Friday, April 9, 2021

Knives and All

I have always loved knives. I used to take my dad's little pocket knife out of his dresser and take it to school. I just liked carrying it. Invariably, I would get caught by my parents because I left it in my jeans and it would make quite a racket bouncing around in the clothes dryer. But nobody freaked out and if a teacher would have caught me, they wouldn't have freaked out, either. But this was in the 1970's, so things were different. 

There was a hardware store within walking distance of my house, Hillandale Hardware. In the back of the place, they had a coke machine that spit out those miniature bottle cokes when you put a quarter in the machine. They were ice cold and damn good. And they also had a display case of knives in the back. It was filled with Buck Knives. I would get a coke and just stare at those wonderful knives and wish I had the money to have a Buck Knife. 

You see, everyone that I thought was cool back then carried a Buck Knife on their belt. The proper dress was jeans, Lynyrd Skynyrd or Judas Priest shirt taken off and tucked into jeans, and a Buck Knife in a sheath on their belt. Oh yeah, and a chain wallet. Gotta have a chain wallet. I never had any money and then when I did have enough for a chain wallet, I didn't buy it because I thought my father would make fun of me. 

I now collect knives. My first knife was a Gerber and I still have it and it's cool and all. But I also have a mess of Buck Knives that I just love. Yes, they are well made and have a lifetime warranty. But I love them because of the display case in Hillandare Hardware. Just wanting them so bad made me go overboard when I could finally afford one. 

I got a Buck Skinner today with "Will Over Hope" engraved on it. I think that it just may be my favorite knife of them all. 

You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna put my new knife on my belt and also put my chain wallet in my pocket and act like I am one of the 
cool kids that I looked up to back in Maryland in the 70's. I'm gonna act like I have long hair like everyone did back then and then I'm going on the back deck and yell, "SKYNYRD!" at the top of my lungs,
just like all the cool kids did back then


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Squat and Hunt Newsletter

I have a newsletter that I'm almost done putting together, called Squat and Hunt. 

It will be about a bunch of stuff: Lifting, hunting, guns, knives, fishing, fighting, food, building fires, chopping wood, training dogs  (just dogs in general) and gun rights, whiskey and alcohol reviews, music, and anything else that smacks of being a man or woman who loves all things tough and rough. 

Each newsletter will have four or five articles in it. I don't want it to be online, because then everyone steals it (like they did with my books) and I still like actually reading something that I can hold in my hands. I still enjoy waiting for the mail to come to see if something special that I ordered came that day. 

It will be in black and white ( I think) and it will be as old school as it gets, because really, that's all I know and enjoy. 

I don't know a damn thing about how to put this together, so I'm gonna do my best. I will print the articles out, staple them together and send them out. 

I already have articles by Zach Even-esh, Marty Gallagher, my whiskey aficionado Steve Basht, Chuck Miller and myself. 

I am pretty excited about this project. 

I'm thinking that for 10 bucks an issue, I can get this thing going. That should cover the printing and mailing. I'm thinking I can put it out four times a year. 

If you are interested, send 10.00 to PayPal to Basdad7454@yahoo.com. I should have it done in the next week or so and will send it out right away.  Oh, and make sure to send your address! 

It won't be fancy, but it will kick ass. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Then and Now

I love looking at new trucks, watching videos about them, imagining that I own a new 4x4 with a big lift and big old jacked up tires. I do have a Tundra 4x4, but any true truck lover just likes to dream about getting a new one.

So I am looking at all the trucks and the high end 4x4's are pretty expensive. Some are 90,000 dollars. That is a bunch of money. 

My parents bought their house in the 1950's for 15,000 dollars. A house. Not a truck, a house.

I started thinking about how expensive stuff is these days.

Little league baseball bats? Up to 1,000 dollars. We had two bats when I played, a heavy one and a light one. Everyone used them. 

Basketball shoes? You can pay up to 300 dollars a pair.

Years and years ago, I came home from elementary school , and I asked my father if he would buy me some Converse Chuck Taylor's. They were the big deal in Adelphi, Maryland in the 1970's. He agreed, and we went out shopping. I could not wait to have some new Chuck's! 

