That’s One Way to End a Game

If you have ever been to any sort of high school game (speed chess matches are the worse) then you know tensions are high right from the start. Players grow up hating these rival schools, and if there was any good blood left that’s quickly erased once the chants break out (I can still hear the Bloomingville fans screaming; “Patzer, Patzer Patzer” as I took on Elliot Cromwell III in the New Hampshire Speed Chess Championship- Small School Division).

However, once the game gets underway nothing more than a few icy stares and perhaps a couple of punches are exchanged (or in the case of my championship chess match my rook for his bishop was just one of the many pieces which changed hands).

It seems though, these boys in Indiana never got the message. Take a look at the video below between the Griffith Panthers and the Hammond Wildcats:

After a little research it appears it was the first quarter when these two decided to go after each other. The two teams did not finish this match as the game itself was immediately canceled once the punches started flying. Yes you read that right; a game had to be canceled in just the first quarter after the boys were more interested in doing their best Rocky impression then balling out.

Really Indiana? I though the self proclaimed basketball mecca of the world would have sacrificed a puppy before letting a basketball game end prematurely. I’m shocked we didn’t see Larry Legend himself magically appear, start a drum circle, and explain to them; basketball is gift from the gods and they should cherish the mere fact they are even on the court. I’m truly disappointed in you Indiana and I mean isn’t that worse than any punishment the cops (who are looking to arrest people) could impose on you?

(Oh to wrap up my speed chess story I was down to just my king and two pawns before I stormed back to beat Elliot Cromwell III. I pride myself on not licking people but I was not about to pass up the opportunity to taste Cromwell’s sweet tears of defeat.)


Pura Vita!

Pura Vita! That my friends is a Costa Rican phrase meaning, “Pure Life” or translated to English slang as, “Screw it things could always be a hell of a lot worse”.  For example, after that loss to Green Bay a disgruntled Dallas Cowboy fan could always say Pura Vita (at least I’m not a Cleveland fan). Or perhaps you just broke up with your significant other well shout out; Pura Vita! (hookers and blow are probably cheaper anyway). How do I know this? Well, I recently returned from an extended trip to what I only found out on the second to last day is in fact not an island (sorry for failing you every geography teacher I’ve ever had).

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In case you might not have guessed it Costa Rica is nothing like the good old US of A. Because of this fact, I am going to run down my three most story worth experiences for you the reader. Don’t worry this is not a brag post (even though yes it was a beautiful 85 degrees every day, the women flowed like beer, and wore less than what you find in a strip club–> not that I would know anything about that because of course I have never been to one).  Now that I have done my bragging for the post let’s get to the stories!

1) It’s considered a disappointment if you don’t get at least three feet from an animal which could kill you in seconds. During the trip we took a kayak adventure down this river/ rain forest area with the goal of spotting wild life. Before we even get into the water we see a 5 foot alligator (estimate here, wasn’t volunteering to measure the guy) swimming in the area we were about to board. Now I was expecting our tour guide to tell us to leave the boats and run for our lives (sorry person I tripped so the group could get away but let’s be honest you shouldn’t have been running next to me). However, that’s when the guide explains the little guy is probably just hungry and that someone will feed him. Which of course means we can continue to get in the water and paddle around him. AGAIN… our best move was not to run for our pump shot guns, but instead board these small kayaks and venture forth.

(Tell me why I’m getting in the water near him?!)


2) They have no driving rules, but instead just guidelines. I am not sure the exact driving test in Costa Rica, but I’m willing to bet you fail if you don’t blow past at least five cars during your exam. Whether we were in the minivan that picked us up from the airport or the 50 person bus headed white water rafting (this started off as the most fun I’ve ever had but after the 25th time I took an elbow, foot, paddle etc. to the face that excitement wore off) we passed slower traffic. What about the dreaded double yellow line you ask? That puny rule stood no match for our driver(s). It should also be noted every road there is a mere two lanes. That will cause you to start reciting the rosary as you’re trying to pass someone while rounding a corner. One final piece of driving advice; don’t look down when you cross a bridge. They are also a single lane and looks like a five year old could have built a sturdier Lego set.

