Friday, July 29, 2005

Great news!

Well, I had hesitated to post anything about this, but now that the news has turned out positive, it's good to go.

My father is planning on marrying his fiance this September. This was something they had talked about previously, but she had a mammogram last week and there was an "abnormality." She is retired, and her health insurance is up in a few months. The decision was made to speed up the wedding so that she would be under my fathers health insurance, in case she had to go through chemotherapy, etc.

This would not be a new situation to my father, as my mother had breast cancer when I was three, but survived. However, today, we got great news, as my father's fiance went in for a follow up, and the spot was gone. It was determined that a bruise she had was draining, and this caused the spot (she umpires baseball games, and apparently had been hit in the chest area recently.

Needless to say, she's a little pissed at the nurse for causing her to lose sleep the past week, but she's cancer free, and that's what matters. Now, my father, who was milking the engagement for all it was worth (he's a horny old man, cut him some slack) has to come to terms with finally settling down again. Should be a good time.

Tonight, a bunch of us are going to Ruth's Chris Steak House for a "bachelor's dinner." This for the wedding occuring next weekend. However, myself, Deep Cover, and some of our Greek friends should be up at Nanny O'Brien's in the 11:00 p.m. timeframe, if anyone else feels like dropping in and saying hello. It's on Connecticut Ave. in Cleveland Park, if you're interested.

Give it away now

Last night was DC United’s chance to shine. English champions Chelsea came calling to The Fed (FedEx Field) to take on American champions United in a nationally televised contest. Chelsea came out and looked the better team – let’s be honest, they ARE the better team – and United were holding them off. In the 31st minute, magic: Christian Gomez’s corner kick finds the head of rookie Bobby Boswell who puts the biscuit in the basket – 1-0 United! I was stunned. Could it be? Our boys leading one of the best in the world? I didn’t get to think that for long as Irish international Damien Duff brought Chelsea level on one of the prettier goals I’ve seen in a while in the 35th minute, 1-1. 10 minutes later, halftime.

In the 2nd half Freddy Adu came on and brought quickness to the United front line, but it was the defense who let us down. Fullback Brandon Prideaux gave the ball away near midfield and left the other 2 backs to face the onrushing Chelsea attack. Dutch international Arjen Robben found Argentine Hernan Crespo who beat goalkeeper Troy Perkins to put Chelsea up 2-1. No more goals would be scored and Chelsea took the W. Would it have remained 1-1 if Prideaux doesn’t give that ball away? Maybe. I’ll never know. I do know that for a brief time our boys were on top of historic Chelsea Football Club. 2-1 is a loss on the scoreboard, but with United’s performance, it feels like a win for American soccer.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

For 5 I-66 points...

Name this man.

Yeah, come and get us.

Last night was crap.

I won’t wholly recap what happened but there are some things to note:

- There was air-to-air lightning at a distance (10 miles or more).
- Representatives from the opposition purported to want to play… yet the entire team stayed up in the parking lot.
- Our players had gathered at the field, checked in, and put on their gear in preparation to play.

Now, I love the game and generally will play any chance I get. I hold out hope when wet weather hits that the county won’t close the fields – despite the fact that it’s difficult to be optimistic all the time. Last night I knew (Doppler radar motion, baby) that the storm would be passing quickly and that the chances of the fields being playable were good – and all of that was true. My irritation with the whole situation was all over the place: the cheering, the lack of an actual weather threat, the fact that the weather was moving East and away from us, the driving out there and not being able to play after all, I could go on. I don’t believe they wanted to play. Some individuals supposed that maybe they were going to be short on players and that’s why they didn’t come down to the field and were all beat-around-the-bush about how we should handle the situation. It’s a distinct possibility that that assessment is on the mark based on what I know about their roster, but I have no real way of proving it. I know one thing for sure: I don’t often “get up” for a game, but if this one gets rescheduled I believe I will make an exception. Sure, it’s a rec league and we’re all out to have fun, but when you throw down a “we’ll get you next time” gauntlet, people are going to have something to say.

Foiled Again

I expect that I-66 will come along and edit this, and add details as necessary. All I'm going to say is, if you don't want to play, don't join the league.

Our soccer game got canceled tonight due to lightning. Well, it turned out the other team reallllllly didn't want to play. To the point that they did not even go down to the field, they stayed in the parking lot (at least, they were there when I arrived) and they fucking cheered when the lightning kept coming, because they wouldn't have to play.

Am I within my rights to be pissed off about this? I can understand worrying about your safety, but actually cheering because you don't have to play the game? Why even bother joining a soccer league in the first place.

So anyway, their captain came down to officially go over the cancelation with the referees and I-66, our G.M. Now admittedly, I have a bit of a temper that gets away from me sometimes, but I felt I was in my rights pointing out that I had heard the cheering, and asking why his team bothered joining. His response was some mumbling about there being no point to playing, along with a veiled threat, something along the lines of "We'll get you next time, buddy." That was when I decided to let him know he and his team were acting like a bunch of pussies.