So we loaded into our tan station wagon and went shoe shopping. We found the shoes, but they were all around 12.99. I remember that price to this day.

This was the time when we had a gas shortage. It was so bad that there were huge lines at the pumps and my dad had to put a lock on his gas tank because people were siphoning gas out of cars at night.

So we are going from place to place, looking to beat that 12.99 price, because after the first store, my dad announced, "I will never pay 12.99 for a pair of sneakers!"

I had been wearing what my older sister's friends called "may-pops" shoes that were off brand, bought at Zayre's department store, sort of like an even lower class Walmart. 

I remember sitting in the back seat of the station wagon, driving down University Boulevard in College Park, Maryland. It had those seats where you could sit in the way back and you would be facing the rear of the car. We had gone to five different places trying to beat that 12.99 price. 

I remember  sitting there, looking out the back window as it was starting to get dark and thinking, we just spent 12.99 in gas driving around. But of course, I never said that to my father, just kept it to myself. I didn't get the shoes that day. But a little while later, Foot Locker opened up an outlet store, featuring shoes that had a little something wrong with them. "Irregulars" is what they were called. Maybe the logo was a little bit wrong, or they had a mark on them, or the soles were a little off. My father was in his glory. Now he could get me name brand shoes for a good price. I actually got "Dr. J's" basketball shoes from there. And nobody knew they were a little off, unless they would have looked inside the tongue and seen IRREGULAR stamped there. 

I'm glad my father was like that, he knew that those prices were ridiculous even for back then. Now? Everything is ridiculous, but people keep buying, keeping up with everyone else who think that they must have this or that to be cool. So stupid. 

For the price of 15 baseball bats today, I coulda bought a house in the 1950's. Think about that next time you are doling out money for what you think you must have. 

And remember my father, astonished at a 12.99 price tag for a pair of canvas basketball shoes.


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Story Time

With the world, especially this country, going batshit crazy, I try to think about when life was simpler, cancel culture didn't exist, and tough people who didn't need a safe place still roamed the country. 

I had finished my senior year of football at Gardner Webb University in North Carolina in 1988 and , although on scholarship, bagged all of my classes for my last semester and then went back home to Maryland in late Spring. Failed every class. Why go to class if there was no more football? So I lost a bunch of weight (245 to 189) and got a job at a golf course in Maryland with my junior college buddy, Chris. I really liked the golf course job. We would get our assignments in the morning and then we would be off, cutting the rough, weed whacking around the greens. We worked hard, because that was what we were supposed to do. We would get a hoagie at lunch and then hit it some more. Chris got in an argument with the supervisor, who was a miserable son of a bitch, and then Chris was like, SCREW THIS JOB! and he was like, C'MON JIM! WE ARE OUT OF HERE! So we left that job. It turned out to be a good thing. I'd probably still be there if Chris hadn't lost his shit that day. I never would have coached if he hadn't and now, Chris is a big wig computer virus guy. The older guys at the golf course used to tell us to not work so hard, that we were making them look bad. They would hide back in the woods to get out of work. Can you imagine? Anyway, I was out of a job, at a dead end.  

The end of summer was coming. I had a girlfriend at Gardner Webb, and I was missing her. Plus, what the hell else was I gonna do? I needed to graduate and I had an idea to try some coaching. So I went back to Gardner Webb and put on a jacket and tie and met with my old professor, who was now the Dean. She never did like me very much, the old bat. I met with her and said that I was sorry and all that, just faked the hell out of an apology and looked real pitiful. I remember she had this huge mole on her cheek like the teacher from Uncle Buck. 

So I got back into school and had to repeat all my classes that I had failed. That sucked. One class, New Testament, I signed up for and then found out that I had already taken the class before, but it was almost at the end of the semester when I figured it out. That's how engaged I was in class. Then I went down to the football field house and sat with the head coach and asked if I could help out coaching. He said yes, after telling me how disappointed he was that I didn't show up for the football banquet the year before. I understood. The team captain missing the banquet. I was just DONE, didn't care one bit anymore. So done.

