Some random thoughts about random stuff.
- The ESPN Monday Night Football crew is decent, better than most of the ABC efforts over the recent years. Mike Tirico is easy to listen to on the play-by-play, not too intent on inserting himself everywhere, just content to tell you what the plays are. Tony Kornheiser is okay if he's ad libbing and not reading some stupid pre-written commentary. And Joe Theisman... well, he's not exactly subtle, but then if I'd just spent five years in the booth with Paul Maguire and his moronic ipse dixits, I'd probably be a little brain numbed too.
- I don't know what to make of ESPN MNF sideline reporters Suzy Kolber and Michelle Tafoya. Both are pretty smart about football (either could be in the booth), both have nice, sultry voices, and both are very easy on the eyes. Here's the problem though: is a girl who adores football and knows more about it than you hot, or not hot? I'm not talking about inferiority complexes here; I have no problem with a girl knowing more. I'm just asking whether it would be cool to date a girl who moves really comfortably in that men's club, football arcana. It's a moot question for me, but if I was single, I think I'd enjoy having a couple areas in my life where the girl doesn't go. Nothing personal, but I like my space, and I'm not about to take up macrame just to do something the lady doesn't. As I said, it's a moot question for me, but I'd be interested in hearing any thoughts on the matter.
- If, when you are pigging out, you eat "X" "like popcorn," what do you compare pigging out on popcorn to? E.g., "I was eating popcorn like lobster tails, man, just chuckin' it down..." See what I mean? I can't think of any good similes describing how one eats popcorn.
- Got the road gearing put back on the Surly fixie last night, commuted on it today. A fixie is nice to ride with l0w gearing and all, but after a while, I get tired of going 16, while spinning 115 RPM. Up the gearing a little bit, and I can cruise at 20-21, and stay in a low- to mid-zone 2 (aerobic) effort level with ease. A fixed gear bike is magical under most situations, simply hypnotic; but riding it is like being in a rolling bubble if you can spin out on it, and be going fast enough to get significant wind rush.
- On that topic, let's hear it for SRAM. The Surly is my cross bike, my commuter, one of my two primary trainers, and my light on/off road touring bike. It does it all. Consequently, I have fixed and free gearing for it ranging from 18 to 22 teeth in the rear, and I'll probably pick up a 16 tooth front cog this spring. This necessitates changing chains, and I'm not too keen on friction fit pins. But the SRAM Power Link (or whatever funny name they call it) is sheer magic. Just squeeze the linked bits together, and it comes apart. For a fixed gear bike, you have to get the chainline just so - on a bike with horizontal dropouts (vs. 'track forks') that means you only have a range of three teeth on a properly sized chain - 20/21/22, or 19/20/21, like that. So you need to have a few chains on hand if you're going to be switching all around. (Yeah, it might be possible to use a couple SRAM links to make big changes... not sure about that option). Anyhoo, the SRAM link makes it feasible to just take a chain and cog off, and sling a new set on. I sort of like that.
- Know what else I like? Watching the Bears when they play well and win da Bears way. There's something about football or baseball or hockey when a great old franchise is doing well, and doing so in a traditional manner. The great Yankees teams were all anchored by great center or right fielders - Ruth, Earle Combs, Joltin' Joe, the Mick, Reggie and Mickey Rivers, Bernie Williams and Paul O'Neill. The Montreal Canadien dynasties always had great, great scoring forwards - Jean Beliveau, Bernie Geoffrion, Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Frank Mahovlich, Guy Lafleur, and Guy Carbonneau. As for the Bears, the guy who has always anchored their team, winning or losing, was the middle or inside linebacker. Bill George was a beast in the 1950s and early 60's, and he revolutionized the position. Then came Dick Butkus, the meanest, toughest bastard ever to play the game of football. A family friend claims that Butkus is what drove him out of the game - as an offensive guard, he knew he was finished when he couldn't block Butkus, even with the help of an offensive tackle. Then there was Mike Singletary, who played with unmatched savagery, but who was a consummate student of the game, always in position. Tonight, I'm watching Brian Urlacher, who reminds me of the best of Butkus and Singletary. Urlacher is a smart player, always in position to make the big hit or to stop up the hole in the line, but he is so big and hits so damn hard... There is just something right in the world when the Bears' middle linebacker is the best damn linebacker in all of football, and the Bears are winning. I'm a Giants fan, but I appreciate what the Bears and Urlacher are doing, and I hope y'all appreciate what you are seeing in Urlacher. He's one of three or four guys playing today, who we'll be able to tell our grandchildren about. And they won't believe us, but oh well.
- Hmmm... 14-13, Bears. Time to go watch football. Ride safe, all.