Like I said, I should learn to control myself a little more, but I call it like I see it sometimes. Thanks a lot assholes, for being a waste of my night. We could have been out at the Happy Hour tonight with everyone else, but instead, got to be whored by you guys.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Post Post


We drew last night an easily winnable game, and I blame myself.

2-1, I've got the ball in the box headed towards goal when I get bumped from behind causing me to lose control of the ball. I go to chase it down, though now it's well wide of the goal, and eventually get to it but just as I do, the ref blows his whistle. Out of bounds? No. It was close but still in. Offsides? Can't be, I wasn't passing to anyone. Penalty kick! For that? Well, okay, if you insist.

I take the ball, place it on the spot, and look up to see the keeper right of center, giving me the entire left side of the goal to shoot at. I figured he was doing it so he would know where it was going and try to make the save to that side - eliminate the guess work (he'd later tell me that I was right). I back up, decide to go left and put it towards the corner as far from the keeper as possible. Ref blows his whistle, I run up and strike the hell out of the ball... Yes! It looks beaut-- CLANG!!-- off the post.

I don't miss penalties when they count. No worries, I try to think, we still lead by 1 (I should mention I also hit the left post earlier on a shot from 20 yards that beat the keeper but bounced out.) Of course, late in the game the opposition earns a penalty kick and converts it to salvage the draw. It would've been a 3-2 scoreline then and I wouldn't be posting this... but now I feel like crap. Redemption shall be mine.

The Goonies Are Good Enough

The Goonies. Just saying that title should make everyone smile and think about one of the greatest films of my childhood.

I'm starting a new section on this blog, which will be devoted to the greatest movies ever. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, etc., just the greatest movies that affected me, and likely many of you, in our lives. Movies made before we were born aren't likely to be included, though there could always be an exception.

Today, we focus on the first movie I could ever call my favorite. I'm sure many of us got a small allowance from our parents as kids. However, I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who used his allowance to rent The Goonies from the local video store, faithfully, almost every weekend for a year. Maybe that's sad in retrospect, but I loved the movie that much, and I wasn't smart enough to be buying Microsoft in the the mid-late 80's.

Let's look at the All-Star line-up:

Sean Astin as Michael "Mikey" Walsh.
Classic Line: Chester Copperpot. Chester Copperpot! Don't you guys see? he never made it this far. Don't you realize? The next time you see sky, it'll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it'll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what's right for them. Because it's their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here! That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket. (Yes, I just quoted this entire thing from memory)
Where is he now: Little Mikey grew up to, among other things, play football at Notre Dame. He then grew hairy feet and helped save the world from Orcs and certain doom.

Corey Feldman as Clark "Mouth" Devereaux
Classic Line(s): (In reference to Mikey's complaining about the statues broken penis being his mother's favorite piece) "You wouldn't be here if it wasn't!"
"Senior Jerk Alert!"
"Yeah, but you know what? This one, this one right here. This was my dream, my wish. And it didn't come true. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back."
Where is he now: Mouth um, well, he peaked early in his career. A set of four great films at a young age (Gremlins, Goonies, Stand By Me and The Lost Boys) followed by a ton of mediocrity and type casting. Recently did a voice for a Japanese Robot Series called "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!" I shit you not.

Jeff Cohen as Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen
Classic Line: "I'm not all alone in the dark. I like the dark. I love the dark. But I hate nature! I HATE nature!"
Where is he now: Served as student body president at UC-Berkley, did truffle shuffle at halftime of football game. Now an entertainment lawyer in Hollywood. No real acting to speak of.

Jonathan Ke Quan as Richard "Data" Wang
Classic Line: "THATS WHAT I SAID! BOOBY TRAPS! God. These Guys! Be Quiet! Shhhh!!"
Where is he now: Graduates from USC, martial artist and stunt coordinator, recently working with Jet Li.

Josh Brolin as Brandon "Brand" Walsh
Classic Line: "I'm gonna hit you so hard that when you wake up your clothes will be out of style!"
Where is he now: Never really been a featured star of anything major, but has continued to find steady work in Hollywood.

Kerri Green as Andrea "Andy" Carmichael
Classic Line: "I hit the wrong note. I'm not Liberace you know!"
Where is she now: Graduated from Vassar college, no involvement in Hollywood. Married with three kids. At this point, let us all pay tribute to the first crush of The Captain's life, ever. I used to think this girl was incredibly hot when I was just a young Captain. I truly believe she is why I've had an affinity for redheads my whole life. And as we can see from picture #2, she's grown up quite nicely as well. I need to stop here, I can't find the words.

Martha Plimpton as Stefanie "Steph" Steinbrenner
Classic Line: "Because these are somebody else's wishes. They're somebody else's dreams."
Where is she now: Does anyone really care? Me either. She was a wet blanket character and while in other films, did nothing of real note. 200 Cigarettes was, that sucked too.

The entire cast then...

...and now.

It's hard for me to do enough justice to this movie. It bordered on awesomeness. I wanted to be a Goonie. Who didn't want to be a Goonie when they were younger? Who among you has no heart? Personally, I always wanted to be data, but that was just me. And get with Andy somehow.

