Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday's Best

My random mish-mosh, hodge-podge, cornocopia of thoughts today:

1) How hot was Cameron Diaz in The Mask? I mean, really. When Tina Carlyle (Diaz) enters the bank from the pouring rain outside, and bends over to fix her shoes and dress, I would have given anything to be Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey). She peaked RIGHT THEN.

2) Padres pitcher Mat Latos is on the 15-day disabled list because he has a strained oblique. How did he strain said oblique? "Stifling a sneeze" in the dugout between innings. Is it weird that I REALLY would like to have seen how strong that sneeze was gonna be?

3) I love mint chocolate chip ice cream. It's my go-to, never-fails delectable frozen treat. Honorable mention to: Chocoloate Chip Cookie Dough.

4) What happened to the days where I was 17, could play four sports in one day, and never feel as much as a muscle twinge? Now I get out of bed after a day of WORKING AT A DESK, and I walk around with every joint and bone creaking, cracking, and aching. WTF?

Friday, July 16, 2010

8th Grade Yearbook - 2010!

Well, after a full day's worth of in depth thought and analysis, I have come up with the current day answers to the questions posed to me back in 1999 from my 8th grade yearbook. There were some tough decisions along the way, but in the spirit of keeping the loyal masses fully informed, I narrowed it down to my very favorites.

(Click here to view my posts from 8th Grade)


Favorite Movie - Dumb & Dumber; Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Band/Song - Boyz II Men/"Sittin on the Dock of the Bay"
Favorite TV Show - The Office
Favorite Actor/Actress - Jim Carrey/Charlize Theron
Favorite Sport - Baseball (watch); Surfing (play)
Favorite Books - The Partner (Grisham)
Role Model - Lebron Ja... just kidding! My brother, Todd.

*You will notice I did not answer "Favorite Class." I thought long and hard about a funny, smart-ass way to answer that question, but sticking to the strict criteria of comparison, I refrained. But let it be known here that in college, I didn't think too much about class. For those of you that remember, I kinda had a bit of a sports obsession at the time.

Dumb & Dumber - Oh Lloyd & Harry. No movie makes me laugh harder. I quote every line from the movie. Every scene is classic. It's hard for me to put into words how I feel about this movie without doing it an injustice. But for a non-comedy movie, Shawshank Redemption is an easy first place. Morgan Freeman's voice deserves a category in itself. But it's a phenomenal movie, and one that I won't turn off if I find it on TV (and I own it).

Boyz II Men - Where have you seen this before? Oh, that's right. It was also my answer in 8th Grade! Timeless. Go ahead, poke your fun. In no way am I ashamed to laud the talents of Nate, Mike, Shawn and Wanya. But yes, my all-time favorite song is by Otis Redding, "Sittin on the Dock of the Bay".

The Office - I don't watch a lot of TV these days, but The Office is a staple. I think Pam is "sneaky hot", Stanley needs more lines, Creed is the perfect nutjob, and Michael is the single most-awkward-trainwreck-you-can't-take-your-eyes-off I've ever seen.

Charlize Theron - No one even close. Stunningly gorgeous. Regal, yet totally real. Killer eyes, killer smile, killer hair, killer body. And no, I can't watch Monster because it makes me cry that the directors would do that. But, as a note of comparison, Sandra Bullock is still in the top five. And I'm not gonna even talk about Jim Carrey, cuz it would just be an insult to Charlize (and I spoke about him last post).

Baseball/Surfing - I gave two answers here because watching and playing sports are very different. I could go to baseball games every day and never be bored. Just think: fresh cut grass, smell of hot dogs in the air, crack of the bat, pop of the mitt, ice-cold beer at a day game...a sporting sensory explosion.

The Partner - If you haven't read this book, you need to. I used to have a huge obsession with John Grisham books. I know they are easy reads and you blow through them, but this book was so good. Without giving away the book, it's about a big-time firm who loses $90 million amidst a huge scam...and has a partner mysteriously disappear. Let's just say life ain't a coincidence. SO GOOD!

