Sunday, November 6, 2022

Checking In and Sportsball Happenings

your world champion Houston Astros!

Hi all. 

With Halloween over and the World Series now concluded (featuring the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies), Longhorn football in late season, AND the Major League Soccer Cup match... we've been TV busy this weekend.  

At League HQ, Halloween is a marathon as we queue up movies starting in summer - resulting in 9 episodes discussing at least 12 movies covered on Ye Olde PodCaste.  You're welcome.  On top of that, we also watch other Halloween movies during October, including hosting a few Friday Watch Parties.  

There's also Halloween TV things to see, and increasingly YouTube videos, so much media has been consumed.

All of which is weird - because I'm actually not a huge horror nut.  It's just how things seem to play out.

These days I generally don't post much about TV and sports here, but with Halloween on Monday - this week we watched new episodes of one of my favorite shows,  Documentary Now!, and the surprising return of Sherman's Showcase, which I assumed was canceled as it had been a while since new episodes appeared.  

One thing I checked off on Saturday was the MLS season.  Major League Soccer is, of course, fairly new to me.  Last week, Austin FC - my entry point to the league - lost to LA FC in the Western Conference Championship.  While of course one hopes that that your team will win, Austin FC's second season went shockingly well, and I'm new to all this, so how upset can you be?  

The MLS Cup, which was Saturday afternoon, is essentially the Superbowl for American soccer.  And as it's soccer, I think I saw one ad for it?  LAFC wound up beating Philadelphia in a penalty kick shoot-out.  It was a great game, and it was nice to watch one where I wasn't pulling super hard for anyone.  If you were looking to check out a game this year, it was a good one!  

Anyway - I guess I'm into soccer now?  

Philadelphia's ill fortunes were compounded Saturday with the Phillies finding a fourth loss to the Astros.  Houston claimed a second World Series pennant in, like, six years.  Tbh, it was a fun, stressful series, and I frankly expected Philly to get it in 6 after the first game.  Which is why I am not a baseball commentator on any platform.  I don't know anything.  Don't listen to me.

Both teams fielded great pitching and hitting, and they traded close games and blow outs til the Astros found their mojo in the young Pena, Tucker on offense and defense, and Altuve getting hot on bat.  I'm a fan of Phillies starters and former Cubs players Schwarber - who hit more than one long bomb but fielded awkwardly, and Nick Costellanos - who fielded well but seemed nervous at bat.  

Both teams have terrific fan bases.  And that's not nothing.  There's no bad blood between the teams - and the vibe in both stadiums was good.

Dusty Baker finally got his ring after 25 years as a manager, 50 in the game, and continues on his streak as an amazingly successful manager.

I do feel bad for Philly.  That's a double-whammy for the city if people were paying attention to both sports, and no doubt some were.  

I am aware of the controversy around the 2017 Astros team, and it doesn't impact much for me.  I'm a "eh, that was yesterday" kind of guy (unless you cross me, and then I have a particular set of skills that mostly include trash talking and drinking).  This isn't the 2017 Astros team and barely that organization.  People can be mad forever, I guess.  At some point you're shaking your first at Pete Rose 35 years on or the White Sox for the malfeasance of a few players 100 years ago.  The only way to do right is to keep playing fair and square now, and show some humility.  Meanwhile, other teams need to be good, which the Astros have been for decades now.  They have no obligation to lose to make anyone feel like someone got a comeuppance.    

Also, it's a @#$%ing game, and if this bugs you but (gestures at world) is of minimal concern, go @#$% yourself.

As a kid, I was an Astros guy just because I lived in Houston and I liked the kooky Astros color scheme - but knew absolutely noting about baseball.  Of course I gave that up, and blackouts have kept me from watching much, making me a Cubs fan today (thanks, WGN!).  But so many friends are Astros fans, and I just never took to the Rangers.  I'll tune in the Mets, Giants and a number of other teams before I'll watch the Rangers.  Get a personality, Rangers.  

So, in one week, Halloween movies, baseball and soccer ended.  

As it happens every four years, the World Cup is happening - but during Christmas this year.  So I'll be tuning in to see how that plays out (Team USA men's squad is supposed to be okay, but won't be a patch on the USWNT - who don't play til July).

We've watched A LOT of TV this year.  I don't feel bad about it.  You don't get a Sandman too often  Or a Reservation Dogs.    Or, hell, 9 episodes of She-Hulk (yeah, yeah.  I know.  You found it lacking.).  And, of course, Inhumans.  I expect that will continue between Hallmark movie viewings. 

The models are changing.  I've made time for that stuff over other things.  It happens.  

Anyway, things are otherwise mostly okay here.  Gearing up for Christmas podcasts that start recording *this week*.  

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