Mark Richards


Monday, September 27, 2004

My Time To Gloat

I would say that I am a rather modest person. When I was growing up, I think I may have been the exact opposite though. But I am going to take the next few minutes to self-indulge.

Friday was Turner Sports' annual end of summer picnic and softball tournament (I can hear the groans already..."another softball story!"...shut up this is my blog). Before I get to the softball story, I have a short golf story.

A couple of weeks ago, I was taking a few swings with a pitching wedge here in the office (yes, I have a difficult life) when my boss came walking into the room. He knows that I have only been playing for a few months, but that I have been taking lessons as well. He made a very flattering comment to me about my swing. He said something about how my form was very good and that he was impressed. Obviously that excited me since I was able to impress someone who has been playing for a while. At the picnic, I was chatting it up with one of the business guys for the company and he mentioned that he heard from my boss that I had a really good swing. I was shocked to hear that...not that I had a good swing, but that my boss was impressed enough to tell another person. I found that to be exciting, and that makes me want to work even harder at my golf game now.

Anway, on to the main plot.

I was on the cream team for softball (not like the Dream Team of just referred to the color of the uniform). I really did not know anyone on the team, so I was afraid that I was going to end up sitting the entire time, but that did not end up happening. When assigning players to positions, I spoke up when third base came around...a position I have a lot of experience playing. Nobody else wanted the "hot corner" so it went to me. Lucky for me (and the rest of my team), I had one of my best defensive efforts possibly ever.

When I agreed to play third, I thought I would do an adequate job and at least put my team in a position to win. Apparently I brought my gold glove with me that day. I was making all sorts of plays...fielding popups, line drives over my head, to both sides of me, and right at me, and making dazzling on-the-run grabs of ground balls with a spin and pinpoint accuracy throw to first. I do not know what got into me that day, but whatever I it was, I hope I get a chance to repeat it. Not only was my fielding on the mark, but my batting was pretty good too. I was 3 for 5 in the two games we played, made a relatively acrobatic slide around a tag at thirdbase, and scored the tournament winning run. That is correct...I now know what it feels like to actually win a softball tournament!

Nobody took the tournament overly serious (myself included), but I must say that I had a great day and I was very proud of myself. And I will have you know that I did not brag at the time all this happened. I tried to be as nonchalant as possible...unlike now. Right now I would like to say, "I am great!"

And now, I am done being a braggart.

I should have that out of my system for a long while.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Yom Kippur

For possibly the first time ever, I will be attending Yom Kippur ("the most sacred holy day in Judaism") services Saturday morning. I also plan on fasting from sundown tonight until sundown on Saturday, which if for no other reason, is a great way to jump start a diet.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Celebrity Golf

Since the team worked so many hours the past few weeks, we all got to take a day or two off this week. I took yesterday off and went to play a little golf up at Legacy, the 18-hole executive course I find so enjoyable. I would prefer not to discuss how the round went (since it went so poorly), but I would like to share a cool story from my experience.

Since I went to play in the middle of the day, my round was moving along rather smoothly...that is until the 14th hole when a foursome a few groups in front of me began playing slowly. I ended up catching the group immediately in front of me and had to wait for them. The group consisted of two middle-aged gentlemen both of whom were pretty good at golf. We began chatting, and they offered to let me join them since the pace of play was so slow. I reluctantly accepted due to my poor play and we went on our way.

A couple holes after joining up, I noticed that one of the guys was wearing a CNN shirt. I asked him if they worked for Turner and they said that they did...down at the CNN me. They said that they did something with the weather on the morning show, but I did not know what that exactly meant. I think they were just trying to play down what specifically they did. I came into work this morning and looked up one of the guys and to my surprise it was Chad Myers, "news and weather anchor for the CNN News Group." I thought it was pretty cool to be playing a round of golf with an on-air CNN personality. At the end of the round, he said that we may see each other again down at Chick-fil-A since he is obsessed with Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits.

That last piece of information about chicken biscuits really plays no part in the story, but I thought it was just an interesting tidbit.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Survival of the Fittest

I need a sticker that I can wear around that says, "I survived the 2004 Ryder Cup".

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The 35th Ryder Cup Matches

Watch The 35th Ryder Cup Matches beginning Friday morning...or at least visit the site, which we have been working on for an incredible number of hours!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Fantasy Overload

This is my favorite time of the year: the weather is still warm and all the sports that I love are currently in progress. That's right, it is 85 degrees and baseball, college football, and pro football are kicking into high gear. What does this mean for me? It means something to watch every night of the week and lots of fantasy sports.

While I enjoy fantasy sports more than the average "Joe Sports Guy", I think I am going through fantasy overload. While going through "fantasy overload" sounds like it should be a good time, I find it to be quite overwhelming. As of this morning, I am participating in one baseball league, two NFL football leagues, and one NFL suicide pool at Yahoo!, one NFL football league at CBS Sportsline, one NCAA College Pick'em at ESPN, and one offline NFL suicide pool. Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, and I turned down another College Pick'em. I just could not handle an more than this.

I am definitely having trouble keeping up with who is on each one of my teams and finding the time to make the necessary updates. It may be time to hire an assistant General Manager to help carry the load.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

ESPN Goes College

ESPN has announced a new television network called ESPNU dedicated to college sports. I love the premise for this specialty sports channel. There are far too many great collegiate athletes and sports that get no press due to both the lack of interest and the lack of television air time. This will be a great way to introduce the public to some of the less publicized realms of college sports.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My Team Survived

This past weekend, I attended the Clemson/Wake Forest football game where I watched my Tigers barely survive a very dangerous Wake Forest team. My team had to rally late to force overtime, and finally pull it out by a touchdown in double overtime. More excitement than I wanted, but I went into the game fully expecting a battle since Wake should have won two years ago and murdered us 45-17 last year. Either way, a win is a win against an underrated Wake Forest team.

While the outcome of the game was great, I think the best part of my day trip to Clemson was seeing some of my fellow fraternity alumni for the first time in anywhere from 8 to 20 months. It was not great for the obvious reason of getting to catch up with old friends, but because of their reaction when they saw me. I believe the exact words used were, "Holy shit!"...referring to my loss of 60 pounds since our last gathering. What a good feeling that was. I received so many flattering comments, which was nice for my self-esteem and ego.

I plan to be in incredible shape for my wedding in May, and I cannot wait until they see me after my next workout push!

Friday, September 03, 2004


"Thank God It's College Football Season"

After months and months of anticipation, college football season is finally here. The timing could not be better. The past two and a half days have been less than stellar for me, and getting out of town and up to Clemson for the day will be a nice break. Let's just hope they do not screw up my attempt to improve my mood by getting murdered like they did last year by this very same Wake Forest team.

Go Tigers!