Oh what to write about…..

Oh what to write about..  So much happening in the Sports world.  NHL Eastern Conference finals going to a game 7 (GO BOLTS!!) NBA eastern/Western conference Finals heating up (meh) Offseason NFL News, (personal foul for kneeling?) MLB closing out month 2, oh and most importantly “The Sports Nerds” return delayed a week… 

Let’s start with the NHL.  The Washington Capitals won game 6 last night to force a game 7 in Tampa tomorrow night, and although I would have preferred the Bolts to have won game 6, I am glad game 7 is in Tampa so that the Bolts can put the Caps away on home ice in front of some of the most dedicated and rabid fans in the NHL.  Amalie Arena (It’s The Ice Palace Damnit!!!) is one of the toughest places to play in when you are a visitor and I expect the fans tomorrow night will not only be wild, but will inspire the Bolts to take home the win and face that team in Las Vegas for the Stanley Cup.  The Stanley Cup Finals begin Monday, and I fully expect the Bolts to be there. 

Lets be honest here…  I HATE the NBA (I know… Shocker!!) and what it has become in the last 20 years.  Bunch of overpaid, glory hungry “players” that care only about how many 3’s they can make or how they can make the SC Top 10 each night.  It is not the game I loved in the 80’s and 90’s with Magic, Bird, Kareem, and yes… Jordan..  I was born in NE Ohio, grew up loving the Indians and the Browns, but for some reason I never got into the Cavs, maybe it’s because they always sucked, or maybe because football was king in my household and everything revolved around the Browns.. but I never got excited about NBA Basketball.  I miss when it was all about the team, I miss when all players cared about was working together to achieve a similar goal, and that was to win together and there were no “super teams”.  Today’s NBA is a shadow of what it once was and I rarely watch.  Either way, go Cavs and I hope they win the series.  They wont beat whoever comes out of the west.. but then again.. everyone knows that.

The NFL meetings are happening and the news coming out of them is head scratching..  Some of the owners want to implement a personal foul penalty to any team whose players take a knee and don’t stand during the national anthem.  What’s next?  ejections for not taking off a hat, or spitting during a game?  Sheesh the desire to micromanage the game has gone to stupid, and to top it all off, they have changed the way kickoffs are played.  No more running start, 5 players mandatory on each side of the ball, two players must be outside the numbers, two players must be between numbers and hashmarks… blah….blah..blah.. Just play flag football already.  the new rules against lowering your head are good for the game and for safety sake, I agree, but this isn’t my father’s NFL anymore..  three months to preseason…  we’ll see..

I am sitting here watching the Indians take on the Cubs, TV is muted, I have Amazon Music turned on the “All 80’s Station” (Yes I’m that old, don’t judge me) and currently they are at the middle of the third inning, Tribe up 4-0, and life is good.  Shoutout to my Buddy Brian “Scooter” Cullen (Cubs Fan). It’s early in the season but looking at the overall picture,  the Yankees and the Red Sox seem to be the best teams in Baseball right now.  The AL Central is mediocre (Including my Indians), the AL West is close and who cares about the NL..  I really don’t get into Baseball hardcore until after the All-Star Break, but the races are close and the games have been entertaining. (Shohei Ohtani anyone??)

(oh wow.. Ghostbusters… love it.. Who Ya Gonna Call?)

The Sports Nerds were to make their triumphant return Sunday night but due to reasons beyond our control we had to put it off another week.  We are scheduled to return this coming Sunday night after months of hiatus (all due to this humble writer’s life getting in the way) at 7pm Eastern Time.. so watch this space for updates and link to the show…. We’ll have a lot to catch up on, and we plan on having a lot to talk about and it should be a lot of fun and entertaining. 

Thus ends the sports section of this post. 

