Thursday, February 27, 2014

TOP 10 THINGS CELEBRITIES WILL GIVE UP FOR LENT

The Lent season begins on Wednesday for Catholics around the world. It's a time for
self-denial and personal sacrifice as we countdown to the celebration of Easter. For the
sake of it, let's just say these handful of celebrities, politicians, and athletes had to give
up something for 40 days whether they were Catholic or not.

                          10A-ROD.  Gummies, lying, and kissing himself in the mirror.
 


                                                  9.  RYAN BRAUN.  See A-Rod.

                                           
                                                 8.  RAYMOND FELTON.  Firearms
.


           8.  NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE  E-Z Pass and donuts for the
                                         ride over the George Washington Bridge.


                                        
                                              7.  BOBBY VALENTINE.  His bicycle.

             
                        6.  RICHIE INCOGNITO.  Twitter,  texting, and being a bully.

                            

                                   5.  DENVER BRONCOS DEFENSE.  Another touchdown.


    
                      4.  JOHNNY MANZIEL Trying to convince NFL scouts he's really 6 feet tall.


               3.  JUSTIN BIEBER. Smoking copious amounts of marijuana during the week.
                                                             (Weekend are free-for-all)



                    2. TORONTO MAYOR ROB FORD. Inserting his foot in his mouth.



                                 1. ANTHONY WEINER AND GERALDO RIVERA
                                                        One simple thing: Selfies




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

MEDIA FOOLS AND THE 'ACTIVE' GAY ATHLETE



Nine months ago, just about every media outlet in the country fell all over themselves when
Jason Collins announced he's was gay. The media proclaimed that Collins was the FIRST active
openly gay player in the four major professional sports leagues.

There was  one big problem with that statement: Collins was about as 'active' an NBA player
as I was. His season was over and as a 35-year old, end-of-the-bench, journeyman player who
was a free-agent, there was no guarantee he was going to be any more 'active' for the next
NBA season.

Meanwhile, Robbie Rogers, who had announced he was gay last February, signed with the
Los Angeles Galaxy and actually played a game on May 26, 2013, or less than a month after
the 'historic' decision by Collins. The media proclaimed Rogers to be the "first openly gay
man to play in a top North American professional sports league."  Oh, they seemed to be
saying it wasn't a 'major' league like the NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL (can the NHL really
be considered a major sports league these days if they don't get more than a 1.0 national
rating?)


Fast foward to February 23, 2014. Word spreads that Collins is coming back for an 'historic'
return. He signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets. Once again, the media tripped
all over themselves. They said history was being made as Collins was the "first active openly
gay athlete in a major professional sport."

Hello? Isn't that what the media said nine months earlier about Collins? Was history repeating
itself with the same man in the same sport? And what about Rogers? Did he not get his due
just because he played professional soccer and not in the NBA?

It's funny how the sports media sees things these days and tries to determine what is history
and what is not and who makes it. Sheryl Swoopes, one of the best players in the history
of women's basketball who played in the WNBA announced that she was gay five years ago
and it's not big deal. Britany Grier, a dominant All-American at Baylor announced she was
gay after the WNBA draft and nobody even blinked.

Yet, Collins does it and the media wants to compare him to Jackie Robinson, which is
absurd in itself. What Robinson did is in a category all itself. NOBODY will ever do what
Robinson did and to compare the case of Collins and Robinson is absurd. Robinson endured
pure hate and racism. He had to eat in different restaurants and sleep in different hotels than
his teammates all because of the color of his skin. Fans spit and taunted him nearly every
single game his first year in MLB.

When Collins entered the game the other night against the Lakers, the fans gave him a
standing ovation, as well they should have. What Collins did required a decent amount of
courage, but it doesn't come close to the accomplishment of Jackie Robinson. Robinson
was launching a Hall of Fame career, Collins is at the end of an undistinguished one.

The media is making a far bigger issue out of this than the fans and players who've showed
unwavering support for both Collins and Michael Sam, the former Missouri football player
who announced he was gay less than a month ago to the media, but let his teammates
know in early August about his sexuality.



