Archive for the sports Category

108. Go Hunting with your Grandfather

Posted in sports on May 11, 2010 by Allen

Grandfather’s are awesome because they understand the world in a much more direct and uncluttered way.  They don’t care for text messages, online shopping or virtual waiting rooms.  They all come from a time whereby, if you needed something, you went out and took it!  It is for this reason that going hunting with your grandfather can be a profound experience.

Discovering tracks, following a trail, killing and cleaning an animal.  These are all things that come naturally to your grandfather.  While you’re out in the bush, he will regale you with tales of times gone by, each one poignantly finishing with the perfect moral.  You can’t learn this stuff in school.

You don’t necessarily have to go hunting for deer or quail, however.  Simply accompanying him to the hardware store as he hunts for the perfect tool to finish the project he’s working on will be an education.

Note how he surveys his environment using instincts forged over years of experiences, having witnessed firsthand the most rapid and monumental era of change the world has ever known.

See how, at first, he mistrusts the sales staff, but then warms to them as he realizes they share a similar obsession for fine craftsmanship and sturdy instruments.

And, as he walks up to the register, feel that sense of empowerment and pride as he pays with money that he may well have earned 30 years ago.

When you go hunting with your grandfather, you’re not so much seeking as you are conquering!


“Dear London”, My Olympic Conclusion

Posted in soirees, sports on March 1, 2010 by Allen

Dear London,

In two years you will be getting the Olympics.  If you choose to embrace them, you have no idea how sweet they are going to be!

During the games, you will feel like you are hemorrhaging money.  You will be shocked at how much you spend but you won’t care because you will feel like you’re on vacation in your own city.  Not just “you”, but everyone, on the same vacation, in the same place, and you’re all best friends.

Every night you will have 20 different places to go and you’ll have friends at all of them.  You’ll feel like you need to seize each moment, see everything, do everything, be everywhere.  It’s exhausting.  You won’t sleep.  You’ll love it.

Vancouver prides itself on being a multi-cultural and diverse city (sound familiar?) but sometimes, that hurts it.  There are so many different groups of people that have little in common with one another and often that keeps them distant and separate.  For 2 weeks, all of that suddenly changed.  Everyone felt as if they were of the same tribe.  We all felt as one.  I cannot count how many sincere hugs and high-5’s I have exchanged with complete strangers.  Every human being should feel what that’s like.  It’s empowering.  People will talk about an “Olympic Legacy”, something that remains with the city after the games are gone.  It’s not a speed-skating oval or a new rapid transit line.  It’s the incredible sense of unity that a populace feels when they know that they are all a part of something genuinely great, together.

You will witness moments of greatness that will go down in national history.  I ran into a guy outside the stadium yesterday who had just bought a single scalped ticket to the game for $1800.  He said he had put aside two thousand since the summer with the intention of spending it on this one gold-medal hockey game.  Considering the outcome, he got the bargain of the century.

You will witness moments of ridiculousness: The mayor of Vancouver came onstage just before the free Damien Marley concert and proclaimed February 24th “Canadian National Snowboarding Day”.  What!!??  That’s Olympic fever for you.

You will witness moments of cool gone wrong: My brother got busted for ginching a micky and kicked out of the free Girltalk concert 2 days later.

You will find yourself caring about obscure sports like the Skeleton or the Biathelon and discussing the finer strategy of these events with your friends.

You will fall in love with the athletes because they are real people.  They are not prima-donna millionaires who play for massive sports clubs (for the most part), they are regular folk, many of whom have regular jobs, who have trained for years doing some little-known solo sport and are sincerely trying their absolute best to make their country proud.  You will relate to these people.  You’ll feel their pain and their joy.  It’s catharsis.

Foreign medias may criticize your Olympics, saying the venues are poorly prepared, infrastructure is ill-organized, the competitions lack drama or style.  What they fail to realize is that the Olympics are not about sports.  They are about spilling out into the streets and cheering as one, feeling something as one.  The sports themselves are just an excuse to cheer.  They are merely a vehicle to unite the masses into one common and singular passion.  You cannot possibly realize that unless you step out onto the streets and feel it for yourself.

People will denounce your Olympics by telling you that $6 billion dollars (estimate of what ours cost) for a 2 week long party isn’t worth it…..but…..what if it is?   My city has never felt better.


90. Break Out of a Slump

Posted in soirees, sports on February 22, 2010 by Allen

The only negative thing about ending a slump is that it requires you to have been in a slump in the first place.  That can be a real drag.  It’s basically an absence of cool, a cool cavity.  The good news, however, is that for all the loss of cool you experience whilst in the depths of your slump, your cool will be returned to you tenfold as you break out of it.