Those that know me, know how I lean politically, and I have posted many a blog about those leanings in the past, but with the shit-show that is US Politics I have become numb to whatever is coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania or Congress these days and I refuse to allow it to get me down, or jade what I believe in.  I have several conservative friends, most of which support the President and what he is doing, but I also have Liberal friends that agree with me and feel that the only way out of this mess we are in is to vote them out in November.  Let me express what I feel is the answer to everything that is happening.  How much what goes on in DC REALLY affects your life?  What decisions have been made that determine how your day-to-day life is affected?  I have a roof over my head, I have a good job (great, actually), I have a car that runs and have no fear of it breaking down tomorrow, I have a family that loves me, I’m relatively healthy, for my age (for now), have health insurance through previously mentioned job, have a 401k, have two cats that keep me sane, and I have a good network of friends that care about me and I love with all my heart, both in my personal life, and my professional life.  I refuse to allow what goes on in the corrupt world of politics get me down or allow it to define how I go about my daily life.  the moment I do that is the moment I allow myself to give up, to remove hope for the future.  My son is 24, I worry about the world he will be left in when I am gone but also know I am powerless to induce any huge change to the overall picture.  I instead will focus on local and state politics, where real change can be made and the impact can be felt up the food chain to the capital.  You see, real change comes from within, and if we don’t try and change the small things, the big things will never change.  So I tell you to focus on the small to impact the large.  You’ll feel better and the impact of the Cheeto and his minions in Congress will not impact how your life is lived.  That’s al I have to say about that..

Have a good night everyone…  and take of yourself..  and each other..

Scott “The Sports Nerd”

GoBolts

So as I mentioned, I am a Tampa Bay Lightning fan.  I didn’t care much for hockey until I moved to the Tampa Bay area 20 years ago.  over the years I have grown to love the game, the speed, the action, and the belief that Hockey players are some of the best conditioned athletes in professional sports.  imagine if you will, skating a full speed for 2-3 minutes at a time, not slowing down, not stopping.. then you go back to the bench for 5 minutes and then get back on the ice and do it all over again.  That’s cardiovascular superhero shit right there, and I am in awe how well these professional athletes do it.  I remember being outside the Amalie Arena (It was The Ice Palace back then) in 2004 when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, it was one of the greatest feelings in my life, I had only ever felt close to that euphoria when the Bucs won the Super Bowl.  The Lightning was different, I was more invested with the Lightning because they were the only hockey franchise I ever followed.  they say that a team based in the Southern US is not really viable, but the Lightning sell out each and every home game, 20,000 screaming fans root this team on each and every night, the Bucs could only dream of such loyalty.  To attend a game at the arena is like entering another world, and that is what has caused me to be such a rabid fan over the last 20 years.  I love this team, from the era of Vinny and Marty, to now with Stamkos and Hedman, I love this team, and I love the game of Hockey. 

With all of that being said, the #Bolts are in the fight of their lives right now with the Capitals.  they lose the first two games at home, and in dominating fashion.  I watched both games and had given them up for dead.  I decided not to watch the games in DC, and so they won both, bringing the series back to Tampa tied 2-2.  so with that being said, I won’t be watching tonight, instead I will keep track of the game through twitter and the #GoBolts hashtag.  I am not normally a superstitions person, but in this regard I cant help myself.  All I will say is #GoBolts, beat the Caps and move on to getting that second Cup. 


Take Two….. Kind of….

So….  as I said on my last post..  my brain has a lot of things in it, and I have a hard time putting them down in a blog post.  its scrambled…  incoherent, and the ability to present them in a few sentences is hard for me.  I am burning inside, wanting to express what is in my head, but the fear is there, the reluctance is there.  I am but a small voice in a tidal wave of voices.  But here I am, attempting to express what it is I have to say…

Sticking to sports, for now, the Tampa Bay Lightning have come back from the brink, and thanks to  Andrei Vaselevski,  they have remained alive in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals.  the series comes back to Tampa tomorrow night, and as I have for the last two games, I will not watch.  I watched the first two games and paid the price for it.  I wont watch the remaining games for fear of Jinxing the #Bolts.  I know its stupid, but it makes me feel better.