Lebron Ja...KIDDING! - Too soon? Sorry, couldn't resist. This was a tough call between my brother Todd and my close friend Branden (who both read this blog, so I'm sure I'll get shi* for this after the fact). But my brother has always led his life the right way, surrounds himself with wonderful people, puts himself in great positions for great opportunities, and, in my opinion, is directly responsible for all the good that has come to his life. That and he's paid for every meal we've ever had that helps.

*Thanks for taking the ride down memory lane with me. As you can see, some things have changed a lot in eleven years, and others have stayed exactly the same (Jim Carrey + Boyz II Men = MARC FOR LIFE!).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

8th Grade Yearbook...

So I don't know if any of you did this, but when I was in 8th grade, the very back page of my yearbook had a page lined with questions, ranging everywhere from "What's your favorite band?" to "Who's your role model?" to "Who is your best friend?" I found some pretty awesome answers along the way, and thought you all might enjoy hearing them.

So I decided it would be fun to do two things over the next couple days:

Day #1 - Post the answers from 14-year-old Marc (with some present-day reflection)
Day #2 - Re-answer those questions for 25-year-old Marc


Favorite Class - Literature
Favorite Movie - Good Will Hunting
Favorite Band/Song - Boyz II Men "Water Runs Dry"
Favorite TV Show - Wings
Favorite Actor/Actress - Jim Carrey/Sandra Bullock
Favorite Sport - Basketball
Favorite Books - Good Night, Mr. Tom; Summer of the Monkeys
Role Model - Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

I'm not even sure what to say. Some answers are absolutely ridiculous. Some are downright embarrassing. And some are DEAD on. But, seeing as I would like to re-answer these questions tomorrow, I will leave my present day assessment of these questions until then. Instead, today I will attempt to explain why I gave those answers in 1999.

Literature - This answer is a combination of three things: a kickass teacher who was kind of a badass (Ms. Bruce, holla), a book I actually enjoyed (Lord of the Flies), and a general apathy towards the rest of my classes (it's not like I was about to put down Math). My only question here - how did I not put P.E.?

Good Will Hunting - I remember loving this movie. The weird part - how could any 8th grader understand that movie? I probably didn't even understand the plotline. But I can tell you exactly why I loved this movie: profanity and Minnie Driver. I never was allowed to use the former, and always had a closet crush on the latter.

Boyz II Men "Water Runs Dry" - I was definitely still listening to TAPES at this time. My favorites were Des'ree "You Gotta Be", Boyz II Men "II", and the Space Jam soundtrack. I know those of you that know me are looking forward to how I answer this question tomorrow.

Wings - Embarrassing answer #1. My sister loved this show, and apparently so did I. This was the show based in an airplane hangar with two brothers as main characters, a diner waitress, a dumb mechanic, and a loopy receptionist. Let's just say I wasn't about to put down Full House or Boy Meets World. But Wings?

Jim Carrey/Sandra Bullock - I didn't even need to look in the Yearbook to remember these two. In 1994, Jim Carrey came out with "The Mask", "Ace Ventura" and "Dumb and Dumber". Enough said. And any teenager that saw "Speed" definitely had a crush on Sandra Bullock at some point.

Basketball - Another answer I knew before reading it. I had a class of 20 kids, and I was at that stage where I was taller than everyone already, so hoops was my game. Me and my buddy Andrew would wreck shop all recess long. This was also the year where Patrick Ewing and David "The Admiral" Robinson squared off in NBA Finals. So NBA was still good.

Good Night, Mr. Tom - Talk about a depressing book. What was I doing reading this stuff in 8th grade? This is about a really abused kid who finds a good home during World War II, but has to get used to being treated well. No idea why I loved it then, but I can tell you it was great. I'm gonna go find it and read it again. (Notice I didn't discuss Summer of the Monkeys - cuz I have no idea what it is.)

Tim Duncan, Spurs - Great basketball player? Absolutely. Role model? M'eh. I think I chose him because he went to college four years when he could have left early. He was quiet and didn't boast, and just did his job with his head down. I had a poster of him and David Robinson in my room with a title that read "Twin Towers." Weirdest thing about this one - I hate the Spurs.

