I hope you are well…

Tuesday, April 7, 2020…  I’m sitting here in what I call my bunker home office, and have been here for three weeks.   I have left my apartment maybe three or four times in that three weeks and I feel cooped up, I feel paralyzed, trapped in a cocoon, unable to do what I want, unable to travel, unable to drive to my office, and powerless to be in charge of how I live my life.  With all of that being said, I am in good spirits.  The bright side of this is that I am in good spirits, I have a positive attitude, and a positive outlook on the future.  As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am more fortunate than others during this time of crisis.  I still have my full time job, working from home, and have a strong support lifeline from not only my family, but from my wonderful co-workers, who have been awesome, a source of motivation, humor and focus.

My days are spent working from home, followed by binge-watching whatever show interests me at the time.  Tonight my show of choice is The West Wing, due to my desire of experiencing a more civil and normal administration, where all things are possible, the outcomes are positive and where the approach to government is more logical and focused on making the world a better place.  I can’t take the approach of the current administration where the main focus is how important the President’s Facebook popularity is as opposed to combating a disease that is ravaging the country and killing over 10,000 Americans.  While after calling COVID-19 a hoax created by the left in January and minimizing the risk, the people actually at risk of catching the virus is multiplying and dying on  daily basis.  As of the date and time of this posting, there are 396,416 Americans infected with COVID-19 and there are 12,813 deaths attributed to the disease.  source:  https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries 

I am a small voice in an ocean of voices, and I don’t expect this post will see more than 100 views, but because of what is actually happening in the world, I feel I need to voice my opinion and try to get out the truth.  COVID-19 is not a hoax, it is not overblown, it is not left-wing propaganda, and it is definitely not something we should be ignoring.  The death rate from the virus is broken down by the following website:  https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/  – Do not take it lightly, do not feel that because you are sequestered you are not susceptible to being infected.  Be vigilant, be careful, and be safe.  I ask this from the bottom of my heart, because I don’t want any of the people I care about to catch this thing.  It’s real, it’s deadly, and it does not discriminate…

I have diabetes (according to my Dr.) and I am at risk of dying from this virus if I catch it.  I am nervous, I am scared, and I pray for the health of both my elderly parents.  Please folks be smart…  don’t go to the beach… Don’t gather in crowds… Don’t go to that party you have been invited to… and above all… just. stay. home….

As you all know, I am a HUGE sports fan, and I would like noting more than to see all Sports begin playing again, especially NHL, MLB, Golf, and eventually NFL.  However, if there is even a .001% risk of others being infected because of the country’s need to see any sport be live again, I am against it.  It is not worth the cost of thousands of people being infected with this, in order for us to feel a semblance of normalcy.  If I have to stay cooped up in my home for two or three months in order for this pandemic to end, then I will stay home.  use Instacart to order Groceries… order delivery from your local restaurants to keep them in business… stay home… don’t go out… If you stay home, you are helping keep others from being infected.  I’m gonna sit here and watch The West Wing, because that universe is in a much better place than we are right now, and it is a much better reality than where we are right now…  No matter if it is real or not.. It is what I wish for the world and our country right now…

COVID-19 and how it has affected me…

So, long time no talk…

I have been quiet outside of a few FB posts and tweets over the last month simply because I honestly haven’t been able to actually grasp the enormity of our situation here in the US and the world.  I’m afraid to watch the news to the point I refuse to turn to CNN, MSNBC, FOXNEWS, or even my local news here in the Tampa Bay area.  I find myself binge watching old TV Shows like West wing, or  more recently, CNN’s decade series or their series on the history of comedy, just so that I can shield myself from the totally fucked up news and conditions that are entirely too ugly to bear.  People are dying from a nasty disease that, depending on who you believe, is either way overblown or is the greatest threat since The Spanish Flu of 1918.  To be honest, I don’t know when this will be over, I don’t know if I will get sick or not, as I still will need to go to the grocery store, liquor store (what?.. you think I am going without alcohol during this shit?) and laundromat (should have bought a washer long time ago, since my dryer works fine).  I happen to fall into that demographic that is susceptible to the virus because I am in my 50’s, overweight, diabetic, have high blood pressure, and have high cholesterol.  So, each time I go out to get essentials I need I am putting myself at risk.

