Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We've officially reached that time of the sports year where every sport has a story and something exciting is going on in each one. There's no shortage of highlights and happenings anytime you flip on sports news or open up a sports web page. It's beautiful!

College basketball has just finished it's conference tournaments and the NCAA Final Four now sits on the horizon. Everyone is scrambling to enter brackets. Offices are prepping for shortages in work production and employees are loading game and score trackers into their website favorites section while 5 to 15 bracket printouts sit strewn across their desk. I know I'll be in at least 3 $10 brackets this year and another 2 online challenges. And of course I've got my beloved Panthers going all the way. Hey why not? This is the year that they break the Sweet Sixteen curse (knock on wood).

I usually find it hard to get excited about professional basketball but this year has been an exception. I've always been a Spurs fan since The Admiral David Robinson played and kept up my fanhood when one of my favorite college players ever, Tim Duncan, was drafted by them. But with the closest proximity team being the Cavaliers I've always held a soft spot for them too. It was hard to find excitement in the team when they landed Lebron a few years ago. Now with the MVP race heating up and the playoffs looming the NBA is getting exciting. This year the MVP trophy is down to a three horse race with Lebron, Kobe, and Dwayne Wade battling it out. For what it's worth I love watching all three. I'd give Kobe the ball over any player in the history of the league (minus Jordan) when needing a last second shot. Lebron is arguably the best all-around and most complete player of the three. And then there is Wade. Wade is single handedly making the Heat a contender come playoff time. His energy feeds to his teammates and makes them better. While Kobe and Lebron make their team title contenders the teams are more than capable of making it a round or two deep without them. Without Wade the Heat aren't even in the playoffs. His overall stats are equal if not better than the other two so he gets my nod as MVP.

So the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII in grand fashion, the Pro-Bowl has been played and the football season is over ... right? Wrong. Not much more than a week after the Pro-Bowl that Ulti-Douche Mel Kiper showed up like a bad rash and withing the first month of his ranting he already had 7 different draft day scenarios that he revealed to us on Sports Center. And why does Mel Kiper do that? So when draft day finally arrives he can go back to which ever scenario is most relevant to the latest pick and tell us to marvel at his genius because he was correct. That's the real world equivalent of me taking a fat ass to McDonald's and telling to choose one of the 8 combo meals. Then I get to guess 6 out of the 8 that I think the fatty will pick and pat myself on the back when one of them turns out to be correct.

Aside from Kiper the draft process is cool. Especially if you have the NFL network and can tune in to the combine. I especially love watching the big guys rep out the bench press. Every Draft Day me and Runhigh add an element of excitement with our very own Draft Day Drinking Rules which we'll be bringing you soon. Look for it!

As baseball kicks off this spring not only are we brought some Pirates victory in Spring Training against World Series champs this year we also get to feast on early competitive baseball with the World Baseball Classic. I saw Ian Snell pitch a hell of a game the other night against Venezuela. Maybe this will help him actually throw some quality games this year BEFORE September. It can't hurt. It's just extremely sad for us year after year to be saying 'This will be the year' when we're referring to a .500 record instead of winning the World Series.

My absolute favorite part of it all is the NHL playoff run and actual playoffs. You don't see any better hockey than this time of the year. It's fabulous play. The checking is harder. The skating is faster and better and the play makers are putting up highlight reel goals and assists. Thanks to a few key pickups by Ray Shero and new Coach Dan Blysma the Pens are back better than ever and ready to make a serious run at the Cup. They currently sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference with Malkin and Crosby 1st and second respectively in the points race. With just 10 games to go things look pretty good. But as we know, in the NHL, nothing is guaranteed.

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patricks Day 2009

The Sunday after St. Patrick's Day I woke up and looked around. Fuck! I wasn't suppose to have fallen asleep! I looked over at my clock. It reads 10:00. FUCK! I'm so fucking late. I was suppose to stay awake and pack. My flight leaves at 11:30 and I live 40 minutes away and still need to fill my suitcases. There is nooooo fucking way I make this flight today. My only positive comes from the fact that I woke up in a pile of cash earned the night before like I'm straight out of Indecent Proposal.