3) The drinking age is nonexistent. I was told that the cut off is 18, but during our time there no even pretended to card anyone who bought drinks.  You might think that is a good thing. However, I’m here to explain you couldn’t be more wrong. There is this thing called the age of consent and I don’t care what the local laws say you should never dip below 18. In America I know anyone at a bar is fair game (unless she has a boyfriend, but then again just because there is a goalie that doesn’t mean you stop shooting). In Costa Rica I wasn’t sure who I was allowed to look at. Yes she could be a 22 tropical princess (which there were many of), but she could also be a 16 year old high schooler who didn’t eat all week so she could spend her lunch money at the bar. A drunk me has a 50/50 chance of telling the difference between the two, and I don’t like those odds. As a safety precaution I asked every girls to finish this sentence, “I got in one little fight and my mom got scared. She said, ____”. (don’t be self conscious you can sing along at work) So to all those who were about to judge me see I came prepared.


(The plus side of Costa Rica drinking: I spent $2 one night for a two hour open bar. To my absolute shock the line didn’t circle the country, but was manageable. The icing on the cake; I was able to get multiple free drinks thanks to making friends with the bartender).

These are just a few of the tales I returned with. I have many more, but our title of long post champion already belongs to Frank McCabe. So with that I’ll say once more Pura Vita readers until we cross paths again (and rock out to the most american latin song they played there).

Who Is Jonas Gray?

If you were watching last night’s game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts you learned; A) The Patriots will always be really good as long as they have that Brady Belichick combo (but chances are you already knew that like many of us Patriots haters do), and B) there is now a guy in the NFL named Jonas Gray.

(I love this gif)


So who is Jonas Gray? Well with the internet at your fingertips you can figure that out quite quickly.  Gray is a Notre Dame alum who got his NFL start with my Miami Dolphins. Side note; How do the Patriots keep turning our throw away players into stars?!- If you aren’t a scorned Miami fan you might have forgotten Wes Welker was originally a Dolphin! (deep breaths Austin deep breaths).

Anyway Gray then spent 2013 on the practice squad with the Baltimore Ravens before signing on New England’s practice squad for the 2014 season. On October 16th he got called up when Stevan Ridley went down with an injury (remember when he was going to be the next big thing). During those three weeks the 24 year old rushed for 131 yards on 32 attempts with no touch downs. That averages out to around four yards per carry which is very respectable even if it’s such a small sample size. To put things into perspective your leading rusher, Demarco Murray, averages around 5 yards every time he touches the ball.

Gray then decided he would have his breakout performance on national television for the whole football world to see. If you missed the game just google the highlights; this Michigan native ran for almost 200 yards and a franchise record four touchdowns. DAM! And that was against a Colts defense that has it flaws, but is right in the middle when it comes to stopping the run.

And the good news continues if you are a Patriots fan. Not that you need any more good news. You’re like that kid who already comes from money, got a perfect score on their SATs and then during their freshman year at Harvard they find out they can throw 95 mph and now they are on the MLB draft boards. Gray may have only played in four games but his two best performances came against teams you WILL see in the playoffs- the Colts and the Broncos.

The position of running back can be compared to a bullpen in baseball. You need one to win, but sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to why things work. Some teams have a natural born killer in the backfield; the Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch just like the Yankees had Mariano Rivera.  However, most treat the position as a revolving door and hope they can catch fire when it matters most. That’s how it usually works in baseball too; closers can be untouchable one year and then fall into oblivion the next (yea I’m looking at you Boston and still trying to figure out how we didn’t unload Koji Uehara).


That being said I wish Gray a long career because news flash- playing in the NFL is really hard. Just know this Mr. Gray you will now make myself (and countless other non-Patriot supporters) want to pull our hair out as we watch this team of “scrubs” cruise to the AFC championship (and yes I hope that jinxes it).

5 New(er) Songs to Add to Your Playlist

Music is one of those weird topics that everyone has an opinion on. From grandma, to that punk down the street to weird Mr. Jones (who lives next door and has way too many cats for person), everyone knows the type of music they like or adamantly don’t.

That being said, I am now going to try and break down the barriers (aka Reagan Smash) this issue and offer five songs you might want to check out- even if it’s only for 10 seconds before you chuck the computer against the wall to make the noises stop.

reagan smash Reagan Smash (Family Guy)

Number One: Prayer in C -Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz

And with this selection you  might have just closed the post promising never to return to this god forsaken place every again. But if you stuck around thank you for having an open mind. Don’t ask me why but for the life of me I can not get this song out of my head. Plus even if you don’t like the song the music video is pretty cool… just admit it no one will judge you.