STAY TUNED: Tomorrow's post - Marc answers these questions for 2010!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"How Awesome Was..." - The Food Edition

So this is the second installment of "How Awesome Was..." in this blog (if you missed it, click here to view the pilot post on this epic subject). This is the topic where I chronicle all the things I loved about childhood. Today's subject:


Sunny Delight - Who wants that purple stuff? Not me. Give me the Sunny D baby! Absolutely ZERO nutritional value (if I remember, the thing said 5% juice), but man, I used to live off that stuff.

Baseball Card Bubble Gum - Don't get that shi* on my Ken Griffey rookie card! The gum was never very good, and sometimes you weren't sure if you were eating the gum or the card. But we all had those times where we got the cards for the gum, not the Bobby Bonilla card.

Kid Cuisine TV Dinners - Do you remember these things, the tv dinner with the penguin on the box? My mom is a great cook, so it was rare we had them as kids, but man I loved it when we did. How good was that little individual brownie in its little section of the divided plate? The corn and veggies always sucked, and the entree was a game of "Guess That Meat". Mmmm.

Lunchables - The ultimate lunch trading item. I've got my apple, granola bar and carrots, and Jimmy has the awesome Lunchables withthe fake ham and addicting cheese. So gross now, but man, those were delicious.

Kraft HandiSnacks - You may not remember the cheese and crackers, but who could forget the red spread stick! Yet another snack that falls under the "Questionable Cheese" category, but nonetheless, tasty. I used to make sure I got every OUNCE of cheese out of that plastic container.

Big League Chew - The gum whose taste played second fiddle to how many strands of it you could stuff in your mouth at once. That thing never lasted a full game (or full inning if your teammates saw it). I'm glad we all imitated having a wad of tobacco in our mouths as 9-year-olds.

Fruit Stripes - Yipes! Stripes! This stuff made your tongue turn every color in the rainbow. Never was a big gum chewer, but who could turn down that awesome zebra on the front?

Flintstone Vitamins - Did anyone not take these as a kid? I can remember Paige (sister) and I fighting daily over who got what vitamin (I always wanted Dino or Barney). I don't even think we knew why we ate them every morning, and my mom couldn't have been happier!

Squeez-It - Bottled sugar. Mom wouldn't let us have these as kids, and for good reason. I just thought the caps were fun to take off. But did you actually ever taste those things?! Even as a 7-year old sweet-toothed crazy boy, I thought that stuff was too sweet! I shudder just thinking about what that did to our teeth.

RingPops - Yet another childhood delicacy we coveted, yet rarely had access to. Luckily these fell in the "girly" category for me, so I was never too upset about not being able to suck on my finger.

Honorable Mention
Goobers Pre-Mix PB&J (never tried it, never plan to)
DunkAroos (remember the chocolate kangaroo dunkers?)
Peanut Butter & Jelly (I prefer the crust, but you can have it cut off if you please)
Animal Crackers (lifelong staple)
Capri-Sun and Orange Slices (shout-out to all the Little Leaguers out there)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lebron Says LeByeBye

Well, I'm back from my trip, which means it's time for me to follow through on my promise to chronicle my thoughts regarding Lebron James NBA free agency decision, which was oh-so-creatively titled "The Decision".

Let me first say that I am heart-broken. I'm not from Cleveland. But for those of you that know me and read this blog, you will remember that I am someone who has openly said "If I could be one person, I'd be Lebron James." Let the record show I am retracting that statement...because I don't want to grow up to be a bi***.

I would also like to say that I have no problem with Lebron James signing with the Miami Heat. If I was given the opportunity to play professional basketball with two of the (arguably) ten best players in the WORLD, who just happen to be my close friends, in South Beach, for an owner with a reputation of can bet your ass I'd be practicing my Spanish.

What I have a problem with was his decision to broadcast his free agency decision as a media spectacle when he knew he wasn't going to re-up with Cleveland. He created a one-hour media buzz about a one-word sentence ("I am taking my game to South Beach."). I am so disgusted by this whole saga that it requires my full attention to write a coherent sentence without jumping to my next thought (case in point - I just hit the BACKSPACE key 29 times typing that sentence).

