Wabash Blogs Matt Hudson '10

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February 19, 2010

Hating the Groundhog

I mentioned a few weeks back how rough the months of January and February are for most Wabash students, as getting back into the swing of school following Christmas Break coincides with the awful weather that mid-Winter Crawfordsville provides.  And so here I set, Friday night, nothing to do but blog at the request of my mother, who for some reason, even with the recent upgrades in technology such as texting and e-mail, has been absent in my life this week.  My number hasn't changed, momma, feel free to call anytime.  Speaking of texting, it seems like that's all I do anymore, even with my technologically challenged family.  The Rusty even does it now.  I don't want to give him too much credit, considering most of his texts consist of "What are you doing", "yes", and "no", but he is making strides.  Now, the day when my townie grandfather and I have a texting conversation, I will finally admit when the older generation has qualified to use such inventions as Facebook and Twitter.  

Seriously though, when will this weather start getting better?  Is this the groundhog's fault?  I'm shooting for somewhere around Spring Break, ideally.  But if not, no big deal, because I won't be here.  In fact, I will be in one of the most wonderful Spring Break destinations in the world - Cancun.  I'm assuming it will be better than 30 and partly cloudy come March 7th, south of the border, and I cannot wait for that.  And it's nothing too big that I miss, truthfully.  It's the little things that I wish I could be doing outside that I miss the most.  For instance, around roughly noon today, a couple friends and I sat outside on our porch for about 10 minutes and conversed.  We spoke of nothing in particular, but it was kind of nice to just be able to be outside for a longer period of time than it takes to walk to the next class.  You can only stay cooped up in a house for so long before you start getting cabin fever.  And that's where I am right now - in the pre-cabin fever stage.  Not for long though, because in 15 days, all will be well.

I'm kind of interested to hear what people thought about the Tiger Woods apology today.  I heard most of it, and at the very least, got the abridged version of what he was saying.  I thought it was very heartfelt and sincere, I really did.  That being said, I wish he had come out three months ago and apologized.  I mean, assuming his wife didn't knock his teeth out with a 9 Iron or personally reconstruct his face with a chipping wedge, what would have been the harm in coming out then?  Especially since he claimed there was no domestic violence of any kind that occurred.  His PR people did not do a good job at all in assisting him with damage control.  People have failed to realize, even through the scandals of athletes and politicians over the last decade, that the truth always comes out, and honesty is the best move from the start.  It's hard to feel bad for the guy, considering he brought all this upon himself and is a gazillionaire, but we're all capable of making mistakes.  I feel that we're a very forgiving society, and assuming nothing else drastic happens over the course of the remainder of his career, I believe he will be remembered as the golfer that transcended sports, rather than the playboy who did his best to give Wilt Chamberlain a run for his money.  

Can someone please explain to me why the NFL has to be so behind the curve when it comes to entertainment?  Don't they understand that people like touchdown celebrations and the rarely seen antics of their favorite players?  And this isn't even the main point.  The point is, provide entertainment.  Case in point - the halftime show of the Super Bowl - and I know I'm two weeks late on this.  But contrast it with the halftime show of the NBA All-Star game the other night.  The NFL gets The Who - a good band in their own right, and a band that most people over the age of 50 are probably familiar with.  But let's be honest here - your target audience is not the over-50 crowd.  And anyone who tells me that it is should look at the commercials - Bud Light, Taco Bell, hello? - and tell me that it isn't aimed toward the younger generation.  And I know that Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake royally screwed up everything six years ago, I get that.  But come on, haven't we moved past that?  What's wrong with tape delay?  The NBA was apparently more concerned with providing entertainment for the younger crowd, as their halftime show consisted of Shakira and Alicia Keys.  Trust me, as a 22-year old, I'm far more interested in seeing body gyrations that I've never seen before than how many windmills a 60-year old dude can do on his guitar in a span of 12 minutes.  And no one was hurt during the NBA performance.  Nothing offensive was said or done (or like in past cases, removed).  I'm just asking you, NFL, please let the people choose who they want to see.  Because 20 years down the road, I don't want to see Mick Jagger rolling on-stage in a wheelchair.

Okay, time to get out of here to go do... I don't know, I'll find something.  Hope everyone has a wonderful, safe weekend, and hope the weather is better where you are than it is here.  I'm out.  