I think I'll just leave it at this, and remember all the good times. I hope all of you enjoyed the trip down memory lane as much as I did. I think I know which DVD is going in this weekend.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Drinking From The Cup

Yesterday the US Men's National Team won the CONCACAF Gold Cup (that's Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) going to penalty kicks and beating Panama. Our boys were stoked, especially Frankie "Duuuuude" Hejduk, after Brad Davis converted the game winning PK, to have won the title and the privilege of calling themselves the Best Team in North America (take that, Mexico!) but, as one of the coolest movie characters ever once said, "Well, let's not go sucking each other's dicks yet." (for 5 I-66 Blogger points, name that character [first and last name] and movie, 7 points if you're a female)

We scored nary a goal against an inferior Panama side in 2 full halves and 2 extra times (that's 120 minutes of soccer, by the way). The defense looked a bit dodgy at times and the attack didn't seem to have a lot of flow to it. I wouldn't call the group of guys The Bruce (coach Bruce Arena) put out there the B-Team, but it wasn't the A-Team - call it AB - and we know that the best we put forward should be significantly better, but this was still a little disconcerting to see the Panamanians creating so many chances. Hopefully The Bruce will get it all sorted out before we face Mexico in World Cup Qualifying.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Little of Everything

Alright, I've got a lot to cover and not much time, I'm off to Roanoke in the morning for the third of four weddings this summer.

The pictures from my night out at Nanny O'Brien's with the Cypriots (and recent wedding party) can be found on the Irishman post. There's a quick link up on the "post with pictures" section. And for God's sake, read the post, it was from the heart, despite being excessivly long. Irish and PROUD!

We have two new links up, so unfortunately, DC Butterfly Network and The Asian Mistress no longer get to bear the coveted "New Blog" designations. Please welcome Kathryn On... and Two Girls in DC to the wonderful world of DC Sports links. Admittedly, Kathryn's blog name leaves me wondering exactly what she is it it dirty...the name leaves open all sorts of possibilities. We demand answers!

On a sad note, the sunglasses you see myself, The Captain, wearing in most pictures have gone missing. This hurts me deeply, for it further reduces any anonymity I may still have. Additionally (and supposedly more important) they're prescription, so driving without them puts all of you in danger. And they're more expensive than cheap CVS pairs.

On a much happier note, the older sister of my current S/O is pregnant. It was both wanted and prayed for by her and her husband, so congratulations are in order to them.

I'm sure there's more, but I'm writing this up as I play an online poker tournament, and I'm doing really well, so here's some pictures from our last soccer game. Now, we really get into the game, so none of us remember to actually take pictures during the action. You're getting before and after shots until we're better about it.

Dammit, just busted out of my poker tournament, 34th place out of 960 players. Oh well, I won money, at least.

General Manager I-66 turns in his player pass and marshals the troops.

Deep Cover does a warm-up drill. He would go on to score the first goal, and play key late defense, in a 2-1 victory.

I-66 teaches the team the importance of OFF! application, like a good manager...

...As well as the proper way to display a captain's armband.

Ah, a well earned 2-1 victory. It was humid as hell Wednesday night, and while our fellow bloggers were out at McFadden's, we were laboring through this game. But hey, beer and good conversation are no match for sweat and cocky poses! Displayed are I-66's smile, The Captain's guns, and Deep Cover's manly torso.

Oh, and for anyone who was wondering, we play pretty physical. If you look at my knees, you'll notice some halftime bandages that were slapped together, as I had managed to cut up both knees. Yes, that is blood pouring down my left leg.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Unlucky 13

So yesterday the news comes out that 87% of NHL players voted in support of the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). I have many questions, but there's one that keeps cycling through my mind in that blows-me-away kinda way...

What were the other 13% thinking?

"Yeah, we've been out of work for a year... the owners seemed to hold the cards during the work stoppage... and this is our ticket back to the ice... let's vote against it! Brilliant!"

Wise move, asscorns.

Thankfully for the league nearly 9 out of 10 players has a brain and voted yes. You can count me among the many people who's made the "what's hockey?" jokes over the past year but I have to admit to being just a little glad that all of the nonsense around the stoppage is through. I've only ever been to 2 Capitals games and occasionally watched during the regular season - more often in the playoffs (and I hate Esa Tikkanen), but the Caps are still the home team and get support. So now there are a couple more small steps to be taken before the NHL and its 451 teams take to the ice for the first time in a year. It's no understatement to say that fan appreciation will not exactly be registering very high at the beginning. The league has many bridges to reconstruct with its hardcore fans and build new ones to reach out to the casual fan. As strange as it may seem, I'm actually considering a visit to MCI once the season kicks off (faces off?) again. I mean, hey, good seats will probably be available... Anyone else plan on going? I can think of one blogger who, knowing her roots, may have a thing or two to say (only supposition).. but does anyone else harbor the seemingly national sentiment about the NHL - which is to say "so what?"

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

We're Number 6!