Despite the fact I no longer watch the news, I still have a Twitter feed and I still log into FB every day.  Unfortunately I love both of these social media platforms, along with Instagram.  I follow a lot of sports personalities and political pundits, along with friends of mine that I have known for years on these platforms and I like to keep up with how they are doing and staying in contact with them.  This is a form of distraction to me, to escape the depressing life that I live, and to live vicariously through their experiences, because although I don’t post a lot, I get a kick out of their humor, their experiences and their day-to-day solutions on every day life.  There are a few that I interact with, mostly close friends or people I really enjoy, but for the most part I am a silent watcher that just flat out enjoys what people have to say.   Does that make me a lurker?  Maybe, but it is what I do and it works for me, and it keeps me sane.  I want to thank the many personalities I follow for keeping me sane in this atmosphere of dread, loneliness, and anxiety driven seclusion to keep myself safe and healthy.  Despite the fact I am eating way too much, staying stagnant, not going outside nearly enough, and constantly living in fear that any trip to the store could be the moment I become infected, I look forward to being able to actually see and spend time with friends/coworkers face to face and not via a video stream.

Today marks three weeks I have been working from home, I have left my home (I think) three times in those three weeks, all of which was a trip to the grocery store, and my cats are looking at me like, why are you still here?  Are you ever gonna leave so we can be here alone an do what we want to do?  I spend most of my time in my home office, behind my desk staring at a computer screen or at the TV wondering when I can go back to work with my colleagues that I miss so very much.  I feel very lucky that despite the conditions or circumstances, I am still able to work full time from home and not lose any income because of what is going on.  I work in an industry that provides reimbursement to employees of the public sector for their out of pocket medical expenses and thus we have an important role to play for these people.  We provide an important service, a sense of normalcy, and reassurance that these participants will not be financially strapped when a lot of Americans have lost their income or have seen a significant reduction in their income because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This gives me purpose, drives me to excel at my job so that those that need what we provide can get what they need to keep going.  I feel truly blessed to be able to make a difference and I thank my company, the leadership and especially our IT department for allowing our entire company, all 110 employees, managers and executives to be able to work from home and continue the important work we do.

With all that being said…  the one thing that has affected me the most, brought the most sadness and been the largest cause of my anxiety, has been the fact that for nearly a month, we have had NO SPORTS.  I miss sports, hell I even miss the NBA at this point.  No MLB opening day, no NHL push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, no NASCAR, and as of today, the most important and dose of reality for me, is no Masters.  I take the second week of April off  EVERY YEAR just so I can enjoy the greatest golf tournament in the world.  I will miss the lush green of Augusta National on my TV and computer screen this year, the Drive Pitch and Putt, the par-3 contest and of course, this year watching Tiger defend his championship from last year.  I sincerely hope CBS will rebroadcast last years tournament so that we can at least re-live the greatest comeback in sports history one more time.  The NFL draft will not be the same, as teams will draft remotely and there will be no spectacle from Las Vegas, including the draftees being brought to the stage via boat across the lake at The Bellagio (How cool would that have been).  The draft will still take place, but the NFL season is still in doubt as we just don’t know how long this will go on. 