It was announced that the Cleveland Browns will be on Hard Knocks this year.  this will be on HBO in August and my feelings on this subject are tentative at best.  the spotlight will be on the Browns and although I welcome all the press possible to be shined on my favorite team I only hope that with the history of this franchise for the last 19 years, they will not embarrass themselves.  I like to think that the tide is about to turn, that they will start winning, but in this regard I feel like Pacino in Godfather III, where they are bringing me back in.  time will tell..  we’ll see…

Being from the Cleveland area, I have an obligation to mention the Cavaliers and their quest for another NBA championship.  I don’t care.  the NBA needs to die a slow, painful death.  It is a terrible league, filled with terrible talent, full of lackluster effort, and rooted in “talent” that cares more about their social media status than they do about integrity and talent in the game itself.  Basketball is a great sport, and when watching March Madness is more important and has more meaning to me than the NBA, its time to move on.  I could care less about who wins the NBA Championship.

Ok, the sports minute is over.  Another shooting, 9 kids and a teacher killed.  When does it stop?  when do our elected officials come to their senses and say enough is enough.  I truly believe that tougher restrictions on guns is the answer. Where it is banning the AR-15 ore the ban on persons with a history of mental illness from owning guns, I don’t know what the answer is.  All I know is that kids are being killed, congress refuse to do nothing, and the NRA has more congressmen in their pocket than than the drug industry, the oil industry, and big tobacco does.  I don’t have the answer,, I’m not an educated man, but I have to ask…  Why, as an American citizen, why do yo need to own an AR-15…  why do you feel that owning an assault weapon is more important than a kid being able to live and reach for their dreams.  The language in the 2nd amendment was written 242 years ago.  they had no conception of a weapon that could fire 100 rounds in less than a minute.  It’s time for the realistic view of what exactly our right to bear arms truly means, as well as what limitations should be in place to accommodate that amendment.  I respect the 2nd Amendment, but at what price do we give to the youth of America, and while our kids are dying in schools because of mass shootings, the NRA, Republicans bought and paid for by the NRA, and people like Wayne LaPierre and Dana Loesh continue to promote guns we are all at risk.  I just don’t know what the answer is, but I call for a humanitarian reaction, a comforting reaction by our elected leaders than “thoughts and prayers”

Good night… and may all of your dreams come true…

Scott “The Sports Nerd”

I Suck at Writing…

I suck at writing…  I have a website that hasn’t been updated in months, just like this blog.  I have a lot to say, I have a lot going on in this brain of mine, but the problem is I cant find the passion or the motivation to put it into words.  I look at my keyboard and tell myself that I need to get busy, that I need to put in words the things I am feeling, the things I care about, and the things that need to be said, whether it be about sports, politics, life, my past, or the things that mean the most to me.  I suppose I am afraid to say it..  fear the ramifications, fear of what my friends or coworkers might think or say to me after a post is live and exposed for all to see. 

With all of that being said…  I’m going to write a blog post, I don’t know what I am going to write about, I don’t really know what I am going to say, but here I am, typing and figuring out what it is I want to talk about.  Since I am The “Self Proclaimed”  Sports Nerd, maybe for now, I should stick to sports…

First….  Let me say this….  I am a fan of the NFL first and foremost…  the months of August through February is my favorite time of the year.  I have been a Lifelong Cleveland Browns Fan…  I’m 51 so you figure out how bad I have been ridiculed during my lifetime.  From Jim Brown, to Paul Warfield, to Ozzie Newsome and Bernie Kosar, to Tim Couch, Brandon Weedon, to 25+ QB’s in 19 years, I have heard it all.  I grew up in NE Ohio, my father was a Browns fan, as was his father, as is most of my family, so I have earned it, lived it, and suffered through it for all of my years on this Earth.

