Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

June 10, 2018

Living Life Vicariously

So the Capitals won the Stanley Cup.  Go DC!

This little figurine made a debut on the counter of the concierge late last week for us to cheer them on!

You can ring the bell for help and while your waiting, get excited about the game. 

While these types of sports are not my thing per se, I do like watching a good Rocky movie or action flick where the good guys beat the sh*t out of the bad guys.

Whether you'watching your favorite sports team, your Hollywood dream stars, or even an occasional do (something) good politician, we are living vicariously through them. 

It's not our success we are seeing, but somehow we temporarily suspend our own selves and live through others (their eyes, their actions) and we partake just for a second of what it's like to be them winning or doing something really significant in life. 

We all can't be superstars in the center ring duking it out (all the time) and so we take a step back to see others that we relate to face up to the challenge, fight and hopefully win big. 

We don't walk away with the trophy, prize money, or fame, but we congratulate ourselves somehow for being on the winning team. 

Heck, I didn't do anything but have faith, go along for the ride, and then take pleasure in seeing my guy(s) win. 

Yet, from the humdrumness of perhaps some of our own everyday lives, we fantasize and garner the courage and strength to do our own great things. 

We can't be the strongest, smartest, most good-looking, personable, and talented in the world, but we can see parts of ourselves in others and we can try to model the best of them in ourselves and leverage what we got going on!

I don't really like spending a lot of precious time living like this through others--I don't mind getting inspiration when I see something amazing, but really I just want to try my hardest to be the best that I can be. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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October 1, 2017

The Games People Play

The title sounds ominous, but I mean it differently.

People like to play games--the type you have fun at.  

We learn to play when we are kids. 

We get the attention of our parents and friends--and we have fun just being together, acting silly or even competing with each other. 

Whether it's over a game of Life, Monopoly, Risk, or Connect Four, or even these days going online with a game of Minecraft or Crush.

Sports is another type of game--great to play and others like to watch and cheer for their favorite teams or athletes. 

This week at work, someone said to come to his meeting because:
"...everyone would have fun."

Have you ever heard that at work--a fun meeting or for that matter anything being fun in an office setting?

The guy is a genius--people actually showed up in droves at the meeting. 

They had to choose between various meetings going on at that time--and low and behold, people chose this one that was going to be fun!

In the meeting, there was a big bowl of candy and chocolate in the center of the conference table.

And the mood was relaxed as we got down to some business. 

While we did the business, people felt free to be a little silly and laugh with each other too.

The tone had been set for some fun.

The person who hosted the meeting explained that he wanted people to have a good time coming to the meeting (and to work).

He called it "gamification."

The idea is why not make things into a type of game and have some fun with it instead of everything being so stuck up and nasty all the time. 

Listen, it was still a meeting and work had to get done, but it was nice to see a different lighter perspective put on it. 

People want to enjoy what they do--whether it's time with their family, friends, or why not even their work.

If we can make more things in life into a game of sorts and put "fun" into the equation of what we do--people smile, laugh, and let down their guards a little. 

Why shouldn't adult play games and have fun too? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 17, 2017

Ooh That Is Good

Hey, congratulations to Roger Federer on winning his 19th tennis championship. 

It's an absolutely awesome level of athletic achievement and it's definitely something to celebrate. 

But when I saw this photo of him and his trophy in the paper this morning, it seemed over the top!

Whenever someone sets their mind to something, works really hard, and is thank G-d able to achieve it--that is something to be happy about and enormously grateful for. 

Hey, listen, I understand there are some real superstars out there and I respect them! 

However, seeing this guy clutching his trophy in both hands, smelling it, kissing it, and more...it looks to me more like idolatry than the pure, sweet smell of success. 

I get it--he worked super hard, achieved impossible things, and deserves to savor the incredible moment--no one is taking that away from him. 

Instead of that gold trophy, wouldn't you rather see him kissing his wife and children, thanking G-d (and his coach maybe), and saying things like how he will continue to use his success and earning to help others or maybe train the next generation of aspiring athletes. 

I applaud Federer more for his known philanthropy in helping disadvantaged children and doing charitable events for disaster victims than for winning his 19th championship (hey, 18 would've been fine too).  

In the end, self- (and trophy-) love and admiration is not the something to celebrate, but should instead point us back to character and using our strength and achievements to help others.

For what is really important in life, there is no earthly trophy for--and certainly not one worth any ultimate embrace. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via Wall Street Journal)
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May 21, 2016

Love Is Like Cows

So had three funny instances today of the tales of woe when it comes to love.

The first was when someone was telling me that they are trying to meet women through online dating. 

But he goes, "No one gives anyone a chance anymore."

It's like if there is one thing wrong, it's over.

He said, one lady wrote in her profile that if you are a fan of XYZ sports team, do not even bother contacting her.

Another was like if you're of ABC political affiliation, forget about it!

He said people just don't seem to want relationships anymore. 

Then I was talking coincidentally to someone else, who I knew was going out with someone already. 

I politely asked how things were going. 

He said, "Fine, but she is pressuring me to marry her."

I said, "So if you love her, what's wrong with that?"

And he responded, "Well then my whole life will change. I won't be able to go to parties or on vacations anymore."

Basically, he's just happy being with her but on casual terms.

Then I told him (considerably younger than myself) how years ago mothers would warn their daughters about men's thinking of "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free."

This guy was laughing like crazy when I said that. 

Finally, someone at the kiddush today told the joke about the Rabbi or Priest who lost his umbrella in the synagogue or church. 

His first thought was darn it, one of the congregants stole my umbrella. 

So he decided that for his sermon he would lecture the people about the Ten Commandments, one at a time from the beginning. 