So before I delve into this, I just want to remind you that this post is not intended to address Lebron's decision to play for the Miami Heat. It is about addressing his decision-making process, the media spectacle of his announcement, and the subsequent reactions across the country. And yes, this is LONG. I mean REALLY long. And I don't apologize. Consider yourself warned.


As if the media and/or public needed any more fuel to stoke the seemingly endless fire of Lebron "What If's?", Lebron announced prior to the big day that the official "Decision" would be made in Connecticut. Media outlets went crazy (especially on the East Coast) as they started speculating that, among other things, Lebron would be making his announcement "just 14 miles from the New York Kicks practice facility".

STOP RIGHT THERE. You're telling me that you've got a 25-year old superstar, who has 2 NBA MVP awards and an Olympic medal, who has the world by his fingertips, who is the most well-known human on the planet, who has already booked a one-hour ESPN show to showcase himself, who knew he'd have an AUDIENCE for it...and you think he's making a decision in Connecticut because it's 14 miles from the Knicks PRACTICE facility?! To steal the words of Allen Iverson..."Practice? What are we talking about here? Practice?"

Lebron could have made his announcement from the friggin Pope's chair in the Vatican if he wanted! If he was going to the Knicks, and wanted to hint at it, he'd arrange for Mayor Giuliani, Jay-Z and Derek Jeter to escort him to the center of Madison Square Garden. So I will tell you that the site of his announcement meant nothing in terms of hinting at where he was gonna go. But what it did do was confirm the news all loyal fans dreaded...

He sure as hell ain't staying in Cleveland. If Bron-Bron, the local kid from Akron, the guy who played 7 years of dominating basketball for the Cavs, and who single-handedly resuscitated the most depressed sports city in America had made up his mind to stay in can bet your ass he would have made that announcement in Cleveland. By the time the word "Connecticut" was leaked, it's conceivable to imagine every Cleveland citizen already had a Lebron jersey in one hand, and a lighter in the other.

But here's what's so sick about the whole thing - they DIDN'T. Even though he was announcing on the East Coast, even though there was no news of him even meeting with Cleveland, even though every report and "source" was saying Lebron was gonna team up with his buddies Wade and Bosh in Miami...Cleveland fans kept that candle of hope lit. And not just Cleveland fans. Did I think Lebron was going to Miami? You bet your ass I did. But here's the thing...

I still watched.

Until we saw that bearded man make his formal announcement, there was still hope for every team involved, from Chicago to New York to Miami to...yes, even Cleveland. We will always maintain that sliver of hope that someone will do the right thing, even in sports. And then we walk away saying "Why did we watch?"


In addition to releasing the news that he'd be in Connecticut, he also revealed one other interesting tidbit - that all proceeds from the one-hour show would go to the Cleveland Boys Girls Club. Was that a ploy to keep people interested? Was it his way of giving something to Cleveland after they watched him ride into the Florida sunset?

All I know is, he's a friggin idiot. You really think Cleveland is gonna say "Hey Lebron, we know you stabbed us in the back on national television, but thank you so much for the donation to the Boys & Girls Club!" Ugh. I don't care what his intention was for that donation, what he thought it would accomplish. But whatever it was, he was wrong. The city of Cleveland probably had a tough time accepting his donation upon his departure. It's the ugliest, pity-gift of a divorce I've ever seen. He knew he was going to Miami, he should have severed all ties. Instead he just poured salt in Cleveland's wounds...sea salt from the beaches of Miami.

Let me be succinct - Lebron not only ripped out the collective heart of Cleveland fans, he ripped it out, threw it on the ground, and danced the salsa on top of it. Although his press conference was "supposed" to be about where he was going, it ended up just being seen as a royal "Eff You" to Cleveland. He did not need to go on national television. He did not need his own show titled "The Decision", and he certainly didn't need to keep it a secret until then. He wanted the publicity, he wanted the fame...and he got it. He knew he'd be villified, and he still did it. It's one thing to leave a team you've been with forever, that happens all the time these days. It's a whole different thing when you choose to put yourself in the spotlight, brandish a knife, and coldly, without emotion, thrust it in the backs of Cleveland sports fans.