He told me that he couldn't pay me, but I didn't care, I was back in school and was helping coach the defensive line as basically an intern. I did odd jobs to pay rent and snuck into he cafeteria for meals. I was broke and hungry. The cafeteria girls were locals who were extra cool and maybe they could see that I was desperate. I remember one time I asked the guy changing the coffee if it was decaf or regular, and he said, "Don't matter, I just put regular in both." Nice.  I had very little money. I lived in the basement of an old lady's house. She was very cool. I can't for the life of me remember her name. 

Even though money was tight, I have to admit, we had a good time, myself and the graduate assistant coaches. I wasn't a grad assistant because I wasn't getting paid and was still an undergrad. Anyway, we had a blast. My buddy, Johnny lived in the football locker room in a storage closet. Bob was another graduate assistant who was married and had a daughter. He was just as wild as Johnny and I. We would load up the truck and go down to the one lane bridge and shoot guns and sometimes we would get out of practice and get a fifth of Jack Daniels or Evan Williams and sit in the back of Bob's Chevy S-10 back on the dirt roads and drink and bitch about what a prick the head coach was all the time. We ended up at the Pantry (like a 7-11 without the Slurpee's),  buying Skoal and Doritos and whatever else we could afford. Johnny and I trained together and hung out a whole bunch and we are still friends to this day. We knew the local cops and they were cool with all of our shenanigans.

After my first season of coaching, we had a party for the defensive line at my basement abode. I was pretty fired up and had a wee bit too much to drink. Everyone left me, because I was off my rocker. Anyway, I wanted to see my girlfriend who was in the dorms about a mile away. No way could I drive, so I started walking. In my inebriated state, my thinking was off. I decided that I shouldn't walk (stagger) on the main road or the cops may see me, so I decided to walk through peoples back yards to get there. I was hopping fences and dogs were barking, but I was determined. Meanwhile, My girlfriend was walking to meet me. Remember, no cell phones back then, no communication. So she is walking to meet me, and the a cop pulls over and says to her, "I better give you a ride, we are getting calls that some drunk guy is running through people's back yards." Immediately, she knew it was me. She said, " That son of a bitch," and asked the officer to take her back to her friend's house, which was close by. The friend happened to be the wife of Bob, who was nowhere to be found, either. So the wife and my girlfriend got in her car and went looking for me. I was just about to the dorm when a truck pulled in front of me and the Bob's wife said, "Jim Steel, you son of a bitch, get in the damn truck!" And I did, sheepishly. I got a good lecture on that one. The words are a little fuzzy, looking back, but I do remember feeling like I was gonna  be in the doghouse for a long time.

There were many times like that, when I didn't exactly use great judgment, but there were also times of great camaraderie and friendship and relative sanity.

I knew, after that season, that I would always be a coach. I couldn't see myself working in an office and not being on the sidelines. We paid our dues, and we were young and wild and a little stupid. But that was long ago. We all have families and careers and kids now. But, I tell you what, I wouldn't trade those lean times for anything in the world. I still think about those days all the time. Life seemed a whole lot simpler back then. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Training Systems?

There are a mess of training systems and high profile people in the Iron Game, and I figured that I'd give a few thoughts on some of them.

A bunch of people have said to me over the years, "I bet you hate Crossfit." And I laugh and say, "I love Crossfit."  It brought back Olympic lifting into the public eye, and made powerlifting more popular, especially  in the raw category. It's great, man. Everybody working hard and like a community. I'm not thrilled with high rep cleans and snatches, but so what? It's changed a bunch of people lives for the better. 

Westside and Louie Simmons? I learned long ago that Louie was a great guy. I had messed up my back and called him. I left a message and he called me back. He designed a whole rehab program for me over the phone. And then a week or so later, I received  beautiful Westside jacket in the mail. He didn't know me from Adam, but spent time helping me. And his training philosophy has made a huge difference in strength and conditioning. 

