How To Survive Your Family BBQ

For many folks around the world, at some point or another this summer, you will be invited to a family BBQ.  For those especially shy ones out there, or ones who just want to coast through events like these, I have compiled a guide to help you all get through the trying time of going to a BBQ.  To make it easy for everyone at home, I have organized it hour-by-hour, to make it easier to follow.  So rest and read up!  You’ve got a big day ahead.IMG_3836

 

1:00-Well, you’ve put this off long enough.  Party started at 12 and you haven’t even left yet. Guess now’s good as time as ever to get in the car, cooler in hand, and head off to your uncle’s house.

 

1:30-Great!  You made it!  Time to awkwardly circle around the house mingling until you find someone you can talk to.

 

1:33-Uh oh!  Looks like your aunt caught you before you could make your way over to the one cousin you can stand.  Better give her some rehearsed answers.  If you don’t already have your own rehearsed answers, use the ones provided below! Remember to add your own personal flair to make them more believable.

  • Yes I did just get here
  • School was great!  My favorite class was (insert class here)
  • My friends are doing well.  One actually lives around here.  He’s from (insert town name here)
  • No I don’t know her.  I must’ve missed her when I was introducing myself to the other thousand kids at my school
  • No, I’m not playing sports.  I’m too focused on school
  • I know I have gotten taller
    • No there aren’t steroids in the food
  • No I’m not dating anyone, but thanks for reminding me!
  • No I haven’t gotten anything to eat yet.  I just got here, remember?

And then to make a quick dash out of the conversation, grab the nearest relative and bring them into the conversation.

  • No I haven’t heard about (insert name here).  That’s a tragedy.  What do you think about all this, (insert name here)

 

1:45-Whew!  Got out of that conversation.  Now time to go talk to your cous- oh no!  Your cousin’s brought their girlfriend!  Quick!  Take evasive maneuvers!

 

1:46-Shit!  They saw you.  Looks like you’re stuck with them for a while.  Oh well, he’s your favorite cousin, and his girlfriend seems nice.  Just gotta avoid thinking about how he has a girlfriend and you don’t.

 

1:47-Oops…Now you’re feeling lonely and depressed.  Better think of an activity to suggest to get your mind off of your crippling depression.  Choose from any of the options below.

  • Kan Jam
  • Cornhole
  • Debating the direction our nation should be going in
  • Horseshoes
  • Swimming
  • Tanning
  • Discuss the Syrian crisis
  • Volleyball

 

1:50-Swimming?  Good choice!  That’ll eat some time off the clock and get your mind off of things.

 

2:00-You make your way down to the dock.  Oh look!  It’s your older brother.  Uh oh, his wife is there.  Better steer clear of that!  Walk right off the dock and into the water without hesitation. That way no one can engage in a conversation with you.

 

2:45-After doing some basic swimming, more people will have joined you.  There will be about seven of you, and you all decide to play a game of Oreo.  For those who do not know what Oreo is, it is a game where one player is on one side and the other players are on the other.  The player alone on the one side says the initials to a movie and the other players have to swim over and try to guess it before the other players.  The winner then chooses the next initials.

 

3:30-Wow! That game lasted for a while!  Only ended because your dumbass cousins couldn’t come up with the movie E.N.G. after giving them three blatantly obvious clues.  I mean how could they not get it after saying that it’s a Disney cartoon, it stars a llama, and is the only cartoon to take place during the Incan civilization?!

 

3:30-Someone got a bottle cap and now you all play a game of Bibble.  For those who are unfamiliar with Bibble as well, Bibble is a game where the players stand on the dock and one player dives into the water with the bottle cap.  The first person to jump in, get the bottle cap, and yell “Bibble” wins and is the one to dive in next turn.

 

3:50-The games going well-Oh No!  Your uncle with the weird nipples has jumped in to swim!  Time to bail!  You and your cousins make a dart for your towels before your uncle can engage.

 

3:55-Dodged a bullet there.  But sadly, three did not make it.  They got stuck out there and are locked into a long discussion on how beautiful of a day it is.  Still wanting to continue the fun, you and the remaining cousins go up to the front yard to play some cornhole.  You smartly pair yourself with the cousin who pitches for varsity softball.  She’s got that good underhand motion.

 

4:45-You sweep your cousins in a 3-0 series victory and even beat some of your uncles.  Your confidence has reached its high for the day, despite your varsity softball cousin being the one to carry the team.  Either way, you decide it’s best to quit while on top.

 

4:46-Mmm.  Something smells good!

