Tag Archives: football

Is Change Real?

There’s an old saying in journalism, that goes something like this: If a headline asks a question, the answer is no.

In this case, I’m going to have to go with breaking the rules here, dudes.

See, I just spent the weekend with a dude I’ve known since fourth grade. The first time I met JohnBoy, I told him to get lost because we didn’t let sixth-graders play with us. Turns out, he wasn’t in sixth grade, just really darn big for a fourth-grader.

He stayed big until high school, when suddenly everyone else caught up to him. Still, over the years, he’s probably stayed in the best shape of anyone I know. Now. . . No, he’s not a fat slob. He’s still in great shape.

He has, however, made some significant changes to his personality. JohnBoy has always been a very . . . intense person. I use intense be3cause I don’t think hyperactiveparanoidnearpsychoticobsessivecompulsive is a real word. It’s a good description, though.

We met this year in Vegas for Wild Card Weekend, a new, almost-annual event we’ve come to enjoy.

In previous years, JohnBoy insisted we always sit at the same sports book, in the same seat and never leave. He’d spend the time during games obsessing over his bets, covering scrap paper with endless mathematical scrawls, trying to make sure that, if one bet lost, the other bet would win and he wouldn’t lose money. It got sort of scary a couple of times, dudes. I won’t lie to you.

This year was completely different. For one thing, the casino we normally stayed at was torn down to get boutiqued. Without even a bit of hassle, JohnBoy agreed to try the sports book at the Flamingo.

There are no tables, so there was nothing to hold the endless scribbles on scrap paper. He didn’t wear the same clothing every single day. (Don’t worry. Even at his worst, he still showered every day.) It is, to put it simply, a complete turnaround.

Well, almost a complete turnaround. We still had to sit in the same seats for every game, but I’ll count it as a win.

I asked him how he did it.

His answer? “I don’t know. I just decided not to do it. We talked about it last time and I decided I wanted to cut out stress and have more fun.”

So, yes, people can change. And sometimes all it takes is a decision to get it done.

I think there’s hope for us all in that, dudes.

Share on Facebook

Resolving To Take A Stand Against Resolutions. . . Wait

Don’t do it, dudes.

Seriously, don’t waste your time reviewing your life, targeting the clichéd elements like your weight, and making resolutions that — more than likely — you won’t actually keep.

Now, it’s not like we’re suggesting that you should just continue blindly on along the path for your life you set for yourself when you were 14. We agree that the unexamined life isn’t worth living.

You definitely should look at your life periodically, see if you are the sort of man you want to be. If you’re not there yet, then, by all means, make changes to get yourself there. There is always a difference between who we want to be and who we actually are. It’s the mark of a good dude, a good man or woman, that you actually chart a path to your goal and actually work to get there.

Wishing to be seen as a better person is no good unless you actually do your best to become that better person.

So, yes, definitely, take the occasional moral and behavioral inventory. Find those things that aren’t working and flush ’em. Find the parts that are working and build on their strengths.

Just don’t do it today, on New Year’s Day.

Resolutions have a nasty habit of being time-locked and reactionary. That is, what went wrong in the last little while before New Year’s Day? Then we tend to make resolutions that slightly address those issues and not the underlying causes that give rise to the events that are causing us to make resolutions.

For most people, looking back over the course of a year and remembering the things we did wrong or the things we did right, and why we did each of them, is an exercise in futility. Human memory is more fallible than we like to admit. We tend to remember the things with the most emotional weight attached to them, rather than those that are emotionally neutral. And even those things become embroidered over time.

We don’t remember what actually happened, but, rather, what we think happened. And there can be a vast gulf of difference between the two. Which means you might be making resolutions that are more worthless than normal.

Today is — most likely — a day off work. It’s a day for football and fun. Rather than spending too long in contemplation of sins past and entering the new year in a bad mood, or rushing through and slapping a few resolutions for change together, knowing full well you’re not going to keep them, just relax a bit today.

Instead, set aside a little time every three or four months to look back over your behavior during that time and make changes to your life that way. I’ve even got this stuck in my calendar. It pops up every three months, an alert reminding myself to look in a mirror for a while.

Resolve to be a better man or a better woman, but work for those changes over a shorter period of time. That way, you can keep up your enthusiasm for change and still be excited when you reach your goal, ready to start another.

Resolved: No resolutions today. Other than that one, of course.

Share on Facebook

Giving Thanks

We all have a lot to be thankful for today.

For all our American readers, today is Thanksgiving, the day we set aside to get together with family, eat until we’re all blind and comatose, watch football and, at some point, think about what in our lives there is for which we should feel gratitude.

Sometimes, it can be something as minor as the idea that it could always be worse.

Believe me, there are several situations in my life right about now where “It could always be worse” is just about the best thing I can consider when thinking about them.

It could always be worse.

Which doesn’t mean there aren’t a whole lot more things in my life for which I am profoundly, madly, wonderfully, appallingly, slobberingly thankful.

My family is — relatively — healthy and that looks to be something that will continue for a while. Economically, we’re doing pretty well.

We have a family that loves each other. More importantly, that means we’ve got an actual, real love that draws us closer together, rather than, say, being something where we tolerate people for short times before rushing away. I love them. They love me. We all love each other.

That, dudes, is a wonderful thing.

Let’s all go out and celebrate that, yea?

Share on Facebook