Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today I played golf with Tom Brady

Not really, but I played the same course as him hours later.

After my sister's graduation I went to Belmont Country Club with my grandparents to play a few holes before it got dark. The guys in the clubhouse told us that Brady and Pats owner Bob Kraft (a member of the club) played there this morning.

I talked to the kid that caddied him. He was about as enthusiastic as you get when your history teacher assigns you an 8-page single-spaced research paper, no Wikipedia allowed. I, of course (like any other rational New Englander) would have nearly shit myself. Imagine: "Uhh, Tom, I'd go with the eight, it's a little uphill."

The kid did say that Brady's a cool, down to earth guy and they had some good laughs on the course. The pro told me that he drives a completely black tinted Lexus so no one can go Princess Diana on his ass cruisin' down the Pike.

And, you can take a deep breath, he was wearing his brace on that oh-so-famous left knee.

He was playing out of an eight handicap, but the kid said he's more like a three or a four. But he was pushing everything to the right today. Apparently he didn't bring his "2007 regular season" game. More like his "Super Bowl XLII" game.

Quite frankly, as long as he's back in the shotgun come September, I don't care if he doesn't break 90 all summer.

Thought you'd enjoy the update.

(And for the record, that's not my photo; I stole it off Google images)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prague Blog complete

Just put the finishing touches on my Prague Blog. Now I can focus all my writing here. Enjoy.

Iraq straight from the horse's mouth

It's easy for us to sit back couch-side and say we should get the hell out of Iraq. It's another thing for President Obama to agree form Washington in his freshly-pressed suit. But it's a completely different animal for a veteran to have that same opinion. Today, that's the case.

Until yesterday, I hadn't seen one of my best childhood friends (and current best friend) in over a year (we'll keep him anonymous). I was in Europe; he was in Iraq, serving for the US Marine Corps. Yesterday, we briefly discussed his experience over there, at which point he told me it's time for us to leave. He told me that US soldiers are basically patrolling for about four hours a day, then hitting the weight room and doing other various time-passing activities. In other words, our job there is essentially done.

At this point, our initial decision to enter Iraq is irrelevant. However, now it's time to leave, according to only the best form of sources.

Brace yourselves, I'm back

Got back to the States Tuesday night after an amazing semester in Prague. That means of course that I'm back to writing on a regular basis both here and at NESN.com. Expect big things; I'm more motivated than ever to write about the world of sports and the world itself. In other words, I suggest you add me to your RSS feed immediately.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wrong place for roster link

This roster link really should be here, not on my Prague Blog. OK, that's better.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Kobe-LeBron dilemma

This is no John Hollinger PER Diem statistical analysis, just a quick non-mathematical, intuitive basketball equation. "If A, then B" type of stuff -- whatever you call that.

Had you asked me who I thought was better, Kobe or LeBron, I'd say LeBron, by a slim margin. I also think the Cavs will win the NBA Championship next month. But take both Kobe and LeBron off of their respective teams, I'd say the Lakers would beat the Cavs, pretty handily. Therefore, I must think LeBron is that much better than Kobe. Right?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Adam Carolla's marketing quandary

On his latest podcast with guest Brad Garrett (from "Everybody loves Raymond"), Adam Carolla came up with a very interesting business point regarding Michael Phelps, as an example.

You remember the picture of Phelps ripping the bong at a University of South Carolina party. Some asshole obviously took the picture and sold it to some bullshit celebrity gossip site for who knows how much money. That site subsequently received a trillion and a half hits, made a fortune on ad revenue and went on with their bush league business.

Consider this, brought up by Carolla. Say I own a sporting goods store. I take a picture of Phelps walking down the street in a Nike sweat suit. I blow up the picture and stick it in the Nike section of my store to sell more attire. Obviously this wouldn't fly; you can't profit off someone else's face without their official endorsement. Surely Phelps should get compensation for my use of his picture. That's a business no-brainer.

Then why can tmz.com (or whoever leaked the Phelps photo) profit off his un-endorsed pot-smoking picture?

Same concept, right?

Friday, May 15, 2009

My multimedia doors are always open

Now you can read what I read via my Twitter updates to your right, but I'm always looking for interesting material to read. So if you have an article, video or favorite blog you read, don't hesitate to throw it my way; my ears are always open.