And what happened with Sam and his teammates? Absolutely nothing. Missouri had one
of its best seasons in school history and Sam became the SEC Co-defensive player of the year.
There were no fights in the locker room or Sam getting ostracized. I"m sure a few people
may have been uncomfortable people or some that mocked Sam, but that's just the nature
of our world.

Collins was treated just as was before he came out: with respect and as a professional.
I sometimes think the media wants to blow things up like players are going to be afraid
that Collins and Sam are going to attack players in the shower or nussle up to them on
the team bus. Good grief. The glorify guys like Ochochino, Terrell Owens, Dennis
Rodman, and Metta World Peace, and want to question the impact of high-character
guys like Collins and Sam in the locker room and their sexual orientation.

Players don't care, neither should the media. Its now a now issue to most people.

Those clowns at an Atlanta radio station mocked Steve Gleason, a dying man with ALS.
They got fired but it showed that it's just not gay people who are open to abuse. Teenage
girls taunt classmates to the point where they end up committing suicide. We live in a
a nation that makes fun of others who are not 'normal' or one of them.  People in the
West think everyone in New Jersey is just like the cast of 'Jersey Shore'. Those who've
never lived in the South, make fun of those dudes on 'Duck Dynasty', and everybody
makes fun of the Kardashians. Like it or not, that's just how most of us are.


I admire Collins and Sam for having the courage to do what they did. Do I think this
is going to open the floodgates for other gay athletes to come out? I highly doubt it. It's
a choice. Martina Navritalova was a gay athlete more than 20 years ago. Everybody knew
it. When television cameras panned to the stands and the announcers said, "there is
Martina's partner", I didn't they were talking about doubles tennis.

Navritalova didn't feel she had to announce to the world she was gay just because
the media wanted her to. It was her choice and she wanted to do it her way and probably
felt like it was nobody else's business.

It's not our business. It shouldn't be the media's either. Let people be who they are
and worry about your own

Monday, February 24, 2014

HAROLD RAMIS: TOO FUNNY & GONE FAR TOO SOON.


Long before people amused themselves and punctuated every text with LOL, Harold Ramis
blessed us all with his creative genius. Thanks to his imagination, "Animal House," "Caddyshack",
"Stripes',  and "Ghostbusters" became instant classics that made us laugh out loud
 over and over and over again.

Ramis died on Monday, bringing sadness to many who got so much joy and comic relief from
his movies. He gave us Otter, the Gopher  and that psycho marine, who if you called him Francis,
he'd kill you.

There was Flounder, Niedemeyer, (Dead!),  Lacy Underalls, and even Sergeant Hulka. I often
said to myself in wonderment, "Who the hell makes all this stuff up?" And it was usually Ramis.
He was to comedic writing what Zuckerberg is to algorithms: brilliant, pure brilliant.


Ramis wrote or co-wrote the aforementioned classics, in addition to National Lampoons,
"Vacation", "Groundhog Day", and "Analyze This." I watched a documentary about the
making of "Caddyshack" which Ramos also directed. That was a film no big shot in Hollywood
wanted any part of, the feeling was that it was going to be an epic disaster.

Ramis said most of the actors and crew shot all day and partied all night, with many folks
arriving for work coming straight form a house party. A majority of the movie was made up
on the fly, and you know that gopher? Yep, that gopher was added long after most of the actors
had gone home for good after Ramis said, "That's a wrap."


"Caddyshack" worked because of Ramis and his genius. A movie that many expected bomb
at the box office became one of its greatest and most profitable hits.

30 years after "Caddyshack" and "Animal House", people can still recite many of the lines
from them. There is the "Cinderella story!", "It's in the hole!,"  "Did we give up when the
Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?", "That's fact, Jack," and "fat, drunk, and stupid is no way
to go through life."

Ramis went through most of his life making us laugh. I can only imagine the amount of
fun he had on the sets of "Caddyshack", "Animal House", "Stripes" and "Vacation". Nobody
would've been surprised if he himself, died from laughter.

