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Friday, February 13, 2009

Life's Little Necessities

If I knew that I was going to be a professional basketball player when I was in 11th grade, I probably would have worked a little bit harder to get that coveted "Division One Full Ride." You see, my "Mr. Popular best basketball player" highschool days were short-lived compared to my "who is this new kid lonely lunch table" highschool days. I barely made my junior varsity team as a freshman, and was dubbed, "slowest player in basketball history" during my sophomore year tryout. No one ever really thought I'd amount to much, but that was until I reached out to long-lost cousin Barry Bonds and got on that workout plan. Just kidding, it was actually a year of football exercises (plyometrics & weightlifting) and a four inch growth spurt that would change all of that.

Knowing I always had my academics to fall back on hindered the urgency to go out and get that "full-ride." So when those Division 1 coaches came and went, and the offers never really stuck around, I had to (and I am reluctant to use this word) settle for a college that prided itself on schooling, rather than sport. Although I think during my time there, people started to notice basketball a little more; the truth of the matter is that professional coaches did not. I found myself back in the same boat four year later, minus sitting by myself at lunch. After graduating from college I had a good enough basketball resume to play professionally but I knew if it didn't work out I had my degree to fall back on. The first time this happened to me, I was much more "reactive" than "proactive" and the second time around I really tried to get out there and make it happen. Unfortunately I kept hearing the same thing: "he only played division 3 basketball" or "well if he wasn't' good enough for division 1 he's not good enough for us."

Now I can pretend I used that for motivation and had I been talking in front of a basketball camp rather than typing in my pajama pants on my couch, I probably would. But the truth is that I was ready to give up. Long story short, I ended up getting that chance due to that German writer and made the most of it, but the first team I played for would teach me some important lessons. For the first few weeks of my professional basketball career I was living on my coaches' couch because my apartment wasn't finished. For the next few weeks I was living in an empty two bedroom apartment with no roommate, no television, no phone, and no internet. The radio and books saved my sanity and to make sure I never come anywhere near the brink of lunacy again there was an essential purchase that needed to be made before I came back out here again. So as this season approached, I would make sure that when it was time to leave, I had my passport, beef jerky, and SLINGBOX.

The SLINGBOX is a device that, when hooked up to your Cable Box and Cable Modem, allows you to watch your home television on your computer. Having this device has allowed me to watch all the important events such as The Obama Inauguration, the Australian Open, the MTV Movie Awards, and the NFL Playoffs, as well as my daily favorites, MSNBC's Morning Joe, ESPN's SportsCenter, and BET's 106 & Park. The American channels that I'm able to access through my SLINGBOX are a huge step up from the German Television I was subjected to last season. If I had to watch another poorly dubbed episode of The King of Queens or Married with Children I may have thrown the television set through the window.

Anyone that knows me knows that unsuccessful shopping, which occurs a lot when you are large human being, frustrates me more than most things, but the purchase of this SLINGBOX was probably the BEST purchase I have made since that college education. On second thought, a full ride would have been nice.

What's Playing in Jason's iPod: The Fray- Absolute

I actually stumbled upon this song accidentally. My iPod was dead while my girlfriend and I went to workout and since she had her Vampire Book (the third one from the Twilight series) to read, I stole her iPod and put it on shuffle. This song came on, and although I didn't really like Over My Head or How To Save A Life, I really liked Look After You, and happen to enjoy the majority of their new album...Absolute is my favorite though.

YouTube Video of the Week: Slingbox on Computer

Although the main purpose of this device is to have access to home team sports stations, this has been the best thing to happen to me since that growth spurt. As you can see from this video, the connection and picture isn't bad at all, and with all my Hi-Def connections, you wouldn't even know it was a computer screen, except of course because it's a 14" screen.

German Phrase of the Week: Ich liebe dich- I love you

Although I occasionally tell that to my girlfriend, I tell my SLINGBOX how much I love it every night. I actually bought a stability ball and decided that for every hour of television I watch I need to do some abdominal work so I don't turn into a fat piece of $h!t. Luckily for me the weightlifting and two practice everyday help with staying fit and although ich liebe being fit, ich don't liebe all that practice.

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