In traditional football fashion, I watched tonight's Bears vs. Seahawks game in the company of a few guys. Early in the game, NBC showed a sign in the stands that read "Put Your Sack on Hasselbeck". Because I'm sick in the head (and have been watching Beavis and Butthead on DVD lately), I laughed. So, in a group of grown men, we rewound the game and made sure that the sign said what we thought it said. We agreed that someone didn't quite get the double meaning and there would be an inquiry in the morning. And we laughed again. Except, we were wrong. They showed the sign again in the 4th quarter. This time we paused the game and took a picture of the screen. This is why guys need guy time and women need woman time. Just thinking of that sign continues to make me chuckle. And no respectable woman would ever be in agreement with me on this one. Please tell me that we're not the only ones who saw this. (I'm still waiting for Dan to email me the photo. It'll be up as soon as I get it.)
Mike sent the random new fact of the day. The "ZIP" in ZIP code stands for Zone Improvement Plan.
I think I found my next house. Well, my first house. You know what I mean.
I forgot to put a softball update from Thursday. Our team was a little pumped to put together a winning streak, so they made me take the hill again. But before we get to that, we had to bat first. Rick Vaughn took the mound for the other team. Here's how the game started. Ball 4. Ball 8. Ball 12. And he walks the bases loaded. At this point the other team was showing their true colors, using some colorful language and telling us not so politely to just swing. (They were a bunch of unhappy assholes). Our fourth batter also walked, giving us a 1-0 lead and leaving bases loaded for me. I decided I was just going to take pitches unless it was right in my wheel house. (Note: If a male walks on 4 straight pitches, he gets 2 bases and runners advance). He threw 3 straight balls and I had no intention of swinging at the next pitch. Which found the plate. Finally I walked on the next pitch, making it 5 straight walks to start the game. Long story short, we exited the first inning with a few runs (somewhere between 3 and 5, I don't remember). And the other team was PISSED that we took so many pitches. Which was bad news for me - I HAD to be able to throw strikes. They would take anything that wasn't close.
Much like the Freddy Garcia analogy from last time, I couldn't quite find the strike zone as often this time around. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't spot on like last time. My strategy was simple - When you walk up to the plate, the count is already 0 and 1. Which means, if I throw first pitch strike, I'm WAY ahead of the hitter. And I knew that a lot of their players, especially the females, weren't swinging at the first pitch regardless. So I'd do my best to just throw a first pitch strike. When that worked, my job was easy. I'd throw a high, floating pitch, hoping that it would be either 1) a lucky called strike or 2) so tempting that they'd just protect the plate and take a bad swing. And generally the strategy worked.
Fast forward to the end of the game. We entered the bottom half of the last inning up 8-5. Which meant that we needed to get 3 outs before the other team scored 3 or more runs. Simple enough, right? They started hitting the ball and I wasn't hitting the strike zone with any kind of consistency. Very quickly, they tied up the game with only one out and they still had a runner on 3rd. And a good male hitter was up next. Which meant that we were pretty much screwed. Any contact and the ballgame was essentially over. In my mind, the only hope was to throw a couple of high, floating pitches, and pray for some sort of infield pop up. First pitch - swinging strike. Second pitch, foul ball. (Rules state that when the count is 0-2, the first foul ball is ok, but the 2nd foul ball and you're out.) Shortstop Dan yelled, "Put some junk on this one". I normally throw the ball with my index and middle fingers on the seams. So I turned the ball 90 degrees (seams perpendicular to my fingers) and palmed the ball like you would a mini-basketball. I tossed it as high as the rules allow. It seemed to flutter like a knuckleball. The dude swung. And whiffed. Two gone. Alright. (Maybe I should practice that pitch more often). Now we just needed one more out. And I go all Chuck Knoblauch on my team and walk the girl on 4 straight pitches. At this point, I don't even remember what happened, but the next guy grounded out. We remained tied 8-8 and the umpire said, "one more inning".
Coach Chad led off the extra inning with a hustle triple. Whoever was next struck out. Then I intentionally hit a line drive single way in front of the left fielder (who seemed like he was 300 feet away and was basically conceding the run) to score Chad and take the lead. By the end of the inning, we scored 4 runs. Long story short, we held our own in the bottom half of the inning and we're now 2-1 on the season. The moral of the story? Winning is SO much better than losing.
The original title of this post was "What Day Is It?" But the Bears game changed everything. Bonus points if that makes sense.