Escape from the drama….

There is a lot of bad news out there right now, division, hate, racism, finger pointing, and yes loads of just plain drama…  I would be lying if I told you that it doesn’t affect me, it does, but I choose to look for the good in people, the happy stories, the good news, and the issues that we all can agree on.  I could sit here and write several paragraphs on how I feel about a lot of non-sports topics, but if there is one thing I have learned, its that ranting and raving about what’s wrong with society, politics, and world events do nothing to solve the problems we face on a daily basis.  Sports has always been a great escape for me from the problems of the day, week or month, and today is no exception.  While the majority of the country is tuned in to the news, no matter how depressing it is, I am focused more on the sports world and the great things that are happening that make me hopeful for the future…

First…  the men’s final yesterday at Wimbledon between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer was one for the ages.  4 hours and 57 minutes long, a 13-12 final set and both men leaving it all on the court, especially 37 year-old Roger Federer at 37 years old. showing age is truly just a number and yo can do anything you set your mind to, despite coming up short.  It was a testament to all of us well pas our prime and what can be done if you truly set your mind and body to it.  I have been following tennis for over 35 years, I played in High School, and it was one of my favorite sports as a teenager.  I was good (not great) and I loved to play, and yesterday’s 5 set masterpiece only caused me to love it more.  I find myself looking forward to the US Open in a few weeks and plan on watching as much of it as I can.

Second… I found myself glued to the TV screen last weekend watching the #USWNT win the
World Cup.  Those of you that know me understand that Soccer is not exactly my favorite sport, I refuse to call it Football or Futbal or Footy.. meh..  it’s Soccer…  and despite its growing popularity in the US, I still have a hard time siting and watching a full 90 minutes of grown adults running back and forth on the pitch kicking a round ball and hoping to place it in goal…  I find it boring and sleep inducing.  But for some reason I was enthralled by that match last weekend.  so proud of the women and what they have accomplished… and yes, I believe they deserve to be paid the same as the men…  After all, they are currently a better team than the USMNT is, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Third… The NBA Offseason has been exciting, tension-filled and downright dramatic.  As @jongolson and I discussed last night on The Sports Nerds, the NBA competition will be WIDE OPEN next season, and we can say goodbye, for a least one season, tot he “big Three” teams have been looking for as we now have the dynamic duos on teams such as the Lakers, the Clippers, Houston, Utah, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and others, the playing field has been leveled and the season should be fun when it kicks off in October. 

Finally…  the NFL season will start in about 6 weeks, and for the first time in over 25 years, I am actually looking forward to watching my Cleveland Browns and seeing what they can do.  ON PAPER this team is loaded, but I am from the school of “DONT TELL ME…SHOW ME”.  I hope that they are a good on the field as their roster looks now, and I am hopeful for a season where we can win more games than we lose for the first time in a long time.  I am hopeful for a 9-7 or 10-5 season. They do not have an easy schedule –games against the Rams, the Seahawks, Patriots and Broncos, along with the usual two games vs Baltimore and Pittsburgh.  I am hopeful, I am positive and I can’t wait.  #GoBrowns

We still have the Open Championship to look forward to this week, The World Series, the NHL season (#GoBolts) and aforementioned US Open (Tennis) as well, so there will be plenty to watch, get excited about and distractions from the shit show that is the News and Politics.  So do yourself a favor, step away from the news and focus on the good stuff coming up in the world of sports…  Trust me…  you’ll feel better about the world and you’ll feel better about yourself.

Later…

Scott – The Sports Nerd

Random thoughts….

Today is the slowest sports day on the calendar.  There are no games being played today, MLB is in the All-Star break, it is the offseason for NFL, NBA, & NHL.  NASCAR returns Sunday, PGA tour first round is tomorrow, World Cup is over, and because of this, ESPN is holding it’s annual Awards show, the ESPYS tonight so as not to interfere with any games that may be playing. 

With all of that being said, I have some random thoughts going on in my head regarding the sports world.  They may or may not be profound, but it is what’s on my mind at the current time.

