I Was Snubbed by the U.S. Olympic Ski Team

I Was Snubbed by the U.S. Olympic Ski Team

Dear U.S. Olympic Ski Team:

Congratulations on an outstanding Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. And hey, that 22-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin was impressive on the giant slalom. Well done.

I just have one minor complaint to register: Why did you leave me off the team? I contacted you last summer, telling you I wanted to try out for the men’s freestyle aerials or half pipe or any alpine event you guys thought might attract babes. But nobody ever replied to my text message – which by the way I typed in ALL CAPS to get your attention.

I have to say, your decision to leave me off the roster is confounding. I demand an explanation. When I attempted to get on the team plane for PyeongChang, one of your staffers refused to let me board. I must say he was very discourteous, even after I flashed him a crisp new Benjamin to let me get past.

I demand to know why you refused to let me compete with the rest of the skiers. Was it because I’m 63 years old, and the next oldest competitor was 37? News flash: I checked, and age discrimination is totally against the law. Besides, I may be over 60, but sometimes I use Grecian Formula (dark brown), making me look closer to 50.

Was it because you learned I was married to a Canadian and you questioned my loyalties? Or were you worried my wife would get into a cat fight with the American women’s hockey players? Or maybe you learned about my humor writing and worried I might write a sophomoric column which would create an international incident. I doubt I’d do that (although I confess I’ve never met a South Korean figure skating judge I trusted).

Or was it the minor technicality that I failed to show up on the date of the U.S. Olympic trials last December? That’s extremely unfair. I just overslept that weekend and missed my plane to Park City, UT. I texted, asking about a make-up trial date, but nobody responded to that text either. Do you guys even read your text messages?

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The Seattle Seahawks’ Secret Weapon: ME

The Seattle Seahawks’ Secret Weapon: ME

I’m a huge NFL fan. I root for the Seattle Seahawks because I live in the greater Seattle area, so it’s the law. The Seahawks have been one of the best football teams in the NFL recently, going to the Super Bowl twice in the past four years.

After every win, the Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll steps up to the microphone and gives credit to his offense, his defense, and his assistant coaches for executing a great game plan. But not once does he ever mention the team’s primary reason for their victory: ME! That’s right, I don’t like to brag about this fact – because I am one of the most modest, humble people you’ll ever meet – but I am the secret weapon in their success.

In full disclosure, the players and coaches did play a part in last week’s victory by doing things like scoring points and keeping the other team from scoring. But week after week, season after season, Coach Carroll ignores what I believe is the single biggest factor whenever they pull out a win: I WASN’T WATCHING!

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. I’m just another freakishly superstitious football fanatic who thinks their quirky rituals influence the outcome of the game. Like the Carolina Panthers fan Nate Bosworth, who must always sit in the exact same spot on the couch and consume exactly 8 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (two per quarter) to ensure his team’s win. Or like Bert Flanderson, who cheers on his Cleveland Browns by wearing his lucky shoulder pads and 42-year old Browns helmet for every game. (Bert, I hate to break it to you, buddy. It’s not working.) Or even Ethel Lembke, a rabid New Orleans Saints fan, who belts out Gloria Gaynor’s feminist anthem ‘I Will Survive’ in full Saints regalia before every game, to nudge her team to victory.

These people, of course, are seriously delusional. Trust me, their peculiar rituals have about as much chance of affecting the game’s outcome as I have of convincing my wife to buy that Lamborghini I’ve been eyeing. But it’s a proven fact that MY viewership behavior directly influences, no, make that DICTATES the results. I became aware of my powers a few years ago, when I noticed a pattern. Whenever I’d watch my beloved Seahawks play, they’d lose – about 70% of the time. But when I didn’t watch, for any reason, they’d win in equal proportion.

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It’s Not Too Late to Prepare Your Child for the 2028 Olympics

It’s Not Too Late to Prepare Your Child for the 2028 Olympics

2028 Olympics - girl on balance beamWhile the recent Rio Olympic Games are still fresh in your mind, it’s a perfect time to start getting your own child ready for the 2028 Olympics. The final venue has not yet been decided. I hear it’s down to Buenos Aires, Budapest and Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee. (I hear you. Why on earth is Budapest on that list? Ridiculous.)

First the bad news: If your kid is over the age of twelve, I hate to break it to you, but you waited too long. With only 12 years left until the 2028 games, there’s not nearly enough time to get your teenager up to speed.

If you love your young child, don’t waste another day. First choose a sport. But before you get ahead of yourself and say “gymnastics”, slow down, mom. Unless you plan to starve your child so she tops out at 87 pounds and 4’ 10”, I should caution you – gymnastics gold is pretty elusive. Besides, I checked. There’s this three-year-old from China who looks unbeatable for 2028.

