Spring is a time of rebirth. Where there was decay in the fall and inertness in the winter now blossoms renewed hope. In that vein, and in spite of an incoming April Fools Day snow shower, I am prepping to renew many geeky facts of my life.
I am back. You can thank Roger Goodell, the NFL owners and of course the agents…I mean players. Robbed of my go to sports obsession this time of year, NFL free agency and draft prep (yes I know they are still going to have the draft. No, I could not give a shit), I had to find something to occupy that space. MLB, as R.E.M. offers on a song from their latest album, “that someone is you”.
This dormant love for America’s past-time has welled up in me in a way that I have not felt for years. I even spent some birthday money on the latest edition of “Out of the Park Baseball 12″, a baseball simulation that is due to release in a month. I am stoked to revive and old hobby of obsessing over virtual baseball stats.
And I am geeked for opening day today. I am anxiously awaiting to see who could be the next Tuffy Rhodes, who after one Opening Day in the early 90s projected to hit over 400 home runs that coming season. Which fans will see the early glimpses of the reality check that will shatter their spring break illusions? Can another smaller(relatively speaking) payroll team put it together and take out the big spenders?
I hope so.
I can’t wait to find out. Oh baseball, how I have missed you.
One of my favorite quotes on baseball:
They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come. ~ Terence Mann, “Field of Dreams”
2. Marvel Super Hero movies
Damn you “Spiderman 3″, you ruined a good thing. “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Fantastic Four” films did not help, and the less said about “Elektra” the better – but “Spider-Man 3″, you…you killed my desire to spend my money on Marvel films in the theater. “Iron Man” gave me hope that “Iron Man 2″ took away. And so it goes…
This spring the lineup of films, combined with my kids growing love of Marvel properties may bring me back. I never thought I would be able to stomach an X-Men film again after “X-Men 3: The Last Stand” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, but I am psyched for “X-Men: First Class”. “Thor” looks promising and yes it comes out in the summer, but I am dorked out to be damned for “Captain America: The First Avenger”.
3. “Star Wars”
James turned 3 this year, the same age I was when I first saw “Star Wars”. The time is now to regain my love for the franchise through the eyes, mind and hearts of my kids. We are starting with “Star Wars”, not even a question.
4. Video Game Monogamy
This one seems easy from outside the Matrix. But the console community is one that floats from game to game like some bingo players do cigarettes. These gamers get amped up for a game, it comes out and they play it for two straight days and then dream of the next latest and greatest. I fell into this trap more often than I care to admit.
There was a period of time where Madden was it for me. Then I discovered shooters. Still I was monogamous within that genre for years, playing only “Medal of Honor:Allied Assault” on the PC.
Then came the 360 and the culture I spoke of above. I have since escaped from that particular Matrix. However there is still temptation. If you pre-order “Gears of War 3″ then you get access to a multiplayer beta this spring. Sell, sell, sell.
Never mind that this time last year I was geeked out for the “Halo:Reach” beta. Last fall I wrote about how I felt that the game could help me break out of “The Phantom Menace Effect”.
And it has. The game is fantastic, so great that I question, “Why do I need the ‘Gears of War3′ beta?”
The answer: I don’t.
In 2011 when it comes to shooters there is only one for me: “Halo:Reach”. It may not seem a big deal to most, for me it is a breakthrough.
5. The NHL via The Nashville Predators
Last but not least: I am back in. As written a few days ago I am renewed, having shaken off the shock of Terry Pegula’s poisonous purchase of the Sabres. I am a Preds fan. I can’t wait to actively follow the league again. Just in time, the best playoffs in pro sports is about to begin.