I was surprised today when I heard Ramos passed away from a rare disease in his blood
vessels. He was 69 years old. I'm not sure he ever put LOL at the end of his text, but it'd be appropriate if they put it on his tombstone because that's what he made most of us do, over and
over and over again.

Monday, February 17, 2014

TOP 10 WORST EXCUSES BY ATHLETES

10. In the 2000 World Series, Roger Clemens threw an inside heater that sawed the bat of
Mike Piazza in two pieces, one of which the Rocket hauled in. Clemens then proceeded to fire
the piece of timber at the Mets catcher who was running to first base.


During the ensuing  argument, Clemens told the umpires he "thought it (the bat) was the ball."
It was clearly a case of 'misremembering' because players that usually field a ball during the
game, throw it to  first base to get an out, not try to impale the runner. Nice one, Rocket.

9. After Tiger Woods cheated on his wife with every porn star, pin-up, and waitress from
Perkins that didn't get their own reality show, El Tigre stepped out from behind a cheesy blue
curtain to tell the world the reason he became a serial adulterer was that he "felt entitled". Really,
that's the best you and your dream team from IMG could come up with? Entitled? Yep, that'll
make people forgive you and come to your defense. Works every time.



8. Several years ago, Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing failed a drug test for PED's.
His excuse? Over-training Syndrome. Give 'Cush' big points for originality. When my doctor
told me there were traces of Dunkin Donuts in my urine,  'over-training syndrome' was the
excuse I gave him.


 7. Before Anthony Bosch, it was a FedEx man that screwed Ryan Braun. The Milwaukee
Brewers outfielder blamed his absurdly high traces of testosterone in his urine to a FedEx
man who compromised the integrity by not getting into the lab 'positively overnight'. Braun
then told people that the FedEx was really a Cubs fan who was 'out to get him'. Hey, millions
of people believed George Bush when he said the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction, so
what the hell? Braun threw everything against the wall and it stuck--until he got stupid and
started calling Bosch on his cell phone.


 6. We know by now that every cyclist from Floyd Landis to Lance Armstrong is dirty.
The Tour De France is like riding your bike from NYC to Dallas, Texas in three weeks.
You think cyclists re-fuel with Power Bars and Gu gels? Right. After Alberto Contador
finished with the yellow jersey and was found to have more than Flinstone vitamins in
his urine, Contador blamed the positive test on 'tainted meat'. Those god-dang steer were
downing Gummies faster than A-Rod. Cushing thought better of using this excuse for
being dirty.

 5. After Bode Miller failed to medal in the men's downhill in Sochi, Miller threw out
the kitchen sink as to why he bombed. Miller blamed it on cloud cover, visibility, and
everything outside of mistakenly putting in his wife's contacts on the morning of the race. Man,
I should've come up with those excuses when I was striking out in baseball all those
years. Yeah, that's it. Cloud cover. Those nimbo-stratus clouds are a a pain in the ass.


 4. During the congressional hearing on steroid use in baseball in 2005, Sammy Sosa
was asked about his involvement with PED's. Sosa didn't invoke his right to use
the Fifth Amendment, but rather the "no comprende" excercise.  "I speak no English.
I no understand the question. Ask McGwire." Well, the part about asking Big Mac wasn't
true, but the rest of it is. Classic, Sammy.



3. The much-heralded and apparently over-hyped U.S. Speedskating team blamed
it's poor performance in the first six races on those high-tech Under Armour suits.
They were so freaked out by the Mach39's, the team went back to the Under Armour
suits they wore when they dominated the World Cup. And what happened? Still
no medals. Better grab a Snickers fellas, you ain't going anywhere or winning any
medals for a while.



2. On Thanksgiving Day 2011, Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions was ejected
for trying to impale Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith  with his foot. And that was after
Suh tried to drive the dude's head into the turf like nine times. Suh must not have thought
the game was nationally televised and nobody saw his WWE act because he said:


 "What I did was remove myself from the situation the best way I felt, with me being
held down. My intention was not to kick anybody, as I did not, removing myself. As I'm
getting up, I'm getting pushed, so I'm getting myself on balance". Paging Mr. Clemens,
paging Mr. Clemens. Mr. Suh didn't even 'misremember' anything. He just lied through
his pie hole with that excuse.

