Saturday, February 27, 2010

Old at heart

I still have two years left of my 20s. That's what I keep telling myself. Once you hit 30, you're officially old. You're no longer allowed to eat Shark Bites fruit snacks, bite your nails, use your college ID to get student discounts or even use Facebook. Yeah, once you hit the big 3-0, it's time to leave the Internet for good and curse it while mumbling under your breath on a street corner.

But I'm still two years away ... two years away.

As you must know by now, I just turned 28 years old. On February 26th, 1982, I entered this world in Providence, Rhode Island to Kathy and Robert. This was years before babies were handed iPhones at the hospital, when kids were kids and Ronald Reagan was busy crushing the Soviet Union with his dreamy smile.

Did I do anything to celebrate? Not really. I've never made a big deal out of this. I don't expect the world to stop now that I'm a step closer to the grave. I do appreciate the nice Facebook posts, though. I must be a popular dude. Even had a retro Bynner Street argument on my wall between the usual suspects.

Don't you love Facebook?

The old jokes have been flying today, which was expected. I am older than most of my friends because I did an extra year of school between kindergarten and first grade. Combine that with my early birth date and I was a year older than my peers. (For the record, I did an extra year in elementary and in college. I sure got a late start in pretty much everything.)

However, at work I am on the young side. So I hear jokes about me watching the Pats in footie pajamas while sipping apple juice in one of those cups for toddlers. I didn't see Star Wars in theaters and I don't remember the Bill Buckner play.

So am I young 28 or and old 28? One guy at work said a few weeks ago that I was the oldest 27 year old in the world. His evidence? I still have an old cell phone that can't operate spy satellites or take my blood pressure. I still record TV shows with a VCR. When he brought out his PSP I had no idea what it was. I also had never heard of the God of War video game. Only on rare occasions have I used the Wii, PlayStation 3, XBox 360 or whatever else. I know very little about modern music and I've never been drunk. (Buzzed? Sure. Not full-out drunk, though. You try getting drunk on Speckled Hen.)

I have to admit, he has a strong case. I'm an old soul. You won't see me driving much faster than the speed limit and I participate in all the local Tea Party activities. I don't want Obama putting his guvmint hands on my Medicare. The only youthful thing I do is this here blog, which puts in me in a select group of about 200 million people. I also play Ping-Pong like a hungover three-year-old, if that counts.

This is depressing. I have to stop this blog entry. I should do something crazy and spontaneous soon to reignite my youthful spirit. I'll have plenty of time to act old when I am old.

And that's two years away.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sicker than sick

Time for a health update. I think I just had one of the worst days of my life.

I haven't been really sick in years. Sure, there have been some colds and headaches here and there, but nothing too bad since junior high. That changed Wednesday.

The doctor said it was probably food poisoning. Whatever it is (and was) it kicked my ass. Completely. Totally.

I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I'll spare you the details, but the illness arose after I got home from work when I finished watching Lost. Perhaps my immune system is as confused as everyone else about the sideways world on that show. That was about 3 a.m. For the next 12 hours, I was, among many things, shivering, aching, dizzy and light-headed. I lost three or four pounds if I read the scale right after the doctor's office. I can't be sure since I was near delirium and could barely see, talk or move.

It was the most violently ill I've ever been.

Since then, I've had a lot of jello, Gatorade and soup. I'm through the worst of it, but not out of the woods entirely. I still get a little light-headed when I stand up and I have no appetite even though I haven't had a full meal in almost two days.

Of course this happens on my weekend. Of course it does.

So there's my status. Currently, I'm watching Rasheed Wallace attempt to play basketball and I think he might bring back my illness. He sucks. And so does food poisoning. I know first-hand.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Back 2 good

Far be it from me to kick a man while he's down .... but .... I can't resist. I'm a classless, puppy-strangling, Belicheat-worshipping Pats fan and Colts hater.

The Manning Face is back!!
After watching the Colts, Giants, Yankees, Steelers and Lakers win titles the past few years, it was nice to watch one of them go down in flames. Peyton Manning threw a back-breaking interception in a huge moment and it made me feel that all is right in the world, at least for one night.

