I’m live on the LOHUD blog

My favorite Yankees blog just posted my guest post today. In about an hour I already have 151 comments. Holy crap!

If you’re new to NuckolBall thanks to the LOHUD blog, welcome. Please consider signing up as a follower.

Here is the post I wrote:

 

 

The Complications of Raising a Yankees Fan

 

I used to be a normal Yankees fan, but then my son, Jack, screwed the whole thing up for me. Everything got a lot more complicated. See, it’s not enough just to raise your kids to root for the Yankees and loathe the Red Sox. You also have to raise them to be good people. And sometimes the Yankees make that difficult.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, there are lots of great lessons my son has learned from baseball. He’s learned that if you strike out, then get out to the backyard, practice your butt off and next time you’ll get a hit. He’s learned how to take a tough, tough loss. And there’s nothing like the double play to show the value of teamwork. But baseball – the Yankees in particular – also present some bad lessons.

 

As a dad, what do you do about ARod or Cervelli? Do you still root for them? Last season the Yanks only really started playing well when ARod was on the field. I remember him smashing a game-changing home run that had me screaming with joy. My son and I were exchanging high-fives. Which means I’m essentially telling my kid: “Yeah he’s a creep and cheater, but the Yankees really need him and that’s more important.” What kid of message does that send?

 

And what about the Steinbrenners and the money thing? I’m trying to teach my son that might doesn’t make right – but the Yankees are the exact opposite of that. “Don’t worry that we didn’t make the playoffs. This offseason we signed McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury, and I’m sure we’ll outbid everyone else for Tanaka. We may not be able to win by being smarter or working harder, but money can make everything OK.”

 

It’s confusing, right? My son has turned my Yankees fandom upside down.

 

However, being a dad and a Yankees fan hasn’t been all bad. In fact, there are ways that my son has made being a Yankees fan a thousand times better. The 2009 season blows away any other championship for me. Jack and I would get up every morning and look at the standings. We tracked them the whole season, through the playoffs and all the way to the World Series. When Johnny Damon pulled the double steal in Game 4, we were literally dancing around our living room and hugging each other in delirium.

 

This past season I paid a small fortune to bring Jack to Rivera’s last game in Yankees stadium. I found most of the game a little boring. The Yanks were out of the playoffs so it didn’t matter if they won or lost. The when Rivera came in to Enter Sandman it was kind of a letdown. It didn’t have the incredible drama of a real save.

 

Then something strange happened. Two guys were coming out of the dugout.

 

“What’s going on?” I asked.

 

“It’s Jeter and Andy Pettite!” Jack screamed.

 

Rivera’s two longtime teammates came out and took the ball from him. Then Rivera’s head was buried on Andy’s chest and the greatest closer in all of baseball was crying like a baby. Suddenly my son and I were crying too. We were somehow managing the cheer and cry at the same time. Unforgettable.

 

There’s no hesitation teaching your son to root for Mariano Rivera. Baseball accomplishments aside, that guy is a model of class, sportsmanship, and doing things right. And we were there for that moment at the end of his career. They’re going to show that on Sports Center 30 years from now and my son can say: “I was there. My dad took me to that game.”

 

That wasn’t just baseball history. That’s part of the history of me and my son – and it’s there because we’re Yankees fans.

 

Woosh! I better start saving up in case Jeter retires next season.

 

Will Reif Get Some?

Cris Reifsteck is a longtime friend of mine and a faithful reader of NuckolBall. He posted this on CraigsList last night:

I have 2 tickets to the World Champion Giants — Padres game on Sunday 9/29 at 1:05 PM. It’s the last game of the season! I am looking for a hot girl who is less than half my age to go to the game with me and let me have my way with her. I am a 42 year old bald fat guy with bad skin. All I really have going for me is that I used to be smart. I guess my balls are pretty big (but nowhere near as big as my friend Mike Nuckols). The seats are crappy seats way up high where the sun blasts down on you and makes watching the game somewhat uncomfortable. The photo above is an approximation of the view you can expect from these seats. I want to eat at least 3 orders of Garlic Fries before the first inning so when Pablo strikes out I can poop my pants! In a perfect world we could have a fake relationship where we fall madly in love and can’t stand to be apart or think about anything except each other for like the first two innings. Then you see me buy cotton candy and give it to a girl and you get jealous and we fight for most of the third inning. Then I tell you I bought it for a little girl who has leukemia and is going to die next week, and we make up, go under the bleachers and have mad, passionate sex. Then you finish your fifth beer and I figure out you’re an alcoholic and I tell you I’m leaving. But you get serious about recovery during the bottom of the fourth inning and I get lonely and we make up again. Things get serious and we decide to move in together. I propose to you in the bottom of the fifth just as Hunter Pence hits a three run homer, it must be fate! We waste the entire sixth inning planning our wedding. We get married during a beautiful ceremony at the seventh inning stretch. Then the game slows down dramatically. Both teams go through 4 relievers each during the eighth. It feels like it will never end. Things are boring and you start making trips to the ‘ladies room’ and I start hanging out at the Crazy Crab Shack. You tell me you’re 5 innings pregnant. I reveal that I had a vasectomy when I went to change my underwear in the second, and the baby can’t be mine — you slut! I demand to know whose baby it is. You tell me you ran into Barry Zito when you were drunk in the late third inning and you had a meaningless fling. I tell you I forgive you, but secretly, I don’t. I resent the shit out of you but keep it hidden deep inside, wanting to be a good husband and honor my marriage vow. The ninth inning finally arrives. We wish it had come sooner. Romo is out for the save. There isn’t even going to be a bottom of the ninth. We both know it. We both realize we hardly even paid attention to the game. We were so caught up in our fake relationship we missed everything. And then it’s gone. Romo strikes out the side, but all we can wonder about is how it all fell apart. We can’t stand each other. I ask for a divorce partially because I have become even more bitter and cranky than before I met you; but mostly just to feel powerful for a moment. You agree, secretly longing for Barry Zito to return, but knowing that he won’t. I exit through Willie Mays Plaza without looking back. So if you’re looking to fulfill your entire life’s dreams in single afternoon ladies, here’s your chance to give your life some meaning! Send me a quick note letting me know why I should pick you over the other thousands of replies I’ll be getting.

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When asked for a report from the game — Mr. Reifsteck was quoted as saying:

What did the egg say to the pot of boiling water? It might take me awhile to get hard, I just got laid last night.

Guest Post: Coddy Nuckols

You may remember my Uncle Coddy from the post on the Angels game:

https://nuckolball.com/2013/06/21/angelic-baseball/

Well, the man sent me an actual, physical letter. It included the following that he requested I put as a post.

To the family, friends, admirers and readers of Mike Nuckols,

I’m Coddy, Mike’s uncle and we’re pretty close. It’s not that we have frequent contact but that there is a mutual trust and respect between us that we both greatly value. It has a long history. We enjoy each other’s company.

Many years ago Mike and I had a conversation about nicknames. He gave me the nickname “Coddy the Body”, though he has never shared its significance or origin — maybe just that it rhymed. Many of Mike’s oldest friends have nicknames “Chief” and “Spider” among them.

We agree that nicknames can never be self-imposed; that they must be conferred or bestowed. Mike confided in me that he wished he was known as “Sweet Lou” (Louis is his middle name) but it never stuck and he didn’t push it. He knew the rules.

Having recently been introduced to NuckolBall — what a great name — I see it as another expression of what a loving father and a good man does. To have such love, concern and thoughtfulness for his boys is admirable. To write it all down demands honesty, self-knowledge, a willingness to explore and time — a most precious asset.

Baseball is his vehicle — being a good father trying his best to grasp the realization that his two boys are growing up — the destination. (Having two sons ourselves, Harry [Mike’s Dad/Coddy’s brother] and I have intimate knowledge of this process. In my case trusting the love, judgement, commitment and good sense of the woman who chose me has been my most valuable contribution. I suspect the same may be true of Harry, Mike and Chris [Mike’s brother] and for many of the men in our extended family.)

And so, having witnessed an honest struggle for truth and fairness throughout his life and knowing that he fully acknowledges his miraculous good fortune regarding his parents and Shani, I hereby confer and bestow upon Mike Nuckols the nickname, “Sweet Lou” and with it all the love and respect one person can have for another. He earned it — it’s perfect. From now on when I think “Mike”, I’m going to think, “Sweet Lou.”

Whether it catches on or not is another matter — but for me it’s a done deal. It will make his smile. My best to all,

Coddy Nuckols

PS:

Jack and Alex,

I’m looking forward to you and your Dad coming out here sometime for a Dodgers and an Angels game. It may not be soon but it will happen. Mary and I are looking ahead to when you can visit us on your own. There’s a lot to see and do here.

