Playoffs mean possibility.
It’s why I love them. I love them most from a position NOT as the No. 1 seed. If you’re the top team in the playoffs, your road, theoretically, starts out easy. No. 1 seeds play No. 4 seeds or No. 16s or whoever just made it in to the tournament.
And that’s the most dangerous team to play.
I love coaching or rooting for that No. 4 seed or No. 16s who get paired up with the team that’s supposed to go home with medals. The thing about tournaments and fate: Tournaments and fate don’t give a !@#$! what seed you are. You’re all 0-0, and let’s get this thing going.
It doesn’t always work out, for the underdog.
Sometimes you go home early regardless. The possibility remains. Your job as coach: Inspire them to believe. This applies to the top seed or the underdog. The underdog must believe it can win; the top seed must believe it can lose.
Speaking of playoffs: I have one entry for the Kid Selfie Contest. I’ve extended the deadline until next week. Please send a selfie your child has taken on your phone to epacheco (at) redventures (dot) com. A personalized and dreamy prize package awaits!
1. Who got out of the playoffs first?
My team, back in fourth grade.
Granted, we were awful. And that was back in the 80s, when I was about 9 or 10. My ill-shooting squad with two mild-mannered coaches led us to a dismal lost-most-of-our-games record. We had low expectations, so no one cried much.
We made the county tournament, and saw an enormous bracket in the game program (yes, it was big enough for a game program!)
We dreamed right up until we were down by double digits, which I’d estimate came at about the 2:32 mark of the first half.
We drew an early first game in the double-elimination tournament. We dreamed right up until we were down by double digits, which I’d estimate came at about the 2:32 mark of the first half. We went on to lose the second game and got bounced from the tournament.
Kids were still showing up with breakfast breath to play their first match – and we were going back home to bed.
As for pro playoffs this year, here are the four teams who officially lost first in the most recent playoffs:
MLB | Dumb ol’ New York Yankees. The Houston Astros put the Evil Empire out of its misery with a 3-0 Wild Card win. The Yankees had lost a 7.5-game lead late in the season for a reason.
NBA | Those Memphis Grizzlies got eliminated the same day as the Detroit Pistons, but got their toasting out of the way in a 1 p.m. tipoff against the San Antonio Spurs.
NFL | Poor Houston Texans. What happens when you win the weakest division in the land? You get steamrolled by a wildcard team, the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-0 at home.
NHL | Dang ol’ red wings. (Sorry Beth and LJ. Hate is healthy.) The team from the town they call Hockeytown got tossed 3-games-to-1 in Orlando. ORLANDO. How Mickey Mouse.
[EDIT: A moment of silence for Mr. Hockey. You’ll be missed, Gordie Howe.]
2. Can twins be born at different places?
My first thought was of Carowinds, an amusement park on the North Carolina-South Carolina border. A mom could give birth on the state line facing north for one kid, then scoot around to the south …
I couldn’t find twins born in different places. In 2014-15, a Romanian woman gave birth to twins nearly two months apart. After one birth in November 2014, the mom’s contractions stopped. Doctors discovered the second twin had her own embryo sac and placenta.
In January 2015, doctors delivered her sister by Caesarian section. Combined, the babies weighed 5 pounds, 3 ounces at their births. It’s uncommon, and risky for the mother, delayed twin births. Amy and Katie left the hospital weeks later, heavier and healthier.
3. Are the dumb bad guys in pirates of the Caribbean the same ones in 101 Dalmatians?
They’re close – like, probably in the same bumbling bad guys union – but not the same.
Pintel and Ragetti provide comic relief in multiple Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Legend has it the pair served in the Royal Navy, and defected because of lousy food and poor treatment. (Sounds like high school.) They share half a brain.
Horace and Jasper serve Cruella Deville in 101 Dalmatians. Japser, the tall lanky one, hits the sauce and tosses darts for fun. His shortly and portly sidekick, Horace, loves all things cakes and sandwiches. They’re dog nappers who get the job done, but lose out in the end.
Despite occasional successes (remember, a broken clock is right twice a day), these partners in crime ultimately lose out more often than the average underdog: Think Boris and Natasha, from Rocky and Bullwinkle, or Harry and Marv, from Home Alone.
4. What does the R in rated-R movies mean?
It’s for restricted – meaning if you’re younger than 17, your mom or pop has to come, too. That’s a total buzz kill when you’re a 16-year-old on a date.
Frequent and strong language and violence will get a movie an R rating (we’ve played in soccer matches like those.) Nudity for “sexual purposes” (as opposed to recreational or artistic rendition) also triggers that designation.
Drug use, too. Which kind of sounds all like spring break in Panama City.
PG-13 came about in 1984. Too many films – such as Gremlins (kinda scary as hell) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (kinda cool as hell) delivered too much violence for a PG rating and not enough to qualify for R.
Let’s not get started on NC-17 (that’s not the highway we travel for soccer, either.)
Bad words and blow ups don’t make me squirm as much as innuendo when it comes to what you kids watch. You won’t believe the crap my parents let me watch back in the day!
5. Isn’t fly fishing dangerous?
Everything’s dangerous if you try hard enough.
Drowning tops the list. As you concentrate on casting and sporting a cool fishing cap, any situation that keeps your head below the water’s surface could prove detrimental.
In flyfishing, you wear waders and you wade. Unless you’re a pro, it’s a tough duo, to fish and wade, no matter what you see on the fishing shows.
I’d love to fly fish with you girls. I took a fly-fish tying class in middle school. I know how to tie a woolly booger, believe it or not. But when we go, we’ll wade, then cast. Because even an underdog has to take a few precautions.