First, we can dispense with the idiotic "Colts are the Team of the Decade" talk for good. Ron Borges and other idiots were pressing this idea last week, assuming the Colts would roll to a championship. As Lee Corso would put it, not so fast. I could go into a spirited defense of the Patriots as the Team of the Decade, but that would be a waste of time, like arguing that Godfather III is better than Godfather I. Both were decent (at least) movies, but one was clearly better and anyone who says otherwise is either blinded by hatred, on drugs or related to Sofia Coppola.

So let's get to another topic, a somewhat annoying one: the Brady-Manning debate. It lingers and festers every season because it can be argued on both sides. To say Manning is better than Brady is foolhardy, but at least its defensible. But the talk all these playoffs, and especially the last two weeks, is that Manning is better than Brady, no questions asked, like some secret tribunal headed by Mark Malone and Amos Alonzo Stagg already made a ruling. Many bored writers went even further to say Manning is the best ever.
Here's an example. (Hilarious to read in hindsight.)

Manning has the numbers, but he's also played four more seasons, including Brady's missed 2008. While great in his own right, Manning has had several advantages. He's played in a passing system his whole career. He's always had Pro Bowlers surrounding him, from Edgerrin James to Marvin Harrison to Reggie Wayne to Dallas Clark. He plays in a dome and in a division with two expansion teams. Brady deals with harsh Northeast winter conditions in about half the games he plays each season. Brady won a Super Bowl with Jermaine Wiggins as his tight end, with Troy Brown as his leading receiver, with Antowain Smith as his running back. What have Deion Branch and David Givens done since Brady made them millions?

Brady brought a team with Reche Caldwell as its No. 1 receiver to within minutes of a Super Bowl. That says it all. And once the Pats surrounded Brady with top-of-the-line talent, he only had the greatest statistical season in NFL history and went 16-0. He would have been the hero of that Super Bowl if the defense held the lead. No back-breaking INTs in Super Bowls for Brady. Just two MVPs and almost a third.

Granted, Brady has been blessed with better defenses. And he certainly had a better head coach. But Manning has never lacked offensive talent, and his regular seasons are always eye-popping, hence his four MVPs.

But his playoff record - where legacies are made - looks like my ping-pong record.

9-9. (My ping-pong record is more like 9-7675.)

1999: One-and-done in the playoffs.

2000: Less than 200 yards passing. Last QB to lose a playoff game to the Dolphins.

2002: One-and-done again. Throws for 137 yards and two interceptions. Colts lose 41-0 ... to the Jets.

2003: Colts roll into Foxborough after two blowout wins in the playoffs. Everyone on ESPN puts them in Super Bowl. Manning throws four interceptions in a loss. Indy, which runs the Competition Committee, changes the rules in their favor after the loss.
2004: Colts roll into Foxborough after a blowout win. Everyone on ESPN puts them in Super Bowl. Manning throws zero touchdowns and a pick. Colts lose 20-3.

2005: Colts have No. 1 seed. NFL prepares to hand them the Lombardi Trophy before the playoffs start. Manning gets sacked five times in Indy's first playoff game, which is at home, and the Colts lose to the Steelers.

2006: Colts finally break through and win it all. Manning leads big comeback in AFC title game. I cry. Manning ends playoffs with 3 TDs and 7 INTs. Somehow named Super Bowl MVP when Dominic Rhodes rushes for 113 yards and a score.

2007: Colts have No. 1 seed again. Lose first playoff game ... again. Manning throws for 400 yards, but also has two picks. Blames offensive line for loss.

2008: Manning plays well, but Indy still suffers abbreviated playoff run after another loss to San Diego.

2009: Manning makes it to second Super Bowl, is called by several writers, including a few Boston ones, the greatest QB of all time. Throws pick-six with chance to tie game.

As you can see, his playoff record is not so hot, especially compared to Brady's. This still doesn't mean he isn't an all-time great, but can we put a halt to the coronation, please? He'll end up with more touchdowns, yards and MVPs than Brady, but he'll have a tough time winning more rings. The debate will rage on, no doubt. I will always side with my boy, Brady. Always. I will admit Peyton is better now, since he's not dealing with a reconstructed knee. It pains me to admit that, but it's true.

But I am in no pain today. After weeks and weeks of writers slobbering over Peyton, he returns to his old form just in time. Everything feels right.