Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Week In Sports

There have been a few things this week that have happened in the sports world that I just can't resist talking about here on the old bloggeroo. If you know me, you know I am an opinionated person and it's only a matter of time before I have to put my two cents in.

1. The U.S. of A in the World Cup. Can we just talk about, for a second, how amazing yesterday's match between the USA and Algeria was? I mean, wow. What you saw there was a team who was not going to give up, come disallowed goals or cheap shots to the mouth.
(And can I just take a second to ask what does it take to get a proper call in soccer? After the last two months in professional sports (MLB and World Cup soccer), I hope someone in authority sees how much instant replay is needed. It's sad when a deserving team gets robbed of one win and almost another because the referee was 58 percent sure that there was an offsides call.)

Although I know that most people, especially in the South (ahem...Rick and Bubba), don't get soccer (futbol), don't understand what the big deal is, and think it's a communist sport, I particularly love world wide sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics. As a world, even when we are competing against each other, there is a unifying thread of love for sport and country that is just undeniable. As a country, it's nice to see that even with all the issues that our nation is dealing with right now that we can get behind our fellow Americans and show them how much we believe in their success. It's sad that it can't be that way politically.

2. The marathon match at Wimbledon. I've always wanted to go to Winbledon ever since I took a trip to London after my senior year in high school and saw it on the list of Metro stops. The place has such a neat history of sport, royalty and culture. It's on my bucket list for sure.

If you've been living under a rock for the last three days, American tennis player John Isner (see picture: and is it just me or does he favor Dave Barnes in that pic?) has been trying to win a match over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut for three days, an 11-plus hour match suspended twice for darkness. And just minutes ago, Isner put the final nail in the coffin, winning 70-68. Which, by the way, is...INSANITY!

After having covered tennis my first two years here at Samford, I really came to have an appreciation for the sport and for what these players go through. Having watched one of my own players fight through insane body cramps and a horrible hip injury in mid-90 degree weather against one of his most heated rivals to win a conference championship that rested solely on his shoulders, I can appreciate the pressure that a tennis match might apply on one young man. However, had I been playing in that match, I think I might have offered to buy the guy an ice cream topped with gummie bears and rainbow sprinkles to maybe intice him to stop the madness. But then again, I'm a sore loser so I probably would've fought to the death.
It made history. Longest match in history. Longest five-set match. Eight hours and 11 minutes. 98 minutes more than the longest match in history. It took 65 minutes for him to win today. 2:54 on Tuesday. 7:06 on Wednesday. Seven hours.
I know it might be a little cheesy and it may just be the writer in me looking for something, but I think a day after the U.S. soccer team shocked the world, it's cool to see another young American (and SEC kid -- he played at Georgia) representing his country in such a way. It's sort of a message to the world about how no matter what this country faces, it's people are going to fight to the death to overcome it.

3. Lady Gaga's antics around NYC. First, it was her showing up at a Mets game wearing just a leather jacket over a bikini, causing a rukus and flipping off fans. Then she made an appearance at a Yankees game wearing fishnets, a black bra and a pinstriped Yankees jerseys. She was reportedly banned from the team's clubhouse after being clearly plastered and repeatedly groping herself.

I won't talk about how she's just another attention-hungry pop star who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That's clearly the case.

What I do want to address is the fact that someone in the Yankees and Mets front office let someone into their gates dressed like she was. I know when you work for a spors organization on the professional level, it's not about what you know, it's who you know. It's not about what you have at your events, it's who you have at your events. However, I don't know that I could honestly say that I wouldn't have refused to Ms. Gaga admittance into my park with her dressed like that.
Just sayin'...

A slice of advice to Gaga. If you don't want people to pay attention to you, try a t-shirt and jeans.

4. Italy, the reigning World Cup champions, just got knocked out of this year's World Cup. By Slovakia. Wow.

5. This is just a bonus. I heart this commercial so much.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sing, Sing A Song

I've been formulating this list for about, oh...the last 18 years of my life. That would mean that I started the list of "Katie's Top 10 Favorite Songs Ever In Life" when I was eight. These were the thoughts of eight-year-old Katie. Do you know my mother?

You'll be surprised, or at least my dad will be surprised, to know that only two showtunes ended up on the list. That's a great feat for this list, considering my life revolved around musicals for the first third of my life. It's basically all I watched, along with "Follow That Bird", "Muppets Take Manhattan" and "The Care Bear Movie".

So here it is, people. It all its deeply thought out glory.

I give you...