At the halfway point in the MLB season, it appears to be the same song and dance we have seen the last few years.  In the AL its the Yankees and Astros leading the way, with the Dodgers, Braves, and Cubs leading the way in the NL.  The only changes that I can see is that the Rays are second in the East, while the Twins are leading the Central.  This is the time of year where my interest in baseball starts to peak, with it culminating once the playoffs begin.  I’m curious to see if the Rays can keep up with the Yankees and sneak into a wildcard spot and if the Indians can catch the Twins.  The Rays are currently 2.5 games ahead of the Red Sox, while the Indians are 5.5 games behind the Twins.  The races are gonna start heating up and I’m here for it all…

The dust has settled in the NBA free agent period, and if you are a regular viewer of my sports show on Sunday Nights you will see that I have actually been willing to talk NBA Basketball.  The free agent frenzy was some of the most exciting offseason happenings I have seen in any league in recent memory, and my takeaway (if you haven’t seen the show) is that both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference are both WIDE open going into the 2019-2020 season.  Instead of teams trying to gather a BIG 3, we have a bunch of teams that have a BIG 2, so I may actually watch some NBA next year.

As we briefly discussed on the show last week, I am heartbroken at the news regarding the death of former KU QB Jared Lorenzen at the age of 38 years old.  He was a human highlight reel and was exciting to watch. Rest well Jared, and thank you for the honor of watching you play.

60 days until opening day of the NFL season…..  That is all…

84 days until the NHL season…  All I ask if for the #Bolts to be more physical and not get caught up in their success.  The Cup needs to come BACK to Tampa Bay… 

I’m still reeling from Tiger’s win at Augusta, and how improbable it is.  Disappointed in his follow up majors in the PGA Championship and the US Open…  Oh well, the Open championship is this month, let’s see how he handles that test.  On a personal note, I applied for tickets to the 2020 Masters…  I was denied for the third year in a row…  one of these days I will walk those grounds, it is pretty much the only thing left on my sports bucket list.

Those of you that read my last post recall that I had a good day last Friday.  Still in awe of the fact that I was with my three sisters for the first time in over 40 years, in the same space at the same time.  I was a kid the last time we were all together, and the emotions that I have gone through since that day have been heavy.  I love them so much, I miss them all the time, and I am so glad that we had the chance to catch up, even though the time we spent was short.  Lynn, Lisa, and Tanya, please know that I love you all deeply, and I can’t wait to see you again.

Until next time…

Take care… and be nice to each other…

Scott – The Sports Nerd


It was a good day….

I have three half sisters, all from my father’s side of the family.  They are all older than I am,  they have all been married to the same husbands for 30+ years, they have grown children (10 between them) and all but one have multiple grandchildren.  Lisa is the oldest, she was the Solitarian of her high school graduating class, her husband Ed, whom she has been married to for 40 years this year, was the valedictorian of the same class.  They have four children and six grandchildren, have lived in the same town and home for most of their lives, and hardly ever travel outside the state of Ohio.  Lynn, the middle sister has also been married to the same man for over 30 years, also lives in Ohio but is about an hour drive from her sister.  she has 4 grown boys (well men) and they all live within shouting distance of each other.  The youngest Tanya, has lived in the Pensacola area for as long as I can remember.  She and Roger have bene married for 30+ years as well, and have two sons, one of which is about to be married. 

My sisters are the result of my father’s first marriage, and they have never treated me as if I were not part of the family.  Lisa and Lynn actually lived with us for a good part  of my childhood in Ohio.  we were close, and as all siblings, since I was the youngest, I was the brunt of their jokes and was teased most of my childhood, but that’s how it was back then, the 70’s was a different time, practically a different era, and my love for them never diminished.  I looked up to them, idolized them and never resented how they treated me. 

When my father moved us to Florida in the Summer of 1979, we grew apart, the distance seemed too far to stay close, and I missed them.  After my parents divorced, my father moved back to Ohio to be close to his elderly mother and life went on, I lost touch with the family in OH and was more concerned with trying to figure out what I wanted to do.  When I became an adult, I managed to make a couple of trips to Ohio to not only see my dad, but to reconnect with my sisters.  Our father died in 1996, I went home for the funeral, and spent some good quality time with Lynn and Lisa, as well as the nephews and nieces I have never known.  That was the last time I saw Lisa, nearly 23 years ago.  I recently found out that Lynn was coming to Florida each year to celebrate Tanya’s birthday (July 4) Her and her mother would drive down and would spend the week with them.  A couple of years ago my m,other moved to the panhandle of Florida near Tallahassee and I had reconnected with Lynn on Facebook, so we decided that we could meet at my Mothers the week she was here and bring Tanya along to visit for a few hours.  It was an excellent idea and for the last two years we have been meeting up annually at my mothers’ place and spending a few hours together telling stories and catching up.

