What a couple of days! We had back-to-back record high temperatures here in Indy. Sunday was the overtly nicer of the two: the sun was out and it felt like spring. Monday was actually four or five degrees warmer, but other than a quick peak of sun mid-morning, it was a very cloudy day and didn’t seem as warm as it actually was. Alas, in the hour since I dropped the girls at school we’ve dropped from 60 to 45 with another 10 or so degrees expected to bleed away by late afternoon.

Sunday we did some work around and outside the house.

But Monday was wide open so I got out and played golf for the first time since mid-November. I figured the course would fill up quickly so I got over as soon as I could after M’s late start. I teed off right around 9:20 with only a couple people in front of me. It was still cool, in the low 40s, but I didn’t need a hat or a glove on my bare hand. Getting there early was a wise choice. By the time I stepped to the fourth tee, which runs back toward the clubhouse, there were already several foursomes stacked up.

So, how’d I play? Not bad considering I didn’t warm up and played the first three holes way too fast to get some space between the guys who teed off shortly after me. I hit two off the first tee that were absolute garbage. But by the third tee I had loosened up and spent most of the day hitting the driver fairly straight. Same on the greens: after a slow start I had five one-putt holes, including three in a row on the back nine.

The issue yesterday was my irons. I hit a handful of decent shots but spent most of the day either spraying them or making horrible contact. Granted, the turf was in rough shape, as you would expect this time of year. Still, I was disappointed with my consistency there. My approach game was actually pretty solid, so it was all the second/third shots that were killing me.

I shot 44 on the front, 43 on the back, for my second 87. As seems to always happen on this course, I killed myself on one of the last two holes. On 17 I hit my second shot into the little creek that is about 40 yards short of the green. After the drop and penalty shot, I put myself in a really tough spot on the most difficult green on the course and four-putted to card an 8. Blech. I guess under the new handicapping rules I could have stopped counting at 6, but I figured I wasn’t in a match, no one was pushing me from the tee, and I legitimately made a mess of the hole: I deserved an 8 so I was recording an 8.

Still, not bad for a cool day in February when I hadn’t played in over three months. The round also allowed me to start thinking of concrete goals for this year. I think the biggest one is clear: get consistent with irons. If I can learn how to both stay closer to my target and get a better idea of how far I will hit them, I can see myself getting close to 80 on a regular basis.

OK, enough of that. On to the Super Bowl.

That was a damn fine game. I’m very happy for all my Kansas City friends. Several people asked me, “So I know you’re not a Chiefs fan, but are you pulling for them anyway?” My answer was always, “No.” I’m not that dude.

But neither was I pulling hard for the 49ers. I was leaning their way ever-so-slightly, but mostly I was looking for an entertaining game.[1] Which we certainly got.

I thought going in that the Chiefs were just too difficult to contain and no matter how good the Niners defense was, eventually they would crack. Plus I couldn’t see the SF offense putting enough points up to give their defense enough of a cushion to work with.

Hey, that’s pretty much exactly what happened! Not bad for a guy who doesn’t watch much of the NFL anymore!

Since someone always has to be the goat, there’s been plenty of hate aimed toward Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garappolo. I don’t see anything egregious either did to cause the loss, though. I tend to fall into the camp of thinking it kind of remarkable that the Niners came so close to winning a Super Bowl with a QB as limited as Garappolo. He can get the ball downfield, but still he’s just a slightly upgraded Alex Smith. A good enough NFL quarterback, but not one who is going to be a game changer.

And the big problem for San Fransisco, of course, was that on the other sideline was the biggest game changer in the game. Unless you get to the point where the Chiefs needed to recover multiple onside kicks to have a chance, the game was never really over. I figured the Chiefs would still win until that math came into effect, no matter how far down they were.

So, again, pleased for all my friends and family back in KC who are still celebrating. But not happy for the team itself not finding any personal joy in their win.

I have had conversations with several Big 12 basketball fans about how college basketball referees are calling the game this year. To sum it up: I really don’t know what a foul is anymore. I see defenders reach out and grab offensive players as they drive, or body them up and knock them off their path, yet no foul is called. I thought there was that big move a couple years back to reestablish the offense’s right to freedom of movement but in game-after-game I see the defense doing things that would be a foul in just about every other level of basketball go uncalled.

I mention that because it sure seems like NFL refs have eased up in their protection of the quarterbacks. I saw Patrick Mahomes get hit in the helmet or face mask at least three times, never with a call. On their final possession when they still had the lead, Garappolo suffered an obvious helmet-to-helmet hit that left him noticeably dazed, again no call.

The whole protecting the quarterback thing is tough. It’s hard to find the right point between giving the most expensive player on the field some aid and still keeping it tackle football. The ebb-and-flow between those concerns changes every season.

I thought it was strange that we seemed to revert to rules from several years ago just in time for the Super Bowl.

Commercials? The Bill Murray Jeep one was clearly the best. I was a fan of the Hyundai Smart Park ad, but apparently not everyone agreed. I guess not everyone loves a good, over-the-top Boston accent. The Google ad that made people cry annoyed me. Disappointed Chris Rock is shilling for Facebook. Not surprised that Sylvester Stallone is doing the same. The whole Mr. Peanut thing is dumb and was painfully predictable.

I didn’t watch the halftime show. I hear some folks were offended that there was some ass shaking. Shocking.

Feels like there needs to be a big push to get Pearl Jam or Foo Fighters on stage soon. But with dancers and stripper poles so people can still fan themselves and claim to be horrified they were forced to watch.

  1. I could have really confused people by saying, “I’m a big Niners fan. I lived out there for 11 months when I was in high school.” In fact, I’m disappointed I didn’t say that even though I’m not a Niners fan at all.  ↩