Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

Surviving the Long Distance Baseball Relationship: Pro Tips from the First MLB Fan Cave Couple

March 4, 2013

Kelsey on the first official day of stardom in the WBC Fan Cave! [Photo courtesy of MLB Fan Cave's Facebook page]

Kelsey on the first day of stardom in the WBC Fan Cave with Miss America and three other Dwellers! [Photo courtesy of MLB Fan Cave’s Facebook page]

If you haven’t heard yet, Kelsey was selected to represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic version of the MLB Fan Cave and has been in New York City for about a week now! She’s absolutely killing it in the Fan Cave and USA could not ask for a more passionate fan.

But what does this mean for our relationship? Cue daunting music here! Just kidding — remember that Kelsey is a Cardinals fan from St. Louis and we’ve spent plenty of time thousands of miles apart.

Living on opposite coasts isn’t fun, because my cheesy baseball pickup lines (“Hey baby, wanna lay down a squeeze?”) don’t work as well through a computer screen. But if anyone knows how to do it, it’s Kelsey and I. Here are a few pro tips from the first-ever MLB Fan Cave couple on how to survive this type of long-distance, baseball-loving drudgery:

Tip #1 – You Can Sleep When You’re Dead

Jeremy: I have a full-time job, but in times like these, sleep is overrated. The World Baseball Classic’s schedule doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a normal R.E.M. cycle, with many of the games starting at absurd hours like 2:30 in the morning. But Kelsey’s job is to stay up and watch every inning of every game, and I’ve been doing my best to keep up. So far, I’ve only missed a few innings of the opening round. I get to chat with my girl and watch a premier international baseball tournament? Count me in.

Kelsey: I’m actually luckier than Jeremy. I get to sleep during the day while he goes to work. But he’s absolutely right! As long as you’re functioning well enough in your job, take that time to connect. It’s important to continue your relationship and find your new rhythm — it will probably be different from the one you have when you’re both at home.

Tip #2 – Surprise Each Other

Kelsey: A good surprise is a special way to remind your partner that you think of them. It shows you’re going out of your way…This could be a package, an unexpected call, even a silly poem. Jeremy and I have been known to have fun with song parodies through text message.

Jeremy: How convenient! It is, after all, Kelsey’s birthday on Friday. She knows there is something coming, but has no idea what is in it. All I can promise is that it’s a little more well-thought-out than a texted song parody. Though a performance of “Don’t Go Chasing Curveballs” might suffice for another occasion.

Tip #3 – A Little Social Media Goes a Long Way

Jeremy: Snail mail takes days, and stamps are annoying to find. Plus, who wants to write a long diatribe with a boring old paper and pen when you can crop it all down to 140 characters and a few hashtags? When Kelsey is doing such a social media-heavy job, she’s bound to be on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tout more than most humans are in a lifetime. A favorite here and a retweet there reminds her that I’m paying attention, even from 3,000 miles away!

Kelsey: Gold stars are like virtual kisses and hugs! And this works both ways. Live-tweeting a game can make it feel as if you’re hanging out together. Just make sure to supplement it with personalized text and other forms of communication to make sure your partner knows they’re special.

Tip #4 – Watch Something Together

Kelsey: Baseball games, movies, TV shows…YouTube videos, even. All can be things you share together, even from miles and miles away. It may be tricky to find the time, but hopping on the phone or on Skype and watching something can make it feel as if you’re both in the same place.

Jeremy: Isn’t social media technology awesome? Believe it or not, one of the first memories I have our relationship is watching Inglorious Basterds together on Skype. Meaning, we synced our starting times and each watched in our respective homes as we chatted. It’s not exactly the same, but as good as it gets for replacing regular movie night.

Tip #5 – Keep the Connection Any Way You Can

Jeremy: Not THAT connection. The one that got you together in the first place! America’s pastime. For example, in my daily perusing of baseball news, I saw an article that piqued my interest. It was about Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina giving unprecedented amounts of praise to a minor league pitcher he caught in Spring Training. The content meant a whole lot more to Kelsey, and she told me as much after I sent the story to her. Baseball is our glue, so we keep applying more, no matter what.

Kelsey: Luckily, baseball is one of the sports that has most embraced social media and the online world. It’s easy to share baseball-related content from far away. This will remind you of some of the things you have in common and keep you talking about daily life apart from work and sleep.

To see more pro tips from the first-ever Fan Cave couple, visit our last two blogs. First, one from Valentine’s Day. And how to survive rival fandom.

