Friday, November 17, 2017

Life is a Spectator Sport (sometimes)

My son (far right) and his soccer all-star team.

I'm not used to just watching.

For the past five years, my son has played soccer, and for each of those five years, I've volunteered to be his coach. The first two seasons I didn't really give him a choice about it. After all, I'd played organized soccer for about 14 years, all through high school and on travel teams so I figure it's one of the few actual skills I possess so I need to volunteer my time to teach kids how to play.

After he turned six, I asked him before each season if he wanted me to coach and each year, he said yes. this past season, he moved up to the eight and nine-year old kids, which meant for the first time they officially kept score and had a league champion. Through my expert coaching (and a little luck with the draft to start the season), we were able to go 6-0-2 and win the league.

I had a blast coaching and seeing the kids on my team around town and having them say "hi Coach Luke" is still really cool. 

That's where our story begins.

Because about two-thirds of the way through the season, they had tryouts for the all-star team that would compete in the district tournament. I'm obviously biased, but my son is pretty good and he ended up making the team. Awesome, right?

Well, yes, awesome.

But for the first time, I wasn't the one running practice. I didn't get to be out on the field running around and teaching the kids what I know about the game. I wasn't the one hearing about their day or giving high fives after good plays or encouraging and correcting them after they made mistakes.

Instead I was forced, for the first time, to watch from the sidelines with the other parents. And forced is probably the right word there.

I'm not good soccer parent. I'm not bad mind you, but I do far more coaching from the parents' sideline than I should. I wanted to position the players, move them up or back and basically do all the things I'd been doing since my son started playing.

For the first time in my son's soccer-playing life, that wasn't my role. My role was to cheer and be encouraging and be supportive of the coach. And his coach was really good. I could see noticeable improvement from the players on the team over the three weeks they played together.

And standing on the sidelines during practice was actually a lot of fun as I got to hang out with the other parents.

But the games.

The games are a different story. It's a whole different level of stress. One of their scrimmage games ended in a tie and the teams went to penalty kicks. Fortunately for me, my son didn't take one of the kicks, but I was standing next to the parent of a son who did and he was, by far, much more anxious and nervous than his son, who had his shot blocked.

After their three weeks of practice and five scrimmage games, the team finally played the first-round of the district tournament last night. The game was about 80 miles away, so I got off work early, got my son (my wife was out of town at a conference) and we drove up to the game. I was anxious and getting frustrated with the traffic as I wanted to make sure we were on time and he was able to warm up.

He was in the back seat playing Minecraft and basically as calm as something that's really calm. (I'm not good with similes.)

We get there and warm up and the game begins and to start out, I'm sitting in my chair next to one of the other parents (who was also a coach) and we both have a lot nervous energy. Eventually we stand up and start pacing and cheering while, perhaps, doing a bit more coaching than we should.

At one point I turned around to one of the moms behind me and told her to whack me across the shoulders if I started coaching too much. She laughed and said I wasn't as bad ad her husband yet so I had nothing to worry about. I laughed and, jokingly, said that was the point. I don't want to get as bad as her husband.

Ultimately our team lost 3-0. While the kids were disappointed, I think some of the parents took the loss harder. I know I did. Not because I think I could have done a better job coaching (far from it), but because despite my struggles of being a cheering parent rather than an involved coach I really enjoyed just watching and cheering. I wasn't trying to juggle playing time or to figure out the best alignment to help us win. I could cheer and watch and enjoy (as best I could) the game.

I'll miss it and I'll miss soccer season. But we're going to play disc golf on Saturday and on Tuesday we find out what basketball team he's on and we move on to the next sport. One that I know far less about and I don't have the impulse to try to coach. I can be a cheering parent and I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ignoring Austin Powers' advice

You know that scene in Austin Powers where he's concerned about going back in time while he's still frozen back in time.



You know how they say don't worry about it and just enjoy yourself? Yeah, I did the opposite of that in this post. No, not about Austin Powers (maybe someday) but I made the mistake of thinking about something and worrying about it.  

Keeping a blog like this is, inherently, a narcissist act.

It's not like other writers who actually get paid. Journalist, authors and the like have a market for their work and people pay them for their writing, whether it be reporting for a magazine or newspaper or a book or an opinion piece or a work of fiction.