February 08, 2010

Black Monday

Last week, I had planned on writing a long blog that basically predicted every aspect of the Super Bowl and how it would pan out.  I was going to talk about the Colts offense destined to absolutely shred the Saints, whose 25th-ranked defense could not possibly stand up to the offensive onslaught that was sure to take place.  I was going to talk about how the Colts' underrated defense always seemed to make a big play when the time called for it, and how the Saints' offense had not seen a defense that flies to the ball like the Colts.  Most of all, I was going to talk about how Peyton Manning absolutely could not lose - how he was reaching Jordanesque levels, the level that someone reaches once in a generation, the level of play you simply do not bet against.  I had heard all week how New Orleans was destined to win the game because of what had happened with Hurricane Katrina four years ago, and how everyone was rooting for them, how the Colts for the first time ever were playing the villains.  I didn't buy any of it.  18 just wouldn't let the Colts lose.  Colts 38, Saints 34.  Wow, glad I got really busy last week.

When Peyton threw the interception that essentially sealed the Colts' fate, I was speechless.  I had seen too many Peyton Manning comebacks to believe that anything other than a touchdown to tie the game was possible.  As the Colts were driving, my only concern was that they would score too quickly and the Saints would have time to march down and kick the game-winning field goal.  I wasn't concerned that we would run out of time, that we would turn it over on downs, and I most definitely wasn't concerned that Peyton would throw a pick.  But as the ball was being returned for a touchdown that would lift the spirits of an entire city, all I could do was hang my head.  I was so disappointed.  Not "walk me down from the ledge" disappointed, and not quite distraught, but disappointed nonetheless.  It was the kind of disappointment I felt after the Bell Game my sophomore year - sad, of course, but you realize that you had every opportunity and you just didn't execute.  Upset, yes, but you have more to play for, and this won't be your last chance to shine.  That's where I am right now.  

Isn't it ironic that two guys who went to Indiana and Purdue ended up winning the game for the Saints?  Drew Brees was unreal.  No one outside of Brady and Manning are capable of having games like that.  He completed 18 of his last 19 passes - that just doesn't happen, especially in the Super Bowl.  There's your Purdue connection.  And an Indiana product, yes, that Indiana, made the play of the game with the game-sealing fourth quarter interception.  Talk about a cruel twist of fate.  Indiana collegiate products winning the game for another team... sad.  

And as much as I hate to see the Colts lose, I would much rather them lose to the Saints than I would have the Bears three years ago.  For one thing, the Saints are a classy team, with a classy coach and quarterback, that deserved to win last night.  Another thing, I hate the Bears and I couldn't have stood listening to their fans yap for eternity.  Even though I turned off the post-game coverage in favor of Titanic (I know, as if I needed to get any sadder) and South Park, I can say today that I've come to peace with the Colts' loss.  Although many will say that the season can be seen as nothing less than an utter failure, and although that logic has some credence to it, 16-3 is by no means a failure.  I understand that the motto was "Super Bowl or Bust", but come on.  Making it to the Super Bowl and losing is far better than losing in the divisional round, or not making the playoffs, or going 1-15.  Ask Rams fans how they feel about their team.  Ask Lions fans (if you can find any) if they would enjoy a 16-3 season and a loss in the Super Bowl.  I understand that the expectations are different, but let's not take for granted the greatness that we have gotten to witness over the past decade.  

I'll get to some Wabash stuff later on in this week, but I wanted to wrap up the Super Bowl stuff while the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach was still fresh.  What am I going to do now?  Do the Pacers still have a shot to make the playoffs?  No?  Okay, NASCAR it is.  In eternally having "There's always next year" to fall back on, I'm out.  

February 01, 2010

In case you've been wondering where I've been the past week (big assumption on my part that anyone even noticed I haven't written anything), I can sum it up with a little bit of good, and a little bit of bad.  First off, my last blog was last Sunday morning, prior to watching my Colts punch their ticket to the Super Bowl, so I've been in the midst of celebrating and preparing myself mentally for this Sunday.  Secondly, I started refereeing intramural basketball this week - did I mention this was the bad?  I forgot how much everyone hates referees.  Even I get caught up in it at Wabash basketball games sometimes, with the typical "Oh, I would have made that call!" or "Call it both ways, ref!"  But it is far from an easy job, and I can certainly sympathize with the guys who take the brunt of the heat from fans, players, and coaches.  So that's where I'm going with this one...

