||South Bend, Indiana
||June 20, 2005
||April 16, 2014
The_Black_Hand has posted 139 links and 2547 comments to SportsFilter and 20 links and 732 comments to the Locker Room and 1 column.
My new goal in life is to organize the JerseyGirl Memorial Clam Shot Celebrity Co-Ed Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament. The List (in no particular order): Red Sox and Braves
--Growing up in Florida in the seventies, I saw the Braves almost every day on WTCG (later to become WTBS). These were the good ol' days when the Braves were lovable losers, and I was hooked. Bob Horner, Raffy Ramirez, Glenn Hubbard, Dale Murphy, Chris Chambliss, and especially the Mad Hungarian, Al Hrabosky. Good times, good times. When I saw the Red Sox - Yankees game in 1978 that Bucky Dent won with a three-run shot off of Mike Torrez, I decided right then and there that I must
root for the poor, downtrodden Red Sox, and I must
hate the Yankees. It's brought me immense pain through the years, but it was all worth it when the Sox brought the trophy home in 2004. Rangers and 'Canes (the Carolina kind, not the Miami kind)
--Again, an underdog story. Back in the day, as the New York Islanders were crushing the entire league on the way to four Stanley Cups (including three in a row), the New York Rangers sucked, so I had to root for them. The fact that Billy Smith was a total prick didn't hurt, either. As for the 'Canes, I blame 11 years of living in North Carolina and my habit of geographical loyalty, plus their incredible run to the Stanley Cup Finals back in 2001 (stupid Red Wings!), which made me alternately want to shake Arturs Irbe's hand and/or punch him right in the head. Dolphins
--As previously stated, I grew up in Florida in the seventies...what else did we have? No hockey, no basketball, no baseball outside of spring training...we watched the Dolphins, that's what we did, and we damned well liked it!
As a small boy, watching the Phins during the 1972 "Perfect Season" while sitting on my grandfather's lap is one of my earliest memories. Through the years, I've lived and died with A.J. Duhe, the Blackwood Brothers, Dan Marino, and an impressive roster of unimpressive running backs (Andra Franklin, Sammie Smith, Cecil Collins, please let it end with Ronnie Brown!) and drug suspensions for the one good running back we've had since Csonka and Kiick. I still can't believe that Danny only made it to one Super Bowl, and I still blame Shula, which is heresy for a Phins Phan, but if he'd built a running game to go with Danny, who knows what might have happened? Thankfully, I'm not bitter. Fighting Irish and Gators
--I'm Irish-Catholic, and it was quite clear in my house that we were Notre Dame football fans, no matter what! It would have been perfect had I gone to ND, but I stayed in-state instead and went to the University of Florida. Luckily, Dad forgave me. That said, the Notre Dame - Florida Sugar Bowl in 1992 nearly tore my family in half. Thankfully for the familial unit, Jerome Bettis racked up 150 yards and three touchdowns, and the Irish won the game. If Florida had prevailed, who knows what happens to my family dynamic? Good thing Dad wasn't around to watch Notre Dame lose Urban Meyer to the lure of Gainesville. Jeff Gordon
--Back in 1994, I watched his first win at the Coca-Cola 600 and I remember thinking, damn, this kid's gonna be good.
That, combined with the fact that everybody hated him, made me a fan. Simple enough. The four Winston Cup championships, three Daytona 500 wins, and four wins at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were just gravy. Celtics
--I became a casual Celtics/Larry Bird fan in 1979, but it wasn't until bigmouth Moses Malone said he could pull four guys off the streets in Petersburg (Va.) and beat the Celtics before the 1981 NBA Finals that I became a rabid fan. I still think Bird was a legit MVP every year he played, and I'm still heartbroken over the deaths of Len Bias and Reggie Lewis. Queen's Park Rangers --Because yerfatma said so.
Remembering the good ol' days: Tidewater Tides games at Met Park in Norfolk, Virginia. What a dump, but the atmosphere was fantastic. You could actually yell across the park to friends sitting on the opposite side, and they could hear you, clear as a bell:
"Hey Dave, we're goin' fer dogs n' beer! You comin'?"
"Naw, man, I gotta take a leak...I'll catch ya during the seventh inning stretch!"
Then they built a half-assed replica of Camden Yards (same company, same architect, different vibe), changed the team to the Norfolk Tides, jacked up ticket prices, and ruined the whole experience.
Working in Baltimore back in 1992-93, I stayed at the Omni Inner Harbor for about six months, and got to look down on Camden Yards the first year it was open. Many nights spent drinking beer and listening to the game on the radio while I looked down from my room at one of the most inspiring sports-related sights I've ever seen. And I'm not even an O's fan.
The night I walked away from the TV while the Red Sox were leading the Mets in Game Six of the 1986 World Series has scarred me for life. If there's a TV on, with one of my favorite teams playing, I am now physically unable to walk away, because I am haunted by the knowledge that if I walk away, they will lose. Of course, they often lose while I'm watching, but at least they have a chance...as long as I'm there.
Watching the 1982 Phins-Chargers playoff game with my dad was as heart-breaking a moment as I've ever had in sports; watching Uwe VonSchamann and Rolf Benerschkie trade missed field goals, watching that damn Kellen Winslow run rampant, when it was all over, I felt like I'd been cheated. Let down by our European kicker, beaten by their European kicker.
Res Ipsa Locquitar.
Get Out There And Hit Somebody!: The NFL lockout had to end, because I contacted all players and owners and told them it was time for SpoFi to get it on! The SpoFi Head to Head Fantasy Football League has been reconstituted...all managers from last year should have received invitations already. All are welcome to join! High scoring, drama, action, romance, passion, violence, ennui, lethargy, it's all there...and that's before the draft even happens! Come play with us! ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!
SpoFi Head Games 2011-12
League ID# 514611
posted by The_Black_Hand to fantasy at 02:29 PM on August 13 - 27 comments