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It’s Pretty Awesome To Be 99

7 Feb

He can’t wake up at the crack of dawn with you to lift weights, he can’t run the hundreds of drills with you at the stadium, and he can’t be there for the physical therapy when you’re down and out. But you best know that he is definitely in your corner and roots for you with everything he’s got, because he’s got your heart.

Being a player and pouring everything you got out there on the field is one thing … but being the person who roots for you, who’s in your corner, and wants you to have it … that’s something powerful, that’s the X factor. Being in a House of Sports my whole life, I can say I know a little bit about this.

While everyone in Philly was basking in the SuperBowl after glow of taking the crown away from the Big Bad Wolf, I happened to get lost in the story of the 99-year-old fan who witnessed the awesomeness of his team mark an important first time.

This Philly fan that went by the name of Phil Basser and it just made me smile to know that he got to experience the exuberance of such a moment live and in person. When you watch someone witness a bucket list adventure the emotion gets to you. Some people never get to see it happen and you feel bad that they’ve missed out some how. I mean they lived their life and did the best with what they had, but as we all know we can’t control the future of others. We can only control ourselves. So it’s hard when one of your dream of all dreams is in the hands of someone else.

I could imagine Phil as a five-year old with his Eagles t-shirt clapping for that touchdown, or probably watching all the close calls. But this past Sunday was probably the best way to imagine the little sports fan. I didn’t even know Phil, but I was happy to see the camera pan over to him and witness his reaction to one of the best underdog wins I’ve seen this year. To know that he got to live one of his dreams of all dreams made me heart feel good, because as an athlete and fan myself, I’ve felt those feelings. So I know … I know.

This year’s SuperBowl filled with Brady-haters, Fly-Eagle-Fly supporters, and awesome Eli Manning, Vikings, Doritos, and Sprite Commercials will definitely be remembered for one more thing … Phil witnessing the triumph of his team.

For underdogs everywhere … Buen Camino!

 

 

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Don’t Worry About Whose Got Next, I’ve Got Now

18 Sep

Whenever anyone talks about a 39-year-old guy, they don’t really refer to him as old, unless the person you’re talking to is a teenager, who incidentally thinks anyone over 25 is old.

Yup.

39 is the new 29, you’re “still young,” unless you’re Peyton Manning.

After getting off to a slow start and throwing an interception, which was returned for a Kansas City touchdown, commentators, analysts, sports journalists and fans alike began their “I don’t know what he’s doing here, he should have already be retired…he ain’t got it anymore, he’s too old to be out there …” speeches. Apparently his demise was already here and Kansas City was there to witness it. They had his AARP card ready to go.

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A Kansas City Chiefs fan holds a sign about Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during the first half ... (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

A Kansas City Chiefs fan holds a sign about Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning during the first half … (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

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But a lot can happen in nine seconds.

A lot.

Even when you are 39.

And especially if you’re name is Peyton Manning.

Despite the doubt and rampant disbelief in his ability to be awesome, I heard it. OMAHA! OMAHA! HUT! HUT!

I saw it.

I bared witness to what I always believed and others doubted.

A comeback.

With everyone in the stadium doubting his ability and skill, Peyton set the record straight. The Broncos set the record straight, with two touchdowns in nine seconds. Yeah … they sent that AARP card back.

You see while everyone was scrutinizing everything about him, because he was what they considered too old, he was out there knowing full well that they knew nothing about him. He believed even though many others didn’t. During crunch time he wanted the ball because he knew he could deliver and he did, 80 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown, with 36 seconds left.

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John Rieger -USA Today Sports

John Rieger -USA Today Sports

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Yeah, everybody seemed to forget who he was, but he quietly reminded them, with 256 yards for the night.

Don’t Worry About Who’s Got Next, I’ve Got Now. — The Roots

I love it when sports reminds you of a valuable life lesson. Just because everybody’s saying you can’t, doesn’t mean you can’t. They don’t know you, they don’t know what you’re capable of, they just think they do. Don’t let the voices of negativity cloud your mind, affect your judgement, or alter your path. You are a badass, at 39 or at any age. You’re on the runway to success, and nobody can hit the breaks, but you.

