By Tim Akimoff
Within 20 minutes of the end of an undefeated streak, your blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature return to normal.
After 8 hours, the remaining competitiveness in your bloodstream has fallen to 3.25 percent of normal. After 48 hours, damaged nerve endings start to regrow and your sense of finality and despair begins to melt away.
In 5-8 days after the first loss, the average fan of a formerly undefeated college football team will encounter short bouts of regretful hysteria, but it is unlikely that any episode lasts longer than 3 minutes at a time.
Within 10 days of suffering a catastrophic loss, the average fan of a formerly undefeated team is down to 1 or possibly 2 bouts of nausea-inducing regret and bitterness a day.
By two weeks, your risk of heart attack has dropped substantially, and your lung capacity and voice control have improved to pre-football season levels.
After 8 weeks, nearly all evidence of physical suffering from a single loss on your formerly undefeated college football team has disappeared. However, doctors warn that if your team lost late in the season, then there is a crucial window of time wherein the severely flawed BCS can bring symptoms back to fatal proportions, especially in a scenario where other one loss teams are picked ahead of your team for bowl consideration. Doctors warn that recovering from a second round of this type of stress can last as long as hockey season.
Life after undefeated is a tough time for any sports fan, but it seems in college football these days, it’s particularly stressful as teams jockey for position by dominating lesser opponents for 5, 6, 7 and even 8 games into the season before finally testing their true ability against worthy opponents.
I, for one, rather enjoy the less pressured idea of the NFL, where a team with even 5 losses can make the playoffs and even the Super Bowl.
For 9 years I’ve watched my Oregon Ducks get tantalizingly close to the National Championship. Within a field goal, in fact.
My wife said Stanford got in their heads the last two years, as the Ducks have dropped two-in-a-row, late-in-the-season, to dash their national title hopes. Stanford got in my head the last two years. Like two kids from two different schools. One is middle class and the other comes from money. They are essentially equal, playing to their individual strengths and weaknesses. Yet one will always win, like Malfoy tormenting Potter through seven books.
At some point I must give up this pointless obsession with a national championship, and I suppose this is the year. Next year we’ll have a playoff system, and there is a chance that at least a few of the top schools will have a better shot at playing for it all.
For now, I’m still suffering short bouts of regretful hysteria and nausea-inducing regret and bitterness. Looking forward to the 8-week mark.
Ever wonder why there are fast zombies and slow zombies? Ever wonder where zombies came from? I did, so I wrote this: http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/zombie-lore-dracula-night-living-dead-109039
Late September heat, and they look uncomfortable in Fall fashions
At the train stop in the suburbs of Chicago with the first leaves fallen
The kids are hyped and the confrontations hot in the quiet car
We move from the white suburbs to the black neighborhoods to the Circle and Union Station on Friday morning
We shuffle off the train onto the narrow platform
The girls with their yoga mats and city bags, the guys in suits and ties
Old guys who’ve done this for longer than I’ve been alive
and ladies of a different class trading lies and anecdotes like recipes
The diesel fumes ravage the colognes and perfumes worn
And the roar of the “Screaming Thunderbox,” the F40PH2
fills the cavernous bowels of the station’s south side
We run headlong into a people jam trying to get through double glass doors
For the city and the towers and the coffee shops
We emerge like summer’s cicadas into broad daylight
Up escalators and stairs to the world above
Union Station on Fridays, Thursdays, Wednesdays, Tuesdays and Mondays
An Essay by Tim Akimoff
Warning: Contains Spoilers
At the end of last night’s series finale of “Breaking Bad,” my wife and I ended up discussing when we started watching the show and who brought home the first season on DVD.
Of all the things we could have discussed, this was not my first choice, But it was what came to mind as we both processed the show’s finale.
We are both members of Generation X, the dropout generation. And yet when the lilting melody of the Marty Robbins song, “El Paso,” came on to start the show, we could sing every word along with the golden-voiced cowboy. Because our dads both sang the song to us when we were little.
And in going back over the years of watching the show in Montana, where I was a newspaper reporter to Alaska, where I worked in television and we binge-watched during the cold, long nights and finally, to Illinois, where we sat and watched the show together in a house in a cozy little South Western suburb of Chicago, I realized that I had made a promise to myself many years ago. That I, a kid who grew up with super heroes, would come to understand why we are all now so in-love with the anti-hero.
Read more …
If you feel like listening to the whole season at once, here it is in all its glory. It runs just about an hour and a half, which is good for short flights and longer drives.
By Tim Akimoff
Allegiances in sports are often built around community.
I live on the South Side of Chicago, for instance, and it is not always safe to wear my Cubs hat around my neighborhood.
But my neighbors, much like their North Side counterparts, are all Bears fans, and if you’re Catholic, and especially if you’re Irish, you are a Notre Dame fan, whether you live in the city or in the suburbs or within 200 miles of South Bend, Indiana.
I have thought a lot about allegiances through the years. I was raised in Europe before we moved to Los Angeles when I was 7-years-old.
Read more …
Earlier generations have weathered recessions, of course; this stall we’re in has the look of something nastier. Social Security and Medicare are going to be diminished, at best. Hours worked are up even as hiring staggers along: Blood from a stone looks to be the normal order of things “going…
(Source: New York Magazine)
What is the virtue of a proportional response?
I figure I’m not the first to draw this comparison, but while consuming news about Syria, I keep hearing echoes of the (pre-9/11) episode of West Wing.
If you want a fictionalized but prescient way to think through some of the elements of the current situation, watch the full episode (Season One, Episode Three) this clip is from on Netflix, or wherever you have access to it.
“It’s proportional. It’s limited. It does not involve boots on the ground…”
- President Barack Obama (via inothernews)
I have nothing to add here. This was a brilliant find by TBOBEDA -