Number Two: Take Me to Church by Hozier 

One hit wonder? Most likely. But that doesn’t mean we can’t welcome Mr. Hozier to sit at the same table as Cisco, Meghan Trainor and Lou Bega (Mambo Number 5).  The music video is a little intense (and dark) but its music you don’t have to watch it if you don’t want to.

Number Three: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance

For this I had to break out the skinny jeans and dive deep into my inner hipster. Yes, the lyrics are that of a whinny 6th grader who is figuring out “real world” problems for the first time (like why the girl he secretly takes pictures of while collecting her used gum doesn’t like him). But if you can make it to the chorus it’s quite catchy and might serve you well as some background music.

Number Four: Otherside by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Feat. Fences

Ok so this isn’t technically new, but with the internet what really is? Whether you would like to admit it or not Mr. Thrift Shop can actually rap. Just take it all in (like the drugs he is rapping about) and give it a try. Peer pressure still works right?

Number Five (Congrats on making it all the way through): Drinking Class by Lee Brice:

Yea yea yea you hate country I get it. But do you hate freedom? America? Should I report you to the FBI for being a communist? No… ok then take a listen…

An Awesome Gift for One of our Nation’s Heroes

This is a story I did about retried Sgt. Rick Yarosh. He sustained his injuries while fighting for our country in Iraq. On Tuesday two SUNY IT graduates gave him a simple but amazing gift. I know we usually try to keep things fun and light here on the blog. However, after meeting Sgt. Yarosh and learning about his amazing journey I wanted to share it with all of you. The first video focuses on the sergeant himself while the second takes a closer look at the two students who made his dream a reality.  Enjoy and just remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can do the things we all enjoy.

Sgt. Rick Yarosh




The link (sorry I can’t figure out how to imbed the story in the blog:

Oh And Then This Happened….

There are 271.8 miles between New Hampshire and Utica NY. How do I know this little tidbit of information? Well, I recently rented myself a truck and drove every inch of that. The reason for the ride (and no I’m not a leafer so it wasn’t to see the beautiful country side) is because I recently took a sports director position (shameless plug) in that quaint little New York city.  The first week has been anything but mundane, and now you the reader get to re-live it with me.

This glorious adventure started when I arrived at the pickup station only to find the 10 foot truck I had reserved wold not be making the trip with me. Instead I would be navigating a 16 footer. Oh, and I would still be responsible for refilling that 35 gallon tank after each gas guzzling mile. Furthermore, I HAD to throw down an extra $100 for insurance because these new extended dimensions were not covered under a normal insurance plan. Like a dog who was caught going through the trash I put my head down and accepted defeat as I was shown the door.

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From here things could only get better right?… Little did I know I had only stepped in a pothole, and still had the rest of the mountain to go before I hit rock bottom.

The move itself wasn’t terrible. Yes,I hit traffic that would have made even a Californian cringe, but seeing how the truck topped out at 60 MPH anyway I wasn’t in a rush. I had left shortly after breakfast, and now the sun was setting when I finally pulled into the parking lot of what is now my new home. The whole scene was actually pretty beautiful and dare I say symbolic? I mean the sun was literally setting on one chapter of my life while the next would begin the following morning.

My Mark Twain moment was abruptly cut short when I went to turn on the apartments lights. That flick of the switch produced… nothing. I then realized that symbolic sunset was actually a count down clock until I would be moving things up in the dark, and beginning my new life as a member of the Amish.

Why was everything shut off you ask? Well it turns out the previous tenant hadn’t paid his bill in 2 months. This may come as a shock, but the power company wasn’t amused, and their gift in return was to place a lock on the box. This meant  for the next FOUR DAYS my only source of light would be via candles, lanterns, and the always fashionable headlight. I still don’t have internet, but I’m calling it a success since I was able to cancel my homemade butter making class with brother Abraham.

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Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. Within 48 hours of moving my belongings in I found out my roommate was moving out. Yes, the man who had found the apartment and was going to pay half of the rent was bolting for greener pastures. And now the icing on the cake: the landlord had already found a woman who was ready to take over on the first of November. Thankfully, after kidnapping her eldest son and stealing a family heirloom I was able to hold onto the powerless apartment for the foreseeable future.

They say things happen for a reason. If someone could just show me the reason for this stretch well that would be fantastic.