Thursday, August 13, 2009

And Football!! (sort of)

The NFL Preseason starts today and at 7:30pm, my Washington Redskins will take on crosstown "rivals" the Baltimore Ravens. I has been dubbed the "Battle of the Beltways", although that just seems to be a rivalry conjured up by the sport news outlets in here in the area. In reality, true Redskins and Ravens fans really don't see each other as rivals. A true Ravens fans cares more about beating the Browns and the Steelers, just as I would care more about the Redskins beating the Cowpokes or the Giants. Still I'm excited about the game and look forward to seeing some of the first teamers on offense get some reps in against a tough Ravens defense, especially I want to see how Jason Campbell looks in a real game situation and if the offensive line can keep him upright for the season. I'm also curious to see our defensive rookies Orakpo and Jarmon, especially to see how Orakpo is handling his duties as linebacker.

I've been thinking about my somewhat obsession with football and how it all started. I guess I've always been around big time sports fans in my life. Growing up in South America, where soccer is HUGE, I always liked the passion that fans had for their teams, whether it was the professional leagues or the country's team. I must say though, that I wasn't that crazy about soccer (futbol for my Spanish-speaking brethren), but I followed suit because that was the norm. I do remember attending a futbol game when I was a kid, and I truly enjoyed the experience. I also remember seeing the national team playing abroad, and being amazed at how the entire country just stopped on its tracked and focus on that particular game. It was quite an experience.

Well, fast-forward a few years and I find myself in a new country (U.S.) and (finishing) growing up in the DC area. I believe it was in middle school where I was introduced to football...being new at the sport I sucked at it big time. I remember thinking that the safest spot for me to be at was at snapper, well except that I fumbled the snap and was sent to the sidelines by the kid playing QB (Ethan Albright would not have been proud). My good friend George intrduced me to the Redskins, and I remember being very puzzled at watching the whole thing. I always thought that football was a sport were people always ended up in a pile after hitting each other. I remember being puzzled at the concept of punting and thinking (in Spanish) "why are they giving up the ball to the other team?" But I slowly learned the basic concepts of the game. Playing Madden also helped me learn the game, although I remember being very lost the first time I sat down to play the game. It was insane.

As I learned about football, I began to follow a bit the Washington Redskins during the 90-91 season. Well my following consisting of probably catching a glimpse of some of their games and listened to the local sports news talk about them. It was during that season that I got the chance to meet Mark Rypien, QB of the Redksins, who came to visit my middle school. Rypien was a nice guy, he answered lots of questions from the group. I remember someone asking him if he was as good as Montana (very funny) and someone else asking him how far he could throw the ball (pretty far). The next season (91-92) I would watch as Mark Rypien lead the Redskins to a 14-2 record and all the way to the big game. Watching the Redskins beat the Bills 37-24 in Super Bowl XXVI was a thrilled, and it started my obsession with football and all things Redskins. Ever since then things have been up and down (mostly down) for the Redskins. But over the years I've develop a pretty good (and useless) football knowledge. Now I'm a bit of a football fiend, you can find me reading,, Redskins Insider, Adam Schefter on Twitter, and any other football outlet pretty constantly. About a year ago, I found the fan forum, a pretty cool site with some knowledgeable people about football and the Redskins. I've become a regular of the site, and it has helped me survive the football offseason this year. So there it is...and insight to my obsession with football. Here's to the beginning of football (sort of) and may the Redskins have a good season!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Madden '10

Well, tomorrow at midnight Madden '10 will hit the shelves. I am eagerly awaiting this...and I'll probably be one of those dorky people that will get it at midnight. My wife has come to accept my video game dorkyness. And I appreciate this a lot. She could easily be one of those nagging spouses/significant others, but I'm lucky this is not the case. It has taken her a while to get use to my obsession with video games and football (and video games about football); but I think she has realized that it could be worst (I could have a gambling problem or something worst). Actually, Madden is probably the only game where I will fork the full price of the game and get it when it comes out. Usually, if I purchase a game is typically an used game (or a new game way past its release date) and I shoot for a price of about 20 bucks. Now Madden, I just feel like I need to get the game right as it is released, it is part of my "gearing-up-for-football-season" mode that millions of fans and I go through in August.