Combining Twitter and my blog

You'll notice on the right side of this screen, updates on my Twitter page. Every time I read an article or blog post I like, I post the link on my Twitter page. Now you can read the same stuff I read, by coming here, and see what I've posted. I post links on everything from politics, to economics, to business, but mostly sports stuff. Pretty cool, huh?

Happy birthday, blog

Exactly one year ago I started this blog. Since living in the Czech Republic, I haven't written much about the world of sports, but have no fear, when I get back to the States in 11 days, I will be back to regular posting, links to my stuff for NESN.com and posts for the stuff NESN won't run. So have some patience; I'll be up and running again soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hate the players, not the game

If it hasn’t happened to you, it’s happened to someone you know. Probably in high school. His girlfriend is cheating on him, but no matter how many of his buddies tell him what’s going on, he refuses to believe it. You’ve seen it before.

It’s called denial; love is blind. Deep down, he knows it’s true, but he continues to tell himself otherwise, until the line between reality and fabrication becomes more blurred than Paris Hilton’s vision after a night on the “job.”

I’m the latest culprit. Embarrassingly so.

I knew everyone took steroids. It was like pot in the 60s, coke in the 80s; it was just accepted, at least behind closed (bathroom stall) doors. Not everyone did it, but I was convinced 75 percent of Major Leaguers at least tasted the forbidden juice at some point between 1995 and 2005. I knew the truth, just couldn’t come to grips with reality. I read Canseco’s Juiced, but unlike R Kelly, my mind was telling me yes but my body was telling me no. Canseco was a scumbag for ratting out his is fellow roiders to turn a profit, which was why it was so hard to believe him, even though deep down we all knew McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Bonds, Clemens, [insert superstar’s name here] were guilty of our Pastime’s version of treason.

Just not A-Rod. And Not Manny. They were the naturals. They didn’t need that extra pop. Rodriguez could have hit 50 dingers at scrawny age 19 and Ramirez was hitting October changeups off his shoe tops into the Wrigley bleachers with his eyes closed because he’s just that good. Right? Right? Anybody?

Wrong. The worst parts about this are that A) I’m not that surprised, meaning, B) We all know this is probably Chapter 3 of what could be a double-digit-chapter novel. So who’s next? Pujols? Howard? Pedro? Griffey? Nomar? Ortiz? Would any shock you at this point?

I shutter to think.

I wanted that 2004 Red Sox team to be totally clean; a lone bright spot in a black hole cluttered with cheaters, liars and users. That team changed lives, gave hope to a town labeled “Loserville” for over eight decades. Now what?

Ted Williams is thawing in his frozen grave.

This isn’t about one team, one player or one person. As much as I’d like to blame Bud Selig for turning his head and creating this mess, I can’t do that, either. It’s not Selig or Scott Boras’s fault. Play the blame game as much as you like, but when the dust settles, you have no choice but to turn your fingers around and point them at No. 13. And No. 99. And 22. And 25. And about 103 or so more to come. This is about the players. A generation of money-, number-loving athletes who shoved integrity aside in pursuit of extra digits (both in Benjamins and stat columns), en route to that Hall in upstate New York, a place most of the above-mentioned stars were already headed.

At the end of the day, only one word can describe this so-called Steroid Era: sad. Sad for the fans. Sad for the helpless, feeble commissioner. Sad for the owners and management. But most of all, sad for the players, the role models who cheated to turn $100 million contracts into 200 and 25 homers into 50.

How this era will be remembered in 20 years is yet to be seen. But whatever happens between now and then, I will no longer be surprised. I’m done being na├»ve.

You should be too.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another personal shoutout

Just found this preview for the Badger Herald vs. Daily Cardinal softball game. Funny stuff.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I've conformed, sort of

I used to think Twitter was the dumbest thing ever created. I also used to be anti-Facebook, until college. But Twitter, I thought, was extra dumb. All it is is a compilation of Facebook statuses, I continued to think. I don't give a damn if you're going to the gym. Aren't we past minute-by-minute away messages these days?

But last week I signed up. After all, I need to keep up with my fellow Websters (a made up Zetism, not the dictionary) if I want to make it in this worldwide world. Just having a blog (or two) is so Web 1.0 (I read that in the new book I'm reading, Wikinomics, I highly recommend it). Don't get your hopes up; I won't be tweeting "in the shower" or "I hate finals." Instead I'll be posting my favorite articles from around the Net, all the while adding some hopefully-clever tidbits along the way.

So if you're interested, follow derekzetlin. Enjoy.