The FIFA World Rankings have been revealed for this month and the good ol' U S of A has risen to #6 in the world, our highest ranking ever. How about that? Now if the boys at FIFA had only seen #5 Mexico play up to their potential and lose 2-1 to an undermanned Colombia side, #25, in the Gold Cup, then our boys might've broken into the top 5. Ah well, there's still time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Poker Resurgence

Sometimes, I wonder if we should change the title of our blog here. Sure, we discuss sports frequently, but music, activities (poker isn't a sport, not yet) culture and general bitching have become topics as well. Maybe we should be DC Grab Bag or something. Since "Sports" can still refer to people (i.e. Good Sports) the name will remain unchanged for now.

Enough rambling, we're here to discuss poker. The resurgence of poker can all be traced to a man named Moneymaker, who came out of nowhere three years ago to win 2.5 million dollars in the World Series of Poker. Suddenly, anyone and everyone realized they had a chance. Moneymaker beat 800-some people, many of them professionals. The next year, Fossilman Greg Raymer beat over 2,000 entrants (see how quick the game became popular) and won 5 million, another amateur made good.

This year, over 5,600 people competed. I already learned the winner, it's everywhere you look on-line, but out of respect to those who want to be surprised, I won't name him/her here.

Why is this so good? Well, while not consistently, I had played poker many times in my life before the boom, and many more soon after. I have been able to personally relieve my friends of about $300 this year in our home games. Additionally, this new boom has given rise to perhaps the greatest invention (and time-killer) of the past few years, online poker.

I am a frequent player on Pokerstars, guilty as charged. On-line poker is a great way to make money, especially if you win tournaments. Unfortunately, due to my desire for a big score, I do well in a few small tournaments, then blow my profit entering a larger tournament and attempting to make three years salary in one night. One day...

Recently, myself and Deep Cover, as well as a few others, have joined the National Pub Poker League. I would suggest anyone living near a bar who is remotely interested in poker give it a try. Entry is free, since hosting cash gambling games is illegal in Va. Don't feel bad for them, they make up for it in beer sales. Prizes are sports tickets, gift certificates, etc.

I can't be the only poker freak out there. Who else in the blog world enjoys this activity?

MLS v. The World

In the coming days, two MLS teams, the LA Galaxy and our boys DC United are facing two international soccer powers in Real Madrid (that's ray-al) from Spain and Chelsea from England - two of the best teams in the world. Now, it goes without saying that I'm rooting for DC United against Chelsea, but tonight the Galaxy play Real and I've been back and forth all day about with whom I should side. Among MLS teams, the LA Galaxy are near the top in terms of who I hate the most - along with Metrostars and Chivas USA - so it'd be very easy for me to root for Beckham and his boys to slaughter them by something like 5 goals. That vindictive side of me was ruling most of the day... but I realized that a win by the green and gold over one of the best teams in the world would be huge for MLS and American soccer in terms of respect. The Galacticos (Real) are not bringing some B team over the ocean, they're bringing Beckham, Zidane, Owen, Ronaldo, and Roberto Carlos (et al). So, it's rare, but the Galaxy have my support... it's just a shame they won't have Landon Donovan...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Your Football Fantasy...

...or is it Fantasy Football?

DC Sports and The Butterfly Network are collaborating to form a bloggers-only (for now) Fantasy Football League on Yahoo Fantasy Sports. Some things to note, courtesy of Sara at TBN:

1. For now, you must be a blogger (write on a blog) to participate. If participation is low, we'll open it up to our readers as well.

2. The league name is Fantasy Blogball.

3. The name of your team must be your blogging name so everyone knows who you are. (ie, my team name will be Sara, etc)

4. The draft will be a live, online draft. The currently set draft time is Tue Aug 9 7:30pm ET.

5. The date/time may change. However, if someone is unable to participate in the live draft, they can use the auto pick draft tool available on yahoo. I will not explain this further because anyone who participates needs to be familiar with how the game works, so read for yourself!

6. Of course, this is only for fun and no money/betting is involved! (If you chose to do so, on the side, it's your prerogative, of course.)

You will receive an invitation, via email with the password and instructions. If you don't – send an email to and we will send it to you.


I couldn't've put it better myself. So, who's in?

He Remains an Irishman

It's no secret that I'm proud of having Irish blood in me. Most Irish people seem to feel the same way, though I'm not honestly sure why. As Deep Cover and I were discussing yesterday, the Irish have been on the ass-end of a lot of stuff. A potato famine, losing 1/4 of their country to the British, joining the army straight off the dock in New York, and the damned Lucky Charms leprechaun. Not exactly a championship run. However, pride still flows in these hazel Irish Eyes.

And what a weekend for it. Thursday night, I was able to introduce some old friends from Cyprus (they of the recent wedding) to Nanny O'Brien's in Cleveland Park, which is still the closest thing the city has to a real Irish pub for my money. Friday, I was off to Pittsburgh to visit the current S/O, and we wound up at a place called the Harp and Fiddle with her family. Lots of good music, and great beer. Oh Smithwicks, how I love thee.

