Holy macaroni it’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog. I know it must have been a tough few weeks for all 20,000 of you that wait with bated breath for my genius in depth analysis of what is going on in the sports world. Or maybe what’s going on in my scattered, messed up brain. Well, bate no more. Wait. No. That’s not the message I want to get across. Continue to bate. Always bate. But now you can breathe without bating because I am back. I just returned from a week in Mormon country/ weak alcohol land. Utah. The good news is, I didn’t come back thinking that Jesus will return to some crap town in Missouri. I still think just one wife sounds like way too many. I’m still very much into drinking alcohol and caffeine with the occasional use of tobacco thrown in. Basically, I returned without being converted. I was never truly worried about being brainwashed but when you are 30 years old and have not even a slight hint of direction in your life, anything is possible. Just the other day I was offered a free place to live and a new job as long as I provided a hit on this elderly woman’s son and it took all of my internal strength to decline the offer. Anyway. I actually had an awesome time in Utah hiking through national parks and saw landscapes and sights that I had never seen before. I also drank IPA’s that were only 3.2 ABV. There are terrible laws in Utah that prohibit beer being over 3.2 ABV in almost all situations. I learned that beer companies actually make versions of their beer to sell in Utah that are much weaker than their standard brews. So, because of this, I had to drink twice the amount of liquid than I normally would to function and therefore somehow gained weight despite hiking 10 miles per day. Quite a feat. Utah is promoting obesity. Plain and simple.
The good news about my trip to Utah is I missed every Orioles game for the past week. Jesus Christ. What a mess. The Orioles won one game during my eight-day trip. I don’t even know what to say about the team. It’s not much fun to write about a team who can’t pitch, hit or field. You all watch the same games I do so I won’t bore you with analysis. I was wearing my Orioles hat on one of my hikes and this old bastard asked me, ” you from Baltimore young man?” Mhm. ” They’ve been promising an elite team there in Baltimore for the past few years and haven’t come through, huh?” I just shook my head and didn’t say anything but I’m sure my face read something to the effect of, ” I hope you have a stroke and fall off this cliff, but please don’t die instantly. Feel the pain of your broken body and slowly gasp for air as a mountain lion teaches her cubs how to feed on your pathetic, feeble ass.” As they walked away, I saw that his disgusting of excuse for a spouse was wearing a Red Sox hat. Of course. It’s impossible to get away from those douche hounds. I’m trying to enjoy my breath taking hike on the rim of this beautiful canyon overlooking the Colorado River, and this stupid Red Sox fan has to ruin the moment by spewing some uneducated, arrogant, meaningless word vomit. How typical. You know how people sarcastically say to others, “never change?” Well, please change, you piece of dog kidney stone. You are scum. Please change. You won’t though. You will go around for the last 10 years of your life trying to get hard so you can finish in a bloody sock.
So can the Orioles fix things? Can they turn this season around? Sure. How, you may ask? I don’t have a clue. I’ll let the next few weeks play out before I fully decide on where I think this season is going. I so badly want them to start playing good baseball. We all do. Summers in Baltimore are a million times better when the Birds are good. There is nothing like waking up on a warm, sunny, Saturday, July morning with the smell of bacon in the air and the sweet scent of alcohol on your breath knowing that you witnessed a big home win against the Yankees the night before and as soon as you can move again you will get your ass to Pickles Pub to meet your friends and hang out all day in preparation for the middle game of an important series. That’s when life is good. That is what summers in Baltimore should be all about. That’s when you look to the high heavens and thank Joseph Smith for writing the great book and teaching of the ways of the Lord. Wait, shit. Noooooooooooo. It’s happening. There was a stretch of four days in Utah in which a shower I did not have. I didn’t have flip flops and I sure as hell wasn’t about to use the campground’s public shower without shoes. So, I did not shower. The Mormon air turned into Mormon sweat, which festered in the crevices of my body seeping it’s way into the deepest depths of my being. The weak alcohol fell short in its mission to wash out the determined latter day saint’s tears as they formed in my weak-minded eyes. It must have happened around day three. I knew the sudden onslaught of extreme chauvinism pulsing through my nervous system could not be blamed on my wholesome upbringing. Well, whatever. I’m Mormon now.
Let’s just try and keep the faith in the Orioles just for a bit longer. Or don’t. Who am I to tell you what to do? But I’m going to . Not because I’m a better fan or painfully optimistic when it comes to sports, but because I dream of that day in July at Pickles Pub. I want that. I want it to be a day to remember, not a day to forget. I want to be excited to be in the stadium for the first pitch instead of drinking outside until the 4th inning and then deciding not even to bother to go in. God damnit. It’s not looking promising is it? But all it takes is a little 15 game winning streak and all will seem right in Baltimore. That’s all we need. Just stop losing for an extended period of time. According to Jim Hunter’s flawless, ” law of averages,” theory, the Orioles are due. They are due big time. And according to Gary Thorne, “the baseball just missed hitting the small baby goat and is indeed and triple of sorts, hence the fair pole, despite the review.” Well said, Gary. You always seem to have the right words. I hit you up to write my vows when it’s time for wife number five.
Ok, talk about burying the lead…it’s hockey time, baby!!!! After a nearly disastrous start to their first round series, losing the first two games at home in overtime, the Caps have shown the will and strength of a mother whose child is under a car, and lifted themselves to victory in the last three games giving them a chance to close out the series in game 6 in Columbus. Before Lars Eller had the puck deflect off of his leg into the net in double overtime in game three, I was feeling the familiar nauseous feeling of Caps playoffs past. By that, I mean I had unwavering confidence that this year’s team is different and knew they would find their way back into the series. We will call it a nauseous confidence. Once that puck went in the net, the series changed. A dominating, nearly perfect game four win gave the Caps all the momentum coming back to DC. Game five was a weird one. I was watching on my phone in the Las Vegas airport and I’m pretty sure I scared the living crap out of a few people with my random yells of exuberance and my cries of dismay. People are pretty on edge in airports these days and with my unkempt beard, I’m maybe not the most comfortable person to see screaming. Things looked good until the Caps played one of their worst periods of the year getting outshot 16-1 in the third. Then it was overtime again. The NHL playoffs are both the most exciting and the most excruciatingly painful experience for a fan. If you are watching a neutral game, overtime is a thing of beautiful intensity and as entertaining as sports gets. If you are a fan of one of the teams playing in overtime, it is the absolute worst. There is no fun to be had. It’s literal torture. Every time the puck enters your team’s defensive zone you stop breathing and wait for utter disaster. I’m getting anxious just writing this. When Nick Backstrom deflected Dimitry Orlov’s wrister past Sergei Bobrovsky to win game five, the sheer relief was intoxicating. I could breathe again. It takes at least a half hour to come down from the angst. This is what playoff hockey does to the human body. As I am writing this, puck drop of game 6 is less than an hour away and the Caps have the opportunity to advance to another date with the Penguins. Is it masochism to want another crack at the Pens? Maybe. But goddamn would it be sweet to finally beat them. Gotta take care of the Blue Jackets first. Here’s to hoping.
Update: The Caps kicked the Blue Jackets’ ass in game 6 and are on to the Pens. Here we go again. This one will end differently. It has to. Well, it doesn’t have to but pleeeeaaassseeee let it end differently. Please.
As always, thanks for reading. If you or someone you love is suffering from Mormon urges, hit me up on twitter @finkerstinker and we can try and get through it together.