 

5:00-  Oh no!  You’ve found yourself next to your uncle at the grill!  How could you have been so foolish to follow the smell?  You try and back out, but there’s no stopping your uncle.  He’s got you locked in a conversation about sports; the most controversial topics amongst uncles.  It’s best not to give any hot takes about how good those damn “Steph Currys” and LeBron James” characters are.  Instead, you best just feed your uncle some BS about how much “better” the past generations.  Now, it is Vitally important here to mention that you think Larry Bird is the best player of all time.  Older folks love Larry Bird.  With your uncle now drooling over Larry Bird in those short shorts, you can make your move.  He’ll be too distracted to notice you dip out and into the house.

 

5:15-You’ve run into your brother.  Guess there was no avoiding this.  Just play nice and ask him how work is going, how their house is, and make sure to tell his wife that she is looking “lovely” today.  “Lovely” only.  Do not use any other terms.  Any other terms lead to too many unpredictable scenarios.  It’s best to stick with “Lovely.” You cannot get hurt with “Lovely.”

 

5:25-Somewhere along the way a rumor emerged that your cousins found some old fireworks from the Fourth of July and are planning on busting them out later tonight.  Let’s hope that rumor turns out to be false.  Otherwise you’ll be stuck here for an hour more than you had hoped.

 

5:30-Time for the best part of the day: The “free” meal.  I say free in quotation marks because the hell you have to endure on this day is hardly worth a couple of burnt hot dogs and a crusty burger.

 

6:00-You enjoy your food anyways because it’s free, monetarily speaking.  After you’ve finished, you head down to the dock to catch up with your Dad and his best friend from high school  These are probably the only two level-headed people at this party that you can actually stand talking to.  You three talk about a variety of topics as your baby cousins take a swim in the lake before you.

 

7:00-The conversation is going great.  In fact, you’re starting to really enjoy yourself.  You’re feeling relaxed for the first time all day.  Your dad is making some remarks on Donald Trump when BAM! Your drunk right-wing uncle joins you guys on the dock.  Shouldn’t have let your guard down, buddy.  You could’ve seen this coming and slipped out before he reached you three. Well it’s too late to back out now.  Drunk uncles’ vision is based on movement.  If you try and slip out,  your uncle will see you, engage in a conversation with you, call you a fairy for going to a “liberal” college, then trash your major for not helping you find a “real” job.  So instead, you sit back as you listen to your uncle make comments on Hillary Clinton and how she’s crooked, despite the fact that she does not even matter anymore.

 

7:30-Looks like you’ve made it out alive.  Your uncle has left to go get another beer.  Your dad and his friend begin to make fun of your uncle, so you decide it’s time to regroup with people your own age.  You head out to the backyard where you meet up with your cousins.  Best to stick with that pack for the rest of the night.  There in the same boat as you today, so it’s best you all stick together.

 

8:05-Welp.  Turns out the rumors true.  You see your cousins carry the boxes of fireworks out of the house and down towards the dock.  You follow behind, closely, but also from a safe distance to avoid being asked to help.  And whatever you do, DO NOT OFFER TO HELP.  If you offer to help, then you’ll be peer-pressured into going out on the boat with them and helping them light off the fireworks, and you’d like to keep all 10 fingers.

 

8:10-You and your cousins take your places on the dock to get a good view of your cousins as they venture out to the middle of the lake to fire those baby’s off.  Let’s just hope none fall and shoot towards you.  No one needs to have a PTSD episode now.

 

8:30-The fireworks start.  All the couples snuggle together to watch the “romantic” display.  While you sit there twiddling your thumbs waiting for the grand finale.

 

9:00-The finale starts, (which is just a perfectly random stream of explosions) signalling the end of the day.  Thank god that’s over.  You find your aunt, thank her for having you over, say goodbye to your family, and make a break for your car.  Luckily you get there before anyone else and are able to peel out without having to say another awkward goodbye.

 

Congrats!  You made it through the day!  Can’t wait to do it all over again at Christmas!  Only this time instead of burgers and beer, it’s ham and eggnog!

 

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Bat flips: Friend or Foe?