For those of you who aren't Irish, aspire to be, or have just been negligent, here are a few rules of thumb. A good Irish haunt should have very little lighting. They must have Guinness and at least one other true Irish brew, preferably Smithwicks, on tap. It would be nice if they had a House Ale as well. There must be a stage, and a performer that sings old Irish music. The music should be either upbeat and fun, sad enough to make you want to slit your wrists, or a combination of the two. A dartboard is nice, but not completely necessary. If possible, the waiters/waitresses should have accents. A proper crowd should be just enough to fill the tables, maybe a few empty. If it's overflowing with college age kids or posers who think they're "with it" on Irish culture, the bar is too mainstream and should be avoided. (You hear me Four Provinces? Inviting an Irish Singer who played Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson songs. For shame!)

Now then, you're at this pub, and you've got your beer, you need to know the music. At least the chorus, sometimes the regular words are barely intelligible. So here are the best Irish drinking/singing songs you can know, with the parts you should sing. If the performer of the night does not know these songs, he should be banned.

1. Whiskey in the Jar: An absolute must. Not only should you sing the chorus, you should bang your beer glass on the table at certain points.
(4 Bangs)
Whack fol the daddy o,
(2 bangs)
Whack fol the daddy o,
There's whiskey in the jar."

2. Black Velvet Band: This is another classic, which people can get really into. You'll find the Captain swaying with his glass in the air when this one gets played. You should sing the chorus as follows, some performers will modify slightly.
"Her eyes they shone like the diamonds
You'd think she was queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band."

3. The Wild Rover: Another one with glass banging, and a popular favorite. Sing as follows.
"And it's no*, nay*, never*
(4 bangs) No nay never no more
Will I play the wild rover
No never no more."
*It is acceptable to bang your glass on each of those words to punctuate the first line, some do, some don't. The Captain's vote goes for "do."

4. I'm a Rover: This one is a glass raiser. Even if you're not Irish, you should have heard this song at least once in your life. The chorus as follows, sung long, loud and proud:
"I'm a Rover, seldom sober
I'm a Rover, I'll agree
It's when I'm drinking, I'm always thinking
How to gain my love's company."

5. The Galway Races: This song has at least three known versions, the original has seven verses, and the chorus is really just a jumble of Gaelic gibberish. However, between each verse, just say:
"With me wack fol the do fol the diddle idle day."
And you should be all right.

6. Back Home in Derry: This one is simple to pick up. Though this song is a little sadder than the ones listed above, it's not mournful enough to be a wrist-slitter.
"Oh...I wish I was back home in Derry
Oh...I wish I was back home in Derry."

7. Rising of the Moon: Another one that's easy to sing along with. The chorus as follows:
"At the rising of the moon
oh the rising of the moon
For the pikes must be together
At the rising of the moon."

Okay, that's enough of those. And I purposely left Finnegan's Wake off of the list, so don't complain about it. The song sucks and most performers hate it by this point. With those seven songs, you should at least have a base you can sing along with, and expand from. However, we must not neglect another facet of Irish music, the depressing, tear inducing, wrist-slitter. Now I, The Captain, am immune to these songs because I've heard them so many times. When you hear these for the first time, you should have a tear or two, or at least a catch in your throat. If you do not, I suggest you go to the hospital, have your ribs split open, and search for a note stating "I O U, One Soul, signed GOD." Now then, the saddest songs of Irish Pubs.

1. The Streets of London: Fantastic song, great message. Any kid growing up even middle class should be forced to listen to this song if they bitch about their allowance, being grounded, etc. Puts things in perspective.
"How can you tell me, that you're lonely
And say for you, your sun don't shine
Let me take you by the hand and lead you
Through the Streets of London
I'll show you something, that'll make you change your mind."

2. Green Fields of France: Often known as "Willie McBride" this is a popular, sad song about WW1. Not only does it have a great chorus:
"Did they beat the drum slowly, did they sound the fife lowly
Did the rifles fire o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles play the 'Last post' and chorus?
Did the pipes play the 'Flowers of the forest'?

It also has this line in the main part of the song, which I think applies nicely to our war in Iraq.
"Did you really believe when they told you the cause
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?"

3. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda: Though this is about an Australian, it's still a good song and very popular in pubs. There's not really a repeated chorus in this one.

4. Red is the Rose: A great song with an unexpected twist. You think this one is happy...
"Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows
Fair is the lily of the valley
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any."

5. The Fields of Athenry: Sad song about a man who rebels against famine, and the last words between his true love and himself before he goes to a prison ship to die.
"Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing, we had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry."

6. O Danny Boy: Another classic, very sad sounding.
"Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the leaves are falling
'Tis you, 'tis you must go, and I must bide."

7. Paddy's Lamentation: This one is a letter back to people in Ireland, from a man who was forced to join the army upon arriving in America. The message? Stay in Ireland.
"Here's you boys, now take my advice
To America I'll have you not be coming
There is nothing here but war
Where the murdering cannons roar
And I wish I was at home in dear old Dublin."

Pictures from the Nanny O'Brien's trip, finally!!

Outside the pub, L-R: The Groom (Captain's college roommate) The Grooms Brother, The Maid of Honor, and The Bride.

Inside now, The Captain joins the party, sunglasses as always. Even indoors.