You see, we are a culture that likes to get behind the underdog.  We love stories of the downtrodden succeeding against all odds, overcoming scandals, finding redemption and generally rising from the ashes.

So, whether you’re the Boston Redsox, the World Economy, or a single guy trying to” pick up” at the bar, there’s nothing that feels quite as good or carries quite as much relief as breaking out of a long slump.


The Canadian Men’s team squeaked by the Swiss in a shootout and then lost to the Americans on Sunday night.  This constitutes a major slump.  C’mon Canada, get back in there!  Rub some ice on it and walk it off!

In every great sports story the good guys have to spend a little time with their backs against the wall. We really wouldn’t want this to play out any other way.  Breaking this slump is going to be an awesome task, but when they do, it’s going to be all the sweeter.  There’s a whole lotta’ cool on the line and all the Canadian team needs to do now is simply reach out and grab it!  It was always theirs in the first place.

87. Lose your Mind Cheering for your Country at the Olympics

Posted in sports, statements on February 10, 2010 by Allen

I live in Vancouver.  In 2 days my city is going to become a zoo, and I couldn’t be more stoked.

There are plenty of reasons to be anti-Olympics and some of them are very convincing, but here’s why the Olympics are sweet:  It brings out legitimate national pride.

Last week I saw this guy on the subway fully decked out in Russia gear: hat, jacket, track pants and shoes!  He wasn’t an athlete or media.  He was just some dude from Russia who’s come here to represent.  There are people like this guy all over the city basically wearing their country’s flag as clothing.  Patriotism, when applied to sports, is awesome.

And that’s the beautiful thing about the Olympics.  There’s no confusion about who you’re cheering for, no stupid jumping on the NY Yankees/Dallas Cowboys/Manchester United bandwagon.  Your team is where you were born.  It’s whoever your passport tells you to cheer for.  You are your team and if your team loses, you lose, but if they win…….national holiday!

P.S. I have tickets to see the Canada vs. Switzerland hockey game.  I will be wearing a full body Canada tracksuit, a Rick Nash jersey, Canada mittens and some weird hat with horns.  I haven’t decided if I should paint my face yet or just get a maple leaf tattooed on my forehead.

Look, I love Switzerland but, for 2 hours on Feb 18th, they’re going to be nothing more to me then a bunch of chocolate loving, watch fixing, bank account managing pansies.  I can barely type because my hands are trembling in excitementttttttttt!!!!!!!!

83. Play the “Guess Who’s from Europe” Game

Posted in soirees, sports on January 25, 2010 by Allen

This game is played exactly how it sounds.  Whenever you’re at a bar,  restaurant, art show, rave, topless beach or any other public place, you simply try to guess who’s from Europe.

Here’s one clue that never fails:  Look at their jeans.  Sometimes they’ll look way better, sometimes they’ll look way worse, but they’ll always look slightly out of place.  Notice how the waistband sags differently, how the leg tappers in a dissimilar way, how the flare, wash and rise somehow feels unlike anything you’ve ever seen on your friends.

Keep a running score with your friends for the night.  To verify, ask your subject a question about wine or bicycles and listen for the accent.

P.S.:  When played in Europe the game is called “Guess Who’s from North America”.  Exact same rules and clues apply.  The verifying question should be about UFC or action movies, however.

81. Do a “Hero Run” on your Snowboard

Posted in sports on January 16, 2010 by Allen

Imagine this:  You’ve been boarding in a snow storm all day.  You’ve just finished a hot chocolate with your friends at the mid-mountain station when all of a sudden the skies clear, the sun starts blazing through and you notice that the chair to the peak is about to open.  Somehow you manage to be the first ones on.

Now you stand at the summit gazing upon the most beautiful, white cotton candy run of virgin champagne powder you’ve ever seen.  You turn on your ipod and bomb a hero run , laying down the first tracks of the day and living the kind of adrenaline fueled religious experience usually felt only by prophets, pop stars and heroine junkies.  Sweet.

77. Hold Your Own at Darts

Posted in sports on January 2, 2010 by Allen

From pool to pin-ball to pull-tabs, it is important to have at least some skill in the “pub sports”.  No game, however, is more elegant, graceful and deadly than the game of darts.

A magnificent combination of precise accuracy and cold execution, the truly great dart players have a form that is repeatable and a confidence that is unwavering.  It is a competition of marksmanship that conjures images of wild-west shootouts or Robin Hoodesque archery tournaments.  This easily makes darts the most crowd-pleasing and therefore coolest of all the tavern activities.

Interesting variations to add to the game include the Long-Distance Lob and the Left-Handed Huck.  Incorporating these styles into your darts game will result in both an increase in danger and an increase in fun.  Not surprisingly, it’s often an increase in drinking that precipitates this.

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