In recent years, there’s been countless discussions on how to get the younger generations interested in baseball.  The reason that people cite as being the main problem is the speed and duration of the game.  Many believe that baseball is too slow of a game for people to be interested in.  Sports fans these days want nonstop action, which is why they tend to gravitate more towards basketball, hockey, and even football to an extent.  Paired with this belief that baseball is a slow game is a complaint that the game is too boring and rigid.  Baseball players don’t seem to have as much fun and freedom out on the field as players do in other sports.  A large debate within this topic is whether bat flips are hurtful or harmful to the game of baseball.  Many current and former players have taken sides as well as baseball analysts.  With no definitive frontrunner in this growing debate, I am here to answer the question…Bat flips: Friend or Foe?Division Series - Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Five

A bat flip is the action of flipping ones bat in an exaggerated manner after making contact with the ball, tending to be done after hitting a home run.  This is a celebration that has come about in recent years with the new wave of young players coming into the league.  Since this celebration came about seemingly out of this class as players, the bat flip debate has appeared to be divided into old baseball vs. new.  Older baseball players, both current and retired, seem to take offense to bat flips, while many new players are all for it, feeling that it brings more energy and fun to the game.  The two leaders of the bat flip movement, in my opinion, are Jose Bautista, and Odubel Herrera.  I say this because they have garnered the most attention from their bat flips.  Bautista brought bat flips into the spotlight with his display after hitting that clutch home run against the Texas Rangers back in game 5 of the 2015 ALDS.  Along with that instance, Bautista has bat flipped after a home run on numerous occasions, which has sparked controversy at times, even leading to benches being cleared after some on occasion.ap-odubel-herrera-bat-flip

Odubel Herrera on the other hand, I credit to being a leader of the bat flip movement simply because he partakes in it so often.  Odubel Herrera appears to treasure bat flips and tries to incorporate them into his play in any way he can.  Countless times we have seen Herrera bat flip after hitting a bomb over the fences.  And even on occasions, Herrera has done one on a ball that doesn’t even leave the yard and whether it was intentional or not, he isn’t the only one to do it.  Hanley Ramirez once bat flipped on a ball that was clearly not going out.  In fact, it was a mere looper into right field, so Herrera is not the only one.  And yes, I will admit that it is a bit embarrassing when a player does a bat flip or takes his time running to first, thinking they’ve just hit a bomb and it turns out to hit off the wall, but at the same time, it’s pretty damn entertaining.  Plus it is also the risk they take when they choose to celebrate early.  Just look at Nick Young for example.

So what’s the problem with this?  Well, for starters, pitchers do not take too kindly to a bat flip after a home run.  They see it as the batter showing them up and pitchers don’t like being shown up.  Numerous times we have seen a player get plunked his next at-bat after celebrating a home run in a manner like that.  Now whether that is a right response or not is another argument altogether, so I won’t touch that one (yet).  The main argument, however, against bat flips goes a bit hand in hand with pitcher retaliation.  Pitchers tend to retaliate and bean an opposing player after being shown up in some way.  Whether it’s after a bit of an argument, a player admiring a home run, or in the case of this article, a bat flip.  Pitchers don’t like being shown up, which means they are not a fan of any sort of home run celebration.  Many former pitchers have openly expressed that if a batter were to flip their bat in a way that some players have done, that they would drill the next guy up.  This argument, however, comes off as a bit hypocritical in my opinion.  Batters are not allowed to show their excitement after hitting a home run, but when a pitcher strikes someone out in a big spot they’re allowed to yell and celebrate as they walk off the mound?  It just doesn’t seem fair.  A batter celebrates, and he’s got to worry about being hit the next time around, but a pitcher celebrates and he doesn’t have to worry about a thing.  It just does not seem fair to let a pitcher express his emotions then deny a batter of expressing his own.rob_jkvvtmad_si9tyf9e

The commissioner of baseball, Robert Manfred, always preaches how he wants to make the game more fun and enjoyable for both fans and players, so I feel that it would only be right for him to encourage players to have fun out there.  And for a lot of players, celebrating more is a way to have fun.  Look at soccer and football, for example.  They allow their players to celebrate after scoring and it seems to make the game a lot more fun and interesting.  It’s always great to see the unique and funny celebrations players come up with after scoring a goal or a touchdown.  Fans eat that stuff up.  The amount of funny celebration compilations that are out there is astronomical.  If players were allowed to be more expressive with their celebrations, such as doing a bat flip after a home run, then I am certain that more people would become interested in the game of baseball.

One other grievance people have with over-the-top celebrations like bat flips, is that it is a bad influence on kids playing baseball.  I’m just gonna outright say that that is bull.  Kids should be encouraged to have as much fun as possible.  That’s the whole point of being a kid.  That’s the whole point of playing sports.  You’re supposed to have fun.  I think people have forgotten that over the years and need a good reminder.  Kids play these sports because they want to have fun and hang out with their friends.  So let them have fun.  Let them express themselves out on the field.  I’ve seen so many videos of kids playing little league, or sandlot, or even whiffle ball and having loads of fun in coming up with funny celebrations.  Kids are meant to have fun and baseball is meant to be fun.  Enough with all this intimidation when it comes to players expressing their joy.  Enough with all these restrictions on how a baseball player should act.  Let the players be themselves.