I will close this post with some objective opinion regarding the situation that we are all in.  As of now, I truly believe there is no corner of the country or the world for that matter that this pandemic has not affected in one way or another.  People have lost their jobs, business are closing, those that still have a job have been forced to work from home, and most of all, our first responders, health workers, doctors, nurses, physician assistants, have ALL been placed in harms way, and the news is grim, because there have been reports that some of those that fall into this category have lost their lives while trying to save those that are infected.  I have a niece in Ohio that is a nurse and she is in the thick of it, while also dealing with her own severe health issues, placing her with those that are susceptible to this virus, yet she continues to work, placing the needs of others before her own safety.  I could go into an entire soliloquy on the lack of response by our federal government to this pandemic, but because the importance of getting through it is more important I will not criticize the administration, Congress, or the Cheese-It sitting in the White House no matter how much I feel the lack of response or the delay in response has caused people to lose their lives.  What I will say is that I hope all that read this are safe, are well, and are practicing safe “social distancing” in order to minimize the effects of COVID-19.  Take care my friends, be safe, be well, and please…  stay home…

Join me and four of my good friends on Sunday Night at 7pm Eastern as we bring you “The Sports Nerds” on FB Live – go to my Facebook Page and sign up for notifications to be reminded when we go live.  We discuss the world of sports, pulp culture and whatever else is on our minds.  We provide humor, sarcasm and off the rails discussion. 

Take care… and take care of each other….

Scott “The Sports Nerd”

The Post in Which I go off the reservation…

Folks, I would like to preamble this post by saying I don’t usually go off the topic of Sports, no matter what sport I discuss.  Tonight, I have decided to forgo my usual topic and step into the arena of politics.  this is scary to me because I have a lot of friends that are on both sides of the political spectrum.  More importantly, my political views are the total opposite of most of my family, and those members of my family read my Facebook page and what I am about to say is going to cause waves with them, but it is more important I say what I have to say than any friendship, familial harmony or work tension that it brings.  I love my family, no matter what political leanings they may have and I know that they feel the same way about me.  For my friends an co-workers, I believe you have the right to support whomever you want, whether I disagree or not, it does not change my respect or feelings about you.  I know that my opinion in no way is how everyone feels, but I know in my heart that I am right, and nothing anyone tries to say or do will change that. 

Here we are in 2020 and we are about to go through one of the most important elections in the history of this country.  I am a huge critic of the current administration, and I will never  vote to re-elect the current occupant of the White House.  I have seen hundreds of social media posts agreeing with him, as I have seen the same amount against him.  I am a true believer that the occupant of the White House has no direct bearing on how my day-to-day life is affected.  The President is not responsible for how successful I am nor is he responsible if I am going through a tough time in my life.  I have struggled under both Democratic and Republican Presidents, but I do not blame them, I blame myself for the struggles I have faced  I truly believe I am responsible for my own success or failure, it does not matter who is in the White House.  I am more of a believer that the elected officials at the local level, state level and our representatives in Congress have more impact on our day-to-day lives than any President ever could.  I will vote for those representatives that mirror how I feel government should represent us, and that is the most important thing I can do as a voter that will impact me directly.

Despite all of that, I still have concerns when it comes to the office of the President.  At no time in my lifetime have we had a man sitting in that office that morally is the total opposite of what that office represents.  To allow a man that before becoming President was a failed business man, with several bankruptcies in his past, has a history of being a womanizer, an adulterer, A man who has stolen from children’s charities, a man that demeans women, has no political experience, has no moral compass and never saw a bribe he didn’t like, nor turned down a bribe that was offered to him.  It has been proven that he has taken Russian assistance in order to win an election.  He has lied to the American people thousands of times, and has no knowledge or experience in running a government, let alone his attacks on the media, the disabled, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Muslim Americans, and pretty much endorsed the racist faction of the Republican Party.  He has pandered to the top 1% of earners in this country while not helping the bottom 99%.  He has promoted the booming Economy, based solely on the performance of Wall Street, not taking into consideration that a majority of the country is not invested in Wall Street, doesn’t own stocks and are counting on Social Security to support them in retirement.

