Whatever the reason, 2003 is different. As I sat there watching the ball drop on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, the first thing that popped into my head was resolutions. Actually, that's not true. The first thing that popped into my head was, "Lord almighty, just how old is Dick Clark these days?" And if you must know, the second thing that popped into my head was, "Lord almighty, how did Uncle Kracker ever get a recording contract?" But the third thing that popped into my head was resolutions.
So here goes. . . .
1) I resolve to use sound reasoning when filling out my brackets in March. Every year--and I mean every year--clouded by some sort of loyalty-induced hallucination, I pick my hometown Terps to go to the Final Four, archenemy Duke to lose in the Sweet 16, and my alma mater Penn Quakers to win at least one game and sometimes two. Even worse, I try to rationalize it to my wife. "Honey, the only way to win these pools is by being different," I say. But I never win. Not even last year, when the Terps actually did go the Final Four and Duke actually did lose in the Sweet 16. I guess it helps if you pick the right team to beat Duke. Stinkin' Trojans--serves me right. This year, I shall use sound reasoning.
2) I resolve to follow the Wizards more closely. After all, if you're from Baltimore and you're an NBA fan, then the Wizards are the home team, right? But for some reason, the Terps feel more like the home team. But that doesn't make much sense, because they're about the same distance away. Maybe if they changed their name to the Maryland Wizards. Or maybe I just need to forgive them for 10 years of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey drafting. OK . . . I'm over it. Besides, they've got Juan Dixon now--that gives the Wiz a much more decidedly home-team feel. Therefore, I shall follow them more closely.
3) I resolve to follow the Capitals more closely. Actually, let's back up a step. I resolve to follow hockey more closely. Actually, let's back up one more step. I resolve to learn the game of hockey. Because, right now, about the only things I do know are that Cynthia Gibb never looked better than she did opposite Rob Lowe in Youngblood, the Americans weren't supposed to win back in '80, and nothing's more frustrating than an episode of SportsCenter getting pre-empted by an overtime hockey game that nine times out of 10 ends up in a tie anyway. A tie!
4) Speaking of SportsCenter, I resolve to not get angry when I eagerly tune in to the late edition for highlights of the game I missed while I was out having dinner and a movie, only to inadvertently catch the score of said game out of the corner of my eye on that annoying black strip at the bottom of the screen thereby depriving me of any suspense or enjoyment I might have otherwise derived from watching said highlights.
5) I resolve to catch a few high-school hoops games this year. Lord knows it's cheaper than going to a pro or college game, and infinitely more honest. Yeah, I think I'll head on over to my very own Randallstown to watch the highly touted Rams. I wonder if they'll remember me. "Hi there, one ticket please," I'll say. "By the way, is there an alumni discount? I graduated here in '89. Maybe you remember me--I was the big white guy who got knocked out taking a charge from Evers Burns while he dunked on me during a playoff game at Woodlawn. No? Doesn't ring a bell? OK, then. One regular-priced ticket please."
6) I resolve to finally take a golf lesson. Seriously. I mean it.
7) I resolve to keep my composure when the Ravens' streak of consecutive quarters without a touchdown exceeds the number of films that Philip Seymour Hoffman has appeared in over the last five years.
8) I resolve to cut down on the amount of time I spend obsessing over my fantasy team (OK . . . teams) instead of doing work I actually get paid for.
9) I resolve to watch the Super Bowl. I mean really watch the Super Bowl. As opposed to every other year, when I say I watched the Super Bowl, but really all I did was eat some lime-flavored Tostitos and drink a few Coronas in between watching a bunch of surprisingly mediocre commercials.
10) I resolve to remain calm when David Segui gets hurt. The first couple times, anyway.
All these things, I resolve.
By the way, Dick Clark is 73 and Uncle Kracker is pals with Kid Rock.
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