But I do this for fun. And there's nothing wrong with doing things just for fun.  I have a modest but growing collection of board games that my family and friends get together and play fairly regularly. It's enjoyable to get with a group of friends and play games.

I also enjoy sitting on the couch after my family's gone to bed and watching a baseball game. Being by myself, the solitude (well, solitude + my internet friends) having fun watching a ball game.

But writing is different. As much as I enjoy it, there's something incredibly self-centered in thinking that anyone cares what I have to say (which, most often, is nothing of consequence.) There's literally no reason for me this stuff down.

That's not to say writing, in general, is a self-centered act. If behavioral economist (and recent Nobel Prize winner) Richard Thaler writes a book about behavioral economics, then that's probably worth reading if you're interested in that field. If Ta-nehisi Coates writes about racism in America, it's going to be well researched and while you may disagree with the conclusions, you'll know it was founded on facts and the historical record. Experts in their field writing about their field are inherently worth reading.

That's not what I do. The closest thing I have to anything well researched on this blog is my treatise on the Barenaked Ladies song "If I had $1000000" which is not likely to win any prizes in the foreseeable future.

I guess this is a long, rambling way to say I don't know why you read my little blog here, but thank you for finding it worth your time to do so.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Llama or an Emu?

This post was inspired by sitting in church earlier this week. The song was played during a video segment in which kids in the church discussed what they would do if they had $100. Part of me feels bad that what I got from church on Sunday was the inspiration to write this. Part of me is ok with being inspired to write this because church should be a place you go to get inspired. 

What follows is an "Expecting the Spanish Inquisition Special Investigative Report" looking at the most pressing issue of our time. 

 In 1992, the Barenaked Ladies scored a hit with "If I had $1000000" in which they discussed all the things they'd do with a million dollars. It's a fun song that wikipedia tells me was never considered a true single as it didn't even have an official music video to go along with it. Nevertheless, it remains popular, especially in Canada where it was second in the most essential Canadian tracks of all time. 

Take four minutes and listen.

 Fun, right?

But that seems like a lot of things to buy for only a million dollars. So I decided to investigate how things would work today if you tried to purchase those things listed in the song.

But before we can even get to that, we have some other things we need to figure out. First of all, the song was written in 1992. One million dollars then isn't worth the same as it is now. 

We also have to convert the $1,000,000 from Canadian dollars to American dollars. After all, the Barenaked Ladies were a Canadian band, writing, presumably for a Canadian audience. A quick Google search tells us that the exchange rate in 1992 was 0.828136, meaning our million dollars, Canadian, is actually $828,136, American.

However, that's in 1992 dollars. We need to adjust for inflation, right? Again, going with the chart I found on Google, that $828,126 would be worth $1,449,202.58 today. So, we need to figure out if all the things listed in the song can be purchased for that amount.

Ready? Let's go.


[Verse 1]
If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I’d buy you a house
(I would buy you a house)


Ok, so we're not told how big of a house or where this house is located. According to Zillow.com, the median house price in the United States is  $201,900. Now depending on where you live, that could get you anything from a five-bedroom house with a yard and a picket fence to something much smaller. We've got nothing to go with, so for the sake of simplicity, we're going with a 3-bedroom, two bath house with a large yard and a fence. (Later in the song they reference the need for a yard, so we're going with this. We also need this to be in middle America for reasons that will become apparent later.)

Starting total: $1,449,202.58
Let's say we got this house.

House total: $201,900
Remaining:  $1,247,302.58.

But we didn't include property taxes. The average property tax bill in the United States is $2,149. Presumably once you bought the house and gave it to the person, you'd pay the taxes, at least for the first year, so we'll do that.

Taxes: $2,149
Remaining: $1,245,153.58


And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
I’d buy you furniture for your house
(Maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)


According to United Kingdom home furnishing specialists Terrys Fabrics, it cost £15,215 to furnish a 3-bedroom house from scratch. Among the most expensive items purchased were a sofa and a television. Converting that figure to American dollars, it's $20,384.78, meaning we're down to $1,224,768.80. But that is for an average sofa. A Chesterfield is a high quality sofa, with it's design dating back to the Victorian age and becoming synonymous with British craftsmanship. The modern Chesterfield can be traced back to the turn of last century and popular in gentlemans clubs and military offices. Let's add in $300 to to be safe on our cost.

