July 3, 2013

The Solipsist Rides Again: Sports Edition

(For The Solipsist's previous works, see A PSA for aspiring Nobel Laureates)

So as you may or may not know, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.


You may or may not also know that they previously won the cup in 2010 (and at the time we also said hooray!). What you may or may not know, however, is that prior to that, they had not won the cup since 1961. Perhaps you may or may not recall that about a decade ago ESPN dubbed them the "worst franchise in professional sports".

(At this point, as you begin sketching out a rough timeline, it may be useful to note that we moved to Chicago in the fall of 2002.)

I'm going to assume that you are aware that the Chicago White Sox won the World Series in 2005 (it was a super awesome 4 game sweep that I hope you watched). I am going to also assume that through your culture of choice - sports, cinema, literature, or gambling - you are aware of the whole Black Sox Scandal of 1919, the subsequent curse, and thus a very very long losing streak.

(Again, if you have yet to, please note we were residing in Chicago at that time - and to be more precise, on the South Side.)

Now the Bears didn't win the Super Bowl, but they did actually play in the Super Bowl in 2006 - a thing they had not done since 1985 - and considering they were essentially playing sans quarterback, I think it's fair to put it in our "win" column as well.

(Fun Fact: Future Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher retired a couple months ago. He told the Chicago Tribune, "I don't have a desire to play" ...we are leaving Chicago and moving to DC before the 2013 season will begin.)

How 'bout them Cubs? Well, as with the Bears, I think we should get some credit for their 2003 postseason series win - it was their first since 1908. But man, that NLCS was a sad debacle.

(And before you naysayers start furiously scribbling your rebuttal hinging on the Cubs continued poor performance, I'd like to refer you to your notes - we live on the South Side, and if push comes to shove, we are Sox fans.)

Finally, having come of age in the age of Michael Jordan, it is hard to put the Bulls in the same beleaguered category that the rest of Chicago's professional sports teams languished in prior to our arrival. Nevertheless, they had some disappointing years post Jordan, and it wasn't until 2004 that they starting making the playoffs with some regularity, and they got close in 2011.

(Thinking about it now, I realize it is possible that I have had an unconscious grudge against the Bulls, particularly John Paxson - Bull's GM 2003-09 and a current VP, for that last second three pointer and consequent victory over the Phoenix Suns in 1993 ...so, my apologies Derrick Rose.)

I guess that covers our residency from 2002-present. Pretty impressive, huh? No need to thank me Chicagoans; it was a pleasure.

(Chicago also has a professional soccer team, but they're not really on my radar - and if you're not on a solipsist's radar, well...)

Tune in next time to see The Solipsist dabble in politics. Sneak Peek: In 2008 the Presidential candidates were a) a man who lived a couple blocks away and b) a man from my home state; In 2012 the candidates were a) again a man whose home is a couple blocks away and b) a Mormon.

April 15, 2013

Don't Call it a Comeback

...cause seriously, this is not one. It's just that the other day I remembered a conversation on naming children that my sister and I had a few years ago in which I brought up the formerly popular trend where you simply take the whole name of an historically significant/renowned/honored person and then just add your surname - e.g. George Washington Ferris (inventor of the Ferris Wheel), George Washington Carver (agricultural innovator) ...and yes, you're clever - since those men became significant in their own right, someone in the subsequent generations would theoretically name their kid George Washington Carver Affleck. However, by "formerly popular" I meant well over a century ago, so unfortunately that ship sailed before they (and we) could enjoy such a poetic eponymous opportunity. Oh, and to clarify, it wasn't just George Washington's name - but that's all that's currently coming to mind. Anyway, as is our wont, my sister and I directed the dialogue into the ridiculous, and I eventually composed:

George Washington Irving Berlin Wall Street Lights ...People Oh Oh Ahhhh