Roar Lions Roar

Sunday, May 4th, 2008, 11:20 am

I’d like to congratulate the Penn State men’s volleyball team on winning the NCAA title…just as the Penn State women’s volleyball team won the NCAA title back in December. It’s nice to see that the center of the volleyball universe is once again Pennsylvania, as it should be, and not some absurd place like California. Or "Brazil", wherever that is.

Of course, I didn’t actually watch much of Penn State’s history victory over Pepperdine…really, the school is actually called "Pepperdine"? Wow. Anyway, whenever I watch Penn State play volleyball, they lose. Every time. And when you figure that they only lose 2 or 3 times a season, that’s a strong indicator that I’m a jinx. I watched the first game last night and PSU was killin’ ’em, and I called my buddy Mark to remind him the game was on. That’s when Pepperdine reeled off like 11 points in a row and won. That was enough–I swtiched over to hockey and checked in from time to time. Same thing happened when the women beat Stanford, they lost the games I watched, won the games I didn’t. And I love my Nittany Lions so much that I’ll never, ever watch them again.

The MVP of the Final Four was Matt Anderson, who is eight or nine feet tall and has the vertical leap of a goddam kangaroo. He was hitting balls out of the back row and practically landing under the net. Some of the kills he had could not be blocked. COULD NOT BE BLOCKED. He was a yard or two above the block, hitting straight down. Look, getting hit with a volleyball doesn’t scare me and I play with some guys who can really turn on the ball, but before I’d take the court against Anderson I’d demand a goalie mask. And a cup.

Speaking of goalie masks, and speaking of jinxes, the Pens will hopefully put the Rangers away this afternoon. I knew they were going to lose on Thursday–I KNEW IT. Why? Because we deviated from our lucky routine. The last few times we went out to see the game we went to Marzoni’s, the brewpub by my house, and the Pens won. This time we joined some friends at a new Buffalo Wild Wings that opened recently just up the road. I hadn’t visited a BWW since the WSOP, when Craig and I would occasionally stop there when we needed a break from the Montana Meat Company joint near our condo. I didn’t think much of it. The food just wasn’t very good, and they serve everything in paper boats or plastic tubs lines with wax paper. I appreciate how that saves on dishwashing expense and helps the enviroment, but it’s a little off-putting.

Especially when, as I said, the food isn’t very good. The place is huge and that night the joint was jumping, packed to the rafters. Good atmosphere, lots of plasma TVs, I started to think this could work. We ordered a selection of boneless wings, and we were served these heavily-breaded knobs of meat in sauce. The sauces, not too bad. But the "chicken" was really dry and chewy and there was something in the seasoning that was borderline caustic. I wasn’t in the mood for a full meal so later I ordered nachos to share with the table. The chips were so heavily salted that my lips started to burn, and the chicken haphazardly strewn about the tub was so overcooked that it was inedible. I mean, even I can cook chicken so it tastes OK. Bah.

Ticking me off even more was that I couldn’t log on to their WiFi. Craig turned the Vegas BWW into a second office because the WiFi in the condo didn’t work so good, and I figured I’d play some poker, maybe even do a little bit of work. No luck. While I could log in to their, uh, login page, it kept saying that I didn’t have a valid account. Nowhere on the page did it ASK for account information and when I asked how the (expletive) I signed up for an account no one in the place knew. Double bah.

On top of all this, I got a bad shock as I walked from my car to the bar. This is a huge new development near my flat, there’s a Lowe’s, a Target, a bank, a couple of restaurants, and a little mini-strip mall where the BWW is located. Two doors down from the bar I saw a neon sign that read "Rainbow Garden". Uh-oh. "There’s another Chinese place opening?" I asked my buddy Matt.

"Yeah. It’s a buffet."

Just what I need–ANOTHER all-you-can eat Chinese buffet within 3 minutes of my house. I’m starting to sense a conspiracy here. They keep opening brewpubs and Chinese buffets near my place–heck, there’s even another sports bar that just opened 50 yards away from Marzoni’s. Don’t these people want me to lose weight?

Speaking of which, since the start of the year I’ve lost about 10 pounds. Good boy, you might say…except that I think the main reason I’ve shed some pounds is that I’ve been pretty sick a couple of times. And, oddly enough, not playing volleyball has been good for my waistline. Because I haven’t been going out for beers afterwards. I’d like to lose a bit more before the World Series–I actually lost about 5 pounds last year during the WSOP. You wouldn’t think it, but typing is good aerobic exercise.

So is lifting and riding the exercise bike, so I think I’ll go do that right now. Come June I’ll be wishing I had access to a gym…unless the place I end up staying out there has one. Ooh, that’d be nice.

Speaking of nice, I finished second in Dr. Pauly’s event yesterday. Nice to finally cash in that blasted tournament after getting skunked so many times in a row. Ah, but you gotta love Pot-Limit Omaha. Twice I was all-in and stared at the board and my cards with my head swiveling back and forth saying, "Duh…which way did he go, which way did he go???" I have no idea how people play this game live. Must be crazy.

Let’s go Pens.

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One Response to “Roar Lions Roar”

  1. Short-Stacked Shamus Says:

    Nice job yesterday in the SWP, Mean G. That was me you knocked out in 6th (along with the other fellow who had yr other tens).

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