Furniture for the house (including a nice Chesterfield but no ottoman): $20,684.78
Remaining: $1,224,468.80

And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I’d buy you a K-Car
(A nice reliant automobile)

Presumably, the K-Car refers to the Chrysler K platform that ran from 1981-1995. It is credited with saving the Chrysler Corperation from certain death and, in 1984, University of Michigan business professor and auto industry historian David Lewis said no platform "in the history of the automobile industry has so dramatically allowed a company to survibe in such a substantial way. No company has been down so low, in such difficult straits, and then depended on practically a single product to bring it back."

But how are we going to get a K-Car now?  A quick check of cars.chryslerkcar.com shows 57 cars for sale with the most expensive being a 1983 Dodge Convertible for $1,900. It's only got 43,000 miles on it, so this seems like a good deal. The car is in California, so we're presumably going to need to transport it somewhere. Let's add in $500 for that, bringing the total to $2,400 for the car.

K-Car (with delivery): $2,400
Remaining:  $1,222,368.80

And if I had a million dollars, I’d buy your love
If I had a million dollars
(I’d build a tree-fort in our yard)
If I had a million dollars
(You could help it wouldn’t be that hard)
If I had a million dollars
(Maybe we could put a little tiny fridge
In there somewhere)

I'm not sure how we can calculate buying someone's love, assuming it was for sale. I'm also not sure how you would sell love. I mean, escort services provide companionship, but that's not love. Prostitution is a thing, but again, they aren't selling love. For the sake of simplicity, we're going to go with love not actually being for sale.


[Post-Chorus]
We could just go up there and hang out
(Like open the fridge and stuff
And there’d all be foods laid out for us
I have always wanted
a treehouse.

Like little pre-wrapped sausages and things
They have pre-wrapped sausages
But they don’t have pre-wrapped bacon)
Well, can you blame them?
(Yeah!)

But what we can do is buy a tree fort. (See, I told you we needed a house with a yard.) We're assuming this is for an adult. Treetopbuilders.net out of West Chester, Pennsylvania, has a handy estimator for the cost of a tree house. Because we're trying to impress the object of our affection, we want this to be a fairly nice treehouse, so we went with a "a few upgrades" on the quality of materials and a complex tree house with "bay windows, multiple rooflines." (No boring tree fort for the person we love.)  We also need this to be fairly spacious as we are going to hang out up there, so we went with 450-800 square feet and a 50-90 square foot deck. This would cost us $305,368.

We then need to add a mini-fridge and some food. Wal-Mart has a 2.6 cubic foot mini-fridge for $90 and stocking it with food, let's say is another $90. Who knew tree houses were so expensive? Moving on.

Treefort: $305,368
Refrigerator: $90
Pre-Wrapped sausages and other food: $90
Remaining: $916,820.80


[Verse 2]
If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I’d buy you a fur a coat
(But not a real fur coat, that’s cruel)

Good for them for not buying a real fur coat. Not only is that the humane thing to do, it's cost efficient as a  real fur coat, according to Google, is anywhere from $995 for a short fur coat (which looks awful) to $22,425 for a Louis Vuitton fur coat. But a faux fur coat on refinery29.com can be had for $555. Not bad at all and we're down to $916,265.80.

Not a real fur coat: $555
Remaining: $916,265.80

And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I’d buy you an exotic pet
(Yep, like a llama or an emu)

Next we have to decide if we want a llama or an emu. Llamaseeker.com says that nice quality llamas are in the $2,000 to $5,000 range. Emus, meanwhile, could be had for as little as $85 if we get it as a one-week old bird.
We don't need no stinking emus.

However, there's much more to consider. Emus require about as much space as horse, though if we're being cost effective, a narrow pen about 120 feet long is recommended so we can have a much smaller yard. Llamas, meanwhile need to have a llama companion as they are herd animals so we're looking at at least two llamas. They would also require shelter from the elements and fencing. Presumably our house that we bought way back in the first verse has a large yard. But for either a llama or an emu, we're going to need a fenced in back yard.

Fencing in an acre can be done for as little as $225 if we do it ourselves, but it may not be tall enough for an emu. With that being our deciding factor, we're going to get a llama. (well, two llamas.)

