Preface: I started writing this post a week before the Nats clinched the National League East Division crown and the Orioles were forced to play a wild card game. So of course this is absolutely horrible timing on my part. In no way am I trying to be a debbie downer to The Nats amazing season.
Of course, I write this post as The Washington Nationals finished clinching their first pennant since moving to The District and The Orioles struggle to clinch a wildcard spot, but I have to say this… I’m really not a fan of The Nationals.
I know, I know, considering how many hours I spent at Nats Park over past two years it feels like blasphemy to admit this. But it’s true.
I’ve written about this before, but of all the sporting teams in The District, I was always indifferent to The Nationals. Now, they weren’t as hated as the dreadful Wizards or the over-hyped Redskins, but I definitely don’t love them as much as The Capitals or D.C. United. The truth be told, I’m still bitter about The Nationals stealing the Expos and no matter how likable Harper, Zimmerman, Desmond or Werth are, I still can’t get behind their success.
But, the Orioles, now that’s a different story.
Before leaving our home in The District for Canada, we had the opportunity to head to Baltimore for a few days after my wife’s graduation
I know, you’re probably thinking that Baltimore really isn’t a place for a much needed vacation, but truth be told, Baltimore is one of the hidden diamonds in the rough when it comes to America. Now, you have to add a caveat that the beautiful part of Baltimore is the inner harbor/downtown area and we didn’t do a Wire tour of Baltimore. So yes, our tour of Baltimore was pretty controlled.
But what Baltimore does have is the legendary Camden Yards.
Nationals Park will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first ballpark to introduce me to the American Baseball phenomena. But Camden Yards was my first introduction to the allure of Baseball as a cultural myth. Even though the stadium is only 20 years old, it feels like a 60 year old shrine to the sport and the Orioles as a cultural element of Baltimore. Every screw and bolt of the park, from the warehouse walls behind the outfield to the National Bohemian beer to the Old Bay Spiced Hot Dawgs, screams to the gritty golden era of Baltimore’s history. So the park in itself is a wonderful masterpiece and an amazing homage to the sport of Baseball.
But going to Camden Yards also reignited my love for the lonely Orioles. Like every kid of the NHL 94 generation, my real passion for sports came through countless hours of video games. The only truly baseball game that I enjoyed or played at lengths as a kid was Cal Ripken Jr’s Baseball. It was a crummy little game, but it was the first time I really enjoyed baseball and for a brief period of time I was able to say I had a favorite player and team. Of course, it would be a few years later before Cal Ripplefart Jr., would set his name in the record books. But when we visited Camden it was incredibly cool to stand by the statue of Cal Ripken and think back to those innocent days of being a nerdy kid playing too many video games.
So with an innocent trip to Baltimore, I was able to relieve some obscure childhood fantasizes and I can now confidently rest my hat with my own team – a team that I’ve fallen for not just on geographical location, but on a special childhood tie.
The trip also had another side effect.
I’ve alluded to it before, but I think it’s safe to say that the 30 Major League Ballparks is officially the only item in my bucket list. And while our new home isn’t on the Major League Baseball circuit, luckily enough the centre of the Canadian Universe a couple kilometres down the road has some sort of monstrous contraption they call a baseball stadium.
Last week, the Cardinals won the world series. I know a lot of people watched the final two games, but again I missed’em. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy seeing a Nationals game here in DC, but for the life of me I can’t get into watching baseball live. So I’ll have to do what I did last year and catch a recap on the Sklar Brothers Podcast
Anyways, last year after the Giants won, the Sklar Brothers were over the moon raving about their down to earth players. In particular, Giants closer Brian Wilson, who now famously started off the post-game celebrations with one of the greatest moments in live television.
This seriously has to be the single greatest quote of all time.
First – I meant to post this about two weeks ago, but the official trailer for The Avengers has been released
Second – For those of you who yearn for the days of making life decisions by 10 sided-dice, Atari has introduced Dungeons & Dragons for Facebook. Yes, no longer will Facebook feeds be dominated with numerous updates on the latest cow purchases or crop updates, we can now all watch our friends try to achieve level ten dork herder status.