Jim Wendler and 5/3/1? Great program, great guy.  I have done his program on and off for years.Hell, I did it today, squatting. I read one of his quotes one time where  he said, " I wanted to go to the gym and have fun again." And thats what the original 5/3/1 gave me. Get in, hit your rep max, or just do the minimum called for, and do 1-2 assistance exercises and leave. Or just do the main exercise and leave. We hung out in Texas and hit it off years ago. Plus he knows more about Metal music than anyone I know.

John Welbourn and Power Systems? Smart as hell, and really knows his stuff. Great program, and he and Luke and Tex and the gang are totally dedicated to making people stronger and better athletes. He busts my balls about wearing a speedo and posing, and I love that he does. Check out his podcast, one of the best around in any genre. 

Starting Strength and Mark Rippetoe? Rip has done more for beginner lifters than anyone, EVER. His book is so well thought out, that when an athlete would ask me a "why" question, often times I would consult Rip's book to find out the answer, especially about anatomy and the lifts. He doesn't take kindly to fools, but again, so what? We need people like Rip, with all the sugar coating bullshit people out there. You suck? He tells you and shows you a better way. That's the way that it's supposed to be done.

Zach Even-Esh? This guy is hard work and positivity to the core. He inspires thousands of lifters around the world to get after it and not make excuses. He gets frustrated with laziness, and can't understand that mindset. The guy puts out tons of content and also has a teaching job.  We need more people like that in the Iron Game.


All of the training systems have good stuff for the lifters. Folks are so critical and hateful about the stuff. 

It's lifting weights, people, not solving world problems. 





Thursday, January 28, 2021

Thoughts

 You ever wonder if there is anyone out there, no matter what they do, that become great without really working hard? I think that you can get to certain level, a very high level, without being super dedicated. But I think that the really great ones are pretty hardcore about the whole dedicated thing. Like they set aside pretty much everything when they are going for it all, going for their goals. And they push through injuries that would sideline most everyone else and they get up early and they eat just right and basically do what they need to do to leave nothing to chance . One NFL player, whom I was fortunate enough to coach, sets up chairs in his living room as imaginary defenders and practices his receiver routes. And you know that my buddy Kirk Karwoski was 100% into being a world champion. His whole life for years was powerlifting. 

I always admired that crazy dedication, that obsessiveness, that great folks have inside themselves. If you talk to someone who doesn't have it or has never seen it, they don't understand at all what you are taking about. Its like talking to folks about how great hunting is. Until they experience it, they will never get it.  My son is 14 and a royal pain in the ass but he is obsessed with hunting. He finished 4th in the world in  junior goose calling and fifth in duck calling by practicing off of YouTube for hours every day. I am not bragging on him. It's that obsessiveness that made him beat the kids with their professional coaches. 

And regarding obsessiveness and athletics: It is not , by any stretch of the imagination, about health. Yes, you want to stay healthy so you succeed in sports, but I have never known anyone who , when trying to be great, thought about their health in terms of longevity; it was all about winning. Hell, the toughest son of  bitches in the world are bull riders. I'm obsessed with watching it. I'm obsessed because of the toughness and athleticism that they show. And of course, I love the fact that they love America and don't disrespect the flag. And they don't have any guaranteed pay, which makes them super hungry. I love football and even have a couple of former players in the league, but I won't watch a down. Ever again.  Anyway, bull riders are more than obsessed. Every time that they get on a bull, they can die. They ain't worried about health,  they are just worried about being a champion. Even on a successful day, when they complete the ride, the get lacerated livers and broken bones. It's truly amazing to me.


Also-

Male personal development. There are workshops to help men become men. I get it. Single families, video games, social media. All of it contributes to boys who stay perpetually immature and well, soft. I'm a huge believer that a strong mind and a hard body make a man a complete man. Many boys don't have the role model to help them , by some sort of ceremony/initiation, to get them ready for manhood. A gateway , so to speak. It's pretty funny when I hear kids talk these days, the stuff that they talk about. We talked about football, guns, big trucks, fishing, going down to the creek, Evel Knievel. The conversations that I hear are abut video games and snapchat.What kind of crap is that?  Kids need to get dirty and muddy and cuss when their parents aren't around and play with matches and throw somebody to the ground and get thrown to the ground. They need to be able to fight and then shake hands without it being some major deal on the front page of the local paper. A fight? Big deal. Go ahead and fight. Got your ass beat? So what, I bet they learned something about themselves in that fight, win or lose. 