Second…. My second love is the NHL..  I know this is strange coming from someone that lives in Central Florida, but the Tampa Bay Lightning are a force to be reckoned with and after being in this area for the last 20 years, I have fallen in love with hockey.  at this very moment they are in a struggle with the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Finals, and I refuse to watch because for each game that I have turned on, they have lost in the playoffs.  I prefer to follow the game on Twitter…  It is less stressful that way.  I actually went to a game this year, Club Seats from work, it was a joyful experience since I got to shake the hand of Phil Esposito and see Dave
Andreychuk, captain of the Stanley Cup Champions of 2003-2004.  Despite all of the hero worship, the “Bolts” lost that game 5-1 against the Flames…  I have convinced myself I am a bad luck charm.. so I refuse to actually turn the games on during the playoffs and instead follow the games on Twitter…

Third…  This is where my fandom falls off a cliff, because I now move to Baseball, and although I am a die-hard Indians fan (NE Ohio!!) I cant sit and watch a lot of baseball for fear of falling asleep.  I prefer to watch playoff baseball instead, where the result means more to the teams involved as opposed to a game in April or July.  So I will enjoy the Highlights on Sports Center until after the All-Star break, when I decide to start watching the games in full, when the Indians Games are available here in Florida.

Fourth…  Golf is the only sport I actually have taken an interest in playing…  though I haven’t picked up my clubs in a long time. and it is the only sport in which I take a vacation each year just so I can watch on TV…  I take the second week in April off each year just so I can enjoy all of the Masters…  This is bucket list item for me,. as I have applied for tickets to the Masters the last two years.  Even if I only can get tickets top a practice round, it will be worth it to be able to walk the grounds at Augusta just to say that I have been there.  In my prime I could shoot mid-80’s, but I haven’t actually played a round in years and would be afraid to see what I would shoot now, at 51 and 280 pounds.

Fifth…  At one point in time, I was a HUGE NASCAR fan, but now, with the implementation of “stages” and the retirement of several veteran drivers, my interest has waned.  NASCAR has always been about the sponsors, they have always been about how they drive the business, but they forgot the most important thing, and that is how the drivers impact what happens on the track.  Racing is no longer exciting to me, and it has instead become the commercial whore that we always thought they would be.  I’m done…

Sixth…  I played JV Basketball in high school, I rode the bench and never got much playing time, but I loved to play, and my time in high school was the same era as Will Purdue, future Center for the World Champion Chicago Bulls, he went to a school in Brevard County, FL and played against my school.  As much as I would like to opine about my inconsequential high school basketball career, I have to come back to reality, and say the NBA, as it is today, SUCKS!!!.  it is a shadow of its former self, and is no longer a reflection of the game I grew up loving.  I miss the days of Jordan, Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Kareem, Doctor J, and of course, dare I say, hakeem olajuwon.  the NB A sucks… and I refuse to watch…

Finally…  and this is the silver bullet….  I am a political junkie…  I’m a single, white, heterosexual male, who grew up under Reagan, and am a full blooded, left wing, democratic leaning, progressive, liberal.  I voted for Obama twice, voted for Kerry, while at the same time I voted for Reagan and Bush 44.  However, with the climate of today’s political climate, I have found myself angry, disgusted, and downright hateful to the current administration.  Thus brings us to the conundrum of my current state of mind.  I want to scream at the top of my lungs how stupid, how inept, and how unqualified the current resident of the Oval Office is, but at the same time I live in the heartland of conservatism, work with Conservatives, and am self-conscious  of posting on Face Book or Twitter my unfiltered thoughts on the asshole in the White House.  I don’t want to have these conversations at work, I don’t want my co-workers, of whom I have tremendous respect, to be upset or angry with me or confront me because of my political beliefs.  So because of this… I may just stick to sports… to avoid those situations, to avoid the push back and to avoid the uncomfortable situations that may occur.  Most of my entire family are staunch conservatives, including my Mother, father and sisters, but I refuse to accept a President that has worked the system, lied his way to the top, and colluded with foreign governments and traitors to get where he is. 

So there you have it…  that’s me in a nutshell…  expect more posts moving forward, and I would also like to announce that I and a couple of friends of mine will be doing a live broadcast Sunday night May 20, to talk sports and anything else that may come up.  I will post details here, as well as on my Twitter feed @The_Sports-Nerd and Face Book page https://www.facebook.com/scottwright127 .  please follow me, and hold on to your underroos..  cause shit is about to get real…

until next time…

Scott Wright  “The Sports Nerd”

If you aren’t for us, then you are against us…

Since my last post I have purposely sat back and watched to see what the reaction would be to what has happened over the course of the last week.  I have witnessed most of my friends support my position in that we need to change our gun regulations, revisit gun control, and BAN the AR-15 for once and for all. 