This was supposed to be a shot of the live band. However, you can see the other people at our table here. We didn't know them, but being friendly sorts, we invited them to shove tables together and make a bigger group. Made some new friends.

Here's a better shot of the performers, who were more than willing to pose with our out of country visitors. Like a true Irishman, one of them wouldn't put his beer down.

The Cypriots are all smiles at your friendly Irish hangout.

Too much beer!

Way too much beer.

Is Danica a Dud?

I am no huge racing fan. I watch Nascar now and again, but much less now than I did when I was younger. At the start of this racing season, Danica Patrick came to the forefront.

Talking heads were talking her up at the beginning, saying how great it would be for women in sports if she could beat the men in racing, something traditionally dominated by them. Danica began racing and racing well. The regular casual observer would think that top 10 finishes were pretty good, but without a victory for Danica, the talking heads started saying that any progress Danica was making meant nothing unless she won. It's funny how quickly things changed. Now she's hardly in the news and probably won't be until she wins.

Here's the question(s): Is Danica Patrick really as big a deal as they said at the beginning? I'm all for the progression of women in sports (I play on coed soccer teams for crying out loud) but is one woman in indy racing - a sport not traditionally paid much attention to by most - going to do that much in the way of progress? What say you, readers? Do you truly care?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

What can Brown do for you?

I can't help it, it's too easy a title.

Los Angeles Lakers, you bumbling bunch of idiots in the front office, I have one thing to say: Thank you. Thank you for taking Kwame Brown off of our hands.

There are all kinds of effects that this will have... imagine...

- Kwame is now in one of the biggest markets and highest pressure situations in the league. Because, yanno, he's performed so well under pressure to this point.

- Poor Kwame's already-fragile psyche will be further destroyed the first time he steps to the basket off a pick and roll and Kobe chooses to take on 3 guys instead of pass Kwame the ball.

- The next time Kwame gets picked up going 120 miles per hour on the highway, it's going to be international news.

- Phil Jackson thought he had problems babysitting Kobe, now he has Kobe and Kw-aaaaaaah-me.

I'm giddy.

And we get Caron Butler.

Ernie, guess someone was home after all.

Soccer Update

We finally got back on the field last night, after something like a 3 week hiatus due to various unfortunate events. It was a 1-1 final - hopefully a tie is not truly like kissing your sister. We aren’t scoring goals like we did at the start of last year, last nights was only our 3rd in 4 games. The opposition scored on a long-range free kick in the first half that found the back of the net off of a well-placed header into the upper left corner. We had all kinds of chances in both halves but only finally got on the board when yours truly beat the keeper to the far post from about 8 yards. Next week we play a team we beat 10-0 last year (and that was taking it easy), we’re not exactly the same team but we hope that they are. I personally am supposed to play Friday night for one of my other teams but weather may prove to be a problem.

It was good to get back out on the field after a long layoff, even if my legs are killing me this morning. I’m a bit disappointed that I haven’t scored more this year but both goals have come at times we’ve really needed them (1 when it was 1-1 in the 2nd half that gave us a win, and last nights securing the tie) so hopefully I can keep coming through when we really need it. Before the 2nd half my cleats came apart at the sole so I had to go to the bullpen and pull out last year’s footwear, perhaps they’re lucky? I haven’t decided whether I need to replace my current cleats, that should be the days dilemma…

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Here and There

A few things to touch on here…

- Kwame for Caron? I’ve stated before that Kwame Brown would not net more than Robert Pack and a used handkerchief in return. I guess the oversight I made is that there is a possibility that we would be dealing with the Lakers. In case you haven’t forgotten, they’re the team that sided with Kobe over Shaq and The Zenmaster and went from Western Conference Champs to Western Conference Chumps and out of the playoffs. As the fire-breathing insect from The Family Guy would say, goooood… goooood…

- This may sound a bit strange, especially to the casual observer, but I must admit to missing the WUSA. Before the (temporary, I hope) door-closing I went to a number of Washington Freedom games, the party for the Founder’s Cup Final (title game) at R.F.D., met a few of the players, and overall followed the team pretty closely. Historically I have kept up on women’s soccer as much as possible, even going to Columbus, OH for the USA v. North Korea game in ’03 for the World Cup, so I hated seeing the WUSA fail in its first incarnation. Hopefully Tonya Antonucci, CEO of Women’s Soccer Initiative, Inc knows what she’s doing. Or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to put a picture of my girl Aly up…

- Sean Taylor, do you really believe you’ll get off the hook if you go to trial? I hope you’re right, because the risk/reward ratio isn’t exactly a favorable one here.