Take a couple minutes (but not more than ten) to think about which sports make the most sense for your child to compete in. Then throw them all out the window, because the only events that will ever bring your future Olympian serious Benjamins from sponsorships are track, swimming, and gymnastics (which the Chinese girl has already got locked up). When was the last time you saw a badminton Olympian on a box of Wheaties? Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw a box of Wheaties?

Once you’ve chosen your child’s Olympic specialty, it’s time to launch a rigorous training program. You’ll need a coach – someone who’s an expert in helping kids reach their full potential and crushing their spirit into dust if they make the tiniest mistake off the starting blocks. Choose your child’s coach carefully because he or she will replace you in your child’s life from this point forward. If at all possible, find a coach who bears at least a passing resemblance to you, to help remind her of the parent she once loved. Don’t worry. You’ll still be able to spend time with her every fourth Saturday and on Christmas morning until noon (after which she has to get back to her workout regimen).

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Swingin’ in the Rain

Swingin’ in the Rain

swingin in the rain - tee shotRecently, I played a round of golf with my longtime golfing buddy Kevin. Kevin hates it when I refer to him by his actual name in my posts, so that’s how I will refer to him – because I just like to piss Kevin off. We were scheduled to play a round, but I called him an hour before our tee time to report that it was raining cats and dogs at my house. “Really? Well, it’s sunny and clear here,” he said. So against my better judgment – which judgment is shaky at the best of times – I decided to go ahead and play.

We were met at the course by the rest of our foursome, Ron and John. And just like Kevin had predicted, it was clear and dry – conditions that were going to change dramatically about fifteen minutes after we teed off.

Kevin and I have been playing golf together for 17 years. It has evolved into something of a rivalry. It often comes down to the final hole before Kevin knows for sure whether he beat me by double digits or just single. You see, Kevin is a really good golfer and, with rare exceptions, I allow him to beat me – mostly to placate his fragile male ego, which shatters like broken glass if he loses to me in anything. And also because he is the far superior golfer.

Ron, John, Kevin and I teed off at the first tee. Kevin hit a gorgeous drive 270 yards straight down the middle of the fairway. Then it was my turn. I smiled as my ball landed eerily close to Kevin’s – by which I mean 100 yards closer to the tee box and banana-sliced 40 yards into the right-side woods. Oh yeah. The game was officially on.

As we reached the second hole, I noticed a few gentle droplets of rain. Kevin shook it off. He was sure it would pass. His smart phone’s weather app said it was going to be mostly sunny by afternoon. But at 8:15am, the sky was looking foreboding, like the skies over Mordor. As Kevin headed up the second fairway and I headed due east into the right-side forest, I noticed the raindrops were coming down harder. Wisely, I had decided to bring a jacket. Unwisely, I’d soon discover it repelled water about as effectively as toilet paper. And I forgot my golf cap.

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Man Cave 2.0 – a wife-friendly version

Man Cave 2.0 – a wife-friendly version

man cave - sports roomA successful marriage is all about compromise. In the interest of marital harmony, I learned early on that I needed to let my wife win a few negotiations now and then.

In just a few weeks we will be moving to our dream house, by which I mean her dream house. Don’t get me wrong. I am sure I will love it, because that’s what she tells me. Of course, no guy’s dream house would be complete without a MAN CAVE.

I had visions of the perfect man cave. I wanted to go beyond the ordinary items that every man includes in his private oasis – your know, basic things like a regulation-sized beer pong table, a dart board that curses in Spanish whenever a dart hits it, or a TV larger than the wall it is attached to. Those essentials are givens, of course.

No, I was looking for something a little more exotic. Something that made a manly statement about me, Tim Jones, as a man! So I came up with my list of Tim’s Top 10 Must-Haves for His Man Cave:

  1. A jumbo-sized wall chart showing the proper operation of power tools – as demonstrated by hot girls in bikinis.
  2. A combination billiard / air hockey / foosball table that with the press of a button recedes into the floor.
  3. A Batman-style utility belt equipped with a potato chip dispenser, cheese-wiz canisters in six artificial flavors, and a holster for my burrito-firing bazooka.
  4. A beer tap in the shape of an elephant trunk – pull on left tusk for guacamole; right tusk for salsa.
  5. A bear rug – with grizzly in full roar – wearing a Seattle Seahawks helmet  (for a touch of class).
  6. A life-size wooden mermaid, salvaged from the prow of a pirate ship, just like the one that Blackbeard used to pry the cork from his rum by wedging the neck of the bottle in between her cleavage and twisting his wrist in a starboard direction.
  7. An oversized phone shaped like a football that makes a deafening crowd roar for thirty seconds whenever it rings.
  8. A giant aquarium – on the ceiling – that you can stare up at during commercial breaks in the game to watch manta rays swimming overhead.
  9. A wall-mounted animal head – anything with antlers. I’m thinking moose but am open to suggestions.
  10. A lava lamp. (I’ve always wanted one ever since 7th grade.)

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