However, there are some that are pointing their fingers at what they feel are other causes for the shootings in Florida this week.  Some feel that it is mental issues and that we need to pay more attention to mental health in this country.  Others say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people (an actual statement in one of my Skype Groups), which is probably the most stupid answer to the issue that has ever been stated.  Other excuses include “If guns were really about killing people we would all be dead”.  Others have advocated for teachers being armed in school, yeah that’s exactly what we need,  untrained individuals provided with weapons, not to mention that should teachers be armed, during an actual shooting they would go into the halls, with their guns drawn, looking for the shooter, not thinking that should law enforcement arrive at the scene and see a teacher with a gun, they would shoot the teachers because all they know is that an armed individual is shooting at kids.  The armed teachers would become targets themselves, for all the wrong reason.  Some say that the reason for the recent rash of shootings is the decline of the quality of parenting over the last 30 years is the reason, that a lack of discipline is somehow the reason crazy people with a gun are shooting up our schools.  I have also heard the defense that changing laws wont keep the criminals from breaking the law.

All of these are valid points, but I also have valid rebuttals.  First, paying attention and address mental health in this country is a mute point, the President recently signed an executive order allowing lighter regulations of access to guns for mental patients, he actually revoked an Obama regulation and eased restrictions on access to guns by mentally deranged citizens, so the hope of addressing the mental issues of the population is a moot point with the stroke of the executive pen.   Second, people with GUNS kill people, specifically, most of all the mass shootings over the course of the last 20 years have been done with an AR-15, the easiest weapon to purchase with only an hour of a background check (at least here in FL it is that way).  a guy can go into a gun shop to purchase an AR-15 and be out the door in less than an hour, while a handgun can take up to 3 days.  Si I argue that the argument that guns don’t kill people is moot when it only takes a sick individual an hour to purchase a weapon that can shoot 45 rounds per minute, while a handgun, that shoots 15 rounds a minute can take 3 days.  I have already debunked the “arm the teachers’” excuse, and while I agree that discipline has changed since I was a kid, the fact that this should be the reason for the increase in gun violence is a slap in the face to all parents over the last 30 years.  No lack of discipline is an excuse for a human being to walk into a school and shoot 17 innocent victims in cold blood. 

Finally,  the argument that no change in laws will keep criminals from breaking said laws.  I have a simple argument for that.  40 years ago there were a large amount of traffic deaths, and because of this, Congress enacted safer vehicle standards, to include seat belt laws, the addition of air bags in vehicles, tougher DUI laws, and safer overall vehicle safety standards.  The result of which was a significant reduction in death in vehicle accidents, a significant reduction in DUI deaths, and a higher survival rate of all traffic accidents.  Change comes in small increments, change comes when people get involved, change comes when select individuals decide that the status quo is no longer acceptable.  Criminals will always break the law, but it is the job of the lawmakers to make it more difficult for those individuals to break said law.  if it is more difficult to break the law, then the rate of the crime will decrease.  I say again, My son’s right to live is more important than your right to own an AR-15.  I don’t condone nor would I ever support the absolute confiscation or outlaw of ALL guns in the US.  I support the 2nd amendment, but I refuse to support the access to weapons that have the ability to fire 30+ rounds per minute.  An AR-15 is not a hunting rifle, it was created for one thing and one thing only, to kill human beings, nothing more, nothing less.  It is not a  weapon that the general public should have access to or to be owned by a civilian, even military veterans and law enforcement organizations agree on this. 

I have much more to say on the subject, but will address it at another date.  the fact remains, there is NOTHNIG anyone can say that will justify this weapon be made available to the general public.  it is a horrible weapon, it is the killer of children, and it does not need to be owned by civilians.