NBA update

The word “raptor” in Latin means thief (so they tell me), and the Raptors of basketball are about to steal one from the Milwaukee Bucks and TV executives across the fruited plain.

Yup, this is what every American TV exec wants… Toronto playing in the NBA Finals.

I can hear the “U-S-A!” chants already.

New prediction

So much for my San Francisco double. Would have been amusing though.

For better or worse it seems now the city of Boston is poised for an unprecedented triple if the Bruins can secure a Stanley Cup against the St. Louis Blues.

World Series, Super Bowl, and Stanley Cup in the same eight months?

The rich get richer.

Time to bring this one out again

Tomorrow would have been my dad’s 77th birthday. He’s been gone for more than a decade, but obviously not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. And, of course, like all men I’ve spent the past few years becoming more and more like my own dad, and… I’m fine with that.

Submitted for your approval here, a reprinting of a list I composed several years ago. These are “Lessons my father taught me.” Dad never actually said these things, but I picked them up eventually anyway, piecing together some things he might have said were he around. Be warned, most of these are not noble or decent, as “lesson” lists tend to be. No, these are practical, and above all genuine. These are the real rules my father taught me.

Thanks, Dad.

And Happy Birthday.


Rules My Father Taught Me

1. Put yourself first.

2. Never let work get in the way of your hobbies.

3. Make sure other people are more indebted to you than you are to them.

4. Stash away as much money as possible.

5. But if you really want something you should buy it.

6. The only person you can really trust is yourself.

7. There is no need to meddle in the lives of others.

8. It doesn’t matter what other people think of you, including your relatives, friends, and coworkers.

9. When in doubt, consult Rule #1.

10. Every once in a while, do something selfless and generous, just to keep people on their toes.

Championship City

Durant and Cousins don’t even play and you still win by 20 points? That’s a team that’s going to win a championship.

And when the Sharks make it a Bay Area double… you heard it here first.

Yes Day

What do you call a day where the answer to every question is yes?

Yes Day.

That’s tomorrow at the O’Connell household.

Based on the children’s book of the same name, I’m putting my son in charge of the show tomorrow. It’s his favorite day of the year.

Pizza for breakfast? Yes. Junk food in the shopping cart? Yes. Staying up late? Absolutely yes.

My son and I have the same taste in how to have fun.

I don’t know where he gets it from.

What is… more attention than we’ve gotten in a while?

Every once in a while Jeopardy! jumps on to mainstream headlines and the general blogosphere, usually following someone who’s on a winning streak of note.

Enter James Holzhauer, the one-man wrecking crew who’s not only winning every night on Jeopardy! but just about bankrupting the enterprise in the process.

As of this writing Holzhauer has won 22 consecutive matches and tallied nearly $1.7 million. Among those 22 victories? The 12 highest single-game totals in the history of the show.

Yeah, he’s pretty good. What do you expect from a guy who’s job is “professional gambler”? (Yeah, that’s a job apparently. No less legitimate, I suppose, than professional game show contestant.)

One of the criticisms I’ve read about Holzhauer is that he’s just “too good” and makes the game uninteresting to watch. Yeah, Michael Jordan really made basketball unpopular, and after Babe Ruth nobody wanted to hit home runs anymore. You’re watching a master at work. Enjoy it.

And then I get looking at the Jeopardy! website again wondering when the next tryout is.

In case my career as a professional gambler doesn’t pan out.

Derby was definitely one to remember

Among other things this weekend I got to know a lot more about horse racing rules than I had before. You mean you can’t just plow the other horses out of the way? That’s called jockeying for position, no?

More like horsing around?

Well, thinking you won a race only to find out 20 minutes later you didn’t can’t be any pun.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have more Dad jokes to work on.

Of horse.

Among the many other good things this weekend…

In the midst of the NBA playoffs, the Kentucky Derby, the Bloom (look it up), May the Fourth, and Cinco de Mayo, we have this: Stephen Strasburg of my hometown Washington Nationals recorded his 1,500th career strikeout (in a victory last night), reaching the milestone faster than any pitcher in the history of the game.

Strasburg recorded K number 1,500 in inning number 1,272, 18 fewer than previous record holder Chris Sale. The top five fastest, incidentally, all pitched in this century, when pitchers log far fewer innings than in previous eras. (I’m pretty sure Cy Young pitched 1,200 innings in a single season once.) Still, a record is a record, and 1,500 strikeouts is 1,500 strikeouts.

Though for a little perspective, to match Nolan Ryan’s career total (5,714), Stras would have to pitch at this rate until he’s 52.