In recent revelations he has promised to cut “entitlements”, which means he will cut Social Security and Medicare.  He has attempted to use FOREIGN influence to dig up dirt on his political opponents and he continues to show on a daily basis that he has no clue what he is doing.  The most recent example is the administrations reaction to the “Coronavirus” – one of which was posted by politics USA (<—- click).  He has managed this crisis wrong from the beginning, he has underestimated and dismissed the seriousness of this outbreak.  As of today, total cases of the virus – 164, total deaths – 19, total states reporting cases – 19.  Worldwide, more than 100,000 people have been infected, yet despite all of this, he is in Mar-a-Lago for his 179th visit during his Presidency, and proof that he is not taking this pandemic seriously.  While in West Palm, he will also attend a fundraiser, another example of not taking this seriously. 

It has been my personal experience that every time I bring up the immorality of this President, the fact that he is not fit, he is not worthy of the office, he has shown that he is selfish, willing to use the office of the President to enrich his wealth at the expense of ignoring the Constitution and the rules against such action, I have had friends and family tell me that it doesn’t matter so long as he succeeds as a leader and his policies are working.  Nonetheless I disagree, and I will not change this view.  He is morally corrupt, he is not qualified for the office, he is only out to enrich his own bank account and ego.  He has made every single issue about HIM and his popularity, and that detractors of his popularity among his supporters are simply jealous of his success.  I say to all of my friends, family, and co-workers…  He doesn’t care about you, he doesn’t care about the country, and he most certainly doesn’t care about legislation that can make this country better.  He only cares about himself, how he can better his bank account, how he can promote himself, and how many people he can persuade to like him.  For those that feel that he represents everything you stand for, please know that he doesn’t give a damn what you stand for or care about, he only cares about himself. 

I am prepared to accept and receive all of the criticism that I will get from this post, but understand this…  I will not waiver, I will not fade, and I will not stop rallying against this abomination of the office.  Come at me all you want, I refuse to allow your rhetoric to change my opinion.  I would much prefer a president that brings honor to the office as opposed to one that uses the office to enrich his wallet and demean and disrespect a majority of the population in this country.  He has embraced dictators, he has embraced white supremacists, he has called the media the enemy of the people, and he has mocked the disabled.  If this is the man you want to support, well then I have no respect for you and I refuse to understand why you continue to support a man that brings shame to the office.  A persons morality is a huge condition of holding this office.  A man’s personal history and actions should be a barometer of how he will govern, and if you feel the actions and history of this guy should not be taken into consideration, then I ask you, did you support Nixon and what he did in regard to Watergate?  Did you support Clinton and his moral improprieties as President when he was impeached?  Where do we draw the line when it comes to the litmus test as to whom is qualified to be President of the United States? 

I wonder if Republicans are so against a Democrat being President they will sacrifice their morality and elect a man that has shown that he has no morality or decency at all.  I hope their conscience is at ease and their soul is at peace foe electing a man that cares not for you, but only cares about how he can financially benefit from being President.  Until you realize that is the ONLY reason he wants to be President, we will continue to spiral out of control, the economy will fall, the poor and middle class will continue to be marginalized, and we will not move forward as a country.  I will vote for whomever is the nominee for the Democratic Party for president, as well as looking at all of the congressional, senate, and local candidates that will reflect my political hopes for the future…  The country deserves to have a resident that is respectful of the office, honors the country, and will honor the burden that comes with being President of the United States. 

Morality and Humanity matters…  look in the mirror and decide how you want to set us up for the future.  For those that say I am a Republican… I will never vote Democrat…  Look at what you have placed in office…  A man that is morally corrupt… ego-driven… and only cares how the media and the pollsters place him on a pedestal…  in order to feed his own ego…  he is a false prophet, and he is playing you so that you will vote for him…  I’m sorry if this doesn’t change your mind…  but I have not said anything here that can be disputed, proven wrong, or shown to be “fake news”

In closing I will only say this…  vote your conscious…

Thanks for reading…

Women in Sports… A message to all the “Bro’s” out there

I am a guy, I am what most people would look at and say, there is a typical white middle-aged, bordering on old, white male who loves sports and has since he was 5 years old.  He loves all sports, Football (American), Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, NASCAR, and any and all sports that he can watch no matter the time of day or year.  He grew up in the 70’s and 80’s where men were the face of sports, and women weren’t respected for their views or knowledge regarding sports.  In the 70’s and 80’s where within that 20 years, I went from 4 to 24 years of age and the stereotype that was most prevalent in the sports world was that it was a MANS world and women knew nothing about sports and any comment or opinion on sports was laughable and disregarded. 