 I think when they get all of that, they grow up to be different adults. If you grew up shooting guns, you won't be so damn scared of them and want to pass laws against them when you don't know a damn thing about them (except what the boogeyman on the news tells them) when they are vital to a free society. But you don't know about that, you just know that your mom always said bad things about guns all the time, so they must be bad. Because when a kid grows up hard as hell and in nature, doing hard things, they know that there are no timeouts, no trophies for second place, and that nature doesn't give a damn about you, so you better be respectful. If the kid spends all day in the basement eating fruit loops and shooting imaginary people on a screen, they don't get the experience, man! They scream when they fall down, they cry and tell their moms that mean old kid threw him to the ground. And instead of a parent saying, Okay, so what? You want to go to the hospital? No? then stop the damn crying. Oh, that seems so cruel Not to me. All this pussyfooting around kid's feelings because they are so fragile is total bullshit. They can take it and they need to take it. If not,  they become adults who have no direction or moral code. Things like, respect what you kill. Eat what you kill. Gun safety. Sheaf the knife. How to shake hands. Chop that wood.  Kill and clean and cook. Tell them that bears eat their young, that nature is cruel. The cycle of life.  Try not to do wrong, and if you do, man up and take responsibility. That's some outdated shit, I reckon. Maybe , but maybe it'll turn back around some. I can feel that some folks are tired of all the crazy PC bullshit and not being real about life. Maybe some fathers and mothers will rise up and get tired of it all and contribute to the betterment of society by raising the kids without all that crap!

I don't have anything else to say, I guess. I do know that the world is sorta upside down now. Your little circle can make a difference, though. You and your kids. My kids are a pain in the ass, but I am trying to teach them to act like true Americans, proud of their country, hard working and responsible. It's an uphill battle. Lots of distractions out there for them.  Hopefully, if some of that teaching gets through to them, they will develop into something positive for society down the road.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Iron Sickness

 Lifting weights. Powerlifting, bodybuilding. Seems like a weird thing to do, ya know?

 The quest for strength and muscularity and learning about all of it is a never ending quest, one in which a person never really gets to the finish line.

It's like a sickness, a good sickness. I have had this sickness for many years. If you are in your 40's and older, here are some of the symptoms of the sickness:

Symptoms include obsessing over never missing a training session, obsessing over a rep that you missed (even if it was years ago), utter disdain for anyone who doesn't lift weights, utter disdain for those who do lift weights but don't try hard when they are doing it, a voracious appetite for the history of the Iron Game(including collecting old muscle magazines),  still getting pissed off that Franco won the 1981 Olympia with no legs and Tom Platz got ripped off, always wondering what Kaz could have really benched if he didn't tear his pec, obsession with the Barbarian Brothers, kicking yourself in the ass for not visiting Gold's when you were a teenager when Platz and the other pro's were still competing, getting pissed off that everyone calls a weight done with STRAPS a deadlift record (it's a deadlift record with straps), nose bleed high squats that get passed, gimmicks and fads that everyone thinks are the latest and greatest but fade away after a few years (kettlebells, yoga, ab exercisers, suspension training, pilates) and then the barbell emerges with its feelings slightly hurt but continues to reign supreme. Or for years you lie in bed the night before a big workout and visualize the weights that you will use and the great feeling you will have after the session is done. Or on the way to the gym, you still get that excited feeling that you had when you were 15 years old and are going to attempt to squat 315 for the first time. Sick sick sick. Again, in a good way.

And you take all that stuff in and you look back and you think, damn I spent a lot of time thinking about and doing this weight training stuff over the years!

It's crazy that one can show me a picture of Tom Platz and I can tell them what year and what show it was taken from mostly every time. 

Or when I can tell you why Kirk Karwoski changed his squat suit to a looser suit when he squatted 1000x2 years ago. 