If you look back to last Sunday morning's blog, you'll notice that I predicted a score of 30-10 because I firmly believed that the Colts were 20 points better than the Jets.  Had it not been for one fluke touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, I would have been prophetic (anyone interested in my prediction skills can look back to September when I predicted that the Brett Favre experiment would end horribly in Minnesota... can't think of an ending much more horrible than the one 8 days ago).  And I know it's hard to believe that I've waited so long to give my Colts thoughts, but as I mentioned, I've been in somewhat of a celebratory stupor.  Peyton Manning was unreal, it seriously may have been the best game I've ever seen him play.  Pierre Garcon gives every D-3 athlete hope (granted, every D-3 athlete doesn't run a 4.4 forty-yard dash), and played great in the aftermath of the tragedy that occurred in Haiti where many of his relatives live.  Ultimately, the Colts were the better team, and no Jets smack talk was going to change that.  Now, the question that I leave this game with is, "Is all forgiven in the aftermath of the Colts resting their starters against the Jets in week 16 and the Bills in week 17 all because they reached the Super Bowl?"  I would say that 80% of Colts fans would say yes.  Because the defense was fresh, they were able to hold their two opponents in the playoffs to an average of 10 points per game.  But there is the other school of thought that says, "We made the Super Bowl, but we should be 18-0 and well on our way to being considered the greatest team in NFL history."  True.  But if we hadn't let the Jets in the playoffs, the Chargers and their mouthy, egotistical, showboating quarterback that I dislike very much may very well have been celebrating on the Colts field.  In the grand scheme of things, I would say it worked out pretty well.  Put me in the 80% category.  

Back to my intramural reffing ability.  Apparently I suck.  I would like to think that I don't suck and that people just like to give me a hard time (at least that's what I believe), but a guy's confidence gets tested when people argue every call.  Truthfully, I think it has more to do with the mouths on these kids (and faculty, mainly consisting of coaches, whose game I reffed the other night) than any wrong call I might make.  I reffed two games of the Special Olympics tournament on Saturday - not one complaint.  But the very first time I blow my whistle on Tuesday and Thursday, that won't likely be the case.  Oh well, suck it up Matt, and take your verbal abuse like a champ. 

And now I come to the biggest disappointment that I've had in a long time.  As I've mentioned on here many times, I'm a fan of professional wrestling.  I know it's childish and most people above the age of 10 aren't into it, but I don't fall into that category.  But all my friends have kind of gotten into it as well, since I commandeer the living room every Monday night to indulge in two hours of Monday Night Raw.  About once every month, the WWE has a Pay-Per-View which I rarely get to see.  Most of the PPVs are shown at the local Buffalo Wild Wings.  At the very least, my friends and I attend the big ones of the year - The Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, and this year, we were even able to swing Summerslam on a night during football camp back in August.  Last night was the Royal Rumble, something that my friends and I had been looking forward to for weeks on end.  I distinctly remember saying to one of them as we prepared to leave last night, "This is my favorite PPV of the year."  My anticipation level was at least an 8 - somewhere between a Wednesday night meal at the Sparks Center and the AFC Championship game.  Upon arriving at B-Dubs, I'm anxious, because I want to make sure that sometime between August and January, they haven't discontinued ordering the PPVs.  I ask the hostess - we're in luck.  The 8 o'clock starting time rolls around, and all there is on TV is a promotional ad for it.  Troubling, but not quite concerning.  8:30 rolls around, and after seeing the promo run for 30 times, I start to get concerned - I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach and my friends are starting to get restless.  I continue to eat my nachos.  9:00 - an hour has passed, still no wrestling.  "It's okay," I keep telling myself.  "The main event won't start until probably 10."  My friends start to sweat with each passing minute of intense Pro Bowl action that can be seen on the smaller TVs.  30 minutes later, I've now seen the Royal Rumble promo 90 times.  My heart sinks.  It's over.  Disappointment turns to anger.  Anger turns to my friends and I leaving at roughly 9:45, and having wasted 3 hours and $12.  As we return home, one of my friends gets a text from another Wabash guy whose friends had gone there to watch it - it came on 5 minutes after we left.  I was heartbroken.  But on the plus side, I'll never have to spend another dime there.  Time for some Applebee's gift cards, mom and dad.  

Wow, glad I got that off my chest.  Time to get back to the school thing though.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week.  GO Colts.  DON'T GO to B-Dubs.  I'm out.