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This year was different…  Without me knowing, Lisa came with Lynn this year.  So there we were, four siblings together in the same spot for the first time in over 40 years.  I cried, I laughed, and it was a really good day.  Thanks sis, words cannot describe how wonderful that was and how appreciative I am to both you and Lisa for getting us all together again.  I hope it wont be the last time, and I look forward to the next time.  I love you all, and as I said…  It was a really good day

Scott

How do I follow that?…

Well, it seems I rattled a few cages with my most recent post… I have received nothing but positive replies from those that decided they needed to respond to my post, and for that I thank them. I have received a lot of positive responses, but the silence of the majority of those that follow me speaks volumes. I don’t expect everyone to have an opinion, nor do I expect all of you to agree with what I said last night. To show how serious I am, let me go a step further.

It is no secret that I am not a fan of the sitting President of the United States, he is a buffoon, he is an idiot, he has no concept of taking care of a country, he only cares about himself, and how much he can get his followers to praise him. He tweets nonsense at 3 am and expects everyone to not only agree with him but to praise him for the content of those tweets. This is blind adoration, this is cult-like praise, and those that will go along with everything he says or does is similar to what Nazi Germany experienced in the ’30s and ’40s. I don’t use that analogy lightly, because to compare the idiot to the most hated man in the history of the world is not exactly smart blogging, but that’s what I see. He has his own propaganda station in Fox News, whom will praise anything he says, agree with the most absurd notions that he spews from his Twitter account, and is basically the lapdog for whatever Trump wants to say or do.

Your “Dear Leader” is leading you into oblivion, and he doesn’t care as long as it benefits him his ego, and his bank account. Deny it all you want, tell me I’m crazy, tell me I have Trump Derangement Syndrome, but the fact of the matter is he doesn’t care about this country, its citizens or who gets trampled along the way. History will show him as the idiot and fraud that he is, all I have to do is sit back and watch it happen. I won’t entertain any Trump disciple in an argument, nor will I consider having a discussion with anyone that decides to come at me for what I say, because as I mentioned in my previous post, you will no more change my belief in the truth, as I will in trying to convince you otherwise. It is useless to argue with Trump supporters when all they want to do is criticize your character, your patriotism or your love of what this country REALLY stands for.

Gonna move on from this sore subject and talk about a few things I am dealing with in my life. I am a 52-year-old heterosexual straight white male. I know white privilege, I have never experienced discrimination, never been passed up for promotion because a minority was awarded it over me. I am happy in my job, I am good at what I do, and feel that I am rewarded for what I can do. However, here are a couple of things in my life right now that are pushing the limits of my sanity. First, let’s talk about my health because I am 52 after all and with my age comes health issues. I am experiencing gastrointestinal issues currently and I have been tested with ultrasounds, blood tests, MRI’s, Cat Scans, and stool samples, but as yet, after three months, there are still no answers. I have had a colonoscopy, the results of which will be discussed with me on June 13th, I have provided samples on two different occasions, none of which have diagnosed what it is I have. My mornings are spent on the throne, hoping to get it all “out” before having to go to work. I am afraid to leave my apartment, for fear of embarrassing myself in public, so I go into each day with the hope that I can make it through the day and avoid any situations that could reveal my issues. Despite all of that, I go to work, I perform as expected, and I put on a show for my co-workers so as not to reveal how frustrated I am with my current health. It’s not easy putting on this face, but I love what I do, and the work I do provides me an escape from my personal issues.

The other thing is financial, and this is something I knew was coming for a long time. You see, 20 years ago, I enrolled in college, and I was encouraged to apply for student loans in order to pay for it. I have my FIRST ex-wife to thank for this as she is the one that encouraged me to go back to school to better myself. I was 34 and was in a dark place and school seemed the best way to try and change my situation. Boy… was I both stupid and naive to think that was the answer to my problems. I never did graduate, and I regret ever going back to school, thinking it could benefit my situation. Fast-forward to 2019 and I have $72,000 in student loans that need to be paid. The Department of Education wants to garnish my wages to the tune of $345.95/mo in order to pay it all back. As I pointed out in my previous post, I live paycheck to paycheck, only able to pay the bills and put food in my stomach, with not much left over in case something major happens to either my car, my health, or whatever another unseen crisis is going to rear its ugly head. I also have over $1500.00 in medical bills outstanding because of my ER visit in November, so wage garnishment is the LAST thing I need right now. Despite all of this, I still feel blessed and lucky, simply because I have a roof over my head, I have a great job that I am good at, and people in my life that care about me. That’s all I need right now, the issues I am facing will work itself out, and I truly believe that I will come out on the other side better for having to go through it all. My struggle is real, but it pales in comparison to others that are dealing with homelessness, bankruptcy, foreclosure, no food, no income, and most of all, no self-respect in the face of adversity. I realize I am better off than others, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that I am struggling, I am barely keeping my head above water and as long as I have a breath left in my body, I will continue to move forward, looking for a time that I have nothing over my head that can keep me down.