But then when he got to the sin of adultery, he stops and says, "Oh forget it, I just remembered where I left my umbrella!"

Funny day for love and relationships--it's something in the air, maybe cow patties.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 30, 2013

A Giant On The Terrace

Passing a building and looking up at the terraces, how could you not notice this giant dude?

Larger than life and looking like he is holding up the terrace above.

This is no simple scarecrow.

But a formidable member of the Redskins.

For me, I'd like the GI Joe version for my property. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 4, 2011

The Art of The Fearless


This was my introduction to Wingsuit Flying.
It's an extension of death-defying BASE jumping off of Buildings, Antennas, Spans (bridges), and Earth (cliffs) with the added feature of soaring like a bird over the most beautiful terrains.
The wingsuits are bat-like jumpsuits with material stretching between the legs and under the arms enabling a user to glide through the sky, rather than free-falling straight down to the ground.














Essentially the wingsuit gives the human body the extra surface area to get the lift to fly through the sky without any mechanical devices at all or with the addition of small jet engines strapped to the feet for added thrust.
I am amazed at the fearlessness of these wingsuit fliers who jump virtually head first from unbelievable heights, fly close to the ground over extremely dangerous terrain, and only then release their parachutes toward the very end, near landing.
The other thing that impresses me about this is the beauty of this sport--the stunning places they jump from in Norway, Greenland, France and so on, the amazing, intricate colorful fly suits, the choreography of the stunts--alone and in groups--the spectacular filming of the events, and even the great heart-pounding accompanying music.
The talent, beauty, and courage of these sports enthusiasts combine to inspire me and hopefully you to go out and do great things (although hopefully not anything near as dangerous) with our lives--because these guys make it seem like almost anything is possible.
(Source Photo: here)

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November 24, 2011

Playing For The Good Of The Team


Good Morning America"s Play of the Day is called "Man Plays Baseball With Himself."
In this incredible video a Japanese Astronaut on the International Space Station throws a ball, runs and picks up a bat and hits the ball he just threw, and then jumps up and catches the ball he just hit.
An impossibility in Earth environment, but a possibility in the low gravity of space.
One lesson then is that nothing is really impossible--given the right circumstances, the impossible becomes possible, so have faith in your abilities and understand that your limitations are not insurmountable.
A second lesson is that while this astronaut shows what's it's like to be literally a one-man team and to succeed; in the real world, there are no one man teams--we depend on each other, whether to play a game of ball or to accomplish things from major projects to minor tasks.
On Thanksgiving, a favorite pastime is watching football and the NFL has been playing on Thanksgiving since at least 1920. In general, there is a huge appreciation of team sports in America, whether football, basketball, soccer, and more.
Pedople on sports teams and in organizational settings who get ahead understand the importance of team and that collaboration and strategy is the key to success and to "winning." Those who don't get alone, end up on the sidelines of the game and of life.
Playing alone, especially in space, may make a great video, but working through a difficult problem with others is even a bigger challenge and feat accomplished.
Getting alone is something we try to instill in people in our society from the earliest of ages, but it does not come easy for everyone. That why we describe people in the organization who don't get alone with others as "not playing nice in the sandbox."
Perhaps, this Thanksgiving, we can appreciate the ability of those who are team players as well as those who may be more individualist, as long as everyone is playing for the good of team.
(Source Photo: here)

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July 9, 2011

How Far Will You Go?

This week we watched with horror as a Texas baseball fan and firefighter fell to his death attempting to catch a ball hurtling into the stands.

This man overreached in this case, and went to his death in order to try and catch a baseball!

He did an ordinary thing and it cost him his life--right in front of his son.

It is tragic--unbelievable.

Ironically, the same day, the Wall Street Journal (8 July 2011) has an article called "The Taming of The Fans," about what they call "rowdy fan bases" and efforts to control the craziness.

In response, a "fan code of conduct" is being adopted by some.

"Among the no-no's:"

- Fighting
- Illegal drugs
- Laser pens
- Drinking underage
- And so on.

About a month ago, there was the riots in Vancouver after the Stanley cup was lost and from the chaos came the now famous photo of the kissing couple, the girl having been injured and on the ground in the mayhem.

We live in an unpredictable world--where things can get out of control.

When rationality, morality, and a sense of moderation get away from us, thenterrible things happen--death, destruction, chaos.

And of course, this is not limited to fans of sporting events and rock-and-roll concerts.

This week, we watched with mouths agape as people like Casey Anthony and Dominique Strauss-Kahn basically walk away from some very serious and terrible charges. While no one can say what really happened, we were all really shocked at the outcomes.

For months now, we have been watching with indignation as various Middle-East dictators shoot, kill, besiege, and round up their own people in order to maintain power in the Arab Spring.

Lara Logan, the CBS reporter, who was sexually attacked and brutally beaten by a mob in Egypt's Tahir Square during the riots in February, is another recent horror tale that speaks volumes about people going to non-sensical extremes and committing atrocities.

The images and sound bites are there basically everyday of people, organizations, and societies going to the extremes and doing unthinkables--really these are burned into consciousness (for others it's in their subconscious).

People are willing to go to all sorts of extremes to get what they want, do what they believe, or just to go sheer crazy.

Sometimes, those efforts are rewarded and others get their due--in the end, I believe justice prevails in this life or the after.

Our world sits on a fine line between sanity and insanity--life and death.

People are tempted "to go for it" to get what they want all the time.

But the challenge is to weigh the cost and benefits and chose our actions carefully.

There is a domino effect to our choices--and we own the consequences.

Will we pull ourselves back from the edge--when the ball is coming our way in life?

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