1. The mother of all excuse goes to cyclist Tyler Hamilton, who after being found
to be dirty, brought down Lance Armstrong for being filthy on the circuit, too. After
failing a drug test several years ago that showed somebody else's blood in his urine,
which is a sure sign of a blood transfusion, Hamilton said said his test result
came not from an illegal blood transfusion, but from his twin that lives inside him.



He was dead serious. But as all cyclists do, he later admitted to cheating.



Sunday, February 16, 2014

U.S. SPEEDSKATING TEAM PROVES THERE IS CRYING IN THEIR SPORT




"There is no crying in baseball!"

Didn't we all learn that from Tom Hanks' drunken and sour character in "A League of Their Own"?

Apparently, the U.S Speedskating team never saw the movie, got the message, or didn't feel
it  applied to their world that seems to have more drama than an episode of the Kardashians.

Since Eric Heiden dominated the 1980 Olympic Games in his electric gold racing suit, the
Americans have been a fixture on the medal stand. However, in Sochi, there have been no
medals or smiling faces. The United States has performed worse than the Jamaican bobsled
team and there have been enough tears to fill up that six-inch space between Justin Bieber's ears.


All because of the racing suits. Yep, their Under Armour-made racing suits are to blame.

(Insert Allan Iverson's tone and theatrics here)

"We're talking about the suits, not thunder thighs or an incredible work ethic, but suits! Not
great technique or mental toughness, but specially-crafted, aerodynamically perfected suits!
No, not heart, will, or desire, but skin-tight racing suits!"

In the first six speedskating races in Sochi, no American finished higher than seventh.
Of course, it just had to be because of their new Mach 39 Under Armour racing suits.
You know, the ones skater Patrick Meek proclaimed to be "the fastest speedskating suit
ever made",  before the Olympics?

You know, those skin-tight, ultra-light ones developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin
— the aerospace and military contractor — and promised the best aerodynamics yet.

You know, the ones the Maryland football program thought would lead them to national
prominence. Wait, sorry, wrong sport.

You know, the ones the U.S Slow-skaters seem to be crying about since they don't have
any medals around their necks.



"The best thing would have been to make sure that these suits were what the people said
they  were, so that we can actually know going into the races instead of finding out on one
of the biggest races of our lives," Davis told the Associated Press.

Man, if a reality show producer needs some new talent for the "Housewives" of everywhere
series, he won't have far to look for Terrell Owen-sized divas. Lord, help us.

And by the way, Shani. Did you and the U.S. Skating Federation just find out your Olympic
events were this week? You had years to figure out if these suits were OK and you're
complaining about it now?

Look, I understand a little something about wind resistance and all that stuff when it comes
to better performance. I get it. But the Americans blaming their poor performances on their
suits is really bad form.

It'd be like Tiger Woods crying about the graphite shaft of his Nike driver after air-mailing
another drive two fairways over and hitting another patron on the head.



It'd be like Roger Federer losing to Rafael Nadal in another big Grand Slam event and
complaining because his headband was too thick and too tight.



It'd be like the Upton brothers blaming all 285 strikeouts of their strikeouts last summer
on their flame-tempered Louisville Slugger bats.



You just don't do it.

The American slow-skaters were so freaked out by their performance in the first
six events, they switched out of their new suits into the Under Armour-models they
wore when they dominated the World Cup. Yeah, that'll do it. Gold medal stand, here
we come!


You know what happened?

Well, let's just say than no American still hasn't finished better than seventh. Wow, it
must've been the skates, not the suits.

I listened to an NBC reporter's interview with Davis and of course, the subject of the suits
came up. I just did a SMH, or whatever people call it these days. Davis looked like a
child who didn't get the present he wanted from Toys R Us.