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Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

6 Jan

It left me with that Thelma & Louise you’re-different-now-kind-of-feeling … with the exception of driving off the cliff of course.  I know some people out there hate all that is television and think it’s the devil and in truth with all these awful reality shows out there, I can’t blame them.

However, this TV adventure left me with a positive feeling, which I thought was a pretty awesome way of continuing the New Year,  and I have Netflix to thank for that.

Well in truth after every night for two weeks I wanted to slap myself for being so stupid and not watching it when it was actually on the air. I mean for crying out loud I’m a sports fan, and football enthusiast, but I’m also a lover of good characters and great stories. And I might have been put off by the fact that it looked like one of those teenage shows, but I realized I was way off on that. And so I watched and watched and watched until 2 a.m.

friday-night-lights-tv-show-theme-song-i13

Friday Night Lights Tami Taylor and Coach Eric Taylor

I know, I know. Some may think that staying up late watching television is crazy, but I got hooked and had to watch episodes back to back to back.

I looked forward to the “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t Lose.”

I got cheesy in me when it comes to sports stories, it’s part of the old jock in me.

In any case if you haven’t guessed it by now it’s the show Friday Night Lights. If you haven’t seen it …

Dude … I encourage you to do so. I don’t normally recommend shows that are not on FX or AMC, but this one is definitely a must watch.

They have some pretty badass characters and even though it had some strong female characters like Mrs. Tami Taylor and Dillon High School student Tyra, I was drawn to the dudes. Not so much because they were good-looking more so because of their stories.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

I loved the inspiration behind Dillon High Football Coach Eric Taylor and his pregame and half-time speeches. He also cracked me up with his you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me stare followed by one-liners. I liked seeing the back-up quarterback Matt Saracen and his coming-of-age story. I liked the surprises that Tim Riggins had in store for me and I rooted for him to smarten up and catch a break.

However I tripped out on how much beer was being consumed by everyone and how easily they got it. I was also amazed at no matter how big the hangover, they always said ma’am or sir when asked a question. I tripped out on my need to say y’all after watching the show. I tripped out on how Buddy Gaherty and the boosters created so much frustration and anger that I constantly rooted for them to fail in their sneaky ways and leave Coach Taylor alone, which happened sometimes.

In the end Coach Taylor and his players got what they deserved and I was able to take advantage of the little life lessons throughout seasons 1 to 5. One of my favorites was Coach Taylor’s pregame saying.

“Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.”

It helps when you’re feeling crappy in the morning. It helps when you’re about to venture off into a new day. It helps when you’re writing your novel and are stuck. It helps when you’re a football player in Dillon, Texas and you’re ready to take the field in the state championships. It helps.

You can use it in any scenario, doesn’t necessarily have to be sports and you don’t necessarily have to say y’all. But it definitely helps you get in the Thelma-&-Louise-this-is-going-to-change-my-life-today-kind-of phase. This therapy is universal and it’s cheap, so it’s best to get Netflix and get right on it.

 

Weekly Image of Life Challenge: Event

15 Feb
Event

Event

 

It’s part of our culture.

It’s an all-day event.

It begins early in the morning and ends late at night.

It involves tailgating with  breakfast sandwiches, and orange juice, followed by BBQ wings, nachos, Goldfish Crackers, Capri Sun pouches and plenty of other beverages.

It involves high-fives and smiles, half-time shows and Thomas the Train companions.

It involves a stadium filled with fans cheering and my son enjoying every minute of it.

It involves touchdowns, excitement, and unforgettable woo-hoo moments with my son.

His first college football experience … definitely an event worth remembering.

 

 

Weekly Image of Life Challenge courtesy of This Man’s Journey.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

11 Dec
My Favorite Season ...

My Favorite Season …

Changing Seasons.

In Southern California we only have two seasons …

Sunny Season… 305 days a year.

Cloudy/Rainy Season … about 60 days a year … maybe less.

But in the Guat Household — the house of sports — we have four seasons.

Football Season …

Basketball Season …

Baseball Season …

And Hockey Season …

Changing Seasons … you gotta love them. They have excitement, high-fives, beer, and chocolate.

