About Matt Esposito

Founder/Writer for Theplaygrounder.com and contributor to Red’s Army Twitter: @Mattesposito_

Draft Sample

ProCityHoops 2018 NBA Draft Big Board

#1. Luka Doncic

ÅÕÑÙÌÐÁÓÊÅÔ 2017 / ÓËÏÂÅÍÉÁ - ÅËËÁÄÁ / EUROBASKET 2017 / SLOVENIA - GREECE / ÊÁÑÖÙÌÁ ÍÔÏÍÔÓÉÔÓ / (EUROKINISSI)

STRENGTHS
  • Deadly in the open court
  • Change of pace similar to James Harden (Deceleration)
  • Crafty handle, Inside/Out dribble, Hesi + Crossover
  • Passing Vision: Can make any pass on the court, sees everything
  • Shifty scorer
  • 3P shot projects well: progressing off the dribble (stepback)
  • MASTER AT THE PICK AND ROLL!
CONCERNS
  • Defense: struggles with PnR defense
  • Beat off the dribble too easily
  • Average footspeed, agility (NBA training should help)
  • Shot selection needs improvement
PRO COMP.
Brandon Roy, If Grant Hill traded his athleticism for a 3 pointer, Current Tyreke Evans
TIER & PICKS
Tier 1, Picks 1-2
PHYSICAL
6’8” – 230 – Wingspan N/A, better athlete than given credit for
OUTLOOK
The youngest player to even win the EuroLeague MVP, Doncic is a surefire pro. His strengths are suited for today’ game. A passing savant with an improving three pointer, Doncic is the type of player who makes others better. His PnR mastery is a match made in heaven for the League. Some will question how his average agility will translate to NBA defense, and that’s fair. Yet, Doncic is a basketball Einstein who loves to compete. I have him as my number one prospect. In fact, I even named one of the gifs below the GOAT gif because it was the most impressive clip of a prospect I have seen as of yet.
GIFS YOU MUST SEE! 1. The GOAT Gif

Doncic Goat Gif.gif
2. C.O.P Pass
Doncic COP pass.gif
3. Stepback 3Doncic stepback 3.gif
#2. DeAndre Ayton

Image result for deandre ayton

STRENGTHS
  • Offensive Rebounding
  • 3 Point potential
  • Switch-5
  • Higher IQ than gets credit for
  • Knows where to be on Offense
  • (-Dunker spot) (Pick and Pop) (Diving to block)
  • Finds gaps with hands ready for catch
  • Good passer- recognizes double teams
  • Rim Protecting potential
  • Physical: Looks like Young Shaq was #FitFam
CONCERNS
  • Jumper: Good, but L/R release sometimes             
  • (needs arc- not a major concern)
  • Can he create from perimeter? AD/KAT jabstep-pump fake move?
  • Soft Screener: Doesn’t take adv. of his beastiness yet
PRO COMP.
If Clint Capela downloaded offense, Karl-Anthony Towns
TIER & PICKS
Tier 1, Picks 1-2
PHYSICAL
7’0” – 250lbs – 7’5” Wingspan, Powerful, Good runner/leaper, light-footed
OUTLOOK
Ayton has the ceiling of a franchise and All-Star center. If he sticks to the game plan of being a rim-protecting big who can switch PnRs, he could be a max player. The difference between being Tyson Chandler and KAT is a perimeter game. 5 years from now, bigs like Embiid, KAT, Davis, Jokic and Porzingod will dominate the league, so grabbing Ayton now could prove worthwhile while also showing foresight.
GIFS YOU MUST SEE! 1. DeAndre Ayton Basketball IQ

Ayton IQ PERFECT

2. DeAndre Ayton L/R Form, off-balance jumper

Ayton Funky Jumper

#3. Jaren Jackson Jr

JJJ.jpeg

STRENGTHS
  • Rim Protection: Instinctual blocker, better feel on D. than Bamba, superb timing
  • Motor is excellent
  • Always active, energetic
  • Passing is underrated, makes the right read
  • Switch 5 Potential: agile enough to hang with guards off of PnRs
  • Decent scoring touch
  • Prototypical Stretch AND Switch 5!
CONCERNS
  • Funky Form on J BUT, good lower fundamentals, uses “hop”
  • Dips ball too low on Jumper
  • Knows how to space the floor, corner 3s
  • Explosive BUT, not quick-twitch athlete (see Bagley, Marvin)
  • Needs to put on weight
  • Rebounding
  • Can he learn to create on his own? Does he even have to?
PRO COMP.
Myles Turner, Vintage Serge Ibaka
TIER & PICKS

