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The Olympics and Butthole Surfers: While We’re Waiting…

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Happy Thursday, folks. Thanks for taking time out of your morning to join me. I’ll do my best to make the next five minutes of your time as inane and pleasant as possible. There is a receptacle of comments at the bottom, so please deposit therein suggestions, disapproval, insults, memes, heartfelt wishes, intimate dreams, derisive snorts, and wishes of bodily harm.

Cleveland is still and forever shall remain a champion, but While We’re Waiting [for the next one] … .

The Indians bandwagon is starting to look a little rickety after dropping three in a row at hands of the Minnesota Twins in which the Tribe allowed approximately 150 runs. The Indians are now 56-37 (.602) against the the Non-Minnesotan portion of the MLB, and 4-8 (.333) against the Twins. The Twins, meanwhile, are 8-4 (.667) against the Indians, and 35-60 (.368) against the rest of the MLB. Zoinks. Cleveland’s division lead has evaporated to two games.

Still, I’d rather be in first place than not in first place. Obvious, yes, but also still (perhaps temporarily) true! Hopefully we can disregard the Indians’ performance against the Twins as some bizarro wtf aberration. If not, I blame all that happens from here as the result of the Curse of Jonathan Lucroy. The Indians are still in first, but after that conflagration of a series I would label my concerns … grave.

The Olympic opening ceremony is set to start the international celebration of all things sport on Friday in Brazil. There’s always a whole shitlist of things to be bummed about with the Olympics, especially in recent years. This year’s no different: the toxic Guanabara Bay to be used for sailing, kayaking, triathlon, and marathon swimming; rampant doping, particularly with those dastardly Russians; exorbitant facilities being abandoned after the Olympics and contributing nothing to local commerce or recreation other than a baller place to post some graffiti; tropical airborne diseases; and the games’ failure to provide an economic boost, particularly in Brazil, which also hosted the World Cup two years ago.

But I still love the Olympics. I think they’re spectacular. When national pride is at stake, I’ll watch virtually anything. For a professional dilettante like myself, the Olympics are a buffet of superficial, temporary expertise. Swimming? Sure. Badminton? Why not? Beach volleyball? Hell yeah! Diving? Actually, no. I’ve never been able to figure out diving — all the dives look the same to me, and there are like a thousand diving events. Diving is just overly dramatic falling.

But I can’t get over my love for the Olympics, despite knowing how problematic the games’ existence are, and appreciating that the whole show is an anachronism at this point in time. I suppose I’m a “patriot” as much as anyone; but the Olympics are the one time where being patriotic doesn’t feel so tacky. It’s genuine and inspired, because it’s sports. It’s like when something violent or tragic happens in the world (as happens every day), and sports seem so silly in comparison. But sports are awesome because they’re silly — they’re the joyous, wonderful distraction we need from grim, disappointing reality. So when sports are combined with patriotism, it’s a perfect fit. I wish no actual harm to any person in Trinidad and Tobago. But if they have a 4x200m relay team that has a chance to rob a gold from the USA? Then screw Trinidad and Tobago.

So I’m a sucker for the whole thing. The pageantry, the inspirational stories, the international competition and collaboration, the feats of athletic brilliance, the small yet profound gestures of human kindness; and especially the urban legends about the epic promiscuity in the Olympic Village. The Olympic Games reflect the cesspool of corruption and stupidity humanity is, but also the promise of mankind’s grandest dreams and the universality of our most badass values. Plus Kyrie Irving is there. I’m excited. Who else is ready to pretend to be an expert in Gymnastics for two weeks?

Random Calvin and Hobbes strip of the day. If you have those rare moments of free time, summer is the best for doing nothing. Otherwise known as watching baseball.

calvin.summer.nothing

And now for the random 90s song of the day. Butthole Surfer’s “Pepper” is a fairly representative alt rock 90s song, with spoken verses and an energetic chorus. “Pepper” is a distinct portrayal of how youth’s zest for life is intoxicating to the point of recklessness, which — as almost cheerfully told by the narrator — inevitably leads to all of his peers dying in Texas. In a strange piece of pop culture trivia, Erik Estrada, formerly a California Highway Patrol Officer in CHiPs, plays a kidnapping victim in a video that has a mild Natural Born Killers-vibe. Which seems odd.

Some will die in hot pursuit
And fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit
While sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life
And drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain

  • RGB

    Ok, gotta have some Browns in here…
    It certainly looks like McCown’s draft value just went up.
    Soooo, Mr. Jones, I hear you’re in the market for a backup QB not named Manziel….

