Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Oh, holy crap, it's 2013 already?

I'm not sure what reason all of you have for coming here to read this blog -- really, I'm not -- but I do know that it must be something, whether its the spot-on NFL predictions (almost .500 this year!) or the astute sports commentary, there has to be a draw. Or you're all wasting your time. Whichever it is, I appreciate the page views. That said, I can certainly say with certainty what my favorite thing that I write about here is and it is, without question, my end of the year recaps in which I not-so-briefly detail every nook and cranny about my sports-going, world-traveling, not-so-great-with-women-but-I'm-getting-better-I-swear life.

It's pretty fun, right?

Well, perhaps you don't really remember since I've only done it twice, but if we roll the calendars back to late 2011 or even late 2010, you can see with amazement, and possibly amusement, all of the airports, sports venues, countries or In-N-Out Burgers I've been to. Yes, it's important information, and that's why I'm making sure to get all of it to you post haste so long as I can write enough bullshit to get me to the jump first.

But some of you might have noticed that by "post haste" I actually meant "when I finally remembered." That's because if you're clever or read calendars you no doubt noticed that today is actually January 15, 2013 and not January 1, 2013 or some time in late December 2012. That is because due to some very important and very technical reasons, my 2012 year in review was delayed because a unexpected thing happened where I completely and totally forgot about it.

Many of you probably find this shocking. Others (and by "others" I mean "none of you") merely found it interesting. But the important thing is that none of you realized it at all because only four of you read this. Fortunately for everybody involved, however, I eventually remembered. And so, without further ado, here it is.

2012 in review

-- I saw seven new professional sports teams (Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens)
-- I saw games in five new stadiums (American Airlines Center, Consol Energy Center, PNC Park, Soldier Field, Paul Brown Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium)
-- I saw a concert in one new venue, but neglected to see a game there (Barclays Center)
-- I saw sporting events in 12 total venues both professional and collegiate (Prudential Center, Madison Square Garden, Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, American Airlines Center, Consol Energy Center, PNC Park, Soldier Field, Paul Brown Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium, Citizens Bank Park, Ryan Field)
-- I toured one stadium without seeing a game in it, but I did become the first person to play frisbee on the field in it (Cowboys Stadium)
-- I tailgated on a creepy side street in Baltimore
-- I saw the Giants play (and lose) on the road twice
-- But I also saw the Giants win the Super Bowl, even if it was just on TV
-- I attended four New Jersey Devils playoff games, including one in which they blew a three-goal lead and one in which they won in overtime
-- I grew an absolutely ridiculous playoff beard
-- I was shocked when said playoff beard stuck around until Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final
-- I took very depressed pictures of myself throughout the process of shaving my playoff beard
-- I saw the Knicks win a playoff game for the first time since my sophomore year of high school
-- I saw Johan Santana throw the greatest pitching performance I had ever seen in person before
-- A week later, I saw R.A. Dickey top it
-- I discovered in the eighth inning of Johan Santana's no-hitter that I was in a bar that didn't get cable and immediately sprinted to the nearest bar I could find
-- I witnessed the end of the greatest sports year I've ever experienced (and will likely ever experience) in my life
-- I attended my first ever MLB playoff game
-- I saw two sporting events in one day for the first time 
-- I visited 24 different cities (Dallas, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Reykjavik, Skaftafell, Copenhagen, Roskilde, Helsingor, Stockholm, Uppsala, Helsinki, Tallinn, Tromsø, Oslo, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Kansas City, Chicago, Evanston, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Baltimore)
-- I spent time in eight different countries (United States, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Norway, the Netherlands)
-- I flew on a plane 22 times
-- I passed through 14 airports
-- I stayed in 0 hotels, two hostels, two rented apartments, on one close friend's floor in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on one family friend's couch in Uppsala, Sweden, on one friend of a friend's inflatable mattress in Copenhagen, Denmark and on one random person's couch in Tromsø, Norway
-- I hiked on one glacier
-- I was intimidated by many waterfalls
-- I drank beer in the King's Garden in Copenhagen
-- I saw Hamlet's castle
-- I saw one ship that had been underwater for 300 years
-- I accidentally saw Bruce Springsteen in concert in Helsinki
-- I saw Bruce Springsteen in concert three times in total
-- I visited the Arctic Circle and drank beer and played frisbee in the midnight sun
-- I had 1 passport stolen and later recovered in Oslo, Norway
-- I discovered the truth about my past
-- I attended one wedding
-- I had one five-year college reunion
-- I was stranded in Chicago for three days after my reunion because of Hurricane Sandy, which resulted in my flight home being canceled five times before I finally gave up and drove from Chicago to New York
-- I won one fantasy league and reached the semifinals of another, and had one outrageously good day
-- I tried whale, reindeer, wild boar and bear meat
-- I ate at Iceland's most famous hot dog stand
-- I ate authentic Swedish meatballs
-- I ate Skyline Chili for the first time
-- I ate this ridiculous sandwich
-- I did not eat at In-N-Out Burger
-- But I did eat at Culver's
-- And I did eat four slices of Giordano's Pizza
-- I finally decided to get a handle on my weight
-- I decided to periodically irritate all of you about it
-- I survived one work stoppage
-- I survived one Mayan Apocalypse
-- I wrote 74 entries in this blog

So yeah, that just about wraps 'er up then. As you can see it was a busy year of travel, sports, exotic food choices and, apparently Bruce Springsteen. I suppose I couldn't really ask for anything more now that I think about.

But I'm greedy, so I'm still going to. Let's see what 2013's got.

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