Tier 2, Picks 3-5

PHYSICAL
6’11” – 236 – 7’5” Wingspan, explosive with running start, great motor
OUTLOOK
3-5 years from now, the NBA will need guys like JJJ. With Embiid, The Brow, KAT, KP, Cousins and Jokic, as well as incoming draft picks all ready to lead the “Big Revival,” Jackson can be a great asset. Not only should he be able to defend big and protect the rim, he looks like he will be able to make life difficult for perimeter players too. A Stretch 5, Jackson can also be a Switch 5; someone who you feel okay with if he is switched onto anyone on the court during PnR defense. At 19 years of age, JJJ arguably has as high of ceiling as any big in this draft. Check out the gifs below and imagine him doing that in an NBA uniform!
 GIFS YOU MUST SEE! 1. Defensive Monster (watch #2)JJJ.gif

 

2. Corner 3 gif

Jaren Jackson 3 pointer.gif

So My Uncle Got Me Thinking…about transgendered people

The other day, one of my uncles was talking to me about this transgendered person he knew. Whenever anyone tells a story about someone who is going through a sex change or has been through one, the storyteller will inevitably not know what pronoun to use when describing the person. Do you call a he a she, or vice versa? To be honest I have no idea. And I am not writing today to answer that question. But I would like to briefly address gender issues in this country.

It is 2014. If a man desires to be a woman, then so be it. No one should care. After all, if it makes someone happy to declare themselves of the other sex, then who are we to disapprove? To do so would to impede on another person’s happiness, which is downright selfish. Yet, there is something that bothers me even more when discussing the issue of transgendered people and people who identify with a sex other than their own.

This wonderful country was founded on the principle of choice. Choice of vote, choice where to live, choice of what to eat for dinner. Choice of what size popcorn to buy at the movies. For the issue of gender identification however, choice may not prove synonymous with freedom, as it usually does in America. Many supporters of transgendered individuals may pride themselves on this very principle of choice. And that is alright. Everyone certainly does have the option to claim to be another gender than their sex indicates. I perceive this issue of choice differently, however.

Perhaps choice in this situation is not a freedom; an expression of the axiom this country has prided itself on since its global inauguration. I believe that a man, or woman, choosing to identify as the opposite gender is detrimental to gender equality. Why should a male have to identify as a woman if he feels that is one? Who are he or she trying to appease? This gender identification, whether aimed towards social or even personal acceptance is un-American and perhaps inhumane. The inhabitants of this country decide what shoes to buy. We decide what car to drive and what baseball team to root for. We do not, and I repeat “WE DO NOT” decide who we are! I feel incredibly sorry that a person would have to even entertain the idea of deciding what gender they are. I feel sorry that a person would succumb to social pressure to claim a gender other than their sex. I feel sorry that a person would have to succumb to internal pressure to claim a gender other than their sex. Identifying as another gender is to meet a goal of either self-acceptance or social acceptance. And this, to me, is intolerable and sad.

So what do you propose, Matt? Lovely question. I will answer like so. If you, for instance, are a male who has what society has deemed as effeminate qualities, and identify as a woman, do not feel the need to do so. Be a male who has feminine qualities or tendencies. There is nothing wrong with that. Keep your sex. Lose your gender. Eliminate gender altogether. Force society to acknowledge that you are a male; a male who happens to have the habits and the personality of which we typically relate to females. Do not let your characteristics change your sex all the while using gender identification as the outlet. Let your characteristics change the concept of sex in general. It is not up to you to decide what gender you are. It is up to the rest of us to accept that you have personality traits that differ from the standard man or woman. Hopefully, one day Americans will realize that it is our nonacceptance that is fueling this trend of gender identification.

For review

1. Perhaps the ability to choose what gender you identify with is not a choice at all.

2. Perhaps in this situation tolerance and acceptance are the American principles that need to shine the most.

3. Identify as your sex. Be confident in being a woman who has traditional masculine qualities. Be confident in being a male of has feminine traits. Embrace those characteristics, but never let them socially define you (in regards to gender identification.)

4. Eliminate gender. Who needs it anyways? Just because sex and personality are separate does not mean they need separate terms to distinguish the difference between them. Be the male or female you were born as. Accept that your personality may differ from what society deems standard for a male or female. And if you eliminate gender, you will force people to accept you for who you truly are…just a regular person who belongs to one of the biological sexes…who just so happens not to adhere to the traditional tendencies humans have allotted to males and females.

Hoping he did not offend anyone,

E

Anything but Average

Some amazing things have come out of Wallingford. For all those who think this place sucks, let us recap

1. Pat Mulane and Lee Moffie: Pat played for the US-20 team that won gold and is working his way to the NHL. Lee Moffie played for a US select team and was a captain at Michigan. Oh and he’s working his way to the NHL as well

2. Lyman Hall Alumni kill it. Dave Dempsey was a regular on TCCC all conference team for basketball. Jen Ruys is among the top all time scorers for Suffolk Basketball. Kyle Nisson was the hardest person to strike out in division 1 baseball at QU. Eric Thurston set records for swimming at my alma mater and is coaching at SDSU next year. Christ, even Tim Hines and Dimitri got athletic scholarships. Oh and Matt Esposito won his conference tournament and is headed for the Suffolk Hall of Fame once eligible. We’ve done alright. Not to mention Sheehan had Joel Rodriguez play for Puerto Rico’s national team and Connor Murphy play for Ireland’s.