- Because I was unable to sit through all 9 innings of the Major League Baseball All-Star game last night, it got me thinking of what All-Star contests/weekends rank where in terms of enjoyability. First and foremost is NBA All-Star weekend, with the Rookie/Sophomore game, three point shootout, and slam dunk contest setting the stage for what regularly is a fun East v. West game. The NFL probably is 3rd on the list because nobody really watches the Pro Bowl, every February a few players decline to go (yeah, you play 16+ games a year and see how you feel about playing a game that doesn’t matter after all of that.. though the trip to Hawaii is pretty sweet), and there are no real fan-grabbing skill contests to speak of. MLB is in 2nd on the strength of the Home Run Contest (Bobby Abreu won me a beer-to-be-named-later from The Captain and Deep Cover). And the NHL All-Star game is… Well, you know.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Link Updates

Well, it had to happen sooner or later, but Robin of "Robin Worldwide" fame has lost the coveted "New Blog" link to not one, but two new blogs. Though the blogs are older than ours, the "New Blog" is not a discriminating award, she is no fickle master. The award considers all worthy candidates.

So that aside, let's welcome The Butterfly Network and The Asian Mistress into the sacred territory of being linked on DC SPORTS. May you carry your designation proudly until the next new link proves itself worthy.

So anyway, in sports news today, did anyone watch the Homerun Derby last night? Bobby Abreu just up and decided to smash the all-time derby record by about 14 homeruns. I wonder if this newfound anger comes from that rumor about his wife...

The celebrity softball game, of which I watched about two innings, was pretty disappointing. Jennie Finch was prominently featured, which didn't do much for me. Though I-66 and Deep Cover vehemently disagree with me, I'm just not much into Jenny Finch. Too fake looking. Now Amanda Beard on the other hand, is smoking hot. However, being an 18-year baseball player (out of the 25 years of my short life) makes me appreciate a woman who can hit a baseball or softball, and do a decent job of it. Let's say Ms. Beard's skills were severly lacking in that department.

Finally, on a sad note (You can't stop Debbie Downer.) Those of you who have been born here, raised here, or have lived here for any amount of time are probably familiar with the Don and Mike show. It's the afternoon drive talk show on WJFK, 106.7 F.M. Though recent FCC restrictions have cut out some parts of their show, they've always managed to make me smile after a rough day at work. Sadly, Don's wife, Freda, was killed in a car accident two nights ago, so the show is understandably going through a rough period.

Anyone who has been a fan of this show might want to send a prayer Don's way.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Fantasy Sports: For the Rabid Fan, or for Nerds?

Being that training camp is around the corner for football season, it's time for us to discuss the phenomena known as Fantasy Football. Yes, we could be discussing other things like Lance Armstrong going for a 7th Tour De France title. As much as I enjoy cycling, more people play Fantasy Football than watch the Tour. We'll discuss Armstrong when he's won again (and yes, it's going to happen.)

The first part of my thesis discusses the age old question that fantasy haters ask themselves, which is "What's the point?" Well, let's be honest here. Most sports fans are looking for statistics in the paper anyway, to see how well players, so why not have a good reason for it? The Redskins, perhaps the greatest creation known to man, often have their games at 1:00 in the afternoon. A football fan is going to watch the 4:00 and night games anyway, but by playing fantasy football, you actually care how people in these games do, especially if they're on your team or that of the person you're playing against. Fantasy Sports really make you appreciate the game more.

The first part of fantasy sport is having a great league/team name. For instance, this year, our league is called "I am Troy Aikman's Concussion" which both references a great movie, and makes fun of perhaps the most evil human being ever to grace the gridiron.

I am Troy Aikman's Concussion

The second, and by far the most important part of playing fantasy sports is the ability to talk trash to your opponents and friends, because really, there are no friends. This is for blood and bragging rights. Trash talk can follow one of two basic paths.

Type A is favored by the I-66 type of player, which is fact based, i.e. being able to remember your exact record against someone over the past five years, and pointing it out often, or mocking your upcoming match-ups, relative weakness of your running backs, etc.

Type B is distinctly non fact-based, often not even based in the sport you are currently competing in. Type B trash talk is an art form perfected by myself and dabbled in by other people. There are no limits to this trash talk. Regardless of whether or not these are your good friends, feel free to include threats of death, forcible sodomy, humiliation, etc.

To help you upon your journey, I've created this handy guide. Simply select one or more terms from each of the following basic categories, put it together in a sentence, and don't hold back. Most of these are pretty self explanatory, but The Converter may have some people wondering. It was something we came up with in college, usually a boast about how you could even make a goth/nihilist/atheist, etc. scream God's name, therefore converting them.

Group 1: Opening/Insult
Bitch, Bastard, Sissy, Ass-hat, Assclown, Ass Goblin, Bone Smuggler, Troy Aikman, Cowboy Fan, Racist Remarks, etc.

Group 2: Horrifying Act
Sodomy, Dismemberment, Public Impalement, Vasectomies, Kidney Removal, Death of Relative, Homeland Invasion (if opponent is foreign), Car Bombing, Mutilation, Crucifying.

Group 3: Penis Euphemism
Love Rocket, Screaming Pink Jesus, The Godfather, Soul Pole, The Captain (Was there any doubt this was getting in there), Mushroom Spitter, Jacks Beanstalk, Rocky Balboa, The Converter, Bologna Pony.*

Group 4: Seal the Deal
Death of Pet, Allusions of Homosexuality, Facial Urination, Impregnating Mother, Property Defacement, "God Hates You", Legitimacy of Birth, Poisoning, Foreclosure, Tea-Bagging.