Love,

Coddy

HA! Eat that, bitches! It’s official — I have a nickname!

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog: By Shani Nuckols (with a little help from Jack and Alex)

With something like 20 posts under his belt, Mike is starting to paint a pretty good picture of what it’s like to live in our house and hang out with our boys. 

In honor of Father’s Day, we thought we’d take a minute to share with you what it’s like to live with Mike and what we consider The Best Lessons We’ve Learned from Dad:

1.    Give it your all!  Mike takes on every challenge with 100% enthusiasm and dedication, which means he enjoys things more than anyone we know.

Starting a garden?  Let’s transform the entire yard into a farm.

Going on a bike ride?  Let’s make it a 30-miler over extremely rough terrain that never fails to result in bodily injury or an expensive bike repair.

Writing a book about fun things to do with your kids? Let’s make it 101 things…and test every single one of them.

Without him, I would never have quit my job to travel the world for an entire year.  The boys would never have set the goal of visiting every MLB Park in the country. And life in our house would never have been remotely as exciting and exuberant as it is.

 2.    As hard as you might try, you can never give yourself a nickname! Among his friends, Mike is notorious for giving nicknames that stick.  Chief.  Hal. Spider. Skinny.  Superguy.  Businesses have been built on the nicknames that Mike comes up with.

Despite these successes, he has failed miserably in giving himself one.  And boy has he tried.  There has been Sweet Lou.  Nuke Deluxe.  And at least 10 more that I can never remember.  He blames it on the fact that Nuckols is its own nickname.  But then Jack came home with the name JayKnux…and because it was given to him by a friend, so far it has stuck.     

 3.    There is no point to being self-conscious.  Mike recently shared one of his naked stories on this blog.  Believe me, there are 100s more.  But this goes beyond nudity.  Mike honks his horn at everyone he passes. At a party, if he’s tired, he feels 100% comfortable finding a chair and falling asleep.  And then, of course, if he thinks it would be funny to streak….he does!

 4.    Don’t quit in the middle.  When I asked Jack to tell me what he’s learned from Dad, this is what he said. I think what he’s talking about is how you have to stick it out, even when the going gets tough. This lesson really paid off for Jack this year.  He tried wrestling for the first time, and spent the season competing in the 60-lb division.  He started out, racking up loss after loss.  It was tough, but he stuck it out.  And at the last tournament of the season, he not only won 2 of his 4 matches, but he got a 3rd place medal to boot.  Lesson learned.

 5.    There is no such thing as “I’m bored.” Only “I’m boring.” This is Mike’s mantra, almost to a fault.  In the middle of winter, when everyone has been cooped up inside, I hear “I’m boring” almost as much as “I’m bored,” and honestly, I can’t tell you which phrase irritates me more.  But I do have to admit that our boys have learned how to find fun in the most desperate conditions:

Winter Olympics, involving lots of running outside in the snow with no shoes on.

Townwide treasure hunts, one of which culminated with the discovery of an actual treasure chest (with dirty underwear inside!)

Sumo Wrestling, which involved dressing up in Mike’s clothes and stuffing themselves full of cushions and sheets until they were as round as bowling balls.

Someday, I’d like to track the frequency that I hear “I’m bored.”  I am willing to bet it’s being said less and less often.

6.    The older you get, the slower you drive.  Now this is less of a lesson than it is an observation (actually made by a friend here in town that regularly passes Mike on her way to work).  Let me be clear: Mike is a good driver.  But we have known each other almost 20 years, and I would say he has lost about 1/3 mph per year so far.  I’m not going to say that this is because he’s a dad and is often carrying precious cargo.  But teenage Mike (and even 20-something year old Mike) would have a hard time seeing the coolness that 42-year old Mike behind the wheel.  And I’m glad of that.  I’m also glad that he doesn’t drive a mini van.

 7.     A clothes shelf is far superior to a closet or a chest of drawers.  When I met Mike, he lived in a one bedroom apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that might more accurately be called a slum.  His kitchen table was a garbage can turned upside down, and he kept his clothes on an open metal shelf next to the fridge.  In every apartment or house we have since shared, his first request is always for a “clothes shelf.”  I’ve yet to approve it, but he holds out hope.  I know he also hopes to see a shelf in Jack and Alex’s homes when they grow up.

 8.    Admit it.  Farts really are funny!

We love you, Mike (aka Dad, aka Sweet Lou aka Nuke Deluxe)!  You make our lives crazy, unique and full of love. Happy Father’s Day!