3. What’s next? Great question. The potential in this town is brimming whether its inhabitants recognize it or not. And this is the point of my entry that I enjoy the most. I have the pleasure of providing you the next big thing Wallingford can claim as its latest accomplishment: The CRAFT

The CRAFT is a musical group that features my friend and neighbor, Luigi Ferraro. Luigi is an honest, fun and carefree individual. Many people go through life attempting to separate their personality from their place of business. Not Luigi, however. His light spirited personality seeps through into his music. You can hear it in the way he plays the electric guitar. When I was first told to listen to this group, I was skeptical. My college years had been littered with aspiring artists who thought they were musicians because they played the acoustic guitar in the quad during Reading Day. I thought this would be another group of burnouts that were using music to clutch onto their college years that had escaped ever so quickly.

How wrong was I.

This group, composed of Malachi Dee, Luigi Ferraro, among others has something real. I cannot put it into words, but they have it. They have purpose. They have a sense of pride. They have a delicate temperament when creating their music. And all of this can be heard in their songs. Many aspiring artists will do whatever it takes to make it. They will change their image and sound; compromising their very identity as a musical group. But not this group, however. The CRAFT makes music for them, and fans cannot help but relate. It is an expression of themselves. And it is this very expression that makes their music relatable to everyone.

Today’s artists view music as an escape. For example, artists such as Drake and B.O.B and 2 Chainz often brag about their riches. The same theme of wealth can be heard in their chart topping hits. As working and middle class listeners, we like this music because it is an escape. We hear the lyrics and dream of something we want. This my friends, is fear. The CRAFT is special because they do not provide a temporary, acoustic escape. They have the audacity and grit to address common feelings and problems that affect each of us everyday. If you want proof, listen to Call Me and The Lion in Me. Their music is confrontation; an addressing of real life situations that real people go through.

To quote my favorite TV show The Office “Real art takes courage.” This quotation is more than appropriate when discussing The CRAFT.

Let’s recap the recap:

Wallingford is awesome. We have a unique knack for talent. Furthermore, we have a tight bond that wants to see others succeed at their dreams. The Ferraro family has been in my life for a while now. I went to school with Andrea since Kindergarten. I’ve cheered on Felicia at her basketball games and cannot wait to support her when her latest musical ambitions come into fruition. I’ve had Mike over at my house at RWU and helped him when he needed anything. Even though I hadn’t seen Luigi in a while, the other day at the bar he came up to me like we had just hung out the night before.

A genuine person who makes genuine music. Check out his band. They sound like Dave Matthews Band but they are anything but a carbon copy of the influential band.

You can check them out here http://www.thecraftband.com/

…and if you like them then like their facebook page under “The CRAFT”

But most of all, recognize the potential in this town and this band. Oh and its Luigi’s birthday today so listen to his music!

Always,

E                                                                                                                                                                                   PHA

Books and Covers and Karma and Volleyball and Work and Stuff

Get ready for the “ultimate don’t judge a book by its cover and if you you do then prepare to suffer the consequences” story of all time

Seriously thought its pretty great.

Story time brought to you by Bristol on the 4th “bring nothing to the bar, lose nothing at the bar”

When I was a junior my friends and I thought we were pretty cool. At least I did. And we are kind of cool. But anyways we were a bunch of transfers who magically met each other and fit better than K Dash in leggings. So one night we were bored in new res and decided to have a little shin dig. Seeing as how just about no one ever has parties in new res, it is safe to say we were temporarily the coolest kids on the block. Anyways our party was fun and around midnight or one the RAs came through and told us to tone it. So we obliged and ended up sending everyone home. After everyone left, we decided to stay up and keep hanging out. The night was a lot of fun and we did not want it to be over yet. Next thing you know, there is a knock on our door.

We open the door and a couple of people are standing there. It was Leo and his lovely girlfriend and I think one more of his friends. Now for those who don’t…Leo is the ripped big kid at Roger who also has a twin that is similarly ripped and big. Regardless, Leo and friends walked into our room and were just chilling and talking to a few people. We told them that the RAs kicked everyone out and they left peacefully. Now me, and a certain partner in crime who won’t be named but is about 5’9″, has a slight beer belly that he is proud of and almost went blind via spray paint, decided to start chirping at Leo on his way out. Bad idea.

Our thought process ” Hey, we’re in our room, with our friends, who are kind of big themselves, lets chirp this gymrat for no reason at all.” See Leo is massive and we just assumed he was some toolbag. I believe I yelled something along the lines of “Hey, where are you going the gym is closed.” I thought it was funny and so did Hom Terring. Leo did not. For my Boston accent friends let me rephrase, “Leo did nawt.” Leo turned around an barged in our room. He was rightfully confronting the idiots who made fun of him for no reason. Me a Mr. Unnamed instantly got behind Ryan Abernethy seeing he is a human destroyer. Leo and Ryan talked it out and everything ended up being cool. So when does the story become good Spo?

