Thursday, February 22, 2007

The never ending dream.

Being a fan of both the Washington Redskins and the Washington Nationals, their respective offseasons bring with them both depression and hope. Both teams usually crank up the hype machine during the offseason and then both teams (especially the Redskins these days) tend to grossly under achieve. This, however, never really stops the true fan from falling for the hype.

Thomas Boswell's article about opening day of Nationals spring training in today's WaPo is the first shot fired in what is sure to get me cranked up about the coming baseball season. Why am I getting excited? Who knows? The Nationals roster was pretty much gutted last season to make way for new ownership that wants to build from the bottom up. Re-building: the word that strikes fear into even the most optimistic of sports fans.

The Nats have no pitching to speak of. Zero. Zip. None. Their one "ace" is John Patterson, who can't seem to stay healthy for more than two games in a row. The Nats are hoping to find a rotation from the group of 37 unknowns, has-beens, and minor-leaguers that will eventually be the core of the new team and maybe actually win a few games this season.

As Boswell and other WaPo sports writers have said before, The Nats did retain a small core of people to build around: young guys like Ryan Church and Ryan Zimmerman (who came VERY close to winning rookie of the year last season) and veterans like Brian Schneider and Nick Johnson (who is coming off a devastating leg injury and is not sure to start by opening day). Maybe the team will gel and have the kind of season that, even if they don't make the playoffs (or even get close), will portend of great things to come. It's possible although it's more of a pipe dream.

Then we have the Redskins: the greatest Superbowl team on April. The hype machine hasn't started rolling for the Skins yet. After last season's unbelievable collapse, it's going to be hard to be anything but cautiously optimistic about their chances next season. However, as many of you know, once free agency and the draft comes around, I'll be probably spouting the party line and hoping for the best.

A bad case of sports psychosis is probably the only way I can explain my budding excitement for two teams that are more than likely going to cause me pain and heartache. All I know is that I'm going to order up the MLB's live season broadcast package and get up early to watch the Nats games, and I'm going to order up the NFL package next season and get up ridiculously early to watch the Skins play.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Indianapolis Colts are the Super Bowl Champs...

... and the world says, "So?"

My field trip to Santa's for the Super Bowl was a success, meaning I got to watch the whole game and not teach a lick. A surprising number of students actually showed for the game and heroically feigned interest as the westerners around them hooted and hollered at the TV. Although I didn't tell them to, the students respected the sanctity of the game by not pestering me with questions through out (I had forgotten to teach them, "Shut the hell up, the games on!", so I would've answered their questions had they asked). This morning, just for fun, I told them that next week they have to prepare for the Pro-Bowl (to a chorus of groans and nervous "Are you kidding?" giggles). Since I couldn't give a rat's patoot about the Pro-Bowl, they were saved from another adventure into the dark hole that is NFL Football.

Other than working, I've managed to do pretty much as close to nothing as a person can do. I've spent most of my time either anally sorting through my music collection, watching downloaded TV shows (currently hooked on "24" and "Studio 60"), or playing World of Warcraft. I finally got the Burning Crusade expansion for WoW (thanks again Mom). I have to say, it's definately worth the wait. There are lots of cool new critters to kill, plus the gear you can pick up is insane. I'd be playing now, but Tuesday is WoW's maintenance day, so the servers are down. This wouldn't be so bad if I was living in the States because it's 5 am there, and I'd be asleep. However, the servers go down at 8 pm Korea time leaving to find other mindless things to do with my time.

Normal Person: "Gee, Eric. You could study for your Korean class."

Me: "EEEEEEK!!! Study?!? Are you out of your mind? Sheesh! Some folks just don't know how to waste time effectively."

I am taking a Korean class these days. It's going pretty well given the fact that I've got a mind like a steel sieve. At least some of the bigger bits are sticking. The thing I find interesting is that if I read a question, I have no trouble answering it. If the teacher asks someone else in the class a question, I have no trouble understanding it and answering. If the teacher asks me a direct question in Korean, my brain shorts out, my jaw flaps up and down, and something akin to language tumbles out. Go figure. Of course, then I get adventurous and think, "I'm gonna go out on the street and speak Korean to the natives!" This so far has been somewhat less than successful in that I usually forget everything the minute I want to say something. I'm usually faced with a Korean person wearing this expectant look (which soon changes to a "This guy's wacked" look) while I sit there flapping my mouth like a landed trout. Anyway, it's all good. My only hope is that the school doesn't give me any night classes this coming semester, so I can continue the classes.

Well, I think I'm going to scrounge around in my kitchen for something to eat. Later.