London 2012: Disgracing the Olympic Games

August 2, 2012

Much to your dismay (probably), this blog won’t be about NBC’s sub par coverage of the London Olympics, nor will it be a long, angry diatribe about prime time viewership allowing super spoilers.

Instead, I want to talk about two sports; one you probably follow closely, one you probably only played in high school gym class because you absolutely had to (and let’s be real – nobody wants to be held back for failing high school gym).

First, soccer. “Football,” as it’s known abroad. Silly foreigners! Football is for helmets and pads and skull crushing and heaps of money and shitty commissioners! But, I digress.

I know isn’t exactly the most popular sport here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. But people are starting to come around. And every couple of years, football frenzy reaches peak performance in America, when our Women’s National Team is in the World Cup or Olympics.

While our Men’s National Team squander in eternal awfulness, the Women’s team is actually one of the best teams in the world annually. And they are one of the favorites again in this 2012 Summer Olympics. Their biggest competition will likely come from Japan (curse thy name, World Cup shoot out ninjas!) and the powerhouse Brazil team.

And those are the two teams who will be playing each other in the next round of Olympic soccer. The issue I have with them playing, is that it never should have happened. Buhhhhh whaaaa?

Japan’s coach Norio Sasaki apparently told reporters that she told her players to purposely play to a draw against a weak South African squad in its last game of pool play. Interesting strategy – not illegal, not intentionally “throwing” the game…but seriously immoral and against the integrity of both the sport and the Olympics themselves. 

You can read more about Japan intentionally playing to a 0-0 tie HERE. 

I really wish South Africa had somehow popped a last-second goal in to completely knock Japan out of the tournament. Why? Because the whole reason Sasaki wanted to tie and finish 2nd in their group was to avoid traveling – wait for it – 300 miles to play their next game tomorrow.

Really? 300 miles? That’s a four, maybe five-hour drive. A one hour flight. It’s like going from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo.

To cap it off, the strategy backfires big time. Good for you, Japan. You get to stay in Wales and play on the same field you “tied” on. Plus one for comfort and familiarity? Minus 100 for not realizing you now have to play BRAZIL in the knockout round.

For the sake of footballers and sports fans across the entire globe, I sincerely hope Brazil pounds Japan into the turf tomorrow. Because the flight back to Japan is sure a hell of a lot farther than Wales to Scotland. Sheesh.

Now, let us turn our attention to the fierce competition that revolves around a …ball?… with the funniest name in sports history. Badminton and its star player, the shuttlecock (don’t pretend you didn’t giggle)!

Four pairs of female badminton players representing China, South Korea and Indonesia were disqualified from the doubles tournament for purposely losing matches in order to get better seeds in the later rounds.

At first glance, you might think “So? It’s badminton.” Well, believe it or not, badminton is actually fairly popular outside of America. And those teams that threw the matches are insanely good at it. Good to the point of making me wonder why they felt the need to lose on purpose? 

The Chinese teams especially dominate that event, but they needed to be lazy and have their way with easier teams along the way to another inevitable gold medal? Come on.

It’s an even more cowardly move than Japan’s soccer team. At least Japan didn’t throw the match they were in – they simply played conservatively for a stupid reason and slide tackled the sport IN THE FACE while doing so.

In my opinion, purposely losing is a whole different beast. Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings had never lost an Olympic set until yesterday, but they would never take it easy in the opening rounds in order to line up with easier opponents on their way to a gold.

You would never see a baseball team lose purposely to win a Wild Card spot instead of the division so they get to play the A’s instead of the Yankees. And though NFL teams like to sit their players in week 17 when the playoffs are assured, you can bet those scrubs falling all over themselves are working their tails off to win the game still.

Sports are sacred. Everybody ultimately wants to be the best at whatever they do, and sports is one way we measure that.

Best athlete. Best team. Best scorer. Best defender.

And what higher honor than being the best at your sport in the entire world? That means out of 7,057,351,245 or so people in the world, you are number one.


Yet, with stakes like that, the Japanese women’s soccer team and especially the eight women disqualified from the badminton tournament have disrespected a collection of Games started by the Ancient Greeks to honor the gods. Isn’t that sort of like farting in God’s general direction?

Okay, okay that’s a little far. I apologize. But as a fan of sport, I fully endorse the badminton players’ disqualification. I wholeheartedly hope Brazil rolls Japan like sushi in tomorrow’s soccer game.

And I REALLY hope the International Olympic Committee reconsiders how “far” soccer teams have to travel in future Games, so this problem can be avoided altogether.

Maybe we should give the Expelled Eight and Japan’s soccer team a little taste of how much we respect sports in America…have you watched that link yet?…you probably should…thank you.

Told ya badminton could be cool!

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