Last summer I worked at Roger Williams. One of the people I was fortunate to work with was Leo (among Pinocchio, Fish, Vanilla Ice, Hernia and Peanut.) It was undoubtedly the best summer of my life. You cannot call it “work” when you see your friends every single day. Anyways, Leo and I became really close friends. Even today he’s still my dude. Which reminds me I have to call that meatwad sometime soon. Anyways, everyday I hoped he would never bring up the time I bullied him in new res. Ya, he did one day. And he should have. I apologized again and he was really cool about it. But the lesson here is seriously, do not judge a book by its cover. Leo is jacked and lives at the gym so people are quick to call him a tool. That could not be farther from the truth. People always want to start fights with the kid for no reason and he genuinely tries to avoid them. Leo is always down for a good time and is the first person to greet you with a beer once you walk into his dorm. Oh, and the dude is just nice! I mean he always would text me after a party at my house and be so grateful I let him come over. Like guy, you’re my boy you don’t even have to ask, the invite in permanent. So long story short, I made fun of one of my closest friends before I even knew him. If I had not been a jerk to him we could of began our great friendship a year earlier which would have been incredible. Wait Espy, where does volleyball and karma fit it?

So about a couple months after the dorm room chirping incident, my boys and I went outside in the new res to the volleyball court to play some volleyball. Now who was I matched up against? Leo, naturally. So Leo and I were facing each other around the net on the front line or whatever they call it. The ball goes in the air and we begin play. The ball comes right to the net, a point where either Leo or I could spike it. We both went up for the spike but only one of us got to the ball. And it was Leo. And the ball hit my face. And I dropped to the ground. And I got sand in my mouth. And everyone laughed at me. I specifically remember after the game, turning to Ryan and saying “Hey, that’s Karma. Shouldn’t of made fun of that dude.”

Lesson: Do not judge a book by its cover or else you will get spiked by a volleyball in the face for karma punishment!

Seriously though, Leo is a great dude and people rag on hm for no reason. And they don’t even know him. Get to the know the guy and his great brother and their friends. Stay away from Dorn and his dad though. (that’s and inside joke)

Yours,

E

Its Been a While

Sorry for the brief hiatus. I was busy being depressed from graduation.

Speaking of which, we made it. Pat yourselves on the back 2014. It is a miracle 47 Thompson is still standing and for that, we applaud. Leaving that house was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. But, living there was a blessing. So here is to us.

Anyways, I am about 3 weeks removed from graduation. My Mom and I just got back from Los Angeles. I got reunited with my best friends from back home. Joe is doing his thing with accounting. Jake is going to law school. Mendills is doing his business thing. Ruys has her grad school thing all set. And Cip is just being Cip. So where does this leave Spo?

Excellent question thanks for asking.

Truth be told…I have no clue what I want to do. I mean I have zero idea, not even an inclination. When people ask me what I want to do I’ll sometimes respond that I want to go to law school. But I probably do not want to do that. I would be a good lawyer but its not for me and I know that. When you have two parents who were lawyers and one was a judge, people tend to think that you will go into law. But one got laid off for being part time because she had to take care of her family and the other one was so stressed out that it probably contributed to his heart attack. So there’s that.

Truth be told…I have no clue what I want to do. I mean I have zero idea, not even an inclination. When people ask me what I want to do I’ll sometimes respond that I want to be a teacher. I maybe want to do that. I love learning, I love academia and I love helping others. So what’s not to like? Well high school teachers do not make all that much money. And your boy is looking to have a big family (wassup ladies!) Seriously though, salary and standard of living is something that is considered when choosing a career path. Plus, high school kids have no desire to learn. And if I am a history teacher, which I would want to be, then absolutely no one will have a desire to learn in my class. So there’s that.

Truth be told…I have no clue what I want to do. I mean I have zero idea, not even an inclination. When people ask me what I want to do I’ll sometimes respond that I want to be a college professor. I sort of want to do that. I could teach people that actually want to learn what I teach. College professors make decent money and they get to have intellectual conversations with bright, young minds. Plus, their hours are not as strict and they have more academic freedom to speak bluntly about their opinions and beliefs. What’s not to like? Well I am not sure I have to academic drive to become a professor. Do not get me wrong, I believe I am smart enough. But I question my passion for history. My professors were always buried in books, papers and conferences. Sure, I like to read yet, I like to be active as well. I do not want to succumb my life to the drudgery of academic when there is an entire world I want to participate in. So there’s that.

Truth be told…I have no clue what I want to do. I mean I have zero idea, not even an inclination. My Mom has asked me what I wanted to do several times, where does m heart lay. Here are some of my honest responses:

– Lumberjack                             

– Sports Journalist

– Deli owner

– Actor

– Author

– Painter (like house painter, not the cool Da Vinci type)

– Soccer Coach

Where’s the lesson Espy?

