Golden Goals

You know when a soccer game is big news when it interrupts news on FOX stations.

The US women’s team got the royal treatment tonight, as their semifinal game in the Women’s World Cup aired in primetime from Canada. It was a good night for the gals, as late goals led to a 2-0 win over Germany in Montreal.

They play again Sunday evening against either Japan or England. If the US wins, it’s their first WWC since 1999 when they bested China in a penalty kick shootout. Brandi Chastain scored the winning goal, and had a unique way of celebrating.

chastain

I think ABC, who carried the game, was just happy Brandi remembered her sports bra.

Changing Things Up

You may have noticed a few changes to the blogs I run.

I’m discontinuing “Flashback Friday” and thereby making it possible to use musical interludes any day of the week by just calling it a “Flashback.”

Over at my sister site, The Big Brother Diaries, I’m actually doing a day-to-day diary of what it’s like to watch the feeds of the show. Before this, I was usually doing blog entries semi-weekly or weekly through the season, monthly during the year. It was just a spur of the moment thing, really. With the diverse cast, I thought this would be a group that would play hard early, something that has come to be on this reality show.

Carry on…

A New Law Of The Land

gaypride

The Supreme Court has just decided that same-sex marriage will now be legal in 50 states. As a practicing heterosexual man in my adult life, I say it’s about time.

Note that I said my adult life. Yes, I have something to share with you, and today will be that day.

I had a male neighbor about my age who peer-pressured me into having sex with him. It was something that began as experimentation one January off-day from school in 1984 when I was 12, and ended when I was 17 sometime in 1989 when we each graduated high school. I’ve never had sex with any other man in my life, and he used it as a show of power over me more often than not. All my sexual contacts thereafter have been with women, which is my preference.

One day in the summer in 1984 at a neighbor’s pool, he kept exposing himself to me with only he and I in there, which really annoyed me. What was happening between us was supposed to be a secret by agreement, and here he was flaunting it around haphazardly. So I bit him down there, hard enough to get his attention, but not hard enough to damage him. He left me alone for a good year after that. A few days later the pool incident, a lot of my neighborhood friends starting call me “faggot” and the like (while he never got in trouble…how did THAT happen?), which scarred me to the point where I kept a very low profile the rest of the time I was in middle school and high school.

By the late 1980’s, it seemed he was always trying to get me caught with him in a compromising position. I’d knock on the door, and he’d answer it naked. When I’d decline his advances and would stalk off and leave without saying a word, oddly enough, his mother would come home from work a few minutes later.

He wasn’t a good friend, just another user, and I was so surrounded by the users that if someone sincere came around, I’d probably think they were users too. He’s on Facebook, and I have no desire to talk to him, despite him sending me a few friend requests through the years.

In 1990, when I was working at WTAN at the age of 19, I fell in love with my first girlfriend. But oddly enough, the girlfriend’s father set me down for a man to man talk right after I began dating. He asked if I had ever experimented with having sex with other boys. saying that he experimented with a male cousin back in his day.

The times being what they were a quarter century ago, I denied it, which I regret. I had no way of knowing that if I had admitted it, I’d lose my girlfriend just as quickly as I had found her.

My Uncle Peter was gay, but it was something I wasn’t aware of until around 1987. Him being gay really didn’t have an influence on me. He passed away in 1991 in San Francisco from AIDS, something I didn’t find out for a good decade and a half later. I think our family, perhaps on a subconscious level, thought he was a bad influence on us.

Today I’m thinking of my uncle, wishing he were alive to see this day, the joy in people’s hearts on the steps of the Supreme Court. Trust me, this ruling is a GOOD thing.

Paper Trails

Pete Rose (in the red "C" cap) slams into Ray Fosse during the 1970 All-Star game in Cincinnati.
Pete Rose (in the red “C” cap) slams into catcher Ray Fosse during the 1970 All-Star game in Cincinnati.

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that there are members of the media who hate Pete Rose, and couldn’t wait to share the news on Monday that Pete bet on baseball games not only as a manager, but as a player after a notebook was found of some of Pete’s old bets. He made so many bets that he had to write them all down.

It was one of those carefully crafted pieces of news designed to do maximum damage to those who believe Pete Rose should be in baseball’s Hall Of Fame. Personally, it didn’t change a damn thing for me.

Unless Pete bet against his own team and that there’s evidence out there to support that, he deserves his place in the Hall, and has paid quite a price over the years. Baseball shunned the guy a quarter of a century. He’s done his time, nay, he’s done way beyond his time for his gambling problems.

I hope to live long enough to see Pete make it, and I hope he lives long enough to see himself make it.

Rebels And Crackers

confederate

In wake of that terrible shooting in Charleston last week, there’s now a political movement afoot to remove the Confederate flag used during the Civil War in the south from as much of our history as can humanly be done. States want the flags removed from their government buildings, and even the “General Lee” car from “The Dukes of Hazzard” has come under fire.

We may actually see college teams part with “Rebels” or other southern references before we see the Washington NFL franchise part with their “Redskins” nickname they’ve used since the 1930’s. A couple of weeks ago, no one thought that possible.

I’ve lived in Florida most of my nearly 44 years on the planet, but my parents were each from New York City, so I don’t consider myself a “cracker” or a southerner despite being a Floridian. I equate being a “cracker” to living in the deep south: Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and so on.

I’ve also lived in Georgia and North Carolina and have run into some of the most “uppity” people of all colors who think their poop doesn’t stink. Sad, really.