I have been fortunate to have been able to take time off work when Madden comes out. It has become like a mini-holiday for me. Luckily my line work and well the current job that I am in, allows me to do this. Actually this week I have been off the whole week, part of summer vacation. I've been having a "stay-cation", although it has been a bit boring at times due to my Xbox 360 being broken (it has been repaired and I will get it the day before Madden!). But I have had a good time taking it easy and spending time with the wife and the dog. Anyway, back to Madden. So hopefully tomorrow at around this time, I will be popping Madden '10 into the 360 and start playing. I look forward to the new Washington Redskins, and hopefully I'll be tearing things up with their ridiculous defense, as well as living in a fantasy land where Jason Campbell scores a ton of touchdowns :)

I look forward to playing games online, although I hope to avoid the stupid games with people that do the same tired routine (that works half the time, and doesn't work the other half). Going off on a rant, I kind of wish Madden '10 would fix one of the most annoying things that happens when you play some people on line....the dreaded "run back 30 yards with a mobile QB and get off some lucky shots down the field" players. I also hate playing against the people that don't punt and well they quit right as you score the fourth TD on them. I also hate the people that find a glicht or some unconventional play that works for them. I wish the computer AI would cause their QB or RB to trip or something. But we'll see how things work out. Well, Happy Maddenoliday folks! Here is to more sleepless nights thanks to one John Earl Madden....BOOM!

Method to my Insomniac-ness

Although I haven't decided what this blog will be all about (probably sports and whatever I feel like writing about) I do want to talk about my Insomnia. Well I don't think I have a terrible case, but I've had this issue since my years as an undergrad. For some reason back in my younger days of university life, I had a horrible sleeping schedule. I stayed up for no reason, and it appeared that everyone in my dorm did the same thing. Four years of this screwed up sleeping schedule caused me to become a quasi-insomniac. It's been many years since I graduated from undergrad, and well throughout those years, I have continued to suffer from "I'm staying up for no f'ing reason" syndrome.

So how does this happen? Well, let's see...TV, Instant Messenger, Facebook,, The Warpath, graduate school, Wikipedia, Xbox 360, worrying about finances, concerns from work, and just a lack of discipline are some of the many reasons why stay up. Well, I don't stay up ALL night and actually I sorta have a bedtime of 2:00 AM...but when you have to get up in the morning at around 7:00 AM, that's very little sleep. Typically if I'm worried about something, that bedtime becomes 3:00 or 4:00 AM. For most of the time, it upsets me that this sleeplessness happens. When I stay up for no reason, I'm mad at myself for not sleeping; when I'm worried about something, well I'm upset already; and when I actually try to go to sleep and can't, it just pisses me off (well when I actually make an effort).

Well another reason why I sleep so little are two things...caffeine and the weekends. I drink a lot of coffee, and I think it does a good job at getting me going during the weekdays. And of course during the weekends, I sleep A LOT! Usually my wake up time during the weekends is after 10:30 AM (sometimes even later). I sort of feel that this makes up for my sleeplessness during the weekdays, but well that's just something I tell myself. Well I'm sure some people out there that have it worst. I mean after all I do sleep at most 5 hours every night...and then there are the times during the weekend when I sleep. Well actually now in my older age, I do sometimes find myself going to sleep at...8:00 PM!! Well I think as I get older, my body is going to start realizing that I can't just sleep 5 hours. So here's to us night owls!

Beginning Again...

Well I'm starting this again. I just saw the movie Julie/Julia, and of course the main character writes a blog. I've been thinking about writing a blog...and I completely forgot that I had written one. Well that has been deleted (I hope) and I'm starting again. Hopefully this one will be better organized and that I actually keep this up. So here are thoughts that come to mind during sleepless nights...although I'm sure there will be lots of posts written during the daytime.