So $7,000 for two llamas, another $300 for fencing, and we need a shelter for them that can be found online for $300. Add in $300 for food for two llamas for a year (that's surprisingly cheap) and our exotic pet budget is $7,900.

Llama (2): $7,000
Fencing: $300
Shelter: $300
Food: $300
 Remaining: $908,365.80


And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I’d buy you John Merrick’s remains
(Ooh all them crazy elephant bones)


But for some reason, we're also buying John Merrick's remains.

Merrick's actual name was Joseph Carey Merrick and was first exhibited as the Elephant Man in 1884 in Europe after he contacted a showman about the possibility. He was robbed and abandoned by his road manager in Belgium and by the time he returned to London, he was unable to speak. He spent the remainder of his life in Royal London Hospital and his remains are on display in Royal London Hospital.

In 1987, Michael Jackson offered $1 million for Merrick's bones, but the hospital refused to sell out of respect for Merrick. As recently as last year there were calls for Merrick to be given a Christian burial, but the Royal London Hospital has, thus far, refused.

So the bad news is it appears we're not going to be able to get the bones of the Elephant Man. The good news is no one should want those anyway as it's creepy and weird. Just no.
John Merrick's Remains: Not For Sale 
Remaining:  $908,365.80

[Chorus 2]
And if I had a million dollars I’d buy your love
If I had a million dollars
(We wouldn’t have to walk to the store)
If I had a million dollars
(We’d take a Limousine ’cause it costs more)

We just got a K-Car. Why do we need a limousine now? Why did we get the car if we're just going to take the limo to the store? This seems to be a bad use of our resources.

There are many kinds of limousines, but we all know this is referring to the stretch limo. Searching for brand new limos on americanlimousinesales.com led me to a 2017 Lincoln Continental for sale for $94,995. My quick search didn't turn up what kind of fuel efficiency we would get with this and since this will appear to be our "getting around town" car for trips to the store and whatnot, we'll need to estimate the first year gasoline bill. The average American spent $1,400 on gasoline in 2016. Let's triple that to $4,200 for our limousine. So our total for that comes to $99,195.

Limousine Total: $99,195
Remaining: $809,170.80

 If I had a million dollars
(We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinner)

[Post-Chorus]
But we would eat Kraft dinner
(Of course we would, we’d just eat more)
And buy really expensive ketchups with it
(That’s right, all the fanciest - Dijon ketchups)

What we in the United States know as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Canadians call Kraft dinner. They're delicious, though I'm not sure you want to subsist on them as your main diet. Nevertheless, the singers say we're going to eat more, so let's say they eat 18 Kraft Dinners a month. On Amazon.com, you can get an 18-pack for $28.97. We'd need 12 of those for the year, which would total $347.64.

Now the bad news. There is no commercially available dijon ketchup. I know, right?  In fact, such a product does not exist. I don't know how to bridge this gap. We can find fancy ketchup, which is an actual designation by the United States Department of Agriculture that "producers are allowed to use for marketing if their product meets the standards of US Grade A/US Fancy tomato ketchup, which possesses a better color, consistency and flavor, and has fewer specks and particles and less separation of the liquid/solid contents than US Grade B/US Extra Standard Ketchup and US Grade C/US Standard Ketchup."

Wait, grading ketchup? What goes in to that, you ask? Well, testers look for lack of tomato skin and seeds in the product, a smooth texture and other things. You can find a complete explanation of what goes into to ketchup grading here.

So no dijon ketchup, but we can get expensive ketchup. You can get two-pack of Whatburger fancy ketchup for $15.85 from Amazon.com. Better get four, total, just to be safe.

Kraft Dinners: $347.64
Expensive Ketchup: 31.70
Amazon Prime Membership (to save on shipping): $99
Remaining: $808,692.46


[Verse 3]
If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I’d buy you a green dress
(But not a real green dress, that’s cruel)

We need a green dress, but not a real green dress because that's cruel. I'm going to assume that means we're buying a dress, but not a green one. What kind? We don't know. For what occasion? Again, no idea. What season? It could be anything.

My research lead me to discover that there is a Fancy Dress Party in England. This party was formed  in 1979 as a "frivolous alternative to mainstream electoral parties," according to Wikipedia, and as of 2010, the party was on the official register of political parties.

But we're not here for British political parties, we're here for a not green dress. Nordstrom has what seems to be a nice dress for $158 and since I don't know what we're looking for, I think we'll go with this.