Nike should bring back Mars Blackmon and mock Under Armour  and their suits with a
commercial announcing to the world that "it's gotta be the suits, Michael, is just gotta be
the suits." Yes, it would be bad form, but it'd be pretty darn funny.

Incidentally, the Dutch national team is wearing new high-tech suits during the Olympics,
too.  They've won 13 medals through seven events.

Michael, it's gotta the suits! It's just gotta be the suits!





Saturday, February 15, 2014

NBC BLEW IT WITH USA-RUSSIA GAME



I don't watch many sporting events on television anymore, but I was intrigued by the
Olympic hockey game between the United States and Russia on Saturday. I knew the game
was being played at 7:30 a.m EST and after I awoke five minutes past that, I hurried over
to the television to turn the game on.

It's USA vs Russia in the Olympics, so of course, it was going to be on NBC and all its
local affiliates, right? Wrong. When I saw Lester Holt and Meredith Viera on the weekend
"Today" show eating something at some market in Sochi, I said to myself, "You're kidding me, right?" NBC pays billions of dollars for the Olympics and they have a hockey game between
the US and Russia and they put it on one of their eight other channels that you can't find in the universe of 500 networks.

This wasn't a curling game between the United States and Slovakia. It wasn't ski-slope or
slope skiing or whatever X-games event they have masquerading as an Olympic sport. Hockey
is a real sport and if enough people could follow the puck or figure out what the hell is going
on, the NHL would bypass the NBA and MLB in popularity. Sorry, the NFL is untouchable.

I get what executives at the Peacock Network were trying to do. They started the NBC Sports
Network a few years ago and after nobody watched it, they changed the name to NBCSN.
Yeah! That'll do it! Give it a bunch of letters and viewers will come in droves! Woo-hoo!.
Yep, unfortunately, that's how a lot of television executives think.



They whiffed on that one and they struck out on the decision to put the US-Russia game
on  NBCSN, like BJ Upton, Justin Upton, and Dan Uggla hit nothing but air 387 times for
the Atlanta Braves last summer.

Why would they put a marquee game on a network that nobody can even find? Haven't
they learned anything from the NFL and MLB Network? Both are top-notch products
but people can't find it. It's up there in the channels with 1 and 4 at that beginning. 300
and change if you have DirecTV or whatever people get these days.

I understand the NBC suits felt that they'd get traffic to go to NBCSN if they put a game
like that on its air. They wanted people to discover what a great job the sister network of
the mother ship does with hockey and other sports, like bull riding.



It never works.  Millions of people went to Oprah's network to see the Lance Armstrong
interview and they haven't gone back since. Do you even know where the Oprah network
is on your cable box? Oh, you didn't make it a staple of your viewing habits after that weasel Armstrong lied about his lies again?

As I said before, this wasn't a curling match or some athletes shooting guns at targets
while lying in the snow. This was the United States and Russia in hockey on Putin's
home soil. Come, on! Anybody with an ounce of common sense knows this had the
potential for great theatre. I mean, Ivan Drago could've come out and said, "I will
break you."

It wasn't the 'Miracle on Ice', but the game turned out to be one of the best in Olympic
hockey history. An eight-round shootout? Are you kidding me?  But how many people
saw it? Oh, yes, a lot did, but not as many that could've seen it. Sure, NBC will put it
on its prime-time coverage, but in this Twitter, Facebook, instantaneous world, it will have
lost some of its fizz by then.

I guess we'll just have to settle for another round of curling or snowboarding because
those are the real sports. Give me a break.

I don't believe in second 'Miracles' but I do believe that's it's best to put a great game
on a channel everybody can find.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MICHAEL SAM'S COMING OUT PARTY: IT'S AN ISSUE ONLY TO MEDIA



Michael Sam told his teammates at Missouri last summer that he was gay. The Tigers won the
Cotton Bowl and finished the season 12-2. Sam was named the SEC's Defensive Player of the
Year. Talk about being distracted.