It was the reason I had yet to pack. It was the reason I was out late and planning on NOT sleeping so I could make my flight. Now it was the reason I was completely FUCKED in making my flight. It was St Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh.

Yours truly works in the Bar Louie / Red Star Tavern down in Station Square as a bar-back. I was behind Red Star's bar running my ass off to take care of the exemplary drinking habits of my fellow Pittsburghers. If you were down there I was the guy with the Ireland head band wrapped around my forehead Karate Kid Style. The morning started off ... well actually let's back up to the day before.

I work 3 jobs. The first is a cushy government job. I work 8-5 Monday through Friday. I have a nice salary and I make good benefits. The second is my obligation to the Army Reserve. I train hard once a month and every now and then I go kill terrorists. Women and children too if you believe the tree huggers. And third, of course, I moonlight on the weekends bar backing at Bar Louie and Red Star in Station Square. I believe this is the part where I fit in my apologies for not writing as much lately. I hope you understand why now.

Anyways, Friday I wake up, went to work at the government job, went home, changed, and went down to Bar Louie to work again. For God knows what reason the bar was kind of busy the night before the St. Patty's Day festivities. Aren't you fuckers drinking tomorrow? Why the fuck are you partying so crazy the night before? I can't really complain. One, I'm cashing in, and two, I do the same thing every year (with the exception of this one). Again, exemplary drinking by my fellow Pittsburghers. After the bar closes we start our prep for the next day. There's a ton to do and a lot of it involves heavy lifting. We finally get out of there by 4 A.M. At 6:30 A.M. I'm waking up again and heading back down to the bar by 7 for our Kegs and Eggs party which kicked off at 8. Trust me when I say that most people are PLAAAA-ASSSTTT-EERRRREEDD by 10. One of those people is my colleague. This is great firepower to have in the office. I only wish I had a camera.

It's 10 and Red Star Tavern side opens up to the general drinking public. I start to roll on overdrive to cover my bartenders' needs. We had 5 bartenders working Red Star. I've never seen that many! They were freakin' awesome too. They had Pittsburgh drinking 0-60 beers in 5.7 seconds. I just had to make sure the beer and liquor kept flowing. And man did I tap a lot of kegs and stock a shit ton of cases. We probably crushed 100 cases of Miller Lite alone on Red Star. Which kind of annoys me ... Who are all of these fags who can't man up and throw down some Murphy's Stout of even better, Guinness Draught. Man up and drink a car bomb ... pussies. Speaking of which, St. Patrick's Day reminds me just how much good looking chicks there are in the city.

Do these chicks hide during the winter? There were tits and green knee socks everywhere! Needless to say Irish Road was thinking of some ... that's a different post. If you are a hot Irish chick and you want to get a little Irish action I can be contacted ... keep that in mind ladies!

Oh yeah .... back to the Miller Lite ... Do you know why they dye beer green? No ... not because it's St. Patty's Day, dipshit! It's so you're distracted from the nasty taste! Think about it. You can't dye Guinness green ... or even a Yuengling for that matter. What can you dye green? Shitty light beer.

Anyways, people were wasted, more beer was drank than I thought possible, and everyone was reminded why the Irish kick ass!

To everyone that I owned with the service doors I'm sorry. To everyone I plowed over with a dolly full of beer cases I'm sorry. And to everyone I ignored or told I couldn't pour you a drink I'm sorry but "I'm not a bartender." I realize that you may have saw me pour and hand that guy/girl some Guinness but obviously I know him. Or she is sleeping with me.

So the day rolls on fast. The money flowed in and finally the bar closed down. I clocked out a 3 A.M. ... a 19 hour shift. I started thinking 'I leave at 8:45 .... I get to the airport at 9:30 for my 11:3o flight. I'll just go home and pack and stay up. I can just sleep on the plane.' So I get home and was up. I'm beat so I just sit down for a second ........

Next thing I know I'm opening my eyes and looking at the time. It's 10 o'clock. SHIT!!!

Oh yeah .... by the way ... I made the flight with 20 minutes to spare. Thank you for luck of the Irish and Grace of God on averaging 95 mph, all green lights, and NO COPS. Sweet!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!