Third – You know what’s funnier than a tumblr blog dedicated to the always dreamy Ryan Gosling? A tumblr blog dedicated to the always dreamy Ryan Gosling as a hardcore academic femenist (thanks to Mr. Rennie)
Fourth – A few weeks ago, the Globe and Mail got in hot water for a series of Celebrity Photos which also had a hysterical Occupy Wall Street tinge to them. Of course this faux controversy is only only made funnier by two things.
First, Vice magazine has been doing this same schtick for year with their amazing do’s and don’ts section. Second, the only reason why some people were up in arms about this, is because nobody actually reads the celebrity photo gallery in the Globe and Mail. If they did, they would have known they’ve been doing this for years.
Fifth – A fascinating article on businesses leveraging Gamification in the workplace.
“The reason why gamification is so hot is that most people’s jobs are really freaking boring,” says Gabe Zichermann, organizer of the “Gamification Summit” conference held last month in New York.
Gotta say, this article did really change my view on how gamification can be applied in larger corporations. This is coming from someone who has a) worked in corporate training and dealt with those challenges and b) been skeptically watching the trend of gamification for a few years.
Sixth – Speaking of Brian Wilson, I may infact have a man crush on him. Brain Wilson’s Advert for NBA 2K12’s legends series.
Seventh – This is pretty self explanitory, but you should read Bayhem, which is an Infographic set About Michael Bay’s amazing film career
8 Movies, almost 960 explosions.
Eighth – The best part about Groupon’s highly inflated IPO launch this week is that it’ll make a bunch of people a tonne of money in the first week… then subsequently, tank when investors realize that the company is doomed for failure.
Oh, Groupon, karma is such a bitch.
Ninth – It’s hard to be sympathetic during this year’s NBA Lockout, but this interesting little article from Sporstnet magazine on rising Canadian basketball star Tristan Thompson, is worth a read. Which in turn is pretty much signalling Canada’s own reverse Gretzky effect but for basketball and with Steve Nash as the centre-piece.
Tenth – Cracked.com’s 5 Most Needlessly Evil Movie Villian Plots of all-time. The synopsis of the Fifth Element evil plot is so perfect.
Eleveth – Eboy.com’s pixelated master piece of Balitmore is now available for purchase
Obviously one of the biggest experiences I’ve been indulging in since arriving in The District, is Baseball. In particular, the lonely Washington Nationals.
If you are any sort of a baseball fan, you’ll have heard of some kid named Stephen Strasburg. If not, he’s essentially an uber-pitching prospect, but after spending some time in D.C. you’d swear this kid was the second coming of God. As a frame of reference the hype surrounding Dion or even Iginla doesn’t even stack up when measure against the double SS hype.
All of the kid’s AA games were sold out. Then when he graduated to the minor leagues, each of the games he pitched in were sold out.
And of course once they announced they were going to let Strasburg start on June 4th (yes, you read that right they officially announced that a minor-league kid was going to play three weeks before he was called up), this is the pandemonium that ensued.
Second coming of God indeed.
And if you’re wondering he had 14 K and played a pretty solid 7 innings…. whatever that means.
First – A big congratulations goes out to the Chicago Blackhawks for their epic Stanley Cup win. But now that the NHL season is over, what are you going to do?
Well luckily Down Goes Brown has a great list of things to do
Second – Oh wow, this is just too good to pass up. How BP cleans up a Coffee spill (via. mikesbloggity)
DON’T Worry it’s for a good cause
Fourth – Speaking of The Chicago Blackhawks, this is the best public taunting that I’ve ever seen done by a professional media outlet. Welcome Chrissy Pronger
Fifth – God I love The Onion.
North Korea: DPRK players could be tough to defend, as they have nuclear devices strapped to their chests
Seventh – For all you Dexter fans and all of you geeks with mad crushes for babes who know Social Media, it’s the new promo for Amber Mac’s new Social Media Book – Power Friending.
Ninth – In case you’re wondering what my kick ass wife got for me for my birthday. Here it is – a new camera.
And not just any camera, but a Lomograph Diana Mini with 6 rolls of film… Now if only I could find a place to print my pictures…