Although I have made my opinion rather clear so far, it is important to look at the other side of it.  Yes, allowing players to celebrate could easily get out of hand, which is why it is probably ideal to have some sort of guidelines or let the umpires make a decision on the spot.  Just like how basketball has technicals, one could have some similar penalty if a player is being too arrogant.  One then argues “But that’s what beanball is for,” and to that I give a simple “No.” Throwing a fastball right at someone is an excessive and dangerous punishment.  Players should not have to fear like that.  A simple fine or other equivalent punishment is enough.  We shouldn’t be risking the well-being of players just because someone rubbed you the wrong way.  It is immature and dangerous.

Now if the MLB were to go in the complete opposite direction and not allow bat flips at all, then I suppose players would just have to find another way to express their excitement.  They could save it for inside the dugout, sure, but if they still wished to express their joy in the heat of the moment, there’s nothing wrong with a smooth bat drop the way Griffey used to.  There was nothing sweeter and smoother than seeing Griffey take that perfect swing, and drop the bat in one fluid motion.  I’m sure players could easily adapt to doing a swift bat drop like Griffey if the league were to not allow excessive celebrations in the form of bat flips.bmbbfg0

So, what’s my conclusion?  I would wholeheartedly say that bat flips are a friend.  Bat flips and other celebrations would be a win win for both the players and the fans.  The players would be able to have more fun with the game and the fans would enjoy the flashiness.  As for what to do about the opposing side of the debate, I suppose this would just have to be something you would need to make clear: Baseball is meant to be fun.  And if they do not like it, then too bad.  The newer generation of players are only going to keep bringing their own flare to the game.

Baseball is changing whether people like it or not.  And I for one, am happy and confident in the direction that the game is taking.

All-Star Rap Basketball Team

The rap community has always had a close relationship with the sports world, especially the NBA.  We’ve seen countless rappers make appearances courtside at NBA games, numerous references to players in songs, and even some NBA players try their hand at rapping themselves.  With a number of NBA players, such as Shaq and Damian Lillard taking part in the game of rap, I thought it would be interesting to make a team of rappers that would be suited best to take part in the game of basketball.dame_dolla_bigger_than_us_long-00_03_06_10-still116

 

Owner/GM: Jay-Z

Besides the fact that Jay-Z is actually part owner of a team, I believe Jay-Z would be perfect for the role of owner for this squad since he has plenty of other business experience.  Jay-Z is great at getting people together for projects and is well-respected throughout the community.  He’s a great businessman, having experience with co-founding his own label, Roc-a-fella Records and being a certified NBA and MLB sports agent with clients on his agency’s roster of the likes of Robinson Cano, Kevin Durant, and Dez Bryant.  All in all, Jay-Z is a great businessman who could run this team quite smoothly.jayz

 

Coach: Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre could have also fit the bill of owner in this situation, but I felt he was better suited for the role of head coach.  Dre’s production skills are some of the best this world has experienced and I feel that ability to craft and create in the studio could translate seamlessly onto the court.  He’d be able to draw up plays flawlessly and whip the team into the best shape they could possibly be in.  Dre brings out the best in the people he works with and nearly everyone in the rap world has nothing but respect for him, leading him to having an excellent relationship with the players.dr-dre-2015

 

PG: J. Colej-colebasketballroc4life

Cole may be more on the taller side of talent on this team, but I feel his skills and abilities fit the Point Guard role beautifully.  Just like in his music, he has the ability to show off when he needs to, but also put his pride aside and help those around him, making him a perfect candidate for point guard.  The quiet, unassuming approach he took on his last record and seems to be sticking with would create a nice deception to the skill that Cole possesses when he has the ball in his hands.  Cole also has much experience playing basketball, having stated on numerous occasions that he loved playing growing up, even playing on his high school team.  We’ve also seen him play in the 2012 NBA celebrity game, where he had a nice dunk with the alley-oop assist from Kevin Hart, which shows that Cole is a great multi-tool player.