Glad you asked. There is always something to learn. I have no idea what I want to do with my life. But that’s alright. I’ve spent too many frustrated nights wondering how everything is going to work out. That my friends, is the stupidest thing that anyone can do. Never worry about something you have no control over. My Dad majored in Public Works, his first job out of school was at a construction company, and he ended up becoming a judge. My mom went to law school, was a prosecutor, and ended up becoming a college professor at SCSU, which she loves. So go figure. What we plan will probably not work the way we want it to. And that’s OK. So don’t fret.

But wait Spo, you are so smart, you always have your stuff together, you’re in great shape, girls love you and you are overall an awesome person. Oh an you’re hilarious and have a knack for witty banter and can dunk a basketball. If you don’t have any idea what you want to do with your future, then what will I do?

Another great question.

My response: I have an interview with Allstate tomorrow. My major (History) has nothing to do with this job. But I am going to try my hardest to get it. Why?

Because our paths are already set for us, now all we have to do is walk it. Be confident, know anything can be temporary if we so choose, and try your hardest at each stop along the way.

If we do that, then we will get to where we want to be before we know it.

The trail is set, now just walk, its the easiest part. And smile along the way for it will all work out. Trust me

 

Yours,

E                                                                                                                                                                                            PHA

                                                                                                                                                         

 

My Aunt Mary and Crack and the Grocery Store

Some stories are for education, some are for your enjoyment. This is to make you laugh

(P.S. the title is entirely misleading)

Story time brought to you by Aiden’s “I thought more people would be here”

My Dad had an Aunt he lived with for a long time and was essentially a mother to him. He called her Aunt Mary so naturally she became my Aunt Mary but was a grandmother to me. Her birthday was this past weekend so I figured I would write a funny story about her. So I often would accompany my Dad when we took my Aunt grocery shopping. We would go to the Stop N Shop in Hamden and while my Dad waited in line at the deli I would take Aunt Mary to get the rest of her groceries. She was in her 80s and needed help pushing around the cart and grabbing certain items. Her first stop would always be the fruits and vegetables section.

Stop 1) My Aunt Mary and I would go to the grape section. Every single time she would rip a grape off of the vine and eat it. Then she would make a typical old Italian lady dislike face and move to the next grape. Another bite, another distaste. We would do this a few more times until she found some grapes she liked. See I was used to this behavior so this summer when I went to the grocery store I did the same thing. Ya, uhhh…apparently it isn’t cool to try out the food before you buy it. I got a ton of dirty looks. But my Aunt Mary would do this for other foods too. I remember her once taking a bite from a pepper and putting it back because she didn’t like it. I believe she would be what the kids nowadays call the prototypical “Hardo.”

Stop 2) The cookie isle. Like any Italian grandma, my Aunt did nothing but spoil us. My Aunt Mary did not have much money but every time I went to the grocery store she would make sure to buy me some Chip Ahoys Cookies. And her and my father would have the same fight every single time. Dad {sometimes in Italian, sometimes in English} “Aunt Mary, il bambino non ha bisogno di biscotti, abbiamo di cibo cattivo a casa! mettere i biscotti indietro.” For my English speaking friends, “Aunt Mary, the kid does not need any cookies, we have bad food at home! Put the cookies back.” My Aunt Mary would say, “Jer, Ho intenzione di acquistare Matt quello che voglio, è solo i biscotti, non sarò qui ancora a lungo, a Dio piacendo, mi permetta di comprare questo per il ragazzo.” Translation “I am going to buy Matt what I want, it is only cookies, I will not be here much longer, god willing, let me buy this for the boy.” Typical Italian argument. Aunt Mary always won. But here is what’s funny. My Aunt Mary learned English in America and it was still broken. So she called cookies crackers. But Italians abbreviate everything so she would call cookies crack. In the grocery store it would not be uncommon to hear my aunt yelling at my dad to buy me some crack. And everyone would laugh and stare at us.

I can still hear my Aunt yelling at my Dad saying “Jerry come on! Let me buy the boy some crack!”

Also with the crack theme. Every Sunday my Aunt Mary would come over for dinner. We would have pasta with homemade sauce and meatballs and pork then salad then espresso. My dogs would always stay right next to Aunt Mary because they knew she would give them some bread or meatball. For some reason, my Aunt Mary would called any snack she gave the dogs “crack” as well. So she would yell at my Dad again “Jerry, I give the dogs some crack why do they always come back!? I give them crack and they should go away now!”

According to my Aunt Mary, my dogs and I were “crack” addicts

Love you Aunt Mary

 

See you all at the pub crawl,                                                                                                                                    PHA

 

 

 

What do throwing up and a soccer coach have in common?

