|Watch > Hand.|
I was in a store the other day, and a stranger holding a baby walked by. The baby and I locked eyes, and I smiled because, well, it's a baby. Who doesn't smile when they see little babies? (The answer: People who have kids.) The baby's face lit up like a junkie on meth and she reached out toward me. Her dad noticed his baby reaching and said, "Do you want to touch the man?" I was hoping he was talking about someone else. She kept reaching for me, and the guy finally asked, "Do you mind if she grabs your beard? She loves beards."
I was taken aback. I do love to show off and/or talk about my beard, but I don't know how I feel about letting strange babies grab hold of it. Am I some sort of fluffy stuffed animal, there simply for the amusement of a curious child in a diaper? Is that my purpose? Am I not a man? (Don't answer any of those, please). I finally acquiesced and said, reluctantly, "Uh, sure!"
He carried his child, the pride of his penis, right up to my face. She locked on with purpose with her tiny little baby claws, and she couldn't stop smiling. I was nervously smiling back, and we sat there for a moment locked in this weird space. Just staring at each other awkwardly like kids at a high school dance. Would she remember me years from now? Would she always look back fondly on that moment? Would she grow up to marry a bearded man? Chances are slim ... her brain is quite small and stupid right now. I'm pretty sure she just thought I was the dog.
- Death. The NBA has cancelled the first two weeks of the regular season. If fans are looking for an outlet for their hate, I would look no further than commissioner David Stern. Full disclosure: I am a Seattle Sonics fan, and anything that I say regarding the NBA right now should be completely ignored. Okay, now onto the good stuff. Stern's abuse of the league and players over the last decade, not to mention the city of Seattle, has finally come to a head. His "legacy," whatever that was, is being dragged through the mud, and I couldn't be happier. Stern has always looked out only for his own best interests; his sly, mocking sneers have become so commonplace that people willingly accept his rudeness and superiority as normal. He's trashed players, trashed owners, allowed league conduct to become an issue, only to come out years later and condemn it, he hasn't addressed PED use whatsoever (think Bud Selig 10 years ago), and he's pushed the best and brightest owners away by incessantly fining them and treating them like outlaws. Everyone's been fine with it for years, because basketball was always there to take us away, but not anymore. People are finally getting tired of David Stern's act. His comments after the news, that "we think that we made very fair proposals. I'm sure the players think the same thing, but the gap is so significant that we just can't bridge it at this time," is being torn to shreds by every sportswriter and NBA player with a mouthpiece, because it's just so David Stern. It's the kind of bullshit lawyer-speak that we've come to expect from him. He's done some great things for the NBA, but he ripped the basketball heartbeat out of my home city for a back-room deal with his OKC buddies, and now he's brought the league to the brink of disaster. For me, this executioner's axe was a long time coming. I hope things get resolved for all the fans out there who love the game so much, but I hope even more that when things are resolved, there's a different man atop the NBA.
- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has always been known for speaking his mind, so his comments about the Bears defense after a Monday Night loss to the Detroit Lions (5-0!) came as no surprise: "We're playing like shit, that's what's going on. Defensively, we stink. We stop the run, we can't stop the pass. We stop the pass, we can't stop the run. We're just all over the place." More athletes need to swear. That is all.
- There's one thing that hasn't been discussed during Tim Tebow mania: His facial hair. Let's think about this for a second, Kyle Orton has always struggled to grow facial hair. His half-hearted attempts at beard-growing have ended in an awkward homeless look befitting a recently-released felon or a carnival sideshow lady. Tim Tebow, however, has the foundation for a glorious beard (stop trimming, Tebow, let it flow ...), and he suddenly finds himself in front of Orton helming the Denver Broncos? It's no coincidence to me. Beards denote strength and virility. They strike fear in opponents and demand respect from teammates. A clean-shaven face is something that the waterboy should have, not the leader of the team. In "300," did King Leonidis have a beard, or did he have a little baby's face neatly trimmed and oiled with fragrant rosemary water? Did he longingly grab at other people's beards, or did he have one of his own that gave him the strength to single-handedly defeat Xerxes? That's what I thought. Tebow knows.
- The Texas Rangers won on a game-winning grand slam in extra innings last night. Mariners fans have only experienced what that feels like digitally.
- And finally, because it's my site and I'll do what I want, the mighty Norwegian men's football (soccer) team beat Cyprus today 3-1 in Euro 2012 qualifiers! After missing out on the 2010 World Cup, I demand the entire Norwegian team grow out playoff beards and get to work. Your proud country is ... relatively ambivalent about team sports ... BUT STILL! Please qualify? For me?