A green dress (but not a real green dress): $158
Remaining: $808,534.46

 And if I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I’d buy you some art
(A Picasso or a Garfunkel)

Next we need some art, either a Picasso or a Garfunkel. I actually enjoy the Art Garfunkel joke there, but we need to get a Picasso. Our Amazon Prime membership comes with Amazon music, so we can stream all the Art Garfunkel songs we want.

 In 2015, Picasso's Women of Algiers sold for $179 Million at Chrstie's Auction House in New York. That exceeds our budget by approximately $178 million, so we're going to have to pass on that one. But that doesn't mean we're out of luck.

The website artbrokerage.com appears to have several Picasso sketches for sale. Rather than going for a painting, there appears to be two small sculptures that would make great bookends and good conversation pieces for $6,000.

I should mention that I am in no way an art historian and would have no way to know if these are forgeries or not. So we're going to with them  and hope we weren't ripped off.

A Picasso or a Garfunkel: $6,000
Remaining:  $802,534.46
 
If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
Well, I’d buy you a monkey
(Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?)

And finally, a monkey. I choose to believe this verse was the inspiration for the creators of Friends to give Ross a monkey as a way to make him the least bit interesting. Be honest with yourselves, if Ross wasn't on Friends, the show would have been so much better. Sure, we miss the whole "Ross and Rachel" thing, but that was always the least interesting part of the show. When they reboot Friends in 10 years, I hope they kill off that character in the first episode.

 Nineteen states have banned pet monkeys, so hopefully we didn't buy our house in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersy, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming. I told you we needed a house in middle America. I'm assuming we're living in one of the other 31 state that doesn't prohibit monkey ownership.

Next, we have to decide what would be the best monkey to get. The most common are Capuchins, Guenons, Macaques, Marmosets, Squirrels, Spider Monkeys and Tamarins.  All of them live 25-40 years and will require you to change their diaper if they're living inside.

TheSpruce.com said "(Monkeys) are expensive, dangerous, live a long time, require a huge amount of your daily time, need a lot of space, and are not cuddly." Other than that, they make great pets, I'm sure.

But we're getting a monkey (to go along with our llamas. I think I know where the people behind "We Bought a Zoo" got their idea.). I'm going with Spider Monkey because the name seems cool.

According to Costhelper.com, Monkeys cost between $4,000 and $8,000. As we've done in the past, we'll go right in the middle and get a $6,000 monkey. We're going to need a cage (let's do outdoor cage, we didn't get the big yard for nothing) so that's $3,500 (we're going top of the line on this, safety first.) We'll need a nesting box with branches, blankets and toys, for $200.

Fruit and vegetables for a monkey is about $100 a month, so we can add $1,200 to our total. Add in another $60 for a year's supply of monkey chow. Apparently most primate owners choose to diaper their pets, so that's $260, plus the indignity of changing a monkey diaper for 30 years and who can put a price on that?

 We'll also need to include veterinarian care, though to be honest, I have no idea how to figure out how much it costs to take a monkey to the vet or even how you would go about finding a vet who can treat a monkey. I'm just going to say $1,000.

Monkey: $6,000
Cage: $3,500
Food: $1,260
Diapers: $260
Veterinarian: $1,000
Total Monkey Costs: $12,020
Remaining:  $790,514.46



[Chorus 3]
If I had a million dollars, I’d buy your love
If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
If I had a million dollars
(If I had a million dollars)
If I had a million dollars
I'd be rich

So at the end of all that,  we've still got nearly $800,000 remaining. Between maintenance on the limousine, the Dodge convertible, annual taxes and upkeep on the house, what I assume to be high homeowner's insurance since we have a monkey and llamas and other costs, I'm not sure our remaining cash will be there long.

But my biggest question in all this is would it actually work. I mean, buying a house and a car and a limousine seems like it's coming on a bit strong. Maybe start with some flowers and dinner at a jazz club or something a little less "I'm ready to make a lifetime commitment and to prove it, here's a house that comes with two llamas and a monkey."

Anyway, good luck dude. and if it doesn't work out with this girl, you still have enough left over to try one more time. 

If you've read all this, you might as well follow me on Twitter as you've shown you have no regard for using your time wisely. Also, thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Keep Sports Out of Politics

Craig Wilson is tired or sports ruining his politics.