Bear with me, you will see the connection with these stories, and it applies to all of us young folk

Story time brought to you by The Bean: Roofie Coolatas on us

Part 1

In middle school and elementary school no one wants to be the kid who throws up in homeroom. Or gym class. Or lunch. In high school if you throw up you get labeled the belemic kid. Throw up in college and you either get A) an ambulance to transport you or B) an opportunity to rally. So for the most part, throwing up in school sucks. Naturally, I threw up in 7th grade. Lets backtrack a little. In 6th grade I got rushed to the nurse’s room because I ate a Lima bean and had an allergic reaction to it, of course. So it was only right I follow up my 6th grade year by throwing up in 7th grade. And this one came out of no where. Normally you get the pre-vomit weird feeling in your throat (grandparents pronounce throat [trote] by the way.) I didn’t even get that. I just booked it out of class and did the fastest speed walk ever to the nurse’s room. I made it to the door but not the bathroom. In retrospect, I probably should have just went to the boy’s bathroom like hmmm…I don’t know….every other person would have done. But anyways, I made it just only the door. The throw up started to come out and I saw my target: the world tiniest trash can. Lets just say my aim was subpar that day. About half made it in, half hit the tile. And what did the lovely nurse say? “At least he tried.” Nah I appreciate it nurse, thanks for the inspirational words. I was temporarily the laughing stock of the prepubescent world and that’s all you had to say? huh

Part 2

When I was a sophomore in high school I went to this awesome soccer camp in some remote place in Connecticut. I wanted to get really good and play college soccer. So your boy had to put in the work. My soccer coach for the week was a hardo. I mean he was more hardo than Peanut when he proclaimed he had the best core out of anyone on spring break. I’m talkin more hardo than Leo when he had 4 hot dogs for breakfast before work. More hardo than that blond dude who slaughtered the rap battle in the Bahamas. This dude was always on my case and one day he made us do this impossible drill. I was supposed to run from one goal post to the other and deflect a ball that he threw into the net. But the dude would purposely throw the ball 10 seconds before I could get to it. At first I just stood there with my hands on my head. What was the point of trying if I could never save the ball. My coach saw my frustration and said, “You have to try. No matter what, no matter how impossible something seems, you at least have to give yourself the chance to be successful.” So I kept doing the impossible drill. I never saved one ball but I dove every time and tried harder than anyone else.

Lesson: Just try. No matter how hard something is, just try.

You have to realize the importance of giving effort. Most people see what they want and get too intimidated to even attempt to get it. You will fail more times than you succeed but, that is the most encouraging sign a person can see. There are two types of failure:

1) Failure because you never even tried       or        

2) Failure because you weren’t good enough

You always want to failure because of reason number 2. That means you tried to get something good for yourself that was out of you league. You strove for something great and fell short. You attempted to make your life better. Not only is that noble, but it is an outline of how to grow.

Pick a goal. Train for it. Fail. Learn. Try again

But always, always, try... “For failure isn’t a mark of incompetence, it is a permanent reminder that you attempted to obtain something more, something better, something great. A reminder you tried, a mark of courage and strength. And where there is courage, there is the ability to try again until successful.”

For my college friends, keep trying and do not let denied jobs slow you down. Have faith and courage.Most of all try.Give yourself the opportunity to be sucessful.

Yours,                                                                                                                                                                     PHA

 

Whats in my Wallet Part 1

You can get a good read on a person by what’s in their wallet

So seeing as I already let you all in my life, I met as well reveal some more

Part 1 brought to you by: Common Pub, where you pay $2 for a margarita and $5 to leave

The past year…or four I have really struggled with what I want to do for a living. I literally have no one set thing I want to do. Actually oddly enough I secretly wanted to be a lumberjack for a while. Anyways, I have always felt pressure to do something really important in my life; to leave a legacy. This stems from my father. He was an actual legacy, an actual somebody. People always asked him for help with everything and everywhere I went someone would tell me how great he is. He was a lawyer and a judge and seemed to effect everyone’s life in a positive way. I mean the guy’s wake had such a long line that people had to come back the next morning in order to pay their respects. People waited outside in the cold of January for literally three hours just to see my dad. Every time I went to his hospital to visit him, which was every day, there was someone already in there.Words cannot do his aura justice. I’ve never seen anything like that before. My dad was sort of a like a local celebrity, but he garnered such respect and admiration because he was a gentle soul and the first to help anyone anyway he could.He was a legend, my role model, my best friend and everything I strive to be.

So how do I live up to that? and what does this have to do with my wallet?

(words you’ll never hear me say in person alert:) My college career is basically over. I have been talking to my mom for a while about what I want to do in life. Most of the time I end up getting frustrated and tell her that I have no idea what I want to do. I always feel like my father’s friends and my family friends expect me to do something like what my Dad did. They expect me to be just like him, which is pretty much impossible. They want me to be a lawyer and a judge and do good like him, change people’s lives like him, effect the world for the better like him. To be honest though, I don’t have many job leads and the ones I do have are nothing prestigious. “How can I go back home and tell people that I’ll be working some bootleg job and I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life. I’m supposed to be the second coming of Christ, by the way.” At least that’s how I feel. This pressure may seem stupid to you, or you may think that I am the conductor of the complain train right now, but until you walk in my shoes you won’t know how much pressure I feel. There is a pressure of me to do greatness and leave a legacy like my father’s, and that is downright scary.

