Category Archives: Random thoughts

Charles Schultz’s Pig-Pen visits a local gym

Remember Charles Schultz’s Pig-Pen, from The Peanuts comic strip?  The grubby cartoon character was always surrounded by a palpable cloud of dirt and stench.  The little guy just looked like he carried a stink that could bruise the olfactory glands.

I just got back from the gym, and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the real life personification of Pig-Pen.  It was pretty darn obvious that he hadn’t washed his soiled, sweaty, stained clothes in a hell of a long time.  It literally hurt to find myself stuck beside the pollution only twenty minutes into my cardio workout.

Good grief, Charlie Brown – my nose hurt.  It still hurts.

Look, I’m not exactly the most tidy person to walk the earth.  From time to time, my refrigerator looks like a laboratory hiding some type of science experiment gone awry.  I have three lazy, shedding dogs frequently conspire to hide small, organic gifts throughout the house.  I’m often celebrating the joys associated with being a bachelor who lives by himself.  I’m just not easily offended by a repugnant odor.

If I’m offended by a stench, though, I can only imagine how it’s affecting the poor elderly person on an adjacent elliptical machine.  She was coughing and sneezing when I left.  I hope she makes it.

Folks, I know it goes without saying, but please spread the word: washing old, soiled gym clothes and taking regular showers should not be optional.



Athletes behaving badly: December 1st edition

Latrell Sprewell was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.  He enjoyed a fairly successful career, averaged 18.3 points per game and was named to the NBA All-Star Team on four separate occasions.

Unfortunately, Sprewell’s physical attributes and his talent were largely overshadowed by his propensity for being a bonehead.  He is now best known for his propensity for violence and his run-ins with the law.  He has also been identified as Wisconsin’s most delinquent taxpayer and owes the government over $3.5 million.

Sprewell will always be known as the dope who assaulted his coach, P.J. Carlesimo.  As y’all may recall, during a routine practice, Sprewell threatened to kill and choked Carlesimo.  His teammates intervened and Sprewell left the floor, but later returned and punched his coach.  The NBA All-Star was ultimately suspended for the remaining sixty-eight games of the regular season.

The assault occurred on December 1, 1997.  Thursday was its fourteenth anniversary.

Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to honor the anniversary of one of the more memorable displays of violence by a professional athlete than with another alleged display of violence by a professional athlete.  Light the candles, get out the cake, and wake up the D.J.  It’s time for a celebration.

On the fourteenth anniversary of Sprewell’s infamous assault, the media reported that Rolando McLain was arrested for third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in city limits.  McLain won numerous collegiate awards, was the 8th overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft and is now a starting linebacker for the Oakland Raiders.  His arrest allegedly involved an ambush of a victim and the discharge of a firearm near the victims head as the man pleaded for his life.  Although he survived the incident, the victim claims that the battery left him with a concussion, a broken nose and broken ribs.

This is the point where many authors would take the opportunity to characterize McLain, other the Oakland Raiders and their fans as a collection of thugs, delinquents, villains, goons, trouble-makers and evil-doers.  This is, after all, a fairly common sentiment among sports fans and the media, and I don’t think anyone would have much trouble tossing out a joke or two within this context.

I’m not going to succumb to the opportunity, however, simply because any further discussion would divert attention from a gang of professional athletes that appears to be operating a fairly sophisticated scheme to steal money from an NFL franchise.  This gang of hooligans has apparently plotted to charge the franchise lucrative amounts of money for services that have not been and are not been performed.  The artifice is now playing out before a national audience.

That’s right, folks.  Just about every professional athlete who takes the field for the Philadelphia Eagles is essentially stealing their paycheck.

Look, this team deserves the criticism.  It spent the abbreviated offseason signing high profile athletes to lucrative contracts, its current ringleader proclaimed that the franchise was fielding a “dream team,” and a number of talking heads picked the team as the favorite to win the league’s championship.

Instead of soaring, the eagles have crashed.  Hard.

And now they’ve contributed to the infamy of events that have occurred on December 1st by again essentially stealing money.  This time, they were paid to be steamrolled by the Seattle-freakin’-Seahawks on Thursday Night Football and their overall record fell to 4-7 record.  Their quarterback – the ringleader who previously tossed out the term “dream team” – spent his evening tossing passes to the other team.  The loss mathematically eliminated the team from playoff contention and firmly ended the possibility of a league championship.

No worries, though.  Dreams may have turned into nightmares, but the paychecks will still cash.  And I’ll probably spend my time tuning in to Court TV or MSNBC’s Lockup instead of sporting events… at least on December 1st, 2012.

FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS for the morning: common sense, wounded warriors and compression clothing

This September, I completed the toughmudder course in Austin, Texas.  I can honestly say that it was the most physically demanding challenge that I’ve ever voluntarily undertaken. I chipped a tooth, I’m still sore, and to this day I’m continuing to find leftover dirt and mud in remote places on my body that I never knew existed.  This is probably an indication that I lack judgment and common sense.

Toughmudder was my first introduction to the Wounded Warrior Project.  From what I’ve read and heard, the organization is a top notch charity that really does a great job of helping those who truly deserve our help.  The organization is featured in a number of articles and videos on the web.

Also, if you’re a fan of Under Armour, you probably already know that it has a line of products dedicated to the Wounded Warrior Project.  They’re also offering this gift set for wounded veterans, and if you’re looking to make a donation you may find that this package gives you more bang-for-your-buck.  And no, I don’t get a commission if you donate or purchase anything – I just think that it’s a heck of a good cause that deserves as much awareness as possible.

Speaking of Under Armour, I really wish some folks – and you know exactly who you are – would use a little bit of discretion when purchasing and wearing compression or fitted exercise gear.

Never underestimate the motivational quality of the right song at the right time.  If you’re looking for a little bit of meaningful inspiration this weekend, you may want to check this out.

Happy Thanksgiving…

It’s Thanksgiving, and I have a heck of a lot of reasons to give thanks.  There’s just no way that I can reduce these heartfelt thoughts and feelings to words and text.  I’m either not that good, or these thoughts and feelings are just too powerful.  I’ll simply leave everyone with the warmest of wishes for the holiday.

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