Monday, May 30, 2011

Bravo's Counterpunch: "Real Housewives" For All Seasons

I’ve always appreciated sports’ spacing. If the Mets could just find a way to be decent through August, I’d have viable sports options every month of the year. During her first football season with Ramsey, Annie asked Lindsey at what point the obsession ends. Linds shook her head in resignation.


Well, after seeing a preview for Real Housewives of New Jersey followed by a preview for Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion during a commercial of Real Housewives of New York City, Bravo’s clearly decided that two can play at that game.

Much like sports, Bravo’s found a way to make sure its #1 moneymaker – and Lindsey’s favorite show – never ends. When one series finishes, two others begin. They've borrowed sports’ playbook, and worked it to perfection. After each RH episode is over, you can “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen, and recap what you’ve just seen (Linds usually does). This is Bravo’s answer to SportsCenter. After each season is the Reunion – now as much of a staple as the show itself. This is Bravo’s playoffs, where tensions are at an all-time high:

My initial intent was to create a monthly Real Housewives schedule, to prove the show’s permanence, and so I could plan around it. But it was impossible -- seasons never start at the same time each year, and never last the same number of episodes. Only a female could live with this type of uncertainty.

One more parallel between sports and RH? The future doesn’t look good for either. The NFL might not have a season next year -- this we all sadly know. But according to a very reliable source, Andy Cohen recently said that “no new Real Housewives series are in production, and Real Housewives of Miami would be the last installment in the franchise.”

“Whatever,” Lindsey said. “Wikipedia doesn’t know anything.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Not About Me

The Oklahoma City Thunder made it to the Western Conference Finals last night. My buddy Mike, who roots for the Mavs (the Thunder’s next opponent), immediately texted me and said “Guess we’re enemies for the next two weeks”, implying that I’m such a big Thunder fan now that things will get metaphorically ugly between us.

“I guess,” I responded.

I get so torn when I talk about the Thunder. They’re my second-favorite team, by far. And with a sports-obsessed fan like me, a second-favorite team often eclipses the passion of a lesser fan’s first favorite.

But, a true sports fan can’t have a second-favorite team. I spent my first two years of friendship with Ramsey convincing him he couldn’t root for both the Bears and Giants. All of us did. And he relented! How can I be such a hypocrite? The Thunder aren’t my team, they’re Lindsey’s team, and she can’t even watch a full game without shopping on Piperlime.
Fantastic variety.

But, as Linds is fond of saying when I come down with the common writer's malady of self-centeredness, “This isn’t about you”. And in this case, she’s right: It’s OK to love OKC for reasons having nothing to do with my newfound ties to Oklahoma.

It’s OK to love OKC players because the players love each other. They’re the anti-Heat, taking their talents to Mickey Mantle’s in Bricktown after each game to hang out with and embrace the fans. And it’s OK to love OKC for those fans, who endured quite a tragedy of their own six years before 9/11 ever happened, and voted over and over and over again to pay extra taxes toward the creation of a new stadium, believing that one day a professional team would come along and give the city something to rally around. I’m not making this up. Check out the video here.

In yesterday’s Game 7, the fans wore “Rise Together” shirts (and by the end of the game, Kevin Durant had one on, too), because that’s what they all did: They went from total devastation to a brand new team losing 29 of its first 32 games to the Western Conference Finals. When a team and a town are one, it’s amazing to see what they can accomplish. It’s OK to love OKC because what they’ve achieved is bigger than basketball.

And it’s certainly bigger than me. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fashion Over Comfort

It was a chilly December afternoon. Freezing, technically. Yet here was my co-worker Melissa walking next to me -- CARRYING a heavy, hooded sweatshirt -- complaining and shivering.

"It's SO cold."
"Put on your sweatshirt!"
"This sweatshirt?"
"Yeah, the one you're HOLDING!"
"No way, it's ugly."
"But you're freezing."
She may have considered wearing it for a brief second, but probably not. Instead, she decided to teach me a lesson I should've already known.

"Fashion over comfort."

Even in extreme conditions, women will always make this choice. How else do you explain high heels? They cut your ankles, give you bunions, and turn the simple task of walking into an extreme sport. It's a good thing porcupine scarves aren't fashionable. (Wait, are they?)

Yet before I pour it on too thick, it's only fair to realize we're guilty of it, too.

Especially when it comes to sports...


It itches, and disrupts blood flow, but the minor discomfort is completely worth it given how awesome it looks. It makes your muscles look bigger. It doesn't have nearly the same effect if your muscles aren't big to begin with, but still well worth it.

Lindsey's take:
Wait, this isn't functional? If not, at least make them in seasonal colors. 


Unwise, unsafe, and uncomfortable: If you had to wear an 8-pound weight on your head, would you want it flying around everywhere? Not to mention it gets you a $10,000 fine. I mean, it does look a little bit cool and reckless, but seriously? It's your head!

Lindsey's take:
I bet they wouldn't leave their belt unbuckled...

I just want to cry out when I see this: "It doesn't have to be this way!" Not only is it horrific, but it gives defenders another way to tackle you. It's the tackle-football equivalent of wearing an extra flag around your waist.

Lindsey's take:
I like it. Shows a sense of style and individuality.

I guess once you're playing it doesn't hurt, but can you imagine the discomfort in getting all of them? These days there's a bit of an arms race to see who can get the most tattoos in the most unlikely places. Right now, the Birdman's looking tougher and tougher to beat.

Lindsey's take:
What's "free"? His neck? The tattoo? I don't get it.


If you really crave attention, this gets the job done: People will notice, and at some point, the camera will find you. But at what point? You have no idea, so you have to remain shirtless. And it's - so - cold! The only way this even seems possible to me is if you take so many bowling ball shots in the parking lot you can't feel your which case, you're gonna end up in the hospital anyway.

Lindsey's take:
If you're gonna have your shirt off in the middle of winter, at least get a spray tan.