But I would not change a thing. It's been a great ride and one that is still going for me and all the others who have made the Iron Game their lives. A different breed of folks. A little nuts, perhaps, but who is to say what is nuts these days? I'll take it. 


But let me know if you wanna discuss that '81 Olympia. What a shame...




Monday, September 21, 2020

Thoughts

 Do you have a "boss"? Someone who is in charge of you? Someone who tells you what to do and you must do it? Seems a little bit unnatural to me. I don't have a boss now, and it feels damn good. 

But sometimes, I think well , hell, I miss coaching at the university level, I miss coaching teams and seeing the athletes succeed and get stronger and be great and the smiles on their faces when they get a new max on the squat, when they kill a weight that they never thought that they would be strong enough to lift. 

But

Then I ask myself, do you actually believe that you could work for someone ever again? Could you work for someone who was hired only for their gender who never lifted a weight in their life and is dumb as a brick? Could you handle a meeting where you were told that because of your gender  that you are inherently bad? Or go to meetings where you were told that heavy weights were bad for the kids and that you must practice mindfulness, or some other horseshit that only means something to people who have never actually been under bar with a weight so heavy that their nose bleeds or had their hand in the dirt and looked across a motherfucker who wants to drive your ass into the ground as badly as you want to drive his ass into the ground? If you have never done any of that, how can you , in your right mind, tell me what to do?

And I think about all that stuff and all the bullshit and shaking hands and telling people that you are oh so glad to see them because they gave a bunch of money to the team that year and schmoozing recruits who couldn't play dead in a cowboy movie but their bitch ass dad is an alum so we need this kid? NO thanks, no thanks no thanks, and I feel so damn sorry for folks in the strength coaching profession who have to do all of it , who have bosses that don't get it and never will. Supervisors who couldn't teach a bench press if their life depended on it, let alone program a whole team. I used to want to step aside when one of these idiots criticized me or my staff and say, ``Here ya go, man. Go for it. Warm them up, teach them the lifts, and get them out of here in 45 minutes.” Yeah, right. Oh, that would have been great. Seeing their faces as the players started laughing at them. Because they would have laughed. I have had sport coaches and had admins who thought that the athletes were stupid, but let me tell you, none of them are, because they can tell a fake right away. And they will call you on it and embarrass you, if you have the self awareness to even realize it. 

 Go back to reading your bullshit self help books written by another coward who never squatted or played a down in their life.

 It still makes me wanna punch myself in the face for all the times I smiled and nodded at some crap that I agreed to , that went against my principles. 

I’m good , though. I have some online clients who kick ass, and I have a couple of college athletes that I train who get it and I'm good with that, I'm happy with that, along with writing.

But I know that I will never take an ounce of shit from anyone ever again, and I won't listen to anyone ever again, except for my Dad. But then again, he knows what he is talking about.


Monday, August 24, 2020

On Sportsmanship

 I usually spend most of my weekends at youth travel baseball tournaments. Do I enjoy it? Well, I enjoy watching the kids play. They seem to have fun, they are hanging out with their friends, playing sports. I have always believed that sports are needed for development. Sports get kids used to adversity, failure, success, social interaction, and a bunch of other things that I believe are essential for overall well being and creating a quality person.

What I do not enjoy are the coaches or parents. I am sure that most of you have seen videos of parents attacking umpires, parents fighting, kids fighting, screaming matches and the like.

 Let me tell you, it's all true. 

This weekend, my 14 year old son played in a baseball tournament. When his team was in the field, the other team hurled insults at the pitcher, yelled and screamed at the pitcher the whole inning. The umpire stopped the game and told the coach of the other team to not to yell when the pitcher goes into his windup. The ump was trying to establish at least a modicum of sportsmanship. And then the opposing coach actually said, "There is no rule against that! " and his assistant actually got out the rule book and said, "There is no rule against it, KEEP IT UP!" and the team kept screaming and insulting my son's team. Seriously.  