Despite all that is going on, I am still positive. I love my life, I cherish my relationships, friends, and my family, because no matter what I am going through they will always be there for me, and for that alone I am thankful. I still have a heartbeat, I am still breathing, and as long as those two things are in play, I know I can succeed. For those that feel they are alone in this world, look deep at the people in your life, know that you have those that care about you, your success and your well being. this will make you stronger, and able to move forward into tomorrow and kick life’s ass one step at a time.

Tonight’s post is all about leaving it all on the table to show my perspective of life, and to express that even when things are bleak, there is hope, and there is a light at the end of a tunnel that is most definitely NOT a train. fight for every minute, for every second and you will have a more positive outlook on life. I try not to let the stupid shit get me down, simply because I am here. I have a heartbeat, I have breath in me, and I have a supporting cast second to none. Thank you to those friends and family that have my back, that will be there for me if I need them. I need to learn to appreciate you, to love you, and above all else, believe that you will always be there for me if I need a shoulder to cry on…

G’night everyone… Be kind to yourself… and each other…

Scott – “The Sports Nerd”

Uncertainty… Fear… My Real Thoughts

This is gonna be a doozy. I am posting this to all of my blogs, social media, and apps… I have struggled with wanting to put down what is going through my head for years. I have been afraid to say how I really feel, how what is going on in the world, both sports and non-sports affects me personally. The reason is I live in a world where I am a minority. I am a Middle aged, white, heterosexual, progressive (Liberal, Democrat, whatever..) male and the majority of the people that I interact with on a daily basis, including my family and closest friends are not, so you see my dilemma, do I spout my “demonic, commie, socialist, and heathen” ideas or just sit back and watch the world burn, only caring about my little circle of the world.

These fears are real, and they fester and stew in my brain on a daily basis. There are times when I want to shout it from the rooftops, and then there are times where I just want to crawl in a hole and hide, so as not to upset the proverbial apple cart. I know that if I truly post what I feel, I run the risk of alienating my family, my co-workers and the people I truly care about. Call this post a “coming out party” of sorts, because I have hidden behind these fears for years, and is why I usually take weeks-long breaks from posting, because I know that if I truly post what I feel, I’m gonna piss off the people I care about, and that is what prevents me from putting my thoughts down. I don’t know if it will affect my employment, affect my relationship with family, or alienate those friends that I hold dear.

Sure, I could just “stick to sports” I am The Sports Nerd after all, but lately real-world issues and politics have crossed over to the sports world and it has become more difficult to keep my thoughts to myself. I really don’t know how to react, or even if I should react. Maybe the words I want to put down won’t come easy, maybe I will screw up the message, maybe offend or piss off the wrong person. who knows, all I DO know is that I am in the minority of my circle of friends, family, and co-workers when it comes to politics and I have been a political junkie ever since just before 9/11 and since then have witnessed the country that I was taught was second to none in the world has become the very threat that we fought to eliminate in WWII. Today of all days, as we honor those that sacrificed everything on the beaches of Normandy I see our country separating families, allowing children to die in government custody, and punishing those that want a better life for themselves and their families, I sit here wondering if The United States has become the very evil it was created to fight against.

I am but one voice, I do not have resources to rise up and fight what I feel is wrong, but yet, with the advent of social media and the outreach it can create, I can’t help but wonder if I can, in fact, make a difference. I’m 52 years old with health issues, my time left on this Earth is limited, but yet I want to leave this life with a future that is hopeful, positive, and the promise of things being better for my son, who actually felt it better to move halfway across the world rather than stay in this country. I have always felt he was much smarter than I ever was, he immersed himself in music, playing the guitar, drums and whatever he could get his hands on, something that I was never able to accomplish post-high school. I honestly worry about his future, what we will leave behind, and how that will impact future generations. What I DO know is we can’t continue on the path we are on, because the endgame of that is the destruction of the human race as we know it. Global Warming is real folks, science has proven it, and it is fact. The United States continues to interfere with conflicts and governments across the globe, issues, and situations that we have no business interfering with, but yet our “leaders” say we have to be involved in order to guarantee freedom and liberty for everyone. My only question regarding that philosophy is how many women, children and innocent, unarmed civilians have died in the search for these ideals. Remember Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Syria, Sudan, and lord know what other government we are sticking our noses into in order to preserve “freedom and Democracy”?