 

Thank You Inventors of Duct Tape

17 Nov

It was a disaster. A disaster that hasn’t happened in over six years, but nevertheless a disaster anyway. A complete catastrophic event owed to the number three … as in three turnovers which led to three touchdowns, which then led to three glasses of Framboise. And then the complete disaster continued and ultimately sent me into a serious angry-depressed-crappy day spiral.

One pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked.

Two Hostess cupcakes

11 Oreo cookies.

101 swear words.

One broken remote control.

And three Ghirardelli squares.

Still nothing.

My blood was still boiling.

My blood pressure was still up.

My profanity level was still at an all-time high.

Image via LA Times by Gina Ferazzi

If there were a time when you would want the players on television to hear you, it would be today. Today. The day of The Big Game. The day where my Trojans dropped the ball and uncharacteristically lost to the Bruins.

Dude.

I cleared out my chocolate stash and my emergency stash. Completely burned out by the terrible way they played in the first half and then making a big a huge comeback only to have a brain fart in the end. I mean who were these people?

Yeah the Trojans. Always giving their fans heart attacks and emotional breakdowns every season — however this season there was a little bit too much of that. Thank God for those Aflac commercials, otherwise I would not have laughed at all after the game.

Alas … the saga of the sports fan.

In the end it was the remote control who suffered most. Being thrown across the room and slammed against the floor whenever the Trojans made a bonehead error proved to be almost fatal. I’m a diehard fan there was a lot throwing. However, I’m glad I found the duct tape. It’s a miracle worker after BIG GAME night.

Thank you inventors of duct tape. Remote control works just fine.

 

Weekly Image of Life: Celebration

27 Oct

Celebration.

Celebrate friendship.

Celebrate college football.

Celebrate the post-game.

Celebrate with Framboise and other icy cold beverages.

Celebrate with The Band and its leader … Chantel.

Celebrate your inner youth.

Celebrate laughter.

Celebrate memories.

College reunions … a cause for celebration.

Hangovers … not so much.

However, this celebration still rocked.

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Host of Weekly Image of Life Challenge: This Man’s Journey

Having Second Thoughts …

25 Sep

Everyone was talking about it. Everyone.

I saw it and I just couldn’t believe it. Did this just happen right before my eyes? Yeah … yeah it did.  A mugging. A theft. A crime of robbery in front of hundreds of people and no one could do anything but watch.

Victim: M.D. Jennings of the Green Bay Packers.

Perp:  Golden Tate of the Seattle Seahawks

Accomplice: The Ref.

Crime: They stole the game.

Now even if you don’t follow the NFL and you don’t know football rules, most of you know that when someone catches the ball and lands on the floor, no one else can grab the ball away from you underneath the pile of football players and then claim that he had the ball all along. This is not basketball. Steals are not allowed here. But apparently that is what happened in last night’s Monday Night Football game where the Green Bay Packers lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the final seconds, 14-12.

And when I mean final seconds that’s exactly what it was … final seconds. This is when disaster happened.

 

 

The Seahawks quarterback launched the ball up in the air, down into the end zone, A Hail Mary to win the game, and it was caught … by a Green Bay Packer.

So what happened? Why wasn’t the game over and Packers celebrating?

The refs. The refs. The refs.

You know when you see someone make a bad decision, I mean a horrible, terrible, gut-wrenching, bad decision and you can’t do anything to change their minds? Yeah … that’s how the Green Bay Packers coach felt. That’s pretty much how all the Green Bay Packers felt.

But nothing could be done. The whistles were blown.

I imagine referees get it wrong every once in a while. There’s a margin of error when calling a game. But when you see in instant replay and have time to think about it and reflect … c’mon now. C’mon.

But these were not ordinary veteran referees with massive amounts of NFL experience … these were replacement refs. Replacements! Apparently the NFL referees have some sort of labor dispute and went on strike. The NFL makes like a gazillion dollars and they can’t spare three million to pay the referees. Now don’t get me wrong three million dollars is a lot of money for people like you and me, but for the NFL? That’s change. Change.

I think after this game and the Patriots game, where another bad call robbed a team from a win, the NFL may be having second thoughts. I imagine the teams are having many thoughts. These last-second major-decisions are the reason why you would need a regular NFL ref.