This Easter my mom gave me a picture.

This picture was strange when I first got it. It was a picture of my Dad’s work shoes. My Dad was little, only 5’7 on a good day and he had tiny, yet disgusting feet. I’m 6’0 and have 12.5 size feet. So my mom sat me down and asked me, “Do you think you could fit in your father’s shoes?” Logically I told her no. Of course I couldn’t. My Mom went on to tell me, ” Your father’s first job out of school was at a construction company. He was a public planning major in college. He had several odd jobs before he found his career. You literally can’t walk in his shoes but, you can look at the picture and remind yourself that those shoes took a long, unexpected journey before they found success.”

Lesson: I can’t be my Dad. But I can learn from who he was to become my own man, a good man. And do not get down on yourself if you don’t find your career and success right away. The best man you knew couldn’t even do that.

For my college friends who are going through the same things, take that lesson to heart. Everything will be OK and it is unfair of us to expect success right away.

Embrace the journey, for it is coming whether you know it or not. Make it a good one so that one day, maybe someone will have a picture of your shoes in their wallet. (see below)

Live with Love

Yours                                                                                                                                                                                     PHA

Image

My Favorite Day at Roger Part 1

Painting, beers, a lot of McDonald’s, Majid Jordan and a predicament

What do these things have in common? They all have to do with one of my favorite days at this awesome university.

Story time brought to you by Fins: “Mistakes welcomed”

So over the summer The Ave had a sweet 4th of July Party. If you weren’t there then I feel sorry for you. But the people who were there know how much fun it was. Naturally, we decided to follow it up with a end of the summer/ school is here blowout. We had learned some serious lessons from the party on the 4th.This prompted one of my beloved roommates to purchase some porta potties. Anyways, next thing we knew we were $300 in the hole. And since we like to do things as a team at Thompson, we decided we were in this together. After the very first Meeting of the Hardos at the Rugby House, we were stranded for ideas of how to get the cash to pay for this. Then suddenly, Ryan Zabes remembered that he knew a women who wanted her porch and shed painted for $300 bucks. Boom. Problem solved. We ended up having the party and it was a blast. But that was not the favorite day I am referring to.

Best Day: So the next weekend we decided to paint this shed and porch. Me, Zabes, Jip, T Dot, The Big Dog and Abernethy all went to paint this bad boy. One might think that all you need to paint a house is paint and brushes. Wrong.

2 thirties, or what I like to cleverly call, a “60”

A bottle of whatever

A little radio for some non country music because we don’t play that S@#t!

A butt-ton of McDonald’s, like 20 McDoubles and fries for days.

Here is what happened: Evaluations edition

Yours truly claimed he was the nastier amateur painter in the game. And I proved it. Efficiency, accuracy, quality. You cannot touch my paint game. I’m up there with Benjamin Moore. They even used to call me Sherwin Williams in high school. My side of the shed was done before T-shirt even picked up a paint brush. The Big Dog did his thing. Racist Joke Warning: It must be in his blood. Zabes was a natural leader, directing everyone what to do. He also was responsible for sending updates to the mom who wanted the shed done. Jips and his buddy from home, presumably named Mark because it seems as if everyone has a buddy from home named Mark or Kyle, well these two went to get the supplies, including the 30s, bottle of whatever, and McDonald’s. Abs ended up saying the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. Racist Joke Warning 2: When discussing possible ways to get this job done quicker AB said the following, “I could just drive to a Home Depot, go up to a group of Mexicans and say, ‘Trabajabo Door.” Huh. WE ALL DIED LAUGHING. Not because of RA’s presumed racism but because he butchered saying trabajo….and because it was a little racist. And we were painting a shed not a door…

Needless to say, the mother saw the shed and said we did an awesome job at it. But there is something to learn here.

Lesson: It sounds corny, but doing meaningful things with your friends is the best way to bond and have fun.

To many, this afternoon would sound like a chore. But we made this all our favorite day to talk about. It was a bunch of unsupervised idiots doing a thoughtless task with alcohol and McDonald’s. What’s not to like. We all became tighter after that day and wish we could do it again. So if anyone has some housework to be done holler at us. Plus we got our boy JPaul out of a predicament. And we did something good for someone else! So we’re basically awesome. And Ryan introduced me to Majid Jordan on the car ride back. We all jammed out to “Gimme a Reason” (youtube it asap knuckleheads) Read the nicknames below, they will help for previous and future blog posts. Oh and do something cool together with your friends. Set a required amount of alcohol and junk food but be safe too!

