2008 Year in Review

Happy New Year everbody! While 2009 is now underway, thought I would check look back on the year that was 2008:

  • Saw There Will Be Blood. Twice. I saw all the other award nominees too.
  • I went sledding and hurt my arm.
  • Worked on blog networks, NCAA Tournament, Olympics, and redesign.
  • Ate my first Chipotle burrito. Also would try other new foods including Thai, Indian, and various seafoods.
  • Saw a SportsCenter commercial being filmed, but I did not make it into the final cut.
  • Visited Providence, RI, Orlando, FL, Boston, MA, Washington, DC (thanks Chris and Marc), Seattle, WA (thanks Heather), and New York, NY. I also visited Washington Depot, CT, which is now the most popular post on this Web site.
  • Austin left ESPN, so did Paul, KC, Andrews, Jeff and Stella
  • Roger, Aaron, Dheerja, Andrew, Brian, Greg, Lisa, Nick, Dustin, Will and Jason joined ESPN
  • Bought my first Mac. I’m typing this post on it.
  • Started using Twitter. I posted 447 tweets in 2008.
  • My brother Pat graduated from Penn State and got a job teaching at Penn Wood High School. My brother Chris graduated from high school and went to West Chester University. My brother Mike graduated from middle school and went to high school and my brother Kevin graduated from elementary school and went to the middle school.
  • Took my first ever trip to Disney World with my brother Chris. Among my favorite moments was getting to sit down at an animator’s desk and learn to draw Tigger.
  • Saw WALL-E twice and The Dark Knight three times.
  • Went to the PGA Travelers Championship, a Mets-Phillies game, a Knicks-Mavs game, and the Jimmy V Classic. Did not make it to any Penn State games 🙁
  • Upgraded to high speed Internet and digital cable.
  • Ate 5 bowls of pasta at Olive Garden’s never-ending pasta bowl event. Will never do that again.
  • The Phillies won the World Series. I got as far as the Wynnewood train station in my quest to see the victory parade, but no further.
  • Bought a Blu-Ray player on Black Friday.
  • Visited the Franklin Institute for the first time in probably 10 years.
  • Surviving until Jan. 5.

In My Time

I love to read and study American history. As a student I frequently would become jealous of my parents’ generation and my grandparents’ generation and the things they got a chance to experience in their lifetimes. Tonight I realized that we too are living in one of those special times in history. Perhaps our children’s generation will read about what transpired on this night, in this election, in this year. Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States. There’s a long road ahead but for the first time in a while I have a good feeling about the future of our country. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow, next month, and next year.

Phinally Phillies

My Philadelphia Phillies are World Champions. I don’t know what to do with myself.

Two weeks ago a colleague helped put the monumentality of the situation in perspective for me. As a die-hard Red Sox fan watching her team collapse, Nisha posted this message on her Facebook account about her newborn son:

“Nisha is bummed [the] baby will have to wait at least until June to experience his first Boston championship celebration.”

I’ll admit I felt a little bit bad for the baby, it’s not his fault he was born a Sox fan. Still it reminded me that in my 23 years of life I had never experience the thrill of a world championship in my hometown.

Maybe that would be acceptable if I was from the rock capital of the world (Cleveland) or the coffee and software capital of the world (Seattle).

I’m from Philadelphia though – a tried and true blue-collar sports town. This is the home of Wilt Chamberlin, Mike Schmidt, Dr. J, Reggie White, and the Broad Street Bullies.

Yet I was part of a lost generation who could only feed off our parents’ stories of parades for the Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers. We watched each of our teams play in championships in vain, leaving only bitter memories of Joe Carter, Hockeytown, Shaq/Kobe, and Brady’s Dynasty.

For my entire life, my Philadelphia sports fandom has been defined by losing. I took a certain sense of pride in the Phillies earning the 10,000 loss if only because it certified that our grief was not in vain – we really were the worst franchise in the history of competition.

I wasn’t really sure what to do going into Monday night, with a 3-1 series lead with our ace pitching at home. Surely it can’t end like this!

And then the skies opened up and the game suspended. It was enough to feed my pessimism and paranoia for two more days.

Then suddenly, without theatrics or controversy, we won the game and a world championship.

For the first time in my life I’m a winner. In the last few years I’ve been building my self-confidence up, feeling more comfortable with my talents, and enjoying life. And now my team is a world champion.

What I am I going to do with all this sarcasm and disappointment? I don’t know.

What I do know is that perhaps for the first time in my life, I will be able to watch sports with a bit more patience. Take a little more satisfaction in the playoff birth and divisional championships, because they make the big one all the more sweeter.

I think my biggest concern now is that next year we have a championship letdown. As bad as never winning a championship is, never winning at all is much worse.

So thanks to Ryan, Chase, Jimmy, Cole, Jamie, Shane, Chris, Jayson, Brad, Brett, Pedro, Carlos, J.C., J.A., Joe, Eric, Matt, Geoff, Chad, Scott, Pat and Charlie for keeping things interesting and making this year so special. I look forward to the day when I can tell my children about watching you play. After all who knows how old they’ll be the next time Philadelphia wins a championship.

Me and Eeyore
Oh bother, I guess we’ll have to complain about the Eagles now.


Pike Place Market

Last week I was in Seattle to visit the Disney offices there but I got a chance to explore the city a little more. I got to eat out at a lot of Seattle’s finest restaurants and also see some of the sites. Pictured here are my visits to Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Deception Pass State Park, and Fort Casey. Special thanks to Heather for being our tour guide and host for the weekend! Continue reading this post for all my pictures.
Continue reading