This just in: athletes and teammates don't care about a person's sexual orientation, especially in
the professional ranks. Every player that makes it to that level is an independent contractor. Most
of them say the right thing about playing for the city and their teammates, but the bottom line is,
baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and soccer are individual sports masquerading as team
games. Invariably, the best talent that plays together as a team wins everything.

That player in the batter's box facing a 95-mile-an-hour fastball doesn't care that a teammate
is gay. A defensive back that turns into a heat seeking missile programmed to destroy a receiver,
could give two cents what a teammate is doing later that night and with whom. They just don't
care.

Athletes put on the happy face about being team players and all, but at the end of the day, they
are just like everybody else: They worry about taking care of themselves and their families.
Nobody has ever brought a teammate, good or bad, into a contract negotiation. No player was
rewarded for being a "team guy".  It's all about numbers and your performance.


An athlete, especially ones in the NFL, have such a small window to earn security and be
'set for life.' Do you really think they care about another one being a homosexual? Sure, there
will be ignorant athletes who might say the wrong thing about a gay athlete, but the list is
a million miles long of ignorant and just plan intelligence challenged athletes who put their
foot in their mouth. God, it happens in all walks of life, doesn't it. Even well-educated people
like AOL Tim Armstrong say really stupid things that offend people.

When it comes to athletes or celebrities coming out, the only people that really seem to make
a big deal of it are members of the media.  Look at them after the Michael Sam story broke.
ESPN is on the campus of Missouri re-tracing the events how Sam told everybody he was
gay. Does it really matter? Nobody on the team cared and it was five months ago. Good, grief.

There have been articles written about the impact of Sam's sexuality in the NFL, where
reporters are using "anonymous sources" from team officials who said it will be a problem.

First of all, when I see "anonymous sources" in an article and laugh. It has about as much
credibility as Lance Armstrong talking about ethics in sports. Many writers, who want to
make a splash on the national scene, not to mention be "trending on Twitter", will use that
garbage knowing they don't have to reveal their sources. And most of those sources who
have been listed as "NFL assistants" could be so far down on the food-chain it's laughable.
The 23-year-old intern hired to put together videotape can be considered an "NFL assistant."
It's a joke, really.

When Jason Collins, an NBA veteran announced that he was gay at the end of last season,
the media fell all over themselves reporting the story. They compared Collins to Jackie
Robinson for breaking a cultural barrier and being the "first active" professional athlete to
come out as a homosexual. Trouble was, Collins was hardly active. His season was over,
and as 35-year-old NBA, end-of-the-bench journeyman,  his career was likely over, too.

Collins didn't land with an NBA team. Is he still considered active? Collins gained fame
and celebrity without having to endure an ounce of what Jackie Robinson went through.
Nobody yelled at him, called him vicious names or told him he couldn't go to the same
bathroom or eat in the same  restaurants as his white teammates.

When CNN news anchor Don Lemon announced he was gay last year, nobody made a
big deal out of it except the media. His co-workers didn't abandon him or say they didn't
want to be near him. They accepted Lemon for who he is.

His co-workers have jobs to do, mortgages to pay,  bills to keep up with, and families that
depend on them. They, like professional athletes, and the rest of us, really, are focused on
what we have to do to keep our jobs. Getting tied up in Lemon's personal life,  just as it is
with Sam's, is a waste of time and energy.

Will everybody accept Sam in the NFL and society? No, but that is just the world we live
in. There are people in the South who cheer wildly for the Afro-American athlete who
helps their college team win on Saturday, and then they're calling him every racist name
in the book the rest of the week.

When someone walks into a room, people make judgements on how they look. They form
opinions without even talking with the  person. They decide if they're going to accept them
right then and there. It happens, it's life. We cannot change people.

Nobody in the NFL is out to change Michael Sam. If he can help a team win football
games, he will be a valuable commodity whether he's gay or not. Michael Vick is a
convicted felon who committed terrible crimes. The Philadelphia Eagles welcomed him
to their organization because they thought he could help them win a Super Bowl.

They eventually signed him to a $100 million contract. A convicted felon.

And what is Michael Sam? Exactly, he's a darn good football player who might be able
to help a team win football games, no matter how the media wants to spin it.