List of Thompson Ave resident nicknames:

Tom: T Dot, T Raw, T Nager, T Shirt, T Pot, T Kettle, “Ah Come On” Tom, Tom Tom, “Don’t peek when I’m peeing” Herring

Colin: C Ber, “Everyone’s gay but me” Colin

Ryan: Abs, Ry, GR (expired), Abernethy, That Constantly Drunk Dude Who Went to Australia

Lorenzo: The Big Dog, Lorenz, Laredo, Lanardo, Redo Beats, Beats, Smelly Mexican, Flexican, Fez, Lasagna

Ryan Zable: Zable, “Dude who dates Leah” (we need more nicknames for him)

JP: JPaul, Jip, Jips, Jip McGips, Catfish, Pope John Paul, Basset

Me: Spo, Espo, Espy, Espy Award, Matt Matt, Coach, Fresh Prince, Moms Love Me, Mr. Steal Your Girl, Ginger, Linguini, Hoover High Football Team, Sean William Scott, Italian Ice, Young Conan, Perfect Lover You Should Date Me (about half of these are real)

Live With Love

Yours                                                                                                                                                                                     PHA

Things to learn from bars

So this Thursday I had quite the experience at the bar:

Here are some useful things you can learn from going to a bar

Story time brought to you by that weird marching band that I saw randomly parading around today in Bristol

1. Bars are for dancing (Oh this is funny by the way)

So I met this funny foreign student on the shuttle during our trip to the bar. Everyone was coming from the sick Krewella concert. Logic killed it too. Anyways me and this kid are just having the stupidest conversation which I could not even begin to tell you about. We became boys and then got to the bar and ended up going our separate ways. So later on at the bar, I saw my new friend dancing with two other of his friends. Problem is, no one else was on the dance floor yet. Part of me felt bad that these 3 dudes were out there by themselves just trying to get the party started. Part me of me was like….”Yeah I’m boutta turn up.” I went over to my new Arabic friends and started showing them how we do it here in the states. In the words of Tom Herring, “East Coast Style.” Next thing I know, another one of this dudes friends singles me out on the dance floor. In my head I’m like, “This dude doesn’t want it, he must not know I’m well versed in the school of Will Smith dance moves.” My man straight up looked me in the eyes, (Jordan Peele voice) spun around, did the most incredible split I’ve ever seen in my life, got up and walked away while his boys 8-miled “Ohh’d!” me. I looked up at the balcony for confirmation that I just got merked in a dance battle by a spinning image of Aladdin. P.S, is it spinning image or spitting image? Anyways, we all laughed.

Here’s what you need to learn:  Bars are for dancing. There is no difference between sitting at home and drinking and sitting at a bar and drinking. Move around a little bit and have some fun. Plus dudes, girls love and guy who can dance. So dance, dammit.

2. Bar bathrooms are a stage for stand up comedians:

Here’s what I mean. This is the place where dudes can say whatever they want because their respective honey is not in here. Unless they are in the stall.Which at Fins they very well may be. Oh and why do girls always double up in the stall? Which brings me to my next point. Here are my go to bar bathroom jokes. If its crowded, which it will be, then I will shout out “Everyone double up, two to a urinal!” This is normally received with a few pity laughs and a weird stare from the jock who thinks it means your tough when you’re a homophobe. Being a homophobe does not mean your tough by the way, it means you’re stupid. So after that if I see someone I know I’ll say “Dude, the girls bathroom is the next one over.” This gets a few more laughs. I end my performance with a bang though. As I begin peeing I like to look down and say ‘Found it!” You’re not a bro if you can’t make fun of your own equipment, regardless of size. This draws a ton of laughs and I leave feeling like a champ. 

Here’s what you need to learn: …there is no lesson here just be funny in the bar bathroom because you can

3. Two types of bar-kissing girls

A)  If a girl who you are not dating kissed you on a dance floor, she most likely does not want to date you. She just thinks your a stud. In the words of Tracy Morgan, “She think you nice.” She most likely does not want a relationship. Mid-dance tonsil hockey is just an act of passion in the heat of the moment. Have fun with it. Sneak a high five to a bro after. My dudes who are looking to get wifed up but are reluctant to admit it even though we all want to get wifed up, if this happens to you just do your thing and carry on. Here is why: I once made out mid-dance with a girl from a certain South American country. This girl sat across from me in class but still was adamant that my name was Michael. I have nothing but love for this individual but this may not be the one you want to date if you are looking. We sometimes call these girls Wheat Thins because if someone says” Aye man, you want some of my Wheat Thins?” you’ll be like “…Yeah.” But you wouldn’t want Wheat Thins for the rest of your life. (We don’t really call girls Wheat Thins that was a joke, my friends and I are not that misogynistic.) 

B) If a girl who you are not dating kisses you anywhere else besides the dance floor, then she probably has some sort of feelings for you. She’s interested. The dance floor kiss comes with a disclaimer; its kind of a free pass to have some innocent, youthful tongue fun. But, if a girl is off the dance floor and kisses you, then there might be a little something there. After all, this means that she didn’t mind anyone else seeing her kiss you, whether it be guys she thinks are cute or girls who may want to pursue you. We call these girls Goldfish, because that’s a snack you could have for the rest of your life and be happy with it. (again, we don’t actually call them Goldfish.)

So now your ready to have some awesome bar experiences

Game of Thrones over everything                                                                                                                       PHA