Market Place has the delicious and easy-to-pick-up complete dinner for take out, so problem solved!

Today, though, is cause for the cake to not be celebratory.  This cake is now medicinal.   In the midst of a circus-like off season for Mike’s Jets, rumors and accusations have been consistent and frustrating.  If that wasn’t enough, Peyton Manning went to the Broncos and now Tim Tebow has landed with the Jets.  The circus atmosphere is now approaching Ringling Brothers proportions. 

The thing is, Mike is a pretty even tempered fan.  He’s been a Jets/Mets/Rangers fan for his entire life, so this latest drama isn’t new to him nor is it likely to turn him off from rooting for his team.  If this was happening to the Giants, I’d be having an anxiety attack, no kidding.  He’s realistic enough to not expect much good to come of the Sanchez-Tebow QB situation but he’s also laid back enough to not let it faze him much. 

We’ll call him the Chocolate portion of the sports-aspect of our relationship.  Steady, reliable, sometimes WOW! and sometimes Meh…   It’s rare to have bad chocolate, right?  The kind you spit out?  Doesn’t happen much.

Then there’s me.  Most of my family and friends know how I’m a bit… shall we say… obsessed?  passionate?  frantically loyal?  nuts?  about my sports teams.  Mike is definitely as loyal about his teams as I am about mine but he shows his enthusiasm differently.  He, for example, doesn’t need to do deep breathing exercises when watching the 4th quarter or 9th inning.  He gives me his hand to squeeze for that last second field goal attempt, not vice versa.  I’m not sure I’d have fingers left if he ever tried that on me…

So, in the Chocolate Guinness Cake analogy, I’m the beer portion – I don’t think I need to explain why…

Anyway, the cake is delicious – and it may prove to be our ‘go to’ comfort food depending on how things go for our resident Jets fan.

Spring training

Today has been a difficult day in some ways and quietly happy in others.

Spring is showing signs of being here for good, at least in our area.  Out west in North Dakota, winter mixed with historic flooding is showing more proof that Nature can best anything we throw at it.  In my front yard, I see daffodils pushing their way through the dirt, and I’m pleased that the rabbits and chipmunks didn’t eat as many of the bulbs I’d planted last fall as I thought they had.   I try not to think of the battles I’ll go through in the summer months with the chipmunks, rabbits, groundhog and deer.  Best to enjoy the little stubs of greenery while I can…

The day is ending quietly, almost soothing to my nerves.  I’ve been peripherally watching “City Slickers” while checking email, doing some online research and shopping, and worrying in my head.  There is a scene in the movie that sums up my father’s relationship with technology (the VCR explanation scene) and makes me think not only of him, but also of my brother.  My brother had seen the movie in the theater before I did and had left a message on my answering machine once he got home.  “See the movie,” he’d said.  And there will be a scene that will remind me of Dad.  How will I know which scene?  “You’ll just KNOW.  Trust me.”

So I saw the movie with some friends and when the scene was over, I blurted out loud (forgetting where I was, apparently) “That’s my dad!”    Who knows what my friends or anyone else in the movie theater thought.  All I was thinking of, though, was my dad.  And smiling…

Fast forward a nice chunk of years, and the movie is playing on the TV as Mike walks through the room.  He is quick to point out that Billy Crystal’s character is wearing a Mets’ baseball cap.  Mike, die hard Mets fan, then tells me (as if I haven’t heard this before a few times) that you couldn’t pry Billy Crystal out of Shea Stadium in the 80s, when (1) the Mets were generally better & more popular than the Yankees and (2) “City Slickers” was filmed.

I acknowledge this to be true.  Fine, humor him.  See, I know where this is going.  Billy Crystal is more recently known as a big Yankee fan, even so far as to be a part of some of the pomp & circumstance of their big moments in the past 15 years.   This doesn’t gel with Mr. Met and is a guarantee to get his feathers ruffled.  He’s cute when he feels his team has been wronged.  Kinda.