NEWPORT NEWS (Va) - At the end of a long day of writing beleaguered sports blogger Craig Wilson just wants to turn on the news and forget about sports for a day. But increasingly, that become more and more difficult as sports has intruded in politics.

"I spend all day writing about sports," Wilson said. "Whether it's an injury for the Cubs or the latest NFL rumor or the start of the NHL season, it's my job. I just want to turn on the news and see what Congress or the President has done without sports intruding on that."

Whether it's the President tweeting about the NBA or some candidate trying to sell his "everyman" persona by talking about the local sports team, Wilson said it's exhausting.

"Politics is my respite from my work. It's where I go to forget about home runs or slam dunks. I get that all day at the office. I don't need it in my leisure time too," he said.

Wilson said he's talked to other sports bloggers who feel similarly.

"I hate seeing politicians making things sportical," Wilson said, attempting to coin a phrase "If they'd just stick to politics and keep sports out of it, everything would be better."

Follow me on Twitter. Or don't. It's really your choice. but if you want to, that'd be cool. But it's also cool if you don't want to. You know, you do you.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Summer Fun


The Chicago Cubs are in the playoffs for the third consecutive year. This is the first time it has happened since those halcyon days of 1906-1908 back when, well, you know what, I am not up on my history from that time period. I'm sure something big was going on. 1908 was a presidential election year, so that was probably big. Apparently Hitler's mom died in 1907. Google tells me that Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle' was published. (See, we're learning and it's fun.)

The odds are the Cubs aren't going to win the World Series again this year. This isn't a comment on the quality of the team, but just basic math. By the time the Cubs' playoffs, there will be 8 teams remaining. They'll have to win three multiple-game series to win back-to-back titles for the first time since 1907-1908.

Take a minute and flip a coin, calling it in the air. No, seriously, go ahead. I can wait. If you got it right, do it again. If you got it right a second time, do it one more time. If you got it right the third time, congratulations, you just won the World Series. While not exact, that's the basic math the Cubs would need to win again.

So the odds aren't great that it'll happen. And that's ok, because looking at World Series titles as the only measure of baseball success is a terrible way to enjoy the game and a great way to miss out on some truly amazing things.

In 2001, the Seattle Mariners won 116 games in the regular season. Only the 1906 Cubs won as many games in one season. It was a magical season (the Mariners, I don't remember that Cubs team). But Seattle lost in the playoffs. Calling that season a disappointment would take away the six months of amazing play the Mariners put together. Coincidentally, the Cubs didn't win the World Series in 1906 either. It's a small sample size, but I'm confident in saying winning 116 games in the regular season is not a good way to win the World Series.

From 1991 to 2005, the Atlanta Braves put together one of the most dominant stretches in sports, winning the division title 14 years in a row. But for all that success, the won the World Series only once. Measuring success only by championships means that both the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins were more successful during that time than the Braves despite the fact that both Toronto and Florida only made the playoffs twice during the Braves' run of dominance.

Because baseball plays 162 games over the course of six months, the best teams tend to rise to the top over the course of a season. There's enough time for the randomness of any individual game to become statistical noise. But when there's a best-of-five playoff series, suddenly that randomness of one game can have a huge impact on whether a team advances or not. The best teams don't always win. It may not be the fairest way to determine a champion, but it's the one we've got.

That's not to say I won't be incredibly disappointed if the Cubs lose in the playoffs. I will be. But I know the odds are long.

Having said that, this summer has been so much fun. I got to to a game at Wrigley Field in July and another Cubs game in Tampa earlier this month. (They went 1-1 when I attended if you're keeping track at home. Which, if you're keeping track at home, can we talk later? That is weird and you shouldn't be doing that.) I've spent countless hours watching games and highlights. For better or worse, the Cubs announcers are my summer soundtrack, filling the air with the sounds and sights of my baseball season.

And so a week from tomorrow the playoffs start. I'm nervous and anxious and excited all at once. There's a chance for all my time invested, the season could be over by the following Monday for the Cubs. That would be disappointing, but not enough to overwhelm the awesome summer I had.

Now is the time in the blog post where we dance.

via GIPHY

Follow me on Twitter. Or don't. It's really your choice. but if you want to, that'd be cool. But it's also cool if you don't want to. You know, you do you.