Life without Pujols

I haven’t written about this at all since Albert left the Cardinals last year. Frankly, I don’t really blame him. Money is money and I get that but I feel bad for him in the sense that he is going to miss out on being something that transcended the game and money. Yes, he is laughing all the way to the bank but I think that he will never be as loved as he would have been here in St. Louis and the statue he gets there or even here in the Lou, will never be what it could have been. And that’s a shame. He had a chance to be a good guy, take a pay cut (if you can believe that) of $20 million a year and yet still be seen as a God among men. His loss, I guess.

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Cardinals in 7

That’s my predication for the World Series. Of course, I am a Cards fan. Of course, I would never bet against my beloved Birds on the Bat so anything I say is meaningless. And let’s face it, they are so playing with house money that really anything they do is fine at this point. No one is predicating the Birdos to do anything but I think they are going to surprise people. Sure, Texas has a better team but they are the favorites. And the Cards, well, they are so loose and carefree that they can’t be discounted. either way, I think, it’s going to be a great series. I am jacked. Go Cards.

And I hope we can see a Rally Squirrel tonight. That would be rockin’. 🙂

p.s. forgot one thing. The boy ™ was told the other day that the Cards made it to the Series. He said something no Cub fan can ever say… “again?” Love my boy.

Big game tonight

Will Albert go off in the derby of soon-to-be free agents seeking to make more than some municipal budgets? It’s Sir Albert against the Beast. Will the squirrels came back and terrorize the Brewers as they did the Phillies and what is a Phily anyway. It should be an epic game with trash-talking, two teams that really don’t like one another and the sub plot of Albert and Prince seeking to make bank.

And of course, I can’t watch the game. Why, you ask? Well, it’s the boy ™’s TV night as he has done all of his homework and we just have one TV in the house. Which means it’s his until bed time but then I have to put both kids to bed and by the time I get downstairs and ready to watch TV, either it’s too late and the game is over or Mrs. Conductor is watching SuperNanny. Sigh. On the plus side, I get to relive my childhood and listen to the game in the dark via radio.

Freakin’ Rivermen

They lost to the San Antonio Rampage by the score of 4-2. I didn’t go to the game but well, I listened on the radio. Don’t know why. I know the answers. You know, this is why I hate being a fan of a sports team. Be it the Cardinals, the Rams, the Blues or the Rivermen, it’s always the same. Fans like me talk about the team as “we lost.” or “we won.” And we live vicariously through guys who are half our age and making more money than I will ever seen in my life.

We go to the games, spend our hard earned money on jerseys, hats, cokes, beers, tickets, whatever. And every year, most of us are disappointed. For the Rivs, it’s the same every March. They tank and fade. Oh they will get my hopes up, make a little run and make me think they are going to do well, but nope, not going to happen and we idiot fans take it too seriously.

And why is that? I mean, we aren’t soccer lovers who like to start riots and maim members of the other team while being blindingly drunk and singing stupid songs without comprehensible lyrics. No, we are Midwestern hockey fans who just want our Rivermen to play well. Yes, I know the Blues traded away their team so the Rivs had to move people up. Yes, I know injuries are a bitch and a half. But really, would it have been too hard to have held onto a top spot in the conference. You were in first place for Pete’s sake. And now, after this loss, we are basically out of it. Oh well, we are still in it but we have to win out which isn’t going to happen as it has happened in months that we have put together a points streak. Why am I worked up? Who knows? Maybe it’s the fact that there is nothing here in Peoria behind the Rivermen for the winter.

I am a hockey coach

I can’t really believe the state hockey association or USA hockey is okay with this but apparently they are. I am now a hockey coach. The photo to the right isn’t of the boy ™ and his teammates but it’s the same age group. They are “mini-mites” which is kids ages four to six years old. Hilarious to watch, really. First off, and don’t think I am BSing you. These kids can skate. The boy ™ has been skating for about two years now and can do most of what he needs to do. His stops are, well, a bit rough at times and he and his buddies like to lay on the skate, making snow angels. But I digress. I am a hockey coach. How the hell did this happen. I still pronounce words right and don’t attach a “y” to everyone’s name. I don’t have a mullet and didn’t grow up listening to Hockey Night in Canada.

First off, I have been a fan of the puck for years but it never dawned on me to lace up the skates until the boy ™ started to skate. Then, last spring, he wanted to go to public skate at Owens Center and needed someone to go out there on the ice. Dad got volunteered. Within a few times, I figured out how not to fall down and clutch the side of the rink. Then the boy needed to go into hockey skates. He was scared and well, Dad had to show him it was okay. The switch is kinda weird from figure skates to hockey skates because the blade is shaped differently. Within a few weeks, I was digging it and it was a “father-son” thing to hit the rink every weekend. Sometimes twice or three times a weekend. The boy ™ was getting good, he wasn’t watching TV as much and I was having fun. Being a competitive person without any athletic ability, I wanted to get better and just kept at it.

So now, after about eight months, I can do the stops, skate around with a stick and take shots. I am debating on playing in a low-level rec league at Owens though I have seen some of the gusy and they are far better than me. Still can’t do the cross-overs but the nice thing about being a coach is that I am out here with the kids showing them how to do it step by step. And wow, I am learning at the same time as them. Don’t tell my secret.

It’s okay, I think, at this age group because it’s not really organized hockey with positions and drills. It’s more a learn to skate program and oh yeah, you can play with the pucks as well. Still, I find it amazing that when I was at the coach’s clinic today, surrounded by about 100 people who had been playing hockey all their lives or coaching for years. They were talking about all this stuff and this and that. I was just like, “uh, I can go forward and stop.” I’ll have to get better if I want to keep coaching beyond the mini-mite level but for now, it’s a hoot.

Hockey’s almost here.

Tonight is the first preseason game for the Rivermen. It’s out of town of course, and they just have one game here, this weekend, against (who else) the Rockford Ice Hogs. Not that I hate Rockford but come on, they play them all the time. I know they are in the same division and it’s a short drive but let’s get a different team in here. With the QC gone, we are stuck with Chicago or the Rockford for nearly half our games. Not really but it seems that way.

I just hope the Rivs get the idea that it’s about entertainment first and the game on the ice second. Put people into the stands and show them what a great game it is first. They tend to believe that the hockey will draw fans when it doesn’t. We need good promotions, more kids playing in between periods, plenty of free seats or two for one nights and good “in game ops” to keep us having fun while the game is boring. You don’t have the number of fights in the AHL as you do in the ECHL so many non fans are bored.

Don’t want to hate on the team. Its early but I really hope they do well.

Owen Center Ice show

Okay, the boy ™ is doing the Owen Center ice show. yes, I know, it’s figure skating but the wife thought it would be cute. And I guess it is. Yes, I am a guy. Yes, I appreciate figure skating. but come on, a boy in a show? I lost that battle. But it’s pretty cool, and it’s more time on the ice for him to practice. He’s in the act with the all the other preschoolers. It’s cute. More of a chick thing but it’s fun and he’s happy so who cares.

So, come see the ice show this weekend. From the practices I saw, the skaters are very good and it should be a lot of fun. A few of them are actually on the Junior Olympic team and have the chance to compete on the national level.

The show is Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. Check it out. I’ll try to post some pictures of the show afterwords so people can see the glory that is Peoria figure skating.