  • JNeids

    We have an internal instant messaging system at work and I set my status messages to random things everyday – song lyrics, movie lines, no rhyme or reason really. I used a couple lines from “Pepper” as my message a few weeks ago.

  • Garry_Owen

    So, since you guys ruthlessly destroyed the forum that allowed me to post on anything I want . . . (I’m kidding; so glad to have you back; but that was kinda cool) . . .

    Saw today that Steve LaTourette died of pancreatic cancer. That made me sad. Regardless of where you stand on politics, that was a good dude. Story time: I came home on leave from a particular country that shares 3 of the same letters with Iran back in 2004 to meet my 4-month-old son, who was born a couple of weeks after I arrived in-country. When I got to CLE, the airline informed me that they had lost my luggage – a duffel with essentially everything that I needed for my 2-week leave and return to my unit. After a couple of days of frustrated calls to the entirely clueless airline, I decided to get my congressman (or at least the congressman responsible for my Mom’s district) involved. A won’t name names, but this guy’s name started with an “S,” ended with an “N,” and had “herrod Brow” in the middle. Anyhoo, this nameless guy had absolutely no interest in helping me out, and his office very tersely said that there’s nothing that could or would do, presumably because of his stance on the war. (True story.) So I called my in-laws’ congressman, Mr. LaTourette. He spoke to me personally, and assured me that he would do what he could. His office even called to give me periodic updates on their search for the missing duffel bag. Well, to make a short story long, they found the sucker. In Mumbai, India. And they got it back to me the day before I had to leave to go back to finish my tour. Seriously. A U.S. Congressman tracked down a soldier’s missing duffel bag. I know it’s a little thing, but that spoke a massive message to me, a guy that wasn’t even a constituent. I have huge respect for that guy.

    Rest easy, Mr. LaTourette.

  • Smyth

    I’ve missed this forum. Good luck on the change!

  • Slippery Cripple

    Did we ever get confirmation on why Lucroy actually vetoed the trade? I heard something about not wanting to compete for a job next year, but I never heard for sure. Either way, I’m hoping we reverse the Curse of Johnathan Lucroy this afternoon.

  • humboldt

    Great story, Gary. Glad your bag didn’t become a casualty of the culture war.

    Also, just noting that you’ve been back here less than 24 hours and already landed a coveted “featured” comment:

    https://static.simpsonswiki.com/images/4/46/Martin_Prince.png

  • mgbode

    Talked about it in the first ever feature post on the NEW-OLD WFNY:
    http://waitingfornextyear.com/2016/08/cleveland-indians-jonathan-lucroy-trade/

  • mgbode

    Noting those forums still exist. Not sure you’ll find much traffic there, but that isn’t much different either.

    Also, fantastic story.

  • mgbode

    He had so much success w/ Weeden, why wouldn’t he want another ex-Browns QB?

  • Garry_Owen

    Huh. Would you look at that? I think it’s a first for me. Guess they know which side their bread is buttered on, huh?

    I thought you were going to say, “you’ve been back here less than 24 hours and already GOT POLITICAL.” Glad it was something else. I’m trying to keep it light, even if my hard-worn leanings sometimes seep through. It’s the new me in the post-Cavs, post-political common sense world that we live in.

  • Garry_Owen

    Thanks. It was a cool moment. I don’t generally care much for the idea that our politicians should do anything for us, individually, but that was something special, however small. I understand why the idea of personal benefit appeals so strongly during the election cycle, even if it’s all bunk.

    I know Mr. LaTourette didn’t technically earn it, but I’ll be saving a bar stool for him at Fiddler’s Green when I get there.

  • Hopwin

    It is not the curse of Lucroy, it is the curse of dead-arms from overuse.

    When it comes to Minnesota though, it is actually the curse of their scouting department spending all off-season keying in on our pitchers in the mistaken belief that we are the only thing between them and post-season glory. Oops guess they should’ve checked out some other teams too…

  • maxfnmloans

    Thats an amazing story. Thanks for sharing

    Also- the other nameless guy–I have some other evidence via my wife who was involved in state politics that hes not a good dude. Your story jibes with that intel. Not a good person

  • Slippery Cripple

    Yeah. I would have expected a little Twins regression to the mean though… 28 extra base hits in 4 games? Way to pack two weeks worth of your offense into a series.