Tag Archives: sports

Seven Day Journey On The Bandwagon

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I did grow up in LA and at some point of my life I was a baseball fan.  I recorded baseball games on VHS tapes (another “Google it” moment) but never watched them again.  I collected baseball cards.  I went to Dodgers games w my friends and had fun hanging out.

 

But at some point I found it too boring to watch.  I would rail on it.  I would wish for it’s overall demise and collapse, like the entire sport to become extinct.  I would be irate if a playoff baseball game preempted a regular-season hockey or football game.  I would have moderately playful arguments on social media with friends over which sport was better, baseball or hockey, and which athletes were tougher (playful in quotes).

 

But then the LA dodgers made it to the World Series this year, and I couldn’t get a ticket onto the bandwagon fast enough.  I rushed out and got an LA hat just in time for Game 1.  I referred to the team as “We”.  I posted on social media joking about how I didn’t know how to keep score.  I was very obnoxious mostly because it made my wife roll her eyes at me.  She would ask me insider types of things like, “You don’t know why 4th in the rotation is important?  What kind of fan are you?!”  But I was genuinely interested and excited about the games.

 

Game 6 was on Halloween, which meant trick or treating.  Luckily about every 5th house or so had a Man Cave in the garage with the game on, and it was tense as we would get an update.  But the cool thing was, after Game 6 and they won to push Game 7, I went on Facebook and “Liked” a bunch of my friends’ celebratory posts.  It was cool to be a part of it.  It was cool to support “MY” local team.

 

I joined the LA Kings bandwagon for their Stanley Cup runs for similar reasons.  Hockey is the main sport I follow, and I am a huge fan of hockey in general, so I was going to watch anyway.  So I might as well root for a team.  I didn’t run out and get a hat or other merch, but I was tempted to.  It felt good to support a team with a mission.

 

You might think this is a stretch, but this could apply to people too.  Like regular people.  Like your kids.  Like your family.  Like your friends.  Like your co-workers.  Now, wait for it, even the coworkers you don’t like, especially those coworkers.  That one makes me cringe.  That is the one I need to work on, along with my overall positive attitude.  A lot of work.  Lots.

 

Have you done something nice for someone?  Sure you have.  Or have you gone on a missions trip?  Or a did volunteer work for a charity?  Or maybe even simply donated to a charity?  It felt good didn’t it?  Depending on what you were doing it felt good to be a part of something or to help make a difference.  Or just picking up that thing a stranger dropped can bring a rush of positive vibes (sorry for the scientific terminology).

 

It feels good to be a part of something that is making a difference or contributing in a positive way.  It can feel good to help people along with their mission in life, to help them find their purpose.  It can feel good to come alongside someone for their journey.

 

We live in troubling times with troubling events happening every day with very few solutions.  I hear that love is an answer, the answer, but is it?  Is that something I believe?  Is that how I live?  You wouldn’t think so if you read my complaints about work.  You might think twice about partnering with me on my mission, if that were the case.  You also wouldn’t think so if you heard how I respond to the news.

 

As fun as the Dodgers bandwagon has been the last couple of days, I doubt I have a permanent seat.  I know when next season comes around, my interest in 182,000 games will not be as high as it has been for the last seven, which is understandable, I think.  The playoffs are always more exciting than game number 65,887 on a Wednesday in the middle of July.  But I will do my best to decrease the vitriol I have had before this series.

 

The same goes for my life outside of baseball.  I am sure I’ve mentioned it in other posts (that’s the hint to go read my other posts after this) that I am a work in progress.  Progress may be slow, but hopefully there is progress.  Loving and being a part of people’s missions for a better life and world for everyone is something I hope to do more of, even if it’s in small ways like a more positive attitude or donating to people or causes that are making an impact in the world.  Showing love to the people around me that may not be my favorite people could make all the difference in their world.  Maybe just start with a smile.  There is always the being-a-good-example part of parenthood that is good for me and good for my kids as well.

 

From the Dodgers bandwagon to the bandwagon of love, I will make continue the journey myself and with others.  There’s plenty of room for you to hop on!

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What’s In A Name?

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On any given Sunday I’ll see one of my “cousins” doing something spectacular in front of a nationwide audience.  I’ll see him breaking a tackle, or dunking, possibly, over one of my other cousins, or maybe hitting a homerun, or possibly scoring a goal, stopping a goal, or throwing a big body check.  It depends on the sport.  Between the 4 major professional sports, I have a lot of cousins named Smith who have made it onto the big stage, and I cannot be more proud.