I don’t know … I’m just saying …

But in retrospect, I guess M.D. Jennings could have just knocked the ball down when going up for the Hail Mary pass, you know like a defensive man should, and this whole theft could have been avoided.

Maybe …

Guys Suck … They Really Do. But Frida Helped Out.

15 Sep

Angry. Irate. Frustrated. Hostile. Raging. Furious. All hell was breaking loose as these emotions consumed me. I was so upset that I was practically foaming at the mouth.

You sit there with high hopes and they crush you. You feel like you can count on them, but they let you down. They tell you that you can expect great things from them this year and they don’t come through.  It was the most gut-wrenching six hours I’ve spent on a Saturday … well at least this year.

I was so angry that I actually screamed. Not a chick scary movie scream, an Incredible Hulk-Wolverine scream deep from my gut.

My mom and dude rushed in, a little freaked out, to see what could possibly ignite such madness.

“What happened! Are you all right?”

I pointed at the screen. They noticed the fans rushing the field and the score.

“Jesus!”

They shook their heads and went back downstairs.

Football. It was college football.

Who was responsible?

Image via GoldenBearsBlogs.com

 

Image via ESPN.go.com

 

These two dudes. Completely responsible for all the profanity, jumping, wall pounding, yelling, and superstitious ritual rally cap wearing throughout the day.

First D’Amato  stirred the pot with his non-kicking skills. He went 0 for 3 today. I’d understand 2 for 3, possibly accept 1 for 3. But 0 for 3. Dude if you were a stockbroker you’d so be fired with that stat. He missed three field goals that changed the momentum of the game and the mojo of his team. This is where the frustration began. Even though The CAL Golden Bears made a comeback , they ended up losing to Ohio State.

I was so upset that I had to leave the house. I chose to exit a cool-air-conditioned living room for a 100-degree blaring heat. I just couldn’t be in the same room with the television.

After I calmed down, I returned for what I thought would be a game to turn things around for me. An event so awesome that I would high-five myself. But no … none of that. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of errors on the field today. Interceptions. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude. The thought of it riles me up a bit. I better stop and count to ten.

Rehashing the game will only infuriate me, and I am currently at an acceptable chocolate and alcohol induced state. I’d like to keep it that way before going to sleep.

But in short, the anger just boiled over with the USC Trojans Football Team. I mean they lost to Stanford, for crying out loud. There mascot is a tree. This is where the Incredible Hulk-Wolverine powerful yelling began. However this time I couldn’t escape immediately. I had to read The Adventures of Woody and Buzz Lightyear and put the kids to sleep.

This did not help improve my mood.

I so wanted to break up with both of these teams. But I didn’t. I ended going out for a run. If I had a punching bag that would have been so much better. But instead I put on my New Balance and hit the pavement.

Better, but not great, because after the anger, came the heartbreak, and then the drinking.

But then a friend of mine sent me a text message and it made me laugh:

“Like Frida said … I tried to drown my sorrows with alcohol, but they eventually learned how to swim!”

Enter chocolate. Lots of chocolate. No swimming back from that one.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

24 Jul

Inside the Red Zone

Inside.

All you want is to make sure they get inside The Red Zone.

Inside those 20 yards right in front of the end zone.

I mean who messes up inside the Red Zone?

Inside those 20 yards means you’re closer to high-fiving your friend sitting next to you and the stranger sitting in front of you because your team will score.

Inside the Red Zone means you’ll no longer be behind by seven.

Inside the Red Zone means the obnoxious jackass from the other team sitting behind you will shut-up.

Inside the Red Zone calls for another beer.

Inside the Red Zone means the band plays your song.

Inside the Red Zone means the quarterback is not a complete moron.

They’re inside the huddle.

You pray that the quarterback doesn’t pass.

Break.

They run it.

He’s at the fifty, the forty, the thirty, the twenty… he’s down.

They’re inside the Red Zone.

High fives as expected. Beer as expected. Jackass quiet as expected.

The next play the quarterback fumbles.

He’s a moron as expected.

Inside the Red Zone.