The stigma attached to a woman during that time was brutal… comments like “Oh Honey, go make me a sandwich, the men are talking” among others, but the fact remains that times have changed.  FACTS: nearly 47% of all NFL fans are women45% of all MLB fans are women32% of all NHL fans are Womenand 45% of all NBA fans are women…  So let me say this to the “He-Man Women Haters club” – you don’t have exclusive rights to the term, “Sports Fan”.   In the last 30 years, the rise of women sports fans, be it NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL have increased to the point of nearly equal with men sports fans.  The kicker to this stat is that not only are they fans, but they know as much, if not MORE than there male counterparts.  It’s the new reality, it’s fact and the “Bro’s” need to admit it is true, it is real and they are living in the past.

Now this may not be new information for most sports fans out there, but for the minority of those men out there that feel that women have no clue, let me put before you the litany of women sportscasters out there as well as personal experience in my world of the women that not only love to watch sports, they also love to talk about sports, no matter what major sports league may be the topic of conversation.  I give you Erin Andrews, Leslie Visser, Hannah Storm, Charissa Thompson, Beth Mowins,  Doris Burke, Pam Oliver, Linda Cohn, Michelle Tafoya, Suzy Kolber, Sam Ponder, Melissa Stark, Jessica Mendoza, Nicole Brisco, Tracy Wolfson, Mina Kimes, Sarah Spain, Mary Kay Cabot, the list goes on and on, and those men that have been in denial, as well as condescending towards women that DARE to intrude on “their sports” need to step aside.  All of the women that I have mentioned in this paragraph are smart, college educated, and know the difference between a zone defense and man to man, know what an infield shift is supposed to accomplish, know the difference between offside vs icing, and know how important a big man is in basketball.

Now the women I mention above actually have built a career in sports, but I have also been lucky to know and interact with several women that know as much as I do (sometimes more) about sports, whether it be NFL or MLB… NFL or NHL… NASCAR or Curling… they know their shit.  To deny it or dismiss it is tantamount to thinking that Donald Trump is a great president.  It may be good for you in your small and insignificant circle of friends, but it isn’t even close to factual, common sense intelligent fact or true knowledge.  Women sports fans are to be reckoned with, they are to be respected, and most of all they need to be honored for what they know, what they bring to the table, and most of all, how much their point of view brings to the overall discussion of whatever sport may be the point of discussion at the time. 

I am a Die-Hard Browns fan… for nearly 50 years, I have lived and breathed with the Browns.  From “Red-Right 88”, to “The Drive”, to “The Fumble” to “The Betrayal” by Art Model, I have lived, breathed, and bled Cleveland Orange and Brown, and continue to this day…  In following this team, I have personally come across well-versed female Browns fans that love the Browns as much as I do, maybe even more…  I could list the dozens of women in my lifetime that I have known that were as passionate about sports as I am, but their on-line fingerprint are not as strong as the women I am about to mention.  Recently I expanded m search for as many Browns fans who are in tune with the Pulse of what is happening in Cleveland sports.  Not just the Browns, but the Indians and Cavs… The Ohio State Buckeyes… The Columbus Blue Jackets (GoBolts) and bring their unique knowledge and passion to the table and lay their fandom out for all to see.  They have been ridiculed, they have been objectified, but through all of that they still maintain their love and passion of Cleveland Sports.  I would love nothing more than to highlight them to the world, but because I don’t want to make it just about them, and I don’t have their permission to advertise their online profiles, I will respect their privacy, but they know who they are, and they have my respect…