 

SG: Freddie Gibbs1372788855_7f76937d705d32c3aa8886f0bb25218a

Freddie Gibbs, I believe, would make an excellent addition to this team.  I was unsure where to put him exactly on this squad, but I believe SG is where he fit best.  Freddie Gibbs has a strong, aggressive style of rapping that could intimidate anyone.  This style is especially present on tracks such as “Shitsville” off of his collaborative album with Madlib, Piñata.  A style, that would without a doubt translate onto the court, making him a scoring threat, as well as a defensive powerhouse.  People would be afraid to try anything against him, leading them to be weak and weary on defense.  This is a great skill to have for a big man, but due to his size in comparison to the rest of the team, I believe he is best suited for SG.  Also, Gibbs is very knowledgeable on the game of basketball and is an avid fan, giving him an edge on his opponents.

 

SF: Tyler, The Creator

This pick is a bit out there and unexpected.  I wouldn’t expect other owners to draft Tyler high, if at all, but I believe he could be a great asset to any rap basketball team.  Despite not being a huge fan of basketball, or having any real experience playing the sport, Tyler has the athletic build that any owner would dream of having on their team.8f2d89233a5a17f8b6b7395e327ccabb-odd-future-abs  Having a tall frame, with a skinny, yet muscular build, paired with natural athletic talent, makes Tyler a deceptively athletic threat, if I may.  Finding a position for him was tough, but Small Forward suits Tyler best because he is the most well-rounded rapper on this team.  He has the ability to go hard and tough when need be, as evident by tracks such as “Domo23” and “I Ain’t Got Time!”  Meaning he could take control of the game and pound it in the paint.  Yet at the same time, he is able to play it smooth and slick as evident on tracks such as “911/Mr. Lonely” and “Treehome95”, meaning he can take a step back and facilitate the ball effortlessly.  Also, having worked with a number of other artists, Tyler would have great chemistry with his other teammates.

 

PF: 2 Chainz2-chainz-ftr-jpg_1rw6wiylhntq01vitg21u4a0ge

2 Chainz is the first of the big men on this squad.  Standing at 6’5”, 2 Chainz is one of the tallest rappers in the game.  2 Chainz also has some of the most basketball experience out of any rapper.  2 Chainz attended Alabama State University on a basketball scholarship from 1995-1997.  Experience like this is a necessity on a team like this.  Being a bit of a veteran, 2 Chainz would serve as a great mentor to the rest of the team.  His lavish raps and melodic music would translate into a very graceful and beautiful style of play.  2 Chainz, however, is still able to get down and dirty when the time comes, allowing him to play some gritty defense and really battle under the hoop.

 

C: Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg, rounding out the starting five, would for sure serve as the captain of this roster. article-2560396-1b81e45900000578-177_634x759 Having been around the game nearly as long as Coach Dre, Snoop has veteran presence up the ying-yang.  His catchy, upbeat flow would translate into some great motivation and leadership.  Snoop would be able to keep the good spirits running high in the locker room and out on the court, even if the team is down or behind.  As for his play, Snoop is an avid sports fan, coaches football, and has run basketball fundraisers in past years.  Snoop has the athletic blood in him, making him a natural talent that can easily be utilized on the court.  His athletic talent can even be seen in his son Cordell’s football skills.  Cordell was a former WR at UCLA and was highly touted in high school for his play.  And lastly, Snoop has some experience as well.  Who could forget his appearance at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans?

 

Sixth Man: Lil B

No rap basketball team would be complete without Lil B.  Lil B could easily be in the starting lineup, but I feel that his skills would be better utilized coming off the bench.  Lil B has some experience under his belt, having tried out for the NBA D-League (Now known as the G-League), but just falling short.  He could provide an amped up energy that would surely get his teammates riled up.  Lil B is capable of lighting a fire that could spark a huge run for his team when they need it most.  It also helps that Lil B has been known to have great “influence” in the sports world.  An influence that could easily be used to his team’s advantage.17efecad

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

Lil Dicky

Lil Dicky, known at home as LiDicky, comes from a very athletic family.  For those who do not know, Lil Dicky is the often forgotten about fourth Ball brother, as seen in this video.  While he may not have been as highly touted as his other brothers, there is no doubt that Lil Dicky has some skill of his own.  

 

Wale

Wale has great athleticism, having attended multiple colleges on football scholarships, making him a good candidate for this team.  However I was unsure where he could have fit into this lineup or whose place he could have taken.  Also, his skill resides in football, so whether that athleticism would translate to basketball is unknown.

 

Meek Mill

Meek Mill does not have much of a sports background besides being a fan of it, but in recent years, he has been seen hanging out with members of the Philadelphia 76ers.  This may not mean much, but I’m certain that he could have picked up a thing or two from hanging out with the likes of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.cnsebyruaaevhn1