 

I am kidding around, of course, that I have that many cousins, or that they are all my cousins.  There are a lot of Smiths out there, though, out in the regular world as well as in the world of professional athletes.  As common as my last name is, and now my wife and kid’s last name, I don’t seem to come across that many Smiths.  Also, as common as Charlie seems to be, I don’t meet that many other sharing my name.  

 

Even though I haven’t met that many Charlies or Smiths in the wild, having such a common sounding name was enough for Tasha to request we change our last name.  This was before we were even engaged she was throwing this out there.  It wasn’t that Smith was a bad last name, it was just that “everyone” has that last name.  Needless to say, we didn’t change it, but she did protest a little.  It started with a friend asking her, “You’re going to be a, a Smith?!  That’s not as cool as your last name.”

 

She agreed and came up with a proposal for a neutral last name.  Like I said, this was before we were engaged, I believe, but it was clear to both of us that we were done shopping around on the open market.  Not that the market was very open for me, but we were both sure we knew we didn’t need to find any more fish in the sea.  Her favorite movie is The Princess Bride, so she came up with the suggestion of Rous (like mouse, but with an R), which is an acronym from the movie that stands for Rodents Of Unusual Size.  It’s the part of the movie, in case you don’t remember, where they Buttercup throws Wesley down a hill before she realizes he’s not the Dread Pirate Roberts (oh sorry, SPOILER ALERT on a movie that’s 20 years old) then throws herself down the hill after he yells, “AS…YOU…WISH…!!” down the hill.  Then they continue to evade Prince Humperdink by trekking through the Fire Swamp.  That part.

 

I couldn’t commit to it.  I had a feeling my dad would disown me if I changed my name from the “family name.”  Like my life would suddenly turn into The Godfather and my dad becomes Marlon Brando.  My dad is nothing like Brando, but no need to give him the incentive to make any changes now.  Tasha swears that I agreed to change our name, but I don’t recall.  

 

In the end, like I mentioned, Tasha changed her last name to mine, and we are now the Smith Family with two little beige babies, as Indian comedian from Toronto, Russell Peters says the world will be in a few generations.  Since we live in California, being the Asian Smiths is not really that big of a deal.  From time to time, it does come up as to how or why we have the last name Smith.  Our babysitter, who is Indian, asked one of the other moms  if she knew what the deal was.  Sometimes I’ll joke and say that we are in the Witness Relocation Program.

 

Recently, it was a little scary.  My mom emailed me and said she received a “suspicious phone call” from what sounded like an attorney regarding some issue that took place in Texas.  She gave me the phone number to call and a case number.  I emailed that I will check it out, then she emailed me back, “Don’t give out any personal information without finding out what it is first.”  It is good advice that I took, but it just had such an ominous tone to it.  I am sure you can all imagine your parents saying this to you, or possibly seeing your future in 20 years warning your kids in some, “Stay away from the house on the corner.  She’s a witch!” tone of voice.  My mom also wrote in the email, “Good luck,” with no punctuation, which also had this scary feel to it.  It made me feel like I was a bit guilty of whatever it was, even though I haven’t been to Texas in 20 years and that was just to drive through.

 

The next morning, Tasha asked me about that email, because my mom copied her on it too in case I didn’t get it, and she asks to confirm that I haven’t been involved in any shady business in Texas.  I told her, I hadn’t and I had no idea what it was about.  I also said, “And well, Charlie Smith:  it could be anybody.”  She said, “Oh, yeah.  I didn’t even think about that.”

 

I call the number, and it is some corporate office and the operator answers.  I tell him I received a phone call with a case number, and I’m calling back.  He asks me to hold while he looks up the number I give him, and I get nervous for some reason keeping my mom’s advice in mind.  He comes back and tells me he’s going to transfer me to the person in charge of that case.  I give that person the case number, and he says that the case is regarding Charles Smith.  I say skeptically, sheepishly, “Okaaay.”  He asks if he is speaking to Charles Smith.  I say, again, leerily heeding my mom’s advice to not give anything away, “Yeaaah.”  I might have well said, “I might be.  Who’s asking?  If I’m in trouble, no I’m not.  If I won the lottery, yes I am.”  He starts to explain the circumstances, which are regarding a bank account during a certain period of time, but with a bank I haven’t used.  I tell him I have never used that bank.  He asks if my date of birth is the same as the one in his file, I say no, and we part ways.

 

Whew!  I’m glad I didn’t give away any personal info as well as being glad I’m not being sought by the law.  Well, I did give away that my birthday is not the same as the Charles Smith he is looking for.  He would only have 364 other days to try and guess mine.

So there is an upside to have the same last name as everyone else.

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