*Thanks Robin

Here is an example. Let's assume I have recently defeated Deep Cover in a close game. My next day's message might go something like the following:

Hey Bitch! (Group 1) Did you happen to notice yesterday's score? Did it hurt as much as the time I cut off your balls and threw them in the blender? (Group 2) I hope so, because I hate you, with every bone in my tired, broken body. I'll be backing this victory up by slapping you across the face with all ten inches of Screaming Pink Jesus next time I see you. (Group 3) Know my name and grovel, you sissy assclown. (Group 1 again) Anger me further, and I'll teabag your mother and shoot your dog. (Group 4)

This would probably go on longer, but we'll cut it there. If any of the above offends you, well, you're just not cut out for real fantasy football. Otherwise, give it a shot, it's an outlet for repressed rage, if nothing else.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Wedding 2 of 4

Yet another wedding is upon us. This time, The Captain will be out in the Winchester area seeing his college roommate off into the next stage of life. I'm sure we all wish him and the bride well. Pictures should be up later this week, hopefully a few of the maid of honor. Something about a Greek woman with an accent that's half greek/half british is very appealing.

The whole Larry Hughes thing has left me with a sick feeling. The Eastern division of the NBA is weak, so we will likely still make the playoffs with Arenas and Jamison, but you can't let someone like Larry Hughes go. The only available fill-ins are Joe Johnson (who is restricted, so Phoenix can match anything) or Bobby Simmons, who was originally drafted by the Wizards, but let go. Unless they sign Latrell Sprewell, which would make me seriously consider ignoring the teams existance for awhile.

Memo to Kenny Rogers: I'll gladly take 3.5 million dollars a year to let cameras be stuck in my face. In fact, I see here you were paid as much as 7.5 million a year for this sort of inconvenience. You're a professional athlete, and you have been for sixteen years, you should be used to it by now. Accept the cameramen, go to sleep on your bed full of money, and shut up about it.

Oh, and for those who don't watch the news much, I don't know if this qualifies as sport, but that Kobayashi (sp?) guy won the hot dog eating contest again. 49 1/2 in 12 minutes. However, his all time record is 53 1/2 in 12 minutes, so frankly, I'm disappointed, and I say to him, "Pick is up buddy, you're getting complacent." I expect no less than 55 hot dogs next year.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The lights are on...

Dear Ernie Grunfeld, GM, Washington Wizards,

It has been reported on that you let Larry Hughes get away to Cleveland. After nearly vomiting in my lunch after reading that, I had questions:

Are you on vaction? Have you gone on a drinking and/or drugging binge? Did you leave Kwame Brown in charge? Or was it Wes Unseld? Did you plan on dialing up Rex Chapman and Don MacLean? And most importantly, how the hell do you plan on improving on last year's campaign by letting one of the 3 most important players on your roster escape?

I'm beyond many words right now. Just when I thought you would be able to keep steering the ship in the right direction, this happens. I hope you have a grand plan, Ernie. I hope you don't think Kwame Brown is going to get you anything more than Robert Pack and a used handkerchief in return. Larry can't sign a contract just yet so there's still some time to maybe get him to pull a 180 and head back here. If that doesn't happen, I don't know what your alternative is. Are the lights on with nobody home? I believe it. You've got little time left to change my mind.

I-66, loyal Bullets/Wizards fan since Mark Alarie, Bernard King, and Jim Lynam

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More Live 8

I was originally going to put this up Monday, after I-66's summary, but it took a little while to collect the pictures and get the time to put them up. If you haven't seen I-66's summary, scroll down and read that first, it'll give you a better idea of the day.

The House, Deep Cover and The New York Girl riding the N.J.-Philly subway line, getting ready for the Best Concert Ever.

The Philadelphia skyline...I just thought it looked nice.

Some people were willing to do anything for a better view. This couldn't have smelled good.

Deep Cover and I-66 making the long walk from subway to the steps of the Art Museum.

Hey, it was a long walk, can you blame them for taking a break?

Rif and The New York Girl

The New York Girl and The Captain

Two more performances that were fantastic, Madonna and Linkin Park.

The House, Rif and The Captain enjoying the show.

Hey, I'm patriotic, it was nice to see these in the crowd.

We couldn't resist getting a picture of this.

In the basement of a wonderful Irish bar/pub. Being an Irishman, I appreciate these sorts of places. Dark basement, dart board, great beer. Here, The Captain can be seen enjoying a Carlsberg, a fine Danish offering. In a shocking turn of events, the Captain was caught without his trademark sunglasses on.

Deep Cover and I-66 playing darts. Let the record show that The Captain laid the smack down on Deep Cover during their game.

This was already in I-66's recap, but I just needed to make sure there was another picture of me with the sunglasses. For names, go find I-66's recap below.

Poor Deep Cover, he just couldn't stay awake that night.

Let the record show that while people may have had fun in D.C., at Indebleu or where ever, THIS was THE biggest and best party you could have been at over the weekend. Final attendance was over 1 million people. Best Concert EVER!!