All of this brings me back to baseball.  This season, I’ve joined a fantasy baseball league with some friends.  As much as I love baseball and follow it fairly closely, I have NO clue what I’m doing and we haven’t even started the season yet.  The “draft” is this weekend and I’ve ranked my players that I’d like to end up with.  I did some research, but only because I thought my chances of being even a teensy bit competitive would be enhanced if I didn’t just pick players that I’d heard of, thought were nice guys (note – NOT A-Rod or Manny Ramirez), and preferably Yankees.  We’ll see how I do.  I have very low expectations so I’m sure to not disappoint myself at all.

With the start of spring comes the seeds of summer.  I registered Nicholas for summer camp,  checked our stock of Avon’s Skin-So-Soft bug spray (ordered more! On sale!), and made my list of seeds and plants to buy for the garden.    There’s a lot of time between now and when all that stuff comes to fruition.   And like the baseball season, it’ll be here before I know it.

Let’s give it another go…

Way back in the fall, Mike and I apparently had some time on our hands (or we were simply not thinking clearly) and thought “Hey!  We could have a blog!”  Why the hell not, right?  “Everyone” is blogging these days and far be it for either of us geeks to NOT jump on board.  We’re on Facebook, darnit!

So one evening, with all of the eagerness of a beaver before a flood, I set up this here blog and then… nothing…

I blame the Yankees AND the Mets, actually, because their post-season THUDs coincided with our complete lack of awareness of our brilliant Let’s Blog! idea.

But alas, there are signs of baseball and yes, spring.

In some parts of Florida, there are indications that our teams are picking themselves up and ready to face another season. I can’t say that I’m particularly thrilled, what with being a Yankees fan and all.  Mike, bless him, is more optimistic – I think.     Will Santana start on Opening Day?  Hmmm…

The thing is, with spring just around the corner, the economy in shambles nearly all around us, and the hard earned wisdom that the last few baseball seasons have taught us about ‘expectations,’ baseball in our household simply doesn’t hold the same “Yay!  Pitchers & Catchers are reporting!” breath of hope that it used to.

So tonight I’m blogging about why that is the case.

Maybe it’s the steroids thing.  Or, as Mike and half the sporting world calls it, A-Roid.  Oh well.  I think it’s safe to say that the glow of post-Barry Bonds happy moments for ‘the record’ is gone for good.  And lucky me, my team signed A-Rod and his freakshow up for a 10 year bloody contract.  I have emails, somewhere, to my friends Dorothy and Bill (Red Sox fans, but I’m still fond of them) that I hated the contract, didn’t want A-Rod to come back and so on.

If I had a blog back then, I would have proof here as well that I did NOT want A-Rod to stay a Yankee.  As far as I’m concerned, the Yankees have no shot in hell to win the World Series as long as A-Rod is on the team.  NONE.  Unfortunately, this increases the chances that Nicholas will grow up a Mets fan – which is far far worse than the Yankees not winning a championship.  At least in my world…

But I digress…

Maybe the blahs about baseball is due to the fact that we have Shea Stadium seats in our basement that cost what could realistically be cheaper than what it would take for our family of 4 to go to a game – any game – at both new stadiums of our teams this season.  Scary, sad and, in my opinion, disgusting.

Or maybe it’s that Mike and I are still happy that the Steelers won the Super Bowl in such OH MY GOD fashion that baseball hasn’t grabbed our full attention yet.  When a household collectively roots for 3 teams (Steelers, Jets, and Giants) in today’s NFL, it is safe to assume that at least 1 of the teams will make it to the post-season, especially given the teams we love.  Still, the odds were not necessarily in Pittsburgh’s favor and since the Steelers are the only professional sports team that both of us follow faithfully (and have before we even met), it was SUCH a great Super Bowl that we’ve happily basked in some kind of glow since the game ended (and how about that ending anyway?  I’ve watched it repeatedly on YouTube!).

Regardless of the reasons that I feel the way I do and possibly Mike does too (he’ll have to chime in at some point to answer this!), spring is on its way and baseball with it.  The snow has melted in our yard, though more may come our way before winter finally gives up, and Little League practices will begin soon.  The banter that Mike and I engage in over our teams will inevitably follow though, I strongly suspect, without the intensity or (gasp!) interest as in the past.

We’ll see…