I am pretty sure these women are a just a small percentage of what is becoming a trend across all professional and college sports…  Women are just as knowledgeable, or in a lot of instances. MORE knowledgeable than their male counterpoints.  Seek them out, listen to what they have to say, respect them for who they are, honor them for what they have to experience on a daily basis…  A stigma of a once male dominated arena, which is now so very close to becoming an equal percentage of male to female sports writers, fans, pundits, broadcasters, and columnists.  I urge you to put away the prejudices of old… This is not 1980, this is 2020, and a world of understanding, a world of communication, and a world of acceptance awaits us all when we treat female sports writers, female pundits, female sports anchors, and most of all. female sports fans, are looked upon with the same relevance as their male counterparts…

 

Tom Brady

You all know I am pretty much all NFL all the time…  With that being said I would like to address the elephant in the room…  Tom Brady and his pending free agency.  All the major networks, websites, publications, and sidewalk sports experts are all trying to predict what Tom is going to do regarding his next team.  I am of the opinion that in the big picture of the NFL, in the reality of the situation, the facts boil down to this…  Tom Brady is currently 42 years old, and when the season starts he will be 43, so the fact that all of these armchair quarterbacks are drooling over where this over the hill, shade of what he used to be, NFL “goat” will land for 2020 is the #1 story in sports is laughable, to say the least.  Guys, he’s gonna be 43… Joe Montana, considered the greatest of all time by MY generation, retired when he was 39, so don’t tell me that this guy has another Super Bowl run in that old body of his, and will be able to take the grind and physical abuse that today’s NFL will bring to the table.  Brady may well be the best QB that ever played the game, but it has always been my belief that he is actually a system QB and if he had been in any other situation other than what he has had in New England, he would not have been as good.  For him to leave Foxboro and move on to another team, with an entirely new system and concept will not only be a complete failure it will totally tarnish his previous 20 years in the NFL.  Brady should stay in New England, take a one or two year max contract and retire the golden boy of the NFL for the last 20+ years.  To place him in a situation where Belichick is not looking after his best interest will be tantamount to Johnny Unitas going to the Chargers and Joe Namath going to the Rams.  It will be sad, it will be ugly, and it will be detrimental to his HOF legacy.  Tom… stay in NE… be safe… be conservative… be smart…  If NE doesn’t want to offer you a new contract, then just walk away, this is the best decision you can make.  We don’t want to see you in a different Uniform, we don’t want to see you get killed in a different system, and we most assuredly do not want to see you fail. 

I have been a Tom Brady hater for most of his career, and for me to sit here and support him staying in NE is totally opposite of what I feel emotionally, because I honestly just want him and Belichick to go away, and to never even see the playoffs again.  But part of me wants to see him walk away with dignity, and to even consider the thought of going to a different team, whether it be San Francisco, LA Chargers, or whatever is just wrong.  Do the right thing, stay in NE, it worked for Roger Staubach, Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, and Troy Aikman…  Retire or stay with the team that got you where you are, it will only be bad if you decide to go play for another team and try and repeat the success you had in New England.  Very few players have had success moving on to another team in their later years.  The fact that all the major networks are going ga-ga over where he is going to land this offseason is disgusting.  ESPN has dedicated 2/3rds of their programming over where he is going, NFL network is on the edge of their seat waiting for any news on what he is going to do.  C’mon guys, give me a break, this is worse than the current Presidential Race trying to determine who the better candidate is to beat Trump in the fall, Bernie or Biden…  The bottom line to me is if he decides to go anywhere else BUT New England, he will not be as successful, he will fail, he wil look terrible and he may even get beat up so much it will expose just how old he is to be playing this brutal game.  My advice… Stay in NE or retire… those are the only choices for this guy…