And it kept going and going until the parents from each team started arguing with each other, the coaches got into it with the parents, the one coach pointed his finger in our coaches face, and then both head coaches got kicked out. And the kids just followed the ADULT'S lead and they all started acting like babies and infants. 

I just wanted to leave and the parents are asking me to escort our coach to his car so I could break it up if they started to brawl. But I knew that they wouldn't brawl. The loudmouth from the other team was just that, all talk and fake ass bravado. What an example he set for his players! He must be so proud teaching the kids the fundamentals of being a jackass. 

I do not like any of this, and never have liked any of it. I despise the shit talking, the insults, the me me me me attitude of the athletes. And it is everywhere now, beginning with the pros and college athletes. Maybe because I have always been around dudes that , if you opened your mouth to them , they would punch you in the face. No posturing or HOLD ME BACK HOLD ME BACK bull, just BAM! Or it would usually go something like this:

What the hell did you just say to me? BAM!

Now, it is seen as normal, the way that it is done.  And it is in every sport.

In basketball, when one player claps his hand and sends chalk flying (chalk is needed? Is he deadlifting?), he is separating himself from his team he is saying I I I I ME ME ME. Is it okay if everyone on the TEAM does that stupidity? Why not? Oh, I know, because on this team, there is YOU and then there is everyone else.

Let me tell you, all of it is in bad taste, all of it is poor sportsmanship. All of it; the dancing (yes, men and boys dancing at a sporting event), the insults, the yelling, the cheering when a kid drops a fly ball, all of it. And the funny thing is, it has become so normal that most people think that , oh it is just part of the game. Yeah,  we are so into it, so fired up. No, it is not, never was meant to be a part of the game. What one is supposed to do is act like a gentleman and when you do something great on the field, act as though you expected to do it. People will notice you if you are good enough.  If they don't notice you, then you aren't good enough. Go practice your cheers some more.

In football, I grew up watching dudes like John Riggins and Earl Campbell run over someone and then hand the ball to the ref. Here ya go, buddy.

Mike Trout hits a home run and doesn't say a word. He is the best around. And he is the coolest, too.

Can you imagine Ted Williams dancing after a home run or flipping his bat? He flew fighter jets in Korea. No, no bravado for him, because he was a man. A real man. A base hit is great but when you landed your plane while it was on fire and you couldn't eject because your were too tall so you landed it and calmly walked out if it like it was just another day at the office, a base hit means just that, a base hit. He probably  wouldn't kneel for the Flag either, because he would never ever ever disrespect the country that he almost died defending, but that's another story.

I have always thought that beating someone's ass on the field, dominating them, and walking off after shaking hands was the coolest way to do things, but it is not seen as that way today.

When they wanted to put a statue of Ray Lewis in Baltimore, he said that he wanted it to depict his pregame dance instead of him making a tackle. A sure sign that the apocalypse is upon us.

When a football player makes a sack or even a ho hum tackle, they separate themselves from everyone and dance the night away. If Dick Butkus would have done that, there would have been delay of game penalties, he made so many tackles. Kids practice their celebration dances. Give me strength. What happened to substance? 

I got so fed up with it one time that I decided to watch bull riding. Now they won't do all that crap, right? Wrong . I turned it on and one was gyrating like Shakira on meth and doing a back flip after riding the bull. 

And the youth coaches? Emphasis on YOUTH? Most likely, they never played at a high level, maybe the played a little high school ball, most likely they were the manager of the team, the water boy or the kid who washed the jocks. SO they don't get it, they don't get how to act, and they set an awful example for their players, but the catch is that with all the college and pros doing it, they think it's normal. Coaches in the pro's let it happen because the players run the show. Coaches don't want to piss off the star because then they would set a precedent that would be overall great for sports and society, but they are way too cowardly to do it.

Hell, man. Be different from everyone else today. Tell your players that we will be great sportsmen, that they will hustle and have fun and all the other crap just takes way from your game, your focus.  Because after the game, nobody will remember the silly little bitch chant that the idiot coach taught them to mock the other team, they will just remember that you kicked ass and walked off like it was just another game, a game that you expected to win. 









All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a year...it's for life. Whether its training or your family or your job...it doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.