Which begs the question of how much he really cares about the city of Cleveland? I'm sure Lebron likes Cleveland. He was born and raised there, he played there, and was treated like a king. But for a city that gave him everything he needed on a silver platter, Cleveland didn't deserve what they got. Lebron was heartless. He was icy, cold and utterly uninterested in the effect his actions would have on Cleveland. And it showed.

Now this may appear as somewhat off-topic here, but I must address it. Who's ludicrous, half-cocked, hair-brained, numb-nuts idea was it to get Jim Gray to be the emcee/interviewer for Lebron's announcement? JIM GRAY?! Now, my reason for hating Jim gray is quite simple - The Pete Rose Interview. This may become a post in itself some day, I will just give you the context. At the 1999 MLB All-Star Game, MLB introduced the All-Century Team, and invited all the old players to come back, Rose was invited, and Gray lit into him in a way I can't even describe. Agree or disagree with Rose's past with gambling, he was the better man this night.

With that in mind, I thought every network would make sure Gray never saw as much as a camera wire ever again. But no, the geniuses at ESPN/ABC decided Gray should be the guy. Not Stuart Scott, not Chris Berman, not Magic Johnson, not Mike Tirico...Jim friggin Gray.

I will say that Gray did nothing offensive or questionable during Lebron's night, but how could he? It was Lebron's Night. Hell, Sloth from "The Goonies" could have asked those questions without a problem.
But Why Jim Gray? That may go down as one of the biggest sports mysteries of my life.

For those of you that didn't read Cleveland Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert's letter public bashing Lebron, read it here before you continue (Dan Gilbert's Letter).

I would like to be put on record (because I know ESPN scoops my blog for story ideas) that Dan Gilbert is totally his thoughts. Notice the italics. Gilbert has every right in the world to think that Lebron is a little bi*** and that he abandoned the city and that the fans deserve better.

But you can't go public like that. By publishing this letter, you just gave Lebron credibility. You gave the devil reason to leave. Even though your city has reason to justifiably hate him for the entirety of their lives, you just made Cleveland look like a bad place to play. By going bonkers publicly and berating Lebron, when everyone in the country knows what he did for your city, you're crippling yourself. All you had to do was come out with a public statement saying "We are extremely disappointed to hear that Lebron is moving to Miami. He has done a great deal for our city, and we had sincerely hoped he would be a Cav for life. Obviously our hopes were not fulfilled."

Could you imagine how much worse this could be for Lebron? If Gilbert had decided to be a big boy and take the high road? Gilbert has always been a somewhat polarizing individual, and he stayed true to form. But I would have loved for Gilbert to have shown the world that Lebron had no reason to leave...instead he left us wondering if we were professionals, if we would even want to play for him.

Dan, I'm as pissed as you. But you gotta remember who you represent, who you speak on behalf of, and the full ramifications of your actions. Lebron dissed you. He dissed you bad. Everybody is ready to call Lebron the bad-guy here. And you just gave us all reason to hate him a little bit less.


That'll do for now, although I probably could have spent a day just on the media spectacle that didn't need to exist and the ego it takes for that to even come about. But I'd rather steer away from the obvious ego-trip line. We all know who Lebron is now.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wait For It...

Ok, so I am between trips right now (back from 4th of July wakeboarding vacation - now on way to bachelor party #1). But I wanted to let you all know there is a BIG TIME RANT coming when I get back. The subject matter...?


Oh man, I cannot wait to dip my proverbial feather pen in some dark crimson ink (the color of the entire city of Cleveland's collective blood dripping from Lebron's knife) and get to work on this bad boy. This post is going to be opinionated, with a hint of objectivity, and a lot of sarcasm.

Let's just say I don't QUITE agree with Mr. James decision...

Opus to come upon my return...