I don’t pretend to have any answers, nor do I intend to offer any here on this post, but this is the dilemma I live with on a daily basis. Inside I want to scream and say how wrong we are, how arrogant and vile we have become as a nation, where children are killed at school almost on a daily basis, how the very powerful and rich make all of the decisions, and how politics prevents any solutions to these problems from being corrected. I could sit here and write for days about the President or Congress (all of them) is the problem and what angers me but it won’t solve anything. I am just one voice, I am just one nameless person in a country of 350 million, in a world of 5 billion, but yet… here we are.

Most of my loved ones, friends, co-workers and those that know me from my past will probably disagree with me, but I speak these words from not just my head, but from my heart, and I tell you, this country is not the greatest country in the world, it is not the be all end all poster child for Democracy, it is, in fact, a Republic, and as all Republics, it is flawed, and it becomes more flawed each and every day. You can put blinders on and think that it will get better, or you can rise up and get involved to make it better. I have always believed that making things better has nothing to do with who is the President, or even who represents us in Washington. It matters what happens at the local level, at the state level, because meaningful change happens from the ground up. When we strive to make changes at the local and state level, the ramifications and the wave of change will impact what happens at the national level.

A true Republic looks out for its citizens, whether they be Black, White, Latino, Gay, Straight, Tran-sexual, whatever, it doesn’t matter. We have people living on the streets, both veteran and non-veteran, we have a gun problem, we have problems with infrastructure, with minimum wage, with unemployment, and we have the 1% controlling everything from manufacturing to wages, to politics, to keeping the common man in its place. It’s easy for me to sit here and point my fingers at the rich since I am not one of them, I earn less than $40,000 per year, I have Credit card debt, student loan debt, and am living paycheck to paycheck. I don’t have a college degree, and I have been divorced, TWICE, but even with all of those problems and issues, I can still see where my country has no longer become the answer, but part of the problem that is infecting the world and there is no power out there that can interfere with our intrusion of other cultures, other governments, and most of all, the day-to-day happenings of not only other countries citizens but our citizens in the US as well.

This has been a long-winded post thus far, and I suppose I will pay for it eventually, because I will be traveling to my folks place in north Florida in about a month and will have to face my Conservative family and listen to their praises of the current administration and the glory of The United States of America. I will be uncomfortable, I will be chastised, and they will probably try and set me straight to the error of my ways, but they can’t change my mind, nor more than I can change theirs. This will not diminish my love for all of them, and it will not prevent me from future visits, because blood is thicker than water and I love them no matter their political leanings. I will not instigate, I will not criticize, and I will not dislike them or disown them for their beliefs because as family, I love them for who they are, not what they believe.

We all have to live with our decisions, and we all have to live with how we view the world. I prefer to move on in life not judging people based on their political leanings, but on how they treat me and how they treat others because that is the only true judge of character. If you treat others like shit, then you are shit, if you treat others with respect then the other things don’t matter. I treat others as I want to be treated, and if you wrong me, then I have no respect for you. The friends I have met over the years are dear to me, and I love them no matter what they believe, that will never change. In return, I ask that they respect and love me for who I am, and not who they may feel I am. We all have to go through this life on our own path, and if you believe in a higher power than we all believe that power will judge us when our time here on Earth is done based on what we did for each other and our actions. I don’t judge you for your beliefs any more than I expect you to judge me based on what I believe, but human emotions have a tendency to get in the way, so there will be those that judge me based on those emotions, and I am OK with that.

I have been holding this in for a long time and it feels pretty good to get it out, but I know there are ramifications for it, because there are some out there that won’t agree with what I have had to say, and that’s OK, because no two people see things exactly the same. All I can say is that I have kept these feelings tied up inside for a long time. To be honest, these emotions have prevented me from writing more and from putting what I really thought down for the world to see. Moving forward, I will NOT allow these voices to get the best of me and cause me to pause before putting what I am REALLY thinking down for the world to see. I may lose friends along the way, hell I may alienate some family members along the way, but fear will no longer dictate how I feel and how I express how I feel. I will focus mostly on sports, and I will not shy away from my opinions regarding the state of whatever sport I decide to discuss on any given day but also understand that if world events warrant it, I will express EXACTLY how I feel.

With that all being said… Go St Louis… Go Toronto… Go Tribe…
Go Browns… We are less than 100 days from opening day of the 2019 NFL season, and I can’t wait for Football to start. Fuck off to any team from Boston, Pittsburgh, and the Big 10 outside of Columbus Ohio. Thank you for reading this long-winded gas baggery of a post… I ask that you are kind to yourself, and to each other… see you soon…

Scott “The Sports Nerd”