Katie's Top 10 Favorite Songs Ever In Life (so far)"

1. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz -- The Judy Garland version of the Katherine McPhee version. It doesn't matter. This is my favorite movie in the whole world so it's only fitting that it's my favorite song. Since I was a little I wanted to be Dorothy Gale and stage on a stage and since this song. In high school, my dream became reality.

2. "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond -- One day I will sing this with a throng of Boston Red Sox faithful at Fenway Park after the top of the eighth inning. For now, I'll settle on begging Hollie to play it at every baseball game and leading the fans in the crucial crowd participation parts.

3. "Piano Man" by Billy Joel -- Seriously, who didn't/doesn't want to be a piano (wo)man. I did. I started playing piano by ear when I was six before my mom put me in lessons for the next five years. Although, I hated practicing and would have rather played whatever I wanted to, I wish I'd applied myself a little more so that I could've been really, really good. I still have to fight the urge to sit down and play whenever I'm in the vacinity of a piano that isn't my own. I miss it terribly and wish I had one in my apartment. Billy Joel was just one of the amazing artists on rotation in the cassette decks of my parents' cars when I was a wee one. I remember watching one of his concerts on television when I was about four or five, probably Live From Leningrad USSR since that aired on HBO in 1987. Although he's been shrowded by controversy for a while now, I still think Billy Joel is a musical genius no matter what kind of person he his.

4. "Saturday In The Park" by Chicago -- Chicago was and will always be one of my top four favorite bands. Chicago was the other artist on mega rotation in the Walden cassette players when I was a kid. And I used to associate any Chicago song as "beach music" because it always conjures up memories of family vacations at the beach, I guess because we listened to it a lot there. This song is my particular favorite because you can't just listen to it and not be happy. Of course, now it reminds me of my Tuesday afternoon in Central Park last summer with my family and our tour guide Kumar.

5. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder -- You just can't deny Stevie a place on the list. Seriously. I could've put any of his songs on here but this one just gets into my soul and makes me believe that I really could make it as a back-up singer. I've got that harmony down to a science.

6. "Ants Marching" or "Two Step" by Dave Matthews -- Well, it's Dave Matthews. Nothing more to say.

7. "Jesus Will Still Be There" by Point of Grace -- This is one of the first songs I ever sang in church and it became my theme song, I guess you could say. I sang it several times when I was in youth group. It spoke to my heart then and it speaks to my heart now.

8. "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen (the Hope for Haiti version by Justin Timberlake and Charlie Sexton) -- I really don't know what to say about this song but that there is just something that pulls me to it. Maybe it's the beautiful melody. I don't know.

9. "Defying Gravitiy" from Wicked -- I really don't think that this needs explaining.

10. "Children Go Where I Send Thee" -- This song will forever and always scream Stone Family Christmas for me. It's my favorite staple in the Christmas Eve sing-along and it just conjures up warm memories for me.

Almost making the list:
"Grace's Amazing Hands" by Dave Barnes
"Get It Like You Like It" by Ben Harper
"Tears of the Saints" by Leeland
"Hosanna" by Hillsong United
"Midnight Train To Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips
"Winter Snow" by Audrey Assad

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Because Tattoos Just Scream Sincerity

I don't usually post about The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Heck, I didn't even watch the show until someone roped me into watching Jason's season, then I was intrigued by Jillian which led to Jake which led to Ally and four seasons later, here I am. In a deep, deep hole of over-dramatized reality television and I can quite seem to get out because the Real Housewives of New York are too busy trying to figure out why Kelly is so crazy to give a little boost.

Anyway, last night's episode of The Bachelorette was too chock full of a good times and ridiculousness not to comment on.

First, I'd like to say that The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise achieved my perfect date last season when Jake and Ally danced to Chicago in the park. I couldn't imagine anything greater.

Until last night.

The guys had set out on a literal whirlwind tour to win Ally heart. They were going to "woo" her across the world, all the while being knocked off like flies. Nothing like a little ruthless heart-breaking to balance out the overwhelming cheesy-ness of the romanticality of it all.

First stop -- New York City. (Go ahead, say it like the do in the Pace Picante sauce commercial. You know you want to.)

Chicago in the park was officially topped as Best Date Ever by last night's group date. Several of the guys vied for the chance to perform with Ally in the Broadway musical, "The Lion King." I think someone on the Bachelor(ette) production staff must have a vendetta against me because they continue to produce every dream date imaginable and dangle it in front of my face like a carrot. Except I don't eat carrots so that wouldn't be very enticing. So we'll say, they dangle it in front of my face like a large cookie cake.