Deny it as we are currently attempting to try, Confederate history is American history. We must stand up and tell our children that slavery was wrong, racism is wrong, and that most Confederate ideals were wrong. History isn’t meant to be buried in the sand when it is inconvenient for us, but to ALWAYS be learned from.

Contrarion Grooming

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I mentioned on Facebook that female armpit hair is attempting to make a comeback. Amongst my Facebook pals, this idea was met with total repulsion.

As for me, I’m kind of “meh” about it all. If you look at magazines and films (not just the dirty ones) from 40-50 years ago, women didn’t always shave the armpits, especially in Europe. I just think it’s how women feel about themselves and what they’re willing to conform with and live with.

I’ve known women with and without pubic hair in my day, and it really didn’t make a whole lot of difference for me. Sex is sex is sex.

Ladies, it’s your hair. Do with it what you want.

A Good Walk Spoiled

Golfer Dustin Johnson, also known as Mr. Paulina Gretzky.
Golfer Dustin Johnson, also known as Mr. Paulina Gretzky.

To me, the most overused term in sports these days is the word choke.  If someone has a chance to win something and they don’t, it is said that they choked it away.

Dustin Johnson, who five years ago lost a shot at a playoff for the PGA title by committing a penalty on the 18th hole by grounding his club in a bunker, had a chance at redemption yesterday with a 12-foot eagle putt that would have given him the prestigious US Open championship. That putt didn’t go in, so he then had about a 5-foot putt that would have forced a playoff between himself and Jordan Spieth.

But that too didn’t go in, leaving young Mr. Spieth as the youngest US Open champion in over 80 years and only the sixth person to win both a Masters and an Open in the same year.

I always feel bad for those who do their best in the sports world but don’t make it to their goal. We are all too easy to ridicule them, failing to realize that sometimes when you work hard for something, it doesn’t quite just happen. We remember the Buffalo Bills for losing four straight Super Bowls, but not for winning four straight AFC championships. Bill Buckner had a great career, but all we seem to remember him for is that ground ball at Shea Stadium in 1986 that helped the Mets avoid losing the World Series to Bill’s Boston Red Sox.

Keep two things in perspective about Dustin Johnson: he won over $850,000 yesterday finishing second, and his wife is Paulina Gretzky, Wayne’s daughter. All and all, Dustin’s not doing so bad in life.

The Life On An Artful Dodger

As I gear up for my first of a series of Sunday pieces over at the Big Bro Diaries as their 17th season begins, I thought you all would enjoy what’s becoming my favorite series of YouTube videos. Bobby Crosby keeps an edits videos of every home game he attends as a season ticket holder of the L.A. Dodgers.

Thought I’d share it with you…

Flashback Friday: “Hush Sweet Lover” by k.d. lang

Always liked this song from k.d. lang, circa 1993. It’s about (or so I thought) a woman trying to seduce another woman, which was rather radical subject matter for a pop song a couple of decades back.

D’OH! Turns out this was a “Flashback Friday” song back in February of 2014 as well. Sorry about that.

More to come tomorrow…

Charleston

I woke up a few minutes ago and, as I often do, I grabbed my IPhone to figure out what happened last night that I missed, and one item left me cold. There was a mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina that killed at least nine people, according to the latest press reports as I write this. The shooter was a white male in his early 20’s, and needless to say, the authorities are looking for him.

By the way, why is it (for the most part, as there have been exceptions) that these mass shootings are done by white men? Just curious. I’m a white man in my 40’s, and I never have had the desire to kill anyone. Are these people on drugs or something?

I watched CNN for five minutes, then I turned it off. No amount of breaking news coverage brings these people who lost their lives BACK. While the people in that area probably should keep watch of news events with a shooter on the loose, I’d much rather spend that time reflecting.

Why? Why does this keep happening every so often, in schools, movie theaters, and now a church? Does someone or some group want us to be scared to go anywhere? Why should we be afraid to live our daily lives, and who wants us to be afraid?

Who Are We To Walk In Their Shoes?

Caitlyn Jenner on a recent cover of Vanity Fair.
Caitlyn Jenner on a recent cover of Vanity Fair.

I’ve been asked about the Caitlyn Jenner (who used to be Bruce Jenner) gender change a couple of times since it happened, so I thought I’d offer my take.

Other than Big Brother, which I watch for the strategic elements of it (which this year will also have a woman on the show who was born a man), I don’t really pay all that much attention to reality shows, especially the shows about people that are not contests. I really don’t have any use for anyone named Kardashian who is on TV at present, or who has to get naked and oiled for everyone to wow at.

It also doesn’t surprise me that there are men and women who wish they were the opposite gender than the body parts that were created for them. I find a woman’s body beautiful, a man’s body not so much. We had a city manager in the town I grew up in and lived in (Largo, Florida) named Susan Stanton (who used to be Steve) who got kicked out in 2007 for wanting to change genders, and that in doing so showed poor judgement, or so said the city commissioners at the time. None of those commissioners are around serving their city today, by the way.

My only problem with all of this is that there’s some marketing going on as well. ESPN will be giving Caitlyn an award for her courage in the upcoming ESPY’s, and many felt that the honor should go to Lauren Hill, the women’s college basketball who played early this season with a brain tumor. I just don’t see why ESPN couldn’t set a precedent and honor multiple athletes. We all have the opportunity to show courage every day of our lives, so why not honor more as opposed to less?

Not having gone through it myself, or having the desire to, my guess is that transgenderism is a very personal thing to those who go through it. It’s a personal choice first and foremost.