Monday, February 10, 2014

ONE YEAR, NO ALCOHOL, NO "PROBLEM"



"Hi, my name is Paul...."

"Hey, Paul, how are you doing? Good to see you," the crowd said enthusiastically.

"My name is Paul and I am NOT an alcoholic...."

"Ah, man, WTF?! How could you do that to us? We thought for sure you had a problem."

This didn't actually happen, but when I tell people I haven't had a drink since last February
10, they seem remarkably disappointed. It's as if they were hoping I did actually have a problem
with booze.

When I order a cranberry and soda and the bartender asks me if I'm "a friend of Bob", and
I reply, "I'm not a friend of Bob, Bill, or anybody else you know," He seems somewhat shocked.

I celebrated one year without alcohol today, February 10, and it feels damn good. One year ago,
I was in a pizza/beer joint with some of my friends downing large pies and big pitchers of beer
and wondered what the hell I was doing destroying my body and mind with alcohol and bad food.

I decided right then and there that I'd give up not only alcohol, but bread, pizza, cookies, ice cream,
and anything that was white. The Lent season was just three days away and I decided I was going
to give it all up for 40 days as a form a of self-denial which is what a a lot of Catholics do in the
six weeks leading up to Easter.

I didn't miss alcohol or any other evil ingredients I was putting in my body. I started a pretty
intense running program, competing in seven half-marathons in preparation for the NYC
Marathon in November.

After most of the races, there would be pizza and bagels volunteer dished out to
the runners to help replenish the calories burn and carbohydrates lost during the distance runs.
I couldn't even look at pizza and bagels. I saw them as poison.

I consider alcohol the devil. There is not one redeeming quality to drinking. None. I've often
wondered how many accidents, deaths, fights arrests, court appearances, jail time, and financial
stress could've been avoided if there was no alcohol.

I never drank through high school for I was focused on sports and really taking care of my
body and mind. But something happened went to college. I went to UNC on a baseball scholarship
and started to major in having a good time. How could you not in a place like Chapel Hill, N.C.
This was the ultimate school. Sports, beautiful women, and amazing weather.  It was the ultimate
college experience and I soaked every ounce of it up.

I never had a problem, but I do wish I never drank. It's such a total waste of money,  time, and
destroys the gifts that God blessed us with: our bodies and minds. I read stories about college
kids "rushing" sororities and fraternities where they must compete in drinking games in order
to gain acceptance. Every once in a while, tragedy strikes and an 18-year old kid dies from
alcohol over consumption. It's sad and such a waste. A terrible tragedy that could easily been
avoided.

I made it through Lent without touching alcohol and the other items that I considered toxins.
It was a goal accomplished and I wanted to challenge myself even more. I made up my mind
that I would not drink for one year.  365 days without poisoning my liver, heart, and brain.
With each passing day, I felt better and better. The alarm would go off at 5:30 a.m. for a long
run and I'd bounce out of bed. I wondered to myself why I wasn't getting up earlier.

In the nine months leading up to the NYC Marathon, I lost 31 pounds and about two chins.
My waist size went from 36 to 34 and I no longer felt like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man.

Admittedly, there were a handful of times when I wanted to drink. The stresses of work and
life can test your patience and resolve sometimes, but I wouldn't give in. I had a goal set
in my mind and I wasn't going to mess with the streak of days without alcohol.

After about six months of abstaining from alcohol, I felt I was pretty much free and clear
to accomplishing my goal. Was I going to win anything? No. Did not having any alcohol
make me any better than anyone else? Absolutely not. It didn't mean anything to anybody
but me.

And I don't care what anybody thinks if I never have another drink. I don't ever want to
have a drink ever again. Why? Just because. Alcohol is poison and the devil. I think drinking
is a terrible thing to do, even in "moderation". What's the point? Do you really have to drink
to have a good time? That's such a pathetic excuse. It does nothing but slowly destroy your
mind and body.

I'm done with ever drinking again. That's my goal and I'm sticking to it.