It was a small part as the chorus but seriously? Just to stand on Broadway stage with someone that I even halfway liked for a third date would make me pee my pants with delight. Messy? Yes. Awkward? Definitely. Boring and devoid of romance? Not. At. All.

Check it. (I doesn't show you the actually performance, but if you've seen the show, you'll know what part they are doing. It's during "Can You Feel The Love Tonight".)

So now that I've touched on the high point of the show, I'll tackle the low point.

I have to say, Kasey has surpassed Craig M. for creepiest bachelor on the show. I know deep down he has good intentions but well, at some point in life as a man, you really have to figure out that what some guys do to woo women, doesn't really work for you.

This kid already has a strike against him. He's got a weird voice. I know that's trivial but it plays a big part in the rest of the story.

This season has more singing boys that I've ever seen on any show. Girls all over the world have made it clear that there is just something about a singing boy and a guitar. Well, these guys have taken that literally and are pulling out all the stops. First, it was Hunter on the first night with his ukelele and satirical ditty. Then, it was Ty (the Mississippi boy and aspiring country artist) on the beach at the photo shoot.

Kasey just couldn't be left out so he decided that come hell or highwater, singing ability or not, he's going to sing to Ally. And he did just that. At the first awkward pause, Kasey starts in on a song that can only be summed up as diarreha of the mouth set to music. Ally's stunned look is priceless and when he finishes his song, she just bows her head in embarrassment. Not for herself, but for the poor sap sitting in front of her.

One time is forgivable, but he commenses to do the same thing two more times on the date and at this point I am screaming at the television to stop the madness.

This is where my suspicisions of the show being producer-driven are confirmed. Ally is literally cringing every time this kid opens his mouth because she's afraid of what musical nightmare might be unleashed. And instead of denying him the rose and sending him home, like the rules state, she questions his sincerity and decides to deny him the rose but lets him stay because she wants to give him a chance to prove himself.

And so, he sets out to "prove himself". The guy disappears the next day to take of and get a tattoo to prove that he means serious business when it comes to "protecting and guarding Ally's heart."

I don't know about you, but nothing screams sincerity and commitment than a heinous tattoo on your wrist of a heart covered by a shield intertwine with a rose. No. Doubt.

Long story short. Kasey's gets called out by the guys, says he will confess to Ally but chickens out and then Ally proceeds to give him a rose after an immensely awkward conversation at the cocktail party.

More proof that the producers made her keep him another week. She was awkward giving him the rose and the entire tease at the end of the show as about him.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go work on my songwriting skillz because after watching last night's episode, I've become incredibly aware of my serious lack of musical talent.

Friday, June 11, 2010

And so it begins...


If you need me, I'll be watching a month-long marathon of soccer. It could possibly be my happy place.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blog-Linkity Goodness 9.10.10

So really, the blog neglect is out of control. But considering that I'm a little overwhelmed with life right now to be able to form complete sentences that might entertain the four people that read this, I'm going to go ahead and tell myself that it's okay.

However, I'm back today with another edition of Blog-Linkity Goodness. And trust me, there's some mega goodness today.

- Bryan Allain lives in Amish country and often times documents his sighting on his blog. This time he got video of them enjoying a little volleyball. I know it shouldn't be funny, but it just is.

- It was the bad call heard around the world. MLB umpire Jim Joyce's blown call last week that erased Detroit Tiger Armando Galarraga's perfect game sent sports fans, and non-sports fans, into an upheaval over whether the call should be reversed. Both Joyce and Galarraga handled it amazingly. And instead of putting my own thoughts here, I thought I'd let a professional do it. Here's Donald Miller's take. And it's a good one.

- If you didn't see America's Got Talent the other night, this is about the only thing you missed. And it was amazing.

1. Nick Cannon lied. EVERY light didn't go off.
2. I'd like to visit that fraternity house.
3. Um, wow.

- Improv Everywhere does it again. Their latest mission.

- I've said it before and I'll say it again, these kids are amazing. And that voice is coming out of a 10-year-old.

- This post of Jon Acuff's from Stuff Christians Like spoke straight to me heart yesterday. Sometimes we're okay with letting God take over the steering but we still want to control the speed.

- And finally, Dave Barnes made his soap opera debut on All My Children yesterday and he'll be on again today with a real speaking part. If you missed it, full episodes are on or catch the replays on SOAPnet. This is huge and I hope it's just the jumping off point for him. Here's a little behind the scenes look from Dave.

Y'all have a great Thursday.